By David Owen: Platini and the Sheikh. Marriage made in Berlin and Lausanne?

From the days of Mrs Astor’s New York, and probably long before, all networks have had their must-attend parties. The annual summer party thrown by the late Sir David Frost, the media personality, is a good example of the sort of thing I have in mind. This past week in Lausanne, there was no doubting the invitation that those hooked into the Olympic “network” most wanted to get their hands on: it was for the June 8 reception to mark the inauguration of the new Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) Headquarters,

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David Owen: Blatter’s long goodbye

Not for the first time, he wrong-footed us all. When the invitation to a FIFA press conference thudded into our inboxes on Tuesday at 3.36pm UK time, I don’t think anyone seriously expected two hours later to be listening to Sepp Blatter, one of the great survivors of our world, setting out how he proposed to “lay down my mandate” as FIFA President.

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David Owen: Twitter and the fine art of football electioneering

It being general election week here in the United Kingdom, I thought it would be a good time to take a look at the FIFA Presidential election – via the medium of the four candidates’ Twitter feeds. Not because I judge this likely to offer great insights into the identity of the eventual winner: the football officials in whose hands the outcome lies are assuredly far too high-minded to be swayed by anything as trivial as social media.

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David Owen: The Gill and Dyke Show, and why protectionism isn’t the answer for England

Watching developments in English football can be a trying business, whether we are talking on or off the pitch. So it is characteristic that a week which brought a big step forward in manoeuvring a respected English voice on to the sport’s top table should also have featured a proposal from the boss of the Football Association that would, in my opinion, represent a significant backwards step both for the Premier League and the England team he is trying to strengthen.

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David Owen: Financial firepower should soon put Premier League clubs back on top of Europe

Chelsea’s dramatic Champions League elimination at the hands of Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday night makes it likely that next week will bring down the curtain on the participation of Premier League clubs in this season’s flagship European club competition, before even the quarter-final stage. Survival in the other big continent-wide tournament, the Europa League, may last only a further 24 hours if Everton cannot get the better of Ukraine’s Dynamo Kiev over two legs.

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