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October 2016
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It looks like Platini and the FA are made for each other.

By Tony Attwood

Platini is no revolutionary but a hindrance to true change at rotten Fifa

That headline from the Daily Telegraph marked an interesting moment in the history of commentary on Uefa and Fifa, one of the first articles that turned against Platini in the English press, and which started to question Uefa.

And that is interesting, because if you question Uefa, you inevitably have to question the FA – which as you may know has been my hobbyhorse for as long as Untold has been here.

It is an important moment because The Football Association with its endless political and financial troubles has always backed Michel Platini as the next Fifa president, even though Platini has long been Blatter’s “special adviser.”  One wonders what advice he gave.  But still there is little doubt that the two would work well together – although whether either should be allowed into any position of power is the bigger question, and one that until now the press has utterly refused to contemplate.

It might have been hoped that the questions about the £1.3m payment from Sepp Blatter to Platini could be a catalyst to a rethink of the old-boys network at Wembley, but it seems that it won’t.  They will plough on regardless.

Platini has been questioned by the Swiss attorney general’s office and has been “asked to provide information”.  It is being suggested that there is something odd about not asking for £1.3m you are owed for years and years and years (well nine years actually).  But I suppose you can become forgetful in older age (I know I do).  However the money was described by Swiss authorities as a “disloyal” payment – one against the interests of Fifa and thus corrupt.   But maybe that has been forgotten too.

Annoying though this is, it could finally work in the reformists’ favour, for if Platini falls they maybe, just maybe, the endless arse licking that the boys and girls in the media engage in towards the FA could be stopped and they might actually ask questions about bizarre and dubious “presents” to Fifa members, the gross incompetence that led to the end of the Sport England grant (the press’ response was to print an FA press release without asking a question), the endless loss making ventures and the consequent utter screw up of finances which recently led to multiple redundancies, and beyond everything the failure to grow grass roots football.

It is hard to imagine it is not a spoof set up by Private Eye, but this is the FA’s latest outpouring of love:  “In July, the FA board decided unanimously to support Michel Platini if he intended to stand for the presidency of Fifa. We did so because we thought he was an excellent president of Uefa and could bring those same leadership qualities to Fifa. We are still of that view.

“However, events of recent days have raised a number of issues which do need to be fully examined. We are following the ongoing investigation initiated by the Swiss attorney general with which Mr Platini is cooperating in full. We also recognise that Mr Platini has contacted the Fifa ethics committee inviting them to look into the matter and to interview him.”

It has been suggested that a deal has been done between Platini and the FA in terms of the FA’s semi-skimmed notion that they can win the world cup by having quotas for homegrown players rather than by setting up a proper coaching system, as we suggested in our original research in March 2010.  It has been republished numerous times now (although no one even mentions that it was our work, but that’s how it goes).

So the FA might have pledged support for Platini in return for his future help in bringing that crazy home grown notion about.  The FA’s comments that they support Platini because he is the reformist candidate who can sort out Fifa, and that the quotas have never been discussed, should be taken with enough salt to open a salt mine.

For the ever bemused Dyke (now known in the trade as “Don’t give a fuck Dyke” – see below for an explanation) is quoted as saying, “We continue to have discussions with him [Platini] on our concerns about dwindling opportunities for homegrown players – a concern he shares. We are pleased Mr Platini has decided to stand as a candidate and we look forward to supporting him.”

The one good thing to come out of this could be that if Platini falls in the culling that is going on inside Fifa, the FA’s top brass could fall, and we could have a total reform of the old dinosaur.  Although that remains a long shot.

Certainly the FA at present don’t know how to give up a dead cause.  Recently Martin Glenn CEO of the FA entertained Platini at Wembley.  “We had dinner with Michel the other night, we kind of know what his agenda is.”  [Ah the royal wee].

“We think it would place English soccer well to have a guy like Michel running Fifa. We think he has huge experience in football, he talks about it in a way that makes sense and there is a reform process going on which will make sure Fifa is a very different beast, ” he said.  Which pretty much opens it up should allegations about Platini prove to be valid.

Blatter however helped get Platini elected in 1998, employed him directly (hence the £1.3m fee) and Platini only jumped the sinking ship when it truly sank.

But it is not all plain sailing even on a sinking ship (if you see what I mean).  Chung Mong-joon, another former Fifa vice-president who wants to succeed Blatter in February’s election, has called Platini “the son of Blatter”.

But maybe it is a good idea to let Greg and Platini work together.  After all the BBC gave Greg a pay off of nearly half a million pounds after he messed up at the BBC.  So Greg could be learning how to treble the payment one gets for doing the wrong thing – and who better to teach him than the men from world football.

Greg loves all this however.  As he told the Guardian in an interview, “People keep coming up to me and saying: ‘Well done, you got rid of him!’” [Blatter]. “To which I say: ‘I think the FBI had more to do with it than me.’”

How very droll.

Apparently in the same interview he also said, “The advantage of being old – well, of being old and having made money – is that you don’t give a fuck.”  But that bit didn’t appear in the paper.  The media team started calling him Greg DGAF however, and the name it seems, lingers on.

And when you come to think about it, not giving a fuck is really the vision of the world that people seem to want in the FA because if they didn’t the attacks on the FA wouldn’t just be left to little old Untold Arsenal with the occasional hit from the Guardian.


  • 1 October 1996: Arsène Wenger officially took up duties, as Arsenal’s first non-UK manager, and immediately confronted and defeated journalists, daring them to answer his question “what rumours?”
  • 1 October 2000 Arsenal beat Man U as Henry, with his back to goal flicked the ball up before pivoting to strike the ball over Barthez.  It started a five game winning run for Arsenal and was Man U’s first defeat of the season.




10 comments to It looks like Platini and the FA are made for each other.

  • nicky

    Someone said the other day the the whole corrupt edifice that is FIFA should be dismantled and rebuilt. The lure of easy money has been its own demise.
    One thing is certain for the future. If the Jordanian Prince Ali becomes President, he will bring with him a welcome sense of integrity so sadly missing at present. 😉

  • Mandy Dodd

    Agree on prince Ali, if he really is all he seems, get the impression he would be an ideal candidate. As for Platini, I firmly believe he and all his cronies are toast, willing to wager they have a lot more on the likes of him and Blatter, people will be selling them out to save themselves a nice US jail and maybe an interesting cell mate. But that aside, Platini is a man who has admitted using the UEFA vote on the 2022 WC bid to satisfy French foreign and economic policy at the behest of the President of Frence. This alone means he is unfit to run FIFA.
    Indeed, Platini is perhaps the most disgusting of all that bunch of crooks mafia and in the case of one of the Brazilians, a suspected war criminal from that countries military days. The reason, Platini once epitomised the beautiful game, but just look at him now. Not YET guilty of anything, but at the very very best, he turned a blind eye to mass corruption for his own political aims.
    The FA clearly think their support will gain favours, but a this guy does not have a history of being especially supportive of English football…..and only the most naive, or desperate would believe a word from his lips. The pathetic FA are clearly in the desperate camp.

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin.

    Chief Tony Attwood, good morning Sir. Today 1st October, 2015 is the 55th independence anniversary celebration day of Nigeria my country. On this day in 1960, the British Govt, gave nigerians the independence they asked for. The days and years have followed self governance(independence) have been turbulent as we’ve had 8 military rulers, 5 of whom are still alive with 2 of them have comeback as civilian Presidents. We’ve had 4 pure civilians as Presidents with the last of the 4 as the only civilian President that has survived a military coup. In between, we’ve had an appointed interim national govt headed by an Interim President. And we been facing a serious Islamic insurgency mainly in our North Eastern States. Official corruption in Nigeria has reached a pandemic level. But the incoming government of President Mohamadu Buhari has made a public declaration to bring it to it’s knee. Please pray for us to be more successful in all human endeavours. I think that long shot could suddenly becomes short shot as investigations continue to bring out those skeletons in the cupboards of Fifa into the open. It is said in Yoruba language that, he who goes about with the antelope will eat okro. Okro is the main delicacy of the antelope. Platini has been going about with Blatter. It is only the special grace of God that would have stopped him from eating okro. Nevertheless, whether he ate okro or not, we want fresh men with high integrity and clean hands to head the post Blatter Fifa.

  • ARSENAL 13

    But why do we have a break in league for 2022 world cup…

    This could disrupt the league campaign for big teams

  • Menace

    The FA choose their partners because of previous alliance. I wouldn’t trust any of them.

    The football in England will never improve if the officiating is not corrected. Skill is destroyed at a young age by the ‘robust English challenge’. There are no short cuts when it comes to teaching youth to play clean sport. If the Laws are not taught as part of the game, then the bad habits of a lifetime will continue.

    How many have played football & never read the Laws of the Game? I’m sure it is more than 80%.

  • proudkev

    Nice article Tony.

    Yes, why indeed was Michel Platini, the UEFA president, paid £1.35 million by Sepp Blatter in 2011?

    Platini has a problem with the timing. This vast sum of money was paid not long after Platini had decided against challenging Blatter for the FIFA presidency, where there had been loud calls for Platini to do so and much momentum. Suddenly Platini decided to ignore calls to challenge Blatter and surprisingly, mandated UEFA members to vote for Blatter.

    Very strange indeed.

    Platini has made several attempts to justify this money by claiming it was for work he carried out for Blatter in 1998 and 2002, as his ‘special advisor’.

    So why did it take Platini 13 years to get paid, as you suggest?

    It appears Inside Sport are claiming Platini was contracted to earn 300,000 Swiss Francs a year (£122,000) for his work for Blatter between 1998 to 2002. But Platini wanted more, which Blatter refused on the grounds that FIFA was experiencing financial difficulties at the time. They are claiming that a verbal agreement took place between Blatter and Platini, where it was agreed that Platini would receive £1.35m but only once FIFA were able to pay it.

    What isn’t known is what Blatter or Platini told Swiss prosecutors about this money.

    Those of us who have questioned for a long time some of the very strange things that go on in football, have got their answers. People should not be surprised, where there is huge sums of money floating around there is greed and fraud. It’s the way of the world. The same thing happened within other large organisations like the IOC.

    Now everyone is coming to realise that football is bent and we are all being treated as mugs. The big question is this: How corrupt is it and what is happening closer to home? I suspect we don’t know the half of it and it is alot worse than any of us think.

  • Goonermikey

    @ Menace

    How many have become commentators or refereed in the premiership and never read the laws of the game?!!

  • apo Armani

    Very good article Tony.

    To me its very simple; Platini wants to get the seat…just so that he can’t TRY and cover up what Blatter failed to.

    Platini knows (as do all the rest of them running this now corrupt game), failure to be elected president will mean he will join the rest of them in criminal charges which will have no way of getting swept away!

    Out with this ROT!

  • Menace

    Goonermikey – referees have to read the Laws – that doesn’t mean they officiate within the spirit of the Laws. Interpretation allows officials a lot of leeway. The assessors are supposed to correct the flaws but I think that went out the door in the early seventies. The current systems are tailor made for corrupt practice.

  • Ralph77

    Very well said Samuel. Perhaps change and a better order may yet come to FIFA from all this. Maybe even to the FA.