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A Sporting Lunch

Yesterday I had a lunch with three sporting pals, one a sportswriter.

The sportswriter observed that the football World Cup Schedule in Qatar in November and December 2022, the coolest months, would require the rearrangement of 13 Premier games if the team is in the Champions League and he could not see how this could happen.

Another informed us that he heard that operationally Qatar was way behind schedule. It’s not difficult to see the World Cup going elsewhere with the big clubs concerned by fatigue and injury to players who by then could be costing £500m.

The third friend was more of rugger  man but his input was equally pertinent namely the Premiership rugby clubs do not appreciate players injured internationally. With Test cricket also under middle term threat the outlook for international sporting competition is rather bleak.

When asked if I thought Test cricket would survive, I replied I thought it would in England for reasons unconnected with national sporting prowess.

A day out at the Test is an opportunity to drink freely with your mates in an excusable way to your partner.

The London Test stadia in particular earn good money and the punters keep on coming. The debenture section in the Upper Mound at Lords  is sold out and when the next allocation comes up at the end of  the year with the Ashes and ICC World Cup will continue to be. The IPL is awash with money.

For me the problem is that sports are administered at governing body level by relative mediocrities. We do not have the administrators with vision.

Formula 1 was run by  Bernie Ecclestone for forty years and now its present owners are Liberty Media. It is a prime example of a sport managed by business people successfully even though the recent Monaco Grand Prix was a total bore.

Sport has so many issues to address; doping, match fixing, cheating, the conflict between international duty and club commitment in a febrile atmosphere of media critique quick to admonish, slow to find answers and now the heady cocktail of constant and invasive social media.

To administer the sports they  govern is beyond the abilities of that those that do.

About Tom Hollingworth

Tom Hollingsworth is a former deputy sports editor of the Daily Express. For many years he worked in a sports agency, representing mainly football players and motor racing drivers. Tom holds a private pilot’s licence and flying is his principal recreation. More Posts