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West Ham and Leicester caused Money Men To Panic

As the dust settles on a mad scheme, Blind Hammer Looks At the motivations behind the attempted US-Led corruption of the spirit of our Game.

Out of the failed so-called “Super Six”, now more like sulky/supercilious six Only Tottenham had UK based owners.

It is now clear that this sorry scheme, and especially the decision to drop their bombshell last weekend, was dreamt up in USA Boardrooms. Arab owned Manchester City and Russian owned Chelsea were the first to jump ship claiming that they were never leading the scheme.

This arrogant plot was underwritten by US investment bank JP Morgan with around six billion dollars (£4.3billion) in debt funding.

In global market terms, the jewels in the crown of English football are Liverpool and Manchester United. The US money men have made sure that they have grabbed control of these assets.

The worst example of US acquisition was the abject, unsavoury surrender of Manchester United to the Glazers. The Glazers used a leveraged buy out scheme which saddled the Old Trafford outfit with the responsibility for paying the Glazers back for a massive proportion of the loan they used to buy the club in the first place. incidentally, this practice was outlawed by the NFL in the USA where potential owners could only saddle clubs with 15% of loan monies used in a purchase.

At Liverpool, US-based John W. Henry normally takes a lower profile but his scramble to join his compatriots in this sordid self-aggrandisement scheme revealed where his priorities were. stance even his Manager could not support.

Stan Kroenke,  the US owner of Arsenal had a higher profile. He has been used to outraging fans before, including a as owner of his hometown St Louis he moved the Rams Franchise from there to Los Angeles for business reasons.

Despite their protestations that this failed scheme was a response to pandemic pressures the reality was very different. Any corporate money man or trader will tell you that the fear associated with massive investment is risk and unforeseen events. For money to be safe you need predictability and growth.

What these US money men hated above all was jeopardy. This is why US based corporately funded sport removes jeopardy by continuing to eliminate the risk of relegation.

Above all, this season, they would have been horrified and appalled at the sight of Leicester and West Ham occupying Champions League places. The very same league places that their control of big money would normally expect them to occupy by right. In the context of existing Pandemic budget pressures, the sight of West Ham occupying 4th place must have been anathema to Liverpool’s Henry and Arsenal’s Kroenke. Their structural domination of the league had already been disrupted by Leicester. It was intolerable that West Ham looked set to join the party.

The even UK based Levy was panicked into sacking Jose Mourinho: as he faced the prospect of having to pay for a £1bn stadium without the mega riches of Europe to help pay for it.

This corporate money led the drive to remove the jeopardy of competition sucks the life out of our game.

The excitement of our game is based not just on the joy of triumphs but the fear and dread of failure. The joy of a supporter escaping relegation is only realised if others have to experience the despair demotion brings.
Our game is based on a pyramid where even the highest clubs must face failure. I personally rejoiced along with West Bromwich supporters when they upset the odds by beating Chelsea 5-2.

The fact that West Ham just might prevent Liverpool from gathering the riches of the Champions League should be a cause for celebration in the unpredictability of football rather than causing dread in the Boardrooms.

These money men need to be kicked out of football, a game that they will never understand.

David Griffith aka Blind Hammer

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About David Griffith

My Father, born in 1891 was brought up in the shadows of the Thames Ironworks Memorial Ground. I remember as a child jumping over the settee when Alan Sealy scored in our 1965 European Cup Winners triumph. My first game was against Leicester in 1968, when Martin Peters scored what was adjudged by ITV’s Big Match as the Goal of the Season. I became a season ticket holder in 1970. I was registered blind in 1986 and thought my West Ham supporting days were over. However in 2010 I learnt about the fantastic support West Ham offer to Blind and other Disabled Supporters. I now use the Insightful Irons in-stadium commentary service and West Ham provide space for my Guide Dog Nyle. I sit on the West Ham Disabled Supporters Board and the LLDC Built Environment Access Panel. David Griffith aka Blind Hammer

7 comments on “West Ham and Leicester caused Money Men To Panic

  1. Great article and I couldn’t agree more.

    I am a Leicester fan, all my life and now 50 so its my first time seeing us in an FA Cup final and it feels amazing, like I was a little lad again, and this came through as a news feed so thought I would share my thoughts.

    Outside of Leicester, I would love to see West Ham finish in the Top 4, but to be honest, the joy of football apart from your own club is seeing the underdog, with less resource, more limited squads and often lesser plays turn over the bigger teams. Nothing gives me more pleasure and all football fans outside of the big 6 supporters.

    When we won the league it was exciting because is was real romance, it brought the league to life and everyone wanted us to do it in the end. It was a global sensation in the world of sport.

    If it hasn’t been us, but West Ham, Leeds, Newcastle, etc…. everyone would have rejoiced equally as I would have, because the beauty of sport is exactly that, it should be unpredictable, you should be able to dream, it should be romantic and inprobable things should happen to keep it interesting and real. Its a lot more interesting than the richest teams constantly winning titles and trophies, to such an extent, I am not sure a lot of the fans in the ‘big six’ even appreciate the FA and League cup trophies in their cabinets anymore, certainly not the younger generation.

    Anyway, I 100% agree with your sentiments and article, the money men, especially from the US need to step back from this, as long term if they continue down this track it will change and ruin a game we all love.

    So well said, and good luck for the rest of the season, I would love it if both Leicester and West Ham got in the Top 4. What a kick in the teeth that would be for the so called ‘Super 6’.

    Final point, how are Spurs even in that group? They have won less silverware than we have in the last 15 years, and we are not a big club. Its purely money based as they are not an elite club like the others…United, Liverpool, Arsenal, etc…., that status can only be granted by success and silverware, of which in recent times they are seriously lacking.


    • Cheers Guy and good luck to you likewise – I still remember the pub I was in with a really good mate of mine when Spurs bottled it vs Chelsea (oh the irony…) and Leicester were confirmed champions. Hell of a moment and clubs like yours show that there’s still some old-school competitiveness yet.

  2. Great article David.

  3. Interesting and informative article by Blind Hammer. I had read the Spurs owner is a tax exile in the Bahamas so UK connection tenuous. All makes our British based owners look paragons of virtue in comparison!!

  4. I think that is a spot on summary David. The reality for these “big clubs” is that other PL clubs are in recent years also being bought by people with lots of money, e.g. Leicester, Wolves, Villa. So they can see competition arriving and threatening the assumptions they had when they acquired these clubs (that they could never be challenged). Those assumptions were arrogant and naive, as it turns out – I think all fans of other clubs, and maybe even some of the shamed 6 fans, would like to see their investments fail and lose a load of money.

    I think it will be very interesting to see what morals G&S demonstrate when it comes to their own big money exit in the next two or three years, and how much principles weigh on our own fans views when this happens..

  5. Top top piece.

  6. Great words David. Don’t think the ‘rich’ overseas owners are the ones to blame for these money grabbing ideas. It’s the people they employ to look after and maximise their investments. These knowledgeable and self-proclaimed clever business directors are well versed in financial jargon and pulling strokes but they have no interest or understanding of sport and football in particular. We are fortunate at West Ham that our owners’ principal interest is the football team and football game. They aren’t just shovelling fortunes into a lost cause. They are making business decisions to try to make our club great to support for many years to come without the catastrophe of financial instability or collapse. That is the right way to do the job. Not a quick buy, inject loads, see how it goes, pull out as it fails and try with motor sport instead. Think that Roman Abramovich is much more a fan than a money grabber, too. Seems to be in it for the long term and when he does allow someone else to take over, it will be to another super wealthy fan.

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