It was and will be the least surprising headline ‘scoop’ of the year, Qatar bribed officials to win their bid for the 2022 World Cup. The only surprising part of the tale being that such a vast paper trail exists of the money. I always thought bribes are supposed to be discreet. Isn’t this how the right to host sports events are won? When an undemocratic country are bidding, the potential for interference in the process is both too tempting and too easy for it not to degenerate into grubby handshakes and proverbial brown paper envelopes.
It appears that the Premier League title race may yet come to an exciting conclusion. Whatever happens this May though, it is hard not to feel that Manchester City will be back stronger than ever this time next year and capture the league. They will surely turn to the bottomless oily pockets of their owner and gather what they need to cross the line and go one better. Or can they? Football’s elephant in the room, Financial Fair Play is coming and already last January, Mancini mentioned that it was affecting his spending plans.