Unprofessional Foul


October 13, 2008


Bigus is not a fan of Ashley Cole. Let’s start with that.

In short, I hate him. I think he is a ungracious, spoiled, greedy, two-timing t**t. What Cheryl Tweedy sees in him in beyond me! (Ed. Note: Thankfully, his missus is accepting other offers…) I don’t want Cole playing for England, but booing any England player after playing a dodgy pass across his own goal while you are winning a game is totally unacceptable and disgraceful.

Until recently I cannot remember the awful booing being a part of England’s historical past and NEVER at the old Wembley. It makes me ashamed. Booing away from home has been heard when the team is losing or playing garbage football, but not when they are winning. So why has the new Wembley been filled with boos, even when the team is winning?

When Wembley was being built, the England team traveled the Country. They played at Old Trafford, the Stadium of Light in Sunderland, Elland Road in Leeds, Villa Park in Birmingham, the Walkers Stadium in Leicester, St Mary’s in Southampton and they even played on the filthy turf at Portaloo Road. I don’t remember booing.

That’s because there was none. The traveling England roadshow gave people in different parts of the country a chance to see England, a chance they wouldn’t normally be offered. Traveling to London on a Wednesday evening to spend a ridiculous amount of moolah on a game is not really an option when you live in Gateshead and earn a modest living, but the short trip to Sunderland presents an excellent opportunity. What came from England’s tour was great support: real fans getting to see their heroes.

What is happening at Wembley is something completely different.

The only real reason for the impatience at Wembley and the expectation of 4-5 goals a game can only be created by casual England fans. Corporate watchers and the wealthy who ‘fancy a night out’. They want goals and they want them now. The new Wembley has become a haven for corporate events, the social gathering with clients, the wining and dining and the expected 5 goal entertainment. The facilities at the old Wembley were tat. Not at all ideal for ‘sealing the deal’ or treating your high-earners. High-earners who may prefer Rugby or Cricket and think that Joe and Ashley Cole are twins.

The tickets at the new Wembley are pricey but the place is full. Last Saturday’s game vs. Kazakhstan was a sell-out, and yet there were plenty of empty seats at the end of the first half and at the beginning of the second. The bars must be packed.

You see, watching England at Wembley has become the new ‘night at the theatre’. The place is filled with rich casual fans while the real fans shake their head at the cost of attending a game at Wembley AND at the booing that gives them a bad name. If the FA are not careful they will completely isolate real England supporters. I honestly feel ashamed at such behavior. You pay your money and there is nothing wrong with voicing your opinion if the team loses or is having a stinker at half-time, but booing a player for a bad pass is shocking. Even more so do it when the team is up a goal! The Football Association may need to review their ticketing policy if the team is to get the support it genuinely needs to be successful.

- But Bigus, You seem certain it’s corporate folk…How so?

If you have ever been to a Cup Final at Wembley, and I was very lucky to go to this year’s, you will note that the joint is full of real supporters from the two places competing. Real fans with real passion cheering for success. The atmosphere is electric and the noise for either side tremendous. Spine tingling in fact. Cardiff V Portsmouth doesn’t attract the corporate boo boys, but one’s Country? Big difference. It also appears to have become trendy to see England play.

The real Theatre of Dreams!

Wembley cost a fortune to build and was well over budget. The England team were supposed to get a nice new environment and the supporters a home to be proud of. But that environment appears to have a cost as the F.A look to recoup theirs. 5-1 was the final result on Saturday and that’s 3 well earned points but I didn’t feel pride afterwards, Just embarrassment.

If the best stadium in the World comes with boos and dispassionate businessmen then I’ll take the obstructed views, minuscule leg-room and the nasty loos that the old Wembley offered… gladly.

- Bigus.

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Unprofessional Foul