Real Real Real: half the billboards in London seem to carry Coca-Cola’s posters celebrating its sponsorship of the Football League, with the 72 different – or ‘different’, if your club has a red-and-white strip – cans, one for each team. (I’m not sure how this scheme is actually going to work, by the way. As people have pointed out, you can’t take cans into football grounds. And selling them outside grounds will require retailers in several cities to have a very good idea of how their customers’ loyalties break down. Still, kewl idea.)

The poster also showcases the slogan for the re-branding: “The Real League”. In other words (I assume), grit, sweat, local loyalty and passion rather than overpaid foreign fannydanglers. It’s a good slogan and ‘real’ is a good football word, sports message boards are full of people having a pop at ‘plastic fans’. The only problem is that if the Championship etc. is realer than the Premiership, surely the Conference and non-league Pyramid is even MORE real? So where are their novelty cans? And if the Championship is the real thing how come the realest clubs, i.e. the ones who win it, are desperate to get out of it? As usual ‘real’ turns out to be a weasel word and best avoided.*

*unless the Spanish monarchy starts sponsoring the Championship in which case bring it on.**

**can someone who knows their Spanish football (or has read that book about it) tell me why so many Spanish clubs are called Real, and did they have to do anything to earn the right?