Taxi for Berbatov

by Mystical Mike

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008
 

Bored with the Premier League yet?

Nobody died, no one got the sack, no one’s house was repossessed and no one got turned down for a role in Hollyoaks, but this morning at 9am we held a minute’s silence in the office. Not for love, for money, or for ambition, but for football. Why? For the moment Sir Alex decided to act as a chauffer for his one and only Dimi, football as we know it ceased to exist.

I thought perhaps the Blue Peter-style constructed coffin was a step too far, although the wake itself was a tad too enjoyable, but whatever your allegiance there’s got to be a part of you that as a true fan of the round ball, died in the last gasp prostitution that was the transfer window.

But far from being down at the violation of the beautiful game I’m singing from the roof tops and dragging out the bunting. For me it’s yet another chance to evangelise about grassroots football. Come on over brothers, sisters, cheated ones, to the Non League brethren, we’re ready to embrace you with players bought and sold with a packet of crisps, and hug you with our changing ends and terrace larks.

Ok, so Non League is nowhere near what it was (it now borders on the highly professional) but it’s still a far cry from the unacceptable behaviour of Premier League clubs. When challenged this week about how football should be run, Dennis Strudwick, one of those in charge of the Blue Square Leagues, insisted “income should govern expenditure and help clubs exist within their means” he wants the highest grassroots structure in the land (the Blue Square Premier) to do things right, and lay the law down on wayward clubs. Strudwick’s ideal is a world apart from the Barclays Premier, where clubs run roughshod over the FA. Just because Spurs say they won’t complain about Manchester United does that mean the league should let any alleged public misdemeanour go unnoticed?

Personally, I’d like to see the likes of Strudwick go a step further; only allow clubs to enter the league who can show a profit, provide Chairmen who can uphold the ‘fit and proper persons test’, and the ability to live within their means. Do we really want a global game where Randy Lerner (Aston Villa’s money man and apparently the “right sort of American”) looks like a pauper, where players dictate to clubs and where you and me can’t buy a seat at a game for less than a sofa?

Football may have died on 1st September 2008, but if we’re sensible it’s also the opportunity for the fans to reclaim the game by heading back to grassroots. If the influx of disillusioned ones does happen, I hope those in charge of the national game are strong enough to dictate how they want to run it. The Premier League’s loss should be our gain. The question is if a future clean of big money spenders and unsustainability is indeed a future we all want.

Non League Show

Caroline Barker presents The BBC Non League Football Show
Every Monday from 9pm via www.bbc.co.uk/nonleague
Real Football, real fans.
If you’ve got a story email the team nonleague@bbc.co.uk

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  • Phil22

    a bit to much bum licking for my liking, reminded me of when I worked in a rather large advertising agency (I won’t mention any names), when the client walked into the office someone would great them with the biggest fakest smile one has ever seen, take their coat and laugh at all their jokes.

    Sickening!

    As for grass roots, I’m all for it!! Leeds are shite with a rubbish manager so I’m off to support Redford Town as my cousin plays for them!!

  • http://aloadofcobblers.blogspot.com Danny Brothers

    Grass roots is the way forward, I saw it first hand at AFC Wimbledon and I’m in the proces of planning trip number two…maybe Redford would be a good one!

  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Darren

    let me know when you do go and I’ll come too, Jacky Emu (Boro fan) may be up for it too!

    Bring on the non league!!

  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Darren

    I stopped going to Arsenal games years ago, my mates take the p*ss out of me for it, truth is, I’d rather play the game or watch it on TV. Football sold it’s soul when the Premier League was born. We have a lot to thank Mr Murdoc for for that!

  • Stevie

    The last 24 hours have just proved that the Premier League is one big farce! City pay over the odds for a player who has spent 60% of his Real games on the bench, worse then that, he didn’t even have a medical.

    Then there’s Alex Ferguson kid-knapping Berbatov from the rest of the world as he was so paranoid someone else would sign him.

    Then we have events at Newcastle, what the hell is that all about? I swear it’s funnier than Peep Show and the Office!

    Football is one big laughing stock, or as Andy Melman would say, ‘is he ‘avin a laff?’

  • tef1on

    as said in other post….:

    Gotta laugh… Football is the biggest comedy of the year so far!

    Its ridiculous… I swear i’m loosing interest in it… i am seriously just starting to hate the game.

    Thinking back when i watched Glasgow Rangers when i lived in Scotland… Mark Hately, Ally McCoist, Richard Gough, Andy Goarm… those players had 1 thing on their mind when they played… Loyalty. Long gone have gone the days when football clubs care for their fans, my Blog on arsenal seat tickets proved that.

    The Robinho transfer is the funniest of all though. Do you actually think he made a mistake Do you think because he doesn’t speak any English that he thought he was signing for Manchester Utd? Think about it, His agent phones him up and says Manchester want to buy you… I think he has made an error and thought he was going to Old Trafford, Its the only way to explain the most bizarre signing of the century!

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