Why owning a football club should be a red flag for voters electing politicians?
Silvio Berlusconi, owner of AC Milan and ex-Italian PM. One of the most corrupt politicians, facing charges of tax fraud and embezzlement. Out of power in the 2006 Italian elections.
Bernard Tapie, owner of Olympique Marseille, and minister of city affairs. Implicated in tax fraud and match fixing, Sentenced to jail in 1995.
Jesus Gil, chairman of Atletico Madrid, and former mayor of Marabella, Spain, indicted on charges of defrauding the city and jailed. He passed away in 2004.
Zeljko Raznatovic, aka Arkan, owner of Obilic FC, and notorious Serbian warlord, founder of the political party Serbians for Political Unity. Indicted by the ICJ for war crimes. Assassinated in January, 2000.
Of course, it is not just football club owners that make corrupt or bad politicians. The gold standard has been set by George W Bush, the ex-owner of the baseball club, the Texas Rangers. He owes the city of Arlington, $7.5 million dollars for land for the baseball stadium but never paid up. If we had all payed careful attention to this red flag, we would not have had Mess-o-potamia.
The only exception seems to be Ghana's president, John Kufour, the ex-chairman of Asante Kotoko, one of Ghana's top clubs. Kufour is widely regarded as one of the most honest and disciplined of Africa's leaders and a champion of social justice and economic reform.
The corollary is also true and more relevant: Never agree to a politician trying to buy out a football club.