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Tucked away among all the excitement of the Tiny Totts finally managing to do what we’ve been doing every year for the past ten years was the curious tale of a transfer protection racket being operated by Manchester City
appy arry the Red said that the Tinites attempt to sign Craig Bellamy in January 2009 came up against a barrier when Manchester Arab said that if they (the Tinies) continued to peek at Bellamy out of the corner of their eyes, then the Arabs would hijack the transfer of Wilson Palacios to the Tinies.
In the end Bellamy went to the Arabs and two days later Palacios went to the Tinies.
Several things are of interest here. Most pertinently, if it is true, and we only have Arrys word for it – although I know that is of course something of a gold standard these days – then what the Arabs are trying to do is not just buy who they want, but manipulate the whole transfer market world-wide.
Now that is quite a trick if they can pull it off, and shows just how out of balance football is. In the UK we are protected from this type of predatory behaviour by the actions of the Monopolies Commission which ensures that if any one gets 30% of a market they also get investigated.
I am not quite sure how this can be arranged in the UK, but I suppose the 25 player rule is a start.
The KGB in Fulham have been doing their manipulating too of course, moving young players here and there are getting involved in tapping up scandals vis a vis Arsenal, the Tiny Totts (again) and clubs with young players anywhere in the world.
Indeed so successful have the KGB been in bringing in young players they have announced that from next season they are going to “do an Arsenal” and play their youth team in the Tiddly Cup. Nemanja Matic (who I don’t think is actually a young player – but I don’t really keep tabs on these things) Fabio Borini, Gaël Kakuta, Jeffrey Bruma, Patrick van Aanholt… these are the names they are shouting about in the Kings Road (or maybe what I heard were just the grunts of incoherence that emanate from that part of the world), but I don’t think any of them qualify for local status.
Anyway Arry spoiled his story and bit by going on to boast that he almost signed Vieira from Inter. He (Arry) is quoted as saying that, “One of the all-time great Arsenal players wanting to come here was a brave move on his part, and it was a bold move on my part to want to bring him here.”
I love Vieira, and was there when he made his first appearance. I can even claim to have turned to my mate Roger and proclaimed his magnificence after five minutes of the first game (a one-off accurate prophecy for me) but I have to say I thought he looked fairly knackered and gone for Man City when they came to the Ems.
So anyway, Vieira didn’t go to the High Road. But the story from Arry is reminiscent of the days when the Tinies, having failed to sign anyone for a few weeks, the manager came out and said, “Here is a list of players we almost signed this week.” I think it was Hoddle but they have so many managers there it is hard to remember.
Bearing the history in mind, maybe the Bellamy story is not true and just part of Arry’s fantasy land. But if it were true, then first it must have really buggered Arry to find that the brown envelope didn’t work (not that I make any allegations and I have no special knowledge of any wrong doing, and I am happy for the court to decide in the coming weeks if Arry has been up to no good or not).
Still, in human property terms the Arabs are having a bad time of it. They thought they had got Robinho only to find that Pele’s assessment that the player needed psychiatric and addiction help appeared to be true. They thought they had a boss who kept winning the Italian league, only to find that actually he’d only won it because the top clubs were either kicked out of the league or had points deductions for match fixing. They thought they had a manager and got Hughes. They thought they had a forward and got Adebayor. It is a story of how not to do it.
Meanwhile in a different world, Marouane Chamakh has told L’Equipe that he’s on his way to us in 10 days time when the French season ends. He also says that there were offers from Liverpool and Tottenham – the former being interested presumably because all they can now do is sign players on a free, the latter because Arry was trying to bugger up our signing of him.
On the other hand, and according to the ever reliable English press Lukasz Fabianski is off to Blackburn, while Joe Hart and Gianlugi Buffon are coming our way. William Gallas won’t talk to anyone, Mikaël Silvestre is going to become part of the coaching staff (actually that’s my view, its not in the press) and Sol Campbell has been a bloody revelation and could stay in a combination of coaching and stand by in case of accidents.
The Lord Wenger is clearly aware of what is going on with the likes of Manchester City and the rest. He is quoted as saying, “It is not any more as it was 15 or 20 years ago – everybody knows everybody now. It is more about shrewd buying now in taking a gamble than in discovering somebody.”
Overall, if Arry’s story is true (and there is a first for everything of course) then it really does explain all the comings and goings and not comings and not goings in football. It is not impossible to believe that the Arabs employ someone who scours the press and blogs, looks for the person that Wenger is going to sign, and then signs him.
So on that basis….
I would like to inform Manchester City that Arsene Wenger is about to sign
- Heurelho Gomes,
- Gareth Bale,
- Younes Kaboul,
- Michael Dawson,
- Ledley King,
- Benoit Assou-Ekotto,
- Tom Huddlestone,
- Aaron Lennon
- David Bentley
- Luka Modric
- Wilson Palacios
- Peter Crouch
- Jermain Defoe
- Roman Pavlyuchenko
(c) The Marchioness of Rutland 2010
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