Where would we Brits be without football?
The Beautiful Game inconsequential in itself but vital in providing the opportunity to step away from our every day lives and argue the pros and cons about dazzling/dirty/pathetic players, disputed goals, and shortsighted refs.
Every now again the game comes up with an occasion that focuses the attention of the whole nation; and if it’s a World Cup prompting countrywide lamentation – save for Bobby and the boys in ’66.
Yesterday’s acquittal of Spurs manager Harry Rednapp on tax evasion charges and the resignation of England coach Fabio Capello in protest at the FA stripping John Terry of our national team’s captaincy were the only stories in town.
Rare enough making major off-pitch football headlines; almost unique in breaking within hours of each other. There were still hardly any other topics for discussion today.
The Sunday newspapers will have their say and I hope fill in some of the gaps in both tales.
I’d like to know what possessed HM Revenue and Customs to pursue Rednapp and other football figures through the courts - at an estimated £8 million - when the suspect payments were trivial compared to the billions of pounds the taxman is failing to wrest from major companies.
At the same time I hope light can be shed on Capello’s present devotion to Terry when he stripped the Chelsea player of the captaincy two years ago in response to his alleged affair with the former partner of then-team mate Wayne Bridge.
We are left to think the worst of both. Perhaps HMRC were looking for an easy, high profile target, while Capello, with only four months left on his £6 million a year contract and a possible Euro 2012 drubbing in prospect, was looking for a quick exit. Say it isn't so.