International secretary Liz Truss has suggested that if an English club makes the Champions League final, due to be played in St Petersburg, they should boycott it, but as Mario Balotelli might ponder, ‘why always footballers?’

2022 UEFA Champions League Final posterWatching the Tories trying to condemn Russia while they’ve been stuffing their bank accounts full of Roubles is quite the thing.

No wonder they don’t want you to notice that a large part of the reason we are where we are, including Brexit, is because of the Russian money that has flowed into British politics (and beyond) for years.

Asked about the Champions League final on LBC radio, Truss said: “If I were on an English team, I would boycott it.”

She added: “I would personally not want to be playing in a football match in St Petersburg given what the Putin regime is doing.”

As Boris Johnson stood at the dispatch box during Prime Ministers questions, lying once again as he claimed “no other government could have done more to root out corrupt Russian money” (many governments can and do do far more), I got to thinking why footballers always become the go-to target in matters like this.

If you remember at the start of the pandemic, it was footballers who were told they should give up their money.

Not film stars or billionaires. Just footballers.

Not even the club owners or the governing bodies.

Will the government be asking Dyson, Brexit supporter extraordinaire, to stop selling his hoovers in the country? Will film stars be told to demand their movies aren’t shown there? Will the Tories even consider stop taking cash for honours from the Russians?


Once again, it will all fall at the feet of footballers.

Those in power rarely foster the type of resentment saved for footballers towards any other successful group in society. In fact, in the UK, the more you have, the more the government will let you do what you want.

Football, however, is still seen as a working-class pursuit and, as such, we see how those in the Tory party think the world should be run.

It is the working class who are expected to sacrifice when the times call for it, mainly so those who never go without, don’t have to do with a little less.

Just look at the current ‘cost of living’ rise which should really be named ‘The Great Greed Rush’ as companies hike prices with one hand and count their record profits with the other.

It is the poorest who are hit hardest. They are expected to suck up rising fuel bills in a way fuel companies are never expected to suck up declining profits.

UEFA made the decision to award the Champions League final to St Petersburg, just like FIFA made the decision to award Russia the World Cup in 2018, amid credible allegations of bribery.

But it is not those governing bodies Liz Truss wants to see take action (although I doubt she even knows who they are or what they do).

It’s not even the club owners, one of whom is best mates with Vladimir Putin.

No, it is the players.

The employees.

Aint capitalism grand?