When you see “Brendan Rodgers” trending on Twitter these days you wonder if the Leicester board have said enough is enough, or that he’s fired another warning shot across their bow about transfers or that he’s up and quit for somewhere else.
What you don’t expect is to read that “Brendan Rodgers is an EPL winning manager.”
Where in God’s name did that come from?
Is it a joke that you have to be in on to get it?
Oh, it’s pretty damned far from being a joke.
This is a serious issue.
Because the reason “Brendan Rodgers is an EPL winning manager” is trending is that the league has finally opened its far-reaching investigation into Manchester City, the one that could see points deductions and because of that, well, potentially title stripping as well.
Which would make Brendan Rodgers a Liverpool title winning boss.
Hence the Twitter trend with his name all over it. This is not just a funny headline. Celtic fans are watching to see if Rodgers becomes a title winner because, of course, of what didn’t happen here.
City are accused of a bewildering range of offences related to how they’ve financed their club.
The charges stretch back to 2009-10 all the way up to 2017-18. These are some of the most serious charges ever levelled at a top flight side in England and the consequences of them could be absolutely momentous.
According to The Guardian, an independent commission will be set up to examine this issue and depending on what they find, “could recommend that City be expelled from competition, suspended or docked points if it finds the club guilty. Those sanctions are listed in the Premier League’s handbook but a commission is clear to apply any punishment it considers appropriate.”
Any punishment it considers appropriate. That’s the critical term.
Football has a way of looking after its own, of course, and up here we know that the most corrupt stitch-up in the history of the game was done over Lord Nimmo Smith.
That was meant to be “an independent inquiry” as well.
But of course, it had some of its terms set for it by the SFA who were the ones who called it in the first place … so you had poachers setting the rules for the game-keepers and that was never going to end well for us.
In England, the EPL brand must be protected at all costs and whilst some people might think that means giving Manchester City a free ride there’s more at stake here than just what that club or those in its periphery would want.
They take these things more seriously than they do here in Scotland and with UEFA watching it is “get tough time” for those clubs which have made a mockery of FFP and its regulations. City are in big bother.
We are about to see how associations which take this stuff seriously deal with these matters, and at the end of it all City might well skate even if they’re found guilty. UEFA found them guilty of much the same offences and they appealed it all the way to CAS and won their case. But the EPL case looks, even at a glance, to be more detailed and robust.
And so Brendan Rodgers may be a title winning manager in England after all.
There will be the usual caveats of how managers don’t want to get titles handed to them in such a manner, but cheating is cheating folks and it has to be dealt with in the appropriate way … and it’s just possible that the outcome will be a large mural of that grinning face and those ever-bright teeth beaming out from that too-perfect tan somewhere down by Anfield.
Brendan Rodgers. A Liverpool legend after all. It sounds like a joke.
It sounds like I’m trying to be funny.
But this is real, and that’s what we should all be watching.