Gaffe-prone Richards put his foot in it again

It was hard to know where to start with Premier League Chairman Dave Richards’ insistence in Doha that football had been stolen from England, its rightful administrators.

You could laugh at a codger hankering for the days of the Empire. You could give thanks that John Foreigner did manage to exert a little influence over the destiny of the sport lest Charles Hughes and his Positions of Maximum Opportunity still hold sway rather than Johan Cruyff’s tika taka.

You could even muse on the irony of Richards’ complaints, when his Sheffield Wednesday were among the Premier League founders, essentially stealing football from his own FA and his own people. That theft was complete this week when David Bernstein accepted the FA would no longer have much involvement with professional football.

You could remark on the profit Richards made when he turned Wednesday cheaply into the hands of bankers and jumped ship when they sank, as David Conn’s book The Beautiful Game explains.

Or, around the time Richards was blundering, you could watch Ajax U19s rattle six past their Liverpool counterparts in the NextGen Series and admire how the next generation of Europeans are coping without English administration.

But it was easier altogether to know where to start on Mr Chairman’s subsequent tumble into a fountain in Qatar. Richards had put his foot in it again.


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