Hi folks, no Arsenal this weekend as the brain trust in the FA and Premier League have put their massive intellect to the test and once again come up with the exact wrong answer and chosen to cancel the football out of what they are calling respect for the passing of Elizabeth Windsor, queen of the United Kingdom.
It is exactly the kind of short sighted decision making that is the hallmark of the football organizations in England. The heads of the various FAs and the PL got together for a zoom meeting and a glass of sherry and decided to cancel this weekend’s entire football calendar, a decision which will have ramifications for months to come, which will contribute further to the already incredible fixtures pileup, which will cause football fans to lose money and possibly not be able to see matches that they have been planning for months to get to, and which will also cause casual workers, contractors, and hourly employees to miss out on a paycheck just at the time that England is suffering an energy crisis and bills are at an all time high.
Perhaps the dumbest part of this decision is that they will absolutely need to postpone more games in the future because of this and this was the exact wrong time to postpone games. Why more games in the future? Well, there’s the funeral which will likely snarl all travel to the capital along with requiring all available police to be on duty just for that event. And then there’s the coronation of Charles Windsor – where the Lady of the Lake will throw Excalibur at him while Merlin chants the Charm of Making.
Sorry, I know you’re grieving but this kings and queens stuff is objectively funny to me, an American. See, we prefer our kings to crown themselves after pretending that an election was stolen and then getting their armed hooligans to storm the capitol and threaten to kill the vice president. I guess what I’m saying is that we believe in democracy!
In other football news…
Football itself isn’t canceled and there is a lot of it on this weekend. My first recommendation is Napoli v. Spezia which is on at 0600 my time and is available live on Paramount +. Napoli have an exciting attacking team and a young guy to watch named Kvaratskhelia. They call him “Kvaradona” in Naples because of his unpredictable playing style and because he’s pretty magic. The cat’s out of the bag on him already but if you want to see a guy who’s going to go for 100m this summer, check him out.
At noon on Saturday switch over to Marseille v. Lille. Marseille played Tottenham this week and gave them a hell of a run before they had a player sent off for DOGSO (I think). Alexis Sanchez plays for them along with Guendouzi and Kolasinac but the real star is Nuno Tavares. Igor Tudor has found a way to maximize his attacking and defensive output (and no it’s not just because the league is bad and the opponents are “lower level”) by moving him slightly higher up the pitch and letting him play a more attacking role. He’s still got the occasional frustrating turnover where he either dribbles into a triple team or just stands there with the ball uncertain what to do but we are watching the progression of a very good young player.
On Sunday, I’ll start with Atalanta v. Cremonese at.. 0330am my time (Pacific). I will be honest and say I’m going to skip the first half and start at my normal wake up time. But the match I’ll probably really watch is Toulouse v. Reims. Reims’ leading scorer is a kid named Balogun who has 5 goals and an assist in 4 starts for Reims. Reims and Toulouse are in 14th and 15th place respectively so this could be a good old fashioned mud bowl!
As for next week’s matches that’s sort of still up in the air. Arsenal are supposed to host Eindhoven on Thursday the 15th but who the hell knows what kind of weird forced mourning that the authorities are going to push on the Premier League teams. We also don’t 100% know when the Premier League will return (especially for Arsenal) because of the impending burial. Also expect further disruptions for the coronation of Charles which will undoubtedly require a shutdown.
Maybe the problem with American governance is that there isn’t anyone of stature significant enough to warrant the postponement of something as important as the weekend sports.
Just to be sure, that’s a bad thing, right?
Yeah, sorry but I disagree. A system which grants false superiority and untold riches to a single family because of their lineage is something I want to have nothing to do with.
But I’m sure Trump would agree: when he dies, he would want everything stopped for at least a week.
And here we go… another nuanced situation reduced to black and white. The Royal Family, Nobility or Leeches? There’s truth to both arguments, so why lurch solely into one camp or the other? Certainly the Royals are gifted comfort and wealth, but it doesn’t come for free. Would you choose a life of privilege on condition that much of what you do is not only prescribed but is scrutinized and analyzed for correctness, right down to the color of the socks you chose to go with your very correct navy pants? I wouldn’t want to live in that kind of blazing-hot spotlight, no matter how many flunkies were at my beck.
As far as governance goes, the Royals don’t wield a lot of power, that lies with Parliament and the lobbyists and corporate interests that buy their influence (just like here). For me the important difference is that the Queen, and I’m guessing those whose immediate futures are already mapped out by the responsibility of ascendancy, actually cared about the well-being of the country. It’s one of the benefits of not having to deal with re-election (and who’s arse you have to lick to ensure it), you can actually focus your energy on doing your job. In the moral desert of modern politics, losing someone who represented grace and dedication is worth mourning; all we’re niggling over is whether sacrificing a week’s-worth of footie, with all the scheduling headaches that brings, is overkill. Of course if those who live with the uncomfortable echoes of British imperialism choose not to mourn too deeply, I totally get that too.
As you point out, Trump would love the world to grieve at his passing; whereas Queen Elizabeth would be uncomfortable and a little embarrassed at all the fuss. The Leech and the Lady; please don’t compare the two.
Can you explain to me why anyone in their right mind would support any aristocracy?
Wow, that’s a big ask! I’m no political science expert so probably not, but it’s a valid question so…
I think there are benefits inherent in a constitutional monarchy that make it a system at least worth considering. Here’s a pretty basic list of pros and cons you could take a look at: https://vittana.org/13-key-constitutional-monarchy-pros-and-cons. It’s not without its problems and I wouldn’t suggest it as an option in the US (sadly?), but it can be a stable and effective form of government so to suggest that nobody in their right mind could conceivably support such a thing seems a bit closed-minded. The amount of power given to the monarch can be closely controlled by the constitution (as in the UK), making for a flexible system that could be designed to operate in a variety of situations. I’d be more inclined to classify as nuts anyone who tries to justify the current version of American Democracy, that this country seems to think is so freakin’ special. Care to take a stab at that?
Thanks for the link.
You don’t need a monarch or an aristocracy in order to have a functioning democratic government.
I am not a fan of America’s Republican Democracy. A form of government which was LITERALLY set up so that people could own other people, in which only the landed gentry (white men) could vote which violently murdered the native people and stole their land.
“Doing your job”, what job?, thankfully I live in a Republic (Ireland) and we ran that monarchy nonsense out of (most) of our country 100 years ago.
So, as an African, (Nigerian precisely)..I should mourn someone whose ancestors where directly responsible for enslaving my ancestors, destroying kingdoms and empires, stealing our artifacts and looting our natural resources in order to build their wealth …er…NO THANKS…
That’s not what I said. I wouldn’t presume to tell you how to feel.
Each to his own. I am from the Far East and over here we respect the Queen.
The British people would like to apologise to you that you don’t get to watch 22 people chasing after a ball this weekend, because a lady who spent over 70 years serving our country (and many others), patroned over 600 charities and carried out over 300 official engagements each per year even in her 90s, had the temerity to pass away. You’re absolutely correct, how disgraceful of the FA.
On the plus side those poor contractors who won’t receive the money to put on their heating while it’s over 20C in the U.K. have a decent chance of receiving that money when they need it more when it’s cold here.
You can show respect without cancelling everything. She was great, life goes on. The King is already on the throne. It’s 2022, tradition is worth remembering but maybe dial down the Gormenghast claptrap.
I like your idea that people only need to be paid at the exact moment they need to spend it though. We should go back to a barter system, building walls in exchange for a chicken for dinner.
The monetary point was a response to the ridiculousness of Tim scraping the barrel for justifications for his argument.
I’ll answer the respect points in response to your message below
Not particularly enthused to mourn the symbolic head of a political state directly responsible for subjugation and exploitation of my people and many others.
Then don’t. But don’t criticise us for doing so
You can celebrate or do whatever you want David. That has nothing to do with the football. If you wanted to mourn for a month and skip all the football you very easily could have. That would have been your choice.
I would have understood if they needed to cancel because all the state’s resources needed to be directed at securing the cities during, say, a funeral (which is probably going to be next week).
But the decision to cancel all football in England this weekend was absurd and taken without consideration for the effects it has on millions of people in England. This is forced mourning. And it was taken because the people who made the decision are out of touch and don’t care about fans, workers, or pretty much anyone. Either that or they are among the stupidest people on earth, which isn’t necessarily mutually exclusive, I’ll concede.
I have plenty of football to watch, David, thanks.
I’m happy that she did some charitable works and worked 300 days a year. You’re right to point those out because she in no way had to do them and could have still remained queen and one of the richest people in the world. I wonder if the Irish and Kenyans feel the same about all her good works?
And finally, are you really punching down on the hourly and contract laborers? Come on man.
Hi DAVIDINLONDON, I’m British too, from the same city and I think the games should have gone ahead this weekend. Look at the cricket and how the Queen’s death was marked there; playing the games would have allowed that to happen hundreds of times over. Your comments about the contractors were cheap and showed no understanding how many people here live.
Everyone here thinks it’s madness. Respect, fine. Have a minute of silence or applause, put a picture on the screen, wear black armbands – whatever. But trying to bring life to a halt in 2022 is insane. Cricket paused for yesterday, Rugby isn’t cancelling at all. In trying to ‘out-respect’ everyone the FA have yet again shown how out of touch they are. Yeah, it’s “only football” but this decision impacts all FA-affiliated clubs, including the local grassroots U11 team I coach; those kids are now disappointed, missing out, and wonder what the hell is going on. Bah.
I hadn’t picked up before that matches were cancelled even down to youth/grassroots. That decision I would agree was ‘boneheaded’.
Regarding the Premier League (and Conference) however, it is our national and most public (both within the U.K. and also externally-facing/watched) sport, and a difficult decision for the FA to take but entirely appropriate to cancel. Add to that there is unfortunately a history of boneheaded-ness from match-going football fans and the potential therefore for huge embarrassment.
I understand the Premier League teams were consulted before the decision was made. If you’re eg the guy from Liverpool with national and international eyes on your game, a vicious English press who will look for any excuse to shout outrage, and an unfortunate history vis-a-vis your fans and the national anthem are you really going to put your neck on the line and say sure go ahead and let’s play the national anthem / two mins silence etc. or probably better to avoid that potential banana skin.
It was the right decision to cancel, and the right way to show her respect (and avoid any potential for disrespect)
Nonsense. It just kicks the can down the road. Nothing has been avoided. We will have all the silences and all the armbands next weekend, and I’m sure plenty more anthems for you as well. So what is the point? Those who boo will boo then, those who will clap will clap then. This postponement has achieved the sum total of f all.
No football, no problem, we will still find something to fight about. COYG!
Completely agree with Tim and Andre over at Arseblog.
I think it would have been fitting for the crowds to come together at matches, observe a minute of silence, keep calm and carry on.
She was an Arsenal fan, don’t forget. The Invincibles are the only team every to be invited to Buckingham Palace for tea!
Tim, did you slip an “Excalibur” reference into your post? You jammy dodger!
The John Borman version is one of my favorite fantasy movies!
Mine too. Nicol Williamson as Merlin sets it apart for me. “For it is the doom of men that they forget”.
Plus his helmet both bizarre and badass.
I’m in for the 7 am movie night. I’ll bring the poutine popcorn (not a thing, yet)
Hi Tim. Did you see the recent film ‘The Green Knight?’
The film stars Dev Patel as Gawain, a nephew of King Arthur, who sets out on a journey to test his courage and face the Green Knight.
It’s based on an old poem and has a bit of that Excalibur time period film weirdness.
You might like it.
Looks gorgeous too!
I have not. I need to see this now.
to dovetail the previous thread with this one, there’s only one way to get the racist referee bias out of the game and that’s to educate the young guys and wait for these old, racist fuckers that are in charge to die. they’re not going to change. it’s who they are in their hearts. when they issue these “heartfelt apologies”, it’s all crap. they’re not apologizing for saying it, they’re apologizing because they got caught saying it, which puts their position of power at risk.
even our lovely, departed queen had some old bullshit to say about her own grandson because he married a black girl. harry and william are still beefing today because of oma had to disrespect harry’s wife. was she entitled to do that? is it because she was white or because she was the queen? when you’re royalty, do you even know what it is to disrespect someone?
queen elizabeth lived a long freaking time; so long that we’ll probably have to do this again next season…because charles’ number is up soon.
The queen has done a lot for charity, and generally has been dignified and a servant of the country.
But really, isn’t that pretty much the minimum, given she was rich beyond imagination and had pretty much nothing else to do?
Not like she brokered the Good Friday Accord or peace in the Middle East. Mandela did a lot with a lot less resources.
Granted, there’s a desire to keep the royals mostly out of politics. But that really means they don’t have much to do besides charitable work and looking dignified. Anything else is below a pretty low bar (see Andrew).
Charles has been already declared king, but his coronation will probably happen next summer. There’s no rush for that. They waited more than a year for the previous monarch.
That’s one less disruption, atlleast.
Looks like Thursday’s match is up in the air. If they cancel this one it will be due to problems with the number of police, rather than forced mourning.
Literally as I pushed “publish” lol.
These fucking clowns running football.
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