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Friday, May 09, 2008

Do Football & Politics mix....Soccer to some !

The Thaksinator in happier times....shakin' hands with a very good friend of The Wizard !


Why playing politics is much easier than footballBy Tulsathit Taptim The NationPublished on May 7, २००८

When Manchester City fans hit club owner Thaksin Shinawatra with an adapted version of "Another Brick in the Wall", it's safe to presume that the charms of "My Way" are no more As he listened to the defiant terrace chants on TV, it must have occurred to him that running a football club is tougher than playing politicsAnd this is no joke. The sights of City supporters waving Swedish flags and carrying masks of coach Sven Goran Erikksson only add to my compilation of scientific evidence that maybe it's a good idea for Thaksin to quit football and return to his familiar territory.To any doubter out there, here's the entire list of reasons why Thai politics is a stroll in the park compared with British football management: -- One party reportedly spent Bt5 billion in the 2001 election. That, which became an unofficial minimum amount with which one can "buy" political power in Thailand, can barely buy Barcelona's Lionel Messi at his current market price.-- Politics can glorify those at the top, but football club owners have the same dignity as a sugar daddy. Can one be a champion of democracy and dictator at the same time? Of course, just make sure that when you return home from a well-dignified political exile, don't forget to threaten to sack the coach of a football club you just bought.-- A football club owner with "blood on his hands", possibly from extrajudicial killings, can be affectionately called Elvis Presley. Then again, the kindest of club owners can become Adolf Hitler if fans are slightly upset.-- In politics, when trouble looms, splash state's (taxpayers') cash and problems are solved. In football, the bigger the crisis, the deeper you have to dig into your own pocket.-- In politics, when a minister is banned, use his wife or elderly father. In football, if a key player is banned, your team is screwed.-- A prime minister can shuffle his Cabinet for fun. The best a club owner can do is make a big PR fuss out of a signing his favourites who will never get to play in the real team. -- Making thousands of voters chant your name is easier than making 11 players - whose salaries you pay for - bow to you before kick-off.-- If the team wins, the coach gets all the credit. If the team loses, the owner's management style is to blame. In politics, if the economy booms, the prime minister gets the praise, and when things turn sour, he can always sack the finance minister.-- With just enough money and power, you may be able to get the Constitution rewritten to erase your crimes. No amount of money and power can overturn an offside call that could send your team into relegation.-- Spend state money wisely and the country is yours. You break the bank financing the team you bought, but it's always declared a "fans'" club.-- Bouncing back from a coup that disposed of you, rewriting the Constitution to whitewash yourself, rearranging all political mechanisms to your favour - all these combined are easier than getting Manchester City to the Champions League or even the Uefa Cup.-- Yes, political life is tough, with the likes of Sondhi Limthongkul and all, but at least you don't have Oasis singer Noel Gallagher brand you, before a worldwide audience, a nutcase who lives in cloud cuckoo land.-- Again, with just enough money and power, potential enemies such as Snoh Thienthong and Banharn Silapa-archa can roll over and prostrate themselves. In football, the richer you are, the more determined smaller teams will be to knock your club out of the FA Cup, just like Sheffield United did recently.lWith shrewd use of nominees, your government can approve big rewards to your company and get away with it. Try signing a player from an agent who is remotely linked to you.-- They have good tax authorities in Britain and Europe.-- Critics unhappy with the government's performances or obscure financial dealings can be conveniently dubbed unpatriotic. Call Noel Gallagher "not a real fan" and see what happens.-- The current pro-Sven campaign portrays the Swedish coach as a political victim who's getting the sympathy of the masses. So, who's the villain here? And wait, does this mean Thaksin paid billions of baht to be seen as a bad guy?lThe targeted new coach, Luiz Felipe Scolari, will cost Manchester City between Bt700 million-Bt1 billion a year. Thaksin must know better than anyone how much or "how many" that money can buy in Thailand. lPolitics gives you second, third, fourth and twenty-fifth chances. If Thaksin fails Manchester City, their fans will make Sonthi Boonyaratklin and PAD look like Santa Claus.

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