They’re dead poosh in Berkshire. They get out of the bath to take a leak over there. So it was quite a shock to see the display of rampant mucksavagery last night at the Madejski Stadium when Reading secured promotion to the Premier League:
Won’t someone please think of the players, being jostled by an unruly mob when they would much rather be able to jog around the pitch taking the plaudits and meeting their family who are far more important to them than mere ‘fans’. Any suggestion that the players might enjoy such a melee, such as pointing to the look on Ian Harte’s face in a photo on today’s Daily Mail, is to be dismissed. That’s terror on his face. It must be.
As you’ve no doubt guessed, I’m still bitter over the loss of the pitch invasion in the GAA. My wife’s family were mightily impressed that we were allowed get down onto the pitch after beating Galway in 2009. Yet it’s gone from Croke Park, it’s not coming back, and the authorities are utterly committed to eradicating it from all parts of the association. You have to marvel at the mindset that could look at the behaviour of the Reading supporters last night and think that it was unacceptable. Pitch invasions after promotion look like they are becoming the norm in English soccer, almost a new tradition, and one their authorities don’t seem to be clamping down on. It would be ironic if we continue to put the squeeze on it just while the Brits are realising what a thrill it is.