Daily View: Lord Triesman allegations
Commentators discuss allegations made by the Mail on Sunday that the Football Association's first independent chairman Lord Triesman had been recorded suggesting that the Spanish and Russian Football Associations were trying to bribe referees.
In the Daily Mail Martin Samuel chronicles his distaste for Lord Triesman:
"I won't shed crocodile tears here. I christened him Lord PleasedMan several years ago because I had never heard a public figure so delighted by his own wisdom. I used that pet name in every mention of him in a column since.
"Sometimes you make a gag and nobody joins in; on this occasion there were plenty in football willing to share the joke. They recognised that same trait, present again at the weekend in the reported extracts of conversations with his treacherous friend Melissa Jacobs."
The Telegraph editorial suggests that the root of the problem was an "unhealthy link that developed between government and our national game under Labour":
"For Lord Triesman, a former Labour general secretary, was pensioned off with a peerage and the FA job thanks to his party's laddish obsession with football. Labour politicians felt they gained from close association with the game - which is also why Sir Alex Ferguson was knighted at the behest of Alastair Campbell. And woe betide any Labour upstart who was not a committed fan. Football does not exert the same grip on the new coalition, and for that we should be grateful. The game has plenty of problems, financial and disciplinary, without being used as a retirement home for superannuated politicians."
In the Guardian's football blog David Conn calls the end of Lord Triesman's two-year tenure as the Football Association's first independent chairman a "very English coup":
"[N]ot the result of some fierce row over principle with the vested interests on the FA board, but a kiss-and-tell sting which delivered its tabloid sponsor more loose talk than it could have hoped for.
"Only Melissa Jacobs knows why she decided to betray Triesman to the Mail on Sunday, the paper has not said whether or how much it paid her and many football fans were more furious with the paper for damaging the 2018 World Cup bid than with Triesman for talking big with a woman in a restaurant. But, however much Triesman justifiably complained about "entrapment" in the FA's statement yesterday, he had no option but to go."
Children's football coach Andy Smith says in his blog I Can Play Upfront that in his opinion the real traitor is Melissa Jacobs, as she recorded and passed on to the Mail a private conversation:
"Answer this, who hasn't had private conversations with friends where rumours have been repeated or even made up on the spot? I know I have. You feel safe in having these conversations because of your relationship with the person that you're speaking to. As did Triesman.
"With this in mind, I would suggest that Triesman is no more a traitor than you or I.
"A fool? Almost certainly.
"But a traitor? No, not in my opinion."
"No doubt said friend [Melissa Jacobs] has now been removed from the Triesman Christmas card list, but perhaps the most worrying aspect of this affair is the simple fact that Triesman has lost his job for lamenting the existence of corruption in football.
"Of course, there is no such a thing as corruption in football. Back-handers and brown envelopes never change hands, bribes are never offered, still less accepted, footballers are role models and men of virtue, and the game as a whole is a bastion of rectitude and propriety. Oh yes."