Soccer’s back – but it’s not a pretty sport anymore

I watched last Sunday’s match between England and Germany in the final of the UEFA Women’s Championship – not because it was women’s football, or because it was empowering for young girls, or any other cliché that has been doing the rounds for the past few days. few weeks.

ope, I saw it because it was… football. To be honest, I don’t care who’s playing, or what their gender is. I love sports and when we’ve been so brutally robbed of the traditional World Cup summer (more on that later), it makes sense that football fans would be able to heal wherever they are.

As we all know, whether we like it or not, ‘Lioness’ won the game, but, as Barstool Boers pointed out, ‘the real business’ begins with the return of the Premier League this weekend. Starting a league used to be a big deal when I was a kid. you will get your shoot! Magazine with those little cardboard league ladders that allowed you to update the table every week and the only consolation about the school year was that at least football was back.

So, am I excited about the return of football this weekend? Yes. Yes, I think I am. Am I as excited as ever? No way. Part of my growing disconnect from the sport is simply down to age—the older we get, the more our priorities change. But there is a deep sense of distance and this is one that breaks my heart – top flight, especially the Premier League, football has become a hard sport to love.

There is no doubt that the quality has improved on the pitch – managers are more tactically clever, players are fitter and more technically talented. Still, in the face of such a superior ‘product’, do so many fans struggle to find the sense of excitement that came so naturally? This year marks the 30th anniversary of the creation of the Premier League and the malaise can probably be seen until then. Following the Hillsborough and Taylor Report, football was viewed by the middle class and political elite as something dangerous, unregulated and lawless.

It really was all those things, and it’s horrifying to see the ugly face of hooliganism return. But many of those clubs had a community identity that doesn’t exist these days.

I am a lifelong fan of Man United and no other club embodies the desperate and serious pursuit of dirty earnings like those American carpet baggers at Old Trafford.
But the rot goes well beyond the Glazer family. The moment I began to doubt the direction of the club came when the previous president, Martin Edwards, claimed that the Singaporeans who came to take some pictures and buy some merchandise were as many United fans as they were. There was someone from Stratford. Been going to sports all his life.

In other words, fans were no longer seen as fans – they had become customers or, in the even more capricious term ‘stakeholders’.

The past few years have seen a huge increase in ticket prices, which has driven most fans off the ground. Let’s put it this way, a friend of mine is an Arsenal supporter and believes it would cost more than €500 to take his kids to the Emirates for a day.

At some point along the way, it stopped being a people’s game and became a marketing behemoth of sorts as fan profiles shifted away from the traditional, long-suffering season ticket holder, to be replaced by a more corporate environment. was. After all, there was a reason why Roy Keane made his infamous ‘shrimp sandwich’ remark in 2000, after which he said: “I don’t think some people who come to Old Trafford can spell ‘football.’ So let me understand.”

The game has been stolen by the oligarchs and money makers and everyone else is hanged. We only need to look at the reprehensible decision to hand over the World Cup to the tinpot desert dictatorship that is Qatar’s enslaved nation. This, of course, must be the lowest point of FIFA’s already infamous legacy. In fact, it’s the first time I’m relieved that we didn’t qualify for a major tournament because it would have engulfed us in the most shocking example of sportswashing ever.

In fact, I feel really morally conflicted about the tournament, which starts in a few months. I have already turned down two free trips to Qatar because I have a degree of self-esteem. But is this enough? If I find myself watching the match, will it make me passively engaging with Reigns?

International football is rotten. So is the Premier League.

So I have a pat on my back at the higher level of the game. In fact, the next match I’m going to play will probably be Oldham against Dorking in the National League, the fifth tier of English football. Will it be luxurious and glamorous and full of fantasy football? barely. This is Oldham.

But instead of handing over my money to the Glazers, I’d rather give my money to a community club that needs it.

There’s a Way to Get Rid of These Weird Flies, But I Can’t Do It

When it comes to other beings, I am a live and let live type of person. For example, a few years ago we had some rats in our house and I made sure we used human traps which were, in fact, pretty crap.

It is the same with spiders. I’m afraid of them and I have a visceral reaction whenever I see someone – I freeze up, start to hyperventilate and hairs pop up on the back of my neck.

It’s funny, I know. They are wonderful creatures, but they scare me and there is nothing I can do about it. But I’ve never killed one. Instead, I’ll take a deep breath and use a glass and a piece of paper to carry it out.

Frankly, it’s not so much down to the generosity of my soul as to my strong belief that if I kill one of them, all of their companions will attack and attack me while I sleep. Yes, I must have read a lot of horror novels in my childhood.

But this year I have found one creature that I am happy to send with almost genocide glee – those bloody flies. I was relieved to see a report from Rentokil, which warned of a huge increase in fly infestations.

Thank God. I thought I was alone, though I admit that chasing a fly around the house in my boxers waving a rolled copy keep watch Wasn’t my most honorable moment.

Whenever I pour something to drink, the little crooks descend like kamikaze and throw themselves into the glass with suicidal fervor, forcing me to dump the contents in the sink. After all, ingesting these pests is a surefire way to stay sick for several days.

Is there any solution? Yes, but apparently this involves bringing more spiders into your home so they can enjoy the feast.

Oh well, I guess I’m stuck with the flies.