Bad Losers?

We do not want to dwell on what happened in Zurich, and yes we did take it pretty badly, but with all sides locked in a verbal battle over whom was to blame it’s not been easy to escape.

The charming Jack Warner blamed the media, as did some of the other FIFA exco members and Blatter was more eloquent in his dismissal of our bid. But maybe losing out wasn’t all that bad after all?

Last week the Government launched a public inquiry into the way football is governed in the UK. They propose to encourage the reform of football governance rules to support the co-operative ownership of football clubs by supporters, and there is widespread concern that the current governance arrangements are not fit-for-purpose.

Also that
week, the FA launched it’s ‘The Future Game – Grassroots’ initiative aimed at encouraging a new way of coaching young players in the UK. Running in line with the FA’s new coaching philosophy; the hope is to produce enough technically gifted players to fill a national team that doesn’t consistently disappoint!

So were FIFA right not award us the World Cup in 2018? It certainly seems as if the game in the UK is broken and in need of serious repair. Maybe all that cash earmarked for the World Cup will be spent fixing football’s inherent ills?

What can be said is that football in the UK has had a wake up call, and we now have a chance to help push real change within the football industry. By getting involved we can help make a difference for the good of the game by encouraging a new way of thinking both on and off the pitch.

How England can still be world beaters

Let’s be honest, the whole of the UK is stunned and upset at FIFA’s decision not to award the 2018 World Cup to England.
Much will be made of whether Panorama lost it for us or whether we were too complacent, etc. But the fact is, we have to move on.
And the truth is, no country in the world is better placed to move on from this disappointment than England.
Whatever FIFA’s decision to snub this country, we must never forget that we are a football superpower and we have an opportunity to prove to the planet in other ways how much football can change lives.
We have the two biggest football leagues in the world in the Premier League and the Football League and – despite the failings of the FA – we invest more per capita in youth and grassroots football than any other World Cup bidder.
So, what better way to move on than to prove the muscle of English football? Now is the time to be brave and expand the brand of English football globally.
With club football clearly our strength now is the time for us to own the club game globally, if we cannot own the game nationally.
So, let’s have that 38th Premier League game abroad. Let’s even consider holding the Community Shield in China and the Carling Cup Final in Qatar.
We have the best club football in the World, and by holding strategic events from our calendar around the world, we can prove FIFA wrong and we can prove how powerful English football can be as a global force for good.
It’s what the fans deserve. But the question is, have our authorities got the balls for it?

So near, yet so far!

So there we have it, Russia and Qatar have ‘won’ the right to host the World Cup in 2018/2022 respectively.

And yes, the F.C. Business office is gutted that England did not get the 2018 World Cup, but that’s FIFA’s decision and there is not a lot we can do about it now.

But do we have a right to fell aggrieved? In short……yes!

On the face of it, it looks like we were punished for our ‘media’ which had, rightly or wrongly, reported on the misgivings of FIFA and its officials. BBC’s Panorama has taken the brunt of the blame for its poor timing and weak accusations and FIFA have seemingly taken this to heart.

But the decision yesterday has highlighted the need for reform in the way the World Cup is awarded to a country. What is now clear is that having the best technical bid, best inspection etc, etc, is not enough to win the right to host the World Cup.

A dejected Andy Anson said that there is no point in England bidding agian until changes have been made to the way the process is handled. And he is right, there are 208 heads of national football associations but only 24 (normally) get to vote.

Too much power in the hands of too few!

In short, FIFA has an agenda to take the World Cup to new territories, it’s a noble aim, but why waste the time and money of the developed football nations if there is no way they are going to get the vote?

Yes, our bid has had its ups and downs, but we must be very proud of the way our bid team pulled together, thank everyone involved in the whole process for their hard work and dedication, and to Andy Anson, David Cameron, David Beckham, Prince William and Eddie Afekafe for what Blatter described as an “excellent and remarkable” presentation.