It’s August and that means that the Premiership is back on. Disgusted with the ever increasing commodification of his first love, Niall McCabe gives the top-tier of English football a brutal and honest take-down. League of Ireland anyone?
As the Giddy long days of summer turn inexorably shorter and the squirrels get ready for the nut bonanza that heralds a long and dark Winter, one beast trundles Balor like into view. This huge unruly behemoth with its undead minions and frankly disgusting musical accompaniment farts and croaks it’s unholy mantra across the planet like a massively flatulent Donald Trump. The mantra is money, the beast is the Premier league, its uncloaked one eye beaming fire, destruction and David Guetta to a global audience in excess of 4 billion.
The numbers are staggering and when I say numbers I mean money. The minimum amount a premier league club will receive from just being part of this lofty elite is close to £100 million, the new Television deal for the 2016-17 season is worth over 5 Billion, this is 2 billion up from the last deal. A club like Manchester united can think nothing of spunking £100 million on a 23 year old with potential who they let go a few seasons before for metaphorical peanuts.
Paul Pogba’s agent is right to buy Al Capone’s Florida Villa because he is Al Capone! The Lizard people at Deloitte estimate a 20% growth in revenue for this season alone. The excitable chimps on Sky Sports news can barely contain the awe they feel as this season’s first transfer window looks like it may cross the threshold from vapid to grotesque as it approaches a £1 Billion spend on players and their reptilian agent’s fripperies. Shangri-La for shitheads.
So what does all this Filthy lucre buy you? Expensive food available at not 1 but 2 restaurants in Stamford Bridge ‘curated’ by the massive lumbering Gastropod Marco Pierre White. Face painting workshops, cheeky mascots on PCP, personalised tours of a club’s history by a depressed ex-player with shingles, interactive centres of excellence with a scratch and sniff corner reeking of Bill Shankly’s superhuman B.O, cages full of zero hours workers mockingly dragged through the streets like a Roman Triumph, watch in awe as they are pelted with rotten tomatoes by a team of mime artists, ex-soap stars and limbless members of Britain’s glorious military personnel just back from Afghanistan with dead eyes and an uncertain future.
The Premier league, like Twink, is an unforgiving Beast. It’s bottom line is money, and prestige. The lure of glory for smaller historical clubs is understandable and owners want to brag to their fellow oligarchs or slave labour built billionaire chums about how great their toy is.
To millions of people in Britain it is a symbol of local pride. For all the guff, hyperbole and sentimentality displayed by weekend hardmen it is essential to many a town or city. At its best is a testament to co-operation, community and latent homosexual urges in the hoi-polloi. Unfortunately England is littered with clubs that made that Faustian pact and inevitably have suffered relegation, disillusionment and near bankruptcy as reality bites.
A championship club earns a derisory fraction of money in comparison to their garlanded rivals at the banquet table of meh that constitutes the English Premier League. Even a team that builds slowly and establishes itself in the Premier league can be ripped apart by bigger clubs with impunity, although this has gone on pre-premier league it can be seen as an almost frenzy in the current climate.
But for all this, it remains compelling and undeniably exciting, though the equation that money = silverware has been shown to be hubristic as teams from Europe on a fraction of the budgets have turned beating the Premier leagues bloated squads into a cakewalk, which seems to literally be what Bastian Schweinsteiger did so successfully last season.
As long as the money is still there the English Premiere League will continue to dominate the week like a Christopher Biggins colossos, though the problem with charging fans ludicrous money for tickets is that eventually people will cotton on and realise that a 90 minute entertainment is worth it. No amount of celebrity endorsement or shrieking self referential bollocks pedalled by its minions will stop the tide of human progress.
When the billionaires decide that it’s time to nob off to the long coming Kabaddi revival in their droves, it is only then that the myopic beast will be revealed for what it is. A vomit flecked sideshow, Ozymandias boundless and bare.
Photo by Jon Candy.