By Billy “the dog” McGraw
Our weird news correspondent. And Trends Editor.
With all the bits and pieces about who Arsenal are and are not signing, it is easy to lose track of some of the other events around football at the moment. But they are still worth taking a look at because individually and together they reflect on just how weird this footballing world is getting.
Weird world one: FFP still exists and is hiding in the League’s HQ
Shaun Harvey, the EFL chief executive, has claimed that the Football League take rules regarding profit and sustainability, seriously.
The reason this got a mention was because Birmingham are trying to lift a transfer embargo that has been placed upon then for having carelessly lost more than £39m over a three-year period.
Now when we consider QPR, who lost massively more than that, used an accounting device to put the losses down as “exceptional expenditure” and then were allowed to go on playing in the League while appeal after appeal went on until finally agreeing to pay a fine of around £40m, that seems a bit harsh.
Bournemouth likewise went on the appeals roundabout and settled with paying just about half of the amount they were fined for breaking the regs in 2014-15. Leicester have also been forced to settle – which is interesting in the light of the comments made here in the past about the legality of the regs.
Weird world two: where’s your home grown kiddie?
In another change in the EPL clubs have to have at least one player on the team sheet who has been registered with them for a year or more before the end of his under-19 season. If they can’t then they can only have six subs instead of seven. Not that hefty a threat but a tiny step in the right direction.
Weird world three: A backdated ban for doping?????????
Meanwhile our erstwhile player Samir Nasri, who recently was given a doping ban has had it increased from six to 18 months, after Uefa’s ethics [stop laughing] and disciplinary inspector appealed against the original ban. The ban was for a breach of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s rules – rules which Uefa claimed were not fit for purpose as they tried to get them overthrown to help Liverpool avoid doping charges a couple of years back.
As always there are oddities. Nasri’s ban is backdated to 1 July, 2017 although he played eight times for Antalyaspor in Turkey. Nasri is now a free agent and can go back to a club in November.
Weird world four: sorry I missed the private jet
Elsewhere players seem to be having travel problems. We heard about Alexis having difficulty getting into the USA, and Willian got back to Chelsea rather late after the WC. Maurizio Sarri was annoyed.
Weird world five: We ain’t got no goal keepers
And Burnley have goal keeping problems before the season has even started. They are trying to register a new keeper before they play Aberdeen on Thursday in the Europa, because their keeper was injured in Scotland, their back up has a calf problem and that leaves just Anders Lindegaard, who used to be with Man U with Adam Legzdins as back up to the back up if he can be registered in time.
It seems a bit funny to allow oneself to get into this situation as a Premier League club, albeit it one with modest crowds. But they still get the TV cash… Anyway Arsenal have about 150 goalkeepers so maybe they can borrow one of ours.
Weird world six: discovering the owner of Newcastle is not a jolly nice chap who happily passes his money around and treats his underlings with care and kindness.
Benitez is unhappy because he can’t buy players – but he knew who the owner was when he signed, so that shouldn’t be too much of a surprise. Newcastle fans are threatening not to turn up if Benitez is removed. They were defeated 4-0 by Braga, although the Telegraph, always a paper for going over the top, says they were “thrashed.”
So if 4-0 is a thrashing what is 5-0? A conflagration? And 6-0? A fire-storm. And 7-0???
Weird world seven. Miserable Mourinho
And J. Mourinho is feeling upset as he always is in the third year of a spell at a club. The pre-season hasn’t been wonderful, players have had time off after the WC (which he finds hard to understand, and I do too, given who pays their wages) and he tells us Man U are in trouble. Normally he leaves after the third season, so maybe he is preparing early for the inevitable.
Oh yes and ‘Mateo Kovacic rejects Man Utd as he does not want to play for Jose Mourinho’ according to the media.
Weird world eight: Uppity Osijek
Meanwhile the Osijek midfielder (that’s Osijek Eastern Croatia, not Osijek in the East Midlands) has said that Osijek is “better, stronger, more skillful and better organised” than Rangers who are playing them in the extra-preliminary extra round of the Europa. Actually my spell checker wants to change Skillful to Skinful. Maybe it’s right.
Weird world nine: Bayern tells Man City and PSG to reign it in.
And Karl-Heinz Rummenigge the chairman of Bayern Munich has said that he hopes Manchester City is now ready to act responsibly in the transfer market instead of fueling the madness – along with PSG. Mr Rummenigge suggested Manchester City and Paris St-Germain, both of whom are utterly dependent upon the sovereign wealth funds of Abu Dhabi and Qatar respectively, are to blame for the rise in transfer fees.
Well, yes, I can see what he means. Put like that is seems rather obvious.
- How Arsenal will line up in the coming season, and being a trends editor.
- Arsenal v Chelsea in the ICC. The teams, the game, the commentary. ARSENAL WIN
- How a 14th monk described Arsenal’s failure to buy Moisés Caicedo and Mykhailo Mudryk
- The January transfer window moved few players around: but did any club benefit?
- Are Newcastle United really in financial difficulty? And what about Arsenal?
- Did Arsenal want Mudryk and Caicedo, and was it just luck that they didn’t sign them?
- Is the Premier League getting more exciting or simply ever more predictable?