Alec Swann - You’re not owed anything so stop the complaining

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

A few weeks ago I took part, or I should say I had to listen, to a conversation from an irate gentleman who was upset that a particular set of results hadn’t appeared in that week’s paper.

Having tried to explain the issues of space and prioritising that exist in any editorial office, none of which appeared to make any impression whatsoever, he left with a comment along the lines of ‘well I’m going back to the newsagents to demand my money back.’

I informed him that he was welcome to try but that I doubt any shop owner in the country would agree to his request.

And - I didn’t add this because rudeness wouldn’t have really added anything to the exchange - if they did agree then they would be nothing short of idiotic.

After all, the intention was to buy the newspaper and that is what transpired and refunds aren’t issued on an individual basis, not that I’m aware of, depending on whether particular content is included.

Fast forward to last week where a couple of similarly ludicrous comments were noticed that reminded me of the aforementioned telephone call.

I can’t recall the platform on which they appeared, however, one came from an English cricket fan in Australia who believed that a refund should be in order because of the tourists’ capitulation and the other from a West Ham supporter who was of the same opinion following his side’s collapse against Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup.

There could be some of you who wholeheartedly agree with this and are of the opinion that had you been let down to that kind of extent then nothing less than your money back would suffice.

However, the majority would, and hopefully should, think this mentality to be unrealistic and completely disproportionate.

And the most obvious question would be ‘why should you get your money back?’

Don’t start with the ‘we deserve better’ line and please refrain from using the ‘we pay their wages’ remark.

This may be overly simplistic and abrupt but the supporter isn’t owed anything by those he or she is watching.

They are entitled to expect their team of choice to apply themselves to their respective task but that’s really about it - you pay your money and you take your choice.

If you put your money in a vending machine and select a can of coke but lemonade comes out then of course you should be able to get your money returned but if you go abroad on holiday and the weather isn’t as warm as you would like then it’s tough luck.

Choose to watch sport, whatever it might be, and you are committing to the premise that it might not go to plan.

The immediate aftermath of seeing your team getting taken to the cleaners isn’t the best time to offer an opinion as emotion will forever trump common sense but unfortunately some, even having allowed their blood pressure to return to normal, still revert to this way of thinking.

It’s all too predictable, it’s all too ridiculous and there is an all too easy solution.

Just don’t go.