By Tony Attwood
One of the things about the very, very, very, very (repeat 200 times) rich is that they get surrounded by employees who benefit from their largesse.
As a result, people tend to say yes a lot, and as the excruciatingly rich person starts doing bonkers things, the yes men say yes. And then yes. And then again.
It was Evelyn Waugh who caught the situation perfectly in the novel Scoop! in which the insanely rich and powerful Lord Copper (part Lord Northcliffe, part Lord Beaverbrook) runs the Daily Beast in order to fulfil his political and egomaniac dreams.
Working as his underling is Mr Salter, who cannot ever disagree with anything his boss says, and Lord Copper is thus immune to the realities of the world. He might say, “Those fascists are, at heart, good democrats,” and Mr Salter replies, “Up to a point, Lord Copper.”
I rather saw Chelsea like this, only doubly so, because it has often struck me that both Mourinho and Abramovich, were completely beyond reality and surrounded by people who say “yes” or “up to a point.”
Nowhere does this become more obvious than in the way in which the club have treated and continue to treat Eva Carneiro. You might have expected that, because the case made the club a laughing stock, and because the owner has lots of money, he might well have settled the matter by now, with a private settlement and an agreement that each side would say nothing. After all, it is not as if the case by Dr Carneiro is nonsense, nor is it a case that Chelsea are short of the readies. And generally speaking employment tribunals are won by the employee.
And yet it still goes on. The Times has said that new hearing will take place on March 7 before a High Court judge in private. Quite an unusual ploy in employment cases. The judge won’t rule but will recommend a course of action. No one has to follow the recommendation, but generally speaking in business matters you are a total idiot if you go against a Judge’s recommendation.
Indeed if Chelsea do, the next action will be in an employment tribunal in June and that will be reported in full.
So what are the two Lord Copper’s doing? Saying “you can’t do that to me” perhaps. Or claiming that they are in the right. Or just saying, “We are Chelsea.”
Of course I don’t know, although such evidence as we have in the public domain suggests that there is certainly a case for Chelsea to answer. Maybe they are just taking it to the edge so that the good doctor will back off. I suspect she won’t. The referee called her onto the pitch, and the rules of the game are when that happens it is not a matter of choice. The doctor goes on.
The FA also come out of this very badly in that they failed to interview Dr Carneiro even when they were investigating the affair. How can you investigate something like this, without interviewing the witnesses?
As Dr Carneiro said, “I was at no stage requested by the FA to make a statement. I wonder whether this might be the only formal investigation in this country where the evidence of the individuals involved in the incident was not considered relevant. Choosing to ignore some of the evidence will surely influence the outcome of the findings.
“Last season I had a similar experience at a game at West Ham FC, where I was subject to verbal abuse. Following complaints by the public, the FA produced a communication to the press saying there had been no sexist chanting during this game.
“At no time was I approached for a statement despite the fact that vile, unacceptable, sexually explicit abuse was clearly heard. It is incidents such as these and the lack of support from the football authorities that make it so difficult for women in the game.”
Of course the case of Dr Carneiro is not the only odd case surrounding Chelsea. There has been quite a bit of discussion of late how Diago Costa went six years without being sent off.
He shoves, he pushes and he puts himself forward in front of the referee in a very challenging manner, and then, normally, the other player gets sent off. There have been incidents with Serge Aurier, David Luiz, Sergio Ramos (this a most unpleasant occurrence), Gabriel, Emre Can, Koscielny, Skrtel…
It all makes me think that the Lord Copper syndrome has spread among the players as well.
And despite all this activity, Chelsea still retain a respectable position in the Fair Play League for Premier League matches only.
|1||West Bromwich Albion||33||64||3||290|
|16||West Ham United||31||41||5||198|
What is interesting here is the final column. It is calculated like this…
- Caution 4 pts
- Denial of a goal scoring opportunity or dismissal for 2 cautions 10 pts
- Violent conduct, serious foul play, spitting or offensive and abusive language 12 pts
Now if you take the everyday activity of Costa you might think that there ought to be a fair number of 12 pointers, but no, that’s not the case.
Wouldn’t it be lovely if the referees were allowed to explain themselves after a match!
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- More evidence that transfers and large squads are not the route to success
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25 February 1905 Arsenal 3 Sheffield W 0 concluded the first ever three match winning run in 1st division, but marked the last win until the last day of the season on 22 April.
25 February 1933: After four successive draws Arsenal signalled their intent on winning the league by beating Blackburn 8-0. (Coleman 3, Hulme 2, Bastin 2, and Stockill got the goals.