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Byline: James Milton

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Sky Sports 2, 7.30pm

FOOTBALL used to offer people a healthy form of escapism from the working week, writes James Milton.

Now, though, the beautiful game is mired by all the frustrations of our everyday lives.

I know it's traditional to refer to hooligans as "so-called football fans" but I reckon the real "socalled" fans are those who claim to care about sports politics.

I want to discuss John Carew's deft volley for Villa against Stoke, and Tuncay's importance for Middlesbrough, and Andrei Arshavin's arrival on these shores.

But apparently I'm expected to give a toss about the departure of Liverpool chief executive Rick Parry and its repercussions for Rafa Benitez's contract negotiations.

Who cares what impact the housing market crisis will have on Arsenal's plans to sell off their luxury Highbury flats?

Stories about property deals, financial jargon and the activities of human resources departments are indisputably the most tedious things on earth. Yet chuck in the name of a top-flight football club and suddenly everyone's banging on about them down the pub.

I don't hold out much hope of reclaiming sport from the suits, though. Not after April 6, 2008, anyway (I know, you can't beat a bit of topical humour, can you?).

That was the fateful date when Chelsea's chief executive Peter Kenyon was entrusted with one of sport's most iconic symbols, the Olympic torch.

I don't think I'll ever fully recover from that incident.


Kenyon: a great British Olympian
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Mar 3, 2009
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