About Me

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Hammersmith, London, United Kingdom
I'm a director of Maidenhead United Football Club. For ten seasons one of my roles at the club was to produce the match programme. The aim of this blog was to write football related articles for publication in the match programme. In particular I like to write about the representation of football in popular culture, specifically music, film/TV and literature. I also write about matches I attend which generally feature Maidenhead United.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Celebrity Squares

One of the disappointing trade offs of having so many cameras at football matches these days is that the director seems to instruct one to focus on picking out faces in the crowd.
I can understand the simplistic function of showing a supporter crying when their team have lost or showing a manager in thrall to anger or sadness depending on whose net the ball has ended up in, it reflects the patronising commentary which treats viewers as idiots, but at least its connected to the action.
What I can't stand is the way that if any celebrity of note happens to be spending their free time watching their football club, its deemed to be a highlight of the day.  Thus yesterday I saw Stephen Fry on TV three times watching Norwich at QPR. Yes he is a national treasure whose intelligent wit is a boon to TV of all kinds, not to mention his literary skill or cinematic flair, but it does not enrich my consumption of Football League action to know he is watching at Loftus Road proudly wearing his Canary colours.  Norfolk's only league club is doubly damned in this respect as of course Delia Smith's presence in the Directors' box at Carrow Road is an easy win for the camera, but rather like seeing Frank Skinner watching his beloved West Brom or the Gallagher brothers at Eastlands, this fascination with who is watching diminishes the primacy of the game in a way I'm sure would appal those caught on camera.
By inextricably linking clubs with a celebrity, TV reduces the importance of what is happening on the pitch to a mere sideshow, and I dread the day cameras arrive at York Road only to spend the afternoon focusing on the presence of Timmy Mallett watching the action from the shelf.

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