To tell the truth, I’m relieved. The stress was becoming unbearable. Now I can relax, sit back and enjoy the rest of the tournament as a dispassionate neutral, the familiar, undemanding perspective of all those decades before Wales started doing disturbing things like actually qualifying. I can revert to being the purist footie-fan who just wants the best team to win (so long as it’s not England).
I don’t intend to say anything about the game itself, except that the 4-0 trouncing was Wales’ heaviest defeat in 81 matches across nearly nine years (Serbia 6 Wales 1 in September 2012) and has brought the head-to-head record against Denmark to P11, W4, D0, L7, Goals F9-A16. Instead, I will make the following general points:
■ In the run-up to the tournament UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson obligingly provided us with more evidence, if any were needed, of Wales’ place in the sham ‘union’. By wishing good luck to England and Scotland but pointedly ignoring Wales, Johnson confirmed that the very existence of Wales is an affront to his belligerent, imperialistic, autocratic Toryism. The gibbering charlatan cannot even bring himself to utter the word, because to do so would be to recognise Wales as an entity and thereby admit that his ‘world beating’ thugs haven’t yet, after half a millennium of trying, managed to annihilate, extirpate and eradicate little Wales, here in their own backyard.
■ The FAW’s resonant slogan ‘Together Stronger’ is a worthy assertion of the abiding Welsh values of collectivism and solidarity. But it amounts to nothing more than an airy, feelgood abstraction if it’s not put into practice, and the continued presence of five clubs with a Welsh postcode in the English pyramid means that football in Wales is actually organised according to the polar opposite principle. It is, in fact, ‘Divided Weaker’. This is the great unmentionable, studiously glossed over or flatly ignored, and relentlessly enforced in what amounts to a blanket ban on coverage of the Welsh pyramid by the English monopoly controllers of the ‘Welsh’ media, BBC Wales, ITV Wales and Media Wales. Approaching the 30th anniversary of the League of Wales being founded in 1992, Welsh domestic football remains the weakest and poorest in all of Europe entirely because of the cuckoos in our nest, gobbling up all the available resources and enfeebling and handicapping the football clubs of Wales. An illuminating example of this is provided by the squads of the 24 nations at the Euros. In descending order, here are the number of players in each 26-man squad (for some reason Spain decided to go with a squad of 24) who play in their own country’s leagues:
N Macedonia 3
Embarrassing or what? If Wales is to have a sustainable footballing future when the once-in-a-lifetime Bale era draws to a close, this fundamental issue, which would be tolerated nowhere else on the planet, must be first faced and then tackled. The FAW, petrified of unleashing the incoherent rage of the British Nationalists, ‘Unionists’ and Anglophiliacs who control all debate in Wales, doesn’t even have a policy on the matter. Rather than pumping resources into the domestic game in order to build the professional national league that no serious footballing country would contemplate being without, huge amounts are devoted to unearthing anyone with a Welsh parent or grandparent who can be recruited to the cause. The FAW has a ‘talent identification manager’ (Gus Williams), along with a ‘technical director’ (Dave Adams) and 28 scouts, specifically employed to do just that. That’s why 11 of Wales’ squad of 26 were born outside Wales, the most of all the Euro 2020 qualifiers. Embarrassing or what? Meanwhile the four Welsh clubs that have the honour and responsibility of representing Wales in the upcoming European Cup and Europa Conference competitions (Connah’s Quay Nomads, The New Saints, Bala Town and Newtown) must subsist on a pittance with facilities that would have looked inadequate 100 years ago. Some admirable advances and improvements have been made by the FAW in the last decade; the colonised mentality of old is on the wane. Now, armed with the booty from two consecutive Euro tournaments, surely the time is long overdue for the FAW to grasp the nettle and inform FIFA, UEFA, the English FA and the five not-Welsh clubs that this perverse and deeply damaging outrage must end forthwith.
■ One major advance the FAW has introduced recently is in the use of ‘Cymru’ rather than ‘Wales’ for the national team and ‘Cymru Premier’ rather than ‘Welsh Premier’ for the national league (along with the rebranding of the top three tiers as the ‘Cymru Leagues’ as part of the welcome reorganisation of the pyramid). Taking inspiration from this change, I can now announce that from henceforth on this blog the word ‘Wales’ (derived from the Anglo-Saxon invaders’ word for foreigner, stranger, inferior, slave) will be replaced in all instances by the word ‘Cymru’* (meaning friends, comrades, fellow countrymen). We can be certain that the blithering Old Etonian twit will never attempt to get his lying gob around that!
Likewise, ‘Cymreig’ will be used in place of ‘Welsh’ (adjective) and ‘Cymraeg’ in place of ‘Welsh’ (language). The ‘Wales’ category is now ‘Cymru’