Marlon King - Surprisingly not on his way to batter another woman (maybe)

*exasperated sigh*

As I type this, everyone’s favourite reprehensible football thug, Marlon King, has found himself a new club, Coventry this time. His wages are estimated to be somewhere in the region of £10k per week.

Of course, King has served his time (again) and he’s entitled to earn his living as well as Coventry is entitled to employ him. What’ll be interesting here is how the Coventry fans react will react to Marlon King if he actually performs well for them.

Football fans are notoriously short of memory though, especially when one of their crew is performing. Look at the moronic fans at Meadow Lane, screaming their support for a convicted killer.

I wonder why it is that the Sex Offender Marlon King and the Drink Drive Killer Lee Hughes have been able to find gainful employment so soon after spending a few months at “Her Majesties Pleasure”. Oh hold on, I actually know this, it’s because they’re footballers. It seems to me that being a footballer or being involved in football in some respect instantly lifts you above the ethical concerns of everyday life.

Strangely, I don’t blame Marlon King for his predicament; he’s only trying to earn his living the only way he knows how. The blame for his return to football lies with Aidy Boothroyd and the Football League. Boothroyd for wanting to sign a man who currently resides on the sex offenders register, and The Football League for sanctioning his return to football.

I know that my calling football fans “moronic” isn’t going to go down well, but to be quite honest, I don’t care. If the Notts fans want to support a man who has blood on his hands, that’s their call. If the fans at the Ricoh want to wear shirts with King’s name on the back, that’s down to them.

But don’t expect me to join you and certainly don’t expect me to approve.

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OK, I admit it. This blog is going to be a ‘filler’ piece because I have absolutely nothing to say about the dire Uruguay v France game, and didn’t really catch the opener to the World Cup. I may follow this with a post on England and my predictions for tomorrow, but first I feel the need to concentrate on my club teams, Celtic and Notts County. Bizarrely, and for the first time ever, I can do that in the same post.

Both sides have now appointed new managers. Both managers have appointed club legends with very little management experience. Both clubs are looking to appoint an experienced technical director to aid the young ‘gaffers’. And both sides can be tied to Sol Campbell over the past 12 months.

Now I’ve had a chance to get used to both appointments, I’m actually getting excited. I was a little disappointed about both initially as I’m always one of those annoying fans who calls for an “experienced head”. Indeed, I can be a little cynical at times, and I had questioned the ambition of both clubs with their choice of managers. However, I’ve since changed my tune.

Craig Short should be great for Notts, and Notts should be great for him. He is clearly ambitious, knows the club very well and has the basics of a decent squad already. The news that Stephen Hunt, Craig Westcarr and Mike Edwards have all signed new deals is good news, as is the earlier contract signed by Lee Hughes. Then there is a good young goalkeeper in Rob Burch lined up from Lincoln, and with a little wheeling-and-dealing, ‘Shorty’ should find a really good squad in front of him come pre-season.

Then there is Celtic. In those last eight matches of the season, Neil Lennon brought fire to the belly of a Celtic squad that had rolled over and died under Tony Mowbray. Of course, ‘Lenny’ is Celtic through-and-through, and he is well aware of the players at the club who have no right to pull on the Hoops. A new manager might have needed a few months to discover who was deadwood, but make no mistake about it, Lennon already knows and is planning on squad surgery even as I write this.

Both clubs are shopping in very different markets ahead of very different seasons, but both clubs are at an important precipice. For Notts, surely the priority is staying in League One, although Short will be pushing for much more, as will Mr Trew. Indeed, I’m hopeful that with a couple of decent signings (such as Lee Trundle, who is being widely touted as a candidate) that we may nick a play-off spot.

For Celtic, however, only one thing will do. The SPL title is the absolute minimum on Lennon’s list, and the board must back him with the cash to deliver it. Indeed, I’ve suggested on this blog that he should take the £10m for McGeady and buy two quality central defenders and a midfielder, trusting in the fitness of Shaun Maloney and Paddy McCourt next season. I’m even cautiously optimistic about the news of Sol Campbell’s signing (although I say that through gritted teeth after his debacle at Meadow Lane) and the thought of Keane or Bellamy back at Parkhead has put a smile back on my face.

Fingers crossed that smile is enhanced by a couple of exciting signings at both Meadow Lane and Celtic Park in the next couple of weeks. Failing that, Rangers and Forest going bust would be equally acceptable…

Well, I will concede I feared the worst. Many of you will have noticed my deafening silence over the last few weeks of this blog, mainly because the only interest I had was about the future of Notts County. Now it would appear that future has been secured following Peter Trembling’s announcement yesterday.

Now I’m not going to get carried away here. I’ve done that before, when I bought into the Munto Finance fairytale, the dream of the Premier League and (whisper this quietly as it now seems so ridiculous, the Champions League) and I’m not prepared to allow the same thing to happen again.

However, I’m optimistic by what I hear. If HMRC are happy, that’s a massive step as it keeps out of Court. Despite the breaking news of us having 28 days to pay £324,000, it would appear that this new deal truly has saved us. I’m also pleased to see that the anonyimity of the investors is only dependent on the ‘due dilligence’ period being completed. Once this is over, it would seem the investors will reveal themselves. However, as we don’t know exactly how much this group are investing, the future of Sven Goran-Eriksson will still be questioned.

Now lets be honest here. The desire I have to see us climb the leagues is a long way behind my desire for the club to exist, so if the investment is only enough to keep us on an even keel which leads to Sven walking, so be it. However, with only a few days left before the close of the transfer window, I’m hopeful we can keep our squad together at the very least.

Lee Hughes is almost unstoppable at the moment, and his fitness is paramount to our success. If we can win our three games in hand on most sides around us, we should find ourselves back in that top 3.

And with news on a new manager to follow ‘in days’, with that manager likely to be Peter Taylor,  things at last seem to be looking up for Notts. Now, we have our FA CUp replay to look forward to, and a few more quid to bring in, especially if the game is picked up by the TV cameras, we really are pushing in the right direction.

Now lets all hope Sven has a few more tricks up his sleeve, and we have a smoother 2010 than 2009, which culminates in a promotion party come May. If we can keep playing like we did at Dagenham, we’ll go a long way towards doing that.

Hope to see you on the Kop.