I meant to write about this yesterday – I am hoping everyone saw, and approved of, the magnificent Red Action flag celebrating the multinational approach of Arsenal, and its constant stand against the “where were you born?” approach to football.
I knew it was going to be big – but not that big. It is brilliant, and I look forward to seeing it at every game. I also hope the TV cameras catch it because it symbolises everything the club is about with its emphasis on the history (with the club badge that us oldies remember) and on the world-wide reach of the club.
Thanks to everyone in RedAction for this.
Meanwhile in the world of humour, the long expected first crash of an EPL club is happening even as I write. West Iceland United is being handed over to the banks. But here’s the twist – en route the club is going to be owned by the government of Iceland. (What’s the capital of Iceland? About 65p)
Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson owns the club that used to be called West Ham (or WHAM as they now appear on TV screens) but BG is bust so his bank Straumur has taken the club, but Straumur are now “effectively insolvent” after the Financial Services Authority used the Anti Terror laws to take on the Icelandic banks. (Dont tell me you didn’t know that Iceland was the home of Terror).
So the government of Iceland has taken over Straumur and thus now own WHU. (How to lose £85m in a couple of days, eh?)
Although BG got a stay of execution on his debts the debt of WHU has its own covenants which allow it to be sold on anyway, and a group of Bankers (sorry my slip, I typed B when I meant W) are taking over.
Gross incompetence will of course be the order of the day (what else with a bank?) and the players will be sold off, to repay the banks. No one will be signed by the club.
Bellamy, Etherington and Mullins have gone, and more will follow. Question is, will Zola stay? Indeed why should he? He’s clearly got talent as well as being a nice guy, so why work for a bankrupt company?
In March the Guardian reported that the accountants, Deloitte, had refused to accept West Ham’s annual report. Technically this was because of the unknown compensation WHU have to pay Sheff Untidy over Carlos Tevez. That already amounts to £25m over five years with more court cases on the way from the players and Fulham (who lost place money as a result). That is a football debt and must be paid if WHU are to stay in football. Seems unlikely.
Ex Arsenal Matthew Upson will go in the summer and there’s talk of him doing a Keown and returning home. We need some more bodies in the defence as the current situation shows, but a 29 year old? Not sure.
So there it is. WHU on the way down. Who next? Pick any one of Manchester Bankrupt, Liverpool Insolvency, KGB Chelsea, Everton No To Democracy. Fulham and Villa also have huge debts but their owners are not showing signs of giving up.
(c) Your Man in the Board Room 2009
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