Football – the beautiful game…

My arse. And here’s why:

I’m planning a reunion weekend in Sheffield with a couple of old (in every sense of the word) mates. We all went to uni there and thought we could re-enact old times with a visit to Sheffield United FC as they pit their dubious skills against QPR, followed by a gallon or so of ale and a curry.

One could reasonably ask if a finer day out is known to mankind? I think not.

However, this simple plan has to date been foiled at every turn by SUFC. I’ve tried booking tickets for the game online and by phone and the online system don’t work (and there would be charge of £1 for each booking despite the fact that the punter has done all the feckin’ work), whilst the premium rate phone line has you waiting for a small eternity before some woman comes on and says tickets aren’t yet available for the game, even though it’s less than a month away. And when they are it’ll cost you a quid for the privilege of using a premium rate phone line to book them.

As I politely informed the unfortunate woman on the other end of the phone, “It’s no bloody wonder you don’t have any fans!”.

This is, of course, of a piece with English football’s never ending attempt to wrest every penny out of the poor saps who choose to watch it. And yet we put up with it all, for I’ll be trying again in a few days to book those bloody tickets – for the fifth time.

Bit it’s this kind of contempt for the people who keep the sport alive that saw me abandon footie long ago for surfing, skiing and mountaineering – at least Nature doesn’t charge for the waves and mountains. Well, not in cash, anyway.



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