Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Bad Lads: The pleasures of hating English football

IT IS TEMPTING to interpret the recurring delusion of the English national team’s unfulfilled potential by relating it to the delusion of the bottomless pool of British greatness, which is, of course, a mutation of imperial nostalgia. But the more prosaic, and reasonable, interpretation is that the establishment of the Premiership and its economic structure in 1992—which resulted in rivers of money flowing from TV rights and increased ticket prices—brought about a transformation of soccer from working-class pastime to front-page-friendly entertainment, made available to the affluent middle class and the sorry remnants of the working class by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation.

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