Sunday, 2 November 2014

Do you ever feel like the clowns are running the circus?

I don't know about you lot but I love a good comedy, me. Sometimes I'm partial to an old classic; a bit of Only Fools and Horses or Desmond's. Other days it's all about the noughties; Nighty Night, Gavin and Stacey and the soon-to-be no more, Peep Show.

But right now, most of my laughs (and eye-rolling) seem to be because of football's various governing bodies. The League Managers Association (LMA), the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) and the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA). The latter being a group that seems to be so far up its own posterior, that it's just in a continual cycle of regurgitating itself.

The saddest thing is there appears to be is more common sense in a pre-school sand pit. Lets be honest, kids today are very advanced.

This week alone I've experienced two moments that leave me feeling like the majority of those in power are not fit for the purpose of the titles they have bestowed upon themselves.

It was feeling like a quiet few days because I hadn't had to write about racism in Russia for at least, erm, 48 hours. That was clearly wishful thinking on my part because the Associated Press treated us to the latest comments emitting from a country that has been chosen to host the greatest football tournament on Earth by Sepp Blatter and his ridiculously wealthy cronies.

Igor Gamula, coach of Russian Premier League side FC Rostov gave every non-Caucasian person the news they had all been waiting for. That he wouldn't be signing any more 'dark-skinned people' as the club had 'six of the things' already. His club, which was in the Europa League this season - Hello UEFA - couldn't take the risk because he had five ill players and he was already 'worrying it's Ebola'.

Of course, that is my sarcastic edited version but the real one is no less ludicrous. Mine is merely in response to the legendary manager telling us it was a joke. Because obviously a disease that is killing thousands of people and sending fear throughout an entire continent, is just one big joke. Clearly the chip on my shoulder meant I wasn't able to bend down to pick up the post, therefore I missed that particular memo.

Gamula's comments were in response to someone asking if he was going to sign Cameroon defender Benoit Angbwa. So my initial thought is; why didn't he just say: 'No'; a la Jose Mourinho. He could've taken the Arsene Wenger stance of warning you 'not to believe everything you read'.

Bloody hell, he could have channelled Harry Redknapp and simply said: 'I looked at the boy when I was manager of Tottenham. He's a top top player and anyone would love to have him in their team. But I don't like to talk about other clubs players.' *

Any of the above, or neither, or whatever. What he didn't need to do was be a bigoted idiot and make fun of something that frankly isn't. Because while he's thinking up his next punch line about, say, Malaria, we're all sat here wondering how the hell Russia were awarded the World Cup. Me? I'm sitting here trying to decide if I'm actually mad enough to go! And Blatter and his merry men continue to repeat their latest PR soaked sound bite that there will be no issues in 2018, while using that embargoed ethics report as recycled toilet paper.

And just when we English can't wait to go back to saying how well run the game is in our country I hear possibly the second most annoying thing I've heard this year. Number one of course being Cheryl Cole's latest album.

The LMA's Chief Executive Richard Bevan has been expressing his thoughts on the much debated Rooney Rule - a topic that is both misunderstood and ridiculed in equal measure.

Bevan doesn't think it will work here, which is his opinion and I respect that. Except the very next day there are quotes from his paymasters proclaiming that we need a variant of it to ensure that we finally see some diversity in the dugout.

Now I'm not Stephen Fry, but isn't that just a little bit confusing?

But then I remembered, this was the same organisation that showed its true hand when they described the despicable messages shared between Malky Mackay and Iain Moody as 'banter' even though several of their members would've felt personally affronted by their comments.

In contradiction, they say they are open to the idea if the Premier and The Football Association are in agreement.

Surely if they truly felt increasing diversity off-the-pitch was important they would want to take the first step and encourage others to follow. Just as we've seen with the steps that have been taken in Britain's game in regards to racism; the FA didn't wait for UEFA or FIFA to jump on the bandwagon, which is something to be thankful for.

Aside from the feeling that a very large buck is being passed, I cannot fathom how an organisation can really push an idea forward if the person in charge does not whole heartedly believe it should happen or that it can work. How can we trust he and they will do their utmost to implement it if one of their most influential members of staff describes it as an artificial regulation? Doesn't that make his position untenable? Doesn't that make their stance improbable?

Or are they just saying what they think we want to hear?

Either way it's another example of how football is run these days, I guess. The right arm's inability to know what the left is doing as they continue to force-feed us the latest party line.

It just goes to show that the offhand words and the unscripted statements we hear from Blatter, Bevan et al; are probably the ones that hold the most truth.

Because deep down I sense that if Bevan or Gamula had the chance to think about how we would perceive what they were really saying; neither of them would've said anything at all.

*UPDATE - It was announced that the clubs black player are refusing to train following Gamula's comment. You can read the article from Reuters in the Guardian, here.

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