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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Rubik's Cube

A Rubik’s cube has more combinations than light travels inches in a century. This is my favourite illustration of how a very small number of factors can produce an absurdly complicated situation. A silly little toy, with only three squares in each of its three dimensions. How can that get complicated? Well, as anyone who's ever tried to solve one just by guessing will tell you, it gets very complicated. The number of possible combinations is 43,252,003,274,489,856,000. Forget billions - that's 43 quintillion and change. (In fact the cube's manufacturers just said ‘billions' in their advertising, figuring that no one would know what a quintillion was. It's a billion billion.) The number of inches light travels in a century, meanwhile, is a mere 37,165,049,856,000,000,000. Or thereabouts.