Well hi diddley dee do! I have just spent 2.5 years screaming about the insanity of football in the EPL and how it will all end in tears, and what do you know? It is all ending in tears! (Apart from those down the pub where it all ends in beers).
There is so much happening second by second I can’t keep up. Indeed I think I need half a dozen blogs to try and carry all the news.
So instead of our usual deep, insightful, enigmatic, articulate, all-embracing, thought-provoking, inherently overwhelming, original load of old cobblers, here is a quick summary of some of what has happened in the last thirty two and a half seconds.
Arry has been done (again) for tax fraud. He denies is, is stunned that it should come to this, is shocked, amazed, amused and annoyed that the Revenue could even consider he has done anything wrong, and is innocent. The Tiny Totts are saying that it is nothing to do with them.
The ex-owner of Portsmouth has turned into a gargoyle and Peter Storrie has turned into Peter Storey. Perhaps Arry could sell an earring like Maradona done.
Which leads to Portsmouth. They are not getting their £17m TV money, but instead it has gone to the clubs they owe money too. But they still are overdue on money owing so they still can’t buy anyone. Portsmouth played the game against Coventry without enough subs on the bench because they didn’t have any, and now still can’t.
They are working night and day to find the money. I could tell them where it is, but they wouldn’t pay me enough so I am staying quiet.
Speaking of clubs not able to sign anyone, AFC Bournemouth (previously Bournemouth and Boscombe Athletic) are still unable to sign anyone because of their financial misdemeanors. Silly boys.
And speaking of money, which we tend to do a lot at the moment, that jolly little team in Manchester (whom we dubbed Manchester IOU about 2 years ago) have revealed in their bond issue that they might sell the Very Old Trafford ground, that they moved into 100 years ago.
The way it moves is this. The bond raises enough money to pay off the banks. But that leaves the very pricey PIK loans which the owners are personally liable for. So they then sell Very Old Trafford, and pay off the PIK loans and lease the ground back.
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But as the Independent said today, supposing another Manchester team comes along and says, well we are now the top dogs in Manchester, we’d like that ground please, and we’ll pay more, then the landlord could throw Manchester IOU out of Very Old Trafford, and they could ground share with FC United.
But its worse than that. Of all times to issue a bond, they have done it just as everyone else seems to be issuing bonds. There is serious doubt if they will sell it. What a pity that would be.
But if they do raise the bond money, and if they do sell Very Old Trafford, then the owners have no liabilities, and could sell Manchester IOU for anything leaving the new owner to settle the impossible bond bill. They would make a profit, and have had the benefit of the £20m plus they have been paying themselves in management fees.
Which takes us down (or up) the road to Liverpool Insolvency – a name we gave them 2.5 years ago, and a name which is now shown to be true.
They have debts, the bank want their money back each year, they can’t buy players until after the next installment is paid, and they only got 33,000 for the last home game. Like Manchester IOU they are out of the cup. But they are also out of the Champs League. And the EPL in terms of a top four place.
And suddenly all their top players are out for weeks or months. Oh woe, woe and thrice woe. Torres needs knee surgery. Gerrard slipped over a punch in a night club and is out for 2 weeks and Benayoun is out with a rib fracture.
It is 20 years since winning the league (although don’t tell the papers that because they don’t like to report it). The horrible memory of Heysel is on the horizon as Europe (but possibly not Liverpool) remembers the 25th anniversary of Heysel. And they are bust.
And what is the response of the semi-owners? They say, “the new stadium will be the turning point”, carefully forgetting that they used all the stadium money to buy the club for themselves.
If you think Arsenal has some doom and gloom sites, you should read the Liverpool sites today. It is really sad.
Actually if you want a laugh, go on a Liverpool site, and type in
Kalm Down, Kalm Down, Kalm Down.
They might not get it, but it makes me laugh. (To readers who are not used to English accents, there is a Liverpool accent called Scouse, and a Liverpool phraseology, which includes “calm down” said in such a strange way that I can’t think of how to write it, except with a K.)
Oh and I must not forget the way that directors of the club write to fans. The son of a semi-owner did a great job on behalf of everyone who thinks that Liverpool FC is made up of some very silly children who ought to know better. The Guardian ran a funny piece today on what jobs the ex-director might go for now he is no longer a son of Liverpool.
And Blackburn have suddenly realised that in Fat Sam the Slug they have as a manager, well, a slug and want to get rid of him. Well, they can’t say we didn’t warn them.
Well there is the worrying story about changing the club shirt for one match or a season to reflect the 125th anniversary of the birth of the club. There’s a full article on this on the Woolwich Arsenal blog – www.blog.woolwicharsenal.co.uk
Which reminds me – there is now an extract from the Making the Arsenal book on the site – go to www.woolwicharsenal.co.uk and follow the link.
But on the positive side we have signed 3 players Samuel Galindo of Bolivia. Wellington da Silva of Brazil, and Sol Campbell of Arsenal. Not bad for January.
So that’s a quick roundup. Maybe I will find some more odd stories tomorrow. How about a league table based on the likelihood of each club going bust? Obviously Portsmouth are top of the league, but who is second? Liverpool?
Oh what a day.
- Read all about a club going bust (and it really is quite amusing) in an extract from Making the Arsenal on www.woolwicharsenal.co.uk
- You can buy Making the Arsenal at amazon.co.uk or here
- Read what The Online Gooner said about MAKING THE ARSENAL here
- Read what Arsenal World said about the book here
- Read what Arsenal Independent Supporters Assn said about Making the Arsenal here
- Read what A Cultured Left Foot said about Making the Arsenal here
(c) Sir Tony Attwood – knighthood courtesy of readers of this site. And why shouldn’t blog readers hand out knighthoods?