Send more thoughts on Tottenham, voiding the season and whatever else tickles your football fancy to firstname.lastname@example.org
Spurs used to be a team that a lot of people liked. Did the things the right way, sensible transfer strategy, played good football, a group of likeable players. Today they became the most vile club in English football. According to reports, they will use the governments furlough scheme, so that staff will get a 20% pay cut. Non-playing staff that is. The 8th richest club in world football will use taxpayers money to save themselves a few quid.
To put it another way, the staff at the club who are paid the least amount of money, are taking pay cuts, while those on million pound contracts (including Daniel Levy) will lose out on nothing. What percentage wage cut do you think the players would need to take to save the same amount of money? 5%? 10% If this news today is true, then Spurs are nothing short of a disgrace. Shame on Levy and shame on Spurs.
Mike, LFC, London
I was so surprised to see the negative headlines about how Newcastle and spurs are dealing with the loss of income caused by corona, by getting staff to take pay cuts.
Mike Ashley and Daniel levy have always seemed like such compassionate, kind, level headed people.
Andrew, Woodford Green
The pyramid will come crashing down
So, the last couple of days has seen the mailbox pretty much dominated by the discussion over whether to void or not void. Let’s be blunt. There are, broadly speaking, just two camps. Keep playing this season if it takes the next fifty years to complete and nothing else is acceptable (Liverpool, Leeds for example) and everybody else whose feelings are either stridently opposed or, whose attitude can be best summed up as, ‘Meh’.
This is F365. We’re all on here for the same reason. To read about, comment, and generally discuss, all things footy. But, and with the greatest respect to all who have written in with their views on how and why this season could (not), or should (not) continue, and in whatever format, you’re completely missing the point. You are, I would respectfully suggest, and from a football pov, acting in exactly the same way as the people who flooded to the beaches, parks and other tourist spots last weekend. In short, you’re in denial.
COVID-19 isn’t a ‘game-changer’. It’s a ‘World-changer’. We already have a glimpse of what a post-Coronavirus world will look like now, with businesses closing, large scale lay-offs, airlines grounded and Governments across the world pumping previously unthinkable sums into their economies that will, most assuredly, have some very, very scary consequences down the line. How we live, shop, mingle and work in a post- COVID 19 world will be different to how it was just two months ago.
This will, necessarily, include football clubs and, regardless of how long they have existed, their history, or how passionate their supporters are, going to the wall. It is inevitable, especially when you consider how many clubs have been living ‘hand-to-mouth’ over the last twenty years. The football pyramid that we knew on 1st January 2020 is about to come crashing down because, (and deep down didn’t we all know it?) it has been a business model that simply could NOT be sustained.
I condemn the Board at Spurs for electing to seek Government financial assistance. They are not a high street shop with 5-12 employees and the scheme introduced was not intended for Premier League clubs (including most specifically my own) spending squillions on players and players wages to then go cap-in-hand when the football season is unexpectedly stopped. Shame on Spurs and any other ‘top-flight’ clubs that follow suit. (There will be more. Greed will out).
Oh, and to be clear. Whilst I absolutely agree that the resumption of football, across the world, would be a massive boost to morale, Governments should NOT be bailing out football clubs. Or maybe they could. And then, perhaps, they could bail out every professional Cricket, Rugby Union/League teams, athletic associations or boxing matches.
Except they can’t do that, and they absolutely shouldn’t. Whichever country you live in, your Government simply does not have a bottomless pit of funds. As you are reading this you are, and routinely continue to, assess what you realistically can afford in your daily life as opposed to what you would like.
I’d like a fully ‘spec’d designer’ Range Rover (Like a certain Villa Player) but blue in colour and the lovely Kelly Brook or, better still, a Miss Linda Lusardi on my arm.
Ain’t gonna happen.
One of the best managers in the history of British football (and I sincerely hope this is the correct, rather than the most repeated, quote) once said:
“Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I don’t like that attitude. I can assure them it is much more serious than that”.
I’m sure Mr Shankly didn’t actually believe that however much it is repeated. And, if proof were needed, we now have news of a 13-year-old boy, with no other underlying health issues, dying in London from COVID 19. I refuse to accept that Bill Shankly, or anybody else in football today, would consider the comparison valid.
There was a time when there just Leagues 1, 2, 3 and 4. Then it changed.
Mark (It’s about to change again). MCFC.
The return of the amateur?
We’ve been reading about pay cuts for hundreds of staff at Premier League clubs. USA Rugby has just filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection within a very short period of time since the virus outbreak, and frankly, I’m not sure what they were planning to do in March or April anyway. The Tokyo Olympics delay has caused many national bodies to “question” how they can survive the delay and fund their athletes. How viable were any of these enterprises if within four weeks they are all running to the wall crying “we’re broke”?
So let’s take a step back, or a couple, or five. It was in my living memory that the Olympics were for amateurs, Rugby Union was an amateur sport, and no-one that I knew of earned more than 200 pounds a week playing football. Tennis, Golf, Baseball, even soccer were never considered as Olympic sports. Now that event has so much bloat it’s disgusting.
Now Tottenham apparently has more than 800 full-time staff on their payroll, and Daniel Levy wants to cut their pay by 20% and charge that back to the taxpayer.
What happened? How can is it that it takes 800 full-time employees to put on a game of footy once a week, or twice a week in cup season? Why are governments expected to fund athletes to “represent” at some farcical and bogus world championship event? Why don’t people understand that “government money” is your money? It’s not mythical wealth that suddenly surfaced, it’s your taxes that are being shamelessly, and now transparently, pissed away.
The whole sporting world is corrupt and disgusting with drugs, gambling and bribery; and awash with dirty money. Best to close it all down and go back to amateurs who play for the joy of it. You can go back to standing on the cinder terraces and enjoying the game at 3pm on a Saturday with a couple of pints and a couple of mates. You might even have time to pat your Board of Directors on the back, none of whom are allowed to profit from your club’s success as part of the articles of association.
You might be spared the likes of Jack “I’m not immature” Grealish taking oddly ill-advised trips in the Range Rover, or your Paul Pogba enjoying a lot of down time playing basketball in Miami while cashing a paycheck, although I probably wouldn’t blame him if the noodle sponsors are happy to contribute.
You will also be spared the “pundits”. Thankfully. I laughed my head off when Steven Gerrard was interviewed post-Galaxy retirement and asked what he was going to do next – his answer? “I’ll do me badges and work on me punditry” as if “punditry” was a career choice and could be “worked” on?
Steve, Los Angeles
Toby or not Toby?
“that baldy, puzzle-browed ballbag doing his obsequious bantering in Zurich before the next group draw”
Bravo Toby, what a read that was. It had me reading out sections to my completely uninterested in football partner, who also applauded (not literally unfortunately) the writing.
Articles like this are why I (and so many others) come back to this website 3 times a day, every day.
Keep it going F365, in a world becoming ever more insane, you’re one of the few things keeping us sane.
Mark Danger Endicott, MUFC (on behalf of F365 Fans everywhere)
Liverpool need rid of the elephant in the trophy cabinet
As a Man United fan, it would be easy for me to stick in the boot to our illustrious neighbors at the far end of the M62. To revel in the possibility of the season being expunged from the record books, Liverpool’s efforts thereby rendered futile, as their hopes and dreams are dashed against the cruel rocks of fate. Easy indeed.
However, I will resist.
If they were a point or two ahead of the next team, having unduly benefited from a few arguable refereeing decisions or VAR calls, then their claim to be recognised as this years Champions would be easier to laugh off. However, they were / are a country mile ahead of everyone else, easily the best team in the country, and only a couple of games from cementing their spot at the top. They do deserve something from the season, for sure.
Being as close as they were / are, I reckon that this would almost feel like a ‘proper’ title to them. It’s not like they’d be getting the trophy by default – as if the result was in any real doubt. It might feel a little on the hollow-side, but only a tiny bit. And I reckon the Scousers would take it regardless.
Okay, it would open them up to having the piss taken out of them, by everyone, until they manage win it again. However, if any set of fans can take a joke at their expense, its the Liverpool fans.
Awarding them the title doesn’t mean we can’t go ahead void everything else, does it? It’s only bloody football. Just because Liverpool are crowned 2020 PL Champions doesn’t mean we have to then automatically trigger a cascade of further outcomes e.g. relegation, promotion, European places etc. It’s just a case of a nice ceremony, and etching their name on the trophy. It really doesn’t matter in the great scheme of things.
I assume Liverpool will be keeping the 2019 European Super and World Club Cups? It would be ridiculous to void those trophies, as it would be to void City’s League Cup win. So, based on the fact they were absolutely nailed on to win the thing anyway, surely Liverpool can have the league title?
We can just put a little star next to the entry in the record books, with a footnote explaining the situation. It’ll be just like Liverpool’s title in 1947, when they won it with an allocation of loan players that wouldn’t have been allowed under less unique circumstances.
If United were in their situation, I’m not sure that I would actually want the title, to be honest, but I might feel different if we were to carry on as we have been for the past six or seven years for a few more decades! City and Chelsea fans might feel similarly. If say Spurs, Newcastle, West Ham, or someone like that found themselves in Liverpool’s position though, I’m sure they would want the trophy as much as the Scousers do. After all, based on the past thirty years, it is a once-in-a-generation thing…
I will admit here that Liverpool are a unique case, in that for them, managing to get over the line in top spot is more of a psychological hurdle at this point. You can’t help but feel that traversing it might see them winning the league a little more regularly from here on out. So I can see why they would want the title just for that reason, even if it did feel a little bit hollow.
Whatever happens with the title this year, I expect them to be just as strong again next season. Unlike this season though, I expect United and Chelsea to be snapping at their heels. If I was a Liverpool fan, I could see the attraction of getting rid of the elephant in the trophy room, so they can focus on winning it properly next year.
Might help them to avoid any more slip-ups.
DD, MUFC, Manchester
You do realise there is no such thing as a ‘neutral’ opinion in football – that is kind of the point of sporting rivalries.
Anyway, if the season is abandoned, the answer has to be to start next season with the points already accrued this season – that has to be the only fair way of sorting this out. Liverpool miss out on their title and the ‘neutrals’ can commiserate/gloat, but their sensational season still counts for something – same for Leeds or Coventry or Crewe. Surly no ‘neutral’ could object to that…
Don’t make a Greal of it
Bloody hell. Grealish hasn’t even signed for Manchester United and you’re already out to get him.
This is no more than ‘Young lad makes stupid mistake. Owns up to it.’ I know news is slow (trust me, I feel your pain) but you’re dragging this into a second day. How long would this stretch to if he actually donned the great red shirt of United? The entire week?
Grealish is not the first or last young footballer to do something stupid. Or wear something stupid. I see lads his age round my estate flaunting the self-isolation instructions daily. Scant regard. The difference is none of them play football professionally. We are right to expect better from Grealish, but I think F365 need to (once again) look at themselves and their role in demonising a young man.
Williams Douglas Foster, Stretford
It was just chanter
I agree that it would be extremely funny if Liverpool were denied the title due to a void season. However, even as a United fan I want them to have it for one very simple reason.
I have no doubt at all, that in Liverpool’s first game against anyone, never mind United and Everton, that Covid related chanting would take place. So yet again (Hillsborough, Holocaust, Munich, Heysel, Sala and on and on), the horrible deaths of other humans will be used as ‘banter’. Let’s not go down that road, please.
Don’t avoid the void
Very rare that I make a submission to the Mailbox nowadays, but needs must.
Just void the whole bloody season and have done with it. This will always be the season that Liverpool didn’t get over the line under normal conditions, just cancel it, make the decision now.
All the talk of one month player quarantines, empty stadiums, a condensed “Festival of Football” sounds like pie in the sky to me. How far does the quarantine go? Players, Support Staff, Managers, Coaches, Ground Staff, TV Crews, Media, Training Facility Staff, Referees, Linesman, Hotel Staff, Caterers, Cleaners, etc, etc, etc…
I know that as I am a United fan, you may think I have a vested interest (OK, I do), but here are the considerations – what are going to do with the Championship and how does removing home advantage impact on the relegation battles and the race for Europe? Is that “fair”? What happens if a players family becomes seriously ill whilst they are away? What if one or more team in quarantine gets infected with Covid-19 on the eve of the revised tournament? What happens if one of them is Liverpool and they have to play their remaining games with their youth players (if they have been quarantined separately) or forfeit their games and City win the league, still happy Pool Fans?
The idea of postponing until September is even worse. Why ruin one season when you can ruin two?
I understand the Premier League wanting to explore every avenue before making the decision and whilst I would like Manchester United to be given the chance of getting into the Champions League, it Is not a very difficult one to make.
Football is just not very important when people are dying.
James from Chorley.
Coventry are top of League One. Please don’t void the season. We haven’t won – or even finished in the top six! – of any league since 1967.
That is all.
David (Just put Zbrojovka up by default) Szmidt, Brno, Czech Rep.
I hate to say it, but they *could* finish this season eventually I suppose, however long it takes. Then next season could be something like cricket’s t20, with regional groups playing 30 mins-per-half. Finish the season at Wembley, semifinals and Final the same day.
If there’s absolutely no time to finish this season, then do the short format version for 2020/21 anyway, and if Liverpool win that, it won’t count either.
With all the speculation and opinion surrounding if the current season should be voided or continued, thought I might aswell throw my humble thoughts out there. I personally think it should be finished to conclusion as long as all games across all leagues that are currently in situ can be completed when safe to do so, and not started to only then stop again.
Anyway, that isn’t the point of my mail. Others have already mentioned clubs would have to pay back TV rights for the season if it’s voided, and if it continues what happens to player contracts ETC.
Further complication I can see if what happens to players performance bonus’s etc if the season is voided. I’m sure for example Leicester couldn’t say to Jamie Vardy “Thanks for scoring all those goals. The season doesn’t count so neither do the goals. Please re-pay your bonuses received via Bank Transfer or Paypal”.
Pretty sure that would cause a few player/club disputes in the unlikely even that happened.
With live football still a while away (except Belarus), some positivity. Is there a football quote that has stuck in your mind years after you heard it? One of my favourites still has to be Mark Viduka saying, “I would not be bothered if we lost every game, as long as we won the league”, as well as Garth Crooks’ “I’ve just watched the replay and there is absolutely no doubt: it’s inconclusive.”
Please share any funny/memorable ones you remember seeing/hearing
Alex, London (Used to dream about England winning the World Cup, now I just dream about football)
With it being April Fools Day, I thought I’d put this question to the mailbox, who are some of footballers biggest jokers? A player or even a club that have done something during a game that has made you laugh out loud so to speak, would be great to bring a smile to our faces especially during these times.
For me it has to be Jimmy Bullard’s infamous “Telling Off” Celebration during his time at Hull when he scored against Manchester City.
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.