I am, of course, talking about football. On Saturday, Fabio said he still believes we can reach the final. Which is interestingly when his bonus clause kicks on apparently. But I squirrel. On Sunday, at 5pm, we thought it was all over, and by wotsit was it over. I fear the economic recovery will be slowed as a result.
I really am not sure I have the answer. Many have made the comment that they are paid too much, although from my little poll, this was predominantly from Daily Mail readers. I don't believe that particularly. I agree they are paid a lot, and maybe that is too much, however they are more than competitive for their clubs, albeit the British teams were not so hot in the Champion's League. So the vast sums of money they are being paid does not really affect them during their domestic season.
Maybe they did not respond well to Fabio's strict regime. I would say that they are mostly over-grown school boys anyway, indeed they often do go straight from the cloistered environment of school to the equally cloistered environment of a football club, so this should feel like normal life for them.
And let's not forget that under Sven Goren Erikson, we concluded that their failure was to do with the relaxed atmosphere filled with the inane giggling of WAGs.
Maybe it is because we don't have a Winter break. I need this explaining to me, because if they have two weeks off at Christmas, doesn't the season end two weeks later, unless they are going to trim some games somehow. I vote for getting rid of one of the cup tournaments
So, this is my blueprint for success:
- make them pay for the pleasure of playing. Nothing too extortionate, maybe a month's salary
- employ a manager who is strict but not too strict, and relaxed by not too relaxed, and British this time me thinks
- Allow WAGs in to the compound, but only if they can score a penalty, or can gargle the National Anthem whilst downing a pint of Strongbow
- Only pick players who have not played much during the season, you know, injuries, drug rehabilitation, that kind of thing, so they are not tired
- pay the manager on the average going rate for a decent football manager. Do not, under any circumstances, pay him, or her, double what everyone else is getting. And forget about bonuses, they are for bankers and other pugnacious larrikins. And finally, but most importantly, have some clause in the contract that enables you to avoid paying them off with 3 years' salary when you want to get rid of them.
One last thing to report. I have seen my first iPhone 4 in the wild. And I can confirm that it is quite literally just a phone with a touch screen. I did not touch it of course, because I do not have a licence, or as a colleague suggested, because I do have a, you know, winkie. I have no idea what he was suggesting, but it made everyone laugh so I thought it worth mentioning. I think Golfy would be very proud, since I can confirm two things about him; firstly, he does not have an iPhone 4 either, and secondly, he does have a, you know, winkie. Although on the last point the graffiti on the
toilet wall does suggest that it has, how shall we say, shrunk in the wash*. It doesn't stop him being a jolly decent chap, but it does maybe explain why he possesses an iPhone 3. Worcester
* As I often say, and my lawyer has suggested I say again, you cannot sue if it is funny.