City’s investment holy grail no more

The Man In The Stands THE MAN can reveal the investors Delia earmarked to take over the reins at Carrow Road have opted to buy another club. Despite passing Queen Delia's “fit and proper person” test with flying colours, the investors have chosen to put their money into a club closer to home.

The Man In The Stands

THE MAN can reveal the investors Delia earmarked to take over the reins at Carrow Road have opted to buy another club.

Despite passing Queen Delia's “fit and proper person” test with flying colours, the investors have chosen to put their money into a club closer to home.

That's right, this week The Pope bought his own football club - leaving devout Catholic Delia having to look elsewhere for her perfect Canary succession.

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I kid you not, The Vatican has bought a controlling stake in AC Ancona; a team from Italy's third-flight who recently plummeted from Serie A (sound familiar?)

Edoardo Menichelli, the Archbishop of Ancona, said the move would help bring more morality into football.

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He preached: “We want to bring some ethics back into the game, which has been undergoing a grave crisis of sportsmanship.”

The Vatican aims to introduce an ethical code which will punish Ancona's players for any foul play. Under the new ownership, tickets for Ancona's home matches will drop in price, and all profits will go to projects in the Third World.

Fans will also be forbidden from taunting and insulting the opposition. Sounds fun eh… Andrea Staffolani, a 24-year-old striker, actually welcomed the new move.

He said: “We have not been told all the details about the new ethical code, but we like what we have read so far.

'For example, the idea that if we get sent off we have to do voluntary work.”

I can just image Dion weeding the flower beds on Costessey roundabout after his Charlton red card…

So, while one potential investor has been crossed off the list another name emerged this week, that of £700m Norwich fan Peter Cullum, who apparently has a box in the Jarrold Stand.

I would imagine the chances of this investment rumour being true are somewhere between zero and one per cent: but we can but hope.

The issue of outside investment coming into the club does spark intense debate among fans, as there are those who seem convinced the Stowmarket Two are being picky about who they let in the door.

The Man just doesn't buy that for a second. Maybe I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure Delia would happily pass on control of the club to anyone with a half-decent bank balance, and a half-decent background.

Which of course, is where the current heirs to the throne, Sharon and Andy (Shandy), come in.

I'd imagine Shandy were hoping for a nice season safely ensconced in mid-table; which would allow them to assess exactly how the club works and how they can take it on.

But our dire league position might just lead to a few timetables being redrawn. As it stands The Man thinks we are going down.

I don't solely blame Grant for that, our demise has been far more complex, but I just can't see three worse sides than us in this division.

If Manchester City, Sheffield Wednesday, Leeds United and Nottingham Forest can drop out of this league - then we sure as hell can too.

Shandy will have to decide whether they mean business sooner rather than later, because if we drop into League One, we are not coming back up in a hurry; and whatever future ambitions they may have for the club could be over before they begin.


PLEASE Mr Doncaster, don't pee in The Man's bucket and tell him it's raining…

I'm all in favour of the creative use of language, but sometimes you just have to call a spade a spade.

This week Neil wrote: “Since I last put pen to paper, we have lost away at Charlton, Wolves and Sven's Manchester City and at home against a newly-resurgent Sheffield Wednesday, and then gained a hard-fought point against a Scunthorpe side flying high after a great start to their season.”

Come on Neil, play fair. Sven's Manchester City! Resurgent Sheffield Wednesday! High-flying Scunthorpe! The Man would suggest a more accurate description was: Manchester City reserves, then bottom-of-the-table Sheffield Wednesday, and, well, Scunthorpe. You can dress it up any way you want, but it's a touch condescending to think fans are going to swallow that spin. I mean for heaven's sake, the day we are supposed to be grateful for a “hard-fought” 0-0 result at home to Scunthorpe is the day I jack football in completely.

No doubt after the probable defeat at Loftus Road our opponents will be branded as “freshly-invigorated QPR” or some such New Labour speak.

The Man knows Doncaster is just trying to do his job in quelling dissent; but sometimes you just have to admit: we are c**p.


DOUBTLESS Peter the [disa]Pointer (PTP) has taken some solace in the fact he isn't the only Grant going through the mill at the moment.

His opposite number at Chelsea - Avram - is having to ride out a storm as disgruntled fans and journalists alike try to unpick him.

Every element of AG's past is being picked over in a bid to ratchet up the pressure.

This includes the revelation that Avram's wife, TV presenter Tzofit Grant, once drunk her own urine live on TV!

The Man doesn't know PTP, but I'm assuming he has not got a similar skeleton in his closet.

I know he's presided over some p**s-poor performances, but I'm sure he hasn't taken it that far.


THE MINISTRY of Agriculture (MoA) this week confirmed the outbreak of bluetooth disease in Suffolk was caused by an Ipswich fan attempting to use a mobile phone.

It is understood a 32-year-old man was to blame for the outbreak, after he purchased the new-fangled instrument during a trip to Colchester.

The MoA says the combination of new technology and an Ipswich fan's primitive intellect had proved fatal.

A MoA spokeswoman warned: “We would urge any Ipswich fans who are considering the purchase of a mobile phone to think again.

“Established Ipswich communication techniques such as drawing in the sand, smoke signals and graffiti are much safer. Our message would be: 'stick to what you know.'”

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