Having been personally genetically programmed to have no interest in sport whatsoever, today I’m straying into murky waters – but that’s one of the joys of being a Rust contributor.
When I fired up my computer today, I was bombarded by sporting headlines in the media.
The cess-pit of soccer’s long-term FIFA scandals, the bribery and corruption over World Cup decisions, the resignation of Sepp Blatter and the rumour and speculation as to its aftermath. A survey by accountants Deloitte showing that in 2013/2014 the Premier League clubs’ revenues have increased by 29% to £3.3 billion, producing an operating profit of £614 million, placing all 20 Premier League clubs in the top 40 revenue earners in the world.
The ‘salary cap’ breaches in English rugby’s Premiership being punted into the long grass via a secret deal to suspend investigations beyond the end of the 2014/2015 season, this accompanied by plans to ditch promotion and relegation in order to pull the ladder up behind the incumbents in order to promote ‘long term’ business stability.
Last night at 9.00pm I watched a BBC Panorama programme on the widespread use of drugs in sport, specifically (why am I surprised?) track & field, involving allegations – since denied by the accused – that Mo Farah’s coach Alberto Salazar and training partner Galan Rupp having been systematically doping for years. Both track & field and professional cycling have been dripping with allegations of drug-taking for decades, leading one to wonder whether any of their competitions, prizes and medal awards can be trusted as genuine sporting contests being conducted on a level playing field.
And don’t get me started on the dark arts – sorry, Noble Art – of professional boxing, with its multi-world championship organisations, dodgy promoters, suspected Mafia connections and ‘interesting’ but odd bout decisions.
Is Sport just having a particularly bad run of recent publicity, or is the stench of corruption and one-eyed commercial self-interest now becoming so strong and noxious that the average fan/spectator/betting punter might be forgiven for gaining the impression that they are simply ‘innocents abroad’ cannon fodder, existing only to be systematically deceived and exploited by those who organise and make serious money via fleecing the paying public?
Answers please by postcard to the usual address …