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Welcome to the land of the Pig’s Head

Today’s Sponsor: ArsenalGifts.com

Today’s sponsor: ArsenalGifts.com is a one-stop shop for all things Arsenal related, from replica kits and retro shirts through to Emirates Stadium tours, memorabilia and novelty items.  They even sell “Making the Arsenal”.   Visit http://www.arsenalgifts.com

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Welcome to the land of the Pig’s Head.

A Billy the Dog McGraw special.

In the 1960s the League in Spain tried an experiment of making it a one-team league which meant that Real Mad won the league each year although Barca were allowed to win the Cup sometimes.  No one else was ever allowed to win anything by decree of the fascist authorities so everyone was happy – it was a state law.

Then after fascism was declared a “bad thing” one of the greatest players ever became manager: Johan Cruyff.  Cruyff announced that he would never manage a club built on fascism like Real Mad, which was a fairly good start but didn’t go down well in “certain parts”, and in 1974 Barca won the league for the first time since 1960.  The monopoly was over, democracy was installed and Cruyff was deified.



Worried about sprialling costs in 1978 Barca decided to let the fans elect their club president on the grounds that he would keep the club on a stable financial footing, and this democracy worked as Núñez the first president told Maradona, Romario and Ronaldo to trot off and play elsewhere rather than pay their wages.

But then just when it was all looking ok for some reason that has never been properly explained the failed businessman T. Venables was made manager and to everyone’s astonishment he won the league before returning to his more normal mode of failing to win anything, and being fired.

So the great democractic experiment ended.  The players were revolting and ultimately everyone demanded the return of the Beloved and Profound Leader,  Mr Cruyff who then showed them how to do it winning four leagues in a row and some cup type things, making his Brilliance and Sublime Magnificence the dominant force in the land of past evils.

Then he had two years without any trophies so they thought it was a clever idea to sack him and replace him with…. Robby Bobson and then van Gaal, who later also resigned because he couldn’t win the Champs League.  It was a Bad Time.

After that it was a one way door, and Louis Figo left, so a pig’s head was thrown at him from the crowd.  After that things then went into decline.

Barca bought lots of players, but no one thought to ask about the finances since the fans elected the president and so it was the “fans’ club”, which was officially nice, but still everyone agreed it was no excuse for beating us when we only had ten men.

And then the fun started. Everyone argued with everyone else.  Eto’o called  Frank Rijkaard a cow shed (a big insult in foreign parts), and Ronaldinho admitted that he was fat.

Then the most extraordinary thing in the world happened.  In 2008 Barca only came third.  The sky fell in, and everyone said it was the end of the end.

The fans tried to vote out the president, but they needed 66% of the vote and only got 60% so the directors of the club resigned instead which made absolutely no sense since the president went out and bought some more.

Next the president decided that if the fans didn’t like him he would get his own back by bankrupting the club, and so he spent €90 million buying everyone under the sun and everyone said they were the greatest club in the multiverse and a model to us all and the newspaper johnnies believed it and said it was good.

In far off New York American bankers sat up and took notice.   Three banks (Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns and Merrill Lynch) all decided that the Barca and Real Mad model wasn’t mad at all and what could be done in football could be done in New York.  If you borrow enough money, they said, everything turns upside down and no one says you are an idiot.

Borrow a little, then you are stupid.  Borrow a lot like Barca and Read mad and you are Good.  The saviour of your people.  The Almighty.  The…

Well they got a bit carried away at this point, so we’ll move on.



And yes it all looked good – for the football clubs if not for the economy of the western world.  By 2009 Bar bar were racing ahead winning everything, while poor Lehmans and the rest were all bankrupt – but who cares about banks when you have a football club.

“These Yankie hip hop pin stripe kiddos know nothing,” said a Barca press officer.  “If we could run the US economy everyone would have as much money as we have.  We make money.  We print money.  We are money.  We want Ibrahimvoic so we have him.   €69 million no prob.”

And in sunny New York, the bankers who had not been locked away in psychiatric institutions watched from behind bars (the psychiatric institutions being much more liberal institutions than the prisons), and those who knew a thing or two about money (which obviously doesn’t include any bankers of football club owners) watched.

And the little boy said, “The Emperor’s got no clothes”.

(c) Billy the Dog Enterprises Inc.  Special loans no problemo.

Back to sanity.

16 comments to Welcome to the land of the Pig’s Head

  • prick

    And the little boy said, “The Emperor’s got no clothes”.

    Genius. Thanks billy. Now churn out the match result.

  • Prick – thanks.

  • Geezer

    I still cant beleive a wheeler dealer like Venables managed Barcelona! He should be selling second hand motors in putney with Harry Redknapp!

  • Rhys Jaggar

    FC BARCELONA FINANCIAL BALANCE
    SETTLEMENT OF ACCOUNTS 2008/09 SEASON

    Trading income: 384.8 million euros
    Operating costs: 362.4 million euros
    Ebitda (Earnings before tax and depreciations): +84.9 million euros
    Operating profit or loss: +22.4 million euros
    Income / financial expenses: -13.6 million euros
    Net profit or loss: +8.8 million euros
    Cash flow: +71.3 million euros

    BUDGET 2009/10 SEASON

    Trading income: 405 million euros
    Operating costs: 375 million euros
    Operating profit or loss: +30 million euros
    Financial and extraordinary profit or loss: -10 million euros
    Before tax net profit or loss: +20 million euros

    All these figures were passed at the Ordinary General Assembly held on August 19, 2009.

  • Abhishek

    Hey Tony..

    Just off topic.. Your reader numbers are increasing like global warming.. Any idea which segment or country is getting most affected by your blog…

    Nice work.. Please keep them coming..

  • Abhishek – my software doesn’t do a breakdown by parts of the UK. But outside the UK and US the top numbers (without taking into account size of population) come from

    Malaysia
    Australia
    Sweden
    Singapore
    Switzerland (
    Finland
    Tanzania
    India

    I think Sweden is up there because of the natural affinity I feel with the country having read the 3 Millennium novels (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Girl who Played with Fire, and Hornets Nest). Utterly brilliant – I tell everyone I know to read them all.

  • Lanre

    @Abhishek, Tony’s getting so much readers because of his honesty,loyalty n commitment to the cause. This site is like a tonic 4 me. My day wouldnt be complete if i dont visit this site. Tony keep up the good work

  • Lanre

    I am nigerian,probably the only one

  • I doubt you are the only one – although I can’t prove it. My software only goes down through 50 countries, and it measures by address of the email – which means a lot of people with .com addresses don’t get counted. So Lanre you wouldn’t be in my stats. But no offence meant – it is the software’s fault.

    When I set this up I deliberately kept the questions asked to a minimum so it was easy for people to put a comment in.

    35 people with Eritrean email addresses (er) logged in and read two pages in the past month. I don’t know why, but I find that humbling that they should bother to read something I have put up.

    But maybe they were reading Walter or Phil, in which case it makes more sense.

  • Lanre

    No offense suffered Tony. I have commented on this site, only i used a different name(henri). Think i’ll stick to my original name (lanre). Walter, if u are reading, that’s my name. I am the Nigerian fan wit interest in the Arsenal Worldwide.

  • isaic

    i’m from Malaysia and i can tell you Tony that our journalists and pundits are as equally bad as the uk if not worst… only here can i find something new and interesting. thanks Tony, Walter, Phil and BIlly. you guys make my day… =D

  • Scott

    Tony: I am reading this from America (Louisiana). Your site is awesome and provides honesty and insight like no other. Thanks for all your hard work. I read your articles every day.

  • Babs

    Lanre, yu definitely aint the only Nigerian, there are a lot of Nigerians who support arsenal and come to this site, we also have a very healthy community on nairaland and we regularly call in to ATVO.

  • Fem Dee

    Make it 2 for a Nigerian reading and commenting from Nigeria.

    I saw Bayern against ManU yesterday. They were very ordinary with proper refereeing. I couldn’t help noticing the refs were from Walter’s Belgium. They probably popped by his house to take some tutorials on what to watch out for and to firmly curtail….(e.g. Rooney climbing on opposing players from behind like a monkey on heat).

    About tonight’s match, I never say these things but I have a feeling Arsenal may surprise Barcelona and win the game.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Having mentioned Terry Venables and Barca ,Billy ,how come your did not give honourable mention to his ‘buy British ‘ purchases ;ie,Mark Hughes &
    Gary Lineker ,or were their contributions too insignificant ?
    Venables wrote a novel called “They used to play on grass”.I heard it was about players playing the game while being ‘stoned’.Any truth in that rumour ?Has Tony or anyone else read that book?I’d love to know.

  • walter

    Lanre, we will be back to you in the next days on the Arsenal Worldwide.