By Sir Hardly Anyone
Full marks to the Guardian for acknowledging that “only Arsenal actually apologised for behaviour that, collectively, has been widely condemned as brazenly self-serving.” I think Liverpool came up with a statement a little later after that Guardian comment was written but not quite as fulsome an apology.
Winner in the shutting the door after the horse race came Daniel Levy, who did “regret the anxiety and upset caused by the ESL proposal”. Not his fault then. He was just passing by. Saw it floating along and jumped on the bus. Turned out the bus was going the wrong way. Not his fault at all. Not a bit of it. Didn’t actually know it was a bus.
But overall we still have the question, how did they get it so wrong?
Maybe it’s because this is not how sport is arranged in America, and so the Americans thought it ought to be like that here. The Americans being Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United.
The Russians joined in but couldn’t quite understand why there were no military massing at the border, and the Sheikhs couldn’t work out why anyone had to be consulted about anything. As for Tottenham, they did point out that having won the League Cup in 2008 it was perfectly natural that they should be consulted on matters of such magnitude.
And so the media, seeing the way the wind blew, joined in the attacks on the six clubs, denouncing them as this, that, and something else. And we knew we were in trouble when even the offer to make Gunnersauraus Arsenal’s prime negotiator with the Superduper League failed to impress.
And of course there was then the ” ‘SAVE US FROM KROENKE’: SOME AFC FANS TWEET GUNNER-MAD TYCOON WHO’S RICHER THAN STAN” from the increasingly odd HITC, with the news that these fans (last seen meandering down the centre of the Holloway Road) want Aliko Dangote to take over the club, on the grounds that, well, he isn’t there at the moment.
But the issue has raised concerns and lots of people have been bandying around the concept of Rule L9.
Interestingly no one is actually quoting Rule L9, but the bandying is certainly going on. So here it is in glorious technicolour: Yer Actual Rule L9
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“Except with the prior written approval of the Board, during the Season a Club shall not enter or play its senior men’s first team in any competition other than:
L.9.1. the UEFA Champions League;
L.9.2. the UEFA Europa League;
L.9.3. the F.A. Cup;
L.9.4. the F.A. Community Shield;
L.9.5. the Football League Cup; or
L.9.6. competitions sanctioned by the County Association of which it is a member.”
This in fact shows what the club owners were up to – there was a way of getting the club into the new league, by offering the County Association (all of whom are in dire need of more pitches for schools and amateur football) the funding for a set of pitches, in return for their approval.
I hope the clubs still pay up, but somehow… I doubt it.
Anyway, since the end of the affair there have been calls for reprisals against Ed Woodward, Bruce Buck and Vinai Venkatesham, and others. Woodward re-signed as Manchester United’s executive vice-chairman but not until 31 December.
And there is a deeper problem. During the time the six breakout teams have been plotting their move they have been assuring the rest of the league that nothing of the kind was being considered. And so the relationships have now totally broken down and there is no trust between the six leavers and the 14 remainers. Indeed there are moves afoot to discipline the six leavers.
So what happens now?
Many are suggesting it is life as before – but if that is the case it is life as before but without any trust at all, which makes life as before rather difficult.
There is also the issue of Everton v Tottenham and why Tottenham are a Big Club but Everton are a little club. Here is a list of their trophies with the year of the latest win in brackets. Arsenal’s figures are given in the final column by way of comparison.
|Premier League titles||3 (2004)|
|Division 1 titles||9 (1987)||2 (1961)||10 (1991)|
|Division 2 titles||1 (1931)||2 (1950)|
|FA Cups||5 (1995)||8 (1991)||14 (2020)|
|League Cup||4 (2008)||2 (1987)|
|Cup winners cup||1 (1985)||1 (1963)||1 (1994)|
|Uefa Cup / Fairs Cup||2 (1984)||1 (1970)|
Now it is true that Tottenham have won three more trophies than Everton and they have won more recently than Everton (2008), but the fact that Everton have won nine Division 1 titles to Tottenham’s two surely counts for something.
Also the fact that Tottenham have not won the league for sixty years surely makes them a bit dubious as entrants in any sort of super league.
Of course this may be a bit unfair since Tottenham have also won the Southern League, not to mention the Dewar Shield, the Western League, the London League Premier Division, the Football League South ‘C’ Division, the Southern District Charity Cup, the London Challenge Cup, Anglo-Italian League Cup-Winners Cup, the Norwich Charity Cup, the Norwich Hospital Charity Cup, the Costa Del Sol Tournament, Nolia Cup, Japan Cup, Sun International Challenge Trophy (Swaziland), Peace Cup (Korea), the Vodacom Challenge, and the Feyenoord Jubileum Tournament.
In fact now I come to think of it, this must be why Tottenham were in the new competition. They really have done rather well now I come to look in detail.
he Sweet FA and the corruption files
- Brexit bites the Premier League: we’ll never be the same again
- Sweet FA. A history of the idiocy and incompetence in football administration
- The FA scandals part 2: The minister says reform or we close you
- The FA scandals part 3: hiding racism and appointing idiots
- Mr Wenger v The FA – the full 20 year history. And the world of the fake innuendo.
- The crimes of the FA: failing to deal with Fifa and with discrimination
- The failures of the FA: Part 6 – if we don’t communicate it is your fault
- Tracking the fun things the FA have got up to over the years. Part 7.
- How the FA have manipulated the stats in order to try and gain more power
- How can some clubs commit fouls with impunity while others get card after card?
- These days Arsenal players are taught not to tackle. Maybe they shouldn’t talk either.
- Why rule changes happen – but we never get the one rule change we need
- “Supercomputer” predicts just one away win for Arsenal this season
- Revealed: how the media campaigns constantly to stop Arsenal signing players