20 September 2006

The Beautiful Game 1863-2006

Sam Allardyce explodes in memory of The Beautiful GameSports fans are in shock following the death of The Beautiful Game. The Game has been followed for decades by millions of soccer fans across the globe, all eager to gather in front of their newspapers, radios and television screens for details of the latest transfers of players from club to club and of money from sports agent to football manager.

The Beautiful Game was born in the 1860's when, only months after the Rules of Association Football were first laid down by the FA, the manager of the N.N. (No Names) Club, Kilburn was offered his weight in Millingtons Unfiltered Gaspers to agree to the transfer of dashing, young centre-forward Aloysius "The Flying Cad" Formby from Blackheath Proprietary School.

Over the following decades The Beautiful Game was to make little progress, confining itself to building the odd manager a cheap patio or installing an avocado bath suite in a chief coach's home. This was due partly to the rectitude of those involved in football and mainly to the fact that all the money in British soccer at the time was insufficient to maintain a single sports agent. All was to change in the early 1990's, when hundreds of millions of pounds were diverted to the game from Rupert Murdoch's War on Culture to set up the Premier League.

Soon The Beautiful Game was advancing apace and developing exciting new moves, including the bung, the backhander, the sweetener, the tap-up and the illegal approach. Followers of The Game frequently marvelled at displays of extraordinary skill as the most outrageous bribes were explained away with straight faces, their enjoyment heightened all the more by the comic ineptitude of the governing authorities. Indeed all agreed that The Game was at its very peak when, only this week, it was brought low by a series of inquiries, investigations and a tragic outbreak of football.

The Beautiful Game is survived by diving, professional fouling, lousy refereeing, numerous assault allegations, hundreds of kiss-and-tell-stories and David Beckham.