APR
07
2011
Mickey Blue Eyes...
FOOTBALL AND THE SUB PRIME AND OTHER SCAMS
Bookmark and Share

 

FOOTBALL AND THE SUB PRIME AND OTHER SCAMS

By

Mickey Blue Eyes

 

 

Analfield's main sponsor was reported in the 1st April Independent as follows:

 

"The bank that has signed the most lucrative shirt sponsorship deal in football history, with Liverpool, has sought reassurances that the conduct of players will not cause it any embarrassment.

Standard Chartered's chief executive Peter Sands sought undertakings with his Liverpool opposite number about the club's likely action against offending players and also had sight of the club's code of conduct before signing the £20m a season deal, last year. Standard's Group Head of Corporate Affairs, Gavin Laws, insisted, in a week when England manager Fabio Capello said striker Andy Carroll should drink less, that the bank was relaxed about the £35m signing. In a candid discussion of the bank's new relationship with the club, Mr Laws also said that Standard would like Liverpool to recruit Asian players to capitalize on their marketability in that continent, where Standard have a huge market. He also said he hoped Liverpool appoint Kenny Dalglish as manager...."

 

In other words, the football tail has started wagging the football dog in public. If you wanted to change animals you could also say the cat is finally out of the bag. In other words, admen, accountants and bankers - each detested even more than current parliamentary politicians, media newsmen and estate agents - have openly issued instructions on playing and management of the game. Institutionalised corruption of football is almost as complete as in the USA street-fight-in-motor-bike-helmets version - where, incidentally, owners have just "locked out" players over a dispute of how to share out $9 billion. Quelle surprise!......Not. At least not to those who have kept their critical faculties.

 

Now, like you, I couldn't care less about liverpool's playing fortunes. But irrespective of the club I do care about issues that affect the sport of football in general. This open interference by Standard Chartered is but one of them. However, anybody who thinks this didn't already exist behind the scenes in one way or another is kidding themselves. All Sands has done is blurt it out, for which a small measure of thanks is due. After this, nobody can plead ignorance. Nobody can say the financial institutions don't have a say in how the game is administered, and that they would impose their ways on the game if given a clear run. In fact in most cases the institutions already have the final word. Those who still wish to exercise wilful ignorance need only look at the woeful financial histories of Portsmouth, Leeds United, Cardiff City, Plymouth Argyle and the myriad of other clubs at all levels who have endured bankruptcy or administration procedures. It is all in the public domain. Nobody is immune. In fact there are only three clubs in the country who are not balanced on a razor edge: Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City......and Chelsea and City would be in meltdown if their oligarch owners decided to pull the financial plug overnight. Even Manchester United could face playing disaster if economic conditions plummeted further. So, ask yourself: what is the difference between individual oligarch owners and institutional oligarch owners? Answer: virtually none. Thus, the link between money and power over all aspects of life, even the trivia of football.

 

Really, this is only common sense. But the remnants of common sense and fairness have been sidelined since 1979 when the most recent version of capitalist barrow boy economics and spivvery was instigated. There is nothing new about it. Only the form and propaganda is different. Now there is a whole new generation who know nothing more than a society where they are told greed is good and rat-eats-rat, that humanity is merely a machine in search of profit, that the more profit motivation reigns the more "freedom" there is - by which is really meant freedom for a few to steal millions or even billions. All of it is couched in bullshit and lies manufactured by bought-and-paid for neo con quasi-intellectual "academics" and "institutions" and a mainstream media that wouldn't acknowledge the truth if it tripped over it on the way out of an editorial conference. False or deliberately misleading accountancy certification has long been the norm, not worth the paper it is printed on. We have been here before. We will be here again......until the entire apparatus is smashed and booted into the same historical dustbin as feudalism and slavery.

 

So why be surprised when Standard Chartered behave thus? After all, they are only following in the dishonourable footsteps of every capitalist crook and liar who preceded them. They look to squeeze profits for themselves, nothing more. Nothing else matters, not you, not your family, not your society, not any concept of morality, and certainly not "your" football club. That's the way this kind of system works and always will. And its footy instigators are well aware that most people are too engaged in the business of daily survival to organise and fight back, which is the only real way of changing things - otherwise you might as well disappear into vacuous "meditation," squat on your haunches and burn joss sticks and incense and mumble an incoherent mantra. Or disappear into the ale house and mutter tearfully about good old days that never existed. People are even less inclined to engage when the subject is the relative trivia of football, and who is to blame them? Survival is more important than twenty two men kicking a ball around a field. In these circumstances football comes bottom of the list of priorities. This brings with it too the equally useless weary apathy of sick cynics who attack inactive people en masse, a sado-masochistic exercise in hysteria for which the game's hangers on are now rightly notorious, even laughable.

 

I think it highly likely Sands will be quietly taken into a boardroom and have the back ripped out of him and told to confine himself to direct communication with the club. In corporate sponsorship, like organised crime, any exposure to democracy is unwelcome. It is permissible to promote sentimentalised shit like The Godfather and The Sopranos (read: murdering cowardly scum and drugs dealers) and the nonsense of "risk taking entrepreneurs" and "creators of wealth" (read: thieves of national wealth), but not to exercise raw power in public. You give the real game away when you do that.

 

The fact is of course that Sands' behaviour is only the surface tip of a very large iceberg. Below that lies the much larger hidden source of football power, the money men and the financial institutions. Ultimately, football "owners" - no exceptions - are merely buy-to-rent front men looking for a profit. Just as you are when you take out a mortgage and kid yourself you own a house and can sell it on and make money on it. Of course you don't own anything but a fraction until you have paid back the mortgage, and a rip off amount of interest too. By then, inflation has swallowed any gains you might think you've made. Until that time you are a tenant of the lender and you can be thrown out if you don't cough up. The real triumph of contemporary capitalism is that it fooled enough people into believing otherwise, as it did with the dot com bubble and the property and football bubbles and all the other bubbles to come. If you want precedent, go research the South Seas Bubble, the Kuwait Souk Al Manakh Bubble, the US Savings and Loans Rip Off and the Great Depression. The transnational list is almost endless. All of it was and is conceived and executed by an Establishment kleptocracy.

 

The scam jargon of the last two decades is "sub-prime," "derivatives" and "leveraged buy outs," which really means nothing more than temporary access to money for spivs to keep the system going. There are many other terms, all of them bullshit intended to mislead and mystify. When they fail, it is your money that is stolen from the banks and other institutions and re-titled "public debt" (read: cough up again for the umpteenth time). All of these examples will demonstrate to you how and why football inevitably fell victim. If you want to see the most recent detailed general exposé in popular format you could do worse than start here: http://www.sonyclassics.com/insidejob/

 

There is also an unpalatable truth for self-deceptive football fans, and it is this: British professional football clubs have never belonged to them. From their beginning, with only a couple of exceptions, ownership rested with majority shareholders in limited companies. Prior to that the irony is many were founded by churches for perfectly moral reasons, of which Everton were typical. But ownership was always going to become international once "globalisation" and inflation took effect and exchange controls were dropped (in the scam jargon, "relaxed") during the final quarter of the last century. It was the only way to gain access to greater and greater finance. Money now flies around the world at the touch of a button, as Iceland and Ireland in particular have found to their tragic cost. To have access you have to be a member of the global gang and comply with its rules. Provincialism was excluded, so the era of first level local business football club ownership really ended with creation of the Premier League in 1992.

 

In reality supporters have never been anything more than customers who pay for an item. Period. That's it. Only a fool would pretend otherwise. Professional football clubs have always been owned by just a few men. Supporters have never had a direct influence of any real worth. This is a hard but necessary truth made harder by the current era, when even minority shares owners and "businessmen" try to run shares scams. At even the lowest levels football has become infested with tenth rate wannabe Gordon Gekkos, Ivan Boeskys, Bernie Madoffs, Michael Lays and Robert Maxwells. Again, no surprise. Create this kind of society and it seeps in everywhere. The game is infected with insane financial hubris at all levels. There will be no end in sight until there is a viable mass movement to take the game into its rightful place, which is community ownership. And at the moment that isn't even registering on the social radar screen of Premier League clubs. Nor will it change until there is enough consensual strength to force the issue, as opposed to self-righteous platitudes, curmudgeons, whiners and mere anarchy. For the present, community ownership remains a consideration in lower regions of the Football League only.

 

The point is, there are active viable alternatives. For example the German supporters majority ownership model is far superior. Their average gates are higher and their ticket prices about fifty percent less, and their national team has always performed well in competitions. In the last decade five different clubs have won their Bundesliga. But it remains a pipe dream for us here while crooks and liars own and run the country. Get rid of them from key positions and we might stand a chance. Meanwhile, for the first time in history, the USA, the world's richest ever nation, has a generation whose expectations and conditions are lower than their parents (13% of Americans now need food stamps), a fall reached in Britain about twenty years ago. Now 25% of our people live in poverty and 20% of our youngsters are unemployed. Capitalism has had an unobstructed run for over thirty years and is still the disgusting thievery it has always been. Needless to say this tragedy is simply ignored by London-based mainstream media. And those are the official figures, which probably means the true figures are even higher. Here, we have even reached the stage where the neo con government wants to evict disabled wheelchair users from their homes into "suitable accommodation" because "they live in houses too big for them." Of course this kind of socioeconomic misery is bound to knock-on to professional football in some way. It is unavoidable.

 

Thus a demonstration of Harold Laski's thesis that capitalism is incompatible with democracy and decency. Thus too the clearest possible demonstration that previous prime minister Gordon Brown was talking out of his fat, incompetent, self-seeking arse when he claimed, "We have abolished boom and bust" just a year before everything went tits up yet again. There may still be a couple more booms and busts before financial Armageddon, but the moment draws nearer each time. Football is the least of it. Meantime, fans could usefully ask themselves why there is so much money flowing through the game and still clubs are living hand-to-mouth or going bankrupt or into administration. The answer isn't too hard to find. And simple-minded change of owner isn't a solution. It is merely a change of emphasis. We will only get change when fans grasp how and why community ownership works and why it is desirable. Anything else will go off half-cock and probably end up back where it started. So much is also common sense. At least it is if you don't lose your ability to reason.

 

It is tempting to think Peter Sands did us all a minor favour with his unguarded public words. However, it is likely he has already been caught on the shepherd's hook, dragged off and given a sound talking to by older suited-up thieves at Standard Chartered. I doubt if he'll repeat it any time soon. After all, the last thing a Godfather needs is somebody blabbing openly about his protection racket or his drugs deals. Far better to call it "insurance" and couch it in esoteric terms calculated to puzzle or mislead.

 

In fact, this seemingly minor episode shows all too clearly how the system works. Eventually, cui bono? From about this summer I am willing to guess it is likely you will be forced to search for a football answer whether you want to or not. The noose is tightening every day. And no club in football is immune......none. But if that's what it takes to clean out the Augean stables, so be it. It has been overdue since 1992. We all know it, though there is an absurd minority with their head firmly wedged in their anal canal while bleating for more of the same. Some can't see further than the end of their masochistic nose. But even for them reality will be here soon enough.

 

 

Comments about FOOTBALL AND THE SUB PRIME AND OTHER SCAMS
20
We only want to invest in football clubs. Whats wrong with that?
Don Corleone, Hoodie Town, 11:05 AM 9/04/2011
19
I think MBE has been snorting a bit too much of the devils white powder lately..((Three mad rants in one week)) ;-p
Big H, Birkenhead, 8:14 AM 9/04/2011
18
Know your audience Michael - you are writing for Bluekipper, not The Economist.
Linny, Boulder, Colorado, 1:42 AM 9/04/2011
17
Listen up our kid, you didn't write that fuckin song - it was me you nob head. Some might say that I can see a liar, but cast no shadow - I wont fade away. Little by little I am making a Noel Gallagher return to the pop charts and unlike beady eye, my songs will live forever! I will be shouting 'stop crying your heart out' when Noel hits no 1 on Bruno Brookes's Sunday chart show and the whole country will say that I am a true rock and roll star and my songs are supersonic! Oh, and your clothing range is shit!
Noel Gallagher, Moss Side, 12:31 AM 9/04/2011
16
An excellent analysis of the capitalist corruption of society and sport. Andrew is obviously a very confused individual because he recognises what needs to be done but likens the spivs to Communists! Andrew, there must be a position for you in the Condem coalition.
Bill , Huyton, 11:36 PM 8/04/2011
15
"There is also an unpalatable truth for self-deceptive football fans, and it is this: British professional football clubs have never belonged to them." bang on the button...but then we get... "There will be no end in sight until there is a viable mass movement to take the game into its rightful place, which is community ownership." I am unsure who would lead this "mass movement" to basically steal something that was never theirs. The summer twats? I am moved to recall an earlier MBE piece when he parted unmatched wisdom thus : "The great Keith Wyness, once shat a hot a pearl of solidified knowledge to me, not before having his anus shape after rodins kiss. He said "Cathartic halitosis with large dollop of hubris, in the fat...please luv, and a carton of peas". Mr. Durkin...even Ali retired in the end.
Frank Hargreaves, Everton, 9:03 PM 8/04/2011
14
Usually I only read and don't post on these Blue Kipper pieces as they just become name calling diatribes and this one is typical. Nobody has responded to the opinion stated. The view is reasonable and is clearly stated and all the figures and facts stated check out. Some people would do better talking about the fact that most football fans are really unhappy with the way the game is run and why, while looking for alternatives as this article does. In the end if you don't like the views presented don't bother reading them next time they're up instead of calling people names. It isn't hard.
Tony Ford, Stoneycroft, 8:22 PM 8/04/2011
13
Wouldn't worry about "Andre Osnard Panama City" folks. He's just a stalker with a personal obsessive problem, a complete nutter. Harmless though and unintenionally funny. Keep on keeping on MBE. Poor "Andrew" will be off his cake shortly.
Paul, Warrington, 5:37 PM 8/04/2011
12
Fuckin' hell! I'm not reading all of that!
Mick, Maghull, 2:56 PM 8/04/2011
11
It makes me laugh that some people seem to read MBE just to have a dig. I dont always agree with what is said buts its well written and like most things is one persons thoughts, understanding or perception of a situation. I think It would be a tradegdy for these articles to be taken off the site, if you dont like reading them then dont click on the link. Im not interested in everything on the official everton website so I dont click on every link. Up the blues asnd stay positive, Europe here we come!
Hound Dog, Leeds, 1:19 PM 8/04/2011
10
We need a good sponsor. Manuel Noriega Airlines would be a good start.
Tony Davies, Blackbird Leazes Estate, 11:47 AM 8/04/2011
9
Specator. Au contraire. Things are great where I am. I fear it's people the likes of you, MBE, Nick Griffin, etc who are all-consumed by authoritarian, repressive politics that have things bad. Dull, bitter, judgemental, obnoxious, that's no way to live life. My political philosophy is, by and large, live and let live, so I find MBE's dictatorial postings gratuitously offensive, designed to lead those incapable of independent thought ( such as yourself ) astray though a veneer of intelligence ( actually just a Thesaurus in MBE's case ). I take my hat off to Bluekipper, as even though I think they are wrong to publish this ridiculous propaganda on a footy site, they at least have the good grace to allow the counter views of myself and other to be heard. I doubt you will appreciate that in 'Crosby', so please, carry on following your master. Oh, Tommy Bruce, MBE's substituted the NFL for "USA street-fight-in-motor-bike-helmets version" - couldn't you work that one out?...shouldn't surprise me.
Andrew Osnard, Panama City, 11:39 AM 8/04/2011
8
Seems perfectly reasonable to me. I always look back in anger whatever that song says that I wrote. I never wanted the sheikhs here either but we're stuck with them now. What can you do when your wellies let in? Send for Michael Moore!
Liam Gallagher, Moss Side, 10:20 AM 8/04/2011
7
These rants do not belong here. Can't you start another website or submit them to the school magazine? I rely upon this site to be informed of a new and interesting, Everton - themed, tattoo or how to say 'Red Shite' in Urdu. There is another self styled football social anthropoligist in Liverpool called "professor" Rogan Taylor. You and he would get on like a house on fire.
Eddie, Oxford, 9:23 AM 8/04/2011
6
MBE has got me well and truly fired up, my pitchfork is sharpened. Point me toward the nearest capitalistic swine and he's dogmeat.
Joe Doakes, Australia, 10:38 PM 7/04/2011
5
Andy, you'd be better keeping an eye on Harry Pendel mate! You've been spending too much time around the yanks to make a reference to the NFL because apart from yours, I cannot find any reference to the NFL. And you cannot compare the NFL to the EPL because its not the competitiveness of the NFL that keeps the punters happy, its purely the fact that it is game for the hard of thinking, that gives the punter the opportunity of grabbing a hotdog and filling his lite beer whilst the umpteenth commercial break takes effect. This is the pure commercialism and influence of money that MBE is poitning out in this piece.
Tommy Bruce, Hamburg, 8:54 PM 7/04/2011
4
Everything Andrew said. Well put that man.
KK, Bulgaria, 8:30 PM 7/04/2011
3
I think that's Andrew 'I'm alright jack i own more than the majority' Osnard. The majority who actually don't even have water running in their street never mind their houses even if they had one would disagree. The majority who struggle through life just to exist in order for you to have someone serve upon you at a cost more than it would be for some to have a fresh drink of water. There are other ways other than communism but you wouldn't even entertain thinking of any other way being a Elitist. I don't see American football being played worldwide either only World champs of your own back garden. $9 Billion of your own generated value that depends on how much the dollar is worth and we all know what you do to keep the value of that up!
Lee, Liverpool, 6:50 PM 7/04/2011
2
See what you've done now MBE, you've kicked him off again. Things must be bad in 'Panama City' :o)
Spectator, Crosby, 6:50 PM 7/04/2011
1
MBE still moaning about the 80's, what is it 20-30 years later. Completely bitter, twisted and knarled-up on the inside over how you lost all your political battles? I bet you're constantly talking to your equally bitter mates in this manner at your local 'alehouse'. You really must be one of the most dreary individuals on the face of the planet. Move on. I don't like the way the Premier League has destroyed competitiveness, almost Communist in the way we are supposed to lie down and accept the politbureau clubs at the top of the game gorging themselves while the rest of us drones make up the numbers and provide the cannon fodder whilst struggling to survive. ( That's my spurious attempt at bringing politics into football - and like MBE's efforts it doesn't really work does it?). The NFL is mentioned and without getting too far into it the ultra-capitalist Americans realise that competitiveness keeps the punters happy, which is why the NFL is, long-term, the most even playing field in top-level world sport ( and which is why they can argue over $9billion). You won't admit that though will you? Amazingly i'm in agreement on the German League. Oh, and for my last observation I happen to love The Godfather and The Sopranos - I'm reassured to learn that people like MBE don't - you can stick to watching Stalin: The benevolent dictator or The Beauty of Pre-Fab Edifices, etc. To each his own I guess. Enjoy.
Andrew Osnard, Panama City, 4:48 PM 7/04/2011
New comment about FOOTBALL AND THE SUB PRIME AND OTHER SCAMS
Name:
Location:
Comment:
Verify:
 Please type the string above in the input box below.