When Simon Jordan sat down to write his exclusive column for The Sun this week, did he realise that he could have stopped immediately after his opening paragraph?
‘SURVEYING football’s landscape right now, it would appear to be all for one and one for me.’
Yes. Yes it would. Because there is a global pandemic and people are quite reluctant to put either themselves or their families at unnecessary and avoidable risk. And that is hardly a stance unique to ‘football’s landscape’. But damn those pesky players.
‘The much-lauded ‘Football Family’ is more like the Manson Family – and through this prism is how our national sport can be viewed.’
The ‘Football Family’ really is like a radicalised cult guilty of murders, assaults and numerous other crimes, isn’t it? That’s exactly what it’s like. Except they’re trying to avoid the possibility of deaths rather than instigating them. And that’s a bizarrely preposterous comparison to ever draw.
‘Players have steadfastly rejected any notion they should help and shown a complete lack of respect for the industry that affords them such privilege, whether at the halcyon level of Premier League or still way above the national average wage in League Two.’
They haven’t ‘shown a complete lack of respect for the industry’ at all. Nor have they ‘steadfastly rejected any notion they should help’. Is that what Marcus Rashford was doing while helping raise more than £20m for a charity founded to distribute food to vulnerable children? How about Pep Guardiola when he was donating €1m to help provide medical equipment in his native Spain? There are countless examples of similar acts.
Many players have also agreed wage deferrals, if not cuts, with their clubs. To state that everyone has ‘shown a complete lack of respect for the industry’ is just plain wrong.
And what of the Players Together initiative, which saw Premier League players raising money directly for NHS charities instead of saving their billionaire club owners a quid or two on the wage bill?
‘The players didn’t want to help in the first place and hid behind the smokescreen of giving just one per cent of their wages to the laughable PlayersTogether initiative for the NHS.’
Mediawatch would presume Jordan has donated at least one per cent of his earnings as a Sun columnist to charity, too, but it actually doesn’t matter. He and everyone else should spend their money how they see fit, particularly at a time of such financial uncertainty. Anyone sniping at that is just a d*ck.
Honestly, though, how can you ever view raising at least £4m for charity as ‘laughable’ or a ‘smokescreen’, notwithstanding the fact footballers have been individually donating time and money to other causes, too?
How strange, by the way, that former Crystal Palace owner Jordan targets the players but not Joe Lewis, the Coates family, Mike Ashley or anyone of their ilk. Weird.
Martin Samuel should not be anyone’s first port of call when it comes to issues on race. He once described the phrase “f***ing black c***” as ‘ultimately meaningless’ because it was used during an altercation between a mere two people. But the Daily Mail afford him a platform and he will use that as he sees fit.
Such as on Wednesday, when he writes:
‘Studies into how and why people are affected by coronavirus are in their infancy and perceived weaknesses may yet be explained by social conditions around skin colour rather than genetic make-up.
‘Ethnic minority groups experience higher levels and earlier onset of the chronic health conditions that cause coronavirus complications. This is because minority groups often suffer inequality in wealth, housing and employment, all potential contributory factors – but not ones likely to impact on Premier League footballers.
‘Deeney’s concerns are understandable and must be addressed – certainly given the news from Watford on Tuesday night – but it may be that the sectors of the BAME population disproportionately attacked by Covid-19 do not include wealthy, young professional footballers.’
‘It may be’ that ‘wealthy, young professional footballers’ of any background deserve far greater clarity before putting themselves and their families at risk. ‘It may be’ that a deadly virus doesn’t really care whether you are rich, young or an athlete. ‘It may be’ that a wealthy, middle-aged white man probably isn’t in a position to postulate about this.
Samuel is right when he says ‘it is far from unthinkable that season 2019-20 could be completed over this summer’ after the Premier League returned only half a dozen positive tests. No-one ever really disputed that, of course. But can you really refer to legitimate ‘concerns’ as ‘understandable’ before essentially scoffing at them?
Tears for fears
Elsewhere on the MailOnline website:
‘Fears over accuracy of Premier League coronavirus test results as company’s chief admits they are NOT 100% reliable with nearly 10 false readings on average for every 800 tests’
And that right there is an ‘exclusive’, despite it being fairly common knowledge for months now that the tests cannot be completely and utterly accurate. It turns out that adding footballers to the equation does not magically reduce that minute margin for error.
As Daniel Matthew himself writes:
‘Prenetics chief executive Avi Lasarow told Sportsmail that their tests were approximately 98.8 per cent accurate – in line with those conducted by the NHS.’
By the way, there is no suggestion that there are any actual ‘fears’ over a 1.2% possibility of unreliability, despite that being the literal first word in the headline. That is some delightful actual scaremongering.
Ever get the feeling that online football journalism ate itself long ago? pic.twitter.com/JaRQSqjgse
— Football365 (@F365) May 20, 2020
A few things:
1) The current Erling Haaland is 19. Do we really need the ‘next’ one already?
2) Literally no-one has ever called Layton Stewart the ‘next Michael Owen’, so who are you quoting?
3) Why would Manchester United replace Paul Pogba with the ‘next’ version of a completely different midfielder?
Recommended watching of the day