Montpellier owner Louis Nicollin is not the first, but is the latest, figure in football to have a very public pop at Newcastle.
Whilst several bile spewing hacks such as Martin Samuels, Rod Liddle and ‘classist, ping-pong failure’ Matthew Syed, have relished the opportunity of kicking Newcastle when they are down, the sport of Toon-bashing hasn’t been the reserve of guttersnipe journalists. Everyone from Old Whiskey Dial Fergie, to bitter ex-managers like Souness, have got their two pennorth in about our standing as a club
Frankly, I don’t think we should give a monkey’s about what some no-mark owner of a backwater club, from a lesser league, thinks about us, but we should be concerned at another seemingly politically motivated attack on Newcastle, possibly in order to gain leverage, or stimulate interest in a player (Remy Cabaella) from more financially extravagant clubs than ours (such as…Wigan and Reading).
It isn’t even the first time the self-promoting Gallic gobsh**e from Montpellier has slagged the Toon. Back when we were on the verge of signing Mbiwa he stated:
“As for Newcastle, this really is not a good choice – he’ll re-transfer next year, his move doesn’t bother me.”
Nicollin’s failure to prevent Mbiwa’s departure is obviously where the roots of his disdain lie, and inspired this mudslinging, but the residual bitterness has clearly left him reaching for the manure. There is an argument that having to deal with Jabba’s cronies such as Lambeezee and ‘He who I can’t even bear to name’ would inspire anyone to such vitriol.
In the footballing world it’s likely his opinions are representative of many clubs that have dealt with Newcastle since the sail barge was parked on our lawn. In that respect maybe we as Newcastle fans could even be sympathetic to some of Nicollin’s words? You get the feeling that anybody who deals with his Exalted Majesty Jabba the Hutt, is unlikely to walk away with the wishbone end of the transaction…
…we certainly haven’t!
If this is the case though, Nicollin could have worded his opinion in a way that directs it at the club’s representatives and their negotiation tactics, rather than unjustly denigrating Newcastle as a club and a city. To further emphasise the regionalist nature of his statement Nicollin asserted that:
“In England, you should play at Arsenal or Chelsea, or either of the Manchester teams at a push.”
Such opinions are becoming commonplace, and it all feeds rather nicely into the increasingly London-centric perception of English Football. Investment has been pouring into London based clubs steadily since the Bond Villain blazed the trail at Stamford Bridge, and clubs such as the Arse and Chelsea have seen their global fan base increase partly as a result of this. I say this from a completely non-pitchfork carrying “Cockney Mafia OOT” perspective, just an observation of the effects of Globalisation in football, turning the game slowly into Rollerball.