Bacon’s Bites: Burnley show there’s hope for us all – and where do you stand on the ‘grid girls’ debate?
- Credit: PA
MIKE BACON takes a look at the resurgence at Turf Moor, why England players may not like the German World Cup win bonus. And why ‘grid girls’ are getting F1 all in a fluster!
It seems a long time ago Ipswich Town finished fifth in the then, Premiership.
Almost 17 years to be precise, 2001. The same season Manchester City were relegated to then, Division One.
Halcyon days, as Town took apart many of England’s top sides, winning at places like Everton, Liverpool, the aforementioned Man City and West Ham, among others.
It was great for fans of the ‘little club’ from Suffolk, up among the big boys.
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Sadly, it didn’t last, Town were relegated 12 months later!
However, while it lasted, it was fun and the ‘feel-good factor’ not just among football fans in the town, but the town in general, was immense.
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You can’t buy pride – or belonging – and Ipswich Town Football Club had both in abundance at that time.
It’s what the club brought to the community – and not for the first time.
So, I imagine most of us who followed the Blues back then can understand the feelings of Burnley fans at this moment in time, their team sitting proudly in sixth position in the Premier League.
And while Leicester’s wonderful Premier League title glory is still fresh in our memories, it’s now Burnley’s time to take, if not centre stage, certainly a place at the front of it.
We all know the Clarets won’t win the title this season, or any time soon, but Sean Dyche’s team have given football fans in England something to believe in.
Something to hang your scarf on.
Something to allow your cynicism of the money-fuelled game to take a back seat.
Yes, just when you thought money came first, second and third in the Premier League – Burnley show that team spirit can still get you a long way in the ‘beautiful game’.
I know, it’s only halfway through the season, they could still finish 16th!
But you know what?
I don’t care if they do.
While the Citys, Uniteds, Arsenals, Liverpools, Chelseas and Spurs of this world bicker and scrap for a title that only one will win, the likes of Burnley have already won, in many people’s eyes.
OK, they probably won’t be another Leicester, but, let’s be honest, it gives all the ‘smaller’ clubs hope.
That included Ipswich Town 17 years ago.
The Premier League doesn’t have to be a fearful place for the lesser clubs.
Indeed I would think the good folk of Turf Moor can’t wait for the next game to come around.
What’s that saying? – ‘You have to be in it, to win it’.
Talking of money.
It was revealed this week that Germany’s players will receive £265,000 each if they successfully defend their World Cup title in Russia next year.
As if they need the money.
I’m still flabbergasted that in today’s game, players are even on win bonuses.
If anything between £10k and £300k a week isn’t enough to get you out of bed to work your socks off, what sort of planet are you living on?
It’s not just winning the competition itself though that will bring in the cash for Joachim Low’s squar.
A spot in the quarter-finals will earn each of his squad £66,000 and a semi-final place £110,000, if they finish runners-up, it’s £175,000.
The only fly in the German ointment – or maybe it’s a sign of immense over confidence – is that no player gets a penny bonus should they not get out of the group stages, or even the last 16!
Don’t think Gareth Southgate’s men would be too happy with that structure!
It’s a delicate matter, especially in today’s PC world.
Should Formula One continue with ‘grid girls’?
I know, all the things in the world to be concerned about! But apparently it’s a debate.
Views are mixed.
Ross Brawn, F1 managing director of motorsports, has said the use of female promotional models is a “delicate topic” which is “under strong review”, while Red Bull team boss Christian Horner said ‘grid girls’ “add glamour” to the sport.
Silverstone boss Stuart Pringle, however, says the practice is “outdated”, adding “lycra can stay in the 1970s and 80s.”
Personally, I’d like to see a few less pop stars, actors, Hollywood A listers and general ‘hangers-on’ pouting their way up and down the grid dripping in jewellery before the start of each race. I find nothing more ‘offensive’.
Oh, and while you’re at it, a few more ‘grid girls’ please.