Monday, 11 October 2010


Mayor Johnson's favourite provincials, the Scousers are wetting themselves again, this time  over the fate of what it is pleased to call its football team. Not enough that the blessed John Lennon would've been seventy this week, probably have graced us with another thirty years of drug addiction, bullying, petulance, nude self-portraits, intolerable, twelve-bar druggy doggerel and peace activism, in bags, or beds. And that's not to mention all the avant garde horseshit from the  horrid, stupid, tight-fisted Nasty Nip  which he would have co-produced or co-created,  them being artists and everything. As if John,  fab mopster, Liverpool's favourite dead absentee, being dead wasn't bad enough, his fellow Americans have only gone and fucked-up the footy team.

I don't pay enough attention to football to know if the Liverpool squad contains even one local player, or even one English player, for that matter,  but my guess would be that it's loyalty will be not to the boneheads who turn up chanting and weeping in  expensive replica strips, about Dalgleish and Shanks, but to whichever gangster cartel, or whichever arm of skymadeupnewsandfilth signs their hundred- grand-a-week paycheques,  that their loyalty will not be to locale but to international sponsor.  No matter to Frank Scouse, that his team is owned by Money Inc, football is more important than life or death, isn't  that what they said, or realism.

We have waxed long and sentimental, here, in our broken-down, old leftie way, about the historical importance of the the Football Association to towns and cities and counties up and down the land, how some of them were called this or that Wednesday because that's when they played, on the half-day, about how the players would travel on the same bus to the game as the supporters, how it was all a jolly good thing, relatively decent sportspersonship, a healthy outlet for ancient, male hostilities, a sanitised, often good-natured tribalism, how fans would follow their local team from cradle to grave, singing their inventively  scatalogical anthems down the pub before and on the stands, a torrent of piss flowing down the steps, a steaming Bovril imbibed against the cold. And how, now, globalised, the beautiful game is  just another  branch of consumerism, many of its players as wretchedly, thuggishly amoral as city traders, or wealth creators, as we who are about to be cut, must salute them.

It's shit, all this Liverpool stuff, one gang of billionaires or another finagling for ownership, each masquerading as sporty philanthropists, whether it's porn baron David Sullivan at wherever he is - West Ham? -  Russian  gangster,  Abramovich, at Chelsea or this pair of yanks and now a Singaporean billionaire,  entire football-mad communities, generations of them,  line up to be fleeced for season tickets and merchandise, heedless that the elastic loyalty, the foul play and the heart-stopping greed of those whom they worship, Spic, Dago, Kraut, Paddy, Tall And Tanned And Young And Lovely Boys From Ipanema and even the odd Zulu,  together with the  shit which happens when telly gets involved, these are the problem, not the owners;  the problem is the players; money-love, sponsorship deals, unpunishable gang-rapes,  coke-snorting morons in Bugattis; working, in retirement, for Morrisons, selling crisps and beer. And the fans, bewilderingly needy, sentimental, short-sighted and stupid. Locked together with the New Global Centurions, Whore-Banging Imbecile Potato-Man Rooney or Buy My Cosmetics Beckham, the Liverpool fans currently whining can at least console themselves with the thought that for as long as Supidityhas the price of a ticket in it's pocket, they will never walk alone.


mongoose said...

" long as Supidityhas the price of a ticket in it's pocket, they will never walk alone."

Exactly so, Mr Ishmael, though those of us who hail from Coventry know little of football, there never having been a proper game of it played in the city. It is the curse of money that it is cheating that follows in its wake. Even my beautiful, silly game of cricket is now despoiled. My lad's turn at school to lead a talk, in PSCE - Personal Safety, Citizenship and some other drivel, I forget - and he is to talk about the cheating in the recent Pakistan series. It has come to this. Damn them all.

call me ishmael said...

I usedta know that Jimmy Hill. And once I went to a City game - I have been to two matches in my life. To the delight of the crowd one of the darlings administered a ballistic yet balletic, gracefully executed, poised and unerring boot, full force to another fellow's Cleobury Mortimers. Whitened by empathy I gasped and bent over myself, the crowd, or most of them, cheered their fucking heads off. It is a rare treat, a football match.

mongoose said...

My old da, mentioned here a few moments ago, used to take us to the Grandstand Restaurant. "There's posh for you." God-awful as I remember but the very acme of cool in those pre-crisis days of the early Seventies. The players would come in there with their WAGS. Before the flood that was.

Agatha said...

I do wish you wouldn't talk aboput football, Mr.I. It is so tedious. It is bad enough that it is constantly on television, but it now seems to be compulsory for every man in the country (and quite a few of the women) to have an opinion about it. As a teenager, I was keen on science fiction and picked up a book in the public library called, I think, "The Lunatic Republic", believing it would be some jolly good, Heinlein-style adventure romp. It wasn't. It was by Compton Mackenzie and described a dreadful world in which everybody lived in concrete barracks and had to go watch football every day.Hellish.
I like your imagery, though but. Are there torrents of piss flowing down the steps because the men drink beer and can't be bothered to go to the toilet so they wee-wee on the steps? Really? Really, really? No, but, really? Eugh.

mongoose said...

Yes, really, Agatha, and worse too. On the terraces of the old days it wasn't supposed to be doable - to get out and go for a pee, that is. All nonsense.

And resist football, Agatha? You and I both. Ignore it all. Put the cricket on. Tomorrow morning - between about 3 and 10 - a fine day's play will take place in India. Theatre, triumph, disaster. It's only sleep you'll lose.

Here. Go on, go on, go on.

Dick the Prick said...

Whenever the term 'Chicago businessmen' is used i'm almost certain that means mafia which I guess it is.

I, too, can't really get into the football thing itself but can just about watch the world cup but in the back of Private Eye and also on the fantastic 'burning our money' blog the finances of football are really disgracefully interesting. Can't all be vanity and money laundering, can it?