At the end of a wonderful sporting year, football lies in the doghouse.
Our Olympians wear their gold medals with modesty. At rugby we have beaten the All Blacks. Our golfers stand supreme, and Alistair Cook is leading his men to a notable victory in India.
Yet in football wherever one looks, there is disgrace. When players are not diving, they are abusing referees or demanding salaries out of all proportion to their talents.
Managers, when not heaping abuse on match officials prefer to look the other way.
Then there are the fans. Those lovely folk who spend every Saturday afternoon spitting poison at anyone who comes within a coin’s throw.
Some people wondered, after London staged an Olympic Games with a human face, whether that spirit would carry over into the football season. Well they know now.
MALCOLM NICHOLSON, Barwick-in-Elmet