Imagine this unlikely scenario:
You are an international Governing Body, (we’ll call you UEFA) and you form part of a hierarchy running a sport that we’ll call Football for the purposes of this story. Above in the hierarchy is the World’s Governing Body and below you are the National Governing Bodies, so you are a pretty important player in this sport. Amongst the roles you carry out is organising a competition (we’ll call it The Champions League). You make the rules. The National Associations give you a list of teams they want to enter because they have met the criteria you set down.
Now one of those National Associations has had a bit of a problem. Within their Country (we’ll call it Italy) there has been a bit of a to-do. Four of their teams have been a bit naughty and got caught rigging matches. The Italian Authorities eventually have relegated one team and deducted points from the other three, two of which cannot now play in any of your competitions for the next year. One however, (we’ll call them AC Milan) is a pretty successful team and has just about managed to weasel its’ way into your competition. The problem with AC Milan is that they are very rich and a leading light in a Trade Union (we’ll call them G-14) who pretty much want to do your job and make lots more money. They’ve also just sold their leading player for a sum of money that is the equivalent to the GDP of a small African Nation. So they are really rich and can afford a good Lawyer.
The Head of your Organisation does not want to have them in because they have broken the rules. So you create a Committee to review the situation and being above board, they have a meeting to decide on the matter. In order to be really fair, you decide to let AC Milan attend the meeting because it is not nice being dragged through the Courts and the G-14 are Bullies who will do that. Things start to go wrong when you make the draw for the Third Qualifying Round and include AC Milan in it. But as it is your competition and you make the rules, there is no reason why you should not do this because you expect them to be kicked out and that would let another team have a chance.
But from here on in, it all goes horribly tits up for you. Because by acting in a reasonable way, the bullies think this is a sign of weakness. The rest of the world though you were being fair. But no, you were being weak because those nasty bullies threaten to take you to court if you do not let them play. And you cannot stand any unpleasantness so you let them win because you are too weak. To try and save face with the rest of the world you tell everyone that there is “no sound legal basis for excluding them” but the rest of us think, “Eh? They cheated, got caught and should be punished”. But then you tell them that you are going to change the rules so that if anyone else is naughty they will not all owed to play in your competitions. However the rest of us just think that you are too weak and ineffective to be allowed anywhere near organising a football match or to have anything else to do with football. We all think you should cease to exist and all of your responsibilities subsumed into the World Governing Body (who we’ll call FIFA) and who know what they are doing. Ah, fundamental flaw is that FIFA are as bad as you. Football is doomed. The Cheats prosper. Honesty is not rewarded. And the fools are at the top of the tree, running the sport.