October 8, 2012 by Editor
Call me old-fashioned but I always thought the Football Association were the bastions of the ‘people’s game’ and would always at least try to be seen to be doing their best and the right thing.
Recent events however bring into question the wisdom, common sense and sadly the integrity of the oldest football governing body in the world of football.
The recent John Terry fiasco is the latest in a long line of badly handled, managed issues with debatable outcomes. Most governing body organisations work on a tariff system of punishment in order to ensure consistency and transparency when handing out punishments to sporting participants under their jurisdiction. The FA however appear to be making it up as they go along. It would appear therefore that giving someone a slap (Barton) is worth 12 games, calling a fellow professional a Negro on several occasions is worth 8 (Suarez) and referring to another player as a FBC (Terry), changing your statement, getting a fellow team mate to falsely change his and employing a top barrister to challenge the very rules that govern the sport is only worth 4 games.
The variances in fine amounts are irrelevant to modern-day footballers, what hurts not only the individual but the club he plays for is the amount of games banned for.
Moving on – Ashley Cole tweets that the FA are Twats, has a phone conversation with the England manager and retains his place in the squad. 3 days later his is charged by the FA and we wait with bated breath to find out what the punishment is. Don’t look to find any kind of precedent that might lead you to guess what the punishment will be, because punishments for tweets have been handed out before, but holding your breath to see if the FA apply consistency could cost you your life.
Next – this weekend’s events. Suarez dives in the box and is vilified quite rightly on MOTD. On the same programme we see Bale doing an even better impression of Tom Daley and there is much mirth amongst the presenters with no reference to his previous attempts at double twist with pike. Then we see Huth stamp on Suarez and finally Van Persie elbow Cabaye. Managers, reporters and tweeters all have a field day airing their opinions on what punishments should be handed out for these offences and we wait for the FA to issue their edict on these events.
Shock horror! Even handed men in blazers from the FA announce that no action whatsoever will be taken against any of the weekends offenders!!!
Everyone and his dog cites the age-old “what we require in football from officials and administrators is consistency” yet the governing body appear to be happy to continue on their merry way making it up as they go along.
Should we be surprised? Probably not when you take into account:
- No one the FA Board has ever played the game at a professional level
- Certain Chief Execs and Board members of current Premier League clubs are Board members of the FA.
- This is the organisation that gave £50m pounds to 2 foreigners in salary to fill the post of England Manager with dismal and disappointing results.
- This is an organisation that spend just under £800m on a national stadium when there have been better stadia built around the world for half the price!
- When England play away on international duty there are more FA officials on the flight than players.
- This is the organisation that decided that for 2 FA Cup Semi Finals the 2 London clubs would play on a Saturday and the 2 northern clubs would play on a Sunday with a late kick off time.
- Mounting a bid for the 2016 World Cup they spent just over £20m, when everyone else knew that Russia where going to win the bid at least 2 years in advance.
I could go on and on and there are many other examples of FA incompetency I have failed to mention.
I leave you with this thought. When Graham Kelly was in charge at the FA back in 1992 he ushered in the establishment of the Premier League with the words “this will be great for the national team and the game”. Last week 4 English Premier League teams played in Champion’s League group games. The total number of British players who were in their teams starting line ups was 10. 10 out of 44 were from these islands. I’m not quite sure that was what Kelly had in mind way back in ’92.
Written by Gordon Younie, you can find him on Twitter @GordWY