I recently retired from my job where I spent the last 31 years working as an engineer with military and civil aviation groups. I understand that you probably care as much about what I did as I do about what you had for breakfast, but I mention this because the mentality of individuals generally pushes them into certain fields of employment.
I was always picky, arrogant and argumentative but we didn’t have traffic wardens in Bellingham, nonetheless it also gave me the ideal attitude to be an engineer. A certain degree of “What-Iffery” came in very handy. It does have the unfortunate side effect of making me come across a bit negative at times but you don’t really want all those people zooming around in those big metal boxes at 32,000 feet while the guy on the ground looking after the equipment is sat there with a coffee, looking at the flashing red light saying “naaaah – she’ll be right mate!”
I’m slowly learning that while it’s in my nature to look at something and go “hang on – that’s not right”, the missus doesn’t really care, and as I’m not getting paid for it any more I’m having to retrain myself to not give a monkey’s too. Which is a struggle.
Having been high as a kite the last few days with all the talk of this take-over I was reading the statement put out on Wednesday by the Bin Zayed Group and something hit me. Something hit me very hard! A very big ‘hang on- that’s not right’
First we have to go back to something that I know I’ve been harping on about quite a bit, but in my view it’s one of the pivotal factors that will either make or break the deal.
On Sunday Sheikh Khaled Bin Zayed Al Nahyan started out as the half brother of Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. On Monday he was his cousin, and by Wednesday morning he was no relation to Mansour at all. What did he do?
Right – we’re off!
A curiously worded statement, released by BZG, said:
“The so called fit-and-proper Premier League process is a standard procedure which will take time, and we are doing all we can to assist the Premier League during this process.”
That whole sentence appears to have been structured to let us know that the next step is trivial and if for any reason we don’t make it through, well it’s certainly not our fault.
Why refer to the Fit-and-Proper Premier League Process as “so-called”?
Here are 3 different dictionary definitions for “so-called”
1 “to describe someone or something as in fact wrong”.
2 “falsely or improperly so named”
3 “express one’s view that a name or term is inappropriate.:
Let me, in my best conspiracy theory voice, put 2 and 2 together here and come up with at least a couple of dozen, and walk you through events to where we are now.
BZG have agreed to meet Ashley’s asking price, terms etc and want to move forward.
Ashley, however has pointed out that there may be a problem with the “fit and proper” test, so the BZG have said “no problem, we’ll sort it”, while Ashley sits quietly in the background demolishing high street confidence and selling off assets.
Why is Ashley concerned?
The “”Fit And Proper Persons Test” applicable to the Premier League assesses an individual to ensure that he/she is fit and proper to either own or be Director of a Premier League club. One of the events listed that will disqualify an individual from holding these positions is if “they have power or influence over another Football League club”.
Khaled’s little brother owns Manchester City.
I’d guess that under the strictest interpretation of the Fit and Proper test you can’t have a family owning 2 clubs and once the paperwork hits the Premier League they’ll just reject it, so what are we going to do?
OK – first of all we leak the story to reliable UK Newspaper. No? OK the Sun will do. Now it’s out there, everybody knows, it’s harder to reject.
Let everybody know we’re serious. A statement should do it.
What is this Fake Sheikh stuff they’re talking about?
What is a “Mackem prank?
OK – now we have to convince them that Khaled is not part of the Bin Zayed family. He’s got the same name, and he founded the group, but that’s just an unfortunate coincidence. James Brown and Charlie Brown were not related!
Hey, Mike – you OK over there playing with your blackberry?
Damn! They still don’t think we’re serious. OK. Another statement. Terms agreed; paperwork signed; documents forwarded to the Premier League; Proof of funds? How do you want it, 20s or 50s?
The Fit and Proper test? It’s a normal thing, happens all the time, we’re not at all concerned about it – and we’re doing everything the Premier League wants, oh and refer to it as a “so-called” test, that will reduce it’s apparent significance.
Excellent. Now all tabbouleh is in the Premier League’s court!
Essentially the Bin Zayed Group are trying to bluster their way through and are dismissing the fit and proper test is not being fit and proper.
So called – “falsely or improperly so named”
It all boils down to how the Prem interpret “power or influence over another Football League club”.
I doubt if the kind of influence they are talking about extends to affecting the outcome of a game. That would have to involve the manager, coaches and the players.
Could it involve money available for transfers? I can’t see NUFC being any worse off. Worst case scenario implement a ban on the teams transferring or loaning players between the teams. I can’t quite see Citeh loaning us Aguero in January when we’ve got home games coming up against Chelsea, Liverpool, Man U and the Arse, but the league might want to cover themselves, just in case.
I appreciate none of us want this kind of negativity at this stage of the process, but the engineer inside me had a word with me last night and said “hang on, that’s not right!”
On the plus side, the intent is there.I’m still optimistic, but the engineer in me still has a couple of questions.
I suspect this may have blown any chance of a personal interview when I’m back in the UAE next week, but I wasn’t too hopeful anyway.