I was looking through my email today and came across a link about a new movie called Salmon Fishing In The Yemen.
It’s about a Yemeni Sheikh who wants to introduce fly fishing to his home country, a country where drinking from a river usually involves ingesting sand.
Not really as daft an idea as it sounds. Its amazing what you can do if you just have the money to throw at it.
In the UAE, until very recently the temperature never got above 49 degrees centigrade. This was because UAE labour law included a clause that said if it got above 49 degrees all outside work had to stop.
As you can no doubt imagine, stopping work on the latest multibillion pound project just because your scaffolders are fainting and emulating the trajectories of the famed Acapulco cliff divers, could be considered a tad inconvenient. So while all meteorological equipment for a hundred miles was heading well into the 50s, the official temperature never made it past 49.
In summer, outside the shopping malls, you have to stand under a palm tree for fifteen minutes waiting for the air conditioning in your car to cool the seats, otherwise you risk leaving your arse cheeks on the hot leather when you get out, but inside the Mall of the Emirates they have a ski centre with real snow falling, ski lifts and as many broken legs as you can throw a medic at.
We thought, a few years ago that Roman Abramovich was rich. He bought Chelsea, bought players, and bought the league title, but then Manchester City happened.
Football moved to a new level of rich.
While I would never even consider suggesting that City are “circumventing” the new regulations with regard to income and expenditure, it has to be more than a handy coincidence that two mega sponsorship deals have been negotiated with companies owned, run, managed or whatever by members of your own family.
OK, I’ve asked my brother for a few quid now and then, but I think this maybe goes a bit beyond that.
Some clubs are not so lucky.
We were shocked with the demise of Leeds not so long ago and Portsmouth also hammered home that there is no such thing as a club “too big to fail”, but Rangers going into administration was one of those WBM moments.
How the hell do a club like Rangers end up facing financial ruin?
It has been suggested that the recklessness of previous owners was responsible. Spending too much on transfer fees and salaries while not planning for the future.
Hang on a minute – does this sound at all familiar? Ring any bells?
Looking at the figures involved, last April Rangers insisted that their debts were only in the region of around 22 million Scottish Pound Euro Lire Sheep livers, or whatever the hell they use for currency up there these days.
Only £22 million? Pocket change, as they say, compared to what is currently owed by Newcastle United.
So apart from owing money to the wrong people (The Taxman?) what went wrong?
No doubt over the next few months the story will unfold, but maybe in the meantime the hardcore of Ashley Haters might want to reconsider their stance towards him and slacken off a little.
It’s no longer about a defender here or a forward there. It’s about continued existence.
I’ve always been of the opinion that I trust Ashley about as far as I could throw him, which appears to be a little further these days judging by his new slimline look, but I have also assumed that he got where he is by being an astute businessman.
Like Ashley, we trimmed our fat a bit, with Carroll, Nolan, Barton and a few others being taken off the payroll. Our debt was significantly reduced and the remainder has been shouldered by Ashley himself.
Add to that the current success of the team, and it looks like that light at the end of the tunnel might not be the 12:30 to Edinburgh after all.
By the way, WBM is Well Bugger Me. A suitable expression of surprise while reading the paper, though possibly not while at the local gym.
Looking at Rangers I cant help thinking “there but for the grace of Ashley…….”