Football. The beautiful game. Lads down the park, jumpers for goalposts. “On me 'ead son!” 1966 and all that.
Oh yes, and massive prices.
With the publication of the BBC’s annual Price of Football survey, we’ve all got carte blanche to bemoan the cost of a meat pie at the footy, and go on about how blooming disgusting these players wages are.
Somewhat surprisingly, the average cost of a football season ticket has either been frozen or dropped slightly. However, it's still hugely expensive.
Of course, we won’t really do anything about it.
The thing with football is that, unlike most other things in life, customers – or ‘fans’ – don’t tend to switch teams.
Rather than vote with their feet and leave in their droves, fans would generally much rather go on self-important marches from pubs they'd be in to grounds they'd be going to anyway, than doing the most effective thing by not attending and taking their business elsewhere.
Here at Covered mag, where scouring the market for the best deal and customer disloyalty is quite literally beaten into us with a birch stick during induction, we find this a curious stance.
Say, for instance, that you’re a Manchester United supporter who’s grown tired of the paucity of trophies and turgid football of the post-Alex Ferguson era. Why not pitch up at the City of Manchester Stadium and enjoy the magnificent spectacle of the petrodollar-funded champagne football that Manchester City serve up instead?
So you’re an Arsenal fan feeling starved of success? Chelsea are just a short tube ride away and win trophies galore (not just the odd FA Cup), with cheaper season ticket prices too. The less said about their current league position the better though…
We witnessed it closer to home several years ago, when Cardiff City fans took to the streets of the Welsh capital to protest against benevolent Malaysian tycoon Vincent Tan’s decision to make the Bluebirds wear red.
It would have been an eminently sensible decision, the Money Shot feels, for the fans in question to simply take a trip down the M4 and cheer on the prudently run Swansea City, a team which consistently punches above its weight.
News in brief
Rents are officially ‘very high’, with the average cost of paying a landlord to keep a roof over your head reaching £816 per month.
The gender pay gap extends to bonuses, with only 29% of female workers getting them compared to 44% of men, according to a survey by jobs site Glassdoor.
It’s National Curry Week, and the Nationwide Building Society reckons we spend £340 a year on takeaways.
Money Shot letters
To whom it may concern,
Having enjoyed an engaging piece in last week’s ‘mag’ entitled ‘The Honey Shot’, I felt inclined to share best practice on the so-called ‘carrier bag charge’.
I’d like to inform your readers that my long-running nightclub establishment in Barnsley (‘Dave’s Place’) is refusing to implement this latest dictate of the Orwellian state.
Should anyone order their four-pack of Watneys Red Barrel from the bar, they’ll be served them in a fine, new, non-degradable bag, accompanied by a smile and a wink… but NOT an additional charge.
Should any so-called ‘government inspectors’ try looking into my accounts and asking what’s happened to the so-called ‘donations to good causes’ that Dave’s Place should have made, they’ll be told that our well-known rodent infestation led to the destruction of our bag stock.
Dave Dominguez, Mumbles
Join us next week for another imaginary card-brandishing edition of the Money Shot. Until then, send us your letters.