Sunday, 5 October 2014

The parable of the football supporter

Well, actually Jesus told a parable about tenants in a vineyard who refuse to pay their rent. The landowner (God in the parable), sends ambassadors then finally his own son to reason with them, but they ultimately end up killing the son as a way of showing the landowner "who is the boss".  Jesus asks "What would the landowner do?" his listeners replied that he should come himself to take action, throw the tenants out and get new ones who would pay him more respect.

Seems bizarre I know, but think of it like this...........

There was once a foreign, very wealthy businessman who fancied owning a football club (say, Manchester United, Liverpool, Cardiff City, Hull City, Aston Villa....... the list could go on).

The new owner doesn't know much about football (think Blackburn Rovers) but sends his representatives, even family members to act on his behalf. He makes what seem to him to be sensible business centred decisions. But he does so without talking to the supporters club ("tenants" in today's story). He tries to change the name, change the shirt colour, take too much in the way of revenue out of the club to finance debt (which he ran up buying the club in the first place). There is uproar, and he even ends up unable to visit his own football stadium (think Newcastle United).

The question is not "who owns the club" because we know that legally he does own it, of that there is no doubt, but the real question is one of emotion - so "emotionally" who owns the club? The legal owner or the supporters?

You can imagine what the comments are like on the coach to away games....... "What does he know?...........", "But we have always played in Blue" (think Cardiff City) , "I suspect him of trying to sell the ground to a supermarket"..... etc etc.

Now think back to the vineyard......... "We do all the work, he does nothing"..... "He lives off the back of his workers"...... "We should own it not him"............ "When was he last here?".............

So the question is not clear, nor was it meant to be. But the idea of a vineyard speaks of the world around. We are all tenants, and as Crocodile Dundee said "arguing about who owns the land is like two fleas arguing about who owns the dog"

Whether you own where you live or rent it, whether you are a member of a supporters club or not, whether you are a massive landowner or not, we are in the parable no more than tenants who will one day have to give an account for what we have done with the world around us. After all we no more than two fleas on the back of a dog.............

Take Care and Blessings

Alan

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