Another week and another about turn from the man in charge of global football and massive rant from Sir Alex. Andy Kay lights the blue touch paper and retreats to a safe distance.
How much does Sepp Blatter cost Fifa in travel expenses? Probably quite a lot bearing in mind they have to fly him down to earth from the planet Tharg or wherever it is he inhabits when not at his Zurich office. This week the man who has previously suggested that women players wear tighter shorts and that reckless tackles result in lifetime bans for the players responsible has come out with another bewildering U-turn. Not that long ago, Blatter was all in favour of Great Britain entering men’s and women’s teams for the 2012 Olympics for which they qualify as hosts. So advanced were negotiations that Lord Sebastian Coe had apparently approached Sir Alex Ferguson to manage the men’s side. Now, he’s totally changed his position saying that the four Home Nations risk losing their individual status if they try and move forward with the idea. Perhaps the atmosphere in deep space does funny things to the brain, provided of course, you’ve got one to begin with.
Sitting on a bus after finishing a commentary stint at a major sports event on Saturday, I was keen to find out who had won the two FA Cup quarter finals that day. As luck would have it, the next person who jumped on board was a British journalist from a national newspaper. He informed me that Barnsley had beaten Chelsea and that Portsmouth had dumped out Manchester United. He also added that Scotland had won the Calcutta Cup against England. The bus was full of sports fans and other commentators who upon hearing the news, burst out laughing and called the poor man every name under the sun. Whoops!
Colour blind Fergie
Having subsequently watched the game between Manchester United and Portsmouth, I wonder if Sepp Blatter’s travel costs might not be as high as I first thought bearing in mind that he probably shares some form of extra-planetary craft with Sir Alex. The reason for United’s loss to Pompey, the great man explained to us, was that referee Martin Atkinson “didn’t do his job properly.” Ah, that explains it then. The fact that United battered Portsmouth for the entire game and missed a hatful of chances obviously doesn’t enter in to it. To be honest, they could have upped sticks and played the match in a dodgy part of Amsterdam and Fergie’s men would still have struggled to score. Atkinson might not have had the best game in history but in terms of not doing jobs properly, Sir Alex could have mentioned half a dozen blokes in red as well as the man in black.
Chatting to the Beeb
So delighted was he at Portsmouth’s victory at Old Trafford that Harry Redknapp ended his self imposed exile from the BBC interview area and spoke to the corporation for the first time in a long time. Not so Fergie who continued to wash his hands of the FA Cup rights holders and once again sent out his number 2 to face the music. This all stems from a 2004 BBC 3 documentary which wasn’t very complimentary about the transfer dealings of his Jason. Amazing isn’t it that he’s held a grudge for 4 years against BBC Sport who had nothing to do with the programme? Bearing in mind the millions of pounds they’ve paid to cover live FA Cup matches, not to mention Premier League highlights, isn’t it even more extraordinary that the Football Association and Richard Scudamore haven’t instructed Ferguson to grow up, stop acting like a 5 year old child and start towing the line. What’s he going to do if, during the next home game, the opposition are winning with a few minutes to go? Run on the pitch saying “it’s my ball and you can’t play with it anymore?” It’s about time that Ferguson, being a Knight of the realm, started to act like one.