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Football keeps little people in their place.

Byline: Joan Burnie

FOOTBALL is really a game for a pathetic bunch of losers. I'd spell the word with a "t" and add an "s" but the editor wouldn't let me.

But what else can you call them after the evidence of the past few days? There was that hyped up, manufactured Rooney saga as England's alleged finest ramped up his wages while treating his fans with total contempt - contempt, to be frank, which they deserved.

They should have been petitioning Sir A to sell him off pretty damn quickly to the highest bidder. Then praying he broke both his overpaid pins. Permanently.

But no, Wayne's their very own prodigal son. So give him the money and fatten up his bank account, no matter how outrageous his demands.

For years they've indulged Rooney beyond all reason and treated him like a little tin god in Man U kit. No wonder he doesn't just think, but KNOWS he can get away with anything he likes. He feels absolutely nothing for those who actually pay for the red shirt on his back - and all the rest.

So while he swans it in Dubai with Coleen and his pounds 250,000 quid a week, they're STILL shelling out for the season tickets, the scarves and the footie trash which keeps Rooney in whores and his wife in designer handbags.

Okay, maybe when he next kicks a ball, there will be a few mutters and moans from the terraces. But hey, the second he scores, all will be forgiven and the fans will happily trudge off to bag another over-priced team strip.

Doesn't matter if they've lost their own jobs and can't afford to get themselves - or even their kiddies - a decent winter coat. Supporting the team and, by extension, the super lux, mindless, decadent lifestyle of Wayne and his hangers-on is much, much more important, innit? Like Coleen, they're easily bought off. Slap a goal in the net, stick another diamond on the wife's finger and two of your own up at the fans - and everything in the Rooney garden is coming up pound signs.

Is it any wonder Wayne despises both his supporters and Coleen?

Coincidentally, Nobby Stiles's World Cup medal sold in Edinburgh on Wednesday for the equivalent of less than a week of Wayne's wages. Largely because when Stiles played, there was nothing like the same money in the game. Now he wants something out of football for his family and his old age. Fair enough. He's entitled.

But I don't think anyone could suggest that when Nobby played he had any less passion for either his club and country than Rooney. I'd even suggest he had more. Money hasn't made football better, it has poisoned it. Lolly now counts more than loyalty.

But Rooney's greed is just a sideline, a bit of a giggle even, in comparison to what we've seen up here this week.

Another Old Firm clash and off we, or rather the usual mayhem, goes again. Referees threatened, a player's family terrorised by a bunch of chanting, moronic bullies and all the shaming, inevitable rest which is attached to such fixtures. This of course includes the A and Es overflowing with bloodied bodies while domestic violence escalates. And why? Because 22 men are running up and down a pitch for 90 minutes.

Don't dare tell the fans to behave or that it's only a game. To a sizeable minority, it's life. It's also been death on more than one occasion, should a supporter be caught wearing the "wrong" colours.

Meanwhile, forget about Afghanistan. Don't bother about the Government's cuts or anything trivial like that. The real, gut-wrenching tragedy is watching your team get beat. That's what counts.

Mind you, you have to wonder if that is exactly how those in power like it.

See, you give the plebs bread and circuses or rather Wayne and Coleen to distract them while our Lords and Masters get on with quietly destroying the Welfare State and our public services.

Or is that me being just too cynical?
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUE
Date:Oct 29, 2010
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