Given that The FA will presumably be grinding the gears of its own bureaucracy for an unnecessary elongated period of time over the Mark Clattenburg/Chelsea issue, there’s little value in speculating as to the conclusions which will be drawn from this episode and the disciplinary measures which will accompany them.
The only certainty is damage to English football’s ever more flimsy image.
Increasingly so, the game in this country resembles a school without teachers. The inmates run the asylum. Inappropriate comments from referees, players threatening officials, stewards being hurt, and CEO’s barging into football matters. Being associated with the game in any capacity is become more embarrassing by the week.
This is what happens when cash floods a sport and distorts all sense of context, the characters within have their egos inflated to the point where they believe that their behavioural patterns are completely free from any potential recourse. Football has eaten everything, and football will now do whatever it wants.
It’s this persistent ugliness that exists on the peripheries of the sport, there’s always something – and it’s depressing. We can’t go a week without a negative story; racial abuse, affairs, someone publicly expressing a pejorative opinion about another professional or team. Does it ever end?
I know that we’re all supposed to recoil in horror at what Mark Clattenburg may or may not have said, and that we should be outraged by John Obi Mikel threatening to ‘break (his) fucking legs’, and we should all be chastising Ron Gourlay for involving himself in a part of his club in which he has no place – but honestly, haven’t we all reached the saturation point of our incredulity?
Bans, fines, hundreds of column inches, and a darkening of the stain which already marks the game.
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