PART ONE by Jon Fox
Writing as a Gooner, on JA for many years, who has been constantly warning against the huge financial corruption around the obscene money in football and, in particular, how almost all the profit ends up with players and in their disgusting agents greedy pockets, I feel heartened and vindicated, now that the dreadful creature Abramovich has had his long overdue comeuppance.
On a related theme, we at Arsenal have had a close shave with the other creature Usmanov, about whom It should be thought that our club directors and owner have had more insight in blocking his attempt at ownership and being on the board too, than many of us did at the time. A close shave indeed!
In life we all make mistakes. Most are “not evil with intent” mistakes but merely wrong decisions, though usually made with the best of intentions. Mature fans allow for that and know that we are ALL included in that summary. But when an “evil with intent” event happens, such as we are now seeing all too horrendously in poor, brave Ukraine, then decent people recoil in horror and decide to make a stand against it.
THAT is exactly what SHOULD have happened back in 2003 when Abramovich and his well-known dirty money came calling at Chelsea. They SHOULD have said “thanks but no thanks”! But they chose not to do, as they ought to have done, and thus sold their soul to the Devil and now must reap the consequences.
Now, I wish to, at least in part, exclude the more unworldly wise Chelsea fans at that time of 2003 from being unfairly demonised. It is not a given to all fans, in fact to most I would suggest, to be acutely aware of all the evils associated with oligarchs. We are football fans and not politicians. Yes, some of us may well be acutely aware of what is happening all around our globe, politically speaking, but we have not the right to expect all fans to be interested in world politics. And so, I exclude from blame those Chelsea fans who were guilty of being no more than naive at worst. Others though, will have just chosen to turn a knowing but wilfully blind eye and those are complicit up to their guilty necks IMO.
I have no knowledge, merely my own hopes and likely conclusions, about what will happen in the short to medium term to Chelsea FC. But I hope and expect that the liberal democracy which applies in Britain and which some of us foolishly take for granted and undervalue in it’s importance, will now steadily decide to hasten the process, already begun, of increasing regulation of our elite level sport. I am sure Chelsea will survive and so it should. But its obscene hold on an oligarch’s personal wealth to aid it, is now, one hopes, broken for ever.
Next stop Man City and the equally ghastly ownership of Newcastle. Citizens and Geordies should be hanging their heads in shame, IMO!
In my ideal world I would LOVE to see all billionaire owners, including our own, banned by law from owning clubs and all clubs owned by at least 51% by supporters, and in the sense that we fans, without 51%, have a golden share which will prevent dictatorial owners from making obscene profits at our expense AND which will drastically, by law if necessary, reduce by perhaps 90%, ALL current world wide elite player salaries.
Of course, that will involve the reconstitution of that corrupt entity FIFA, likewise UEFA, first and before any of this can happen. But I suggest that the fall of Chelsea and its owner is the first small but mightily important step in that optimistic direction. A direction that, as a lover of fairness for all, I crave with every fibre of my being.
My friends, the world is changing fast, faster than many of us realise. All around us is chaos but also there in droves is human kindness, decency, and a fast-burgeoning love of fair play. (I put a great deal of this evolvement in humankind directly down to the increasing, and immensely welcome, though long overdue, influence of our female sex on society in the free world. In Neanderthal countries though, woman are still, as in their long miserable history, still chattels. Sigh!)
We see goodness, decency and COMPASSION in all nations. Even among the non-deluded section of citizens in Russia. Let us remember that all dictators eventually fall. History proves that fact. Democracy will ultimately prevail, in sport as much as in any other walk of life. The only question is how long will that tortuous process takes to complete in our own Premier League, among others too? On that question my fellow Gooners, everything relies!
The second part of this article, concentrating directly on how Chelsea’s fall and other hopeful optimistic developments on how owners operate, affects us all at Arsenal, will follow very soon.
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