Mark Andrews on Saturday: Obscene money in football, an embarrassing father, and the pulsating race to become PM

As the tension reaches fever pitch, the nation waits with bated breath to find out on Monday whether our next prime minister is Liz Truss or Rishi Sunak...

Mike Bassett
Mike Bassett

Forgive the sarcasm, but how many people really care?

We should care. It is pretty important who leads the country through a time of crisis. But it has just been so dull, the debates so futile.

Almost as dull and futile as 15 years ago, when an unopposed Gordon Brown toured the country drumming up support for his leadership bid – despite being the only name on the ballot paper.

This latest spectacle reminds me of the football club that hastily fires its manager after a mutiny from fans. And then realises the only candidates are Mike Bassett and Steve McClaren.

* * *

Staying with football, it is estimated that £1.7 billion has been spent in the latest transfer window. And the Premier League's 557 players now earn an average of £3.12 million a year.

There are, of course, huge inequalities. While the 'haves' – such as Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo, rake in £26.8 million a year, the poor 'have nots', such as United's third-choice goalkeeper, Tom Heaton, scrape by on £2.18 million. Poor Tom, who has yet to start since joining United last year. He no doubt faces a tough winter ahead.

Then there's Marcus Rashford, on £10.4 million a year. He wants more taxpayers' money spent on those in need. A bit rich, don't you think?

Marcus Rashford – a bit rich?

You can't blame them, we'd all do the same in their boots. And nobody is forced to buy season tickets or take out subscription packages.

But it is worth bearing in mind when we call energy bosses greedy for taking home a million or so for delivering essential services.

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Keith Gordon reckons he's 'the coolest-looking guy in Essex'.

A low bar, admittedly, but there are still some yet to be convinced.

Keith is a 66-year-old retired civil servant who has spent the past 13 years covering himself entirely in dystopian tattoos. Including one of Satan on his eyelid. Talk of a mid-life crisis.

Keith Gordon with his family in 2015

Anyhow, he was asked to leave a supermarket in Brighton because a member of staff thought he was scaring off the punters. Prompting Keith to lodge a complaint of discrimination.

"I couldn't believe he had the audacity to comment on how I looked in front of my kids," he says.

Really? Because I suspect that's the least his kids have to deal with.

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