At least I think that’s where I live. They are making an utter hash of a council re-organisation. Basically they’re splitting the county of Cheshire down the middle or at least that’s what I thought they were doing until yesterday when I got a load of guff from Stockport council. God knows. I preferred the joining Stockport to the idiocy that is the Cheshire East option not least because if I call the rozzers they apparently now have to come from Macclesfield (40 minutes away) and not from the cop-shop two miles up the road. Don’t ask me why. I only live here.
I suppose (I guess - that leaflet from Stockport really threw me) Cheshire East sounds better for house prices and this is real “footballer’s wives” territory. Well it’s not quite Alderley but then nowhere is. Alderley is the sort of place where you can be jailed for wearing last season’s Armani. It’s ludicrously affluent. I thought we would be nicked for parking a Vauxhall there. Probably for crimes against property prices. Some WAG would call the dibble (well get her butler/personal trainer/whatever to do it) because the very presence of the Corsa would knock five percent off the value of her absurdly overpaid Man U second team fullback’s bijou residence. On the up side nobody was gonna nick the car because it was in a car park that went: Beamer, Ferrari, Merc, Prosche, another Merc, Corsa, Range Rover, Roller, Bentley, yet another Merc… I think you can be jailed in Alderley for driving last season’s Merc. I mean it just looks untidy. I wannabe a Mercedes salesman in Alderley. They must sell themselves because everyone seems to have two. A glance in the window of the estate agents was… interesting. There was a gaff up for rent for 12 grand a month. It appeared the desired feature on the top houses was - you’re gonna love this - the second indoor swimming pool. I had to cogitate on this one. It’s for the kids innit? The main indoor swimming pool has a bar and that’s where you hang-out with the other WAGs and then there’s a kiddie pool.
I know this because I am vaguely related (you have to be a mother or a hobbit to specify how - some strange thing seems to kick into the female brain at the moment of giving birth which enables them to tell you who everyone’s second cousin thrice removed is) the footballer Robbie Fowler. My parents went to his wedding. This was good for my dad because he’s a life-long Liverpool fan and he got to chat with the likes of Jamie Carragher and Danny Murphy. Murphy was being roundly mocked because he was wearing his first ever suit and he’d picked it up for pennies in Primark. But fair play to the lad. He wasn’t into clothes and being a professional footballer the very last thing he was expected to turn-up to work in was a suit. Anyway Fowler has a second indoor pool at his gaff in Cheshire.
I know this sounds horribly like snobbery but it isn’t. It is just attempting to paint a picture of where I live (and of course doing it in my usual style) and I have quite a bit of respect for the likes of Robbie Fowler. In his prime the “Toxteth Terror” was a hell of a player and as an enormously talented bloke (unlike for example the majority of the current Newcastle United squad - have they been hung from the Tyne Bridge yet?*) fair play to him. He also has an extremely good business manager and his earnings have not been squandered so his daughters will want for nothing, ever. Even houses with two swimming pools. Oh and he has my respect for being a key player in the revolt that ousted that utter nutcase Glenn Hoddle from the England job**.
No. I really hope you don’t take me wrong here because these footballers and the birds that snagged them are OK with me. They are top flight entertainers and it’s fine they make beaucoup because no one ever puts a Browning to your head and says, “You will get a Man U season ticket and a subscription to Sky Sports”. And you know what? If Sir Alex saw me having a kick about and wanted to pay me a hundred grand a week then I’d say,”Sir Alex, and I wanna let you before phoning the missus and telling her to buy all of Selfridges”. I mean he’s a dour Scots git but unlike another rather well known dour Scots git he’s a bloody successful dour Scots git. I think 11/17 Premiership titles speaks for itself. Nah, the footballers round here are living high on their own hog or the hog that folks pay for voluntarily so fair enough. And they are entertainers and a huge part of the reason they are paid silly money is because their millionaire lifestyles are part of the draw. I mean the likes of David Beckham are at least as famous for marrying pop-stars and wearing daft stuff as they are for their kicking an inflated pig-bladder. We can’t all live like that so we need folks who can otherwise the OED could delete the word “vicarious”.
But the real point here is that no one forces anyone to pay for these folks. Quite unlike my local MP, Nick Winterton who has not only defrauded the tax-payer epically since 1971 but also had his wife in on the game and claims in some unspecified way to be important.
I don’t care that footballers are paid silly money. I don’t care because I don’t have to pay for it. I do care that MPs are because I have no choice and anyway how many of them of them have brought fun, drama and joy to us on a Saturday afternoon whilst wearing a football strip. Apart from the Mellorphant man’s apocryphal antics in a Chelsea strip with the “actress” who later masturbated a pig to ejaculation live on C5 there are none. An act which quite clearly dug through the already seriously holed bottom of the barrel of UK telly. God alone knows what lay beneath. I don’t want to.
*Two North East clubs got the drop. We did and Middlesborough did but Sunderland stayed up. The Mackems a division above us. It’s almost too terrible to contemplate. Christ almighty. We used to taunt the opposition at St James Park with “You’re going down with the Mackems!” I think you will find that cited in the 2010 edition of the OED under “hubris”.
**In case that doesn’t ring immediate bells Hoddle was a religious loon who dropped players who wouldn’t consult with his faith-healer - including those like Fowler (a Catholic) who were practising members of real religions and felt insulted as well as dropped. He was finally ousted when on a meet and great he told a disabled girl she was “being punished for sins from a previous life”. He claimed to be a born-again Christian although squaring that with a belief in re-incarnation would require the theological sagacity of Saint Thomas Aquinas. A sagacity that Mr Hoddle clearly lacked. Oh and he was bloody awful as a manager. Apart from anything else he clung doggedly to the patently deluded belief that Darren Anderton was good. There is something about religion and football which from “hallowed turf” to Glasgow on a Saturday night to David Icke (former Coventry City goalie who claimed to be the son of God whilst wearing a turquoise shell-suit and had a number of deranged theories about the Knights Templar, the Illuminati and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion… You get the drift - one wit pointed out when he crossed the line from “odd” to “utterly barking” that whilst he claimed he had been put here to save the world he saved fuck all for Coventry City - quite. He also had a dalliance with the Green Party. They dumped him because he was blatently mental. His core thesis was that several major world figures were reptilian aliens. Specifically: George W. Bush, Queen Elizabeth II, Kris Kristofferson, and Boxcar Willie.