This weekend, I furloughed my Sky Sports subscription. An adjudication which’ll no doubt be a cost saving strategy employed by a majority of subscribers to this satellite/cable TV conduit.

Whatever situation gave birth to the adage ‘It’s a no-brainer’, it couldn’t possibly have made a stronger case for it’s adoption than my actions on Sunday. After all, only a buffoon would hand over £20 plus a month to access a live sports channel which, consequential of the COVID-19 pandemic, utterly fails to provide what’s written on the tin.

This consideration made ever stronger by the fact, while live sporting events sit idly at home drinking beer and counting the multitude of toilet roll it unnecessarily hoarded, Sky Sports channels will be gratis anyway.

I’m not penning these locutions from position judgemental, or through bearing any informed insight into your budgetary requirements. However, I’d guess, if you’re reticent to lob twenty odd notes onto a funeral pyre every month, like me and thousand of others you’ll make that call. A simple enough task online, although potentially a lengthier episode via a telephony channel.

To be honest, I’m unsure if I’m going to renew the sports elements within my TV package, even when live sports ascends like a phoenix from the coronavirus ashes. An episode that’ll be greeted with euphoria among the land and stations key stakeholders. I guess, though, everyone’s expectations will need to be managed if expecting to witness these disport confrontations in a pub any time soon.

My reticence at providing the Sky corporation with my blood money a consequence of the pastimes luring me into subscribing, namely cricket and rugby league, being unlikely to be returned as broadcasting priorities. That accolade no doubt falling at the feet of football and horse racing.

The latter sports, spectacles I view with indifference from a front row seat in portal middle age. However, as one is the national sport and the other’s wherewithal to boost the economy with less sloth than competitors, surely they’ll return prior to competitors.

Don’t get me wrong, both football and horse racing are sporting tableaus I enjoy while stadium or racetrack in situ. That being said they’re disports I pay little mind when becoming aware of their broadcast on live TV.

Ironically, the distain I hold for football in the modern area manifests from the obscene sums of money thrown at the Premier League by Sky TV. The very same people I hypocritically pay £20+ a month to view their sporting output.

The current COVID-19 virus backing what I’ve long opined about budgetary mismanagement by top football clubs. Ergo, it’s protagonists receiving billions of pounds a season from Sky, yet within weeks of coronavirus induced economic carnage, some of UK football’s big hitters were furloughing non-footballing employees.

With more than a small dollop of schadenfreude, I’d not be overly fussed it the gravy train feeding top UK footballers and their parasitic agents salaries, which (to my mind) they don’t come anywhere near earning, gets derailed by this dreadful pandemic.

After all, football did exist before Sky opened the treasure chest upon which the lucky few were invited to feast…… And guess what those who don’t remember that era, it was still a sporting product which brought equivalent levels of joy as that imparted by occupants of the current den of iniquity.

Sure, back then, the pitches were uneven, players weren’t as skilled, we’d no Sky Sports News to afford us with ‘fascinating’ facts, such as what Burnley’s goalkeeper eats for breakfast. Not to mention that era brought on its coattails a risk of exposure to mullets, moustaches and overly tight football shorts. However, we bought into that jeopardy as long as our idols put a shift in.

Prior to the inception of the Premier League, hold onto your breaches younger football fans, we received the same endorphin release as you do now when a hero finds the back of the net, or your sporting amours clinch a victory.

These emotions acquired no matter how scrappy the performance or field it took place. If your team had won, euphoria levels and Saturday night after match pints were every bit as sumptuous as those bequeathed by contemporary game’s celebrations.

As coincidence nearly has it, I’m writing this piece advocating the joys of pre-Premier League the day after the 28 year anniversary of my footballing amours Leeds United securing the 1991-92 league title.

That season the last top flight season prior to Sky introducing a land of footballing milk and honey. Leeds’ manager at the time, Howard Wilkinson, still the last Englishman to ever guide a team to the English title.

As an ex-work colleague of mine used to arbitrarily posit “Think on!”

iu