Girls ready to kick off in bonus row

On Saturday the Lionesses take on Haiti in their first Group D game of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. Even with three of our star players out with long term injuries, the European Champions are still considered strong contenders to win the tournament outright.

Yet for some reason there is no performance-related bonus scheme in place for the England girls, which is a travesty considering what they have already done for the game over the past couple of years.

They have become household names and heroes to young girls across the country who aim to follow in their footsteps and with more than 1.3 million tickets already bought in advance along with an expected television audience of two billion worldwide, the women’s game is the fastest growing sport on the planet.

Stand-in skipper Millie Bright released a statement on behalf of the players earlier in the week to say that while the squad was disappointed no resolution had been found with the FA, they were suspending discussions until after the World Cup.

It’s hard enough having to go into the biggest tournament in the sport without Beth Mead, Fran Kirby and captain Leah Williamson, especially given the expectation that now rests on their shoulders, so to be left feeling unappreciated by the FA after everything they have achieved is a disgrace.

Give them what they deserve you skinflints!

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I once, many years ago now, used the headline Who ate all the pies? about county cuts to the meals on wheels service for the elderly, which was later blamed by the Tories for them losing control of the council.

In about 2008 I used a photo of Hackney’s then Labour mayor on a letters page and used a caption that suggested he was digging himself another hole to fall into, which prompted the council to demand my head on a spike.

But I didn’t go anywhere near as far as the Evening Standard this week with a full page picture of the Conservative candidate for London Mayor set to take on Sadiq Khan next May.

The full front page picture of Susan Hall is not exactly flattering. Hilariously funny, but not exactly on message as far as Tory HQ is concerned.

Even today, with the sometimes painful hindsight of experience behind me, I doubt I could have resisted the temptation to use it.

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I’ve never been one for slogans on t-shirt, but one has struck such a chord with me that I bought it and intend wearing it on stage when I return to gigging with a band later this year.

The message: “Don’t p*** off old people. The older we get the less the words life sentence act as a deterrent” perfectly sums up how my bandmates see me.

Stupid TV quiz answer of the week

The Chase:

Q: Britain’s largest stretches of water are in which national park?

A: Lakeside

Tipping Point:

Q: In which hemisphere does the most of the world’s population live?

A: Asia

Plus Ben’s references to “danglers” and “squeezing one out” are happening way too often for it to be an accident.

Edward Case

Columnist