Taking Stock - May 28, 2012

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THERE will have been, yesterday, a great sigh of relief from the female side of the Stocks household as the football season finally came to an end.

Play-offs done and dusted, My Good Wife is looking forward to a happy few months away from the bandwagon of the beautiful game, even if it does mean she has to put up with me moping around bored on a Saturday afternoon.

Given her general level of excitement, I’ve decided now isn’t the time to tell her about the European Championships, which kick off in Ukraine and Poland (who came up with that combination?) next month.

Given all the talk this week of Euro exits, one could be forgiven for thinking England’s campaign had already begun.

But it seems people aren’t referring to Messrs Terry, Rooney, Lampard et al, but the Greeks, who, so I understand, have got into a little bit of bother with their finances.

I’m sure they, along with the likes of Italy and Ireland, will have been hoping not to scoop victory in this weekend’s Eurovision Song Contest in Azerbaijan, along with next year’s hosting duties.

Now, I’m a well-travelled chap, but I had to turn to my trusty atlas to work out where exactly the host nation is.

It turns out to be somewhere over near Iran, a part of the world which, if I’m being honest, seems about as European as sushi and spring rolls.

Still, at least it means the oil-rich Caspian state (see, I have done my homework) is paying for the whole shebang, which means we’re not.

Apparently, it costs a pretty penny to put on the Eurovision show, which explains why on Friday, Spain’s top broadcaster, if you believe what you read in the papers, told its contestant, warbler Pastora Soler, not to win.

The Irish, although not admitting it, appear to have gone down a similar road by selecting cheeky twins Jedward for a second year running.

Of course, given that in the past few years, popularity has played as much of a part in victory as the quality of any of the songs, we Brits went into Saturday’s showdown with little chance of having to foot the bill for next year.

Maybe, by the time you read this Engelbert Humperdink (pictured) – or for that matter Jedward, will have proved me wrong.

After all, the afore mentioned Terry and Lampard have already brought one major European trophy back to these shores in recent weeks – why not add another?

A Eurovision victory, and the celebrations from My Good Wife, which would inevitably follow, would pave the way for me to sink a few pints when Roy Hodgson’s England come home next month with that coveted trophy.

Either that or, more likely, an excuse to drown my sorrows when we go out to the Germans, (or Portuguese, delete as appropriate) on penalties.