(Hat tip to Jeff Randall of the Telegraph)

Across our green and pleasant land people are asking themselves how our footballers could perform so miserably in South Africa.

Why are they failing? What’s going on? It can’t be a physical thing, because apart from Fulham, our clubs have been fairly poor in Europe and have played comparatively fewer games than in normal seasons. Maybe it’s a mental thing, maybe something is distracting the players, maybe off field incidents are affecting their performances? Who knows? I’m sure we’ll find out over the next few weeks, especially as one senior England international is allegedly applying for a “Terry-esque” super injunction to prevent a Sunday newspaper printing damaging revelations about him and his wife.

Anyway, leave the rumours, back to the football.

People have offered numerous suggestions as to how to improve the state of our national football team, ranging from the totally necessary total shake up of the team (dropping established players like Terry and Lampard), to the slightly more “out-there” sacking of Capello, to the totally ludicrous suggestion of pumping state funds into training academies and having David Beckham picking the team.

Easy there! state funding for football academies? Yeah, right, that’s sensible. It beggars belief that there are some people who would seriously suggest this as a solution. Considering that the all encompassing message from Westminster is “Slash and Burn” on public spending, what makes these people think that our money should be used to prop up the national game? The Premiership is absolutely swimming in money for Christ’s sakes, Sky have funnelled billions into the Premiership over the years and we’re seriously pondering using tax payers money to pay for academies? How ironic that the Premiership and the professional game as a whole, for so long the ultimate expression of total capitalism may find itself receiving government subsidies for youth development.

When Osborne, Clegg and Cameron have sorted out the £1.5 TRILLION national debt (Thanks Gordon), sorted out a suitable plan for withdrawal from Afghanistan and Iraq (Thanks Tony) and can reduce the crime in my neighbourhood, then they can get involved in sorting out football, and not a second before.

"Normally they buy me a drink first..." Sol gets up close (photo: Daily Mail)


Now for too long I have remained quiet on the issue of Notts County, this is for a number of reasons (well, two). First of all, Mike has firmly nailed his colours to the County mast, and writes about County with such eloquence and passion that I don’t feel I could contribute anything worth reading. Secondly, I find it difficult to write about because, quite frankly, I don’t care that much about it.

But now I feel that I, as a blogger, must weigh in with my own opinion and, for what it’s worth, I’d like to put forward a potential plan of action that I think will solve all the problems over at Meadow Lane.

Leaving all joking aside, I do think that what is happening to County is an absolute disgrace. It’s like a footballing Agatha Christie novel over there. Let’s consider the cast:

1)      Qadbak Investments – British Virgin Islands based, failed in a bid to buy BMW Sauber. Apparently representing the interests of the Shafi family, initially denied by Anwar Shafi, but then a further press release was issued which indicated that the Shafi family and the Hyat family WERE involved with Qadbak and Notts County (Jesus).

2)      Sol Campbell – Former England defender, left club after one game, presumably not happy that he’d been skinned by most of the Morcombe front line.

3)      Sven-Goran Eriksson – Former England coach, has allegedly demanded upfront payment of his contract from Swiss Commodity Holding, a newly formed Zurich registered company.

4)      Peter Trembling – Notts County Chairman and former Munto Finance cheerleader, last seen stood outside Meadow Lane, playing a tin whistle, begging for money (OK, I made that up)

This was (and is) clearly a ridiculous state of affairs, and shouldn’t have been allowed to get as far as it did. The Football League should have insisted on a full and public exposure of their accounts and structure before even being allowed to look at an English club.  I genuinely don’t understand the secrecy, I mean, are you telling me that Abramovich doesn’t have at least ONE skeleton in his walk- in closet? He probably does, but that doesn’t stop him making appearances at Stamford Bridge.

Anyway, with Trembling scouring the globe looking for investment, I’d like to suggest something that will really help the County cause.

I think they should tarmac over their pitch and use it as an overspill car park for fans travelling to The City Ground. Car Parking space is at a premium around there and they could make an absolute fortune.  I suggest that County play their games over at the Forest Fields Recreational Area, there’s some decent sized pitches over there and also it’s got quite good public transport links, so Lee Hughes would be OK getting home after matches.

*sits back and chuckles*