Monday, 14 November 2011
Football is a simple game. The club with the wealthiest backer buys the best players to buy the league title. The top football clubs have owners made wealthy on oil (Manchester City and Chelsea), steel (QPR), and interestingly, the 1970’s detective show Starsky and Hutch (Manchester United). It was the latter team’s American owner, Mr Glazer who starred in the show fighting crime in a very big cardigan (see clip).
The oligarch owners are becoming increasingly unpopular with their teams’ fans, accused of putting business interests above passion for the club. But Mr Glazer, for one, flies to Manchester at least more than never each season to watch his investment play. This is him talking to another executive in the hospitality suite: (CLICK ON 'Read more' LINK, BELOW)
‘Are we City or United? Which colour we playin’ in? Are we the yellows? Don’t tell me we’re the yellows. Look, there’s two of those guys getting’ nothin’ of the ball out on the wing – it’s the wing ain’t it, right up the sides? I know some of this stuff. Then there’s that other guy just running around, might as well just be a spectator for all he’s contributed.’
‘They’re the officials, sir,’ says the colleague.
‘You mean all those other guys ain’t registered to play? What the hell’s goin’ on?’
‘I’ll find out, sir. Cold tonight, Mr Glazer?’
‘You should get yourself one of these cardigans.’
Really, football fans should adapt to the reality of the modern game, starting with the chants. “One nil to the Arsenal” could be substituted for “73.4 million in after tax profits for the Arsenal”; “You’re going home in a fucking ambulance,” made more poignant by QPR fans with, “You’re going home in a fucking ambulance manufactured from the sheet metal produced at our owner’s steel plants.”
Fans should embrace the commodity billionaires. The South Pacific island of Nauru was made famously rich from mining its rich deposits of guano, bird droppings. If you’re an Accrington Stanley fan and you find out the other one is the guano magnate of Nauru, you’re hardly going to turn down any offers to buy the club. And then, when the opposition supporters chant “You’re shit and you know you are,” it’s time at last to take a special kind of pride.