Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Bernard Trafford Columnist

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Bernard Trafford Columnist

Article excerpt

IDON'T care too much for money, money can't buy me love." So wrote The Beatles in their 1964 hit (on the album, A Hard Day's Night).

An incurable romantic, perhaps, I still believe that money cannot buy love. It can certainly buy (or at least, cause) a great deal of hatred and bitterness.

Almost every week I seem to read of a billionaire caught up in a vicious legal battle with a former partner. Is it about custody of the kids? Or their responsibilities to the employees on one of their vast estates? Of course not. It's solely about the money, and who will get what share of the dosh.

When such conflicts go to court, at least lawyers can pose the amusing question. "Tell me, Ms X, what was it about the ageing, fat, balding multi-millionaire that initially attracted you?" No, I'll maintain my starry-eyed belief that, while money might buy a lot of things including possibly a semblance of love, it can't buy the real thing.

But, my goodness, what a lot of other things money can buy. It can buy people, lock, stock and barrel, including their principles and integrity.

It now appears money might even be able to buy you the right to host the football World Cup. Naturally I need to be careful what I write. In response to allegations that Qatar fixed the decision for 2022, a FIFA representative urged caution. It's important, he said, not to jump to any rash conclusions until we've seen all the evidence.

Quite right. Still, the Sunday Times printed just 12 pages of evidence, surely enough to cast a little doubt on the integrity of the process.

It's not the first time. And I fear it won't be the last.

Like FIFA, the International Olympic Committee has had its troubles too. That bizarre selfappointing, self-replicating organisation has lost some 10% of its members to scandal in the last three years.

Nonetheless, things seem quiet for the IOC at the moment, perhaps because London won the 2012 Games fairly and squarely, and went on to make a huge success of them. …

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