The headline suggests (in the way that journalists do) that there is a connection – although of course there is not, unless I really start believing that the Curse of Arsenal can be put on banks as well as on players and teams.
I wrote a slightly amusing piece (well I thought it rather droll) in the form of an open letter to RBS bank stating that as a shareholder in the bank (ie as a British citizen, and thus a part owner since the bank’s nationalisation) I was horrified that they had gone and given a loan of some £60m to Liverpool Insolvency for the next 6 months. If ever there was a toxic debt in the making it was that.
Next day bank shares collapse and RBS in particular seems to be in even deeper trouble. I’ve not seen too many pieces in the press describing where they think the toxic debt is, but there is no doubt that the money loaned to clubs which is not secured by the grounds and which is being spent on transfers is very dodgy indeed.
Interestingly at Liverpool I, the jolly nice manager Mr Ben E Tez (who recently wrote a column for Untold Arsenal) has said he ain’t gonna sign a new deal because they won’t give him total control over the buying of players. What the papers seem not to have realised (although the Guardian did print the story about the RBS deal involving a clause that the money is not to be spent on players) is that without significant funding from elsewhere Liverpool I can’t buy any players. If they buy anyone they will have to show that they have got the money from another source – such as selling a player.
So the club cannot give Ben E Tez the money to buy players for the simple reason is that his free-form spending would be a breach of the bank’s requirements. The bank would then call in the loan, and that would be the end.
Of course no bank wants to cripple a club – until they are sure that the resultant administration will give them back their secured funds. In the days of Leicester City going into administration this happened – there were always buyers. Now, not so many.
Multiple ownership rules (brought in after the directors of Fulham bought Woolwich Arsenal in 1910) mean that Sheikh Yermoney can’t buy, or have any form of influence over another club now that he has got Manchester Money. Who else is going cough up the money to buy a loss-making operation like Liverpool? America, having seen the mess at Liverpool I and Manchester Bankrupt (where they still can’t find the dosh to pay the interest on their loans) really don’t fancy this at all.
Returning to the Curse of Arsenal – this season that has fallen on AC Milan (for their summer antics), and the Tiny Totts. AC Milan are currently in a spot of bother over Kaka, and their handling of Flamini (who has only started half the games this season, having started virtually every game last year with Arsenal). That fact is helping to put the dampners on players thinking of going there. As for the Tinies, what can I say? Perhaps best to save it for another piece.
Anyway Hull 4 Arsenal 14 was rather nice (that’s the number of shots total), and we’re all set fair for Cardiff in the cup although I am not sure about this standing on terraces lark. Not at my age anyway. It will be the last time at their old ground, which I first visited sometime around 1962 or so, when both clubs were in the first division. New stadium next season, so a fun farewell is in order.
(c) Tony Attwood 2009. Thanks for reading.
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