Billionaires ready for the final fling
In the blue corner, coming out of darkest Siberia and sunny Petah Tikva respectively, we have the tag team of Roman ‘the Governor of Chukotka’ Abramovich, and Avram ‘the Extra Special One’ Grant. In the red corner, from Rochester, New York, we have the Glazer family with father figure Malcolm joined by sons Avram, Kevin, Bryan, Joel, Darcie and Edward. Wednesday night’s first ever all-English Champions League final is also an all-Jewish affair.
Between oligarch Abramovich and Glazer senior, they boast a wealth of more than £12 billion and could easily afford to ship all the fans to Moscow.
I remember all the kerfuffle that surrounded the American takeover of the Red Devils in 2005 but that has been long forgotten as the Mancunians clinched part one of the double after beating Wigan on Sunday. The teams have claimed a win apiece in the Premier League but with a little help from his friend, Avram, the first Israeli to win the Barclays manager of the month award, Abramovich hopes that the blue ribbons of Chelsea are flying high in his Moscow backyard.
A hearty mazal tov goes to everyone at Glenthorne United. The JC MSFL Division One champions proved me wrong as they returned to the top-flight at the first time of asking after beating Brady Maccabi. Ian Cohen’s troops have led from the front virtually all season and I’m looking forward to seeing which additions he makes when they take on Jewish football’s elite in season 2008-09.
The race for second place should be settled on Sunday with Montana Boca United A hoping to do the business at struggling Hendon United B. It is not only squeaky bum time for those sides as Faithfold B and North West Neasden B are involved in a similar encounter. The Superhoops are in need of points to stay above the Hornets, while Neasden hope to beat Montana to the post in the promotion stakes.
FC Team A expect to be presented with the Division Four trophy on Sunday when they entertain UJIA. They had hoped to wrap up the title last week but opponents AC Cricklewood pulled out the night before the game, claiming they had only six players available.
Mitch Young, player-manager of FC Team, commented: “We are worthy champions, but we wanted to win it the right way. Now our chance has gone. I feel let down by the league and our opponents and I want Cricklewood punished for their unsporting behaviour. We had trained hard for the match and had lots of supporters coming to cheer us on. They left me in a position where, at 10pm on Saturday night, I had to try to contact more than 100 people.”
Cricklewood declined to comment. Bafana Bafana attacking midfielder Richie Reggel staked his claim to fame when he became the first Leicester-born player to score at the Emirates. Making his debut at the home of Arsenal, Reggel helped the JC MSFL Premier Division side win part two of a charity match. Ben Isaacs retained Temple Fortune player of the season while Simon Allen finished runner-up.
Steven Feiger was named Fortune’s Masters player of the season accolade. Other winners were: Andrew Souber (1st XI clubman of the year) and Nick Waitsman (old boys clubman of the year) Faithfold A manager Jonathan Kessel has stood down with immediate effect, leaving Zuriel Solomon in charge. Kessel will continue to play for the club when needed but has opted to focus on watching hard-tackling son Ethan develop.