World Football League – driven by greed, not excellence

WHEN  a financial institution becomes involved in discussions about the future of football, it doesn’t sit very comfortably. It will undoubtedly be good for accountants, lawyers, bankers, intermediaries and the main protagonists (in other words, the clubs in the driving seat) but for the future of the game and the eco-system that supports it, questions have to be asked about the intentions of the parties … Continue reading World Football League – driven by greed, not excellence

Football and the military: An uncomfortable alignment

IT SEEMS impossible to avoid some form of military presence when any major football event is taking place. Whether it is a game old cock rattling a tin or somebody dressed in khaki bringing a trophy onto the pitch, there seems to be a deep desire to attach the game to Britain’s armed forces. Football continues to be used as an opportunity for mass engagement, … Continue reading Football and the military: An uncomfortable alignment

The Champions League and the preservation of elitism

SINCE THE European Cup was introduced in 1955, there have been 22 different winners of the competition. This list includes some of Europe’s biggest names as well as some unlikely champions. The last “new” winner was Chelsea in 2012, and equally telling, the last team from outside the accepted top 20 most powerful clubs was Porto in 2004. It has gradually become a closed shop. … Continue reading The Champions League and the preservation of elitism

Cancel games and take the teams off – the only solution to combat racism

WE live in extremely troubled times, a confusing era where it often feels as though the lunatics have been handed the keys to the asylum. Powerful leaders that appear to behave like Bond villains, placard-waving crowds baying for blood, the re-emergence of anti-semitism, that most symbolic of prejudices, and bull-necked extremists spouting faux-nationalism and militaristic sentiments. Although we’re more than a decade on from the … Continue reading Cancel games and take the teams off – the only solution to combat racism

Major football clubs need to create the right climate

RIGHT NOW, climate change is a very topical issue, and rightly so. If the scientists are correct, we may all face some serious issues in the relatively near future, issues that cannot be ignored or dismissed as scaremongering. Football has to ask itself what role it can play in combating climate change. We are told that there are three things that we most certainly do … Continue reading Major football clubs need to create the right climate

Left wing, right wing, no wingers

POLITICS AND FOOTBALL are no strangers. Organising bodies such as FIFA, UEFA and the Olympic committees marinate themselves in political intrigue and there has often been a whiff of corruption about FIFA, dating back decades. The most recent debates about Qatar and the World Cup rekindled deep-rooted concerns about the legitimacy of bidding and selection processes – discussions that will go on beyond the 2022 … Continue reading Left wing, right wing, no wingers

Does football really have a moral code?

SPORTSWASHING, apparently, has become a trendy word. It has been applied to the practice adopted by dubious regimes, individuals or corporates in buying credibility through investing in or sponsoring big-time sport. In doing so, they attempt to change public perception or distract people from some of their less acceptable activities. Furthermore, by pouring money into football, they also look to leverage the financial power and … Continue reading Does football really have a moral code?

A boycott is needed for Arsenal fans to make their point

STAN KROENKE may not be every Arsenal fan’s idea of the perfect owner, but letters of complaint and stamping feet will probably not have much impact on the US businessman. Arsenal have almost become a typical US sports franchise, well run, nicely-housed, profitable, conservative and driven by the bottom line. Arsenal, in all reality, will never be a club that gets into financial trouble, but … Continue reading A boycott is needed for Arsenal fans to make their point

The right climate

RIGHT NOW, climate change is a very topical issue, and rightly so. If the scientists are correct, we may all face some serious issues in the relatively near future, issues that cannot be ignored or dismissed as scaremongering. Football has to ask itself what role it can play in combating climate change. We are told that there are three things that we most certainly do … Continue reading The right climate

Left wing, right wing… no wingers: politics and football

POLITICS AND FOOTBALL are no strangers. Organising bodies such as FIFA, UEFA and the Olympic committees marinate themselves in political intrigue. There has often been a whiff of corruption about FIFA, dating back decades. The most recent debates about Russia, Qatar and the World Cup rekindled deep-rooted concerns about the legitimacy of bidding and selection processes. Beer and sandwiches for the number 10 Football has … Continue reading Left wing, right wing… no wingers: politics and football

Cancel games and take the teams off – the only solution to combat racism

WE live in extremely troubled times, a confusing era where it often feels as though the lunatics have been handed the keys to the asylum. Powerful leaders that appear to behave like Bond villains, placard-waving crowds baying for blood, the re-emergence of anti-semitism, that most symbolic of prejudices, and bull-necked extremists spouting faux-nationalism and militaristic sentiments. Although we’re more than a decade on from the … Continue reading Cancel games and take the teams off – the only solution to combat racism

The land of make believe

SOMETIMES, it feels as though football is on the road to self-destruction, that the ideas, formats and decisions being formulated are not necessarily made in the interests of the game as a whole, its future or sustainability. Notwithstanding the madcap decisions made around hosting World Cups, or the bloated and low quality concept of a 48-team competition, club football seems hell-bent on marginalising large segments … Continue reading The land of make believe

Football’s missing moral compass

SPORTSWASHING, apparently, was one of the trendy words of 2018. It has been applied to the practice adopted by dubious regimes, individuals or corporates in buying credibility through investing in or sponsoring big-time sport. In doing so, they attempt to change public perception or distract people from some of their less acceptable activities. Furthermore, by pouring money into football, they also look to leverage the … Continue reading Football’s missing moral compass