David Cameron and Gary Lineker. Photo: Andrew Parsons/Conservative Party via Getty Images
Show Hide image

Are you a footie follower or a fan? Take this quiz to find out

Pencils at the ready - Hunter Davies has prepared a simple test to split the fakers from the true fans.

Fans have changed, these past two decades. Well no wonder, with the price of tickets. The middle classes have arrived, and the followers of fashion. So what sort of fan are you? OK, pencils out, your chance to score...

Referees

A) They have a jolly hard job and I’d never criticise them.
B) Only human, but they do make mistakes, so we should be allowed to boo.
C) Wankers, all of them.
 

Mourinho

A) Terrific plus for English football.
B) Something nasty about him, but he’s clever and does amuse me.
C) Piece of scum, in charge of the Scum.
 

Foreign Players

A) Have vastly improved the quality of our game.
B) There should be a quota to allow our young lads a chance.
C) Send them all home – but not from my team.
 

Eating

A) I always have a prawn sandwich.
B) I take my own guacamole and rye bread.
C) Pint and a pie.
 

Wages

A) They’re the world’s elite, it’s a short life, they deserve all they can get.
B) There should be a cap, it’s just obscene.
C) Don’t give a French fart, as long as we win.
 

Ronaldo or Messi?

A) Both geniuses – we’re lucky to be living at this time.
B) Ronaldo is a poseur, Messi the real thing.
C) I’d have Ronaldo’s baby, if he’d join us.
 

Kit

A) I have been known to wear my Arsenal bobble hat.
B) Always wear my team scarf, but basically it’s capitalist exploitation, wouldn’t you say?
C) Me and the wife have the full home kit, and the away kit, and she wears her knickers with a cockerel on the front – if we win.
 

Celebrations

A) Personally I always thought a handshake was quite sufficient.
B) Yes, celebrating is understandable, but in moderation.
C) Not being allowed to take their top off? Diabolical. I think they should take everything off and show us their tackle.
 

My Team

A) Arsenal, for my sins, ever since our son Harry started at Highgate.
B) Man United, though living in Stokey means I can’t make many games.
C) West Ham born and bred. The rest are scum.
 

Television

A) No Sky, I’m afraid, but my wife and I always watch MoTD with a nice whisky. Highlight of our week, actually.
B) Just BBC – if it’s on Sky, which I hate, I go to the pub with the lads.
C) Every bleedin’ channel, costs me a bleedin’ packet.
 

Best Bits

A) Just to see a good game, actually. It’s football I like, rather than one team.
B) My team winning, regardless of how they play. It’s cathartic.
C) Chelsea/Man United/Man City getting stuffed.
 

Who’s Going To Be On Top?

A) Of what? Sounds exciting.
B) Some greedy, nasty, foreign-owned club with loads of money.
C) We should have been, but for the feckin refs/ injuries/ stupid manager/cheating Chelsea bastards.
 

Who would you go to bed with?

A) David Beckham – wouldn’t everyone?
B) With whom, you mean. Arsène. The conversation would be excellent.
C) Wayne, for his looks, har bleedin har.
 

Which player would you like as prime minister?

A) Joey Barton – a real philosopher in charge at last.
B) Russell Brand – a revolutionary. Shame he’s West Ham.
C) John Terry – legend, leader, which is more than you can say about this poxy lot.
 

Which team does David Cameron support?

A) They’re in claret and blue, or is it claret and burgundy? Both jolly good drinks, actually.
B) Old Etonians, of course, who else?
C) Leave it out! At this time of the season my bleedin’ brain’s faded.
 

Answers

If you mostly ticked:
A) You are middle-class, middle-aged and boring.
B) Younger, with a good 2:1 and a beard.
C) True fan. 

Hunter Davies is a journalist, broadcaster and profilic author perhaps best known for writing about the Beatles. He is an ardent Tottenham fan and writes a regular column on football for the New Statesman.

This article first appeared in the 01 May 2015 issue of the New Statesman, The Scots are coming!

Getty Images.
Show Hide image

Scotland's huge deficit is an obstacle to independence

The country's borrowing level (9.5 per cent) is now double that of the UK. 

Ever since Brexit, and indeed before it, the possibility of a second Scottish independence referendum has loomed. But today's public spending figures are one reason why the SNP will proceed with caution. They show that Scotland's deficit has risen to £14.8bn (9.5 per cent of GDP) even when a geographic share of North Sea revenue is included. That is more than double the UK's borrowing level, which last year fell from 5 per cent of GDP to 4 per cent. 

The "oil bonus" that nationalists once boasted of has become almost non-existent. North Sea revenue last year fell from £1.8bn to a mere £60m. Total public sector revenue was £400 per person lower than for the UK, while expenditure was £1,200 higher.  

Nicola Sturgeon pre-empted the figures by warning of the cost to the Scottish economy of Brexit (which her government estimated at between £1.7bn and £11.2.bn a year by 2030). But the country's black hole means the risks of independence remain immense. As a new state, Scotland would be forced to pay a premium on its debt, resulting in an even greater fiscal gap. Were it to use the pound without permission, with no independent central bank and no lender of last resort, borrowing costs would rise still further. To offset a Greek-style crisis, Scotland would be forced to impose considerable austerity. 

Nor would EU membership provide a panacea. Scotland would likely be forced to wait years to join owing to the scepticism of Spain and others facing their own secessionist movements. At present, two-thirds of the country's exports go to the UK, compared to just 15 per cent to other EU states.

The SNP will only demand a second referendum when it is convinced it can win. At present, that is far from certain. Though support for independence rose following the Brexit vote, a recent YouGov survey last month gave the No side a four-point lead (45-40). Until the nationalists enjoy sustained poll leads (as they have never done before), the SNP will avoid rejoining battle. Today's figures are a considerable obstacle to doing so. 

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.