A SAD LEAVING..
It was particularly sad to see that Paul Elliott had voluntarily resigned from all his positions with the Football Association following his text message to former business partner and black footballer Richard Rufus. Elliott`s text included language that was clearly bad tempered and racist in the extreme and he was really left with no alternative but to resign from positions that he had filled with distinction for a number of years.
As a player, Elliott was a cultured defender for clubs including Charlton Athletic, Chelsea, Celtic and Pisa in the Italian League. On retiring from playing, he devoted much of his time to working with young players and with ant-racism initiatives in football and, having already been appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 2003 he was appointed a Commander of the Order (CBE) in the 2012 Birthday Honours list for his services to equality and diversity in football.
Now his resignation has left the Football Association looking for a credible ant-racist leader. Elliott was in line to replace Lord Ouseley as head of a new inclusion advisory body being set up to replace the Race Equality Advisory Group overseeing new anti-discrimination regulations. Lord Ouseley himself resigned from the FA Council in protest at the Football Association`s "mealy-mouthed approach" to the John Terry and Luis Suarez cases.
I`ve no problem with any of that - it all sounds reasonable and sensible stuff in keeping with the modern day approach to these sensitive and important areas of concern, but just one thing puzzles me. It always seems to be the case that the leaders of these anti-discrimination bodies all come from a minority background and whilst that may be accepted wisdom, it could be claimed to be leaning in just one direction, whereas I`m sure the FA can find the credible leader they`re seeking, from any background?