The FIFA crisis or “crisis-what-is-a-crisis?” has gone quiet now Sepp Blatter has been re-elected to the post of president by acclamation, and to the accompaniment of triumphal music (a presentational hint there to UK election returning officers?).

Amidst the too-many words written about this tedious charade a quote from former Scottish Football Association president John McBeth sank almost without trace

To me, football is a sport, a game…I’ve always said to them [Fifa committee members], if you look after the game money will follow, if you look after money you will kill the game. Unfortunately they’ve been looking after money for too long.

These words are eerily familiar to something one of my lesser known heroes of improvement, Czech shoe maker Tomas Bata, said in the 1930s

Do not pursue money. He who pursues money will never achieve it. Serve! If you serve as best you can, you will not be able to escape money.

These prescient words came to mind as I joined a Twitter exchange today on what the purpose for a public sector web site should be (I’m @rogerlwhite if you ask).

The consensus of the participants batting those addictive little 140-character messages back and forth was that the main purpose of a web site should always be to meet the needs of users.

If you can get over the bit about money that’s exactly the sentiment that Tomas Bata in the 1930s and John McBeth a week or so ago were articulating.  It applies no less to the delivery of public service than the making of shoes or a professional sport.

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