Harty on FIFA and the Champions League Final

THERE’S a very famous saying that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, but should the recent goings on at FIFA raise any eyebrows or perhaps even surprise people?

Forget the good burghers of Nottingham, founding Notts County in 1863, football has unfortunately become more than just a game. It’s a huge, multi-billion global business, and, therefore, the people at the top will always look after themselves and their cohorts.

Dickens writes a scene in Oliver Twist when the hungry boys in the workhouse look through the window and see the parish hierarchy tucking into a sumptuous feast.

Perhaps that’s how our own FA feel at some of the events of the last few years. In fact, it was probably best summed up yesterday morning on the news when they were talking about the FA and their Scottish counterparts wanting to mount a challenge to postpone Sepp Blatter’s re-election.

It was quite simple, really, they only need another 154 countries to agree with them and the process would have been halted!

Will it ever change?

Somehow, I doubt it. Blatter’s empire possibly rivals that of Don Corleone. For people at the top to be prepared to have radical changes would be like turkeys voting for Christmas.

It’s very easy for people to advocate the FA quitting FIFA, but that would also mean being barred from UEFA membership. How many top-flight world-class players would be prepared to play in the Premiership without Champions League involvement?

And more’s the point, how many of our clubs could sustain the wage bills without European football and the huge TV revenue it brings in?

We’re basically stuck with FIFA and until Blatter stands down and someone else comes in with a different outlook, and, dare I say it, some integrity, nothing will change.

For me, one of the most damning aspects of the whole thing is that our football hierchy knew this was all going on and have done for years. Yet, why did we waste millions of pounds on a World Cup bid when we knew that the process was flawed?

Had a couple of days away with Mrs Hart last week and on Saturday night witnessed the humbling of Manchester United while sitting in a bar in Tenerife.

With football rivalries very prevalent, there’s a degree of almost dislike against United as a nation. But I have to say as I sat down on Saturday, regardless of domestic issues, the last thing I wanted to see was our own Premiership champions, humbled at our national stadium, regardless of the opponents.

Unfortunately, there is no way of dressing it up, United were outclassed by a team who some believe is the best club side ever.

That’s a difficult one because it’s all relative. Some might argue the great Real Madrid side were better, but it’s different times.

Lionel Messi is reputed to be the best player in the world, but can he really say that until he’s played in the best league?

And with perhaps only one or two of our clubs able to pay his reported weekly wage, it might mean further headaches for Sir Alex and United in the coming seasons.