Graham Turner pleads for football to be kept out of his summer

A personal view by Graham Turner
A personal view by Graham Turner
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The first ball of The Ashes series was launched down the pitch at Trent Bridge on Wednesday, Andy Murray lifted the men’s title at Wimbledon on Sunday and the strawberries and cream I enjoyed at the weekend was perfection in a bowl . . . it’s the height of summer, made more special by the beautiful, hot weather we’ve had.

You can also tell it’s high summer because the football season seems to have started!

Yes, this week our sports reporters went out to cover their first matches. Admittedly, these games are branded as ‘pre-season friendlies’, but it’s still football and, to me, very much out of season.

Even the sports bulletins on national TV and radio seem to be full of football news – who’s changing clubs, who wants to move and who’s staying put.

I do wish football would keep its muddy size 9s out of summer, it’s not right that it should be trying to grab the limelight while there’s so much (better) summer sport going on.

I suppose it’s really all about money.

The stakes are so high for the top clubs, or brands as they are now, that they can’t afford to ease back at any time of the year.

Pre-season tours to the Far East, Asia and the Americas are incredibly lucrative for the big clubs. They no doubt need the money to keep rolling in for a full 12 months to meet their insane (and probably unsustainable) wages bills.

But why non-league, semi-professional and amateur players would want to turn out in the heat of July I just can’t imagine?

-- Details of the new national curriculum for children up to the age of 14 were revealed this week and I suppose it’s important that all children follow a fairly similar course of work for the purpose of setting exams that they can all take.

But it does seem odd that academies can ignore the national curriculum if they wish, especially since such a large proportion of schools have now converted to become academies.

I’ve had a brief look at the document and a couple of things pricked my interest – the thought of trying to teach a class of five-year-olds computer programming made me smile, while the emphasis on studying Shakespeare made me grimace!