Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Barclays Premiership TV Ad - Go F@$£ yourselves

Have you seen it?The Barclays Bank Permiership add. The footie going montage, The elderly widower with is scarf and whistful air, the middle aged Dad fussing over his son, and the young airbrush couple on the away coach. All off to follow their teams. Stop it, its fake, its slick but its propaganda. Its a lie.

It pretends that somehow the premiership is about the grass roots fan, the local boy following his idols. This may have been the case in 1957 but todays game as sod all to do with that. Lets get some facts out there.

Father and son off to the match - At most of the top premier clubs both the availability and price of season tickets mean that this kind of image is for most a romantic ideal for all be the well connected and well healed.

The young Couple on the Away Coach- This pair of characterless 'good looking young people out of central casting' are simply on route to the next Peugeot ad.

The Old Man- Nick Hornby skewered this myth 20 years ago. He moved to Highbury, expecting that on a Saturday afternoon front doors up and down his road would all fly open and a local red and white army would descend on their local team. He was disappointed, and frankly the old man is just a bogus. Most premiership grounds are miles from their traditional support, or the support is miles from the traditional home. If the ground is not some new pleasure dome located in a out of town retail park, then it is in a neighbourhood abandoned by white flight.

But this exists to pretend that the Barclays Premiership is in some way permanent, for all time, that it is connected with the people and the people with it. In a sport that is global and bankrolled by oligarchs the fans are there to provide a back drop for the cameras, to sell the myth to the viewers around the world.

The premiership is itself and exercise in the art of forgetting. Its only been around for 20 years but it is talked up as if it has stood for all time. And to this make believe version of history and tradition, with the integrity of a hyena add those nice people at Barclays.