Skip to main content

Football needs a longer spoon for these particular devils

Alisher Usmanov is a pretty "controversial figure". In fact the Russo-Uzbek tycoon initially made his money through acquiring control of large parts of the Russian metal industry at a time when that industry was one of the most murderous in the gangster world of 1990s Russia. He has gone on to acquire a very diverse set of holdings in Russia and increasingly outside Russia. In the UK he recently acquired Sutton Place, the former home of JP Getty. He has also acquired a large stake in Arsenal football club.


Usmanov has been extremely close to the regime of Vladimir Putin, and although his Kommersant newspaper has not been entirely slavish to that regime, it has -in general- fully served the interests of both Putin and United Russia. Indeed earlier this week, Kommersant fired two editorial staff who has allowed the publication of stories that were highly critical towards the conduct of the disputed elections and the statements of the regime. Usmanov is and remains a loyal ally of the Kleptocracy.


Usmanov, like other Russians, has sought to use the positive publicity of being involved in football in the Premiership, or the Scottish Premier league in order to provide a certain amount of international influence and potential protection.


The fact that the British authorities still see fit to deem these individuals "fit and proper" is increasingly controversial. Mr. Usmanov's clear alliance with Putin marks him out as being no friend of Britain. In fact it also marks him out as being no friend of Russia either.



Comments

Richard T said…
I find it impossible to avoid remarking that the present corruption of football (and cricket) can be traced to the authorities succumbing to the temptation from the Murdoch Empire which promised them riches beyond the dreams of avarice. The results are there for us to see (or not any more in my case).

Popular posts from this blog

Cicero ReDux

By Special Request of Baroness Scott and Mark Valladares... Cicero's Songs returns: bigger, longer and uncut.
October 1st marked the half way point of the Estonian Presidency of the European Union.  Perhaps for many people such an anniversary is of passing interest at best.  Yet the conduct of the Estonian Presidency is reinforcing just how forward looking and innovative the most northerly of the Baltic States has become.
Estonia is a country that wants to live in the future, and with its openness and innovation, that future seems a lot closer than almost anywhere else in Europe
It is not that Estonia does not “do” the past: the picturesque cobbled streets of old Tallinn have tourist crowds a-plenty enjoying the mediaeval architecture in an Indian summer of sunshine and blue skies.  The real point is that Estonia refuses to be a prisoner of its past. Lennart Meri, Estonia’s President in the 1990s- who spent years of his childhood in Siberia- once told me that the country had to conc…

Trump and Brexit are the Pearl Harbor and the Fall of Singapore in Russia's Hybrid war against the West.

In December 1941, Imperial Japan launched a surprise attack on the United States at Pearl Harbor. After the subsequent declaration of war, within three days, the Japanese had sunk the British warships, HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse, and the rapid Japanese attack led to the surrender of Hong Kong on Christmas Day 1941 and the fall of Singapore only two months after Pearl Harbor. These were the opening blows in the long war of the Pacific that cost over 30,000,000 lives and was only ended with the detonations above Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

"History doesn't often repeat itself, but it rhymes" is an aphorism attributed to Mark Twain, and in a way it seems quite appropriate when we survey the current scene. 

In 1941, Imperial Japan, knowing its own weakness, chose a non-conventional form of war, the surprise attack. Since the end of his first Presidential term, Vladimir Putin, knowing Russia's weakness, has also chosen non-conventional ways to promote his domestic powe…

The American National nightmare becomes a global nightmare

It is a basic contention of this blog that Donald J Trump is not fit for office.

A crooked real estate developer with a dubious past and highly questionable finances. he has systematically lied his way into financial or other advantage. His personal qualities include vulgarity, sexual assault allegations and fraudulent statements on almost every subject. 

He lost the popular vote by nearly three million votes.

He has, of course, been under criminal investigation practically since before he took the oath of office. The indictment of some of closest advisers is just the beginning. His track record suggests that in due course there is no action he will not take, whether illegal or unconstitutional in order to derail his own inevitable impeachment and the indictments that must surely follow the successful investigation of Robert Mueller into his connections with Russia.

However, all of that is a matter for the American people. 

It is also a matter for the American people that Trump is cheating…