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July 2021

Football as an indication as to the source of madness in the modern world

By Dominic Sanchez Cabello

With the weather like this, the economy like that, and the shop relatively quiet. We in Parade Antiques look to football for the answers. The Olympics simply doesn’t do it for us – it’s far too sane. Apparently, as soon as you stop paying someone 200,000 a week, they just become all together more measured and righteous. Can’t understand it? The spectacle, as impressive as it is, just lacks that sensation of impending doom, cold sweat and general anxiousness that Arsenal alone are able to instil.

Professional Football is generally a fine indication as to where the madness of the modern world stems from and to which end it is progressing. For example the world can’t be too bad if someone paid 24 million for James Millner? Or, perhaps it could…

A consolation of an English summer saturated with rain is that the Euro’s in Ukraine and Poland brought a little happiness to proceedings. In times riddled with ravaged economies, despotic regimes and showings of Royal pomposity, something that resembles sanity is a refreshing change.

Cast your minds back a few weeks, to a time where football was on our TV screens, proper football that is, to a night in Gdansk, where the Spanish bench gave a telling insight as to why its Economy is in such a pickle. Fabregas, Navas, Cazorla, Mata, Valdes, Martinez…  to an Irish bench of Doyle, McShane, Hunt, Kelly, O’Dea, Westwood and so on… one had the makings of a pretty good six a side team, the other, a cracking darts team.

Now, I’m no expert, but It seems that aside from all the currency problems, export productivity, mass unemployment and various other economic nuances that I don’t care to understand, Spain has spent too much time and money teaching its Children how to be good at football at the expense of teaching them how to bring money into the country.

They could restructure their system of education to promote long-term economic viability, but that would be a coward’s way out. In many ways, the situation they are in is a very curious one and calls for some curious methods. At present they have the best footballing infrastructure in the world: the most pro-licenced coaches per capita, the best players, some of the best facilities and importantly the most exportable football culture.

This horde of talented footballers allows endless possibilities. In the short term the production of more football-shirts for export would be a way of creating more jobs  and exporting Spanish culture to the developing world, because let’s face it, football is much better than McDonalds. The wealth acquired from these new markets in Asia/India/Africa can finance the creation of more football teams situated in favourable destinations to be later bought out by some bored Sheikh with sovereign wealth lying around.

A network of Spanish footballing academies across the world wouldn’t go a miss. It has an established and pleasant ring to it: The Spanish Footballing School, Vienna; a few more here and there, couple in Beijing, Tokyo, Seoul, maybe even Pyongyang, who knows? Wouldn’t be many other football academies there.

With this footballing cobweb being weaved around the world, creating an empire 5 times stronger than comparable empires connected by steel, wealth would flow back to the Spanish Metropole.

Over time the coffers would look far rosier and with rosy coffers come the possibility of more adventurous operations.

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From here (and I know it sounds drastic…) annex Portugal? Or at least include the acquisition of Cristiano Ronaldo in the peace terms. Followed by reclamation of their historical colonies in South America, or again… just Lionel Messi. I think you see where I’m going here.

In time, the Eurozone, minus Germany, may be up for sale. Ireland could be developed as a nation of pristine emerald pitches, Greece as an aesthetic and physical conditioning enclave, Italy as a boot shaped centre of fashionable, football kit development, France as a sports-nutrition clinic.

Ultimately, the result would be the struggling Eurozone developing as an international footballing division of labour.  Which is of course a beautiful thing, the standard of football increases through economic prosperity. And no, before you ask, I’m not biased in the slightest.

 Dominic Sanchez – Cabello


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19 comments to Football as an indication as to the source of madness in the modern world

  • Adam

    Great read but Old Nosy would be turning in his grave, Annex Portugal, Britains oldest allies? Very entertaining read.

  • nicky

    “Football as an indication as to the source of madness in the modern world”
    A great compelling title which unfortunately didn’t quite
    spawn such a good article beneath it.
    Rather too much emphasise on the ailing Eurozone and in particular Spain, where a duo run football (and everything else by the sound of it).
    Thank God the UK wasn’t sucked in to the Euro….a rare victory by our politicians for once.

  • nicky

    Did you ever find the articles, the links to which I forwarded about a week ago?

  • Adam

    @Nicky, Funny you should mention that i was going to comment earlier when i noticed you were online. I have so many questions that i don’t know where to start?
    My Great auntie use to write for a paper (I cannot remember which one) when she passed away a couple of years ago her Daughter put together a insite into her younger years(life in and around Islington), If I can get my hands on it would you be interesred in reading it? Plus how could I get it to you?

  • nicky

    Apart from a year working in London 1942/3 (working just off the Strand and living in Romford)I know nothing about Islington so any article about that area would mean little to me, I’m afraid.
    Any questions about Arsenal between the Wars and during WW2 could be posted under Untold (unless Tony says it is ultra vires!). They might just be of interest to those younger Gooners who wonder about the older types and their support for our great Club.

  • insideright

    I think that Spanish economic ills may be more closely linked to the same problem that beset Glasgow Rangers namely the non-payment of tax. When those particular chickens came home to roost the outcomes proved to be strangely similar.

  • Stuart

    Have you been back to Romford recently Nicky? It’s changed in my lifetime, if you haven’t been you probably wouldn’t recognise it now.

  • Goona Gal

    @ Dominic – Very interesting article. I think you have put forward an unusual proposition for Spain’s financial woes – they were too busy playing football! What was Ireland busy doing then? Erm…nevermind. Exporting Spain’s football methods and philosophy isn’t a bad idea though. I actually think Arsenal should develop franchises of their football acadamies around the world.

  • Dreamer

    Great read…good laugh. You might just be an economic adviser in the making.

    UA just make my day

  • Rog B

    I enjoyed that article great stuff! A bit off topic though but whilst watching the closing ceremony of the Olympics I had a kind of epiphany relating to the Olympics federation and the true ideals of sport that it demands must be met if you wish to compete in their competitions(fairness,honesty,transparency,equality…the list goes on and on) in comparison to FIFA/Footballing governing bodies and what seems to be an agenda solely to suite the elite and an agenda that is re-enforced by the mighty wheel of the media and sponsors. The Football side of things is something I know that you at Untold are clearly trying to address and investigate. I just find it interesting that probably the two biggest sporting authorities in the world are completely at opposite ends to the table when it comes to how they view the rules and ideals of sport and how they should be should be applied.
    A complete breakdown and comparison between how the two bodies are structured and run, would I think, make a very interesting post, don’t you think? With so much obvious talent on your editorial team Tony,I am sure you could find one of your team,if not yourself to research and present a very interesting comparison. Just a thought…

  • Adam

    @Nicky. I read your aticles on the other site and thought you might like to read about the lives of local supporters from your generation. No worries. I will in time go back to your articles and leave the odd question for you. Thanks for your time in advance.

  • bob

    Now that there’s a mega-bank crisis and 25 percent Spanish unemployment and maybe more for youth, it’s now oh so clear that an all-football-all-the-time “total footballization” of the economy and restoration of its former empire through football is the answer to Spain’s (and Europe’s?) woes. 🙂
    That said, you seem to describe these woes as: “Spain has spent too much time and money teaching its Children how to be good at football at the expense of teaching them how to bring money into the country. They could restructure their system of education to promote long-term economic viability, but that would be a coward’s way out.” Ok, easy to say, and who would disagree. But what would be the way to long-term viability? Low wages forever?

  • nicky

    Left Romford in May 1943 to join up and haven’t been back since! Can’t imagine what the place is like now.
    One abiding memory is, early one morning standing on the crowded Railway Station awaiting the last Workman’s train to London, when to our left, along comes a lowflying German ‘plane pursued by two RAF fighters, conveniently following the railway line. The German opened up on the gas holders just outside the station causing fire from each bullet hole. We all stood amazed until a porter shouted “Take Cover”. Everyone then panicked and ran for it. The person I followed ran through a door and slammed it shut in front of me. I tried to open the door until I noticed the sign “Ladies” above it. Oooops.
    The newspapers the following day reported that a lone German raider had been shot down over the Thames Estuary.

  • Mahdain

    talking about football showing just how crazy the world is Sunderland have put in an offer(accepted?) of £14m for Steven Fletcher. thats more than what Arsenal paid for Podolski,Giroud and Cazorla individually

  • Laundryender


    he is an ex Scotland International you know, show the man some respect

  • Stuart


    That’s some story there I bet but I wont ask you to go into it.

    Most of Romford has been knocked down and rebuilt now, even the Oldchurch Hospital has gone and is now flats (recently) and all the factories, are gone, just houses and flats.

    Anyway, back to Untold.

  • nicky

    I lived in Cross Road, all those years ago.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Good article ,Dominic -it could just work out for Spain .The Brazilians did it first though .Some years back when their economy was in the doldrums , they exported many footballers to all corners of the globe .
    These high earning players repatriated this valuable foreign exchange and help their country’s economy .This is my take on what transpired .I wouldn’t heap praise on the ruling politicians getting it right nor just to sheer hard work .
    I think this where the phrase ,” Pulled up by the (football)bootstraps.”, originated.
    Spain could likewise ‘export’ some of their sexy , saucy, spicy senoritas to teach flamenco dancing .It could be the next big fad .I wouldn’t mind them clicking my castanets !

  • Thanks for the comments guys, would have replied sooner, but hadn’t realised it was up.

    Brickfields Gunners, oh so it’s possible then, I had no idea that happened, will have to read more, sounds fascinating!

    Gooner Gal, exactly, why not? I think Arsenal is in just as good a position as any. Our principles, under Wenger have been rock solid. Everyone knows our style.

    Point taken Nicky, but in my defence, the title was meant to be: Football, The Spanish Economy & The State of Irish Darts.’Twas entirely tongue in cheek.I mean, I didn’t really see annexing Portugal as a good move.

    I can also see that the Euro-zone is a tender area at the moment, and Spain developing it as a Footballing super nation would probably not be the answer.

    Stephen Fletcher for 14 mil? He’s good, but that’s ridiculous.

    Bob, I think the Spanish Economy needs answers that I can’t really provide. To be honest, a low wage economy is fine by me, as long as they keep producing these footballers!