Thursday, October 27, 2011


Old German Buggers Fancy Bangkok Break

Several weeks back it was aging AC Milan buggers hitting Jakarta, and Bali, in the name of a good, free, holiday plus an exhibition football match with plenty of hugging and back slapping thrown in for good measure, pandering to the masses.

Now, with the Thai Premier League limping to a slow and much delayed climax comes news that a bunch of aging Germans will be having a free holiday, will be slapping their thighs in public and also kick a ball around, expecting others to dig deep into their pockets in the name of charity.

The game is being played 6 November and features all the usual old farts you might expect on this jollies while the Thai team also includes just about every Thai player a foreigner can be expected to have heard of. Kiatisuk and, err, um...

Of course I have a problem with these nonsense games. I have yet to see what benefit they are to the local game. There isn't of course. It's just a freebie for 'the lads' and a chance to promote their club or, in this case, the FA. But nothing for the local game. I saw Arsenal play in Thailand back in 1999, or was it 1998, did that game encourage Teerasil to play professionally? Unlikely. Did it encourage any Thais to go and support their local team like KTB, TFB, SET, TTM, PAT or PEA? Did it bollocks.

Then there is the charity angle. What if I don't want to give money to charity? Or I don't agree with the selected charity? Where's my choice in the matter? I don't have one. Instead I'm told by someone who obviously knows these things better than me that I must give to their charity if I wanna see the game.

The same thing is increasingly happening in England. Arsenal have a 'favoured' charity of the year and back in 2007 boasted they had raised nearly 2 million quid for their 'favoured' charities over a period of 15 years!

The club favours the charity and the fans foot the bill. Instead of handing over gate receipts from one home game a season, instead of the club using their own money, instead of having the players donate a month's wages, they find ways in which we, the fan, can donate. As if there aren't enough people out there trying to get their hands on my money.

It's my son's birthday soon and I thought it would be pretty cool if I could get him a mention in the match day programme. You know, Gooner man and boy 40 years wishing his nipper happy birthday son. It can be done of course but the club recommend a donation to their 'favoured' charity in return!

Screw them and screw the German All Stars and the AC Milan Legends...

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