The FA Community Shield is the curtain raiser to the start of the Premier League season and the sports media has already started filling up with a barrage of football content.
Expect this to continue for the next ten months.
While some clubs are trying to squeeze the wallets of insanely-rich buyers, others are struggling to keep up with day-to-day operational costs.
Tension is mounting with a rush of anxiety among players and clubs as they try to meet the transfer deadline.
Across the water, Gareth Bale’s aborted-transfer deal to China means he’s stuck in a rut at Real Madrid.
A million pounds…..not bad for a year, or season. But as a weekly wage in Shanghai? Now that’s a reflection of our crazy modern world!
The claim is that footballers are paid astronomical wages because they are in the business of entertaining.
But with Bale and his manager Zinedine Zidane mixing like oil and water he’s likely to spend much of the season keeping the bench warm.
Even so, it’s hard to feel sorry for Bale. In his boots I’d go to a club where I could play high quality football week-in-week-out.
Elsewhere, Paul Pogba’s much-publicised desire to leave Manchester United has not been granted…..yet.
However, the Red Devils will be overjoyed that Leicester have finally succumbed to their financial overtures and agreed a reported £80m deal for Harry McGuire – a record fee for an English defender.
On the managerial front, Mauricio Pochetino’s frustration is being stretched to breaking point by Daniel Levy’s tight constraints at Tottenham, while Jurgen Klopp has muddled through pre-season.
Meanwhile, Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City are upbeat and roaring to go as they set to win a third consecutive Premier League title.
The burning question is whether Liverpool will come out with all guns blazing when the two teams lock horns at Wembley today.
Liverpool are still scratching the itch of losing the Premier League by a single point last season.
Ninety seven points… but no title for their blood, sweat and tears. That has got to hurt.
They had one draw too many – and with three draws equalling a win there’s no room for that in the modern game.
Pep’s willingness to risk all for a win showed in the finally reckoning. And that’s the harsh lesson for Klopp’s Liverpool to learn from last season.
Pep and City are hungry for trophies and Liverpool are still stinging. That’s why today’s Community Shield is much more than a simple curtain raiser.