Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Branding Matters

Please take me back to the (relative) sanctuary of Charlton and away from my tortured (or soon to be) private life. But it’s still a while before the matches start again and we have something meaningful to waffle on about. So while we’re on the subject things have moved on a little – and, as Hirohito might have said, not necessarily to my advantage.

My French partner Suzanne has agreed to cheer for England on Saturday, and to keep my future penance for last weekend within Geneva Convention boundaries (although she seemed keen to add as interpreted by the current United States administration), if in return I pledged never again to mention the fact that we still are/have been rugby world champions. Never one to spurn the opportunity to make a bad situation worse I remarked that there were ways to communicate such sentiments without actually saying the words. Perhaps, I laughed, a tattoo. Ha ha.

She agreed – perhaps a little too readily – then added two conditions. First, she chooses where the tattoo goes; and second, it is done in France. Now for some reason the idea of going into a French tattoo parlour, handing over a wad of euros to some Chabal-lookalike, and asking for something on an as yet unspecified part of my body to commemorate England’s rugby triumphs does not fill me with joy.

Where did I go wrong? As usual, by trying to be a smart-arse. Smart-arses usually get their comeuppance sooner or later, especially if (with apologies to Norman Stanley Fletcher) they are charmless nerds to boot.

I see Jordan has been once more sharing with us the contents of his head, saying, according to a Coventry newspaper, that he is ready to ‘take everything I can’ from Iain Dowie if he (Dowie) appeals against the High Court ruling. Jordan said: 'My advice to Iain is this: if this writ (issued for the agreed compensation) doesn't stick and you drag me through another appeal, there will be no mitigation, I won't negotiate. I will take everything I can. If I have to prove it again I will be a lot, lot angrier than the first time around. I have got a list as long as the Magna Carta of things I can say about him.'

Why the Magna Carta? It’s not an especially long document (63 clauses) and it’s not a list. According to the British Library, “in January 1215 a group of barons demanded a charter of liberties as a safeguard against the King's arbitrary behaviour”. Maybe Simes is getting a little confused about which role he is actually playing in his own little soap operas.

So let’s get this right, Dowie should pay up like a good little boy because if he doesn't Jordan will get ‘a lot, lot angrier’. Bless, his face might even turn red. And presumably in Simes-land the degree of his anger is believed to have some bearing on a court decision. 'I won't negotiate': so, Simes, are you saying you tried to negotiate before slapping in writs at Dowie's press conference? It’s wonderful how the pompous are so easily slighted and how increasingly ridiculous they sound as they air their grievances, believing themselves not only to be right but to be acting on behalf of the downtrodden masses. Expect the US Constitution, the 10 Commandments and the Koran to be invoked in future rants.

According to the Palace website, new boss Neil Warnock, who may need a Magna Carta of his own, wanted Kit Symons, who has quit the club, to stay. Warnock said “I spoke to Kit on Friday and asked him if he’d stay with us … he said he was happy and that’s how we left it. But … over the weekend he spoke to the chairman …” I think I would have felt and acted the same way.

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