I was delighted to be offered the job of corporate hosting at Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club this week. I didn’t accept immediately. It was something I had to run by my wife. I asked her if I could spend more time watching football this coming season and she said no. Then I mentioned the money and the exotic holiday we could stretch to next summer and she said yes. This means I will spend 87% of my life, watching football over the next nine months. This includes the Albion, the other team in my life, my son’s team, my own five-a-side team, Match of the Day and any European, F.A, League Cup TV excursions. The other 13% will be spent on the exotic holiday. Crucially, it’s the 13% that will prevent a divorce.
The job itself involves hosting corporate lunches at the new Amex Stadium, for every home and cup match for 2011-2012. In between wooing the corporate masses with my wit, charisma and terrible pronunciation of Albion players, I will be watching the game itself. To be honest, it’s a bit of a dream job, not only because I love watching football (any football, as long as its football) but Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club are clearly a club going places.
On the back of a stunning Championship winning season, they are moving in to a brand new 22,000 seater stadium, which as to be one of the best outside the Premiership (and better than some in it), they have a very exciting team and in Gus Poyet they have a outstanding manager, whose impact on the team, on joining the club, was immediate and spectacular. In short, I’m proud to be associated with the club.
Various football fans have already warned me that flirting with the Albion at every home game; will eventually destroy the relationship with the other team in my life. I have refuted such claims. I can see that I will grow to like the club and of course, I want to see them win every week. I may even break out in to a clap if they score. But I will not dessert the other team in my life. My love runs too deep with the other one. I fell in love with them back in 1981 and despite the ups and downs; I’ve never stopped loving them.
My love affair with Brighton and Hove Albion will be a series of passionate one night stands over the course of the next nine months. Sometimes, it will be a let down and I’ll wake up the next morning full of remorse and guilt. Other times, it will be wild and wonderful and I’ll want to do it again and again (perhaps attend a mid-week game).
But my marriage to the other one is rock solid. I’ll be with them until the day I die and probably beyond (I’ve dipped in to Buddhism). Sure, it becomes laborious at times but I couldn’t live without them and as long as I’m honest about the Albion situation, I can’t see us breaking up.
In fact my flirtations with the Albion will probably spice things up with the other team, to a point where we fall in love all over again and recapture the feelings I had back in 1981. It’ll be fine. I’m in control. I know what I’m doing.
So who are the Albion’s first opponents at the Amex? Tottenham Hotspur, now you come to ask.
That’s going to be awkward.