May you live in interesting times
That's a nasty way to open, but after witnessing the conclusion to THE WORST SEASON EVER, it had to be said.
Chelsea, Lyon, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and PSV all kept hold of their championship titles with matches to spare - and Juventus are in pole position to make it a clean sweep when Serie A concludes next weekend.
And the deeper you scratch, the more unsavory the statistics become.
Lyon's success was their fifth successive Ligue 1 title. PSV have now won the Eredivisie four times in the last six years, Bayern have celebrated the Bundesliga title for seven of the last ten seasons. Juventus stand on the brink of their fourth championship in five years.
Meanwhile, in Greece, Olympiakos have now won nine of the last ten Alpha Ethniki titles. In neighbouring Turkey, Fenerbahçe stand on the brink of their third-successive Super League triumph.
Hardly an inspirational set of facts.
No, something's rotten here.
European football is drowning in its own self-importance, and the fans have become too scared or lazy to throw the game the life jacket it so desperately needs.
Instead, we sit at the poolside, fat and bloated after gorging ourselves on a super-Size diet of bland and tasteless football, remote control resting on our swollen bellies, flicking from one mind-numbing championship to another.
Sniff, sniff, sniff. But how did all this happen?
It happened because football has been stolen from the fans by a deceitful, shadowy cartel of money-mongers – and the most humiliating thing of all is that they did so right under our noses.
While we gazed with open mouths and wide eyes at the circus freaks parading in front of us, we didn't realize that they had an army of shifty little cronies walking amongst the crowd, picking our pockets.
Childish naivety is the only excuse we can offer; our brains were too fried from the free candyfloss and root beer to notice what was really going on around us.
I feel like I've finally awoken from a five-year blackout, and this past season has been one long and dirty hangover as my throbbing head tries to work out what happened.
Those circus acts, those freaks of finance, didn't really roll in to town to help us; they weren't really here to enrich our lives.
No, my friends, far from it. They are here only to make themselves feel important; to wheel and deal and whirl and twirl and play games with each other in their sandbox world.
This sleazy cloud of bloodsuckers has taken everything – and given us nothing in return. They have truly bled European football dry.
The result is Condition Red. No, perhaps more frightening than that: Condition Beige.
But I am a drowsy man, and these twice-told tales are certainly vexing my ear.
Perhaps the World Cup will prove to be the first dew on a bright new dawn.
Sadly, I doubt it.