Unsurprisingly it was debts, administration and financial news that dominated the media this week. Whether it be blogs, papers, TV, or radio, it’s all anyone is talking about. Crystal Palace became the first Football League club to go into administration this season, the second time this has happened to them, and were duly docked 10 points sending them from play-off candidates to relegation scrappers.
HMRC’s apparent new policy of cracking down on clubs over unpaid tax bills, combined with the intricate web of debt and creditors that seems par for the course nowadays, seems to have done for Palace. Apparently though a lot of Palace fans still see Jordan as a good guy and were keen to defend him on their boards, and we came across an interesting take on all that from Andrew Scowcroft on When Saturday Comes.
The blows continued on Pompey as it emerged their website had gone down, along with pitchside electronic advertising boards, because of unpaid bills. It’s also being reported on Sky Sports that Pompey’s players will, again, not be paid this month. It’s easy to forget that football’s a sport at the minute actually, it all feels a bit like reading the business pages of the Financial Times. Barely a newspaper out there seems to be bothering with the actual players anymore, it’s all chief executive this and chairman that.
At Palace and Pompey for instance Simon Jordan and Peter Storrie seem likely to leave, while Manchester City’s ever understated Gary Cook seems to have hacked off his Abu Dhabi employers with one mouthy comment too many. “It’s not if but when we are at Wembley having beaten Man United yet again,” said Cook before Wednesday’s League Cup semi. How did that go for you, Gary?
Gold and Sullivan also saw to West Ham CEO Scott Duxbury who has left to “pursue other opportunities” and it was good to see Patrick Barclay at The Times getting stuck in to some boardroom leeches and parasitical agents too – go on there Paddy!
At every level bad boardrooms were taking a bashing. Take St Albans City of the Blue Square South for example. The Saints City Trust, set up by fans to protect the clubs long term interests, wiped the floor with their club’s directors too who had the cheek to – as Supporters Direct point out – try and treat the Trust as a hole in the wall.
At this rate it’s only a matter of time before fans get those burning torches and pitchforks and chase some owners out of town, bring it on! Oliver Holt knows what we mean.
Anyway, moving away from chief executives and chairman, we’ve discovered that some football did actually take place this week. Yes, that’s right, Dan Magness broke the world keepy-up record by wandering across London taking in every Premier League club on his 30-mile trek; well done Dan.
A teary-eyed BBC reported that “in much the same vein as the Olympic Torch, the football - which organisers refer to as The Ball - is seen as a symbol of hope, promoting peace and unity.” What else were they going to refer to it as?!
Someone else who had tears in their eyes was the Egyptian on the end of this shocker of a tackle from Pompey’s Nadir Belhadj. Egypt won 4-0 and the Algerians ended the game with eight men. Wonder if Belhadj was annoyed ‘cos his wages hadn’t come in?
Lastly, we stumbled upon the Twitter account of one Phil Brown this week where he proclaimed “I’m dreadfully unhappy, underneath the success.” OK we know it’s not really him but, somehow, when he's not saving folk from suicide and underneath all the bluster, we bet it sort of rings true. God, that’s even wetter than the BBC isn’t it?
Enjoy the weekend and until next week, tara.