Well, it has certainly been a week in the world of football, has it not? More controversy than the ‘Hand of God’. On a planet with a worldwide pandemic, when – to turn a well-known cliché on its head – some people have never had it so bad, a privileged absolute minority decide to grab more for themselves. The reaction from the masses was amazing. Fans and players of all clubs shouting with one voice “No!” and it all came crashing down.
It is a sad state of affairs when football clubs are just playthings for billionaires. When you look back at it, Chelsea got a billionaire owner and bought the title. City got a billionaire owner and bought the title. United didn’t because they were a PLC and our titles in the 90’s were self-funded. Yet we also were taken over but far from putting money in we also got saddled with debt. Then all these owners and some others decided that they were tired of playing with their ducks in their own bathtub and wanted an ocean instead. Maybe less like ducks and more like pawns on a chessboard that they just move around at their own whim. All for the purpose of making more money.
Let me ask a question. If you were a billionaire and had more money than you could ever spend why would you want to trample over people just to make a little more which you also wouldn’t be able to spend? Why not do a little good instead? Give just one of their billions to their local government to help out the global crisis instead of sitting there counting it.
Was it timed to perfection or what? No sooner was the EasilySideLined dead and buried – although like a vampire could rise again if Really Madrid’s guy has any say in it – than we have the revamped Champions League which allegedly means ten matches per team before the knockout stages. This is another piece of money grabbing, time inappropriate nonsense. My memory is that teams started fielding weaker teams in the League Cup and then later the F.A. Cup, and finally in some league matches because of the increased European matches. This can only make it worse. It is not like all these extra games will be seen by the majority of the fans anyway because the Champions League has not been on terrestrial TV for some time. More money for BT – they can put their prices up again.
There has not been as much talk about this though because of the ESL fiasco. However, there is something else simmering. In the paper this morning I see Steve Bruce has now waged war on VAR. He would like it gone for good. I don’t think that will happen but as I have written before, the offside has got to be looked at. The handball rule too as that Callum Wilson goal should have stood, but it is the millimetric offsides that drive me up the wall.
As a striker you used to be told to keep yourself onside, and the only way you can do that is with your own naked eye. If a player has to do that then he cannot be penalised by a system that can measure it down to a hair’s breath. It is not a level playing field. I will use the analogy again. If you drove a car without a speedometer you could not keep to the speed limit so can how can you ask a player to keep himself onside to the same extent as a computer?
I wondered about starting a petition to get back the old rule of clear space between the forward and defender but, as my book sales show, I do not have the following to start such a thing. Maybe someone else can take it up. Let’s try for a Brucie Bonus! No speedo! No offside!
In other news, the novel is now up to 104,000 words and this next week is Yabba Jabba Two. Here’s hoping Jabba Two does not have the same result as Jabba One which laid me low for a day, although I did hear someone say yesterday that the second jab can have even worse effects. I hope not. I don’t want it to be Jabba the Hurt.