One of the developing themes in our coverage human activities is the extent to which the popularity of different elite sports affects their participants’ careers, short or long, and either boosts or hinders their projected future development.
Not to place too fine a point upon it, many of the accompanying complexities and problems arise from the impact of the business sector and the murky worlds of sporting agents, corrupt ruling body administrators, the mega-bucks value of commercial rights deals and – in the modern era of global internet connectivity, social media, ‘influencers’ and impressionable youngsters deluding themselves that they too are just a whisker (and possibly a reality TV show appearance) away from joining the self-indulgent, luxury-filled, pampered lifestyles of their hero-superstars – the all-pervading but erroneous assumption that anyone can aspire to anything.
Overnight I came across a number of media stories that highlight some of the extravagances, issues, existential threats and absurdities that inhabit the world of global sport and so today I present Rusters with a pot pourri of examples:
First up, not least because it is perhaps the ‘biggest and most popular’ sport of all, here is a link to a piece by Miguel Delany on the dominant realpolitik actualités of the football world as appears today upon the website of – THE INDEPENDENT
In contrast, here is a link to an article by Sean Ingle on the UK Athletics’ forthcoming struggle to retain even its – compared to football’s – few crumbs from the top table of commercial funding and ‘television rights’ sales, as appears today upon the website of – THE GUARDIAN
Next, a report by Jonathon McEvoy on the just-announced postponement (or even possibly cancellation) of this year’s Chinese Grand Prix due to the rapid expansion of the coronavirus epidemic, see here, on the website of the – DAILY MAIL
Our rugby correspondent Sarah McDonnell regularly reports on the inconsistencies, self-interested cabals and ‘inconvenient truths’ that infest the world of the oval ball game.
Here is another to add to the ever-growing list of charges that can be laid at the door of England’s ruling body the Rugby Football Union, whose officers – oblivious to the interests of the amateur grass-roots and semi-pro levels of their sport as they hob-knob with the movers and shakers of the elite professional game in their corporate boxes and enjoy their freebie group jaunts to away Six Nations internationals – have just announced a halving of the funding it provides annually to the second-tier (Championship) league clubs.
See here for a report by Gerard Meagher that appears today, again on the website of – THE GUARDIAN