RED ‘Salvation’ ARMY!

By ryandanielwood

Being an Arsenal fan at this moment, is a lot like visiting the Salvation Army. Ultimately we are relying on the charity of others. “Others” in our case being that poaching, mega-bucks, team of dollar chasers. Manchester City.

Now, I’m not about to go out on a limb and suggest that Man City can alone decide the fate of the league trophy this season. It is of course down to all the eligible teams in the race. It is down to the performances of Manchester United, Chelsea and the squad of unequalled Red and White geniuses in North London, as to whom undisputedly go the spoils.

My point however is that with the upcoming Chelsea fixture this weekend at Stamford Bridge, Roberto Mancini’s team of millionaire misfits might pose the best threat of ramming the league leaders off course. Take into consideration Chelsea’s trip to Inter, a match that put them a little more to the test and maybe, hopefully, weakened their resolve. Anyone left doubting the jetlag and overall weight of a champion’s league fixture should stretch their minds back to Sir Alex Ferguson’s account of why Everton overpowered his side recently. Let’s face it, at this point any Arsenal fan will be left wishing to the god’s of the beautiful game to transport us back to pole position. I know, because I witnessed such desperation and mild lunacy last weekend in a local newsagent.

The shopkeeper is a keen Gooner. He plays coverage of the matches on a small TV by his till while serving his customers. I entered the shop around 6pm last Saturday, all football coverage had finished. I made friendly conversation, mentioning the Everton victory over Man United earlier in the day. Expecting a positive reply, and hopefully a response of how Arsenal can manipulate the scenario to their advantage. He was totally disconcerted by that. His mind was literally somewhere else.

“You know, if we had beaten United and Chelsea, we’d be six points clear right now…SIX CLEAR!” he frenetically jaunted at me. He even counted it on his fingers, just in case I hadn’t heard. I assure you I and the rest of the formed queue behind me, had heard.  He went on:

“I’ve drawn up the premier league table as if we had won.” He wanted to produce the false statistics for me, but now very un-nerved, I made a mental note to shop elsewhere in future and passed on the offer leaving the shop.

But his passion and unquestionable belief that we should be Barclaycards Champions this year sparked a fuse inside me. I wanted to construct my own chart of statistics and formulate my own belief behind a strong set of factors. Though mine are at least loosely based on fact.

Other than the crucial over-riding factor that Chelsea lost at the San Siro, we will all no doubt have taken a larger interest in the pretty serious looking injury that had Petr Cech carried off the pitch. With a bit of good fortune he’ll be unable to appear again before the title has been decided, and if Ancelotti is reckoning on Hilario to produce an adequate stand in role for the following eleven premier league games, he’ll surely pay the price. Let’s be honest here, I’ve seen bladder poisoned incontinence victims keep cleaner sheets.

This unfortunately isn’t a guaranteed occurrence to bring the premiership back to the Emirates. None of it is. Manchester City for all their worth, were undone by a plucky Stoke side in the F.A cup (sounds familiar) and since checking out Hilario’s Wikipedia I’ve discovered he does retain a half decent record between the sticks. Still that’s what makes it all the more likely for everything to change. Football, it’s a funny old game.

By ryandanielwood

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90 Responses to RED ‘Salvation’ ARMY!

  1. Morning all

    Todays headline post is by guest writer ryandanielwood.

    Thankyou Ryan for taking the time to write and send your post to us. I hope you’ll be around to enjoy everyones comments and join in with the blogging today.

  2. Its true we are now relying on others to help the top two drop points but in all that we have to find some consistency and be able to play catch-up when the chance arises.

  3. charybdis1966 says:

    Morning all, it’s always good to hear another view on our run in and I would get shot down for lowering my expectations, but I’ll be happy to finish second as we are probably going to need the reprobates of the bridge to implode a bit more on the pitch for us to win. Now, if Rooney was to be injured for a while I would have a bit more hope, however as a fan I’ll continue to believe and get behind the Arse.

  4. Big Raddy says:

    Excellent post Ryan. I particularly enjoyed “I’ve seen bladder poisoned incontinence victims keep cleaner sheets”. Great ….

    Quite honestly,based upon recent seasons the team most likely to implode are The Arsenal !

  5. charybdis1966 says:

    Surely we’ve done our share of imploding in the last few years Radders? It can’t happen to us again, it must be someone else’s turn.

  6. I agree chary – morning by the way to you both :)

  7. charybdis1966 says:

    4 match ban for Adebarndoor – an extra game on top of the 3 match for a straight red because of his previous offence, the stamp on Robin’s face.

  8. Unfortunately his ban starts tomorrow against the chavs but citeh will have Tevez back. The chavs are so strong at the bridge though aren’t they? Now I sound like raddy :oops:

  9. ryandanielwood says:

    Morning all,

    Thankyou for your kind comments, I was worried the post might be a little to non-Arsenal on the whole, but I do hope the game is swayed by little instances, like Cech’s condition, Wayne Bridge possibly digging deep and outperforming his scandolous former clubmate. And possibly Carlos Tevez might give a show of himself as a proud father…It’s genuinely a very lucid, string of faith. but then faith can be just that sometimes.

    Thank you again for all the comments, i’ll be around for most of the day to answer any questions.
    I also forgot to link my name and blog at the end of the post, but it’s been generously added to the sidebar under Non Arsenal blogs. Please feel free to visit as my two latest posts are Chelsea bashing articles.

    Thank you to Peaches in particular for steering me on the right path with the submission. :)

  10. charybdis1966 says:

    I think the ban would have started tomorrow anyway Peachy, it’s just he gets an extra match ban at the end of it. If Man Shitty were being a bit cute they could have appealed and got the ban pushed back if they were unsuccessful, but I suppose for them the Chav game is just like any other, whereas for us we’d like them to beat the Chavs and Adebarndoor could have helped.

  11. London says:

    I fully expect to beat Stoke and go on to win the league, good read Ryan.

  12. London – I read your comment quickly and thought you’d written you expected Stoke to go on and win the league.

    If you really do expect us to go on and win the league I hope we start with a good trashing of Stoke tomorrow.

    That should stir Franchise :)

  13. Wonderful financials released from the club today.

    I seem to recall much anger vented by many around this time last year when it was suggested a figure of around 130M was due to be repaid by this year.. and that was one reason why our spending was limited in the transfer market.

    Most thought this “130m” figure was a myth … even though it was clear as pie in the accounts as due.

    Well, well, well… seems the debt has been reduced since by…. drumroll…. “130m”

    How bloody lucky are we to have this manager and this board running our club in the midst of the worst economic crisis in living memory?

    and how poignant are these results on the day pompey go into administration?

    we are the healthiest club in the country by some distance.

  14. Livers says:

    Just gonna say that Stringfellow, just seen them and they quality and great to see the debts being reduced significantly and some properties now debt free :-)

    Morning all btw

  15. chaf says:

    Good read Ryan

    Good morning

    I too expect us to beat Stoke tomorrow, we should know what to expect, a complete kicking, and long balls thrown from all angles. Simple. Stoke are also getting a bit cocky now, so lets take advantage. And with the finances so good lets invest in some super glue for Delaps hands.

  16. tommystout says:

    Thanks and a good read daniel. I think we can count on the others dropping points, its us that can’t. If chelsea or manutd don’t drop points then hey they deserve the league. I think manIOUtd have the easier run in of the two, so i’m looking for favours more from the likes of Liverpool Chelsea and City to stop them.
    Stringfellow, i couldn’t echo your point more, thats fabulous news about the finances.
    As for stoke tomorrow, lets hope our left and right back dont give too many throw in away… i’d much rather concede a corner than a throw against that lot.

  17. ryandanielwood says:

    Thats great news on the finance front. Although I kind of expect it, in return for the tight rein around the cheque books.I too am really happy and feel lucky we have Arsene and a sensible board. He is such a good saver I bet he has a penny pot with every player he’s saving up for the in the transfer market.

    “Oooh Hill-Wood check it out, I’ve almost got enough coppers to purchase Balotelli!”

    And I didn’t into really any detail about our game with Stoke, purely becuase as much as I have faith riding on the Chelsea/City game. I don’t want to tempt fate in our latest run-in with Bionic Arms United.

  18. London says:

    Ok I might be a bit early but this is the team that I would like to see tomorrow.

    ———Almunia
    Sagna,Campbell,Vermaelen,Clichy
    —-Ramsey,Fabregas,Song
    —Eboue,Bendtner,Walcott

    The rationale for having Walcott in there is that whenever Stoke have a throw in they pile forward leaving them vulnerable to a break but we will need to be quick to exploit it and there is none quicker than Theo.

  19. Mayank says:

    Good post Ryan, interesting times ahead for sure!
    Also agree with London on the Walcott thing, though isn’t Arsh fit?

  20. charybdis1966 says:

    Mayank – no Diaby, Arsh or Gallas for tomorrow, but a chance Eduardo will be available for tomorrow.

  21. charybdis1966 says:

    London – I would drop Sagna and put Eboue in at right back with Rosicky taking Eboue’s place, but put Rosicky up front on the left side of Bendy with Theo on the right.

  22. SharkeySure says:

    Excellent post RyanDW. I love shopkeepers who think of their business as a drop in centre and focus as much on meeting people as they do on selling stuff.

    He sounds a right loon that one.

    Again, excellent post.

  23. Hartwick89 says:

    ryandanielwood,

    Now that’s a mouthful! Speaking of Hill-Wood; are you two related?

    This was a fantastic read!

    I always know how good a piece is; if I stop several times and do other things while reading. Or if I read straight through.

    In this case as I remember it (old age) I read straight through. I even caught the hilarious phot of Bjorn Borg, Ade, & Tommy Lee!

    As for the intent of your piece it was an excellent way of cheering us up as we chase the title.

    Here is another thought to ponder… Even though we are substancially behind Chelsea and ManIOU (aside from losing to them which the shopkeeper pointed out relentlessly [which us Arsenal fans try to do all the time {in that way}]). The last eleven weeks you will see that an upset is likely to occur.

    Of the three teams likely (and I use the term likely as if I were counting six points) to drop points it (on paper, computer, or in half me brain) would think Arsenal have the weakest remaining games.

    My thoughts!

  24. SharkeySure says:

    Oops Morning/afternoon all

  25. SharkeySure says:

    I make London’s team about right.

    Although I do worry that we play into Stokes hands a little by over adapting our style/line up. But I suppose needs must etc etc

    I hope Walcott kicks on a bit more again tomorrow, and at least provides a threat, even if there’s not a lot of end product.

    Talk about setting my Theo expectations low ‘eh.

  26. London says:

    Chary

    I thought about that but I reckon Sagna is much better in the air than Eboue and we know what to expect from Stoke so it would be Sagna for me.

    I wouldn’t mind Rosicky or Ramsey at mid right although I reckon Wenger will go for Denilson…..

  27. charybdis1966 says:

    London – granted Sagna is probably better in the air, I still think the attacking threat EE offers will kill off the attacks down our right flank from Stoke plus to drop EE after his MoM performance doesn’t fit well with the supposed meritocracy Wenger purports to run.
    However I must say that Denilson is not who I want to see playing tomorrow – his last 3-5 performances have been woeful and a spell in the reserves might buck his ideas up.

  28. SharkeySure says:

    Agreed London.

    Sagna’s a real warrior in those situations, and even though the ‘Somali Pirate’ is a big strong boy I don’t think he is as brave and determined as Sagna

  29. London says:

    Chary

    I wasn’t suggesting that we drop Eboue, it fact if there was a choice between him and Walcott I would go for the Somali Pirate Hhhhaahhaahhha where on earth did that come from?

  30. Mayank says:

    That sucks Chary, so i guess London’s team is right, how about Vela on the left and EE at RB. To me it always makes sense to play the in-form player.

  31. charybdis1966 says:

    London – I think it was a reference to that documentary on pirates in the Atlantic off Africa who were wearing EE27 Arsenal tops. I’m advocating playing Rosicky on one side up front plus Theo – but I’ll concede it’s a difficult call, unlike Denilson. Drop him, that’s a no brainer.

  32. London says:

    Ohhhh Mayanak I hadn’t thought of that one…..Vela on the left, Eboue on the right and leave Theo on the bench.

  33. Mayank says:

    Most people have forgotten about Vela, including Wenger! I think I’ll go for
    Al
    EE – Sol – Verm – Gael
    Nasri – Song – Cesc
    Rosicky – Nik – Vela

  34. SharkeySure says:

    I actually think Denilson is a decent on player on his day, but he is so far off form at the moment, that starting him is just not an option

  35. SharkeySure says:

    There was some footage of Somaili Pirates on the high seas, and one of them had an Arsenal shirt on with Eboue’s name and number on the back.

    For the life of me I have never manged to see the footage again or find any evidence of it.

    I know I saw it though, and its a moniker I use for him at every opportunity I get

  36. ryandanielwood says:

    haha, unfortunately I am of no relation Hartwick. Although its probably for the best. If you think Hick’s Jnr was a bit explicit in his post. I’d of made him come across like OFCOM!

    Stoke are pretty powerful and mongrel like in their style and looks! But if Song can be a bit more of an imposing figure and be well supported by Vermaelen we might still pose a good aerial challenge to the long balls and deep throws.

    As for the front three…Its tough to put one ahead of another. If Bentner was more versatile I’d stick him just behind a Walcott and Vela, he’s strong and a good weapon in the air. But I doubt he has the maturity to take on a foreign position to CF.

  37. SharkeySure says:

    Chary…thank you very much. My sanity is no longer in doubt !!

  38. London says:

    Mayank

    That is a good team but one that I would want to see at the Emirates the following week against Burnley when defending is secondry; tomorrow the priority surely has got to be defending and hitting them on the break.

    My revised team would be

    ————Almunia
    Sagna,Campbell,Vermaelen,Clichy
    —–Ramsey,Fabregas,Song
    —-Eboue,Bendtner,Vela

    Vela’s crossing is so much better than Theo’s which would bring Bendtner into the game far more.

    By the way, that is Ramsey or Rosicky

  39. tommystout says:

    I’d go with Vela while we are on a roll with penaltys awarded. His quick feet and general wizardry guarantees he gets bundled over in the box everytime i see him play… so maybe just maybe we’re on a spotkick streak.

  40. London says:

    To me it is all about Sol tomorrow and his ability to marshall the defence for those throw ins. I expect his involvement to make the difference from recent trips to Stoke and expect him to be instumental in securing the three points.

  41. SharkeySure says:

    Agreed re Sol London.

    I said exactykly the same thng to my mate by email earlier.

    Fingers crossed that Almunia’s half decent run of form continues as well.

    If Clichy’s form hadn’t improved slightly would anyone be calling for Traore’s heigfht and power to come in. Might we see him anyway..??

  42. charybdis1966 says:

    S Sure – it depends on whether Pullis’ pugilists have a tricky right winger or not. If they do I fear Traore will get skinned – if they play narrow, which they probably will due to them squeezing the pitch to the minimum permissible per Premier League rules, then I would say Traore may not fare too badly. I feel on balance Clichy has not done so bad as to be dropped.

  43. London says:

    Clichy was better last Saturday against Sunderland but I am not sure if that is because he improved or that the opposition were weaker.

  44. SharkeySure says:

    Agreed Chary. A few weeks back it would have been atougher call to make.

    Clichy has improved, and whilst its debatable to hwat extent, he’ sprettyy much guaranteed to start tomorrow.

    I wanna see us play more on thoer half, score 3 or 4 times, nad let them have a ‘throw in goal’ as a consolation.

    We’re a great attacking side and part of me wants to say bollox to their long ball and throw in tactics.

    We almost talk about a trip to Stoke like its a trip to Shitford Bridge…it ain’t !!!!

  45. SharkeySure says:

    Typinsons. Oh dear !!

  46. charybdis1966 says:

    I was at the Grove for the Sunderland game and the Mackems didn’t seem to offer that much going forward London and on that basis Clichy looked more comfortable. I think Gael should be ok tomorrow and with any luck he will steadily get his form back.
    S Sure – I reckon we dislike going to Stoke because of our awful record there so far – 2 games, 2 defeats. If we’re not careful we’ll get a mental block about going there, rather like we used to have about going to the Reebok, an assured attacking display form us should change that.

  47. Sharkey – don’t change, I love reading your posts when you’re in full flow, stopping to work out what you’re saying.

  48. I think Clichy did enough last Saturday to be first choice LB but Eboue on the wing London!!!!!!!!

    Eboue is a right back – he can come on and play mid with 20 minutes to go if we’re 3 up but otherwise no IMHO

    Eduardo won’t start just coming back from injury so I reckon we’ll see Nasri Nik Theo up front although I agree that Vela is a shoo-in to get us penalties as should Theo

  49. Big Raddy says:

    Just realised. It is Johnny Cash’s birthday.

    Must be grounds to open a bottle of bubbly !

  50. charybdis1966 says:

    Has anyone else been disappointed with Vela’s season so far? Maybe I have the memory of his ineffectual performance the last time we went to Stoke firmly embedded in my mind and I’m unduly negative about him. He seemed to be easily shrugged off the ball and quick to go down under any challenge. Am I being too harsh?

  51. SharkeySure says:

    Johnny Cash…another celebrity gooner Raddy..??

  52. SharkeySure says:

    Cheers Peaches.

    Some of my posts look like I’m blogging from an Iphone whilst riding a unicycle (on a cobbled street??)

    I’m sat at a desk with a full sized keyboard !!

    It was your mate Fran that first accused me of having Typinsons…. lol

  53. SharkeySure says:

    A little harsh Chary..?? I’m not sure….but I can deffo see where you are coming from.

    He really hasn’t delivered very much this season has he. I know he’s not always available due to Mexican commitments, but still….

    We’re into March almost and I’m struggling to think of anythng he’s done well in the PL.

  54. charybdis1966 says:

    Maybe Wenger has been thinking like me also as he’s always seemed a bit reluctant t use Vela in any league games and when you think we’ve waited about 3 years or so for him to hit the first team maybe we feel a little anti-climactic?
    That he has the skill/talent there is no doubt but a bit of application and steel seem to be missing still. Didn’t Wenger say he would be Robin’s stand in, or that he was like Robbie Fowler? Hmmm

  55. London says:

    Peaches

    Eboue didn’t get man of the match last week for his defending…he got it fo his attacking play….this is what has changed….bear in mind I am just calling for him to play on the wing tomorrow becasue his defensive ability and his all important speed on the break…. against Burnley the following week I would want him back at right back.

  56. Rasputin says:

    Afternoon AA Team ;)

    Congratulations RDW on an excellent debut.

    Emerging news on finances has once again dominated the blogosphere, but I’m not sure any of it is ‘new’.

    It sounds like the infection that required Gibbs to have a second operation was pretty severe. Arsene is right to play down his chances of making the world cup squad.

    I’m not sure Terry should resign from the England squad – who’s next in line? – Upson? He should resign if the rest of the squad are against him. It will be interesting to see if any of the citeh players shake his hand at the weekend.

  57. Franchise says:

    this is an autopost

  58. Big Raddy says:

    Is it?

    I feel that Terry should be judged upon his footballing ability and nothing more. The decision to remove him as England Cpt. was correct insomuch as the Captain should carry respect, something Terry clearly lacks.

    But to judge him from a moral viewpoint is unfairly discriminatory. Neither he nor Ashley Cole deserve the derision aimed at them for their immorality – they are a product of the system that creates them.

  59. Big Raddy says:

    Vela.

    Like Theo this has not been a great season for the boy! Injuries have held him back and when he has played it has been in an understrength team. The few cameo sub performances have not excited us.

    But the man clearly has talent. Hopefully he will get a chance to shine at the WC, and come back a more confident and able player. We certainly need a left sided attacker

  60. London says:

    Vela

    I was confused and a bit annoyed that Wenger seemed so reluctant to play him, none more so than when he put Eboue on the left wing rather than the seemingly more obvious choice of our left footed Mexican but I have arrived at a situation where I think I understand why Wenger is being so protective. I reckon it would only take about three poor performances for us to turn on him in the same way as we have on Denilson, although, that is not to say that I think all the criticism aimed at the Brazilian is wrong. It strikes me as easy to imagine that three below par performances and we would be at his throat. If you think I am exaggerating I remind you that that was exactly what we did to Anelka. Wenger has decided to take his time with Vela introducing him slowly into the team and I am now happy to accept that. I would like to see him play tomorrow but I doubt that he will or certainly not before seventy minutes. A good World Cup, as BR says, should do him the power of good.

  61. Alfa says:

    Great set of financial results, better than I predicted on Highbury Square. Certainly better than any other club, maybe in the world.

    Still means there will be very few signings in the summer in my view. We can’t afford to sign new players. Wages of the existing players up by 12%.

    A year or two from now the situation could be different.

  62. I agree London he did get his MOM award for attacking play but I still don’t trust him to play from the mid-field. When he runs from deep he doesn’t have to think about it too much and takes people by surprise.

  63. I still don’t understand why the club needed to pay off such a large amount of the debt unless the original terms required it.

  64. We’re struggling to think of a title for tomorrow 8O amazing I know. Anyone got any ideas………

  65. Its funny London – you and I think AW is protecting Vela and others think that he doesn’t rate him.

    Whats not to rate?

    The sad thing is that he had a great understanding with Nik last season and now hes not playing enough games and looks a bit lost when he does come on. Hes clearly very talented and very yummy :oops:

  66. Folies bergeres time – tell me again London how to do the accents.

  67. London says:

    Peaches

    alt 130 = é (that is 130 on the calculator numbers, not the numbers at the top of the letters) but I know you are pulling my leg.

    Eboue is not one of those who I feel the need to dig my heels in and defend until I am blue in the face. Moving on, Sagna has to play right back tomorrow, he is a far better defender than Eboue. And so we arrive at the situation in which we need to decide who should play wide right? The choice is between Walcott or Eboue…….and for me, Eboue is better.

  68. Its a tough one – I don’t know how AW will choose – I love Eboues energy but Theo will never improve if he doesn’t get the games – ho hum something else for Arsene to lose sleep over.

    Shall we try to get hold of one of those Financial Analysts that slammed alfas post to see if they want to write something about the figures that came out today for next week? Is sharkey in that line too?

  69. I think I can’t do the accents because I’m using a lap-top :(

    Wheres irish – d’you think shes wandered into the outback?

  70. London says:

    Peaches

    Sharkey, I understand, is an accountant, his view on the state of financial play would be very interesting indeed; he wouldn’t be able to stop himself adding a big dollop of humour which would spice it up.

    Come on do an accent for me “Arsène” alt 138 = è

  71. London says:

    Yeah, Irish is probably wrestling crocodiles somewhere in the outback.

  72. London says:

    Or is it Dingos, maybe rabbits? Don’t they have lots of wild rabbits out there?

  73. :( it doesn’t work honest :(

    I’ll send him a sneaky email then :)

  74. London says:

    I read all the more serious comments on Le Grove today about our financial situation and leant a lot. I felt sorry for some of the first timmers who wrote in from all over the world innocently trying to put an alternative view only to be insulted; they probably think we are all rude and arrogant Arsenal supporters here in London.

  75. London says:

    Last attempt….try turning “numlock” on, that should be top left of the calculator.

  76. London says:

    Ok, I have found the full proof way….go into “word”…press “insert” which is at the top and then press “symbol” and if that doesn’t work I am getting a cab to the Winch ;)

  77. London says:

    See ya tomorrow

  78. Arsè hey look what I did :lol:

  79. Look look look it works èèèèèèè

  80. charybdis1966 says:

    London – I’m a Chartered Accountant, but switch off when I hear about the Financial Statements – it’s too much like work !

    So for an interpretation of the accounts – it’s over to you S Sure!

  81. Big Raddy says:

    Stuck for a title for tomorrows post. Any suggestions…. it is a pre-match for Stoke.

  82. charybdis1966 says:

    How about – time to delapidate the delapidator ?

  83. These things take a lot of working out Raddy :)

  84. Rasputin says:

    Hi chary – once again, I have no idea why your comment @ 10:04 went into moderation…. sorry :(

  85. London says:

    Chary

    It’s not so much the fine details that are going to captivate people like me, it is just the need for reassurance that what we are being told by Gazidis is generally correct. I think we have witnessed today just how much people’s ignorance can be exploited in the most shameful anti Arsenal way.

  86. charybdis1966 says:

    That was weird Raspers – anyway off to bed. C’mon you rip roaring gooners – revenge at the Brittania please!

  87. London says:

    No need for a towel for Sol tomorrow, Peaches has volunteered to wipe his…….I’m going to leave now.

  88. charybdis1966 says:

    PS – Yes London, I see but I’m still going to let S Sure have the first stab on the accounts.
    That’s me L-A-Z-Y !

  89. London – how cheeky are you :roll:

    While we’re having late night chat – the family band are doing a gig with Jools Holland and other artists incl Suggs at the Barbican next week :D

    Sade looked and sounded gorgeous.

  90. Alfa says:

    SS, Chary, take a look at page 6 of the results.

    I read that as saying that if we hadn’t made £33.9m from player sales, our operating profit would have been about £10.5m. We then had to pay a net £9.2m in interest, leaving a net profit before tax of £1.2m. I

    That almost exactly matches our net cashflow for the period, of £1.2m and explains why we can’t afford new players. The main reason we aren’t generating cash is that players wages are going up fast but our income isn’t.

    If Gazides came out and said – we are doing fine but we aren’t generating enough extra cash to be able to afford new players without selling some of the existing ones I would have a lot more respect for him. Instead figures of £35m get thrown around and people think ‘great, we can sign David Villa’.

    I’m not an accountant but have worked in business for many years and am financially literate. Always happy to be educated if I’ve misunderstood though. By the way, I am in complete agreement with the general policy of the board to be prudent, always have been.

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