After those of us with a bit too much time on our hands gave the Mirror and News of the World a bit of a run around over their “Everyone wants to leave Arsenal” campaign, they’ve retaliated twice – once with the old-fashioned “snub” standby, and now today with with Wenger clearout story.
The “snub” game doesn’t really merit much attention. “Unknown player who you have never heard of and was probably made up by some guy in Latvia has snubbed Arsenal and intends to sign for Bratislava Hedgehog.
The “clearout” is a new one – at least as far as I recall in the Wengerian era. The Mirror is positing the end for Eboue, Gallas and Ade. They have also been running a Man IOU clearout story, and a Wales clearout story (Ramsey apparently was good in the Wales friendly on friday).
To put this all in perspective we might recall the story from January this year which appeared in the Times. Not the Times of Algiers but THE Times, the one they do in London. The paper of record.
The Times published a list of up and coming giants of the game and included at number 30 (and I quote exactly)…
Masal Bugduv (Olimpia Balti)
Moldova’s finest, the 16-year-old attacker has been strongly linked with a move to Arsenal, work permit permitting. And he’s been linked with plenty of other top clubs as well
Don’t waste your football betting money on this one. The fact that the guy did not exist was revealed by the wonderful www.theoffside.com Fake Associated Press pieces linked the imaginary player with Arsenal and Zenit St Petersburg and increased the player’s value by saying that he had played loads of internationals.
The Times then did something very interesting. If you have read “1984” by George Orwell, you will recall that Winston Smith (the hero – if that is the right word) works for the Times rewriting the news – removing stories from old editions that no longer fit Big Brother’s political vision.
In a fascinating move the Times of 2009 did the same, and instead of apologising and saying “we was duped” simply removed the story from its on-line site as if it had never been there.
Now if we also remember my favourite Mirror story which in June 2008 told us that Crouch was going to come to Arsenal, we can see the way the press work.
Rule 1: Make it up
Rule 2: Don’t check any “facts”
Rule 3: Make it up a bit more.
Maybe those players (Eboue, Gallas and Ade) will go this summer – but given that the Mirror said it, I am not putting the mortgage on it.
Meanwhile, just to show that insanity exists outside of the hallowed walls of the Times and Mirror on the economic front we have:
West Iceland Utd: must be sold by July, but no deal forthcoming.
Portsmouth: sold to a sheikh, to become richest club in world
Sunderland: sold to a Yank, to become richest club in world
Liverpool: no news on the £350m debt which must be refinanced by end of July
Southampton: so bust that they are no longer paying anyone, but one consortium bidding to buy bankrupted club
Accrington Stanley being taken to court because they can’t pay Revenue and Customs
Darlington FC: went into administration for second time in two years and I can’t find anything that says they have come out – in fact the story seems to be they are about to fold.
Chester City having been relegated from the 4th division have gone into liquidation.
Halifax Town for a long time a league club have either been wound up or put into administration – there are reports of both.
Stockport County went into administration on 1 May
Fisher Athletic were wound up on 13 May and are no more.
As Arsenal fans we might not care too much about these clubs – especially the smaller ones – but when we consider that of the EPL clubs not mentioned virtually all of them are either hopelessly in debt or for sale or both, we can be proud of where Arsenal stands on this.
If you know of any other financial stories of this type affecting English clubs do let me know and I’ll try and keep and update running.
Finally, speaking about made up things, the best ever made up thing about Arsenal was, to me, The Arsenal Stadium Mystery. I knew it always as a black and white movie – a light hearted murder mystery which featured a number of Arsenal players.
What I didn’t know until the last game of the season against Stoke was that it was also a novel. There was a two page spread on GCR Books who have republished the book, in the programme for the Stoke game. Seems the company have been working on other reprints of Arsenal books too, and I’ve had the pleasure of a really good chat with the owner of the company.
I’ve been promised a review copy of Arsenal Stadium Mystery, so I’ll come back to this later, but meanwhile you can read about and order copies of their reprints at http://www.gcrbooks.co.uk/
Lastly, lastly, last of all, re the comments recently about this site’s rankings. There are two counters on the right hand side from different firms that rank sites. When we were first registered we were below number 100 – thank you to everyone for reading and thus pushing this site ever upwards. Without you there would be no point.
(c) Tony Attwood 2009.
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