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Having read the David Conn article in The Guardian that Bryan referred to, I’ve changed my opinion, somewhat, on GFH Capital being a front for Bates. It seems GFH struck the best deal it could – with Bates hanging around like a bad smell, as he tried to do after selling Chelsea to Abromovich.
The problem GFH has is that it does not have the financial muscle of Abramovich.
Bates is what Aussie sheep farmers call a ‘dag’ – a piece of sh it that clings to the wool around a sheep’s rear, attracting flies and disease. A dag has to be cut off. But, as a sheep can’t reach its own rear, this has to be done by a third party. That third party ought to be football’s governing organisations – the FA, PL, and FL, yet these are private companies whose boards are filled with dags just like Bates!
If there was any justice, you’d hope that the law could be used to bring shady operators like Bates to book. But Bates loves the law, or rather confounding it. You can be sure that Bates will have everyone he’s ever dealt with tied to such stringent gagging orders that, like light escaping from a black hole, the truth will never emerge.
The only alternative is for the Government to enact laws that wrests the control of our nation’s favourite sport from the private companies that control it – something I can’t see any politician in power at present having the balls to carry through.
Sadly, if unchecked, the “free market” that allows corruption in football will lead its fans to cynicism about the game, no longer attending matches and, ironically, it will kill the golden goose that financial predators like Bates rely on to make their fortunes.
I also have some sympathy with your thoughts Andy, but I think there has to have been a reason why the negotiations took so long.
My convoluted theory is as follows:
When GFH entered into talks with Bates I believe they had a wealthy backer in the wings from the middle east as it is obvious that they alone do not have the financial clout needed to get LU back on an even keel. The demands made by Bates during the negotiations frightened the money man/men away, but GFH obviously thought they had a vehicle that could make money as and when they could remove Bates from the scene and have gambled on the fact that they will be able to achieve this. Aa we don't know the true story of the negotiations we will not know when Bates will be totally powerless and have to stop whatever demands he has put into the buyout.
There is no doubt that GFH will have some extremely wealthy contacts in the middle east and possibly elsewhere and at some stage may well be able to attract the kind of investment that will make us all jump with joy.
Until then I fear we have to endure the pergatory that is called Bates!