Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Fulham Get My Vote as the Lib Dems of Football

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Fulham Get My Vote as the Lib Dems of Football

Article excerpt

Byline: Dan Jones

MY wife and I had an argument. I wanted to watch Hamburg v Fulham. She wanted to watch the leaders' debate on Sky. We compromised. By which I mean my wife won and I shut my mouth. I married a good woman and when she says jump, I say 'Nick Clegg'.

I'm not saying I was happy about it. Given the choice, I'd rather listen to a live feed of the Ryanair complaints helpline (Volcanic Fury Department), adjusted to one third of its regular speed and three times its natural volume, looped around my ears forever, than I would endure an hour of the platitudinous drivel that currently passes for political discourse in our unparliamentary democracy.

But Ryanair wasn't on the menu last night. It was either Fulham or Boulton. So like I say, we compromised.

After five minutes, I was feeling queasy. Over on ESPN, kick-off was approaching. Team sheets were probably being read out. Yet I was watching the ghastly sight of our incumbent Prime Minister smiling.

When Gordon Brown smiles, it is at once sad and grotesque, like a snowman melting. 'Aww, I feel sorry for him,' said the wife. I felt my blood pressure torque.

Next up, just as I assumed the game to be kicking off, David Cameron started getting cross. This was even worse. I don't know what he was annoyed about. I'm not even sure he knew.

When Cameron gets shirty, he resembles Piggy from Lord of the Flies. Blinky and shrill. Pudgy and righteous. Kinda makes you want to brain him with a rock.

I didn't stay for Nick Clegg. Five minutes had elapsed, the nausea was building and the roughnecks' pub on the corner had Fulham on the big screen. Time for a sharp exit, as the advert used to say. The wife, a sage as well as a siren, followed the old maxim: if you love him, let him go.

But as I ran to the corner I knew it was too late. I had electoral politics on my mind and no matter how hard I tried to think about Europa League football on its own terms, the bit of my brain marked 'fatuous analogy department' was buzzing.

I got to the boozer aflame with the realisation that Fulham are essentially football's answer to the Liberal Democrats. …

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