Today sees the launch of Netflix’s lavish six-part series The English Game which aims to do for the history of professional football in the UK what The Crown did for the British Royal Family.
And bearing in mind what a heavy debt DAIMANI owes to the VIP Hospitality industry built up around the Football Association and English Premier League, we thought this an entirely appropriate work-product to promote. Especially for those currently toiling from home.
The series was created by Julian Fellowes, of Downton Abbey fame, and tells off the on- and off-the-field struggles as the amateur, schoolboy ethos – embodied by Arthur Kinnaird [later Lord Kinnaird] – clashes with and gives way to the northern upstarts from Darwen FC led by the charismatic Fergus Suter, acknowledged as the game’s first professional player.
‘Kinnaird sees the vision,’ Fellowes told the Radio Times. ‘He says to his players and friends: “You don’t see this. This is where the game has to go – the passing game. It’s beautiful. They need to play it, and we need to help them.” It’s that recognition in one another, I think, that makes them so special.’
‘He did really change the game, Fergus Suter,’ said Fellowes, whose Gosford Park original script won an Oscar in 2002. ‘He brought the passing game down into England, but before, [football] was much nearer rugby. And they played quite violently. In the show, you know, when you’re watching them play at the beginning, you think, “My God, this wouldn’t be allowed for five seconds now!”’