Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Money is God in ‘beautiful game’

I WORKED in football publishing in the dim and distant past and met many of my boyhood heroes. 

And whilst I loved rubbing shoulders with some of the game’s top players, doing business with professional football clubs was not a pleasurable experience. Quite the opposite,  in fact.

I soon came to realised that football stopped being “a beautiful game” many years ago. Money was - and is - the God and the least important people in the game are the supporters.

No one connected with the game at grass roots level were a bit surprised when FIFA imploded with the news that several top officials had been arrested by the FBI after a wide-ranging investigation into corruption at the very top. 

The sums involved are obscene – but much about the way the sport we love is administered is obscene.

One wonders how badly behaved a player has to be before he gets banned for life. If eating an opponent didn’t bring a lifetime ban, what will?

Whilst headlines about the obnoxious head of FIFA Sepp Blater were breaking all over the world, down at the new Chard Road football ground in Axminster chairman Ray Self and his team were putting the finishing touches to their new ground in readiness for next season .

This is where the true game is at its best. In Crewkerne, they’ve worked their socks off for new facilities in recent times and in Ilminster the same it about to happen. 

Football lives in its truest fashion at local level where securing funding of relatively small sums to allow young people to play in a secure and enjoyable environment is often an exercise akin to hari-kari.

Axminster got their ground by doing an astute bit of business with a property developer, although it was a lot more complicated and stressful than anticipated. A fraction of the bungs and bribes dished out to and by the so-called leaders of our game could make such a difference. 

But who wants their tainted millions?


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