Why Are There No Women Managers In The Premier League?

As the 7th Women’s World Cup takes place in Canada, a third of the 24 national football teams are managed by women, but don’t expect to see a woman manager in the Premier League anytime soon…

"Gordon Bryan articles"

As it happens, it’s interesting to note that of the match officials, 100% are women, and while that’s a related point I’ll come back to later, for this article I want to focus on the manager. So, why is the percentage so low?

Well, for it to be a third of the teams having a woman manager is actually quite a high percentage when you look at the women’s game as a whole. There are 65 women who hold a UEFA Pro coaching licence, compared to, wait for it, 9,387 men!

Those numbers are a stark illustration of the issue, and before we look at the reason behind that differential in numbers, let’s ask what the numbers mean for the chance of a woman getting to the Premier League. (Here’s a hint – not much chance!)

If you look at the make up of managers in the Premier League, which is one of the richest leagues in any world sport, you can roughly put them into 3 categories –

1. The unknown British manager that has taken the club up through the lower leagues.
2. The ex-top-flight player, who went into management and has a solid if not spectacular CV.
3. The foreign coach who has proven success at the highest club level.

Football is all about results, and I think you can also divide the Premier League into 3 categories –

1. Chasing for the title, or at least a top 4 finish to secure Champions League football.
2. A solid mid table club looking to consolidate that position.
3. A lower table, or newly promoted club, putting survival in the Premier League as their absolute priority.

If you combine those 3 types of clubs with the pool of the 3 types of manager, it’s hard for an outsider to break through. Hard that is, for any of the 9,387 men with the Pro licence. For the 65 women, pretty much impossible.

A woman coach is likely to be an ex-player, but they won’t have proven top flight success, without experience at top clubs, which they won’t get without experience at lower level clubs, which they won’t get with such competition from male coaches.

So, why is that number of coaches *so* low in the first place..?

I think you can sum it up in one word – culture.

At the highest level, football is a macho game. At grass roots level, it’s even *more* of a macho game. Any Sunday morning spent watching a junior league, hearing parents spitting venom as they scream at their own kids, any other kids, the refs, other parents, will show you that.

It’s got to be a certain type of male to want to put themselves into that kind of world, so for a woman it’s even harder.

I did mention the refs earlier. Male officials have a terrible time with abuse at all levels of the game, and women get it just as bad, but with sexism thrown in.

It’s a deliberate ploy for FIFA to have all women officials at the women’s World Cup, and while they have a rule that their Under 21 tournament teams have to have women *coaches*, that’s not the case at the full senior level.

Could it be that the answer is to employ the NFL’s ‘Rooney Rule?’
With that rule, an NFL team looking for a new head coach, has to interview at least one black candidate.

Could that work for women in football management, or would it just be a patronising waste of time?

I’m not sure. I suspect that at the moment it would indeed be a waste if time, a box ticking exercise, but in the long term it might start to have a impact. It could be that chairmen of lower level teams who would never have considered a woman manager, get surprised by what they see and hear if they are forced to have them at interview.

That in turn could lead to chairmen hiring a woman that wouldn’t even have been seen otherwise, which in turn might provide more role models, and then more women going into coaching in the first place.

A woman manager in the Premier League? I’ll be honest, I wouldn’t start hold your breath just yet though.

Ok, let me know what you think, I love the feedback!

‘Til Next Time,
Health & Happiness,
Gordon
P.S. I’m thinking about letting people watch as I open a brand new income stream online from sport. If that sounds like something you’d be interested in, make sure you are friends with me on facebook!

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The Great Gordino Newsletter – Jul 28th 2015

Hi,
I hope all is well with you.

Ok, so you may remember from my last newsletter, I said I wasn’t sure about the newsletter, that when I started it first time around way back over a decade ago, it was pretty much the way to go, but that nowadays, with social media everywhere, I’m not sure if me just summarising what I’ve put on social media serves any purpose.

However, while I struggle with that view, the idea of stopping it completely feels wrong – that’s a good thing and shows what happens when things become habit, so here’s today’s issue at least…

Last week I had a great evening, just lovely.

I had seen a video in someone’s FB feed a while back with a clown singing with a great voice, calling himself Puddles Pity Party. Here’s that video…

As I often do with videos like this showing me a new act, I sought out his website, and then found he was coming to London as part of his tour! I investigated the show, and found it was a small cabaret venue in London – I booked up pretty much right away!

I didn’t find out too much about his show beforehand, wanted it to be a surprise, and it was a *nice* surprise!

"Gordon Bryan"
It’s a real cabaret act – he is silent apart from the singing, he gets people up on stage for comedy bits, and what a voice! At 6’8’’ tall he has a commanding presence, which you’d expect.

At the end of the show it comes up on screen that he’d love people to come outside and get a picture taken, which I duly did. That kind of engagement with people really builds a fan base, and he has a bucket load of followers everywhere!

Oh, I had a great time – it really pushed my performer buttons, and I felt more than a twinge of envy about the act he had, and the pleasure it brought. Hard work though – after his run in London finished on the Saturday, he had a gig on Monday this week in Canada, and then will be back over here for a run at the Edinburgh Festival – that kind of schedule really is hard work.

"Puddles Pity Party"
Did I tell you I had a good time!! ;-)

"Gordon Bryan" "The Great Gordino"
Here are 3 pics – one onstage, I didn’t take many, as he moves about quite a bit, and I also wanted to enjoy watching the show rather than spend the whole time taking photos of it! Then 2 from his meet and greet – nice to meet you Puddles!

Ok, that’s it for this time!

‘Til Next Time,
health & happiness,
Gordon
P.S. If cabaret, or shows, or music, or entertainment are things you would describe as passions for you, why not check out my book on how to turn that passion into profits online!
FB Passion Profits!

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Why Dawn Fraser Was Wrong *And* Right About Nick Kyrgios

Australian swimming legend Dawn Fraser has apologised for remarks about tennis player Nick Kyrgios, but could it be she is right after all?

"Nick Kyrgios" "Gordon Bryan"
Here’s the scene – Wimbledon 2015, and Australian Nick Kyrgios is playing Richard Gasquet. After an exchange of words with the umpire during one of the breaks in the second set, Kyrgios is given a code violation for using ‘audible obscenity.’

Then it all kicked off! During the next game, with Gasquet serving, Kyrgios basically gave up. He trudged between serves, moving over to the opposite side of the court almost at the same time as Gasquet served, clearly making no attempt to play the ball.

Not trying, basically.

Boos rang out from the crowd, and although he fought back in the 3rd and 4th sets, Kyrgios lost, and the ‘non trying’ incident was always going to be talked about.

Later after the match, Dawn Fraser said in an interview that it was ‘disgusting,’ and that if he didn’t like it maybe Kyrgios should go back to where his parents came from.

That’s where she was wrong. She first defended her comments, saying she hadn’t intended them in a racist way, but she has now issued a statement saying she apologised ‘unreservedly.’

So although she was wrong, she was *right* when she said it was disgusting.

Fraser won 4 Olympic gold medals, so she knows a thing or two about competing at the highest level, and it’s fair to say she knows a thing or two about the Australian sporting mindset.

Personally I love the Aussie sporting mindset. It says that you compete hard, you expect to win, and you don’t give up.

It’s a simple philosophy, but it’s one the Aussies are rightly proud of, because it’s brought them massive success on the sporting stage, and it embodies an ethic of hard work and self confidence.

That’s why, if Kyrgios’ behaviour jarred with non Aussies, it’s not hard to see how it went down with the Aussie crowd!

Kyrgios himself said in post match interviews that he had ups and downs on the court, and suggested he hand a racket to a journalist to see how many of Gasquet’s serves the journalist could return.

Now, my own experience of playing sport at the highest level is absolutely zero, so I have no way of relating. That means I do accept the possibility of a young man reacting the wrong way under pressure.

Kyrgios was still in the wrong though. He clearly *wasn’t* trying in that game, and will likely receive a massive fine for it.

Rightly so. As a professional sportsman, being paid a lot of money to play in front of a lot of spectators, who have paid a lot of money, in your sport’s most prestigious tournament, you had better be trying if you ask me!

Had he tried that at any tennis club or coaching academy he would have been put right in no uncertain terms, so although Fraser was wrong with the comment about going back to where his parents came from (Kyrgios was born in Australia to a Greek born father and a Malaysian born mother), she was most certainly right to use the word ‘disgusting.’

ok, let me know what you think – I love the feedback!

‘Til Next time,
Health & happiness,
Gordon
P.S. If you love sport, and would like to watch as I use my own love of sport to open a new 4 figure income stream, make sure you are friends with me on facebook so I can let know the dates!
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The Great Gordino Newsletter – July 17th 2015

Wow, it’s been a while since I wrote a newsletter as just the newsletter!

I’ve been busy with so many things, and I wonder if the day of the email newsletter has passed.

Social media is at such a stage where you can post everything there, and anyone that wants to see what you post can do, at a time that suits them, without having to sign up to any email lists.

For me, it’s Facebook. If you haven’t ‘friended’ me there yet, please do, here’s the link:
facebook.com/thegreatgordino

I love it. I link to my articles there, I post my thoughts there, I share links, I post my photos.

The email newsletter rose to prominence in the days before Facebook was even around (even if it seems hard to imagine those days!)

I had been finding that I was saving things up to write about in the newsletter, things that I had maybe already posted about on FB – I do appreciate that some people choose not to use face book at all, so it seemed a good idea.

I think what I might do, having realised it was so long since I’d written an actual newsletter, that I might take it to a real ‘summary only’ type thing – pointing out posts I had made in case anyone had missed them.

I’ve been writing a lot of sport articles lately, posting on Huffington Post in an attempt to further the sports writing, so why don’t I start with linking to that!
Here’s my profile on Huffington Post, and you can see if any of the article titles grab your attention: Gordon on Huffington Post

Anniversaries lately that I posted about – the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. It was huge in the cementing the confidence of Britain in the fight, and huge in the denting of confidence of Hitler. Had the battle over the skies been lost, the outcome of the war would have been very different.

It prompted Churchill to say that ‘Never in the field of human conflict has so much been owed by so many to so few.’

The date of 13th July had me wondering why it was ringing a bell. Then I remembered that was the date for the Live Aid gig, and despite there not being much publicity about it, it was 30 years ago!

"Gordon Bryan at Live Aid"
I remember going to the gig at the old Wembley stadium back in 1985 – Queen were as good as everyone says they were, and it was amazing to be in the stadium seeing massive star after massive star – Bowie, McCartney et al.

What a memory, and as you can see from the photo, the TV cameras managed to spot me!

Back on the 3rd of this month it was my birthday, and it had me wondering about how my 50th birthday might have an impact on you, on the personal development front.

I’m not 50 by the way, but that’s something to leave for another article I think!

I’ve also been into taking picture lately, and am contemplating trying some painting, so I’ll put up posts with the various photo trips and paintings (as long as they don’t turn out rubbish!)

"Ailsa Craig" "Gordon Bryan"
Let’s start with a little birthday trip I made to Ailsa Craig. It’s where the world’s curling stones come from, and since I love the tradition of the sport, I loved that I was able to go and visit. Here’s a taster photo.

Ok, let me know what you think – I love the feedback!

‘Til Next Time,
Health & happiness,
Gordon
P.S. As I said earlier, do connect with me on facebook if you haven’t already ;-)

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It’s Time For The Annual Wimbledon Question – Why Are The British So Bad?

As Wimbledon comes around, some people love the tradition, some people hate it. One Wimbledon tradition is a question – why are the British so bad..?

"Gordon Bryan"
Hang on, the British bad? What about Andy Murray, you may ask?

Well yes, obviously there’s Murray – right at the top table in tennis, Grand Slam winner, and the man that finally laid another age old Wimbledon question to rest, which was when a British man would finally win the singles title again.

That’s sort of my point.

Murray did indeed answer that question, but it’s the fact that it was a question for *decades* drives home the lack of British players in contention. Take Murray away, and the next British male is ranked down at 75th, Aljaz Bedene, who has previously played for Slovenia and only became a British citizen in March 2015.

On the women’s side, the top British player is Heather Watson ranked 59th, with the next Johann Konta at 126th.

Pretty woeful stats for the country that hosts Wimbledon, don’t you think? So, what’s the reason?

Systems and attitude, that’s what I would say. Systems and attitude.

You can see countries that have many players in the top rankings for both sexes, and it’s *always* felt that any Brit that reaches the dizzy heights is the exception, and gets there despite the systems and attitude, rather than because of them.

If you look the two richest women in all of sports, Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova, neither of them came from privileged backgrounds, and both of them worked hard from an early age, with the total lifestyle commitment from their families.

When you see the rise of the Eastern Europeans, it’s put down to, yep, simple hard work. It’s seen as a way out of the less affluent situations in some of those countries, a path to riches if the work is put in. So, the work is put in, and the success and riches follow.

That would suggest it’s a model that could be applied in *any* country. Let’s face it, commitment and hard work is a bedrock to most success isn’t it?

Well yes it is, and this is where the systems and attitude in Britain become a problem when it comes to tennis.

The sports that draw in the masses in Britain are football, rugby, cricket. If you move outside those sports, particularly in schools, the resources and ambition just isn’t there.

If the school buses, and coaches, are set up for the big team games, a smaller niche sport will always get pushed to back of the resources queue. Always.

Tennis is an individual sport, and in Britain it’s seen as somewhere between upper middle class, and downright posh. The club structure is stifling, with rules and regulations that are designed for conformity, not for individuality. If you want to get to the top of tennis, you need a competitive spirit as fierce as any in sport, and individuality must be encouraged.

Let’s look at Murray again. His coach mother took him to Spain to develop his career, when they felt they had no other option under the British system. Murray has not always been popular in the press, because after the ever-so-nice Tim Henman, who got settled in the top 5 rankings, but never won Wimbledon, Murray has a dour demeanour, and has always said he doesn’t care because his focus is on his game.

Attitudes towards him have softened as he got closer to the win, and then he won Gold at the London 2012 Olympics and finally the Wimbledon title, making most grudges against him fade away. That fierce competitive nature of his is now viewed with warmth.

Did Henman’s success paper over the cracks? Yes.
Does Murray’s success paper over the cracks? Oh yes.

When it comes to the answer, I’m not sure there *is* an easy answer. Tennis is a niche sport in Britain. It only really grabs the national attention for one fortnight every year, and until the attitudes in schools and the attitude in the clubs and governing body change, I imagine it’ll be much of the same for many years to come.

Anyone for tennis?

Do let me know what you think – I love the feedback!

‘Til Next Time,
Health & happiness,
Gordon
P.S. Don’t forget to check out my motivational book ‘Transform Your Life in 21 Days!’ I think it’s so good, I offer a 100% money back guarantee if you don’t agree!

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Enjoyed The Women’s World Cup? Then Get Yourself Along To A Game!

England took a surprising and historic 3rd place in the 2015 Women’s World Cup. Is it time you went to see a match for yourself?

"Gordon Bryan"
I love growing sports, and women’s football is decidedly in the ‘growing sport’ category. The 2015 World Cup in Canada was only the 7th staging of the event, which is enough to tell you how ‘new’ the sport is.

In fact there is a rich history of women’s football, crowds of over 50,000 in the 1920s, but despite that, the ban on allowing it in English league grounds was only lifted around 40 years ago!

There have been attempts to ‘launch’ the sport again, notably the pro game in the US, and the US and Germany are the powerhouses in the sport today. Various formats have been tried in England, and you won’t be surprised to read what’s behind the latest attempt, the WSL – money!

After years of dominance by the Arsenal team, you can now find Chelsea and Liverpool on the scene. That’s been driven by piling money into the women’s side of those clubs, which brings the best players, which brings results.

I’m amazed there isn’t a Manchester United team, since it’s one of the biggest clubs in all of world sport, but surely it’s only a matter of time…

The next push forward for the game is all about exposure, and the world cup result is massive in that regard. I said the 3rd place finish was both historic and surprising, and it’s not hard to justify that view – the England women had never even won a knockout round match before, nor got to the semi final, nor beaten Germany.

When you consider the other 3 semi-finalists were 2 time winners Germany, and 2 time winners and Olympic gold winners US, plus the winners from last time Japan, the run of the England team was noted throughout the world game, not just back at home.

The match coverage was switched to BBC 1, news of the event appeared on the news programmes and the sports pages, which are huge leap forwards on the exposure front.

The BBC did a good job of promoting the game, telling viewers where and when they could see the next league matches.

If you enjoyed watching the world cup, why not go along to a game? You’ll see a lot of the England players if you pick a top team. The tickets are remarkably cheap, because they are played at smaller grounds, and the crowds are much less intimidating than they may be at men’s matches.

You don’t get the vicious chanting you get at men’s games, the cheering has a decidedly female twang to it, and the atmosphere is more of a family one – to be honest, the kind of crowd you get at most sports events *other* than men’s football!

I’ll be finding one to go to – the ticket money goes back into the game, helping the development, and the more the attendances, the better the coverage will be on TV, which in turn leads to more exposure and more attendance, and so on!

It’s all too easy to take an interest in a sport when you see it on TV, but then let it slip off your radar until it comes around next time. Taking action when your sporting interest is piqued though, can be amazing…

For me it was curling. I first saw it in 2002, but it took until seeing it in 2006 to make an attempt to try it after watching it on TV again – I fell in love with the sport and have been playing it ever since.

I first watched the English women footballers when the European Championships came here in 2005, and I went to see them play a qualifier at the ground local to me.

This tournament has got me itching to see a league game – I know my ticket money will help the game, however little. I know I’ll enjoy it, and if you enjoyed watching England in the world cup, I encourage you to do the same!

Let me know what you think!

‘Til Next Time,
Health & happiness,
Gordon
P.S. Don’t forget there is a free guide to the basics of my formula for turning passion into profits:
FB Passion Profits – The Basics!

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Poor Sepp Blatter – Is He Just Misunderstood? You Decide!

There was much relief in many football quarters when Sepp Blatter finally announced he was stepping down as FIFA President. As a shocking rumour surfaces that he may yet go back on that decision though, there are some quieter voices that say he’s a badly misunderstood victim. You decide.

"Sepp Blatter"
He’s been President for 17 years, and was elected for a 5th term, despite saying after his last election that he wouldn’t stand again.

That in itself could be said to show his problem – saying one thing and then not doing it. So if he did decide to ‘unresign,’ it’s something for which he would have form.

Through all the corruption scandals that have hit FIFA over the years, Blatter has said he was the man who would sort it all out. Not only were most of the scandals then swept under the carpet, notable *not* sorted out, new ones just kept appearing.

His supporters say, as does Blatter himself, that he cannot be held responsible for the actions of individuals, that he’s never done anything wrong, that in fact he’s the victim of a witch-hunt.

You decide.

After several FIFA executives were arrested by the FBI investigating corruption, Blatter was deaf to the calls that he must be held responsible, as the head of the organisation. In fact he pressed his ‘witch hunt’ argument, saying that had England and/or the USA won the bids to the 2018/22 World Cups, none of the groundless allegations would have come forth.

So, is it possible that he’s the victim in all this? His support is based on the one nation, one vote system for the Presidential elections. That system means that a tiny member nation in Africa, for example, gets one vote, just the same as England get one vote.

Blatter’s used that system to court favour in those smaller countries, building a solid foundation of votes which has proved impossible to beat, effectively securing his position for as long as he wants it.

Those supporters say he has brought much progress to the development of the game in these countries, building many facilities at grass roots. The problems, and it’s the same old problems, come with the lack of transparency about the money.

It’s never clear where the money actually goes once it leaves FIFA, so the corruption claims are based on the fact that the heads of some of these smaller football nations maybe don’t pass on *all* the money that they should, and no-one is able to see proper accounts to verify it.

When it comes to the Presidential elections, those heads of those smaller football nations are naturally going to vote for the man driving the gravy train, Blatter.

When asked by the media about claims like this, FIFA and Blatter, simply say everything is fine, and has been investigated internally. So, it’s his hard work and vision that is bringing rewards all round.

You decide.

The voices against him got as loud as they’ve ever been after the hosts were announced for the 2018/22 World Cups, with the 2022 Qatar announcement being met with incredulity. How could a tiny country with blazing summer heat and no football tradition be selected to host the World Cup?

Blatter dismissed those voices as jealously, but eventually he ordered an inquiry to be held. Once the report was completed, he refused to publish it, saying it only showed minor misdemeanours. When a summary was finally released, the report’s author said it was so unreflective of what he’s reported, he resigned!

Not a flinch from Blatter. The hard working, clean as a whistle, passionate honourable Blatter.

You decide.

No-one even knows how much he gets paid as President, and let’s not forget that FIFA is actually registered as a not-for-profit charity! I think it’s fair to say that he hasn’t done too badly out of it for 17 years and counting. His daughter told British TV that any money he gets is earned through years of hard work.

The FBI now say their investigation is going right to the top of the organisation, but surely that can’t mean the innocent Blatter, can it? He can’t be held responsible for the actions of individuals remember.

If FIFA makes payments of up to $10 million, with no-one knowing who actually authorised it, surely that’s nothing to do with the head of the organisation is it?

If FIFA’s reputation is so bad that the main sponsors are getting twitchy, and that the European governing body is talking about the main European teams actually boycotting the World Cup, which is one of the biggest events in world sport, surely that’s nothing to do with the head of FIFA is it?

It’s all down to jealousy, predominantly from England and the USA. Jealousy against the only man who can steer FIFA through the latest troubles, as he has done for the glorious last 17 years, the misunderstood Sepp Blatter.

You decide.

I’d love to hear your feedback!

‘Til Next Time,
Health & happiness,
Gordon
P.S. If sport is a passion for you, why not check out my free report on how to use social media to turn it into profits!
FB Passion Profits – The Basics!

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Was Roger Wrong About Wimbledon’s White?

Roger Federer moaning? Surely not, and moaning about Wimbledon? Surely some mistake!
Well, yes, he did indeed have a good old moan, but I think he may be wrong…

"Roger Federer"
Ah, Wimbledon – the gentle thwack of the balls as a backdrop to strawberries and cream, with Roger Federer strutting his chiselled jaw for us all to swoon at – it’s an image that screams ‘SUMMER.’

Ok, the thwack is swamped by the grunting of the players, the strawberries cost a tenner, and it’s probably pouring with rain. Add in the fact that Roger Federer is moaning, and welcome to 2015!

Roger has been moaning about Wimbledon’s famous rule that the players have to wear ‘attire that is almost entirely white.’

At the French Open he wore a purple top and bright orange shorts, but said that wouldn’t be happening at Wimbledon where the rules had got ‘ridiculously strict.’

Well, excuse us!

Excuse any concept of tradition, why don’t you!

It didn’t seem to bother old Roger, when Wimbledon relentlessly lifted him to the top of the tennis tree, and then to the top of the tree of *sport*, making him one of the most famous, and one of the richest sportsmen ever.

It didn’t seem bother him when Bjorn Borg sat in the stand to see him get his record.

Nor did it bother him when he turned up that year in trousers coupled with cardigan and jacket for his warm up, as all the interviewers told him it ‘looked classy’ through stifled giggles.

No, as the love affair grew between Roger and Wimbledon, he never had a problem with the all white rule.

He shouldn’t have a problem with it now either!

Unless his sponsors Nike have suddenly stopped doing white tennis clothes for him to whack his ‘RF‘ logo on to, I can’t see what the problem is- in fact, I’d go further and say I like the all white rule. In fact I *love* it!

It’s one of the things that makes Wimbledon what it is. If you ask any tennis player which tournament they’d like to win, it would be Wimbledon. It’s set apart from the others.

Roger has said this many times himself over the years.

There are a few things that set it apart, the grass surface for one, but it’s really the traditions of it that make it stand out, and a huge part of that tradition is the white clothes rule. Get rid of that rule, and Wimbledon becomes just another major to add to the list.

The fact that Wimbledon held fast with this rule throughout the years, despite numerous attempts by players to test the limits of it, makes all the more reason to keep it now.

I’ve noticed over the last few years that the players stopped trying to push the limits, instead they embraced it, enjoying the special feeling of wearing white only as part of what makes Wimbledon unique. Although it must be said, some of the ladies are pushing their luck on the, er, undergarment front…

So no, I’m not having it Roger, I’m really not!

If you don’t like the all white rule after all these years, if your need to wear purple and orange is so great, you could always just not play. I suspect that won’t be what happens though.

If I’m honest, I was surprised to hear that he’d said it in the first place, and even though I’m sure the TV interviewers will bring it up, I’m rather hoping he doesn’t say it again. He’s trodden the line so well both on and off court for so many years, but I think this time Roger got it wrong.

Don’t you?

Do let me know what you think – I love the feedback!

‘Til Next Time,
Health & Happiness,
Gordon
P.S. If sport is a passion for you, don’t forget to grab my guide on how to use social media to turn that passion into profits –
‘FB Passion Profits!

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Should Caitlin Jenner Give Bruce Jenner’s Gold Medal Back?

When Caitlin Jenner was ‘unveiled’ with a front cover on Vanity Fair, it didn’t take long for a petition to emerge saying that the gold medal won by Bruce Jenner should be taken away.

"Gordon Bryan"
Jenner won Gold in the decathlon at the 1976 Olympics.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) have said the medal won’t be taken away, and despite the petition getting many thousands of signatures, I can see problems with the petition.

Two big problems actually…

The first problem is comes from one of the sections of the petition, namely:

“It is only fair to all involved that women receive their credit as champions of the decathlon and that men racing Ms. Jenner are not expected to compete with a superior, streamlined being such as herself.”

Sarcasm, anybody?

That sounds like it was written by a woman being funny I think, not a serious suggestion. It also brings me to the second problem with the logic of the petition.

The suggestion is that it wasn’t fair on the other athletes, because she was a woman competing against men. Hang on, surely it would need to be the other way round for it to be a problem?

Women don’t even *do* the decathlon at the Olympics, which harks back to the crusty old view of women simply not being capable! So surely if it was a woman competing against men, the advantage would be with the men?

Unless the idea behind the petition is that it’s an embarrassment for the men to have been beaten by a woman, particularly since the world record was broken in the process!

No, it’s a nonsense argument.

If you take account of the fact that Bruce Jenner has been a reality star and tabloid celebrity for years, I think that gives a better flavour behind the petition, i.e. publicity.

If we look at another high profile case, famous at the time, but largely forgotten since, it shows that the issue is a serious one (when it’s the other way round), and it’s that of Caster Semenya.

South African Semenya won gold in the women’s 800m at the 2009 World Championships. She had been making vast improvements in her time in the lead up to the championships, raising suspicions of doping, but the IAAF leaked details of gender testing *3 hours* before the world championship final.

It took a year for the IAAF to ‘clear’ her, meaning she had been dragged through the mud and humiliated for that year.

No reality TV show. No celebrity magazines. Just accusation and a sullied reputation.

If you add to that the proven systematic doping programmes of the East German female athletes in the 70s and 80s, and you can see that it’s obviously a problem in women’s events when competitors exhibit male advantages.

I can’t think of a single case with it the other way round, that an advantage is gained in men’s events if you sneakily take part when you are a woman. If there are cases, I’d be interested to hear of them, but until then the argument is null and void for me.

It’s quite possible that with the issue of gender and gender changing becoming ever more mainstream, the subject of ‘fairness’ will crop up again, but in this case? No, I’m not buying it.

It was Bruce Jenner that won Olympic gold 40 years ago. I don’t think the unveiling of Caitlin Jenner changes that, does it?

Do let me know what you think – I love the feedback!

‘Til Next Time,
Health & happiness,
Gordon
P.S. If sport is a passion for you, my book will show you how to turn that passion into profits:
FB Passion Profits!

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Is This The Solution To The Biggest Problem In Football?

As the 2014/15 football season comes to an end, my over-riding memory is of something that needs to be got rid of to improve the sport…

"Gordon Bryan"
Hassling the referee.

That’s it, that’s what needs to be got rid of. The cheating at the highest level has become so endemic that as soon as there’s any contact between two players, one of them, or more often than not both of them, will hit the floor and pretend they have a grievous injury.

They’re trying to cheat, basically, to con the referee into penalising the opponent.

As part of this process, it’s now common for the rest of the team to surround the referee, pleading for him to take action. Of course if it’s *their* player that committed the foul, they still surround the ref, this time pleading his innocence and the cheating nature of the player on the floor.

It’s complete nonsense. It rarely serves any purpose, and it’s ugly. So ugly in fact that it turned me off the game years ago.

This season was just the same, with one example involving Chelsea grabbing the headlines, when John Terry sprinted 30 yards to harangue the ref. He’s not sprinted that fast for many seasons!

He got derided so badly for it, that he tried to defend himself by saying he agreed it doesn’t look good, but that he had to do it because everyone else does it.

Er, no John, no.

While I think his response makes him sound idiotic (not for the first time), and only sets an example for everyone else right down the football chain to do the same, it could be argued that he does have a point – if the other team is doing it, and your team isn’t, aren’t you giving them an advantage?

Is any team going to say they are taking the higher ground by putting a stop to it?

If that’s the problem then, what’s the solution? Could we look to rugby maybe, and have miked up referees and a 10 minute sin bin?

Probably not, and here’s why…

In rugby, the referee speaks to the offending player in the presence of the captain, and we can all hear via the microphone. The player is warned fair and square that if he reoffends, or talks back to the ref, he will be in the bin. The player replies ‘yes sir,’ and gets sent away. Then if he reoffends, the ref sends him to the bin as he said he would.

If you get a player sent to the bin for 10 minutes, the structure of the game means that the difference in player numbers will make a difference, and it normally results in a team losing an average of maybe 10 points.

It’s not the same in football.
In football, if a team loses a player, they change to a defensive formation, sacrificing an attacking player to build a wall of defenders. Instead of making it easier to score, it often makes it harder for the team with an extra player – the defending team makes no attempt to attack, so the gap created by the extra player never appears.

It destroys any flow in the game, and various stints of 10 minutes of that would not make for a good watch.

When it comes to miking the refs, the problem with that is the swearing. Yes, in time it would stop as the resulting suspensions hit home, but we would all have to put up with a barrage of expletives until the pampered rich boys got the lesson into their heads.

So, the sin bin wouldn’t work, in my view. Microphones on refs could work, but would have a horrendous bedding in period. I do think there is something we could take from rugby and apply more to football though – the retrospective punishment.

If a player who isn’t the captain, hassles the ref after a clear warning, they should be punished retrospectively, and the club as well. I think that’s something that can be done, would make a difference, and would improve the game as a spectacle.

Let’s face it though, it’s all talk, because any changes like this would need to be agreed by FIFA, the governing body. Apart from doing a good line in chocolate teapots, they are not known for their progressive actions, so I’m not holding my breath.

That’s a shame, because it means we already know that next season will be marred by the same old nonsense, the same ugly cheating on the pitch, while other sports like rugby seem to have got it sorted.

Dear FIFA, any chance of some common sense?

Do let me know what you think – I love the feedback!

‘Til Next Time,
Health & happiness,
Gordon
P.S. If sport is a passion for you, my book will show you how to use social media to turn that passion into profits:
FB Passion Profits! (100% money back guarantee if you don’t like it)

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