Inside Lines: Sugar not sweet enough for FA but Brooking is a class act

The volcanic ash hovering over Triesmangate leaves a nasty taste in the mouth, a massive dent in England's 2018 World Cup ambitions and yet another "sit vac" notice pinned on the Football Association's notice board. Worse still, it has enticed Sir Alan Sugar to declare his interest in sipping from then poisoned chalice. Someone should tell him now "You're fired!" before he is hired because with Lord Sugar in charge it would be a decidedly unsweet FA. He doesn't do humility or schmoozing, and would get up more noses than a stash of the white stuff at an Amy Winehouse housewarming. The incoming Minister for Sport and the Olympics, Hugh Robertson, is insistent that another independent chairman should succeed the loose-tongued Triesman – but my hunch is that he could be persuaded otherwise if one of the game's most respected figures became a candidate. Please step forward Sir Trevor Brooking, for six years the FA's director or football development. One of the brainiest and most elegant footballers, he has also proved he knows how to steady a ship and steer it intelligently as he showed when he was a first-class chairman of Sport England. There is no one outside of Fabio Capello among the vast number of FA hirelings who knows more about the game from top to bottom. Who better than the thinking fan's pro to bridge the damaging gap between the FA and the Premier League? Brooking would also be a distinguished addition to the bid's front-bench team, whose surprise election tactic may see Seb Coe making the keynote platform address, impressively flanked by two Daves: Beckham and Cameron.

Game on for Tories

The new Minister for Sport has not taken long to impose his authority, kicking into touch the UK School Games, conceived by Gordon Brown and Richard Caborn five years ago and run by UK Sport and the Youth Sports Trust. Some aspects will be incorporated into a much more individually competitive Schools Olympics, as promised in the Tory manifesto. So is this the end of Caborn's presidency of his cherished event? "I don't know," says Robertson. "But Richard was a good and distinguished Sports Minister and I am certainly not in to making vindictive moves like getting rid of people just because they take a different political standpoint to me. I am delighted to work with Richard, and anyone else who wants to work with us."

Bojo waves the flag

We watched the unveiling of the 2012 mascots, Wenlock and Mandeville with London mayor Boris Johnson. "Hah!" whooped Bojo. "The Cameron and Clegg of the Olympics!" While we quite like the one-eyed aliens, they aren't up there alongside our favourite mascot, Moscow's Misha the Bear. Ignoring the fact that there was surely already a bespoke mascot in the ever-dishevelled Boris himself (Bojo the bullfrog?) we are glad to reveal exclusively that he intends to be handing over London's flag to his Rio counterpart in 2012. For the first time Boris declares he will run again for election in May of that year. "If all is going well I'd be insane not to have another bash," he confides.

insidelines@independent.co.uk

News
people And here is why...
News
people
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
Arts and Entertainment
Hayley Williams performs with Paramore in New York
musicParamore singer says 'Steal Your Girl' is itself stolen from a New Found Glory hit
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Associate Recrutiment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: SThree Group have been well ...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE: SThree: Real Staffing Group is seeking Traine...

Year 6 Teacher (interventions)

£120 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: We have an exciting opportunity...

PMLD Teacher

Competitive: Randstad Education Manchester: SEN Teacher urgently required for ...

Day In a Page

Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?