Mark Andrews on Saturday: No time for whining
Read today's column from Mark Andrews.
Well that's been a week, hasn't it? Just over a week ago, the relative calm before the storm. A bit of edge in the air, but life largely as normal.
Now, our schools and pubs are shut, and our towns deserted. At least I'm assuming that's what is happening, because I haven't been outside. Pretty much the same time Boris Johnson was issuing his seven-day self-isolation advice on Thursday last week, the light cold I had been suffering from since Sunday started turning much nastier. A week in self-isolation, and not very happy about it.
I had planned to write this column about how dark days lay ahead, about the huge cost to the economy, the inevitable recession, the lost jobs, and the lost summer. How I felt dreadful, and wouldn't even be able to go to the pub when I got better. Or buy any toilet roll. Then it dawned on me: I was sounding like one of those millennial snowflakes I occasionally take issue with..
The thing is, as the sun slowly sets on the generation of war heroes, we are now largely a people that has never experienced any real hardship. We talk about the three-day-week, the Winter of Discontent or even the recession of 2008 as if they were catastrophic disasters, when all they really meant was that we had to light a few candles and tighten our belts.
We've grown up with cradle-to-grave welfare support, unprecedented peace, opportunities in life that previous generations would never have dreamed of. And despite all this, we scarcely seem to be a nation at ease with ourselves. So much angst from a generation that has had it so easy.
Maybe if there is one good that might come out of coronavirus, it is that it will give us all a fresh sense of perspective and a bit of much-needed backbone. And make us appreciate just what we do have.
It looks increasingly unlikely this football season is going to be completed, leaving league bosses in a quandary regarding the thorny issues of titles, promotion and relegation.
The best solution, of course, would be to just abandon the season, with no promotion or relegation, meaning another season in the Premier League for Villa, and another down in the Championship for Albion.
But even I can see that would be harsh on the Baggies, and I can't see it going down very well with Liverpool, who were certs to win their first title in 30 years.
Well, here is an idea. First of, let's just give Liverpool the title, and just hope their army of armchair supporters don't become too objectionable. And with that settled, create two extra places in the Premier League, so the top two teams from each division can be promoted, without the need to unfairly relegate anyone either,
It will never happen though. Pampered Premier League players would kick up a stink about having to play 42 games, while club executives would have less space in the fixture list for those lucrative exhibition tournaments in the Middle Eaat.
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