Wednesday, July 09, 2008

NCFC Shenanigans

Delia's True Colours

Fantastic shenanigans at Norwich City! Fans are finally beginning to see that the club is not being run as a kind of “Let's be having you” frolic, but rather as a money-making concern.

Meanwhile, the club still thinks that investing in players that might actually improve the team is an anathema. Brainlessly the EDP runs story after story about this player or that player who may or may not be available or may or may not sign for NCFC. Eventually they manage to get one of the minor, bit-part players from a failing Championship club and proclaim that things are looking up!

It really would make a grown man cry.

What's new is that the fans are beginning to get smart to Delia's real agenda. They are wondering how a club which cannot afford to sign any players can be worth 64 million pounds!

That's a good question.

Fans are getting tired of the Delia line as promulgated by that arch-bean counter Neil Doncaster. Either the club is being run as a local charity and St Delia is it's saviour – providing money like manna from heaven or it is really a business and able to afford to invest in assets, I.e. players. That's what this is all about.

Football is a business. So, along comes a businessman who wants to invest in the club. It's not as simple as “here's a load of money” - there are strings attached. This is not unusual, for businessmen don't often lob millions of quid around without some say in what it's going to be used for.

What's Delia's response? Nothing. Pretend it doesn't exist and maybe it will go away.

Don't look now but St Delia's halo is slipping.

In the latest development it appears that maybe Delia will meet with the potential investor after all. Why? It's not hard to figure. The hostile press and fans. Supporters are drooling at the prospect of real money to buy real players. Delia will have to deal with this.

My prediction? Delia will manage to side-step the issues and repulse any take-over bid. The question is why? The answer is money. If you doubt it just remember the furore that ensued when the list of profitable football clubs was recently published and NCFC was on it. Doncaster nearly died! Next day the press was full of his protestations of outrage that anyone should assert that Norwich City actually made money. Spin – spin – spin – his head must go round like a top by now.

In a sense he is right. As long as the morons who are now questioning Delia credentials to run the club keep trooping through the Carrow Road turnstiles not much is going to change.

That's a fact.

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Strangely Out of Touch

Somewhere along the way I got lost.

Or, the world has gone one way and I went the other – rather like the road less travelled.

The media is now and has been for some time deluging us with images and statistics about China – chiefly as a focus on issues of global warming and the worsening economic situation. We are told that the Chinese are building coal-fired power stations faster than we build houses and the entire western economic prosperity has been built on the back of cheap good imported from China.

When did the Chinese stop being coolies?

What I know about China I learned from books and other media. The Good Earth - Pearl Buck – describes vividly the life of the Chinese peasant in the 1930's and neatly encapsulates my early understanding of Chinese culture. They are a bunch of fairly cultured peasants.

Films like 30 Seconds Over Tokyo – 1944 encapsulates the Chinese integration into the Second World War. Suddenly they became “good guys”- helping the downed American pilots to evade capture by the dastardly Japs. Still, the scenes in China are very “Good Earth-ish” - full of peasants and steeped in the poverty of the people.

Moving on to The Bridges at Toko Ri (1954) we find the Chinese had also moved on into bogeyman country. Now they are the “Yellow Peril” and the faceless Communist ideologues being battled by the brave men of the US Navy. Still, the emphasis is on the backwardness of the Chinese and their powerlessness in the face of superior western technology – in the form of F86's.

Even In MASH the Chinese are seen as an afterthought and incidental to the real concerns of the stories. They are still illiterate peasants governed by Chairman Mao's Little Red Book.

In the Vietnam Era China was viewed with hostility and suspicion. It was assumed that they were supplying and encouraging other slant-eyed peasants, the Vietnamese, to enable them to attack the US on the periphery. Importantly, they are still viewed as peasants – if only by proxy.

Then I must have missed something. After Tiananman Square when the Chinese Old Guard jealously defended their right to rule the masses and the peaceful hand over of Hong Kong, China changed and nobody told me.

Everywhere you look China is rather like us. Chinese cities which were described as cess-pits in The Good Earth are now progressive, cosmopolitan and modern. The hordes of mindless, moronic, automatons aimlessly charging the massed machine guns in Korea are now driving cars on modern roads with Western infrastructure evident in every photogenic shot. Mao is now a quaint old guy whose Long March is viewed as a kind of cultural pilgrimage instead of a Communist ideologue and the architect of human rights abuses that make Sadly Insane look like a saint.

I must be getting old.

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