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The Week That Was

This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and SD merged to become the FSA in 2019.

International weeks are normally a bit quiet in the media world so we were expecting The Week That Was to maybe give a bit of a nod to Arsene’s bottle kicking shenanigans at Old Trafford. Let’s be fair, it was pretty funny. Almost Christ-like, Arsene taking the punishment for his team’s sins. We thought we’d follow that up with a quick glance ahead to England’s upcoming fixtures – this time next week they could’ve qualified for the World Cup.

But like a bolt to the Blues, Fifa smacked Chelsea with a 15 month transfer ban and that was that. It’s a story that no one predicted and one that doesn’t lend itself to an easy judgement.

Fans aren’t daft and we know player tapping has gone on forever, in the real world it can never be stopped, only regulated. Chelsea have been caught and will now pay the price just as Al Kuwait and Roma have in recent years.

However, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) did reduce the Italian club’s punishment to a one window ban, if Chelsea’s appeal goes the same way they’d be free to wheel and deal again come summer 2010.

Despite that there will still be a sneaking suspicion amongst Chelsea fans that they’re being made an example of. If the transfer ban is upheld by CAS it’ll also serve notice to other English clubs – if you’re going to tap someone up, don’t get caught!

Down into League Two and Accrington Stanley’s stuttering start to the season looks to be the least of the club’s worries. Accy have been given only eight weeks to pay back more than £300,000 to the Inland Revenue or face closure. Chief executive Rob Heyes seems relatively confident they’ll be able to keep the club going and here at the FSF we obviously hope they succeed.

Unfortunately we can’t say the same for Farsley Celtic. Last July we wrote of the admirable efforts being made by fans of the Blue Square North club in their attempts to save Celtic.

Club president John Palmer has today confirmed that the club will not be able to fulfil its fixtures and administrators have been given the keys to the ground. It’s a sad, sad day when any club goes under. No matter how big or small they mean exactly the same to their own supporters as, say, Manchester United do to theirs.

Let’s not imagine it’s only lower and non-league clubs with money troubles either. While there’s no suggestion Liverpool are about to go under, it’s hardly a secret that they owe a few quid to the bank. So we found it mightily ironic that they’re also pushing mortgages to their own fans.

Happily though you get a £40 voucher to spend in the club shop with any completion – definitely worth mortgaging yourself up to the eyeballs for!

Until next week, enjoy the weekend!

If you like The Week That Was sign up to our monthly Fan Mail newsletter (see left) and feast your eyes on Extra Time! our round up of football’s weirder stories.

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