The excellent weekly radio football show Cafe Calcio returns to the air this evening (a little later than scheduled) on Londons Resonance FM, and for this series one of its regular features will be the Street Pharmacists Guide To Football. Here’s co-host Chris Roberts on the more-ish effects of the Premier League for the supporter of a newly-promoted club.

Formerly an aristocrat of the drug world (enjoyed by Sigmund Freud and Queen Victoria) cocaine has very definitely come downhill since a chief method of ingestion was to be blown up Stevie Nick’s arse. The drug delivers a rapid and extreme high. A true moment of glory with soaring confidence and body pumping for the brief period it lasts which explains why the drug, though comparatively cheaper than it was, still can be financially draining. Other negative effects include coming across like the biggest horror on the planet who has just had their volume turned up when on a high, and nasty sniveling carping beast on the comedown with incessant gibbering and insincere waffling. It is also pretty bad for your appetite and skin or other tissues, especially the nose hence Ms Nick’s resorting to another passage.

All of these symptoms may be “heightened” by using crack cocaine (a mixture of cocaine, baking soda and water), where prolonged consumption can lead (after time) to complete psychological dependence on the drug. This leads us neatly to the connection with football. The consumption of soccer having been unhinged from its traditional slots on Saturday afternoon or Wednesday night, means that the fan receives a constant media barrage. One of the results of this has been a rearrangement of the reporting of the game so that the real news, the scores of games say, is shunted below the more immediate transfer revelations.

The two things may be related in that a good deal in the transfer market sometimes brings about better actual results on the pitch. This connection is by no means assured except in the minds of the addicted. For some of whom the hit delivered by the acquisition of a player of rumoured, or even proven, quality is akin to an actual victory. Liverpool fans have been known to write sixteen verse epic poems set to tunes popular in the hit parade about players reported to have been seen at John Lennon airport on the off chance they are going to sign. This addiction though is rife across all clubs from the statement of ambition signing to the foreign Messiah, via the bank breaking superstar. All deliver a crack like hit as the mind reels into possibilities of how they’ll effect matches or fit in beautifully with existing talent and single handed bring the side cups, keep them up or gain promotion as appropriate.

All such dreams end ignobly with the club poorer and scratching about trying to retrieve its dignity on the back page white horse of the tabloids before gathering enough resources to get another hit from the transfer market of dreams.

Chris Roberts co-hosts Café Calcio on Resonance 104.4 FM. He wrote the book Football Voodoo on magic and superstition in soccer and is responsible for the Football Art Masterclass, the Latin speaking football correspondent Tacticus and the Russian billionaires random team name generator.

Café Calcio is broadcast at 7.00 PM on 104.4 Resonance FM and repeated on Saturday’s at 11 AM – you can listen to it on the web here. Shows from the first three seasons can be found here and season four here. You can stalk the show on Twitter here.

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