Have the Mail on Sunday and Melissa the minx cost England the 2018 World Cup?

Well they just might have, the Mail on Sunday today ‘exposing’ FA chairman and the head of England’s bid for the the 2018 World Cup Lord David Triesman for his silly comments to one Melissa Jacobs about the Spanish conspiring with the Russians to suborn referees in the forthcoming tournament in South Africa, in which Spain is one of the favourites, in return for Spain supporting Russia’s bid to host the World Cup in 2018.

Dave, it would seem, entertained something of a passion for Melissa, who he once employed and also took out to dinner and texted rather a lot. His comments therefore might be viewed as those of a silly older man trying to impress a younger woman.

If you Google Melissa Jacobs you get lots of links to sites featuring a pornstress of that name. One assumes that this Melissa in question is someone else, a former civil servant apparently, but her behaviour would make a porn star blush.

Triesman, the silly old fool, is still saying that he regrets that a ‘friend’ has let him down. But what about the role of the Mail on Sunday (editor in chief Paul Dacre) in all this?

It’s quite clear that Triesman was set up by the paper, the MoS refers to these as private conversations, and, one assumes, made the grubby transaction worth Melissa’s while.

Yet this is a paper that will devote forests of newsprint to the decline in standards in the UK and elsewhere, the need for the nation to rally together, the importance of events like the World Cup to bring back the spirit of 1966 and endless other related bullshit besides.

But when some shallow female says “I’ve got the dirt on Triesman” all this is conveniently forgotten and the paper will do its damndest to scupper England’s World Cup bid in the search for a front page lead – and it may well have succeeded.

You expect this kind of thing from the News of the World and its fake sheikh Mazher Mahmood, scourge of Sven-Goran Ericsson, John Higgins, Lawrence Dallaglio and lots of other sporting figures.

Triesman has now quit both posts, which is no bad thing in so far as he should never have been appointed in the first place. Both jobs should have gone to the sainted Sir Trevor Brooking. Unfortunately you can’t put the shampoo back in the bottle.

But the Mail on Sunday has gone well beyond the pale, as its team of specialist football writers and columnists will be well aware as they read this morning’s paper with a disbelieving groan. Most readers will take a similarly dim view.

As for Melissa the minx (privately-educated, Foreign Office high flyer) words fail us.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.