The final countdown

Dave Woodhall on a big night for Villa.

I hate football.

To be precise, I hate the Premier League.

I hate all the overblown hype and hysteria, with transfer deadlines treated like royal weddings and footballers being regarded as celebrities.

I hate having to spend my hard-earned money on making rich young men ever richer, when the truth is that they won’t even notice my contribution.

I hate the fact that the Holte is the biggest end stand in the country yet all the money spent on season tickets in there would barely pay one player’s wages.

I hate that matches played on Tuesday night are televised so that people who think football is a game played in a pub on an 80 inch screen can talk about it and believe they have a greater insight than those of us who were at the match.

I hate that the oldest league derby in the world, between two clubs who were kicking lumps out of each other before Rangers had ever played Celtic, Inter had played Milan and neither Manchester club had been thought of, is treated as a sideshow.

I hate the idea that Robbie Savage can still find gainful employment.

I hate all the stupid fanfares and introductions.

I hate my team being one up at half-time when it should have been at least three and could have been five.

I hate Tony Pulis being regarded as a managerial guru when every team he ever takes charge of immediately become masters of the art of time-wasting and gamesmanship.

I hate the opposition equalising with their only chance on target.

I hate my team wasting their last hope of a winner with a stoppage time free-kick delivered by a multi-millionaire who puts the ball further from the goal than it started.

I hate last-ditch hopeful punts into the opposition penalty area.

I love football.

It’s the greatest thing on earth.