Fat Frank wandered over to the corner flag to a crescendo of boos at the JJB Stadium. Nothing new there as the fat one is booed wherever he goes. Also nothing new in that he had a smirk on his face as he walked over there. Fat Frank always has a smirk on his face. He's laughing at us all. His new contract at 160k a week - give or take a Rolex - securely in his pocket. It doesn't matter to him. We're just mere paupers to him. People he can take the piss out of. He loves it. His fuck off attitude that means people despise him like no other.
His own fans would probably despise him but for the fact that there are few genuine Chelsea fans left at "The Bridge" (nee Stamford Bridge). They were priced out long before the Russian arrived. They will never be able to return. There are no dodgy trips to West London when Chelsea are in town. Some may be pleased with this but give me watching my back above Loadsofmoney NEW football types any day. But those days are no more.
However that is not the argument here. This is football 2008/9 where average to good players like Fat Frank can earn that sort of money. That sort of money in a week that it would take Wiganers over ten years to earn! Can that be right? Can anybody honestly sit there, pay their hard-earned money to watch the likes of Fat Frank and be happy with that. I went to watch Latics in a friendly in Holland. We had 38 spectators in the ground. Ten years ago we would have had 380 there and we were crap then. That's how much football has changed and tells us how much the new lot don't understand football culture. But I digress - what I was about to say was that I watched Emile Heskey there - a player that I have previously defended whilst all around me have rallied against him - walk about for 17 minutes before deciding he was injured and hobbled off. Some said he's hobbled off the coach. Heskey must be on something like 60k a week! It's a cliché but I have seen better players pull the blue and white on when we were non-league.
Yet Heskey is considered a top player. Capello picks him for England and that shows you what a dearth of talent there is in England. Nobody cares enough. Chairman and managers say academies don't work. Spectators believe them and we take 38 to Holland. The power is in the hands of the players. The same players that spend all their spare time - and they have loads of that - talking about cars and money and bling and cars and money. And the new fans love this. The clubs that are caught up in all this are in the hands of the players. They sign contracts and then say they want to piss off. The clubs at the premier level cash the satellite television channels cheques and continue to bump up prices. Why? Because they can. West Brom charged Everton fans £40 and there didn't look to be a spare seat in the house. They can do it to Everton as Everton are one of the few teams that are still a proper club. Their old fans are still with them - just. If they move to Kirkby let's see what happens. Contrarily Chelsea fans have never sold out their allocation at the JJB with tickets sometimes being £15! It tells you everything.
The new fans don't get football. And what football really is. The old fans played it. Saturday and Sundays on muddy pitches. Not once a week down at the local JJB Soccerdome. They listened to the tales in the playgrounds and pubs. On the trains and the coaches. Nowadays the new fans don't bother with aways. And when they do go they moan that Goodison Park is a shithole while Pride Park is perfect. Fucking hell. And these are the people that pay money to watch Fat Frank and Deco and Ronaldo. No offence but I couldn't give a fuck about watching all these so-called world class players. I've always been to football to watch my team (hopefully) win. Win and have a laugh when watching them. Being part of the club. Part of the community. Who gives a fuck about watching world class players when your team is losing.
But that is what's happening. Wigan fans (and we are Wigan now rather than Latics if you listen to some of our new fans) stay and applaud the teams off. Us the gallant losers, Steeeeevieeee Geeeeee and the like the world-class players. When football mattered Steeeeevieeee Geeeeee would have been a Scouse bastard - world-class player or not. Now home fans take his photograph on their mobile phones.
The 200k-a-week footballer may soon be with us. If you are happy about that then fair enough but personally I'm too much of a class warrior to accept that. But like the true Chelsea fans, Geordies, Mancunians et al that have walked away from the game I'll be joining them. And modern football will be pleased. The clubs do not want the likes of me - and you. We don't buy a £4.00 programme and £2.60 pie. The new fans don't want the likes of us that dare moan and dare question the clubs and dare not accept that Marcus Bent is worth 30k a week. In fact the saddest thing I have read recently was on a Wigan messageboard during one of the many spats between the old and new Latics fans. Here some newbie said something like: "Accept it, we are the future of Wigan Athletic". Unfortunately they are right and if they are the future then Wigan Athletic Football Club as we have known and loved is fucked. And as their like are the future of football then football's fucked. But hey it doesn't matter because Fat Frank's getting his 160k a week, they can gurn at the SKY cameras, take their photos, be the big time internet Charlie's and let football and the clubs and players and administrators get away with anything they want.