By Tony Attwood
There is that old saying that doing something, seeing it fail, and then doing it over and over again, is a sure sign of madness. It has been accredited to Albert Einstein quite often, although there is no sign that he wrote or said it anywhere. But I am reminded of that saying every time the FA do something and get it utterly totally wrong.
I wasn’t at the England match last night and I didn’t watch it on TV or listen on the radio, because I don’t follow international football, preferring to watch Arsenal and clubs in the lower leagues that are either based near where I live, or are supported by my friends.
But it is interesting to see, this morning, that the media are using the same techniques in reporting on yesterday’s fiasco as they use when reporting Arsenal.
All the arrangements for last night from the players through to the crowd control, were under the authority of the Football Association. And yet the headline in the Daily Mail website today reads, “FA slam ‘DISGUSTING’ racist abuse on social media after Bukayo Saka missed final spot-kick in England’s heartbreaking penalty shootout defeat“
And another on the same site reads
And so it goes on everywhere. Few follow the line in the Standard which says
They continue, “Riot police could be seen breaking through crowds outside the stadium as fans left with some throwing bottles and chanting anti-Italian slogans.”
But the question remains, if all this wasn’t the fault of the FA and its absolute lack of organisational ability then whose fault is it? Indeed, after all the hype over the past weeks, eagerly pushed on by the media, what did they expect?
And so we reach the question, “Why does no one question what the FA does in relation to crowd control?”
It is not as if the FA has no experience in such matters, for there is no doubt that the responsibility for making arrangements at Wembley is the FA’s. And as with so many other subjects, the competence of the FA is simply not a topic that can be raised by the media. It is a banned topic. A taboo topic.
Just like Arsenal’s transformation of their playing style is a taboo topic. Just as Arsenal’s transformation of their results in the last two thirds of the season is a taboo topic. Just as suggesting that we stop having an England team at all, or make all the matches ones that are played behind closed doors, is not something that can be raised. Just as suggesting that a team can rise up the league through a total change of tactics, rather than through transfers is not one that can be raised.
And as for the impact of last night on the pandemic… well, we’ve called it the Uefa Variant and that certainly seems to be a reasonable name, given what happened last night. Any hopes we had a virus levels declining are now gone.
The FA could try and do something to sort things out, but they are massively in debt, and they seemingly have no way out of those debts, But they have the media on their side, and they know the media will never ask difficult questions. So on they go from incompetence to incompetence with no questions asked.
Questions such as what happens to the money taken at the first Wembley match of the season each year – the so-called “Community Shield.” Where does that money go? You might recall that it used to be called the Charity Shield, but the Charity Commission told the FA to stop using that name after the FA were unable to produce any proper records to show which charities had benefited from the game each season.
That was another story that the media didn’t handle, just as they won’t ever criticise the FA. So the FA goes on, and on. Utterly incompetent in every regard, but never ever questioned. And as a result we get scenes as we saw last night.
The Sweet FA and the corruption files
- Sweet FA. A history of the idiocy and incompetence in football administration
- The FA scandals part 2: The minister says reform or we close you
- The FA scandals part 3: hiding racism and appointing idiots
- Mr Wenger v The FA – the full 20 year history. And the world of the fake innuendo.
- The crimes of the FA: failing to deal with Fifa and with discrimination
- The failures of the FA: Part 6 – if we don’t communicate it is your fault
- Tracking the fun things the FA have got up to over the years. Part 7.
- How the FA have manipulated the stats in order to try and gain more power
- Manchester City v Arsenal: The Big 7 Stats, and comparisons of the last 6 games
- Manchester City v Arsenal: surprising statistics and a result prediction
- Arsenal’s 25 man squad – is it already full?
- Yet another example of the way the media tries to put down Arsenal
- The Continental Tyres Cup 2022/23 quarter finals: Arsenal v Villa