The Football Association is this year just celebrating its 150 year birthday – most people probably didn’t know that, or realize that it could have been going so long and is now such a mess. The imbeciles running the FA have destroyed the beautiful game of football in England.
At one stage professional football was played by ordinary English chaps, who knew how to behave both on and off the pitch, and they respected referees and linesmen (as were in those days) to the extent they didn’t push and shove them around or use 4 letter swear words at them. Some teams did have non-English players (primarily Scotsmen who had found the best road in Scotland – the road to England!). The players didn’t get mega pay and they used to pay tax. Teams ‘belonged’ to the fans and not some unheard of rich foreigner. Football was the working man’s game, despised by the upper class private schooled rugby (‘rugger’) enthusiasts. Fans stood on terraces in the rain having paid a small price for a ticket, whereas now the fans have to be well off to sit on seats in a covered stand protected from the elements. The worst language could be heard by children without embarrassment, and consisted of phrases like “get some specs Ref” or “send im off Ref”. Today the players’ foul language on the pitch is replicated by the fans off it and no responsible parent would expose their children to it – players even use swear words when calling to their team mates (“pass the xxxxxxx ball to me Charlie”).
Playing football is not just about skill or fitness these days, though the FA runs many coaching courses. There is an astonishing secret that must not be disclosed – so here we go! To get to the really top as a football player you HAVE to be able to SPIT. This may well be practiced extensively on training days in the same way that many managers train to chew gum (like cows chewing the cud). In no other major sport do participant spit constantly – it is remarkable how footballers manage to keep it up. I watched Peter Crouch, a renowned international footballer with 42 caps, walk onto the pitch as a substitute in an international match and immediately spit before he had even kicked a ball – that is what you call a real player, a true professional, and a magnificent role model. Why can’t tennis players after a 5 hour match have the strength and energy to have a good spit when they are accepting the winner’s cup from the Queen?
The FA doesn’t even know it goes on or they would introduce a course on spitting and an annual award for spitter of the season. Of course there is a downside on spitting – sometimes players get forgetful, particularly when they are fouled or upset, and spit when another player’s face accidently is in front of them and they didn’t notice the referee watching; if the FA don’t see that as a meaningless accident then the innocent player (who has committed a legal assault) can get fined or banned (which means he doesn’t have to play to earn his wages he gets paid irrespective). [It might be noted that spitting in public is possibly illegal as being a public nuisance in many local authorities whereas the FA and others do not seem bothered to deal with it at football matches. Until 1990 it was a finable offence to spit in public].
The FA is of course the oldest football association in the world and reputedly (and unfortunately) controls all amateur and professional football, including the National team. Their most famous competition is the FA Cup. The FA big problem is that they have ‘controlled’ nothing. That is why just ‘anybody’ has been allowed to buy a football team (well perhaps not murders, but one couldn’t be confident about that). The top brass at the FA probably think it is a breach of human rights to deny a foreigner to take over an English club to protect ownership – try buying an American baseball club if you aren’t American!
The influx of foreign players is now so great that an English player can hardly get a kick of a football at the top level. Talent is something that has to be developed and the knock-on effect of English payers not getting the right experience is that our National team is forever useless – we will never ever again win the World Cup (so get a DVD of the 1966 Final if you want to see us win). We cannot any longer hope to compare with the other major footballing countries in such major competitions– Brazil have won the World Cup 5 times, Italy 4 times, Germany 3 times, Argentina twice, Uruguay also twice, and France & Spain just once like us (and we had home advantage when we won).
When it comes to selecting a manager for the England team the FA have been determined to always appoint some no-hoper, often at a massive cost, even when there was a winner candidate ready and waiting in the wings, and with massive public and popular support and clamour behind them- there was for example Brian Clough (overlooked twice – 1977 & 1990), and more recently Harry Redknapp last summer. England are now stuck with another strange one and loser Roy Hodgson (he does though speak 5 languages so he will know a lot of swear words).
So don’t bother putting a bet on England for any of the the next three World Cups – to be held in Brazil, Russia, and (no joke) Qatar – next year, 2018 & 2022 respectively. The blame unmistakably falls at the feet of the FA.
Possibly the worse legacy of the modern FA is an astounding negligence in failing to enforce the basic rules of the football game – especially as the sole purpose for the FA in 1863 was to establish a proper and accepted set of rules for playing football. Nowadays if you watch a football match you would be amazed to hear that pulling opponents shirts or arms, or physically pushing them, particularly in the penalty area, is actually against the rules. A top Premiership manager last week complained in a TV interview about a penalty being given against his team for fouling an opponent by grabbing him as he went for goal, because that was a common bit of behaviour – amazingly the TV pundits agreed with him! [TV football commentators are another set of morons who earn a fortune out of the game but do nothing to show-up and stop the cheats and combat the dreadful bad culture on the field]. The abuse and intimidation of the Referee is another astounding scenario – it is more than ‘against the rules’, but surrounding the officials conducted with physical contact and foul abuse is more common than not. The extravagant goal celebrations are another joke – again against the rules but go unpunished. Some teams get away with murder because they and their manger are so intimidating to the FA & their officials.
The tragedy of all this and other mismanagement at the FA is the dreadful effect it all has on the kids who are starting to play football. They see it all on the telly and copy their role models. Here we are talking about 5 year olds, so how will they end up as footballers and people?
Rogues Gallery: David Bernstein Chairman; Alex Horne General Secretary; David Gill Vice Chairman; Trevor Brooking Director Football Development – to name a few