It is a sad indictment of FIFA when the English FA are standing up for ethics, integrity and values whilst the British contingent of journalists are standing up for honesty and decency.
No where more than on these pages is the English media elevated to the post of laughing stock that they so richly deserve. Today, as FIFA re-elected President Sepp Blatter using single name ballot sheets that might as well have been brown envelopes, they can rest easy knowing that there's still plenty of scum out there on which they can shine their tabloid torches.
I'm a great believer in the theory that football clubs are not a business in the true sense of the word. They are not set up to maximise profits which is sort of the point in all other businesses. Having said that, there are many business models open to them to survive and not just the one endorsed by UEFA, the European governing body.
The most well-known model is of course the benefactor model, in which one person buys a club for his own personal enjoyment using money made from business elsewhere. Benefactors are not just common in football but in pretty much every aspect of life. It's true that most people have much more money than they could spend, and in general it's good clean fun for the rich. Or if you're in Colombia, it's a good way to clean dirty money.
It does end in disaster now and again, but most times you can see the signs well before the proverbial hits the fan. But like a geriatric who has suddenly caught the eye of a hot young thing, it can be hard for us fans to distinguish between a Katherine Hepburn or a Katie Price.
Case in point the story of Craig Whyte a Scottish 'billionaire' who is trying to take over Glasgow Rangers. In fact he has been working so hard at it that it's been 6 months since it was made public that he's trying, and guess what...he's still trying. I'm all for due diligence, but taking over a public company really shouldn't take that long, unless of course this guy doesn't have the money.
When I heard about Mr Whyte's interest in buying Rangers, my initial reaction was...'Who?' Then I heard he was a British billionaire and thought that something wasn't adding up. Britain doesn't have many billionaires and it'd be hard never to have heard of the name of one of them.
My only guess is that he must be one of those people who buys football clubs as an investment or a blagger who wants to buy the club, load it with debt and pay himself a handsome wage. Either way it's not very clever and will probably end up in disaster. A quick Google search can confirm this.
Here are a few extracts...
…….Craig Whyte Founder of Vital UK Ltd . In voluntary liquidation.
…….Director of LM Logistics Group . . . in administration
Was accused of failing to pay his employees' wages and multi-million pound debts owed by a string of companies, all of which he is directly linked to
Has a defunct website for one of the companies he claimed as one of his premier businesses
….Cairnwell Investments Ltd based at Aldermary House lists Craig Thomas Whyte as Director. In October, Cairnwell successfully applied to cancel an official move to have the firm struck off the companies register and dissolved.
…also based at Aldermary House is Merchant Corporate Recovery PLC, which is facing an “Active Proposal to Strike Off”. The firm’s accounts are said to be “overdue”. Its company secretary is Craig Whyte, while Craig Thomas Whyte is listed as a director.
The above is the typical trail left by all unsuccessful scammers. Rangers be warned! You heard it here first.
Sometimes you really wonder how people make into positions of power given their lack of reasoning.
There are many things that our leaders can do without but rationale is not one of them. The folks clowns at UEFA (and FIFA too) have form for coming out with ridiculous statements, but they never seem to amaze in their quest to out-clown Krusty.
The latest one is in relation to the new regulations requiring football clubs to break-even over a rolling three-year period or risk a possible ban from UEFA competitions. It's designed to stop clubs running themselves into debt and financial ruin.
UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino has now come out and said that clubs need to adopt the Arsenal model because "Ten years ago Arsenal reported less income than Chelsea, Liverpool and Newcastle," Infantino added. "Now it is more than those clubs and in 2009 more than double Newcastle's."
This is pure misguided BS. If Infantino would only take a moment to think of all the big transfer fees that Arsenal generates he'd realise that the clubs that UEFA and Wenger criticize for financial doping are the same clubs who have paid out those huge fees directly to Arsenal therefore increasing their revenues. The question is, where would Arsenal's profits be without the sugar daddy money from Manchester City, AC Milan and Juventus? Or the debt money from Barcelona?
p.s. The regulations themselves are also bollocks because sport is not a business in the traditional sense. Never has been never will be. But that's for another rant.