Let me say right away I am no apologist for Sepp Blatter. Whilst recognising his achievement in transforming football into the biggest global sport, this was no legacy because the cost of corruption in achieving this was too high and unacceptable. Stanley Rous, a former English referee and football grandee, was deposed by Joao Havelange forming the alliance of South America, Africa and Asia which is still the bedrock of support for Blatter, his General Secretary. It is apparent from the South African press conference held yesterday that England is still perceived to be colonial and patronising and there is little confidence that Europe has the bigger vision and concern for anyone but themselves. The biggest English clubs have done very well from the globalisation of the football brand but far less for the overseas countries that embrace the Premier and make it such a world wide phenomenon. Thus it was that in the recent vote there was little enthusiasm for the UEFA candidate. If Blatter does stay till March then rest assured he will seek to anoint a candidate that owes England and Europe less concern than his constituency.
Even if it is Platini, and his candidature might be rocked by the latest revelations, it is pretty much known that he is no admirer of Englsih football. Do not forget that Platini voted for Qatar, Blatter did not.
England enjoys certain largesse which the non-Europeans on the FIFA committee might contest. We are one country, the United Kingdom, but each football association in it has a vote. We have an automatic Exco place. Others won’t forgive and forget that David Gill rejected taking his place and the similar stand of Heather Robatts. It took a long time to get a black woman on the FA council. In conclusion our voice at the high table might not come from a powerful tenor. If I was Greg Dyke I would be less strident.