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It’s amazing who you spot at football matches these days…
Regular readers of The Moodie Blog will know that we are great supporters of Leicester City Football Club, the English Premiership team owned by a sister company of travel retailer King Power International, whose Chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha acquired the club in 2010.
As surely everyone in the sporting world (and most of those in the non-sporting world) know, the team affectionately dubbed the ‘Foxes’ stunned the whole football universe by winning the English Premier League in 2016.
Since then, their fortunes have dipped somewhat. Last season was like flat cider after the fabulous Champagne of the previous season and this year has started off like stale ale with the team three off the bottom of the league (and therefore in a relegation place) as I write.
But with support like the Foxes attract, one suspects they will climb up the table soon. And with that thought in mind, while trying to hit yet another editorial deadline I have been checking in via the BBC’s live stream on tonight’s match against West Bromwich Albion, a regular mid-table side from the English midlands. Surely with their fans rocking the stadium from its very foundations, the Foxes will put the ‘Baggies’ to shame, right?
Well, no, actually. As I write, the Foxes are a goal down. And now I know why. You see, all that home support is not what it seems. I have just spotted this photo below on the BBC feed. If I’m not very much mistaken that is England Manager Gareth Southgate in the front row, looking neutral as one would expect. But who’s that earnest-looking young man just behind him, staring intently as the Foxes pour onto the attack in a game they have thus far dominated and yet trail in?
There’s something about the grimace, as if he’s desperately trying to subdue some kind of inner explosion. It is, in its magnificent restraint, almost Theresa May-esque as Donald Trump took her hand outside the White House.
Could it be one of Southgate’s trusty assistants? A worried local Leicester councillor perhaps? No, after close forensic probing by The Moodie Blog and a quick text message to sources at the King Power Stadium, we can reveal that the clue lies in the initials (obscured) on his business card. TFWA. And somehow I think the acronymn doesn’t spell The Foxes – Winners Always! No, dear readers, this is a rare sighting of a TFW(B)A, believed in fact to be the only remaining example of that highly endangered species, the Tax Free West Bromwich Albion supporter, spotted here on foreign soil in every sense. You read it here first!
In fact, this is none other than Tax Free World Association’s newly appointed Managing Director John Rimmer (a former senior colleague at The Moodie Davitt Report), whose support for the Baggies is only slightly less fanatical (although considerably more voluntary) than that of North Korean’s political elite towards leader Kim Jong-Un.
I think there is real poetry in this image of John, clearly an invited guest of King Power International Senior Vice President and Leicester City Football Club Chief Executive Susan Whelan. The picture shows him displaying immense self-discipline and all the diplomacy required of his new role at TFWA, not to be letting forth a volley of abuse at the referee for any anti-Baggies decisions, let alone walking out in disgust when the Foxes equalise (which, as I write, they just have!! GET IN YOU FOXES!!!!!!!!!!).
John, you are clearly made for the new TFWBA, I mean TFWA, role. Such impressive powers of self-control. You could actually be a star Baggies striker with all that composure in the box. Truly admirable. Though I am not sure you will retain that equanimity if the Foxes score a late winner, after the Baggies remained, as your association might describe it, attacks-free during the latter moments of the game in settling for a draw. So I shall finish this Blog, substituting myself in the 88th minute and hoping for the best…