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Triesman affair leaves sour taste

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David Bond | 15:30 UK time, Monday, 17 May 2010

Amid all the questions raised by the Lord Triesman affair, there are two interesting issues that need to be cleared up. 

The first relates to the way the story came out. Lord Triesman's resignation statement included a reference to the betrayal he felt at being "entrapped" by a friend. Judging by callers to BBC Radio 5 live, the messageboards and the comments on my blog on Sunday, there is considerable anger at what the Mail on Sunday did in publishing a story that has potentially caused significant damage to the England 2018 World Cup bid.

I am told that at least one other newspaper was offered the story and turned it down for that reason.

The story has raised all sorts of interesting questions about when is it legitimate for the media to secretly record conversations and then make them public. Clearly, Lord Triesman's comments were significant and he had no choice but to resign. However, is it right that the private thoughts of leading public figures are then published in this way?

Even more interesting is how the story came about and, crucially, who was behind the sting.

One theory is that a friend of Melissa Jacobs was in talks with another Sunday newspaper to sell a story about her relationship with Lord Triesman.

At that point, and in an effort to take control of the story, Miss Jacobs contacted the public relations consultant Max Clifford. He advised her to sell the story to the Mail on Sunday, which then helped set up the sting.

But according to Football Association sources, the Mail on Sunday originally told 2018 officials that they did not co-ordinate the covert recording of the conversation and photographs at the Paul cafe in Marylebone High Street. They say the paper claimed Miss Jacobs had turned up with the whole package and sold it to them.

That would be extremely unusual for a newspaper and is denied by Clifford. Why might the Mail on Sunday claim otherwise? To try to distance them from any accusations they were deliberately damaging the bid? Well, the damage is done by its very publication and not necessarily the method of obtaining the information. 

Lord TriesmanLord Triesman's final public appearance as FA chairman was at Saturday's FA Cup final. Photo: Reuters.

Some conspiracy theorists might believe that a rival bidder may have been behind the set-up. Or even an FA enemy. That seems very far-fetched but it certainly poses a very interesting question.

Regardless of who was behind it, Miss Jacobs is understood to have made between £75,000 and £100,000 for selling her story. And Sunday's revelations are unlikely to be the end of it. Having had such an impact, there will be a clamour for her to reveal more of Lord Triesman's innermost thoughts about FA colleagues and England's players - recorded or not.

The 2018 bid team and the FA knew this and will have almost certainly prompted the swift action. The FA has clearly learned from the experience of the Faria Alam scandal when the FA at first attempted a cover-up and then limped on for days as revelations of the secretary's affairs with then England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson and former chief executive Mark Palios spilled out. By removing Lord Triesman they cannot be damaged by the publication of further private details of his conversation with Miss Jacobs.

The second issue to quickly reflect on is what sort of legacy does Lord Triesman leave the FA?

In his statement on Sunday he talked about his pride at achieving "a great deal in areas I love - qualification for the World Cup in South Africa, healthy growth in grass roots, women's and disability football, and changes in the representation of fans, who are the lifeblood of English football and the involvement of our diverse communities".

He indeed deserves credit for helping see through changes in the make up of the FA council.

England's qualification for South Africa also happened on his watch but manager Fabio Capello might raise an eyebrow at Lord Triesman's inclusion of the World Cup on his list of achievements.

When all is said and done, the only measure by which we can assess Lord Triesman's two and a half years in charge is on whether he lived up to a promise as the FA's first independent chairman to bring stability and consensus to an organisation that all too often becomes paralysed by infighting. He was also supposed to give the FA a more powerful voice and to help it stand up to the Premier League.

On one hand, he did that. He fought the FA's corner and gave the organisation confidence. He led from the front and earned a lot of praise for taking on the Premier League, particularly on the key issue of clubs' debt levels.

But on the other hand, by being so aggressive he effectively wrecked any hopes of reaching a consensus with the League, thereby making chances of progress or significant reform impossible.

That is not to say the League and professional game were right to just circle the wagons and isolate Lord Triesman, it is simply a reflection on how the FA works. As a politician he was always regarded with suspicion by people who have spent a lifetime working in football.

He quickly found that if you cannot make deals you become ineffective. And, charming man though he is, that is probably how his time at the FA will come to be remembered.

Another interesting aside to report - Lord Triesman was due to attend a meeting of the International FA board (the body which oversees the laws of football) in Zurich on Tuesday. Also due to be in attendance was Angel Maria Villar Llona - chair of Fifa's refereeing committee and president of the Spanish FA.

Things might have been a bit awkward given Lord Triesman's remarks about the Spanish trying to bribe referees at this summer's World Cup.


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  • Comment number 1.

    Although it is disappointing that our World Cup bid might be adversely affected by this revelation I don't think that is a good reason for a newspaper to not run the story. The real question here should be where is his evidence. If he has said these things with no evidence to support it then surely the anger, if directed anywhere, should be directed at him. I would have hoped that a person in his position would have had the good sense not to go shooting off at the mouth with nothing to substantiate his claims regardless of who he was talking to.

  • Comment number 2.

    The mail are scum, ruining our world cup bid to sell a few papers. The government should have the power to block these stories, in the long term it is better for the country if these stories don't get out. I would hope the people who released this story will feel bad but we all know they won't, money money money is all they think about, not national pride, jobs for thousands being created and general increase in happyness for millions, all these things the world cup brings.

  • Comment number 3.

    As soon as the Mail on Sunday printed this, I decided to never ever purchase the paper again or its daily equivalent. The driving force behind publication of the article was to sell papers, without any consideration of the bigger picture ie a highly likely award of the 2018 competition , with all of the economic benefits and prestige that it would have brought with it. For the sake of increased sales over a relatively short period of time, the Mail has forsaken all that being awarded the competition would have brought, how shortsighted and profit driven can you be !!! I hope many other Mail readers join me in a boycott and hit them where it really hurts.

  • Comment number 4.

    Other than the Mail being a right-wing paper and Lord Triesman being a Labour peer, can anyone else really see a reason for this story?

    By the way, why am I still in pre-mod after being a member of this site for 6 years?

  • Comment number 5.

    I'm glad that someone is finally pointing out the obvious that the Mail on Sunday have damaged the bid by publishing these conversations - any outrage that they express over the damage Triesman's behaviour has done should be laughed at.
    It seems incredible to me that none of the other papers have made anything of the part the Mail played, when their comments pages are full of real football fans - the ones who actually lose out the most if we lose the bid, as well as anyone who could potentially gain a job at the time - who are genuinely angry at the paper's actions.

  • Comment number 6.

    Although I can understand the frustration shown by Imps, do you really advocate giving the government power to censor what is printed in the news? Ok, this time you might say it is for the good of the country but look at some of the measures that have been put in place in recent years for the supposed good of the country such as indefinite detaining of prisoners under the terrorism laws with no evidence whatsoever, stop and searches being used whenever they are wanted and local councils allegedly using the powers to "spy" on people as has been reported. It's a slippy slope to the system that is in place in a place like China, don't you think?

  • Comment number 7.

    At the end of the day, Triesman was voicing his opinion to a close friend, or so he thought so we can't really blame him for he has said!

    Why the Mail on the other hand, decided to print this when they knew it would be extremely harmful to England and their world cup bid is beyond me, the media need to start to support our national teams not actively work against them!

  • Comment number 8.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 9.

    What timing, really they could not have published that any better. day after the FA cup and most of all within the week England have finally shown to be United with this case for the world cup. All we are left with is a broken dream and a paper we would not want our chips to be rapped in...

    Well done to the British press for taking a nation's pride away once again.

  • Comment number 10.

    If this is what Melissa Jacobs does to her apparent friends, I'd hate to be on her bad side.

    Clearly, she was leading him on and Lord Triesman was spouting rubbish to impress her.

    She sounds like a horrible, horrible person, who has made up to £100,000 from ruining the countries chance to hold their first World Cup in 52 years. Awful.

  • Comment number 11.

    If England's bid had failed, and then it turned out that a foreign media organisation had hushed up disparaging comments made by their bid leader, how many people would be up in arms claiming fair play?

    Long live the freedom of the press.

  • Comment number 12.

    The thing is, if there was some sort of law brought in to stop this, then the media would cry foul.

    And yet, it is the media's abuse of it's position that may necessitate any such rule.

    Recent examples of exclusives that really do not serve the public interest are Max Molsely and John Terry. This just adds to that I'm afraid.

    If the hacks can't be trusted to act responsibly then someone will have to make them.

  • Comment number 13.

    I still find myself pretty disgusted by the whole affair. I am not excusing Triesman, but I can't help but feel let down by The Mail. It was just a poor decision by them to run the story. I wonder what was going through the editors mind when he was approached with the story. Did he really think there would be no repercussions. The way I see it he has severely damaged the already fragile reputation of The Mail.

    But all is not lost. I do not think the bid will be successful, but I also do not think it is completely over. Time for the PR machine to get working, time for Beckham and Geoff Hurst and Seb Coe to work their magic.

  • Comment number 14.

    Boycott the Daily Mail. Treasonous. Absolutely disgusting.

    Did they not think for one moment that their News of the World-like scandal rag would deal a potentially fatal blow to the hopes and dreams of millions? That their chequbook excuse for journalism not only broke the law, but was responsible for losing billions for the economy (that had already acquired the infrastructure through the Olympics and PL stadia)?

    The worst thing is their self-righteous tone of a 'broken Britain'. They are enemies of the country. Enemies. Patriots? Don't make me laugh.

    Boycott the Daily Mail and the Mail on Sunday.
    The article was written by Ian Gallagher, by the way. Ian Gallagher.

  • Comment number 15.

    Disgraceful piece of journalism.

    Every chance this has now cost us the chance to stage the world cup (and who knows, with home advantage, win it again, as per last time) many thanks daily mail.

  • Comment number 16.

    with reference to post 13

    the sooner it is sir david beckham the better, for the entire world is in awe of 'the gifted one'

  • Comment number 17.

    sallysdad, I totally agree with your stance on never buying the Mail again and I hope that many, many others do the same, to the point where companies no longer want to advertise in it, so that the paper ceases to exist and we can never have to put up with the right wing fascist rag that it is ever again.

    "is it right that the private thoughts of leading public figures are then published in this way?"

    I'd like to hear your actual answer to your own question, Mr. Bond!

  • Comment number 18.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 19.

    He was stitched up good and proper and the Mail should be ashamed of themselves as he was Betrayed by a so-called friend for money.

    On a brighter note at least he won't have to put up with corny world cup song like some of these

  • Comment number 20.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 21.

    David -not sure I agree with you that how the story came out is an issue? Triesman's comments, whether said privately to a friend, or not, were in themselves very serious, since he was allegedly accusing two FIFA member countries of bribery and corruption. If he did not mean it, he should not have said it, if he was joking, more fool him, you don't joke about such matters when you are in his position - the phase " you might think that, but I cannot possibly comment" springs to mind.
    As to why his comments were 'outed' there are numerous reasons, obviously 'for gain'; possibly to scupper England's bid? or even the revenge of a woman scorned -"hell hath no fury...." etc - I am sure this story has still 'got legs' and your blogs are stoking the embers nicely!

  • Comment number 22.

    Is this not a case that "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned".

  • Comment number 23.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 24.

    Of course what you say is right, but the Daily Mail's actions don't help your case.

    The silence of the media in general regarding the public outcry against the Daily Mail is a prime example of how the media, especially the press, try to control public opinion and information. The Sun and Times blame Ms Jacobs whilst Daily Mail blame Triesman for the bid's inevitable failure. The BBC remain largely silent.

    We might not want state control over the press, but who will hold the press to account when they get it so badly wrong? Is it too much to ask that they have a little self-control?

    What of the PC Code of Conduct that says the press will respect privacy and not use material obtained deceptively using recording devices? Funny that the Chair of this committee is none other than the editor-in-chief of the Mail group.

    Triesman said bad things. He is stupid, (like we didn't all know that anyway), and perhaps the only good thing to come out of all this is his resignation.

    But the fact remains that he had a private conversation with a "friend" (who needs enemies), and he relayed a rumour that he had heard doing the rounds. We've all done it, and we may have even elaborated/embellished on such gossiping for the amusement of those we seek to impress in "private" conversation.

    I trust we shall all still be lauding our freedom of press when our bid is in the gutters and Russia or Spain, with the backing of their own media, win the bid to host the World Cup.

    And why am I not surprised that Max Clifford is involved in all this?

  • Comment number 25.

    I already said this in another blog immediately the news came out. This is the stupidity of modern day journalism. You destroy your country for money and call it freedom of speeech and free press. If this is what freedom of speech is all about, then I would rather have a dictator as prime minister. This is ridiculous and morally scandalous. This is not free speech, this is greed at its height. Laws should be put in place to check this kind of rubbish. These guys are totally irresponsible. I bet they would even publish troop positions even if it will mean the enemy would use them. They dont really care, do they? This should never have been published and I hope this leads to a review of journalism laws. Paparazzi hunting people all over the place and many other irresponsible journalism is not good for the country. Now England team is without a captain (Rio is not still fit) and they say it is john Terry's fault. I will never read the Mail again, ever!

  • Comment number 26.

    I do wish to add this very important point. We all say all kind of things in out private conversations. If we are to relay what people say in their private conversations, we would even hear some people insultin the Queen. Thats their private conversation and nobody needs to hear. Lord Triesman inclusive. The guy has no blame. He voiced his private opinion, in private, period!

  • Comment number 27.

    I have complained to the Press Complains Commission under article 10i) of their code of practice. I urge all who think like the writer of this article to do the same. 5 minute job online.

  • Comment number 28.

    What surprises me more than anything is people feeling let down by the Mail's actions.

    What else do people expect from this publication?

    Open your eyes folks.

  • Comment number 29.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 30.

    For the most part I think that if celebrities or members of Parliament etc are stupid enough to be caught on tape, involved in activities which are negative for their image or organisation, they should expect the tabloids to pick up on them and release them. Whilst I do not necessarily agree with the way certain tabloids do get some material, it can also be a measure of good IE when NOTW uncovered the Higgins scandal.
    Footballers in general should have no complaints when the press hound them as it is through the press they make much of their money.

    However in this particular instance I think the Mail have acted very poorly. It seems hypocritical to me that this doom and gloom, pessimistic paper who so often claim Britain is in a social crisis, would want to ruin an event which would create jobs and social prosper. Such a stupid thing to release.
    They should have some moral standings and although it is good they have shown Triesman for what he is, they have no doubt done more harm than good.
    Having said that if it were not the Mail, it would have been the Mirror, Express or Sun.

  • Comment number 31.

    This is an absolute disgrace. We all say things in private that are without foundation and whilst Lord Tresman was stupid to say such things it is ludicrous to jepordise our bid which has already cost us (taxpayers) £15million.

    The Mail should be made to pay back all the millions this could cost us. They are a disgrace like most of the tabloid press in this country. They care about one thing - profit! Unfortunately morals and responsibility seem to have disapeared.

  • Comment number 32.

    Boycott the Mail?

    Well whoever buys this Tory 'johnny foreigner' hating rag in the first place has simply got what they pay for: a story about the Spanish buying refs! The Mail was wholly true to its own moral and political compass (look at the coverage of the election after all) and if people couldn't work that one out well what can I say?

    They were after Triesman because he was a Labour appointment and got this bit as added extra. Like most journalists they are a 'one-way' street and I always liked Frank Sinatra's description of the press as a bunch of 'bums and hookers'. The interesting issue for them is whether this one will go away: today's news, tomorrows 'chip wrappers'. Call me a synic but I suspect it will all die down in a week or two's time and the people (including some who protest on here) will go back to their 'rag'.

  • Comment number 33.

    I think it,s about time we stopped calling these tabloid journals "newspapers". Most of the rubbish they print has been bought paid for, never could these type of stories be described as news.This article would be better suited to gossip magazines.

  • Comment number 34.


    What are you, a corporate puppet? Everyone is well within their rights to scorn the Mail for this. Every person is entitled to say what they like in private, and shouldn't fear that they might be being taped and having their opinions splashed on the pages of the national press. What Triesman said IS stupid, no one denies that but the greater implications of what this story being published has done is what's got people annoyed here. So we're not hypocrites, and I don't know who you think you are to throw out such a baseless comment... oh wait, I know, you must be a Daily Mail reader! Says it all...

  • Comment number 35.

    I am afraid the British media will never allow England to win the World Cup again, apart from having too much power to publish any criticism they may have, to put pressure on players, to destroy players, managers and FA Chiefs. What is £100k to this woman? a lot of money? She is not different from Judas. I can equate this lady as enemy of football and enemy of our Country. I will be scare of this woman if I were to be her husband or frined. Daily Mail should realised that printing such a private conversation is a disgrace, they should be able to think of the repercussion of their action to British Football. We witnessed thesame thing during the election. When is this sort of attitude going to stop.England may have the chance to win her next World Cup if someone can put a stop to this. But who and when?

  • Comment number 36.

    Sometimes what is 'in the public interest' does not mean that a story seemingly obtained by a 'honey trap' should be published. If the Mail On Sunday had a shred of decency for what is in the interest of football and the World Cup bid, it should have gone straight to the FA with the allegations. Alas all persons involved have not acted in the public interest from the foolish Lord Triesman, the 'lady' involved and above all the appalling publicist Max Clifford his greed, and the Mail on Sunday. In days of old they would have all been tried for high treason and banished.. with good riddance. If the Media support England's World Cup bid then they should immediately disown the MOS and Max Clifford.

  • Comment number 37.

    My understanding is that the Press Complaints’ Commision (PCC) Code of Conduct, Article 10 specifically prohibits publication of “material acquired by using hidden cameras or clandestine listening devices.” I also understand that Triesman went to court in an attempt to protect his privacy, which means the court doesn't recognise the Code of Conduct nor requires any evidence to back up material obtained from devices nor gives the person the right to put their point of view in any article.

    A sad day for British Justice, the British Press and the FA. Never has the phrase lions led by donkeys ever been so apt and does the law of privacy exist in the uk (unless it is just for judges and their indiscretions)?

  • Comment number 38.

    What Treisman did was stupid and he probably did deserve the sack but surely the right thing to would've been to taken the story to the FA and said "You might be interested in this". He could've left on the quiet, the FA would've been aware and the bid is still on track. I think Newspapers in this country do get away with far too much. I think the Max Mosley thing wasn't in the public interest as most people probably hadn't heard of the man until then, it was just pure trash. Look what the media did to Michael Jackson.

  • Comment number 39.

    How dare a public figure have a private opinion? What kind of terrible liberal society do we live in where people are allowed to think for themselves?
    What Triesman thought may have been controversial, but he never publicly stated it, so there was no need to report it. It was never going to affect anything.
    It's similar to this constant perception that being a footballer means you have to act a certain way. They signed a contract to play football for a club. They never agreed to moderate everything they do and say. Why should they have to act completely perfectly all the time while we, the rest of society, act however we want?

    I think the media need to realise there's a difference between freedom of press and undermining everything they can. There is such a thing as responsible journalism, and this isn't it.

  • Comment number 40.

    Completely agree with jonas the Giant,

    This was said in private and of course Triesman didn't know he was being taped, in my eyes the man is blameless.

    Whoever let this story be published must have first realised how damaging it would be to the country and its bid, yet still went on to publish it anyway. A personal opinion voiced IN PRIVATE has caused most likely a failed world cup bid and it will be down to the stupidty of the Mail again

  • Comment number 41.

    Triesman has obviously been set up by this woman, but I feel there must be a Machiavellian plot behind the whole saga.
    Firstly, the Mail has published a story with respect to comments made about the World Cup bids of Spain and Russia and it is a well known fact that Spain ( and Portugal) will have the backing, in their bid, from South American countries and that block needs to be broken up.
    Secondly, Spain is one of the most racist and corrupt countries in the EU (as I live here, I should know) and that they will do anything, honest or dishonest to get what they want. Giving covert bribes to officials, such as referees, and friendly members of FIFA must be commonplace. Corruption is endemic in a country that is in severe financial difficulties.
    Thirdly, as Triesman is on the left of politics AND is a member of a political party that has just been moved out of power, he is the ideal scapegoat to be used to get the corruption story brought into the headlines of football.
    So the Conservative party can now put their man in the driving seat of the World Cup and if they succeed it will be ‘We got the World Cup despite the Triesman scandal’ or ‘It was a representative of the labour party who led to our bid for 2018 failing’

    Please who ever is there, look at what Triesman has said and look at what is going on in Spain.

  • Comment number 42.

    41# if you have such negative views about spain, why are you living there ??

    I'm sure most Spanish people would like you to leave the country, given your opinion of Spain

  • Comment number 43.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 44.

    Haven't read the article, but I don't need to.... the answer is NO

  • Comment number 45.

    Everything in the public interest should be made public.

    Allegations of corruption in sport should be reported and investigated.

    As a matter of fact Mr Triesman is at fault for not going public with his suspicions and allegations,

    so the Press was right to report his comments regardless how they obtained them.

  • Comment number 46.

    IMO the Mail did the honourable thing and exposed the truth about this man who was one of those in charge of the FA. It will not be the newpapers fault if England don't win the world cup bid, it will be this mans. Would the English rather win the world cup through lies and deceit or by the honourable way? If it's the former, then I'd suggest that says a lot about the country as a whole. All these people criticizing the Mail are guilty and would rather have a cover up and this man continuing to run the bid for 2018....all haters of the Mail's actions are themselves despicable.

  • Comment number 47.

    For those of you thinking the Mail on Sunday has a'right' to print, consider this...private opinions MUST remain private unless we give our consent as the individual owning that opinion for it to be published. Surely freedom of privacy to express opinions amongst friends and family is as much an important democratic right as a free press?

    Or shall we just sign up to some sort of 80's KGB system where opinions can get you killed long before your actions do any damage?

    For those of you calling Triesman an idiot for expressing opinions in a controversial fashion in private (probably to get a reaction)ask yourself only one question, have you? It doesn't matter that he's a public figure / high office blah blah, he, like you and I, has a right to know that there is a legal distinction between his private and public life/opinions. If there's not, we are gonna have to pay people in high office EVEN MORE money because they are going to say that they are 'at work' 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

    I for one dont want to live or work in a country where you have to look over your shoulder to see who's secretly watching or listening, regardless of my position in society - big brother sucks, always has.

  • Comment number 48.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 49.

    We have the Mail defending the freedom of the press but in the same breath say that we the people have no freedom of privacy. This is the paper that supported Hitler. TRAITORS.

  • Comment number 50.

    I didn't get any revision done yesterday because I was so angry with Melissa Jacobs and the Daily Mail. Should I ask them for compensation if I fail my exams?

  • Comment number 51.

    46. At 7:38pm on 17 May 2010, richard wrote....

    Richard, great work. i'm sure your employers at the mail will enjoy your stout defensive cover but like all journo lovers on here you just dont get the freedom bit do you?

    There is no cover up!!!!!no lies, no deceit, no lack of honour. The mail have not EXPOSED him as you put it, they just paid someone for taping him. Hell, the police will do that for you if you want. How do we know he even seriously holds that opinion, he could have just been trying to sound a bit 'controversial' and could be spouting off about conspirocy theories he's heard 3rd hand because he's with a 'friend'!!

    Stop making this out to be some flying caped flying 'super-journo' piece of wizardy when its 10 minutes with a dictaphone in some birds handbag!

    Triesman might actually hold those views, the head of the spanish fa might think we're all nazi's but the fact is we haven't heard him say it so we dont know!

    whether you blame LT for speaking or the MOS for paying & printing the damning argument is this. Have they damaged our bid by printing it rather than binning it, yes. Do the majority of people want the world cup here, yes. so is it counter productive to britain, YES.

  • Comment number 52.

    Mail on Sunday broke this story to make money. They actually might have cut their nose to spite their face. If England loses the world cup bid, these jerks will end up losing money because they carried this story. Reminds me of the story of the frog and the scorpion fleeing a forest fire who came across A LAKE. The frog jumped in and started to swim and the scorpion asked the frog for lift across the lake. The frog told the scorpion that he was afraid to give him a ride on his back because he would sting him while crossing the lake. The scorpion said he would not do that because if he did, he would die also as he could not swim. The fog liked the logic and decided to take the scorpion across. In the middle of the lake the frog felt this painful sting and turned to the Scorpion and ask” WHY, I am doing but you will drown also, why? The scorpion yes, I will die but this is my nature.

  • Comment number 53.

    A general conversation we make every day to our friends will always upset some one around the world why should Lord Triesman be different? If FIFA has half a brain they will see the same and we can move on with this bid.... Without the Mails help.

  • Comment number 54.

    Let's not forget "It's the Mail what lost it". The paper targeted at lttle Englanders has the same opportunistic patriotism as Goebbels.

  • Comment number 55.

    Me thinks there will be a few less people today buying the Daily Mail, me for one after being a loyal reader for about 20 years. If a paper puts a story forward that could end our world cup bid, cost the nation valuable spin off money, jobs and a really vibrant feel good factor when it comes around, then it is not representing the country's interests but their own.Everything and everyone that is successful or achieved great things in this country becomes a target for the press to bring down.Find me another nation in the world where the press seems to delight so much in bringing their hero's down or is determined to undermine successes or achievements in the interests of selling a tabloid.

  • Comment number 56.

    Every person is entitled to say what they like in private, and shouldn't fear that they might be being taped and having their opinions splashed on the pages of the national press.
    When in a high profile office a certain amount of caution is always required about what your personal opinions are surely. I'm not blaming Triesman solely for this affair but tact is required.

    Allegations of corruption in sport should be reported and investigated.

    As a matter of fact Mr Triesman is at fault for not going public with his suspicions and allegations.
    There have been allegations of corruption in FIFA for some time. They are reported but never investigated. What football association takes on FIFA? No one!

    At fault for not going public? Are you mad? Look at the case of John McBeth of the SFA: voiced his opinion that the Trinidad and Tobago FA (controlled by Jack Warner) were corrupt. Was it investigated? No McBeth was accused of racism for making the allegations and removed by FIFA's ethics committee. Replaced by a one Geoff Thompson who was seen to be more of a 'yes' man for Mr Warner.

    ....all haters of the Mail's actions are themselves despicable.
    You surely mean 'hypocritcal' not 'despicable'!?

  • Comment number 57.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 58.

    @ #6

    i advocate free speech but there are times when it is in the publics interest to gag a story at least until the annoucement was made in 'december when the 2018 hosts are elected.

    This is one of those times, there would not of been anywhere near the level of anger there currently is if this story had been published say next year, because then it couldn't affect the world cup bid.

    As it is the mail/mail on sunday have sold thier nationalism to the devil just to make a quick buck, and in the process "potentially" denied this economic billions through not hosting the world cup, as compared to hosting it.

  • Comment number 59.


    Oh and whilst i don't read the mail and never have, both my parents are mail readers so trying to persuade them to boycott it will be tricky, although the mail does need to take a fall for this.

  • Comment number 60.

    Wouldn't it be interesting if his claims were to be true?
    Given he has commented on them as "conspiracy" isn't there even the slightest possibility that there is to cite a cliché "there is no smoke without fire".
    Interesting also that he refers to bribery of officials, does not "free handbags for official's wives" seem like a bribe by another name, albeit a more transparent one?

  • Comment number 61.

    Its amazing how many people on here seem to think he shouldn't have been expressing opinion's in private. Who on earth, other than the obvious exceptions, expects their private conversations to be taped/bugged? God help us if it becomes wrong to have private opinion's, or illegal.

    In the end, the sole interest was clearly money from the protaganist's perspective, and those who allowed it to go to press.

    Quelle surprise.

  • Comment number 62.

    If the Mail want to waste their own time finding irrelevant scandal in order to uphold our precious liberty and freedom, why don't they head off to Spain and Russia and find out if there actually is any corruption going on. I'm sure the endevour would be just as futile but at least it would distract the wasters from events in South Africa which they too are probably hoping to tarnish for an extra bit of cash.

  • Comment number 63.

    I am surprised by the reaction of Mail-haters who feel the paper was wrong to publish the Lord Triesman story. This paper has no moral compass. It never has had. It never will have. The basis of the paper is to prey on the gullible. To misinform. To distort. To appeal to caveman mentality. It has no honour. The Lord Triesman saga is but a titbit for this blood-sucking parasitic excuse for a paper. I have identical feelings for all our right-wing media, so please don't think I have it "in" for the Daily Mail.

  • Comment number 64.

    There's no fool like an old fool and Triesman has been around long enough to know the possible consequences of his words.
    I do find it puzzling as to why the MOS printed a story they knew might prove harmful to the England World Cup bid. Clearly the lure of a cheap headline and the chance to get one over on your media rivals was too tempting.
    Incidentally,this Melissa Jacobs must have been set up for a sting operation. I return to my opening statement.

  • Comment number 65.

    Woe betide the Mail if England lose the 2018 bid. I will hold that newspaper responsible and will no longer read it.....

  • Comment number 66.

    Boycott the Daily Mail. Treasonous. Absolutely disgusting.

    Did they not think for one moment that their News of the World-like scandal rag would deal a potentially fatal blow to the hopes and dreams of millions? That their chequbook excuse for journalism not only broke the law, but was responsible for losing billions for the economy (that had already acquired the infrastructure through the Olympics and PL stadia)?

    The worst thing is their self-righteous tone of a 'broken Britain'. They are enemies of the country. Enemies. Patriots? Don't make me laugh.

    Boycott the Daily Mail and the Mail on Sunday.
    The article was written by Ian Gallagher, by the way. Ian Gallagher.

  • Comment number 67.

    Bring Burlusconi to our shores.

  • Comment number 68.

    I think the article was outrageous. Why print it MOS? I will hold the MOS responsible if England doesn't get the World Cup

  • Comment number 69.

    Even as a Conservative activist - although a Liberal-Conservative, though more prone to the right - I am a massive critic of the Mail on Sunday. In the columns I write locally and in the Conservative HQ I am known as a Mail critic and that is rare, at least in the Conservative HQ.

    There is the dilemma that this will cause more than just football backlash, that will be, evidently, a political backlash. It may come about that, there may well be a debate on how far the media will go to portray their political bias, it will come into question as to whether the Media should be monitored on topics that could be damaging to bids and organisations like this.

    Of course, the thought of controlling the media is laughable. It is the product of extreme, and I mean extreme, socialism - on the idea that controlling and owning the media would mean you could block out stories and articles like this with ease - or to a greater extent Communism; I laugh at the idea of Cameron being Communist or an extreme Socialite.

    Now there is a greater matter, which I think is not touched on in, at least this, blog post. What was he thinking? There was firstly no reason to discuss it and furthermore not to a "friend" or anyone not grossly connected to the bid whoo would gain (not lose) from leaking the stories.

    It is a hurt to the Bid but actually, in the long term might help the FA, he was too politically driven and we do not need politicians excreting over football and should not be mastercating the British Footballing world and spitting it out as a piece of politically minded and driven drivel.

  • Comment number 70.

    Thank goodness. It seems there might be one less sporting event requiring disruption, mass hysteria in the media, public subsidy and all the rest. If only Lord Triesman could have been involved in the Olympics bid and similarly wrecked it. I enjoy sport, but do not see the need to go mad about staging events in this country.

  • Comment number 71.

    @ #11: "Long live the freedom of the press."

    My son is a young teenager who wants more freedom. I've told him his freedom and his sense of responsibility are 2 sides of the same coin. The value you get on one side must be equaled by the value on the other. You cannot stand for Freedom - of the press in particular - if you're not prepared to exercise Responsibility. And that is a very rare virtue among the British media today.

  • Comment number 72.

    Surely we should be thanking the Mail for reporting this sort of thing?
    I want more than anyone for England to win the World Cup bid, but was it ever feasible with Triesman at the helm? At the head of the FA we need not a pompous puppet but a real football man, someone who can generate enthusiasm and excitement wherever he goes.

    If you ask me it speaks volumes about our country right now. In no other football mad country would stories like this be hitting the front pages. Places like Brazil, Argentina, Spain etc the fact that they are in the running to host a World Cup would be fantastic. More kids would play the sport and in general there would be a buzz. Not in England. We're more interested in the politics of sport. No wonder when it comes to competitions we flop.

    Get politics out of sport. This would never have happened in the first place if we had a real football man in charge. If you put sleazy, pompous, arrogant upper class men in charge of football they will inevitably bring corruption and dirt into the game. The FA reaped what they sowed here Im afraid.

  • Comment number 73.

    Jonas The Giant

    You're probably right, we do have the right to show anger towards that poor excuse for a newspaper. Although Triesman was being a stupid old man, it is the Mail who will have to take most of the blame if England don't get the world cup as a result of all this, as they of course made it public.

    However, I hope all the people who are getting angry at the Mail for reporting about a private conversation, aren't also people who slammed Gordon Brown for his 'bigot' comment (as many seemed to be doing so on this site), otherwise you would be being somewhat hypocritical.

    As for Lord Triesman, well... I think for his next career move he should become Nick Hewer's stunt double for the apprentice. They could use him if/when the producers want Nick Hewer to do especially strenuous or bizarre facial expressions (when Nick doesn't want to.) Just a suggestion.

  • Comment number 74.

    Lord Triesman was simply making a comment to a friend. The kind of throw-away thing every single one of us says amongst friends and work colleagues. Come on, deny that you don't say stupid, unfounded things occasionally. We all do. As far as I'm concerned he's done nothing wrong. The real villains here are the mail. This is clearly aggressive journalism and nothing short of malicious. They've cost this country thousands of jobs, and a huge amount of pride. It's pathetic and I will be joining those who never buy the paper again.

  • Comment number 75.

    If anybody wanted to give Spain and Russia amunition to try and scupper England`s bid for 2018 I don`t think they could have done better than this. If the bid is starting to look very promising, and either of them bring up the bribe story as a way of England trying to influence the final decision the bid will surely have to be disqualified.
    If the Mail wanted to force Lord Triesman out all they had to do was confront him privately, with the evidence, and he would have had little option but to stand down or face being discredited in public.
    Should England`s bid fail, and it being down primarily to this story, the mail will suffer at the newsagents.

  • Comment number 76.

    I'm shocked that people are angry at the Mail for reporting this and are advocating restricting what they can and cannot publish. I have never purchased this particular newspaper nor will I ever however not allowing papers to publish stories because we do not like the consequences of them is stupider than with Triesman himself said

  • Comment number 77.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 78.

    This idea that the Mail will suffer is ridiculous.

    There is never a time that a newspaper does something that some call "dis-credible" and others call "credible" does it mean that the newspaper will suffer at the hands of the story, in fact generally it will gain.

    Also the fact that the newspaper garnishes most of it's readership from the:
    Upper Class

    Neither of those are your big football fans and won't care.

    I assure you however much you don't like it the Mail will not suffer.

  • Comment number 79.

    No need to censor the mail, they'll be censor by going out of business.

    Hell, when a tabloid turns down a story, you know it's bad news.

  • Comment number 80.

    i don't advocate a complete sensorship of the media, we are not a communists, however as i have said previously the media do need to be held accountable for thier actions when they publish something that is quite clearly NOT in the public interest, no one wanted to know about this at least not before the 2018 host annoucement was made, as anyone with half a brain cell (which the mail on sunday's editor clearly lacks) would realise how damaging this is to our chances of hosting the world cup, which is something the vast majority in this country would of loved as its not every day you can say you have been to a world cup, let alone one in your very own country.

  • Comment number 81.

    When Triesman made this statement as Chairman of the FA, he did not consider the importance of his position. In this, he was clearly not suitable to uphold the job. Unless he had real evidence of his accusation, in which case he should have presented it to the FA, and not to some jumped up little gold-digger. Clearly, this man was having either a self-important or a Gordon Brown moment. As for publication in the press, were it not so, this irresponsible FA chairman would still be in post.

  • Comment number 82.

    Once again we see a supposed British newspaper doing its best to ruin a potentially great acheivement for our country. It happens in the run up to every major football tournament - a paper trying to undermine the efforts of the team by coming out with some scandal. For this World Cup it was the whole John Terry saga. I'm no fan of Terry's, and I'm not surprised at the revelations, but why do the papers wait until such a crucial time to reveal these stories? What is worse is that, in the same breath, they are then saying how they are "cheering the boys on to glory."

    If Triesman said what is being reported, then it is a poor piece of judgment on his part and he was right to resign. But at the same time, it is typical of the British media, who love to complain about how bad things are in this country, but then when we have a chance to have a great spectacle like a World Cup on these shores, they prefer the chance to sell more papers than getting together with the rest of the country and "Backing the Bid".

  • Comment number 83.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 84.

    @ #71: You make a good point that we expect the media to exercise responsibility as well as exploiting their freedom. But should that responsibility consist of protecting the national interest? Is that any of their concern? There are plenty of people on here who claim that the Mail has been unpatriotic, which is true enough, but patriotism seems like a strange thing to require of a newspaper, especially if you mean that it should print damaging stories about other countries but suppress them about our own. I'm often appalled by the Mail for its lack of objectivity, its obvious political bias and scarcely concealed mass of prejudices, but I can't also be appalled at it for daring to ignore the clamour of objections and publish a story like this.

  • Comment number 85.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 86.

    The irrational actions of a trashy paper.....what do you expect from Hitler fanatics?

  • Comment number 87.

    I won't be buying the Mail ever...not that I ever would. I hope it goes under soon.

  • Comment number 88.

    Agree with 42# about the sad case of 41#. I'm British but have lived in Spain for 20 years, and not in any tourist area either. For me it (Spain) is the least racial country in Europe; and I've worked in my profession in 16 of them ...
    Corruption might be another thing, but tell me any democratic system totally devoid of it !

  • Comment number 89.

    Sorry but I think the more pressing argument is the fact that we invented the sport. It annoys me that whenever we officially bring this up and use "football's coming home" etc slogans, we are criticised for being arrogant, smug etc.
    Call me a snob, personally I prefer the terms 'patriotic' 'proud and 'realistic'. The fact is that we did invent the sport and we get virtually nothing in return from the ungrateful other countries. Sepp Blater should perhaps consider that it is thanks to English people that he even has a job.
    France, Italy, Germany and Mexico have all hosted the WC twice, while the country that invented the sport has only hosted it once.

  • Comment number 90.

    If people are so abhorrently disgusted by a newspapers ethics, they should stop buying their papers. Aren't the public with its unsatisfiable greed for scandal as much to blame as the papers? After all, if these stories didn't sell papers then they wouldn't report them.
    And for the people asking the government to step in and block what a newspaper can and cant report; do you actually hear what you are saying? Freedom of speech is one of the most important liberties we have. The minute the government starts deciding whats fair game and what isn't then you can kiss all of that goodbye.
    The British public cant have it both ways; wanting a press system that tells the truth but wanting one that covers it up when its too painful to hear. Don't get me wrong, I see the the media and press for what they are; absolute vultures but its the public that's driven them down this path. As I said before, we are the ones funding these monsters. This is the bed we have made as a nation, sometimes we have to lye in it.

  • Comment number 91.

    As a journalist myself, I have never believed it right to obtain any information secretly. It should always be on the record. The British press are out to harm reputations and we either get quotes off the record or use 'anonymous' sources to do that. Both of which harm the integrity of our free press and our right to speak freely in private. It amounts to totalitarianism. Nobody can speak their mind in private due to the fear of being recorded. And if there is no news, the media will gladly attribute something interesting to an anonymous source. This is not journalism and it's a disgrace that we can still sit here and criticise other nations who repress freedom of speech.

  • Comment number 92.

    Questioning another FA, serious wrong, Racism, 40,000 Euro fine.

    Fifa has it's priorities right, however, I bet Triesman was probably on to something, Russian do have a real problem with organised crime in football, and the Spanish, well what's the difference between diving and bribing.

  • Comment number 93.

    It is indeed a grim milestone for us all if, at any level of society, we become fearful of privately expressing a concern or anxiety in case it is picked up by some hidden camera or microphone, or passed on by someone we trust, and made public. The prospect is made even more unsavoury if the reasons for such an act are simply for financial gain, rather than standing up for a moral cause of some kind. It seems that the concept of trust has little validity in many circles.

  • Comment number 94.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 95.

    Why do any of you read the Mail in the first place ? its just a glorified Hitler rag, always slagging off our sporting heroes or "reporting" this kind of garbage. Forever hitting this country below the belt at every opportunity, why anyone buys this cr4p is beyond me.

    If you ain't learnt your lesson now, when will you ?

    PS, I know it was a private conversation, and he really must choose his friends a bit better, but private is not in a cafe surrounded by the public. h

  • Comment number 96.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 97.

    Questioning another FA, serious wrong, Racism, 40,000 Euro fine.

    Fifa has it's priorities right, however, I bet Triesman was probably on to something, Russian do have a real problem with organised crime in football, and the Spanish, well what's the difference between diving and bribing.
    Astounding that you don't see the blatant hypocrisy of your post. Critisising racism then using ugly racist stereotypes to suggest completely unfounded wrong doings.

  • Comment number 98.

    Why do any of you read the Mail in the first place ? its just a glorified Hitler rag, always slagging off our sporting heroes or "reporting" this kind of garbage. Forever hitting this country below the belt at every opportunity, why anyone buys this cr4p is beyond me.

    If you ain't learnt your lesson now, when will you ?

    PS, I know it was a private conversation, and he really must choose his friends a bit better, but "private" is not in a cafe surrounded by the public, he only has himself to blame for his comments, but the Mail will have a lot of explaining to do when England lose the bid.

  • Comment number 99.

    It seems that most of the people berating the Mail and calling for a boycott of the newspaper can't spell the most basic words so maybe it's a good idea that they choose a newspaper better fitted to their intellectual and educational level. As for the Mail's investigation, it was justified. No amount of flag waving and misplaced patriotism from deluded fans can excuse Triesman's behaviour. He's a disgrace to the game and to the country and it's better we find out now that he's not up to the job.It doesn't matter how the information was obtained -- it does matter that we have in place a worthy envoy.

  • Comment number 100.

    The press should never be censored, but they should be held accountable when they break laws, eg. on eavesdropping. The punishment must be proportional to the offense. If the Mail costs England the World Cup by publishing an illegally taped conversation, it should pay the damage. All of it.


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