Queens Park Rangers supporters finally received the news they had been waiting eagerly for since the final match of last season against Leeds United on 8 May. Neil Warnock’s men will kick off their first year back in the top flight since 1996 against Bolton Wanderers, themselves a model of how to achieve Premier League survival, and subsequent stability. Seeing such illustrious names as Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea on the fixture list was something rather special. However as discussed previously, the cost of attending these matches is such to render them little more than pipe dreams for a significant proportion of the W12 faithful.
It’s Wimbledon time again, a special point in the year when millions of people flood onto tennis courts in order to sharpen their skills for two weeks and emulate their heroes from the television, before depositing their rackets behind the sofa once again. Yet here in the British Isles, the graveyard that is our professional male tennis scene means we only have one man to cheer on. That is, unless you wish to follow the trials and tribulations of the second best tennis player in the United Kingdom, who currently stands tall at 176th in the world rankings.
Would you pay £20million for this man? Well Liverpool Football Club, beginning an ‘English revival’ all by themselves with the signing of Andy Carroll earlier this season, have just agreed a fee thought to be just under half that which was paid for Carroll for Sunderland winger Jordan Henderson. Now personally I feel that Kenny Dalglish ought to be applauded for such a bold strategy in a division which long since gave up on attracting English talent, but can Liverpool afford it? Signing English footballers, no matter how talented they are, is such a novelty nowadays, that the prices charged by clubs such as Sunderland and even Watford a few years ago for Ashley Young reflect this fact.
There haven’t even been wallet-bursting transfers to lift the malaise over Shepherds Bush, yet this hasn’t stopped the typical lazy media coverage – Craig Mackail-Smith for instance had better decide where he is going before he is actually linked to every Premier League club in the bottom half of the table – which has naturally resulted in no concrete information whatsoever. The rumours have been enjoyable, however, particularly those prophesising the imminent arrival of Premier League stalwarts Robbie Keane and Jermaine Jenas, who may look average in their respective Tottenham Hotspur shirts, but would surely be a cut above Rangers currently paltry array of talent.