A few months ago I wrote a piece about my increasing disillusionment with modern day football – or perhaps more accurately modern day footballers (Falling out of Love).
I blamed the sky money, the wider media hype, and the astronomical salaries that even the average among them earn.
But the thing that I hadn’t really woken up to, until recent weeks, was how the adulation and blind loyalty from many football fans of these so called superstars has undoubtedly contributed to their increasingly tenuous link with reality.
In recent months I have witnessed football fans defend Ryan Giggs’ dalliances, Luis Suarez’s racist comments, Roberto Mancini’s imaginary card waving antics, Mario Ballotelli’s assault on Scott Parker and Royston Drenthe’s ability to fall over more theatrically than Norman Wisdom.
The tribalist attitudes that football followers are now adopting to such incidents and behaviour is taking on a whole new illogicality that can only result in players and managers alike believing that their actions, however outrageous, will never be criticised by the only people that can influence change – their own supporters.
It is a sad state of affairs, and one that I am left totally dumbfounded by. We all love our football clubs. Yes love. Equally, we all love our kids.
So, I ask you, would you defend your child if he slept with his brother’s wife? Or if he kicked another boy in the head without any provocation? Or if he threw himself on the floor screaming like a girl and waving his arms about like a whirling dervish?
No? So why defend prima donnas most of whom you know will be out of your club as soon as they get an offer of an extra thirty pieces of silver from another team?
Football fans should unite in condemning actions that are simply bringing the game into disrepute. Your love of the game should be enough to do that. If not, common sense should get you there. Unconditional love ought not extend to footballers.