Friday, March 04, 2011

Quote of the day

"Mike couldn't get his head round what the football world is about in terms of some of the finances needed - it just doesn't make sense at times. The finances of the football club are so complicated and Mike and Derek are starting to understand and learn from experiences - having made errors."

Alan Pardew, speaking on talkSPORT, hints at what we all know - namely, that Jabba wishes his due diligence checks before buying the club had been rather more thorough. Not even being a successful businessman is a guarantee of being able to comprehend our financial affairs.

On the subject of crazy money, the Sun are reporting that, according to our 2009/10 business plan, in the summer after relegation we valued Rocky at £34m less than we eventually sold him for. Of course his stock rose sharply over the course of the season and a half which followed, but it still underlines that the size of the eventual transfer fee couldn't really be sniffed at.

The business plan also reveals that some players we'd earmarked to keep were nevertheless sold when the opportunity arose (Damien Duff, Sebastian Bassong, Habib Beye) while many we were desperate to flog remained on the books (Sideshow Bob, Spidermag, ASBO, Alan Smith, Jose Enrique). If Rocky's transfer fee reflects well on Jabba, then this doesn't - we might have been prepared to give him credit for keeping the right players to get us promoted, but the fact that the club's sell-and-retain wishlist bore little resemblance to what actually happened indicates that it was less a matter of careful strategy and more of good fortune.

Meanwhile, if you can smell burning, I wouldn't worry - it'll just be the result of Stephen Ireland torching his bridges with Villa in some style, claiming to be unwanted by manager Gerard Houllier and declaring Birmingham to be "a rubbish town". Suffice to say that when his loan period at St James' ends, he's unlikely to be welcomed back with open arms (though you should probably expect him to waffle on about his comments being taken out of context any minute now...). Ireland often talks the talk but in the last couple of seasons has rarely walked the walk - it's time for him to shake off that niggling injury and prove he's not lost the ability that made him Man City's best player.

And finally, Everton's Victor Anichebe has won his out-of-court case against us, having claimed compensation for a tackle by Kevin Nolan in February 2009 which left him sidelined and saw our current skipper red-carded. Just in time to spice things up nicely ahead of tomorrow's rerun, for which Anichebe and Nolan will both be in their respective squads...

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