Yes, the headline is a coded reference to the fact that Wimbledon is still on, though so rather bizarrely is the football.
This week saw the Confederations Cup final, a sort of World Cup warm-up tournament that the Brazilians did their best to pretend they were interested in winning, as well as the Euro Under 21 Championships which featured England and Germany in the final.Both of course can be seen as contained within the 2008/09 football season calendar, which began last August. Yet also this week 2009/10 pre-season started for most Coca-Cola League clubs. So, in fact, the football seasons have now merged into one year long campaign.
Great some football fans might say, but can you get too much of a good thing? Is it another example of the commercialisation of football? After all if you want to make money out of the game you won’t want a break, you want to maximise the product and maximise profits, even if the quality drops rapidly. ‘If they like it, give em more,’ the money men will say.
Apart from making the players’ holidays shorter year on year, what we also have to put up with now is all manner of promotional tours masquerading as pre-season friendlies. They usually involve trips to ‘untapped markets’ like North America or South East Asia where they, somewhat patronisingly, expect to turn up and all of a sudden half the population will become fans and spend millions of pounds a year on merchandise.
The players spend as much time signing shirts, smiling and showing off the new kit as playing football and preparing for the new season. I doubt some of these trips have much tangible benefit to the players, jetting off all over the world with all that encompasses is hardly the best way to get fit ahead of a new campaign. But once again the chairman needs to pay the bills and if that is to be funded by opening a shop in China then so be it.
The ironic thing is they are a) giving me something to talk about over the summer and b) giving me something to watch other than tennis.
Maybe the money men are right after all?
First posted at Dangerhere.com