What the hell happened to football?

Football is broken. It’s turning into a joke. I for one am starting to get disillusioned with the sport because it has become so detached from its roots. It used to be a rough and tumble game, played by real men in front of working class crowds who loved the banter, the excitement and the escapism. Now its a millionaires hobby, filled the brim with corrupt money-grabbing whores with nothing but self-interest at heart. I’m not calling for a return to the old days, when players would roll around in mud and kick the shit out of each other, but we need to bring some integrity back to the game – before it disappears up its own arse in a wave of self-congratulatory money-hording back-slapping corruption.
Firstly, if it were up to me, I’d give every member country of FIFA an equal say in decisions. No more of this elitist ‘big country’ crap. If you’re eligible to play in the tournaments and qualifiers and prepared to take your lickings on the field (San Marino, Liechtenstein etc etc), then you should get a vote. No more of this disgusting FIFA ‘decision’ making, where a couple of fat cats, stuffed to bursting point on the money of honest supporters, make decisions that only further line their pockets. It needs to stop. With a redistribution of power we’d see an end to the bribery that is so common in football’s governing bodies – it’d mean no more oil-rich countries buying themselves prestigious international tournaments.
Next I’d turn the headquarters of FIFA into a copy of the Galactic Senate in Starwars. I’d give each of the delegates one of those hovering platforms and they’d all sit around and talk about football every day. No particular reason, I just think it’d look cool.
My next step would be to introduce video refs in all of the top domestic divisions and in all internationals. The haphazard approach to refereeing that we currently have is just not good enough. Lampard’s ‘goal’ against Germany, Henry’s basketball moves against Ireland; I could go on and on and on with this one, this list is comprehensive. The captain of each team would have three chances to call on the ref, and the ref could go to the video as often as he (or she) liked.
Next I’d ban all communication with the ref from players who aren’t captaining their team. You speak to the ref without being talked to first; you’re off. I guarantee that it would take two or three weeks and a couple of 8 v 8 games and then all the problems that we currently have with hassling the ref, gamesmanship, intimidation and harassment; all gone. It does my nut watching grown men, alleged role-models, spitting their dummies every five minutes and acting like spoilt brats (which they are – but that’s a different matter).
Scrap the new offside rule. It’s a confusing pile of wank.
Wage caps need to be introduced. I’m not suggesting that players shouldn’t be handsomely paid, but it’s not fair on supporters of teams like Tottenham or Stoke that other similarly sized teams (like Manchester City and Chelsea) can just blow them out of the water when it comes to offering wages. I’m not suggesting some communistic approach where everybody gets the same, there should be bands that players fall within – Ronaldo and Fabregas need to be paid more than Rory Delap, for example. But it’s not fair when an average sized club like City can offer players/mercenaries like Nasri triple the wages of a bigger club like Arsenal. It creates a false economy and the people who end up paying the difference are the supporters. Besides, the best players will get more money from their sponsorship deals anyway.
There needs to be a more even distribution of television money. Barcelona and Real Madrid currently hold a monopoly over broadcast rights in Spain. It is not conducive to fairness. The Premier League is pretty good at its financial distribution, but this needs to replicated across Europe. All teams should benefit from the sports popularity, not just the elite.
All football agents need to be taken out back and beaten to within an inch of their lives, just for being money grabbing scum. There is no way that so much of supporters money should be lining the pockets of middlemen.
Clubs shouldn’t be allowed to live above their means. Ever. It just ain’t fair. Is it right the supporters of Bolton or Norwich will never get to enjoy the thrill of their club being in the Champions League, just because some diminutive Russian/American/Arab billionaire/swindler/prince has decided he wants a vanity project? How has it come to pass that we’ve let these super-rich individuals trample over our clubs and our dreams? You spend what you make, the end.
It seems to me that football is, without a doubt, the best game on the planet. You put 22 men on a field (who know what they’re doing) and you’re going to be entertained. When played at the highest level it can, at times, be a joy to behold. The honest competition, the banter, the song-singing, the spending all week waiting for Saturday to come – these are the trimmings that, along with the game itself, make football the most exciting and entertaining spectacle in world sport. Surely we owe it to ourselves to make sure that it’s run with integrity, honesty and in the spirit of fairness.
I’m getting disillusioned with football. I know the rules, I recognise the players, but there is something not-quite-right going on at the moment. We’ve let a few entrepreneurs and a handful of flash-monkeys transform it into something grotesque, something unrecognisable. What happened to my football? I want it back please.

Platini behind bars!

The president of Swiss club FC Sion, gob-shite Christian Constantin, wants to throw Michel Platini into jail. That’s just about the funniest thing I’ve ever read. It’s never happening, not a million months of Sundays, but it’s still brilliant that someone is calling for some accountability in the sport. It’s just a proper shame that the man doing the calling is guilty of tapping up players and ignoring UEFA and FIFA directives, but you can’t have everything can you?!
FC Sion tapped up Egypt goalkeeper El-Hadary. They were duly reported to FIFA, who in turn placed a transfer embargo on the club. This next bit is priceless…. FC Sion completely ignored the transfer ban imposed on them by the footballing authorities and carried on signing players.
Some of their shiny new players featured in the Europa League play-off game against Celtic, which the Swiss team went on to win 3-1. UEFA then ruled that they could not play in Europe (because of their flagrant disregard to the transfer ban) and that Celtic would take their place.
Not one to take a beating laying down, FC Sion then took UEFA to a Swiss court, challenged the decision and their appeal was upheld.
Platini has already stated that Swiss law has no jurisdiction over the governance of football. However, the plucky Swiss club have thrown two fingers up at European football’s governing body and called for Platini to be put in shackles. After a lengthy ramble Constantin let loose the dogs of war with this call for justice……
“Then, the police will go and find Mr Platini. Now we’ve given Platini time to fix this – if he doesn’t fix it, then there’s prison.”
He then went on to add…..
“Justice needs to be applicable in football because if not then we find ourselves in the Wild West.”
As I mentioned earlier, I can’t ever see Platini doing time for this, but nevertheless I hope he’s suitably nervous. This might not be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, but at long last people are calling for football’s ruling elite to actually be accountable to someone, or something, or anything – nobody really cares who or what, we just want some accountability. They’re such a bunch of corrupt bastards it was about time that something was done to shake things up a little.
Where it might, and I say ‘might’ with a pinch of salt; where it might get sticky for Platini and his evil minions is the fact the UEFA are based in Switzerland and the court ruling came from a Swiss court. So you never know, this story might still have legs.
At the end of the day we’ve got to call this what it is; a load of guff from an irresponsible football club chairman with no respect for the powers that be. Even if the powers that be are a bunch of corrupt bastards, in banning them from European football for tapping up players and then ignoring the punishment, UEFA and FIFA have probably done the right thing.
Watch this space, it might just be about to really kick off. I doubt it will, but we can live in hope. If it’s not going to happen now then maybe, one day soon, a club with a genuine grievance will challenge one of UEFA or FIFA’s bullshit rulings in a court of law and actually have a chance of winning. Maybe then we’ll get some changes made to the way that football is run.
I smell the waft of revolution in the air. Either that or my cat farted.