Mihir Bose: Row over Stadium caused because Government did not think London would win 2012


The row about the post-Olympic use of the Stratford stadium is the price of unexpected victory. And, if it is not quite like the wages of sin, it is just as painful.

In many ways, the 2012 bid book pledge to retain an athletics track at the Olympic stadium was the sporting equivalent of the Liberal Democrats’ pledge not to raise tuition fees.

They made it in good faith but then they did not expect to be in Government,

Read more …

Mihir Bose: Blatter courting danger as he enjoys watching Bin Hammam squirm


It was entirely predictable that Sepp Blatter’s comments on the 2022 World Cup in Qatar being played in January raised a howl of protest.

Not only does it seem extraordinary that after the game is over, the rules of the game are changed, but the near-revolution this would cause to the European game is incalculable.

But what has been missed in all this is that Blatter, the most consummate of sports politicians –

Read more …

Mihir Bose: FA will learn nothing if they do not confront England 2018 defeat

Mihir Bose(2)

It did not take long for the board of the Football Association to choose David Bernstein as the new chairman. The whole thing, I am told, took a bare five minutes. He was nominated, all hands went up and on to the next business.

However, sometime after this decision, there was a report by Andy Anson on England’s disastrous World Cup bid for 2018. Here something rather curious happened.

Before the meeting there had been much anticipation of what Anson,

Read more …

Mihir Bose: Gandhi would be amazed at what is happening at Blackburn Rovers

Mihir Bose blog picture(1)

Sam Allardyce as the saviour of football is a difficult concept to accept. But judging from the media reaction to his sacking, it would seem the new owners of Blackburn have committed a crime that would be beyond Herod.

They have not only sacked a manager, bad enough, but done it after consulting an agent, Jerome Anderson, and a firm based in Switzerland. To make it worse, the owners themselves are foreign, an Indian group whose business is poultry,

Read more …

Mihir Bose: England will be making an historic mistake if it takes its ball home

Mihir Bose

So FIFA is corrupt, full of Executive members who look you in the eye and lie, and England is taking its ball home.

Should such a statement be put to the British public today, I am quite certain it would receive unanimous support. Even before the Zurich debacle, FIFA, and in particular President Sepp Blatter, would have struggled to win a popularity contest in the mother land of football. But I have rarely seen a country and its media so united in its condemnation of the organisation.

Read more …

Mihir Bose: Years of neglect cannot be made up for in a few months of hectic lobbying


Should England not win the 2018 World Cup, and that must be considered a possibility, then I suggest the starting point for the post-mortem should be a thin orange and blue FIFA booklet called the Committees Directory 2110. This lists the people who sit on the various FIFA committees.

These committees are the powerhouse of the organisation. They range from World Cup organisation, to referee administration, the technical development of the game, player status,

Read more …

Mihir Bose: David Cameron must invoke spirit of Sir Alex Ferguson for England 2018 to win World Cup

Mihir Bose blog picture(1)

Sir Alex Ferguson’s famous comment “football, bloody hell” made after Manchester United did the treble in 1999, could well apply to the World Cup bids. Had a script-writer presented this scenario, it would have been rejected out of hand.

The script has as a key player a man who scored the winning goal against England nearly 30 years ago, and has seen the English bid team effectively apologising for the UK media.

The key question is: can David Cameron do what Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjær did for Manchester United in Barcelona and conjure up an England victory?

Read more …

Mihir Bose: Liverpool story still has a long way to run

Mihir Bose(2)

Liverpool fans should not delude themselves into believing that now the Gillett-Hicks regime is finally over, and peace reigns at Anfield, that it will bring success on the field of play.

Yes, Roy Hodgson’s team is rediscovering the art of winning again, but the simple equation – a happy set up equals playing success – is a myth.

For a start, despite all the players’ talk of how their heads are “turned in”

Read more …

Mihir Bose: FIFA still runs football as if it were a cottage industry


Sepp Blatter, president of FIFA, and many of his fellow executive members, may console themselves by saying that the crisis that has engulfed the organisation – both familiar and depressing – is all the fault of the dastardly British press and its nefarious ways.

They could not be more mistaken. They should look within themselves and ask why, having made the world’s most popular game into such a cash cow, they fail to run it like a proper corporate organisation where decisions are not only reached in good time,

Read more …

Mihir Bose: No word in modern football is more misused than “ambition”

Mihir Bose blog picture(1)

The Wayne Rooney drama illustrates two things. One, that much of what has happened to Rooney is a replay of his past, the other that the modern world of football is a curious kind of business where players, managers, administrators and even owners have all developed their own distinctive agendas. Their demands for money are always clothed in a spurious sense of higher morality.

The only ones who have not written a new script for themselves are the fans.

Read more …

Mihir Bose: Fans treated as if they don’t count by dysfunctional football family


Liverpool fans gathering outside the Royal Courts of Justice in the Strand would have been better advised to move a short distance westwards to Parliament Square to get our law-makers to address an essential problem in football: that we now have an extraordinarily unlevel playing field when it comes to the national game.

The fact is that the football industry is like a dysfunctional family and this has come about through muddle headed law-making.

Read more …

Mihir Bose: Fans must stop falling in love with rich men

Mihir Bose blog picture

The rich, as Hemingway said, are different to the rest of us – they have more money.

But what is now emerging is that the rich in football are expected to behave differently to rich people in any other sport.

This is a very recent, modern, phenomenon which is making football even more distinct from all other sporting activities. It is also creating a huge problem for the game.

Read more …