Outing the Secret Footballer


Click to follow
The Independent Online

Still can't figure out who the Guardian's 'Secret Footballer' is? Tim Black, editor of online-magazine Spiked, suggests the best place to look might be the broadsheet's own offices.

"For a start," says Black, "the secret footballer is also a staggeringly pretentious footballer". He quotes frequently from Shakespeare and Proust and reminds us of his love of fine wine. But this learning is worn heavily - like a badge to separate the author from Beano-reading, lager-swilling peers.

Worse, the anonymous columnist's moral compass seems stuck on a remarkably similar setting to that of a "Premier-League hating, bling-bashing" columnist. Jokes that would pass as banter between team-mates are decried as "racism"; chants that prove only football-fans' skill at winding up players are considered evidence of widespread social attitudes. "The result", Black concludes, "is more broadsheet prejudice than insider illumination".