Bath City and Kettering Town have been relegated, Fleetwood Town near certainly promoted, while Darlington and Chesterfield are all but relegated from their respective divisions.
Paul Buckle and the delightful Steve Evans have taken new managerial jobs, while Darlington’s young players are being pushed literally beyond breaking point.
An article written by Samantha Brick in the Daily Mail has been trending widely on Twitter over the last few days. In it she makes the perfectly reasonable assertion that all women, everywhere, are jealous of women more attractive than themselves. The Guardian, a leftwing, holier-than-thou hate rag, has claimed that the Daily Mail stitched her up, making her look deluded in order to attract outrage and hits. However, this is not the case, as shown by the first draft submitted to the editor, which here at noonebutabloghead, we’ve been able to exclusively gain access to.
On a recent flight to New York, I was delighted when a stewardess came over and gave me a glass of champagne.
‘You get a complimentary glass here in first class,’ she claimed, but I knew she was fibbing. I knew the truth was that the captain had somehow seen me, and paid to get me drunk from his own, limited pilot’s salary.
Even so, you’re probably thinking ‘what a lovely surprise’. But while it was lovely, it wasn’t a surprise. At least, not for me.
Throughout my adult life, I’ve regularly had bottles of bubbly or wine sent to my restaurant table by men I don’t know, while I sat there giggling loudly and pushing my bosom out.
Once, a well-dressed chap bought my train ticket when I was standing behind him in the queue. I didn’t even want to go to Leeds, but felt obligated by his ‘kindness’.
There was another occasion when a charming gentleman paid my fare as I stepped out of a cab in Paris. Sure, this was my husband, but would he have even been there were I not so overwhelmingly gorgeous?
Another time, as I was walking through London’s Portobello Road market, I was tapped on the shoulder and presented with a beautiful bunch of flowers. Even bar tenders frequently shoo my credit card away when, drunkenly, I try to settle my bill for the fourth time in a row.
And whenever I’ve asked what I’ve done to deserve such treatment, the donors of these gifts have always said the same thing: my pleasing appearance and pretty smile made their day.
While I’m no Elle Macpherson, I’m tall, slim, blonde and, so I’m often told, a good-looking woman. I know how lucky I am. But there are downsides to being pretty — the main one being that other women hate me for no other reason than my lovely looks and my insistence on talking about them.
If you’re a woman reading this, I’d hazard that you’ve already formed your own opinion about me — and it won’t be very flattering. Flirt. Egomaniac. Wind-up Merchant. Little better than a prostitute in taking so many gifts, while still having the gall to complain about it all.
For while many doors have been opened (metaphorically) as a result of my looks, just as many have been literally slammed in my face — leaving me unable to smile naturally.
I’m not smug and I’m no flirt, yet over the years I’ve been dropped by countless friends who felt threatened if I merely rubbed my long, manicured fingers against the arms of their other halves. If their partners dared to actually talk to me, a sudden chill would descend on the room as soon as I politely giggled and tossed my hair in response to their bad jokes.
And it is not just jealous wives who have frozen me out of their lives. Insecure female bosses have also barred me from promotions at work.
And most poignantly of all, not one girlfriend has ever asked me to be her bridesmaid.
You’d think we women would applaud each other for taking pride in our appearances.
I work at mine — I don’t drink or smoke, I work out, even when I don’t feel like it, and very rarely succumb to chocolate. I often turn up to work late, having taken the time to do things properly in the morning, and regularly stop working during the day to reapply my makeup and lipstick.
Unfortunately women find nothing more annoying than someone else being the most attractive girl in a room.
Take last week, out walking the dogs a neighbour passed by in her car. I waved — she blatantly blanked me, deciding to prioritise swerving out of the way of a drunken cyclist. Yet this is someone whose sons have stayed at my house, and who has been welcomed into my home on countless occasions.
I approached a mutual friend and discreetly enquired if I’d made a faux pas. It seems the only crime I’ve committed is not leaving the house with a bag over my head. (When she tried to suffocate me, I’d taken it as a joke.) She doesn’t like me, I discovered, because she views me as a threat. The friend pointed out she is shorter, heavier and older than me. I wouldn’t comment on such a thing, but my friend pointed out that she is also badly dressed, haggard, and has blotched skin.
And, according to our mutual friend, she is adamant that something could happen between her handsome husband and me, ‘were the right circumstances in place’. She added that I ‘never stop going on about how great I look’ and that I ‘always go over the top to look good, instead of just putting on a sweater and old jeans to walk the dog, like a normal person’.
Yet I’m happily married, and have been for the past four years.
This isn’t the first time such paranoia has gripped the women around me. In my early 20s, when I first started in television as a researcher, one female boss in her late 30s would regularly invite me over for dinner after a long day in the office.
I always accepted her invitation, as during office hours we got along famously. But one evening her partner was at home. We were all a couple of glasses of wine into the evening. Then he and I said we both liked the song we were listening to.
She laid into her bewildered partner for ‘fancying’ me, then turned on me, calling me unrepeatable names before ridiculing me for dying my hair and wearing lipstick. Rather than putting this down to her being tipsy and laying into her husband during a rough point in her marriage, I decided this was all about me, me, me, and declined any further invitations.
Therapist Marisa Peer, author of self-help guide Ultimate Confidence, says that women have always measured themselves against each other by their looks rather than achievements — and it can make the lives of the good-looking very difficult.
‘Many of my clients are models, yet people are always astounded when I explain they don’t have it easy,’ she says. ‘If you are attractive other women think you lead a perfect life — which simply isn’t true. Obviously modelling – as a hyper-competitive industry where success is primarily based on looks, parallels directly with a normal working environment, which I assume must be exactly the same,’ Marisa added. It was a comfort being in the company of a woman not so deeply intimidated by my looks.
‘Normal women – ‘ Marisa also uses the technical term *uggers* ‘don’t realise you are just as vulnerable as they are. It’s hard when everyone resents you for being the kind of person who submits articles to a national newspaper about your own stunning looks. Men think “what’s the point, she’ just keep whinging about how tough she has it” and don’t ask you out. And women don’t want to hang out with someone more attractive than they are.’
I certainly found that out the hard way, particularly in the office.
One contract I accepted was blighted by a jealous female boss. It was the height of summer and I’d opted to wear knee length, cap-sleeved dresses. They were modest, yet pretty; more Kate Middleton than Katie Price.
But my boss pulled me into her office and informed me my dress style was distracting her male employees. I didn’t dare point out that there were other women in the office wearing similar attire.
Rather than argue, I worked out the rest of my contract wearing baggy, sombre-coloured trouser suits. It was clear that when you have a female boss, it’s best to let them shine, but when you have a male boss, it’s a different game: I have written in the Mail on how I have flirted to get ahead at work, something I’m sure many women do. (You may have noticed that I said that ‘I’m no flirt’ just a few hundred words higher, but here at The Daily Mail we prefer to treat our readers like idiots. It’s our policy to report ‘news’ about how everything either causes or cures cancer; bitchily criticise celebrity culture while wallowing in it; and in general push brazen hypocrisy as far as it can go.)
Women, however, are far more problematic. With one phenomenally tricky boss, I eventually managed to carve out a positive working relationship. But a year in, her attitude towards me changed; the deterioration began when she started to put on weight, and, if anything, picked up speed when I gently teased her about it.
We were both employed by a big broadcasting company. One of our male UK chiefs recommended I take the company’s global leadership course, which meant doors would have opened for me around the world.
All I needed were two personal recommendations to be eligible. As everyone in the office agreed I was good at my job, I didn’t think this would be a problem.
The male executive signed the paperwork without hesitation, while I sat on the edge of his desk, playfully swinging my legs girlishly. However, my immediate boss refused to sign. When I asked her right-hand woman why, she pulled me to one side and explained that my boss was jealous of me.
Things between us rapidly deteriorated. Whenever I wore something new she’d sneer at me in front of other colleagues that she was the star, not me.
Six months later I handed in my notice. Privately she begged me to stay, blaming the nasty comments on her hormones. She was in her early 40s and confided she was having marital problems. But by then I’d decided to treat this woman – clearly a slightly vain woman going through the worst period in her personal life – as typical of all women, at all points in their lives, in all circumstances.
I find that older women are the most hostile to beautiful women — perhaps because they feel their own bloom fading. How dare they focus their thoughts on their own lives, rather than how it affects me?
Because my husband is ten years older than me, his social circle is that bit older too. As a Frenchman, he is pleasantly superficial, and takes great pride in hearing other men declare that I’m a beautiful woman and always tells me to laugh off bitchy comments from other women.
Yet I dread the inevitable sarky comments. ‘Here she comes. We’re in the village hall yet Sam’s dressed for the Albert Hall,’ was one I recently overheard. Rather than treat these as playful teasing, or make some self-depreciating comment to ease my friend’s insecurities, I slapped her. Slapped that bitch hard.
But even these ploys don’t always work. Take last summer and a birthday party I attended with my husband. At one point the host, who was celebrating his 50th, decided he wanted a photo with all the women guests. Positioning us, the photographer suggested I stand immediately to his right for the shot.
Another woman I barely knew pushed me out of the way, shouting it wasn’t fair on all the other women if I was dominating the snap. I was devastated and burst into tears. How dare someone else steal MY limelight? Does being the host’s wife automatically entitle her to stand near him?
On my own in the loos one woman privately consoled me — well out of ear-shot of her girlfriends.
So now I’m 41 and probably one of very few women entering her fifth decade welcoming the decline of my looks. I can’t wait for the wrinkles and the grey hair that will help me blend into the background. I dye my hair blonde, make sure my nail varnish is always perfectly applied, wear stylish clothing every minute of the waking day. But rather than easing off on one or more of these things, I wait for the day nature will slowly erode my innate superiority.
Perhaps then the sisterhood will finally stop judging me so harshly on what I look like, and instead hate me for the self-centred egomaniac I am.
One of the WordPress blogs I follow is PRattleblog, in which Matt Briggs writes about football from a PR point of view.
Myself and @Mark2606 talked with Matt about the impact Twitter has had on football, the results of which are now up on Matt’s blog.
Also, the latest edition of the Lower League Week is now up at BornOffside.
It’s been a colourful week in the lower leagues, with a playground spat breaking out after a match between Bradford and Crawley last Tuesday, and Preston manager Graham Westley accusing his senior of playing for the other side.
That came out wrong.
There’s also the usual kind of stuff – Bury breaking back into form, a good goalscoring week for Ched Evans, and the like.
I have a habit of listening to individual lines in pop songs, and putting way more thought into them than the songwriter can possibly have done. Kind and generous benefactor that I am, I’ve decided to share this with the world.
If you own a radio or know someone who does, you’ll have heard Billionaire, by Bruno Mars and Travis ‘Travie’ McCoy, a few hundred times last year.
Bruno Mars is one of those singers I’m aware of enough to be sure he’s apparently a big deal, but not be sure what he’s sang. And frankly I don’t care enough to look. But he is associated with a songwriting and production team called The Smeezingtons. Just putting that out there as a statement of fact.
Basically, Travis ‘Travie’ ‘Macca’ McCoy is a man who’s taken Vanilla Ice’s one idea, and mass produced it into a career.
Okay, that’s not totally fair. Travis ‘Travie’ ‘Macca’ McCoy also raps, and presumably writes his own raps. The main quality of which is that he raps quickly and mumbles a little, so that it’s often hard to make out what he’s saying.
I wanna be a billionaire so fricking bad First up, I love anyone who uses the word ‘fricking‘. Adorable.
Buy all of the things I never had That’s… a lot of things.
Uh, I wanna be on the cover of Forbes magazine Sure, that’s one part of being rich
Smiling next to Oprah and the Queen On the same cover? That’s an impressive photoshoot.
Oh every time I close my eyes
I see my name in shining lights You might want to get that looked at.
A different city every night oh You realise billionaires generally don’t go on tour?
I swear the world better prepare
For when I’m a billionaire That sounds… a little sinister
[Travis “Travie” McCoy]
Yeah I would have a show like Oprah You realise she’s the only billionaire with a TV show?
I would be the host of, everyday Christmas Or do you actually want to be Oprah?
Give Travie a wish list Or Santa?
I’d probably pull an Angelina and Brad Pitt
And adopt a bunch of babies that ain’t never had sh-t Ah, babies with extreme constipation. Glad to see someone’s looking out for them.
Give away a few Mercedes like here lady have this Yes, we’re all aware of the concept of ‘giving’
And last but not least grant somebody their last wish You realise it’s their last wish before they die?
Its been a couple months since I’ve single so You can do it more than once.
You can call me Travie Claus minus the Ho Ho Oh. He actually does want to be Santa.
Get it, hehe, I’d probably visit where Katrina hit Snickering at prostitute jokes to talking about natural disasters…
And damn sure do a lot more than FEMA did And political commentary!
Yeah can’t forget about me stupid Hey! That’s uncalled for!
Everywhere I go Imma have my own theme music Why don’t any real billionaires do that?
Oh every time I close my eyes
I see my name in shining lights Seriously, I’d be worried about that.
A different city every night oh Billionaires on tour. Yep.
I swear the world better prepare
For when I’m a billionaire Just to be sure, are either of these two people voiced by Albert Brooks?
Oh oooh oh oooh for when I’m a Billionaire Because if they are, it may be worthwhile putting in the work to shut them down now…
Oh oooh oh oooh for when I’m a Billionaire Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
[Travis “Travie” McCoy]
I’ll be playing basketball with the President Is it still Obama in this fantasy?
Dunking on his delegates Cos I don’t see Rick Santorum or Hillary Clinton playing basketball
Then I’ll compliment him on his political etiquette What do you mean by ‘political etiquette?
Toss a couple milli in the air just for the heck of it Do you mean ‘being easily bribed by the one percent’?
But keep the fives, twentys completely separate Who are incredibly blatant about it?
And yeah I’ll be in a whole new tax bracket Well, everything has a downside.
We in recession but let me take a crack at it Well, you do sound pretty intelligent.
I’ll probably take whatevers left and just split it up Socialism! Boo! Hiss!
So everybody that I love can have a couple bucks That’s… probably not the best way to invest a billion.
And not a single tummy around me would know what hungry was Travie will force them to eat non-stop!
Eating good sleeping soundly While food is pumped in with an IV drip
I know we all have a similar dream You mean the one where you’re falling and it just won’t stop?
Go in your pocket pull out your wallet I’m pretty sure there’s not a billion in there
And put it in the air and sing Wait, is this all some elaborate con?
I wanna be a billionaire so fricking bad You sound like not being megarich is physically painful to you.
Buy all of the things I never had
Uh, I wanna be on the cover of Forbes magazine Is standing next to Oprah Winfrey really what appeals to you?
Smiling next to Oprah and the Queen Maybe you’ve got a crush on her?
I wanna be a billionaire so frickin bad! Or the queen. She is quite foxy, in a GILF way.