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
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Arts and Entertainment
Highs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
News
news
New Articles
i100... with this review
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Cover Supervisor

£75 - £90 per day + negotiable: Randstad Education Group: Are you a cover supe...

Marketing Manager - Leicestershire - £35,000

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...

Marketing Executive (B2B and B2C) - Rugby, Warwickshire

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...

SEN Coordinator + Teacher (SENCO)

£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam