October 22, 2010

The Game Is Still Wrong

In spite of the amicable conclusion to the Wayne Rooney and Manchester United saga, Ian Holloway made a very valid point about the current state of football, which should not be ignored.

For obvious reasons, no one besides the people present in the board room - Sir Alex Ferguson, David Gill, Wayne Rooney and Paul Stretford - will ever know the real truth behind this highly-publicized story, but what people will know is that the point is football is clearly broken, and it needs to be fixed now.

Blackpool's manager let loose one of the most heart-felt, well-constructed rants that will ever be heard by football fans yesterday as he claimed that the power is with the players and their agents.

This clearly shows that there is a complete lack of checks and balances within the current system in place, which is the fault of those who put this in place.

It had to take a situation involving one of the world's best players, and one of the most well-respected clubs on the planet to make FIFA, UEFA and the English Football Association to sit up and take notice of this glaring problem, which is sad to say the least.

These people obviously do not comprehend the saying, "It is better to be proactive rather than reactive," because they did then the United supporters would not have been faced with this roller coaster of emotions.

It also shows that these governing bodies within the sport surely do not have the best interest of anyone but themselves and the money that is put into their own pocket.

They should be thanking their lucky stars that this situation was faced by one of the most dominating and intimidating managers in the sport, because the beautiful game could have very easily have became the ugliest.

In the end the only people that would have been effected are the football-loving supporters, who spend their hard-earned wages on either memorabilia or tickets to watch their clubs play.

Sepp Blatter, who is the President of Fédération Internationale de Football Association, needs to do more get the corrupt behavior out of the sport.

Whether he needs to delegate power to make these changes down to either the President of UEFA, Michel Platini, or to Roger Burden, who is the Chairman of the FA - things need to changes need to get sorted, or this will become a recurring theme.

Ferguson, who has always been the one of the forefathers for new initiative in the game, completely shocked the football world by coming out to the press with what was going on behind the scenes.

If he did not do this, then we would have gone on to blame either him, Gill or the Glazers for Rooney being transferred out of the club.

Another good reason that he did this was to show the world the ugly side of the beautiful game.

We all knew that the business side of the sport has been getting out of control, but we were not subjected to just how far it has until this situation happened.

It has been spiraling for quite sometime, and has become very dirty because of either the amount of money that is being made by the players, or the amount of money clubs are willing to spend on a player.

Yes, we get financial reports about how much a club is making and losing with the profit and loss statements, but we are not seeing all of the illegal, shady dealings that are going on behind the scenes.

Clubs and organizations need to be audited by more than just one company or person, because if they aren't they will just fatten the pockets to get them to be quiet.

Manchester United is no different than any other club, and they do not deserve to be given a gold star, because they are probably not reporting all of their losses or money that is being made, either.

Football is no different than the corporate or government sectors, because they most certainly have accountants, who are taught, or better yet convinced, to make things either appear or hidden on the P&L statements, so either the respective board of directors.

Bottom line, it needs to stop, and the game needs to be cleaned up.

In the mean time, though, football supporters from all around the globe need to send, or say, a big thank you to Manchester United, and Ian Holloway for bringing on of the biggest bit of corruption to the forefront.

2 comments:

David said...

FIFA are powerless. The courts ruled in favor of Bosman so we can only blame them for the fact that players have all the power

River Dee said...

"Clubs and organizations need to be audited by more than just one company or person, because if they aren't they will just fatten the pockets to get them to be quiet.

Manchester United is no different than any other club, and they do not deserve to be given a gold star, because they are probably not reporting all of their losses or money that is being made, either."

Wow, as an auditor I almost take offence to that! Firstly you don’t have more than one company performing the audit, it’s inefficient and pointless. There are times when a company may ask for a second opinion (on whether the financial statements are true and fair), but that is a very rare event. But rest assured audits are reviewed by independent third parties from accounting institutes.

And to accuse us (or in this case, PWC, the auditors of United) of taking bribes is quite a claim. Post-Enron the accounting/auditing profession is very conscious of such issues, there are literally thousands of pages of legislation on this area which I’m not going to go into, but to put it simply, no auditors anywhere would be dumb enough to do such a thing, especially for so little gain (despite what many think, football clubs are still small time).

And again, to say United aren’t reporting all of their losses is a massive claim. Not going into the details, written representations have to be signed to confirm that all information and dealings have been disclosed, to not do so is akin to tax evasion (many years in prison etc). I can’t see how you can make the claim that United “do not deserve to be given a gold star” when a team of many auditors with years of experience and numerous qualifications say that it can (although saying “in our opinion the financial statements give a true and fair view” rather than “gold star”).

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