Posts Tagged ‘Tottenham Hotspur’
We knew what to expect when we arrived at the allotments this morning and we were not disappointed. It resembled Tottenham in the aftermath of the riots or after the news that ‘onest ‘arry Redknapp had been rejected by the Football Association. The first task this morning was to head for B &Q for a new load of roof panels, or flying saucers reported by UFO watchers. They won’t have a long life, it will match the period until Thor decides to beat us up again.
And that may be about the amount of time our dear leader has before his world comes crashing down. Yesterday David Cameron decided to speak to the nation. In Churchill’s time that meant a solo broadcast, now it involves appearing before Andrew Marr. It has to be said that the Prime Minister would most certainly have gained a place in the cast of Downton Abbey had this been an audition. His ability to switch on sincerity and integrity would match anything that Alec Guiness ever produced. At one point Marr was groping for his hankie as his tears welled.
Unfortunately our former PR guru has a habit of saying, seemingly sincerely, whatever first comes into his head. Yesterday he had to explain why he refuses to pass judgement on Jeremy Hunt, and why the economy is now in a nosedive almost as great as his own in the opinion polls. In fairness he could hardly give an honest answer to the Hunt question since it is that any detailed investigation would raise the spectre of his being a member of the Murdoch clan. But in a moment of sheer inventive explanation he came up with the answer to both issues. In one way or another they are all the fault of Europe. At this point he positively beamed as he sensed the escape door opening, the Euro he said may yet fall apart as countries such as Spain, Greece and Italy struggle to persuade their people to accept austerity in the way that he and Gorgeous George have managed here.
Clearly he forgot for a moment that the sobbing Andrew Marr was not his entire audience. Within minutes of transmission the front runner in the French presidential election made a rather pointed suggestion. “With the Britsh economy shrinking in the last quarter, Mr Cameron should perhaps give his attention to problems nearer to home, he said, and added for good measure that; “all European leaders, both inside and outside the euro area, should show responsibility by not encouraging market volatility”. The German leader quickly followed with similar sentiments and the comments of the others were along the lines of the ‘Great Raspberry blower of old London Town’ who once featured regularly in the Two Ronnies.
None of which quite matched the vitriol poured forth from the Lib Dems. Everyone knows that statements from Lord Oakeshott, the former Lib Dem Treasury spokesman, are really those of Vince Cable, who lives under sentence of death from Mr Cameron’s lapdog. Oakeshott/Cable suggested that Cameron was ” deliberately playing up the European crisis to distract voters from domestic issues”. The double act went on to say that our dear leader was “extremely unstatesmanlike, a British Prime Minister should not rock the boat of others to distract attention from his own failings”. Ed Balls said that attempts to blame Europe for pushing Britain back into recession ”just won’t wash”. For once he was right.
So with all deference to the king of fat-cats we codgers find ourselves with no alternative than to agree with Brother Balls. I guess that until we get what we really want, independent candidates such as Siobhan Benita who is climbing the London mayoral election polls despite having no funding or party machine, we will have to settle for Yvette Cooper’s old man.
One final word about the hunt for Hunt. Yesterday a spokesman said that Jeremy is as “popular with MPs as George Osborne is unpopular”. Either they or us are losing the plot!
FINANCE SECTOR IS STILL GETTING BY!
You may, or may not, be pleased to know that the finance sector top-dogs are still scratching a living, despite it all.
Mike Yardley quit Royal London, the UK’s biggest mutual insurer, last September after just thirteen years in charge. The annual report shows that he received a “golden goodbye” of £4 million.
So stop worrying about your pension!
Sunday morning is the traditional time for a good deal of soccer chatter on the allotments. Today the weather seemed a perfect analogy for our big-time clubs. A glance at the sunlit bue sky suggested that all is well, but the invisible wind had a cruel cutting edge to it. Translated into football all appears well as the mega-stars strut their stuff, but out of sight of the adoring fans financial lunacy is doing its worst.
In the past week Glasgow Rangers have passed into the hands of administrators and Portsmouth have returned to the brink of extinction. At least a dozen other clubs are teetering on the edge as managers rotate and pocket ever-increasing packets of cash. There are many things wrong with the once beautiful game but one towers above all others. Clubs have lost all sense of what is a sensible wage bill. In an attempt to keep pace with the ludicrous wages paid by oil-rich Arabs and Russian tycoons even the lower order Premiership clubs are paying millions per year to even the most modest performers. When I read recently that a player regarded an offer of £100,000 per week as an insult, I finally realised that the whole set-up has lost its senses.
Today some newspapers report that Arsene Wenger, the Arsenal manager has been told that he must begin to pay ‘realistic’ wages. Stars that he nurtured and developed can go elsewhere and pocket £160,000 each week, he is offering a ‘miserly’ £75,000. Can you imagine any other job that would offer anything remotely near that? Nor can I, not even the ultimate symbol of perverted greed, the bankers, manage that.
Unless the Football Association and its European counterparts finds a way of setting a maximum wage, dozens of clubs will go to the wall. Of course those such as Manchester City and Chelsea would baulk at such a move but how will they survive if they have no opponents capable of providing competitive matches. And for how long would Sky continue to pour money in to non-spectacles that have no attraction for viewers?
And the disease of extravagence is permeating down. Whilst the non-Premiership clubs cannot countenance wages in the millions they are still getting caught up in the pay-more-than-you-can-afford frenzy. Even in non-league circles ambitious clubs are paying players far more than gate-money can ever cover. Already loyal supporters are finding the strain of constant fund-raising too much, and this season alone has seen over a dozen household names lock their gates for the last time.
Someone has to call a halt to the madness before it is too late. Given a maximum wage of, say, one million pounds per year there would still be scope for the handful of mega-rich owners to flaunt their affluence. Others would pay less so little would change from the spectator’s viewpoint. And where else would the soccer stars earn such money?
The only logical agent for such a revolutionary approach is the Football Association. But the omens are not good. It has just announced a new England strip to replace the existing one that has only featured in eight matches. It is priced at £70 and is a blatent attempt to screw more money out of parents. And remember that it was the selfsame Association that appointed Capello at a salary of £6 million. In contrast, at the time of lifting the 2010 Workd Cup, Vincent del Bosque was being paid £1.5 milion as was Germany’s Joachim Low.
Suddenly the FA has a golden opportunity to set a new standard. There are many existing managers who would jump at the chance of managing at international level, and tempting though it may be to give someone like Harry Redknapp the millions he demands, the temptation should be resisted. Were it to make a firm stand on this, many clubs would be encouraged to come to their senses.
In the final analysis footballers are entertainers, and their rewards should refect their ability to draw punters through the turnstyles. If a West End play did not attract sufficient money through the ticket office it would be ‘pulled’.
Where I grew up one could see folk emerge from their front doors on Saturday afternoon en-route for the local football ground. There were big stars then such as Matthews, Lawton and Finney. They were all on the maximum wage which represented more that those that watched them could earn. But not obscenely so. And no clubs went to the wall.
Of course the idea of a maximum wage would be debated and scorned by many fans. But will they enjoy the alternative? Probaby not, for if the present crazy indulgence goes on dozens of the teams they watch now will be no more within a matter of years.
WHAT PEOPLE SAID ABOUT DIETS; “If her bum was a bungalow, she’d never get a mortgage on it”……Victoria Wood “Is she fat? her favourite food is seconds”…..Joan Rivers “When my mother-in-law hangs out her bra on the line to dry, we lose an hour of daylight”…..Les Dawson “I asked the sales girl is she had anything to make me look thinner. She said ‘How about a week in Ethiopia?’ “…..Roseanne “Pavarotti is very difficult to pass at the net with or without a racket”…..Peter Ustinov ” ”I know there’s a thin person inside me trying to get out’ ‘Just one dear?’ “……Edina Monsoon and Gran, Absolutely Fabulous “You know why fish are so thin? They eat fish”……Jerry Seinfeld