Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughOf businessmen and betting - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Of businessmen and betting - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Of businessmen and betting

Some people just aren’t cut out for certain jobs in life as specialist skills and talents are required for the rigours of certain professions. Hence qualifications being needed for jobs and regulation in place to monitor when work is not being done well.

This, of course, does not apply in the wonderful world of football governance and football club ownership.

The peerless Matt ‘Digger’ Scott of the Guardian reports that a Laurence Bassini will take over Watford after being sold 53.95% of the club’s shares, this despite the fact that Bassini has been declared bankrupt and lived on benefits for a six months or so in 2007 and has been a director with (according to Scott) twelve companies, ten of which were stuck off without filing accounts and another one which folded after only ever filing one set of accounts.

Furthermore, Bassini changed his name after his bankruptcy, from Bazini, refuses to reveal who his backers are for his takeover of Watford, despite the £3.5 million loan not being his money and the shares will be held not by Bassini, but a knee surgeon in Highgate by the name of Panos Thomas. For the record, none of the above sounds remotely suspect, whatsoever.

Again, just what is the Fit and Proper Persons test exactly for? This is the equivalent of a whale slipping through a fishing net.


Meanwhile, over in Nyon, the Professional Football Strategy Council (who?! I hear you cry) have had a meeting and came out with some points about the issue of betting in football.

Basically, these points state that betting companies are exploiting football competitions for their own ends and that there should be government intervention at a national and EU level to help alleviate this problem through compensation from the betting companies. They state that the organisers of competitions such as the Champions League and Europa League “should have the right, including intellectual property right, to consent to their events being used by betting companies and that such companies should pay fair financial compensation”  They go on to say that this increased revenue will be fairly distributed down to the grassroots level of football in Europe.

But, taking into account the Professional Football Strategy Council consists of representatives of European players (through FIFpro), European clubs (through the European Clubs Association) and European leagues (via the European Professional Leagues group) it would appear the real target is to get these groups more money, by stating their desire to help the grassroots to mask the greed as, UEFA aside (the final representative of the Council) they do not have a rich history of fairer distribution of wealth in football.

Furthermore, in the points outlined in the press release link here , the aim to combat match fixing is only referred to twice, compared to financial issues which is mentioned in every bullet point. When you consider the current match fixing concerns over international friendlies held in Tunisia in the last international break and the concerns over games in the earlier rounds held in Eastern Europe in the Europa League this season, this should be a far more pressing concern for the Council. In theory.

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