Following the time-honoured tradition of establishment cover-ups, members of any future investigation of abuse in football have already recused themselves. This comes after news that in 2003 the FA scrapped its own child protection project – channelling the funds instead into early return flights from all major tournaments, fixing Wayne Rooney’s bar-tab and Jose Mourinho’s swear jar.
Mass resignations are now the hallmark of any UK inquiry; which are ultimately more cost efficient than actually doing anything. Remarked one smug QC: ‘It’s a faff creating the illusion of justice. Basically we’re like an Arsenal title-run – it starts full of impetus but by Xmas half the team have gone missing and everyone is chanting for a change of manager.’
Several ex-judges have already pre-emptively resigned before they could be asked to join the inquiry – exiting faster than Tottenham from the Champion’s League. Excuses range from ‘preferring cricket’, a conflict of ‘lack of interest’ or already in the process of quitting from another abuse inquiry.
There are also accusations that FA staff were intimidated into not giving evidence to the original project, leading to a ‘wall of silence’ more impenetrable than Chelsea. An FA spokeswoman explained: ‘We’re going to offer a full and frank cover-up. No stone will be left unturned before being hidden in a filing cabinet. Any inquiry will be as thorough as our background checks on England Managers.’