Football Crazy.

It wasn’t that long ago, after a poor performance in Europe by one of our two great football teams, I got a fare in one of the more leafy areas of the city. It was rather late and drunken and disappointed fans had long since hung up on football phone-ins after moaning about about “poor performances” and “lack of commitment”.
I pulled up outside a large detached house and watched as two visions of loveliness headed down the drive in high heels and mini dresses.
They got in the back and asked for a famous Liverpool nightspot and off we went.
“I wanted to stay in tonight I’ve got university in the morning”
“You’ve got to come, he told me to bring a mate”
“I’ve got no money”
“It’s okay, he always gives me money anyway”
“Do you think ***** will be there? I hope he doesn’t bring his girlfriend, if he is on his own I am going to f**k him tonight, unless ***** is there, I’d sooner do him”
When we pulled up at the establishment and as I waited to be paid, I couldn’t help but notice that there were an awful lot of gorgeous young ladies standing outside. I watched, as a smart, blacked out windowed Range Rover arrived and ***** got out with someone I assumed to be his girlfriend. The girls outside the car crackled with energy, there were so many pheromones flying around I almost had to put on my wipers. From the back of my car I heard
“He’s brought that f**king slag, how am I going to get him alone?”
And with that, my customers alighted and teetered on impossible high heels, smoothing impossibly tight dresses, towards their rivals and their destiny.
Now, by rights, I should have enjoyed watching them walk away. But to be honest I was profoundly depressed. Depressed that in the twenty first century these intelligent young woman were prepared to be summoned, late at night, to a venue in the city on what can only be described as, a promise.
Jane Austin it wasn’t.
I later joked to a friend that they would have to change the newspaper cliché of
“The national grid saying twenty million kettles were switched on at full time”
“Twenty million hair straighteners”.
I thought of those girls again today, as a certain Mr Rooney attempts to claim asylum in Switzerland on the grounds that if he returns home his life is in danger (I’ve seen a Croxteth girl kick off, it isn’t pretty) one wonders who is to blame for the current craze of footballing sleaze.
It’s easy to blame the players themselves, point the finger at the hedonistic young scoundrels bedding all that wilt in their arms. Phallic scythes cutting down all who nurse a glass of champagne before them.
Maybe we should look at the girls, whose lack of self respect and greed distorts their moral compass in such a manner as to make them bed fodder. Willingly succumbing to a liaison that could be the equivalent to a lottery win. Or as in the most recent alleged case, selling themselves for a grand a time... in return for a grand old time.
Or maybe it is us, we who read the headlines, buy the football shirts and subscribe to Sky. It is us who have put these boys on Olympus, should we be surprised if they start to act like gods? It’s also a cruel irony that the man who puts the money in the footballer’s pockets, the man who created these Croesus monsters is the one who seems intent of bringing them down. Only thwarted by super injunctions and lawyers, a case of “the media lord giveth, and the media lord taketh away... your celebrity endorsements”.
The world moves on, and points of reference change, the days of Dixie Dean eating his fish and chips on the bus home are long gone, and they aren’t coming back. There is no pink echo, only pink thongs, and maybe we shouldn’t be surprised that intelligent, beautiful young woman want to get rich using their skills, they are only looking at young men who did the same.
Besides, it was Jane Austin who wrote in her novel Mansfield Park
“A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of.”

(This piece originally appeared in Liverpool Confidential Sept 2010).