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.”
Diego Costa injury: Chelsea striker a doubt for Everton match due to muscle injury
Arsenal transfer news: Arsene Wenger says he will be 'actively involved' on deadline day... but may not buy a striker despite Giroud injury
Angel Di Maria: Manchester United winger to wear iconic No 7 shirt
England manager Roy Hodgson lectures Luke Shaw over fitness issues
Champions League draw: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City learn group stage fate
- 1 Students heading off to 'charity challenge' grounded at Gatwick after travel firm goes bust
- 2 Notting Hill Carnival: Woman shares selfie after being ‘punched in face for telling man to stop groping her’
- 3 Daily Show's Jon Stewart destroys Fox News for its Ferguson coverage
- 4 When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
- 5 Like Jennifer Aniston, I am no less of a woman because I am childless
Exclusive: We share blame for creating 'jihad generation', says Muslim strategist
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
Ukip Douglas Carswell defection: Tory MP jumps ship to join Nigel Farage