Chapter 58: Let Battle Commence
Note: The item below is a letter we have received from a gentleman who has what we believe is an original idea in the field of sport. We suspect he may have been inspired by his own name.
To the editor of Madazine
I write in the hope that you might find space in your pages to publicise a proposal I have for enhancing our sporting scene. I have thought of a way in which the game of soccer could be made much more attractive than it is at present, though I have to admit that my idea also has within it the seeds of the game’s destruction.
What I have in mind is that football hooliganism is currently more often than not disorganised, frequently being spontaneous rather than planned. That could be changed with great benefit all round. My suggestion is that instead of trying to discourage this behaviour, the authorities should promote it by asking thugs to be fully prepared when attending matches, so that they could set about their work in a more systematic manner than they do now.
My scheme requires the ruffians to appear armed with their usual weapons, knowing in advance that that they will be welcomed. However, should any of them be so remiss as to forget or lose the tools of their trade, they would not need to despair. The system I am advocating includes provision for each turnstile to have its own boutique supplying a wide variety of instruments of mayhem, such as knives, blackjacks, knuckledusters, knobkerries, bicycle chains, shields, daggers, swords, helmets, net and trident sets, bows and arrows etc. This would have the added advantage of enabling soccer clubs to increase their incomes.
Though the emporia at the admission points would be excellent sources of revenue, their takings could not approach the funds brought in by the most lucrative idea in my scheme. This would arise from the clubs getting two sets of gate receipts, the first tranche paid by the thugs to allow them to occupy the playing area and put on their performances, the second by appreciative crowds encouraging them.
There would of course be a transition period. At first, the footballers would remain on the field and do whatever they could, though they would obviously be hampered by the competing roughnecks. Eventually, those who now play the game would disappear altogether, as their behaviour, atrocious though it is at times, could hardly compete with the shows put on by the new entertainers described here. I mean, tripping, ankle-tapping, shirt-pulling, lavish spitting and cursing are really tame offerings compared with what genuine brawlers could do.