‘Can we have our ball back?’ an open letter to Sepp Blatter – football’s last dictator?







Dear Sepp,

They call is squeaky bum time over here- that end of season feeling when relegation or that rare chance of winning something looms.

In your case it suddenly seems that all those years at the top of the football pyramid are hopefully coming to an end- this is your squeaky bum time and it’s not something we want to dwell on too much.

Your vice like grip on the trophy of world football could be slipping out of your hands. Of course you won’t go down without a fight- ‘sick as win Parrot ja!’ you are reported to have said as you shuffled from one press conference to another like the last great dictator of football.


This Qatar world cup bunnfight has been messy affair- you may think it’s racist to question the wisdom of having world cup in country of scorching heat and little interest in what was once quaintly named the ‘people’s game’ but it’s anything but.

We love the idea of the world cup- the gathering of nations like your stamp album come to life! and we have no problem with the world cup going to the middle east and to our Arab brothers and sisters – it’s just that Qatar seems a bit, ahem, tiny for such a global affair . With a  population of 2.5 million it’s very small- it would be like the world cup being held in Wales and Wales only. And that’s a Wales of scorching heat and where no-one cares about what you possibly call ‘das soccer.’


Like the glorious Carloine Aherne once nearly said ‘what possible interest does the last dictator in football have in mulit millionaire Ms Qatar…’

Eyebrows were raised at the time and now people mutter about corruption – not that we are claiming anything of the sort in your case but it’s on your watch and there must be a better way of handling it than making a grab for four more years of power.

It happens to all great dictators. The attempted coup, the bizarre press conference, that strange stiff way of walking, the politicking and the savage reprisals. Colonel Sepp Blatter you are no different.  You have been strutting the world stage for years, increasingly out of touch with the people. The strange pronouncements come thicker and faster, the mandates and the thick fog of power swirl around like a stinking inconvenience.

Football is a filth stained trench full of cash and strange handshakes, unlike on the pitch the whistle blowers are ignored and crying foul is easily sniffed at.

On top of football’s greasy mountain the colonel presides, ruling with an iron fist. It’s an empire propped up by money, corporate interests and misplaced power. This has been one of the great empires ruled by the increasingly bizarre boss who at press conferences now resembles a Roman Caesar trapped by the glare of the media and responding like a dictator with unblinking eyes Sepp!

With shouts of corruption resounding round the halls of power Colonel Blatter stands unopposed with rivals usefully cancelled out by charges of taking the money and infighting.  You are so far unblemished by the intrigue, a Caeser who escaped the knife.

Qatar looked dodgy, Brazil is up in arms and Russia looks like, well, awkward…

Football is in a crisis and you snarl ‘what crisis’ like an out of touch dictator bored of being questioned by his minions.

Money has ruined everything in the 21st century, football is a great game run by a rotting elite. They have the arrogance of the bankers who have destroyed the economy and know that they are untouchable.

Time for a change?

Can we have our ball back?

Previous articlePete Fij’s Top 10 favourite albums
Next articleSweet Benfica: Earthquake Lights – Album Review
Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


  1. Can I have my ball back, Mister?

    Can I have my ball back, Mister?
    I want to stand, not sit,
    Nor advertise some oligarch,
    On my redesigned replica kit.

    Can I have my ball back, Mister,
    And rise above the tripe,
    Of multi-national money-men,
    And dodgy agents’ hype?

    Can I have my ball back, Mister,
    And suffer no more wags,
    Nor read of sordid episodes,
    Of strikers’ tawdry shags?

    Can I have my ball back, Mister?
    And I’ll re-brand the sport,
    To substitute the sheikhs and fakes,
    Who count but don’t support.

    Can I have my ball back, Mister?
    I’ll launder the ordure,
    To launch it in the hellish pit,
    Of Lucifer’s manure.

    Can I have my ball back, Mister?
    What arrogance, what shame,
    What cynic stole such innocence?
    I want another game.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here