Liverpool Football Club's recent problems have prompted these thoughts.............
There used to be a time when the principle motivating force behind those responsible for the administration of any football club was an allegiance to the club itself. The board of directors, for example, was usually made up of local people who had achieved success in business and could afford some of their time and money to, in effect, represent their fellow fans in a shared interest.
In recent times, however - especially since the formation of The English Premier League - some football clubs have become little more than playthings for the incredibly rich - many of whom are not English and even fewer of whom have any allegiance whatsoever towards their 'investment'.
Sadly, some might say, the loss of home-grown influence in the game has not been restricted to those who own the clubs. For example, the percentage of foreign players in this country is said to be the highest in the world; so, it's hardly surprising that 'allegiance' to the clubs they represent isn't a priority. In fact, whereas loyalty may, in the past, have been a factor at almost all levels of the game, personal gain (i.e. money) seems to have replaced it.
Disappointingly, the proliferation of self-interest - as opposed to the principle of team effort - hasn't been confined to owners and players. Without naming names, it isn't too difficult to identify managers who originate from beyond our own shores who could be accused of putting their own interests ahead of their teams. Furthermore - and somewhat alarmingly - there is evidence of English-born managers blatantly blowing their own trumpets in futile attempts to become manager of the national team. Putting aside the obvious fact that few are worthy of the honour, this is not only disloyal - but extremely disrespectful to their current employers.
So, in turning to Liverpool Football Club's current dilemma, I believe the new owners have been given an opportunity to examine and, perhaps, experiment with a system which has been successful in many sports over several generations - a committee.
Now, I know that it has been said that a camel is a typical example of the work of a committee (it had been asked to design a horse, by the way) - but that committee (as in many golf clubs, for example) would have been composed of people who were not familiar with the fundamentals with which they were dealing. LFC, on the other hand, have access to several very well-qualified - and to return to the original theme of this post - people of proven allegiance.
For example, Kenny Dalglish, who has already been appointed manager, could be joined on the bench (and, perhaps, in the boardroom) by former players. I believe Ian Rush, Ian Callaghan, and David Fairclough already contribute towards the day-to-day running of the club and former university graduates, Brian Hall and Steve Heighway, may also play a part - as might Sammy Lee and Roy Evans - both of whom have considerable experience of management.
The point I'm endeavouring to make - without discrediting Roy Hodgson, by the way - is that all these individuals (and there are several more, I'm sure) would bring with them a history of loyalty and, perhaps more importantly, an understanding of what it takes to make the LFC what it used to be - and, by that, I don't just mean success on the filed - but harmony throughout the club.