By Tony Attwood
This is, I guess, what it must be like each year in Germany. And what France is getting used to. And what it’s like in Spain. Only Italy escapes completely among the major leagues.
I mean of course knowing who is going to win the League, weeks, months, possibly even a whole season in advance. The money, the power, the influence tells us all. Of course in Spain there is the occasional alternative with Real Madrid coming back to replace Barcelona – but Barcelona’s “comeback” against PSG last year to add to their comeback against Milan in 2013, and several other such examples, suggest they can come back no matter what. And that’s before we start asking how.
As a result I am not sure you can get odds anywhere on Manchester City to win the PL next season. They’ll spend and spend again in the summer as PSG and Barcelona and Bayern do, until ultimately the opposition just accepts, these teams win the league. If they don’t the manager is hung out to dry and accused of the most awful crimes, as a new man is quickly rushed in.
So with next season’s league title pretty much already decided before we have finished this season, what can the media find to talk about? Especially if the recently introduced story about the FA Cup not being a trophy, and coming in the Champions League spots not being worthy of mention unless it is achieved by Tottenham.
This is in fact the time for inventive journalists and editors to step forwards, with wild and wacky articles aimed filling up space. If they are articles that also put Arsenal down so much the better.
Donald Trump didn’t actually provide the anti-Arsenal story today but he helped out particularly well with a tweet which ran
“The U.S. has put together a STRONG bid w/ Canada & Mexico for the 2026 World Cup. It would be a shame if countries that we always support were to lobby against the U.S. bid. Why should we be supporting these countries when they don’t support us (including at the United Nations)?”
I really don’t feel strong enough yet to comment on that one.
And yes there is always Fifa, and today we have the emerging story that the august body has now banned the Brazilian Football confederation president Marco Polo Del Nero from all football-related activity for life and fined him one million Swiss francs for receiving bribes. Who’d have thought it? A man is corrupt and Fifa are a million francs better off. Well I never!
The Fifa ethics investigation against the Brazilian chief started in November 2015 and he was found guilty of receiving bribes in return for the usual: awarding media contracts to companies that gave him loads of kick backs. The competitions included the Copa America, the Copa Libertadores and the Copa do Brasil.
Fifa’s statement read, “The investigation against Mr Del Nero was opened on November 23 2015 and referred…. to schemes in which he received bribes in exchange for his role in awarding contracts to companies for the media and marketing rights to various football tournaments, including the Copa America, the Copa Libertadores and the Copa do Brasil.
“The adjudicatory chamber agreed with the recommendations of the investigatory chamber and found Mr Del Nero guilty of having violated art. 21 (Bribery and corruption), art. 20 (Offering and accepting gifts and other benefits), art. 19 (Conflicts of interest), art. 15 (Loyalty), and art. 13 (General rules of conduct) of the FIFA Code of Ethics. As a consequence, Mr Del Nero is banned for life from all football-related activities (administrative, sports or any other) at both national and international level.”
It would be awfully nice to believe that the next man to come along would be a jolly sight more honest and straightforward, but with Fifa filling its coffers to the tune of one million francs, I am not too sure this is going to be the case.
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