The fallout from England's failed 2018 World Cup bid has only just started. I think we have passed through the denial stage very quickly and anger is upon us. The role of the British media is already being scrutinised and the BBC will come under a spotlight this week.
The irony, of course, is that the price for looking for evidence of dodgy dealing is that those involved are likely to close ranks and shut you out. England's miserable two vote first round showing would appear to demonstrate just that or else our bid leaders were extremely naive. Perhaps it's a bit of both. As we begin to rationalise this, we should look at the other side of the coin and consider the merits of a Russian bid.
Russia is global powerhouse with a population of 140m. They have a long footballing heritage, established leagues and export players around the world. Arshavin and Pavyluchenko are two immediate Premier League examples and even us lowly Addicks fans can think back to Alexey Smertin. Sure they have the corruption and misery of the best part of a century of communism to deal with but their rapidly expanding middle classes are keeping European holidays resorts open and their billionaires have much to answer for in the English game. I can see why Russia might have earned their opportunity to host their first World Cup Finals.
Qatar however? Less than a million people in the desert? Footballing heritage? Can't think of a single Qatari player. What have they got going for them that might have persuaded FIFA's elite to vote for them? Oil and gas maybe? Highest per capita GDP in the world? Lovely jubbly.