Morning all, a quick Saturday round-up for you.
First up, after all the chat about the blue card thing and sin-bins, that appears to have been given the red card. The announcement due to take place yesterday was now postponed until March, which isn’t that long away really, but there was considerable backlash from managers in the Premier League and beyond.
Mikel Arteta: I don’t know if we’re ready for that yet.
Jurgen Klopp: It doesn’t look to me like this is a good idea.
Pep Guardiola: I am so, so happy with no blue cards.
Ange Angenson: Rack off mate, I was brought up with two cards and only two cards mate and there will only ever be two cards …
Roberto de Zerbi: I hate 80% of things that are blue.
Mauricio Pochettino: This is a bit unfortunate, but we’ve spent £1bn on preparing ourselves for the blue card era and now you’re saying it’s not happening?
Erik ten Hag: This is all Jadon Sancho’s fault.
Eddie Howe: Well, to be hone- [Jason Tindall interrupts] I’M ME AND I’M RIGHT HERE LOOK AT ME RIGHT HERE
Chris Wilder: Last week, we lost a game 5-0 and when I went to see the referee afterwards he was eating a piece of toast. I wouldn’t trust them with a birthday card for my dear old nan, and she’s dead 20 years last Friday, let alone a blue card. Eating toast in front of a Premier League referee? What have we come to?!
Sean Dyche: *Eats an entire loaf of toasted bread in one go*
Rob Edwards: I’m simply too handsome to care about any of this.
So, they (IFAB) will discuss it again in March, and we’ll see what happens then. In the meantime, the officiating of games will go smoothly and without a hitch with just the yellow and reds, and we can all reassess this at a later date.
Meanwhile, the Premier League issued a statement yesterday, part of which said:
Following a full review of the existing Associated Party Transactions Rules and Fair Market Value assessment protocols, clubs agreed to a series of amendments to further enhance the efficiency and accuracy of the system.
Hey, guess what? One club is considering legal action because this rules would, according to the Guardian, ” … limit the ability of teams to buy players or strike sponsorship deals with parties related to their ownership.”
I wonder who that could be? But of course, I don’t wonder. It is Man City, and this is kinda their thing. A bit like how Liverpool invented the concept of celebrating just after Jurgen Klopp arrived at the club (and boy, isn’t it mad how we’ve all been hearing that Kool and the Gang song ‘Sellotape‘ so wrong all these years?!), doing deals with companies who really do exist and are completely real even though they were only formed yesterday and who pay substantially more than the ‘so-called’ market-rate is, allegedly, not unknown to them. Please refer to chapter 115 for more on this.
Maybe this is a stable door with the horse having already bolted into the next parish situation, but (and apologies for mixing my animal analogies), one of the big elephants in the room in football these days is the multi-club ownership model. At best it’s a conflict of interest, at worst it enables the worst excesses of dodgy owners in terms of funding, the circulation of money and capital, and sometimes even player movement. The City Group aren’t the only ones, of course, but they are, for want of a better term, the gold standard that others are trying to follow.
Which still doesn’t make it right, and if there are stronger guidelines around this kind of stuff, then better late than never. Still, what does it say about the Premier League – as a competition and entity – that it looks set to become embroiled in yet another legal argument with a club that could, at the end of this season, be the winners of six of the last seven titles?
There are a lot of things in this world right now that make me stop and think ‘How the hell is this where we are in 2024?!’, and this is certainly one of them. Perhaps it’s one of the least important of them in the grand scheme of things, but it is what it is.
Right, I’m gonna leave it there. If you’re looking for listening material to get you through your Saturday work or chores or whatever, we had four podcasts for you yesterday. Check the main Arsecast feed for three of them, and there’s a preview podcast over on Patreon too if you fancy that and want to support everything we do here on Arseblog.
Ok, happy listening. Have a good one, back tomorrow with a look ahead to our game against West Ham.