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Money versus more money

PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 4:17 pm
by Charlie
I'm having trouble choosing sides, watching Match of the Day.

Which millionaire's team should I be rooting for?

Is it possible for a man who has made so much money he can indulge in buying a football club, to have earned such vast amounts by respectable behaviour? Or is such a person inevitably a gangster or rip-off merchant of some kind, as Abramovich evidently is.

At times I get distracted. Roy Hodgson, manager of Fulham, seems like a nice enough guy, but his boss is El Fayad. I like Arsene Wenger and his team, but know nothing about the millionaires who own them.

I like Steve Bruce and what he has managed to do at Sunderland, but who are the owners there?

Liverpool, Manchester United, Aston Villa and West Ham are all owned by rich people I knew too little about. How did they make their money?

Who's left to talk about? Everton, are they clean?

PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 5:32 pm
by Rob Hall
What's "clean" Charlie? Hasn't it always been the case that football teams have been owned by rich men? In earlier times it was some local industrialist or retailer. Were the intentions of the owners in the old days any less rapacious than those involved today? I doubt it.

I'm sure that there are a few individuals who are happy to put significant amounts of money into a football club with no expectation of a return - Elton John, Delia Smith - but I'd say they are in the minority, and I'd question the notion that their pockets are endlessly deep.

I'm a great admirer of the Corinthian spirit in the game, but at a professional level it has only ever been about business.

If there is more money involved in recent years, it is because the potential returns on the investment are greater. The professional game is a part of the entertainment business; I'd suggest that it always has been, but it hasn't always been perceived as such. I think it's the entertainment business that has changed - it's much more global than it used to be and the methods for extracting money from the pockets of willing punters are more sophisticated and efficient. It used to be about wearing the scarf, paying the entrance fee and buying a programme; then it became about buying the strip; then it became about buying the third away strip, signing up for the TV channel and taking out the credit card...

PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 5:56 pm
by Hugh Weldon
Coincidentally there was a programme on Radio 5 on the closely related topic of domination by foreign owners the other night, their web page article makes the following observations:

"Birmingham City is the latest club to be bought by a foreigner. Hong Kong businessman Carson Yeung, is the new owner. This means that half of the 20 Barclays Premier League clubs are now foreign-owned.

This week, Portsmouth has changed hands between two rich Saudis. Liverpool, Fulham, Aston Villa, Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United, West Ham and Sunderland are also owned by foreigners.

Is this good for the game and does it matter? We live in a free market - is it pointless trying to keep clubs home owned?

Is it better for fans that clubs have the cash to buy the best players or should foreign ownership be limited even if it means a less exciting game?

How can we stop someone investing in the game they love? Is it sustainable to rely on one foreign owner?

How important is ownership to a club's identity? Is it only a matter of time before all English clubs are foreign owned?" ... our_f.html


Who's left to talk about? Everton, are they clean?

Well now that Duncan Ferguson has moved on, probably cleaner than
they were..

But seriously, they are perhaps the only top English club where the chairman and major shareholder has been a fan since boyhood. Step forward ex Coronation Street actor and West End impresario Bill Kenwright.

Also of interest from Wiki: "Perhaps less known is Bill's recording career both solo and with a group Bill Kenwright and the Runaways:

"I want to go back there again"/"Walk through dreams" Columbia DB8239 (August 1967)
and solo, as Bill Kenwright:

"Love's Black & White"/"Giving Up" MGM 1430 (July 1968)
"Tiggy"/"House That Fell On Its Face" MGM 1463 (November 1968)
"Baby I could be so good at loving"/"Boy & A Girl" MGM 1478 (January 1969)
"Sugar Man"/"Epitaph"/"When Times Were Good" Fontana H1065 (October 1969)

PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 9:52 pm
by Hugh Weldon
I wrote:

"I want to go back there again"/"Walk through dreams" Columbia DB8239 (August 1967)

Actually a cover of a fairly obscure Chris Clark Motown number.

It's pretty dreadful I'm afraid...