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How not to run a football club

By Baweesh and Ibby

Roman Abramovich with the Champions League Trophy, proving once again
that money doesn't buy happiness, but gets pretty much everything else.

It's safe to say every one of you reading this want to own (or already own) a football club. There's no point denying it. Since we are a kind bunch here at RS, we have taken pity at all your struggles and shortcomings and have decided to show you the way. So, if you are Sheikh Mansour, stop reading. Every club wishes they had an owner like you. If you are the Venky's, get us some fried chicken and then continue reading.

1) Management 1-oh-1: Don't mess around with the club's jersey and the badge. That stuff is sacred. Yes, Cardiff owner whose name we don't remember, changing the name from Bluebirds to the Red Dragons wasn't the smartest move. In fact, it was a mind-numbingly idiotic and despicable move. You don't see Chelsea being called the Oil Mafia or Manchester City being called Mancini's Mercenaries now, do you? Oh, wait…

2) Profits do not equal silverware: Point in case - Arsenal. They're rich as hell. They're the only - we repeat, only - team in the Premier League who makes a profit. Their board of money hoarding crowpoops will charge the highest ticket prices in the league; refuse to give any money to Arsene Wenger, while running around stuffing cash in their pants. And they get away with it because the only other club in North London is the absolutely detestable Tottenham Hotspur. But due to the failing economy and common sense, the Emirates is quieter than a mime school during exam season. And for all that money, every summer Arsenal's best players leave and they continue to be “also-rans” in the title race. Trophy drought doesn't seem like it's going to end soon, Gooners.

3) Fake Saudis can't afford Audis: So, by now people have found out the best way to buy a football club. Just arrive on camel-back dressed in white headgear, with an entourage of people following you. The club will bend over backwards to persuade you to buy them. But hold on a second; before you rush to jump on that camel just because PSG and City are doing it, doesn't mean they might not fail. Think Malaga, buying everyone last season. That was expected. But suddenly their oil-rich benefactors are poorer than David Moyes's wallet. Just goes to show, Sheikin' it and throwing money around doesn't always work.

4) Big names, big loss: “Ooh he's pretty” is not a valid reason to buy a player. It never has been (unless we're talking David Beckham). Torres to Chelsea would be the best example of this. Yes, he's a nice looking lad who used to score a lot. But then buying him for Chelsea, a team which plays in a style he'd never be able to adapt to, is the epitome of stupidity. What the hell were you thinking, Roman?

5) Fire him please vs why the hell would you fire him?: It's kind of sad to see one of the only five teams to win the Premier League plummeting from mediocre to “just kill it and get it out of its misery”. Blackburn Rovers' is being run into the ground by the hapless, clueless Steve Kean and to the bewilderment of anyone with an even marginally working brain; the Venky's continue to back him. Kean Out rings through Ewood Park and all the change that happens is they get relegated and they hire Shebby Singh. Dafuq, bro? Meanwhile on the opposite side of the English club spectrum, Roman Abramovich has finally gotten his oil-covered Russian hands on the Champion's League. This was finally delivered by the eighth manager in his regime. He has plowed through some of the biggest names in football management including but not limited to Jose Mourinho, Guus Hiddink, Luiz Felipe Scolari, Carlo Ancelotti and Claudio Ranieri. Chelsea fans have bemoaned the fact that he never gives any manager enough time. Best example: After winning the Champion's League, it took a month for Roberto Di Matteo to be assured the job of Chelsea manager through a contract.

6) All that Glazes is not gold: Despite all the success, we felt compelled to include United in here. They probably have more debt now than a fledgling nation and it just keeps piling on. Yeah, they continue to be in and around the silverware, but that's cause of Sir Alex. And he'll only be around for the next 500 years. What happens after that? Leeds United comes to mind. Moral of the story: American owners are bad for you.

In conclusion, and keeping with our idea of American owners being horrible, the best way to run a football club is to just do the opposite of what Liverpool is doing.



Author: Chuck Palahniuk
Reviewed by Anashua

"The only rule was, a spell has to be twisted. The more hidden, the more twisted, the more powerful the spell. To witches, the twists themselves are magical. They draw or sculpt the magician-god Hephaestus with his legs twisted.”

And what if the spell is hidden in the form of a children's lullaby? That's what a middle aged journalist, Carl Streator, discovers as he investigates Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, for an article. An ancient African culling spell which was used by tribes to end the suffering of children and animals during famines had been printed into a collection of nursery rhymes from around the world by a heedless anthologist. While doing his research on the deaths, Streator, who was taught early on at journalism school to pay attention to the minutest details at a scene, notices the same book on the shelves of all the houses where the infants died. It is revealed that he too had read the lullaby to his wife and baby twenty years back, and they had both died. He instantly notices the pattern, and meets someone else who knows about the poem's power. Together, they set out to seek all the copies of the book and destroy them.

Written in Chuck Palahniuk's signatory curt, forceful sentences and sprinkled with keen observations, this book of his can be quite compelling. The theme of the story is different from his others, and kindles the curiosity most people hold for dark magic. The characters in this book are more colourful, from the escapist main character obsessed with perfection who painstakingly puts together model houses and stomps them to dust afterwards, to a neo hippie environmentalist who sets fire to the landscape because it contains an invasive foreign grass species. He explores New Age spirituality and Malthusian theories, all in easy flowing dialogue, and yet again shows his ability to take commonly known information and mix it with lesser known ones to create an original perspective.

In places the storyline may seem somewhat absurd, containing loose ends and a little confusing, but it can be overlooked owing to his sharp and witty style. Though not as brilliantly crafted as his other books, the same themes of self destruction and apocalypse brought on by a group of humans can be found here too. A bit morbid, pretty tragic, in the end it's not just a fairy tale. It's a story about man's greed and goodness, and also a rather strange love story. Fans of Palahniuk should definitely read this one.


The Spooky night

Tajreean Habib Shiropa
Summerfield International School
Class Four, Age: 9

That night when I went to sleep, the moon had vanished. Everything was dim. The stars were not seen too. My mum and dad were sleeping.

It was 12:00 o'clock. I went out of the house. It was creepy. The grass began to grow 20 feet long. The sky made scary faces. At night 3:00 o'clock the party began. The witches spread the poison when they were on their broom stick. The poison made everything disappear and night turned into morning. The sun shone the brightest it could be. Suddenly, the skeletons saw me and began to dance with me. They look scary but behaved funny. The zombies were bumping on the walls like bumping cars. There were many crazy monsters that were swinging on the trees.

Some spooky horse took me to the grave yard, where there were many ghosts. I made the ghosts my friends. They told me that tomorrow would be the last day they stay here. I was sad. The night finished quickly.

In the morning, my parents were busy. They told me not to disturb and to eat my breakfast. At noon, I was hungry and unhappy for leaving all the monsters. After brushing my teeth, I went to see the monsters. The monsters gave me a surprise and threw me a party for their leaving. I had fun. When it was time for them to go I did not want them to go. But I have to live with my parents. When they went away, I cried loudly saying that 'don't go, don't go my friends'. Then I felt, someone shaking me. I opened my eyes and saw my mum's surprising face. I asked my mum, 'where am I?' as I was sleeping on the grass. I went to my room after having supper.

I slept for the whole night thinking it was already two days. Now it is morning. I got it; it was a dream, a wonderful dream and I'll never forget this.


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