World Cup Rant !!

Well.......just 6 days to go before we all go World Cup crazy, if in fact that state does not already prevail. For sure no single evening passes without a plethora of World Cup orientated material going out via the Beeb, ITV and Rupert`s crew.
Much of this material is insultingly superficial ,finishing up as merely a PR trailer for FIFA` s flagship tournament. You will say" that`s fair enough" ,I am sure," it`s just that........ football`s big event...a once in  every 4 years bonanza of all that is great about the game".
For sure most of the best players will be there.....Messi....Suarez....Pirlo, and  all the best teams, and with the usual over hyped English interest thrown in however briefly.

Arena Corinthians, San Paulo.

What will sadly be missing however is any link with reality. Reality is on view in the Favela`s,  crumbling away in the shadow of all the World Cup stadia.

Favela shacks, San Paulo.

 These house millions of impoverished Brazilians, to whom  `Arena Corinthians' in San Paulo and Estadio do Maracana in Rio loom like a gigantic two fingered salute in their direction, from their ineffectual government,

Maracana Stadium


                                                        ..... and FIFA  unfortunately join them.
FIFA  go further.....having  fashioned their very own two fingered salute aimed at football supporters the world over with the dubious siting of WC 2022 in Qatar, despite likely 50c temperatures on match days forecast and a plethora of unfortunate accounts leaking out as to the plight of migrant workers thereabouts. The ITUC recently described Qatar as a `slave state' , and its one with little or no `previous 'on record as far as football is concerned- they have not featured on the radar prior to the voting on WC 2022, of which the least said the better.
Should we be concerned about these matters, or should we just sit back and enjoy what will almost certainly be a feast of wonderful football? It`s a question that is hard to answer...striving to keep `politics` out of football is laudable if a touch naive. Politics is very much in there plugging away and what keeps the suits at FIFA...UEFA and our own FA in a job.
Football is at a crossroads and it cannot exist forever on a diet of extravagant circuses, whilst ignoring the real world and allowing its own grass roots to wither and die, 

Grass roots action!

and it is heartening to see FSF and Supporters Direct flourishing , and in the vanguard of resistance to  retrograde steps such as those proposed by ex media man Greg Dyke. Leading on from this I would say it is important that supporters get involved more at club level. Ultimately and however slowly, this is the key to changing what we do not like about our game.
The Stockport County Supporters Cooperative recently clocked 571 members- a rapid rise in just 5 months from 63.

The County fan base in action !

If more of our massive fan base joined the Coop they would be greatly boosted in their efforts to save the Club and improve the lot of County fans. Great oaks from small acorns grow!
I shall be watching the World Cup of course, and enjoying much of it, whilst awaiting the start of real football in July when County take on Jim`s lads at Northwich.

Ian Brown


  1. Excellent article. Its so easy to blank these bad aspects out but someone has got to keep reminding the money guys that there are real people out there.


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