The Italian Job

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As the FSF’s profile steadily rises, Chairman Malcolm Clarke remains “Mr In-Demand” as far as the nation’s football media are concerned.

His words of wisdom on the scandalous prices which some supporters are now expected to fork out in order to watch their favourite teams were widely quoted in the English, Welsh and Scottish press last week.

And, now, it seems even the top scribes on the continent want some words of wisdom from Stoke City fan Clarke, who must surely now be second only to Nick Hancock in the “Most Famous Stokie” stakes.

Because even prominent Italian daily sports newspaper Gazetta dello Sport were desperate for a piece of the Clarke action, and certainly succeeded in giving a certain gravitas to his comments.

Billing our top man as the FSF “Presidente”, they gave front page prominence to his statement that: “A huge amount of money is flowing into the Premier League from television…there's no justification for these price increases. For too long the clubs have thought that there is no limit to the fans' loyalty. The point is coming where fans will not accept these rises. They are totally unjustified."

Which, of course, was all the more dramatic and exciting when presented in Italian.

“Presidente” Clarke refused to deny rumours that an invitation to the Vatican to meet the Pope may be in the offing, when he told Fan Mail: “Get on with your work - any more mickey-taking from you lot, and you’ll be sleeping with the fishes.”