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Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The Tuesday Twat(s)

No. 61. British Tabloids.

OK, this is long over due. Lets face it, Britain's tabloid newspapers prove their twatishness on a daily basis. Nevertheless, this last week has been a real doozy. Obviously, The Mirror group's handling of the Prescott affair has been particularly bad with The Mirror itself breaking the story and protraying the scarlet woman in question as a a bed-hopping serial home-wrecker, followed immediately by its sister tabloid The Mail on Sunday publishing "her side of the story" - a difficult to believe account of public sex and betrayal (all for the princely sum of £250,000). Hypocrisey anyone?

But the best example was a concerted effort by all of Britain's tabloids to royally fuck-up the appointment of the new England football manager. After diligent work by the tabloids to hound out our best manager in years, Sven Goran-Eriksson, these cretins have now chased away all the best contenders. This week, the man who helped Brazil raise the world cup last time, Luiz Felipe Scolari, turned down the FA's offer to coach the national side. Hardly surprising - after all who in their right mind would manage the English national team when you have to contend with our newspapers?

I think that we can all work out what happened. Some time ago, Scolari will have been approached by the FA and asked if he would be interested. Whilst we may not have the glamour of Brazil, it is still a damn prestigious and respected job (at least amongst your peers). The package will have been generous and I'm sure that he was both tempted and flattered. Then someone leaked the news to the press. And the full reality of just how shitty and cretinous the British media really are will have hit home. For two days Scolari was beseiged by reporters. He estimates that 20 or more were camped permanently outside his house, invading his privacy. During that time, you can bet that no stone was unturned. His friends, family and former colleagues will have been telephoned, doorstepped and harrassed 24/7. Money will have been offered. Dirt will have been sought and if his private life turned out to have been boring, dirt will have been manufactured.

Scolari will have been well aware of the shit that Eriksson put up with during his tenure and seen the way that both he and his predecessors were "sacked by the media" and suddenly, he will have realised "you know what? I don't need ths!". By his own estimate, there are as many as 200 offers on the table. He has his pick of the world's best national and domestic sides. Why the fuck would he want to come to England?

Indeed, who in their right mind would want to coach England? The sad irony is that the English FA is one of the richest in the world. We can probably afford to outbid just about any other offer on the table, and pretty much guarantee to supplement that with at least as much again in promotional and sponsorship deals. We can offer some of the finest training facilities in the world and some excellent players. On paper we are one of the most attractive national sides in the world. With one massive exception - our media.

But then, I think it is quite easy to see why they are so bad. There is comparatively little profit in us winning the world cup. There are only so many column inches that sports hacks can write about us winning. There are only so many extra commemorative copies of the Sun or the Mirror that will be sold if we actually won. But there will be weeks of handwringing and analysis if we get knocked out pitifully early. Pages will be dedicated to "should he stay or should he go" opinion pieces about the Manager. Stories of dubious veracity about the Manager's sex life will be shoved on the frontpage to boost sales during slow news days.

I'll bet that deep down, in their heart of hearts, tabloid editors are praying for England to lose. And they'll do everything in their power to make that a reality. Fucking Twats.




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