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The FA or Coronation Street? Take Your Pick!

By: Bill Osborne
Date: 02/08/2004

THE latest shenanigans at the FA which has culminated in the resignation of the CEO Mark Palios and the communications director Colin Gibson over the Sven Goran Eriksson affair has got all the makings of a good TV soapie!

Home > Editorials > The FA or Coronation Street?


Mr Eriksson, it appears, had a brief affair with a secretary at the FA. Not an unusual occurrence in offices around the country!

But it seems that the FA's CEO, Mark Palios, also had a brief fling with the same lady and when the press got hold of the details, Mr Palios sent his communications director to the newspaper concerned offering to provide all the details of Mr Eriksson's dilly dallying with the lady, if they did not mention Mr Palios's involvement.

Unfortunately, the newspaper was also wrongly informed that Mr Eriksson had been approached by the FA and had denied any involvement with the young lady, as a result of which an FA statement was issued claiming that Mr Eriksson had not been involved with her.

So the FA in its usual fashion decided to pass the buck somewhere and called for an inquiry as to who was misleading who, but the incorrect statement made by the FA is alleged to have had the approval of the chairman of the FA, Mr Geoff Thompson, and he will take part in the inquiry on Thursday.

Those wise enough to know how the FA works, where quick to recognise the ruse to designate the role of scapegoat to Mr Eriksson in an attempt to rid themselves of a manager earning 4 million quid a year without comparable results.

But it seems that Mr Eriksson is a wiser man than those ruling English football. He kept quiet until Thursday of last week revealing then that no one had approached him to ask if it was true that he was shagging some broad in the office. Had they done so they would have received an affirmative answer.

And why not? Mr Eriksson is a single man and, like all single men, has the right to shag who he pleases! (With their consent of course and with 4 million quid in the bank, he would get an awful lot of consents!)

But this is not a TV soapie.

These are the rulers of the English Football Association.

The same rulers of the FA that fines players 10,000 quid a go for giving opposition supporters 'the finger' claiming it brings the game into disrepute.

The same rulers of the FA that banned Rio Ferdinand for eight months for failing to keep an appointment with the drug testers, which he subsequently took 48 hours later, without any trace of drugs found.

The same rulers of the FA, who the Guardian refers to as, "This bunch in their chauffeured Mercs, their hyper-inflated salaries and their ironclad indifference to anyone's fortunes but their own".

This is a sad time for English football which will be deemed to have brought the game into disrepute world wide.

It would be a great tragedy if Eriksson gets the sack over this cock up by the FA. Brought about by their own cover up of their own sins.

Eriksson has done no wrong. His personal life is his own business. The FA brought it into the limelight but he told no lies. He did not mislead anyone. He candidly admits that he had a dalliance with a lady. That is not a crime. Not even for England's manager.

Eriksson should only be dismissed for football reasons and that is not likely to happen.

But there again, the FA have their own ways to do things, totally unrelated to justice, so there can be no guarantee that Eriksson will not get the chop.

How I long for the 'good old days' when football was 'respectable'. The only scandals in those days were when footballers murdered their wives, fixed matches and managers took 'bungs'!

Will it ever change?

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