AN OCCASIONAL WIPE OF SPORTING NEWS FROM OUR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT E.SAVINALAAR-FINNEY
TIGER STAR IN ‘CLOSET GOONER’ SLUR
The sporting world was rocked today with the accusation that controversial Judd Street Tigers opening batsman Mike ‘The Truth’ Herlihy was spotted at the Emirates Stadium last Sunday, indulging in some rabble-rousing at the Arsenal v Chelsea Premier League fixture with some mild joshing at the entertainment value of the world’s two greatest football teams.
The allegation was strenuously denied by Mister Herlihy’s agent Sedgemoor Jeffreys, who explained; ‘This is an appalling insinuation against my client’s integrity. He was not even in the country at the time, presiding over a war crimes tribunal in Nuremberg. Michael is a hard-working man of modest means and could no way afford to frequent such opulent sporting arenas as the Emirates Stadium.
‘Furthermore, he is a fervent Huddersfield Town supporter. (a club believed to have disbanded in the 1930’s). The gentleman in the photo is clearly a tribute act.’ Mister Herlihy was not available for comment.
WE ARE THE MODS, WE ARE, WE ARE THE MODS!…
Followers of North London cricket side Judd Street Tigers were shocked at the weekend by the appearance of new skipper Stewart Taylor, who rocked up to the season’s pipe-opener with Southgate Compton in Cockfosters resembling an extra from Quadrophenia , dressed in a 1960’s mod Parka, his multi-headlighted Lambretta adorning the car park. Even more disturbing was the fact that a local oddball spectator described him as ‘that tall, slim, attractive young man with curly hair’. The police have been informed.
It was not a great start to Taylor’s stewardship, despite him conscientiously relinquishing his ticket at the Emirates to lead the side, the Tigers losing a tight contest by nine runs. More controversy ensued at the post-match press conference, where Tiger Director of Cricket Steve Bignell, defending his team’s slow batting at the start of their innings, rounded on a local journalist, calling him ‘an aardvark too inflexible to catch any ants’. No one had the slightest idea what this meant, so moving swiftly on…
‘ELLO. ELLO’ ELLO, WHAT’S ALL THIS THEN!…
Joan Ryan, prospective Labour candidate for the Enfield North parliamentary constituency, was the latest prominent figure to wade into the argument over her local football club, Enfield Town, being retrospectively deducted three points for fielding an ineligible player in January, thereby debarring them from the Ryman League Premier Division play-offs having finished a creditable fifth in the final standings.
To cut a very long story short(ish), in January 2015 Enfield signed Aryan Tajbakhsh, a player who had amassed ten yellow cards to that point of the season, thereby qualifying for a two-match suspension. Unfortunately, Tajbakhsh’s previous club(s) did not notify the necessary authorities (Football Association and Ryman League), and he wrongly played in Enfield’s win over Hendon. When his new club uncovered the discrepancy they advised the authorities of the oversight, whereupon they were advised to suspend the player for the next two games and everything would be fine. The ham-fisted FA (who apparently had three separate entries for Tajbakhsh on their not-fit-for-purpose database) then performed a volte-face just prior to the last game of the season, charging both player and club with a breach of the rules.
This has become something of a cause celebre among the non-league football community, provoking a massive twitter frenzy in Enfield’s favour, so cynical observers might comment that Ms Ryan was doing her election chances no harm at all by writing both to the Ryman League and the FA on the club’s behalf, though sadly to no avail.
Readers may recall that Ryan was one of the more prominent offenders in the expenses scandal of the previous parliament, where she lost her seat to Conservative Nick de Bois in 2010. Consequently, her re-selection as candidate for the 2015 election has not been popular among Labour supporters.
Never one to miss a trick, National Socialist leader Neville Garage ploughed into the argument with his fourpennyworth – ‘This is an absolute disgrace, but the kind of thing that happens when you allow people with foreign-sounding names into grass roots sport! Football must retake control of its borders.’
Coincidentally, Hendon would have been Enfield opponents in the play-off semi-finals. The 3-point deduction has relegated them to 7th in the league, their place in the play-offs now being taken by – wait for it! – Metropolitan Police FC, who play at Imber Court, which long-toothed West X1 members may recall as the venue for a couple of fixtures with Staefa CC back in the previous millennium.
De Bois, who has his own advertising board surrounding Enfield’s pitch in Donkey Lane, appears to have wisely kept out of the dispute, presumably not wishing to be associated with a losing cause in a marginal constituency.
AND FINALLY…MORE ELECTION NEWS
A recent review of the 92 professional clubs in the English Premier and Football leagues by The Times newspaper revealed that no fewer than 68 of the clubs’ grounds reside in Labour held areas. This is even more pronounced in the Premier League* where only one club can be located in a Tory heartland. You can probably guess which one – the parliamentary constituency of Chelsea and Fulham. Since Craven Cottage no longer hosts Premier League football, that narrows it down even further.
A dull, somewhat precious blue-coloured outfit, propped up by massive personal investment, led by a pompous prig dispensing pragmatism and hypocrisy in equal measure, and deeply unloved by all but their most ardent supporters, the Conservative Party are unlikely to win a majority in next week’s election.
* Of the 19 remaining grounds, no fewer than 18 are in Labour constituencies, the one exception being Burnley (Lib Dem).