Archive for September 15th, 2008


Ashley out, more rich guys in

Honestly, if you’re such a wuss that one little protest can lead to you putting the team up for sale then you don’t deserve to be an owner of an EPL club. On Sunday, Mike Ashley said that he just doesn’t deserve to be owner of Newcastle and he released this statement to prove it:

I am not stupid and have listened to the fans. I have really loved taking my kids to the games, being next to them and all the fans. But I am now a dad who can’t take his kids to a football game on a Saturday because I am advised that we would be assaulted. Therefore, I am no longer prepared to subsidize Newcastle United. I am putting the club up for sale. I hope that the fans get what they want and that the next owner is someone who can lavish the amount of money on the club that the fans want.

Wow, emo much Mike?

More so than City, this is the kind of team that’s ripe to be covered in foreign oil money; they have consistently sold out their stadium (currently 3rd in the league, despite having a crappy team) and pretty much everyone in Newcastle is a United supporter. You don’t have to lavish money on this team to be successful, just spend a little and DON’T MEDDLE. We’ll have to see if their new oil rich Arab owners have learned that lesson.

Meanwhile, this sale and the sale of City mean that things are about to get very erm, transfer-y, here in a few months. Depending on who buys Newcastle, we could have Chelsea in third place in the “rich man’s plaything” table. I wonder if Usmanov is wishing he’d have named his investment firm “Black and White” now that Newcastle are up for sale.

Joking aside, Wenger pointed out something that should have everyone a little worried; come January teams will have only played 19 of the 38 games. This leaves the door open for some dumb rich guy to splash a ton of cash and really upset the apple cart for the run in. Wenger cheekily mentioned that Spuds could challenge for 4th place but no one sees them as the real threat. No, the real threat will be City and possibly Newcastle — if they get some dumb rich guy to buy them.

It’s funny, too, because I’m the “hands off” pundit, the guy who doesn’t want the FA to step in and do something about the influence of money in the game. But even I’m having a hard time putting their money where my mouth is. I can see where this is going and I don’t like it but I just keep reminding myself to take a long general view of all this because in the long run, it will all even out and proper business practices (like Arsenal’s) will win in the long run.

In the short run, January is going to be madness, MADNESS I SAY.

Was John Terry’s Foul a Red Card?

The referee thinks so and is calling it “serious foul play” instead of the last defender red. Chelsea are appealing the red card but logically, I can’t see them winning this. Logically, what I’d like to see happen is extra matches get added on, let’s say… 11 match ban in total (that would put him out for the Arsenal clash in November). Seriously, the FA should give him an extra for a frivolous appeal (they won’t) and one (plus cash) for failing to leave the pitch in an orderly manner, arguing with the ref, and abusing the fans (they won’t).

The fact is that the FA are spineless when it comes to players on “big” clubs like Chelsea and more spineless when it comes to “England Heroes” like John Terry. I seriously won’t at all be shocked if they override their own rules and give him a yellow card and send a bouquet of flowers to his mum for all the suffering that this ordeal has caused her. If that had been Aliadiere, he would have been banned for life and had both legs sawed off at the knees to prevent him from ever playing again.

If the FA don’t make an example of Chelsea and Terry now, they will be showing the world that their “respect campaign” is nothing more than the joke I said it would be when they introduced it. No. I bet the FA instead come down hard on David Moyes because he’s a much easier target than John “God’s Grace on Britain” Terry.

There’s not much Arsenal news to report today, I should have a match preview tomorrow for Wednesday’s clash against the Ruskies, see you then.


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