News   |    February 14th, 2022


Those at the top of any business have the responsibility to set the culture and the moral compass of the organisation they lead.

If the right culture is not established, then generally the organisation will fail in almost every way. The respect for politicians has probably never been as low in my lifetime as it is now. During Covid we were all expected to follow the rules but clearly those making the rules did not believe they applied to them. In relation to ‘Partygate’ we have had the Prime Minister taking us on a journey of there being no breaches of the rules and no parties to there being lots of parties. In the Metropolitan Police we have had a Commissioner in Dame Cressida Dick who believed that despite all the failings of the last few years she was the right person to lead the Met when clearly, she is overseeing a culture that is not fit for purpose in almost every respect. As with politicians the respect for the Police has never been lower following so many cases of unacceptable behaviour by officers.

The sad thing is that the vast majority ofpoliticians and police officers are honest and hardworking, and it is those people who are most damaged by the actions of the minority.

And so it is in football. Go to any game in the park at the weekend and you will see youngsters mimicking the goal celebrations of their heroes as well as the negative aspects like diving and abusing referees. Is it any wonder most games don’t have a referee? We look to those at the very top of the game to be the role models for our children and grandchildren and to set the culture of the game but again look at recent events.

We have had serious rape allegations against Benjamin Mendy of Manchester City and Mason Greenwood of Manchester United and then the abuse of a pet cat by Kurt Zouma. Mendy is accused of eight offences against five different women including seven counts of rape relating to four women and one count of sexual assault.Greenwood was arrested on suspicion of rape, sexual assault, assault and making threats to kill. Both are currently on police bail. Zouma was seen on video kicking, slapping and dropping one of his pet cats.

Again, the actions of the few taint the reputation of the many and it eats away at the positive culture those in charge wish to establish at their clubs. In the case of Greenwood, it appears that several players including Cristiano Ronaldo, Edison Cavani and Victor Lindelof have unfollowed him on social media which is hardly a foundation for a good team spirit in the dressing room.

All of these incidents are appalling and those involved deserve everything that they have coming to them both in terms of the reaction of fans in stadia and the punishments they will face if found guilty in the courts. 

Whether in politics or in football the minority who do such damage must end up the losers or ultimately we all lose.

Image – Getty

Peter Varney - Chairman, Integral Sports Management.

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