It’s been a sensationally bad start to the month for English football. With the stale air of former England gaffer Sam Allardyce’s dismissal still hanging awkwardly over us and the recent revelations regarding Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Tommy Wright and most recently, Joey Barton, stinging the chests of loyal and honest football fans nationwide – football has had little to cheer about these past weeks. Unfortunately, the pain has continued. English football has come to painful and sudden disrepair.
Let’s look past Big Sam and co.’s allegations for a moment and turn to West Ham; the gift that keep on giving. Currently there have been six days in October and we’ve already had the Hammers v Boro fight night, accusations of sexism from their own team and now Karren Brady doing her best to deter the club’s numerous fans:
“Getting the culture right, being a place where something is expected of you… That wasn’t there when my chairmen took over.”
Allow us to translate:
“West Ham had no culture until my arrival. Now, with a new stadium, new badge and new global perception; they do. Hurrah for me.”
In terms of insulting your core fan base, it’s like Arsene Wenger labelling Gunners as “tourists” or “librarians”. It’s bad. Lord Sugar would not be impressed, Baroness Brady.
It continues, the West Ham Ladies’ team received no funding for this season’s kit – instead having to use last season’s until *one* home kit was bought for the senior team. The FA have since had a complaint filed against the club on the grounds of sexism.
Furthermore, Karren Brady has announced plans to produce a film; “Iron Men” (we recognise the title too), that details the nationally accepted fuck up of a move to the London Stadium. They’ve been there for three months. But don’t despair just yet, Hammers, you’ve risen to “15th in brand value” according to Mrs Brady. That means she’s made a lot of money this year, so cheer up. We’re not laughing too hard at your expense.
Unfortunately all of those problems happened at one club in one week. What about the rest of the country? Well, we’re in just as much trouble.
The Checkatrade Trophy. The EFL Trophy. The B-Team Boycott. Call it what you want. We’d rather stick with the Carling Cup but that’s somewhat outdated now. Whatever name it comes under, it’s been a pro-Prem disaster move this season. With the allowance of Premier League ‘B-teams’ (under 23s) into the cup, lower tier fans are up in arms. For those who don’t know, the move was spearheaded in order to nurture young, English talent and provide experience for the next generation. However, lower league clubs have perceived it as more of a move to fatten the wallet’s of Premier League giants and belittle the heritage of these smaller clubs. This has seen attendances plummet.
— Niall McCaughan (@niallpfc) 4 October 2016
— Vital Walsall (@VitalWalsall) 4 October 2016
— Long John Hill (@longjohnhill) 4 October 2016
The entire competition has been undermined thanks to the greed of those looking to further the gap between the big boys and the rest. And their decision backfired. Emphatically.
The misery continues. Back to the corruption I’m afraid.
Joey Barton can now be confirmed as England’s most hated footballer. From prison to punch ups, Barton has always managed to bring shame upon the game. He’s now gone one further. The SFA (Scottish Football Association, surprisingly) have charged the former Man City man with betting on 44 football matches between the 1st of July and 15th of September. Aside from a slight addiction in evidence, Barton has clearly gone against several rules and blindly made a mistake most would assume all too obvious. He’s off to join Big Sam on the naughty step now… Failing that, it’s the bookies.
For those of you still with us, there’s more. The country’s interim gaffer, Gareth Southgate, is set to earn £500,000 for being incompetent and overseeing just four games in two months. The country’s interim poster boy, Harry Kane, can’t unwrap a game from its wrapping before Tweeting repulsive lies…
— Harry Kane (@HKane) 4 October 2016
Possibly worst of all, Aston Villa have employed a new Twitter manager. And they’re a complete bell.
1 European Cup
7 League Championships
7 FA Cups
5 League Cups
Get back in your Quiet Coach @VirginTrains! ?
— Aston Villa FC (@AVFCOfficial) 4 October 2016
Now, this has all happened in the space of six days. The Allardyce et al mess was within the last two weeks. What is going wrong with English football? There’s not even anything on the horizon to make us smile: it’s the international break. And we all know what that means…
On a serious note, we sometimes forget football is essentially a game and that it should be fun. When stripped of the politics, fans and money it’s 22 people in almost any condition; effectively anywhere with space, running around kicking a ball. It has been developed into a complex and intricate game both on and off the field and has subsequently dominated millions of lives. But predominantly it’s a game, existing for both playing and viewing pleasure. Weeks like these threaten to affect that. Simply, they mug the game off.
Thanks to all the serious and concerning corruption allegations; the Irons’ steady dissent into laughing stock, the national side being in disarray and the humiliating experiences the EFL and various important Twitter accounts have given us – this country’s national sport has been brought into disrepute recently. It’s time to hark back to the days of yore. Images of a bloody Terry Butcher, a triumphant Geoff Hurst and thousands of roaring fans not paying over the odds to watch their game where they’re respected are particularly poignant this week. Because amongst the farcical horror show of events this past week, we as fans have to keep our faith. Football can be a wonderful thing, it’s just at times like these we forget. Time to focus on the sport again. Not the money, owners and egos; but game we’re all united in enjoying. And that goes for everyone involved, even at the top…