Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Just some very bad football club owners

Football club owners are a special breed, some are genuine fans of the teams, enjoy the atmosphere on game days and put their heart and soul into their clubs. But a lot of them are only there to make money, launder money, boss people around and to make a fool of themselves. These belong in the second category, and for a good reason

Venkys are an Indian family/investment group who bough Blackburn Rovers late in 2010. They where quick to announce that nothing would change in the running of the club, things would go on like they used to under their current manager, Sam Allardyce. But only couple of weeks later he got fired and Steve Kean, a man with absolutely no managerial experience replaced him. In the next Januar tranfer window Blackburn became the laughing stock of football worldwide when both Ronaldinho and Beckham turned them down, when Kean was asked about it he clearly didnt know that the owners had made offers for the players.
The squad wasnt strenghtend last summer and as a result, Blackburn are in a relegation battle with fans protesting at every opportunity. The Venkys took note and decided to make a plan to win back the supporters with probably the only thing that was more boring than watching Blakcburn play football, a free concert at Ewood park featuring Akon and Kelly Rowland. Plans for the concert have been knocked off the table but Blackburn are still fighting relegation.

Who can forget when Freddy Shepherd was at Newcastle, he set a new standard for shit owners and chairman when he fired Sir Bobby Robson only 4 games into the season. The same Bobby Robson who took charge of Newcastle when they where in relegation places, and got them into the champions league in two years. His biggest mess was although when a News of the world reporter fooled him, making Shepherd believe he was a sheikh who wanted to invest in Newcastle United. Shepherd bought it and after a few drinks at a brothel he shared everything he felt about Newcastle and the fans. He compared the women of Newcastle to dogs, he made fun of the people who buy the clubs shirts for owerpaying for crap merchandise and then he told the fake sheikh that Alan Shearer was so concerned of his apperance that he was the Mary Poppins of football. That resulted in countless songs from rival fans all around the country about Shearer and Mary Poppins.

Ken Richardson owned Doncaster in the early 90‘s and was once descriped by a police officer as „ the type of man that would trample a two-year-old kid to pick up a 2p bit".
 In 1995 Richardson's ultimate dream was to build a new stadium for the Rovers but was declined by the city council. He took matter into his own hands and hired two idiots two burn the current stadium down. They managed to burn a part of one stand before fleeing only to forget their mobile phones on the scene. It was an easy job for the police to track them down and Ken was jailed for four years. He wasnt finished with Doncaster tough and hired Nicky Weaver, who used to run the club shop, as a manager of the actual football team.

Gigi Becali 
 became rich by buying a land of the Romanian army for money he didnt have and then he managed to sell it for a huge profit. He soon started buying shares in Steaua Bucharest and in 2003 he became the major shareholder of the club. He has ruled with a iron first since then, having changed managers 19 times in only 9 years, usually because the managers wouldnt allow him to pick the team himself like Georghe Hagi made public in 2007. He once admitted that „he wasnt a civilized man“ and in pretty sure we can all agree on that. He once called a black football reporter a monkey. He once stopped the transfer of a player because of a suspicion that he might be gay. „I will rather disolve Steua than have a gay player in our ranks“ he told reporters. In April of 2009 he was arrested after having 3 people illegally held against their will because he thought they had stolen his car. The year before he also had problems with the law when he lost money at a casino and started throwin chairs at the windows. He also once remarked that a woman "has no more value" after she has giver birth to a child.  Gigi is currently sitting in the European parliament, using his powers against homosexuals, jews and women. 

Kari Orn Hinriksson

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Quite possibly the best video on youtube?

I am not sure if Gary Neville and Paul Robinson agree though

Carlos the deception artist

If you ask young schoolboys anywhere in the world, that have ever kicked a ball what they want to become when they grow op, you will almost always get the same answer. "Pro footballer". In every country, club or academy tens and hundreds of young players come up every year that might have the potential to make it. But the fact is that very few will make it in the end. Most of these players are not able to develop their skills and attributes to keep ahead of their teammates as the get older, others lose interest in the game, some start chasing girls and booze and others simply cant take the physical strain of playing football for a living.

A lot of good players have come from the favelas of Brazil, Pele, Ronaldo, Romario and Ronaldinho to name a few and all of these players have made history within the game. This story is not about them, even though it starts in a similar place.
Carlos Henrique was a kid who played football on the streets of Rio De Janeiro when he was little. He was strong, had a good shot on him, he was very athletic for his age and he got picked up by a scout from the Brazilian club Botafogo at the age of 12. From there he joined the academy of Flamengo and when he was there he lost both of his parents. Those where dark days in the life of Carlos, as not only did he lose both his parents his progress stalled as a footballer, at happens to a lot of young players when they become older.

But as he got older and it became more and more obvious he wasn't going to become anywhere near good enough to play professionally, he fell in love with the lifestyle of the professional footballer. Good wages, a lot of spare time, partying and womanizing, what is there not to love?
Carlos wasn't about to quit football and he didn't see a reason why he should. he was in good shape, strong and had an alright shot on him even though his ball control, reading of the game and basically everything else a professional footballer needs was severely lacking. From his time in the academy's he had made a lot of friends in football, some of whom where legends in Brazil. Romario, Alberto Torres, Gaucho, Ricardo Rocha and Edmundo to name a few. In Brazil at that time, big players often initiated transfers for other players, and Carlos, a pretty charming guy that everyone liked, often got contracts because of his connections with these big players. Often these contracts where only 3 or 6 months trial periods for him to prove himself in order to get a longer deal. He was pretty good at getting longer contracts though by pretending to be in a bad physical condition when he came to his new club. That bought him a few weeks in fitness training instead of exposing how bad he was in normal training. Then when he was supposed to be fit enough to train he just started shooting a few shots at goal before pretended to collapse in agony. That bought him a few weeks on the treatment table. Then when his trial period ended, he had hardly kicked a ball and was often given more time to prove himself with an extension of his contract. Because after all, he looked like a footballer who had been at the books of some pretty big clubs.

With this huge list of friends and these antics of his, he got contracts at a few of the best clubs in Brazil. Teams like Botafogo, Flamengo, Vasco, Fluminese, America, Bangor and Palmeiras to name a few. Faking injury wasn't the only thing Carlos did to try to further his footballing career, like a former fitness coach of him remembers "He talked to a huge mobile phone after every training session in a very silly English no one understood. He pretended to be talking to agents and managers in Europe, but we all later found out the mobile phone was a toy and he wasn't talking to anyone".
Later when Carlos was on the books of Bangu, he was put on the subs bench in a game against Cortiba. Even though his manager, Moses, had promised him not to play him because he was supposedly injured. In the second half he was ordered by Moses to go and warm up. Jogging up and down the touchline Carlos got scared of having to play and expose how bad he was to everyone, he jumped into the stands and started a fight. Before he could be brought on, he got red carded by the referee and he didn't have to play. His manager called him into a meeting the day after, understandably furious of what had happened the day before. Carlos simply told Moses that he had heard abuse from the crowd aimed at his manager, and he simply jumped in the crowd to defend his manages honour. Moses was so touched he rewarded Carlos with a year extension on his contract and a kiss on the forehead.

When Carlos had journeyed through Brazil for some time, he decided to dip his deceptive toes in foreign waters and try to get contracts abroad. All his career he had been very keen on talking to journalists, giving them shirts and other stuff from the clubs he was at and of course, talking himself up. As a result he had a large collection of articles about himself when he was at various clubs. When you where a Brazilian, in good physical condition, with some of the biggest clubs in Brazil on your resume and a few newspaper articles to back it up, it was probably not hard to find a club in Europe before the internet came along. AC Ajacco in French gave him a contract and a big group of fans came to see the unveiling of their new Brazilian star. As he stormed into the field, where they had placed a few balls for him to show of his non existent skills. Completely useless with the ball, he thumped them in the stands, one after another, and then went onto running in circles around the pitch to show off his fitness level. He stayed for a few years, and played a few games for the first time ever. At the age of 39, he retired after a career as a professional footballer spanning 20 years where he played around 30 games.

Today Carlos Henrique works as a personal trainer for female bodybuilders in Rio De Janeiro. Some time ago he appeared on the Jo Soares talk show and told his story. He told Soares he could have gone further in the footballing world than he did, if he bothered to practice. I still think that the people who had his services through the years can all agree on, that he has gone way, way to far.

Kari Hinriksson
@kariorn on twitter