Arsenal sign a fish

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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.

Ho ho

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.

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.

April Fools.

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

28 Replies to “Arsenal sign a fish”

  1. Tony can you tell me, when a company (or football club) goes into admin why is it always sold for the princely sum of ‘one earth pound’?

    Is there something more than tradition to this?

    Just thought you might know from your lofty ‘business chair’.

  2. Jonny

    I had a wonderful experience many years ago of setting up in business with someone who didn’t turn out as I expected.

    He offered to buy me out for £1 which I took as I just wanted out to get on with my life. I knew he couldn’t do anything with it and as he wouldn’t sell his half to me, there was no point in doing anything else.

    The simple thing about £1 is that it usually sits in the buyers’s pocket, so you don’t need to clear a cheque! Or wait for a wire transfer!

    In my case the unsurprising scenario was my ex-partner asking me to buy him out about 6 months later. I declined!!

    Usually, if there are debts, though, when someone buys the business, they must guarantee some debts, so they are not inclined to let the seller get any cash, unless the net assets of the business are significant. In administration, the administrator is looking to help creditors get the maximum % of their unpaid dues back, so they tend to take the position that the incoming buyer is more likely to be generous, the less they shell out to the last lot of shareholders.

    Of course, if outgoing shareholders are also preferred creditors, the situation is more complex……..

  3. utd also out the CL.
    Is this the beginning of the end ? Hey, that’s a Status Quo song.

  4. Whilst there is no shame….



  5. I really hate to say this out loud,



  6. An emotional post there



  7. I know it won’t help but last year we were down to the bone with injured defenders (1 left in fact) and this year it was all over the field we lost players in the last week. And those were vital players like Arshavin (big money buy), Cesc (best player), Gallas (most experienced defender). This is the current backbone of the team my dear friends.
    And if you add Song, our most improved player this season and RVP our best attacker this season you know we are in trouble. And apart from RVP they all went out injured in the last days. So nothing could be done about that.

    That’s life, shit happens. The season is not over yet.

    And for a team that would be out of the top 4 and even would struggle to qualify for the Europa League we haven’t, please take in account all the injuries so far, done that bad. Even the title is still possible.
    Is this despite of Wenger or thanks to Wenger we are still in it ?
    One have to make up his mind : which manager in the world could and would have done better with this players, with all the injuries and keeping our club in good financial shape ?

    Losing is part of football and not easy but we have to take it on the chin, stand up again, and try again.

  8. god am sorry i waz using ma phone and could not start – i commented in the wrong place !

  9. Sir Alex F-word is a racist.

    The joke is that no one in the media will call him out on his “typical German” remark.

  10. Barotsage – For someone who professes to have been a fan since the 70’s you have a very distorted view of the past 30 years. On the one hand you say that the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s were great because you never expected the team to win anything, and then you say you are pissed off at the current “culture of resigned defeat” while also proclaiming that 3rd place and deep runs in Europe every year just isnt good enough for mighty Arsenal. Do you even see the ridiculous nature of your post? Can’t you even see the lies that you have created there and the myths you are trying to believe in? Get a brain, it really helps.

  11. I didn’t know that Arsene can think that far. By signing a fish, is he trying to create a team for the world after melting of polar-ice (.. planning ahead for global warming!) 🙂 Hats off to AW for his farsight! Who is to say that he is not the best manager ever, not just in football!!

  12. Barotsage, maybe it would help to not expect anything at the start of the season ?

  13. Expectations are a bitch, aren’t they?

    The expectations on our 2010 team were that we’d miss the CL.

    Our future is bright, and we are only going onwards and upwards.

    Look over at Man U, a team with crap finances with key players who are old and in decline…now tell me honestly: if you were a neutral, what team would you rather support?

    Cheer up guys! Our team needs tweaking, but not a drastic overhaul. The future is very, very bright.

  14. I have been trying to say in a few places that we are changing our position in that the run of injuries is now being see as continuous, rather than an occasional blip.

    So instead of four forwards we are going over to six, instead of four centre backs, again it will be six.

    And so on.

    But it takes time, and we also need to ensure that if that department does not get lots of injuries we can still give all the guys some games.


  15. On the issue of a pound, raised by Johnny at the very start, I think it just is the tradition, but it says in legal terms, a transaction has taken place. When I have signed £1 contracts I don’t think I have ever got the pound!

    Generally in administration, of course, taking on the club or business means taking on a loss making operation.

    But many firms in administration do sell for more than this £1 – and that is what happens when the creditors ultimately get 10p in the pound owed.

  16. Seems like our D&G boys are back. How come we didnt see them when we were going six straight victories? Eh?

  17. And now the press are all coming out and decrying in their best prophets of doom impression that the end of english football is upon us, smugly pointing out that they have been saying for weeks now that the EPL simply isnt as strong as it once was and that the power houses of spain/germany/italy et al will take the mantle of the kings of europe.
    This is conveniently neglecting the fact that our own Lord Wenger said in the summer that english dominance couldnt continue for economic reasons.
    So now the chickens come home to roost – the journalists pretend not to know that Wenger had spotted this was going to happen all along and instead pat themselves on the back for their amazing prescience! Meanwhile Lord Wengers revolution based on good economics, planning for the future, and getting hold of outrageously talented footballers early on in their development and nurturing them continues, seemingly under their radar. English domination may be over, but Arsenal are not leaving the elite!!

  18. Well I think the press is right Christianjimmy. The end of English football like for teams like Utd and Chelsea is near.
    But as they have been telling for years that Arsenal is not an English club this doesn’t count for us. 😉

  19. The D&Gers .. They’ve multiplied and now spilled out from their containers in LG


  20. Have you guys ever done an article reviewing all Arsenal player trades under Arsne Wenger. I would like to know if its been profitable and to what extent, given his resistance to over paying for players. If you haven’t, please make a plan and soon.

    The other review would be a comparison of injuries per season between the Spanish, French, English, Italian and German ‘premier’ leagues.

  21. Tony’s points are very important-Dont think you can over estimate the impact of injuries on our team’s performances this year- not just those out but those forced to play despite impairment through injury like Arshavin, Diaby, Denilson and Clichy have as a result. How many left backs does a squad need for gods sake? We have 3 and we have had times when all 3 are injured.

    Main improvement needed is to improve our defensive capability- our resilience and ability to play without the ball- in midfield, at the back and also in goal and to improve our efficiency in front of goal-Arsenal must get behind most defences more than any team in the league- without translation into goals.
    Personally, I dont think that Adams and Bould were fast enough for todays football- they would be sent off every other week.

  22. Christianjimmy – thank you very much for pointing out the piece that was lifted from Online gooner – I have checked back and indeed not only was that piece, but then also another piece, and the reply – all lifted from the same source.

    I have deleted all three – but everyone might like to note that here we had what was in fact one person posing under different email addresses, copying and pasting whole chunks of another magazine here, in order to suggest that there was support for this kind of commentary.

    In fact, just a rather sad person in a garden shed with a pizza.

    Not that I have anything against pizzas.

    In fact I am having one tonight.


  23. Well done to Portsmouth. They may be down and out in the league but they do give their fans something to cheer about by going against all odds and showing balls of fight and guts to the FA Cup final. Arsenal used to win that competition year in year out when Arsenal was STILL Arsenal which Wenger inherited a fantastic back four and a solid goalkeeper plus David Platt and Legendary Bergkamp. With that kind of experience, Wenger can afford to blood in Vieira, Henry, Pires, Ljunberg to make it a winning team. With that experience GONE, Wenger has made a new team – Arsene-al. Clueless in fighting spirit, no sense of “I will die for the badge” attitude, and all thinking they are the best player in the world. The statistics in the past 5 years have shown we will not be competing any longer. Our records against big teams, bar Liverpool, has been dismal for 2 years. 3-1, 2-0, outplayed, outclassed were the headlines every time. I can remember last year’s CL semis where we luckily drew with Manure at their stadium by putting a crap show, then Wenger came out roaring that the return leg Arsene-al would be an animal. We turned out to be an animal alright – a mouse; putting up the same kind of crap and lost CONVINCINGLY. I didn’t even have the chance to be miserable if we had lost by tiny margin. As present has it, I have to accept defeat like a “winner” by the 70th minute against the top tier Euro teams. Utter nonsense.

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