by Chris Tobin

The complete arrogance and totally disrespectful attitude of the Football Association, the PFA, and the Premier League, toward professional footballers from other countries, and indeed coaches and managers intent on plying their trade on these shores, has apparently reached a new level.

The Professional Footballers Association is backing a campaign that will see foreign players and managers attend “cultural lessons” on arrival in the UK.  It really does beggar belief that an organisation that prides itself on representation of ALL professional footballers regardless of race, colour or nationality, could seriously support such a campaign, in some misguided belief that there be a need to reiterate the imprudent and irrational response to earlier misdemeanours regarding racism.

Making Johnny foreigner mindful of what constitutes “The Rules” on discrimination, indeed what our little island deems as racist or racism, this is not a new thing the PFA have already been behind a programme to educate apprentices within the game with “Cultural awareness classes”.

If we were being slightly pedantic we may suggest that lessons in cultural awareness may be required closer to home, more possibly within those organisations themselves, even prior to looking at home grown players who have shown a lack of knowledge when tackling the differing cultures from foreign players that now have cemented themselves in the UK and Britain. The associations concerned have clearly identified where they believe the problem lies. Whilst clearly failing to understand that cultural differences by definition should not necessitate a foreign national to change something that is his or her way of living, it’s like inviting a vegetarian to dinner and demanding they try a sausage roll, in some hare-brained experiment.

Surely a much easier solution would entail giving said Johnny Foreigner a book containing the law of the land, what constitutes  a criminal act, whilst adding the consequence of such acts, why must football assume it must be a spokesperson for society, holding itself up as a social conscience leading the hordes like some pied piper. It has come to the point where football supporters have had quite enough of these types of protestations, being told what is right and wrong by a big brother disguised as some irreverent leader.

If footballs decision makers really want to make a difference to a game which swiftly heads toward self-destruction, then it should point its social sword upon itself, its members and those who are making vast amounts of money, on the back of working people who continue, if at times reluctantly, to fund this cash cow. The moment that football constructs an amnesia toward the paying public, something that I believe it has begun in earnest – Then football will be buried amongst its own arrogance and self- promotion,  the customer is always right, ok so they are not always but they must be treated with respect.

The cost of watching a game of football is at what can only be described as ridiculous levels, there will come a time when enough is enough, when the paying public realise they are being royally shafted whilst treated with the upmost contempt – One idiot throws a coin at high profile player and suddenly we all need wrapping in fishing wire to keep the millionaires safe from the scum, fair play to Rio Ferdinand for making very little of the incident, such a shame footballs bosses could not take that as a lead, the complete over reaction shows us all exactly how these people think – Rio is not the first and sadly won’t be the last to have something thrown at him within a football stadium, this is not footballs conundrum – It is societies.

What has football and the PFA done about cheats in football, how many classes have Luis Suarez and Gareth Bale attended on GCSE diving? Something that infuriates supporters, yet the governing bodies do very little to attempt to eradicate, apart from of course blaming the influence of Johnny Foreigner again, whilst actually data shows British players dive just as much, whereas Journalist tend to ignore it as cute and clever when it is a home grown professional, against dirty cheat when it’s a foreign player.

We can also look at the standard of refereeing, which we are told is a very difficult job – Really how difficult can it be for 4 guys to get the simplest of decisions correct, for £100,00 a year I would expect much better quality than is currently being seen by alleged top referees – Schoolboy errors to say the least.

Then we must ask Mr FA when is threatening a referee acceptable? Allegedly offering to beat him up amongst other things, all littered with expletives – well the answer seems to be that provided another player has told you that they have heard the referee say something racist about you, then by all means attack the referee as we at the FA understand how that might upset you, regardless however whether it has an ounce of truth in it – Hearsay has suddenly become a suitable defence, whilst cultural differences has been described as ignorance, violence versus stupidity, the standards are clearly being set and defined.

So the precedent seems to be set, with racism at the heart of its excuse, with the true victims of racism of which there are many that do not come forward, now seemingly being given an even more difficult avenue for their grievances – I remember an incident where Zidane was to head butt Metaratzzi when he suggested Zidane’s sister was a whore, is it really about cause and effect? Only those sat on that FA panel can surely answer that, or as I believe the case is all about that unspeakable word, racism.

The game itself and the highly paid individuals who play at the highest level, have become immune to criticism, not for a moment taking in to account football supporters, only ever concerned about fans when they are invading the hallowed turf, singing historically racist songs, or throwing loose change toward unsuspecting players celebrating too close to the idiot few who cannot and will not accept defeat. What about those of us who attend matches purely to support our team, with no intend on violence or law breaking, how do you treat us? That’s right like the criminal minority – Silenced whilst being beaten and cut with their sword of social justice.

The truth is I don’t have any interest in being educated by those who believe they need to preach to me, I am not inadequate in my beliefs, I comprehend and I am aware of my responsibility in who I represent. Football has never taught me anything that I did not already know – It is a game, the sooner people remember that, the sooner we can move forward.

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