Monday, 20 August 2012

Losing your Virginity

When I was a small lad I was a Leeds United supporter.  It all came about I remember because there was an FA Cup final and Leeds were playing Chelsea.  My brother decided to cheer on Chelsea which inevitably meant I HAD to support Leeds.  I think at the end of the game (Chelsea won 2-1 if I remember correctly) he lost all interest, whilst I continued cheering Leeds for years afterwards.  But only in a bookish, read the results sort of a way, until any feigned interest in soccer disappeared altogether.

You may have read, but most likely missed a small piece in the newspapers this weekend.  Football club Leeds United has gone to court about the charges that are levied for policing its games.  The judge has decided that the team is liable for costs only for policing on the club's own premises...and not as at present for all policing which is connected to a match.  So as hordes of rowdy fans makes their way from coach stations, rail stations through town-centres via pubs and bars there are major crowd control issues which require a police presence. The club will be refunded something like  £1million.  All other football teams are likely to ask for refunds which will stretch into several £million.  That means every time a team full of under-performing overpaid millionaires comes out on to the pitch it will cost you and me money.

Many football teams are in dire financial condition because they pay their players too much...more than the Club's income.  Not to worry, you and I will pick up some of the cost of their overheads.

There have been many questions raised about whether, following the Olympics, football will change and adopt a more public-spirited approach as shown by our underpaid and over-achieving athletes.

I think we have our answer.

A few years ago I took The Boy to V-Festival.  It was my first festival...and of course his.  We drove up to Staffordshire (having failed to get tickets to the Chelmsford leg) in our very swanky soft-top BMW and parked in a muddy field for the weekend.  We hoisted our tent and set about enjoying the music all weekend.  We did...we had a ball...we saw nearly every band we wanted to, although for some reason I insisted on seeing Duffy rather than the Kings of Leon...oh well.  Inevitably it poured with rain, and the fields turned to a quagmire...our feet sunk so far down in the quick-mud that it was easy to lose your shoes and never find them again as you walked around.  The other abiding memory was the toilets.  At Festivals it's always the toilets.  They were rank on day one, and a danger zone by day three.  When it was time to leave the car park was a quagmire, and our swanky car attracted attention of all and sundry as they shouted abuse at us and hoped we got most of them did.  You can imagine the satisfaction to be had when we drove out without a my days in the car industry I had been taught how to drive in tricky conditions.

Last year, The Boy went off to V-Festival with friends for a day, and this year he and some mates went for the whole weekend.  They took enough baggage to last themselves for a month...although I suspect most of it was beer.  He returns this afternoon so I will hear some stories later.  Amazingly he rang me this morning at about 10.00.  I was delighted he called.  He sounded drunk.  In fairness he may just have been suffering from three days of sleep deprivation.  He also said that he was going back to Chigwell station.  Which you may wish to know is some several miles away from Loughton.  I didn't manage to find out why.  No doubt I will later.