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Time to say it as it is
1:28pm Tuesday 4th February 2014 in Sport
POLITICIANS are the masters of giving speeches without actually saying anything of note.
Watch any episode of Question Time and you'll witness ministers side-stepping issues with the utmost professionalism. It's an art.
But it is also very annoying and more and more, this craft is creeping across into the world of sport.
This week the Football Conference, the organisation in charge of non-league's top two tiers, issued a statement by way of explaining the news that title sponsors Skrill (an online payment firm) would be ending a three-year deal after just 12 months.
It read: "Skrill has undergone a number of changes and will be aligning any future sponsorship activity to its global strategy".
What sort of convoluted rubbish is that? In essence, Skrill are walking away and leaving the Conference in the lurch to find a replacement to provide the likes of Worcester City, Kidderminster Harriers and Hereford United with a little extra cash.
But putting it like that in public might make them look bad or, to use similar parlance, "damage the brand".
Such management-speak is typical of statements that, in my opinion, should never be allowed to see the light of day.
If it needs explaining, or poses more questions than answers, it shouldn't be said in the first place.
Similarly, football clubs will never say they have sacked a manager. Instead, it's "parted by mutual consent"; often more mutual on one side than the other. It's said with such monotonous regularity that we all know what they mean.
It's all designed to cause the least offence and guard against making the issuer of the statement look foolish.
Which is all well and good but, just for once, it would be good if people actually said things as they were instead of hiding behind quotes from a marketing manual in the hope people won't understand.