Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Robbie Fucking Savage

Last year, it was Gabriele Marcotti.  This year's Radio Five Live's obsession is:  Robbie Fucking Savage.  A man so in love with himself that he considers sleeping with the wife a threesome.

Like Marcotti last year, he has infested Radio 5 like a particularly virulent case of gonorrhea, only less popular.  Why are the BBC obsessed with this twat?  HE HAS NOTHING INTERESTING TO SAY.  HE IS NOT FUNNYHE HAS NO GREAT INSIGHT.  HE IS JUST AVAILABLE.

What makes it worse is that he will not criticise his fellow professionals, making him a pretty dull pundit.  This is completely understandable because he is too close to them,  he is still playing the game.  He over compensates by being completely unreasonable with any opinion that does criticise players, not allowing anyone else to get a word in.

Why do the BBC do this to us?  They already inflict Allan Green and Steve Claridge on the public, we don't need another opinionated twat on the radio.  And don't get me started about Nicky Cambell, what a fucking arsehole he is.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Finally, Fulham get on Radio 5

They had to get to the final of the UEFA Cup before the BBC could be bothered, but finally Fulham actually get a live match in Europe.  The way the BBC have hyped this up, you would have thought they actually cared, at least until Green and co. started to remind us how this is "very much Europe's second class competition".  For fucks sake BBC, give it a fucking rest!  Accept that Man U, Chelsea, Arsenal and especially Liverpool (who you followed lovingly in this competition after they were "relegated" from the Champions League) were a bit crap this year now that the recession, low pound, and cuntish owners are finally starting to bite.  Let Fulham have their night, give them some respect!

Next week they will be telling us how the quality of the Champions League final is way down because none of the English clubs or Barcelona are there. 

Well I can honestly say to that:  fuck off.  The teams that get to the final deserve to be in the final; sport is not about your pre-conceived commentary "stories", it's about what actually happens.

Just start reporting on it, and leave the tabloid hyperbole and opinion pieces to TalkSport.  Thanks.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Football managers about to be sacked always take off the wrong player

My team has had a string of bad managers over the past 12 years, and I have learnt to spot the signs of a manager who has lost it.  The clearest sign is when the substitution policy of you manager makes sense to the manager only and nobody else.  Time after time I have seen a manager take off our best player, only to replace him with somebody who is at best an average journeyman, at worst a complete waste of space.  Normally, withing a month or two that manager has gone.

The reason I am raising is this is that I was listening to thr Birmingham City vs Liverpool match today.  It was poised at 1-1 in a game that Liverpool had to win, but were finding it difficult to break down a determined and skillfull Birmingham City.  There was approximately 25 minutes left, and Liverpool's subsitutes were warming up, clearly a change was about to be made.  The pundits were discussing who would come off, perhaps Benayoun for Aquilani, or a defender for an attacker.

I knew instinctively who would come off, because this is what happens when your manager has lost the plot.  "I bet he takes Torres off", I said to myself.

Sure enough, he dragged off a fuming Torres and replaced him with Ngog.  Torres actually shook his head at the manager as he came off,  and sat there fuming under his bench coat.  Why take off your best player in a match you have to win?  Perhaps he was injured, but he didn't look it.  The only real reason for taking him off was that Benitez is now in that zone that all managers get to before they are sacked, he has started seeing things that only he can see, and started making decisions that only he thinks make any sense.

Ngog naturally missed a couple of sitters and Liverpool dropped two points.

Taking Torres off was Benitez big decision in this game, and it was the decision of a man who has almost finished his time at the club

Friday, 19 March 2010

Thank you Fulham, for taking the UEFA Cup seriously

Well done to Fulham who last night beat the mighty Juventus 4-1 in front off a packed crowd at Craven Cottage to progress to the final eight of the UEFA Europa League (formally know as the UEFA Cup).

It was the kind of night that real football fans dream about, Fulham were huge underdogs, trailing 1-3 after the first leg, then went 0-1 in the first few minutes of the match, making them 1-4 down on aggregate with Juventus having an away goal.  This meant that in order to make the match go to extra time, Fulham need to score 3 goals.

That they did manage this, and even score a forth in order to win outright, is testament to the team's management and desire to win.  For too long this competition has been derided as second best, as teh place for teams not good enough for the Champions League, and not given any creadit at all.  English teams have been sending out reserve teams even as late as the last eight or last sixteen of the competition, as Bolton did under Gary Megson a few years ago.  This is Bolton who had only ever qualified for Europe once before, it's not like they are likely to be winning the Champions League any time in the next 200 years.  Martin O'Neal famously bought dinner for the fans that had travelled to Moscow to watch Villa lose pathetically last year after fielding an under-par team.  The pundits love banging on about how this competition is a waste of time, particularly the proper twats such as Marcotti or Green.  Alan Green never even seems to commentate on it, it is so far beneath him, the big fat cunt.

The thing is, supporting as I do a mid-sized club, the UEFA Europa League is the only European football I'm likely to see.  I'm lucky enough to have followed my team in Europe (the UEFA Cup in the nineties), and let me tell you it's fantastic!  Most fans would absolutley love to see their team in this competion, maybe not glory hunting fans of the big four, but lets face it they can just about fuck off, they don't really count as real fans.

So I say well done Roy Hodgson, well done Fulham, well done for giving it your all.  I hope you win it, and can parade that might cup around West London, preferably with Chelsea winning nothing :).

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Why do the pundits hate the idea of a playoff for the fourth Champions League place?

They all hate it!  Eveyone on Five Live, including Gabriele "The Twat" Marcotti, Alan "Ref Hater" Green, Steve "Unreasonable" Claridge and Spoony "What is the point of?" Spoony.   They say it will dilute the quality of English teams in the Champions league, worse: it will make a mockery of it!  If a team finishing seventh can qualify for the Champions League, then it's not the Champions League anymore is it!  It's disgraceful!

I can't see the problem with it.  .

When the tradition and history of European Cup was destroyed in the quest for more money that was the Champions League, it became a different type of competition: it became essentially a closed shop for a few annointed clubs.  This did not happen by accident, these same few annointed clubs (originaly called the G14) threatened UEFA that if they did not get a restructuring of European competitions that allowed them to play each other more often, they would set up their own league and stick two fingers up to UEFA.  That is why we now have the same clubs playing the same pointless group matches each and every year.  That is why the European Cup is no longer the pinnacle of excitement, at least until the later rounds.  If Manchester United Vs AC Milan is your idea of the most exciting tie in the world, that's fine, but if that tie happens every other year, then surely the excitement is tarnished?  Doesn't it become, well, boring?

The Champions League has been carefully designed to make a few clubs a lot of money.  That is why the top four are against the idea of a playoff, they want to keep the status-quo, and that's perfectly understandable.

But why do the pundits hate it?  Surely they are supposed to be the voice of the fans?  If you support any team outside of the top four, then creating a playoff that might allow you to qualify for the Champions League is surely only going to make supporting your club more exciting?

Most clubs have no chance of finishing in the top four anymore, because frankly, according to the pundits at least, you need to qualify for the Champions League before your club has the resources to qualify for the Champions League (just listen to what they are saying about Manchester City).  At least a playoff would give us non-glory hunting supporters of smaller teams something to aim for, a chance to break into the big time. 

I like the idea of a play-off, it's a better idea than the "39th" game, but it will never happen because the the top four money clubs are against it, and for some reason the pundits have weighed in behind them, despite this position being against the best interest of most fans.  We live in strange times.

Saturday, 30 January 2010

John Terry's scandal stories - a victory for tabloid bell-ends, not for free speech

Really, do we have to know all the details of John Terry's infidelities?  No, not really.  It's not like he threw a game or killed a neighbour and disposed of the body with acid is it?  He hasn't fiddled homeless Haitian eathquake victims out of powdered milk in order to buy a gold plated Rolls Royce. It's no big deal.  But here are the tabloids, supported by the "World's biggest bell-end" Max Clifford, claiming that the lifting of an injuction brought out by John Terry to keep the story out of the papers is in some way a victory of free speech over draconian privicy laws.

It is not. It is simply purient tittle-tattle.

There is no free speech justification for this, there is no public interest argument.  The tabloids exist on the back of the misadventures of people in the public eye, alternating with contrived, exaggerated or simply made up stories protraying the same people in a more sympathetic light.  Both of these types of stories are either supplied by, or fuelled by "the World's biggest bell-end" Max Clifford and his PR ilk.  Why do the tabloids keep regurgitating this rubbish?  Because they think that people enjoy reading about this sort of thing.  I would prefer they did some actual journalism from time to time, but they don't because that would cost money.  

Clifford has reported already signed up the lady involved with Terry, he said so on a radio interview on Five Live this morning that was two parts hypocritically damning of Terry and how he has brought it on himself, and one part smarmy in justification of his trade.  If you do not know his trade:  his trade is in the public humilation and misery of others and how to get make money out off it.  What an absolute arsehole.

The next time you hear about the papers moaning about how their sales are down, or how the internet is killing them because its free, consider this:  without the tabloids "the World's biggest bell-end" Max Clifford would not have any clients to buy his stories.  The world would be a finer place if Clifford was out of work

Whilst Terry's actions may be morally dubious, the reason the papers are going for him is for revenge for applying for a high court injunction.  They know that these injunctions are killing them, since thier trade is in the kind of idle tittle-tattle that these injunctions prevent them from publishing, so they are trying to teach Terry and any other public figures watching what will happen if you don't let them have their slice of salactiousness.  The outrage is driven and supplied entirely by the tabloids, not by public opinion.

Monday, 18 January 2010

Manchester United 0 - £1 Billion The Shysters

Manchester United are £700 million in debt, all of which was incurred when the Glazer family "bought" they club using leveraged finance, meaning they loaded the club up with the debt they had to raise to buy the club from the previous shareholders.  This has left the Glazer family debt free and owning the richest football club in the World.  They were then free to appoint themselves as directors, and pay themselves handsomely for sitting on board and occasionally attending matches on expenses.  They also reportedly charged the club £3 million for management consultation last year, on top of an estimated £28 million pounds spent on financial advisors, bankers and hedge fund managers who organised the deal. Theoretically the club will pay off it's debt in ten years time, at which point the Glazer family will have paid themselves somewhere in the region of £50 Million in management fees, and own a debt free asset worth approximately £1Billion, which is not bad for organising a few loans amongst your friends in the banking and hedge fund community and taking no personal risk yourself.

Of course it's not all good.  it appears that the club will now have to repay this debt (I know, who would have thought it?), and that as the Glazer family were borrowing money that they would not be personally liable for, it also turns out that the banks and hedge funds that funded the deal wanted rather higher interest rates than would normally have been available on a loan of this size, with reports that several hundred million pounds of the loan were lent at rates of 15%.  On £200 Million that is £30 Million a year, or in other words, all the money that manchester United earn from getting to the latter stages of the Champions League.

So now Manchester United are in trouble.  Ticket prices have raised every year since the Glazer familiy took control (11% last year alone), but that is not raising enough money.  They are trying to issues a bond and refinance the debt, the prospectus offers a number of money making schemes to ring more money out of the club: there are reports that the training ground (or even Old Trafford) could be sold and rented back, or the naming rights to the stadium could be sold.   They may need to sell more assets to finance the debt, and the after the training ground and Old Trafford the only assets they have left are the players.  If they start selling people like Rooney then the club is finished, and a Leeds United style plummet and bankruptcy beckons. Ronaldo was sold for £80 million, but Man. U. have no more Ronaldos to sell.

This type of takeover has been happening across all levels of business and commerce over the past ten years, and it's plain old fashioned shyster-ism, rampant speculation leaching of the hard work of the majority.  Each time it happens, it benefits only a tiny cabal of the super rich, but impacts on thousands of ordinary people who either work for the company in question, or have a pension fund with holdings in the company that can no longer reap dividends.

There is a positive side to this story:  the fact that this has happened to Manchester United  means that it is happening in the full spotlight of the media.  Now hundreds of thousands of people now know what a "leveraged buyout" is, and what a negative impact it can have on a previously extremely well run company.  It's clear that the only winners in the boardroom manouverings at Old Trafford are the Glazer family.  The club, the players, the manager, the staff and the supporters have all been royally buggered.  But since this is happenening all over the stock exchange, the more people that understand it, the more likely we are to force the govenment to do something about it.

This sort of rampant risk free speculation should be outlawed immediately.  Manchester United were probably the best run football club in the World before the Glazer family took over, now they are crippled by debt that should be encumbent on the Glazer family, not the club.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Goodbye "the Noughties", hello "the Wanties"

So that is another decade over, a decade in which life for the average person has consistantly got slightly worse year on year.  A decade in which for the first seven years bankers and economist's repeatedly told us that the boom would go on for ever, "or at least plataeu", then claimed that "no one could have know this crash was coming" when it finally came, despite the fact that many academics, investors and even whole books had been prediciting it for years.

And these people are still in a job.  A nice, highly paid job, with a lucrative bonus scale and fat pension.  They did not pay for what they caused.

They should be in jail, but instead the likes of Sir Fred Goodwin "retire" on a £750,000 a year pension.  This man can be considered to be singularly responsible for the downfall of the Royal Bank Of Scotland, due to his obsession with mergers and aquisitions.  But instead of being pursued by the law for criminal malfeasance, he walks free and enjoys the finer things in life.  I would not be surprised to see him re-emerge in the media in a few years time, as an "expert financial advisor", he could complain about how the pension funds of PLCs are dragging the country down, how we all need to tighten our belts, how we should be happy with teh fact we even have a job in these trying times, and that pay cuts should be all the rage over the public sector.

There has been a lot of debate over what this new decade should be known as, but I think I have the answer: "the one-ties" (pronounced "wanties").  Thanks to Sir Fred and his ilk, we will all be wanting this decade.