Mihir Bose: Blatter’s turn towards Europe shows him at his best as he attempts FIFA clean up

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Could 2012 be the year when football finally begins to accept that it can longer disregard the wider world?

2011 has been the year of the great “no”. The game tried hard to carry on with the fiction that all of football’s problems can be solved behind the front door of the family mansion irrespective of what the outside world may expect.

It has always been curious that the world’s most popular game is so conservative and resistant to change.

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Mihir Bose: Tottenham’s de-listing from the stock market highlights uncertainty amongst English clubs

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Tottenham Hotspur’s decision to de-list from the stock market deserves more than to be buried in the footnotes as one of those curious things football club directors indulge in.

Not only is it a reversal of a policy that Tottenham inaugurated more than 30 years ago, but it also highlights that modern English football clubs have just not worked out what is the right structure for them.

What a contrast to the continent where German,

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Mihir Bose: The gulf that separates the American and British sporting model has yet to be bridged

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In the last few weeks, readers of the sports pages of British newspapers may have been forgiven for thinking we are facing another American revolution. Having given the distinct impression that they had joined a new order of sporting Trappist monks on crossing the pond, American owners of English clubs have suddenly become as voluble as teenagers let out of school. Or at least two very prominent owners have.

Yet what they have said shows that there is still a vast gulf between the old world and the new when it comes to sport.

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Mihir Bose: FIFA should fear new mood after International Olympic Committee investigation

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The wider impact of the investigation by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Ethics Commission into Joao Havelange, Issa Hayatou, Lamine Diack, three of the most powerful men in world sport, cannot be overestimated.

The treatment of the three men may not appear all that drastic. But there is a message here about the way the IOC is prepared to react to the demands that the administrators of world sport and, in particular, football must become more accountable and transparent.

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Mihir Bose: As football becomes more of a business, moving jobs for money is no longer a sin

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We may have reached an historic moment with modern, highly paid footballers. They may finally be ready to tell the truth when they move club. The truth is that what motivates them is not the glory of the club they are going to, nor its wonderful supporters, nor even the honours they might win, but how much money the new club will put in their bank account.

I have long believed that the refrain of modern footballers,

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Mihir Bose: Blatter’s outrageous racism comments have done untold damage to him and FIFA

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Sepp Blatter may believe the furore he provoked by his comments on racism in football is behind him. He could not be more mistaken. He will have to live with the consequences of his absurd comment that if there is racism on the field of play it can be got rid of by a post-match hand shake.

Worse still, the damage he has done to FIFA, when the organisation is already so beleaguered, cannot be overestimated.

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Mihir Bose: It’s time European sports administrators studied US model to combat match fixing

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Britain and Europe have never been easy bedfellows and the turmoil of the eurozone may lead to a further, even permanent, alienation. Yet, ironically, in sport Britain is not on the periphery of Europe, but leading the way.

Nothing illustrates this better than the vote on Tuesday (November 15) in the European Parliament about match fixing. This, as UEFA President Michel Platini keeps repeating, is, “the biggest threat facing the future of sport in Europe”.

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Mihir Bose: Football must stop looking to the past to resolve the issues of today

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The Carlos Tévez and John Terry affairs could not be more different. One is a case of an employee allegedly not wanting to do his job; the other is about an employee allegedly behaving badly while at work.

They both illustrate the behaviour problems of today’s footballers, more so during high profile matches which are subjected to unprecedented public scrutiny through the internet and social media.

They also illustrate that those involved in running football including the players union,

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Mihir Bose: Marcel Schmid bravely predicts women’s football will influence the male game

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The theme of this year’s International Football Arena (IFA) conference, Football: from craze to madness, may suggest we face a sporting Armageddon. But Marcel Schmid, the man whose brainchild the conference is, refuses to take a pessimistic view of the state of the game.

“The football world is upside down, but the world is upside down, isn’t it?,” he says. “It is not only football in a state of chaos,

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Mihir Bose: Stadium mystery could have an ending even Agatha Christie could not have plotted

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The debate about the future of the Olympic Stadium illustrates a very simple sporting truth about this country. The one sport that makes money is football, but only at the highest level.

All other sports, including lower league football, struggle. Any attempt to make money and market a sport other than football, particularly athletics, is extremely difficult and can result in failure.

The Government forgot this sporting truth and the result is that the future of the Olympic Stadium is uncertain and the taxpayer may end up paying for its maintenance.

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Mihir Bose: Sky may not be the limit with Murphy’s law

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Karen Murphy’s victory in the European Court over showing live matches in her pub without paying Sky’s charges should not be overestimated. It will have consequences, particularly in the lower reaches of the game, but it should not be seen as televised football’s equivalent of the Bosman ruling. It is not.

Bosman has proved such a far-reaching, even revolutionary, judgement, that its effects are still being felt more than a decade and a half later.

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Mihir Bose: Segregating fans has helped foster climate of hatred

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English football fans are be capable of much humour, no little inventiveness and a warmth and goodness that can be truly uplifting, but the capacity for some fans to be vile should not be underestimated. Events at some recent matches have once again demonstrated that.

So during their Carling Cup encounter, Manchester United fans were taunted by chants from Leeds fans about the Munich air crash and United fans, in turn, retaliated with chants of Istanbul,

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Mihir Bose: After Bin Hammam’s race claim, Blatter needs to prove he really is a citizen of the world

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Mohammed Bin Hammam may have been self-serving in accusing FIFA of racism and alleging that, had he been an European, he would not have suffered the punishment he has – banished for life from world football for having been found guilty of vote buying during the FIFA presidential race.

He could not have put it more clearly in a letter to Petrus Damaseb, the deputy chairman of the Ethics Committee: “Were I a European,

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Mihir Bose: The rise of celebrity culture is changing the face of our beautiful game

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The cult of the manager may have been developing since the 1960s, but football now faces a situation that not many could have imagined. This is the age of the manager as a celebrity, with his every action judged to be as important and worthy of highlight, at times even more so, than the players he manages.

This marks a fundamental change in the how the game is perceived. When Pelé described football as the beautiful game,

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Mihir Bose: Money doesn’t always guarantee sporting success

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The beginning of the football season always turns to talk of money and how much clubs have spent on the transfer market.

Yet what this misses is the age-old truth that money does not buy sporting success. Spending money can keep the fans happy and raise their expectations for the season, but is no guarantee of silverware at the end of the season.

This is something that Manchester City fans might well discover this season as they finally strive to wrest back some glory from their more famous city rivals.

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