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Thursday, December 20, 2007

"No one likes us..."

The public and media fascination and, let's face it, glee over the Manchester United party scandal is not merely the standard British delight in seeing the wealthy brought to heel.It's also indicative of just how much our contempt for top footballers has grown in direct proportion to their wealth and also our fascination with them.
We may support them, envy them, read about them, discuss them in the pub as if they were racehorses and wish we were like them, but we don't actually like them any more. Now that they don't need us to support their testimonial, now that they don't appear to occupy the same planet as us, now that their girlfriends write columns in the press talking about how much money they've spent, now that every single last one of them will change clubs the minute the deal is right, we are all storing up our resentment just waiting for them to give us an excuse to get a bit of our own back.
Look at how fast the nation turned following the Croatia result. The nation doesn't just want results. It wants somebody to be punished.
In the midst of this Sol Campbell turns up on the Today Programme moaning about the abuse he got from the Tottenham fans last week. I'm sure it must be horrible.
But if spewing a little verbal poison is what a fan can do, he will do it. It's all he's got.