The sad Premier League

There's a man lives in Navan who goes by the name of Bill Murphy -- and several other names as it happens.

He’s one of those mischievous sorts who likes nothing better than to write to the letters pages of various national and local newspapers.

In his time, Bill has been known to inform the Meath Chronicle that the Faughan Hill downhill skiing club was to meet just outside Bohermeen.

He’s educated the readers of the Drogheda Independent about the Louth Insomniacs club and their 3 a.m. meetings in front of the town’s main church (think about it).

And he once managed to form a Kilkennyman’s association in Meath simply by putting a fictitious notice about a formation meeting in the local papers, a notice so successful that those who turned up actually went ahead and formed the group in question anyway.

Bill is an old friend of mine. I know him by several of his names and I know him by his real name and, I have to admit, I like the man for all his eccentricities.

Just a few months ago, Bill and I exchanged text messages after an appearance by your loyal columnist on the Sunday afternoon sports show on LMFM Radio, presented by my friend and colleague Gerry Kelly.

It was back in August and the rapidly approaching new Premier League season was the backdrop for my Sunday chat with Gerry.

Not that Bill was too impressed. Just two minutes after I had said goodbye to Gerry, Bill was texting me and giving out to me.

He took exception to my celebrating the fact that Premier League football was about to return for another topsy turvy season.

Bill even went so far as to suggest that I should promote the amateur guys who put their heart and soul into the GAA each and every weekend without ever seeing the sort of wages that soccer’s top players take for granted.

At the time I didn’t agree. After events this past week or so, it is hard not to see that Bill had a fair point.

First, Newcastle United sacked their Irish manager Chris Hughton and replaced him with Alan Pardew, a friend of the club’s owner from their nights together in a London casino.

Then the Manchester City captain Carlos Tevez announced that he wants to quit his $450,000 a week contract and return home to his daughters in Argentina, only for Real Madrid to then confirm that they have chasing his signature via his agent for months now.

And finally, Blackburn Rovers sacked their manager Sam Allardyce on Monday with the club 13th in the Premier League -- apparently his desire to buy Robbie Keane was one of the reasons for his swift departure.

Obviously, professional football and the world inhabited by the likes of Wayne Rooney is indeed a sad place, so maybe Bill was right after all. Just don’t tell him.

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