Any Other Business


There's been a lot of talk lately about loan players. Yet in the football sense, the use of the English language in talking about them seems to have gone away from its normal British form.

If I lend someone a fiver, the fiver is called a loan, and I've lent it. If I'm the recipient of the fiver, then it's still a loan, and I've borrowed it, as lent is a past-tense version of lend, and borrowed is a past-tense version of borrow. Yet if we substitute 'player' for 'fiver' the words lend and borrow seem to have disappeared. Thus players are loaned, and not borrowed or lent, yet fivers are.

In fact loaned is an an Americanism (they love to make nouns into verbs), which seems to have been appropriated by British football.

Furthermore, this usage seems to have developed on a track of its own. Thus we have people saying 'we'll have to loan another player' when they mean borrow, which isn't even correct in the American usage, since they use loan in place of lend but never in place of borrow.

In fact a case can be made for using lend and borrow in the football senseas borrow has a bit of a stigma attached to it. That might encourage clubs to not rely on the loan market quite so much - but probably not!

So we have the Americans to thank for lending us the terminology for what has become an important part of Pools' strategy this season. So it's all their fault.

Last month we mentioned moves to create a Supporters' Trust. A month on, the project seems to be gaining momentum, with leaflets being printed, and meetings being planned. Whichever way the season ends will only generate more interest, and with the ownership situation still up in the air, these are interesting times for Pools, on several fronts.

After four straight wins against mediocre teams, the Good Friday game at playoff candidates Newport was always going to be difficult. So to leave there with a point was as much as most Poolies could realistically have expected. Ok, Pools let a 2-goal lead slip, but with neither Tranmere nor Cheltenham bettering Pools' result, remaining outside the drop zone was always the main task, and that was achieved. It's still going to be a tense few weeks, though.

Last month's bad start turned it into a stupendous March, so let's hope this month's decent start produces a similar April. One good enough to ensure that we're not in the mire when the next issue of Monkey Business comes out, which will be the day before that game in Cumbria. So the next edition could be either a celebration of a job well done or ...not!