A Tale Of Three Cities

It is a grim irony that the newspaper headlines have been consumed with the travails of three clubs who, at various points over the last two years or so, have been heralding brave new worlds of cash, star players and success. One of these clubs is just about to set out on a second odyssey, having forgotten with the sort of haste that would grab the attention of a goldfish the risks associated with leaving your club in the thrall of one individual or group with no great interest in the history, tradition or culture of your club. For now, they are blinded by the promise of billions and billions of pounds of someone else’s money. We’ve heard this somewhere before, though, haven’t we? Alan Curbishley’s resignation from West Ham United was no great surprise. Relations between the manager and the board had broken down over the board’s decision to offload more players than the manager wanted to lose. Rewind two years, though, and there’s a cautionary tale for all football supporters. When Eggert Magnusson’s consortium took control of the club in November 2006, there was talk of them putting the sort of money into West Ham that could have them challenging for a place in the Champions League. They had, we were told, funded the transfers of Javier Mascherano and Carlos Tevez to Upton Park. Bright times were...

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