Disclaimer: I’m sick and grumpy, and that will be reflected in this post.
If you follow football you’ll know that there’s only been one story this week that people care about: Wayne Rooney’s bust-up with Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson. Apparently there’s been a major fall-out between the two, although Fergie at a press conference at Old Trafford today [ED: Tuesday] that the two had never argued. But he did confirm that Rooney wants to leave Man U. (For a full transcript of the presser statements regarding Rooney, visit: The Guardian.)
Only one question remains to be asked: Who the hell cares?
Honestly, in the week where the Sunday Times in the UK bust two Fifa officials for accepting bribes, payments and favours in return for their votes to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, the world was completely fixated on a handbags-at-15-paces battle between two hot-headed, red-faced gits. Is that what soccer fans have become? More interested in this fued than in fraud and corruption which seems to have become endemic throughout the world’s football governing body? Really? (For more on Fifa and their antics, visit Andrew Jennings’ site Transparency in Sport.)
Man U is the biggest club in the world – argue all you want, Barca fans, but you’re wrong – and Rooney is one of England’s biggest sports celebrities, but does this justify it being given more promenance than graft by Fifa officials? Surely not. There’s got to be something wrong with sports fans if this is the case.
And now people are saying, ‘Will Rooney leave Manchester in January?’ and ‘Where will he move to?’ Again it must be asked: Who cares?
Here’s the problem, in my mind at least. We’ve greated demi-gods out of our sports stars. We allow our lives to revolve around their actions. We’ve lost perspective.
That’s how we’ve allowed obscene amounts of money to exchange hands in world football. It should not be possible that one player – a person who just happens to be good at sport – to be worth £100-million. But it is. And it’s scary.
So, what is the solution? Stop caring? Stop giving a shit? Idealistically, yes. But in reality, no, this isn’t the way out. We just have to keep perspective. Failing which, well… nothing will happen. Except we’ll look like idiots.