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Sign of the chimes

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Robbo Robson | 13:15 UK time, Thursday, 8 October 2009

Eeee, the mysteries of football club ownership! Pompey have been saved!

And not by the digitally-challenged hands of Calamity James either! Capello might reassure us that at least he's not Ben Foster, who couldn't put his foot on a dead squirrel right now without it squirming over the line behind him.

This fella with the unimpressive beard, Al Fahim has lasted six weeks as owner of Portsmouth. That's surely the least impresive effort since Michael Knighton did them ropey keepy-uppies in front of the Stretford End (he had a dodgy 'tache n all... coincidence?)

I swear I heard the home fans chanting 'Sell up Pompey, Pompey Sell Up' last week so maybe that prompted the change of hands.
Sulaiman Al-Fahim
Sulaiman Al-Fahim has handed over the reins
But who is this Sulaiman al-Fahim? He promised £5m when he arrived, and £50m not that long ago from somewhere or other - and failed to come up with it. I mean he's in to Real Estate not Real Madrid so he can't have a bottomless pit.

I've been informed by a reliable source that a third of the world's cranes are in Dubai so he must be making a mint somewhere. On top of that, he's now flogged it on to a bloke who was ready to buy Pompey six weeks ago.

Add this to the Qadbak question over Notts County and you can't help feeling that English football clubs are being shunted back and forth across the Arabian peninsula like VW Touaregs. Still, you won't find Citeh fans quibbling, even if they do owe their recent form to one of the less showy purchases.

Craig Bellamy's one of footy's vulgar fractions:

Huge Talent
Pain in the Backside = X, and when X is more than zilch it's joy unconfined.

Faraj's first contribution has been to bring in Avram Grant, presumably to make Paul Hart look more cheerful - he's a kind of Super-Eeyore to Hart's morose donkey. They reassured Paul that his position is not in jeopardy but if the manager is not the director of football then what the hell is he? Never mind coach, he'll be blinking well driving the coach come Christmas.

Ask Kevin Keegan if this is a fruitful relationship - or Martin Jol - or Jose Mourinho... Hart's position is as secure as a tiny-handed man standing in the wall for a Ronaldo free-kick.

This new 'boys with toys' approach to owning footie clubs doesn't get any less worrying for fans. Martin Edwards has been quietly slagging off the Glazers, suggesting that burdening the club with 700 million quid might not be a great idea.

If the Glazers bunk off and leave the IOUs where they are you can see Carlos Tevez back heeling a winner past some numpty van der Sar replacement and United plummeting down to the unseemly depths of the Premier League. I'd love it, LOVE IT!!!!!!

Not that Chelsea fans should rest easy. The threat of an Abramovich about-turn still haunts that club. You can't help feeling that if they win the Champs League he'll be taking that eerie permanent smile back home to Russia.

Add to that the fact that George 'Stadler' Gillett has told Liverpool fans that the club's recent barren patch has nowt to do with him and Waldorf, and that the Abbott and Costello of football ownership have pumped £128m into the club in the last 18 months and you begin to wonder where reality starts and fantasy ends.
George Gillett and Tom Hicks Liverpool's dynamic duo
I'm sure he's telling the truth but where the hell did that cash come from? My bank won't give us two grand for a second-hand car. Clearly Gillett's bankers are located at the end of some rainbow or other.

Gillett also suggested that the blame should lie firmly at the door of the management. Ridiculous. Rafa's got two world-class players! TWO! And he's skilfully kept Yossi Benyayoon (David Pleat's pronunciation) off the pitch 'cos his form's just too good at the mo.

Plus he's replaced that no-good idler Alonso with a highly-talented crock. That Gillett knows nowt about football.

At least Mawhinney's got the right idea. It's important we know who the hell these people are. Fans are notorious for overlooking the credentials of the latest David Deep-Pockets to show an interest in filling our dust-laden and echoing trophy cabinets, but it'd be nice to think, say in Notts County's case, we could put a name to the acronym.

Meanwhile honest, well-run and diligent clubs like Middlesbrough FC continue to thrive through self-restraint and the sensible ownership of Steve Gibson. Well I say 'thrive'. Hmmmm. Bloody hell, Gibbo, get your Abu Dhabi Yellow Pages out and get a tail on them Hicks and Gillett fellas before that Mike Ashley gets in there first!


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