Tuesday, 19 May 2015

The Raheem Situation

Just a quickie today. I've heard all the evidence, read all the headlines and I just wanted to make my point about the burning issue of the day. It won't be popular, but then neither is Spina Bifida so what the fuck do I care? The only thing on the sports pages today is the news that Raheem Sterling is refusing to sign a new contract with Liverpool and will likely end up on the bench at Manchester City/Chelsea/Real Madrid/Bayern Munich/Delete As Appropriate.

I can understand fans being unhappy about this, but really the level of indignation thrown at Sterling while the club continue to get away with passively allowing their best players to sod off elsewhere is making me gag. OK, so Sterling is greedy and it probably is all about money and blah blah bloody blah. But to pretend that paying that amount of money to a player is an affront to Liverpool Football Club and it's unique classy-ness is what Stephen Fry would have called loose stool water and arse gravy. They've paid dozens of players that amount and more. In all likelihood they have no desire to keep Sterling and, instead of coming out and saying so and admitting to their fans that they have become a mediocre selling club in the manner of Spurs or fucking Everton, they want instead to bang on about the well-known evil of agents in football and greedy boys from London who have no connection with the club and are probably just bored of the lack of ambition that is associated with the belief that Martin Skrtel is a serviceable Premier League player.

If it is Liverpool's policy that they will no longer pay any of their players that kind of money then they have already joined the also-rans and will never win the league again. Ever. Perhaps they are waiting for Platini and his boys to give them a helping hand, but that looks unlikely given that his restrictive, cartel-protecting Financial Fair Play rules are about to be legally challenged into oblivion. I mean, I ask you, who in their right fucking mind wants to watch a league in which the traditional giants dominate and nobody is allowed to clumsily happen upon an oil-generated fortune and spoil their party? You can like Chelsea and Manchester City or not, but to my mind there is absolutely no doubt that football is a lot more interesting for the fact that they have been allowed to buy and pay the best players on the planet the big bucks and ritually tonk Crystal Palace and Hull City to pass an otherwise boring Sunday. If you block this from happening then you guarantee that everyone who is currently outside the elite will spend eternity playing for the privilege of avoiding relegation or a fate worse than that, the Europa League.

So no, I'm not saying Liverpool should pay Raheem Sterling. I'm just saying they should fucking grow up and stop whining about what it costs to be competitive in the Premier League these days. If they don't pay Sterling then the reason that they should not is because actually he's been crap this year, not because of how much money his agent wants him to make. Now I realise that this goes against all my every day political beliefs which lie somewhere to the left of Josef Stalin, but football is not remotely related to real life. Nobody in football has to go to a foodbank because Chelsea just bought another £50million squad player. And in any case, a football club trying to deny the fact that it is a capitalist behemoth masquerading as a socialist vehicle of the people is vomit inducing.

That's all. Bye Raheem.

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