Ian Holloway: Who are these Fifa people anyway?

I don't understand why Sepp Blatter is still around but there doesn't seem to be any way to get rid of him
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The Independent Football

We will never know if the World Cup voting was fixed but it certainly isn't transparent enough. I was gutted when the result came through but I can't say I was surprised because of the people running the show.

For the life of me I can't understand why Sepp Blatter is still in place. Is he voted in or what? Because there doesn't seem any way of getting the fella out.

It is like a closed shop, and what is all that about? I don't even know who Fifa are. I don't understand any of it. I am just a layman who loves the game and I don't want any of them to ruin it.

I've got strong and forthright feelings about what they should say and how they should be running football in our country, and I think they are getting it wrong.

When I watch the Ashes it is driving me insane because with the referral system they very rarely make a mistake now. What on earth are we doing not using technology in football? But let's not go down that road again. I am sick of saying it.

As for the World Cup, if it helps the people in Russia then fair enough. It was strange that we only got two votes – that is putting it mildly – but it isn't a strange decision to choose the country they did.

People might have thought giving it to South Africa was odd but what a fantastic tournament they staged. The people over there were loving it. Some of those watching on TV got annoyed with the vuvuzelas but you will never forget that World Cup because of that.

Each country has something to offer to football, not just us. It is a worldwide sport and it deserves to go around the world. We've had it before and Russia has never had it. So maybe Fifa are doing the right thing by giving it them.

Unfortunately we can't help being selfish and that's why we're all gutted. I wanted to see these games on my own doorstep and take my kids to see the best players in the world. We could have done one heck of a job but never mind. We have to accept the decision and just get on with it.

Clubs should be run for the fans

One of the best things about the Premier League season so far is that no manager has lost his job. It is quite refreshing because by this stage there are usually half a dozen casualties.

I don't think it is a case of chairmen being more sensible, though. If anything I think the number of snap judgements made by football club owners is only going to increase.

There are more and more new people coming into the sport who are not football men. They are successful businessmen who are used to earning lots of money and that is why they get impatient very quickly when things aren't going to their liking.

They don't like to be told, "erm, hang on a minute, that might not work". If something doesn't suit them, more often than not they will simply get rid of the manager even when it might not be the right thing to do.

But as a manager you accept that. You know you will probably get the sack one day – unless you're Sir Alex that is! – and it is an occupational hazard, simple as that. You can't be protected as a boss, you have to fly by the seat of your pants.

What is important is that owners make sure they are running the club for the fans, not themselves. I don't think that happens enough at the moment and it's something the authorities need to look carefully.

How can an individual be allowed to overspend and, with Portsmouth, put a club that has been around for more than 100 years in danger of going bust? It shouldn't be allowed.

There should be legislation in place that says you can't do that, you can't look after yourself. The club is bigger than the owner, the manager, the star player, everyone. We have to protect the club for the sake of the fan because the fan is who it belongs to.

One last thing: well done to Avram Grant at West Ham for the result against Manchester United. We played at Upton Park the other week and Avram was under a lot of pressure.

It was almost a case of they had to win that game or else, which was nonsense. Now a couple of weeks later they've thrashed United and that is what can happen in football and how quickly it can change.

I feel for any manager under pressure because I've been in that situation and taken some flak. You are only human and when you get stick it does hurt.

Shame about the late kick-off

I am devastated our game with Manchester United was called off. I had been looking forward to the match all week and so had everyone in Blackpool – the town was buzzing.

We thought we'd be able to get it on but there was a big freeze overnight on Thursday and when the referee Peter Walton came to inspect the playing surface on Friday afternoon, he said there was no chance.

If it had been a 3pm kick-off yesterday we might have got it on but with it being a 5.30pm start, the ref said it would be freezing again by that time and there was no point.

I was really looking forward to welcoming Sir Alex Ferguson and world-class players like Wayne Rooney and Ryan Giggs, lads I admire so much. Unfortunately we'll now play them on a midweek night, hardly ideal as I much prefer playing at weekends.

But such is life, it's not a disaster and we live to fight another day. The groundstaff did everything they could but there's not much you can do about the weather. Roll on spring!

It's like watching Blackpool

I watched Barcelona-Real Madrid because I love Spanish football and I think Jose Mourinho is one of the best coaches in the world. I didn't see that 5-0 scoreline coming.

What a game of football. It was the best I have seen in a long while. Mourinho will bounce back, make no mistake. My respect for the man only increased when I saw the dignified and gracious way he spoke afterwards.

Barcelona were something else on the day. The standard of football spoke volumes about the Spanish game and it's not hard to see why they won the World Cup.

I showed my lads a recording of the match and I am trying to get them playing in a similar style, though whether we're Barcelona's standard just yet is open to debate!

My goalie Richard keeps a very good poker face when cards are down

Instead of training last week I took my team to the casino. We all put £20 in a kitty and played a spot of poker.

It was on Tuesday and normally I'd have the lads outside working away. But it was freezing, the training ground was solid ice and I just thought the lads would benefit from a little break. I think it is important to have regular team-bonding sessions throughout the season.

There are what I call low and high-impact weeks. This week, even though we were supposed to play Manchester United at the end of it, I thought it should be low impact because we have five or six games coming up over Christmas and I can't afford to tire the lads out too much.

The Premier League is so differentto the Championship. The levels of concentration required are much higher, plus it is physically tougher as well. So off to the casino we went and we were all enjoying ourselves, especially the ones like me who haven't really played poker before.

Then we get to quite a tense part and I hear something that sounds like snoring. I think, "am I hearing that right?" and I turn around to see my goalkeeper Richard Kingson fast asleep in his chair in the middle of the casino. I've never seen anything like it. The lad is so relaxed that he has literally fallen asleep. It makes sense if you know him, that's what he is like.

He played for Ghana in the World Cup. I signed him in the summer and he is playing now because my other keeper, Matt Gilks, suffered an injury.

But he is so laid-back he is almost horizontal. He doesn't say much, just has this smile on his face all the time – he's a belting lad.

Anyway, I shouted "Oi! Richard" at him and he woke with a start. Thankfully for us he's a bit more alive between the posts.

What on earth is a snood?

When my striker DJ Cambpell took to the pitch the other day I had to do a double take. He had this weird thing around his neck.

I've since found out it is called a snood, but what's all that about?

It looks like someone has gone at a hat with a pair of scissors and cut the middle out, then pulled it down over their neck.

Actually I think DJ really has done that - he should be able to afford a proper one, surely?

When I was a kid we used to get shouted at if we wore so much as a T-shirt underneath our kit. Our coaches would say: "You're not a proper player if you're wearing something to keep you warm!" I'm not sure I agree with that because there are some great bits and pieces you can wear under your kit these days.

But as for a snood, no chance. You wouldn't even catch me wearing gloves so there's no way I'd put something round my neck. I'd feel a bit of a ponce, to be honest.

Then again, Mr Tevez does it and he keeps banging the goals in, so who am I to talk?

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