Cashmere jumpers for goalposts

Who said this about football and money?

The football transfer window closed this week, prompting the usual comments on how the modern game has been ruined by money.

Cashmere jumpers for goalposts

The craziness certainly seems to reach new heights every year. Manchester United spent more in this window than any British club ever, laying out £150m. This just a few days after they lost to MK Dons, whose entire squad cost £235,000 - less than a week's wages for Wayne Rooney.

So prompted by the farcical finances, here's a quote for you. I came across it while researching Move Along Please. See if you can guess who said it, and in which year:

‘Nearly everything possible has been done to spoil this game; the heavy financial interests; the absurd transfer and player selling system; the lack of any birth or residential qualification for the players; the betting and coupon competitions; the absurd publicity given to every feature of it by the Press.' 

Scroll down for the answer ...

 

 

 

 

 

It was J.B.Priestley in 1933.

 

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Big Ben

On a visit to Big Ben, I was told that if you stand at the bottom of the tower with a portable radio and listen to the chimes on Radio 4 (they still transmit them live), you hear them on the radio before you hear them ‘for real’. I couldn’t believe it – but was intrigued enough to try it for myself. And you know what? It’s absolutely true. The bongs come out of the radio a fraction of a second before they reach your ears from the top of the tower. It’s something so silly, so counter-intuitive, that you have to tell people. (Well, I did.) Researching the explanation, I found that it’s because radio waves travel at the speed of light (186,000 miles per second) rather than the 700 or so miles per hour at which sound waves travel. The signal travelling down the wire from the microphone to the BBC goes at the speed of light too. Hence the radio version overtaking the real one.

I realised that this would be the perfect way to teach the principle in school physics lessons. Instead of a boring teacher droning on that ‘radio waves travel at the speed of light’, illustrate it with this beautiful and quirky little fact. The kids will remember it then. I certainly would have done if my physics teacher had taken this approach. As it was I had to wait until I heard a piece of so-called ‘trivia’ in my thirties.