Listening to the World at One on R4 earlier today, there appeared to be great dismay amongst football enthusiasts about a new programme of mid-week matches that some clubs are organising amongst themselves, rather than going through normal channels.
There was much talk about how this new setup is some sort of “closed shop”, while at the same time floating suggestions that the clubs and players involved should be barred from existing competitions and international play. Which, um, sounds like restrictive practices enforcing the current closed shop.
It was also notable how incapable many of the enthusiasts were at explaining their unhappiness. Apparently this is all something to do with big money taking over the top of football. Unlike today, presumably, where an amateur ethos pervades the sport.
The new system sounded a little bit like Formula One. Ten teams involved, big money, a limited programme of events around a wider geography, and no concept of promotion or relegation.