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18 June 2009


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Imagine I was told by my boss at work to interview candidates for a job - and that I should use my own judgment to decide who's best for the job. Then imagine that my boss happens to mention that he prefers one of the candidates. Of course I would take my boss's opinion into account. I might think that it I should pay extra attention to that candidate. I would probably go into the interviews with the preconceived notion that they would be the best candidate. This is what Platini did. If UEFA talk about the wonderful football Barcelona play, referees are inevitably going to see them in that light. If UEFA talk about diving almost exclusively in terms of Chelsea, then inevitably referees will come to expect it - witness Drogba not getting any penalties, ever. Platini's conduct is reprehensible. How can a governing body be biased about who wins their competition?

We shouldn't believe everything UEFA say. Platini kept on talking about Utd/Barca as being a dream final. Why? Apparently because they play the beautiful game. This is nonsense - all journos watching English football will tell you Arsenal play the beautiful game too (and they don't have debt, use young unknown players - all UEFA's favourite things). So why want Man Utd to beat them? Because it's really about money. Whether Chelsea fans like it or not, Man Utd and Barca are internationally bigger sides than us. All UEFA really want is to maintain the status quo and have the same old teams year in year out - Man U, Liverpool, Barca, Real, Inter and AC. We're just not part of their club.

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