The Blog that's not always wrong.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Levy to sue.........

 What's football got to do with it?
The Greg Meyer Column.

July 28 2013 ... He's Still Here.


 Levy To Sue..

 Should Daniel Levy sue, who should it be and for how much. All topical questions on the heaving quicksand that is the ever changing Gareth Bale saga.
 Potential litigious fodder that spring easily to mind include Monsieur Zenedine Zidane and the entire journalistic staff of the Real Madrid Flagship, Marca. More legal cannon fodder would be Bale's agent one Jonathan Barnett and the erstwhile Presidente of Real, Florentino "call me Slippery" Perez.

The above questions were prompted at our pub not by over ingestion of our famous local product but the arrival of a regular newsletter. As usual it appeared through the pub's keyhole letter box, no sign of the internet, twitter and all that, must be ridgy didge. Translation, australian for fair dinkum or back to the internet, reliable itk. And so behold a local bible here in these parts ...

 The Kent Football Legal Weekly.
The said lively missive purports to be a roundup of legal issues heavily flavoured with football. Reports flagging likely litigation amongst the football fraternity feature prominently. Sponsors of the paper include the well known firm of Gobblestop,Bullduste and Ole practicing out of Spain.
  A local flavour is however particularly noticeable. Blanchflower, Greaves and Nicholson, a very well established firm, Rush, Rush and Delay ( obvious Liverpool connections), Low ,Ball and Lynch , as well as Mine ,Yours and Just Kidding ( very well known in family law circles). In the same field, Ditcher, Quick and Hyde.

Before we get to the feature article this week a glimpse of whats coming up in the legal seminar ( code for junket) world. Conferences galore and below just some of the rich invitations/pickings available. 

Ten Glorious Tax Free Days in Monaco.

Headlining the bill here although yet to be confirmed is one John Kelsey - Fry of Clothfair Chambers. Remember Kelsey, of course he's the legal maestro who fought the might of HMRevenue and Customs and won. Team Redknapp 4 - HMRC 0.
  You'll also recall the name Rosie kept cropping up. Unfortunately the said Rosie was unable to give evidence for the defence. Harry had named his controversial tax deposit Monaco bank account in honour of the family dog.

The title of Kelsey's rumoured paper ...

                                                        Tax evasion  ... How To Succeed Without Really Trying.

If Monaco is not your proverbial glass of champagne then there's always Spain. There its a double header being advertised with accountants and tax lawyers plus the odd splash of football.
  A decidedly Argentinian flavour with papers variously pontificating on the tax definition of mess, balls up ( told you footy got a look in) and more seriously how do I play next season . Will I be allowed out on Saturdays to play football . Community Service Orders of course. Not sure of the precise Spanish term.

Yes Team Messi will be presenting a paper with the working title...

                                                       Even The World's Number One Is A Tax Target.

Elsewhere a variety of eligible tax haven destinations beckon. Luxemburg, Cyprus but our favourite Bermuda. En route from London on the way to Florida. Comes in handy if the Daniel Levy travel plans just announced are true. 
 There, serious and not so serious papers are being presented at the world famous Princess Hotel , St George, Bermuda. Replete with a compact little golf course just the sort of venue to cater for your budding tax high flier. More to the point the main fare on show is largely football related. 

Right on topic it would seem is a paper authored by a Croatian legal firm. Conversations held around a Croatian taverna late at night ( yes I know they are not tavernas , whats Croatian for pub anyone) is a key note address.
 Given the latest Bale rumours following a similar line to the Luka Modric scenario then it is no surprise that a thesis aptly named is to be delivered ...

                                              How To Enforce A Gentleman's Agreement.

Our pub lawyer stuck here and not in Bermuda ( mind he claims to have played golf there) has some thoughts. Firstly  they are not written down, secondly there is not a lot of gentlemen in business, then surely they are worth less than the paper they are not written down on. As well who was at the Bale gentleman's agreement anyway. Did not work for Modric. Odds anyone for Gareth.

So what else is featuring here at downtown Bermuda. A paper expected to attract some real contra temps from the English and Spanish guests here is available in Spanish and English ...

                                                    Tapping Up In Spain. As Extinct As The Dodo?

And so harking back to our headline what are the laws, the options and the remedies available when a ruthless, no morals present, no holds barred, money seemingly no object, football club comes in for your best and arguably the world's third best player.
 Could be any club of course but just for arguments sake why don't we visit Tottenham Hotspur and Real Madrid, just to pick two names out of Brendan Rogers envelope. More on that later and so to ...

Tapping Up.

Premier League Rule Section K outlines the whys and wherefores, the goes and no goes as to approaching another clubs contracted player.
 Simply put. A football club must not form contact with either a player or his agent without first acquiring permission from the football club he is currently under contract with.
 Back to our "hypothetical" exercise and just some of the quotes emanating from ...
   Jonathon Barnett  Agent( some might say provocateur ) for Gareth Bale..

                                              " If Florentino is interested in Gareth Bale, it would be an honour and we'd listen". Surely not an open arms invitation.

 Zenidine Zidane , Director Football Madrid , leading football journalist , Marca tabloid ...

                                               ' I think Real Madrid have made their admiration of Gareth Bale very clear ... we will not be put off by the cost of the player."

 And so it goes...
 Short of landing a helicopter in Monaco and shuffling the Welsh Wonder aboard Florentino's presidential helicopter then the judge, jury and entire North London population are in unanimous agreement. Tapping Up. Guilty by a Spanish kilometre.
 Spurs have been there before with this one. Luka Modric. No until the next season and no lesser price. Daniel Levy has previous.
 Carrick and Berbatov spring to mind. Yes big pounds but gone to a rival. Modric was the start of a learning curve. No to Chelsea and later to Madrid albeit largely on Spurs terms. Now its Bale. Hmm.
 As to the tapping up. Whilst the Lilywhites are not tappers everyone else is. Joking. Yes all clubs do it and apart from some flagrant examples it is mainly the Nelson defence. A blind eye. Shame Mourinho and Ashley Cole chose such a prominent eatery to conduct their illegal business. 
 Our eatery and drinking hole of choice was and still is abuzz this week. Of course we meet ..
 At A Kent Pub.
 Why not get down and join us. Summer in the beer garden is famous. Risky as you'll rub shoulders with seasoned holders from Arsenal, Fulham and Tranmere Rovers.
 We watched the China game the other night. Not easy viewing with the fate of our prize jewel in the balance. Our main worry is whether the 105 million we get will be translated into players.
 Sell the world's third best and where do you find a replacement.
 Look certainly not all doom and Bale. Soldado close, a striker at last. Paulinho and Chadli there plus Hugo ( our man) Verts, the littlest winger and lots more.
 Spurs ... wouldn't have it any other way apart from Gareth staying for one more year.
 Oh and that envelope.. surely not Luis Suarez.
 Cheers .. sorry to get a little sentimental .. hey Benito Mussolini has a birthday today ... don't think he played football.. Greg Meyer.         coys..

Jimmy's Video Spot:
 Just in case you've forgotten what it's all about here is the video 'The club that Bill created (2013 edition) This is what football has got to do with it.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Gareth in hiding.

The Soldado money is in my office Franco.
Take the big briefcase.
The JimmyG2 Column.
 Well he's still with us even if he does have to lock himself in the toilets to avoid the Moyse Boyse outfit in Hong Kong. Checking out the pitch my arse. They even took Giggsy along to apply some special kind of Welsh pressure.

Probably the Cardiff Variation of a Chinese Burn. Hong Kong: Chinese burn! Oh please yourselves. Apparently he's been offered £150,00 a week to stay and Mrs Bale senior is mortified.

'Gareth you can't leave, look you. After that nice Mr. Village Boathouse has been so kind to the baby with the bootees and the rocking horse and everything. Are you sure he said every week?

Do you know how many packs of nappies you could buy with that? Where are we going to put them all for goodness sake. We'd have to clear your dad's bike out of the garage for start. The spare bedroom's already full of the cups and medals you won last season. Heaven cadw ni'.

Asia Cup. South China 0/Spurs 6

Anyway enough of the travails of the Bale household. We knocked a very ordinary South China team for six. Defoe got a hat-trick and unselfishly set up Dempsey for a goal. Oh yes he did. Dembele made a big difference in midfield and the whole performance was quicker, sharper and more convincing.

Caulker looks a bit ponderous and Dawson got in one of his lunging errors but the way its going they could be our number one pairing. Fryers might come in handy.

Siggy had a good game and Townsend got a late goal with a well placed free kick after Huddleston had distracted them with a decoy charge The opening goal deflected in by a South China defender followed some neat interplay between Dembele, Dempsey and Rose.

We looked more focused and determined all round. The defence wasn't really tested though Lloris was required to make a fine save at the end on the only occasion he was called upon. The Bronze Medal position is not to be sniffed at at this stage of the season. (see video)

The Soldado trail seems to have gone cold but the Bale trail is ablaze with rumour. I go from full confidence that he will stay to the assumption that he will soon be leaving us from one day to the next. Not one of the Sky cameramen got a crowd shot of him on Saturday despite the offer of a £100 bounty.

Real Madrid have re-cycled last year's Modric saga by just changing the names. (analysed convincingly by Spooky on Dear Mr.Levy). But the word on the Castellana is that unless they sell Ronaldo they can't afford him anyway.

They could do us a big favour and buy Suarez instead because Arsenal look serious. Although they have just got £35 million for Higuan from Napoli who was supposed to be on our radar at one point. Not at that price he wasn't.

Baldini was spotted coming home empty handed from Valencia but has been snapped more recently with Soldado's agent. Daniel is counting out the 30 million Euros as we speak. It's a bad time to do business Mr. Levy the exchange rate is terrible. Try them with Sainsbury's vouchers.

Vertonghen's injury was not as bad as it first looked when amputation below the knee looked on the cards. Ligaments apparently which will keep him out until after the start of the season in our view despite the hopeful diagnosis coming from AVB.

Everyone is making positive noises about the tournament, except Di Canio who is a maverick and is the man that can speak truth to power. The main object of these ventures is commercial and money overides all other considerations, even safety.

The chances of the games being cancelled whatever the conditions were nil. Shortening the game by 10 minutes was absolutely pointless. The Spurs/Sunderland game should never have been played. Is it me or do these grapes taste funny to you?

Next up Monaco on Saturday 3rd August at the Stade Louis 11.( KO 5.30.)
Need to see some minutes from Kaboul as we are now down to four Centre halves two of whom are injured. If Benny doesn't get some pitch time we can assume he's off. Bale is rumoured to be playing probably heavily disguised.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
The Soldado one is primed and waiting. But here's what might turn out to be the best 5mins of the season. I'm joking, I'm joking. Commentary is not in English but quite entertaining.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Ice-Man Levy melting.

Two early signings!
Daniel the Ice Man melts
The JimmyG2 Column
 OK,OK so we got that one wrong. You can't win them all. Flushed by our success on the Paulinho transfer we put the whole wardrobe not just the button down denim on Benteke arriving and Ade leaving.

Scouring eBay as we speak for the winkle pickers and black drape jacket with the velvet collar. They're bound to turn up soon but it's an important lesson learned. Stick to what you know and don't meddle in the mystical world of transfer prediction.

Benteke probably wasn't even on our transfer radar, as much as the press would have liked him to be, and has settled for staying at Villa which is right and proper after just the one successful season. Let them suffer the second season syndrome disaster if it happens which I suspect it won't.

Ade's indecisiveness is proverbial especially in front of goal so this one will go down to the wire until all avenues, streets, roads, alleyways and sewers have been explored. Waiters have passed away while he deliberates between Weetabix and marmalade on toast at breakfast.

Nacer Chadli.
Meanwhile the real news is that we have signed another Belgian. Signed young, signed early, signed for nothing in today's terms. A lively, Belgian International with a scoring record of better than one in four.

A genuine wide left attacker which Dempsey, Holtby and Sigurdsson are not, he will be a natural replacement, not this season hopefully, for Bale who looks as if he will play more centrally starting from the right hand side.

So the 433 formation continues to take shape. Levy will be judged rightly or wrongly by the quantity and quality of strikers we buy or replace but that's two quality players signed already and its not even August yet.

The glacier seems to be  disappearing under the Global warning of the heat of the Premiership and Ice-Man Daniel is hardly recognisable as he melts like a snowman in Spring under the increasing pressure. I exaggerate a little here for effect.

Which brings us neatly to Soldado who Baldini is serenading as we speak having offered a record amount. Or has returned empty handed having failed to meet their demands at around £26 million. Depends which unreliable source you put your faith in.

Quality player but perhaps too old for Levy at 28 at that price. But if you want one of the dwindling number of available proven strikers you might just have to cough up.

Asia Cup.
Meanwhile in Asia the actual competitive football, sort of, begins with the game against a barely recognisable Sunderland under Di Canio to start the serious, sort of, prelude to the 2013/2014 season.

Believe what you like, a win in this game is the stop just before vital for all sorts of reasons on this new leg of the Tottenham journey. Morale, motivation, and momentum to name but three words beginning with 'M'.

 Gareth Bale is still with us though sitting this one out with a sore buttock (that's official) despite reports of new Real Madrid offers. He was missing from some of the shots of the team arriving in Hong Kong causing panic in certain quarters

This was either because he had nipped to the toilets or had parachuted direct into the stadium for an exclusive photo opportunity prior to the team landing. Pictures on Musings the moment  we get them.

Spurs v Sunderland: Asia Cup.
Delayed for 30 minutes by waterlogged pitch and very heavy rain. Siggy scored a deflected goal after good work by Walker. Huddleston's  miscontrol gifted Cabral an equaliser in an unsurprisingly scrappy game under the conditions.

Sunderland finished the shortened half (40 minutes) the stronger and started the second half the better, Altidore should have scored at least a couple. Vertonghen on for Caulker went off after 5 minutes following an innocuous challenge. Not quite as serious as it looked apparently.

Sunderland ran out 3-1 winners despite Friedel's heroics. Adebayor at least looked interested. Dawson was born to play in the mud but the conclusion was disappointing to say the least. A useful run out I think is the stock phrase but they deserved it on chances created and taken.

Without Bale, Sandro and Kaboul and the new signings this was not by any means our first team squad and with the arrival of Soldado, (did I say that out loud?) we should look a better all round team. AVB looks to have plenty of work to do.

Positives: Huddleston, Freidel, Dawson, Adebayor. The rest pretty meh even for a shop window display. More Primark than Harrods.

Jimmy's Video Spot:
 A couple of minutes of our new man, running, shooting, scoring, and dribbling. No sign of any passing skills but that will come, he's only young. Musings new policy is to only show videos of signed players so the Soldado one is on hold. Possibly in perpetuity.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Not just about winning at Spurs.

Gareth is still with us and continues his scoring run with two in two
The JimmyG2 Column
Musings is back from its Summer transfer window recess and the column is not only a nuclear free zone but an ITK free zone too. Well almost. We put our shirts on the Paulinho transfer and our favourite button down drip dry, non iron, soft touch denim is still safely in the wardrobe.

ITK? No just a sensible reading of the available information and the putting of 2 and 2 together to make somewhere in the direction of 4. So now we're going the full wardrobe on the departure of Emmanuel Adebayor and the arrival of Benteke. They are just dotting the T's and crossing the I's apparently.

We rather fancied David Villa, in the best footballing sense, but it was a long shot too far and we kept our money in our pockets. Good player, Barcelona schooled and ideal as the false striker for AVB's 433. But he's never been out of Spain even on holiday so an unlikely import.

I left for Southern Spain, a Lilywhite and returned a fully paid up Bronzed member. We are somehow missing the heatwave in England but the ones in Spain are hotter and wavier and importantly more reliable.

To football matters more concrete: there are official pictures of Sandro on the training pitch; there's friendly action with AVB giving almost everyone a run out; Bale scored again, and on his birthday too, against Swindon, and AVB and his coaching staff are snapped eating egg and chips in Herne Bay. Don't ask.

No sign of Paulinho yet or Franco Baldini but I am sure they will turn up in good time. Paulinho is being given extra recovery time and is not named in the Asia squad. More crucially Kaboul and Sandro are.

Tottenham Hotspur squad for the Barclays Asia Trophy 2013:

Hugo Lloris, Brad Friedel, Heurelho Gomes.
Kyle Walker, Kyle Naughton, Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Jan Vertonghen, Michael Dawson, Steven Caulker, Younes Kaboul, Daniel Rose.
Aaron Lennon, Andros Townsend, Gareth Bale, Tom Huddlestone, Mousa Dembele, Sandro Cordeiro, Scott Parker, Jake Livermore, Tom Carroll, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Lewis Holtby.
Clint Dempsey, Jermain Defoe, Emmanuel Adebayor.

No real clue there as to possible leavers, everyone available travels but plenty of youngsters who will benefit from the atmosphere of a foreign tour. First game is against Sunderland on 24th of July KO. 11am. BST in Hong Kong with the possibility of a final against Man. City.

The game against Brentford, mysteriously unlisted and played behind closed doors at the Spurs training ground was turned round by a brace from Defoe after Bale got the first and Bentford went ahead. Of course everyone agrees that results don't matter at this stage.

It's not winning that matters its how you play the game after all. Just run that one past Stuart Broad, Musings hot tip for the next players representative on the MCC Ethics and Morals committee.

People sometimes attribute Spurs alleged lack of mental strength in recent years to the false idea that Bill Nicholson and Danny Blanchflower were not competitive and were unconcerned with winning.

But the truth is that they were both fiercely competitive and part of one of the most successful teams of all times. Perhaps this is the clue to their attitude. Winning was almost a given. The next concern was not just to win but to win in style, 'to win well' in the words of Sir Bill.

Or as Danny put it,"The great fallacy is that the game is first and last about winning. The game is about glory, it is about doing things in style and with a flourish, about going out and beating the other lot, not waiting for them to die of boredom."

Should Broad have 'walked'. Musings say yes because the end never justify the means. The means are the end and that has always been the attraction of Spurs to me, the idea that there is more than just winning especially when you are not winning.

And me and Bill and Danny don't mean losing in style but trying hard to win but with grace and integrity. Buying the Premiership? No thanks. Making room for home reared young cockerels? Yes Please.

I feel a new season coming on.

Jimmy's Video Spot.

Bale's second goal of pre-season from a nice reverse pass from Siggy who was the only one to play nearly the whole game. Looks like it's going to be 433 and in this one Bale started on the right. Ironically Swindon's equaliser was a 'looper' off Caulker with Friedel off his line.That'll teach him.

No sound for the Lloris interview but I don't suppose he said anything especially newsworthy.

Headline graphic by Alon Berg with thanks once again.