So a third posting on football-related maters which is unusual for me. But I couldn’t let today go by without congratulating my home time team Blackpool FC having won promotion to the Championship from the Div 1 play-off final. Wey hey. They beat Lincoln City 2-1 at Wembley after conceding a first minute own goal. Kenny Dougal was the 2 goal hero and a bit of a poster boy. Do you know that Blackpool are the play-off kings having won 6 finals – a record! God knows how they’ll do in the very competitive Championship but that’s all for tomorrow. After the years of mis-management by the detested Oystons it’s a time to celebrate. Let’s have a look at one of the goals being scored…
I’ve got 4 grandsons who constantly make me incredibly proud of what they are achieving. You probably think I would say that but I am amazed by how socially conscious they are, with firm views about what they want to achieve and how dedicated they can be. I remember my youth and I was hard working but nothing like as dedicated to achieving something. That came far far later in my life. Continue reading
So last night was the final Match of the Day programme of this extraordinary football season. Although the Premiership title and relegation had already been decided there were enough final day issues to make this a really enjoyable show; Champions league places to resolve, players’ final matches, managers leaving, careers over and so on.
So the fiasco of that European Super league is over, for now. It was a hideous concept dreamt up by the billionaire owners of a dozen or so of the top teams in Europe or those faced with the biggest debts. Let’s face it these guys, be they Middle Eastern potentates, Asian oligarchs or American tycoons, made an investment in football – the world’s greatest sport – not because they had a love for the game but because at some point they wanted to make a serious return. And the American bunch convinced their counterparts to adopt the franchise example of American football; a closed group of teams protected from the threat of automatic relegation and promotion, able to soak their fans and maximise/share the incredible broadcast revenues whilst imposing a salary cap on the talent. Let’s face it, if you could afford to be in the club it must have looked liked a recipe for unbridled success with the share prices soaring along with the profits. 5 years of this model and the debts would be paid off and the asset put up for sale to the next batch of uber-entrepreneurs for huge profits. Bastards. Continue reading
Well after the news of Murray’s death, it was very sad to learn about the passing of Leeds United great Peter Lorimer. Not that I was a Leeds fan; anything but. They were the original team to hate but boy did they have some players and Lasher Lorimer was one of their greatest – the youngest ever player at 15 years +, he went on to make 703 appearances no less and scored 238 goals, many of them absolute rockets. Continue reading
Well after 100 days the Premiership resumed last night. As Jack Bruce once sang, I’m so glad. But it was a strange experience wasn’t it without spectators? Yet another thing this bloody crisis has shown the true value of is the humble fan. Without them turning up in there 1000’s at quite ridiculous costs, the spectacle just isn’t the same. The skill and artistry is all there but the critical ingredient in making the event exciting is not the sodding tv coverage after all but the passionate fans. Maybe now the clubs will appreciate them more. Nay cherish them. Nah it’s not going to happen is it? Continue reading
Well I see that the Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden is having talks today with football administrators and medical experts over the possibility of allowing top class English football to return next month behind closed doors and at neutral venues. Now nobody would be happier than me to see football’s return – so long as it is safe for all concerned. Indeed yesterday the Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, was gushing about how the Premier League’s return could ‘lift the spirits of the nation’. Wow it only seems a few days since Matt Hancock publicly pilloried top flight footballers for their wealthy lifestyles and shaming them into making a bigger contribution towards the cost of the NHS (that is in addition to the heavy tax they pay on their massive earnings) which many were already doing privately. It makes you laugh doesn’t it. The Government targets easy scapegoats but with 30,000 covid-19 deaths already on their watch (the largest in any country bar the USA which does have 4 times our population) they are suddenly in need of those overpaid footballers to take the attention and the pressure off them. And people accuse me of being cynical. Pah
Well I thought it might be time for a change in subject matter and whilst I don’t want to alienate my many (ahem) female readers, I thought it was about time to talk sport.