Football suffered terribly because of delay over the John Terry decision
“We shouldn’t regulate for its own sake, but over-regulation and red tape has been used as a polemical bludgeon. We have probably been over-deferential to that rhetoric.” So said Lord Adair Turner, chairman of the Financial Services Authority, in 2008.
This was his admission that his organisation had failed to confront the too-big-to-fail banks, at a tremendous cost to society.
Nothing sport can do can spark a global financial crisis, but in its own small way football has its equivalents today. The 11-month-long disciplinary process that finally resulted in John Terry’s apology on Thursday for his racist remark towards Anton Ferdinand caused the game to suffer terribly.
The head of its regulator, the Football Association chairman, David Bernstein, said as much in The Daily Telegraph on Friday. “The reputation of English football has been damaged,” he wrote.
Yet like the FSA and banking, much of the mess might have been made by the FA’s own failed regulatory structures and a refusal to confront the cosy relationships it has with the individuals and entities it governs.
Many in the game could not understand why the FA delayed its disciplinary proceedings against Terry until after the former England captain’s criminal trial. Finally Bernstein sought to explain it here yesterday, saying the FA was “asked to respect both the police investigation and, later, the Crown Prosecution [Service]’s criminal proceedings.”