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Ireland Is Superman - The Cartoon

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Ireland is Superman – The Animation... Stephen Ireland tackles “Abramowitch” who is persuading a young lad to come and join Chelsea. The satirical cartoon advances from Chelsea’s Hansel and Gretel transfer policies to Sepp Blatter’s witch hunt of top Premier League clubs. A small script of the cartoon can be found before the article on Chelsea’s ban and Sepp Blatter’s latest crusade...

Ireland is Superman Cartoon Script:

Abramowitch: That’s it my child, go to sleep... ...and tomorrow you will be Chelsea!
Ireland: Kiss my Blarney Bone
Abramowitch: You will never defeat me!
Ireland: Ya Idiot!
Abramowitch: I’m Melting! Who would have thought a girl like you would destroy my beautiful wickedness
Blatter: Damn You! I will turn all your Premier Manager’s into witches! The Premier League will fall! Next time Ireland... Next Time!

In the wake of Chelsea’s ban from any activity during transfer windows until 2011, Sepp Blatter – the FIFA president has vowed that clubs other than Chelsea will be punished if found guilty of poaching young players from abroad. A move designed to protect the rights of very young players who may find themselves in limbo if their potential or enthusiasm for the game changes. Blatter said: "They are taken at 14 or 15 years old with clubs saying that their parents are going too. But they get put into another family, and what happens to them? One out of say 20 has a chance to go on in their career. The others are left, and they need to be protected."

Regarding the case with Chelsea - the ban and fine is well over due. Chelsea have gone lower and lower in their transfer dealings despite lesser fines and warnings. Their poaching of Gael Kakuta is an example littered with evidence. Francois Callado, the former president of Lens summed up the arrogance of Chelsea – as they continued to behave as if they were above the law: "The contract [signed between Lens and Kakuta when he was 14] was rubber-stamped by the French league and French football federation. But Chelsea took him and played in a tournament with all their reserves, even without international clearance. When I met with Kenyon and Arnesen at Chelsea I took the contract. I told Kenyon, 'You're risking a fine and a transfer ban'. I explained the Fifa rules to him. Kenyon spoke with Arnesen and he said they were sure of their intentions. We said this is what we want and they said no way. They proposed a ridiculous fee. I said I'll leave you and if you're sure then I'll go to Fifa and we'll see if you're not sanctioned. They said there would be no need for another meeting."

They couldn’t say they weren’t warned... Chelsea were alleged to have poached Arnesen from Tottenham, fueled by photographs taken of him on Abramovich’s yacht when he was still employed by Spurs. Chelsea however issued a statement to refute the allegations claiming that: "Mr Abramovich and Mr Arnesen know each other, were holidaying in the same location and Roman and his wife invited Frank and his wife to join them for lunch. It was purely a social occasion."

In a similar case to Kakuta - Sergio Aguero retired from Athletico Madrid instead of seeing out his contract – however he signed for Chelsea a month later as he was a “free agent”. There was also the well publicised “tapping up” of Ashley Cole from Arsenal for which Cole and then manager Mourinho suffered fines.

It is right that children are protected, however that’s not to say that all transfers should be banned and that all young players should be tied to a single “home” football club. A lot can change during the early years of a player’s career. Blatter insisted: "Our aim is to protect both young players and older ones The only people who are against this are the rich clubs. Even the English FA supports it. But if you talk to the representatives of the Premier League, they'll tell you it's a stupid idea. They are making lots of money."

Some clubs have claimed that their young players are not contractually bound to them and therefore they should not be punished, however Blatter stated that this was not good enough: "There are clubs now who are looking at their books, some have even announced that a certain player has no contract with them and he is an amateur. They have done this to try to make sure that the player does not come under the jurisdiction of congress,"

There have now been a number of clubs that have been put under the spot light since the Chelsea ban. Manchester United’s transfer of Michael Fornasier who moved from Italian club Fiorentina is under FIFA investigation. Manchester City have also been reported by Rennes over youngster Jeremy Helan; however City are confident that they have now case to answer. City went through a third party for Helan and did not go to the Clairefontaine academy directly.

Sepp Blatter however, in his usual controversial way, has set about targeting the Premier League. Together with Platini’s continued attacks on Premier League clubs (which are far stronger than those levied at foreign giants such as Real Madrid) Premier Chiefs have a right to be aggrieved at the perceived witch hunt.

It could be said however that the increased attention has been brought about by the Premier Leagues arrogant and ridiculous suggestions to play Premier League matches on foreign soil.


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