It had been a few hours since a Premier League executive made himself look like a twit, so chairman Sir Dave Richards came to the rescue by going on a rant at a sport and security conference in Doha, Qatar before falling in a decorative pool.
From the AP:
"England gave the world football. It gave the best legacy anyone could give. We gave them the game," Richards said. "For 50 years, we owned the game … we were the governance of the game. We wrote the rules, designed the pitches and everything else.
"Then, 50 years later, some guy came along and said you're liars and they actually stole it. It was called FIFA. Fifty years later, another gang came along called UEFA and stole a bit more." [...]
Then after the conference, on his way to a dinner reception, Richards slipped and tumbled knee-deep into a museum pool from which he was rescued by Phil Gartside, the Bolton chairman and fellow Football Association board member.
As you can see, this incident sounds very similar to the time Michael Scott fell in a koi pond on the U.S. version of The Office.
Perhaps a telling precursor to all this, Richards also voiced his displeasure in Qatar's stance against alcohol consumption.
"In our country and in Germany, we have a culture. We call it, 'We would like to go for a pint', and that pint is a pint of beer.
"It is our culture as much as your culture [in Qatar] is not drinking. There has to be a happy medium."
If there is, Richards probably didn't find it at the bottom of that pool.
The Premier League was quick to distance itself from its chairman's comments, stating, "Sir Dave is attending the conference in a private and personal capacity; his comments in no way reflect the views of the Premier League."
That's right. As evidenced by The Premier League's latest victory in claiming authority from the FA, it is now clear that the Premier League does not think England owns football, it think the Premier League owns football.
- Dave Richards
- Premier League