But nobody has many brave words to say for him either. Alan Sugar, who would have liked the job, tweeted: “He never offends anyone and, allegedly, never makes a decision.”
Note the ‘allegedly’, even Sugar is minding his manners.
But the decision to appoint Bernstein really is a cop-out, he’s bobbed to the surface because the media’s favoured candidate David Dein, formerly of Arsenal, has an enemy for every friend (something supposed experts like the BBC’s sports editor David Bond completely overlooked) and Nectar man Sir Keith Mills apparently wasn’t interested.
Bond reported that one reason that Bernstein had got the job was that he had more business experience than Dein. But Dein (pictured) made enough money trading sugar to buy a 16 per cent stake in Arsenal nearly 30 years ago, eventually selling it to Alisher Usmanov for a tidy £75m.
Bernstein, on the other hand, is an accountant who has adorned various boards, including Pentland, owner of Reebok, and FCUK without noticeably affecting any of them (to be fair, they’re still there).
He hardly looks like the kind of character to knock Premier League boss Peter Scudamore and mysterious fixer Sir David Richards (the former chairman of Sheffield Wednesday who seems to wield baffling influence in the upper reaches of the game despite Wednesday’s catastrophic decline) into shape.
And Sepp Blatter and his mates at FIFA, who have just contemptuously booted out England’s 2018 World Cup bid, are hardly likely to quaking in their Swiss chalets in expectation of a wigging from Bernstein.
Bernstein has been chairman of the disastrously over-priced and not very efficient Wembley since 2008. It’s not his fault that the thing cost so much (a mind-boggling £758m) but supporters say that he’s done a good job and, inter alia, fixed the pitch.
Did he get his Flymo out?
Bernstein’s appointment is yet another example of British fudge and smudge.