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But from what we have heard so far Barce want back the €8.5m (plus interest) paid to the player upon the renewal of his contract on the grounds that he unilaterally terminated the contract. If that goes to court, that should be fun.
Meanwhile back on home soil, the rumbling on of the case involving the England Women’s team is certainly not doing the FA much good not least because it seems that when the FA undertook its own review of the affair it did so without talking to the players at the heart of the matter. A typical FA enquiry therefore. Players, like supporters, are basically low level creatures hardly worthy of consideration.
The one thing however that the FA does in cases like this is give us information which is just so hilarious it does show just how pathetic, inept and indeed lunatic the people running the show are.
Take this one issue: at the heart of the current controversy there is a mixed race player in the England team playing for a named club, with the player being identified as being in a particular meeting.
And the FA has said that it can’t do anything about this, because it doesn’t know who the player is. Honest, I kid you not. That is the top and bottom of the situation. They have said they can’t identify the player so can’t interview her – despite the name being on the FA’s own website, and the FA hiring a barrister to conduct a three month enquiry into the affair.
Pesky business this research lark. Not the sort of thing gentlemen get involved in.
Of course this being the FA this is only the start. The FA rejected allegations of bullying, discrimination and favouritism, before the official enquiry had actually spoken to the key witness. Well, the witness was a woman, and we know how unreliable they are. The FA probably didn’t want to risk her getting hysterical.
The trade union, the PFA, has done a good job in exposing the appalling behaviour of the FA in covering up the scandal of at worst racist commentaries, at best highly inappropriate remarks from its staff, but the unwillingness of much of the media to get involved (it is only women’s football after all) has helped the FA continue to get away with this.
And let us not forget in passing that the FA is in part funded by English tax payers. Mugs like me in fact.
What we do find in all this is that the FA’s notion of an investigation goes like this.
- Mark Sampson, the head coach of the England’s women’s team, is alleged to have made a racist remark.
- The FA call him in and ask him if he did make the remark.
- He said no.
- The FA says it has held an investigation and their employee is found not guilty.
Meanwhile coincidences pile up. An England player raises grievances and is suddenly dropped from the team. Suddenly she is told that because she is a sports lawyer (which she has been for years while playing for England) she is under investigation for a conflict of interest.
This is the sort of mess which if it occurred in any business would either be resolved at once because it is so damaging to the business, or else the company would be laughed out of existence as the hearings reached an employment tribunal, their reputation shattered for all time.
Kick It Out and the PFA have both being getting exercised about the whole affair, but yet again the FA sail through it all bluffing and blustering, happy in the knowledge that when next weekend’s fixtures come along anyone who has any interest, will have lost all interest.
And they know that because… with the prime exception of the Guardian and the BBC, the rest of the media won’t challenge the FA. And even those two media outlets won’t put the whole case of gross incompetence together and challenge the FA over all its work across the last 20 years.
The FA does launch occasional independent enquiries as it has into this mess, but those enquiries are never ever into the FA. OK we can argue that no organisation commits suicide, but then why doesn’t the government which part funds the FA open investigations into this case, the FA’s handling of money raised for charity, the failure of the FA properly to spend money given to it for all weather pitches, the withdrawal of support from the FA by Sport England, the awful delays in the child sex abuse enquiry and now this fiasco do one thing.
Put it all together, and ask, “what is the common thread that runs through all this?”
And answer themselves with the one and only answer there is?
It’s the FA.
If you are not familiar with the whole of the current mess, one decent place to start is the Guardian’s report.
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