Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Football Ghouls Are Lapping Up the Blood in This Hellish Dogfight

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Football Ghouls Are Lapping Up the Blood in This Hellish Dogfight

Article excerpt

Byline: Barclay's account Patrick Barclay

IT'S more than a blood sport. Almost a snuff movie, according to Norwich chief executive David McNally, who says of relegation: "In a sporting sense, it's worse than death."

And we're the ghouls. Because we love it, we football enthusiasts not directly affected by the fight to avoid the drop from the Premier League, which currently involves no fewer than 11 clubs. They are separated by seven points -- though bottom club Fulham's goal difference is almost worth another to the likes of Swansea, Hull and Aston Villa -- and, of 10 fixtures this midweek, only two won't see blows struck in this fearful conflict. Sooner or later, something will have to be done about this dread of the Championship and beyond, of becoming a Leeds or Portsmouth, that impels directors to sack managers almost as soon as their initials are on the tracksuit.

But, as St Augustine put it: "Not yet." Not when there are battles to be relished like West Ham at home to Norwich tonight. …

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