A few nights ago, as the race to the bottom began in earnest between the “Football Family Partners”, it was easy to recall one of the world-class movies from 2000. I watched “Dude where’s my car?” in a Dundalk cinema and literally cried with laughter.
Last night tears didn’t flow but I laughed all the same. Suspended – Blatter, Platini and Valcke.
“Major alcohol producer and destroyer of lives, livers and beer diversity, who also have a nice line in avoiding tax-paying, call on elderly Swiss gentleman to resign.”
“Failing junk food pusher and contributor to obesity epidemic also call on corrupt Swiss gentleman to resign.”
“Teeth rotting soft drink enabler and contributor to unhealthiest generation yet demand tyrannical Swiss gentleman to resign.”
“Credit card company and subject of International probe for processing illegal transactions for genocidal maniacs in Middle East beseech balding Swiss gentleman to resign.”
Odd that Budweiser’s sweetheart and monopolistic deal with FIFA is ending and Blatter has opened up a tender with SAB Miller and Heineken hotly tipped to take the massively profitable role.
Odd that McDonald’s, in serious trouble financially and unable to lose the FIFA deal, now face a major fight with Burger King for the FIFA gift.
Odd that Coca Cola were denied by Pepsi the UEFA deal, are losing the Russian FA and now face a straight up fight for hegemony with Pepsi in the new tender with FIFA.
Odd that Visa’s deal is also up for grabs and they are not certain to have it renewed under Blatter’s watch.
I felt a true cynic in August when I told Keelin Shanley that if a person wanted to change football and FIFA, they first needed to get involved with their local club, move up into the committee, get voted onto a regional/local/league governing body, then on up the ladder to National, Continental and World levels. This is what’s called, in Mulhuddart, an accumulation of power. My final words were that power corrupts and that there would be no change. And there won’t be.
Now, as they said in that more recent cinema classic, “Hot Fuzz”, “This shit just got real.” Sepp’s suspended for 90 days and the main man to replace him, the heir to the Hyundai fortune, is also not just in trouble, but in serious trouble.
The hysterical “won’t somebody think of the children?” twitterati and media loudhailers just want to be heard and validated; the vested interest “football partner family” just want better deals or renewals; politicians just want attention and re-election to whore themselves for more of the same; “football official family” just want to fall on the good side of public opinion so they can hang onto the gravy train and even go to Grand Central Station Switzerland; football clubs just want to survive and make money; footballers want to play, and survive; the deranged polemicists just want to “go back to the good old days”, back to when Europe (aka France, England and Germany) ruled the world and scraps from the table fell on occasion to former colonies.
Sean Maslin, writing on this site, posed the excellent question: Do supporters want to change FIFA? For me the most important line was “look in the mirror.” I think that this morning very few commentators will bother with this. There is too much fun to be had, too much to write, too much to be outraged by.
Sepp goes, who comes in? And then….Michel “Qatar” Platini? Chung “Daddy’s Shadow” Mong-joon? Issa “Mo’ Money” Hayatou? Greg “Greed is good” Dyke? Vitaly “97 Breakfast Roll Man” Mutko? John Delaney? Roman “Where’s the money gone” Abramovich? Seb “Nothing to see here” Coe? Barack “Bomber” Obama? Vladimir “VVP” Putin? Who? Who takes over? A supporters trust?
Just as with IAAF, UCI, ITF or any other majorly corrupted body, anyone who reaches the top of the greasy pole has long before sold their soul to get the backing to make it that far. Whether it is to vested sponsor interests, regional bodies, clubs/companies, or anyone who wants a favour done, that candidate is tainted.
When the Ukraine-Russia situation grew worse last year and sanctions laid down against Russian products and people, did it not occur to anyone to raise questions why Russian money (and certain individuals) were not hit?
The complete Kremlin control of Russian media continued with foreign-owned CTC media having to sell up thanks to a Kremlin law where a foreigner could not own more than 20% of a media holding. Who landed in the firesale? None other than enabler of murderous dictators and 30% owner of Arsenal FC Alisher Usmanov. Where was the sanction against Arsenal FC and VVP’s financier?
It’s easy to pick on Chelsea, and fun, but where was the sanction against Russian taxpayer money funding Diego Costa’s salary? Or Uncle Roman, VVP’s pet project, having his name on a US-UK-EU no fly list? Bournemouth, the latest orgasm generating “feel good” story and their support from dodgy Russian money? And good old Kremlin hand puppet Mikhail Prokhorov, was his money no good for the Brooklyn Nets and his travel restricted?
There are a list of US, UK and EU folks who continue to have their money good enough for the Kremlin and their passports welcomed at the border. Not to mention the US company who continue to control the Kremlin’s PR strategy along with Theatre Director Vladislav Surkov. Point is, nothing changed and nothing will change, at the top.
On the topic of classic movies, last week on the trail back to Ireland I remembered the great “The Dirty Dozen”. Ricco Ross is ordered by Lee Marvin to shoot a German General when he had Hitler in his sights. Finally he tops poor Wolf Kahler and they escape, though Ricco later died on Hitler’s plane.
The point was, Hitler’s day would run its course, what was coming behind him was far, far worse. And right now, there’s not a single candidate or hopeful to take control of FIFA who is going to do anything different. Especially not when the “Football Partner Family” will make sure he/she will never have to work another day in their life.