Matt Hancock, the secretary of health, said, “Given the sacrifices that a lot of people are making, including some of my NHS colleagues who have made the ultimate sacrifice … I think the first thing that Premier League footballers can do is make a contribution, take a pay cut and play their part. Shame on you, Mr. Hancock: the coronavirus should not be used as an excuse for a rude and inappropriate confrontation between footballers and tragically dead NHS workers.
This is not to say that high-level football was above criticism during the pandemic. Clubs such as Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United have rightly been convicted for taking advantage of the government’s leave scheme, allowing taxpayers to pay the bills for cleaners, security, store workers and restaurant staff. which has led to accusations of “moral vacuum”.
The Premier League has now asked players, via the Association of Professional Footballers, to take a 30% cut in wages, in terms of cups and wages, while the top 20 clubs will donate £ 125 million to the League. English football and the National League and £ 20 million to support the NHS, vulnerable communities and groups.
I sincerely hope that we do even more good and that more selflessness manifests. However, it was always unfair to formulate this, since footballers must be morally put into action because the players do not control how wages are paid. Such a framing pitted “ordinary” people not only against football – in terms of large companies – but against individual players.
And, you think: why do footballers – young self-taught athletes – in particular get a stick and not, say, a much richer global businessman, many of whom have reached out with government aid?
To me, it stinks of deep-rooted class biases. Overwhelmingly, footballers tend to come from poorer backgrounds, often extremely poor in the case of foreign players. This means that, even if the players are idolized, they are also regularly attacked for being greedy, arrogant and “jumped”.
Of course, Premier League players are overpaid, but people forget that in the past clubs have taken a lot of money and that footballers have been lucky enough to end up with a pub and a drinking problem. at the end of their career. But an archaic resentment towards the players persists and even if, generally, it is light (“It is paid how much and he misses a penalty? “), At other times, like now, he has a real rancid danger.
That’s what Hancock seemed to do with his comment – taking an easy shot at “rich”, “spoiled” footballers, perhaps to distract attention from the government’s failures. What an insult to those brave NHS workers who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Modern romance was ruined long before the coronavirus
There seems to be a lot of talk about the struggle to find love in the Coronavirus era: people can’t meet, sex has been removed from the agenda, Zoom and Houseparty apps can’t filling the void – everything seems to be misery without love.
First of all, young people, if you think that a few weeks count as “sexual dryness”, I welcome your optimism. More seriously, however delicate and horrible the situation may be, many people do not find online dating difficult and unsatisfactory at best – if someone wants a relationship and not just a meeting?
Sexual emancipation is a wonderful thing, but the two sides have to get along. Since the online dating boom, too often, it seems that women in particular have been involved in ultra-sexual relationships – where sex is the main focus, and relationships have become rare and disposable.
For too many women, this has proven to be the romantic model who never departures giving. Swipe left or right. Netflix and the cold. Ghosts… All of this relates to unstructured sex and keeping options firmly open. In other words, it’s about facilitating the phobia of engagement. For some, it works well and good luck for them. For others, it leads to misery and boredom facing wasted time.
Has online dating been fair with the people who ultimately want relationships? Obviously, there are security issues in meeting strangers. Apart from that, while casual sex has its place, I sympathize with all those who dislike the modern romantic and sexual landscape, but are labeled as prudes if they complain. So, of course, modern romance is tricky in the age of the coronavirus, but some might argue that online love is also a nightmare.
So Harry can’t go to grandma’s house. So what?
Harry and Meghan? It’s almost comforting to see that – even now! – people have the energy to tear Prince Harry and Meghan apart.
The couple moved to California, which is apparently an act of great evil. President Trump said he would not pay for their security, which came as a shock to them because they never asked him to do so. Back in Blighty, the news inspired two separate factions of hatred for Sussex. Some believe that Harry has stopped caring about his royal family. Others say he is being kept away by his intriguing wife, who bewitched him by marrying her singing in Ariel’s voice … Oops, sorry, I feel confused with the plot The little Mermaid. Although I guess, for some, Meghan has become the ultimate Disney villain.
Seriously, who cares? They are a wealthy couple who (hopefully) will have little trouble protecting themselves and their child. If they can’t visit their extended family right now, then what – nobody can. Above all, take control. Just as it is stupid to obsess about celebrities right now – whether to worship or denigrate them – the same goes for the royal family. The concerns of Sussexes, like those of celebrities, could end up being relegated to the bottom of the pile. But it should also be the place of vitriol.
• Barbara Ellen is an Observer columnist