May I have a word about… Joey Barton and South Yorkshire police

Jonathan Bouquet


Oh, what a joyful confluence of events. I refer, of course, to the barney between Fleetwood Town manager, Joey Barton, and South Yorkshire police, not the alleged barney between Joey Barton and the Barnsley manager, Daniel Stendel, who, apparently, was left with fewer teeth than when he began the day. Let us just say that South Yorkshire police have a less than glistening history.

And it’s this constabulary that should surely be charged with grievous bodily harm to the English language for this, according to one report: “Officers received a report of an assault at Barnsley FC. This incident has been crimed and will be thoroughly investigated.” Crimed? What sort of extraordinary creature dreamed up that one? If I were Barton, I would plead innocence in the face of irredeemable abuse of English. Come on, plod, up your game.

To happier matters. I enjoyed the poll from Barclays’ money-sharing app Pingit on the way people refer to the pound in their pocket. Notes, dosh, dough, bucks, lolly - all good, but I regret there was no mention of moolah or spondulicks. I’m sure Arthur Daley would have uttered the latter, often shortened to “sponds”, but perhaps that’s wishful thinking. What was not wishful thinking was the use of the word “catastrophisation”, but whether it referred to Brexit, Notre Dame or the quite delightful evisceration of Manchester United by Barcelona, I can’t quite remember.

To return briefly to sport, can there be anything more saddening than the following from boxer Amir Khan: “You get hate from the day you become famous. The day you don’t get hate, you’re finished”? What a sewer social media is.

•Jonathan Bouquet is an Observer columnist