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Lord Triesman and the FA: still no idea

Listening to Lord Triesman (chair of the FA) give an after dinner speech last night one thing was very clear.

He absolutely cannot register that some people think the FA is of itself a very bad thing.  His view more of less seems to be “it is, it must be”.

Of course as chair of the FA he is hardly likely to say anything negative about it, but it seemed clear, particularly in his answers to questions from the audience after the speech, that the idea that a substantial number of football fans would sooner there was no such thing as matches between countries is just not on his radar.

He, and presumably the FA with him, don’t even contemplate the fact that they might have to launch some PR initiative to suggest why internationals are good.  For him, it is obvious.

The FA gets money from two sources: the TV deal for showing England matches and the income from the FA Cup.   The FA also has a permanent seat (along with the FAs of N Ireland, Wales and Scotland, and a rep from UEFA) on the body that looks at rule changes.

So it takes loads of money, and it has loads of influence.  I think the real question is: why should it?

The concept that supporters who pay good money to watch their clubs are fed up that they can’t watch their own star players (eg Theo) because they have been knocked about when with the England team, is wholly missing.  So is the notion that fans don’t like the interruptions to their season.  As is the idea that internatioinal football matches promote racism by encouraging the notion of difference on the base of where by chance you (or your grandmother) happened to be born.

The FA and other bodies have successfully gained the agenda, and are able to push through their arguments about restricting the number of players coming from outside of a country.    But the truth is we should be celebrating the diversity of football – we should celebrate the fact that Arsenal has players from so many different countries, rather than try and restrict this on purely racist and nationalistic grounds.

In many ways the FA is, along with the criminal gangs at the heart of FIFA, the enemy of Arsenal and clubs like Arsenal.  They are the people who want to say, “no Arsenal, you can’t play Henry and Vieira and Berkgamp, because they are not English.   And no Arsenal, you cannot play Cesc, Denilson, Merida and Vela, because they are children, and you stole them from their homelands.”  (Lord Triesman had a lot to say last night about the need to restrict the movement of players before a certain – undefined – age.)

The media of course is utterly pro-FA.  Presumably there is some financial arrangement that encourages the media to act in this way and to dismiss as “stupid” anyone who says he is not supporting a team just because he was born in the same country as some of the players from that team.  (I was born in Southgate, Middlesex – that doesn’t mean I have to go and find Southgate FC and support them.  So why should I support England?)

To move the agenda onto an even basis, so that those who are against national influence in club football is a huge task – but that doesn’t mean it is not worth taking on.  And very occasionally the voice against natioinalism in sport does get heard.

14 comments to Lord Triesman and the FA: still no idea

  • james

    Wenger must wake up each morning and thank his lucky stars that the board and fans at Arsenal are as understand then some of the other BIG clubs around the world.

    I look at Real Madrid, Chelsea and loads more, and the way they have sack there manager after bad results and wonder why is Wenger’s job so safe and never put into doubt?

    Chelsea are above us in the league, They have a manager who has hardly had time to adjust to the English game and yet the fans were calling for his head after the weekends draw with Hull. The board reacted with the sacking of the world cup-winning manager and are now on the lookout for a replacement.

    So why is Wenger’s job so safe at Arsenal? We are currently 5th in the league and have not won anything since 2005. But yet the Arsenal board and “most” fans are happy with the job that Wenger is doing?

    If Wenger was at any other big club in the world I’m sure he would have been sack by know. So why do the Arsenal fans and the board accept this?

    I know why the board loves Wenger, its simple he makes them profit ever season. What other manager could finish in the top 4/5 every season after selling his best players and replacing them with kids and cheep Africans? But is that success for Wenger and the board? Are they happy with making a profit ever season and making it into Europe without winning anything?

  • james

    Is that what we have become? What happened to the days of fighting for the title?

    We are now more then TEN points behind the leaders and in 5th place but yet most fans I speak to on the forum still come out with the famous saying “ In Arsene we trust”

    I’m not sure if there trust is justified anymore, Wenger seems to be living off his pass achievements. It now seems like both Wenger and the club are stuck in a rut and are content with the way things are and cant be arsed to try and change things. It’s almost like a married couple that are in a long-term relationship that’s clearly not working and are only staying together for the sake of the kids.

    If Arsenal want to improve next season they need to be brave. Ether changes the transfer policy at the club and brings in top class players. Or change the manager! Something needs to change at Arsenal as its clearly not working.

    The question is are the board or fans brave enough to want a change? Or are they just happy to carry on with the way things are?

    I know what’s coming in the reply comments!

    Loads of abuse calling me plastic and telling me to naf off to Man City,

    Fans asking, “WHO are we going to replace him with?

    And loads of teenagers telling me that without Wenger we would be doomed, as we owe everything to him!

  • ggs

    OMG,

    James,
    there are so many blogs out there where you can educate those delusioned “teengers”. But not here. Tony is sharing here with us his thoughts on the pathetic state of the FA. Say something relevant please!

  • Ian Trevett

    James – you seem to be of the view that sacking managers means you are a big club. Wigan, Portsmouth, Newcastle, Sunderland, Charlton, Sothampton and Spurs change managers virtually every season. Does that mean they are bigger than us? And you conveniently forget Manchester United – hardly a small club.
    The fact is Real Madrid aren’t exactly setting the world alight with their short-term approach, and Chelsea are only where they are because of Roman’s money, not the amateurish way they are run. Today they are claiming a £66m loss is proof of how well the club is run. Without Roman’s money they would be nothing.
    Arsenal is a well-run club with an excellent manager. I’m sure you aren’t a plastic fan, but I think Wenger deserves more appreciation of what he has achieved for the club. We now like to think of ourselves a big club like Madrid and Barca, but that’s only because of the vision of Arsene.

  • Will

    I’ve always agreed with these sentiments. Football is a meritocracy and should be celebrated as such. International competition for places in an international league, the premier league, is a good thing. It attracts fans and money from a much wider audience. Also, if english players want first team experience they always have the championship which is one of the biggest leagues in the world (5th or something, i cant remember). Not to mention an english football player could always SHOCK HORROR move to another country to get first team football. Driving down the standards of the premier league with mediocrity isn’t going to help the english players who are already there and to be honest english football players already have enough of an advantage over foriegners if they want to play in the premier league.

    As for the jingoism, football fans are already fairly arbitrary in their beliefs as fans. Turning that irrational fan service towards nationalism will always be too easy. England fans are, by and large, ****heads but the more pressing issue is not the fan’s foolishness but rather the referee’s. The job seems to attract people who are the most susceptible to pressure, racism, zenophobia, egotistical feelings, favouritism and blindness.

    But you already new all of this, as does anybody with any sense.

  • Jonny Neale

    Well said Ian – I have said it before and I’ll repeat it again –

    At the beginning of last season a significant proportion of Man Utd fans were calling for Sir Alex to be axed for not making big enough moves in the transfer market. Everyone assumed the relentless Blues would win the league at a canter – the ‘short-termisim’ of these supporters staggered me as did their negativity. Man Utd went on and did the double.

    In today’s atmosphere Ferguson would have never lasted more than a season let alone the 5 winless years before they became the most successfull club of modern times.

    James – please take note Wenger is building something significant and takes a little time. With a little more support and patience and a lot less negativity we will get to the promised land.

  • Consolsbob

    When I read posts like James, I always take comfort from the fact that they spell ‘their’, ‘there’. An ignorance of English that tends to be consistent across blog sites.

    Can’t be bothered to spell properly, can’t be bothered to think things through.

  • Lewis,

    I think James has a very good point actually

  • manoj

    James, I have listened to your opinion and do not agree with it. Your point about us not challenging is fair but…. Wenger does not make money for the board, the shareholders (the main ones being on the board) are not paid dividends therefore meaning that the financial actions of the club does not affect their payment. What is interesting is that Usmanov, the man who is advocating spending a lot of money like Abramovich has done, is the only major shareholder who has asked for dividens to be paid…..

    Wenger’s and Arsenal’s spending policy leaves the club in a strong financial position and does not have an affect on the wages of the board. I am very annoyed that the club is not challenging for major silverware but as a club we are in a very strong financial position for the future. Clubs like Chelsea, Sp*rs, Man U, Man City and Liverpool splash the cash but to believe that the bank is endless is just wrong. Abramovich has loaned Chelsea £600,000,000 NOT given. This means that he will have to be paid back and the only way that that happens is by the club making a profit (they do not even break even) or by the sale of the club for more than he has put in. To get back £600,000,000 and make a profit on it will not happen from the revenue of a football club, the wages are far to great for that and the maximum profits in a season are nearer £50,000,000, that is if the club buys no new players and makes no new developments. Ambramovich is believed to have lost between 10 and 14 BILLION in the credit crunch meaning that sooner rather than later he will need to sell and also that he has lost the power to invest (shown by the recent spending of Chavski). To think that the supply of Multi Billionaires is endless is wrong and there will come a point where no one wants to buy, meaning that the owner will need to Asset strip to get their money back (sell all players, Stadium and everything) destroying the club.

    That is the final position of clubs like Chelsea, where as Arsenal are in a position where they live by their own means, never needing to have investment like that of Chelsea. In the short term Oligarchs and Sheiks will be have fun with their toys and have success, but that will end very soon. Whilst we may not have a full trophy cabinet we have a club that works financially and will not be brought to its knees.

    Personally I’d prefer us having a trophy less few years than there being no Arsenal in the next few years.

    Id be very interested to hear what you think about what I have said?

  • kameron

    James: Im sorry but what have you sir or this blog ever done for arsenal?

    No seriusly what is your valued contirbution to the the club or the cause?

    i know for a fact wenger and even the board (yes dein too) have made much more positive contirbution in terms of actual ‘hard work’ to the cause than you can ever dream of.
    All you guys do is bitch and moan and that is your biggest contribution to the cause.
    Even a Man utd fan has told you what 99% of other fans think. Liverpool fans at work say near enough the same thing.
    But some how you have the nerve to write this shit and call your self an Arsenal blog.

    Shame on you and your anti arsenal Shit

    And Nut even if we finished out of the top four it would be good if only it got rid of the fair weather, glory hunting fans who cant see what even other fans from the top four can see. I bet Chelsea would take him straight away!!

  • caesy

    i was browisin some arsenal sites and came across this site, quite unique i must say-only to be spoiled by that idiot james-what a muppet-

  • Bobbly Pliers

    Cannot agree with the sentiments re internationals. They are part of the wonderful tradition of football and in an age where all heritage and history is either forgotten or rewritten to suit political correctness, some things need to remain. Celebrating your nationality is not racism its about identity, its about being proud of the little culture we have left.

    With regards to other comments about short term success, yes this season has been one of the most frustrating to watch but nothing good was ever easy. Only 1 club per year wins the league and since we don’t spend 30m on every player we acquire then we are obviously going to take longer to build a successful team. Remember patience is a virtue. We are not that mob from down the lane we are Arsenal and do things our way which just so happens to be the right way!

  • Consolsbob

    Manoj. I agree 100%. You have summed it up very nicely.

  • English FA Cup the most beautiful competition.