In this week’s Offside Treble, Jen Offord muses on the costs of football fandom, Rio’s slip-up and other social media gaffes.
Money Money Money
It’s all about the Benjamins AGAIN this week, with the BBC launching “The Price of Football”, which is pretty much what it says on the tin – an in-depth investigation into the costs of being a football fan in England. I don’t want to ruin the ending for you, but it probably won’t come as a huge surprise that the BBC concludes, ultimately, it’s well expensive.
In news less surprising than the Pope being very much a confirmed Catholic, we are told the cost of ticket prices “outstrips the cost of living”. Yeah, it’s rubbish, rich people shouldn’t be able to do loads of stuff that less rich people can’t, I agree. That said, though it’s been a while since I studied the indices of multiple deprivation in any real detail, I’m pretty sure tickets to Premier and Football League matches don’t make the criteria, yet. I think we need some perspective here – it’s ok that each year it costs proportionally more to watch something fun than it does to eat, isn’t it?
But let’s get to the important bit: the most you’ll pay for a pie in English football is £4.50 at Kidderminster. I’d like more information please, BBC. What flavour is that pie and how does it compare in size to, for instance, a large West Cornwall Pasty Company Steak & Ale pasty retailing at £4.85? If it’s chicken & leek – I agree, you’re being ripped off.
This week, Rio Ferdinand is in the news AGAIN, offending other people rather than being offended, it seems. This time it’s the FA on behalf of women, by using the word “sket” on Twitter back in September. Responding to a tweet about the closing transfer window “Maybe QPR will sign a good CB they need one”, Rio suggests “Get ya mum in, plays the field well son! #sket”, which apparently means “slag”. #wrongvibe.
The FA, who clearly respect women very much, aren’t happy about it and have charged Ferdinand for his offensive language. Obviously it’s not great that we still live in a world where there’s an enormous double standard regarding male and female sexuality, and a man so vocal about other equality issues should probably be having a word with himself about this one. That said, I’m no stranger to the deployment of a simple but effective “your mum” joke myself, so I sympathise with Rio here. He clearly meant this to be taken as a light-hearted jibe, rather than a denouncement of womankind. Maybe the FA could prove it respects women in other ways, say for example, by securing pay for women footballers that isn’t plainly embarrassing compared to men’s? Or perhaps by increasing the representation of women on boards at football clubs? I could go on.
All Fall Down
It seems no one is safe from the threat of Ebola, not least former Crystal Palace player, Dele Adebola, who had a bad week on Twitter. Before accidentally posting a link to Porn Hub on the social networking site, earlier in the week he expressed gratitude for a follower’s concern, but confirmed he had never had Ebola and urged them to stop asking him about it.
But his fans aren’t the only people worried about the killer virus’ impact on the beautiful game. Taking a leaf out of the age-old politicians’ “distract them all by banging on about other places” policy, under-threat Newcastle manager, Alan Pardew, has expressed concerns about players competing in the Africa Cup of Nations, held in Morocco in January. Pardew revealed he has “a strategy for when (his players) return” and sagely advises “we all have to be on our guard”. I’m going to take this opportunity to advise Pards to check out the medical advice on how Ebola is spread. It mostly involves bodily fluids, which I suppose, given the content of Adebola’s other tweets, could be the root of his concern.