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Anorak | White Lines

White Lines

by | 5th, November 2004

‘HAVING passed the buck in their game of pass the secretary, the Football Association today stands accused of passing up the chance to take a tough stance on drugs in football.

Andy Fordham tested positive for alcohol and nicotine

The Mail says that Chelsea have reacted “furiously” to the FA’s decision to ban their sacked striker Adrian Mutu for just seven months for failing a drugs test.

Peter Kenyon, Chelsea’s chief executive, says the punishment is too lenient and that the FA “have shown themselves to be weak over the issue of drugs”.

Given that the FA have shown themselves to be weak on just about anything and everything – whether it’s sex in the boardroom or the England team captain deliberately setting out to earn himself a caution – Kenyon and Chelsea can hardly claim to be surprised by this latest move.

But the Sun affects a look of shock and uses its back page to make the predictable compassion between Mutu’s sentence and the eight-month ban imposed on Rio Ferdinand.

“Miss a drugs test like Rio and get banned for 8 MONTHS,” says the paper. “Play high on cocaine like Mutu, get banned 7 MONTHS.”

To the Sun, this is madness. But to anyone with a brain in their head, the fact is that no-one can be more or less guilty than anyone else.

You break the rules, you pay the price. That’s it.

As such, there is remarkable consistency in the level of punishment meted out by the usually limp FA – although, perhaps, both miscreants should have received the full two-year ban many would have liked.

Aside from the hoopla over the Romanian striker, the Express says that Malcolm Glazer, the man with the interesting ginger beard, is close to achieving his ambition of taking control of Manchester United.

The American tycoon has tabled a new offer to leading shareholders John Magnier and JP McManus and, if accepted, Glazer could become owner of the club in just seven days time.

The paper say that fans opposed to the bid are bound to be upset by this latest move and will almost certainly launch fresh protests.

While anyone with an ounce of sanity wonders why some supporters of the most commercially-driven football club in the world would be angered by a takeover by a mega-rich, very successful businessman who offers a route into the lucrative American market, the Mirror talks darts.

Andy ‘The Viking’ Fordham and Phil ‘The Trailer?’ Taylor think it’s high time darts became an Olympic sport.

“It should be a sport,” says Fordham. “We stand up there and walk up and down the oche. Look at a sport like pistol shooting, they don’t do the amount of walking we do.”

Indeed, and often has the sport of darts has been compared to a good walk (to the bar) spoilt.

But Fordham’s reasoning is good enough for us, and today we officially announce that we are backing the campaign to make darts an Olympic sport.

And we look forward to some of the game’s chief protagonists lighting their fags on the Olympic flame as they take aim for their Queen…’



Posted: 5th, November 2004 | In: Back pages Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink