Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Ilford nights

I am a big fan of Marina Hyde in the Guardian. A little florid on occasion perhaps, she still usually makes me laugh, especially when writing about the absurdities of football.

Here's a story of which I am sure she would whole-heartedly approve.

That stalwart of the West Ham side and victim of smarter brother syndrome, Anton Ferdinand, has been up before the beak after a fracas outside a nightspot in London's trendy Ilford. A gentleman by the name of Emile Walker, who was allegedly on the receiving end of some of Mr Ferndinand's less nuanced football 'moves' ended up with a fractured jaw. Needless to say, young Anton says he was acting in self-defence after Mr Walker threatened to kill his girlfriend, and - a far more heinous act this - looked at his watch.

His watch? You cry in understandable disbelief. Ah, but no ordinary watch this, being worth a staggering, nay eye-watering £64,000. Whatever the rights and wrongs of the case (and justice is so very difficult a concept these days, isn't it?) I think we should all pause for a moment here and consider a few things. Anton Ferdinand is 22 years old. He is a reasonably solid defender who, a couple of seasons ago, looked like he might be about to become a little better, but who has faded somewhat of late. He plays for a side who are far from the elite of football, despite the Icelandic biscuit baron's millions. And yet he can afford to buy a watch which costs £64,000. There is something seriously screwed up with this world, and no mistake. The very fact that watches worth that kind of money are sold at all is obscene. Don't you think?

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