Just as the whole FIFA presidency/corruption debacle was beginning to die down, everybody’s favourite football bureaucrat Sepp Blatter tended his resignation from football’s seat of power.
The Swiss called time on his 17-year reign of terror after reports in America intimated the authorities had placed him, like many of his minions in the game’s governing body, under investigation for myriad misdemeanours during his lengthy tenure.
His decision to quit was suspiciously timed, coming just a week after his re-election for a fifth term in office and his vacation of the seat has seen the market as to who his successor will be reopened.
Prince Ali bin al-Hussein, the man who Blatter beat to the top office at FIFA HQ last week, is the early 5/4 favourite, slightly ahead of 9/4 UEFA head honcho Michele Platini.
Contenders to withdraw from the running in the 2015 election Luis Figo and David Ginola have their hats back in the ring; they’re worth 9/1 and 50/1 respectively.
But it’s the 14/1 price range that looks the most attractive at this stage, with Jerome Valcke, Michael van Praag and David Gill all weighing in at this mark.
Former Manchester United chief exec Gill holds the most early-doors appeal of the trio.
He replaced Jim Boyce as FIFA’s UK vice president earlier this year, though announced he would quit the post if Blatter remained in command.
When the 79-year was re-elected, Gill bailed out, citing:
“I simply do not see how there will be change for the good of world football while Mr Blatter remains in post.”
He announced his intentions to reconsider this stance upon the breaking of yesterday’s news and his vehement opposition to the previous regime is sure to lend him favour with voters keen to see change enforced.
Gill obviously has plenty of admirers within UEFA, having been elected to the organisation’s Executive Committee in 2013 and if he is able to drum up support from beyond the continent between now and a probable election in December, he stands a decent chance of landing the most powerful position in the world game.