Left Foot, Right Foot, Header #19 Cash, Ego, Heart

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It’s back, the perfect way to start your weekend… with a perfect hat-trick.  The Jukebox Juror brings you the week’s news via the medium of YouTube videos.  This week he looks at football finance, the folly of Mourinho and five musicians, a couple of whom might be familiar.

Mo Money, Mo Problems – Notorious B.I.G.

[youtube_sc url=”gUhRKVIjJtw”]
Ah, the morally ambiguous world of “big” business.  You know on Dragon’s Den, when Peter Jones or Deborah Meaden flash their, erm, winning smiles and say “I’ll give you some cash for two-thirds of your business” do you think anyone thinks, “Ah, that’s nice, she’s giving him all that cash and doesn’t really expect anything in return”?  There must be a few people who do, because that’s how a good proportion of football fans seem to think about their chairmen/owners.

I think it’s always been the case.  In the olden days, some local businessman or fine upstanding member of the community would generally be the person who held the reigns of the football club.  It might have appeared they were doing it for the good of the community, in those days they may actually have been doing, but either way they (and their mates) were probably losing money hand over fist, just to keep things afloat.

And then someone, it wasn’t me, but I doubt that anyone would admit it was them, invited a vampire in through the window.  There are many ways in which Sky has ruined football, but the main one has to be that it’s given it too much money.

And now, now the game is awash with cash, those local dignitaries have been replaced by money men, who aren’t just looking for prestige they’re looking for a play-thing, or, worse, a profit.  Except, the figures show that, apart from the odd few clubs, there aint no profit to be had in football.  You put in your money and, generally, you put in more of your money, the return on your investment?  A kicking off the fans for not putting enough money into the club.

“If only he’d spend another £50m, we might get that Europa league spot!”  It’s not right is it, expecting people to shell out their own money just to chase your dreams, but there’s a flip side to that argument, which is where the Oyston Family come in.

According to stories, they appear to have come up with a business model that supports this.  Buy land off the club, sell it back to them at ten times the cost when they need to build on it.  Kerrching!  Get promoted to the Premier League with the help of a Latvian business man, pay your dad an £11m directors fee out of the television money rather than investing it in the team.  Kerrching!  And when it all goes tits up, sack the manager, sell his son and give the job to one of the players.  Kerr….

Ah well that bit didn’t work so good, but as the parachute payments fade away it looks as if there’s a fair chance that Blackpool will be facing third division football and have relatively little to show for their Premier League adventure.  No doubt the Oystons will point to their long term, pre-Sky ownership of the club to try and prove they were never in it for the money, but with an alleged £26m flowing out of the club just in their Premier League season, it looks like they took the opportunity whilst it was there.

And I doubt that any of it was illegal, not that I’m an expert, like.  At the end of the day, these men “own” most of Blackpool football club.  They’ve invested their time, effort and maybe even some of their money and just like Deborah and Peter, they just wanted their share of the profit whilst the times were good.  They just wanted a return on their investment, regardless of what it means for the club in the long term.
So that’s ok, isn’t it?


I Me Mine – The Beatles


Talking about money takes us nicely onto Chelsea, poor old Chelsea with their injuries and three big games in one week.  Not to mention poor old Jose with the selection dilemma this gives him.  He might need to throw the league away by playing a weakened side against Liverpool, just so he can have a decent stab at the Champions League.  Poor old Jose and his sob stories that the media buy every bleeding time.

This is typical Mourinho (or classic Mourinho if you’re one of his acolytes) grabbing all the attention so his players don’t come under pressure whilst trying to trick the opposing team into thinking his guard is down so that they let theirs slip.  It’s reverse psychology at its most obvious, because

  • Chelsea don’t have a “weakened team” they have a side missing some of the manager’s favourite players.  Everyone of their squad is a strong player who should be able to hold his own at the top of the Premier League, if not why did they buy them? (Daniel Strurridge being a good case in point)
  • Liverpool won’t give a toss what side Chelsea put out, they’ll be briefed on all possibilities and will prepare for Mourinho’s tactics not his team selection.  In fact, they’ve been playing so well that they’ll probably just play the same way regardless.
  • Brendan Rodgers is Jose’s buddy and will know what he’s up to
  • As Mourinho has been pointing out for the last few months – Manchester City are way more likely to win the league than Chelsea are, fielding a weakened side isn’t likely to have a bearing on his team’s chances

If I was a little more cynical I might suggest that Jose was just being an attention seeking child, but I’m not and he doesn’t do that sort of thing, does he?

Heart First – Black Submarine

I’ve done a review of Black Submarine’s album in the latest issue of The Mudhutter magazine.  It’s good, it’s very good but I picked out Heart First as my favourite track.  From memory I called it a sparkling piece of Cocteau-esque pop.  If I didn’t, I should have done.  But anyway, the MFE editorial team must have been onto the guys because, this week, they’ve announce that Heart First will be released as their next single on 8th June.

If you don’t already know, Black Submarine is the latest, self financed, project featuring the Verve’s Nick McCabe and Simon Jones.  Their album, New Shores, is already available via their website http://blacksubmarine.co.uk reputable download sources and some of those streaming thingymbobs.  The guys are on tour with Echo & the Bunnymen over the coming weeks, with a headline tour to follow later in the year.  You could do worse than get out and see them.

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