So the area of the country where I was raised in the NW corner of the UK between the rivers Ribble and the Lune with the river Wyre bisecting the land, is in the news today. It’s the area known as the Fylde and my home town is Poulton-le-Fylde sitting slap bang in the middle of this flat agricultural area. It’s a Doomsday Book-referenced village meaning, I believe, the town by the pool (river) in the field. We ended up with a lovely Norman-based name but it could have been something mundanely Anglo-Saxon like Wyrhampton, which sounds like the place where Sam Allardyce spent his youth. Continue reading
Well this is a companion piece to the recent posting about England’s ignominious exit from the European Championships. Following that predictable debacle we’d become honorary supporters of the Italian team (it should be Wales but alone in my family I’m finding it hard to be generous to a nation who just dislike the English so much). We were baby-sitting our beautiful elder two grandsons last night and had everything in place (wine) as the Italians faced up to the mighty Germany. It was a tense match with both sides cancelling each other out in the first half. The second half was more exciting with goals from either side. Would extra time allow Italy to show themselves as Germany’s bogey team yet again?
So just when you thought your country was having a bad day, we went and topped it with a bloody display against Iceland in the Euro Championships which was abject. No that’s not strong enough. Over the years, watching England at major Championships since 1966 (with the exception of 1970 and 1996) has been utterly disappointing and depressing. But Monday’s performance was just the worst ever. It was shameful. And the Welsh football team were filmed laughing at us in celebration. Yes mocking from Wales, who last graced a major tournament when Perry Como had a hit with Magic Moments ie back in the Middle Ages.
Well the handcuffs are out of the box and it can’t be long before they are slipped around the fat chubby wrists of Sepp Blatter. The FBI are already out for him and his corrupt trough-snuffling cronies but it was his native Swiss authorities who turned up at his office on Friday to seize evidence from his plush Zurich office and announced later that he was being investigated for ‘criminal mismanagement’ and ‘misappropriation’ of funds. At bloody last.
So it’s not earth-shattering news to announce that the very top footballers earn fortunes these days. If it takes me say an hour to write this posting (for fun of course), in the same time Wayne Rooney will have earned about £1800 from Man Utd. That’s the rate at which a salary of £300,000 per week gets drawn down. And that’s just the club money. Add to this his endorsements, sponsorship deals, image rights earnings, online gaming fees, social media earnings and investments and the figures are multiplied several times. So he’s probably earning closer to £10,000 every 60 minutes of the day that passes.
I hooked up with a very old mate from uni the other night for a beer. He’s a semi-retired Cardiff-based teacher who’s been on a 6-month assignment at a very good girls school in Kingston and we’ve been catching up a bit over that time. His contract finished at Xmas but he has sort of fallen for this part of SW London so he’s continuing to come back to do some tutoring and some rowing. He’s one of my oldest mates – well he would be given that we left Aber Uni 40 years ago – and he’s lived a life as a sports mad, red-blooded bachelor ever since. In fact his life style has hardly changed since I first met him. Continue reading
I caught that documentary the other night on the 4-match spell Ryan Giggs had as interim player-manager following the late season sacking of David Moyes at Manchester United earlier this year. If you can recall there was a lot of media and pundit/player commentary at the time saying that the board at Man U should award the permanent job to Giggs and pass the club baton on ‘within house’ having seen the external candidate (and Sir Alex’s personal choice as his replacement) fail abysmally. After all he was the Premiership’s most decorated player, scorer of over 150 goals and a real one-club player having appeared for ManU almost 1000 times over the last 22 seasons. It’s hard to dispute the logic of the argument. Then I watched the film…