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And so Arsenal face Olympiacos in the FA Cup.

By Tony Attwood

It must be fun to be Paul Merson’s scriptwriter, coming up with ever more crazy things to. say each day.  But also a worry given that everything said then has to be outdone, and always in comparison to that masterstroke about Olympiakos:

“I could win the league with Olympiakos. I am not even joking. They’ve won it 107 times and it’s only been going 106 years.”

And so what goes around, goes around (or something like that), but at least Sky know who to put on the Nottingham Forest v Arsenal Cup match in January, what with Nottingham F being owned by Evangelos Marinakis the man who owns the 135 times champions of Norway, no sorry, Greece, Olympiacos.

Since his takeover of Nottingham F we have been waiting to see if they will not only win immediate promotion to the Premier League, but then the title every year for the next 147 years.  Last season Forest just avoided relegation on the final day of the campaign by getting a 3-0 victory over Ipswich.  They are currently 13th.

Anyway on 18 May 2017 Mr Marinakis completed his takeover of Nottingham Forest.  Al-Hasawi was out; the President of Olympiacos and of Superleague Greece and past vice president of Hellenic Football Federation was in.   Seven consecutive Greek Titles Olympiacos won (sorry Paul, it wasn’t 167 times in a row).  

Thus these are exciting times for Nottingham F; I know that because the Nottingham Post said the purchase heralds “an exciting future that gives genuine reason for optimism”. The manager said of the new owners,  “..they are aware of the club’s stature and they are good football people.”

But of course I am doing Mr Marinakis down, because he doesn’t just run Leagues and football clubs.  His company won the rights to live football on TV in Greece in September 2016.  Unfortunately he lost it again on October 26, 2016 as the government said the TV licensing arrangements were unconstitutional.   Pesky things these constitutions, that’s why we don’t have one in the UK.  Much easier that way.  I’m sure the new owner will settle in very quickly.

Anyway Mr M’s company, then bought Lambrakis Press Group in July 2017, which includes a stake in a TV station. 

But then again, last month Evangelos Marinaki was charged with criminal match-fixing offences in Greece and ordered by a panel of judges to stand down as chairman of Olympiakos who had just won the league 209 times in a row.

He has been charged with match-fixing along with 27 other people, who include shareholders and officials in several Greek clubs as well as ex-referees and officials of the Greek football association.

But given that organised crime from a football association would be preferable to the disorganised and thieving chaos of the FA (any news guys on what happened to the Community Shield money?) he is of course a fit and proper person to run an esteemed and highly respected football league club, and the league have clearly done due diligence to ensure that the “high standards” of English football are maintained.

He was ordered to stand down as chairman of Olympiakos no later than 23 November so he should have done that by now.   The Football League of course has very very very strict rules about “fit and proper” people running clubs.   But oh, what’s this, people who have been convicted of a criminal offence involving dishonesty can’t be chairbeings.   No worries then – he is just under criminal investigation, so he’s as free and proper as a bird.

Besides the owners of Blackpool, Leyton Orient and Coventry City have all been seen to be extremely fit and wonderfully proper.

And besides Mr Marinakis declared his innocence on the club’s website, and he was found not guilty of being a member of a criminal organisation, fraud, extortion and arson, (that charge involved blowing up a bakery owned by a referee).   So the Football League said he is fully fit and properly proper.

“I am certain that my innocence with regard to these remaining charges will be demonstrated by the judicial process that will ensue, fully exonerating me,” said Mr M.

The last time we played them was on 20 September 2016 in the League Cup and we won 4-0 at their ground by the Trent.   Our line up was

Martinez

Gibbs, Gabriel, Holding, Elneny

Ox, Le Jeff, Xhaka, Maitland-Niles

Akpom Perez

 Of these the only ones currently with the club are Holding, Elneny, Le Jeff (although he’s invisible at the moment), Maitland Niles, and Akpom.  Quite a turn around.

8 comments to And so Arsenal face Olympiacos in the FA Cup.

  • Ando

    Doesn’t Xhaka still play for us?

  • Peter Kay

    It’s true we don’t have a Constitution by name. I believe countries such as Russia and China have a constitution with all the usual clauses about freedom of expression, speech, religion etc. so, of course, they have no need to imprison people on political or religious grounds or for disagreeing with their governments. The EU doesn’t have a constitution. Obviously, otherwise it would give a lie to disingenuous view that EU members are all independent sovereign states – so its constitution is written by way of a series of Treaties. Even without a single written constitution it is a fact that the UK’s entry into the EU via the EC was unconstitutional and therefore illegal. By the way, the EU is more than happy to ride roughshod over its own “constitution” when it suits them, e.g. the demand for a financial settlement to leave the EU. Otherwise, keep up the good work! There are faint signs that cracks are beginning to appear in the footballing edifice. But never underestimate the powers that be (footballing and Government) to continually paper over the cracks.

  • Amos

    @Ando, I’m not so sure of that

  • OlegYсh

    Pogba tried to do what he did to Bellerin again, this time he missed a bit otherwise Golovin might have been seriously injured
    i bet some time this year he’ll be dubbed ‘not this kind of guy’

  • Jax

    Ando
    He does sometimes😱

  • OlegYсh

    here is pogba foul youtu.be/9Gwejw-I620
    the guy doesn’t even look at the ball, just stumps on the cska player

  • Great little piece, my friends over in Greece are in for some stick, given the whole country (Mersonesque) supports them. I’m with the rebels over at Panathanaikos in memory of the students killed by the then military regime!

    Ashley didn’t sell before accounts were due, umm….

    And we see who drops to EL for sure now, some big names in that hat, bigger than what is left of the groups now, Zenit, my first international away should we draw as my other bestie is having his first and is out there and also a Zenit supporter as well as us Giooners!

    With Dortmund coming unstuck with non committed PEA and Reius what’s there little Pulosic think of that? So Spurs progress thankfully, along with United and City in poll whilst Chelsea come runners up! Now with prospects such as Bayern, Napoli and Real not to mention Barca and Juventus headlining the last 16 i dont expect many other than City to make the finals, and boy I would love them to make the final giving the league to catch up with their Arab money squad, thin as it is, with just a starting line and bench for that competition!

    Meanwhile life has picked up pace here and with it the ability to be proactive and pragmatic, in a dogmatic approach to some
    Progression! Now with the FA Cup listings out and League Cup finals to come amid a congested as ever winter fixture list, we are about to find out how much mettle our squad has and how well the gaffa can manage the inevitable rotation.

    When a fanboy tells me he doesn’t like Wenger right now, I have to accept, I don’t like him much at all!

    IWIT IMIT ISIT IN ARSENAL I trust, when my mariage is flagging I get more committed! Loving Ozil right now, unlucky sat, why did we play a day later and get a Kaye away kick off only advantaging United further after a run of games when they have the largest squad!? Fishy, directly evident in their start and the way the result came about, penalties turned down and make it look good red aside!

  • Pogba tackle completely unatural and career threatening, aimed at our only right back!

    Fear us do you Pogba, try that on Kos again and see if thay serve works! See this is whenever I miss Lauren or Eboue, someone needs to give a ban to let some of these dickheads know, oh the only candidate Ian Granit or Rancis, I want Francis back in, granite and his not tracking back and oblivious to Jesse arriving is too much! Switch the €#%$ on mate!

    COYG!

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