How fair is the gift of the Olympic stadium?

Morning Gooners,

Rant Friday has brought many excellent rants, hopefully this one will compare. Topical subjects seem to grab the headlines, and at the moment West Ham are drawing attention. Clubs are up in arms, asking is it right that West Ham United are now going to stage their games at the Olympic stadium. There was a bit of a race before West Ham got the go ahead, a few clubs had put their names down to be considered, but it now seems clear that West Ham has won the day.

Of course the Olympic Stadium was built by tax payers money after we had won the bid to stage the Olympics in London. Plans were drawn up as to where the events would take place, luckily the infrastructure was already in place and even a few existing venues could be brought into use. Many like myself were not so delighted that we won the bid, as I knew that money would be no object to build structures that would probably only be used a few times, when London and Britain are crying out for tax payers money to be spent on more important things like health service schools even prisons, but where politicians tell us that funds are low to inject vast amounts of money into services that are used daily, but overnight funds were available to build projects like those to be used as Olympic stadia.

Promises from the government that british builders would be inundated with building jobs were diminished seconds after it was stated as a foreign building firm got the contract, and as I passed the site on my way to work I saw the fleets of buses that ferried in the workers.

As we know the stadia were built and the event went off smoothly. London Olympics was supposedly a big success, while the organisers patted themselves on the back, the British public was asking just how much and how have we benefited by this vast outlay. Of course after the event many of the structures put in place became redundant, many closed down while others were utilised to help in some way or other, but the Olympic Stadium where the bulk of the money was spent was looking a little like a ‘White Elephant’.

I can remember years ago where another stadium was built in Manchester from tax payers money at huge expense and it looked like it would also be unused only to become the home of Manchester City. They took over the stadium and pay to  rent it. I don’t know how much it would have cost to build but they have continued to invest in it by building another tier.

I think that now is the time for my Friday Rant. Arsenal moved from old Highbury to a new site, The Emirates stadium. Arsenal needed bigger premises and with very little help available to fund the new build they chose to fund it themselves using the development of Highbury and to borrow money from the banks.

You all know what happened in the next ten years, frugal spending, top players sold and a mortgage that was going to choke us for years and years. Britain’s government didn’t built our stadium, they never even found a little Olympic money to help us, but now its built and what a magnificent structure it is.

Getting back to West Ham’s fortunes. They will be taking over a state paid for Olympic Stadium. They have contributed very little to the conversion costs which have been funded by us, the tax payer. The running costs will also only be part funded by the club with the balance paid for by the tax payer. Many of the London based football clubs are banding together to complain that this is unfair. West Ham have wealthy owners who should be dipping their hands in their own pockets.

Unfair, I feel its a disgrace, Arsenal have had many years living in a kind of suspended animation, paying off our debts gradually, keeping our expenses down and being ridiculed by all , but we did it as it was the only way forward. We are now over the worse and our investments are now recovering, and now we see another Football club being given a helping hand. I hasten to add that had Arsenal buckled after the enormous expense, and failed to meet our debts we would have been deducted points  and could have lost our position in the Premier league.

How can these happenings be fair to all, what’s your views on this?

Written by Ranter Palmer

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89 Responses to How fair is the gift of the Olympic stadium?

  1. LB says:

    N5……………….priceless

    Good rant Steve.

  2. chas says:

    Good stuff, Steve.

    I seem to have many conflicting feelings on this…….

    * I’m pleased the Olympic Stadium isn’t to become a white elephant

    * Also pleased that the spuds didn’t win the contest to use the stadium

    * pissed that West Ham will hardly have to shell out anything to have brand new facilities

    * they should be forced to repay some of the taxpayers’ money spent on the stadium construction

    * I believe they are selling Upton Park – the money from that should go into public coffers

    * why do they need a new bigger ground? – they don’t sell out at the moment, do they?

    * mostly still miffed that they beat us on the opening day – grrrrrrrrr

  3. Big Raddy says:

    Fine work Steve.

    What is happening to the Boleyn? Probably sold to developers for a shedload of money, none of which will be returned to the taxpayers who are funding WH’s new ground.

    It is wrong.

  4. Big Raddy says:

    A good read sent by West Ham Bob about some of the dangers of blogging …..

    ttp://www.kumb.com/article.php?id=3632

  5. GunnerN5 says:

    Arsene Wenger talking about the transfer market.

    ………………………………………………………………………………………

    ‘When players aren’t free you can’t buy’

    Arsène Wenger discussed the transfer window during his pre-match press conference on Friday. Here’s a transcript of what he said:

    on expecting a signing…

    I expect like you but at the moment we are not close.

    on people saying Arsenal need to sign someone…
    I listen to everybody but my job is to make decisions, to select and make decisions. Even if I look everywhere and listen to everybody at the end of the day I have to make the decisions. If I just listen to people’s opinion, many players who have signed here starting with Vieira, Anelka and Henry would never have signed here at the end of the day. I have to make the decisions.

    on whether the window should still be open…

    I stand on the fact that when the championship starts the transfer window should be finished. It’s as simple as that because it’s to easy to say, ‘We’ll play three or four games and see what we’ve missed, then after we’ll correct it quickly with a lot of money’. I think it’s too big an advantage for clubs who didn’t work well during the transfer window.

    on whether this has been the most difficult transfer window…

    It is difficult because there’s more money in football, more clubs with big resources, and less players available. The funds are there more than the players who could strengthen the squad. That is a big problem. People know that you have the resources and they want you to buy players from clubs who do not need your resources, and who are not necessarily prepared to sell.

    on whether there aren’t enough No 9s available…

    There’s a shortage in the world. It confirms what I just said, that there’s a difference between financial power nowadays and the availability of top-class players.

    on whether fans have to lower their expectations…

    It is simple. For any deal, when you want to buy something you go to see the owner and if he doesn’t want to sell, he doesn’t want to sell. You cannot buy. In our job it is exactly like that. When the players are not free you cannot buy them because it’s the club who decides, the person who owns the contract who decides. In Europe you have maybe 15 clubs with a huge financial resource.

    on whether it’s been frustrating because of that…

    I’m always more focused on developing the team, the players we have and getting everyone on board that we have at the club. We want to develop players as well rather than over-thinking whether to buy. I’m not against buying when it is a plus for your team. If it’s just to buy a player at the level of the players that you have to make people happy, I’m not ready for that. If it’s somebody who brings something that you don’t already have in the squad, then of course you want to do that.

    on whether that proves how hard it is to sign someone…

    It is hard, believe me, to get a deal over the line. It’s difficult as well if you’re not completely inside the deal, to know what happens. Did the player not want to go? Did Manchester United not want to spend more? I don’t know.

    on if the players that have joined rivals would not have improved Arsenal…

    I don’t know that. I cannot [not] deny that. What you want for any player is the need to buy in this position. [You think] ‘Is this player making your squad stronger?’, and you have to say yes or no. I think we have strong players in every position.

    on if other teams strengthening makes Arsenal weaker…

    I was asked this question two years ago when some clubs bought 10 players [and people said] ‘How do you feel, you have no chance now’. What you want is to focus on your own strengths and make sure that you develop your team. The cohesion, the style of play that everybody knows are important qualities. We live in a society that is hungry for news and news is good, I can understand that. But you have to absolutely be convinced that it strengthens your team.

    on if the club is doing all it can to get quality in…

    Of course. What is our target every day, every morning from morning to night, we try to be as good as we can in every single department of our club.

    Copyright 2015 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to http://www.arsenal.com as the source

  6. RC78 says:

    I think that it is clearly unfair, esp. with all the TV rights money pouring into smaller clubs as well…

    That said, we indeed have to focus on ourselves and make sure that we are competitive at home and on CL stage

  7. GunnerN5 says:

    Hi Steve,

    I feel that the decision as to which club was able to rent Wembley should have subject to an open transparent bid process, with the final choice based only on the merit of their bid.

    West Ham have been chosen, how or why? who knows? However at least they pay towards the upkeep of the stadium for the British people, much much? who knows?

    It’s all very strange to me but I totally agree with Chas at least the cockerels weren’t chosen.

  8. That’s a very fair Rant, Steve, it is a disgrace that so much tax-payer’s money is going down the same pit as that to build the stadium in the first place.

    At least it will be used. Two years after the Beijing olympics I was standing outside the BirdsNest, I asked the local guide how often the stadium was used, his reply was to ask me what the most popular sport was in China. I didn’t know, so he told me, table tennis. and you don’t need a stadium that size to play it in.

    In fact the stadium had not been used even once since the end of the olympics.

    It’s like all vanity projects. The Torys initiated the Millenium Dome and left the next Labour government to build it.

    That Government “won” the right to stage the 2012 Olympics and left the coalition to work out how to pay for them.

    It’s always the tax payer that foots the bill, while the politicos move on to their next highly paid job.

    Before any major world sporting event is considered the host country should hold a referendum so the poor old tax payer can have a chance to say no.

  9. GN5, it’s the Olympic Stadium not Wembley and the point is that West Ham are not paying for the upkeep, nor are they paying for policeing, and have been asked to pay ony £10 million of the conversion costs which currently stand at £272 million.

  10. LB says:

    On the upside it is going to be pretty easy to get away tickets when they finally do move in there.

  11. GunnerN5 says:

    NG,

    I stand corrected on the stadium – but it still should have been a transparent process and a decision made on the best bid.

    Politics will always pay a part in the decision to build arena’s for major events like the Olympics and the resulting cost involved – however you are not giving any consideration to the revenue that these major events bring into the local and national economies.

  12. GunnerN5 says:

    Transfer window closes in

    10 : 07 : 42 : 52
    Days Hrs Mins Secs

  13. GunnerN5 says:

    The Premier League has confirmed that Christian Benteke’s goal for Liverpool against Bournemouth on Monday night should not have been given.

    The League has revealed it has written to all top-flight clubs this week to clarify the new interpretation of the offside law following Benteke’s controversial goal in the 1-0 victory at Anfield.

    Benteke’s close-range goal at Anfield was allowed to stand by referee Craig Pawson despite team-mate Philippe Coutinho having been stood in an offside position and attempting to play the ball.

    The decision was widely criticised after changes to the interpretation of the offside rule this summer and the Premier League, in conjunction with referees’ body PGMOL, has clarified the situation, accepting an error was made.

    Philippe Coutinho was offside when Jordan Henderson hit his cross in to Christian Benteke in the Liverpool v Bournemouth clash
    Philippe Coutinho was offside when Jordan Henderson hit his cross in to Christian Benteke in the Liverpool v Bournemouth clash

    The League said it does “not generally comment on decisions made by match officials” but the expected outcome of Monday’s incident should have been an offside decision against Coutinho.

    The findings read: “Clear attempt to play the ball by Red 10 [Coutinho] (stretches with right leg in an attempt to play the ball), no contact is made with the ball, but the ball is close to Red 10.

    “Red10’s actions impact on an opponent, in this case the goalkeeper (goalkeeper needs to delay his action to wait and see if the attacking player in an offside position touches/plays the ball).

    “Expected outcome: Offside offence.”

  14. chas says:

    Great point, LB.
    Oooo, West Ham away.

    Ah, that reminds me, one of the other points I was going to make is that the Olympic Stadium should be a far less intimidating place for the opposing team. The crowd will be set back from the pitch because of the track, won’t it?
    In the chicken run at the Boleyn they could easily get some spit to land on the opposition winger. 🙂

  15. Eddie says:

    I couldn’t agree more steve. But I think that it is some kind of a loophole and nobody paid much attention to the fact that the running costs are to be swallowed up by the country. However, now that the fans of all other Lonon clubs have joined ranks and spoke loudly about it, someone will look into it and I am sure WHFC will have to pay for at least the running costs.

    Or at least I hope they will

  16. RA says:

    A very interesting Post, Steve, and one where it is difficult to garner consensus on the rights and wrongs because there is the divisive element of politics loitering in the background.

    Awarding (giving) the Olympic stadium to Wham is further complicated by FA rules restricting the proximity of clubs to each other if they wish to move and meant that in effect only Wham or Leyton Orient were able to ‘bid’ for it and of those two only Wham could pretend to get big enough attendances to justify becoming the tenants. [I am sure there is a lot more razzmattaz involved but in general there was a very small market/customer base – in footballing terms as to who would get it.

    The taxpayer question is a bit of a red herring as the area [and excuse me for saying so] was a bit of a rundown dump which was transformed by the work done for the Olympics and hugely improved the areas amenities and provided jobs and living accommodation for the locals.

    To have a referendum, as some have suggested, is a recipe for stagnation as anyone paying taxes in Manchester, Wales or Scotland are never going to vote for expenditure in London, and more specifically in East London.
    Referenda are only of use in a national context and even then are always contentious – forgive me if I am wrong – but weren’t the Scots the only ones permitted to vote on devolution (separation from England basically) – so, shouldn’t the English have had a vote too? 🙂

    Good rant! 😀

  17. westhamwag says:

    So I take it you are going after Man City as they rent their stadium paid for by the tax-payer also. They also rent their stadium via the council but they get full naming rights (which West Ham don’t). They also have their stadium to themselves unlike West Ham who will only have it for approx 19 home matches and Cup games. Yet City only paid £40m for refurbishment. Aren’t Spurs getting £46m to help redevelop their stadium too.

  18. Eddie says:

    benzema to be given number 9 shirt,, yuk, blasphemy

  19. Your’e right Redders, as always, the olympic park was built on an area of rundown industrial land.

    Now it has been transformed by the erection of a Stadium that will be a drain on the taxpayer for the foreseeable future. The erection of some sub-standard housing (the former athlete’s village) and some nice landscaping.

    The stadium will now get used by West Ham for part of each year and will be used for a few athletics meetings and concerts. The whole area will cost a fortune in maintenance to prevent it becoming a graffiti smothered, semi-derelict white elephant.

    It is, though, handy for the rail-link between London and the Channel Tunnel, perhaps some of it could be used to accommodate those unfortunate migrants who manage to get into the country via The Jungle outside Calais.

  20. Eddie, where does it say that on Arsenal.com?

  21. Eddie says:

    don’t be silly NG 🙂 Arsenal.com will be the last to know

  22. Oh! Right Eddie. 😀

  23. Eddie says:

    🙂
    Karim Benzema is set to join Arsenal next week and take up the vacant no.9 jersey at the Emirates Stadium – according to Italian journalist Emanuele Giulianelli.

    http://metro.co.uk/2015/08/16/italian-journalist-emanuele-giulianelli-claims-karim-benzema-has-sealed-arsenal-transfer-and-will-join-next-week-5345268/

  24. Big Raddy says:

    Fair play WH Wag – both are travesties of justice.

  25. RA says:

    And on the other hand, Eddie, there is this! 🙂

    REAL MADRID president Florentino Perez has said no to selling Karim Benzema in the transfer window.

    And according to Spanish publication Sport, Perez wants Benzema to continue as Madrid’s main striker despite manager Rafael Benitez asking for another forward due to a lack of depth.

  26. Gööner In Exile says:

    Before I read post just wanted to say I just discovered this guy by watching Treme (TV series set in New Orleans marvellous stuff)

  27. The Cockie Monster says:

    As far as I know, we paid ( and still paying from loans ) for all of our stadium out of our own pockets including relocating local businesses etc`. I remember when West Ham got the Olympic Stadium, because I was jumping for joy that the Spuds didn`t get it !……so it could have been a lot worse !…………similar to when Abramobitch was going to buy The Spuds but flew over Chelsea and decided to buy them instead !……….so that could have been a lot worse……….Mourinho managing the Spuds to all them trophies !.
    What really pisses me off is that the Spuds are going to get millions of £s for transport issues and all other crap…..public money…..our money as tax payers !……it should be going to education, hospitals etc`……how dare the government spend our money on a football club and a shit one at that !.
    Arsenal have been told that to expand the capacity at The Emirates would mean updating one of the local underground stations ( not sure what one ? ) and for us to pay for it !………..how come we have to pay for it and the Spuds get government money to sort out their transport issues !…..Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr……not a happy bunny !.
    So as for WHammers, yes they are getting the bargain of the century and like Mansour City it`s not right but I fcuking hate Totnumb and that’s all I can think about !.

    Good post Steve, here`s some more to back up the post !.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/33780720

  28. The Cockie Monster says:

    Looking at some of the flats around The Arsenal, you`d probably have change left over if you bought this instead !.

    http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-52321364.html

  29. stevepalmer1 says:

    Evening all, May i firstly apologise for not replying to some of your comments, I waited in till quite late to see if i had been posted and thought it had gone under the radar.

    Nice day and the forecast looked sweet, so i packed the truck and went fishing, When i got there the fish were basking in the morning sun big buggers as well, i set my gear up as quiet as i could, and commenced to fish, as soon as my baits went in the fish did a runner, No matter what i tried the fish wern’t having any of it, When i finally relaxed and sat back, i reached for my phone to see what was happening.

    Straight away i went to AA and realised it was up, i have to say that i am glad i am not the only Ranter , West ham Bob aside i feel we all feel the same For WH Bob he will support his side Good on ya Bob.

    I expect i have missed most of you, although i did try and get through on my phone but for some reason it just wouldn’t let me on, May i thank you all in your absence an will endeavourer to be around should i be posted again

  30. GunnerN5 says:

    Steve,

    Going fishing is never a bad idea, rain or shine, fish or no fish – blogging can always wait.

  31. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Nice one Steve

    I agree with Cornwall, its Totnumb I hate so I with your kind permission Steve my boy, I would like to follow Cornwalls example and rant about them.

    The reason there getting all that money Cornwall is that the area is such a shit hole the Government knows that if dont do something soon, England will be embaressed when Bangladesh starts sending aid over.

    I also have it on good authority that The current Greek Government was hoping Totnumb would take some heat of them when the locals went on strike demanding an increase in there Giro and the right to claim sickness benefit despite entering the UK strongest man contest.

    The Government simply had to act. When an Iraqi asylum seeker starts seeking asylum from Totnumb and demands the chance to swim the channel tunnel back to France, you know you have a problem. France is a shit hole.

    The good thing is though, it will make no difference. The place will always be a dump. Totnumb may get there new stadium, but if you manage to go to a game there without some bloke sizing up your trainers or another geezer asking you when Napoleon is coming round for tea?, then you will be lucky.

  32. stevepalmer1 says:

    Thank you GN5, 🙂
    Terry, your priceless mate

  33. Gööner In Exile says:

    Steve you hit the nail on the head mate, the best thing to come out of the deal with West Ham against what Spuds were offering is that it will still be able to host athletics.

    I think it’s a real shame that we couldn’t preserve the whole area as a multi sports venue.

    I loved London 2012 and I’m glad we did it, I’m pretty sure it’s increased sports participation and more importantly it showcased the best of Londoners.

    West Ham should be paying a lot more for their new ground, but long and short they aren’t a threat to us, Spuds on the other hand are crapping themselves!

  34. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Good point about Tottenham.

    If they lose at Leicester how we will laugh at One Point Spurs

  35. Eddie says:

    Benzema to be announced on Tuesday after his medical

  36. stevepalmer1 says:

    Morning all,
    Some blinding comments, and i thank Exile for some fine ones, I said in the post that i wasn’t happy that we won the Olympic bid, but i did feel proud of how London handled it all. Exile is right of course it was a great success, and Londoner’s or Britons was shown in good light.

    I feel at times that Britain does do some good things, but where we fall down is how we prioritise. Personally i feel we should look after our own first, Make sure that is as good as we can get it , and then join the rest of the world.

    Of course i am a proud Englishman, but i feel that a lifetimes work where a person doesn’t shirk his tax responsibilities, should be repaid in full after retirement.

    West Ham seem to have had a helping hand City also while we had to pay our way, and then take the knocks of life for far to many years. We got knocked by so called experts we should do this we should do that, but as it turned out we looked after ourselves paid for it by ourselves built a future for our club that many after us will benefit from, Proud Englishman Yes, Even prouder Gooner.

  37. Red Arnie says:

    lovely rant, Steve. 🙂 anything that harms the Spuds is fantastic by me! 🙂

  38. Red Arnie says:

    Fairness? All is fair in love and war! 🙂

    We are a classy club. So long as we are not being unfair, all is fine. 🙂

  39. stevepalmer1 says:

    Morning Arnie, i saw your comment, 🙂 Doesn’t matter when you started supporting mate, your a good Gooner and picked the right club mate.

    Spuds of course has always been our bitter rivals, many shenanigans have been used by both clubs along the way, and if i speak the truth, i have a little soft spot fro them.

    As you probably know Arnie, Spuds training ground is in Hertfordshire, but before they moved Premises they were just round the corner to where i used to live, I remember spending time as a kid watching them train, The players in those days were approachable, and kids like me had scrap books and they signed our books after training.

    I was hoping to be a pro footballer but of course was never good enough, but i always said if ever i ever make it, i would always remember the supporter.

    Sadly of course that never materialised, but Spuds still have a spot in my heart, just so long as they are in our shadow. 🙂

  40. Red Arnie says:

    Steve. 🙂 Myself likewise. I left my family when I was very young, then lost my dad when I was quite young, and therefore had to struggle a lot in life.

    The person who is like my father, my mentor when I first came to England, is an ardent Spurs supporter. I have a bit of a soft corner as well.

    But hush, that is not to be disclosed on AA. 😛

  41. stevepalmer1 says:

    🙂

  42. Red Arnie says:

    BTW, Peaches is local guardian to several youth footie players, who she calls her kids. One of them is a Spurs junior, and she accompanies him to the training grounds and games, She is very proud of him. 🙂

  43. stevepalmer1 says:

    Peaches sounds like she may have a darker side to her, She won’t say anything then Arnie 🙂

  44. Well the euphoria from the Ashes win evaporated like mist on a summer morning.

    England all.out for 149 and following on. Talk about false dawns !

  45. Big Raddy says:

    NG. We have already won the Ashes. This game is just to give Michael Clarke a happy ending 🙂

  46. Just as well, as the England batting has been absolutely awful in this match so far. 62 for 2 and still 270 runs behind.

    Surely our batsmen have a smidgen of pride and will want to get a few runs.

  47. No spawny goals for Manure this week. 0 – 0 and a poor performance.

  48. My son and I were deciding in which 90th minute the manks would score, we were still debating when the final whistle went 😉

  49. Red Arnie says:

    and the Hammers disintegrating as well! The weekend keeps on getting better. 🙂

  50. Hammers back in it now Arnie 2-2

  51. I see you put Steve in the picture about my boys but you forgot to tell him that neither of them are spud supporters 🙂

  52. Oooh 2-3 now in the wham v Bournemouth gamr

  53. Red Arnie says:

    oh, Jenks. what a disaster! 😦

  54. Don’t worry Arnie, it’s what passionate defenders do 😉

  55. Red Arnie says:

    Peaches. 🙂

  56. Red Arnie says:

    well done, Mo Farah! 🙂

  57. Red Arnie says:

    a message congratulating Mo Farah drops into moderation. 😦

  58. forfarfor says:

    Karim Benzema joins his local bridge club for £50m

  59. If his bridge club was local, it would be 50 million euros.

  60. My ex husband has probably played at that Bridge club.

  61. Gööner In Exile says:

    What a boring day of PL football, draws everywhere, except Upton Park, Bilic not such a genius after all. Kind of funny that they were in Europa League qualifying because of fair play under Fat Sam, and under Bilic they’ve had 5 red cards in all competitions so far 😀

    The United game was utter bilge, fell asleep mid way through second half. Woke with a panic thinking I bet they bloody scored a late winner.

  62. RA says:

    Totally agree, Exile, and the England rugby and cricket games were not much better. 😦

  63. Eddie says:

    I am surprised that Ranieri is managing Leicester. He is a good manager, could do well for the club

    Harry Kane has not scored this season yet. Is he really a flash in the pan?

  64. Eddie says:

    The latest ‘news’ is that Arsenal have reportedly chartered a private jet to bring Benzema to England and have arranged for him to stay at a ‘five-star hotel in London’ ahead of undergoing a medical with the club… on Monday!

  65. Good morning ladies… and Eddie! 🙂
    Benzema in London for the week-end eh? Probably meeting up with Ollie to go out on the pull together.

    Not been around much the last week or so, was away in the Loire Valley… wine festival and all that sort of malarky, but I’ve managed to get something up on GunnersoreArse this morning so please do pop over to have a looksy until the Big R gets his pre-match written.

    http://wp.me/p4FeF9-rA

  66. Soixante-Neuf, You’re obviously still suffering the after effects of too much wine, the pre-match won’t appear until the morning of the game, namely Monday. 😀

    Oh! ‘morning all.

  67. NG

    Exactly…. gives peeps much more time to visit my site ha ha ha.

  68. Rasp says:

    Morning all,

    A friend has been generous and I have a ticket for the pool game. I understand there is a pre-match get together at the FFB…… who is attending?

    Those of you who have been there before will know that it has some amazing planting upstairs in the outdoor area. I recently found out that I know the guy who is responsible for the plants, he lives amongst the plants through a tiny door right up top that leads to a secluded private area – he’s promised me a tour behind the scenes 🙂

  69. …and what a sight, the first comment. 😀

  70. NG

    That was specially for the Raddish man 🙂

    Rasp…. and what type of plants would entail having to live amongst through a tiny door that leads to a secluded private area?

  71. Rasp says:

    I’ll take some pictures NB. And put them on the blog

  72. Make sure the pictures are not blurred Rasp… do the plants have five leaves to each stem?

  73. Rasp says:

    No, the plants are purely for medicinal purposes 😆

  74. The Cockie Monster says:

    For future reference ………….What/where is the FFB ?………..Financial Fair Bollox ?.

    Talking of plants……………I don’t drive anywhere without a little spade …..just in case I see a plant I can dig up !……just think of me along the lines of the great plant hunters of the past !………..just because it may be in someone`s front garden doesn`t make me less of a hero amongst the horticultural world !. hahaha

  75. Morning peeps

    I wanted to put up chas’ post about JC’s 90th birthday but my pc is having a mad morning so I can’t do it at the moment sadly, I’ll keep trying. I don’t think I can do all the clever stuff from my phone. I think I’ll be spending money on a new pc this week 😦

  76. ‘Five leaves to a stem’ 🙂

  77. ha ha peaches, I’m not a horticultural person like Rasp or Cockie man…. you know what I mean!

  78. Cockie I’m the same, always have a little stock of bags ‘in case a bit comes off in my hand’ 🙂

  79. FFB is the Faltering Fullback pub, lovely place Cockie, the planting is amazing!!!!!

  80. Shard says:

    Fantastic rant Steve. Sorry about not checking in earlier, but surfing the net on my phone isn’t very convenient. It’s not fair at all, but this is how it is. Hopefully West Ham will be made to pay at least fair compensation for using the stadium. Especially with the new tv deal enriching them and all the pl clubs.

    Is it decided where the pre match drinks are going to be? And what time? Oh and is it worth getting a pie from piebury corner? Neer been there but it seems nice.

  81. The Cockie Monster says:

    I also carry some secateurs to take cuttings and I`ve seen what looks like a Buddleja x weyeriana around the village……me wants one !. hahaha

  82. The Cockie Monster says:

    Hahaha Yes peaches, you too are a great plant hunter !. 😀

    Right, now to Google FFB !……….sounds a bit more classy than the Tavern !.

  83. Hi Shard

    The Faltering Fullback is the preferred watering hole at the moment. Do you guys have your tickets?

  84. Shard says:

    Hi peaches.

    Not at the moment. We’ll get them from GIE at the watering hole.

  85. The Cockie Monster says:

    Kynance Cove on the Lizard .

  86. The FFB looks good… must visit next time in London.

    http://thefullback.co.uk/gallery

  87. The Cockie Monster says:

    Not to `dis the Tavern, but have you seen the state of the toilets there ?…….walking through the door is like being transported to Totnumb via a worm hole !.

  88. Rasp says:

    New post everyone ……..

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