..has the most to lose of all the people being talked about

Gengle Knight

Senior Member
Korean-South Korea
Hi, there!

The man in pole position for the job, it seems, is the UEFA president Michel Platini. He opted not to stand at the last election, and arguably has the most to lose of all the people being talked about. But it's understood that Platini has received the backing of four of the six world confederations, importantly of Asia. And his chief of press, Pedro Pinto, confirmed that he is considering his options. -from CNN
It's about the recent FIFA corruption scandal and an uncoming new president election.
I don't have the slightest idea of the sentence underlined.
Could you help me understand this?

  • dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    "pole position" = we are talking about this competition (for "the job") as if it was a horse race. Platini is in a better position than all other candidates (pole position is the best starting position for a horse in a horse race).

    "arguably" = "I think this, but other people may disagree"

    "he has the most to lose" = "he is risking more than the others" (see below)

    "of all the people being talked about" = "of all the people that are being discussed (as candidates for the job)"

    Note that "lose" in the idiom "most to lose" is not "losing the election". It is "the amount of loss" if he fails to win. In a gambling game, the person who gambles the most money has "the most to lose". It does not say what Platini will lose (if he does not win the competition for the job): it might be money, prestige, his current position, or other opportunities he has now.

    Gengle Knight

    Senior Member
    Korean-South Korea
    Thanks a million, dojibear.
    Your explanation is perfect, and I can't thank you enough.
    I appreciate it!
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