VIVA Javi Poves! Viva Los Ingnados! Death To football!
Sporting Gijon defender Poves, a rising star of Spanish football, has wrapped in football in digust at the greed, venality and corruption of a game he says is a commercial racket used to blind society to inequality, injustice and poverty in the wider world and become an instant hero. To me anyway.
Poves says cynical commercial interests run a game he calls a scam and says players are self-obsessed empty vessels who allow themselves to be manipulated by agents and clubs. And in a Spain that is being increasingly polarised by the harsh consequences of the toxic debt crisis he has openly sided with an angry generation of radicalised dissidents – the Indignados – and in a stream of ever more militant twitter polemics he has called for the people to take to the streets, burn the banks and hold to account the politicians who have brought the country to the brink.
His sharp analysis chimes with the mood on the streets in Spain. And now he has joined the grassroots movement of a dislocated uran generation whose concerns he has been articulating via social media for months. He has given up the wages and superstar lifestyle and says he will instead pursue education and a wider world view. He is walking the walk.
He makes English football’s self-conscious soapbox sloganeer Joey Barton – the millionaire briefly changed his Twitter avatar to a Che Guevara picture last week – look like a Student Grant spaying designer anarchist slogans on the living room wall of the flat daddy paid for.
For all Comrade Barton’s entertaining disaffection on Twitter and oblique posturing rage at the powers that be, you still suspect his ire is about getting the best out of the situation for himself, that if he moves it will be for better money, that if he stays he will leave on a free next term and cash in to the max. He knows his economic and employment rights and is all too ready to stand up for them and do it publicly in a game so often shrouded in secrecy – but his position is one of self-interest. It is not a fundamental challenge to the status quo, either within the game or in wider society. He is no revolutionary. His hard-line tweets about the riots for instance could easily have come from a Tory MP.
But Javi Poves means it. He has quit the game, ripped up his contract, turned his back on the money and celebrity lifestyle and withdrawn his consent from the rapacious entertainment industry he has grown to despise. Top level football is a moral and ethically bankrupt. The more people inside the magic circle who say so, the better. Respect.
WHILE on the subject of self-aware footballers, social media and economic rights, can I point you in the direction of this blog on that subject from The Two Unfortunates?