To be honest it was a difficult time. I won’t lie, our old rhythms have been seriously disrupted. And while we’re excited for the Premier League to start this weekend, we can never forget that that was the summer they stole the World Cup from us.
Some of us were so upset that we even caught ourselves watching island of love — so now we start articles with “If I’m honest” and “I won’t lie”.
But it will be argued that it is all over now and we have a full Premier League program ahead of us, as well as a World Cup starting in November. I’m sorry I don’t have that
Our age-old rhythms now not only have to cope with the withdrawal of a World Cup in the summer, as nature intended, but also with an upheaval in our club season, the effects of which are not yet foreseeable. But this much we know: A cherished part of our culture can just be torn apart by terrible people with no consequence. Aside from some comments in this paper, was there any petition at all that you could sign? A call to live line?
I’m not going to lie, actually I lied to a certain extent because I’m happy that the best player in the world Mohamed Salah will have a month off during the season while Egypt doesn’t qualify for Qatar while the others Premier League stars burn themselves to a crisp in the Doha ovens.
If I’m being totally honest we’ve somehow got through that awful month of June now, at least we’ve avoided the suffering that comes with the end of a World Cup. It never started, so it never ended.
And who knows? With the tournament scheduled to end a week before Christmas, we’ll no doubt see a merciful relief from the atrocities of the holiday season there.
But if I’m honest, the gala opening of this Premier League season has been slightly challenged by the only thing that can challenge it: more football, the kind played by women.
There is only one valid answer to the enormous success of the English lionesses at the European Championships and that is to celebrate unconditionally. And no, I don’t mean all that superficial enthusiasm of radio and TV hosts who don’t really understand these things.
That’s what I mean, if you’re a football man and you’ve spent a good part of your life complaining about women not being interested in football and you see these women playing it, they might love it even more than you, because they had to work harder to play it… and then when you start criticizing them for not playing it as well as Mo Salah, you’re just a despicable fool that all good men should avoid .
Some of the reactions to the Lionesses came from women declaring that if they only knew how great this football thing is, they would have watched it a long time ago.
It will be fascinating to see if they maintain that interest by watching upcoming Premier League action, if they can realize that not only is football a part of life as such, that their entire life to date has in fact been largely meaningless without it.
Journalist Simon Kuper has suggested paying reparations to fund the growth of women’s football, which was hugely popular during the First World War years but was then banned by football authorities when ‘real’ football resumed.
It’s a great call from “Kup,” but since it implies some sort of restorative justice, it’s hard to see it gaining much traction in today’s game. If there was such a thirst for justice in the Premier League, Manchester City and Newcastle United would be unlikely to have owners, which are essentially very wealthy countries.
And reparations would be made by awarding last season’s title to Liverpool. Some would argue that last season’s title would go to runners-up Manchester United for the same reason, but perhaps there would be a statute of limitations issue there.
And yet, how beautiful must this game be that we can love it despite the evil it embodies. The Premier League, with its addiction to blood money and play money and just plain stupid money, is in a way an abomination.
But the legendary greatness of English football clubs is so ingrained in our culture that a person in Portarlington or Portumna can easily refer to a team in Liverpool, Manchester or Nottingham as ‘us’. These are the primal energies that those short-tempered broadcasters who seek what they call “entertainment” in men’s and women’s football don’t understand.
island of love is entertainment. But there is a deeper peace in the hearts of men, and increasingly women, that is beginning to set in again this weekend that won’t end until the end of next May – if I’m being honest.
Bookmakers circling governments
When we talk about sports, many people mean gambling. In this country and in the UK, there is always a game going on between the betting companies and the governments. And the ideal result for both is a goalless draw.
Consider this: in the face of a global gambling pandemic, by the end of this Premier League season it will be 10 years since Ireland finalized its updated gambling legislation. Even the long-promised installation of a controller has not yet taken place.
In the UK, it appeared the Tories were about to introduce a shirt sponsorship ban and a levy to fund addiction treatment, which was so out of character for them it was unbelievable.
After all, this is an industry that enables the transfer of resources from the poor to the rich like no other. What’s not to like for Tories?
It turned out to be incredible. When the betting companies really came into play, there was talk that the sponsorship on the front of the shirt was going to be phased out in a few years, but they could still advertise on the sleeves of the shirt.
Clubs argued that they had already committed to these deals which merely confirmed what we have said on these pages. Big gambling is so deeply embedded in the finances of many sports that they would hardly exist without it.
However, the most important “compromise” is that changes are voluntary and not mandatory. This is a triumph for bookmakers because it doesn’t frame the addiction treatment levy as a clear commitment, but something that could be contributed from the goodness of their hearts. This weakens the causal link between gambling and addiction.
“It’s important that it’s mandatory, not voluntary,” says Stewart Kenny, founder of Paddy Power, but also the self-declared Stop Gambling Harm. He was referring to an excellent move in Australia where players receive monthly bank statements from the bookmaker. If it was voluntary, “the very people who need it most are the ones who don’t request it,” says Kenny.
Australia is literally the worst in the world for gambling. It seems what it takes to get anything done.
Jones loses when Gamble makes him pay big
Judge Gamble (what connection, eh?) explained it to Alex Jones as if she were speaking to a child. “You must tell the truth while testifying. This is not your show,” the Texas judge told the conspiracy and Trumpist propaganda network, which was ordered to pay $49.3 million in damages for alleging that the Sandy Hook massacre School is a joke.
When Jones blurted out, “I believe what I said was true,” Gamble cut him off. “You think everything you say is true, but it’s not. Your beliefs don’t make something true. That’s… that’s what we’re doing here.”
She somehow shed some light on this apocalyptically horrifying case.
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/premier-league-is-back-and-we-are-at-peace-again-41894686.html The Premier League is back and we are at peace again