I have come across a new term: bureaucratic football. My concerns about this new term started growing after a beer with some friends recently. Since then I have been shocked to find its widespread use. It seems like everywhere I go, every time I listen to a football discussion or watch a football roundtable, people are talking about bureaucratic football or players being played in bureaucratic function. If this is what it’s like in Brazil, what does this say about the beautiful game? What does this say about the world we live in? What does that say about this blog? Is it all a big farce? Hiding the dark truths that lie within Brazilian football… Am I become paranoid?
Whilst sipping my cold (and imported) beer, I was told that even the great World Cup winning Big Phil Scolari is playing talented players in bureaucratic functions at Palmeiras. I am told that there are brilliant players out there who never make it because they don’t have a good agent or they are not bureaucratic enough. Does bureaucracy stifle creativity? Are creative players being killed? Is bureaucratic football necessary to win trophies? Is society becoming bureaucratic? What is bureaucratic football anyway?
One way of looking at it is the following: perhaps Brazil is our last bastion of hope for non-bureaucratic football. And that is why the term is used so much here. Perhaps the Brazilians have invented this term because they are the only ones who have identified this problem? Does bureaucratic football exist in other countries?
A counter theory is that the bureaucratic football problem is compounded in Brazil because the best young players (the non-bureaucratic ones by nature) leave Brazil at an early age to play in Europe and it’s only the boring ones who are left behind to battle it out in the national leagues.
About what about European football – is that bureaucratic? Do they combine bureaucratic football with talent to produce a winning formula? Do Jose Mourinho teams play bureaucratic football? Is a little bureaucracy a good thing? Does anybody prefer that to say, Barcelona? And what about Manchester United? Quick, direct and effective. Is that bureaucratic? What is the truth? Does anybody have an opinion? Comments welcome.