SWANNY'S WORLD OF SPORT: Bullies, bores and Billy Big-Times
So I can add bullying to the list of reasons why I don't like the Premier League.
The competition’s pursuit of Accrington Stanley chairman Andy Holt for simply stating what many true football fans feel was an utter disgrace.
Holt was right to condemn the obscene wages paid out by Manchester United to Zlatan Ibrahimovic and right to slate the fee Paul Pogba’s agent received - just the £40 million give or take a quid or two - just for making a couple of phone calls and sending a couple of e-mails.
Holt was probably less accurate to state that the Premier League is ‘destroying’ the game, although the response from the top table about ‘whether or not Accrington want to continue to receive funding’ was rather chilling.
The Premier League donates a relative pittance to the lower divisions. They are expert at feathering the nests of their own clubs, but less concerned about the survival of those at Acrrington’s - or even Posh’s - level.
They’d probably do away with promotion to the Premier League if they could. They make it hard enough for the little clubs with their parachute payments to clubs who fail at the top level.
There’s an in-built advantage to teams who get relegated from the top flight these days. In the case of badly-managed clubs like Wigan and Wolves, those payments have even been known to affect the League One promotion race.
Things will never change either.
It’s not as though the Premier League is any good . It’s been a boring competition this season full of sides like Burnley and West Brom who offer nothing in the way of entertainment.
Even Manchester United are tedious to watch these days and I hope striker Marcus Rashford leaves Old Trafford and replaces Sergio Aguero at Manchester City. He needs to play for a manager who will appreciate his gifts rather than a manager who will stifle them.
The competition’s reigning champions Leicester City have been terrible ambassadors for football in this country.
I struggled to stifle a giggle at recent reports Foxes’ players are preparing to leave the club just months after orchestrating the departure of their title-winning manager. They really have become the grubbiest club in the Premier League which is some achievement just nine months after becoming many fans’ favourite second team.
Even the smaller clubs who do break into the elite are soon tarnished.
Did you see Harry Arter’s tackle while playing for Bournemouth against Stoke last weekend? It was as plain a red card offence as you’re likely to see and yet Cherries’ manager Eddie Howe defended his player with a fatuous ‘he’s not that sort of player’, comment. Howe was rightly feted for helping a Russian billionaire get his club into the top-flight, but he’s sadly now just as cynical and one-eyed as the rest of the managers in the division.