Departing Charles van Commenee on Phillips Idowu and Twitter
The head of UK Athletics discusses the breakdown in his relationship with Phillips Idowu
Wednesday 28 November 2012
Is Charles van Commenee not preparing to leave Britain with one big regret? After all, the breakdown of his relationship with Phillips Idowu after the triple jumper announced his withdrawal from last year’s European Team Championships on Twitter left a bitter taste that lingered on this summer right up to the London Olympics
Van Commenee collects his thoughts and chooses his words carefully. “I’ll make an analogy,” he says. “As a leader, it’s like you’re driving the train. I drove the train for four years and as a leader you want to keep as many people as possible onboard.
“But I’ve got about 150 people on the train - athletes, staff and others. It’s impossible to keep everybody on the train for four years. Now, after the steering wheel has been taken over by my successors, I look over my shoulder and I still think 95 per cent is on.
“But people who do not want to be helped, you cannot help. As a leader you cannot help people who are self-destructive either... I think I’ve said enough.”
Van Commenee, however,would like to set the record straight on one matter: his declared disdain for Twitter. “I could see in the Arab Spring that it’s not only for nonsense,” he says. “It had a serious contribution to developments there.”
How Liverpool can catch Manchester United and secure Champions League football next season
Arsenal transfer news: Tomas Rosicky and Mathieu Flamini set for showdown summer talks over future
Arsenal transfer news: Arsene Wenger reveals: 'We are not close to signing anybody. We need to lose some players'
Danny Jones: Keighley Cougars half-back dies after cardiac arrest during league game
Chelsea season player ratings: Grading the entire squad of the new Premier League champions
- 2 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 3 Russell Brand backs Ed Miliband: 'You gotta vote Labour'
- 4 General Election 2015: 14-year-old boy asks Nick Clegg – 'can you kill Katie Hopkins?'
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
In defence of liberal democracy