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Last week we had April Fools Day with all the usual stuff going up on the web sites. Red Action announced that Arsenal were going to play a celebration song after each goal, and asked members to vote – before telling us it was all a joke.
One blog said, “that’s it I am tearing up my season ticket…”
The problem with April Fools jokes re football is that most football journalism is a joke, and besides at this moment of implosion a lot of football is so insane anyway, that is one hell of a lot funnier than anything that was thought up on April 1.
Try this one…
A group of super rich businessmen, some of whom are the richest people on the planet, want to buy a football club, and they have chosen… well…. Notts County. They are going to take County into the EPL, and they will spend anything it takes to do it.
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The only conditions are that
a) no one knows who they are
b) they must not pay the supporters’ trust who own the club a single penny.
Oh and one of the main players in this event is Russell King who had nearly £2m frozen by a Jersey court, and who is a shareholder in First London, an investment bank, which has Tim Yeo, a conservative MP as a director. First London has as a major shareholder Kevin Leech who is a director of Swiss Commodity Holding, which says it has interests in North Korea which is where Sven (recruited by Notts County) went to help them sort out their football.
It goes on and on and on, and if you haven’t flipped pages by now you will do if I go any further, and anyway Tim Yeo has now resigned from First London, and the whole Notts County saga has collapsed without any money, and the supporters don’t own the club any more. And everyone ever named as being part of the show said, “I’ve never heard of Notts County.” Recently the club was sold for £1. The supporters trust was utterly and totally conned.
Now when that sort of thing happens in real life, how do you make up an April Fool?
There are still one or two good ones around occasionally. I liked the recent one that said Walt Disney has purchased Hadrian’s Wall and style-conscious Tony Blair has taken to flying economy class. But they weren’t football. Football, it seems, has moved beyond jokes.
We could try, North Korea, desperate for a practice match before the World Cup and not wanting to go anywhere where its players might defect, flew across the world to Venezuela, thus using up the football league’s total budget in one game.
Actually that is true.
The other problem is that if you do a football fool you can get taken very seriously – like that story that said that Arsenal had signed an Argentine goalkeeper only to find that when he turned up at the Ems he was only 5 feet 8 inches tall. Not that there is anything wrong with 5 feet 8 – which I find a very conducive height, thank you very much.
There’s also the fact that we now have ESPN – who we knew would be a disaster the moment they covered Everton v Arsenal at the start of the season and spent the second half talking about old Everton players who were spotted in the crowd. It was an April joke that went on all year.
And anyway we have Mark Lawrenson spreading the word for us, just in case we thought this was not April 1 but some other day. Private Eye caught him this past fortnight saying “I don’t know any footballer whose legs have come back,” on Radio 5. Well, yes, Mr Lawrenson. Pesky business these out of body experiences.
Perhaps the biggest April Fool of all has been the Manchester United official web site page titled Welcome to Manchester United Finance
But mostly the stories are old and tired. Cesc is going to Barca, Arshavin criticises the Arsenal team, Arshavin is leaving because of the tax, Arshavin is leaving because of the weather…
In short football has become a bit of a joke.
Hence today’s headline.
Arsenal sign a fish.
There’s quite a few jokes in Making the Arsenal too. You should try it.
Back to the main page thing.
And there’s the exposition of the Dark Side of Tottenham Hots