3rd February 2013.
Being a fan of cycling can have it’s ups and downs. Having an understanding of the sport helps to increase your enjoyment of it but it also means others are always asking you to explain it to them, especially in a country dominated by football. You often have to trot out the same lines explaining how cycling is a team sport with individual winners and why winners of stages don’t win races overall. Thankfully less time is spent trying to describe the roll that the UCI plays and some of the crazy rules they enforce, because this beyond explanation.
So imagine if the UCI were forced to reform. What would the people running it do? Wouldn’t it be great if they were allowed to run football? Then football fans would begin to understand what we have to go through.
After taking over FIFA the UCI would need to stamp their authority on the running of the game. Communication would be the key. So to start with they would release some bumbling, contradictory press statement explaining what they would be doing to the game and stating if you don’t like it then tough.
Next they would get to grips with FIFAs slick website. Gone would go the database of recent results and it would be more difficult to see any upcoming fixtures. It would also seem obvious to them to make it more difficult to see who the top teams are. In short a colourful, professional site would look more like this one.
Soon they would stamp their authority on the women’s game (or start to ignore it). The status of women’s football would be decreased and heads of the organisation could only talk about it in derisory terms. Only people outside the UCI with a love of the sport would be allowed to promote women’s football.
They would then employ a family member to be in charge of televising games. At UCI sanctioned tournaments viewers tuning in to watch a game wouldn’t be able to see how long is left to go in the game, they wouldn’t even be shown the score. But don’t worry football fans you could keep up with what’s going on via Twitter and then get blamed for it.
There would obviously need to be some important rule changes. There would only be one transfer window and this is when football fans would start to get truly exasperated. As happens already the richer clubs would be at an advantage but now there would be an end to expensive transfer flops. QPR could improve there chances of surviving a relegation battle. Instead of buying 20 duds they could put all their money together to get one superstar. The transfer of Robin Van Persie would catapult them up the table as they benefit from all the goals he has scored, for a different club. Manchester United wouldn’t be happy but they could swap their dodgy keeper for one that can keep a clean sheet and stay in championship contention. Not every player would benefit though. Rino Gattuso and other honest pros would have to retire. Even though they are hard working team players they would have no value anymore. Reading in theory would be done for. With little money what could they do? With an already small squad some of their desperate players out of contract in the summer would be suspended for continually trying to score goals with their hands. They would finish bottom on points but could still stay in the top flight if the UCI choose to demote some teams they hold a grudge against.
Football fans would be confused and journalists would be in uproar but the UCI would ignore any criticisms. Everything would make perfect sense to them.
So after the leagues have finished there would be the traditional end of season cup final (with no trophy presentation to the winning team). Sorry football fans, not anymore. There would would be one more competition which teams would be forced to take part in after this, one designed to line the pockets of those in charge. Perhaps football fans wouldn’t mind this? An end of year tournament in say Brazil or Spain wouldn’t be too bad. Imagine the disappointment when the venue is revealed as Greenland.
So while football fans may not be able to explain the offside rule bemoan the World Cup going to Qatar (there would be no change there) , worse may be coming.