Arsene, UEFA Are The Dopes If They Think New Rules Change Anything

In the aftermath of Bolton’s defeat, the referee Stuart Atwell has been roundly – and rightly – criticised for not being on top of his game at the weekend. Most of the fingers are pointing towards Alex Song’s foul in the move which led to Gary Cahill’s red card.

That Bolton were only complaining about Song’s indiscretion at the time suggests that those who claim Cahill should only have received a yellow are wide of the mark. Equally, why is little attention being focussed on Paul Robinson’s assault on Diaby. Fifa point to the infallibility of the officials, an edict which is enforced with such vigour that even Pope’s cast envious glances, refusing to allow post-match video punishment as a part of the disciplinary regulations. This has to stop now, it should the rule rather than the exception. The extent to which Diaby will be missing is not yet known but the inital prognosis seems bad. Robinson? He will be there when Bolton play next, something which the authorities should be able to rectify.

As the Champions League gets into full swing this week and while the media eulogise over a certain other club’s return to Europe’s premier competition – it feels like they are the footballing equivalent of people who run into a significant event just to have their photo taken with someone important – Arsene spoke of the ‘financial doping’ (as he likes to call it).

Before the Bolton game, he observed:

It will be a massive advantage to Arsenal Football Club as soon as it’s applied if it’s well introduced. I don’t want to go into excuses but you want a business to be run properly and I believe that to lose £150 million a year you don’t deserve a lot of credit to win a competition. [Meanwhile] we have balanced our books. Maybe some people think it’s right because they don’t care but if they had to run a business I don’t think it’s right.

As ‘virtuous’ as the club has been in running the club properly whilst investing heavily, it is naive to think that the new Uefa rules will make any changes to the old guard. Last week is a case in point. Real Madrid posted record revenues and made a profit which would be enough to retain their Uefa Licence under the new rules.

Madrid has cast money to the wind and were very nearly rewarded last season with the league title, borrowed heavily to finance the unbalanced squad that they have. Corrective action may have been taken to compensate for interest payments and the like but at the end of the day, the club was able to meet Uefa’s new requirements with relative ease.

It should be a significant warning that the rules are going to have minimal impact at the top level. Whilst it fills column inches, the level of Manchester United’s debt and its subsequent servicing, will never be permitted to prevent their participation in the Champions League. They are too important in terms of sponsors to Uefa for the governing body to bar them from entry.

Clubs have wangled a ‘transitional’ phase for the introduction of the rules. Three seasons is more than long enough to learn how to balance the books without actually doing so. For clubs reliant upon a sugar daddy, Chelsea has shown how it can be done; convert the owners loans to capital and interest charges disappear. A significant cost line to the club vanishes in an instant, leaving them with the problem then of other ‘loss’ contributors. They will quickly divest the club of any loss-making activities, separating them out from football, to continue to fund their wage structures.

In short, the rules will have marginal impact and they won’t as Arsene seemed to be giving the impression, put Arsenal at a major advantage. That comes from the players on the pitch and you have to admit, they are doing  a good job so far this season.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on September 13, 2010, in Arsenal, Champions League, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer. Bookmark the permalink. 210 Comments.

  1. First time poster and first today.

  2. Great blog. Keep up the positive informative vibe.

  3. Well put as usual YW. Had Diaby fouled Robinson in the same way you can be certain many column inches would have been filled with Wenger called a hypocrite bla bla.

    As for UEFA , they won`t cut their nose off to spite their face & the likes of Real Madrid & Chelsea will continue to operate as they please.

  4. After the match against Newcastle I commented here that Karl Henry is going to break a leg this season. Didn’t know it would come true so soon.

  5. It’s misleading to say the the FFP rules won’t change anything. They’ll change things but to what extent has still to be seen. It’s unrealistic to assume that all sugar daddies will simply convert ‘soft loans’ into equity. There are many reasons why they can and will only go so far with that strategy. ManU probably do meet the financial criteria now as do Real and Barca but they aren’t what is distorting the market – Chelsea have done and Man City are now doing so. Those that are generating greater revenues than us have done for some time though we have moved closer to them. Their costs of generating those revenues are also moving further away from us. Clubs like Chelsea (though they are now slowly bringing their house in order) City and Inter are those that will find that the new rules will oblige them to operate differently. It won’t change the relative strength of those clubs that can generate substantial revenues but they’ll still find the operating climate has changed. To claim it won’t change anything is just a little too glib.

  6. just like this 25 man squad the same will be for the the Eufa’s rule Clubs will get their men in pinstripe suits to find a clever way or desguising their losses. It willnot change anything City will spend and Chelsea will spend and the rest will follow. Actually Eufa want these clubs not to go bust. Clubs might dodge this rule if they wish but the long term future for the big spenders will not look good. How long will Mr Abramovich be losing money. any one in his right man no matter how rich they are, they will have to put a stop to their spending. The same goes for Man City. The worst case scenario is when the Sugar daddy calls it a day and leave these clubs will simply sink.

  7. The Robinson challenge is a far more dangerous than the Zamora leg break surprisingly. Lets hope Diaby doesn’t come out of it worse, I cannot say I am optimistic about it though after seeing the challenge again.

    Robinson completely misses the ball, hes high off the ground, and I cannot see how he is attempting to go for the ball with his studs at such close range. Its something you wouldn’t try to do, and its obvious hes tried to take the player out. Diaby should have decked him, as he knew he would probably miss a few games at least now.

    Then you have Karl’s challenge on Zamora which looks like from the side, and it looks like he takes the ball. I bet there are plenty of stupid pundits who defend the challenge despite the fact he snaps Zamora’s leg and goes clean through him, while being more behind than from the side.

    No doubt he tried going for the ball, still doesn’t mean it wasn’t a wreckless challenge.

    In an ideal world Robinson’s challenge will get reviewed and punished with a minimum of a 3 match ban. Did Karl Henry get a red card anyone?

  8. @ CG

    It wasn’t even a foul from what I heard

  9. i disagree that the rule will change nothing. It will. Will it make clubs with huge resources disappear? No. Will it curb spending? Yes, absolutely, no doubt about it.

    Clever suits can do accounting tricks, but you can’t keep masking reality. Ultimately everything catches up.

  10. wenger is delooded if he thinks that the financial rules will make a chenge but hes delooded neways cuz hes phrench

  11. Any update on Diaby’s situation?

  12. Not even a free given for henry tackle, must be cos he aint that type of guy and he loves his mother

  13. Ok, why doesnt the avatar change?

  14. No, it is because he and Bobby Zamora share the same agent.

  15. As far as I understand it owners will no longer be able to loan their club money a ‘la Chelsea. They will only be able to give their club a limited amount each year.

    The only way around this is to invest a shed load of cash into the club before the rules come in, which I doubt many would commit themselves to.

    I am sure they will find ways around this, but it is a step in the right direction.

    Nothing will hapen to Robinson for sure, because the ref saw the incident and dealt with it as he saw fit (wrongly obvisouly). Anyway Diaby is just another whinging non British player. Pah!

  16. The rules route around the rules is not quite as simple as you describe Yogi. The current Chelsea approach for example will not be permitted.

  17. Like the 25 man squad rule its important to pinpoint the reasons why these rules are being brought into play, we can only then assess through practice if the actual knock on effect is close to what they hope to achieve. (ie will 25 squad rule make the england team better in 5 years time or are we just likely to see more human trafficking like the unsavoury scenes at man city?)

    Surely one of the main reasons to bring in this rule is to stop a club being bankrolled by sugar daddies which creates a completely skewed competitive field – as wenger suggests its basically cheating considering about 50% of football management is based on business acumen. (a guess on the figure but I wonder what the true amount is – or at least what wenger thinks)

    So then this cash injection allowance just completely nullifies the principle reasons of the rules? so what is the point? An immediate massive disadvantage to more prudent clubs.

    So the sugar daddies get a free pass and then the old guard clubs big enough to get by on global fan popularity probably get away with it also (as you suggest for example man u… but will be interesting how strict they are). It seems then that you have a catch 22 situation where the clubs you hurt the most are those fighting to be in the top 4 for the first time. Surely the opposite should be encouraged?

    Its tricky to predict how this will play out in practise but watching spurs this year will be a good working example of how an up and coming club could struggle to stay in the champions league.

  18. Disagree with your opion on the impact of the Financial Fair Play Concept. I could sit and write all the reasons why- but this blog does it better than I could.

    http://swissramble.blogspot.com/2010/05/uefa-say-fair-play-to-arsenal.html

  19. Amos

    The clubs who were perceived as the problem are not going to have to change anything. Inter, Chelsea, MU, RM and FCB will always pay high wages. They will always pay big fees. They will always borrow to fund investment. And they will never fall foul of the rules. It’s not naive to think nothing will change; it’s naive to think it will change anything.

    YW

  20. OK let’s put this to the test:

    Who believes Uefa will ban Real Madrid, Barcelona or any of Europe’s most powerful clubs if they fall foul of the regulations?

    YW

  21. Posters are correct asto the reponse of pundits to the challenge on ‘Zamosa’.

    Every tackle I saw on the TV this weekend where the tackler went through the player with the ball and got the slightest touch on the ball, the verdict was the same. Fair tackle. The tackle on Eboue, which to my mind was a penalty, is a case in point.

    It’s all too clear that these ‘experts’don’t know the rules of the game. A disgrace.

  22. QoS

    But these are the clubs who pay consultants millions of pounds to circumvent tax rules. Uefa are child’s play compared to the various tax regimes.

    Not one of the clubs will change the way they operate. Not one of them. They will become more adept at hiding their problems though.

    YW

  23. YW – Heh, very true.

  24. YW,

    You are right. UEFA should have Steel balls to apply the Financial Fairplay to the max which sadly they dont. There will be exceptions to the Big clubs and UEFA wouldn’t want to lose on the Sponsorship money. Kicking Barca, RM, Inter, Chelsea and\or ManU would result in huge decrease in the sponsorship money..

  25. QoS,

    The reason for Chelsea’s new model will have more to do with Roman losing lot of his personal wealth during the Crisis than to UEFA’s FFP. He cannot ‘afford’ to spend as he used to..

  26. They obviously wouldn’t ban all the teams at the same time but that situation wouldn’t arise anyway. It doesn’t arise now. But if they flagrantly breached the rules they wouldn’t have a problem banning one or two of them for a season until they met the criteria. Anyone one of them failing to qualify in any season isn’t going to cause Uefa any angst. Of course MU, RM and Barca can pay high wages – they have high revenues – I’m not sure why you perceive these clubs to be the problem anyway? But Chelsea are going to find their ability to pay high wages limited by their ability to raise revenues as will City (and others like Villa do and Portsmouth did) and Inter’s owner will not be able to underwrite the €150 mn they have done in the last financial year. The FFP rules are pretty comprehensive and cover aspects such as delayed transfer payments to other clubs which Barca have fallen foul of repeatedly over recent years. All of these things will have an impact on the way these clubs are being run. In fact its already having an impact at Chelsea and Barca and arguably ManU. It’s full effects will take a while but to accuse Uefa and Wenger of being dopes for seeing that other clubs cannot continue in the same way if, as Wenger says, it’s well introduced, is, as I’ve said before, far to glibly dismissive.

  27. Oh, I think it will happen, Yogi’s Warrior. I have no reason to think it wont

  28. Consol,

    It’s cause football’s a contact sport!

    Ha!

  29. I`m with Yogi

    Rules can & will be bent – we`re talking about EUFA after all.

    Consols – agreed. Far too many players go to ground unnecessarily. `Jockeying` & cutting off angles without conceding free kicks is an art.

    Kenny Sansom was one of the best full backs I`ve ever seen & he hardly tackled anyone.

  30. you should do more research into the uefa rules and real madrid finances, you are off the mark there. these rules will be hugely beneficial to arsenal. i cant be bothered going into a detailed explanation, but you are quite wrong in your analysis.

  31. Gaj

    As admirable as your confidence in your own assertions is, the glibness of your reply precludes me from taking it seriously.

    YW

  32. Even though Vela’s goal yesterday was one of the best, it still couldn’t find a spot in the ‘Top Ten Premier League goals under Wenger’ on arsenaldotcom.

    1. Bergkamp v Newcastle United (2002)
    2. Henry v Manchester United (2000)
    3. Van Persie v Charlton Athletic (2006)
    4. Bergkamp v Leicester City (1997)
    5. Arshavin v Blackburn Rovers (2009)
    6. Arshavin v Liverpool (2009)
    7. Henry v Liverpool (2004)
    8. Adams v Everton (1998)
    9. Henry v Tottenham Hotspur (2002)
    10. Kanu v Chelsea (1999)

    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/top-ten-premier-league-goals-under-wenger

  33. I meant Vela’s goal on saturday..

  34. The cheek of it.

    It should be a Vela 1-10.

  35. Gaj: If you make the statement that someone is wrong then you do your comment no good what so ever if you cannot be bothered to explain why “you think” they are wrong. Which unfortunatly only goes to prove how uninformed you are as at the end of the day you have made nothing more than a totally redundant statement yourself.

  36. To be fair Gaj does invite Yogi to do more research, presumably in order to come back and explain what the weaknesses in the Uefa 91 page FFP ‘rule’ book are rather than just glibly announcing that others are dopey for thinking they will change anything. In that regard Gajs post isn’t really that different from Yogi’s.

  37. No Pires against Villa?

  38. Think it was Arseblog that mentioned the other day Vela was contemplating chipping the goalkeeper, but held back and decided to just stick it in the corner.

    It was surprising seeing Vela score a goal which isn’t a lob!! I think he can be a really good player for us this season. Especially now games coming quick and fast, we can use him down the left to rest Arshavin, and up top late in games in place of Chamakh..

    You just know too that Chamakh will score at least 10 from headers this season alone!

  39. I’m kind of a tactical illiterate, but I think it’s interesting how our system changed for that Bolton game (well, not that interesting). In Theo’s absence, we were direct down the left instead of right. Arshavin looked menacing – just needs to time his runs a little better though.

    Apart from that JW still looks a bit uncertain playing so deep, but it looks like he’s going to get game time to help him find some kind of rhythm. He’d do well to watch some Denilson videos in the meantime though.

  40. Had Diaby’s leg got caught in the ground it would’ve been a horrific break, Luckily Diaby saw it coming and pulled his leg away a bit earlier . Surely the FA need to look at it.

  41. Yogi
    I understand fully why you don’t think the financial fair play will not affect the likes of RM, Barca, Chelsea, Man U and Inter and you are right that they will try everything to bend the rule.

    But Platini has been elected because he said he would help the cause of smaller clubs and smaller countries which is why a smaller league champions has more chance of being in the group phase of the CL than the third or fourth of a bigger league.

    Platini is known to dislike the likes of RM, Barca, ManU and Chelsea and being an juventus player he surely must hate inter and I wouldn’t be surprised if he did carry the threat of dumping them out of the CL even for just a year.

    Teams such as ManU or Barca need the money coming from the participation in the CL because their tight budget is based on them receiving the 20 odd millions given by UEFA. I recalled reading on a Man U article that if Man U had a drop in performance involving diminishing revenue (non participation in the CL, or some throphy less seasons) their sytem would be unsustainable.

    So I believe the Financial fairplay rule will not change everything and a lot of clubs will still manage to bend the rule but we will see much less things such as Man city paying 200K per week in wages and thus Arsenal will still gain some kind of advantages.

  42. 1 loose cannon

    It was an awful challenge, and he can (fingers crossed) count himself lucky no proper damage was done. Like you said, if his foot was rooted, it would have been one of them ‘no replay’ incidents on MOTD, something which is becoming more and more frequent that the FA are yet to address.

    I am always very concerned when our team take the field against such teams, and Bolton are not the worst of them which is even scarier. Is this what the Premiership has become, I know that our league is probably the fastest and one of the most aggressive of the major football leagues, but surely there is no place and ‘excuses’ for such challenges…

  43. OK, weaknesses of the Uefa arguments:

    1. The core concept is ‘breakeven’. Not a difficult objective. Simple group structure. Most clubs in the UK are wholly-owned subsidiaries of a holding company. Hive off loss making activities (e.g. TV channel) to a ‘sister’ company, out of the club. The club then does not have to cope with the loss since the “FC” is not under that strain. Note that the regulations do not insist that the group submit to the licensing process which provides an exit strategy for the likes of MUFC.

    The only criterian that is placed on this is that the players wages, transfer fees and gate receipts must reported in the books of the licensee: UEFA Fair Play Regulations, Article 46, Para 5

    2. Note the phrase from this link:

    http://www.uefa.com/uefa/footballfirst/protectingthegame/financialfairplay/news/newsid=1494481.html#financial+fair+play+explained

    a club must not repeatedly spend more than its income – thereby stabilising European club football finances over the long term.

    There are exemption clauses which Uefa can apply in some circumstances which are suitably vaguely defined in the document.

    3. The regulations do not stipulate that the activities of the club are strictly football-related. Therefore, a club may choose to sell off land, as Real Madrid did a decade ago, which will then show their results in a favourable light. Obviously there is a limit to this but options are available for “one-off’s” which offer an escape route.

    4. For clubs in the CL, should player trading be included? These are clubs which should be beyond the stage of selling players to survive, basic trading should surely be strong enough without this artificial injection of funds. For example, if Arsenal made a loss of £35m this season for whatever reason, should selling Fabregas be permitted as an escape route?

    YW

  44. *sniff sniff*

    The Velaites will have their day, or at least a few enjoyable days for the next few weeks.

    (3rd season in the first team after being brought through at eighteen/seventeen, check.
    Ridiculously fast, check.
    Sacrificial libation to the injury g*ds, check)

    Nevertheless, the WalcottWallah’s will return.
    As long as one speedster is replaced with another, I won’t cry too much.

  45. There is another misconception about issue. The vast wages paid to players by Manchester City / Chelsea and their ilk attract the individuals but has Arsenal ever got into a serious bidding war with any of the so-called ‘super rich’? I don’t recall us losing out to one of them in the recent past.

    Does it make us more competitive with those clubs? No, I don’t think so because the Arsenal wage structure is fairly egalitarian, the gap between the highest and lowest earners appears to be rather closer than others. Those clubs are not going to close the gap further. More likely, they will be trying to tie in most players at the lower end whilst having a few high earners. This means they are more likely, rather than less, to try to sign players Arsenal are after.

    YW

  46. YW

    I see what you mean, the way the rules are it is very easy to just sell a piece of land or player like you said to meet the regulations. The whole point of the rules was to make sure club’s live within their means, and spend as much as their income. But with a player going out for an excessive fee of 30-40m, it just wipes away any justification of the rule, when that fee can be classed as an income.

    Man Utd for instance, could have suffered a 70m loss, but they sold Ronaldo for 80m, giving them 10m profit.

    The big teams will always find a way to get round it, so UEFA have once again messed up for me. Of course it means clubs must watch what they are spending so they don’t have to look to balance the books, I just sense Wenger just stated our position to once again put the others to shame, even if he believes like many it won’t affect the big clubs. Hopefully UEFA take it a few steps further and be a bit more precise with the rules they implemented…

  47. YW,

    As I understand it, the rules will apply to the footballing operations of any club. I’ll look it up

  48. I was made to understand that most mega rich clubs support the financial fair play rules or did not object to it. Why? I think they too are tired of escalating footballing cost. It used to be be just RM in the 90’s who splurged huge amounts of money. Suddenly oil rich sugar daddies are crawling out, and there is an all out war on who can spend the most. Man City being the latest. Even Chelsea, RM, Inter, etc. know that its not sustainable. Regarding RM, they are making huge sums of money mainly because they (along with Barca) get a huge chunk of the primera liga TV money. But then other teams in the liga are becoming bankrupt at an alarming rate. RM and Braca surely realise that the can’t be champions of the Primera Liga if there is no Primera Liga. So they need other teams to survive and thrive as well. The TV money may be more evenly distributed eventually.

  49. I’m impressed with your work on this business Yogi. Your arguments are excellent.

    For me, there is no debate as experience and a passing knowledge of history will tell us that in football, as in life, the rich, the powerful and the greedy will always prosper.

  50. That’s better Yogi but all you are doing is proving that clubs will have to change the way they manage their finances which isn’t the same as ‘nothing will change’ is it? The rules allow for a club to break even over a 3 year period – hence the ‘not repeatedly’ stipulation but they still have to break even over that period. Breakeven not a difficult concept you say? No it isn’t if you manage finances responsibly which is precisely the point. Chelsea wouldn’t have been able to have done what they did were they required to break even over a 3 year cycle when RA took over the club in 2003. Something would’ve had to change there. You’ll have to look much closer to see why clubs can’t hive off activities into sister clubs – but I promise you it’s there “For the calculation of relevant expenses, management must include any expenses incurred in the reporting period in respect of the activities of the club that are not otherwise recorded in the audited annual financial statements of the reporting entity that forms the basis for preparation of the break-even calculation.” As for the one-offs they are one-offs – as such not something that anyone need be concerned about but it’s quite wrong to say that the rules don’t clearly exclude non-football related income. Contrary to what you say that’s very much a strong feature of the regulations which sets out in some detail which is relevant income and which isn’t – as it does with relevant expenses. It’s easy to be dismissive of Uefa, heaven knows they have earned their share of scorn over the years, but on this one they are on the right lines. The panel they have appointed to monitor these regulations isn’t a lightweight collection of inveterate committee types – there are some genuinely top independent people experienced in the financial set up of football and sporting clubs involved. The scope for bending the rules should be under very professional scrutiny.

  51. I’m not sure your point about our wages versus those of Chelsea’s and City’s makes any sense? our wage bill is pretty much the same as ManU’s – we can compete and aren’t bad payers at all but Chelsea and City’s wage bills (some 40% or more higher) allows them to buy more top players than we can. If they have to limit their wage bill so that they have fewer higher earners that enables us to be relatively more competitive not less. The idea that therefore they’ll have to compete harder for secondary talent is illogical – it’ll just be a more level playing field (provided you have the revenues) for all players.

  52. Either way, we will be no worse off. Even if things only improve slighly it will beneifit us. We have nothing to lose, but everything to gain.

  53. Sorry – here’s a possible lineup for Braga then, with Vela making similar runs to Theo and AA.

    Almunia
    Sagna
    Squillaci or Koscielny
    Vermaelen if fit
    Clichy;
    Cesc
    Denilson
    Song;
    Nasri
    Chamakh
    Vela

  54. OneOfUs,

    I expect the front 3 for the Braga to be the same as the one against Bolton. I agree with the other players.

  55. Amos

    YW pointed out quite clearly, that in comparison to Chelsea, where they go after the 150k a week superstars, (or did go after) they have a situation where they have a handful of very high earners: Lampard, Terry, Drogba, while their youth and reserve players get paid a lot less.

    Compare players outside of Chelsea’s 1st 11 to the players in reserve and you will see that the gap at Arsenal is far less. This is where Arsenal can attract the better younger players, and players who are yet to make a name for themselves. Chelsea, City only seem to capture the big names, where they don’t seem to pursue any ‘work in progress’ players. If they do, they normally over pay, and the players they successfully sign are the ones who like the project / money.

    For us, this isn’t quite a bad thing, our best players have usually been the ones who get nurtured by Wenger: Cesc, Henry, Vieira, Clichy.. and so on.

    With City and Chelsea, they will instantly pay 100k plus, for a ready made player, with his own ideas of playing football, his big ego, and high expectations. As attitudes have shown throughout the Premiership of these big egos, I am quite happy with our personnel, unlike many fans from Chelsea, City, Unted who actually dispise the actions of the players in their priivate lives.

    This doesn’t make us inferior to the big spenders and 100k + a week payers.. we are just too smart to go blow our income when we can create a better ‘team’ and nurture players to the way we want them to play.

    Whatever UEFA will do with regards to financial regulations, Arsenal win either way. Success shouldn’t come at such a cost, as Leeds proved so.

  56. One thing it effects is the sale of Cesc. If Barca can’t spend more than the income they generate after 2012, then they’re going to want that bit of business wrapped up next summer. I was still hopeful of getting at least one more season out of him but if we’re suddenly in a position to call the shots… with a ‘deadline’ as it were, approaching for Barca… then that reinforces our bargaining position – if I’m understanding it right?… which I may well not be.

  57. I was just wondering if Rosicky would be rested, IG. A potent weapon he may be, but I’m still not sure he should be starting two games a week. Not certain if that’s founded though.

    Arshavin’s vital, but he’s played a lot of games already this season, and I’d rather see him rested at home to Braga than away against Sunderland.

  58. Limpar,

    If player purchases/sales contribute to the expenditure/income of a club like they are, then the regulations should logically have a bearing on the Cesc transfer like you say.

    So does their capabilities to meet our asking price, which at the rate of which Cesc is performing, (3 assists per game!) will be probably too much for Barca once again.

    I hope Wenger hasn’t promised Cesc a move just yet, and I hope he has made it clear to him that Barca must pay up for his services. We are a business and a football club after all, to take our best asset, and best player, an extravogant fee must be paid.

    Personally, I wouldn’t like Cesc to go for another few years, all Arsenal fans must feel the same, but with the players desire to play elswhere so strong it will come a day when we must let him go. I would say at this precise moment, 60m GBP would be a suitable/acceptable fee. Although, I wouldn’t be willing to deal with Barca after their actions this summer.

  59. Chelsea and City don’t go after £150k a week stars they are one of the reasons why £150k a week stars exist in the first place. Their willingness to pay wages that don’t reflect their ability to earn the revenues to pay those wages is partly what’s behind the huge wage costs inflation over the last 5 years which is helping to drive a number of smaller clubs into losses as they try to keep pace by paying their better players higher wages in order to try to keep them. It is precisely because of a prospective downward pressure on this inflationary spiral that the FFP rules will prove beneficial not just to us but to the majority of other football clubs. But it certainly won’t do us any harm in being able to attract and retain the players we want to.

  60. Oleing the ball into the net for our 4th on Saturday was possibly the most fun I’ve had a football match. Vela is ridiculously rapid in the flesh.

    Nasri made the bench didn’t he? Wednesday might be a good time to get him out there, and give Rosicky a rest. So that looks good to me, OOU.

    Arsh was funny on Saturday… jogging over to the bench thinking he’d been substituted. Hands on knees every ten minutes, out of breath. Think he’d been out on the lash in Moscow midweek. He got a right bollocking from the North Bank when he wouldn’t get himself onside for the 3rd time in a row. Arsh loves the Champions League though.

  61. LA,
    Cesc’s long term contract has given us the upper hand in the deal and the FFP may well strengthen the position.

    Another point is our favor is that Webster’s rule can only be applied in 2012 as Cesc had signed an extension in 2009.

  62. I must disagree Yogi, with all due respect, sexually and anally…but Real Madrid are an anomaly with regards to revenue. Man City and Chelsea not in a million years would reach that Royalty. Let alone other overzealous small rich clubs. Plus, I think the rules are against spending beyond your means, correct me if im wrong.

    Man Utd might be classified as “too big to fail”, and its disgusting. Lets hope that these rules at least deter clubs from spending beyond their means. At least we had “we propose financial fair play”.

  63. OneOfUs,

    You may be right regarding Rosicky but the way He handled the tackles in the last couple of games proves otherwise. It seems *touchwood* He is finally over his injury. He doesn’t shy away from tackles right now.

    Arshavin was playing higher up(than even Chamakh) on the left side against Bolton and I feel AW would like to see this one go for another match.

    Also, the understanding between the front 3 were good. This is why I feel we’ll stick to the same front 3 against Braga.

  64. What Barca will have to pay for Cesc will be governed largely by whether the protected period of his contract ends this summer or not. If, as suspected it does, then he will be free to terminate his contract within 15 days of the end of the season. The compensation (in effect the transfer fee) will be based, mainly, on the remaining value of any transfer fee paid for him amortised over the contract and the remuneration due for the remainder of the contract (not usually more than 2 years). If the clubs cannot agree the compensation then it will be set by a tribunal. If the contract is unprotected it’s unlikely to exceed what Barca offered this summer.

  65. The idea that therefore they’ll have to compete harder for secondary talent is illogical – it’ll just be a more level playing field (provided you have the revenues) for all players.

    I think the effect of them having to pay less is a more level playing field for talent, period. It should have a deflationary effect in total. Teams will still be able to make the marquee signing or two, but you won’t find the 5 or 6 marquee signings.

    More importantly you won’t see a situation where Chelsea pays twice or thrice the going rate for Man Utd & Arsenal targets, thus getting prime talent & denying their rivals at the same time while stockpiling a massive squad they didnt need.

  66. I agree with all of that, Chris. I’d like him to stay here for ever more but like you say, if we can get 70 million or something then the good things that money can do for the club would soften the blow.

    I don’t think the ‘his heart is in the wrong place’ thing comes into it half as much as some make out – it’s nothing like CRwanker at all. He loves Arsenal and now he’s fit he’s playing like it. I liked it when he sort of feigned disinterest in a throw-in that Cuntface Robinson was taking and then when he took it went bombing around the defence closing everyone down. Good old Cesc.

  67. Amos,

    What’s the ‘unprotected part’ of a contract?

  68. Bolton have appealed Cahill’s red card

  69. Amos,

    the protected part of Cesc’s contract ends in may\June 2012 when the Webster ruling can be applied.

  70. Arsh had a fairly ‘active’ game, he was obviously under new orders to pursue the more Theo-esque role in getting behind the defence, while Rosicky orchestrated the play from the right.

    Its a shame he didn’t put a few of his chances away, he is normally a lot more clinical, and its not nice seeing such a talented player not take them chances.

    Positives out of Arhavin’s indifferent luck in front of goal is that… he will work harder to improve, which going by the number of runs he made against Bolton he has already aknowledged the extra effort needed. and… still scoring 4 without Arshavin on the scoresheet, looks like we won’t rely on any individual this season. I would say Cesc was maybe slightly relied on in that department in terms of goals from midfield.

    Maybe we can share them out a bit better this term, with Vela, Jack, Nasri getting more action on the scoresheets.

  71. Yeah, he didn’t play particularly well yet he was in the right positions, could and perhaps should have had himself a brace, could have won himself a penalty and he assisted Song’s goal. So not bad for an off-day.

  72. Under Fifa statutes the maxium period of contract is 5 years (so Cesc can have a contract for 8 years but Fifa will only measure any compensation for a period 5 years from signing). Players under 28 years can be subjected to sanctions (along with the club they join) if they breach a contract in the first 3 years after signing without ‘just cause’. After 3 years there are no sanctions for ending a contract (with the caveat that the player has to confirm in writing within 15 days of the seasons end) – so the period between the first 3 years and the agreed length of the contract is the ‘unprotected period’.

  73. Limpar

    Agree, Cesc’s attitude on the pitch is always excellent. Against Bolton he was everywhere, and I remember one moment too when the ref gave a few silly decisions Bolton’s way, he stormed over to the referee and gave him a good talking to. This is something we probably wouldn’t have seen much of last season, I think he will start to take a more senior role in the team now as the captaincy and responsibility has grown on him.

    On top of that you have a player who is extremely motivated to achieveing something great before leaving a club that has given so much to him. Whenever that will be, we can only guess. Whatever happens, we can count on Arsene and Arsenal getting the best deal for our club.

  74. Indian gunner – That may be the case but it’s unclear whether Cesc signed his new contract in the summer of 2008 or 2009. The noises being made about ‘not being able to stop Cesc leaving next summer’ suggest that it was 2008.

  75. Amos,

    What noises about Arsenal not being able to stop Cesc?

    Well, the only info I have in that respect is that the extension was signed last Summer (2009).

  76. Fine. So we hide his correspondence stock. Easy.

  77. Good topic for a post YW.

    While i dont think that these rules will result in all clubs being run in the self-sustaining manner in which Arsenal is, I believe that the days of the Manchester Citys of the world spending around a billion dollars in 2 years will disappear.

    Here’s a thought, perhaps these rules are meant to entrench the “elite” european clubs and to prevent the rise of previous mid table clubs, like citeh, to the “heights” they aim to reach…

  78. Ole.

    Is that with the same bunch of punks who should review Robinson’s assault on Diaby?

    Are players at liberty to sue other players for assault and intent to cause GBH or ABH. I know a very good lawyer who would go pro bono on anything to do with Arsenal.

    The truth is that if Davies and Robinson did what they did on Holloway Road, the local constabulary would have something to say about their respective assaults on Koscielny and Diaby.

  79. Chris,

    he was also rather confrontational with some of the bolton players. I very much enjoy that side of his game. Watching him point towards Pulis in February’s Stoke match after making an aggressive tackle is why we have nothing to worry about him giving 110% to the club. I think he has very much embraced the captain’s role now in his second full season in the position

  80. If they’d had done it on the Holloway Road, Darius, justice would have been meted out far swifter than the time it would take for the constabulary to get there.

  81. Amos, If my memory serves me right, he signed the extension in May 2009 before he completed 3years on his original 8-year contract signed in 2006.

  82. By: NJGooner on September 13, 2010
    at 2:31 pm

    No it stops them from borrowing, spending like crazy, bringing wage & transfer fee inflation, in abid to unsettle the elite.

    They could still get to the top by investing in youthe development, building a new stadium, etc.

  83. It isn’t completely clear when he signed an extension but it seems to be the belief at Barca as Xavi said “If we don’t manage to get his signature this season then Arsenal only really have him on loan for a year – because there is nothing they can do to stop him joining next summer”. With the new President Rosell saying something very similar my bet is that they know precisely when Cesc’s protected period ends.

  84. Ole,

    ok, that was my impression. You can do it the “right” way, but we wont see meteoric rises in club’s at least in terms of abilities to throw their weight around the transfer market with the big boys.

  85. Another year of Bolton, another filthy tackle to debate and another year of nothing being done. The fact that the authorities are so lenient to thugs like Robinson and Shawcross and yet punish over-exuberant goal celebrations tells you all you need to know about them.

    From the youtube clip it looks like Robinson deliberately raised his leg once he couldn’t get the ball.

    Its great that we have made a good start although injuries are a constant feature. ManU don’t look as strong this season so we may even be able to get 2nd. I don’t think we will win the Prem though. We look good now but let’s wait and see if we can maintain this and if so whether we have enough strength to finish the season well – something that we have struggled to do of late.

    In the meatime I’ll enjoy the goals.

  86. I don’t think spus will like it. Panic buying every fucker that shows them a bit of leg will no longer seem so appealing. And they’re scouting network, which consists of three teenage boys playing championship manager at a computer cluster behind a bead curtain in the back of a newsagents in Seven Sisters – will struggle to keep pace with world class set-ups like our own.

  87. That lot say a lot of things, Amos, I’m yet to see any of it come true.

  88. Yogi I think your post on the whole is true… Clubs like RM and Barca and probably ManUre will see no major effect. But that’s because they are genuinely big clubs with worldwide fan bases that can generate the revenues to offset their wage bills. The clubs that will be more effected, I believe, are those like Chelsea and City, which are “financially doped” by a wealthy sugar daddy, but which do not have massive worldwide fan bases. Man City’s wage bill is so far beyond the structural ability of their club to support (their entire gate receipts for the entire Prem season is probably only enough to cover a handful of their players) that they will simply have to change their ways. Same for Chelsea, and you can see that in recent seasons they’ve begun to ratchet back their spending, this is already having an effect. Do you think they would have let Joke Hole and Michael Ballack go, unless they were trying to be more disciplined? But I believe their restrained spending is only beginning, after all they are just a small club from Fulham and they will recede back to their natural level.

  89. Amos,

    I wont place much stock on what Barca players, especially Xavi says. I remember he said several times we couldnt stop him from joining this Summer.

    Note that the Webster rule isn’t even automatic and can take months and months to legislate, plus Barcelona won’t apply the rule because Europe’s elite clubs have agreed they will NOT use the rule.

  90. Ole,

    I didn’t know about the agreement between the Elite clubs.. If that is the case, then their position in the deal is even worse.

  91. What Barca says might not be true but there is a level of logic behind it. Cesc did sign an 8 year contract in 2006 but the logical time to extend it would have been before the 3 year protected period expires – which is what the club has tended to do with all it’s players. The 3 year period would have expired in 2009 so it is slightly more likely (but by no means certain) that the contract was extended in 2008 – a year before it became unprotected. There is no agreement between clubs on ‘Webster’ because it can only be invoked by a player and in any event as its a FIFA statute there is no need for one. We’ll find out next summer anyway and that’s far enough away not to be too bothered at this stage.

  92. Amos,

    There is such an agreement. Unless Wenger was lying, he said there was one during the Hleb debacle. But I’ve since seen it reported quite a few times since then.

  93. @Amos.

    Xavi Hernandes is not a lawyer so stop believing the crap he comes up with.

  94. Amos

    If you hive off part of the business in its entirity, i.e. revenue and expenses, they don’t have to be reported if that part of the business is not licensed by Uefa. That’s the crux of the matter. Uefa is very clear: they are only interested in the licensed football club.

    I agree one-off’s should be exceptional by their nature but it’s amazing how many one-off’s there are in football, isn’t it!?!

    The regulations are too flexible: they should be tighter, they should go to the whole of a football group and not allow any discretion on the owners part about how they structure themselves around the rules.

    Limpar

    Buying players is not affected by these regulations, save for how you pay for the funding, for the most part. Traditionally, clubs have bought players, capitalised their costs and then write that balance off over the course of a contract (amortisation).

    The only way Barcelona will not be able to shell out £100m on a player is if they cannot ensure breakeven out of their profits, taking into account amortisation, wages and interest. The fee is only a problem if they report their player registrations via the ‘income and expenditure’ methodology, ie the purchase fee (£100m) hits their P&L when they buy. They can offset player sales against this so if they sell players for (£90m) then their net spend is only £10m (plus wages and interest on loans) rather than a £20m hit (amortisation of a 5 year contract) plus wages and interest less any net revenues.

    YW

  95. Great writeup Yogi, and yesterday’s too. A fantastic game to watch. I am really enjoying seeing Tomas playing well as he (like Eduardo) was a player I followed and rated before Arsenal signed him. He brings a smile to my face when he gets the ball as I know he’ll see something developing that very few other people can.

    Overall I was also very impressed at how Sasquatch appeared. He slotted in with Kos seamlessly, worked hard, was in good position, and didn’t disrupt anything. Gibbs and Eboue were excellent as well. All in all a great day to see rotation at work and a true application of Wenger’s revolution. The entire squad deserves plaudits for their performance on Saturday.

    I tend to agree with YW and others about the new rules. Maybe I’m cynical about the ability for corrupt governing bodies to institute needed change but until I see differently I won’t hesitate to think that no rules changes will level the playing field more. Power corrupts and despite Platini’s public stance for the “little guys” he has his price and will be bought eventually.

    Now bring on Braga! I would expect something like this line-up.

    Almunia
    Sagna – Sasquatch – Koscielny – Clichy
    Denilson – Fabregas – Nasri
    Arshavin – Chamakhattack – Vela

    subs from: Eboue, Gibbs, Song, Wilshire, Fabianski, Rosicky, JET

  96. Amos,

    The ECA has agreed not to use the Webster Clause, it’s not legally binding but a gentleman’s agreement.

    Uli Hoeness of Bayern mentioned that during the Ribery to Madrid transfer last summer. The players association FIFPro said it would bring the agreement to the attention of the attention of the European Commission and FIFA.

    Munich and ECA chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge had said that the ECA clubs have agreed not to use article 17.

    Even if the player invokes article 17 as is his right he could be left without a club or at least an ECA club if they stick to the agreement.

    Can the courts force a club to buy a player after he decides to buy out his contract?

    Obviously no player will do so without the security of a buying club, but it remains to be seen if the agreement will hold. So far it has.

  97. Amerigooner.

    Funny you mention that Manchester City wage bill.

    On top of the £355 million spent to buy players in the last 2/3 seasons, the cost to the Abu Dhabi Investment Corporation for the wages for the duration of those contracts is over £480 million.

    Obscene doesn’t even begin to describe how out of reality they’re operating.

  98. I was convinced Arshavin was going for the five in one game against Bolton. He looked lively and determined, and on most days he’d have scored at least one. Perhas Bolton will be to Arshavin as Burnley are to Bendy

  99. Yogi,

    As far as I understand, UEFA has taken your points into consideration. The can on their own decide whether certain income or expenses count towards the footballing accounts.

    For example you receive legal services worth £20 million, but your friendly lawyer bills the holding company, UEFA can still apportion a market value to those costs.

    Same with income, like suddenly your sponsorship goes from £5m a year to £40m, they can say hold on the market value of your sponsorship is actually £12 million based on the comparative data.

  100. wengerball,

    I think it will hold. It’s in every club’s interest to do that. In the absence of that, the transfer system could collapse.

    In any case, the webster approach isn’t even open and shut & it takes time to resolve the issue, potentially months in which the player is stuck in limbo.

  101. Thanks, YW. Think I understand that. So it wouldn’t be impossible for them to buy Cesc after 2012, but it would almost certainly mean them having to move some players on to fund it. So they’d probably prefer to do it next summer, when it wouldn’t effect the balance sheet and the personnel as it would do the following summer. But we can’t really use it to our advantage to drive the price up, because the ‘deadline’ isn’t actually a deadline. Think I get it now.

  102. Financial rules are too complicated for me to understand or debate. Often the real ramifications are not known for several years after the rule takes effect. Certainly can not hurt our club but like Yogi I am sceptical that we will see any real differences in the way the bigger clubs operate other then how they do their accounting. Time will tell.

    Hope Diaby is not out long. Any news? Denilson looked good after he came in and we should not miss that much. I have to admit the more you watch Denilson closely (something I had never done before) the more you appreciate him. Still like our team the best with Diaby, Cesc and Song, but thankfully we have Denilson.

    Love to see Vela start in midweek. Need to start with a win this Wednesday. Sunderaland away will be tough next weekend.

    Agree completely about much more severe and in some cases retrospective punishment for the bad tackles. Hope something is done but I think the the reluctance to change the committed hard nosed English football culture will be difficult to overcome.

  103. Denilson was pretty good when he came on.

  104. And they can’t beat Blackburn at home, DS!

  105. Just checked Denilson’s movement and positioning during Vela’s goal. It was just brilliant and he did 3 one-two’s and 8 passes during those 24 passes.

  106. Yogi> The only part of the business Uefa should be interested in is that part that functions as a football cub. It’s own regulations allow then to discard anything that isn’t (clearly and exclusively not related to the activities, locations or brand of the football club) whether it’s hived off into another company or not. But you can’t for example hide all the player registrations or anything else (clearly and exclusively related to the activities, locations or brand of the football club) in another company to bypass the regulations – that isn’t going to work. It’s right to say that it won’t necessarily affect transfer fees unless it leads to the club making sustained losses over a 3 year period. Even amortising a £100m fee over 5 years means that you have to generate enough income elsewhere to cover the £20m write down every year – not so easy to do if you’re also paying more in wages than your revenue permits. So have we now covered enough ground Yogi for you to think that the headline to this piece was a tad on the glib side? 🙂

  107. From Gingers for Limpar:

    “Below is his (Deni’s) pass completion per minute ratio (from yesterday), compared to our other midfielders and some other top flight midfielders (all from yesterday’s games):

    46 passes in 18 minutes = 2.55 passes per minute (Denilson)
    58 passes in 90 minutes = 0.64 passes per minute (Alex Song)
    58 passes in 90 minutes = 0.64 passes per minute (Cesc)
    56 passes in 90 minutes = 0.62 passes per minute (John Obi Mikel)
    54 passes in 90 minutes = 0.6 passes per minute (Michael Essien)
    48 passes in 90 minutes = 0.53 passes per minute (Paul Scholes)
    47 passes in 90 minutes = 0.52 passes per minute (Wilson Palacios)
    35 passes in 67 minutes = 0.52 passes per minute (Paddy Vieira)
    46 passes in 90 minutes = 0.51 passes per minute (Joey Barton)
    44 passes in 90 minutes = 0.48 passes per minute (Tom Huddlestone)
    23 passes in 59 minutes = 0.38 passes per minute (Jack Wilshere)
    27 passes in 90 minutes = 0.3 passes per minute (Darren Fletcher)
    23 passes in 90 minutes = 0.25 passes per minute (John O’Shea)
    17 passes in 90 minutes = 0.18 passes per minute (Phil Jones, Blackburn)
    13 passes in 90 minutes = 0.14 passes per minute (Kevin Nolan)
    8 passes in 58 minutes = 0.13 passes per minute (Grella, Blackburn)”

    Pretty extraordinary.

  108. @Limpar.

    Fat Sam must be proud. Probably as proud as he was when they beat Arsenal at home last year.

    I would have killed to wipe that smug smile off his face. Probably better to kill the walrus to mitigate any charges coming my way.

    Even with that kind of money, City haven’t yet bought a super star if you really think about it. They’ve tried to go for the bride many times, but they’ve ended up buying the bridesmaids.

  109. Strange really; City’s best buy of the past few years is arguably Adam Johnson at £5M

  110. YW,

    ammortising transfers add up to the same thing. Using your £100M example, only £20M might be due this year on that one transfer, but the amounts due on previous transfers would still count in this year. So to all intents and purposes, given their overall level of spending it won’t be unusual to see their total ammortisations of player contracts being close to £100M.

  111. Your level of spending is your level of spending, whichever way the expense makes its way into your accounts

  112. Limpar.

    It’s easy to understand why Denilson is the pass master. It’s his job – and if you really look at how Arsenal plays, he is the master at switching defense into attack.

    Balancing tackling with interceptions, Denilson has a better chance of controlling what happens to the ball – as opposed to the hatchet men we’re told are the best at the job. Tackling hard doesn’t always guarantee the destination of the ball.

    Denilson’s job is to move the play along and keep the flow going, opening spaces in tight situations by small precise passing and triangles. Give, move, receive; give, move, receive. Before the opponent knows what hit them, Carlos Vela is smiling as he slams the ball in the back of the net.

  113. Dont know enough to get into the whole financial debate unfortunately…

    Does anyone know the extent of Diaby’s injury yet? Hope it’s nothing like the potentially season-ending impact that it could have been. Gotta love those honest, hard working english defenders eh? Exactly the type of player Arsenal needs… Shame we didn’t get Cahill for £18mil…

  114. Didn’t Arshavin new to The Arsenal call Denilson the master passer? The boy is young,gifted and a gooner.

  115. Denilson’s finest hour was against Barca at Emirates. Simply magnificent.

    Seriously, if we need to protect a lead and calm a game down, there’s no better player.

  116. Same as Geo and Bill; I don’t understand the implications of the the new rules on clubs as I don’t get how clubs run their finances enough. Most likely a tricky area and beyond my understanding. Plus I can’t be arsed lookng into it too much after a day at work.

  117. Nice one Maria! Young, gifted, & gooner – and that’s a fact!

  118. I don’t like Arsenal pre-vetting questions to Wenger. at the shareholders meeting. It’s wrong to do that.

  119. Ole

    The point I was trying to make was that in each year, one method spreads the cost whilst the other involves the full hit. The latter is a rare occurrence with big clubs.

    YW

  120. I like the way Denilson articulated his induction into Arsenal when he spoke about how within 4 weeks of joining, he had been taught how important it was to the club for him to hate Tottenham with a passion.

    RVP is the only other player I’ve come across expressing his displeasure at the Spuds so publicly. Well, Traoare and his knuckle dusters is more of direct action, but I love it all.

  121. Cheers for those stats Limpar – strange though, I’m sure i’ve heard in the News of the World and from the gospel that is Alan Hansen’s punditry that he’s shit… I need to have a long hard think about things.

    Seriously though, great to have the little Brazilian back. Another cog that can slot in so nicely into our wonderfully adaptable team. Great stuff.

  122. Amos

    Glib? Moi?

    I still think Uefa has not gone far enough. Like anything in the political sphere, the soundbites are good but when you touch the substance, it is nowhere near as tough as is made out. And more to the point, the poorer clubs will be the hardest hit, especially if transfer fees become depressed as a result. Yet these are the very clubs which Platini purports to represent.

    YW

  123. Cesc on Big Al:

    “Manuel commanded the defence very well at Blackburn – but it is not just about one game or two or three,” the Spain midfielder said. “He is well-loved player among everybody here and performs well for this club. We all wish him a super season and have a lot of trust.”

  124. Speaking of keepers, maybe we should have a “Howler Watch” or “Howler Index” so that we can compare the so called better keepers in the EPL and how many clangers they make as compared to Almunia.

    Top of the table so far are Reina, Joe Hart and Rob Green.

    Almunia has had some really bad press, but then you’ve got to ask – did Wenger intentionally light the mother of all bonfires under his arse by playing with this “we’re in the market for a new keeper thing”.

    Even if we signed Schwarzer on deadline day, Manuel was never going anywhere.

    I personally hope he does well and his consistency shines.

  125. Have you seen some of our shareholders, Ole? For pete’s sake Consolsbob is practically one of them now. Wenger could use all the vetting he can get.

  126. In keeping with my gravatar, I would like some of that grass Amos is smoking.

    UEFA is serious about “fair play” and thus hammering the big clubs like Real Mad, ManUtd, Barceloanus as well the 2nd tier of obnoxiously big spenders like Chelsea and Inter? So they are willing to damage their prize asset, the lucrative champions league? So, those loopholes in the regulations will be closed with aclarity in the face of powerful lobbying by the wealthy? Amos – Walter of Untold Arsenal did a piece showing the Chairman of the enforcement committe is a former Prime Minister of Belgium who is notorious for making compromises and rolling over on promises made. Is this the kind of enforcement you have confidence in.

    YW has a proven record of dispassionately dispensing truth and unmasking the phoney hypocrites in football. As Consols said, the research that YW did to undermine your glib forecasts of a more egalitarian, rules-based future is supported by history of mankind and of football in particular. The rich and corrupt will easily prevail over Platini and UEFA’s compromise-ridden atempts at reforms.

  127. People talk about Theo’s confidence – Diaby’s been playing incredibly well for a about a year now, except for maybe 3 or 4 games at the back end of last season, and there’s no telling what that Robinson assault will have done to him mentally. Especially as his dribbling style is to draw challenges and poke the ball past at the last moment. I’d imagine he needs to be totally self-assured to be at his best.

  128. Where are all the people who were gagging for us to sign gary cahill now?

  129. I can see Van Der Vaart is already on the cool-ade being served at the Spurs lodge.

    Punk hasn’t even been there 2 minutes and he’s waxing lyrical about beating Arsenal. Tghe dude should concentrate on beating teams like Wigan and WBA first.

  130. Yogi> They might have to go further but maybe not. There are signs that the regulations are having an impact already and though it will still be a few years before they are fully in place if they work sufficiently well there may be no need to do anything more than the customary tweaking from time to time. To some extent it helps to cement the status quo amongst the bigger clubs – but I don’t think it really harms the smaller clubs any more than the present system does. It does level the playing field amongst the bigger clubs though and that has to be to our advantage. If all clubs are run on sounder business lines then that can’t harm us. But come on – this isn’t Le Grove here – it’s ok to admit you’ve judged Wenger (and by association Uefa on this rare occassion) harshly.

  131. IG – that’s great to hear from our captain. I know he’s only going to speak positively about him but it’s nice to know that they all like the guy and have some confidence in him this year. Even if they don’t, that’s the kind of confidence-boosting malarky that’ll do Manuel wonders.

  132. Any news on Diaby please? Is it a ‘one week’ or a ‘2-3 week’ or a 4-6 week’? and Vermalator?

    RvP and Walcott sound like end-October-ish.
    Bendtner I guess soon after, but longer fitness training so maybe more end-November. Ramsey end-December? After extensive fitness training.

    Anyway, hopefully we have these great players in full flight for the business end, which is tougher, teams are stretched, RvP and Walcott will make mincemeat of tiring teams post-February.

    In the meantime, with Denilson back, Wilshere impressing, Nasri fit, Mozart good, Vela electric, Arshavin hungrily offside, Eboue able to play any position outside keeper, we are OK, but we will need Diaby sooner to open up teams like those cans of sardines with a pull-up hook thing.

    A squeeze of lemon, salt and pepper, chillie, good bread, makes a nice snack I find.

  133. Wengerball

    Having spent most of the afternoon re-reading the rules, I don’t think your assertion is correct ref costs or revenues. Certainly with the latter, it is what it is. The only impact Uefa can have is over time-apportioning. If a sponsorship deal is £100m, that is what it is. They can stop clubs taking it in large chunks and insist that it is spread evenly. However, that is exactly what the Accounting Standards are there to ensure happens.

    As for costs, the crux is which entity is licensed. That is what they are interested in.

    To highlight this, Article 46, Para 4 states:

    “The licence applicant determines the reporting perimeter, i.e. the entity or combination of entities in respect of which financial information (e.g. single entity, consolidated or combined financial statements) has to be provided in accordance with Annex VII B”

    Which sends you chasing through the document to find that the only stipulation for not including a subsidiary is if the business activities are clearly and exclusively not related to football and that the parent company only needs to submit their consolidated accounts if they are included within the reporting perimeter. Which, essentially, the owners decide upon…

    YW

  134. Exactly Rinseout. Regardless of whether it’s a red card – what the hell kind of CB dives in on the touchline halfway up the pitch?

    We like to keep a high line, so I dread to think what he’d do at Arsenal.

  135. The only positive is that it could have been a lot worse, OOU. To see Abou at least jog around on it for 5 minutes after he’d finished barking at Robinson shows it’s not as bad as it could have been.

  136. Darius @ 4:13

    “Almunia has had some really bad press, but then you’ve got to ask – did Wenger intentionally light the mother of all bonfires under his arse by playing with this “we’re in the market for a new keeper thing”.

    You could be right. If so, it has worked, he has not put a foot wrong so far this season.

  137. Wengerball

    I see where your comment ref fair value comes from. Uefa does have the power to revalue revenues (and expenses) but only where these occur with Related Parties, i.e. where a commonality of ownership arises. Off the top of my head, I can’t think of any sponsorship deal where the owner of a club has a substantial interest in the sponsoring company, although that might be the case with Newcastle. Not too sure elsewhere though.

    YW

  138. Limpar – Hopefully he will be OK. But remember Cesc played on against Barca with a cracked bone. Hopefully it is just really bad bruising and no hairline fracture or the like.

  139. YW – I heard West Hams new sponser may but ButtPlugsDirect. Would that count?

  140. shotta-gunna> I did read the Untold Arsenal piece sometime ago. Dehaene isn’t going to be liked by some who don’t share his politics but chairing this panel isn’t quite the samething. Far more important are the other members on the panel who will provide the professional and technical insight and here it’s quite strong – among them the guy that set up Supporters Direct advising fans how they might take have greater say in running their clubs. They haven’t gone for complaint yes men as far as I can see. Your view that all of this is bound to fail because the rich and powerful always get their way isn’t any justification at all for allowing them to do so.

  141. Goonerandy.

    If Almunia perfoms well between now and January, I don’t see him being replaced until Tech 9 is ready.

    If that’s the case, then that bonfire worked.

  142. OOU – “what the hell kind of CB dives in on the touchline halfway up the pitch?”

    Monged out cunts like Shawcross and Cahill.
    They should be nowhere near our club, and I for one am glad that it was just paper talk in the summer.

  143. Darius – I would agree with that, and be happy as well.

  144. i am literally looking for the longest highlights of barcelona’s game against hercules, then recline and watch it with a meal bathing in their failure. Just brilliant!

  145. You dont like these honest, committed defenders then Rinseout?

  146. Glad to see you really digging into the meat of the rules YW.

    All i can say is I’m very content knowing that the implementation of these rules will not spell trouble for AFC.

    superior on the pitch. superior off it

  147. wheres my avatar gone?

    nvm..

  148. As for VdVaart, just the fact that he stood out in a sp*rs side who could only draw with YoYo united should show him the level of quality club he has joined.

  149. I’m not that kind of supporter, Geo.

  150. For Braga

    Sagna – Sqillaci – KOS – Gibbsy

    Song Denilson

    Nasri

    Eboue Chamack Vela

    Cesc, Arsha, Verma & Clichy to be rested for Sunderland.
    Anyone has an update on Eastmond’s injury? would have loved to see him play this one & give Song a bit of a breather.

  151. Is it true that Boltol has decided to appeal over Cahills Red card? How can they expect to win that?

  152. Don’t really want to get into this discussion, but from what I’ve read of the new regs, I think Yogi is correct. UEFA have made it very easy for teams to break even and remain within the rules.

    There are no stipulations against the ‘farming out’ of debt – pushing the debt into shell structures that are legally separate yet functionally attached – thereby moving loss-centers away from the club ledger; nor are there any restrictions on the manner in which money is brought into the club. Theoretically, Sheik Man-city could buy the stadium from the club and then sell it back at a massively discounted price and no one could do anything about it. As I read it, the only thing they can’t do is a direct cash injection – a rule that doesn’t even go into effect for three years – and that can be easily out maneuvered. You can invest in structural enhancements to your club and there is no oversight as to how this money is being spent.

  153. Speaking of ‘young, gifted, and a gooner’ – have these rules not just added value to our academy players across the board? There’s more value in buying the best young players now – and we’ve been signing them up for years.

    “Our intention is not to punish them but to protect them” does sound awfully big brotherish to me, but then I guess tell that to a Palace fan, or a Pompey fan, or a Chester fan.

  154. “Exactly Rinseout. Regardless of whether it’s a red card – what the hell kind of CB dives in on the touchline halfway up the pitch? !

    Ryan Shawdross. Do I get a point for that Big Al.

  155. shotta,

    I don’t think UEFA can survive if they created a system that allows for flagrant bending of rules.

    Under every dispensation that exists, or has ever existed, a few individuals or parties might sometime get away on a technicality, but in the main, the rules are applied.

  156. Axis> It’s simply untrue that City can buy the stadium from the club (not least because they don’t own it anyway) and sell it back to them at a massively discounted price. There are pages and pages in the regulations that define related parties, related transactions, arms length transactions, fair value, allowable revenues and allowable expenses, which are relevant and which aren’t and so on and so on, all preventing just such a transaction. You might say there is nothing to stop a non-related party from doing it but why on earth would a genuinely non-related party do so?

  157. I read that Limpar.

    When I am in power I will make it my business to ‘review’ your ticketing.

  158. axis on September 13, 2010
    at 4:34 pm

    Um, no.

    Profits from the acquisition or disposal of a fixed asset will not be allowed to feature in breakeven calculations. So Mansour use that to put money into Man City.

    The other point about using shell companies to hide debt, I just don’t see happening. Kop holdings can not buy a player for Liverpool FC under existing rules as I understand it.

    Whatever debt they could incur on behalf of the club would most likely not be debt that will be counted under these rules which are very very severe on transfer spending.

    As Wengerball pointed out, UEFA will determine the fair value of any revenue or cost item to prevent overinflated sponsorships and the like.

  159. Great weekend for the Gunners. Spuds, City, Manc’s all drew. The only 1 I might have expected to drop points was the Mancs at Goodison.

    Manc’s defending has cost them 4 points so far. Average defending has always been the fastest and most common way to drop points. Hopefully this a trend. Berbatov has always been very talented despite his indifferent form last year, even without Rooney the Mancs can score goals. EVDS is 40 and Ferdinand is probably not an impact player anymore. Even without a top season from Rooney the Mancs will go as far as their defending wil take them. Sounds familiar.

    Chavs did not look as good this weekend. Suspect United will gets its defensive issues ironed out. 3 team race for the top. Chav’s and us will end up as the top 2 hopefully us on top. Manc’s 3rd and City probably 4th. I think City is 1 -2 years away from really challenging for the top. Liverpool in trouble. Spuds will be tough but expect them to drop to 5th.

  160. One consideration for UEFA is that if they isolate the super clubs, all that will happen is that they’ll form a super league away from UEFA and the money will follow. That wil be the beginning of the end for UEFA and as we know, turkeys rarely vote for christmas.

    It’s like the aid and development industry. It only exists so long as poverty exists and the notion that they’re alleviating poverty is laughable. The industry depends on the continued existence of poverty in developing countries.

    UEFA’s existence depends on the big super clubs and the money they bring ala the champions league. The rules are a window dressing exercise in preparation for the next elections. It’s politics.

    The only saving grace is that the clubs that run way beyond their means will be brought down mercilessly by the laws of economics. Nothing is more powerful than natural justice. If United, Liverpool, Real Madrid, Broke Back Barca et al think they’re too big a club to go down, they should ask Lehmann Brothers, which was probably even in existence before any of these clubs.

  161. one very interesting stanza from the swiss rambler link posted above –

    ”For the calculation of relevant expenses, management must include any expenses incurred in the reporting period in respect of the activities of the club that are not otherwise recorded in the audited annual financial statements of the reporting entity that forms the basis for preparation of the break-even calculation”

  162. Thanks, Cb. My first request would be that they be cheaper please.

    I think there should be a way of us lot all paying into an ACLF share – like a pals battalion in WWI.

  163. DS,

    The Group of 14 (super clubs) have supported financial fair play.

    I know they could withdraw their support if the rules prove adverse, but the rules aren’t about to bankrupt them, they’re meant to curb wage inflation, and level the playing fields whcih no club has ever expressed disagreement with.

  164. Ole.

    In my experience, all it will take is for one club to be affected adversely in that G14 group and the politicking and lobbying starts with clubs jostling for positions or to influence others to butter their side of the bread.

    The intent is always good, but the political will to see through the difficult decisions is likely to be the stumbling block.

    In reality, until UEFA makes an example of a club in breach of the rules, they’re more then likely going to be circumvented or not taken seriously.

  165. Andy:

    Almunia has been good so far. Its very early but lets both hope that we have a little humble pie to eat regarding this issue at the end of the year. I like mine without whipped cream.

  166. Great debate today guys and thanks has to go to Yogi for taking the time to explain some of the ramifications of the ‘new’ financial rules to imbeciles such as myself.

    One thing that some seem to have overlooked is that Arsene himself seems to think IF the rules are implemented correctly it will give us an advantage. I for one am happy enough with that if he is, however he doesn’t (to my knowledge) say exactly what that advantage will be.

  167. Bill – I hope so. Everybody likes to be right, but I would not take pleasure being so in this issue nor would I be giving it “told you so” if proved right. I would be as unhappy as anybody on here.

    He is doing really well, and confidence breeds good performances so long may it continue.

    My pie would have to be with thick gravy I would think.

  168. I think Arsene should especially prepare the players to play with 10 men. I have a feeling we’ll get a few red cards this season.

    Reason is that we’ve already had 3 players in 4 games sent off against us. If we included matches at the end of last season, it’d probably be something like 5 players in 10 games or even more.

  169. YW

    Most likely it would be a commonality of ownership which would allow for apportioning expenses or income to a third party or shell company.

    My use of a friendly lawyer is possible but unlikely.

    Overall I have the feeling that UEFA recognised going further with the rules would be extremely difficult to police/enforce hence the reason for not being stricter.

    The clubs have negotiated a good period of time (5 years I think) to set themselves up for the new system.

    The question is how will the actually operate once the rules a fully implemented.

  170. Andy:

    May be I am a glass 1/2 empty guy but I did not expect him to regain his confidence, so far it appears that he has. I will be glad to eat my words on this one.

    Still wish we had gotten another keeper if for no other reason as a back up. I still have not lost all hope on Fabianski, the boss must see something in him. I think a year on loan might have helped him a lot and would probably have answered the questions about him one way or another.

  171. Amos @ 4.26pm

    >Your view that all of this is bound to fail because the rich and powerful always get their way isn’t any justification at all for allowing them to do so.

    Now on that point, we do agree.

    YW

  172. The question is how will the clubs actually operate once the rules are fully implemented.

  173. Well, at least everyone agrees we are sitting pretty. For the rest, I won’t bother my pretty little head about it. Instead, I shall skip off to the shops and spend my pin-money on fripperies.

    ***
    Do you mean Arsene should prepare the team to “play against” ten men, Ole?

    Red Card has been a great signing for us this season, rivalling the success of Owen Goal for ManUre.

  174. Btw does anyone know if I can see the clip of Denilson singing and rejoicing anywhere?

  175. It will be interesting to see how the SKY overlords react to the financial rules. True and proper implementation could see the end to the glory days of the transfer market…

  176. Well yes, to a point Yogi.

    I thought the whole debate was about how best we could prevent them getting away with it.

    The more cynical amongst us, you know, the ones who think that the FA will do nothing to stop our players being kicked and think the BBC and SKY are Fergies lickspittles, will naturally believe that anything EUFA have the nerve to do can possibly do much good.

  177. I tend to agree with Amos, Ole and Wenger :).
    The main reason I think the rules will work is that the superclubs are totally for it. As long as tthis is the case, why the heck will it not work? Sheiks are rich, but their influence doesn’t extend to UEFA. Its still very much the old boys network with European football.

    It remains to be seen how well it will be enforced but if Amos’s analysis are anything to go buy, it would seem they’ve blocked most of the usual loopholes.

    The future bodes well for AFC.

  178. I`ll echo Matty Boy & say thanks for the EUFA debate today chaps – really excellent stuff.

    My own feelings are that if Platini really is serious about sorting out the big boys he`d better find himself a food taster.

    Oh & wonderful use of the expression `monged out` Rinseout.

  179. DS,

    Well, I’m loathe to believe that a club can just walk out of UEFA because of the enforcement of rules it agreed to.

    And I’m also dubious that other clubs won’t rejoice to see Real fall but would instead join it to pull out of UEFA on this issue.

  180. Ole , you mean clubs other than us, of course, dont you? 😀

  181. FunGunner @ 5:22PM:

    “I won’t bother my pretty little head about it. Instead, I shall skip off to the shops and spend my pin-money on fripperies.”

    I completely agree with your strategy for dealing with these financial issues.

  182. True Bill, much of it was over my head frankly. But it was still interesting and enlightening to follow, right?

  183. For this La Liga season I’ll be supporting Hercules

  184. Any team that beats the Catalan spuds soon attains hero status

  185. Henristic:

    Doubt we will know how it will all shake out for many years to come. As FG says we are well positioned. Certainly can not hurt us, hopefully will help.

  186. Ole

    AGREED!

    One of the students in one of my classes today had a barca jersey on. He received plenty of guff.. worry not.

    I believe my finishing line to him was, “just be thankful you didnt sign fabregas, otherwise, there might be some ‘errors’ in calculating your final grade”

  187. I really think the demise of the English PL will eventually be their inability to stamp out the vicious and cruel tackles.

    What’s Koscielny’s fault that Davies has no talent but to head the ball?

    What’s Diaby’s fault that Robinson has a big body and no brain?

    What’s Eduardo’s fault that the stupid giant is too slow?

    What’s Ramsey’s fault that Shawcross is a fucking retard. (Really look at his face)

    Why should they be cruelly punished for English player’s inadequacies?

    Kevin’s head-butt on Kosielny was an attack and had nothing to do with football, he had all the intent when he ran 5 yards and aimed his head towards Kosielny’s head when the ball was long gone.

    I had to laugh the 90 minutes when the commentator was glorifying Davies ability to head the ball or throw himself on players to get fouls. As if this one dimensional thug was something to be proud of? So long as these type of players will be viewed as “Honest” English men, football in England will not work.

    Commentators, pundits, and FA should be “Honest” with themselves and every one else. You don’t go on glorifying those kind of players who are holding English football down to a very low standard.

    Very very low indeed.

  188. G4E

    its comic to hear those same people complain that its all the foreigners in the league that are stifling the development of english talent.

    it really is pathetic.

  189. NJ

    I think it’s the easiest thing for someone not willing to work or afraid to face their faults…just hide their heads in the sand or just blame it on something else.

    If there were enough of good English players in England, why would managers go looking abroad?

  190. “For this La Liga season I’ll be supporting Hercules”

    For the first time ever, I now have a second, third and even fourth team! Shaktar, Blackpool and now Hercules!

  191. NJ Gooner,

    I’ve also always wondered why anyone would think that any decision maker would rather not pick an English player. Why on earth not? Except that English players haven’t had the right technique and the right behaviour for quite a long time.

  192. Darius:

    “Even with that kind of money, City haven’t yet bought a super star if you really think about it. They’ve tried to go for the bride many times, but they’ve ended up buying the bridesmaids.”

    The only superstar they have is Tevez. He’s the only one in that team that somewhat deserves the kind of crazy money they’re throwing around. What they payed for Adebayor, Kolo, Yaya, Balotelli and fucking Lescott is embarrassing. There’s a good £100 million just on those five players. A group of polayers who0 are not even worth half that. The only good thing to come out of that is that Arsenal and Everton are now a bit richer thanks to the sheik’s stupidity.

  193. Doctor to Luka Modric…. I have good and bad news……The good news is your leg isn’t broken…..the bad news is your still an ugly c*nt!!

  194. Come on you Werder Bremen people!!! (already practicing for tomorrow!)

  195. needed to share

  196. Chamakh can’t stand still in the box and wait for the ball to be lumped in his general direction — he is obviously lacking a football brain!

  197. On a more positive note: just imagine what Walcott would have done with the space Chamakh creates in the first scene. I truly believe that this might become some sort of trademark play of the current Arsenal side. Chamakh going wide to draw one of the CBs, Walcott overlapping inside, pass to Walcott, he is clean through(’cause the defender that can overtake him in a sprint hasn’t been born yet!), 1on1 with the keeper, goal.
    It will happen so often, that the “Boring, boring Arsenal” chants will actually refer to that play.
    I am really anxious to see what happens when Walcott recovers. He and Chamakh had a great understanding from the start and it will only improve with time.

  198. That was a delicious pass from Eboue. Without the pass to Song that play wouldn’t have developed.

  199. I urge everyone at ACLF to read this expose on Karl “the-legbreaker” Henry at 7AM Kickoff blog. At least we can forge common ground with Fulham and Toon supporters wh are more willing to come out and deplore this kind of tackling.
    http://www.7amkickoff.com/2010/karl-henry-is-the-poster-child-for-foul-play/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_camp

  200. …deplore this type of “footballer.”

  201. For US-based peoples – I was in Home Depot this afternoon buyng a new lawnmower and was being helped by an older “associate” with an East European accent.
    Where you from originally? he says. Near London, I reply. Good, not a Man United fan, he replies. Noooo, I say, Arsenal.
    Great, I love the Gunners, says he, as he follows me out of the store to my car, leaving behind a bunch of people waiting for help.
    I love Arsenal supporters.

  202. I think it is early to say clubs, say Arsenal and Chelsea, are doing ‘well’ and other clubs, say West Ham and Everton, are doing poorly.

    Perhaps 7 games in, including Chelsea, and then we might draw early conclusions about the start of the season. Even after 7 games, we have 31 to go and 7 months, plus all the other competitions.

    However, a few things have been noticed, a few signals. Chelsea are very dangerous with their full squad intact against the weaker sides. If they can keep 11 of 15 top players fit, they will be hard to dislodge. Arsenal appear to have more depth, and less reliance on ‘major’ players (eg RvP, now Walcott). Arsenal appear to have attended to defence, which is sure to make them harder to beat. ManU have started with mature players, Neville, Scholes and Giggs, plus Berbatov is no spring onion (or chicken). Its an interesting one. Their legs will not last 50 games, although Berbatov might because he’s lazy.

    Liverpool look thin, more Villa-like than Villa. Spurs and ManC do not look as strong as their team-lists suggest; then again as someobody said Tevez is the only genuine superstar at ManC.

    All defences look weaker, lots of silly goals are being conceded. More goals are being scored. The more physical sides are levelling the field, as usual, with physical play and injuries are sure to pile up. It would be interesting to see how lower level EPL clubs fared against their continental counterparts, with non-English refs. The thing is they can play if encouraged to do so.

    For me, the season has sort of only just started, opening shots across the bow and all, let’s see.

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