Well, seems marketing is all the rage these days with even foreverCharlton, over here anyway, doing its bit to sell Madrid shirts. Occasionally I get a nice pleasant Free Powerpoint site with no irritation value whatsoever but obviously the white shirts sell better. I suppose it's just my bad luck that my ipaddress is unfortunately smack in the middle of Madrid, a good 60 miles away from my house - who can afford Madrid prices - but its the sheer size of the white shirt that in my eyes is nothing short of obscene.
And in the similar vein over here, the papers have been astounded by little Villareal coming second in La Primera Liga on a 6th of the budget of the Big Two. Madrid struggled to get through 2007 on a massive 306M Euros - at todays rate that's 243M in real money of an alarmingly diminishing Pound - while little Villareal got to spend only 56m. Well, a bit more than a 6th then but you get the idea. They finished 7 points adrift of the Big One but well clear of Barca in third. It used to be Big Three over here till Ronald Koeman arrived at Valencia but now we have the Big Two split by someone like Portsmouth. How odd would that be in the Premier!!
And the obsession with money and selling things seems to be taking over everywhere. Anybody notice something odd about last Wednesday's UEFA cup final? I mean apart from the strange behaviour of Walter Smith taking to writing busily in his notebook with just 10 minutes remaining while losing 1-0 while Ally and co looked on in stunned amazement.
No, I mean the players shirts. Was there a clue to future marketing strategies? On the back where normally the players name is write large and prominent for those poor sods in the back of the stands to see, last Wednesday this was not the case. Instead the players names were not in big upper case at all but in trendy lower case.
Perhaps its a Glasgow thing, I thought, along with waving Union Jacks while every house in England, it seems, now sports an St. George's flag. But no, there it was on the Russkies shirts as well. Forgive me for imagining sinister goings-on, must be the books I read, but what's afoot. You may believe it's because of the impossibility of getting those lengthy Russkie names in one line on a shirt but as both teams sported it for me its quite obviously a new directive from UEFA.
Why waste all that gorgeous advertising space with someones name, his numbers there isn't it. What about squeezing in a nice big advert on the back as well as the front. Get rid of all that player nonsense, we're a brand, we need to sell things for Gods sake.
And I thought back to the halcyon days of Formula 1 when you could actually see the number of the car and work out who was driving it. If you've not an enthusiast today and have carefuly studied the winters changes there's not way you can figure out who's driving without a commentator.
Is football going the same way? Well, I see there's some sort of Chumps final tonight, or is it final for chumps, whatever. Its also run by those nice people over at UEFA so a chance to confirm the theory.
Ah, but there's a problem. I'm afraid tonights already booked up. I have to watch my tomatoes growing and then there's the dog to walk and after that I have an idea that Mrs Nelson will want to discuss the thoughts and philosophies of Michel de Montaigne or maybe moll over the exact boiling point of homemade marmalude. So, oh dear, no time at all for suffering the pathetic, hysterical antics of Sir A, or F or whatever it is, or the anguish at having to watch the doleful gaze of Avram for an hour and a half. Because, and please forgive me my warped idea of life, but it's clearly not a football match at all but a marketing exercise between two opposing brands, as experienced recently by Marco, better suited to the Boardroom than a football pitch.
So, if by any chance, anyway has the stomach for this sort of thing perhaps they would let me know whether or not my theory holds water. Are they upper or lower?
And in case you need a few more details to enjoy the match (sic), deloittes can explain it all in simple numbers, in lower case of course.