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Increasing equality one scam at a time

Super-rich spending up to $500,000 on exclusive Paris Olympics packages

As any fule kno going to Paris in August is a terrible waste of time and money. Therefore this is a great method of increasing equality. The rich will have $500k less, others will have $500 k a more and nothing of value will have changed hands to make it so.

Sounds like a plan, eh?

Seems about right actually

By the end of the conversation, my anger and incredulity at how Everton was being run was balanced by a touch of sympathy for Moshiri. He cuts a tragic Premier League figure. To use a well-known Liverpool phrase, he has ‘had his kecks pulled down’ by the football industry. His intentions when buying Everton were noble, but the evidence suggests he has been used as a cash cow by agents and players.

To end up with a wage bill that is 92 percent of the club’s turnover – and having nothing to show for it – proves he has been taken to the cleaners.

That’s the sort of thing that happens in a sports business with relegation and promotion. All the money goes to the players.

Of course, Spud managed to get this entirely the wrong way around but then that’s normal, right?

That’s rugby for you

Billy Vunipola was tasered twice by police officers while being arrested at a bar in Majorca.

The incident took place in a bar called Epic in Palma, with Vunipola taking off his shirt and threatening customers and employees with bottles and chairs, according to local reports.

Vunipola, who is 6ft 2in and weighs more than 20 stone, required a second taser volt in order to be handcuffed by police officers at around 4.30am on Sunday morning, before later being taken to nearby Son Espases Hospital where he was reportedly sedated and bound to his bed.

In association football this sort of thing is devolved to the supporters. In rugby it’s the players themselves……no delegation, see?

Err, yes?

If you have wondered why your partner always beats you at tennis or one child always crushes the other at Fortnite, it seems there is more to it than pure physical ability.

Some people are effectively able to see more “images per second” than others, research suggests, meaning they’re innately better at spotting or tracking fast-moving objects such as tennis balls.

Thought that was obvious? In my very few childish attempts at cricket I simply couldn;t see the ball. At lesat, not in the same sense as – obviously – some others could.

I also recall a test batsman being asked how he was so good at dealing with spin – “Well, you can see the spin as it leaves the bowlers’ hand!” Something entirely obvious to him and not to mere mortals.

Yes, yes, people talk about reaction times but that’s not wholly it. Being able to see what will happen earlier is a part of it at least.

As so often, science tells us something we already knew, merely formalises it.

Actually, you do

James Anderson’s 700 wickets: ‘You would not expect a player to improve as they get older’

There is the physique, which declines as time goes on. Which bit at which time depends. Flat out speed perhaps from 18 or so onwards. Upper body strength from maybe 28 onwards (don’t take those ages as being accurate, mere examples).

OK, then there’s also expertise, skill, which is something we’d expect to rise with age – doin’ stuff tends to make you better at doin’ stuff.

Peak athletic performance is at the optimal point of those two curves, curves which move in opposite directions over time. You mature into the skill of the thing as the body starts its decay.

Rugby wings peak in their late 20s perhaps, rugby props in their mid 30s. That sort of thing.


The Six Nations has abolished a long-standing tradition of forcing home teams to wear their alternate strips in instances of kit clashes during this year’s championship.

The onus in the Six Nations – and the Five Nations before it – had traditionally been on the home side to change their jerseys in the event of a clash but Telegraph Sport understands that the protocol, which has existed for over 75 years, was reversed ahead of this year’s Six Nations as part of wider plans to modernise the championship.

Sure, it’s different, by why is it modern? Someone’s got to change and the allocation of who it is is neither modern nor archaic.


Err, yes?

Strip out the bit about “our fans”, whose wishes have been ignored for the best part of 18 years, and the essence of the strategic review was laid bare: a money grab, designed not to “enhance the club’s future growth” but to swell the bank balance of six siblings in Florida. Bottom line over scoreline, as some staff at United describe the Glazer era. It was ever thus.

The Glazers are due to pocket over £500 million from the sale of a 25 per cent stake in United to the Ineos billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe, with the other half of the £1.03 billion purchase price going to other shareholders.

Put another way, that is a similar figure to the debt burden that was loaded on to the club when the Americans completed their hostile takeover in 2005, and which has remained largely unchanged ever since.

It’s a business. And?


England have the best nine and ten in Europe – it’s time to rejoice

Umm, I know that folk think we did well to reach the semi but that’s larding it on a bit isn’t i…….ah, some other, less important, sport.

NZ v SA for the final then

Both we and Argentina are gonna get creamed. We’ve been flattered, a lot, by the draw.

So, guesses on the only match now in doubt?

Seriously, we’d need two red cards for them to have a chance, right?

That’s nice

One Northern Hemisphere team into the semis. Skin, teeth and all that but made it.

Definitely made a bad fist of the handicapping though. Seems obvious to me that favourites 1-4 (without trying to rank them) all ended up in the same 2 quarters, at 5 through 8 – to be slightly polite – ended up in the other two.

I might have said this before

But one of the big differences from 20 years back is that second and third ranking teams (tho’ Fiji ain’t that any more, snigger) have kickers who can reliably get 40 metre penalties. That used to be an area where sideline conversions, longish penalties etc, only the top teams had kickers – to the obvious advantage of their ability to keep the scoreboard ticking over.

Hmm, well, yes

Agreed, it wasn’t a good performance.

As England slumped to their first ever loss against Fiji, which must rank as their worst ever defeat, plenty of senior figures within the Rugby Football Union should have started preparing their resignation letters at Twickenham.

But we should at least entertain the idea that Fiji are simply better than they were.

Amazing shocker, eh?

Emma Raducanu stands at No 6 in the new Forbes list of the world’s highest-paid tennis players, with estimated annual earnings of $15.3 million (£12.2 million).

This is 180 places above her world ranking, which underlines Raducanu’s remarkable marketability.

Pretty bird gets well paid. We are all shocked at the sexism of the world.

Also, the naked racism of the capitalists, eh?

One more to go for

They have already been champions of England seven times in 12 years and now Pep Guardiola’s team have repeated the epic 1999 single-season achievement of Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United – Premier League, FA Cup, Champions League.

Presumably someone will manage it at some point and gain the League Cup in the same season too….

Goddam idiots

The fixtures will not be confirmed until the final line-up is known but it will be a cross-pool format with each side playing three matches and there is every chance that the Red Roses could face the Black Ferns for the first time since losing last year’s World Cup final – and on New Zealand soil. World Rugby confirmed on Friday that New Zealand will host WXV1, with matches played in different cities across three weekends, Oct 21 and 28 and Nov 4.

Therein lies one of the flaws of this year’s launch event: two of those weekends clash with the men’s World Cup semi-finals and final, so how much exposure and cut-through will WXV get?

The “mission” of WXV, according to World Rugby’s press release, is to raise the profile of the women’s game but it is going to be hard to do that with the sport’s biggest event reaching its climax at the same time. The two tournaments may be taking place in different time zones but the focus of rugby fans and media will be firmly on events in France, with broadcasters in particular unlikely to have huge budgets or airtime to bid for the rights.

What you actually do is have all of these competitions on the same annual cycle, in the same place. As with mooted plan have the Nations’ Cup (ie, all the second line national teams who didn’t make the World Cup) in the same place and at the same time as the World Cup.

Every four years have that 6 week (?) jamboree of all rugby – major nations, minor, male and female – in the same place at the same time.

If nothing else the cross breeding certainties will improve the game in the next generation.