BTL has been spoilt for choice this week as the world of football has shown its more vicious side with a cavalcade of incidents, illegal activity and ill thought out comments.
The place to start has to be Newcastle. Just what exactly was Alan Pardew thinking when he headbutted David Meyler? His side were leading 3-1 away at Hull and well on the way to an impressive victory, when he produced the most pointless, ridiculous moment of madness.
Pardew’s not new to conflict; only a few months ago he labelled Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini a “f***ing old c**t” in another touchline outburst. But Meyler-gate is a new low, even for his standards. He has been charged by the FA for the incident and he awaits his punishment.
The Toon manager has been slated by footballers, pundits and the press for his ridiculous action – some have even called for him to lose his job. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the living, breathing and tweeting moral plumb line that is Joey Barton has rushed to Pardew’s defence, who has described the incident as “massively over-hyped”. Still, being defended by Barton isn’t particularly a ringing endorsement.
From Tyneside, BTL moves on to the Welsh capital, where Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan has offered his players an illegal £3.7million to share if they stay up.
This whole exercise – illegal because the Premier League stipulates any bonuses should be declared before the season begins – seems pointless. The Bluebirds (or Red Dragons, if you’re Vincent Tan) have a large squad of players earning massive amounts of money. Sharing £3.7million between them would be like sharing out a fun-size bag of Malteasers in a busy lecture theatre.
A final word has to go to Sol Campbell. Kudos must go to anyone who speaks out against the injustice of racism, which still goes on in sport today. But for Campbell to suggest he’d have been the England captain had he been white seems presumptuous and unfounded, particularly when he played for the national team whilst the side was captained by Paul Ince.
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