It seems utterly bizarre and crazy, but it looks as if of the top four in the EPL only one of the clubs could, if it so wished, rush out and spend £30 million on Johnny Foreigner (to use Mr Sugar’s memorable phrase about Dennis Bergkamp.)
The Russians have announced that there will be no more buying this January. They’ve put a spin on it (we bought well in the summer, the injured will be back from the dead by then etc), but the reality is this is a huge change of perspective.
In the good old days of the One and Only Special One it was buy, buy and buy some more. Who cares if you have a total team, buy another player, just to muck it up for the opposition. See that Wright Phillips kid? Let’s wreck his career by snapping him up for £20 million or whatever it was, play him twice and sell him back a couple of years later for 35p.
What happened to that ploy? The end of capitalism happened, which is rather an amusing way to scupper a Russian owned club.
Manchester Bankrupt remain bankrupt, and all the drops in interest rates in the world won’t help them out of that because they can’t pay the interest and no one wants to lend them a penny more. Of course Sir Alex F Word might well bark that he needs another centre forward and they might squeeze one more out, but it looks more than likely that it is now a “sell first, before you buy” policy at Very Old Trafford.
Same goes for Liverpool Insolvency, where that is now official policy. Not a penny can be spent before someone is released.
Which leaves, amazingly, The Arsenal. That’s the club that two years ago were denounced in the media (and even by one or two bloggies) as totally bust, with the board demanding that Wenger sell everyone to balance the books. Turns out all the books were balanced, and these days we have the deeply revered Mr Hill-Wood almost begging the boss to spend something. And we still haven’t counted the millions from the sale of the flats.
No wonder that Arsenal can, and did, reduce ticket prices with the reduction in VAT. I called that one wrong, and I apologise to the club for ever doubting that they would do it.
So, when you read all the daily gibberish in the Daily Gibberish, about Arsenal being head-to-head with Manchester, Russia and Liverpuddle to buy someone you’ve never heard of, just remember, it is only head-to-head if Arsenal say “no”.
We’re the only club that can afford to buy.
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