Arsenal Hold The High Ground – Wenger’s Legacy ?

A guest post from  @Georgakos



“It’s business as usual for Cellino at Leeds” wrote David Conn in the Guardian on 8th October. “His ownership of the club continues despite the ‘owners and directors test’, operated by the Premier and Football Leagues, stating that people cannot own or run a football club if they have recently been convicted of a criminal offence “involving a dishonest act”. The definition of “dishonest act” in the leagues’ rules is: “Any act which would reasonably be considered to be dishonest”. Massimo Cellino was found to have had “elusive intent” and to have formed a “bogus corporate screen” to criminally evade €390,000 import duty on a yacht [1]. Poor old Cellino, he was in the wrong place at the wrong time because the FA Owners’ and Directors’ Test Regulations became effective from 1st August 2013 [2].

Not a problem for Roman Abramovich because his ‘dishonest acts’ occurred in the deep and distant past: The Times said that Abramovich “famously emerged triumphant after the ‘aluminium wars’, in which more than 100 people are believed to have been killed in gangland feuds over control of the lucrative smelters”[3].  In 2008 The Times reported that Abramovich admitted that he paid billions of dollars for political favours and protection fees to obtain a big share of Russia’s oil and aluminium assets as was shown by court papers obtained by The Times [3].

There are sadly but a few ‘lone voices in the wilderness’ that may barely be heard above the cacophony of football hackery and punditry. Here’s a recent quote from Matthew Syed in The Times: “It is not what is said that troubles me, however; it is what is not said. You see, I am not sure I have heard a commentator offer a word about where the money that has funded the 11-year binge at Stamford Bridge came from. I have rarely heard pundits, who are happy to talk ad nauseum about Chelsea’s transfer dealings, relate that Abramovich’s billions were gained in an episode described as “the largest single heist in corporate history”. This is not just an elephant in the room; it is a festering pile of manure” [4]. Syed goes on to say, “I have had a large mailbox from Chelsea fans over the years. A significant minority accept that the money bankrolling their club was corruptly gained (how could they deny it?). They say that they love the club, but bitterly regret the identity of the owner. This is a principled and dignified stance.”

And of course it is. I add, that I have the utmost respect for those Chelsea fans because that is the stance I would adopt should Arsenal be taken over by Usmanov or any dishonourable sugar daddy.  Syed continues, “The majority, however, get irate about any mention of Abramovich’s corruption….The most common justification offered by Chelsea fans, however, is also the most egregious. It goes something like this: ‘I watch football to switch off from the real life. It is an escape. I don’t want to get bogged down in thinking about politics.’ This is offensive because it goes to the heart of a wider malaise in football. It is the idea that football is subject to a different set of rules to everything else.”

Of course, a very similar story can be written with regard to Manchester City. In this case a despot, a dictator, guilty of human rights abuses [5] escapes the FA Owners’ and Directors’ Test Regulations.

I, in common with some Chelsea and no doubt Man City fans, feel troubled by this. I even feel ashamed that this can happen in this country. How bad can it be? How about this:  “Ministers come under fire over claims the Government is too close to a Gulf State blamed for funding Islamist terror groups” [6].For heaven’s sake even Conservative MPs are concerned! Zac Goldsmith, MP for Richmond Park and North Kingston, called for a rethink of Britain’s relationship with Qatar. He said: “Here in the UK, we do big business with our ally Qatar, including in arms, and yet there are countless reports, until recently at least, of that country’s government actively courting key bankrollers of al-Qaeda and Isil” [6]. It gets better. In the same article we learn that “a Treasury spokesman suggested that the burden of proof required for a suspect to be designated a terrorist – and face sanctions and asset freezes as a result – was probably higher in the UK than in the US.” You see, we have much higher standards in the UK, habeas corpus and all that stuff. Hmmm, I wonder, but then I am naive.

So what, dear reader, is the point of bringing this to your attention? Well, I do this because I feel that it is a huge issue that not only afflicts our society and our role, as a nation, in world affairs but that we cannot ignore how this affects The Premier League and football in general. As Matthew Syed wrote above “It is the idea that football is subject to a different set of rules to everything else”. Well it shouldn’t.

The scale of the corruption involved is difficult for most ordinary folk to comprehend (analogous but not quite to the scale of trying to comprehend the enormity of zettabytes (1021) of data!). We must however, try to understand it when assessing the performance of any Premier League manager and Arsene Wenger, in particular.

It is not necessary to repeat the many accolades that this man has received for his achievements. I will remind you of a quite recent one. In January 2011, it was announced that Wenger was voted “World Coach of the Decade” by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS) [7].  The organisation aggregated the results from each year of the decade, and Wenger had narrowly beaten Ferguson and Mourinho for the honour. Now that is really something, I think.  So, I contend that we must somehow include elements of the above described ‘dishonest acts’ into any assessment of a manager and not forget that two clubs, perpetual top four rivals in the Premier League, are direct beneficiaries of such acts. I make reference to this so that those who are so inclined might compare the results of the IFFHS study with that of Mark Andrews [8]. The Andrews ‘study’ was referenced by a rather, grumpy, ‘Wenger Out’ man toward the end of the latest “A Bergkamp Wonderland” podcast featuring our own Pedantic George [9].  Our grumpy friend quoted a list of ratios of the number of trophy competitions entered versus those won, expressed as percentages demonstrating that Arsene Wenger is, in fact, one of the least successful managers in the history of Arsenal Football Club! Poor Arsene scored a paltry 11.11%! Compare that to Herbert Chapman at 23.52 and George Graham at 23.07%. At least he beat Bertie Mee at 9.09 and Terry Neil at 3.85%.  I was actually quite amused that our grumpy friend expressed the proportions to four significant figures. Maybe he felt the numbers were more ‘persuasive’ in that format. I wondered whether he knew that it was a valid way to express such numbers when the source figures are absolute (some pedant might want to research that last comment, but then you might be a sad bastard!).  Really, it was more than sufficient to round them up to three significant figures. Mr. Grumpy is so jaundiced that he said that he would remember only the ‘early’ Wenger years as a way of being ‘kind’ to him.

So, dear reader, I hope you agree that we do not live in football bubble. To deny Arsene Wenger’s achievements you must cherry-pick information or remain wilfully ignorant. In my opinion, Arsene Wenger has formidable mental fortitude and courage. How else can he remain steadfast in the face of cheap, cowardly and mercenary journalism which feeds the simplistic and lazy views of those ‘fans’ who try to rewrite the history of Arsenal Football Club?

[1] http://www.theguardian.com/football/2014/oct/07/leeds­united­massimo­cellino

[2] http://www.thefa.com/football­rules­governance/more/financial­regulation

[3] Kennedy, Dominic. Roman Abramovich admits paying out billions on political favours, The Times, 5 July 2008

[4] http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/public/football/article4206708.ece

[5] http://www.theguardian.com/football/2013/jul/30/manchester­city­human­rights­accusations


[7] http://www.iffhs.de/en

[8] http://thearsenalhistory.com/?author=2

[9] http://tinyurl.com/oej2grk

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62 comments on “Arsenal Hold The High Ground – Wenger’s Legacy ?

  1. Fantastic George,as I have always said,only 2 teams have ever won the PL-us & the red Mancs. Whatever Chelsea,City & Blackburn achieved has come via finacial doping and has no credibility,great for their fans and as it goes the Blackburn & city fans are alright,it’s only people like Matthew Syed who points it out in the media,the Chelsea & City owners merky past is never mentioned by Sky,it doesn’t fit their agenda-never will. Footballs fucked.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Marvellous! “We’ve got Georgakis, We’ve got Georgakis, We’ve …….”

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Super stuff, Georgakis. A Conn in our midst!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. A formidable piece GP and a worthy subject,

    “The secret of a great success for which you are at a loss to account is a crime that has never been discovered, because it was properly executed.”

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks Georgakis: yet another set of ideas that will be wilfully ignored by those with different agendas. Decent research too and I look forward to following your links. The big question remains: if the financial field is not level (and lets remember before we get too smug that we have always been relatively well-off compared to many clubs), then how can a team compete? And compete over a period of time, not a one-off match or cup competition type competing? It has to be through out-performing spend on the field, and doing so in an attractive manner. I notice today that for UK based fans four more AFC matches have been rearranged for the TV cameras in December. Southampton, Newcastle, Liverpool and QPR. That wouldn’t happen unless we had the support to justify it – and we wouldn’t have that support if we hadn’t remained competitive for so long.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. What irks me is how people insist that other people should have the same values and ambition as them.
    Many fans are in the “win at all costs” camp, and I can accept that. Its their choice. However they refuse to accept that I can give more weight to playing style and general standards of sportsmanship than they do.Or that I can appreciate long term ambition and accept that it may give short term pain.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. How dare George back up this story with facts!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Top of the class stuff from GP.

    Proper and loving Stewardship and Custodianship of the grand old dame of The Arsenal for the next hundred years is far more important than any quick-fix dodgy wheeling and dealing.

    The Arsenal board have no truck with the spivs and weasels of this world, I commend their old fashioned virtues.

    Some of the AGM questions the Arsenal Supporters Trust (Tim Payton’s mob) want to table are close to slanderous.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Fair play to Kroenke. He obviously has a soft spot for the simple minded.

    Why any owner of a business would allow himself to be “questioned” by a group that own 0.005% of the shares ( AST) in his enterprise gawd knows.

    Cant see it happening too many more times.

    And then what will Tim do ??

    Liked by 3 people

  10. “Some of the AGM questions the Arsenal Supporters Trust (Tim Payton’s mob) want to table are close to slanderous” Where can I see these proposed questions?


  11. Tim has “leaked” the AST questions to his chum Jeremy;


    “prominent smaller shareholders” Really Jeremy ? and they told you that I suppose …..

    (howls with laughter)

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Good luck to Szcz tonight in hammering Les Jocks and setting themselves nicely on course for a place in the Euro finals in 2016

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Top Top Top post Georgaki. Thanks for the information.

    What I dont understand is, why is there no wage cap? Why is the FA so reluctant to impose that? As far as I can see, that is the only way we can get some sort of level playing field.

    And Fins, what you said yesterday was funny.


  14. An excellent article Georgaki,a griping read that I think this needs a wider audience, as it brings up some very important issues.
    More please.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Excellent, erudite piece Georgaki, no less than I would expect from a man of your talents. I commend the way in which you show up the WOB’s even more by including your references like a proper academic (banned smiley thing here)!


  16. I appreciate all the comments, many thanks. As you can imagine this subject really gets under my skin. I won’t stand by and allow the malcontents to peddle their garbage….

    Liked by 1 person

  17. This article touches upon something very important. We are all one. We can’t think that fotball is exempt from the rest of our affairs. Chelsea and Man City have and are contributing to poor conditions for people in Russia and Quatar, while the rest of the world is watching a ball being kicked around on TV. The players are getting their wages. The fans are paying for the tickets. And the icing on the cake is the insulting (it’s pure BS) to hear those so called (not) experts getting paid by state based media (bbc) talk the way they do about Arsene.


  18. American sanctions against Russia are making the ruble worth less than a dirty piece of toilet paper. I hope Roman has a lot more money in rubles than he does in dollars and pounds.


  19. Great piece, when I have tried to point out to people in the past that football is a very murky world full of opaque characters, they have stuck their fingers in there ears. The Arsenal board & management should be far more respected and applauded. The Rangers, Blackpool’s & Portsmouth’s of this world are examples clubs which had/have poor management – not our club.


  20. I fully support the idea that asking questions of the club keeps the club accountable. But I think there are diminishing returns in harping on the way the likes of the AST do it because they are increasingly irrelevant with each gripe and whine.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Very decent article George and handy to have those links, for reference.

    What is the greater scandal – the source of the funds behind the financial doping, the doping itself or the tolerance of the doping (and its source) by the league, UEFA, FIFA and our own government/the EU?

    You say it is a huge issue – and morally there can be no question of that – but on a practical, day-to-day level, the complicity of us all, from governments to the fan on the street, demonstrates, somewhat depressingly, that despite the enormity of the crimes involved, there is, de facto, no issue here whatsover. And this doesn’t appear to be likely to change anytime soon. If anything, FFP works in their favour by applying a further layer of respectability on top of the thin but as yet unbroken veneer already applied by the aforementioned agents of complicity.

    So, certainly, in some senses, the likes of George and Matthew Syad are indeed voices in the wilderness. But that should not deter us from using these awkward truths to highlight the foolish ignorance behind much of the ‘thinking’ behind the attacks on Arsenal. The tragically simplistic notion that replacing our manager will somehow (and presumably overnight) circumvent the advantages acrued by the accumulation of ill-gotten soverign-scale funding is almost too cringeworthy to consider.

    Let’s take every opportunity to remind people.


    Looking forward to another AGM and the useful role of the AST and other shareholders in giving the Board opportunity to answer their critics.

    I’ve found Ivan (and Arsene) nothing short of totally concincing on these occasions, which given the vast scale and complexities of the club’s activities is little short of wondrous, to my eyes. That said, that very same complexity is a good enough reason for the club to be legitimately and fairly questioned on matters concerning the fans and the forum and the opportunities it presents to genuine supporters should not, in my view, be dismissed out of hand.


  22. Terrific post Georgaki. Well written and very informative. Your school fees weren’t wasted…….(yellow face thingy).
    We live in a real world with real problems which are worse in some areas than others. Like Andrew just said, there’s nothing that can (or will) be done about this, not by the fans anyway but belittling Arsene Wenger’s achievement at Arsenal, against the backdrop of all these financial murkiness is foolish at best! Arsenal struck gold with Arsene, full stop!! The board knows it, most ex-players know it, most fans know it………just a few untrained, uncivilised and misinformed entities try to deny this fact. Arsene’s way is The Arsenal way and the Arsenal way is Arsene’s way! The both are one and the same thing!!!
    On a side note, is anyone having problems downloading this months Clockend podcast, or is it just me?


  23. I am late to the Post, but I must congratulate Georgaki, the author, for a really gripping story.

    I have no sympathy for the Chav or the Citeh supporters, but there is an element of understanding for those who choose not to listen to the background of their owners.

    Why? Well, I can only speak for myself, of course, but there are so many appalling, non-football things that fill me with despair, when I read the newspapers or see the dreadful events that are portrayed on TV. And these are not isolated tragedies, because they are occurring all over the world.

    I can only feel absolutely and utterly overwhelmed by it all, and also powerless to do anything that could influence these events, so if I did not shut off at some level it would drive me crazy.

    This is not to condone the Chelsea or City fans’ blasé attitude towards their ownership, but none of us can control who the owners of our clubs are, and as lifelong fans the thought of voting with their feet and walking away from the club that they love (and that has nothing to do with transient ownership) probably seems futile in the face of such wealth, and the indifference of the football authorities and their political masters.


  24. It is an interesting topic of to what extent as a fan I should place the blinkers on and consciously ignore the real world, while wrapping myself in the warm embrace of Arsenal and professional football – or the opium of the people as it is known in Norfolk.

    In theory I should be dismayed indeed critical of the likes of Abramovich/Usmanov/Mansour/Kroenke/Cellino/Ken Bates/the Glazers/you name em etc and their involvement in football.

    But I don’t think I really am any more than I give a toss about drones bearing Albanian flags bringing a halt to the match in Belgrade last night.

    As Henry out it so nicely, they are transient, and I am eternal.


  25. Supporters groups exist to represent fans interests.
    However the AST have gone off course as well documented, and the failure to co-ordinate with other fans means to me that they are not serious when it comes to pricing. A fairly easy and simple conclusion!

    Unfortunately the cheapest prices in london (for some games!) can be enjoyed at AFC thanks to the efforts of some fans, but as far as I know that was thanks to Mel, haha, and not the platform for self publicity for the “experts” in PR.


  26. Erm, I mean fortunately above!

    Liked by 1 person

  27. SA
    Thanks, glad to hear my lame jokes don’t always result in groans and tears and empty cups being thrown in my direction…!


  28. Georgakos – An epic post. Learnt a lot from your research and presentation. Pity the whiney, moany majority will simply gloss over the unpleasant truths seeking some mythical escape from reality.
    The opening salvo by Mel in the Comments section hits the nail on the head:
    “…only 2 teams have ever won the PL-us & the red Mancs. Whatever Chelsea,City & Blackburn achieved has come via finacial doping and has no credibility,”

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Gains,
    Part of the thinking behind the original Gazprom investment in Football and FUFA would have been as a “pre-emptive strike” against such eventual sanctions which I think most smart people on the continent predicted would occur, eventually, sometime in 1989…I thank my lucky footballs for the Chelsea pensioners/fans war with their owner (they put our Groaners in their place – an irrelevant place!), their ownership of the leasehold/freehold of the pitch itself in Fulham (the green stuff but not the stands) means that Gazprom have not been able to expand their Chelsea FC project into ginormous London based real estate projects (trying to copy the Arsenal of course) involving Battersea etc which would’ve secured a lot more of their Wonga in (more) secure locations. It’s because of those fans that Gazprom had to pull off the Lui7 scam in front of everyone in order to comply with FFP.

    Sport and politics have always been interwoven. Since Marathon at the least and most likely a long time before that. Which is why some people are looking at the recent bans for throwing in cricket with jaundiced eyes! Watching Fire in Babylon it’s fairly obvious to conclude that the likes of “Umpire” Hair would’ve attempted to brand Thommo and probably Liley too as “chuckers” if they’d been playing today, with suntans.

    When I think about it I realise Roy Keane had had more praise for AW since he retired and became a coach then his old manager. Which is interesting to me. And hopefully many many others.
    Keane didn’t make idiotic vague or unsubstantiated critiques of Ferguson’s relations with the Manc board/s, Keane’s opinion on the Glazer’s was not diluted or ambiguous! And is on the record. I love the way that absolutely no plundits commented on the fairly direct references to mafia by Keano. Interesting, eh? And to their credit the same can be said for the fans of FC Utd. They didn’t mince about dribbling into microphones on podcasts whilst spouting childish nonsensical unsubstantiated gibberish – when they became disenchanted with the ownership of their football club (nothing to with the manager or results on the pitch!) they did what they had to do. Good for them. And thanks for providing further ammunition for the likes of me when teasing brothers in law who grew up in Welbeck’s Longsight, Mancs, one of the few mancunians who still try to support the evil Mancs!

    It would be nice to be able to believe that other football fans had the footballs required in order to stick by their football, but well, looking at Rangers, Newcastle, Blackburn and finally the trolling and trolled idiots that compose the AAA that is unfortunately not the case.

    And so we go full circle: what kind of football fan woul spit such stupid bile and idiocy towards a football manager who has te greatest respect of football people – from Pellegrini to Keano to John Gregory they all respect the gaffer. Because he is a football person first and foremost, the type that spots a nineteen year old Chambers* in a game and six months later he’s starting two games in a row for England. And, well, I can’t see many others of those about, can you?

    Sorry WOBs. He’s still got it.

    *playing in what I think it’s fair to say is his back up role of RB – the kid had been ridiculous at CB for someone his age in the games we have seen. I think he has started ahead of Bellerin at RB simply because he has marginally more experience (& height?).
    He needed a little rest so although his height might have been useful against Hull it’s all good. I think Hull will play a marginally less aerial game unless they are losing in the last period, just like the league games last year. Of more interest was Hayden’s performance opposite Pelle who started for Italy ahead of Balotelli and scored too this past week (very good player!). That Southampton game was the only one where Chambers has understandably shown some nerves, but yeah, Hayden! An exciting talent! There might not be much between him and Chambers based upon that Southampton game.

    Maybe the AAA won’t agree but I think it’s cool having two potential diamond nineteen year old CBs. Not quite on Varane’s level just yet, but Chambo and Hayden both have the potential and the skills to go far *please apply preferred anti-jinx procedure*

    Liked by 3 people

  30. I bet the BFG is glad he retired from Internationals because he has a fight ok his hands for his starting berth.

    And if he loses that spot the two rookies have a hundred cap plus World Cup winning veteran to help guide coach and compete with them. Looks like someone, somewhere, might have had a plan…

    And I bet Jogi Low wishes the BFG was on the pitch towards the end of Germany’s game last night!

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Micky Platini, who really could call himself King Canute if he so desired, this is what he had to say on the Greater Albania Serbia incident:

    “Our game should not be mixed with politics of any kind”.

    Meanwhile the slightly angry Serbian officials were accusing the Albanian PMs brother of controlling the drone from the VIP enclosure. Drones, politicians, large crowds or mobs that can be easily manipulated by demagogues or anything else: who could ever imagine that politics could ever be involved in sport? Perhaps the rights question would be: what kind of official would even attempt to deny that politics and sport are not intertwined?

    Liked by 1 person

  32. great comments Fins!


  33. Wow, George,

    That’s one superb article. Thank you.

    And I don’t even know where to start – when I think about thanking those who’ve commented…


  34. Fins
    Remember how BFG captained a side of unknowns at Wembley to beat England?

    Per has some extra special qualities when it comes to little things like honesty and humanity, in my opinion. (You’ll doubtless have seen the UA article, Animal farm in the PL).

    Are there any articles around suggesting Özil’s influence and play is sorely missed by Germany (and how it actually comes to be that he’s missing?)


  35. Fins, buddy, you’re on a roll!…….and top comments as well!


  36. Look on the bright side though

    We have a game of football on Saturday

    Bellerin in ?

    Hayden in ?

    An afternoon of opportunity

    Liked by 1 person

  37. I have often wondered why or how people can express opinions that are as valid as the next man’s, and then be unaccountably abused for it, and in turn will then in most instances become abusive in turn.

    For example: In a non-footie context:

    A) I cannot stand cabbage – it tastes appalling.

    B) You stupid b*st*rd, every effin’ cretiin knows that effin’ cabbage is effn’ good for you – well every elfin’ cretin – except you that is.

    A) Who are you calling an effin’ cretin, you effin’ bigger effin’ cretin?

    Stupid, huh? Both statements could well be true, and not mutually exclusive.
    Anyway, I have (hopeful) put in deletions to show that the messages can be still be well expressed, without the unnecessary expletives.

    The same is true in football chats – the expletives add nothing and just engender bad feeling, when all Gooners have a common interest in seeing the best for Arsenal, and should stick to that.

    Wishful or naive thinking? Probably.

    Now and then there’s a fool such as I. 🙂


  38. I have to say, and should have said above, that I was not referring to PA as it is just a general point from the observations I have made on a number of blogs when I wander from one to t’other in my insatiable lust for Arsenal opinions. 🙂


  39. Everyone seems to have gone to bye byes, so bye, bye from him too. 😉


  40. Don’t you come on here with you vegetabilist discrimination and your ‘lust’ (!) Henry – your cabbage, Cauliflower and curly cake

    We are decent simple folk, tilling our small patch of earth and bringing forth the abundance of our sweat.


  41. Eeek, I was with you anicoll, until you got to the bit about abundance of sweat! 🙂

    in my time I have hoed and tilled and planted seeds and seedlings, and produced delicious cabbages and cauliflowers and tomatoes, and even strawberries and early potatoes.

    Sadly work and then latterly health problems have put paid to that – and not to mention living in another much loved country (England) without real estate to grow produce. 🙂

    Now look at that – no expletives – I had better go lie down to get over the effin’ shock! 😉


  42. Oops, sorry I forgot PG does not like those bastard emoticons that make sure peeps know when we are kidding. lol

    N.B. ‘lol’ does not mean ‘lots of love’ – I am an old fashioned boy.


  43. Henry B, you’re dicing with danger with all those banned smileys in your posts! Don’t expect any sympathy when PG gets hold of you!


  44. Fair enough, Passenal, which was why I wrote my comment at 9:24 prior to your well intentioned warning at 10:12..

    It would be ironic to be summarily escorted to blog extinction for trying to indicate that no offence was intended, and by doing so with an emoticon — to give offence.

    That’s life. [I have just reprimanded my errant digits for itching to put a smile there]

    I think I can here the tumbrils lumbering towards me as I type.


  45. Henry B – I’m as impressed by your use of crossed out words as your sheer raw courage in using the smileys! As one who has tried and badly failed at using italics and bold in the comments, I’m very curious as to how you managed it – do tell. You’re not a hacker, are you?


  46. AA,

    The thing that caught my eye was being called a ‘facker’, and I thought ‘hey. Andrew better smile when he says that’ ……. but it was just my eyesight, and it was ‘hacker’, so no smileys needed, and you are excused from joining me on the tumbril. [God, the instinctive compulsion to ‘smile’ and show you I am kidding is nearly overwhelming. xyz

    No, I am not a hacker, whatever that means. I am not very computer literate, sadly.


  47. Henry B, perhaps I should have been a rebel like you and added a smiley then you would have got the humour intended in my post!


  48. Incidentally, Andrew, the ‘accolade’ of raw courage is not deserved, as smiling in real life comes naturally and I instinctively tend to use them, where appropriate, and it was not done to deliberately pull the tiger’s tail. xyz


  49. Henry B: here the tumbrils?

    That’s what overdosing on emoticons can do for you. You thought you could handle one small smiley face, but now look at you: a gibbering wreck slumped in the alleyway of misspelt youth.


  50. Andrew,

    Believe me, I knew you were not castigating me, but just teasing me with the dire consequences of my innocent use of ‘banned (?)’ smileys.

    Hence my spontaneous use of a poor substitute ‘xyz’ instead of a smiley or ‘lol’, which, as I said last night, always sounds like ‘lots of love’ and I draw the line there. xyz

    I have read your occasional Posts and have always enjoyed them – and that’s the key for me – to enjoy the Posts and the comments, and again as I said last night that allows for contradictory opinions, without offence being taken or intended. xyz


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