Goodbye Lenin

On the “6-0-6” BBC Radio phone-in show, BBC football commentator and apparently self-styled “Voice Of The People” Alan Green stated that he thinks that, should two English teams make it to the final of this year’s European Cup final, it should be played at Wembley, rather than at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. On the surface, it seems like an enticing idea, but it is really a non-starter and, if anything, demonstrates the myopia of the English game quite effectively. Over the last ten years or so, the Champions League has grown substantially in prestige. It is now, after the World Cup final, arguably football’s biggest match, and the right to host it is now keenly fought over. Moscow won this year’s nomination in no small part because such a grand match has never been hosted in Russia, and Russia is a country with footballing ambition. Their bid for the 2018 World Cup is one of those that England need to take seriously, and with good reason. The country’s natural resources are making it richer and more powerful than ever, and there can be little doubt that they would be quite capable of hosting a major football tournament. A lot of money has been poured into the Luzhniki in order to bring it up to date, and this would be money down the drain if UEFA were suddenly to...

Read More