THROWING ONE’S WEIGHT AROUND
The last time we saw our city-boy cousin Buy Sell Buy Sell Red Braces Fuel-Injected Convertible Front-Tail Extension Smug Square-Jawed Floppy-Fringe-Covered Extremely-Smackable-Face Fiver, he was throwing his Bottega Veneta woven loafers up on his desk to wait a month for the Premier League to green-flag the takeover of Newcastle United by popular feelgood collective Saudi Arabia. But only a week later, something else has cropped up, and he wasn’t very happy at all when we shouted at him earlier to get up and do some effing work.
To be fair, the main reason for his discontent had little to do with the request itself, and more because our sudden yelling caused him to wake with a start, fall backwards off his chair, his legs tilting upwards, the weave of his loafers snagging in the cord of the ceiling fan above his desk, turning it on to full power and spinning him around the office at great velocity. The centrifugal force caused him to black out at regular intervals, which at least momentarily stopped the screaming. An unfortunate business, all told, especially as The Fiver now faces a workplace tribunal and possible police charges, but at least it got us two-thirds of the way through the top story on yet another quiet news day, so every cloud and all that.
It does however mean that it’s left to The Fiver to explain the latest development in this big Toon deal. And it’s this: Qatar-based broadcaster and Richard Keys enablers beIN Sport have written to all the Premier League clubs urging them to nix it. That’s because they hold the TV rights for the Middle East, and angrily claim that Saudi Arabia is allowing a pirate firm, the provocatively titled beoutQ, to illegally broadcast matches in the country. In other words, don’t bite the hand that feeds. The Saudis vigorously deny the charge, leaving the Premier League to make an unenviable choice: annoy the people who put hundreds of millions into the game … or the people who are promising to put hundreds of millions into the game. Po’ Premier League! It’s tough when the buck stops with you, as The Fiver fears it will soon find out. And that’s before we foot the bill for BS Fiver’s replacement shoes and therapy.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“We need to stand up together and for each other and support each other. That’s why I think Megan Rapinoe should be respected by footballers around the world, because she’s taken a beating for all of us and for the game and we need strong voices like that. The more voices you have, the more impact you can leave on the sport” – Lyon and Norway’s Ada Hegerberg gets her chat on with Suzy Wrack.
“Re: memorable games (Fiver letters passim). Back in the mid-90s, a few friends and I made the trip to see Wimbledon v Southampton at Selhurst Park. That evening, extremely refreshed from the day’s pre- and post-match activities, we were stumbling home past an old, derelict house, which we immediately decided must be haunted and warranted further investigation. Walking through an unlocked door into a pitch-black room, myself and one other chap dropped suddenly into a gaping hole in the floor. My mate landed badly, catching his arm across a beam of wood, which required immediate medical attention (the arm, not the wood) and subsequent operation to fix a shattered elbow – pins, screws, the whole shooting match. To this day he cannot straighten that arm. Days after the event I noticed that a button on the shirt I had been wearing had broken in half and was barely attached to the garment. I was otherwise entirely unscathed. He remains understandably unhappy that he required emergency corrective surgery and subsequent physiotherapy as a result of that ill-advised excursion, while I required a trip to the haberdashery. I struggle with my own form of survivor’s guilt, but I get by” – Robert Young.
“Re: football songs in the 70s and 80s (Fiver letters passim). A while back I wrote this on football songs of the 80s. Watching Dunfermline visit the Pebble Mill studios is enjoyable, but my particular favourite is Arsenal’s 1989 We’re Back (Where We Belong): ‘We only had a minute and then we went and did it.’ Stand aside, Milli Vanilli” – Steve Pye.
“Last October, when Liverpool were starting to look invincible, I bet a Liverpudlian pal that they still will not have won the league after 30 years. That date is next Tuesday. But I now have a moral dilemma in that he claims they ‘would have won it’, all things being equal by now. But a date’s a date, right, and a bet is a bet? And Liverpool still aren’t league champions. I imagine Theme Pub O’Fiver would suggest that me and said scouser just take the money and go on the lash, but the pubs are still closed. What would $exually Repressed Morris-dancing Fiver do? What would Weird Uncle Fiver do? [you don’t want to know – Fiver Ed]” – Justin Kavanagh.
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NEWS, BITS AND BOBS
One of the lawyers representing Rui Pinto hopes the man behind the Football Leaks website, who is under house arrest awaiting trial for attempted blackmail, could soon be released as negotiations with the Portuguese authorities continue.
Scottish fitba is in line to get the green light to end its season after Uefa indicated that cancelled leagues would be allowed to take part in European competition after all.
Meanwhile, the top two leagues in Sweden hope to get their seasons up and running on 14 June – and with crowds in the stadiums.
Crystal Palace are strong-arming their way into the conversation for oldest Football League club, despite not joining a league until 1905.
And six-year-old Luigi D’Agostino has won a competition to create Pescara’s new kit. The Serie B side will wear his dolphin-inspired design next season.
STILL WANT MORE?
“Medicine is a vocation. I felt I had to help” – Diego Cervero, a Spanish striker and qualified doctor, tells Sid Lowe about stepping up to the coronavirus frontline.
Germany v Italy at the 2006 World Cup was an instant classic, settled in dramatic fashion deep into extra-time. Here’s Nicky Bandini on her favourite game.
Which England player’s only caps came at a World Cup? Plus slowly-built stadiums, defunct sponsors and more in this week’s Knowledge.
Doomed DIY projects? Pointless Instachat video sessions? Nothing comes close to filling the void left by football, writes Cameron Carter.
Oh, and if it’s your thing … you can follow Big Website on Big Social FaceSpace. And INSTACHAT, TOO!