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Monday, October 13, 2008

A Poet on a Horse

I was going to prattle on about how its almost a year since the 3-1 Ipswich win at the Valley - the last win before we embarked on our 10 wins in 35 scenario - but events would seem to have overtaken us. Because right now its our performance in the Boardroom rather than on the field which has taken front stage.
Whilst his football club has been slowly sinking, Richard Murray has obviously been rather busy and has received a helping hand, if you can believe the Mail on Sunday from Newcastle's ex-Director, Tony Jimenez. Grass obviously doesn't grow under the feet of Mr Jimenez for just 10 months ago he was handed the job of Vice-President at Newcastle in a new management team that included Jeff Vetere, former overseas scouting co-ordinator of the Addicks under Curbishley. Perhaps that was the missing link because before departing from St. James' Park this week Jimenez had the rather good idea of introducing Richard to Zabeel Investments after Newcastle owner Ashley had turned down the Dubai groups offer of £280m.
So anyway, instead of languishing in the doldrums and looking forward to the sight of Pardews' further tinkering, full of fear less we follow Leicester into Division One, we can now almost hear the pleasant tinkleing of hard coinage falling into our coffers and are now dreaming of being top of the world. What a turnaround!
It may not happen, there's talk of an investigation into Zabeel's still current ambitions concerning Liverpool, but Richard Murray seems confident and although his judgement on the relative merits of football managers has been called into question, there's surely less doubt over his financial acumen.
So for the inquisitive it's checking into the meaning of "due diligence" and for the socially conscious, worrying about Dubai labour laws and the tainted smell of oil money. We would prefer a scrap metal dealer, Richard, but in our situation, and with surprising debts of £20m that has been kept pretty quiet, beggars can't be choosers.
But nevertheless, I'm still haunted by the reaction of my local barkeeper, when he inquired how my English team was doing. "Fourteen in the Second", drew a true look of sympathy whereas "but we're about to be bought by Arabs from Dubai" was received with a look of disdain or was it contempt as if I was selling myself on the street corner. Well, the arabs have always had a bad press over here and have never been top of anyones party list. It took them 400 hundred years of hard battling to get rid of them and now their coming back although not, it must be said, with sack loads of money. Perhaps he's jealous.
As for the Addicks, will we change? If it goes ahead, most definitely, but nothing is ever guaranteed in life let alone football where finding the winning formulae is often more a series of short steps rather than a sudden jump over the fence. Patience will be needed and a poetry-loving, horse-riding ex-Sandhurst Sheikh would seem to fit the bill.
All we need to do is to pray that Pards, fresh from trawling the lower Leagues for gems, knows how to spend a tidy wadge of money, because visions of a little lost boy by the name of Simonson kept coming back to me.

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