According to Sebastian Coe's new book, FIFA President Sepp Blatter has ''always had a problem'' with English soccer, which he once described as being ''run by idiots."
Coe, the former Olympic gold medalist, headed the London Olympics, worked with Blatter as chairman of FIFA's ethics committee and worked England's failed bid to host the 2018 World Cup.
''From his perspective, it's not hard to understand,'' Coe writes in an excerpt published by The Times of London. ''As president of an international federation, he sees the unwillingness of English clubs to release players for international duty. He sees the purchasing power of the English game -- big-name clubs buying up players from all over the world. And he sees a national federation that, at the time of the bid, had no chairman or chief executive. And then he sees our press, permanently focusing on his organization.''
Coe said the England World Cup bid was wrecked by a lack of leadership and what he described as its dysfunctionality. Blatter went further.
''Your game is run by idiots. It's not run by bright people,'' Coe recalls Blatter once saying to him, without naming any individuals.