Football’s famous five furloughers can f*ck right off…

Date published: Saturday 4th April 2020 4:07

Thanks for your mails. Keep them coming to…


Furlough the players instead
Premier League clubs are worried about their finances and furlough non-playing staff?

That’ll save them not very much at all… So I propose a solution.

All Premier League clubs put their players on furlough instead. Their wages can be used to pay non-playing staff and be diverted to other causes such as the NHS and lower division teams who are more in need.

Any player who protests can be given the opportunity to publicly discuss with the people who pay their wages – the supporters of the club.

James Sadler


Let’s make the season all year round
I don’t know if this idea’s been suggested. It’s not very good and sponsors probably won’t touch it but here’s my suggestion on resuming football:

We use the rest of 2020 to complete the small handful of games remaining in all club competitions, giving plenty time for planning, virus mitigation and giving players time to gain some fitness and mental prep. Finish games closed doors before the end of the year and have 2020 forever remembered as annus horribilis for reasons so beyond football it’s painful.

Start the next season and subsequent seasons in January so they run for the calendar year. It would mean an exciting climax over Christmas (promotion playoffs,; finals throughout December). The season would stretch over 12 months but same as now only really take place over 10, leaving 2 months in summer for international games and a proper mid season rest for players. In effect a 2 month break after 19 matches.

How and where transfer windows fit it in? Maybe just one window during the 2 months? Dunno, as i said, it’s probably a crap idea!
Graeme (thank you NHS and everyone who is enabling the NHS), Glasgow


The only way
I want to point out first that I’m in the camp that football hardly matters now and was also in the camp for finishing the season rather than null and voiding. Then I was reading about the League’s decision today and I got to thinking, it really might be the only way.

There are many sound arguments for why the 19/20 season should be finished, but the one thing that disrupts that most is time and I don’t think it should be allowed to go on indefinitely. Besides from the player contracts situations (they can be offered extensions but won’t be obliged to sign them), I think there has to come a time where we really can’t call it the same season anymore. If football could not resume until September say, and players who have never had more than a few weeks off in their entire careers have had months of sitting at home, can we say they’re the same as when they left off? As if it was just on pause while we went to make a cup of tea? They’ll change, mentally and physically.

The other issue would be that I’m assuming the League would not want to cram the remaining matches into a month then send the teams off on a two-month break and pre-season, along with a transfer window before 20/21. If it got to September or later, surely both clubs and league would rather the transfer window before the restart, and I’d imagine players and clubs especially would want a pre-season rather than jumping back in after such a hiatus. If there is a transfer window before restarting 19/20, then that could change teams to the point that you just cannot say it is finishing 19/20. If United signed Sancho, Real signed Salah, Chelsea signed a good goalkeeper, City a centre-half; they would be too changed to be the same teams in the same season. Then if you opened the window during what would be the 20/21 season, clubs would argue it is much tougher to do business (like a longer notorious January window). The 20/21 season would have a feeling of being ruined from trying to complete the 19/20 season because teams would feel like they were stuck with what they’ve got from the summer of ’19. You can’t sign six new players mid-season like you can in summer and work them into the team. Teams would be reluctant to sell and your league position would be too much of a chip that doesn’t exist in summer. No club could do a squad overhaul in a window like that.

The argument of finishing the season whilst playing the new one (points for both) is ruined by this too. Bournemouth would be right to argue if Villa bought five players and got the return of McGinn and their keeper and survived the drop, while Bournemouth got relegated under the pretense that it was the same team from seven months prior. If United signed Sancho, Maddison and Koulibaly then Sheffield United could rightfully argue that they aren’t the same team currently fighting them for a European place.

Countries will be effected at different levels for a long time after this, so beyond the League, I can’t see how European competition won’t be scrapped entirely for 19/20. There is also sponsorship problems (Liverpool are due to move to a Nike kit after the 30th of June for example).

So, I’m saying that if the season can’t be finished by the 30th of June, I think it would be best to either finish as is (complicated), or null and void. Clubs and players could be given the transfer window and a pre-season, and not live with one foot in an uncertain past. Teams like Spurs don’t deserve a clean slate for this season, but we can’t live back in March when it hits Autumn and hopefully this is long and behind us.

Stay safe everyone.
James, Galway


F*ck you football.
I’m 31, and have supported Manchester United since my first jersey (think I was 5), am also a Botev Plovdiv (Bulgaria) fan. Never been to England. As plastic as it gets, right. We have since moved to Canada (in my late teens) and me and my Manchester United supporting brother have been lucky enough to see United live. Twice! They were both preseason friendlies so meant nothing, but seeing a 39 year old Giggs be easily the best player on the field and my brother getting his 94 fa cup final jersey (that plastic) signed by Sir Alex Ferguson will forever be highlights of my life. The many hour drive, and ride, and thousands of dollars spent to make it all happen, was so worth it, I have been waiting for the next chance since.
No more! My oldest brother (an Arsenal fan) has for many years now lost interest, and only vaguely follows. He is actually way more involved in following Botev even though it is much harder, and the football is not exactly what would be considered high quality. My Manchester United supporting brother has been slowly following his footsteps the last couple of years. Even though I have never been to Old Trafford I really feel emotionally connected to United. I still watch every game (try to, European games are midday on weekdays, work and all) even on replay sometimes. As I have gotten older (and with Fergie gone) I don’t let losses ruin my week now. I am usually watching overpaid primadonnas build their career anyway. This past 2 months have been pathetic though. Embarrassing, sad, and well, I can’t really find the words to really explain my feelings over it. Enraging? Football continuing for as long as it did, playing behind closed doors, people with real authority and influence focusing on the well being of football, attempts to come up with a plan to finish this season well… this season. Now, these f*cking franchises (almost all elite football) want to have the government help them pay these f*cking primadonnas!? When the government is not able to give anyone else the support they need!? And to top it off, these ‘clubs’ will only try to help out the overpaid primadonnas, none of the hundreds, may be thousands of employees that actually make it all happen, but in return for only normal wages. Other than F*CK OFF, I really don’t know what else to say. So f*ck you football. Elite level can just f*ck off. The rest should f*ck off for now. So, should Elite football help society? Asking that question is insulting so f*ck off football. Society is the only reason you are, what you are.


United doing well
I can’t recollect if I’ve written in before, but MUFC and MCFC seem to have the most coherent responses to this whole Covid 19 situation.

As opposed to THFC screwing over the lowest paid workers, these two clubs have quietly done some good deeds, and gotten themselves good PR in return.

Whether it be MUFC paying all match day staff or MCFC giving up their stadium for Coronavirus related requirements, it’s nice to see the two Manchester clubs do good in the community.

What impressed me even more is the fact that unlike the Spanish clubs, MUFC doesn’t need to cut their players salaries at this time. Speaks of impressive financial management.
Ryan B


Players can do more
I’ve just read Johnny Nic’s interview. I’ve never really cared too much about what footballers spend their money on. It’s not nice place, right? When I was growing up money was tight. My Dad did everything he could to take care of four children on his own. As a young adult he supported me financially through difficult times. I worked hard, and was lucky enough to end up in a well paid job, and now I earn a comfortable income. I’ve been able to look after my brothers when they needed it. I gave my sister a laptop and a Kindle last week so her kids can more home learning. I know I could do more.

My Dad led by example. I’m grateful for everything my he did for me, and that I was able to take the opportunities that came my way. Many other people are not that lucky.

Anyway, back to football. Let’s underestimate, and imagine the top 18 Premier League players of each team were getting paid £200,000 per month, like the anonymous player in Johnny’s interview. Now imagine if for just one month, each of them decided to donate their wages to charity. That would be £72,000,000 raised at the drop of a hat. I’m not saying that they have to, but they could do. They could do more. So much more.

PS This same argument applies to all the other multimillionaire “celebrities” out there too, but this is a football site and we’re talking football.


…Well done to the Premier League Captains for trying to set up and coordinate a fund through the Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson who has been working on the idea for a week now and has been in contact with captains from all 20 top-flight clubs.
As many of us suspected the fund, which Henderson was keen to keep under wraps until it was up and running.

However, it was leaked out a day after the Health Secretary Matt Hancock criticised the country’s football stars for not “doing their bit” and taking a pay cut during the Covid-19 crisis.
Time for the club directors, owners and football sponsors including Sky and BT to stump up some cash
Time also for testing to be quickly sorted out and ventilators manufactured to give us all hope
Tony Laforce, Hackney, London


What COVID-19 has driven us to
Just wanted to thank F365 for providing some excellent content even in these times of no football.

Just read the fake punditry article on Xhaka was was laughing out loud for most of it. This line specifically cracked me up – “He may well be punished, but he will still make my team of the week, probably as one of four strikers.” And it was all finished off superbly with, “All nod in agreement. Especially Crooks.” Still laughing now.

Then onto Johnny Nic’s article. If the footballer is real, then its a fantastic interview. If Johnny made it all up, it’s possibly even better.

Keep it up team!
Adonis Stevenson, AFC


Odd allegiances
I laughed when I read Mike’s missive, as I’ve always received some strange looks when I explain why I ended up supporting the two clubs I support. And to be honest, it is a little sad…
Moved to England from the US as a 10 year old who loves football, played it my whole life, an was lucky enough to learn how to play in France when I was even younger, but as a homeschooled kid, I had no clue about the Premier League, Champions League, or anything like that.

Sadly, I want to a posh boarding school, as a day student, so no one actually played football, it was all Rugby and Cricket. I’d assumed it would be 24/7 football! No such luck. To add to my misery, as kids often are at those ages, most of my schoolmates were utter twats, for the whole damn year. Non-stop bullying etc. And since we weren’t far from Manchester, 95% of them supported Manchester United, and 5% Arsenal. The first person to be nice to me was a loner kid from Liverpool…and while he was an Everton fan, the stubborn git in me made me support Liverpool, as a big middle finger to all those Manchester-supporting shites. Wasn’t such an inspired choice at the time, trophy-wise…
To make things worse, I was so gleeful after Manu’s draw against Juve in the ’99 Champions League, not to mention charmed by a schoolmate’s very beautiful Juve-supporting Italian mother, that I immediately adopted Juve as my other team, unaware that one was only supposed to support one team. And that of all teams to choose from Italy, I’d chosen the most hated of all. And then that night in Turin…christ that hurt. And I still bloody hate manu.

But I’ve since realised that it’s just a sad reality that a vast number of football fans are uneducated boors, and while I do honestly believe Liverpool is a pretty special club, we’ve also got our own fans who I’d happily be rid of. Ironically, my friend who cares the most about football in the same way I do, is a Manchester United fan…

Luckily there are also sites like F365, daily reading for me since I realised that our dial-up connection in the countryside of Virginia could also be my window in to the world of football beyond the occasional results printed in the paper! So thank you, F365!
And to any Man U fans from SMH Upper Figures ’98-99, you can go to hell 😉
Henry, LFC + Juve, Köln


Things commentators never say
Am bored so here are Things Commentators Never Say:

He has a wand of a right foot
He has a crap touch for a little man
He has a crap head for a big man
He is a beast (for any non-black player)
He has a wand of a head
He is that type of player
He’s not a Rolls Royce of a footballer
I can’t think of anymore, maybe others can come up with more/better



All about balance
Nice idea about a “balanced XI” with no big stars. So here’s one, all with over 400 Premier League appearances. Four four f***ing two, of course.

GK – Brad Friedel
RB – Aaron Hughes
CB – Jamie Carragher
CB – Gareth Southgate
LB – Leighton Baines
RM – James Milner (captain, leader, legend)
CM – Gareth Barry
CM – Gary Speed (RIP)
LM – Stewart Downing
CF – Peter Crouch
CF – Jermain Defoe

subs: Jussi Jaaskelainen, John O’Shea, Sylvain Distin, Phil Neville, Danny Murphy, Kevin Nolan, Emile Heskey

Hope all the F365 gang are doing OK. Your work is appreciated more than ever at the moment.
Mark Lewis (SWFC)


The F365 Show is on hiatus until the football returns. Subscribe now ready for its glorious comeback. In the meantime, listen to the latest episode of Planet Football’s 2000s podcast, The Broken Metatarsal.

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