Thursday, December 02, 2010

Who's To Blame?

You filthy English - we have brought you here to humiliate you

Here's the list of suspects identified by callers so far:

Sepp Blatter
Deceitful FIFA bureaucrats on the take
Russian gangsters
Birmingham and Villa supporters

Tyler has already made his views clear, so he ought to be rejoicing.

Yet somehow he's not. It's one thing to believe we should never offer to host any of these tax-funded jamborees, but it's quite another to accept national humiliation at the hands of a bunch of jumped up council officials from countries that had never even heard of football until 30 years ago.

Why did it happen? Nobody seems to know, but the Major has come up with the following interesting fact. Of the 24 members of FIFA's Executive Committee - the guys who actually made the decision - no fewer than 15 represent countries which are either ex-colonies, or with which we have had at least one war in the last 200 years.


Everybody hates us and it turns out we do care.

Update - Some FIFA financials

I couldn't resist looking at FIFA's finances. In 2009 they had revenue of about $1bn. Of that, the vast bulk - $0.9bn - came from the World Cup (which only happens once every four years but the revenues are spread out across all years).

FIFA's world Cup revenues come from broadcast rights and marketing (mainly corporate sponsorship). World Cup ticket revenues go to the host organiser (which would be the FA here).

The biggest chunk is broadcasting rights which seem to have totalled well over $2bn for the last WC in South Africa. But the interesting thing is that the sources of this broadcasting revenue are highly concentrated. Well over 50% comes from Europe. Adding in Asia takes the total up to 80%. Yet despite this, Europe and Asia combined only get 50% of votes on the FIFA Executive Committee. And my bet is that if we could see a revenue breakdown within Europe and Asia, we'd find some even more startling concentrations.

The obvious question is why don't the footballing authorities in the major revenue generating countries get together and do a complete Premier League style breakaway from the sleazy dysfunctional FIFA? Organise their own World Cup, to be rotated between them. Of course, we'd expect the big Latin American countries to be included as well, but on my count, there'd be no more than ten in the core group. Which would give each of them the tournament once every 40 years.

Naturally every country in the world would be invited to compete, just as now. But the competition would always be held in one of the big footballing nations.

Oh, and the tournament would need to be entirely self-financing - no more taxpayer subs.

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