I don't follow football very closely so what I'm about to say may be complete hogwash, so humour me :-) .
Last night it was announced on the news that Roman Abramovich, the Chelsea owner, has given his eighth manager since 2003, Roberto Di Matteo, the boot following Chelsea's loss to Juventus the other evening. It was also announced that his temporary replacement will be Rafael Benitez with the belief being that Benitez has the skills to get the best from Fernando Torres. Apparently Torres hasn't really been performing since his was purchased for a record £50m from Liverpool.
Now this is where I believe football has got it wrong... they've sacked the wrong person.
I know this isn't the sole reason for Di Matteo getting the chop, but this is what the press are concentrating on and is the side of the discussion I want to moan about.
If I'd just spent £50m on a player who turned out to be a complete waste of my money, I wouldn't sack the manager and then try find one to get the best out of that one expensive player; I'd sack the player. I'd just paid a fortune for him to perform and he's not performing.
Then there's the general appalling behaviour of football players both on and off the pitch. You'd never see the kinds of things footballers get up to on and off the pitch being tolerated in the corporate world where far less money is paid for individuals, so why on earth is it accepted and tolerated in football?
These guys aren't just pawns in the world of football, they're the faces of football. They're the ones who draw in the spectators, they're the ones who get the fans, they're the ones kids idolize, so they're the ones who should be accountable for their bad behaviour and poor performances and they should be made accountable where it hurts: in their jobs. The more often they misbehave and perform poorly, the cheaper they'll become and they'll soon learn.
Imagine what football would be like if players were given a six month trial period after being purchased for a vast sum of money. Imagine what football would be like if players were sacked for inappropriate behaviour on and off the field. Imagine football players actually being someone you wouldn't mind your kids behaving like in the playground.
I think it would be tough to accept at first, but in the long run I think it would do wonders for football and who knows, I may even become a fan again.
And then we can deal with the fans... I'm still amazed by the whole fan-segregation that takes place at football, but that's a different topic.
I've picked on Chelsea here purely as it happens to be in the news at the moment, but the argument applies to all football clubs.
Update: By "all football clubs" I'm referring to those clubs in leagues where money is the primary motivator for their existence and not the sport itself. Though, the respect and player accountability part stands for all levels of the game.