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The Premier League has undermined the traditions of English football. Why do we keep watching?

By DJ Taylor   September 2012

The Arsenal team salute fans in Beijing this summer: top clubs are detached from the local communities that once sustained them

In the end defeat, though long awaited, took some time to declare itself. Finally, at 10.24pm on a sultry mid-June night in Kiev, after 120 minutes of creative stalemate and a morale-sapping penalty shoot-out, the fatal moment came. Ashley Cole, England’s tabloid-haunted full back, scuffed the ball slantwise into the gloves of Gianluigi Buffon, the case-hardened Italian goalkeeper, whereupon Alessandro Diamanti, a player previously thought surplus to requirements by…

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