Alan’s 2013-14 Season diary (continued)
There has been a lot of comment and controversy over the actions of foreign owners of our football clubs. The latest news about Carston Yeung will only fan the flames. He bought Birmingham City from the current West Ham owners. Before doing so, he must have passed the Football Association’s fit and proper person test which shows that is about as much use as a chocolate teapot.
He has just been found guilty of five counts of money laundering, £55.4 million of which was between 2001 and 2007. That’s a long time to spend in the launderette. All those soggy bank notes. Can you imagine them in those massive tumble driers? Seriously though, he has been unable to show where £7.7 million in his accounts had come from. He is still the majority shareholder at Birmingham despite having jumped ship as a director before the trial began.
So correct me if I’m wrong but the money supplied to finance the purchase of West Ham came from a criminal money launderer, which on the face of it would in turn have enabled West Ham’s minority investment in the purchase of the Olympic Stadium which was virtually given to them anyway… Anyone feeling a bit grubby and uncomfortable reading this?
The funny side of this grubby situation is that the financial expert that Sky got in to comment is the spitting image of Sid Little of Little and Large fame.
European Nations League?
Michel Platini recently came up with the idea of a European Nations League. Greg Dyke says such a league where we get to play the top countries would be a very good idea.
Can you spot the flaw in this plan? Football is so important to England. We may have invented the game but we are not the best at it. So there is no guarantee that we would stay in the top league, even if we start off in it. It wouldn’t seem such a “great idea” if we find ourselves floundering around in the Nations League equivalent of the Championship, or worse. In fact it would be like permanently playing in our recently announced European championship group.
Manchester United were so poor against Olympiakos that I am convinced they will be past the point of no return if they do not turn it around in the return leg at Old Trafford. They will have entered the period that Liverpool floundered in for the duration of United’s reign at the top, Basically the duration of the Premier League to date. No one at United will admit it and we will only know for sure when we look back in 10 years’ time. In the meantime, I will refer to them as TUTBMU for short. Team that used to be Man United.
I am not the only one who feels that way. Matt Dickinson of the Times has been very supportive of Man U down the years. Yet in last Friday’s paper, he wrote, “The rebuilding job seems to require another £50 million every time we look at this side bereft of zest and hope. You cannot shop for the confidence, desire and defiance that this self-pitying squad so shockingly lack”.
Tuesday 5 March 2014
Silks is a riveting TV legal drama. On the new series on BBC, The Times describes the scenario as a young footballer being charged with grievous bodily harm. He elbowed a player in the face and broke his jaw. Being young, arrogant and wealthy he does not appear to appreciate the seriousness of the offence. The prosecuting barrister says,
English juries have waited a very long time to try a footballer for the kind of offence that everyone else goes to prison for.
Too right. Meanwhile, in real life, the police announce they will not be prosecuting Alan Pardew for his head-butt on a Stoke City player. Repeat offender Charlie Adam has been charged for his stamp on the outstretched leg of Olivier Giroud that was missed by the referee.
Wednesday 6 march
Charlie Adam loses his appeal. It beggars belief that Stoke are furious. Chief Executive Tony Scholes say that teams like Stoke never get the outcome they want. I don’t know of another club who would repeatedly defend a player who carries on like it. The last club he played for offloaded him to Stoke after a number of similar incidents.
Greg Dyke’s Commission Report delayed
Southampton are being portrayed like West Ham in 1966. The team that has produced a conveyor belt of youngsters that became England greats. For Moore, Hurst, Peters read Walcott, Lallana, Adam, Lambert, Bale, Oxlade-Chamberlain. This will really take hold if England have a modicum of success in Brazil this summer.
The media have already entered their 4 yearly post – qualifying period of over optimism. Only 6 months ago England were rubbish and stood no chance. Now several youngsters are being touted as potential world beaters. This could lead to England missing the opportunity to introduce the root and branch reforms of youth development that Germany did, leading to the resurgence of their national side and their club dominance in Europe. It will serve the vested interests at the Premier League who have been avoiding contributing to Dyke’s review at every turn.
England just beat Denmark 1 – 0 with a well-worked, good headed goal from Daniel Sturridge. When I saw Wilshere go down after an early tackle from Agger, with the commentator referring to his glass ankles, I was amazed when he returned to the pitch and carried on. – In a friendly? I said to the wife “Wenger’s not going to be happy”
…As for the evening’s results overall, if ever England needed a reminder of our place and who is likely to win the World Cup, these matches gave a clear indication. Brazil won 5 – 0 away, Portugal beat Cameroon 5 – 0 with Ronaldo running wild, France beat Holland 2 – 0 with Benzema now scoring for fun. Spain beat Italy 1 – 0 and Germany beat Chile but only 1 – 0.
It struck me that one of the latest additions to Premier League management bears a remarkable resemblance to one of my childhood favourites from Secret Squirrel; Morocco Mole. Just thought I’d share that with you.
Friday 7 March
Carston Yeung is sentence to 6 years in jail confirming what I said earlier in the week about the toothless nature of FA safeguards on ownership. What they don’t do when someone attempts to become owner of a club is require and obtain evidence of exactly where the money comes from. Without that, any vetting and approval process is pointless and useless. Consequently, a championship club is owned by a jailbird fraudster from overseas. You can’t get much ore corrupt than that.
It turns out Jack Wilshere broke his foot in that England friendly and then carried on playing. Arsene Wenger’s Press conference is going to be interesting. It says on BBC that anyone breaking a bone in a fall should be tested for osteoporosis. They mean those over 50. Perhaps they should try that on Jack. I know from personal experience that there are many kind of arthritis, including ankylosing spondylitis that get missed in young, fit men suffering regular sports injuries.
The defeated Denmark manager wished England good luck in Brazil, saying,
They are going to need it.
That’s how I feel about Spurs’ fixtures in March, starting this evening at Chelsea.