I am no ardent or frankly even half-hearted football fan but like many I was taken aback by the late- night announcement that a number of high-profile football clubs plan to declare UDI and start their own new European Super League.
Football is big business – huge – and of course there has been plenty of discussion about the need for reform, re-structure and even fundamental change across the industry.
But this was so tin eared, so spectacularly counter cultural for a Covid world that one could have been forgiven for thinking it was 1st April again.
The interview guests lined up on BBC’s Today programme not, in the more standard broadcast convention, to offer different perspectives on the same story but all to roundly condemn it.
This one really has hit a nerve, raising as it does that knotty old balance between sport and money, fair play and foul, the principles on which the ‘beautiful game’ was founded and how the uber rich manage their wealth. While some suggest the announcement was pure posturing and that there is no intention to go through with the plans, in a fragile, hyper-sensitive environment with many still reeling from the effects of the pandemic, now is not the time for cynical political brinkmanship.
A lot is demanded of business and industries these days, no longer just commercially, but socially, politically and even emotionally. It can be hard to marshall those demands and get it right. But many do.
This was a failure to listen, to consult and to respect on so many levels. When organisations start losing sight of who they are there for, and why, then it is game over.
Jo Lloyd is the managing director at Camargue