London Loves Business
Vladimir Lenin’s great dictum “who, whom” was never better illustrated than in the last month in two different sports, tennis and racing. The founder of the Soviet Union’s phrase, “the whole question is who will overtake whom”, has always been understood to mean who will have power. Back in 1921 Lenin was talking about the class struggle, with sport now it is the struggle for women to have the right to be treated as the equal of men.
Raymond Moore, the now disgraced former chief executive of the Indian Wells tennis tournament, clearly feels that women in tennis should not. As he put it, “In my next life when I come back I want to be someone in the WTA, because they ride on the coat-tails of the men. They are very, very lucky. If I was a lady player, I’d go down every night on my knees and thank God that Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal were born, because they have carried this sport. They really have.”
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Inside World Football
The great gift the London Legacy Development Corporation, chaired by Boris Johnson, has given West Ham football club is the sort of gift that makes the money that David Cameron’s mother gave him to help avoid inheritance tax look like chicken feed. It also exposes the fact that when it comes to the national game not only are our political masters grossly unfair, favouring some clubs while penalising the vast majority, but there is also a huge question of whether football has lost its moral compass.
The details of the deal finally revealed, due to the exemplary tenacity of football fans, should come as no surprise. Many of us suspected it, Barry Hearn has for more than two years been shouting from the rooftops that Hammers got amazing sweeteners and, in recent months, there have been media disclosures. Even then the details now confirmed take the breath away.
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