The Olympic afterglow is fading fast and in just two days time will be brutally erased by the return of the true spirit of sport in the shape of Premier League football. The great dance of greed will recommence as players, agents, coaches and managers scrabble for a slice of the enormous cash-pile donated by the Great Satan, (Keeper of the Times, Master of the Sun and Emperor of the Sky) in his mission to chain the population to his TV platform. And even the most virtuous and scrupulous, free-to-air follower of football will not escape the spreading stain of abject venality. In the interests of sporting success there’s no ethical principle that cannot be discarded and no compromise that’s too great – it’s a festival of bad faith that has us all enthralled and transfixed. I, for one, can hardly wait. The advertising images are from the days of the maximum wage, when the ball was a water-sodden overweight clod and the players could be observed traveling to the match on the top decks of trams or trolleybuses. The long association of smoking with football persisted into the 1970s when senior professionals could still be seen extinguishing a last cigarette as they emerged on to the pitch.