English Football, Premier League, Satire

A Tribute To John Terry

JT

Good Evening.

The Clumpany was moved by yesterday’s emotional events at Stamford Bridge where an actual game of competitive football in ‘the best league in the world’ was stopped in the 26th minute – by arrangement – so that Chelsea No. 26 John Terry could be substituted and acclaimed as the world’s favourite footballer, bringer of peace, healer of sickness and as the the man who single-handedly ended hunger wherever it stalked the earth.

The move has attracted some criticism for being inappropriate, disrespectful of the very concept of ‘sport’ and possibly pandering to a huge ego.

However, The Clumpany has no time for such suggestions. Especially given that I have seen the plans to further commemorate his departure from Chelsea:

  • The International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service will shortly announce that 26 ‘leap’ seconds will be added to the end of 2017 to allow a thankful humanity to salute Terry in the year of his retirement for that little bit longer.
  • The 26th day of every month will henceforth be known as “JT Day”, with everyone expected to give Terry a minute’s applause at 26 minutes past each hour of the day. Including during the middle of the night.
  • All bus routes will be renumbered the ‘No.26’ in Terry’s honour.
  • The next iPhone model will be the iPhone 26. As will the one after that, and the one after that…
  • All buildings will be required to have 26 floors and be designated as Shrines of the Universal Temple of Terry. Including bungalows.
  • All telephone numbers must start and end with the number 26, and have at least two 26s in the middle of them.
  • The pop charts will be reworked so that the week’s Number 26 will always be the ‘real’ Number 1. Joe Garner is understood to favour number 31 being given special status but is understandably delighted to bow before the legend that is John Terry.
  • All football shirts will have to carry the number 26 on the back, and must be worn whenever any sort of award (sporting or otherwise) is to be awarded. Buckingham Palace has confirmed that HM The Queen “will NOT present honours to anyone disrespecting JT. Putting on his kit for the presentation when he was suspended for the Champions League Final was Terry’s finest moment, and it is important for this country’s sporting heritage to keep the precious memory alive”.

And finally:

  • Massive heating and cooling plants will be built around the world to ensure the planet maintains a constant temperature of 26 degrees centigrade to celebrate the outgoing Chelsea captain’s heroism. Fahrenheit will be abolished so as not to cause him any offence.

I don’t know about you, but I think the above is the very least that the Magnificent John Terry deserves.

All hail the Great Leader!

#KeepOnClumping

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Media, Premier League, Scottish Football, SPFL

Klopp The World, I Want To Get Off!

 

“Mark , who?”
 
Good Evening (and please vote ‘Clumpany’!).

With the greatest of respect to Ibrox-based football clubs, Level5 PR, and each and every member of the Scottish sports media, NO ONE does excessive hype like the English Premier League Fettishists.

And so it is that the arrival of Jurgen Klopp to be the next manager of Liverpool is being covered like a State Visit or perhaps as though humanity is about to experience its first contact with extra-terrestrials.

You can understand some of the excitement. Klopp is a high-profile name and did after all pip The Warbmeister to the job, and that clearly makes his arrival in England particularly significant.

However, even that remarkable achievement can’t really justify the circus that has unfolded. The coverage of his likely appointment has been relentless for days. And this live blog from the Telegraph, covering his arrival in Liverpool (no it isn’t a spoof) demonstrates just how silly things have become. 

Here are a few snippets to marvel at…

   

  

  

    

The Telegraph blog may be rather tongue-in-cheek, but it does point to a wider truth: the completely saturated and ludicrously overhyped nature of the coverage of every single aspect of the English Premier League.

We have long been told that the EPL is the ‘Best League in the World’, and have had over two decades of Sky Sports giving the impression that watching their coverage is a near-religious experience. 

The fact that the Spanish and German top flights are demonstrably better – not least in the games that Sky (and BT Sport) themselves show – is utterly irrelevant. And to a degree you can’t blame them for hyping up their expensively-acquired ‘product’. 

But the hype has long since gone past the point where you can excuse it as a bit of ‘artistic license’ on their part. Things have now gone into the realms of fantasy. 

The written media is just as culpable: covering almost every bit of minutiae as if it is a profound development in the history of human endeavour. I don’t doubt that it helps to sell newspapers, but it doesn’t exactly treat readers as if they have a brain, does it?

It tells its own story that so much of the EPL hysteria is focused on the unbelievable amount of cash that is sloshing around within it. Transfer fees are no longer merely obscene. They are x-rated. Sky Sports News’ twice-yearly Transfer Deadline Day extravaganza is now arguably a bigger event for the network than any actual game of football they televise.

What started off as impressively comprehensive coverage of last-minute transfer news has become an utterly self-absorbed exercise in drooling over the splashing of incomprehensible amounts of money. Presenters giddily report that the cumulative expenditure has exceeded the GDP of many countries, and never stop to ask whether English Football is experiencing an utterly unsustainable bubble that might just burst with ‘apocalyptic’ consequences.

But then why would you if – say – Stoke City have just bought a player for £20m?! Because that’s all the confirmation you need that the EPL is indeed the ‘Best League in the World’!

Is this all sour grapes from a fan of Scottish Football? 

Well I wouldn’t mind some of that TV money coming into our game, and those running it still need to explain how on earth they managed to ‘negotiate’ such a poor deal. Furthermore, I envy the EPL for having media coverage whose starting point is to be upbeat rather than negative.

However, I do think that the permanent euphoria surrounding the English game, and the exponential increase in spending based on a TV market that could be undermined by changing technology is utterly reckless. 

I don’t envy any English fan whose club’s survival is dependent on the bubble continuing to expand for ever.

They say you should be careful what you wish for. I certainly wouldn’t wish for my club to be in the vicinity when the EPL bubble goes ‘pop’. It could be messy.

#KeepOnClumping

NB Astonishingly, The Clumpany has made it to the final of the Football Blogging Awards 2015! Many thanks for your support! All previous votes have now been wiped out so your renewed support would be greatly appreciated! 

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