Fatcat footballers flop from 2008.

The Sun, Mirror, and just about every other UK paper report:

England crash out of Euro 2008!!! ZOMG!!! Shoot McClaren into the sun!!!

Just because we invented the game doesn’t give us a timeless right to be in tournaments, if we can’t be bothered to assemble a team that doesn’t suck. Premier football in Britain, and increasingly the rest of the world is so flush with money that the players are paid such incredible fees that I’m not surprised they don’t really care all that much about victory. So, you drop out of the cup. You can just go back to your mansion (either of them), sportscars, model wife, or yacht. How can you be 100% passionate about an individual game, if you can afford to do or buy anything you want? Maybe some of them do still devote themselves to the beautiful game all the way, but to many others I suspect its like a lot of us view our own jobs. An inconvenience necessary to being paid. Like us, bonuses are a lot more inspiring to extreme efforts than your regular salary, so maybe if we slashed top rank footballers salaries by, hmm, 90% perhaps, and increased bonuses for playing well, we might do a bit better. With ever-rising ticket prices for attanding a match, we deserve players that care enough to play their hearts out.

If I won the lottery, I’d probably quit my job. Team England footballers HAVE won the lottery. And have quit trying.

As Barry Glendenning in the Guardian said today:

Terry’s acknowledgement that the travelling fans had paid good money to be present was as hollow as his team’s eventual win. It’s a stock response for players on a losing team to give a token nod to the financial sacrifices made by disappointed fans, but their sincerity is questionable when most of them have long since lost any appreciation of the value of the few hundred quid it costs supporters to travel abroad. If a football fan pays a week’s wages to stand topless in the wind and rain watching his team look clueless against a ski resort, then that football fan is perfectly entitled to voice his outrage in the strongest terms possible whenever he likes.

While watching mindblowingly rich people running around on a field for 90 minutes can be fascinating, I’ll stick to my true love: Watching comfortably well-off people standing around in a field for four days.

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