Matt Scott: Why FFP is right and proper, whatever City fans might say

“No man can judge what is good evidence on any particular subject, unless he knows that subject well. A lawyer is no better than an old woman at a post-mortem examination.” George Eliot, Middlemarch

For hundreds of years the legal profession has been among society’s least popular functions. It’s pretty clear that not everyone likes the way lawyers practise their business but the fact is the modern world could not carry on without them.

Read more …

Matt Scott: Can Henry persuade Wenger to spend? £200m says he should


“Arsenal need to buy four players, they need that spine. They need a goalkeeper, they still need a centre-back, they still need a holding midfielder and, I’m afraid, they need a top, top-quality striker in order to win this league again.” Thierry Henry, Sky Sports

They have a statue of Thierry Henry outside the Emirates Stadium. For most Arsenal fans he was the champion of champions, the Achilles from Paris,

Read more …

Lee Wellings: Time for a woman to run FIFA?

In the world of smoke and mirrors, behind the spin and the secrecy, the lies and vested interests, the tangled webs of international diplomacy, or lack if it, the posturing, the blinkered views and denials, one thing is sure about the astonishing FIFA crisis and its large global ripples.

Read more …

Matt Scott: Why are English clubs so hard to sell? Ask Warren Buffett


“For the investor, a too-high purchase price for the stock of an excellent company can undo the effects of a subsequent decade of favorable business developments.” Warren Buffett

It’s hard to argue with any of the aphorisms spoken by the most successful investor in modern history. Warren Buffett has made himself a multi-billionaire, and lots of other people very rich too, with his seer’s ability to pick a stock through forensic financial analysis.

Read more …

Inside Editorial: All lawyered up with no place to go

News that FIFA president Sepp ‘despot’ Blatter and Jerome ‘not me’ Valcke have lawyered up in the US with a couple of the most aggressive rottweilers available comes as no real surprise. Or does it? And does the fact that this is actually news tell us a bit more than perhaps the news leaker had intended.

Read more …

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,

Read more …

Andrew Warshaw: Innocent until proven guilty? Does anyone care?

Let’s distinguish between the highly unlikely and the reality; let’s separate the hyberbole from the facts. Sepp Blatter made the right decision to announce he would be stepping down no matter how upset his legions of supporters in Africa and elsewhere might be. Root and branch reform is now needed at FIFA more than ever to eradicate the stench of rampant corruption.

Read more …

Mihir Bose: Warning – Blatter is not finished yet and could make life difficult for his enemies

We all know how the US Justice Department has moved the tectonic plates of FIFA. Yet the next few months, until the elective Congress meets to decide a new President, could also see major changes in FIFA and if Blatter gets his way these changes will not be very palatable to the Europeans and, in particular, the British. Indeed this could prove to be the most important period in FIFA’s history, even more important than the immediate post war years when a nearly bankrupt FIFA,

Read more …

Matt Scott: US criminal investigation is a matter of life and death for FIFA

“Do you understand, sir, do you understand what it means when you have absolutely nowhere to turn?” Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment

There is something fundamental about the allegations in this FIFA crisis that recalls Dostoyevsky’s anti-hero Raskolnikov. Not a naturally vicious man, it was an intellectual compulsion that drove him to commit murder. He convinced himself that his crime would be justified due to his intellectual brilliance. As a virtuoso student,

Read more …

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.

Read more …