World Cup Brexit


KT Poolie


After a two-year struggle with our neighbours and adversaries to reach the final act, the public is still divided over our ability to make a success or failure of Brexit the World Cup.

Presenter, journalist and Baggies’ fan, Hadrian Childs, travels to Moscow to investigate.

For many in England it’s time to show the world we don’t need players from all over Europe and beyond swarming over here and taking all our premier league jobs. Conversely, many assert the country benefits enormously from their skills and work ethic making the country richer both financially and culturally. Here are three of my critical success factors.

Leadership
A good outcome in any campaign depends on the managers at the helm. Not just those standing in the dugout, facing the press, outlining the strategy, praising the workrate after an embarrassing setback; but also the unseen power-brokers wielding power behind the scenes and on whose largesse the manager’s job really depends. In this campaign, soundbites such as “being very clear” and “strong and stable” leadership are thrown in at every opportunity, but do they have any real meaning?

The country is in a difficult situation. The team has strong characters at opposite ends of the pitch but limited options to control the vital middle ground. Nevertheless the leader enjoys a slight lead in the polls and shows endeavour and self-belief in an ability to guide the whole team. But how far can we go? By most accounts we will ease through the initial stages if the team can be kept together. Unlike previous leaders, GazBot has formulated a strategy and will stick with it resolutely, but is there the capacity or willingness to change position if things start to fall apart? In front of a questioning audience the manager appears robotic and staid, particularly when compared to exotically named rivals such Boris, Raab and Govey.

Supporters
The people in charge will be winners whatever happens, they have money in far-flung places, influence beyond their intelligence and second homes in the south of France. It is the loyal fans who are most affected both emotionally and financially by success or failure.
"Perhaps most worrying is the feeling we are into extra time, have played all our subs"

Yet opinion among the masses is divided 50-50. On any supporters’ coach you are likely to hear, “When we win, we take back control”. “We will be free to live by our own rules not these European’ judgements”. Yet these same buses are plastered with lies - “Turkey is being allowed in, even though they didn’t qualify” and “Getting through this group will be the easiest negotiation in history” and “The winners will get £350m a week”. Two years ago the people decided, but did they know what was at stake and are they any less divided now?

Scrutiny
There’s no doubt this will be the most watched event in recent history. Every incident will be examined and replayed endlessly in ultra-HD to officials hidden from public view. All sides claim they are keen to eliminate the scourge of play-acting to gain unfair advantage or put opponents in trouble with the law. Yet few are wholly convinced. No matter how many times it is reviewed, some of the decisions seem crazy. Perhaps we need VAR technology to VAR the VAR officials. The further we go, of course, the bigger each meeting becomes, the more pressure mounts, the more fervent the press, the more trenchant the fans’ views. Perhaps most worrying is the feeling we are into extra time, have played all our subs, the result looks ominous and we can’t call it off.

Still, as every Poolie knows, Never Say Die.

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