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When you are carrying a knock, do you put it in your pocket or hold it in your hand?

So everyone is “carrying knocks” or is downright injured.

I have often wondered about “carrying a knock”.  I mean, carrying where?  In my pocket?  And what, after all, does a knock look like when it is carried?

Is it perhaps a bit like the dark matter that physicists keep talking about every time they try to suggest that the notion of gravity makes sense even when the galaxy shouldn’t be here at all because there’s not enough gravity to hold it together?

Perhaps the galaxy is held together because we are all carrying knocks?

Apparently, everyone in our team is either dead, injured or carrying knocks, so we will this weekend put out a team that is so young, most of them won’t actually be born until a couple of hours before kick off.

And because the players are as yet unborn we can’t actually name the team (as obviously the players don’t have names yet).

So let’s forget about playing Liverpool and focus on the rest of the world.

Reading a blog in which the blogger spends all his/her time saying “I told you so,” and “I was right” is a thoroughly unpleasant and tedious experience, so put on your gas mask and take three steps back, because the rest of this piece is based on the fact that I told you so – most particularly about Liverpool Insolvency, Notts County and Tottenham Hotspur with a touch of Portsmouth, Everton and others at the end.

Liverpool FC first. They is broke.  Bust.  Caput.  Done.  Gone.  Fizzled out.  In fact so far gone that even a brain the size of the Souness has grasped the fact and talked about it openly on live television.  (That is the TV was live – I don’t know about Souness.)

The fact is that the club owes the bank £350m, and the bank is demanding £65 million back a year.  Since the club is making a loss overall, because it keeps buying players, it doesn’t have any money to buy any more players.  And it is out of the Champs League, and so gets less money.

There is a real fear now that they won’t get into the top four this season, what with Manchester Arab, The Tiny Totts and Aston Hold Your Head, all champing at the bit.   If that happens the Insolvency will miss out on the Champs League next year as well.   More cash crisis, and no way of bringing in more money.

All the money they had to spend on the stadium has gone in the buy-out, so they are sunk.   Probably not to a Leeds level, but certainly to mid-table.

I won’t say I told you so, but I told you so.  Bugger it!  I didn’t mean to say that.

And Notts County. You’ll recall that the supporters trust gave (yes gave) all their shares to Munto Finance who are owned by… well, that’s a good question.  But apparently whoever they are they are fit and proper persons.  I know that because the FA said so.

Munto took the shares, and made lots of noises, and people went to North Korea too for reasons that have yet to become clear.   People were promised shares that didn’t emerge.   And there are all these pesky court cases over debts not paid, despite Munto being backed by some of the most powerful and wealthy men in Asia (who, as I said in an earlier article) claim never to have heard of the club.

Now Munto Finance has put the club up for sale.

Munto paid zero for the club, and is now putting it up for sale.   The supporters trust gave Munto the club because Munto said they would put the club in the Bent English Premier League.   But now Munto is selling what it got for free.

Was someone taken for a ride here?

And then the Tiny Totts.

That awfully nice Daniel Levy, has told Appy Arry (who remains out on police bail) he will have to sell players before adding to his squad.

Redknapp spent £45m 11 months ago – a mere snip for Arry who has previously left Southampton and Portsmouth on the edge of total ruin, but claimed it was not his fault.   Could Tottenham be out to stop him getting his hat-trick?

“We do not envisage being very active,” Levy said – and that was certainly how it looked to me when we played the Tinies in the League this season.

Levy also encouraged shareholders to write to Haringey council to increase the chances of gaining planning permission for a new stadium.

Tottenham seem to have had an unending source of money for players year on year and I have never been able to fathom quite how they make the profit they declare each year, unless they are doing what Manchester IOU do and have a dozen different companies, with one claiming a profit, and all the others sharing the loss between them.

It would be amusing if finally Arry is stopped from throwing money around by of all people, Tottenham.   My guess is that the moment the ground is built and/or Tottenham do by some miracle get into the top 4, the current owners will be selling the shares like a shot.

As I understand it the current top men like Mr Leavy have put money into the club to fund the application for planning permission.   In return they have got shares.  In which case, those shares will be worth a lot more when the planning permission is granted – and then they will sell.

I must stress I am not suggesting anything improper in this, nor that I have inside knowledge – this is just speculation on my part.

And now a look at one of Arry’s ex-teams: Portsmouth who have been sold to two different people neither of whom have any money and so the club can’t pay its transfer fees – including money owed to Arsenal.  They are on the very edge of the very edge.

Oh yes, and there is Everton who are sleepwalking towards the edge, and whose whole financial model resembles a zombie like progression towards oblivion, unless they can get a stadium for nothing, or produce a Rooney every three years.   They keep telling the elected local council that they are morons, and then asking them for planning permission.  An interesting tactic, but one that is I fear, ultimately doomed.

And let us not forget about Leeds and Birmingham with their mystery owners, still playing on despite not revealing who they are.  Maybe one day the FA will think, “oh, we have a rule on this sort of thing…” but no, that is probably too much to ask.

Back in Arsenal land my biggest concern is that with the Reserves playing instead of the first team in the Bent EPL, and the Youth Team playing in the Reserve League (in which the mighty Tottenham cannot even field a team – withdrawing from the league on the day it kicked off this season), who is going to play in the Youth Team?

Step up the Under 11s.

And please, if you know anyone that you want to buy a present for, who is interested in Arsenal, and would like to read a book utterly unlike any other book ever written on Arsenal, do consider MAKING THE ARSENAL.   If you don’t want to buy direct, you can buy from Amazon.co.uk

(c) Tony Attwood 2009.

17 comments to When you are carrying a knock, do you put it in your pocket or hold it in your hand?

  • Aaditya

    2 Questions:

    1. Isn’t Birmingham owned by Carl Yeung?
    2. Who’s going to play in our under-11s then? 😛

  • Pete

    Hi Tony i remember going to the FA Cup semi against spurs in 93 with you and Roger Brooks can you guess who it is?

  • Gf60

    That’s a nice one for Notts County fans. Think that qualifies as a good “Hustle”. Sell it to TV.

    As for the rest…such a shame. :o)

  • LRV

    Well, I feel like making up a language and work out the meaning later. “Husltlo Munto Notsco”, which may probably mean “Nots County has been hustled” or something to that effect.

    The Liverpool situation is such a shame. And Everton? Why is the two teams in Liverpool have so much problem? The past is really catching up with Liverpool, isn’t it? Now, fans who cry out for supposed money-bag buyers must learn from this.

    As for the Tiny Totts, I have no sympathy for them whatsoever. As for Harry, he has the Devil’s touch no doubt.
    ————————————————————
    On a yesterdays subject – Ole Gunner: Both of your comments on yesterday’s post you could develop into full articles for this site. Do you know that? Just merge them, beef them up and submit to Tony. It will make a lovely read I am sure.

  • walter

    Another nice article Tony.
    I really think that losing the CL money would have a big negative impact on Liverpool. Well the downfall of Leeds seemed also impossible 10 years ago but once the stones began to fall they couldn’t stop them anymore. It could happen to Liverpool also I think.
    Like in the banking crisis last year. Our 2 biggest bank had to be saved by large sums of tax payers money to keep them alive and if one would have predicted that scenario 2 years ago he would have been put in a mental health institution and declared crazy.
    So nothing is impossible in the current financial climate I would say.
    Thank God we are in safe and reliable hands… and keep it that way for many years to come….

  • Kevin

    Looking at the trail of destruction left behind Appy Arry I’ve been wondering for a long time what it is that people see in him. I think they see promise – the promise of better times ahead. All you have to do is give Arry the money and he’ll take you to the “next level” (oh how I hate that expression).

    So they borrow and/or forget to pay a few bills (more later) to buy the new players. Just look at West Ham, Southampton and Portsmouth. They do quite nicely for a while but sooner or later it all comes down around their ears. Even at West Ham the seeds of destruction were sown under Arry’s management. The subsequent ownership problems mostly derive from the debt levels built up to fund Arry’s transfer activities and ever-growing player salaries. He was only at Southampton for 5 minutes and look where they are now. Look at Portsmouth trying and failing to deal with the remainder of ‘Arry’s wage bill and the players they couldn’t even sell on to him at THFC. Three of Arry’s clubs have all gone or are going down the toilet but Arry always leaves just in time when some other hopeful chairman comes along and thinks Arry is just the man to base their future on.

    So now we see him at Tottingham. They’ve spent mad money on transfer fees and their wage bill is phenomenal, but this is a club with a relatively small ground and not a lot of European TV money. The numbers do not make sense. They cannot be meeting that expenditure from the publicly visible income. It’s debt or it’s dodgy or it’s both. All for the usual idea of letting Arry spend big today in the hope of getting Champions League money tomorrow. Did I mention they want to build a huge new stadium too? The danger for Arry is that this time there can be no “bigger club” coming in for him so he’s stuck there till he’s fired (though paid off handsomely) when he’ll retire into equally over-paid TV punditry. The danger for the Totts is … sod that, it couldn’t happen to a nicer club!

    By the way, how many times have you heard that clubs owe loads of money and the majority of it is owed to the Inland Revenue? How often have you thought “Oh well, it’s only the taxman. That’s not as bad as say, owing another club for unpaid transfer fees”? Well think again. Apart from the obvious fact that this is money that could and should have gone on pensions, schools, hospitals etc and now won’t, this is not even the club’s taxes. It’s not the tax on their own profits – they didn’t make any profits! Along with the employer’s NI contributions, the biggest part by far is the players’ own taxes, the PAYE & NI they deducted from the players’ wages and then conveniently forgot to hand over. How would you feel if you found your boss had been making all those deductions then not even paying the revenue?

  • walter

    You’re so right Kevin.
    In my country there is a license sistem where every club has to prove that they have no such unpaid debts or otherwise they get no license to play in the 2 highest divisions.

    But I should add that as most FA’s are corrupt and bent, so is ours and the rules are not applied in the same way for everyone. Some clubs have been throwen out of the professional leagues for that reason, others not. But this is question of politics I can say.

    But in the end it is a bloody disgrace that clubs are allowed to do these kind of things. It is running a football club with the money from the people in the street. And in these days with big financial and economical problems it is an even bigger disgrace.

  • Marc

    Nice piece Tony. The Liverpool situation is just absolutely brilliant. I had filthy scousers telling me for years that Arsenal were broke and Liverpool had loads of money, were going to win everything etc etc. With Dubai almost going bust, selling to the Arabs seems have gone pear shaped as well. Life sure is a bitch! At least it is if you support Liverpool supporter.

    What I can’t understand is the Everton situation. I’m not talking about the new stadium but their financial situation. They are a reasonably well supported club who have performed well over the last few seasons. They get a huge amount of money from the PL compared to the TV deals in France, Germany, Italy or Spain. I don’t know how much a ticket to Everton is but I’m sure it costs more than to a similar club in Europe. They haven’t spent crazy sums in the transfer market (at least as far as I can recall). All they have to do is balance the wage bill to the turnover. Keep it to 50% and they should be fine. Why can’t our football clubs (Arsenal not included) run properly? How many clubs could survive as an independent business?

  • mark

    Gordon Brown is due to make an announcement on the insolvency crisis next week.
    The Bank of England is launching a 30 Billion pound reflotation fund for ‘clubs that are too big to go under’.

    With the eradication of the manufucturing base, football is our best export, and they can’t afford for it too go under.

  • mark

    In fact Berlusconi is such a big supporter of English football, because as he says: “It has the sweet whiff of corruptione like the smell of delicate perume on a Sicilian hooker”, that he has proposed at the next G20 summit that all the world leaders wear an english Premier League football top, in support of the game. Apparently David Mellor is very keen to attend in case the Argentine PM goes for a Chelsea top, but might be disappointed if Angela Merkel gets it. Berlusconi is hoping that Portsmouth go bust so that the Argentinian PM can show her bust.
    Vladimir Putin thinks its a greta idea, and has suggested that the G20 leaders start doing the European Cup quarter final draw.

  • Pete The First

    Good article re Munto in the Times today. A fishy sounding deal battered out by a guy named Knight. The implication is that he could make £3 million out of the Notts County deal. Although they have to find a buyer first.

    Tut Tut Notts Co Supporters Trust. Maybe they should have looked before they crossed the road?

  • Hartwick89

    Litlle known fact about our manager is two-fold! He predicted rough times for ordinary clubs last year…and his degree is in Economics. I am pretty sure because he adopted model c) is why Arsenal will hopefully flourish in years to come. Simply put pay as you go = survival while debt as you go = demise. I hope for the sake of English Football the teams that pay as you go get their chance at the EPL.

  • Wonderinggoon

    @Hartwick89: I’m still waiting for the rest of the story in the previous article.

  • don't believe the hype

    Me too Wonderinggoon – that was a really interesting teaser Hartwick89

  • Just a note on Birmingham. Yeung is the front man for an unknown consortium of owners. He has shares, but only a minority.

  • lordgunner

    In France ,before you get register in you own division ,you have to send financial paper to a financial organization from the french FA where they check if you have the finance to run the team for the season.if not you can get ban from transfer (IN),send to the division under or worst send you bankrupt .
    lot of club in France have disappear (even so most reborn to lower league) why they don’t use this in England (instead of the pointless Administration and minus point).this will put owner under pressure to get the finance right first.a club like Liverpool,portsmouth and everton would never been allowed to been run like this in France.

    as for harry you forget Bournemouth so it s four time unlucky for Harry team

  • Hartwick89

    @wonderinggoon sorry…I’ll finish up tonite with a nice malt beverage.