Corruption at the highest level in any ‘game’ might be common, but given investigations into Fifa the 2016 sacking of the England manager after one game is shocking. Why did the FA appoint Big Sam Allardyce in the first place, given questions remain over a 2007 investigation into his dealings? Men, and it is mostly men, part with oodles of their cash to watch other men running around for a fortune. This is an insanity that keeps people sane, to a degree, away from the trouble and strife. Violence, greed, hatred, and racism are all part of the beautiful game, and all covered in my novel Spit Roast.
Too much is never enough, capitalism thriving on morally legitimizing this greed. So Big Sam is turned into a victim not of his own greed but of the media pointing this out. Indubitably, there is a transcendence and mysticism in football. When time and space in relation to matter have no affinity we become immortal. But there’s also melancholy. It leaves us asking what is the point. Like life, the point is itself, but the nostalgic ideology of football means there are always echoes of childhood. Whether our childhood was happy or sad, or most likely a bit of both, the melancholy comes from the loss of childhood. Football, paradoxically, overcomes this loss by tapping into these memories. We relive them every time we go to a game. Deep down we know this will never return. But we keep returning to the field of dreams, unconsciously knowing we become ourselves when we become our dream.