A small portion of despair and enlightenment delivered to your inbox every Friday
23 May 2014 ~
Most recent annual wage bills: Champions League finalists Atlético Madrid – £54 million. Championship play-off finalists QPR – £78 million. What might Harry Redknapp achieve if he could spend some money?
Badge of the week ~ FK Akzhayik Oral, Kazakhstan
The Kazakhstan legend of the Five Horseshoes is well known to most Kazakhstanis, although not the modern children who do not listen to folk tales while dandled on grandfather's knee because they would much rather play Mortal Kombat for days or develop an eating disorder. But the older generations will have heard of a nameless hero who had to travel to the five ends of the earth to recover five magic horseshoes before the world was plunged into eternal night.
There were five ends of the earth in the ancient days, which was downgraded during the 18th century Enlightenment to the more symmetrical four corners, which in turn was ratified in Brussels in 2002 to two ends of the earth – Tasmania and Penge. The nameless hero found four of the horseshoes in good time, vanquishing four dreaded foes, the Fire Dragon, the Ice Goblin, the Storm Giant and the Abrasive Textiles Lion.
He simply could not find the fifth magic horseshoe, however, and wandered the earth for many years until he was called back when academics found a mistranslation in the ancient texts, namely that the passage of the ancient writings interpreted as "the world will be plunged into eternal night", in fact meant "there will be a reward for finding these horseshoes because they are considered quite valuable". One of the worst ancient text mistranslations in living memory. Akzhayik Oral use the image to define their team as doggedly persistent, even to the point of stupidity. Cameron Carter
from Robin Foot
"If you think you had problems identifying Luke Gutteridge from his Wikipedia photo, at least he appears in it. Which is more than can be said for Sammy Igoe."
Tunbridge Wells know how to appeal to their hardcore support.
from Alan Chadwick
"A week late, but I thought Oliver Holt's unusual tribute to Roy Hodgson deserved a mention. Not sure Roy will like the comparison."
FIFA reportedly spent £16 million funding this film about themselves. João Havelange is played by Sam Neill, presumably because the actor had previously been cast as the Antichrist in The Omen III.
Likenesses of England players carved out of brazil nuts. It had to happen but that doesn't make it right.
Also in the news this week
Manchester United find another celebrity fan.
Arsenal sell mashed up shirt.
"If he says that females are irrational, it's probably true" – Doug Ellis defends Richard Scudamore.
Yaya Toure "disrespected" by birthday celebration.