September 16th 2021

If Nigel Huddleston doesn’t get the sack, then it’s Boris Johnson who doesn’t know what he’s doing

We’ve all heard the chant when a team is losing games and the supporters think the manager can’t put things right. “You don’t know what you’re doing, you don’t know what you’re doing”, is the chorus that always rings out at football grounds across the country and usually means that the manager is on borrowed time.

We’ve been saying that the Sports Minister, Nigel Huddleston, hasn’t been fit for purpose for a long time.

With the second largest database of football players in the UK, behind the FA, we’ve long campaigned for the removal of Mr Huddleston who we rank as the worst Sports Minister in the 30 years we’ve been following the post.

Mr Huddleston has consistently refused to engage with our 250,000 membership, people who play football with us, week in, week out, right across the UK.

When he was first appointed, he pretended to listen but, terrified that he might put a foot wrong and potentially harm his career prospects, he has become inert and has become a shadowy figure going around having meetings with people he thinks are influential, promising the earth, and delivering absolutely nothing.

Well, he is a politician after all. The problem is, even the worst politicians actually do something tangible when they get into office. Mr Huddleston’s list of achievements  you could write on the head of a corner flag, and still have room for the rules of the game.

We cottoned on to Mr Huddleston’s ways quite early. Well, we have been around quite a time, and seen quite a few Sports Ministers and Culture Secretaries come and go.

We’ve watched as Mr Huddleston has identified somebody, or an organisation, that might harm his career, arrange a zoom meeting with them (Mr Huddleston doesn’t like to get out too much), placate them with a few fine words, and then nothing at all happens.

Some people, of course, can be quite starstruck, and it is simply enough for them to go around saying “I’ve had a meeting with the Sports Minister!”.

But if you want real change, and real progress, then Mr Huddleston is simply not your man.

Boris Johnson showed yesterday, with the appointment of the controversial Nadine Dorries as Culture Secretary, replacing the ineffectual, but well liked within the Tory party, Oliver Dowden, that he is not averse to taking a few risks.

It’s time that Mr Johnson ditched the career politician, and bought in somebody to the post of Sports Minister who can actually drive things forward in the Department.

And as every Chairman of every football club knows, when the supporters start chanting chanting “You don’t know what you’re doing!”, directed at the manager, and the Chairman doesn’t act, then those chants inevitably start been directed to the Chairman a short while later.

If Mr Johnson keeps Mr Huddleston in post after today, then he’ll have lost the support of us and our quarter of a million membership overnight.

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