It’s time for brutal honesty. It’s not like Theresa fucking May or her gang of clueless, spineless rats are going to give us any, is it? Now I might come across a rampantly over-the-top psychopath sometimes: fair enough. There’s a slender chance I may go slightly too far. This week though, I am without any shred of doubt 100% on the money. I guarantee you will agree: if you don’t, well there’s no helping you.
Every time I return from the barren abyss of Siberia to England, I pass the same bloke on the High Street. Which one? Only the best bloody High Street in the country, since you ask: Altrincham. Marouane Fellaini even went to the pawnbrokers there once. I’m biased, am I? Well congratulations Captain Obvious, you’ve picked up on that quickly haven’t you? You’re medal’s in the post.
Homeless in Cheshire
That’s enough rhetorical questions. Anyway, this chap has two dogs with mangy fur who yap at every moving object. Spirited little tykes they are, I tell you. I love animals, but these critters can give you quite a jump if you’re not on the ball. Their owner has almost as many teeth as he has pets, and I’ll be honest, less fashion sense.
Joking aside, this is serious. The guy is – as those bright sparks amongst you will have deduced by now – homeless. He is also destitute in one of wealthiest regions of the country. Shiny glass-front offices and designer outlets sparkle around him and his cardboard bed. The painful irony is that two decades ago, the burgeoning success was nowhere to be seen. Boarded up shop fronts, almost no footfall; the town’s soul had been devoured.
A renewed effort to restore the potential of a historic centre with drive and vision was a success. Our friend, however, missed the boat. Why? In truth, I don’t know. Perhaps he fell on hard times, suffered from addiction or had somehow always carved out survival like this. I get him hot food each time and have a brief chat. Soapbox does have a heart you know. The stuck-up Cheshire Set mob, on the other hand, don’t give him the time of day. He doesn’t fit into their image.
Richard Scudamore given (almost) ₤5 million
Is that a parallel I hear grinding into view? Yes, yes it is. This week, the most preposterous, morally repugnant, vile, sickening, horrific gut-wrenching, feral, obnoxious news slapped us in the face. Richard Scudamore, a man already on a reported ₤2.5 million salary, is being given a ₤4 million golden handshake goodbye. It would have been more if five clubs hadn’t refused to contribute to the whip-round. The filthy rich cabal of greed-mongers he helped create are almost all chipping in to thank him.
As a working journalist, I must offer fair balance where possible. Deep breath… here goes. Actually, I don’t blame the clubs here. Seriously. For two decades he has helped forge unimaginable wealth for them, so a quarter-of-a-million is a pittance as gratitude. Put aside the morals for a moment – it’s hard, I know – and you have to recognise the incredible business acumen.
When Scudamore took over the Premier League, the champions’ big-money signing cost ₤12.6 million. In the past few years, a geriatric donkey for the (aka Romelu Lukaku) cost six times that amount. The fact there are as-yet undiscovered tribes in the Amazon untouched by civilization that have a better sense for the transfer market than those whose pocket the man has helped fill should detract from what has been little short of financial alchemy.
Aaaaaan breathe…. God that was painful. Now that I have officially balanced this piece, I can go hell for leather. Strap yourselves in.
Morals? What morals?
Scudamore is a cunt. The man who lobbied for a 39th game for one fucking purpose (clue: it wasn’t for the fans) has the easiest chance to earn himself some easy PR as the gilded diamond-encrusted doors are opened for him. The second Chelsea CEO Bruce Buck – I mean seriously, you can’t make up names like that – proposed this gift, Scudamore could have so easily donated it to any number of charitable causes.
Somebody with more time, resources and knowledge could tell you exactly how many community pitches ₤5 million could buy. While Liverpool Sean Cox faces life-long rehabilitation and eye-watering costs, Scudamore sits a few million richer. Under-paid referees get beaten up on pitches barely fit for pigs. Don’t worry though, Dicky is satisfied with his acknowledgement.
The thing is even if between me writing this and it going to press he actually does donate, I’m still right. By then, we would never know if his mind was made by the justified pressure of fans. Making the decision NOW would look as sincere as a weasel that’s just been appointed Professor of Insincerity at the University of Life. (See what I did there? Life tells you everything will be ok, hard work and honesty will be rewarded, then kicks you in the testicles…)
What could have been…
I actually have no problem with the ferocious monetisation of the Premier League that he oversaw. What I have a huge issue with is the utter lack of effort to be responsible. At what point did he insist on, for example, 5% of all transfer fees and agents’ fees being directed to grassroots football? Watching the obscene figures swirling around, how hard would it have been to use a slither more for good causes?
God forbid, he might actually have lifted a finger to tackle society’s wider issues. Our toothless, homeless, hopeless man might have had a chance of rebuilding his life. Then again, I wouldn’t have a half-decent chat. Yeah, even if my mother was reading this, I don’t think she’d disagree (with the sentiment at least). Just so we’re clear: RICHARD SCUDAMORE, FUCK YOU.