Glenn, the lat­est in a long line of in­ad­e­quates

World Soccer - - The World -

There have been calls for Martin Glenn to be re­placed, which seems log­i­cal enough, but look­ing his­tor­i­cally at the long suc­ces­sion of in­ad­e­quate chief ex­ec­u­tives at the FA, Glenn’s in­ad­e­quacy merely seems par for the course.

Ar­guably, there hasn’t been a de­cent in­cum­bent since Stan­ley Rous gave up the sec­re­tary­ship, as it was then known, to be­come pres­i­dent of FIFA in 1962.

The ob­vi­ous suc­ces­sor then ap­peared to be Wal­ter Win­ter­bot­tom, very much Rous’ pro­tege, and con­tro­ver­sially the Eng­land team man­ager since 1946 who was pro­tected by Rous against any harm fol­low­ing even the most cat­a­strophic of Eng­land re­sults – no­tably the hu­mil­i­at­ing de­feats, 6-3 at Wem­b­ley and 7-1 in Bu­dapest, by a ram­pant Hun­gar­ian team.

Win­ter­bot­tom didn’t get the sec­re­tary’s job be­cause that con­niv­ing old ras­cal Harold Thomp­son bul­lied the se­lec­tion com­mit­tee to give the job to the fee­ble De­nis Fol­lows, who he pro­ceeded to bully into a heart at­tack.

Af­ter Fol­lows it is hard to think of any sub­se­quent FA sec­re­tary, by what­ever ti­tle, who amounted to much.

Ted Cro­ker came in full of good in­ten­tions. I re­mem­ber lunch­ing with him soon af­ter his ap­point­ment when he ex­pressed his hor­ror at what he had dis­cov­ered about the re­la­tions of Wem­b­ley Sta­dium with a com­plaisant FA. In the event he did noth­ing about it or a num­ber of other rel­e­vant things.

Gra­ham Kelly, whom I nick­named “Kelly the Jelly”, made the sur­pris­ing tran­si­tion from chief ex­ec­u­tive of the Foot­ball League to top man at the FA. Kelly, of course, was a lead­ing fig­ure in the dubious birth of what I will al­ways call the “Greed Is Good League”, thereby ig­nor­ing the his­toric re­mit of the FA to look af­ter foot­ball at every level. He would even­tu­ally be forced to re­sign af­ter a con­tro­ver­sial deal with the Welsh as­so­ci­a­tion.

Mark Palios was driven out af­ter his af­fair with a femme fa­tale work­ing at the FA, who alas be­stowed her favours on then-Eng­land man­ager Sven Go­ran Eriks­son, who some­what sur­pris­ingly re­tained his job.

Rous may have been a snob and an au­thor­i­tar­ian but at least he was a good enough ref­eree to of­fi­ci­ate at the 1934 FA Cup Fi­nal just be­fore be­ing ap­pointed by the FA, and he him­self re-wrote the laws of the game.

Un­der fire... Martin Glenn

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