Extending the Franchise

Posted by on May 14, 2010 in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

The top flight of English football has brought to mind uncanny parallels with the upper echelons of UK Politics in recent days. A conservative old guard are back on top of the heap, with bluer than blue Chelsea and the Cheshire stockbroker belt of Manchester United once again ruling the roost. Behind, the middle class Islington lefties of Arsenal and Old Labour, unionist Liverpool are having to play second fiddle, with a new force, perhaps all style and no substance represented by newcomers elbowing their way in: Spurs and Man City.

But another parallel can be drawn with our own division. Our book reviewer Niall Slater, a proud man of Forres remarked to me recently how disenfranchised Scotland is by the make-up of the new parliament and so it is the case with Wales. There may be more Tory MPs in the Principality than there are north of the Tweed, but the Conservatives are still a tiny minority party, distantly ruling from their Westminster base.

But, as a shaky coalition government provides Plaid Cymru with renewed hope of exerting some kind of influence in the chamber, so do Cardiff City stand on the brink of the Premier League. The romantics have been banging on about Blackpool in recent weeks and I have been no exception, but I’d find it almost equally as satisfying if the capital city club were to ascend a week on Saturday. Not since Alan Curtis and company put Leeds to the sword on the opening day in 1981 will the Welsh footballing fraternity have felt so proud.

Rob Langham
Rob Langham (pen name: Lanterne Rouge) is co-founder of the defiantly non-partisan football league blog, The Two Unfortunates, a website that occasionally strays into covering issues of wider importance. He's 47 and lives in Oxford while retaining his boyhood support of Reading FC. He tweets as @twounfortunates and has written for a number of websites and publications including The Football Attic, The Inside Left, When Saturday Comes, In Bed with Maradona, Futbolgrad and The Blizzard as well as being nominated for the Football Supporters' Federation Blogger of the Year Award in 2013.

5 Comments

  1. scarf
    May 14, 2010

    If Cardiff and Swansea are a fraternity, they are surely the Kane and Abel of football.

    Personally, my reasoning for wanting Blackpool to win on Saturday is because I see it as a battle between prudence and recklessness, between living within your means and overspending, between the small club who have quietly made the most of their resources against the larger club with pretentions of grandeur but who last did anything in 1927. I like Dave Jones because he's a Stockport County legend, but, morally, it would be better for our game if Blackpool won. It would also give me the opportunity to watch Ian Holloway pontificate on Match of the Day every week next season, which has to be a good thing!

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  2. gerschenkron
    May 14, 2010

    At the risk of over-extending the metaphor, the ConDem'd coalition's dodgy plan to prevent votes of no confidence with their sinister 55% rule is a bit like various clubs attempts down the years to abolish relegation from the Premier League.

    Reply
  3. Lloyd
    May 14, 2010

    Or, if you like, to double parachute payments… (more to follow on this on The Two Unfortunates)

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  4. mirkobolesan
    May 14, 2010

    Despite being a Cardiff fan I agree with scarf's sentiments. The overspending Cardiff City have indulged in has been remarkable. if they go up its basically two-fingers up to those clubs who are prudent.

    In a way it's surprising that City are even in this position. The last player we signed was Etuhu on loan (I believe), some time in October/November.

    Cardiff defeated Holloway's QPR in the playoff final a few years ago. I'm worried this year will be his revenge.

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  5. Chris
    May 14, 2010

    A good week for the colour orange, with `Ollie' taking the Seasiders to Wembley and Nick Clegg and David Laws joining the Cabinet. (Apologies for wringing the last meagre drops out of the metaphor.) I think that i's worthwhile pointing out that, while Blackpool have been relatively prudent in their expenditure, they still have the backing of a Latvian millionaire. There aren't many clubs of their stature that could afford to spend £500,000 on a player, even one of the undoubted quality of Charlie Adam. Without that substantial investment, they would be nowhere near their current level. Having made that caveat, I'll be right behind them in the final. I, for one, couldn't stomach Peter Ridsdale `living the dream' again.

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