Who the phrase of not being able to run a **** up in a brewery is really about



By Bulldog Drummond

If you are a regular reader here you will know that we consider the Football Association both a dangerous outfit that long ago sold its soul to the Dark Side, and a bunch of incompetent nincompoops who rather than not being able to run a piss up in a brewery couldn’t even find the brewery in the first place.

So the notion that the Football Association and Fifa require agents to take an exam before they can operate as agents, is fairly hilarious in itself.

That the exam consists of nothing other than 20 multiple-choice questions adds to the amusement.

But then the fact that it costs agents £300 to take the little test will just bring sad looks of “what did you expect?”   After all, the FA is the organisation that for years and years ran an event called the Charity Shield, without even thinking that to do so it ought to comply with the United Kingdom’s rules on using the word “charity”, which are there to stop con-artists (like the FA) from trying to suggest they are working for a charitable cause, when the charitable cause is the payment of their staff.

The FA is of course also the organisation which prohibited women’s football from being played in England for 49 years, because, well… we are not quite sure, because they never quite said.  

So we come to the latest utter and total fiasco on the part of the so-called “Football Association”. 

It may perhaps be best described through the headline from the Telegraph, “FA agents exam descends into chaos after internet crashes – but clock keeps ticking”.

It seems that something like 700 football agents turned up to answer the 20 questions – yes just 20 questions.

Birmingham’s NEC was hired for the occasion because, well, there was money to be spent and the last thing the FA wanted to do was to make it look as if they were only spending what was necessary, when in fact there was a chance to throw a lot of money around without any benefit to football itself.

An hour was given to answer the 20 questions – so allowing five minutes for each agent to fill in a name and address (those are the tough ones), and five minutes to read their answers at the end, that works out at two and a half minutes each multiple-choice question.  It’s tough in the football world.

While the FA tried to work out how much they were going to make from 700 agents taking the exam (£210,000) and Fifa worked out how much they were going to make per year from registering these agents (£338,100), someone seemingly pulled the plug and all the power went down.   The next chance to take the exam, we are told, is in May 2024.

What makes the whole ludicrous affair even more insane is that the wannabe agents were told to bring their own laptops.  Presumably, the FA and Fifa were running a little short of the readies.

Those agents who managed to turn up before the due time should have been able to look at past papers but found they could not (but then who has ever heard of an agent turning up early!!!???)

Those who arrived closer to kick-off found that they had nowhere to plug their computers in.  Oh my!   Would you believe it?  (Note from editor: yes of course, this is Fifa and the FA).

Everything went well with question one (presumably enter your name) but then when they pressed “Next question” the screen would die.    Eventually normal (or what passes for normal when we are talking about the FA and Fifa) service was resumed, but by that time there was not enough time left to complete the test, and so most candidates failed.

Of course there could be some good in the story, apart from it reminding us all what a bunch of neolithic dodos the FA and Fifa are, and that is that the number of football agents will decline slightly.

Anyway Fifa blamed the FA and the FA allegedly blamed a woman who hadn’t cleaned the floor properly.  (I made that up, but it does seem likely given the FA’s past.)

Agents are of course an endangered species as they are only allowed to make a fee of 3% of a player’s salary if the player earns more than £161,000 a year.  So to help the agents out, Fifa allows agents to act both for the player and the club.  (Honest, I didn’t make that up).

Just to give the scale these things £1.27 billion was spent by clubs in the January window and over half of that was spent by the Premier League.

And they still can get the internet connection in one room to work.  But then, it is Fifa and the FA.

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