What’s an Arsenal supporter supposed to do on a Saturday when there’s plenty of football but none of it features our beloved Arsenal? I suppose we could watch some FA Cup matches.
Here in the States the early match is Soton v. Pompey and it’s a decent contest between two mid-table League One sides. There’s little chance that we’ll see the Pardew Shuffle because the chances are pretty good that Avram Grant’s Portsmouth might just bury them.
Overshadowing the actual football match is Portsmouth’s deep financial troubles. They are currently on a 7 day stay of execution by the tax-man and it’s looking like the FA might step in and put them in administration rather than let the club go out of business and subsequently throw the Premier League into turmoil.
To hear ole Harry Redknapp tell the story, he did nothing wrong building this team and doesn’t know where all the money went from his “wildly successful” team from which many profits were generated. Of course, Harry is full of it. Fratton Park has a capacity of just over 20,000 and even a Liberal Studies Major could figure out that even if you pack the stadium for every match you still couldn’t afford the salaries that were being paid to the FA Cup winning side. In fact, in that season, they spent £87m and earned… just £70.
It was like that, but worse, for Harry Redknapp’s entire tenure and the fact is that Portsmouth fans look like they will be paying a long-term price for Harry’s short-term success. That’s what happens when a club doesn’t plan for the future, when they simply placate their fans, and when you have a manager who cares more about personal glory than the bottom line.
It’s a story that is playing out all over the country at the moment with Notts County, West Ham, and to a lesser extent Crystal Palace and Cardiff all showing signs of financial trouble. Don’t be surprised if you see clubs like Sunderland and Fulham and Villa added to the list here in a few years. Those clubs are in a similar situation to where Pompey was a few years back: rich owners piling money into the club in order to help them build success despite relatively small turnover.
You won’t see that happen at Arsenal, thanks to Wenger and this board’s very conservative approach.
The other game on today is the Derby v. Birmingham match and the big story is that Robbie Savage is still playing football!
Not only that, but did you know that Robbie Savage is also very wealthy, has a hot wife, a huge house, is one of the keenest footballing minds on the planet, is well hung, has wonderful teeth, perfect hair, top notch cars… I could go on, but why bother when Robbie Savage will tell you himself:
Robbie Savage is the overall package. He likes doing the television, he likes doing the radio, likes being in the headlines. When all that’s flowing it’ s fantastic. I remember when I was doing a column in FourFourTwo magazine, Brucie said to me: ‘Any chance of you concentrating on your football?’ But it was the whole package. That’s what it’s like here now. I enjoy my media work but it doesn’t affect my football. I love football, that’s what people don’t realise. They just see the hair and the teeth and the tan and the big house and the car and the Dolce & Gabbana clothes, the model wife and houses all over the world. What they don’t see is when I go home. I go for a dip first in the indoor pool, look out over my golf course – what they don’t see then is that I watch ESPN, Spanish, German football. everything. Since 1990 I just watch any league in the world, any football all the time. My knowledge of the game is up there with the best and that’s why I want to stay in it.
Wow, Robbie Savage is such a douche that Robbie Savage referrs to Robbie Savage as… Robbie Savage. Read the whole puke inducing interview over at the Daily Fail.
Who says that there’s no magic left in the FA Cup?