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Setanta, Adebayor, and USA USA USA!

Not so special any more

Setanta Enters Administration

Yesterday, having failed to secure the funding needed to keep the UK business going, the UK version of Setanta sports went into administration — or as we call it in America, bankruptcy. Basically, as I write this lawyers and accountants are picking over Setanta UK’s corpse looking for something salvageable.

Supposedly unaffected is Setanta USA, but that’s not entirely true. According to their US web site, Setanta USA still has the rights to broadcast EPL (and whatever else crapola they are shilling) and will continue to do so as it is a separate business. This message is being repeated across all the sites that are not part of Great Britain — Australia and Canada.

For the time being, North American and Antipodean football fans should take some solace in the fact that the Setanta Sports package in our area is still available. I’m not sure how long that will last as we will have to see what the new Administrators of the mother company find as far as how Setanta kept the businesses separated and if there was any funny business. My feeling is that the whole enterprise is going to collapse, after all this is pretty much the same message they gave to the UK customers right before they collapsed “keep buying our product! everything will be ok!”

Irregardless, ESPN has stepped in last week and bought Setanta’s 46 UK games and just today announced that they are going to be setting up a dedicated Football channel in the UK. This is huge news for British and American football fans because it means that A) ESPN is taking the endeavor seriously and plans on dedicating a healthy amount of resources to doing this right. I mean, a dedicated channel means announcers, sponsors, commentary, a whole host of things! And B) it means that I was right about something for once! Not only did I predict that ESPN would take over the rights, but that they would do it up proper. Moreover, the naysayers who predicted that you’d get less coverage were wrong as well, in addition to the two other ESPN channels in the UK, they will be showing games on a third “football only” channel. For those that can afford the £10 monthly charge (and I am by no means glossing over that in these economic times) it means all the football you can handle. For the rest of you it means a day at the local boozer, which ain’t so bad is it?

Even if Setanta International survives the next few months and is able to broadcast games into North America next year (I don’t think they will) the games will be different. They will be ESPN re-broadcasts, folks. This means that Mr. Monchichi hair and his crew of fat tied half-time pundits will probably be replaced with just the Setanta bouncing ball/falling boot commercial running constantly — which will be a relief.  I don’t see them maintaining the business as it is and certainly don’t see them able to afford all those pundits salaries just to broadcast in ‘Merica. Hmmm… maybe, just maybe they will go the way that Fox Soccer Channel has gone and they will have some Americans and cut-rate ex-pats spouting nonsense. I wonder if I could get a job? First, I’ll have to expunge the blog of all instances where I called them “Shitanta.”

If Setanta International do collapse, ESPN now looks poised to take over those rights as well and beam games into American and Antipodean homes.  Like I said before these rights aren’t cheap and Setanta helped build the audience over here and now we’re hungry for more. We want HD broadcasts, our own dedicated channels, and football coverage that isn’t interrupted by College Handball on Saturday. Given the way they are handling the UK rights, I would be shocked if ESPN didn’t do this right over here as well.

Either way, it will be an interesting next few months as we see how this all plays out.

USA v. Spain

USA! USA USA! So, by some miracle of goal differential, the USA Men’s team advanced in the tiresome injury fest called the Confederations Cup. Man, I hope that the USA team breaks the ankles of all those Spanish players today (11:30am PST)!

Seriously, I actually will be rooting for the USA team to win, because that means Cesc can go home to England and get some rest before we start Arsenal’s next season. I know, blah blah Spain record, blah blah international accolades, blah blah blah. Arsenal need the captain well rested and ready to go for the start of the Summer training session. Last year, Cesc’s disastrous double vacation nearly saw Arsenal slip out of fourth place. So, more than ever we need the captain rested and ready to go at the start of training camp.


I’m surprised anyone wants to buy Ade, much less a “very important team.” How much you wanna bet Ade is a Gooner still next year and this is all just posturing by his agent?

If, as the rumors have it, he’s going to Chelsea I can only say one thing: we’ll throw in a barely used Silvestre to sweeten the deal!

Phil Brown to feel the power of the FA

I will be crying tears of joy when Phil Brown is found guilty of bringing the game into disrepute today.  Not only did he claim that the referees were in Arsenal’s pocket, but he lied about Wenger never shaking his hand, and lied again about Fabregas spitting all over everyone. He’s a liar and a cheat and dangit, if the FA doesn’t do something about him criticizing the referees then the whole “Respect Campaign” will have been a farce.*

I will settle for nothing less than Phil Brown being forced into a cage with a rabid Drogba.

Finally, the new web site is coming along

I have started making changes to the official site and things are progressing up there very nicely. If you want to make snarky comments about how it looks feel free, I’m a grown up (today) and I can take it. If however, you know some CSS and want to make actual HELPFUL suggestions, well, that would be great.

See you tomorrow!



It’s grain of salt time

Just yesterday I was talking to the driver at work (yes I have a real job) about football and reassured him that I felt, as I have said here countless times, that “Adebayor will be playing for Arsenal next year.”  And of course, pretty much right after that conversation AC Milan’s Galliani claims that they have received a letter from Arsenal asking them

Hey yo, whattup?  Hey, erm, remember that whole Adebayor thing?  Yeah, we were just joking about the whole £30m thing.  You know, trying to look hard in front of the press.  Are you still interested in him?

Or something like that.  The point is that Galliani is claiming that Arsenal sent him a letter asking AC Milan to come back to the bargaining table.  I don’t know how much bargaining you’ve done in your life, but in my experience this is typically a despiration move.  So, if this story is true, then Arsenal are in some kind of serious trouble with Adebayor.


And if it’s true, it will almost certainly see Ade go for far less than the £30m that Arsenal have said they want because now Barcelona and AC Milan have the upper hand.  Instead of bidding against each other, they can under bid with the confidence that they know Arsenal need to sell.


If it’s true, prepare yourself for a price closer to the £16-20m range.  A player that is so unsettled with the club that his team goes back to his suitors and asks them to return to the bargaining table puts the team in basically no bargaining position and Milan and Barca both know that.

But those are all a bunch of “ifs,” we don’t know what actually happened, what the reaction will be, or why the sudden change.


If it’s true.

And just yesterday was such a beautiful day what with the start of the season and all… ah the life of a football fan, joy one minute, depression the next.

Searching for good news:

Yesterday the European Club Association voted down Sepp Blatter’s 6+5 idea.  Plus there’s an awsome picture in the article that makes Sepp look like a baby throwing a tantrum (because he is!)

There, that makes me feel better. I give ole Sepp a week to circle the wagons and re-emerge with some other plan and a new target.  It’ll be just as bad for football, just as nationalistic, and just as dumb as 6+5 but it will have some other name like “Sepp Blatter’s Amazing Panacea 5+6 Ointmen” and he’ll be selling it out of the back of an RV at your local summer fair.

Step right up folks!  Tired of your national team sucking?  Tired of all the foreigners (ESPECIALLY FRANCE DIDN’T YOU SAVE THEM FROM THE JERRIES???  TWICE???) on your sacred soil messing up your sacred game with their so called “beautiful football?”  Well then, come on down and get you some Sepp Blatter’s Amazing Panacea 5+6 Ointment!  It cures “Top four-itis,” “David Bentlyism,” “Arsenal Syndrome,” and is guaranteed to win England the World Cup!  It’s also good for acne, sore muscles, tiredness, and it’s a guaranteed hangover cure for too much Euro 2008.  (Apply directly to the forehead, guarantees made herein are not actual guarantees, your mileage may vary, side effects include: Birmingham FC, lump and crunch football, falling attendance, lack of Champions League trophies, malaise, and in extreme cases bankruptcy.)

And finally:

This will cheer some of you up and make some of you even more depressed.  I’m quitting.  Well, I’m quitting  On August 1st, I’m moving to my own domain,, and getting out from under the wordpress umbrella.  There will be a few changes to the site, but I just thought it would be nice to have a grown-up blog instead of the kiddie blog here on WordPress (no offense other Arsenal bloggers!)

If you know someone (or are someone) who wants to help contribute to the site, drop me a line at bostelle|gmail|com.

That’s all for today, see you later.

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May 2020