- FIFA, the UN of football, is diseased to the core, being at best incompetent and at the worst, terminally corrupt.
- Handing out 3,500 tickets for the England game on Sunday, when there are at least 35,000 fans who would pay at least £300 pounds a ticket to see the game live, so that FIFA officials can rake off the private profits from selling 31,500 tickets on the black market, has Soviet-style nomenklatura duplicity written all over it.
- The way international football associations ride roughshod over the private football teams who are compelled to supply their players, smacks of all the sins of state conscription, with Alex Ferguson being reduced to praying that the England management don't wreck his premier sporting asset, Wayne Rooney, in their haphazard bid to win a trophy.
- And then we look at the England team itself, which operates at a level far less effective than the sum of its parts, with massively overpaid management producing shoddy performances from players who, at the private club level, would walk into most of the best private teams in the world.
- Nobody wants the next England manager, Steve McClaren, except the FA themselves, because they see him as infinitely malleable. This smacks of central bank appointments, where politicians appoint non-entities so that the banks can achieve a patina of independence while at the same time the politicians can pull the strings of a grateful supplicant. McClaren will receive £3.5 million pounds a year, which is about £2.5 million more than he could command on the open market. Expect more blundering incompetence over the next four years, from this managerial boob.
- The more obvious choices for the England manager's job, Sam Allardyce, Stuart Pearce, and Terry Venables, are far too competent for the FA's liking, and would dare to answer back and do a decent job for the money. It sounds more and more like government all the time.
- The players themselves receive relatively scant reward, in comparison to both what they earn for their private clubs and what the FA will receive in fees for England's attendance at the World Cup. I never begrudge these players a penny of what they earn, except perhaps when they start slating capitalism at Bono-inspired press events; their share of the World Cup booty is simply derisory compared to what their skills, talents, and hard work, are generating.
- And then of course we have all of that patriotic nationalist nonsense with all those dreadful national anthems, hands on hearts, and olds-scores-to-settle fervour whipped up by the various media outlets.
There would be less nationalism, more competent team management, and better ticketing arrangements. The players would also be properly rewarded for their input, there would be less organisational corruption, and the risks of the games would fall fairly on the competing private teams, rather than being passed on to someone else, as at present; I certainly wouldn't like to be a Newcastle United shareholder at the moment, having watched a £17 million pound investment, in the shape of Michael Owen, dispatched to a physiotherapist's table, perhaps permanently, by poor pitch preparation and incompetent pre-match warm-up training.
And after sampling the joys of the England team in the previous three games, I'm certain that watching Chelsea play Boca Juniors would provide far more footballing entertainment than England versus Paraguay, unless of course watching a Keystone Kops shambles is what you enjoy, as part of the secret masochistic life of the typical England supporter.
Obviously, I wouldn't want to force a World Club Cup on anyone. But how far down the current premier league would we have to go before we found a team that would fail to beat England? Would England even feel comfortable taking on Blackburn? Maybe the World Club Cup will spontaneously generate itself, from a growing European Cup, franchising itself into a world event? If and when it does, perhaps the World Club Cup will gradually come to overshadow the World Cup, diminishing it to the level of, let's say, FA County football, as at present. I can but hope.
Meanwhile, back here in the real world, let's go for a prediction: England to beat Ecuador on penalties and then to go out in the next round - Sven Goran Eriksson must be laughing all the way to his Swiss bank account in Zurich, which incidentally, is the home of FIFA - funny that. Though yes, I still dream of that last minute Wayne Rooney hackle over the line, against Brazil, in the final. You just never know with football. That, perhaps, is the problem.