European Super League shocker!

The schocker world has been shocked to its foundations by the stunning news that a dozen wealthy football ‘clubs’ have decided to form their own European Super League, just as UEFA was about to announce changes to their own UEFA Champions League (UCL). Shocked? I really wasn’t.

It turns out four supposedly elite English clubs, plus Spurs and Arsenal, are setting up their own league with some foreign mates. No need to go through all the hassle of qualifying for this new ‘competition’: the founding members will always be in it, even if they are playing in their respective National Leagues.

Should we be worried about this? Hardly. To my untrained eye, this looks like an almighty bluff by the Big Clubs to influence the make-up of the new UCL. Start with an outrageous suggestion, be dragged to the negotiating table, which was where they wanted to be in the first place and hammer out a compromise around a format and a financial arrangement which was what they always wanted.

Meanwhile, everyone loses their shit, including the Premier League, which started this greedy mess when it was formed and for most clubs took away their dreams.

My next live football match will be at the Creek where Bristol Manor Farm play. For now, at least until Liverpool visit Leeds tonight, elite football can go fuck itself.

So, farewell Big Phil

A staggering 13.6 million people watched the funeral of Prince Philip on television. That’s virtually the entire population of the UK, give or take the 54.4 million of us who didn’t watch it. Yet in the preceding week, we were repeatedly told we were ‘A NATION IN MOURNING’. Maybe we were and that explains why the pubs in Bristol and it seems elsewhere were rammed last week with mourners raising a glass to Big Phil. But maybe not. Pubs were busy because they were open again. No other explanation needed.

My feeling is that much of the mourning was carried out by elderly Mail and Express readers, plus professional sports women and men who were basically told to wear black armbands and look serious for a minute before their sporting event took place.

It’s not that people dislike the royals. I just think most people don’t care. And that’s me: an apathetic republican.

Out on the streets

A Bristol University professor by the name of Adam Finn has expressed his concerns to the failing Bristol Post after noticing “large crowds” when he was out for a walk. He warned that even outside there is still a “significant risk” of passing on the virus if people gather closely together. Setting aside the rather obvious point that the good Professor was clearly part of these “large crowds”, what did he expect?

Every time I hear a politician like Alex ‘Call Me Boris’ Johnson or an expert like Chris Whitty congratulating the British public for their forbearance in following COVID rules, a part of me dies. The main reason people followed the rules, like not being allowed to go to the pub or shopping, was because these places were closed. We were doing what we were told to do to try to slow the spread of a deadly virus. Now we are allowed to go out again, people are going out again.

Where the pubs were open, folk gathered in large numbers. Where they weren’t, people brought their own booze. After a year of death and misery, people were gagging to get out.

Johnson will have a job shutting everything down again now. We’re experienced our freedom, we like it and we don’t want to give it up again. This works well for both sides because we can get on with our lives again and Johnson can blame us when lots of people die.

Line Of Duty

Line Of Duty began in 2012 and I finally got around to watching it in 2021. Everyone kept telling me how brilliant the show was and me being me I just ploughed a pointless furrow in the opposite direction until finally, just a few short weeks ago, I watched the very first episode. A marathon of binge watching and last night I was finally up to date, though none the wiser to what will happen next week or indeed what happened last week.

The jargon and terminology is generally excellent and it’s always good to hear the police caution, which takes me back to the days when I worked as a benefit fraud investigator in the DWP. It’s obviously a wild exaggeration from reality, but isn’t most TV drama? I’d say it was brilliantly escapist TV drama created on the bedrock of actual police procedures. If I’m wrong and it turns out all coppers are bent, then maybe writer Jed Mercurio knows something we don’t.