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Platini worried by FA 'vacuum'

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David Bond | 14:30 UK time, Friday, 27 August 2010

In Monaco

Michel Platini rarely says anything without considering the consequences.

As one of football's most influential figures, his comments to the BBC yesterday about the Football Association having no chairman will have been calculated for maximum impact.

He told the BBC that the absence of a chairman was "not good" and when considering who should host the 2018 World Cup, some might ask why they should vote for a national association which doesn't have a leader.

It is therefore clear that despite attempts to move on from the damaging departure of the former FA and World Cup bid chairman Lord Triesman in May, the fall-out is still being felt by the 2018 campaign.

The FA would not be drawn publicly on Platini's comments. An acting chairman is in place in Roger Burden and a process is under way to appoint a permanent successor.

But with the FA board set to scrap the independence rule which requires any chairman to have not held a post in football for a year, it is a process which will take time.

An extraordinary meeting of the FA council must be held in October to sign off that rule change before headhunters can start drawing up a list of candidates.

The FA believes it is better to wait until after the vote for 2018 in December before appointing Triesman's replacement as it could cause further instability to the bid.

Platini clearly does not see it that way.

The World Cup bid team could justifiably argue they have moved on by appointing Geoff Thompson as the campaign's chairman. As a member of the Fifa executive committee, the body which will decide the race for 2018, Thompson has a crucial role to play.

There is also a school of thought that says Triesman's style - he was often described as high handed by critics - and lack of contacts in world football were holding England back.

Not as far as Platini is concerned.

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His comments came as no surprise to England's bid team as he had told them he was uncomfortable with the vacuum at the top of English football during the World Cup in South Africa.

In a world where protocol and status count for so much, there is no question it is seen as a black mark against the oldest and, in some people's eyes, most prestigious national football association.

Perhaps more significantly it gives England's rivals another stick with which to beat them -and in a tight contest, anything which hands an advantage to Russia or Spain-Portugal must be seen as a problem.

But Platini probably has a far wider agenda than simply the battle for 2018. He and Triesman were close and he spoke yesterday of his sadness at the Labour peer's footballing downfall.

They shared a similar world view and, crucially, Platini saw Triesman as a strong counter-balance to the power and financial muscle of the Premier League clubs.

Triesman made it clear he was prepared to rock the boat when he delivered his speech about debts in football almost two years ago setting the FA on yet another collision course with the League.

Platini may have got what he wanted with new financial fair play regulations requiring all clubs in European competitions to break even by 2013, but the former French captain now has no one in the FA to stand up to the clubs.

As he said in his interview with the BBC, he cannot have good relations with anyone at the FA because he doesn't know who to ring, a hugely embarrassing comment for the association. Despite that, the FA insists it will not make them accelerate the process for finding a new chairman.

They now set on a slow course of backtracking on the one real change of significance recommended by Lord Terry Burns in his structural review of the FA. But the 2018 World Cup bid is likely to bring all this to a head whether England win or not.

Lose in December and the argument for reform of an organisation widely viewed as failing will become deafening - it would cap an annus horribilis for the FA following on from Triesman's exit, the sudden resignation of Ian Watmore as chief executive after nine months, sponsorship problems and, of course, the humiliation of Fabio Capello's England in South Africa.

Win and the prospect of hosting such a big event will make its own case for reform.

Despite being seen as a supporter of England's 2018 bid, Platini knows all this and by making his comments now he is looking to make a wider point that he is not happy with the latest turn of events at the FA.

He may still vote for England in December and for a World Cup bound for Europe having the Uefa president on side is a major coup. But like every single member of the 24 man Fifa executive, he is making it clear he wants something in return.

That something is a strong FA.


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  • Comment number 1.

    What a surprise, a negative comment from platini! i don't think he or blatter have ever had a good word to say about our country, they are two ridiculous men who do not deserve the positions they are in that help shape modern football.

  • Comment number 2.

    TBF is there anything good to say about the FA?

  • Comment number 3.

    I agree with Payno. "Platini in negative England shocker!" What a surprise!!!! The man is anti-english almost to the point of racism! He harps on about money in the English league, contributing to our continued force in the champs league thus (apparently) ruining the sport , but he didn't think twice about leaving France for the lira and glory on offer at Juve! He is a hypocrite and as far as I am concerened, for as long as he and his partner in crime Blatter run the show, we haven't a prayer of winning the bid and should stop wasting the money right now.

  • Comment number 4.

    Platini cops some flack from the english but his comments as usual, as opposed to blatter, are almost always spot on. I think hes a supporter of english football but not the massive debts involved, and he quite right when he says that whilst bidding to host a world cup you havent actually got anyone in place at the top of the FA. Bit like a company bidding for a huge contract minus a CEO.

    Plus his word goes much futher than about anyone's not just becuase hes head of UEFA but because he was a wonderful player.


    Hes no hypocrite! You will quickly find Juve are gonna really feel the force with these new regs. they have been bankrolled by fiat for years! This of course doesnt matter to the PLatini-hates-england brigade. Listen to him and you might fond hes a very very intelligent man with the games good at heart

  • Comment number 5.

    I also agree with payno, he's hit the nail on the head with that comment! What a guy!

  • Comment number 6.

    i wouldnt boast our FA is the best, there are a fair few incidents in recent history that would suggest otherwise. My point is more that when platini or blatter make a statement with any degree of relevance to our country it is always negative, i second ant that they are xenophobic towards us! (loving the lira riposte by the way)

    if they do continue to just bash England the meaning in their statements becomes less as it feels they have an agenda and would never back something that they approved of.... although as mentioned in my first post with the positions they are in it does affect us and that makes me die more than a little inside!!! if i could ever bring myself to do an emoticon it would now be a sad face.

  • Comment number 7.

    If I was Platini I would be more worried about his own country's footballing reputation at the moment.

    The world of football know loks upon everything french to be a joke - especially him.

    England have the facilities to put a world cup on tomorrow if need be - not many other countries can sy the same.

    Platini needs to keep his comments to himself rather than trying to indicate which way he is going to vote and basically trying to influence others.

    Patini should have been sacked ages ago anyway and there is no chance he will be in any position come 2018 - So do one Platini :)

  • Comment number 8.

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

  • Comment number 9.

    I think Platini is worried that the english league places so much emphasis and financial investment in qualification to the champions league.

    There is no development of squads over time, and as a result english sides are producing fewer and fewer top level youth players. The wages are extra ordinary and the transfer fees also.

    In his home country the likes of Lille, Marseille, Lyon have been involved in CL football without completely ruining their financial capabilities and future resources. Lyon have spent big but always act as medium club that buys big but then sells on bigger. Marseille are similar, and have massive financial backing.

    The problem is in England, you have all clubs battling for these CL places which is becoming unhealthy. Yes they chase that financial pot of gold that it brings, but forget that they are spending far too much in proportion to achieving this

  • Comment number 10.

    This could be a good thing for the english bid though, he's telling them a problem he has with it, and giving them time to fix it

    I'd love to hear what the Platini anti-english brigade would say if he ends up voting for them

  • Comment number 11.

    Platini makes a useful point for England in their bid for hosting the 2018 World Cup, because at the moment end do not have any leader in its bid and the longer this continue, the greater chance it will affect England's chances of hosting the 2018 World Cup

    Platini is still a well respected UEFA President across Europe and the World and I expect that to continue

    But I expect Platini will want the 2018 World Cup to be at England, England got basically everything ready for the World Cup now!

  • Comment number 12.

    sick to be English.... great statement from some tongue in cheek comments on xenophobia! although that was tongue in cheek i do feel that everytime either platini of blatter do make a comment about our game it is negative! its an opinion.

    also the footballs coming home /tub thumping bit... its a bit selfish that due to your narrow view on the people walking the streets of this country you dont want a wonderful spectacle to come to our country that the majority of people would gain much peaceful pleasure from!


  • Comment number 13.

    It's a sad indictment of a sport when someone declares that status and protocol mean so much. I actually get the impression that with Platini status and protocol mean nothing, he speaks his mind, and has always got the good of the game at heart. I think he genuinely loves the game, and wants to see fair competition and good football played throughout Europe. Unfortunately a large proportion of British society can only form opinions that are identical to those of the press. And it is in the interest of our press to have a heavily loaded competition in favour of our top four teams, as the big branding seems to sell papers. The statements he has made and measures he has introduced should all help introduce a more healthy competition in the future, the Premier League is staid and uninteresting at the moment.

  • Comment number 14.

    I agree with most comments on this page and football will be stuck in the dark ages while Platini and Blatter are in charge. I am also sick of him commenting on our country and the game when his own house is a shambles.

    It would be great for us to stage a world cup and look at the success of Euro 96, it was a great competition and did us the world of good as a society. Everybody was happy and upbeat and this is not a bad thing with the way things are at the moment.

  • Comment number 15.

    Why should Russia even be in with a shout, did anyone see the banner for West Brom taking Peter Odemwingi with the banana and a thank you message? Totally goes against the Racism message that is so actively promoted. Do they deserve the World Cup on this alone? I personally don't think so and FIFA have already claimed they would be worried that Russia might not even be able to deliver the stadia etc on time.

  • Comment number 16.

    if fifa had a brain, they would never give it to russia, racism is rife thoughout the country and along with travel problems etc there is widespread corruption.

  • Comment number 17.

    Michel Platini is absolutely spot-on in his criticism of the Premier League, and one can only hope that his financial fair play initiative goes some way to curbing those excesses. However, openly criticising a live bid from one of his constituent Associations is completely inappropriate. This is NOT the "proper channels", kane. BBC 1 is not a proper channel in this sense!

    I was initially incensed at this behaviour, but, on reflection and bearing in mind David's insights, now I'm not so sure. How "live" is this bid, really? Surely it's been dead in the water since the Mail on Sunday decided to "publish and be damned"? If Platini is worried that the FA will fail to make the necessary reform and reassert its authority over the English game (and aren't we all?), it doesn't make much sense for him to pussyfoot around a dead duck of a World Cup bid and thus miss his chance to influence proceedings.

    So, I'm still not convinced Michel Platini is really any different to the perennially anti-English Sepp Blatter, but I am keeping and open mind. For now...

  • Comment number 18.

    The FA are right to go at their own pace to try and hire the right man, if they rush a appointment just to appease Platini it will all end in tears again. As for the line "Idon't know who to call at the FA" its obvious, the acting chairman Roger Burden. If I know it, and David Bond know it why doesn't Platini?!

    I agree with the FA that the chairman need to be "non independant" as with the way football is being mired in politics, David Dein would be my man for the job, big football man and connected up to his eyeballs!

  • Comment number 19.

    The reason English teams can borrow so much is the fan base,remember before the all seat trip started? how many fans would turn up, in the fifties and earlier, how many french games attract the amount of fans English games do on a week in week out basis, originally the french would not play football as it was an English game, which accounts for the retarded nature of their teams, i agree with Payno, Platini is anti English and the big fact is that England created this game and at this point in time the FA is the biggest footballing federation on the planet, and like David Rolls said England could put the world cup on tomorrow, so to carp on about the lack of one person who is only going to rubber stamp the collective decisions as being a serious issue is really making a low blow, he is jealous.

  • Comment number 20.

    "16. At 5:17pm on 27 Aug 2010, allabouttheJDizzle - UnitedRed wrote:
    if fifa had a brain, they would never give it to russia, racism is rife thoughout the country and along with travel problems etc there is widespread corruption."

    That didn't stop them from giving it to South Africa!!

  • Comment number 21.

    Well Tim@17 you may not want to know what he has to say about our bid but most of us are big enough for the criticism, best you hide behind the sofa next time he speaks,
    Furthermore at Payno it speaks volumes for UEFA and its electors that even after the Triesman incident we remain even money favourite to land the 2018 world cup, I,d have been happier if we,d withdrawn our bid because of the embarrassment caused.

  • Comment number 22.

    #19, I would say FIFA is probably the biggest football federation on the planet. Would also say that as an Englishman, I would swap records with the French national team in the last 30 years. Lots of French games have high attendances, no country comes close to Germany though - if ever there was an example of football administration to follow it is Germany. They forcibly limited the money the clubs earn from TV deals - which rather than being counter-productive, has forced the clubs to look at long term player development and nurturing their own talent a la the likes of Oezil, Marin, Holtby, Hunt and Kroos. They also enforce the delivery of a percentage of affordable tickets for each game, and if you've ever been to a game out there, you will know the atmosphere eclipses most in the UK at every ground in Germany, along with serving fine beer and great food in the ground. Everything caters for the fans who are there, rather than for the fans who subscribe like the Premier League does. We have a lot to learn in my opinion.

    Don't think Platini has ever said anything that singles him out as being anti-English. On the contrary, all he wants is for the sport to be more competitive and that has to be in everyone's best interests. We have a staid and predictable domestic league now as a result of not taking similar steps on our own. Here's hoping we get the game back to being about entertainment and good football, not about money and status.

  • Comment number 23.

    Come on!!Every one knows that Platini is anti English,he all ways has been and all ways will.England will never host the world cup in football if he is to have his way.This man can't seem to forget the 100 years war we had at some distant past with France,either that or he must have one huge chip on his shoulders.

  • Comment number 24.

    David, you expertly voiced the 'absent chairman' concerns in one of your recent blogs - 'FA playing a high-risk game' - and it seems to have been picked up but the powers that be?

    To some extent I agree with Monsieur Platini that it reflects very poorly on a country boasting 'great organisation' and 'everything already in place' as the bedrock and cornerstone of it's World Cup bid!

    Surely though it's easy enough for him to contact the F.A. Chief Executive if he has genuine concerns? What exactly do these 'high level' bosses actually do and talk about when they get together apart from which nice hotels and conferences they are going to next anyway? For all Platini's noble concerns over club finances destroying football - it's the format of UEFA's own flagship competition that drives how the current pyramid system fails weaker clubs. Hope they all enjoy their Champagne in Monaco over the weekend ;)

  • Comment number 25.

    @22 affordable tickets could be created if clubs could install safe standing areas.

  • Comment number 26.


    He doesn't like england, he can't forget the 100 years war, he has a huge chip on his shoulders?.or this is all unsubstantiated opinion and mince!!

  • Comment number 27.

    I wonder if M. Platini is familiar with the old English proverb about people who live in glass houses not throwing stones...

    Do we really expect anything but negative comments from him? Perhaps if his objections are taken in the context of his other rather bizarre opinions... remember he remains adamantly opposed to the use of any technology (which almost everyone else seems to support).

    It's not as though the FA would be without leadership during the staging or even the preliminary preamble of the world cup finals, should England be selected as host nation.

    What we need to head up the FA is a figurehead. Let the committees, marketing gurus and back room researchers do their job but let the title of front man go to someone well-respected and beyond reproach. I would nominate Sir Geoff Hurst. An impeccable figurehead in world soccer and one surely everyone in the world of football respects.

  • Comment number 28.

    "Hes no hypocrite! You will quickly find Juve are gonna really feel the force with these new regs. they have been bankrolled by fiat for years! This of course doesnt matter to the PLatini-hates-england brigade."

    How does'nt that statement make him a hypocrite!!! he was bankrolled by fiat and jumped to them!!! he's an england hater end of!! he should concentrate on his own country and the shambles they are,there is not another country in the world who could put on a better show than us,with the stadia/facilities/accomadation/transport all second to none...and all he can say is fa have no leader!!!! Thats it thats his gripe... muppet

  • Comment number 29.

    Mr. Bond,

    I would like to complain; this is journalism of the lowest order. Your blog indicates that this is Platini's agenda, that he came out to tell the media his thoughts on the FA. This is not true.
    In the interview, you clearly press him into an answer, and even suggest that it is a negative element that is damaging the World Cup bid. You place Platini in a position where he can only answer in the way that he does - what's he supposed to do, say it's a great thing?
    You have an agenda to rake up mud and it is damaging our World Cup bid by constantly highlighting the negative elements - which were inevitable: there's no such thing as a perfect bid.
    Never mind that the two subjects are, in effect, irrelevant to each other. An appointment now could disrupt everything, and doesn't serve any purpose - I would be more worried if we won the bid and didn't have a head of the FA going into the tournament. As it stands, the FA's decision makes a lot of sense. The purpose of the role changes greatly in relation to the success or failure of the bid. This is sound business practice, not indecision.

  • Comment number 30.

    Careful, he's sure to be reading this! [Coucou Michel ! Ça va les enfants ? (wave wave blow-kiss) ;-)]

  • Comment number 31.

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  • Comment number 32.

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

  • Comment number 33.

    I wish we could take the politics out of sport.

    The most important issues in staging a competition like the World cup are

    a) Has the Country got the stadia worthy of the World Cup.
    b) Is there the necessary infastructure to enable supporters to safely attend the matches.
    c) Can the worlds media be allowed uninhibited access the competition, and the competition be brought the world without interference from the host country.

    M. Platini and his cronies are as much a cancer living within football as overseas owners with little interest in the game and football agents.

    As with the Olympics the people who run the sport have little interest in improving the actual playing of the game - they only worry about its image and how much money they can sell it to the world for.

    At the end of the day the final decision will not about the Country that can deliver the best tournament, it will be who has toadied up the M.Platini and his mates the best.

  • Comment number 34.

    #29 top post Prof, agree entirely, +1 etc

  • Comment number 35.

    David - We really should not be surprise by Platini's comments, I suspect he is merely trying to draw attention to the spectacular job of 'self destruction' being done by the English FA.
    From previous management blunders at the higher levels of the FA, i.e. Triesmans comments and Fabio's contracts, to the building of a National stadium with a 'dodgy pitch', we are slowly becoming the laughing stock of the football world.
    Despite all the remarkable efforts of many people in the English game to make our 2018 bid for the WC successful, we are in the position of "Lion's being led by Donkeys" as another famous frenchman once said about the English.
    You have to ask yourself in all honesty, if you were FIFA, based on what you have witnessed from (our) FA, would you trust them to host your most prestigous and important tournament?

  • Comment number 36.

    If Platini was to speak out favourably of the England bid he would be showing an unprofessional stance in a contest that is favouring two European nations. Fact! If England are chosen in December then any comment other than negative could be construed by a losing nation as favouritism. If anything his comments are constructive criticism that need to be listened to! The truth is and I think any true England Fan will agree the FA is a complete joke and has been for a long time. It's time these people listened to someone of Platini's calibre instead of ruining this nations image!

  • Comment number 37.

    I have to say I find the timing of Platini's statement cynical beyond belief. In fact this is pretty nasty and not a little desperate. He can't complain if his motives are subsequently questioned.

    His past comments about football finance and fair competition in European football have been refreshing, and well thought out.

    However he has got this very badly wrong. If he has designs on the Fifa presidency he may come to regret this statement. Lord Triesman paid a high price for comments about a rival World Cup bidder.

    In his position Platini would do well to remember that, and that this competition is the jewel in the Fifa crown.

  • Comment number 38.

    What's the difference between The FA with a leader and The FA without one?


  • Comment number 39.

    Has the world cup ever been held in Russia?... no, don't think it has, new market for Fifa/Uefa to exploit, end of story it will be held in Russia.

    And yes, it will be just as big a spectical as if it were held in any other country.

    Don't care who gets it, as long as the football is better than the recent WC.

  • Comment number 40.

    @7 - Whilst the senior national game may be in disarray, the domestic game as well as the junior ranks are pretty healthy thank you very much. The u19's won the European championships last month and Ligue 1 teams are strictly bound financially by the very stringent DFCG measures which not only regulate football clubs but all business models within France. The result is financial sound football clubs ran on sound models which stop the clubs overspending and borrowing money against unattained success.

    But you seem to believe that Platini in whatever he says is a spokesman for his own country, which he isn't.

    @16 - Except they have already gave the World Cup to South Africa and Brazil though.

    @23 - Curiously Michel Platini has made the same criticism of the English premier league as he has done about Spain (clubs going into debt etc.) If you actually bother to open your eyes and maybe expand your horizons you'll see he's views are universal towards a growing problem in the game and not just in England. About a year ago, Marca ran a scathing attack on him after he criticised Real's spending policy last summer. He has stood pretty firm over the Mallorca - Europa League row as well.

    @29 - Agree 100%.

  • Comment number 41.

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

  • Comment number 42.

    @16 - Sounds like Russia and FIFA are a perfect match then ;-)

  • Comment number 43.

    "some might ask why they should vote for a national association which doesn't have a leader."
    What an irrelevance!
    The important things are the infrastructure and facilities.
    No-one can guarantee that any of the present chairmen, or Platini himself, will be in place or even alive in 2018.

  • Comment number 44.

    I don't quite get most of these comments. Platini isn't having a go at the English... "i don't think he or blatter have ever had a good word to say about our country" PAYNO or "Come on!!Every one knows that Platini is anti English" FRIENDLYONEWHOCARES.

    He is having a go at the English FA, which has its problems. Bloated, self important and obviously badly run/managed/whatever.

    Get a control of the red mist chaps and form some kind of insightful/intelligent response before you make your self look silly.

  • Comment number 45.

    Of course Platini's not anti- English. To the point of racism? How ridiculous! I'm afraid these kind of cemments reveal more about racist attitudes in the writers. I despair of this country's siege mentality and inability to see it's time to change, I really do.

    And remember, Platini was an all-time great, of a similar standing to English players like Charlton & Moore. He is worthy of respect and is not anti-English because he is foreign.

  • Comment number 46.

    I don't see why Russia should be considered either, the big problem is obviously the racism, but the scale of the country is too vast, like the inspectors said themselves, it's not a country, it's a continent.

    And platinis main problem seemed to be 'he didn't know who to ring' at the FA so basically it's nothing about the world cup bid, just about him. We should win the bid, beat stadiums, fans, safety, distance between grounds etc, but we probably won't get it because of the cancer in football that is FIFA. Since whn was it the FIFA world cup? It's just the world cup, disgusting how FIFA get in on the money and call it their own, anyone know how much profit FIFA made out ofthe world cup? I heard it was millions.

  • Comment number 47.

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  • Comment number 48.

    "...the oldest and, in some people's eyes, most prestigious national football association."

    More English crap.

    In who's eyes? ENGLISH people's maybe!

    Why do you English fandans always go on about how your EPL and just about everythin else is the 'best in world' (richest certainly, but best, don't be ridiculous), the England managers job is the 'most prestigious in world football' (no, not in world football, in ENGLISH football).

    You are not, as you seem to believe, the centre of football.

    Yes, football as we know it was born in Scotland and England but that doesn't really mean anything now.

    The English are the most delusional folk around, you're worse than the Germans.

  • Comment number 49.

    Michel Platini has lost the plot.

    1. He is totally against video technology. He says if the refs are fit and we have 5 officals 99% or 100% of decisions will be correct!!! Anyone see Defoe's goal? What happens is they are wrong? ZERO TOLERANCE. They get fired.... Hmm we won't have any referees after the first 5 weeks of the season. Ludicrous. Howard Webb would no longer be a referee as he missed De Jongs red card fly kick.

    2. He takes a dig at England's WC bid, and English footy in general. Saying theres a gap between the rich and poor... Hmm what about Barca and Madrid in Spain? Or Inter, Ac and Juve in Italy! What a hypocrite.

    The WC will be spread across the whole of England, visiting many places. Russia only have 4 venues - Moscow, St Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan. Kazan is in a Muslinm region and Sochi is near Chechnya and Dagestan... hmm very possible terrorist hot spots where Russia are fighting insurgency. The WC is perfect for some crazy folk to mess it up - see what happened in Angola!?!?

    What about Spain and Portugals racist problems? So much for 'Kick racism out of football'. Why not give a WC to them, to show the racism issue is bottom of UEFAs agenda. And what happened to no joint bids!!!???

    FIFA and UEFA are a bunch of hypocrites, led by power hungry muppets. I used to like Platini, but the guys lost the plot. Blatter never had it in the first place!

  • Comment number 50.

    When people keep criticising Platini for his anti-English stance, why has no-one, absolutely no-one, asked why this may be? I'll tell you all exactly why he has an anti-English stance. Cast your mind back to the 1985 European Cup Final. Plantini was in the Juventus team that night against Liverpool. Yes, it was the same night when 39 supporters (38 of whom where Juve fans) where killed due to the actions of English football hooligans. Do you seriously think for one minute he has forgotten the pain and hurt he felt that night? The upset he will still feel for the lost lives of the supporters he played for? And to be honest, can anyone blame him for still feeling anger towards English fans?

  • Comment number 51.

    Both Platini & Blatter are anti-English football.

  • Comment number 52.

    russia cant be contemplated yet too many fans would resist going for fear of personal safety. if its unfounded due to western propaganda makes no difference. like a big dog youve been told wont bite its still in the back of your mind. spain had a world cup not long ago so out of fairness it must be our turn. personally id probably prefer to go to spain/portugal. weve got the facilities so wheres the decision its a no-brainer as they say.

  • Comment number 53.

    that night in 1985 was a total disgrace. should never have been played.liverpool were a far superior team but circumstances took their minds off the football. it didnt affect juventus.if they felt that strongly they should have refused to play.italian fans were not and still not the best behaved supporters. the wall collapsed in a shoddy stadium it would not have happened in this country or most other top grounds.authorities were to blame for their financial greed and lack of proper inspection. as always english fans were made scapegoats. in rome there are no go areas where you will definitely be attacked wearing an opposition scarf.this doesnt even happen in notorious millwall territory.what does that say about the innocent italians.

  • Comment number 54.

    Unsurprisingly, the reality of Platini's position has been misunderstood. Evidence is that he refers to Lord Triesman as the "President", and in France an Association is required to have someone in that position to be functional. (refer to law of July 1st 1901)
    A simple solution to this non-story is to explain to Monsieur P. that, in spite of popular belief across the Channel, the British are not subject to the vagaries of the French judicial system. The F.A. does not grind to a halt without a Chairman.

  • Comment number 55.

    How did this pompous little Frenchman become such powerful voice in football.

    Why should the lack of a chairman reflect on our ability to stage the WC.

    Surely it's better to wait for the right man than jump and pick someone like the last one.

  • Comment number 56.

    as with most heads of office including prime ministers they are just handshakers and baby kissers the real work is done by the people below them

  • Comment number 57.


    liverpool were a far superior team but circumstances took their minds off the football. it didnt affect juventus.if they felt that strongly they should have refused to play.
    Many of the Juve officials and team were extremely upset that night before the game about what was happening on the terraces before their a team I believe they did not want to play but were forced to do so by UEFA or forfeit the match..but your view is that the 'circumstances' took Liverpool's mind off the game..unbelievable comment!!

    That stadium was unsuitable, no doubt but the Liverpool fans involved were 'scapegoats'? Really!?!

  • Comment number 58.

    if their plan was to attack the juve fans what stopped them once the wall came was a surge of bravado as you would see in any ground in any country before all seater stadiums.not every faction took their fair share of blame so scapegoat is fair

  • Comment number 59.

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

  • Comment number 60.

    It maybe for the best that England lose the bid, under the opinion they care more about club football than the National team. I would like to see a no nonsense take-no-prisoner head, who can put the Premiership back in its place as a feeder of English players for the purposes of winning the World Cup, that means limits on foreign players, players rested before important internationals. Club football success has been built to some degree on Englands reputation and history. If England does not reach the semis or finals why bother watching club football from a Second Rate Football Nation with a lot of African players, television dollars could go to Brazil, Germany, Italy Spain or even the US. It is telling that none of the biggest names in football want to play here, Robinho hated it, Ronaldo couldn't wait to leave. Even Fabrigas knows the top flight is not playing for Arsenal in the Prem, but playing with Xavi and co at Barcelona in a mostly Spanish side

  • Comment number 61.

    eufa are not the third reich they cannot force anyone to do anything. 39 people died are u saying the forfeit of a football match is worth more than that.and im pretty sure the liverpool players would have supported their decision.

  • Comment number 62.

    I'm not an english citizen but I can't believe what platini is saying. It is offensive and is promoting anti-english sentiment. With the 2014 world cup going to Brazil I assumed that the 2018 world cup would go to england without any real stiff competition. I mean they havent held it since 66 and the only other tournament was the euro in 96 and thats it. The infrastucture that is in place in england at the moment is 2nd to none. Wembley is the best soccer stadium in europe with regard capacity, comfort and being state of the art. All the stadiums are in place and in fact their is competition between cities to have a stadium in the world cup. All the stadiums are mordern and will average capacity of 50,000. No other country apart from the u.s. were able to give capacities that high. It wont be the farce that was south africa over delayed building of stadiums and security of fans. With the possible pitfalls that can happen in Brazil over quality over stadiums and infrastructure I assumed england would be as safe a bet as the german world cup was regarding those areas. But for some reason there is a jealousy in FIFA over england and i cant understand why. If england dont get the world cup for 2018 there is an underlying issue because of it.

  • Comment number 63.

    The vacuum I think Platini should worry about is the one between his ears.

  • Comment number 64.

    Probably the shock of what was really happening!? Enough to sober anyone up eh!


    Liverpool never considered it!!

  • Comment number 65.

    Yet no comment about how well the French FA are running things?

    His name will always make me think of his stint carrying the Olympic Torch in 1992 Albertville

    "Who is the one that carries the flame? Michel Platini is his name!"
    Will go down in the comedy annuls of Olympic history.

  • Comment number 66.

    you might as well call the spanish team real barcelona

  • Comment number 67.

    i know fact they would have gone with any decision made

  • Comment number 68.

    hes never got over england taking their pants down in the 82 wc go on robbo

  • Comment number 69.

    i would like to put monsewer platinis mind at rest the fa have just ordered the new dyson so no need to worry about the vacuum anymore

  • Comment number 70.

    Hey wasn't this the guy that fell asleep mostly through the games at the last world cup?

  • Comment number 71.

    the rift between the English FA and FIFA goes back a long way to when England was the supreme footballing nation, after winning olympic world cups, it was a battle for control then.

  • Comment number 72.

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

  • Comment number 73.

    There are very few "statements" or "pronouncements" by M. Platini, which don't have an anti-English sentiment, both in his playing and administrative roles. Says everything you need to know about FIFA, EUEFA, etc. Blazer boys yet again.

  • Comment number 74.

    No that is your opinion and the 'facts' were not in #53 either.

  • Comment number 75.

    fifa was set up by the french backed up by amongst others the germans at the start of last century. more or less forcing us to join or become outcasts.the ease of french capitulation in the two world wars was maybe a massive conspiracy to rid the world of England. I joke of course but thinking deeper who knows

  • Comment number 76.

    ive heard what the players said can only go on that fact as socrates says nothing is absolutely certain and only a fool would dispute that

  • Comment number 77.

    Cool..but socrates missed the bit about the certainty of the speed of light in a vaccum.

  • Comment number 78.

    what the hell is a vaccum and wheres your proof

  • Comment number 79.

    #50 DuncanPigeon

    I've just cast my mind back to the 1985 European Cup Final like you want everyone to do.
    Are you talking about the same Platini who celebrated like a madman at Heysel? He certainly didn't look "hurt" or "upset" then. And please don't come back with the "he didn't know anyone had died" line. Thanks

  • Comment number 80.

    Also don't think Platini is anti-English, he loves football, I think he is intelligent enough to not hold an entire nation responsible for one footballing tragedy. He has often praised English football in terms of it's stance on racism, the fans and the history. His criticisms seem to be about the financial instability and unfairness that exists in football as a whole. I have heard him make similar remarks regarding La Liga and who can honestly say they enjoy this big four business anymore. As regards his comments on FA, he has praised the English bid as a whole, but has reservations about the orginisation of our association, I suspect if I was looking at the English bid that may be my conclusion too.

  • Comment number 81.

    well well well!!! what can you say about platini and blatter..both have made it clear over the years that they dislike the english full stop! look at the french side,we thought our lads were a let down! they were a disgrace simple as and it sums up the french perfectly.When we were the first league to have 4 representives in the quarters of the champions league they were gutted and to then back it up the following season made them cringe even more! they hate the fact that we have the best league in the world whilst there domestic football is nothing more then league 2 quality..i will never have faith in fifa or uefa until these two clowns are out of the picture and if they think that any englishman gives a monkeys about what they have to say then there more pathetic then i thought! id rather not have the world cup then have to crawl to a frenchman who thinks our FA have problems when french football is the joke of the world! jog on paltini

  • Comment number 82.

    Yes, I can see Platini does have a point about there not being any formal leadership of the FA, especially when bidding for the world cup.
    (It's not as if the FA manage to pull up many trees when they do have a leader).

    Platini is certainly more worthy of trust and respect in the football world than Blatter.
    Of course, for some in the British media he is simply French, and that means he is fair game. But I do think he has other agendas with personal political ambitions, and I bear this in mind when reading about his statements.

    As far as the England bid goes, I really do believe that it could be the best supported world cup ever.

    Much of the money is generated by (good) TV coverage, and there is nothing worse than seeing a lot of empty seats at football matches that are supposed to be the pinnacle of the sport.
    One of my enduring memories of world cups was seeing the level of passionate support (for the home nation) when the world cup was held in Argentina. I would bet that London alone could produce a stadium-full of supporters/spectators for just about any nation in the world.

    Also, given the gate prices for many premier league matches, there is less likelyhood of locals being "priced out" of the grounds.

    Whatever the merits of the Russian bid, I doubt that a world cup with stadia separated by aeroplane flights (Aeroflot anybody?), and spread out over time-zones could generate the same excitement, or income.

  • Comment number 83.

    Platini should support the English bid as its the best chance of a World Cup with quality football. I think players will perform on the same stage as the Premiership and most teams will have a player or more that is knowledgeable about English conditions. Training facilities will be brilliant with each team being hosted by a professional club, I'm sure we have 32 applicable clubs. And England is small so players won't be spending time on planes between venues. Meanwhile Spain and Portugal will be boiling 30 degree plus - bad conditions for football, Belgium might not even exist in 8 years time, and Russia deserves a chance, just not now - because FIFA ought to play it safe this time. So Platini vote England, its a no brainer.

  • Comment number 84.

    To those who feel Platini is being anti-English, what exactly has he said that is so wrong? The FA has no chairman. The English fans and press are fully aware of this and have criticised the FA in much harsher terms than Platini has. Platini has simply pointed out that it is difficult to deal with and hence also coordinate a potential World Cup bid with an organisation which has no head. What is anti-English about that? It is simply fact. The fact that the FA is going to backtrack on one of the only reforms it has made only makes matters worse as it makes them look like they are unable to follow through with even the most half-hearted of efforts to reform a disfunctional organisation. As head of UEFA and holder of a vote for the allocation of the World Cup, he is fully entitled to voice his concerns.

    As for his comments in relation to the debts currently being incurred by English clubs. Is this not perfectly reasonable? Alex Ferguson says that certain teams *cough - Man City* are distorting market values. Wenger speaks of financial doping, Chelsea are finally starting to see sense by curbing spending. Lerner at Aston Villa is trying to avoid "chasing the dream". Liverpool fans and Man U fans have been very vocal of their criticism of the debts run up by their club's respective owners (the only thing they seem to agree on). They all have different goals, yet agree that the current financial climate in the Premier League is unsustainable. Are all of these people anti-English?

    I would be the first to agree that Blatter is a buffoon who would be better served by keeping his mouth shut in public, but Platini is no Blatter. Platini has reformed the Champions League in the hope of reinvigorating the European game which has spent the last 10 years boosting the Big 4 leagues while completely undermining every other European league. He is trying to regulate spending so we don't end up with headlines such as "Real Madrid goes into administration" or "Liverpool Bankrupt". In other words, he is taking his responsibility seriously instead of turning a blind eye to clearly bad practices.

  • Comment number 85.

    Mr Platini.... should stop beating around the bush and get to the point ! he wants football to played his way and under his terms..... he should stop playing mind games .... he says it can harm our bid... because subconsciously he wants to throw a spanner in the works because he believes our Premier league is out of control and unbalanced when it comes to players wages....this is a another issue and should not be brought into this world cup bid.. even when he he is not saying so directly .. his body language says it all ... and Mr Blatter a lot jhave people have worked hard trying to get this bid why do you laugh like that .. its very disrespectfull and Frenchman how would you like it if a a british prsident of uefa said that to the french Tv .. the french would get very angry..

  • Comment number 86.

    I think his comments are over blown, and what is the most important thing for a World Cup? The answer is not that you have a chairman in place for the bid, it is the stadiums that are being used are in excellent condition, the view of the game is perfect, the atmosphere is second to none and the yes, the food at the stadiums will be good for everyone (not just the prawn sandwich fans).

    I think England can host a brilliant World Cup and everyone in FIFA and UEFA know this. But they have to find something wrong so to make sure the other five competitors in the 2018 race don't give up. So the comments about the FA Chairman should be seen as both Political and positive because, he isn't making comments about the stadium like he is with Poland/Ukraine for the Euro's next year.

  • Comment number 87.

    Platini and Blatter are both jokes.How they manage to remain in their jobs is a mystery. How are they able to hold the positions for so long? What is the process and how do they manage to maintain their hold on this positions. UEFA and FIFA need new life injected.It is high time that those in charge did their jobs. For starters, they can begin with improving the quality of refereeing.Some of the refereeing in the latest world cup left a lot to be desired. Take a long hard look at the possibility of introducing instant replay into football.Why they refuse to even consider it is mind boggling. I do not think that this technology would take away the importance of the role of the referee. We still need refs,but in the case of any controversial decisions it would be nice for a ref to have some opportunity to see the incident again.It is used to great effect in North America and Canada in their American football leagues.Is there anything wrong with giving it a try? England will get its house in order. We do not need any negative comments from Platini. I hope that England gets the 2018 World Cup.It is the home to the best football league in the world.It has the stadia to host the world cup. So Monsieur Platini.Fermez ta bouche. Get your finger out and deal with the real issues.

  • Comment number 88.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 89.

    43. At 08:59am on 28 Aug 2010, trevor4491 wrote:
    "some might ask why they should vote for a national association which doesn't have a leader."
    What an irrelevance!
    The important things are the infrastructure and facilities.
    No-one can guarantee that any of the present chairmen, or Platini himself, will be in place or even alive in 2018.

    Completely agree. It's the infrastructure, facilities and planning which make a tournament work. You could have Mark Lawrenson, Gary Lineker or Alan Hansen as an FA chairman and the tournament would still be a success! Looks like he's trying to find a problem when there isn't one.

  • Comment number 90.

    It is a shame, but, I cannot sign in as English, we have no chair of the English F A , we also have no English parliament or English leader, nor do we have an English National anthem.
    Most of all of the other countries in the world, and all those in Europe must see England as a bit different !!

  • Comment number 91.

    He's angling for something.

    More French players in the EPL?

    AW as the next England manager??

    Something the Russians promised him if they won??

    An FA Chairman who'll do what he's told??

    Who knows............but he's after something, that's for sure......

  • Comment number 92.

    More French players in the EPL?

    AW as the next England manager??

    Something the Russians promised him if they won??

    An FA Chairman who'll do what he's told??

    Surprised you can squeeze more foreign players into this league!

    AW will never be England manager..he would have to work with English players and that isn't his style.

    The Russians? Didn't your bid team try to lavish FIFA members with gifts..and then the newspapers found out!

    And you already have Geoff Thompson as the UEFA Vice-President and as a member of your bid team..conflict of interest? Why is the journalistic focus all on Platini when you have Mr Thompson? Doesn't he have anything interesting to say about the view of UEFA? Jack Warner has described him in the past as a man he can do business with. What might that mean though?

  • Comment number 93.

    Reading all these comments has only made me think England is an extremely racist country. The Uefa President offers constructive criticism yet hes labelled "anti-english" hes a "pompous little frenchman" Blatter and Platini are "both jokes"..."cant believe they have jobs"...

    I think the English have hit the nail on the head here, THEY ARE still in jobs,(platini, Blatter) meaning outside of england people think theyre doing a damn fine job. Basically these people have offered advice, theyve described what they want to see changed and the english Fa hasnt taken on board this advice,they havent listened to those in charge of football, the english fans like the ones on here have then taken an attitude that is " WE'RE THE BEST, ENGERLAND, ENGERLAND...Bloody Fifa ,Bloody Uefa chairmen, who are they?"

    It must be embarrassing...this attitude really. I mean one guy was moaning about the French game LOL, when was the Last time England won a tournament( oh i remember we keep shouting about it, 66!!) not least the World Cup then the European Championships. like the French did in 1998 and the 2000 Euro. Then in 2006 they got to the final of a World Cup again. but of course Englands got the best everything...but cant win??

    Perhaps if the World Cup commitee saw "real fans" opinions like the ones on here, they would perhaps see racism, a failure to co-operate with the ruling bodies of football, xenophobia, a lack of multi-culturalism, hatred. Hardly the message for the World Cup. Hardly the message for England and Britain as a whole.

  • Comment number 94.

    Can you imagine, can you FATHOM the damage that would have been done to the English bid had there been a display of open racism like there was at Locomotive Moskow the other day towards Peter Odemwingie?

    And here we are, being pessimistic about not having a chairman for the FA (there are more than enough other executive style figurheads).

    The whole thing is laughable.

    It has basically come down to a 3-way tussle for the 2018 world cup which has basically been accepted to be in Europe. England with some fantastically modern and expensive stadiums against a bid from Russia, where they just haven't stemmed the racism issue as was evidenced last week, and quite bizarely a joint bid from the Iberian nations? What exactly is stopping Spain and Portugal bidding alone?

    I have neither a strong opinion either way on Michel Platini, as I don't know what he says about other countries, because perhaps he talks with arrogance and thinly-veiled vitreole about other countries too.

  • Comment number 95.

    Zidean there is no need to tar the rest of us with the arrogance of some of the English on this board. We all enjoyed their abject failure at the world cup as much as they enjoyed our failure to qualify.

    The English do have the best bid and will win at the end of the year. As to whether they have a team capable of doing well in 2018 will be decided by the route the Premier league chairman take with regard to spending and overseas talent which is bound to be stifling the good young English players, who end up in the Championship.

  • Comment number 96.

    Based on the video with this story platinis words are taken out of context.

    Platinis comments are fair however the feel of this story is one that makes them look a lot more negative towards English football.

  • Comment number 97.

    I think Platini is a real thinker who is worried, as many of us are, about the degeneration of football into a business with little relation to sport.
    Many teams in the Premier League have gone overboard with their spending and, in the case of Chelsea and Manchester City in particular, the stockpiling of players. The rewards of playing in the Champions league have allowed the top clubs to lock up the best players and maintain their position year after year.
    The only real exception to this - and I'm a Spurs supporter - has been Arsenal, who've brought in young players and developed them rather than continually buying the big stars.
    Is Platini negative on the Premier League? Yes, and for good reason. Is he negative on the toothless, rudderless, leaderless FA? Yes, and for good reason. Those opinions don't make him anti-English, they make him pro-football. What's more, if he had his way and we had salary caps, transfer limits, squad limits, loan limits and so on, it would benefit English football and, long-term, the England team.

  • Comment number 98.

    Anything to undermine England and the FA, yes this was calculated for maximum affect, always good to give "les roast beefs" a kick.
    Platini is now predictable and boring. Shame for such a fine player.
    At least the FFF is in great shape eh?

  • Comment number 99.

    maybe we could return to those heady days of the 70s with no foreigners in the top division when we won everything in international football.

  • Comment number 100.

    platini has always looked out for himself with no loyalty.nancy wanted him to sign another contract but he let it run out and moved to st etienne same story when he moved to juve probably on one of the highest salaries in football.has he found a conscience i doubt it everything he says and does is to benefit one person.if he says its raining hes probably peeing all over us


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