Sunday, February 17, 2019
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The latest football news from 90 Minutes Online

Hey football fans, stop teasing each other about benefits, you morons

Football fans chanting Football chants can be hilarious.

 

"He's French, he's quick, his name's a porno flick Emanuelle, Emanuelle." Funny.

 

"When you're sat... in row Z... and the ball... hits your head... that's Zamora." Also funny.

 

Most chants aren't quite so amusing, just a matter of fact reminder of shirt colour.

 

 

Lots of chants, though, are deeply offensive. One chant upsets me more than any other, because it reminds me of just how remarkably disgusting the Premier League is.

 

"We pay your benefits."

 

Did you hear that during the south coast derby last Sunday? I first heard it at Arsenal's Emirates Stadium. I was in the away end, quietly rooting for the Gunners amongst a couple of thousand Hull City supporters. My girlfriend was a Tiger, the tickets a present sent from her family on Humberside.

 

At the time, it seemed funny, partly I suppose because of the away fans' witty riposte - "You pay our benefits, you pay our benefits..."

 

But you don't have to think too long or too hard to see this chant is, in fact, the perfect illustration of everything that's wrong with the Premier League - now little more than an insanely dull consumer product peddled by the super rich.

 

In Chavs, Owen Jones talks about a genius right wing invention - the phrase 'white working class'. It's genius because, with one yank, it pulls the wool over the eyes of millions, turning them against innocent targets, deflecting attention from what's really going on.

 

After all, why care that tax avoiding multi-national corporates are screwing our economy up the arse, when your sister's been on the housing list for 2 years and an Albanian family have just moved into the 3-bed flat next door?

 

I can think of few things more absurd than millions of people, equally ripped off by our political and corporate elites, splitting into groups to blame each other for the situation they're in. It's bollocks, total bollocks, and millions of people fall for it hook line and sinker. But hey, if it's written down by Katie Hopkins, printed by the Daily Mail, or said on air by Kay Burley, it must be true right?

 

And as they fall for this sham, so too do they fall for the great Premier League swindle, year after year. A wonderful microcosm of 2015 Britain, isn't it? In what fucked up world do 20 sports teams get to share 8,500,000,000 quid's worth of TV money, yet still get away with charging fans over a grand a year to watch? I suppose the same world in which UK company AstraZeneca can make $4.5bn global profits but pay £0 UK corporation tax.

 

Never mind the bonkers gulf in income between your average football fan and even the shittest of Premier League benchwarmers (it takes Wilfred Bony less than an hour to earn my weekly wage). Now we've got income trolling going on inside the ground? Ah, yes, well I suppose even in a football stadium some families are more 'hard-working' than others, right Dave?

 

I grew up in Islington, on a council estate, on benefits. So it would've been obvious to me who was doing the chanting at the Emirates Stadium, even if I'd been watching on telly and not from a padded seat in the away end. That's what the majority of the Arsenal's crowd is now. An uncomfortable blend of the wealthy, and working class people who think benefit cheats and immigrants are legitimate targets for their frustrations. So little surprise, then, to hear it there.

 

But who the fuck was doing the chanting at Southampton vs. Bournemouth? Seriously, who? Neither part of the country tops the earnings charts. But here we are, this is what we've ended up with. Working class people bickering in the stands over who's carrying who, all handing over amazing proportions of their meagre salaries to multi-billionaires, for the privilege of watching 20-something multi-millionaire Ferrari-drivers play sport.

 

With these grotesque chasms in wealth all around, is it any wonder fans are so quick to turn on their underperforming players? No, it isn't. When it takes you 179 years to earn Wilfied Bony's annual salary, your tolerance levels for shite football are gonna be pretty fucking low.

 

And all the while Scudamore must be loving it, listening to working class fans tease each other about how little they've got, while he adds a few more barrow loads to the pile of cash he's made for himself and his super-rich, sugar-daddy club owners. It makes me fucking sick. Here's a wonderful quote from an interview Scudamore gave to, oh yes, the Daily Mail:

 

"‘If you have an asset, I think any one of us is allowed to monetise or sell or commercialise that asset for what somebody else is prepared to pay. All we do here is we have an asset and we sell that asset to the highest bidder.

 

"Fundamentally, that is what life is about. When you go around the world, you see that in different cultures. Even in the slums of India, we have been there and we have walked them, and there is an entrepreneurial culture where they are trying to trade with each other."

 

Yes ladies and gents, that's right. Forget love, or family, or compassion, or empathy, or happiness. Life is about monetising assets and selling them to the highest bidder, just ask the residents of India's slums. Holy shiting Christ.

 

 

So this is a huge, hate-filled fuck you to anybody who's ever chanted 'we pay your benefits', and anybody who's ever laughed at it. And to Richard Scudamore, and Sky, and BT, and anybody else responsible for turning a normal sport for normal people into a nasty, money-making 'product' for people who can barely raise an eyebrow in interest for the game itself.

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