I’m going to grab my ball, some jumpers for goalposts and head off around the world in 80 games……
It has taken me a while to admit it, but I’m against modern football. I love my club and have supported them from the terraces since I was 12 years old. What I cannot escape now though is the overwhelming feeling that I’m being had!
I’m tired of the billionaires, the Blatter’s and the boardroom behemoths. I’m saddened that the grandchildren and great grandchildren of the hundreds and thousands of working class people that drove the game on throughout the last century are now being priced out of going to the match.
However, in amongst the saturating media coverage, Ronaldo's grotesque goal celebration and the full-sleeve tattoos stands the one simple truth: Nobody, not even you Mr. Abramovich, can ever own the game. Football reaches way way beyond monopoly world. As long as there are banana leaves in Uganda and tin cans in Lancashire, football will always be free.
As a kid I was obsessed. Every free evening and weekend I’d take my ball to the local rec and see if I could get a game going….jumpers for goalposts and all that. We’d play on until the night swallowed the ball, returning home muddy, exhausted and exhilarated; replaying goals, missed chances, finger-tip saves, great passes and last gasp tackles over and over in our minds. Stories were written and heroes were made. The game was simple. The game was everything.
In exactly the same way, far from the voracious commercialism of the modern game, I'm going to try and get 80 games going in as many countries as I can around the world. I'll put my jumpers down then invite people in villages, towns and cities to come and join in and enjoy the unadulterated magic of a game of footie.