The Corporate Future of the Beautiful Game

“These training camps in the modern game are decided for commercial reasons and because of the extent of popularity of the club.” This is what Arsene Wenger had to say recently when he was asked about Arsenal’s pre-season trip to the United States. For him, the decision to travel across the Atlantic was  money-motivated, rather than football-motivated.

Wenger is a man of great financial understanding. He holds a degree in economics and he realises that football is just as concerned with the balance sheet, as it is with the trophy cabinet. His tenure at Arsenal is proof of this, having done an outstanding job for the London club since arriving 18 years ago. Though the last decade has brought little in the way of silverware, he has guided Arsenal through a period of relative financial austerity, whilst keeping them competitive. If the bank balance had not as been as healthy as it was over the last 10 years, Wenger would probably have lost his job.

The training camps which Wenger has taken such a dislike to, are just one of a number of bricks in the house of corporate football. Since the introduction of the Premier League, with its multi-million pound TV rights, this house has been extended year after year, and I believe that now we are beginning to see what the complete project shall look like.

Continue reading “The Corporate Future of the Beautiful Game”

Solzhenitsyn’s Third Way

From what little I have read of, and from, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, he appears a highly acclaimed yet highly divisive character. He reminds me somewhat of Slavoj Zizek in the way that he cannot be pigeon-holed into one political school, and attacks aspects of both the left and the right within politics itself.

Solzhenitsyn’s masterpiece Cancer Ward is a wonderfully poetic critique of the Communist Soviet Union. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, and the further I progressed into the book, the deeper my appreciation grew for it.

One of the joys of reading great books are the different meanings and interpretations an individual can take from the text. What the book says to one person, may not reach the ears of another. Truly great books do not just tell a story through the words, and on the written lines, but they tell a story between the lines. The interpretation of words and phrases, the literary techniques in certain passages, the decision for the author to use a certain manner of speaking. There is a story within the story.

Continue reading “Solzhenitsyn’s Third Way”

Capitalism’s Curtain Call

There seems to be an elephant in the room when we are discussing the issue of classism. This elephant is so large, and so huge, that the overwhelming majority of us believe that it is actually partaking in the discussion. That it is a member of the debate, and so we pay little attention to it. I feel it is about time that this elephant was confronted.

The elephant of which I speak, is that of capitalism. The system that seems to control our lives, where stocks rise and fall, prices fluctuate and economic growth is the measure of a flourishing society. Capitalism is where products are designed, marketed and sold to generate income and create profit.

Continue reading “Capitalism’s Curtain Call”

Is There A Person…

Is there a person living who advocates the deaths of others? Would they stand on high and proclaim to others that the killing of people is not only justified but welcomed? Guns, bombs and more sinister methods of slaughter are essential to a thriving society and a joyous life. The task to take human life is a decision we are allowed to take ourselves, it is a decision without consequence and a decision without impact. Is there a person who can honestly say that there is nothing immoral and unethical about preventing another human being continuing their life? A person who can make the choice, and take the decision to permanently extinguish the fire of existence. To halt the candle before it had run its natural course and burned out of its own accord. Is there a person living who can look another in the eye and say to them with all honesty and conviction “I posses a right to take your life from you, and I will act upon that right if I see fit”? The person gazes upon the other in full knowledge that the same sentence can be repeated back, and both are fine with it. Is there a person who advocates this?

Continue reading “Is There A Person…”

Brain vs Brawn

Let us turn our attention to an age old debate. One that has been running for many years, and will no doubt still be running for many years to come. I have recently sacrificed my own trips to the gym to concentrate more on studying and reading, but does that mean that my knowledge is better than someone else’s strength? Does David still beat Goliath? Does Nerd beat Jock? Is brain better than brawn?

Since the biblical stories written centuries ago it has been the standard duel. Even today it is an ever-present format for battles and challenges. Art of Manliness writesThey are the two stock characters of many a movie and television show, especially those set in high school or college: the jock and the nerd. Brains and brawn. The meathead and the brainiac… The jock excels at sports, but has little between his ears. The nerd is a whiz in the lab but a total klutz on the field. The only time the two come together is when the jock reluctantly asks the nerd for tutoring help so as not to be kicked off the team for failing grades”.

Continue reading “Brain vs Brawn”