Matt Scott: £50m footballers are two a penny – but we have been there before


“We must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering for our own ease and convenience the precious resources of tomorrow.” Dwight D Eisenhower

As the Supreme Commander of the allies’ war effort in the European theatre during World War Two who went on to become president, ‘Ike’ knew a bit about budgets. He was fortunate as the 34th President of the US to lead the world’s biggest economy during rampant boom time,

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Matt Scott: ‘Bung’ revelations are just grist to the media mill, not cause for regulation

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“The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilised community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.” John Stuart Mill

Greed, egotism, immorality and corruption. These are the vices of which some of the highest-profile figures in English football have been accused as a result of the Daily Telegraph’s undercover exposé of the game. Quite rightly, people ask how can a nation such as ours,

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The latest Greek affair shows how Infantino and Theodoridis are not Knights in shining armour

Politics, these days, is no occupation for an educated man, a man of character. Ignorance and total lousiness are better.Aristophanes, The Knights

There was of course no football 2,400 years ago when Aristophanes was writing his plays, and still less a FIFA or UEFA. But were the Old Comedian to be as popular a satirist now as he was then, he might be expected to use the same words to describe the people who have been governing our game for us as he used to describe the polis of ancient Athens.

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Matt Scott: Infantino has not got UEFA’s house in order. So why let him into FIFA House?

“Birds of a feather flock together.” Aesop

When Sepp Blatter gave an interview to the Tass news agency recently it made headlines everywhere. The Football Association chairman, Greg Dyke, even took what Blatter had said to the British parliament. The widespread outrage arose from Blatter’s claim that he had intended to stitch up the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding in favour of the US and Russian World Cups.

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Matt Scott: FIFA’S tangled web looks like a snare from which there is no escape

“O what a tangled web we weave, When first we practise to deceive!” Sir Walter Scott, Marmion

Sir Walter Scott’s Lord Marmion was a much dislikeable character. Having taken a nun for his mistress Marmion confected a tale of treason to have a man exiled so that he could make a play for his betrothed. Upon doing so he discarded the nun to her fate, which was to be bricked up alive in her convent cell for breaking her vows.

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Matt Scott: Is FIFA immoral? If so the Swiss will soon wind it up


“We are threatened with suffering from three directions: from our body, which is doomed to decay… from the external world which may rage against us with overwhelming and merciless force of destruction, and finally from our relations with other men.” Sigmund Freud

Nothing lasts forever, that much is clear. But the destruction that is in any case inevitable can be hastened by factors not always beyond our control. Freud was writing about the course of civilisation at large when he penned the words above but they apply in equal measure to FIFA right now.

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Matt Scott: Bolton have lost their power. It won’t be long before the lights go out


“I am somewhat exhausted; I wonder how a battery feels when it pours electricity into a non-conductor.” Arthur Conan Doyle

Electricity is a wonderful, life-giving force. The defibrillator whose high-voltage pulse revives the dead from cardiac arrest; the electrical storm that destroys forest deadwood to give way to new growth beneath; the power that animates a television. It illuminates the floodlights that give us night football and, figuratively, it gives us the best of those nights when the atmosphere is electric.

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Matt Scott: The blessings of St Mary’s are no miracle


“For He hath regarded the low estate of His handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.” Mary’s Song, Luke 1:48, King James Bible

The meteoric rise of Southampton has been lauded by many as one of the truly great football achievements of our times. As recently as 2011, the 32,505-seat St Mary’s Stadium was home to a club in League One, England’s third tier.

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Matt Scott: Klopp teams work hard. But rigour alone can never attain high virtue

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“Pacience is an heigh vertu, certeyn, For it venquysseth… Thyneges that rigour sholde nevere atteyne.” Geoffrey Chaucer, the Franklin’s Tale

The Franklin was the 20th of Chaucer’s pilgrims to give his tale and, like so many of his fellow travellers en route to Canterbury, he gave forth on the secrets of success in love. Thus did England’s earliest literary great teach us a lesson about the virtues of patience.

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Matt Scott: Home comforts are stifling for Englishmen’s football ambitions


“Ah! There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort.” Jane Austen, Emma

Jane Austen’s fourth novel was published on Christmas Day in 1815 the Vienna peace accord had brought the Napoleonic wars to a close. With it began a century-long era of British commercial dominance through an empire whose roots had already begun to take hold with territories in Newfoundland, the Caribbean, west and South Africa, India and Australia.

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Matt Scott: Why the embers of past court battles could be fanned into a fire engulfing Blatter

“Il n’y a pas le feu au lac” – “The lake’s not on fire.” Swiss saying

If the famous Lake Geneva is not painting the sky with flames – and, quite obviously, it never has nor will – it’s said to be difficult to rouse a Swiss to any sense of urgency. Other French-speaking nations believe that in the land of the cuckoo clock and precision watches, time moves slowly.

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Matt Scott: Liverpool lose out in football’s arms race. Don’t blame Rodgers


“We dare not tempt them with weakness. For only when our arms are sufficient beyond doubt can we be certain beyond doubt that they will never be employed.” John F Kennedy

Strategy for both the Eastern bloc and the NATO allies during the Cold War was simple: arm yourselves to the teeth until the threat of Mutually Assured Destruction guaranteed neither side would be stupid enough to go to war.

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Matt Scott: Wolves’ Morgan has done well on house that Sir Jack built


“Si monumentum requiris circumspice [If you seek his monument, look around]” Christopher Wren, epitaph on Wren’s tomb

Ever since the Great Fire of London devastated its capital, Great Britain and its inhabitants have had an obsession with architecture. It is a nation that has spawned many Great Builders, such that naming only Wren, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Sir Joseph Bazalgette or Sir George Gilbert Scott is to commit a gross injustice to the others who came before and after them.

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