Two interesting cross-threads in the news today: Rangers administration and ten-point deduction, and Arsenal saying their final goodbye to Thierry Henry, who will return to the New York Red Bulls after he faces AC Milan in the first leg of the round of 16 Champions League tie.
On the surface they couldn’t be further apart, but they are linked in the measure of how the club owners and directors have agreed to balance fan expectations against responsible finances. Rangers, owned by venture capitalist Craig Whyte, appear to have been treading water for some time, with a very large unpaid tax bill and some questions regarding the borrowing of cash against future season ticket sales.
Meanwhile, despite a relatively busy pre-season transfer window in August, Arsenal continue to be the paragon of financial restraint. Henry’s return to the club on loan from MLS however was a reminder to fans of what the club was once able to achieve in headier days. Many Gunners’ fans have come to believe since then, in lieu of hard evidence it should be said, that the Wenger philosophy is no longer effective and Arsenal’s failure to win trophies in the past few years comes down to a lack of high-end transfer spending.
Wenger though is confident heading into tonight’s game at the San Siro, making very deliberate references to Chelsea’s current poor run of form. This is in part to reignite hopes his club can make the final Champions League spot in the Premier League, but it’s also to remind fans that even the highest-spending clubs in Europe can struggle. Considering the fact the HMRC may start sniffing around several clubs in the Premier League, in addition to the coming austerity of FFP, Arsenal fans may want to carefully assess whether reckless, high-risk spending is really the answer to their very short trophy “drought.”
The Montreal Impact beat the LA Galaxy 3-0 in pre-season friendly.
TFC plays “wait-and-see” with Julian De Guzman.
Some CanSoc propaganda.
A few more TFC noobs to chat about.
Ghanaian trialist with the Whitecaps.
Giggs will have to wait to play his 900th game for United.
Apparently Mourinho is texting his former charges over at Chelsea.
Welcome back, Tevez!
Ravel Morrison charged by the FA over homophobic tweet.
Randy Lerner’s brilliant plan to whip McLeish into shape.
David Bentley on his way to MLS?
AC Milan won’t think about Tevez until June.
Allegri “speaks English.”
Udinese’s Benatia would love to go to United one day.
Dortmund offer Klopp a much-deserved contract extension.
Bits and bobs
Millwall v. Leicester, 1991.
The forgotten story of November 17th, 1993.
And that, give or take, is the story so far…