Disgusted of academia: a university lecturer bewails his lot

There’s a beautiful moment in I Am the Secret Footballer (2012), a Guardian column turned whistle-blower memoir, when the anonymous author is momentarily freed from an enveloping depression caused by his career as a professional sportsman. He’s at Anfield to play against Liverpool in one of the biggest games of the season when he picks up a pristine, unused football before a warm-up drill and, inexplicably, sniffs it. With that inhalation he’s transported from the corruption, pressure, scandalous abuse and monstrous egos of elite sport and for a few seconds becomes a kid uncontainably excited at the prospect of kicking a new ball around his council estate. This Proustian reverie,