Friday, June 12, 2009

Dog bites Ronaldo

The Bristol Evening Post brings us a fascinating insight into Ronaldo’s imminent record breaking transfer to Real Madrid:

Bristol Rovers director of football Lennie Lawrence says the £80 million fee for Cristiano Ronaldo is further evidence that a handful of super-rich clubs are now dominating European football.

"It's an astonishing amount of money and probably a figure that would only be possible for four or four five clubs in the whole of Europe to contemplate spending," said Lawrence.

...The £80 million fee is almost 14 times Rovers' annual turnover …and more than 200 times their club record transfer fee. That was the £375,000 they paid to land Andy Tillson from QPR in 1992.

It goes on like that. That story ate time. Writing, typesetting, printing, proof-reading, conversion to HTML, reading. Time, time and paper and time and energy and self-respect. The story ate those things and chewed them up and spat them into a Beckettian pit of nothing.

I suppose you can hang almost any verbiage on an £80 million transfer story. Most of the Idiot Boards are clogged with variations on “£80 million for kicking a bag of wind around - think how many hospitals and schools - is the world crazy?” Well of course the world is crazy, it was crazy from the start. The world is crazy and markets are crazy and £80 million for a footballer is crazy and so is the £375,000 Bristol Rovers record transfer fee. So what? Go and shout your complaint at the big blank wall called Reality.

Mind you, almost everything anyone writes and utters about football is rubbish anyway. Such as that ‘winning is everything’. No it isn’t, winning is only everything to juveniles and certain screwed-up fanatics. Sport and soul are much more important than winning. Even winning and trophies are forgotten and confused in the memory but the soul, the feel, the essence of a team is not.

Or that Manchester United were the best English team last season because they finished top of the league and the league doesn’t lie. But Man Utd were only the ‘best’ in the sense that they had a gigantic squad capable of eking out slightly more referee-assisted one-goal wins against mediocre opposition over a season than could either Liverpool or Chelsea. If the Premier League had a rugby-style end-of-season play-off with the top teams, Man Utd would have been third favourites, as their record against their closest rivals was dreadful. But sadly hardly any pundits or writers have the imagination to see anything outside of the received wisdom. Football is a beautiful game played and written about by morons.

All the papers should immediately sack their football correspondents (except for Gabriel Marcotti at the Times, the shining exception who proves the rule) and replace them with cricket writers, who are universally superior.

Either that or bloggers. Check out Elberry on Derrida. Finest post I’ve read since the Yard went into a gun shop.

1 comment:

Gaw said...

The more I consider the country's condition- not too bad really, but a bit boorish - the more I think football's to blame. Sportsmanship exemplifies an attitude that decrees you don't have to do something, in fact it may not be in your interest to do it, but you do it anyway because it's the decent thing to do. This attitude when repeatedly and generally reciprocated makes life tick along in pleasant fashion. And it's football and footballers who are chiefly responsible for trashing sportsmanship and by extension a whole considerate attitude to life. Winning is everything and who cares about the quality of the experience? It can be no coincidence, as Pravda used to write, that our politicians are all football fans now.