Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

The Fan

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

The Fan

Article excerpt

"You. You are. You are football. You. Thank you."

(William McGoogle, official provider of bollocks for Barclays Premier League hoardings)

These pointless perimeter advertisements that Barclays now insists on flashing at all Premiership grounds are so irritating. I do wish football pitches would stick to sensible, simple advertising slogans such as the one at Swansea: "Are your leaves blocking your gutters? Gutterblock." Although it could be a code whose meaning I am missing.

But the most annoying thing so far this season is BT Sport. We are still in the Lake District, so I tried to order it just for one month. It took for ever, cost a fortune, and then they cut it off. Said I had to start again, cancel the first payment, start a new one. Gawd, I was screaming! Their coverage is shite. They have only the rubbish games. And few of them.

Thank goodness for Sky. They do try so hard. Having at last given up their mantra of the past20 years-- "Best League in the World, Best Players in the World, Best Clubs in Europe blah blah"--which has been so patently untrue for two seasons, they have a new one.

A ball went out of play, both sides claimed it was their throw-in, the linesman gave it one way and the cameras proved it was the correct decision. "We do have the best assistants in the world," purred the Sky commentator.

"You want football. We got football. Loads of footballers."

(Carlos Kickaball Jr, official supplier of expensive players you've never heard of all much the same, for Tottenham Hotspur FC)

Lots of new things to welcome, including new managers. Yes, I know, Jose Mourinho is an old manager, but he has returned, in old clothing--charity-shop pullies, by the look of it. Get a grip, Jose.

Manuel Pellegrini at Man City has already made his mark with that gorgeous hair, so thick, so lush, so very Seventies. …

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