IN THE STOCKS
Published in the Southern League South and West match v Truro City. Saturday 25th October 2008. We drew 3-3, conceding in the last minute to a team who have only shipped 6 goals this season and are favourites for the title. Crowd 295.
With economic recession now sweeping the globe, I have an idea of how to attract more people to our games. Let’s patrol the mean streets of South Bucks and round up those wealthy bankers who’ve got us in such as mess, and put them in the stocks before the game so people can throw rotten veg at them. OK, it might seem to harp back to medieval times, but with seemingly no laws for ripping off whole economies, it seems only fair.
Being questioned in Washington Richard Fuld, boss of the bankrupt Lehman Brothers said he felt "horrible." The chair began questioning him "Your company is now bankrupt and our country is in a state of crisis. You get to keep $480m. Is that fair?" Lehman also gets to keep his houses including a $14m ocean-front villa in Florida and one in an exclusive ski resort, plus an art collection filled with million dollar paintings. I’m sure he does feel "horrible."
We have become blinded by a wealthy elite, but as the economy goes down the pan, the super rich won’t face redundancy, be clobbered by fuel bills, or lose their houses. No they walk away with millions.
This sort of behaviour isn’t really surprising when you consider that in law, the corporation is considered a "person." But what kind of person? Using the World Health Organisation's checklist for personality types, Joel Bakan, author of The Corporation, concludes that it has the personality of a psychopath! It has a callous disregard for the feelings and safety of others; deceitfulness; an incapacity to experience guilt; failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviour. Infact shareholder profit is its only motivation.
The problem for football is that these psychopaths are in charge of our clubs and running and ruining the game. At QPR Britain's richest man Lakshmi Mittal owns the club with Formula One bosses Bernie Ecclestone and Flavio Briatore. Season tickets prices have gone up 50% and increase are now planned for match day tickets. They recently tried to charge visiting Derby fans £40 to watch a game until the Football League stepped in. Man United asked QPR if they wanted to make the tickets for the league cup match cheaper but the QPR board declined. Still QPR fans can now dine in the grounds own Cipriani restaurant, with Briatore declaring that QPR would host "boutique football". Hello? "It's like... if you have a hotel, a boutique hotel, that only has 50 rooms, while a grand hotel has 400 rooms. We only have 20,000 seats, and we will offer the best service to the fans... you know, it's going to look amazing."
QPR’s Loyal Supporters Association issued a statement saying they are against all forms of discrimination - including discrimination on economic grounds. “We feel the club is excluding a section of our fans who are no longer able to pay the very high prices asked. It may also be a very short sighted policy, given that the economy is in recession, people are losing their jobs and inflation is rocketing. People may make the choice in these hard times to stop paying high prices to watch a live match.” But then these loyal but poor fans are hardly who the new owners want to come and see the new "boutique football" on offer.
So if you fed up with being ripped off come and see Slough play instead. Cheap footie watched from the terraces – you might even be able to grab yourself a cup of Bovril if you ask nicely, and get to throw some rotten veg at some psychopathic bankers.