I am not a particularly great follower of football but I was rather struck by what I discovered that the Labour MP for my home constituency of Blaydon has done, in the name of the game. So here it is.
On Monday, Mr David Anderson MP signed up to an early day motion (no. 756) which was actually sponsored by football mad Lib Dem Bob Russell MP. The EDM condemned the huge increase in the number of foreign players now on the books of Premiership teams. Apparently 60% of the players are now from abroad.
The motion went on to say that "this huge increase in players from overseas is to the detriment of the long-term interests of professional football in England and the future prospects of the national team in international competitions."
Now, I'm sure there will be a variety of views on this matter. Personally, if a players is good enough to play for a premiership team, where he comes from should be of little importance. After all, I would think it unreasonable to stop David Beckham playing in the US, for example.
But Mr Anderson has made his stand against foreign footballers coming over here. So there you are. Clear and simple.
Except, 2 days later, Mr Anderson wrote and sponsored an EDM (no. 829) which attacked the refusal to give a work permit to an Iraqi called Nashat Akram. So what, you may reply. And why did Nashat Akram need a work permit? Because he is a professional footballer, playing for the Iraqi national team, and had been signed up for Manchester City!
Apparently Man City manager, Sven-Göran Eriksson (who I understand is originally from overseas) is not too happy with the refusal to issue a work permit.
So Mr Anderson, you can’t credibly attack clubs for employing foreign footballers and then immediately cry foul when a foreign player is refused the right to play here!
Yet again, we have another example of swwitching sides, bad political dribbling and an own goal by Mr Anderson.