It’ll Be Off


The Joker
July 27, 2008, 11:51 am
Filed under: Opinion | Tags: ,

I was watching a lot of The Sopranos last week, having fuck all else to do, and there was a scene where Vito Spatafore, one of the Soprano family captains, was found by two young hoods all leathered up in a gay bar, holding hands with another guy.

Having been rumbled, and fearing reprisals and humiliation among his peer group, Vito, pathetically yelped “It was a joke! It’s a joke!” while the two young hoods could only reply, “Yeah, sure Vito. A joke.”

I guess it’s a default reply, isn’t it? I’ve done it myself, when I’ve said something without engaging my brain, only to cause upset or distress. “Aw, come on,” I’d plead pathetically. “I was only joking.” It doesn’t really cut it. It’s a cop out. You should, as an adult, be able to hold your hands up, come clean, and say “Yeah, sorry, I fucked up.”

But some people can’t do that, it seems. Despite increasing evidence that this whole BobBlackburn Park Avenue tour was a sham, and with knowledge about it becoming more and more widespread, rather than come clean, the powers that be over at BPA are refusing to tell the truth to their fans and (possibly more seriously for the club) the local paper.

The most commonly appearing denial of the story appears to be “The trip to Spain DID happen.” Which is a neat sidestep of the issues. No one is denying that. The questions are surrounding Rory Patterson’s hattrick, the existence of Soto FC and FC Benus, and the existence of Sten Brookster. And the facts remain the same:

1. Rory was on a family holiday and not on any BPA tour. He didn’t play for the club, let alone score a hattrick.
2. There are no records of Soto FC or FC Benus even existing as professional or semi-professional clubs in Spain.
3. Stefan Brookster does not exist.

Most of that can be verified with about ten minutes clever googling. The rest can be verified by asking the players in question what went on on this so-called tour.

But whatever. It’s got little to do with me (though I’m enjoying it all immensely) and it seems that not even all the BPA fans care. There’s a prominent viewpoint that it doesn’t matter if the Spain trip happened, it’s in the past, and the club should move on. And besides, Bob Blackburn has pumped all this money in to the club, and won them a championship. so what does it matter if he lies?

What does it matter? Well, how can you trust anything this man says ever again? If Bob is prepared to fabricate an entire preseason tour, for whatever reason, and then continue to lie to peoples’ faces about it all, and provide factually incorrect press releases to the local rag, about something so unimportant, so insignificant, then how can he be trusted on important issues, such as the stadium, or his plans for the club?

I’ve no reason to think that Bob Blackburn is lying about his visions for the future of BPA, but now I’ve no reason to believe he’s telling the truth either. So while he may be the Joker in the eyes of some, I’ve got him kind of pegged down as a Two Face (guess what film I saw on Friday night). He’s unquestionably a liar, a hypocrite and a fool.

But again, whatever. It’s nowt to do with me. And I’m glad. I effectively walked away from Manchester United three years ago to get away from people like Bob Blackburn. I believe that one person shouldn’t have all the power at any institution, but particularly in this instance, a football club. And that’s why we, at FC United, are so lucky. This fucking shambles could never happen at a proper club.

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Again, eloquently put and yes, we can be reassured that a ‘EgoBob’ can’t ever inflict himself on our club.

Comment by Getty

The fiasco seems to have also found its way into The Guardian’s ‘The Fiver’ daily email that is sent to tens of thousands of foot at 5pm everyday. National laughing stock now then. Just pipped to the lead story by Joey Barton’s release. Who said all publicity id good publicity?

Barry Glendenning
Monday July 28, 2008
guardian.co.uk

THE STRANGEWAYS REDEMPTION

INT. A MANCHESTER PRISON. DAY.

A THREE-MAN PAROLE BOARD IS SITTING BEHIND A TABLE INSPECTING A THICK FILE MARKED “BARTON J”. A SULLEN LOOKING MAN WEARING A DENIM SUIT COVERED IN ARROWS IS SEATED BEFORE THEM. HE LOOKS BORED.

Man in suit: “Joseph Anthony Barton, your files say you’ve served 74 days of a six-month sentence. Do you feel you’ve been rehabilitated?”
Joey Barton: “Rehabilitated? Well, now let me see. I don’t have any idea what that means.”
Man in suit: “Well, it means that you’re ready to rejoin society.”
Joey Barton: “I know what you think it means sonny. To me it’s just a made-up word. A politician’s word, so young fellas like yourself can wear a suit and a tie, and have a job. What do you really want to know? Am I sorry for what I did?”
Man in suit: “Well, are you?”
Joey Barton: “There’s not a day goes by I don’t feel regret. Not because I’m in here, or because you think I should. I look back on the way I was then: a young stupid kid who committed that terrible crime. I want to talk to him. I want to try and talk some sense to him, tell him the way things are. But I can’t. That kid’s long gone and this 25-year-old’s all that’s left. I got to live with that. Rehabilitated? It’s just a bull$hit word. So you go on and stamp your form, sonny, and stop wasting my time. Because to tell you the truth, I don’t give a sh1t.”

THE MAN IN THE SUIT PRESSES A LARGE RUBBER STAMP INTO AN INK PAD, STAMPS HIS FORM AND LIFTS THE STAMP TO REVEAL THE WORD “APPROVED” IN BLOCK CAPITALS.

EXT. THE TYNE RIVER, NEWCASTLE. DAY.

OVER A SWEEPING SHOT OF THE RIVER, WE HEAR A VOICEOVER.

Joey Barton [narrating]: “I find I’m so excited, I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it’s the excitement only a free man can feel, a free man at the start of a long journey whose conclusion is in Newcastle. I hope I can make it across the Tyne Bridge. I hope to see my manager, and shake his hand. I hope the pitch at St James’s Park is as green as it has been in my dreams. I hope …”

Not that Joey is the only one hoping, of course. “Hopefully Kevin [Keegan] thinks he can work his oracle with Joey and get his life back on track, both as a human being and as a footballer,” said PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor. “Kevin is very much a people person. He has shown his emotions quite clearly in public. We’re all human beings and we all have our failings. At the same time you’ve got to be responsible for your own actions.”

Taylor’s comments came in the wake of Keegan’s decision to give Barton a chance to show he’s been rehabilitated after doing less than half of his time for that drunken assault outside McDonald’s in Liverpool. “There are a lot of things he needs to put right but I think he can do it,” explained arch-optimist Keegan. “He’s served his sentence, he’s been punished. As long as he does things right and starts to rebuild the confidence of the people around him, I’ll stand by him.”

EXT. ST JAMES’S PARK. NIGHT.

OVER A SWEEPING SHOT OF NEWCASTLE’S GROUND, WHERE 50,000 GEORDIES ARE WATCHING THEIR TEAM GETTING SOUNDLY THRASHED AGAIN, WE HEAR A VOICEOVER.

Joey Barton [narrating]: “The first day’s the toughest, no doubt about it. They march you in, hand you your uniform and force you to pose for the photographer while loads of fat, tattooed, skinheads shout abuse at you. That’s when you know it’s for real. A whole life blown away in the blink of an eye. Nothing left but all the time in the world to think about it. That’s when it hits home. That’s when you realise you’ve signed for Newcastle.”

* * * * * * * * * * * *

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“Rory was actually in Majorca at the time. But one of the guys who played for us was also called Patterson, but was not Rory. We weren’t 100% about it. It was a bit of a wind-up on our part” – Bradford Park Avenue director Kevin Hainsworth admits that, contrary to reports that appeared on the club website, new signing Rory Patterson did not score a hat-trick against FC Soto Grande on the club’s pre-season tour of Spain. Hainsworth also admitted that, contrary to reports that appeared on the club website, the quality of the sides BPA faced were “not to the strength that we were initially led to believe”.

*********************

Comment by Getty

[…] one final irony here. The last time my blog was anywhere near this popular was in the midst of Bob Blackburn’s hilarious insistence that he’d taken Bradford Park A…. I knew different, and said so on this blog, before going to the Bradford Telegraph and Argus with […]

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