Blood vessels are popping in earnest for the Premier League to restart. Players won’t even be able to pop into the local boozer for a pint, but they will be expected to sardine-pack, pull, and Jiu-Jitsu into the penalty area for corners.
Sure, the mega-rich moguls of the Premier League have continued to wince at the hiatus in gameplay and cashpiling, not to mention the devilish unpicking of contracts that may well climax in sessions before M’Lud in the fullness of time. But, even a fleeting squint at the bigger picture will reveal the bleedin’ obvious galloping over the horizon in splendid high definition: the wider economy, subdued under a grim cloud of unprecedented recession.
Until monster money once again starts flowing both sideways and lengthways to all corners of our fair isle, and jobs stop evaporating, a footballing reprise shouldn’t be squeezing onto even the undercard of the Government’s impending title bout. After all, there’s enough brass in the beautiful game to power a medium-sized banana republic into the second part of the 21st century, so they’re certainly better placed than small businessmen who have been cut off at the legs by No 10. and beaten furiously with their own wet limbs.
We all should now know that the Government stratospherically overreacted with their measures, and with the wrong measures at that. They blew what they risibly called their ‘strategy’ and now, with the die cast, need to get their pinheads around bottomed-out priorities before any arbitrary cherry-picking for the benefit of their chums while the ordinary man is left to do one.
Project Restart will benefit a small minority of the very wealthy and magic up a welcome and sedating distraction, particularly if the matches are plonked onto Freeview. One for the masses from the present abject incompetence of this administration. It’s one fat, phat win-win for the power-hungry and the money-hoes.
So, until they acknowledge their failings, stick up their hands, and dig us out, we’re entitled to fling their own logic back at them.
Once again though, corona has worked its catalytic wonders. With all the player opposition to Project Restart, a handful of ball-kickers have been singled out for a bucketload.
And for what? For apparently securing their rights under principles of Health & Safety, protecting their families, and for not wishing to throw themselves under the proverbial bus for their employers. Rights that would not be questioned, were the context an office or a factory.
So, what makes these players different? No big scoop there, I’m afraid. They’re minority ethnic, wealthy, successful, and not afraid to make themselves heard. And don’t the elite hate it? Even the typically virtue-signalling, Starmtrooper journalists of the Leftwaffe are dropping their guard and choking on their dog whistles. They’re sufficiently unbothered about momentarily dropping their egalitarian guise to have a firm dig at what they deem to be ‘uneducated new money’.
Football has struggled for decades to kick out the virus that’s squarely within its gift. This is the more insidious flavour or prejudice, and why racism has never gone away. It’s not the mindless thugs on the terraces you have to worry about. It’s the ones who have power, influence and do their deeds with the aid of subtle camouflage. They control, block, and injure, but they keep their motives well under wraps. How else can social disadvantages continue to prevail if so-called legislative protections are on the statute books?
Back to the proposed restart though, and while it is primarily about cash for the chosen few and a deft, diversionary directive, the motivation and facilitation reside within the Liverpool family. The seats of power in Football and the football media are predominantly occupied by the same starry-eyed, schoolboy armchair fans of the 1970s and 1980s who fell in love with the game, whooshing along in the superstar slipstream of Keegan, Dalglish and Rush.
You don’t change your team, and you don’t let up when they’re threatened. These are the ones who will do the Government bidding and will stop at nothing to restore the Reds to the top of the tree. While we’re all being freed from re-runs of Euro ‘96, Boris & Co will buy themselves a little more wriggle room and open up the coffers for a handful of their wealthiest buddies.
I don’t know. A Conservative government that shafted business on a whim, and devotees of the spirit of Liverpool busting a nut to pull a pack of bonkers Tories out of their soiled pants.
You couldn’t make it up, and as a society, we’ve really not come as far as we like to think.
Any way you want to see it.