SWANNY’S WORLD OF SPORT: Too many hopeless chiefs

Football League chief executive Shaun Harvey.
Football League chief executive Shaun Harvey.
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I despair at the people running our most popular sport.

Chief executive Martin Glenn should have been drummed out of the Football Association the moment he announced ‘I am not a football expert’ following the departure of Roy Hodgson as England boss last year.

Posh chairman Darragh MacAnthony (left) with manager Grant McCann.

Posh chairman Darragh MacAnthony (left) with manager Grant McCann.

Another cock-up to expose his uselessness was bound to arrive, which it did in spectacular style with his inept handling of ladies man Mark Sampson’s case.

And Shaun Harvey, who has the equivalent role at the English Football League, just seems to lurch from PR disaster to PR disaster, whether it’s defending the indefensible make-up of the Checkatrade Trophy, or enabling Carabao Cup - his flagship knockout competition - draws to be hosted on the other side of the world in the middle of an English night.

And now Harvey seems to think, although it appears to be news to Posh chairman Darragh MacAnthony, his clubs want the transfer window to be closed before the start of a season.

I actually like that idea insomuch as it would spare us from the embarrassing panic buys of clubs persuaded to pay ridiculous fees for ordinary players (£45 million for Gylfi Sigurdsson still has me shaking my head in disbelief) when the only guarantee is the enrichment of parasitic agents.

Ladies man Mark Sampson.

Ladies man Mark Sampson.

It makes sense to me clubs should be able to assemble squads before a ball is kicked competitively.

But some clubs find it hard to find £45 never mind millions. My sympathies are with the likes of Accrington Stanley and Morecambe who exist on small crowds, little income and who need the sale of star players just to survive.

Demanding these sales can only take place between May and the end of July, and in January, is economic madness and surely a restraint of trade?

Scrapping the transfer window altogether would be a better idea than making these proposed changes.

The smaller clubs are the ones Harvey and co need to protect. The top-end Championship clubs awash with foreign money will look after themselves no matter what rules are imposed.

As for Glenn his handling of the Sampson affair, or affairs even, smacks of Seb Coe claiming he never bothered to read incriminating e-mails about his favourite sport.

How very convenient. Glenn knew there was an issue with Sampson’s conduct in a previous empoyment, but didn’t bother investigating further, not even when his England Ladies coaching contract was coming up for renewel.

The result is an unholy mess complicated further by the payment of hush money to a subsequent accusor and the sacking of Sampson hours after a 6-0 World Cup qualifying win when the current first XI were allowed to display public support for the man who picked them for the team.

If Glenn is still in post at the end of next week I’ll be flabbergasted and more than a little disappointed.

Hopefully Harvey will follow him out of the door.