Aston Villa: Can I Divorce My Football Team?
That was fun wasn't it? Well only if you were able to set aside the corruption, the obscene expense, the preening, diving players, the ticket racketeering and Favela-clearing, the football has actually been quite enjoyable.
As I waited for that final whistle to blow, I found myself breaking out into a cold sweat. The inevitable consequence of the end of the World Cup is that it hastens the start of another festival of the above; OK, without the Favela-clearing and enjoyable football bit- but essentially the same. Yes, the Premier League is only a summer holiday break in Weston-Super- Mare away. Actually, if you have truly embraced the spirit of the Premier League, your summer holiday is possibly going to include a pre- season tour to the US, the Gulf Emirates or Kuala Lumpur; Weston is only for those losers who have spent their entire family budget on a season ticket and now have to live week to week on supplements from Wonga ( other hyper- interest rate inflation profiteering may be available). Problem for me is that I can't ignore all that stuff any more. Much as football has been a part of my life, I have to move on. It will be messy - and I'm not talking Lionel.
I had to act fast. I contacted the renowned, no win no fee, lawyers, Fleasum and Skarpur, only to find that they were already acting for The Premier League. So, I decided to represent myself. It has been a long time coming, but here is my hastily and necessarily produced petition.
Between, Emma Flowers "the Petitioner" and Aston Villa Football Club "the Respondent)" whereby the Petitioner states herein that the relationship between her and the Respondent has broken down irretrievably and that the marriage shall be dissolved.
The grounds for the divorce are as follows:
1. Unreasonable behaviour: The Respondent has never shown the slightest interest in the health and well- being of the Petitioner, ignoring her at all times and preferring the company of it's co-respondents (hereinafter referred to as "players"). The Players have had lavish salaries, lifestyles beyond imagination and the constant attention of the media, while the Petitioner had years of lukewarm Balti pies, over- priced drinks, inflated ticket prices and inconvenient kick-off times at the marital home, hereinafter called Villa Park.
Furthermore, it is stated that the Petitioner wilfully forced the Respondent to purchase clothing each season, for the entire family, that bore very little change to that of the previous season. All this at over-inflated prices,and all in a colour combination, hereinafter called Claret & Blue, that defied the taste of true fashion aficionados, who wanted something that didn't clash horribly with every other item of clothing.
These practices have all become increasingly intolerable since Villa Park was forced to rent out rooms to various corporate sponsors, some of whom insisted their name be included on the aforementioned clothing. Examples include, Muller Yoghurt,32red.com and Dafabet ( see Mental Cruelty below).
2. Mental Cruelty: the Petitioner furthermore states that the Respondent has wilfully, and with malice aforethought, encouraged her to believe that they were indeed ".. The greatest team the world has ever seen" . This cruel and vicious untruth was perpetuated for a period of more than 45 years, when this was patently not the case. Worst of all, the children of the marriage have also been subjected to the same level of lies and abuse ( see separate custody petition).
3. Adultery; the Respondent has been caught playing away from home. There are specific examples of this adulterous behaviour with their American boss. This generally took place in the US as the boss was rarely seen in Birmingham. This behaviour now seems to be continuing to a point that the Respondent could be accused of prostituting itself in liaisons with potential suitors from the Far East, Middle East and Eastern Europe, all of whom have no interest in, or knowledge of the marriage. The boss and these suitors have often lavished money and gifts on the Respondent, that the Petitioner never saw the benefit from. Far better to enjoy the comfort of a healthy, home- loving relationship with the Petitioner and the many thousands of potential co-petitioners, hereinafter called "The Holte Enders". This has been proven in other marriages around the country, and yet this practice continues unabated. Furthermore, the Respondent has enjoyed relations with satellite broadcasters who, in return for large payments, were able to dictate the timing of family life at the marital home whilst employing presenters who would use outdated and sexist exhortations to "smash it".
At this point, and in the interests of fairness, the Petitioner would like it recorded that the marriage enjoyed some happy times. There was a long honeymoon where the Petitioner and Respondent would walk hand in hand across many cities, both in the UK and Europe, soaking up the atmosphere, kissing each other's badges and singing songs full of wit, humour and containing no four letter words. This culminated in an unforgettable night of passion and romance in Rotterdam in 1982. At that point it seemed that the marriage would never become just another statistic.
The petitioner therefore requests an immediate decree nisi with a Decree Absolute essential before the start of yet another interminable and miserable Premier League season.
There it is. I divorce thee, Aston Villa and Premier League Football. Actually, it is not all your fault. You suffered the fate of so many men in yet to be broken marriages, hanging around with your mates too much, trying to be the big "I am" and ignoring your family.
Me? I'm left, like so many women, loving their "ex" forever, but simply unable to live with them any more. We have drifted apart but I will catch a glimpse of you occasionally, on TV or in a newspaper and wistfully remember the good times; but then. I will remember what a ruthless, heartless, avaricious bastard you were and hope you die horribly.
Anyone else need divorce advice?