Alec Swann - You get what you earn so have some perspective

Northamptonshire Telegraph's sports writers Jon Dunham, Jim Lyon and Alec Swann.
Northamptonshire Telegraph's sports writers Jon Dunham, Jim Lyon and Alec Swann.

Driving home from covering Corby’s defeat of Stalybridge Celtic last Saturday, I decided to listen to Radio Northampton to take in the afternoon’s sporting activity.

I’ll admit that the local station isn’t normally my first choice but given a choice between tuneless dance music, a bland hit by Jessie J and Manchester City versus Barnsley and the after match chat, the latter came out on top.

But after 10 minutes of my ears digesting the talk followng the Cobblers’ 2-0 victory against Accrington, my index finger was drawn towards the button that pumped the likes of One Direction through my speakers.

This isn’t to demean the coverage offered by the BBC, far from it, but it was the subject matter that failed to cut the mustard.

And here’s why.

Sport, and football more than most, generates opinions that, in the main, are ludicrously one-eyed.

My team’s great, yours is useless, he should be sacked, they’re not trying, he was a waste of money, the club’s ours, he used to play for someone else so he’s the devil etc, etc, etc.

No logic, no objectivity, no reasoning, no common sense - in fact, no real point.

And it was one snippet of a comment that got my ears pricked.

When a comment opens with, ‘This may sound arrogant...’ you can bet your bottom dollar that you know what is coming.

And so it came to pass.

If you took what I heard as gospel, then the Cobblers deserve to be playing against the likes of Coventry, Peterborough and Milton Keynes rather than Morecambe, Torquay and Exeter and are capable of making it as far as the Championship.

Why, I hear you ask? Well, that’s the point.

Ignore the fact that the past two seasons have produced a battle to stay out of the Blue Square Premier and that the second tier of the professional game hasn’t been seen since 1966.

The only reason I could gather was that they’ve got a nice ground.

I was hoping it would be more along the lines of ‘The House of Fraser do a nice line in menswear’ or ‘There’s a good chippy in the town centre’, even ‘The A45 connects the town with Wellingborough’ as these would have carried more weight.

But all I got before the abomination of a Comic Relief single was opted for was a point of view based on nothing more than a view through rose-tinted glasses.

Every football club in the English professional game deserves to play in the league they do for myriad reasons.

A sacking here, a signing there, a ground move, a sponsorship deal, a cup run, a tactical switch and so on.

Cause and effect I believe it’s known as.

The Cobblers are in League Two because, down the years, thousands of decisons have melted together to produce what you see today.

If they go up a division then it will have been deserved - the concept of promotion and relegation sees to that - and if they don’t the same will apply.

So spare me the nonsense and stick to some perspective.

I’m not holding my breath.