Football fans are being "persceuted" and "marginalized" in modern Britain, according to Fulham legend and former "Match Of The Day" presenter Jimmy Hill.
Hill claims that the interests of fans of the "beautiful game" have been systematically attacked by "...the creeping establishment of a new orthodoxy made up of women, sport-haters and people with a so-called 'sense of proportion'."
"In modern Britain, it seems it's okay to like rugby, lacrosse, bongo-bongo-ball or somesuch" he continued, "but woe betide you if you like a harmless bit of footie. Football is being driven underground. Just take a look at the TV schedule - you'd be hard-pressed to find more than 4 hours of soccer-related content per day on any one channel. Some channels show no football at all!"
Pointing to a spate of recent stories about football fans being prevented from wearing replica shirts in the workplace, Hill cites these as further evidence of an anti-football groundswell. "It's outrageous that people can't turn up for work in a garishly striped nylon vest bearing an inapproproately prominent sponsor's logo. I mean, what's wrong with that?" he pleads passionately. "Some people say they look 'common', but they cost more than an M&S cotton formal shirt and a silk tie, for heaven's sake. It's just more soccerphobia, it's truly disgusting. They wouldn't dare tell a cricket fan he couldn't wear his shinpads to work, just because he was a swimming-pool attendant or something."
Prominent academic and football critic A.C. Pevsner recently accused Hill - amongst other soccer luminaries - of being "...unable to access reality in non-football-related terms", a charge which the "Hero of Highbury '72" firmly rejects. "Not only did Pevsner come at me with a meritless ad hominem argument" Hill retorts, "but he did so from what was quite clearly an offside position."
Speaking from an office in the £800m Wembley Stadium, Hill bemoaned the gradual erosion of football values in this new society. "When was the last time you someone throw themselves to the floor, writhing in imaginary agony when approached by a stranger? That kind of thing is frowned upon now, apparently. Excessive gambling, getting in fights at airports, wife-beating; all these time-honoured traditions are under threat because of the dictats of a few trendy intellectuals and judges. The innocent, every day football fan has become a pariah in his own country." he continues, "He can't even chant one of his sacred hymnals in public without being castigated for sexism, racism, or queerbashism or whatever."
But not everyone agrees with the prognathous pundit. Alison McDonnegal, chairperson of pressure group "Not Again, Isn't There Something Else On?" (NAITSEO) responded "For Mr. Hill to suggest that football fans are being persecuted is disingenuous in the extreme. Some people don't like football. Get over it."
This post is a satirical response to this story as reported in The Telegraph... and just about everywhere else.