The State Of The Game (A Modern Revision)

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 how did we go from turns in goal
jumpers for goalposts
to breakaway leagues
exorbitant transfer fees
pampered summers on the Gold Coast
tinted windows
over-inflated egos
namby-pambies who fall over when the wind blows?
Neymar- do you know him?
he’ll have fallen over eight times
in the time it takes to say this poem
he was starting to fall
thirty minutes before they kicked a ball
ask a Premier League manager
to play three games in a week they fly into a rage
Eddie Izzard, a portly comic twice a player’s age
ran 27 marathons in 27 days
Richarlison is out
with a dry scalp

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 your dreams – brought to you by betting firms
our teams – less clubs for the working class
more a ‘brand’ targeted at overseas markets
a rich person’s plaything
toys for tycoons and oligarchs
used to winning on and off the park
paying to get their faces in the papers
their names praised in singing by gullible spectators
hate to cut short the goal celebrations
with talk of sports-washing
and human rights violations
but the suits paying the buck
are in cahoots with those passing the buck
its heart’s corrupt

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 three straight defeats
the media’s on the manager’s back
engineer someone the sack
the endless inarticulate pundits
the intimation that Jamie Carragher is a wit
is half right
he is a halfwit

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 look across from the rich seats to the loyal serfs
to the quick feet on the hallowed turf
and tell me- what’s a memory worth?
I see a floated in chip
a Cruyff turn, a flick of the hips
a roar brought to a thousand lips
it’s not the same on TV
price out the kids
sell them only the Rich Six
you deprive them of a sensation beyond money
this simple game, drip-sold
we’ll rename our grounds
give up traditions if you’ve got the pounds
– but remember Webb Ellis
picked the ball up from the ground
and ran with it
let’s follow suit
only give it back when football remembers its roots
when games are accessible to all and not just the suits
when it puts local fans before the global loot
when some listless millionaire remembers the faces
in the stands would give anything to swap places
and lace up those boots
when it’s reborn, reformed, back on track
we’ll give it back, here
have a ball


I wrote a version of this back in 2012 (it’s on here and in my first book, ‘Slinky Espadrilles’, published by Burning Eye Books). Even more money and things I dislike about the game at the highest level, I thought it was due an update.

Source: https://footballpoets.org/poems/the-state-of-the-game-a-modern-revision/