The fan - Hunter Davies enjoys Premiership misery
Now the Premiership clubs will have to be nice to all of us, all the time
It's excellent news about the Premier League. So pleased that gates are dropping, hee hee hee, and that the clubs are having a special meeting in a few weeks to explore the reasons and try to attract the fans back, har har har. God, I can hardly contain myself.
I've been chuntering on about this for three years, pointing up the signs, warning what would happen if we continued to be ripped off and treated like dirt. Shit has hit the fans. Now the fans are hitting back.
Reasons to be glad:
- On my return to London and the Premiership, it'll be so comfy. When the midfield pass the ball around aimlessly, going further and further backwards till they pass to the goalie, I'll be able to stretch out and have a snooze, thanks to the empty seats.
- Kids and grandads and dogs were always able to turn up at any training ground and watch their heroes. That stopped with the Premiership. Clubs became so rich and self-important that they banned such access, erecting security gates, putting tanks at all corners, shoot to kill if any kid looked through the barbed wire. Now they'll have to be nice to all fans, all the time.
l-Prem players, since becoming millionaires, never venture out without ten armed guards. Ask for an autograph, and one of the heavies takes you to a corner and duffs you up. Now all players will have to sign when asked, even by dogs.
- Players' wives have been able to have designer stores closed when they shop and beaches cleared when taking their tops off. Now they'll have to queue at Wilkinson's like the rest of us.
- Fergie will be forced to give a post-match media interview, every time, including all hospital radio stations and every parish mag that asks.
- Ford Focus salesmen will be over the moon as players dump their Ferraris in the street, unable to afford the petrol.
- Clubs will copy Waterstone's and offer three for two. Anyone, such as me, who is foolish enough to pay a fortune to both Spurs and Arsenal will get a Chelsea season ticket thrown in for free. In Cumbria, buy one for Carlisle United and Workington, and you'll also get Gretna. What a bargain. They are top of their division (Scottish Second, just to save you looking).
- Players, having to struggle on only a million a year, get testimonials, mostly for doing bugger all, apart from taking the money. Now fans will get testimonials. After ten years' devotion, the club will organise a celebrity raffle, a black-tie ball and a friendly against Real Madrid - and you will keep all the money.
- All programmes will be free, as they mostly are in Spain and Italy. Here they cost £3, and are full of adverts or arse licks for sponsors.
- Prem clubs, when they cost-cut, will send home some of their expensive foreigners, which means we'll have teams with at least one player born locally . . . OK, let's say within 300 miles.
- No more first-team squads of 156, or enough in the case of Chelsea for three first elevens in any other league. It's such a waste seeing human beings at the top of their careers warming their butts on a bench. Oh so sad.
- All clubs will lay on free buses from every point in town to take you to the ground and back. No more need for the hell of parking, which, I think, is one of the main reasons fans have stopped going.
- Every game to start at three o'clock on a Saturday. That's another reason fans have got pissed off. Who wants to travel right across the country, or even drag themselves to their local ground, at some stupid time on a freezing Monday evening in winter, when it's all on the telly anyway?
- Fewer games on Sky.
Actually, delete that last one. My personal philosophy of life is that you can't be too rich, have too many corkscrews or have too many live games on telly.
Apart from that, I can honestly see nothing but good coming out of this shock-horror crisis for the Premiership, ho ho ho . . .