One of Us Speaks: False Sense Of Entitlement

This week some Arsenal fans wondered why we don’t get the billionaires who own big chunks of our club to cough up money for wages and transfers, and instead choose to pay our own way, adhering to the principle of self-sustenance.

Self-sustenance, eh?

The term reminds me of a place that has long been forgotten by football fans. There are quiet moments when we prize ourselves from the blanket coverage and summer transfer sagas, take a deep breath and almost remember that place. But then, dizzied by new transfer talk its very notion flits from our minds like dandelion parachutes on the summer breeze.

So what is this place? Maybe it’s some kind of metaphor? Maybe it’s inside of us?

No, dipsh*t – it’s the real world. FFS, it’s our own lives. Here we must pay off debts and plan for our future. Here we survive by the basic principal that we spend only what we earn. Here, no able-bodied or able-minded grown up takes pride in being in financial thrall to another person.

In Premier League Land incompetence doesn’t preclude success, as long as some rich playboy is picking up your tab; Chelsea and Manchester City, the Kept Men of the league, showed last season that it doesn’t matter how poorly organised they are or how many comical mistakes they make along the way – if they keep spending big, the big prizes will come.

And yeah, I’m miffed about that. I think anyone who doesn’t support those teams would be. And the people who do support them may in future days doubt the legitimacy of their victories, and worry they occurred in the brief years when English football lost its damn mind.

Because right now, the Premier League is only competitive in a theoretical sense. Look beyond the hype and you find that the real excitement is in the frenzied scramble for table scraps and survival. Last season most teams performed according to their means – Arsenal, Swansea and Norwich did better than that; Liverpool, Chelsea and Aston Villa did much worse.

Say in the 80s, even while Liverpool were dominating, there were a bunch of teams that could begin a season encouraged that they might lift the league trophy. Now all the remaining 85% hope for is to exceed modest expectations and confound the rule that expenditure determines final ranking.

Before this season starts we know that the three contenders will be Manchester United, the team that rode the early-90s football wave to become the biggest brand in the world, Manchester City, bankrolled by an autocracy, and most absurdly of all, Chelsea. Yet another new manager and a raft of overpriced signings will likely shift their trajectory after a dreadful league campaign last year.

It’s just unreal that they should be so poorly managed and still be contenders. And so I back self-sustenance to the hilt, and beseech football, “Be more real, you preposterous bastard! You must change; not us”

Only in crackpot football world does an organisation run with foresight, intelligence and responsibility have to answer calls by so many to abandon common sense. Why would you want to disregard one of the things that makes us different, and frankly better?

There, I said it, and I meant it. It makes us better than the clubs hooked on the Ruble ‘roids or Dirham dope. Only you don’t hear it as often as you should. People who care about the game should have it plastered on sandwich boards and should be shouting it into megaphones.

I’ve never believed that there’s any kind of wacky media conspiracy against the club, just that nobody involved in reporting or even chatting about football has any integrity. That’s natural; I have none either. Everybody has a favourite team – even people who claim to be neutral.

We’ve seen it this summer, with perhaps the most articulate and trenchant critic of single benefactors suddenly warming to the idea when his own club won the league on the back of unprecedented spending. This truth gets lost amid loyalties, claim and counter-claim. I say this sincerely – it’s just sports natter, and needs no accountability.

And fans like me get dazzled by the razzmatazz. So, long before the season starts let this be my one moment of clarity.

We’re the only team that has a chance of subverting this hierarchy. We’re the only ones who could possibly demonstrate that success can be achieved without vulgar spending. And besides Manchester United, we’re the only one of the top clubs that really needs our fans for both income and support. That’s why we’re feeling the squeeze.

We don’t get no respect – no respect at all, I tells ya.

The circus keeps on rolling regardless. My attention’s turning to Poland and the Ukraine. After that we’ll have preseason and before we know it we’ll be kicking off another campaign and looking forward to the Champions League, safe in the knowledge that we’re already there this time.

It’s crazy but it’s still thriving in a country mired in a double-dip recession. In Spain Barcelona and Real Madrid are top of the pile and paying players 200k a week, even with 25% unemployment and a bailout for its banks looking necessary.

And even after we despair at the apparent impracticability of Financial Fairplay, and the fixed fate of the Kept Men will always being up there at the top of the league as long as it’s administrated like this, we’ll all forget that the dice are loaded and get back to dreaming.

Me included. If we can keep our wage expenditure tight, hold onto some of our best players for a couple more years and continue to increase commercial revenue there’s still a good chance, because we’re smarter, we get more from our players and get better value for money on transfers. Fans don’t need to doubt this anymore.

The thing I love is the thing that makes me forget; deeply flawed as it is, this needed distraction, with its blend of outlandish characters, movement, speed, graft, angles and artistry just keeps on keeping on. I just wish it could be less ridiculous sometimes.

Posted on June 7, 2012, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 239 Comments.

  1. Yawn. Boring and wrong

  2. You are Jimbo, well done.

  3. Jimbo seems a bit thick as well.

    Nice stuff BA. Loaded dice indeed.

  4. I don’t think “vulgar” spending is a problem, as long as you do it from generating your own money via the club in the first place. After all, isn’t that what the new stadium was built for? It’s when the likes of Chelsea, Man City, PSG, Malaga, Anzhi etc. just get money pumped in from outside and totally skew the competition that problems arise or where teams become so indebted that they collapse in on themselves.

    Man Utd I have no real problem with (finance-wise, some of their players and their manager are objectionable), they spend big, but make that from the football club. Indeed, the Glazers are leeching money out all the time to service the debt they piled on the club so the fact that they generate enough money via their match-day and commercial activities to afford big transfer fees is even more remarkable. After all, this is the kind of commercial operation that the Arsenal management aspire to and will be actively involved in building over the next few years as the sponsorship contracts entered into to build the stadium run out.

    None of that is to say that we should just throw money around for the sake of it if and when we get it. Being prudent is fine by me, but if that perfect player to fit the squad comes up for sale and we have the means then we should buy him. Otherwise we might as well have stayed at Highbury.

  5. ClockEndRider

    Common sense in blog world? I’ve seen it all now. Nice one YW…..

  6. Football does live in the real world. The real world is the small % of the rich lording it over the larger % poor. The real world is tycoons buying success and adulation from the masses that feel touched by that success while those untouched by it become green eyed with envy. The real world is those in power making so they cannot be removed from power easily. The real world is corrupt or inept governments and ruling bodies bending the knee to the rich & powerful while putting on a show of doing what it right.

    So clubs like city, chelski, psg will continue to spend as they do, unchecked by the people supposedly looking after the welfare of the game, winning (buying) the trophies 90% of the time (theres always a Montpelier)

  7. Block4

    The problem is the wages now not so much the transfer fee. A one off high transfer is ok but to pay £200+ per week is obscene.

  8. Great article.
    JM is entitled to be wrong guys!!

  9. We just have to hope FFP does what it says on the tin……..

  10. “Everybody knows the dice are loaded, everybody rolls with their fingers crossed.”

    Good piece. I really get confused when people casually ask why our billionaires don’t just irresponsibly throw money around. That Arsenal acts responsibly and self-suffiently is one of the things I love about the club.

  11. dups,

    It might be obscene to you and I, but that’s just the way of wage inflation. If Arsenal were earning enough to afford those kind of wages then I’m quite sure we’d be paying them in order to compete at the very top of the game. If someone comes along and offered to double my wages for doing the same job then I would probably go (a little different, granted, as there is much more to playing for a football club in terms of the team, playing style and atmosphere than moving to another office!).

    Financial fair play is needed in order to curb the excesses of clubs like City and Chelsea, as well as protecting smaller clubs without those resources from borrowing themselves into oblivion, although personally I have no real faith that it will be enforced so that they can’t get around the rules.

  12. DeiseGooner

    Not snowballs change in hell too many vested interests as my friend said to me the other day this is an organisation that gives €10k fines for racism. Also even if it is fully implemented chances are that it might not make that much of a difference. Swiss Ramble had some excellent tweets about a week ago about how Chelsea are within striking distance of FFP and has written before about how City might make it. A lot of accountants are going to make a lot of money out of this.

  13. At last something I can read without wondering if the writer is a troll with no commercial brain trying to destroy our great club with myopic abandon. do these pratts with nothing better to do than sit at there keyboards and spout rubbish about my club have any idea what being a supporter means (try looking it up dimbo).

  14. I suppose the only way FFP will work is if the larger % of clubs throughout europe, not bankrolled by tycoons, really force the hands of uefa. Will they though?

  15. red kangaroo

    As most of the clubs in Europe are in debt and their debt is largely the result of wage inflation, the cause of which is the handful of tycoons, the majority surely have a vested interest in giving FFP some teeth.

  16. arsenalandrew

    Recent reports suggest Arsenal made two assumptions that have turned out flawed.

    The first was that investment in a new stadium would fund our place at the highest footballing tables.

    The second was that Financial Fair Play would do what it said it would on the tin and come to our rescue.

    For me the impact of sovereign-scale subsidy of a handful of clubs has robbed our senior league of genuine competitiveness. And ultimately, the sense of competition is the life blood upon which all leagues rely if they are to retain their mass appeal, at least at national level.

    FFS HAS to work but if it’s application is fudged due to fear of a breakaway of a small number of elite clubs I’d happily wave off those clubs content in the knowledge we have reclaimed the league back for ourselves.

    One strongly suspects those subsidised clubs need the rest of the league and even if they did breakaway, they’d be knocking on our doors to be allowed back in within a couple of seasons. How boring and short would their seasons be? How empty their stadiums? How irrelevant would they become as the majority of fans would be unable to go to away games and priced out of the home ones?

    Even if global appeal enabled such a league to be commercially successful, would you REALLY want your club to be part of it? If you think clubs are already remote from their fans and the sense of ‘ownership’ already compromised just imagine how much worse things would get.

    For these reasons I hope we don’t lose OUR club to an oligarch or equivalent. I’m ambivalent, at best, about a ‘Super League’; I already find Champions League football largely unwatchable, for the most part. I’d actually LOVE it if the Chavs and $iteh cleared off; loads of money but little history and no class. No great loss for the vast majority of us.

    If AFC are adjusting their salary structures to reflect individual performance, good luck to them.

    But don’t expect them to be follow the subsidised clubs into what would be a very dubious new dawn.

    We stand to do very nicely by staying exactly where – and how – we are.

    The future HAS to be sustainable if it is to be bright.

  17. As Gazidis said last night FFP will work because 99% of clubs want (in fact need) it to work. If it doesn’t they will go bankrupt. In fact it only needs one club, excluded from Europe thanks to the fact that they finished one place behind a club who were financially doped, to complain that UEFA aren’t enforcing the rules and the brightest of bright lights will be shone on the situation. And 99% of football will support that illumination.
    I’ve never heard anyone at Arsenal, least of all Gazidis, be quite so positive about FFP and quite so optimistic that it would operate to Arsenal’s advantage.
    A truly great post, by the way.

  18. Deisegooner @9.13 – absolutely bang on the money!

  19. Upper Street Gooner

    Good article

    What I don’t get is that some on here get called doomer’s and yet its you who write things such as

    ”Before this season starts we know that the three contenders ”

    You see from where i look that’s just quiet plainly not the case. There are examples littered across an astronomical amount of sports which show much much more financially disadvantaged clubs than ours who not only challenge but beat these evil empires. Now I’m guessing you might just trot out the usual and explain that things are completely different in the epl and nothing can be compared…….rubbish.

    Dortmund are outspent by Bayern in wages and fees to a level that make city and ours relationship look like arsenal and spurs. They’ve just won 2 titles in a row,

    Montpellier just won the French league are you going to say that they had more of chance than us considering the level of talent the 2 respective sides could bring in.

    What about the Rays in baseball consistently competing with the yankees. The rays entire cap would pay for Alec Rodriguez andf half of Sabathiaa right arm.

    What about the small market Spurs who have won 4 nba titles and been competign at the top with the big boys for 15 seasons.

    Who are the doomers who believe that we cant compete before a ball has been kicked? I just believe that with some better spending of our wages (woooooppps Ivan seems to agree with some of the doomers now,) and better application of our tactics with a tiny bit less conservative spending that we could do more than compete.

    Who are the doomers? the guys who think their club are incapable but are run perfectly or the one who think we are 100% capable but could be slightly better run???

  20. Upper Street Gooner

    Block4 | June 7, 2012 at 9:09 am

    be careful block 4, your coming across like a man utd fan for pointing out a perfectly correct assesment of the club

  21. Upper Street Gooner


    Your also not paying any intention to the fact that arsenal pay young players more than anyone. We start off the cycle from the other end. Obviously doesnt suit your argument, nevertheless its correct.

  22. The Arse in The Gamb

    Sometimes the succour we get from putting ideas out their is the reassuring warm stream of our own urine as it trickles back down our leg. That does not necessarily make it a bad idea, it may just be a very bad wind.
    The transformation of Chelsea, PSG, Makhachkala and The blue Manchester has shown how this ‘ill wind’ can strike almost anywhere – the good, the bad or the plain ugly. Their transformations no less out of place than a lottery winner who stays in the same terraced house he grew up in.
    I stand in warm puddles when it suits me, some of which I have made to fill the same void that the press project in to torment and tantalise.
    A recurring one is that Robin Van Persie is a true believer, and he is taunting his would-be suitors with ever grandiose demands: 300k p/w, caviare and maidens at all practice sessions, until he will finally sign for Arsenal at the end of the silly season for 150k, a strengthened squad and well buoyed by their clamour .
    Owning a football club is a very public way for a Billionaire to spend his money, it also warps the footballing world. All warped closed financial systems have their unseen ramifications that will explode in fatuous faces, not enough and probably unexpected, but like Abramovich firing Mourinho, shit can just fall on their heads and I look forward to seeing them slide around in it.
    Viva The Arsenal Viva

  23. “No, dipsh*t – it’s the real world. FFS, it’s our own lives. Here we must pay off debts and plan for our future. Here we survive by the basic principal that we spend only what we earn. Here, no able-bodied or able-minded grown up takes pride in being in financial thrall to another person.”

    Pity that this isn’t understood by the United States Congress or the Greeks. To name a few.

  24. Nice one Big Al.
    Leads me to the fundamental question…

    Q: do most societies really need sports & entertainment?

    my A: yes for those* who understand it helps keep capitalism rolling in a diversionary role.

    So if things get really bad economically what’ll happen to the rules seeing as football is clearly entering a “gladiator” era, where only the caesars afford the best and the rest are thrown to the lions every season?
    Will UEFA only really act when things get worse, i.e FFP phase 3 in 2022?

    *=leaders, the powerful, the wealthy that make our policies

  25. Bananas

  26. …I agree with ArsenalAndrew

  27. Me too

  28. Upper Street Gunner strikes again.

  29. Whether or not FFP will work remains to be seen – like many others, I have my doubts.
    What cannot be disputed is that German football is organised in such a way that the acquisition of a club by a mega-rich, megalomaniac is prohibited.
    UEFA/FIFA should ensure that the German model is rolled out to the rest of the world if the integrity and competitiveness of the sport we love is to survive. Also, that TV rights in each country are vested with the local FA and the proceeds distributed evenly to all clubs.

  30. Finngun.

    “Pity that this isn’t understood by the United States Congress or the Greeks. To name a few”.
    Have you forgotten that the UK is printing money as well.

  31. Good Article, fine read, thanks for sharing.
    Common sense will eventually return to football, in all probability led by the Arsenal. But then everyone knows class is permanent.

  32. Upper Street Gooner

    khalifha | June 7, 2012 at 10:22 am

    The point is though its a perfectly resonable assesment of the guys post. Gets glossed over but the fact is none of what is said is incorrect.

    Why can numerous other clubs compete with bigger financial disparity’s and yet its impossible for us to compete……why is that?????

    Why has Glazidis come out and spoken of us needing to change our wage structure. Not interms of overal number but in terms of how it was allocated. Now this is what a number of doomers have been calling fo for years….thats weird. wh

  33. Fucking brilliant piece there Al.

    I can foresee a time in the not too distant future where clubs will start to revolt.

    It has already nearly happened in Spain – there was a threatened strike over the way TV money is spread amongst the clubs. I don’t know the ins and outs of what eventually happened but I do feel they should be digging their heels in for change in that stagnant league.

    I also wonder what might happen if next season the Premiership 1 & 2 positions were filled by Man City and Chelsea?

    What would be the reaction if Man Utd genuinely struggled to keep in touch? I am confident we would certainly hear a vocal backlash from an increasingly embittered Ferguson.

    If one of these two teams again won the CL, similar upset may be felt from numerous teams in Europe and this could coalesce into greater support for change in football – greater support for FFP even.

    FFP may seem toothless now but, if the weight behind it shifts from some heavyweight clubs, then perhaps a tide of change would not be so unlikely?

    Perhaps I am being too naive and optimistic but that’s not so bad a place to live – I’d certainly rather have hope and belief in the way my club us doing things.

    We are the rebel alliance battling the evil Empire – everyone should want us to succeed.

    BTW – my favourite para –

    “Only in crackpot football world does an organisation run with foresight, intelligence and responsibility have to answer calls by so many to abandon common sense. Why would you want to disregard one of the things that makes us different, and frankly better?”

    If we fall to the dark-side I am outta here.

  34. arsenalandrew | June 7, 2012 at 9:48 am

    I think that a lot of people would agree with the idea of waving off the “nouveau riche” clubs such as Chelsea, City, PSG etc. if that were the case, but in the event of a European Super League, within or without UEFA, being formed, we all know that Arsenal would be part of that as would the Man Utds, Bayerns, Barcelonas and anyone else who considers themselves among the elite of European football.

  35. Who wants to be a billionaire in a world where 73% live below the $1/day poverty line?

  36. Ivan said that Arsenal, and indeed most other clubs do pay a premium (wages wise) for potential, and that will continue, it has to so you can attract the top young talent. It seems we take more risk on that front than most however.

    He also said Arsenal pay their players similar level of wages when in the first team. He said it’s being changed but it’ll take a while for the amendments to take place. So we can probobly expect a shift to less money for the up and comers in the first team and our stars to be paid the big bucks. As it should i suppose

  37. I have to agree with USG in completely refuting the comment that “Before this season starts we know that the three contenders will be …”.

    That is a nonsense to say we cannot compete, the other clubs may be seen as being favourites but instead of worrying about other clubs we need to put our own house in order and then we will compete.

    If the basis of argument is that the “three contenders” pay the most for the best players then following that line of thought our players should easily be able to dismiss the Blackburn or Fulhams of this world, yet we succumbed to both these clubs last season.

    Last season we were crippled by a terrible start to the season, to recover in the way we did deserved enormous credit but it cannot be repeated.

    We have a team and squad of supremely talented footballers, extremely well paid supremely talented footballers some of whom would be the envy of other clubs (even the “three contenders”). To listen to some posters on here we would have the best back 4, Song is the best DM in the Premiership (world some would say), the best youth, the best striker etc. Surely we can’t sit and accept overly hyped comments such as those and then a few weeks later accept that we won’t even be a contender.

    Moaning about City and/or Chelsea’s finances is a cop out. We beat both these sides last season, their money does not make them invincible, no team is, such is the beauty of football. 38 games in a season, our 19 point deficit last season was not because of the false riches of other clubs, it was down to our own performances.

  38. Upper Street Gooner

    Like was said yesterday the vast majority of clubs desperatly want ffp this to happen, including the vast majority of the big ones.

    It will take time to become a perfect structure but it will happen.

    Wage inflation is the biggest danger to football as we know it just like in numerous american sports 20-30 years ago. The path has been trodden and we will be heading down it at some point. We just need some much stronger leadership from the top.

    If there is serious racial trouble at the euro and players and fans are disrespected it almost provides a watershed moment. Uefa and Fifa leadership is very much under the spotlight. The most powerful clubs are desperate for either strong leadership or more power

  39. Man U is run by the Glasers and thye sent the Red Devils into massive debt. This is killing the club. yet Man U like our guys have developed younger players and this is playing off. To use a baseball term we have a good farm sysytem to develop young players to keep the life line going strong. The world economy is in the shits.

  40. Why can numerous other clubs compete with bigger financial disparity’s and yet its impossible for us to compete……why is that?????
    OK jibber aka USG., I’ll bite.

    Because its complete and utter bollocks perhaps? Just a hunch.

    Bayern do not spend more comparatively than Man city did.. Dont get me wrong, I am glad teams like Montpellier and Dortmund have bucked the trend, but let’s not make out Dortmund are some teeny weeny team, thay are huge FFS. And I think we can challenge, providing we add to the squad.

    I think Arsenal were in disarray last summer and took too long to recover, hence they didnt compete. I am hopeful it won’t happen again this summer. Given the fact the window isnt open in the UK, we need to wait and see what happens and not, as you did, decry the fact we are being left behind, oh woe is us! By our rivals yet again, even though we have signed one top player and the mancs and chavs have signed potentially good players.

    And the comment about who the main 3 contenders are doesnt mean we don’t expect to compete, well, thats how I see it, all you need to do is check out the odds at a bookmakers to see who they rate as favourites. Their spending power simply makes them more likely to achieve, that’s it.

  41. steve

    No offence man , but I think you miss the point. Going on about Man city and the chavs spending is simply one of the contexts which the club and league operates in. And TBH, I do think it needs mentioning on a regular basis as the media and some fans seem happy to cream themselves over the fact that yet another player has been signed by them and will be earning the obscene amounts of cash mate. Football in general is losing the plot though. maybe it will take one well established clib to go to the wall for the authorities to take stock. IOh wait, that’s already happened and still nuffink! 🙂

  42. Where’s goonerandy? I wonder if he saw the quotes about Cesc from gazidis last night? The ones where it was apparant that Cesc refused to play for us last summer!! 🙂

  43. “Only in crackpot football world does an organisation run with foresight, intelligence and responsibility have to answer calls by so many to abandon common sense.”

    This! All day fucking long, sir.

    I hold no hope for FFP, but this season has given me a lot of hope. The example set by ourselves as well as teams in other leagues, Montpellier and Dortmund to name two, have reinforced something for me; Chemistry is the most important thing for a team, and it’s something that can’t be bought. With the sale of Fabregas it’s almost like we were forced to turn a corner. And I have to say I’m liking what I’ve seen around it so far.

  44. Dex

    No mate, I am not missing any point, I am simply choosing not to focus on it as others are. I just prefer to focus on Arsenal, not the other clubs in the League or continent.

    It would be naïve to ignore the financial power of certain clubs, but despite the events of last month spending big does not automatically equate to success. City were 60 seconds from a trophyless season. To this day I still can’t fathom how the fuck Chelsea won the CL but that’s a cup, nothing more, the best side does not always win that unlike the league. As I said earlier the reason we did not really challenge last season was not because City pay Ya Ya Toure 200k a week or whatever, it was the often ineptitude of our own performances.

    I expect that to improve next season. As things stand I would be very confident for next season.

    I think to dismiss us as challengers is incredibly negative and ignorant (which you haven’t by the way), it is also disrespectful of the enormous talent we have at the club. I 100% agree with your comment from earlier that we still need to add and strengthen.

    Our wage bill is enormous, if we’re spending that and not at least competing (despite what others pay their players) then there is something fundamentally wrong at the club.

  45. Lol Dex – can’t wait eh? 🙂

    A few regulars have gone to ground over silly season.

    With Jibber back I can’t say I blame them either.

  46. Jonny

    Give ’em enough rope.

  47. Respect to the max, Big Al.
    Most of us are in denial: Today’s world of massive inequalities is unsustainable. America is using its dominant currency and war machine to prop up the empire while Europe is teetering, e.g. the Greeks contemplate jumping ship. Joining the billionaires party is just a rolling the dice; we can never outspend the sovereign wealth of the petro-Arabs.
    We have to be smart and stealthy as we compete. Work our transfer targets secretly while doing our best to develop our youngsters into world-class players and hang unto them; if we can’t hold then sell them for a huge profit. No way we can brassily go in the market and say Hazard at any price. Players and their agents know the game as well and they will simply sucker us into a bidding war. 200k per week is unsustainable.
    Anybody hoping for big signings early and often are supporting the wrong club.

  48. Steve

    I agree, I would mush rather be talking about Arsenal and our chances of success, the (current) strength of the squad and my hopes/wishes for additions etc.

    Yet the fact remains that the spending of our rivals is a major factor. One need only look at what almost happened to manu over Rooney. They had to completely capitulate over his excessive and utterly disgusting (imo) wage demands. The fat fucker said he would never play for united again, no way was he ever going to stay man….. Until they caved in and gave him exactly what he knew he could get over the road at the noisy neighbours council gaff!


    I will be doing likewise if this groundhog day bullshit carries on. And then where would you be??? 🙂

  49. Football would be the real loser Dex.

  50. Upper Street Gooner


    Why is it biting, im not trying to be like hunter its a good debate talking about not only the post but also what our chief exec spoke of last night

    Has it occurred to you that Bayern don’t need to spend more than city as they have continuity as a club and have youth system that regularly churns out top level players. We always talk about spending and new money what about continuity can that not present some advantages?

    Bayern revenue is 100m more than Dortmund and thats with Dortmund winning the league these last 2 years. Dortmund who even by German very tight strings are incredibly tight with their cash as they are trying to recover from the days of spending astronomical sums on players like amoruso, rosicky, worns and dede.

    You now say we can challenge but that goes against the lads article above and it agrees with 99% of what i say with regards to challenging. ”2-3 players better tactical application and then we are there.

    So when you call me a doomer in reality all i ask for is what you do but im not scared of saying that the club can make improvements and needs to to become a truly efficent club.

    You talk of our top player and there good players, see i just dont get it. Why when talking amongst arsenal fans would we try to overinflate our own signing or play down their signings. Why would we not just talk frankly about the signings. Why is Hazard or Kagawa not as good or risky of a signing as podolski. One thing for sure is that both of there signings are there to improve a weakness of their squads. Is ours or is ours an insurance policy, who knows but its worth talking about amongst arsenal fans

  51. Nice OOU.
    I wouldn’t expect any comments from any Groaning Oiks on what a loaded dice is. That would be expecting too much.
    This is the thing: Arsenal FC are the only club in the PL era to win the title without outspending their rivals. And this all started B.T.L.W.R.O.P.C. (before that loon wagnar ruined our precious club.)

  52. Methinks Jabber would love to be a billionaire…so would Bill.

  53. Upper Street Gooner


    Silly season is listening to hunter.

    If one looks at my points whilst they might be different to yours they often well researched and portray a different perspective, thats what the blog is for…debate.

    Your to busy starting petitions to rid ourselves of the ”horrible” Robson who does nothign more than talk abotu poor arsenal defending….

  54. jibber/usg

    You said Bayern outstripped man city comparatively. Now you are changing your argument, as ever. And if you think Big Al was stating that we might as well not bother turning up because of the mancs and chavs, then you clearly only see what you want to see. No surprise there either. He was saying, as I have already said that any bookies will tell us who the 3 faves are for next season. Doesnt mean no one will bet on any one else. But Big Al can speak for himself.

  55. I get the distinct impression jibber is a bit jealous of mad as a box of frogs hunter, because people can actually warm to him on here.

  56. jonny

    Isnt it rather scary how jibber thinks he is making cutting remarks and digs about you? Like he keeps a little notebook of old posts on here, but still manages to get the main thrusts and targets wrong. You and your petition man! How did it go again? 🙂

  57. BTW I think Robson is a naueating, needlessly over negative and clueless pundit. Why would you want to associate yourself with a chav fan? His droning, sneering tone is enough to send me rushing to the mute button. Same goes for hansen too, he is just bitter though and with good reason! I can forgive his digs at the Arse.

  58. Upper Street Gooner


    ”Who wants to be a billionaire in a world where 73% live below the $1/day poverty line?”

    ”Methinks Jabber would love to be a billionaire…so would Bill.”

    Probably quite a few people and that’s the shame of it i’m afraid Aman. I’m sure you will get a few on here some noble others liars who will trot out how repulsive it is but in reality how much do all these people do for the needy and how many of them would turn down riches to provide for a country that might have a highly aggressive, uneducated population with rulers who are corrupt and unwilling to put the long term planning in place to raise these people out of the abyss………..bare in mind half my family is from Yemen.

    And i get nailed for talking about my beloved football club, jesus

  59. Dexter me ole mucker I applaud your efforts but don’t you know Dortmund are a teeny weeny team? That is why they had to spend about five odd seasons building up this current team. It is why they have one of Europe’s best stadiums. Why they have such massive support. And why they have as many stars above their crest as high spending chelski.
    And it is also why they were outplayed and beaten over two games by a recovering Arsenal squad early on this season. Little jiblet keeps forgetting that little F.A.C.T in his praise of anything other then AFC, I noticed as I rapidly scrolled past.

  60. Upper Street Gooner


    I’m saying the difference between bayern wages and dortmund is significantly greater than our to city. I’m also saying that Bayern dont need to spend so much money on fee’s as they have continuinty as a club and a fantastic youth set up in place.

    What this is trying to illustrate is that there is more than just spending money to being succesful. You forget that our maanger has had years longer to formulate ideas and structures and bring through youth development. Whilst spending has great advantages SO DOES CONTINUITY………..its another example as to why we can challenge and why the blog writer was being incredibly doomer like to say what he said

  61. Upper Street Gooner

    Dexter | June 7, 2012 at 11:43 am

    I think Hunter is a racist who hates everything about this country and our football club bar arsene wenger.

  62. Yes indeed I agree with your sentiments in this article.

  63. Dexter …
    ”Why can numerous other clubscompete with bigger financial disparity’s and yet its impossible for us to compete……why is that?????
    OK jibber aka USG., I’ll bite” … That was just a nibble man.

    USG your arguement has so many flaws that even the slightest scrutiny/nibble and it comes crashing down.

    Now if i wanted to bite, i would tell you that Dortmund built an 80,000 capacity stadium about 12 years ago in order to compete in the league and now they’re reaping the benefits. I would also tell you that the dortmund team is on par with bayern’s so them winning the bundesliga should not come as a surprise.

    As Dexter already mentioned, bayern Follow the FFP ruling, about five world class of their first team squad are from the academy – lahm, badstuber,alaba,kroos, shwiensiteger, and the rest – robben,ribery,neuer and gomez were bought. This is what arsenal aspires to do, blood players in the first team from our academy and buy to fill in gaps but the ‘oil mafia’ makes the method so darn hard to be successful.
    Did i forget to mention that the bundesliga is so competitive and equal that mochengladbach were fighting to stay in the top division in 2011 and qualified for uefa champs this year!
    Yea also, bayern follow the FFP rules!

    You shot yourself in the foot by bringing up montpellier/psg.
    Correct me if am wrong but didn’t psg start their oil reign this past season and sacked their coach in the middle of the season? When the sheikh took over city they finished 5th, 3rd in the first two seasons and 1st in the 3rd, so don’t put your money on any other team apart from psg winning the french league for the next few seasons.

    Again montpellier/dortmund examples carries no weight in your arguement.

  64. Thanks Fins. 🙂


    You can change your argument all you want man. Debating anything is a pointless excercise with you. All you seem to want to do is find new and oh so interesting (Zzzz) ways of sticking the boot into Arsenal. Have fun,

    And lo and behold, we get to the REAL nub of your existence, namely to slate the manager. Wondered how long it would take you man. 🙂 You havent mentioned hiswages yet dude.

    I aint sure Wenger has had loafs more time to do anything he actually wanted to though. The small matter of the change of address and slightly ginormous debt it left us with might have ever so slightly upset the old carte- pommes mon ami.

    But I digress.

  65. Hunter is a wind up merchant.
    Jiblet’s jibbles are also a lame attempt at a wind up.
    Now would be a good time for football plundit extraordinaire Monsieur Alain Partridge to make an entrance.

  66. It will be very interesting to see if lIgue 1 follows the PL. If PSG carry on with the spending then we will see what occurs over there. They have the Italian manager now, so they must be a shoe in for the title next year! 🙂 Montpeelier was a great story B TW, but the french league has been pretty random in terms of winners since Lyon stopped winning it every season.

    As for bayern, they are known as FC Hollywood in Germnay and regularly take all the best players from within that league as well as from overseas. They, like many in germany are a well run set up. We should be following their lead a lot more than the sugar daddy model.

  67. Apparantly Southampton want to take young winger Ryo on loan next season. I’d mush prefer that to him gojng back to Bolton, makes sense to me anyway.

  68. Fins; I think hunter is just plain crackers man, but at least he knows it! 🙂

  69. Dex I could care less what Jibface thinks (and I use the word ‘think’ entirely incorrectly here) – I honestly largely move past everything he writes.

    He thinks I started the Robson petition – so clearly doesn’t know who I am.

    Everything he says is repetition anyway – it’s what I imagine an Alzheimer’s ward sounds like.

  70. USG,

    I remember reading this blog during january, it was hard reading comments here because of you!, yes you.
    Damn, you were so negative, it was whine and moan, whine and moan, whine and moan, always saying the same negative lines like a broken record – weren’t you anti-wenger also? Am pretty sure you didn’t believe we could finish third, did you!?
    I also respect the fact that you are a season ticket holder but can’t stop complaining and supporting the club why do you do the wise thing, shut up, stop going and allow someone else to get your ticket and support the club.

  71. I honestly believe that for FFP to work the likes of Milan, Inter, both Bayern clubs, and Manure to get in with it otherwise what I envision happening is that the moment a smaller team cries wolf there has the potential to be super league created. I know I keep touching on it but that is my biggest fear with this FFP thing to be honest. A league where all the teams that people are crying about join together pluck the world’s best and compete at the highest of levels. If FFP does work it will take the Fergie’s and Arsene’s and even the MIlan coach to say ok this is enough this shit has to stop.

    On the whole Dortmund, Montepillar even Juventas winning there league, it comes down to keeping your players together and building a chemistry while still adding players. Most of those players that have led Dortmund to the title and teh double the past 2 seasons have grown together and when other teams came to try and pluck them away they collectively decided to stay together and fight for each other. Same wth Juventas who lest we not forget a couple of years back they were relegated to Serie B and rot with scandal only to rise from teh ashes because their core players stuck together and fought and Juventas kept building slowly adn with low cost talent and a manager who transformed them. Can we compete with the Mancs and Chavs and win the league, ofcourse but it has to start with a core group of players buying into the system and playing for each other not for personal gain. Say we keep Song, Theo, RVP and the rest of our core players and add another signing to Podolski, thats what has happened to those other teams that keep being thrown around. Yes Dortmund lost Sahin but he was a part of a group that was built together along with Goetze, Kagawa, Hummels, Lewandowski, Barrios, Piszczek and a couple others. That should be the focus if we are to compare our 2 squads, retaining our core and building not losing our core and then rebuilding.


    Part of the reason why Spain went on strike was because most of the teams were bankrupt and they weren’t paying players their wages and they weren’t able to going into the “start of the season”. They actually did go on strike and thats when teh government bailed them out. The same thing almost happened in Italy and I honestly wouldn’t be surprised to see it happen in the PL.

  72. Upper Street Gooner

    finsbury | June 7, 2012 at 11:59 am

    are you questioning the fact that dortmund revenue and spending ability is significantly smaller than that of Bayern, just like ours to City??

  73. ‘Why don’t you’

  74. C;

    Good points as usual man.

    The thing with la liga clubs also, was the other 16/17 clubs were so pissed off with the disparity in terms of TV revenue they threatened to strike. And it is also true tht 6 or 7 clubs are basically in administration, which could well be due to trying to live beyond their means.

  75. I am actually in agreement with a self sustaining model, the problem I have is, I struggle to see this in action at Arsenal – year on year making transfer supluses and not even re-investing at a player trading level, sounds much more like profiteering than self sustaining to me. Then when you try and correlate this approach with the highest priced Season Tickets in the league, it grates a bit !

  76. Upper Street Gooner


    Im not disbuting dortmund size im saying there spending power and ability to offer incredible wages is much much much much much much less than Bayern. Regardless of whether Bayern adhere to ffp they still have an astronomical advantage in spending over dortmund the team theyve just lost to for 2 seasons running

    Anybody who new anything about german football would know that gate recepits are tiny as they charge so little to go into the grounds its all about their commercial revenue baby.

    You say the dortmund team is as good as bayern a team who we have just seen has more money and a youth system to rival any…………… sounds like great management to me?? how can this be a team with less money with an outstanding commited team…….????? Did you watch Dortmund 1 arsenal 1 ???????????????? did we really outplay them?

    You brought up an example of gladback competing for cl well what about newcastle competing with us.

    ”Correct me if am wrong but didn’t psg start their oil reign this past season and sacked their coach in the middle of the season? ”

    Right so that disqualifies them but what does there lack of continuity do for chels then. I heard coming above them was an incredible achievement and yet they sacked there manger in fact they’ve sacked huge amounts of mangers recently so why cant they be spared the same leniency??

  77. Upper Street Gooner

    Dexter | June 7, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    you say its slating the manager but in reality is it not stating a fact that he has had allot of continuity. Its you who just got defensive as we just pointed to some excellent examples where continuity is excellent. I said nothing bad about the manager

  78. I hope there is some truth to the Ryp to Southampton rumours. I think he will be a good fit there and will serve his development well. Hopefully another PL team will come in for Iggy Miquel too and possibly Joel and Benik.

  79. Upper Street Gooner

    Dexter | June 7, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    why woudl it make sense to send him to a lower division.

    He has shwon he can play in the prem why on god green earth would it make sense to now send him down a division???

  80. jibber/usg

    I am just trying to hurry you along man. Its all so inevitable where this will end up. Do I really have to pretend I dont have a clue where this train is headed? 🙂

    As others, including C have stated, continuity is key when it comes to building a team capable of winning stuff. Indeed, if you cannot buy instant success, then keeping hold of your best players is vital. We haven’t managed to do that for a while and I do not necessarily blame the club for that.

    If we keep hold of our players this summer, then that is a major step towards us being successful, IMO.

  81. Upper Street Gooner

    khalifha | June 7, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    can you not respond to my reply or were the points about dortmund indeed correct…..shame

    you talk of my doom and yet here i am talking about us and why we can challenge this year and its all of you making a case as to why we cant

    ha fucking ha its so embarrassing

  82. USG/Jibber

    Southampton are in the premier league. Didnt you know that? Hasnt that piece of information reached your neck of the woods yet?

  83. @Dexter

    You speak nothing but the truth and I for one think that even more clubs will be in administration sooner rather than later. I truly do think that UEFA should look at how German clubs are run with no sugar daddies.

  84. Upper Street Gooner

    Dexter | June 7, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    Yes thank you, show me where i’ve ever said anythign different in the last few weeks.

    The fact that the CEO is now talkign about adapting the wage structure to what a number of stupid fuckign doomer cunts suggested in years gone by really makes me happy


  85. Jabba,
    I think many here would be more than ok maxed out @ single-digit millionaires.
    Its too easy to lose touch with reality after that.

    fans are no different from footballers
    many want more for no reason than to count it

    ..I love Arsenal!

  86. C;

    Its crazy mate. I cannot see any possible positive end game if the sugar daddy model is allowed to carry on unabated man. The man cjity owners can blow Roman out the water, so does that mean the next club to be bought by a multi-billionaire has to be richer than them too? Where the fuck does it end? All it will do is drive up wages to even more astronomical levels as clubs try to tempt rival players with lucrative deals and agents, being agents, will only fuel rhis I am afraid.

  87. Highburyfaithful

    Great article. Well said

  88. Upper Street Gooner

    Dexter | June 7, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    your 12.25 clearly states you woudl prefer him to go back to Bolton rather than southampton. Are you aware bolton got relegated……….ooops

  89. Upper Street Gooner

    apologies my dyslexia gets the better of me again

  90. birdkamp – you are a joy to read.

    DeiseGooner | June 7, 2012 at 9:13 am

    “Football does live in the real world. The real world is the small % of the rich lording it over the larger % poor. The real world is tycoons buying success and adulation from the masses that feel touched by that success while those untouched by it become green eyed with envy. The real world is those in power making so they cannot be removed from power easily. The real world is corrupt or inept governments and ruling bodies bending the knee to the rich & powerful while putting on a show of doing what it right.”

    Excellent summation of what is reality in our world.

    Fifa and UEFA + FFP are not going to change what were currently seeing in football.

    I can’t see any revolt. The wealthy won’t allow it to gather any steam*. I know this sounds skeptical or cynical but it happens daily within every country/government.

    Those with real wealth can and do buy those in control who are only rich.

    arsenalandrew | June 7, 2012 at 9:48 am
    “Recent reports suggest Arsenal made two assumptions that have turned out flawed.

    The first was that investment in a new stadium would fund our place at the highest footballing tables.

    The second was that Financial Fair Play would do what it said it would on the tin and come to our rescue.”

    So right Andrew and I believe the club realizes they must make adjustments.

    Some complain about the high salaries for our young talent, but I believe more spotlight needs to be aimed at those responsible for (a) sponsorship deals and (b) growing our licensing revenues. Club management/staff need to be more accountable for their own results.

    The club can still be self-sustaining if these two areas are dramatically grown.

  91. Clerkenwell Gooner

    {AFC’s] blend of outlandish characters, movement, speed, graft, angles and artistry just keeps on keeping on

    Indeed, birdkamp, indeed.

    My personal fave on the “outlandish” side is our very own Lenny Kravitz impersonator, Alex Song. His life story reads like a novel. I very much hope he stays with us, as he used to get a lot of flak eg when he came back from loan at Charlton, people said he wasn’t good enough (some are still saying it), but IMO he has proved them wrong, and then some.

    I saw a piece yesterday in the online Daily Heil {no link] that said Arsène has basically instituted a communistic, flat wage structure, to complement his vision of the game as being based fundamentally on teamwork, not individual flourish.

    Thus at Arsenal, it is inferred there is no one player that commands a massive premium in wages, and as noted above, Gazidis also spoke about the necessity of being attractive for young players coming to the club from outside (Bellerin &al.).

    All those clamouring for AW’s exit, and the end to the sustainable business model the club employs are like climate change deniers. The current crazy arrangements in the EPL are simply not viable. That’s what FFP is for.

    But maybe a big club needs to close down (Rangers?) before this becomes as apparent to the anti-Arsène brigade as it already is to the rest of us. I hope not, but that hope is not very high.

  92. Jibber

    If only that were so. These doomers who you constantly refer to (wonder why? 🙂 ) did not just suggest we should re-evaluate the wage structure. if that was all they said, they wouldnt be getting tarred with the shitty, doomer brush now.

    No, they said shite like; “Get rid of the fucking deadwood like Rosick-note (oh so droll), Diaby, RVp (Oh yes they did!), Djourou.. Can’t believe thos cunts are on that much….”

  93. Upper Street Gooner

    Aman | June 7, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    I’m of the opinion that its hard to judge until your in the position.

    Its ver y easy to say things about the rich when you arent of that level in the same way its easy for Usmanov to be a great shadow owner, he can say anythign he wants.

    Any poor person could say how un greedy of a millionaire they would be…..

  94. Upper Street Gooner


    ”I can’t see any revolt. The wealthy won’t allow it to gather any steam*. I know this sounds skeptical or cynical but it happens daily within every country/government.

    Those with real wealth can and do buy those in control who are only rich.”

    Do you not think that the most powerful clubs in the world with massive revenue are the ones with the true power. Real, Utd, Bayern would be much more pwoerful without city and chels

  95. @USG

    Look I’m not going to go and comment on any of your posts but I have read them. Your honestly making the same points over and over again just in different words. The key is making a point and allowing it to grow and for others to comment thus giving you a different view that may or may not have been thought of. We all seem to comment on here because we enjoy it from the differen trains of thought to the different cultures are all connected even to the mass amount of factual information that each different poster brings to the table but none of it is constantly beat over our heads day in and day out. That is the part that people take issue with you(mostly), is that you are like a bad record that wont stop no matter the situation. Arsenal wins you complain, Arsenal loses you complain, summer window you complain. You must stop mate or Yogi’s going to send you back to moderation.

  96. Clerkenwell;

    Oh now I am confused because I am asupposed to want us to pay our bezzie players ££££££’s more than the little people in the squad. This idea of a socialist micro-society developed at the Arsenal makes me pine for the good old days, when I was a happy serf down the Mongolian salt mines earning 3 Zloptnyplths a month, safe in the knowledge that our dear beloved leader, Stanislav was earning the exact same as me. 🙂

  97. @USG

    Look I’m not going to go and comment on any of your posts but I have read them. Your honestly making the same points over and over again just in different words.

    How on earth could you come to such a conclusion? 😉

  98. The Bundesliga stands strong while the EPL, La Liga & Serie A overplay their hands.
    If FFP is not effective what league will still be afloat in a few the “real world”?

    “Reality” is an ever changing dynamic. Transient at best.
    Respect your limits

  99. Clerkenwell Gooner

    Oops, sorry about all italics, old lag forgot to close tag.

  100. Upper Street Gooner

    Dexter | June 7, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    Problem is big guy the money to pay for a few superstars wages has got to come from somewhere.

    Our manager adheres to moneyball for those of us very well acquainted to american sports understand the ”business” of the game and its a dog eat dog world.

    These clubs CANNOT afford to not be efficent. The idea is to try to win now but with an eye of being competative for a long cycle.

    Rosicky over the space of 6 years at the club hasen’t done that much in fact very little, injuries are a part of the game can a club like ours afford to be a nice club?. He had a GOOD end to the season. Its perfectly within peoples rights to question his worth to the squad when we have so many midfield options. We either let young promising players go like ramsey or week rosicky thats where the wage money is made. Sell Johan keep bartley……you cant procure without a hard cull im afraid

    Diaby is the same…………can a club afford to have 2 players in their 25 man roster who both play as attacking minded midfielders both of whom have shown very little consistent production over a huge amount of time.

    There are the difficult decisions which need to be made. If you tear up at the thought of letting hugely unlucky players leave then so be it but i want my GM to be able to make those decisions.

  101. @Dexter

    Yea I agree with you and to more importantly answer your question, yes the next multi-billionare has to be richer otherwise he has nothing to stand on IMHO. People say well why can’t somebody step up, the FA as we know are completely and utterly useless and that in the PL is where it must start and they must say enough is enough but they wont. The same thing is brewing in Spain with multi-billionares buying teams like Malaga and making them relevant.

  102. C yes that of course was part of the reason – but there was also a huge amount of anger at the disparity of the TV money which directly led to their parlous financial position in the first place and, within that, the lack of ability to remotely compete.

    There is pressure from the teams beneath to change the paradigm and share the wealth more equally.

    Whether such protestations will gather weight – and where they might lead – is anyone’s guess but it would be interesting to see if we might one day reach a state where the big clubs start to cry foul, in turn, towards the sugar daddy bunch.

  103. Upper Street Gooner

    C | June 7, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    The fallicy of it all today is the fact that i’ve been presenting arguments as to why we can compete next year and its you guys the POSITIVES who are trying to take down my points as to why we CANT compete.

    You say its a broken record but the the broken record is most of you guys who utterly refuse to ever question anythign about the club

    The CEO has just said the club will be adapting his wage structure, something many doomers have talked about for years and even now there are people still saying that these doomers know nothing.

    Last year you were attacked on here if you said we needed 3-4 quality signings….now you can be attacked on here for saying we can challenge…………….the fact is you can be attacked on here for anythign other that saying the club is perfectly run even if the ceo comes out and says there are problems…..the same problesm which some doomers talk about

  104. usg/jibber

    I wasnt choosing those players to single them out. I notice you left RvP pout of your post btw!

    The point was the manner in which the wage issue was and is addressed by the doomers. As you just did, so thanks for proving my point. I have already seen posts slating the likes of ramsey, saying he should be got ris of as he is a sick note, how long before the same is said of jack (I am assuming he has been given a complete pass on this injury related abuse as he is our saviour?)

  105. Jabba,
    its the yearly question of the summer.
    RvP’s turn to answer.
    Like Vieira, Henry, Adebayor, Cesc & Samri before him

    I give any man 29 or younger the benefit of the “until you get there u don’t know” doubt but above 29 we’ve subconsciously prioritized money’s importance in your life.

    Your answer to the direct question carries less weight when compared to your views about topics related to money over an extended period of time. Your consistencies reveal your truths.

    hence my effortless nomination of you Jabba & Bill as billionaire-would-love-to-be’s
    no biggie

  106. corr:

    I give any man 29 or younger the benefit of the “until-you-get-there-u-don’t-know” doubt but above 29 we’ve subconsciously prioritized money’s importance in our lives.

    Your answer to the direct question carries less weight when compared to your views about topics related to money over an extended period of time. Your consistencies reveal your truths.

    hence my effortless nomination of you Jabba & Bill as billionaire-love-to-be’s
    no biggie

  107. Last year you were attacked on here if you said we needed 3-4 quality signings
    Thats more bollocks man. Please stop talking shite. I should know ( 🙂 ) I have consistently said we need strengthening, as have others. There are some who take the view that what ever transfers, or not that occur, well, they feel confident in the strength of the squad. That;s their look out! 🙂

  108. @Jonny

    I agree with you but in a “business” system there will always be those few underneath that cry foul but the problem is in which one fo the “big boys” is the 1st to stand up and say enough is enough.

    Not to forget that it also has to be a “big boy” that people widely respect but also in some ways carries a big stick as most Texans say. Is it somebody like Arsene who has been saying it for years, or does it have to be somebody like Fergie? That is the part of the issue that is arising is who will be the 1st. I mean in Spain it seems the non-Barca/Madrid teams seem to be allowing the sugar daddy to take over but what happens if those teams start to really challenge Barca and Madrid who have so much government backing(look it up part of Madrid’s setup is political and part of their decision making is based on how the government feels about a manager), will the government then say enough is enough and how much will that reverberate through the futboling world?

  109. USG @ 1:07

    the quote you pointed out was from my keypad not birdkamps……and to reply to your question:
    “Real, Utd, Bayern would be much more pwoerful without city and chels”

    I just see football is changing AS IS EVERYTHING IN OUR LIVES. ( and I’m not professing that its right, but I don’t see it as a trend that will revert itself)

    New ownership types are exposing old ownership types to new methods of operating their clubs.

  110. C;

    Valencia have probably the 3rd best team in Spain for a number of years now. maybe Sevilla, Atletico, Villareal (qhoops!) have been there abouts too. But Valencia have consistsnely been up there havent they? Yet they are in a mountain of debt and earn a fraction of what Real and varca do from TV rights.

    Now, IF they went to the wall, that would be huge and the repercussions could be significant too. For football in general, not just la liga. Disclaimer; I am not saying this is going to happen, just a hypothesis. 🙂

  111. Given the piss poor state of the economies worldwide and the prospective EU and world bank bail outs added to the triple troubled double dipped recessions, I do find the clamour for us to pay players even more not to mention what they already earn elsewhere, even more galling and disturbing. Its sick is what it is.

    £250,000 a week. Just think about that figure. Its mind boggling to think that will soon be the average wage for a footballer (if things carry on) in a squad of 25. For an individual tennis player, who has to do it all on his own, thats a helluva lotta dosh, but for a player in a team sport? Crackers!

  112. Marcus @ 11:10
    “Chemistry is the most important thing for a team, and it’s something that can’t be bought. With the sale of Fabregas it’s almost like we were forced to turn a corner. And I have to say I’m liking what I’ve seen around it so far.”

    so true!

  113. @USG

    Interestingly enough we have all questioned the club and while it may not be to your liking it is what we each individually feel is needed to better the club. Whether it be new signings which even last summer was talked about being needed to strengthen, or a different wage structure.

    Again nobody is saying that we can’t compete because we have all said that we can and your words are saying we can compete but then you go off on a tangent as to why we can’t. The issue that needs to be put to rest with me writing this is that we can compete and will compete but when clubs spend large sums of money it makes the odds greater in their favor. You mentioned the Spurs, as I have followed basketball, the Spurs have seen a couple things happen that Arsenal haven’t:
    1. Tim Duncan fell into their laps and he is uniformly known throughout the NBA as the best at his position EVER!
    2. They had a core group of players that told everybody else to fuck off.
    3. They had a core group of veteran players in place to help bring the younger players along and then left when they were ready.

    They have competed competively for 15 years yes but there has been times they have finished 4th and times they have finished 2nd but they have competed you are right about that but their were also other variables that you must consider.

  114. @Dexter

    Yea your right Valencia has been teh 3rd best team in Spain and have never really challenged for the title. Take for instance last season 2011-2012: Madrid had 100 ponts(thats absurd), Barca had 91 points and Valencia sitting in 3rd place had 61 points.

    Just now thinking about it and we complain about being 19 points adrift after having a shitty run in the opening months. LA LIGA’S 3RD BEST TEAM FINISHED 30 POINTS BEHIND 2ND, 30 POINTS!!!!!

    2010-2011: Barca had 96 points, Madrd had 92 points and Valecia again the 3rd place team had 71 points. Thats still 21 points behind 2nd.

  115. USG

    >The fallicy of it all today is the fact that i’ve been presenting arguments as to why we can compete next year and its you guys the POSITIVES who are trying to take down my points as to why we CANT compete.

    No you haven’t, you’ve been proposing a change to the business model and reinterpreting words of IG. For example, He hasn’t said they won’t reward young players well in the future, simply that the top end will be enhanced by new commercial revenues. (34′ – 38′ minutes on the iPlayer). Beware when you quote what is written about last night. There has been a hell of a lot of misreporting going on. Watch the iPlayer to see and hear for yourself.

    People were attacked on here for demanded a lot of players to be signed. True. Usually because they were ignorant and chose to abuse those players they wanted out by calling them ‘deadwood’. When they were called out on that, they received reciprocal abuse. Key point: debate by all means but if you abuse, don’t cry when you get abused back.

    >Do you not think that the most powerful clubs in the world with massive revenue are the ones with the true power. Real, Utd, Bayern would be much more pwoerful without city and chels

    That is idiotic beyond words. The clubs want bigger clubs to thrive because when they meet, they bring more revenues with them.

    >you say its slating the manager

    Yeah, you were having a pop at the manager. You know it as well.

    >I’m saying the difference between bayern wages and dortmund is significantly greater than our to city. I’m also saying that Bayern dont need to spend so much money on fee’s as they have continuinty as a club and a fantastic youth set up in place.

    So fantastic that only three of their players came through the youth set up. The rest were acquired.

    >Your to busy starting petitions to rid ourselves of the ”horrible” Robson who does nothign more than talk abotu poor arsenal defending

    Try reading other people’s comments before deriding them. You’d notice that (a) Jonny didn’t start the petition, (b) we discussed defending weeks ago but nothing more can be said whilst players are in close season / euro2012 duty and (c) Robson is a twat.

    >One thing for sure is that both of there signings are there to improve a weakness of their squads. Is ours or is ours an insurance policy, who knows but its worth talking about amongst arsenal fans

    So why is ours an insurance policy and theirs improving the squad. When you make comments like that, do you not see why people label you the way they do? If you don’t then there genuinely is no point in continuing.

  116. My there’s a lot of dross being talked today, USG in pole position.

    Arsenal is a medium-big business. A business that cannot show a sustainable model is gambling on borrowed money and/or future potential earnings or some form of largesse (in the form of sugar daddy investment). Man united is not, in fact, a financial fortress, far from it. Arsenal by comparison is. This is a singular accomplishment; it may turn out to be the most substantial of all.

    The rest is football.

  117. La Liga is simply becoming a better version of the SPL.

    Actually the SPL only has 1 team now.

  118. Nobody gets slated on here when asking for new signings. It depends on how you put your idea forward ,’rosicky is not good enough and we need new signings’, ‘wenger won’t spend money on quality players’ really?, or ‘buy hazard,gotze,m’villa and another centre back’ – just plain dumb.

  119. Clerkenwell Gooner

    @ Dexter

    Well, you can laugh, but the inequalities perpetrated by rampant neoliberal no-limits-to-greed economic bollocks are real in our society, and growing, and painful – and either we want to perpetuate them or we don’t.

    I have suffered with job loss since the 2008 crash, attempted closure of my GP surgery (which the local PCT wanted to shut to save cash), the publicly owned housing estate where I live is being asset-stripped as we speak, kids I know growing up are desperate to find a sustainable career but the outlook for 16-25 year olds is extremely bleak, with 1m of them already NEETS – all this is real and personal to me.

    Grossly unequal societies are unhealthly, unjust, and plain fucking disaster areas for the majority of those who live in them. Ours is getting more and more unequal by the day.

    Recent stat I saw: the 25 highest-paid hedge fund managers on Wall St were paid $14bn in 2006, three times more than the combined salaires of New York state’s 80,000 school teachers. (see here:

    Is this really the sort of world we want for us and ours?

    AW had a model, and it has kept the club on an even keel financially. And we finished 3rd, higher than last year, even without Cesc and Nasri. That is a phenomenal result, given the context.

    But with club wages already at obscene levels, now it seems that Gazidis, possibly under instruction from Wal-Mart Stan, wants us to bust that model up. (If RVP doesn’t want to sign for what’s on offer, he can fuck off, frankly.)

    Our club used to be in the stewardship of a bunch of millionaire toffs who at least had a family connection to the club, and actually managed to deliver us a rather spiffy new stadium on time and on budget, which if you compare with the FA-and-Wembley debacle, is quite something.

    However, our club now in the hands of a US billionaire, who wants to extract every last ounce of revenue he can from it – which, as far as I can make out, will be done by extracting revenue from Arsenal fans via Internet broadcasting of games.

    It’ll be a festival of wealth extraction, aimed at untapped global markets, particularly those in Asia.

    Fans here in the UK will effectively have walk-on parts now, to provide some picturesque local colour for a US-owned global broadcaster, but that’s about it.

    Let’s all empty our wallets for the betterment of Stan’s bottom line. He’ll vampire his development of Arsenal’s global internet broadcasting presence on AW’s achievements of the past 15 years, then presumably sack him at some point. Oh, how the doomers will crow then.

    The only alternative at present to Stan is Usmanov, whose lawyers threatened Craig Murray, and who is of the same genre as the ghastly Ambramovich. (Was there ever a sadder sight that Roman, parading around Fulham on the top of the Chel$ki CL champs’ bus, with his blue-framed sunglasses on?)

    I can no longer support this. The renewal deadline for Red members (all I can afford) is today, and I actually can’t bring myself to do it.

    The horse is already out of the stable.

  120. USG – “Why can numerous other clubs compete with bigger financial disparity’s and yet its impossible for us to compete……why is that?????” – WTF!!!? Not compete? Who are these numerous clubs you speak of? We finished 3rd in the league, above 17 other teams. We got knocked out of the league cup after dominating the game, by the eventual EPL champions I might add, 1-0. We got knocked out of the FA cup by a rejuvenated Sunderland under O’Neill ( they flew up 7 places in a few short weeks when he took over remember?) after we had just beat them in the league. Admittedly we played like shit in Milan but if we had been awarded what was a blatant penalty at the end of the first game, we would have gone through on away goals scored. The 2 teams that finished above us in the league were humiliated in Europe. Twice. First in the CL and then in the Europa league. Do us all a favor and fuck off USG! You are even worse when you pretend to be speaking sense, as we all know you will revert to type as soon as a debate starts. Surely you have something beter to do with your life!?

  121. And La la la Liga only has Real Madrid ha ha ha!


    C (@1.08) Nicely put (are you a teacher/lecturer, btw?!).

  122. This a fabulous post Clerkenwell Gooner, beyond words, and every word true. All I might add is that the plight of those of us in poorer countries is significantly worse (current formal unemployment where I live, hope you are seated, is .. 83%; the rest live in a “subsistence” economy, informal sector, growing their own food or ‘foraging’ for want of a better word). But the principle is the same.

    We do admire Arsenal though, for competing within their means.

  123. Lots of interesting discussions here these past few days, and not nearly as much acrimony as one usually gets at this time of the year. Great stuff.

    As to today’s post, it is indeed galling that so much money can be thrown around in these austere days for something as unimportant (in the grand scheme of things) as football. But life is full of such examples of injustice and unfairness. Some people spend more on their pets than what it takes to feed a small village in some other part of the world. Bank bosses pay themselves a zillion times more than the average employee even when they lose money for their organizations. Etc, etc.

    Given all of these, I find it hard to get into any sort of twist about the football money situation. At least the players are being paid for something way more tangible than bank executives for example.
    The sugar-daddies have skewed things a bit for sure, forcing an upward pressure on wages and transfer fees, but players were receiving silly money way before the oligarchs got to the PL. Henry was reportedly on close to £80k/w before he left us which sounds pretty obscene to me. Heck, even £3k/w is way way more than what most people (e.g. teachers, nurses, doctors and police officers) would ever earn. And that’s what we probably pay our reserves for playing footie that no one pays to watch.

  124. Clerkenwell @ 2.17pm

    Sorry man, i wasnt having a laugh at your expense. Quite the opposite in fact mate! I was having a adig at those who want us to pay the ludicrous sums on offer elsewhere. The bit about the gulag was me going off on one. I am a socialist TBH, which is ironic given how I yearn for my football club to splash obscene amounts of filthy lucre around!

  125. Great post big Al

    The ultimate goal should always be self sufficiency but i also think you have to be able to adapt to the situations changing around you. I don’t want to see us turn into the next man city but I have said many times before that I would like our owners to be willing to chip in some of their own money into transfer/wage pot to tide us over until we can reach our “ultimate goal”. I can understand why some would call that hypocritical but I don’t think that it is.

    Regarding our ability to compete, We start out at a big disadvantage but the goal should be to use our resources and put the best team on the pitch because even teams with huge advantages don’t always win. We had a real window of opportunity especially last season when the top of the table was as weak as it has been anytime since the turn of the century. Perhaps it’s wishful thinking but had we added a couple players like arteta, BFG, and a GK like Friedel or Schwarzer (all of whom were affordable even in the lean years) i think there is a real chance that things could have turned out differently. I don’t care to look it up but this past season I think we saw the biggest point gap and goal differential gap between us and the leaders of any time during the Wenger years so now we have a much bigger mountain to climb. However, you never know when another opportunity might come, perhaps even next season and the only chance we have is the keep our best players and add to the squad and make sure we are ready if/when the financially advantaged teams slip up. Ivans comment about adjusting the top end of our wage structure is very encouraging but we have heard lip service to making various other changes in the past so let’s hope that when push comes to shove that they are willing to pull the trigger on keeping a great player like RVP.

  126. The majority have the incentive to create financial fair play rules with teeth but that would just result in the financially doped teams forming a Euro super league. Perhaps there’s little they can do except become small ma and pa shops while the big clubs become the Walmarts, Tescos, Globus and Carrefours of the world.

  127. Clerkenwell

    I am sorry to say that I know all too well what you refer to mate. I have worked in inner cities with vulnerable young people and the future for them is beyond bleak. That stat about the Wall street hedge fund CEO’s compared to the teachers is shocking beyond words, but oh so predictable.

    As for stan? I hope your analysis and predictions are incorrect, but why else would he be interested? The only thing positive i can come back with is, the board would rather the devil they know. That’s it! Sad innit.

  128. Philmar

    That would indeed be a very mini league, comprising of Man City, Malaga, Chavski Anzhi Makala and PSG. Can’t see it happening TBH. Not having the chace of being a UEFA competition would be critical, as well as the appeal, or lack of, to TV companies as they would not have (well, atm) the likes of AC, Inter, Juve, ManU and the mighty Arsenal.

  129. Clerkenwell

    Great post

  130. I suspect that football (like running a casino) is a great place to launder dirty money. The team can claim 200,000 pies were sold even if only 30,000 were and that would justify a few – and almost a million pounds of dirty money is laundered every game just from pie ‘sales’.

  131. the chavs’ pie sales have been astro-effin-nomical since 2005, allegedly! 🙂

  132. capitalism will be the worlds downfall. All those scifi films coming true. I hope fair play works in the way most of us want it to, but nothing is entirely fair, how can a team with a twenty thousand capacity compete with us or man utd, they cant. There will always be reasons why some teams dominate more than others, having more money to spend is just the same, how will the fair play thingy help teams like sunderland to attract the best players, its money my friends that attract, it attracts me and it attracts most cause it the way we judge ourselves, like it or not, unless your one of the lucky ones in life who vallue other things like health and happyness higher, we all like to think we do. I think we can still compete with the big guys (money wise) as we still have a solid team with genuin good young players , we have a stadium that is generating money and an improving intercourse with the globe as a brand. so how much have we earned by playing by the rules over the last year or two cause i want to see it spent on quality and you dont get too much of that for under 10 mil

  133. Clerkenwell Gooner

    @ Dexter – I know you meant no offence, and none taken. But some days, well, I just can’t play it ironic any more.

    I would like things to be otherwise, and for spending £30-odd on renewal not to be an issue, but unfortunately, it’s not the case right now.

    I hope to be able to get along to a few of the CC games if £5/£10 tickets go to general sale, especially as I love to see Iggy, who IMO is an exceptional talent. But it’s sad, feels like the end of an era. I do have, however, a shed-load of other things I need to be getting on with, and football, and this excellent blog, can be the most almighty distraction. (Not that I won’t be following every kick of the Euros, lol.)

    @ ZimPaul – Wow, that unemployment stat is quite something. You’re in Zimbabwe, I take it? I have so far resisted the informal sector myself, but who knows? I am certainly, believe it or not, looking into growing my own food – in the middle of central London. I’ve been on the waiting list to get an allotment with the local council for about, ooh, seven years now. Meanwhile, I make do growing herbs on my window sill, and am about to branch out into rocket and lettuce, and possibly tomatoes, on my balcony. Needs must, etc. etc.

  134. Upper Street Gooner

    ”That is idiotic beyond words. The clubs want bigger clubs to thrive because when they meet, they bring more revenues with them.”

    Why is it then that Bayern, Real and Utd who all have massive self generated revenue all complain loudest about financial doping in the present day, why is that Yogi. Why is it that the chairmen who lead the charge against chels and city are these guys.

    Why would you want clubs who drive up your costs through doping, why would you want players who can take your players through doping….??? TV money will be following you anyway as you have the largest support so why would you want teams with small support competing for yoru money due to them artificially being able to buy your best players???

    >”you say its slating the manager”

    Its stating a fact. If our manager hasn’t used continuity to improve the defense over 5 years who fault is that. All i did was bring it to your attention that continuity is a huge advantage as well as money. Your just being defensive of the manager but in reality all i did was point out a fact continuity hasen’t helped our defense.

    ”So fantastic that only three of their players came through the youth set up. The rest were acquired.”

    You pick up on the most minor aspect of the overall point that nobody has yet come up with a solution with. Dortmund despite bigger disparities compete. Irishgrey thinks competing is having your title challenge over by sep, he think losing to city at home in a cup is competing as well as getting comprehensivly outplayed by sunderland.

    lahm, alba, bastien, kroos, muller all from there youth system the fact that hummels also did is rather here nor there. Thats 5 starters from a side that reached the cl final…….where is your point?

    ”So why is ours an insurance policy and theirs improving the squad. When you make comments like that, do you not see why people label you the way they do? If you don’t then there genuinely is no point in continuing.”

    Well Yogi its because there are significant rumors that our brilliant left footed striker is about leave as his contract is coming up. In recent times our club hasen’t exactly covered itself in glory in spending the money generated from selling key players….has it….nope.
    Thats why its perfectly reasonable to suggest that Uts buying a young forward lying playmaker when they didn’t have one this year and chels signing a brilliant winger when they didn’t have one this year might not be an insurance policy

  135. @arsenalandrew

    No, lol actually I’m a Data analyst and studying for my accounting degree. I actually just read alot of actual books and newspapers, probably a whole lot more than somebody my age normally does.

    @Philmar and Dexter

    I have brought up the possiblity about this super league and while it may seem like it will only be a couple of teams you must consider this; if the best teams get kicked out of the CL do you not think that teams and presidents(both greedy) will not want to join a league were only the best and more than likely richest clubs will play. I fear that if a super league were to come about there would be quite a few teams i.e Milan, PSG, Madrid, Inter, Barca, Chavs, Malaga, Manshiteh, Chavs, Pool, Anzhi Makala, both Bayern clubs at the minimum. But I do think other teams would join because of the level of competition. The most damning thing in all of this would be that the TV companies would jump onto this because you would be talking about basically a league of the best clubs that Europe and Asia have to offer in a Super league that will not have any teams like Wolves, Sociedad, Montepillar(before this past season) that wont draw a TV audience, it would essentially be the end of many of the smaller clubs. I know that if this was to happen that atleast here in the states people would tune in even though it would make me absolutely sick to my stomach and make me really question even more everything that I love about futbol.

  136. the mini leage would pay for the beers, they would make entering and winning that competition hard to resist, money talks, it dont sing and dance and it dont walk ha ha

  137. The idea of a europen breakaway league has been voiced many times. It could happen. BUT, it would require ManU, Milan Barca to be part of it. And, I think, at present, the old guard would rather break away from the nouveau riche. But that could change.


    Mate, I hope you get that allotment man! And its a shame you cannot post more often on here, as I find your shit well interesting. Thanks

  138. I can forsee a time when football will be played out in empty stadia. The crowd and accompanying noise will be added later to give the television viewers the best possible and most attractive ‘product’.

  139. Upper Street Gooner


    I fear for the smaller clubs but there will always be a market to go to the stadium, although due to hyper wage inflation the prices are starting to really hurt people.

    More likley to happen first is epl games being played abroad. Put a game in asia and literally charge through the roof to see the opposrtunity.

    European league will happen but quiet a few years in the future, who knows it may even be a world leaue look at the money flowing east and west from europe.

  140. @USG

    I can answer your question as to why Dotmund can compete against Bayern. They had a group of uber talented youngesters who were broguht through their youth ranks and is apart of the now Golden generation of German futbol along with Ozil, Mueller and the rest. All the money clubs came calling to them and they all said fuck off(except Sahin) and then added a couple players like Barrios and now Marco Reus(who is so fucking talented and many Germans including Klinnsman and Ballack have said he is better than Gotze). They essentially built from the ground up after building a absolutely beautiful stadium. At Arsenal that seems to be what we are doing with the likes of Theo, Jack, Ramsey, Le Coq, Song, Sczny, and others then sprinkle on RVP, Santos, Mert, Arteta and we are building the same way the only difference is that their youth have had no major setbacks in their plan because their youth want to stay and play together.

  141. @Clerkenwell

    Mate I’m rooting for you and great post!

  142. Oh, I didnt mean that people wouldnt want or be able to go to the actual stadia any more dude, just that it wouldnt be a necessity for the owners as the ‘real’ money will come from the TV/Internet/Neurological implant broadcasting.

  143. Though one can point to Dortmund and Montpellier as examples of small teams that won their league, it must be pointed out that these leagues have but financial giant (PSG and Bayern). Italy has 3 mega teams and La Liga has 2 giants. We have the 2 biggest financial dopers in the world as well as the Manure Mega-brand teams to beat. When I see a Swansea, Villareal or Chievo win their league then I’ll think that the financial dopers’ advantages are not unsurmountable.

  144. The Arse in The Gamb

    Clerkenwell. A heartfelt plea and worth the read.

    Don’t forget that inequality can be reversed in this new world, you too can escape with a role of the National Lottery dice.

    All under the banner of rob the poor to pay for rich people’s follies. Invest in it with the promise of endless bounty….the catch? Not much, about 14 million to 1…… odds they can most definitely afford.

    It is a model you can see being used by the church too, to get people to buy piety, luck and put a good down-payment on access to heaven. Pledge don’t question, and you will plant a seed..blah blah.

    And with God leading the way, why not football? Blatter is nothing but a decrepit pig at a trough and Platini a vain little emperor, so there is no leadership away from the same model. It may cost the poor and there may be little except more money for the rich, but if a billionaire comes knocking at the gates of your club, or your kid can play a bit, maybe you too can tap into this new super-wealth and then the shoe is on the other foot and you can eat your money you have so much of it.

    The only numbers worth remembering are 14,000,000 to 1 and some other words like loyalty, trust, honour. Forget these things and you may as well give up and go back to swinging in trees.

  145. If anyone has seen Rollerball (the orignal 1970s version, not the remake) Thats how I see football in the 22nd century. Thank fuck I’ll be brown bread by then.

  146. Upper Street Gooner


    Yes very plausible. The crucial point being we need to keep our core young players together its what the whole model is built on and we need to be able to adapt our structure so that this becomes the norm for us rather than a great surprise if we keep one.

    I would also suggest that they are a younger side than us but one thing is for sure they appear to have bought into their system better. Watch any game from there and my wife is German so ESPN is imperative and the consistency with which they bring their high octane pressure game is simply outstanding. If we can defend from the front and midfield like that next year we will be there or there abouts regardless of the mancs or chelsk.One must assume that the players will feel much more comfortable in the system next year.

    Completely agree with you on Reus our manager thought so as well, cost 17m euro would have been a devastatingly good buy. Plenty of great players out there that dont cost 50m.

  147. Upper Street Gooner

    Dexter | June 7, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    My apologies.

    In the states they have something called a blackout to counteract this. If fans dont turn up to games the NFL doesn’t show that clubs games live in the area.

    There are some very very smart people who think Stan major area of expertise is selling local tv rights its why he aquired the rights to them first. Ideally he would love to be able to have the platform which sells subscription to watch all asreanl games. Obvioulsy just a theory but one that has allot of weight in the states

  148. Me too Clerkenwell. We are self-sufficient in eggs, most vegetables and herbs now and many people help each other where they can; we at least also own a little land to do these things. Yes, I am in Zimbabwe.

  149. @USG

    I find it strangely odd and must still be drunk from last night but I am agreeing with you lol.

    The only thing is that last season the only reason they became younger is because we bout the likes of Arteta, Santos, Mert who are over the age of 25.

  150. Because Real and United are deflecting attention away from themselves USG. Is that too touch a concept or maybe it’s too abstract? BM have a lot to say as they occupy positions of power directly or indirectly.

  151. The Arse in the Gamb

    Top post thanks man.

    Although I have some real concerns about the long termfuture for the game of football and therefore, my club. It is fantastic to read some of the thoughts of my fellow Gooners on here.

    Thank you for sharing dudes.

  152. Upper Street Gooner


    We both know that Utd debt is a very very different animal that city or chels. As a business its frightening what they could do if some stumped up the 1.5-2 billion the glaziers are asking for. If they had that extra 80m a year to spend on wages and new players they would be extremly difficult to beat.

    Real despite huge doping in Perez first period in charge with the sale and lease back of the training ground there revenues have grown so impressivly since then that they dont need to dope. They buy Ronaldo for 80m but have so many fans around the world who would buy his shirt that is smashes half his fee within a week. They have been mking massive profits the last couple of years. They are the ones with the revenue and fanbases they already have everything in place for them.

    There is no benefit to them in having to share there pie, nor their players with clubs with 1% of their fanbase.

    Bayern hate it as they are the best run club in europe and yet there power is dilluted by having to pay massive wages to players who come from these inferior clubs. Dzeko was a baby in their playground 2 years ago when at wolfsburg now if they want to get him back which they are rumoured to what would it cost them in fee’s and wages.

  153. USG

    You fail to understand that (a) United and Real’s debt is no different that the nouveau riche, just a different source and (b) there is no product if the big clubs go bust. It’s (b) that you are not understanding. If Chelsea or City go under, Real and United don’t benefit. They don’t because it is highly unlikely that they will gain much revenue (in the grand scheme of things), Bayern even less. Once one goes, it’s a domino effect with more following. And more importantly, it weakens the product. As much as they may not like them, they don’t want them to disappear.

    Words said by club chairmen are invariably media fodder, football politics, meaningless. You really do need to understand that.

  154. @USG

    I doubt they want Dzeko anymore as they just signed Pizzaro who i far more deadly than Dzeko.

  155. Gate equalization, placing a cap on the amount of money each team can spend on their rosters, and a system of draughting players each year are three of the ways equalization can be injected into the league. None of these methods are utilized in Europe but exist in every major sports league in North America.

    The draught is fundamental to equalization. The bottem teams have the first pick in each round of the draught. The top players in a country have no choice in the matter. They go where they are draughted. In the case of the National Hockey League, the draught encompasses every country that plays and develops hockey players.

    Having a salary cap on players does not allow a Manchester City, Chelsea, or Liverpool to exist in their present way of operating.

    Gate equalization is a method less used in North American professional sports. The method preferred is to only allow new franchises into the league who have a minimum size facility. In the case of England, would 50 thousand seats be the minimum size allowable? In many instances cities in the US go into arrangements with the owner of a franchise to build a suitable size stadium. It is in the interests of cities to attract a professional sports franchise due to the income generation.

    Whatever is considered, surely this ridiculously repetitive understanding of just a few teams in the league ending up at the top of the league each season is a bit on the boring side! We already know who will win the league next season and it will not be Arsenal! This is not doom mongering but just simply stating the facts as they have existed in England for eons. If the shieks wish to invest their oil money in England why not give them something to place their money in that will generate income and jobs.

  156. @Two Owls

    I have thought about that many times, a salary cap and it was brought to my attention even though I already had some sort of knowledge that it would be vastly difficult because of the variuos countries involved and their different regulations. Would it work out great, absolutely as we all have said and wanted but it would be so difficult.

    I do fully agree with you on the cap at which a club could spend. Its interesting because now in the NFL each team is alloted a certain amount of money to spend essentially and thus allows them the freedom to buy and release within that alloted amount but if they go over, the actual fines and %/$1 that they pay is actually astronomical.

  157. Music Thursday eh, isn’t it?

    I think the problem with MT is that people prefer posting, and don’t listen to others music but honestly everyone ought to listen to this (see what I did there?).

    This is absolutely mental. I love it.


  158. “It’ll be a festival of wealth extraction, aimed at untapped global markets, particularly those in Asia.”

    I agree. I feel Manure’s signing of Kagawa will be self-funded in shirt sales alone. I posted earlier that Kagawa would have been a great signing from a financial POV especially when Ryo comes of age. We’d have owned Japan’s hearts and wallets.

  159. Two Owls:

    A draught would not work the way it does in hockey since the NHL is the only big time league in the world as far as I know so young players have to play by NHL rules if they want to play in the big leagues. In futbol there are several major leagues in Europe, England, Spain, Italy, Germany so good players have many options that are not available to good young hockey players. Can you really imagine the next Leo Messi signing with Blackpool if they draughted him?

    A salary cap sounds great and I hope it happens in some form. The devil is in the details and differing currency values and different labor laws and regulations in different countries really complicates the problem. The other thing I dislike about a salary cap is that it artificially keeps player wages down so the bulk of all the money generated by futbol ends up in the owners pockets instead of the players pockets where it belongs. Ultimately the best solution would be to put all the money generated by futbol in all countries into one big pot and then divide it evenly among all the teams. Alternatively on a smaller scale they could have a different money pot in each country. The owners get to keep a certain smaller percentage of the revenue and the rest goes to player wages. That means Fulham is on a level playing field with Man City etc. Thats not going to happen anytime soon.

    FFP is a step in the right direction and if it actually worked would help level the playing field among the big teams. However the smaller teams like Fulham that generate much less revenue then a team like Arsenal are still left out in the cold with FFP.

  160. I hope you got as much pleasure writing this piece as I did reading it. TWICE.
    Well done. To you and the ARSENAL for their work. We should be proud enough to shut it off the roof tops for all to hear and emulate. Unfortunately we are kept busy locking horns with some of our own all day ,to convince them that we are the best and the world needs to start following. Us . Not the other way around.
    UP THE GUNS!!!!

  161. and it don’t matter if these doped up clubs do it by the way of suggerdaddies. Or borrowing. From the bank. Same shit. Bought glory.

  162. billturner90

    All of the posts today were a joy to read. I have mixed feelings about capitalism. One of the success stories of capitalism involves a group of poverty stricken women who formed a maid service company and quite literally went from rags to riches…I find the similarities between the football world and the real world quite striking. I imagine that the wealth gap (5% of people (or sugar daddy clubs) holding 90% of wealth (paying 90% of total transfer fees and wages)) has parallels in footballing terms.

    Curse you Jonny. You beat me to the music! BTW my buddy has been pushing Die Antwoord on me for a while now. I would love to hear what some of the more elder posters think about that song, and our generations music in general.

    I am seeing radiohead and caribou this sunday…

  163. pedantic george

    My beloved ACLF is fucked .
    Give me Hunter any day .
    Well played Dexter and khalifha
    And Big Al .thank you for the article .

  164. Hey Jonny,
    Not bad song choice from Die Antwoord. Cracking SA music

  165. Billt – Radiohead & Caribou 😀 😀

    Nice tune Yogi – one of Sheffield’s finest. There were rumours of them reforming but it petered out. Probably for the best – they were always forward thinking anyway.

    PG – I think Hunter and Jabba deserve each other. They should be locked in a box and dropped in a trench.

    The Mariana would probably suffice.

  166. Thanks – guest listed to go and see them in a few weeks, ‘ristic.

  167. i don’t think we’re fucked. i just don’t think we’ll see another edition of the invincibles any time soon under football’s current economic model. We can continue to punch way above our weight and some time soon when the board is done paying off the stadium debt we should be able to challenge for first.

  168. Bobby Pires picks his best IX for England and France in today’s Guardian:

  169. Limestonegunner

    An article encapsulated in my signature dictum: Arsenal is the only salvation. Thanks, OoU. A well-written and rousing call for pride in the Arsenal way.

  170. Enjoyed that Jonny. Wouldn’t want to meet them in a dark alley though.

  171. They are at the academy in Dublin soon.

  172. Bobby writes of Rooney:
    “(H)e’s a battler, he has character but also he has the skill and he scores goals. There’s nothing not to like.”

    Really? – the fact his hotblooded temper gets him and his team in trouble (Bobby, you’ll notice he’s not playing in the France-England game for disciplinary reasons.)
    And the threat to run to crosstown rivals Man City at the start of the season isn’t something to dislike?
    And if you fear for your grandma’s hips you wouldn’t want that scouser too close to her….

  173. Philmar

    Thanks for posting that. I lost all respect for him (not really!) when he picked Terry and Mexes as his CB pairing! I mean, the 2 shittest Cbs in the 2 squads.

    Was very interesting to read his remarks about Yann the mann though.

  174. billturner90

    Dups, from what i’ve heard the people in Die Antwoord aren’t actually that fucked up. They are art school students who wanted to create that sort of imagery with their videos/music…definitely succeeded in that regard…

  175. Chortle Dups – bet they’re pussycats really.

    It’s all done with a great (dark) sense of humour.

  176. Absent friends….

  177. ” Can you really imagine the next Leo Messi signing with Blackpool if they draughted him? ”

    I can’t. But I can imagine a world where Chelski would have to compensate Blackpool for Messi if Messi wanted to earn Roman’s money. Blackpool would be strenghtened indirectly.

  178. This ones for all the facially challenged;

  179. And if I had a pound for every time George asked me to do this, well…

  180. I think the recent managerial merrygo-round has resulted in some very interesting appointments.

    I think norwich and Villa have got themselves decent new bosses and although i like and rate Brendan Rodgers, I am not sure whether it’s a season or 2 too soon for him? I would have liked him to continue what he was doing at Swansea and then, maybe, be in contention for a job at a club in north London.

    A possible positive to come from Roger’s appointment is Bergkamp becoming the Swans new boss. That would be amazing! Hope it happens.

  181. Ex-gooner day in the Guardian.
    Sol Campbell writes that Rio Ferdinand should have had chance to turn England down

    Personally I’m so bored with international football competitions that the only thing that would make me watch England play would be if Hodgson selected ANTON Ferdinand and put him and Terry on the pitch as teammates at the same time. THAT would be worth watching.

  182. And one more potential change in manager could be the funniest; Old Twitchy McBung being given the tin tack, spanish archer; el Bow. 🙂

  183. That last one’s a Serious tune YW!

  184. Yes, yes, yes to ‘A Forest’. The bass line is nectar.

  185. The Arse in the Gamb

    Afrikaans is ‘pigeon Dutch’, I don’t speak it, but somehow Jack Parow sums up that mixed culture of ‘I Fink you Freeky’ that can trace its roots back to Charlize Theron and Benoni.

    Apartheid is what happens when the little Dictator takes himself too seriously.

  186. Speaking of drinking…

  187. Pidgin, Arse in the Gamb, it is pidgin. ‘Pigeon’ requires the speaker to coo with a head butting motion like Joey Barton and the arse sticking out like Max Wall.

  188. Upper Street Gooner


    Point taken and its definatly a perspective that i hadn’t thought about in detail. Diminishing the collective value of the product isn’t something that any chairmen would want.

    I suppose an example is the NFL owners wanting small market teams to potentially move to bigger markets, or teams with bad stadiums all lobbying government for public funding. They all want the value of their share to increase.

    I think part of the issue with regards to beliving what the owners say is that because i think the media spin everything i tend to place quite a high premium on direct quotes from players, managers owners

  189. Frank

    Or maybe Joey Barton sticking his head up Max Wall’s arse

  190. Loving the music guys 🙂 keep it up as it is really making the day go better and faster. Sent my old man an email telling him to put $250 on Ireland making it out of their group in the Euros. Not sure of the odds as yet, will get back to you on that.

  191. pedantic george

    pedantic george | June 7, 2012 at 5:11 pm
    My beloved ACLF is fucked .
    Give me Hunter any day .
    Well played Dexter and khalifha
    And Big Al .thank you for the article .

    Just going to post the same shit over and over and over and over………….seems to be the way forward.

  192. @Irishgray

    You are a brave soul I must say!

  193. I thought the Pink Floyd that I used to listen to in college was a bit “out there” but that looks very mainstream compared with most of the offerings today. If you guys actually like that stuff then more power to you, but I can’t imagine sitting around listening to most of it without a cannaboid assist. Its been a very long time since those days.

  194. C – why? It’s his dad’s money! 😉

  195. Any FNM fans in the house?

  196. @Jonny

    Well then his dad’s money, lol

  197. My take, or Iggy’s, on the state of football today.

  198. Can just imagine Bill getting down to this one, or maybe not! Its for you George!

  199. Oh, RvP’s new contract…

  200. On the other hand, watching Arsenal play sometimes makes me feel like this…

  201. Finngun

    Was that Mike Riley in that Iggy video???

  202. No Dexter, I believe that was a lab rat.

  203. Dex:

    That one is actually not bad but IMO would have been much better about 1/2 as long. Not something I would put on my Ipod but to each their own.

  204. Excellent, Oofus. Really excellent.

    I just posted the following somewhere else but I think it’s on the same wavelength as wot you are, so if you’ll indulge me I’m going to post it ‘ere too:

    Love to everyone!

    I think the strategy is one to be proud of and the ambition – the top – attainable and realistic. Maybe not next season, maybe not the season after – but what we are building is a super-solid platform (our own two financial feet) to realistically strike at top honours from, for decades to come – for our children and our children’s children. I think that’s remarkable and innovative and very exciting indeed as a fan.

    On the immediate playing side, ours is still the youngest squad in the league and it’s not unreasonable to expect big improvements all across the pitch as early as next term. In maturity (decision-making, psychological stamina) and ability – but also in communication and understanding in partnerships all over the pitch from a squad that’s been injected with a lot of new players.

    So, in short – I think we can expect a lot of natural improvement from this squad; in-house. On top of that – you never know, we might sign a couple of new faces. We usually do! But I am with Ivan, I don’t think it needs £30M players for Arsenal to mount a title challenge. The advantage we have is, of course, Arsene Wenger – who has every age group at the club playing instinctive, cohesive passing football – and City and Chelsea – just can’t buy that. Hence, at full strength – we routinely have those sides camped out in their own half.

    A bit of patience and AFC will win things, and win things in a fashion that – given the weighted dice of our opposition – will go down in the history books.


    PS – you said it much better, Big Al. Kept Men is absolutely on the money and if they don’t question the legitimacy of these whores’ victories then they farkin well should do and we’ll remind them about it on the terraces mercilessly every team we meet.


  205. Indeed Bill, glad you gave it a whirl tho!

    Talking of Pink Floyd, the chavs have failed in trying to turn Battersea Power station into a chav tastic half empty new stadium.

  206. Nice one Limpar. Just one question. So, where are you posting these days man?

  207. billturner90

    Dexter, underground resistance is sounding like LCD Soundsystem. I take it you probably are a fan of them already…

  208. pedantic george

    pedantic george | June 7, 2012 at 7:37 pm
    pedantic george | June 7, 2012 at 5:11 pm
    My beloved ACLF is fucked .
    Give me Hunter any day .
    Well played Dexter and khalifha
    And Big Al .thank you for the article .

    Just going to post the same shit over and over and over and over………….seems to be the way forward.
    And over and over and over…………………..

  209. Alright, Dex? I’m not really posting anywhere tbh. Busy with work things. Though I posted that here:

    But I can be found on twatter from time to time (though I wouldn’t particularly recommend it – full of twats). (If you follow one person on twatter – let it be @gusthefox )

    I’m sure I’ll venture onto the hallowed turf of ACLF over the summer to chew the pre season cud. Wouldn’t miss that for the world. Tradition, innit.

    Hope you’re well.

  210. Will

    Yeah man, a big fan! Love UR from way back too.

  211. Limpar Assist.

    Ahh you’d have to be off your tweets to go on twatter mate!! 🙂 Haha! I’m all good thanks man, been really busy, but things slowing up now, thank fook (I’m trying to juggle, work,. studying and partying, not to mention football!)

    Good to see you on here pal.

  212. billturner90

    pedantic george | June 7, 2012 at 7:37 pm
    pedantic george | June 7, 2012 at 5:11 pm
    My beloved ACLF is fucked .
    Give me Hunter any day .
    Well played Dexter and khalifha
    And Big Al .thank you for the article .

    Just going to post the same shit over and over and over and over………….seems to be the way forward.
    And over and over and over…………………..

    Jonny, did you see this coming?

    …like a monkey with a miniature cymbal…

  213. Liking your internet equivalent of a hunger strike there PG! 🙂

  214. @ Limpar – Great to hear from ya buddy and as always nice post 🙂 I fully agree

    @ Jonny – Lol but it is my money!! It is a little slush fund I keep in a bank account in Dublin just in case the family need some emergency cash(which these days is pretty often!) And apso for.whenever I want to throw a few euros.on a bet 🙂

  215. Not a tune, but still… Brilliant!

  216. Thanks for that one DukeyG, never heard it before. Loved Fat Les Vindaloo and Lily’s alright too! 🙂

  217. yeah lilly is a right dirty little minx.

    not that i’m saying i like my women like that though!!

  218. Nah, me neither… Ahem 🙂

  219. Lily is like her father. Their lift does not reach the top floor.

  220. Clerkenwell Gooner,

    Ah, the fiasco of the pleasure dome in Wemberley. Happy memories of digging down below the foundations into the muck before it got too, um, mucky. And predictable. It’s good to have you back on ACLF.

  221. yogi…

    your best ever…

    Polanski loved it.

  222. this aint a bad vid!!….anyone notice who AA knicked his celebration from???

  223. I gave up on season tickets and stuff a long time ago. I felt football was ridiculous way back then.
    But I’m still here. Going to games with friends always, sharing tickets with each other. It means you don’t sit in the same seat every game with the same people, which is important to people. I’m of the generation that was priced out as a teenager, so I never sat on the same area for years with friends and so I don’t feel a loss.

    What I did lose was the opportunity for a free season ticket for life. You see, in the years when the stadium was being completed I was working and living and loving other places too. Some here, some there. I totally missed out on the local residents right to apply for the season tickets mentioned above. Dammit would be an understatement.
    But my friends took pity upon me. I still make 20+ games a season with friends. Sometimes they’ll shovel a ticket through the letterbox when they can’t make games. Gritty realists who have had tickets since 1666 complain about people giving away tickets in recent times. I try to insit on paying for most of my tickets, most of the time I suceed but people have been giving me free tickets for over a decade. Just one of the advantages of living next to your club! Perhaps it is just because I am so cool? I don’t know. But I bet the bit about local residents being given free season tickets really pissed off the Gritty Realists.

  224. I can see an England V Ireland quarter final here… if we finish top, i fancy tee Irish to finsh 2nd.

    but we will probably scrape through in 2nd then get sent packing by the spaniards.

    would be great to see an England v Ireland quarter though!!

  225. I do buy my own tickets. Sometimes. For example, if an unfortunate member of my family who lives in Manchester is visiting I can suggest on a matchday morning: ‘hey, whilst you are in London do you want to watch a real football team play in a proper stafium? I’ll see if they have any returns for this game* on my way to get the papers shall I?’
    *same for every game, every time whether at Highbury or not. Some games you’ll get returns, some you won’t.

  226. The Arse in the Gamb

    Frank at 7:15 pm

    Thank you, I had never seen it written, I only speak it, but Wiki describes exactly what it is and why.

  227. flipping ell there is no one around now, oh well better to have silence then to put up with all the tedious bollocks ramblings from earlier in the day.

  228. Dukey behave 🙂

    Have you seen this:

    I have to admit to quite liking the guy but that is just too fucking creepy!!!

%d bloggers like this: