Football: Kelly not likely to be short of work

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The Independent Online
GRAHAM KELLY'S most likely response to his sudden unemployment will be to use the free time to fit in a few games of football - but he is not likely to be out of work for long.

It is hard to imagine him forging a career for himself in the media - though if Neil Hamilton can become a mini-celebrity there may be some scope - but his telephone is sure to ring with attractive offers from within the game.

Kelly has spent a lifetime in football administration, during which he built up an enviable range of contacts around the world. The only question is whether he now uses those as a poacher or gamekeeper.

Several sports bodies could make use of his contacts and expertise.

Football-based ones like the Football Trust are a possibility, as are more general organisations such as the Sports Council. He could also move into Europe. Kelly is widely respected within Uefa and, by doing the honourable thing in immediately resigning, may not be tarnished by the present scandal for long.

A more lucrative alternative would be an appointment with one of the clubs, similar to Rick Parry's chief executive role at Liverpool. While he may be unlikely to take such a position, he should be in demand as a consultant.

Sports marketing companies such as ISL, who hired Glen Kirton after he had organised Euro 96, may also be interested in Kelly's contacts and number-crunching abilities.

The most romantic thought is that Kelly could put together a consortium to revive Blackpool, the team he followed and once represented - albeit at Third XI level.

The club have now fallen on hard times. Their historic ground is in a dilapidated state while their administration is still recovering from the prison sentence imposed on the owner and former chairman Owen Oyston, who remains a director at the club.

Jimmy Armfield, a friend and FA consultant, could be enlisted in this "tangerine dream" which would see Kelly's Heroes returning to a top flight they left 20 years ago.

Maybe presenting Six-O-Six is more likely.

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