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Bernie Ecclestone and Arsenal

NEWS STORY
23/07/2007

Many thousands of words were written over the weekend with regards the possibility of Bernie Ecclestone buying out Arsenal Football Club.

The News of the World named Ecclestone as the "key player" in a deal said to be worth 700m, quoting the Englishman as saying: "If somebody offers me something I think has got good value, I will have a go. It's good if somebody is saying I have been linked with Arsenal. Maybe I will get approached. I'm interested in anything if it's cheap enough."

The club, originally from south London but now working out of the Emirates Stadium in north London, has been the subject of constant speculation following an internal feud which saw the departure of vice-chairman David Dein, whose son, Gavin, is dating Ecclestone's oldest daughter, Tamara.

Referring to the former Arsenal man, Ecclestone said: "I obviously talked to David when they chucked him out, which I thought was a bit unnecessary."

Dein's departure led to concern over the future of club manager Arsene Wenger, and this in turn has led to a number of players reconsidering their future with the team. In recent weeks one of the club's key players, Thierry Henry, departed to Barcelona in a 16.1m deal. In an open letter to The Sun, Henry cited the departure of David Dein and uncertainty over Wenger's future as his reasons for leaving.

Born in Suffolk, Ecclestone could have chosen to follow Ipswich, however, having spent years in London he became a fan of Chelsea, at one time being linked with a buy-out of the west London club along with Flavio Briatore. He regularly attends matches at Stamford Bridge and is a friend of (owner) Roman Abramovch.

Despite the media speculation at the weekend Ecclestone insists that he has not bought Arsenal, nor is he interested in doing go. That said, merely to further confuse the issue, he admitted that if the team was going cheap he might reconsider.

All we can say at Pitpass is that if the F1 supremo thinks he gets a hard time from us at present, it is but nothing compared to the utter contempt we'd hold him in should he become involved with that team.

We would suggest that if he has money to splash on a football club he could do worse than continuing down the Holloway Road - which features more CCTV cameras than any other part of the capital - hang a right and head down the Seven Sisters Road, continue for a couple of miles to Tottenham and then turn left into High Road.

Then again, would Bernie be beneficial to Tottenham? Would we see the fans moved further back from the pitch in order to build yet more corporate boxes for the beautiful people? Would we see matches delayed while Spurs 'fans' such as Robbie Williams, Arnie Schwarzenegger and Puff Diddy are walked around the pitch?

Might we see all matches played at night, when more people are watching TV, and Max Mosley appointed to the FA in an effort to 'improve' the rules. Could Herman Tilke be brought in to better adapt the pitch for TV coverage, and the words ''football', 'soccer', 'ball', 'pitch', 'game', 'whistle' and expressions "the referees a wanker", "you don't know what you're doing" and "you're sh*** and you know you are" all copyrighted, never to be used by the masses again?

Of course one could recommend that CVC makes a move on Arsenal. However, with the club, like so many others, in serious hock to the banks, it really wouldn't be an attractive proposition.

Ecclestone a gooner? God forbid.

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