Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Level playing fields and how to create them

Football, eh? What’s the bloody point? Four teams have all the money and all the players and the rest of us might as well pack it in. What can be done to make the game more interesting as a contest and even things up a little? Tony 'Robin Hood' Matthews has been putting his brain to the matter

1. A level playing field should only be allowed for teams who are level to start with, therefore from 2007-08 every football stadium in Britain will be fitted with a hydraulic lift underneath each end of the pitch that can be raised or lowered to ensure that Man U, the Arse, Chelsea and the Scousers have to play permanently uphill at a 45 degree angle. Obvious really.

2. Adapting the ‘draft pick’ idea from American Football, our version will see fans of every club vote for their worst player of the season. That player then transfers to the club immediately at the opposite end of the league. For example, if Joe Bloggs is Torquay’s (92nd place) worst player then he must be transferred to and played by Manchester United (1st place) for the following season (playing him is compulsory). Torquay in return get Cristiano Ronaldo. Wrexham’s worst player will go to Arsenal and they'll get Thierry Henry in return and so on throughout the league. This has the advantage of giving the best players to the worst teams and the worst players to the best teams. Man Utd's customers will enjoy having the worst player in the whole league playing for them as it will give them an idea of how it feels to be a proper football fan.

3. Prize money should be switched around so that the least money goes to the champions and the most money goes to the team in last place. Admittedly, the battle for 17th place could take on an interesting edge as the losers will get more money than the team finishing just above, but it should keep the season alive to the very end.

4. Champions League teams have to enter the league cup at the first round, while those at the bottom of the league get byes to the third round. If you’re good enough you can play in every round. Arsenal should be made to play FA Cup replays even if they win the first game, just to hack off misery guts Wenger.

5. Referees will be instructed that all appeals for penalties against Man Utd, the Arse, Chelsea and the Scousers will be given regardless of whether it really was one or not. Was-it-over-the-line? type decisions will always be given in favour of the lowest placed team and not to the rich bastards.

6. Fines will be instituted for any Man Utd, Arse, Chelsea or Scouser player wearing a headband, gloves, coloured boots or sporting a stupid haircut (i.e all of them). A panel of people with very good taste (mostly comprising members of the Eagle Eye team) will decide on appropriate points deductions (expect these to be extremely harsh).

7. The ‘gloryhunter’ problem will be solved by forcing the likes of Man U to pay half of all future revenue to the gloryhunter’s proper home town team. Therefore if Man U charge, say, £30 to get in but the tourist is from Devon, then 50% will go to Exeter City or Plymouth Argyle, which should have been his intended destination in the first place. A donation will also be made to medical research to help develop artifical backbones for gloryhunters.

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