Don’t You Get It? Sepp Blatter is Frank Underwood!

Apparently Sepp Blatter resigned from FIFA the other day. Apparently he finally put his hands up, admitted he was an evil bastard and restored order, peace and democracy* to world football’s governing body.

Except that he didn’t. Instead, old Sepp just Frank Underwooded us big time.

Like the fictional US President from TV’s House of Cards, Sepp isn’t shuffling off anytime soon. He has indicated he is leaving, but he is still in the Oval Office/in control of FIFA, until the next election, whenever that may be.

In the meantime he is going to institute “reforms” that will protect himself, his legacy and most importantly, whomever he anoints as his successor. American Works this ain’t. What it is, is political brinkmanship at its best.

Sacrificing your career is a desperate political move from a desperate man. But Blatter has made a career out of betting the house and then staring his opponents down (and then handing out lots of gifts to make nice).

It is naive to think HBO is going to kill off the main character of their hugely popular series. It’s equally foolish to assume we have seen the last of the Swiss comic book villain out of central casting. While he may be cuffed, extradited and thrown in front of a court like the other FIFA cronies, Blatter’s presence will be felt for a long time to come.

Without serious reform to FIFA, there’s no reason to expect someone just like Sepp Blatter – or even his hand picked successor – won’t continue to pull the same tricks: handing money out for favours, ignoring the wishes of wealthier nations, and gladhanding smaller ones.

All those people rejoicing in the streets need to postpone their victory jigs. There is more life in old Joseph Blatter yet. And yes, House of Cards has at least one more season to run.

By Ben Shine

*it should be noted that one of the biggest problems with FIFA lies in its pure ‘one country, one vote’ democracy. Without that, you wouldn’t get pork barreling populists like Sepp Blatter in charge. 

Daly Cherry-Evans, You Should Be Ashamed of Yourself!

Daly Cherry-Evans you are a scoundrel. A selfish, money-grabbing scoundrel. How else can you explain your actions in reneging last minute on your deal with the Gold Coast Titans?

I’m not even angry. Just disappointed. If I were a Titans fan I would probably be livid with rage. Painting the walls of Burleigh Bowls with spit as I violently denounce his name and curse the mother that bore him.

But I’m not. Thankfully. Just sympathetic. And how could you not be after the way they have been treated? Their recruitment plans have been thrown into disarray. Current starting half, Aidan Sezer, forced out the door to the Raiders (although we’ll see if he actually goes now) and who knows how many other blokes they haven’t chased, given the lump of their salary cap DCE was meant to be taking up?

God forbid they didn’t have a backup plan because they took a man on his word as he continually affirmed in the media that he was going to honour their deal. Sadly, in this they were naive. If we have learned anything in 2015 it is don’t trust anyone. We are all in it for ourselves.

And don’t get me wrong, I do not begrudge footballers for making a buck while they still can. In fact, I encourage it. Their careers are limited and they need to milk what they can. But Cherry-Evans was going to be on exceptional money at the Gold Coast and, throwing in Origin and Test payments, he would have had to be going pretty hard on the cocaine (a real risk on the Gold Coast in fairness) not to have a handy nest egg upon retirement.

But he wanted more. He didn’t only want to milk the cow, he wanted to fuck it and kill it too.*

His quote, “It’s only since this offer was put on the table that it was made clear how important this club is to me,” truly makes me belly laugh. Is he fucking serious saying that?

What he is really saying is that $10 million over six years is important to him. Not Manly. Being a one-club player didn’t seem that important to him when he was buying up property on the Gold Coast. If I were that Real Estate agent I’d be looking to get that cash up front, but I expect he will back out of that deal too. At least we know he can pay the fine.

“But he was perfectly within his rights to do it.” A lot of people have said this in his defence over the past 24 hours. If you honestly believe this, you are a vile and soulless being with absolutely no integrity. Yes, he and his manager exploited the most stupid contractual law that ever was to fuck over another club and get themselves a few extra bob. Well done to the NRL for coming up with that little chestnut. In the 1950s you legally couldn’t rape your wife, that doesn’t mean you should have done it.

For some, integrity is an important thing. Cherry-Evans and his defenders have displayed a complete lack of it. Money trumps everything for these people. We live in a capitalist society, so I guess they’re right, but isn’t there still room to be a decent human being while you’re on the big bucks? Maybe not. Maybe I am a foolhardy idealist. Maybe I should go out, buy some pokies and do flyer drops at the local Gamblers Anonymous meeting? Capitalism, baby!

It is likely in twelve months this will be but a footnote few remember. Rugby League is nothing if not forgiving. It has to be. Its players have a history of defecating in hallways, setting fire to children and sticking their fingers in opposing players backsides. But still, I can’t shake the feeling that this is the grubbiest act of them all.

By Alasdair McClintock

*Classic McClintock: crude cut-through