Liz Truss’ Bizarre and Frightening Desire to ‘Guide the Soul of Don Rive’ | football policy

at Conservative Party protests in Leeds six weeks ago, Les Truss She declared that she wanted to “steer the spirit of Don Revi”. Which indicates that she was not fully aware of his experience in leading his country. However, as she takes office amid poor poll ratings, with a skeptical parliamentary party and elections looming in 2024, the new prime minister may look to just three years in office, followed by a bad and profitable broad case in the Middle East, like a decent result. very.

Of course, political coverage in this country has always been influenced by the documented drama and primary concern of its sports counterpart. To be sure, enough recent coverage of the Conservative leadership “race” has been essentially indistinguishable from the wave of media that usually greets top managerial appointments in football.

Soft focus features on her background and upbringing. Hectic speculation about spending plans and backroom appointments. The usual references to her internal file, as if the huge responsibilities of the Prime Minister are somewhat similar to the elements of office management. The first: Make Downing Street a castle again. Second: Get Jacob Rees-Mogg to shoot again. and so on.

However, there is a serious point that should be mentioned here. Perhaps one reason the political culture in this country has developed such an atmosphere of impermanence is its insistence on covering it up as if it were a renewed entertainment product: an obsession with character clashes and quick judgments, an emphasis on crises and immediate fixes, impatience and extreme mood swings for a football club chasing its morale. points every Saturday. Who “Won” the Prime Minister’s Questions? Can Boris Johnson turn things around? What is the Sue Gray Report, what time does it start and what channel is it on?

In many ways, Johnson was the logical culmination of the process: a lightweight and unprincipled politician who treated the job as if it were purely a sport, a game in which the primary objective was simply to beat rivals and win at any cost. Naturally, he was well prepared to harness the popular appeal of football to that end.

He enthusiastically opposed the Europa League despite hosting Manchester United’s Ed Woodward in Downing Street just days ago and declared it – according to a government source – a “great idea”. Likewise, the aborted British-Irish 2030 World Cup bid was, in many ways, Johnson’s perfect project: a chance to put on his jackets, stoke his patriotism and make generous spending promises without having to answer for one of them.

Don Reeve (right) was and still is a champion in Leeds, but he fiercely despised him within the English game more broadly. Photo: Farley Photo Agency/Shutterstock

Unlike her predecessor, who was the Mayor of London once declared supportive of “all London clubs”, Truss is a fan of Norwich. had become strictness To ridicule politicians for their clumsy attempts to get involved in the country’s most popular sport, and of course there are more important and compelling reasons not to trust the Truss Cabinet.

But if one of her first steps as prime minister – as was widely reported last week – was to ignore the recommendations of a fan-led review of English football promised in the 2019 manifesto published last November, it could be a quietly frightening experience. A harbinger of how you will deal with the government.

The review is not a perfect document. It doesn’t have much to say about state ownership, women’s football, the exploitation of young footballers or the sport’s toxic relationship with the gambling industry.

But his diagnoses are broadly correct: a fundamental disconnect between fans and owners, inadequate regulation at the local level, and wide and widening financial disparities between the biggest and smallest clubs.

It is proposed to create an independent regulatory body and a transfer tax of 10% for Premier League clubs to distribute to the popular game. These are first steps, but they are good steps.

So who stands to gain if Truss decides to veto his recommendations? The Premier League, for sure, as well as the billionaires with their stakes in it. Repressive regimes that have allowed for nearly three decades under successive governments to use our stadiums to launder the human rights abuses they perpetrate. Unscrupulous customers, who the report suggests should be subject to stricter regulation.

Which is why Revie’s comment on Truss was subtly revealing for a number of reasons. Revie may be a hero in Leeds, having been responsible for only arguably the greatest success era, but he is still deeply despised within the English game in general. Truss probably knew this. Probably not done. Either way, he demonstrated the trait that has defined Conservative leadership in recent years: a brazen willingness to win over one public by showing two fingers to the other.

Perhaps we should expect nothing less from a woman who, as Minister for Equality, has criticized knee-taking before football matches as “not the right thing to do”, and a form of “identity politics focused on symbols and gestures”, only to urge later players The Premier League are boycotting a possible Champions League final in St Petersburg in protest of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

See, of all the people who would face serious harm from the Truss government, the football clubs in the lower league are probably at the bottom of the list. But there is a broader ideology at work here: a prime minister committed to enriching the wealthy, who sees people first and foremost as clients, promises sweeping change but seems stubbornly clinging to the status quo that privileges a few cynical mercenaries. Perhaps, upon reflection, Truss has a stronger understanding of modern football than we initially thought.