It’s a sad state of affairs when Greg Dyke moans about the corruption in world football and instead of pointing out what an ineffectual numpty he is, the whole of the British press agrees with him. As a general rule, if all the newspapers in a country agree on something, it’s usually wrong. It’s usually some kind of jumped up jingoistic hokum designed to channel a feeling of national indignation, and then sell newspapers.
First off, we should start by safely acknowledging that regardless of what happened at FIFA, we were wrong. Just as with the World Cup bid, once again we misjudged things and we cocked up. But instead of remorse, we hear Greg and the FA whingeing about how it’s not fair. You know, I must have missed Machiavelli’s chapter where he advised defeated generals to simper back to the warm embrace of their national press and bemoan unfairness. And you want to know the worst part? That hollow FA posturing about ‘ooh, we would boycott the World Cup, but it wouldn’t make any difference.’ And, ‘ooh, it’s the big money corporations who should boycott, then FIFA would listen…’ Like the sponsors are going to take their money away. Please. They’re not sponsoring FIFA because they like them, they sponsor because it makes them craploads of cash – 4 billion people watched the World Cup final. You think Coca Cola is going to give that up because some random dude got a back-hander in Bermuda? Seriously? The FA posturing is at best naïve and at worst hypocritical: we won’t boycott the World Cup because it won’t make a difference? The real reason England won’t boycott the World Cup is because we’d lose loads of cash. Merchandise, booze, TV sales – all that shit.
So what’s the problem here? The problem isn’t corruption, nobody cares about corruption, anyone who’s travelled to South America, or Africa, or Scotland, knows that corruption is just another layer of life. You tip the barman to get better service? Then you can’t moan about corruption. If I were to call corruption ‘opportunity’, dress it up in sexy boots and have it knock on your hotel room door at ten past four in the morning, you wouldn’t ask too many questions. And the problem isn’t ethical, because nothing in modern football is about ethics. Football is ethical when it is played in the park. But the moment money gets involved, it stops being about ethics and starts being about money. That’s just how it is.
So why are we complaining? Well I’ll tell you. We’re complaining because we lost. That’s all. We lost and we’re sore, lame-ass losers. We’ve thrown in the towel and started bitching to our bezzies before the game is up. Can you imagine Greg Dyke giving a half time team talk? “Well lads, I would say go out there and win, but it won’t make any difference. You might as well sit in here with me and a plate of nobbly Lincolns and we can write a letter to Newsnight about why it’s not fair.”
Well I’m sick of that. And I don’t like Lincolns. So I have a simple plan to wrest control back from Sepp and his sexy backhanders. Sepp’s winning because he has numbers on his side. Every country is worth one FIFA vote, and there are lots of countries, so on the face of things, England are up against it. But remember, there aren’t lots of countries that people want to see play football. So in spite of England and Spain and France all only having one vote each, we have a lot more clout when it comes to drawing audiences. Boycotts don’t work because they lose money. So what about the opposite?
It’s easy enough: just set up a rival tournament for summer 2017- the year before the Russia World Cup, when there’s nothing on but the Confederations Cup (who gives a shit about the Confederations Cup?) – Make it big: get at least 16 big countries who are pissed off with FIFA. I’m talking Germany, England, Argentina, USA (but they have to wear that 90s stars and stripes kit). Sign up rival sponsors, Pepsi, Burger King etc. And here’s the clincher: donate all the proceeds to charity – a big international one, the Red Cross or Unicef. Call it the Charitable World Trophy and make sure anyone who criticises it sounds like they want children to starve. Host it in the UK where we can guarantee full stadiums, or share it out amongst nations, I don’t care. That’s not the point, the point is it’s not under FIFA’s control. Lastly, emphasise its modern, forward-thinking approach by introducing new rules like yellow card sinbins and video refs. You just know the whole world will want to see how that works out.
Notice this isn’t a boycott. A boycott makes us look like the bad guy. But a charitable World Trophy makes us the good guys, and the pressure would be on Sepp to act. If he wants to ban the big nations from the Russia World Cup, that’s fine. See how Putin will take to hosting a World Cup without Messi, Ronaldo and Zlatan. My guess is he wouldn’t hand out too many Picassos. Of course Sepp couldn’t do nothing: a World Trophy would challenge the World Cup’s dominance. And since he couldn’t ban those taking part, chances are, Sepp would start dancing to our tune.
So come on Greg, stop whining like a baby and sort it out. Force Sepp into action. After all, he’s 79, what’s he going to do?