The Return Of Football (Lads).

Football has returned! Or at least Premier League football has, which is the same thing to some people. Sadly, ahead of its reopening match, something else has returned too. Football Lads. That is the Democratic Football Lads Alliance, which is a bit less welcome than the actual football. Fascism and football are unfortunately regular bedfellows, but perhaps there's an inspiring light to counter the punches of the Lads?

London, and to a lesser extent Glasgow have both been hit by football violence, somehow, even though football isn't restarting in the UK until later this week. The excuse used by the thugs attacking police is that they're turning out to protect statues against marauding protesters who might damage or deface them. The reality is they're looking for a fight, and violence, and found it not with protesters, but with the police themselves, who were protecting the statues, and by attacking bystanders. It's a sad development, and a familiar one to anyone who's been keeping an eye on English football support. But there's a balance to the unrelenting bleakness.

Marcus Rashford. a 22 year old black man who's done nothing but play football since he was seven years old has stepped forward to raise the voices of disadvantaged children who had been abandoned by their government. He started a charity to help them when free school meals were stopped by an uncaring Tory cabinet, and then he went on to effectively demand a u-turn in policy. Those Lads throwing Nazi salutes in London were instantly and immediately rendered irrelevant, but then hadn't gone away before, and they haven't now, either.

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Ev Buckley