Lord Mahwinney's reign can only be seen as an epic failure TSS March 7, 2010 Leeds United 14 Comments Not a friend of many Leeds United fans, few will shed any tears when Lord Mahwinney finally leaves the chair of the Football League this month, for his reign at the top has been like a thorn in the side of our club ever since we entered his league a few seasons back. His personal vendetta with Ken Bates led to an unprecedented 25 point deduction for the same administration proceedings and the various involvements he’s had with Leeds United since have seldom been productive for our club. For me, the chair of a governing body like the Football League should have a background in law, or at least have some experience as head of a sporting institution. Mahwinney ticked neither box. What he did bring to the party was a Ph.D in physics and a career in politics. Hardly seems the kind of guy to address the issues of the working mans favourite sport. It’s not that he didn’t have some successes, but on the whole he often looked like a fish out of water, trying to rule a crumbling financial mess of a football league by hindering them further and putting the very existance of these football clubs in the balance. For a man who was supposed to represent the members teams that made up the league, he did very little to help them. His points deductions and other penalties did nothing but push clubs closer to bankruptcy, all the while, Mahwinney was using his physics degree to see how exactly he could implement the much discussed “goal-line technology.” Whilst the bigger issues of club ownership and financing were brushed under the carpet with his famous “fit and proper persons test” and points deductions, Mahwinney focused his efforts on being the celebrity football league chairman we’d all so desperately craved! At least, in his mind anyway. New owners arrived at Notts County bigging up their Premier League ambitions and flashing imaginery cash at anyone gullible enough to believe they had any. Despite some questionable background checks made by the mass media, the owners passed Mahwinney’s fit and proper test with no problems whatsoever. A circus show involving Sol Campbell and Sven Goren Eriksson was to follow before it became clear that these mysterious owners couldn’t put their money where there mouth was, leaving County on the brink of doom. They survived – just, although the long-term implications of their estranged owners incompetence may be long and devastating for the club. Meanwhile, Mahwinney was putting his Ph.D to good use by assessing the need for goal-line technology in the game. Refusing to allow his fit and proper persons catastrophe to be brought into question, he was much more interested in how the position of the ball could be monitored in relation to the goal-line… yawn… To sum up, Lord Mahwinney’s reign at the top of the Football League should be remembered for his bulletproof ability to skirt over the major flaws in the game that are seeing club after club forced into administration. The owners of clubs are still allowed anonymity even after the Notts County catastrophe. Governing the members of the league was done so with an iron fist throughout. Attempts to help these member clubs in their time of need were non-existant. Instead, futher punishment would be given to them. Punishment that ultimately, only the supporters would really feel. He had two major problems to address when he started which were financing of football clubs and the transparency of their owners. He failed miserably at both. Good riddance. So, where does the incoming chairman start? Well, remembering where your breads buttered would be a good start. Football clubs should be assisted when the financing has gone wrong and helped in every way possible to ensure their survival. Afterall, it’s the fans that fund the football league and they’ll be funding nothing if some idiot destroys their club. More to the point, it’s the football leagues fault for not curbing spending in the first place and allowing things to escalate to this level – not to mention the inept chairman they allow control! Secondly, the fans of every club throughout the nation deserve total transparency with regards to their owners. To understand the success of football, you have to understand who makes it pay. The fans are what matter and Notts County proved they have a right to be concerned. If a football clubs ultimate benefactors insist on hiding, then there’s probably something to hide! “B-b-but, what about goal line technology?” Address the other issues and you can stick a camera on my head to judge where the ball is in relation to the goal for all I care.