Tuesday 7 April
Greg Clarke, chair of the FA, has come out with a stark warning about the situation. He was pulling the full harbinger of doom with predictions that sponsors and tv companies might ask for their money back if games go unplayed. Clubs could lose £1bn and some, even at the top table, might go bust.
It is of course crap, the Premier League earns billions, and while the season might not be completed the game has such huge clout sponsors and television companies will find it difficult to extract money given the adverse publicity that is likely to bring.
The FA are still trying to justify their call for all Premier League players to take a 30% wage cut.
There are real problems in the game as the women’s season below the third tier was cancelled today. The FA are showing such great leadership they haven’t announced any financial rescue packages for lower league clubs. Even though leagues one and two could be tided over for a figure of around £40 and the women’s game could be bailed out for the price of a reserve left-back.
If they ask Roman nicely…
Fifa have said the season should finish, that contracts should run until the end of the 19/20 season, whenever that may be, and that the transfer window should fit between the end of this season and whenever the next one starts. Which clears things up neatly.
Details emerge of the bribes accepted by Fifa delegates who voted on the Russia and Qatar world cups. The FBI have released details of the million-dollar amounts paid to corrupt Fifa officials.
The usual list of Fifa suspects are there, Jack Warner, Ricardo Teixeira, Nicolas Leoz, etc. but some Fox executives have been found paying bungs for television rights too.
The votes for the world cups was in 2010 and the Russian one has obviously passed. The FBI raided Fifa in 2015 and there will be fresh calls for Qatar to be stripped of the tournament. Fifa’s own investigation in 2017 failed to turn up any proof but they will not be able to uphold the whitewash after the feds present their case.
Liverpool have gone back on their decision to furlough staff. Shamed, mostly by former players on Sky, the club announced they will be paying their staff for the foreseeable. John W Henry, ultimate owner of Fenway Sports group, is worth $2.6bn.
Jimmy Greaves is in hospital with an unspecified illness. One of our greatest players, 132 goals in 169 games, and ground-breaking pundit, Jimmy had a stroke five years ago. The news looks pretty bleak but there will be an update in the morning.
Wednesday 8 April
Jose has a curious habit of doing the wrong thing with the best of intentions. Today he has been forced to apologise for holding a training session with two Tottenham players in a public park. If you can believe it.
Meanwhile, captains of all 20 Premier League clubs have announced a fund for the NHS. The captains are acting as figureheads for their squads and are ensuring that those who can afford more are paying more. To this end the sums involved will be anonymous. The fund is for direct financing of frontline services through the group NHS Charities Together.
With all the hoo-ha generated by footballer’s contribution some normal football stories occasionally break out as Chelsea opened talks with Antonio Rüdiger. The German, 27-year-old is looking to sign a deal until at least 2023.
Thursday 9 April
Matt Hancock has tried a smarmy make up to footballers but I think we will all remember at the ballot box who tried to shift the focus of Covid-19 onto the game.
Jimmy Greaves is still in hospital but not with Covid-19 or another stroke.
Friday 10 April
The Scottish game has been making proposals for winding up the season and deciding championships and relegation on a points-per-game basis. What is motivating clubs is the payment of prize money is released when the season is formally over and they need cash now. Clubs will have to vote and the measures will need substantial majorities. Clubs threatened by relegation are expected to object and Rangers, who else, have proposed their own resolution but one described by lawyers for the SPFL as legally ineffective. It would not be like Rangers to act in the interest of the Scottish game as a whole as they labelled the SPFL’s proposals as abhorrent and accused the SPFL of bullying.
The votes cast by the evening left the result in the balance with 39 votes cast and one more needed by either side tip the balance.
Leeds United reported that Norman Hunter and Liverpool revealed that Kenny Dalglish are in hospital being treated for Covid-19. We wish Both well as we wish everyone well at the moment.
It is refreshing to see so many standing outside applauding the NHS when they voted for a party intent on privatising the service as far back as last December.
Welcome though the sudden realisation that care workers and supermarket shelf stackers are among the most important members of society is, it does seem hollow to hear people praising Boris Johnson for his, largely incompetent, leadership and forgetting that the Tories have led us to an NHS with too few staff, critical care beds, testing kits, respirators, and PPE. And a government that allows supermarkets to employ staff on zero-hours contracts and minimum wage… those people have worked throughout this crisis with little or no protection or praise. We owe to them a pledge never to allow society to undervalue ordinary people again.
Over in Barcelona and six directors have quit alleging a lack of direction at the club. The move comes after the Barça board hired a firm to post derogatory social media messages about Lionel Messi during a dispute earlier in this year.
In health news and the Health Secretary Matt Hancock disgracefully said there was enough PPE if it was used correctly. Directly contradicting frontline staff in hospitals and care homes who are crying out for supplies in the face of growing death rates among staff.
The gormless public-school educated moron went on to say that staff should treat protective equipment as the precious resource it is… The simple fact is that it shouldn’t be a precious resource it is the very minimum protection our frontline staff need.
19 health workers have died so far in Matt Hancock’s NHS.
Saturday 11 April
Rangers just can’t shut up. The gormless Govan loudmouths have been accusing the SPFL of fixing the vote to end the season below the premiership. The SPFL, for their part, have asked Rangers to provide evidence for their ever-wilder accusations or to withdraw them.
Rangers, you’ll remember, were relegated in 2012 for tax fraud that amounted to a systematic distortion of football in Scotland. They spent months telling the public that they hadn’t done anything wrong and that HMRC had miscalculated. Instead Rangers were guilty of disguised remuneration schemes so amateurish that details of the whole scheme was inadvertently leaked to investigators.
This is the new Rangers who responded to evidence that their former head of youth development had sexually abused children with a blunt statement that they had no ‘duty of care’ for the abused and advised they should contact the liquidator of the old Rangers.
You might argue that the obstructive, self-important wankers running Rangers then are different from the obstructive, self-important wankers running Rangers now… but it is almost impossible to tell the difference.
Priti Patel took over the government’s lying through their teeth exercise today. When asked about continuing failure to get basic safety equipment to those in the frontline the bullying and incompetent Home Secretary actually said: “I’m sorry if people feel that there have been failings”.
An ‘if’ apology. Not that she is sorry that her government’s incompetence had led to the deaths of now more than 30 frontline staff but sorry if people feel there have been failings.
The Royal College of Nursing rubbished the government’s position
RCN chief executive Dame Donna Kinnair asked if PPE was “more precious a resource than a healthcare worker’s life, a nurse’s life, a doctor’s life … I take offence, actually, that we are saying that healthcare workers are abusing or overusing PPE”, she told BBC that staff still didn’t have adequate supplies.
Businesses who offered to turn over production to make PPE four weeks ago have not heard back from the government.
Sunday 12 April
Peter Bonetti died after a long illness. He was 78. Peter was an exceptional character and an indelible part of the history of this club. Playing 729 times for Chelsea. The Cat also picked up seven England caps. Innovating in goalkeeper coaching after his retirement Peter was almost always at the Bridge from the late 50s until very recently.
He received a World Cup winner’s medal for being part of the 1966 squad. He won the FA Youth Cup in 1960, the League Cup in 1965 while with Chelsea, as well as the FA Cup in 1970 and the European Cup Winner’s Cup the following year.
At a time when so many are dying it is possible to lose perspective but Peter Bonetti was a great footballer and coach, his name will forever be associated with the club and we salute him.
Kenny Dalglish is out of hospital and apparently ok.