Thursday, 17 December 2009

I now pronounce you football club and manager

There's a plethora of crises in English football at the moment. Ignoring the premier league where the trend for managers allegedly headbutting players or insulting fans by picking a team that has no hope of winning just because his better players were feeling a bit tired, it's all fun and games in the Championship.

Whilst my own beloved Crystal Palace struggles with debts that totally outstrips its assets, Watford are in danger of entering administration and Cardiff City were a High Court appearance away from being wound up all together. What does this mean? Who cares? Well, a lot of people who really ought to know better by now. I think the BBC should bring back Why Don't You but aim it at football fans. But let's not get into the argument about whether a football club effectively represents or is linked to the community it is located in, or about why people get so attached to things which, ultimately, cannot return the attachment directly.

Instead, I'm getting confused about the language that is now used in this over-analysed world. No doubt lawyers galore pick over every contract and dictate the terms of every press release.

Perhaps this is why the term "mutual consent" is not so prevalent when it comes to what used to be known as "sacking" football managers.

What does mutual consent actually mean? Does it mean you're sacked, I resign , we agree to disagree or we can't stand the sight of each other?

When someone is accused of wrong doing, suspended, cleared and reinstated, is there any hope for anything other than a swift, departure by mutual consent announcement soon after as in the case of Martin Allen, manager of Cheltenham Town FC?

Jim Magilton of QPR didn't have the chance to be cleared. The mutual consent came in before that. And Brendan Rodgers of Reading didn't even have to be accused of misconduct for mutual consent to be the reason for his dismissal.

If only mutual consent was an option for divorce courts, relationships and friendships. "I can't come to the pub tonight as Bill and I are no longer friends by mutual consent." "Darling, I think our relationship may be but I need to know if that's just me or whether consent is mutual."

Players are never sold by mutual consent. My season ticket is not being renewed by this has nothing to do with mutual consent, after all the club phoned me up yesterday to try to change my mind. Bless them.

I'm not too upset for these people. Football, even at that level, does not suffer from poor pay. Although that may be changing. The amount of clubs that have unsustainable debts may cause more mutual consent that anyone ever thought possible.