For some crazy reason I have decided to avoid all forms of top-flight football for the entire 2015/2016 season. Personally, I blame Ley lines. Then again, it might be the bottle of Glen Moray in my kitchen. It’s hard to tell.
The basic idea is simple. When I was growing up in 70’s and 80’s London, football was a part of life. An enjoyable distraction that kept itself to itself. It may have been the glow of childhood innocence, but it was a game in proportion to its surroundings. Or at least it seemed to be. Apart from hooliganism and the occasional mad transfer (Trevor Francis anyone?), football didn’t really impinge on the rest of our culture.
Since the start of the Premier League this has rapidly changed. English football is now a global franchise that reaches into every aspect of life. It’s marketing is so powerful that it’s become a vehicle to flog everything from American insurance to Japanese car tyres. Travel to the farthest reaches of Africa and you are virtually guaranteed to see some boys running around in a Man Utd or Liverpool jersey. Even the BBC news manages to somehow wedge in some footy news between the destruction of Syria and Ukraine. It is omnipresent. Everywhere.
So I am going to try and find out if it is possible to avoid football entirely. This means no Premier League, Champions League or International Football for an entire season. Plus, I will have to avoid all forms of football news written in the newspapers or online.
I started this frankly ludicrous scheme on Saturday. And I have to tell you it isn’t easy. I am now on my fifth day. Apart from the Chelsea, Man Utd and Arsenal results I don’t know anything about the first weekend of the season. I doubt very much if it will stay that way, but I’m going to have a punt.
Can you cut English football out of your life? Or is it simply too much of a monster? Only time will tell…
I will be writing about my rapid descent into social isolation here: