It's a radical idea I know, but how about next time we send the England football team to a tournament we try to win? And by that I mean why don't we treat our national sport like a business, and give ourselves half a chance of realising our undoubted potential?
Time and again we send our team to the World Cup or Euros, and every time they disappoint with their inept and passionless performances. But should we really be so disappointed when year in, year out, the closest we have to a business plan for success is get eleven blokes to run out onto the pitch and hope they can win? No business has ever made a quid with a model based around hoping for the best.
I mention 'making a quid' because in today's sporting environment our leading sporting teams are a crucial part of the economy, or at least they should be. All of us are the shareholders in the England team, and therefore have an interest in the commercial boom that would follow a good showing on the pitch at a World Cup. That is why it's a national economic priority for the shower of shit that is the FA to get professional and actually build a strategy to deliver FA chairman Greg Dyke's target of capturing the World Cup by 2022.
And if you want to know what I'm talking about perhaps it's worth having a look at Great Britain's performance at the Olympics in recent years? At the Athens 2004 Games we picked up 30 medals, a tally we more than doubled to 65 at London 2012, (29 Golds), when we put our minds and world class managerial skills to the task.
The British Olympic Committee decided that it was important to preserve national pride at our home games, so the day after being awarded the 2012 Olympic Games they set about putting a winning plan in place. Dividends were already starting to be paid out by 2008 in Beijing, when Team GB won 50% more medals than the previous games in Athens.
By contrast our football team is run, and therefore plays, like a bunch of headless chickens who don't appear to care if they win or lose. And from recent reports many players will try anything to get out of playing for their country, which is not surprising since their clubs would prefer they didn't play. So is it any wonder that England internationals 'competitive' and friendlies bear no resemblance to actual football matches, as seen every week in the Premier League?
Then we typically hire a manager with a big reputation, pay him a load of cash, but don't let him near his team so they can gel-together, let alone build spirit enough to care about winning. If this was a business and profits depended on winning World Cups the England Football Team would have been closed down years ago.
I don't pretend to know anything about football, but I do know that a good start would be to sack all the current players, the manager, and the entire board of the FA, with the exception of Dyke. They may be good at football but as a business man i wouldn't put them in charge of a broom, let alone a key part of my operation. They have the wrong values, and any business plan would need to work on creating a new corporate ethos from scratch.
We would also need to hire a new board of top business executives, who are paid on results, such as redressing the power balance with the Premier League, something that must be at the heart of any business plan. We need business people on our team for this crucial operation to reclaim our national team, and what better person to lead the renaissance, than the man behind it's degradation 24 years ago.
It simple business common sense: get the fundamentals in place; the right management team; a sensible business plan, sort out the HR issues, and in a few short years we will have a passionate and determined team, capable of winning the World Cup.