Co-founder of the self-styled 'sporting outfitters of intellectual distinction' aka Philosophy Football
Mark Perryman is a research fellow in sport and leisure culture at the Chelsea School, University of Brighton and co-founder of Philosophy Football. Mark's new book 1966 and Not All That is published by Repeater Books in 2016.
David Cameron, you know the one who gets his Villas and West Hams all in a muddle when professing his undying love for a team in claret and blue, obviously wasn't checking the summer fixture lists when plumping for a date to have a Euro Referendum.
Quite remarkably almost 50 years on never-ending repeats from the nine original series are still being broadcast as primetime Saturday night TV. And perhaps most amazing of all <em>Dad's Army</em> has been remade into a new feature film, not reinvented for a 2016 audience but recreated to be as close as possible to the original version.
Le Tour is now as much a fixture of the Great British Sporting Summer as Wimbledon strawberries and cream, a flutter on the Derby, England's bi-annual early exit from a Euro or a World Cup and the five-day drama of an Ashes Test, weather permitting.
That's right, on the eve of England's doomed bid to host World Cup 2018 the bid director took time out to lambast the BBC for investigating FIFA corruption. Five years later with FIFA headquarters raided by police and arrests made the smell of the hypocrisy of English football adopting the role of the game's moral guardian should border on the overpowering. But almost all of this context is lost in the soft target discourse of Blatter-bashing.
Bah! Humbug? Well, not exactly but in a world of not much peace and plenty of ill-will what do you buy for those in your life clinging on to the ideal that the point is to change it? Here's my top ten, not guaranteed to cheer them up mind.
I'm sorry but you won't find here the just-in-time-for Christmas sports autobiography blockbusters. With enough manufactured controversy to ensure blanket coverage when they are launched even a skim read will reveal that on the contrary they tell the reader very little they didn't either know or suspect already.
On 19th September I want to wake up to a Britain no longer shaped by the failed politicians of yesteryear. I want to wake up to a Scotland, independent, bold and brave enough to sort out its own future. And once it begins that process, the rest of us prepared to follow suit. Breaking up Britain? An independent Scotland is only be the start.
For many though, whatever the scale of Wiggo, Cav and Froome's achievements as British cyclists, the long shadow of the sport's drug problems remains so impenetrable as to cast such successes in doubt.
No expensive new stadiums and arenas, often to be barely used after the extravaganza is over, sold off or knocked down. In fact no new infrastructure at all, apart from filling in the potholes on the road.