The Arsenal Way v A Billionaire.

Having been brought up steeped in the Arsenal tradition and having a knee-jerk reaction of antipathy towards the call for a “sugar daddy,” I am forced to ask myself “why am I so against them?”

Are Man City a worse club just because they have “bought” the league? Are they any different to Man United who have a €35m player sitting next to a number of €15m players on the bench? Or striking closer to home, an Arsenal Invincible team with only one non-purchased player (Ashley)?

There has been much discussion about the relative merits of the two billionaires vying for control of OUR club. Frankly, I am ambivalent as which one has the controls because all I care about is The Arsenal and as long as there are checks and balances in place, either of the two evils will do. Neither has any Arsenal genes, both are successful businessmen, both are absent owners. and I doubt if either could explain the Offside rule.

Would an oligarch allow us to play Wengerball without winning trophies? Looking at Chelsea and Abra one would have to say No. Pragmatism, huge good fortune and boring, boring football won the CL. If Abramovich wants to play expansive football he has the resources to buy the players (though Hazard and Mata indicate he means to).

Sadly, one must conclude that these mega-rich owners are the best route to Silverware. So, is it possible without a billionaire at the helm?

Has any club succeeded in this quest? Well, we only have to look beyond the Pond to see it is possible. Montpelier’s laudable winning of La Ligue is proof a well-run club can compete against the Billionaires. So too in Germany where B Dortmund have repeated their Bundesliga triumph without buying hugely expensive players – though BD are publicly owned.

Will FFP enable smaller clubs to succeed. One can hope so but in my experience the rich get richer. The difficulties of breaking into the Top 4 are there for all to see.

Can what I think of as The Arsenal Way really compete in this new era?

What is the Arsenal Way?  Timmy describes it as “Sound management, beautiful display of football mastery, Charity, Good Neighbourliness and Touches of influence to the poor “. To be honest there has been some considerable inconsistency  in the “football mastery”  but the commitment is there. I think  the Arsenal Way is – honesty, class, calm under pressure, integrity, intelligence, respect and history.

Having spent some time thinking about this as I write this post, my conclusion has changed –  If it is possible to find someone willing to plough millions into the club on a non-profit basis (like the Mansours) and then adhere to the customs and traditions of The Arsenal,  I would welcome him with open arms.  I don’t see Man City fans being embarrassed about how they won the title.

But wouldn’t it be so much sweeter if we become the BD/Montpelier of English football?

Written by Big Raddy

130 Responses to The Arsenal Way v A Billionaire.

  1. […] The Arsenal Way v A Billionaire. […]

  2. Scott says:

    I’m proud of the way the club is run,and the style of football it plays.
    I do not say this as justification or in defence of the team ot winning trophies,it’s truly how I feel.
    In the world of professional sports…not just football…Arsenal should be held up as a signing light for all things good and decent.
    Trophies…..blah…..we not know they can be bought,so if that’s not proof enough that their relevance and importance has been diminished,then nothing will.
    I’m a Gooner,win,lose or draw,and will remain the proudest of the proud.

  3. Scott says:

    I hope my use of the IPad hasn’t made that post impossible to read!! Bloody keypad!

  4. Shard says: matter how rich, throws money away. In fact, people get that rich by being greedy (or insatiable) in how much money they have. No billionaire is going to give Arsenal or any other club, charity. They simply make money in other ways. And we haven’t reached the end game yet with Abramovich or Mansour yet. Arsenal are better off without that, trophies or no trophies. Besides, I really do think it is possible to win in our model. We’ve basically gotten through the worst of our financial constraints. To throw all that sacrifice away now will be irresponsible.

  5. s j little says:

    Just get rid of the rubbish an d stop thinking the Academy will ever produce a real top team. After twelve or so years and a turnover of about 1000 players only Cole and maybe Wilshere have reached the top.
    Of the other hardly any have even succeeded with any really worthwhile careers.

  6. derek jones says:

    wats wrong with being a very wealthy club then ? wen you can buy any player you want & keep us all happy !

  7. Morning all, an apposite time to bring up the ownership question Bug Daddy soon after the Premier League made 30% share ownership no longer of any consequence.
    Shard, I believe soem millionaires see owning a football club, especially one that has the glory of trophies, as a vanity project, one that they are happy not to see them bringing in any profit.

    I think the Camel Shaggers and the Siberian gangster fall into the category I’ve described, while Stan and Jabba seem, to me, to be the type you allude to.

  8. Big Raddy says:

    Chary. I agree to a certain extent. I think Jabba will want to compete with his Russian mate and as such will not be concerned about profit – though I wouldn’t mind a slice of what he will make should he sell his shares!

    Shard. We agree that it is possible to win with a sustainable financial model.

  9. Dick Swiveller says:

    I don’t think PSG or Dortmund are good proof that financial doping can be overcome. Bayern, whilst having a lot of resources is only really equivalent to us beating Man U, something that used to happen regularly, there is no mega disparity in the Budesliga because they regulate things there. This is only the first year of PSG having their ‘roids, Montpellier will be picked clean (partly our fault if rumours are to be believed) and PSG will buy yet more extravagantly and will probably win the title next year or the year after.

    I believe it is possible though, it just needs a solid club with one hell of a manager, I also still believe Wenger to be one of the best around so bring it on.

  10. evonne says:

    Raddy – wouldn’t it be? That would be immense, to compete at the highest level and to win without the oily money! We are not far off and I believe we will be the BD and Montpalier of EPL, at least.

    Derek – it is easy to buy trophies, anybody can do it, but there is little pride in that. The Arsenal is the old, proud and classy club and we would like to remain of of these. Do you really want it thrown in your face – ‘Sugar daddy bought you a few cups’?

  11. Scott says:

    We’re two peas in a pod Evonne!!

  12. ros says:

    Arsene put the invincibles together and is trying to do it again but gems keep leaving which does not help him iam praying he can do it again before he retires

  13. evonne says:

    Scott – are we?? You don’t want to be in the same pod with me 🙂

    Ros – others tried to recreate Invincibles too. And failed. Personally I hope nobody ever repeats OUR achievement. It is ours forever

  14. Scott says:

    Are you a snorer Evonne lol

  15. Scott says:

    Better to create than buy,Ros.

  16. evonne says:

    Scott – don’t know 😦

  17. Scott says:

    I’ve never heard me snore,therefore I don’t snore lol.

  18. fergalburger says:

    My difficulty in approaching this idea is that it is a bit like trying to build an expensive eco house next to a nuclear reactor.

    The problem with the billionaires is that none, not one has given money to their club. They have off-set it as a loan which is due to be repaid through long-term (never stipulated in time and repayment programme). So Roman, Sheik and whoever else as Shard says, will never just give for fun. They didn’t get where they were by being a mug. If you look at Carson Yeung or whichever happy Borat impersonator who takes over Portsmouth, they may talk a benefactor’s game, but they are stitching the club right up.

    If the Sheik were to walk away with no other big financier to step in, who would may the multitude of £200k+ salaries per week that would stop any breach of contract? If the club breaches the contract, the player can walk away on a Bosman equivalent, thus freeing the club of the burden of their salary, but also losing a very pricey player for nothing. When you have debts up to your eyeballs as well, then that model is based on the final fraying seam of the flying pants flicking off the ankle of the Emperor as he hurriedly tries to jump into his new clothes.

    Anyway, I mix my metaphors and struggle with my own meanings.

    The Arsenal way? We instil a good football education, we help our rejects find other clubs. We try not to hang people out to dry if we can. Very seldom will there be a bad word about the management and structure which is all lovely.

    But at the same time the fans cannot be trusted with live action or replays for fear that the docile muppets we supposedly are might be roused into a rioting pitch invasion if provided with a replay highlighting a wrong decision. This would be all well and good if it we North Korea, or at least practised at all clubs. But considering that most show live action and replays of even contentious events, it is but one in probably a long list of reasons of how the club like to sanitise our experience.

    Maybe I am reading too much into this or not seeing it clearly enough?

    When we plodded around the pitch before the Carling Cup final in tracksuits, whilst Birmingham looked dapper. When they warmed up with intensity and we plodded through our normal cones, headers and crossbar challenge, when we expected to win through our louche approach to a game yet to be played, I felt the Arsenal way was doomed.

    Fortunately I am wrong, but the Arsenal way is based on tradition and respect. It takes an age to build and a second to lose and there do not seem to be many players willing to preserve it. RVP talked the Arsenal way all season and now what has changed? Are we trying to screw him in the Arsenal way, or has he had his head turned? Because RVP is a microcosm of the future of the Arsenal way. All will be revealed with him.

    I think?

  19. evonne says:

    …and I don’t really want to know 🙂

  20. Big Raddy says:

    FB. The first part of your argument is very persuasive.

    I also agree that off-pitch Arsenal looked much better under GG, but perhaps I am being old-fashioned. As to the pre-match: Isn’t it better to stick with routine? They warm up the same way every game

    RvP. Who knows. He has been raised both by his parents and the Club to reflect our traditions of integrity and respect. What happens now will depend as much on how much the club value him as RvP’s inclinations.

  21. Rasp says:

    Hi fergalburger,

    As we’ve come to expect from you, that is a very global way of viewing the situation.

    I think the problem is that the wealth behind City and Cheski is so massive that the owners really aren’t bothered about losing a couple of hundred million – although as you say they haven’t gifted their money.

    It would take a political change in the Middle East and Russia before those owners wealth was challenged to the point that they wished to withdraw their money from English football.

    Otherwise, as I’ve said before, we can only aspire to be the best of the rest and overhauling manu is probably the most achievable target in the next few years.

  22. henrychan - indonesia says:

    What happen to FFP..??? why Chelsea keep buying expensive stars if they lost a lot..???

    Arsenal brings Podolski 11mil, Giroud 12 mil, M’Villa 13mil all for 36 mils..
    And If we sell Bedtner for 8mil, Vela for 6mil, Fabianski for 5mil, Chamakh for 6mil, Park for another 4mil, Squillaci for 2mil, Denilson for 4 mil than equal..
    If we add Walcott for 10-12 mil and Ramsey for 8-9 mil, than we still have alot money to spend..

    Rumours said wenger is go after Ben Arfa.. for 18mil..?? Wow.. what a price.. Debuchi and Gourcuff also..???
    Is he being mad.. Collects all french team all together.. hehehe..

    I still hope for Dempsey.. he maybe about 8mil..
    Is there any news about him..???

  23. Rasp says:

    Hi Raddy,

    Well done, you’ve hit on the topic that is top of the agenda at the moment.

    I wish 26m was around to clarify how much power the FA have to prevent large shareholders having access at Board level – I would have thought that came under Company Law and as such required action by parliament….. but I know nothing about these matters.


    Hi Raddy, thanks for the post.

    You say that your conclusions have changed and that you are no longer adverse to a suger daddy. Well, allow me the opportunity to shift your conclusion again.

    The reasons i am against the suger daddy approach are many. Firstly, it is unsporting, propelling a club to the same heights as other clubs who have spent a lifetime of work to acheive there status. The second is that it can lead to financial uncertainty and risk the long term future of the Club, i.e. what happens to chelsea if abramovich pulls the plug?, i will tell you, chaos, they could not afford to pay there players. The third argument against, and perhapes the most persuasive is the nature of the Club which is suger daddied. Its ok for City and Chelsea. They needed financial injections like Bees need Honey. For Arsenal, it is different. firstly we can compete without help, and in the next few years will prove it. And secondly, and absoloutly vital to me, is the ethos of what we are about would be fundamentaly changed for ever. What i mean about that is that Arsenal is based on hard work and traditions that run through the Club. A youth system, motivated employees, path for employees at all levels to climb the ladder, dignity with the way we deal with other clubs etc. I am not saying we will lose all our vaules if a suger daddy takes over, but money is no object makes you lazy, distorts your vaules, and breeds resentment. look at City, Vieras job is to tap players up. Do we want arsenal to abandon 100 years of evoloution to become something different over night? I dont, and will never tire saying to all that will listen, lets hold on to our vaules and virtues and see were it takes us. Ime convinced it will be a great journey.

  25. Big Raddy says:

    Henry. I wouldn’t buy and sell with you!!

    You buy cheap and sell very high – clearly a good businessman.

    Who will give us all that money for any of those players, especially as most are coming to the end of their contracts? Perhaps NB and Theo would raise that kind of fee.

  26. Red Arse says:


    You might want to Google the London Evening Standard yesterday.

    The Companies Act 2006 does of course regulate the formation, constitution and administration of all companies limited, unlimited and publicly owned in the UK.

    However, the FA has no direct statutory control over companies apart from their own power to regulate a ‘fit and proper person’ test as to the owners of member clubs.

    The Premiership also introduced rules that any shareholder obtaining 30% or more of a company’s share capital, are entitled to satisfy themselves as to the running/administration of the club, and in order to do so are entitled to see the club’s material statements, and books of account.

    This is what Usmanov, in particular, has been trying to achieve, but the article I was referring to above states that the Premiership are voting to remove this requirement relating to the 30% shareholding, and that would stymie Usmanov. [Power politics at play? You betcha]

    Raddy said, earlier, that he would like a slice of the profits Usmanov would generate by selling his shares. Unfortunately, this does not recognize the law of supply and demand. Usmanov has been buying shares at a ransom price of up to £14,000 each in an effort to achieve the 30% holding, and that would value Arsenal at over £1billion if extrapolated from those figures.

    If he was forced into a distress sale he would find very few people prepared to buy his shares at the original purchase price and he would make a whopping loss. Stan has no real need of them and the AST would not dream of paying £14K per share.
    Sorry Raddy, your slice of his losses would make you a very poor man!! 🙂

    Sorry I am not 26M, but perhaps my inadequately cheap and cheerful precise will help in the meantime!

  27. Rasp says:

    Hi Red Arse, my sincere apologies, you should have been my first port of call for that sort of information 🙂

    I shall follow your links and attempt to educate myself … but I do find the financial stuff terminally boring.

  28. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi BR, thanks for a great post. 🙂

    I am surprised you have changed your mind re the odious SD’s, but it is very brave of you to write about it/ admit it.

    TMHT has just said exactly what I wanted to say, but far more to the point than I ever could have done. But then he shares his DNA with some of the oldest men of wisdom known to men. 🙂

  29. Big Raddy says:

    RA. Nothing new there. I am the “started off with nothing and got half of it left” …..

    TA. I would much prefer to continue as we are but am open to change.

  30. henrychan - indonesia says:

    Hi BR.. my big daddy.. hehehe..
    I just heard from other source the prices.. not mine..
    Bedtner is 8 mil.. does he..??
    Vela and Chamakh 6 mil.. is it too much..?? hehehe..
    other is under 5 mil..
    I think it’s quiet okay.. heheheh..

  31. Red Arse says:

    Interesting compote of a Post Randy, mixing your personal views and ethical considerations for us to chew over! 🙂

    On the personal side, you have been a stalwart in holding true to the Arsenal model, and your paradigm shift in this respect is quite startling to me.

    As you might expect, I am not big in the emotive stuff, and while I would not dream of casting aspersions on others sincerely held belief in “the Arsenal way” or suchlike catchall phrases, I am of a more pragmatic individual.

    I will not bore you with my own views on the “Sugar Daddy” versus “self sustainability” model, other than to say that if the FFP are to mean anything at all, the sugar daddy boat, for those clubs now hoping to acquire one, has long sailed!

    Your change of heart is admirable, in that it shows a flexible mind prepared to adjust to a new era or circumstances in football, (akin to the need for technology, which is now possible in all sports) and you are to be commended for recognizing that, altho’ as I have said, that particular boat has sailed. 🙂

  32. Big Raddy says:

    RA. Thanks for your commendation.

    As to the FFP & Sugar Daddy’s …. Oh Dear 😦

  33. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi BR, do you think we could reverse the clock once the sugar daddy has entered his trojan horse into our club? The deeply established culture and our (long term) existence are at stake here.

  34. Red Arse says:

    I missed a word off the sentence (above) “I am of a more pragmatic individual [persuasion]. Sorry, not feeling too good today! 😦

  35. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Redders, what’s up? How can we make you feel better?

  36. TotalArsenal says:

    Raddy, if Flamini Cooper is fully fit, and he really wants to join us again, I would have him back big style. He can do DM and LB – two areas were we could do with some Gaelic grinding! 🙂

  37. Red Arse says:

    Hi TA, 🙂

    I am just going to enjoy reading the comments on AA. That always helps! 🙂

    Hope to be back later!

  38. You gotta laugh at Flamin being let go by Meeeeelan.
    So all that “I’ll sign at the end of the season” and then leaving us really helped your career did’t it, you mug ?

    Still I shoudln’t be bitter, by way of recompense I’ll forward on the address of the local Job Centre Plus Centre to him.

    Poor, poor Matty. 🙂

  39. Big Raddy says:

    Heading to London for a long weekend.

    See you in the ether.

  40. goonerboy says:

    I don’t see what the big deal is about where the money from owners comes from-how many here know where Stan’s billions comes from? Property speculation that sent the rest of the world bust? Where is the moral superiority in that?
    Whats so great about inheriting wealth and positions on the Board like many of the current Arsenal Board have? Born to rule eh?
    Yeah thats classy alright. Very classy.

    Prior to David Dein Arsenal were largely underachieving and since the current Board tipped him out we haven’t looked like reaching the same level. People still talk about the invincibles- the truth is they were a team of top level players who were replaced by inferior cheap ones.

    Better to create than buy? The list of recent successes is small and the list of failures is much longer.
    No club can produce all its own from young players and unknowns and Arsenal are far from being able to.
    Arsenal have become a selling club under the current regime- a club with the 4th most valuable share capital in football has to sell its best players each year to break even.

    Take a closer look at our accounts over the past 5 years and you will see how important transfer income has become to us. Far from looking to a sugar daddy for 200m- the reality for us is very different- right at the other end of the financial spectrum in fact. When we sell our best player for 34m why can’t we buy a replacement of equivalent value?

    Too easy to gloss over the obvious- the playing side of the club is under-capitalised and underachieves as a result. We need owners who also invest in the club-who don’t see it purely as a vehicle for making a huge personal profit on the share market.

    Incidentally if Usmanov eventually gets to own the club (and I think he has been successfully blocked) puts his own money in- and his money helps to make the club successful and as a result more profitable- increasing commercial revenue- I don’t have a problem with paying shareholders a dividend-after all thats how you attract investors. If you want a business model thats what happens in business. No one but no one invests a penny of their money if they are not getting a return on it.

  41. TotalArsenal says:

    a song in the front yard
    I’ve stayed in the front yard all my life.
    I want a peek at the back
    Where it’s rough and untended and hungry weed grows.
    A girl gets sick of a rose.

    I want to go in the back yard now
    And maybe down the alley,
    To where the charity children play.
    I want a good time today.

    They do some wonderful things.
    They have some wonderful fun.
    My mother sneers, but I say it’s fine
    How they don’t have to go in at quarter to nine.
    My mother, she tells me that Johnnie Mae
    Will grow up to be a bad woman.
    That George’ll be taken to Jail soon or late
    (On account of last winter he sold our back gate).

    But I say it’s fine. Honest, I do.
    And I’d like to be a bad woman, too,
    And wear the brave stockings of night-black lace
    And strut down the streets with paint on my face.

    Gwendolyn Brooks

  42. Kevin says:

    What a dumb blog!! In your stupid inane retoric about not wanting billionaires buying trophies and you would be happy to do things the Arsenal way….. well my friend you sure as hell don’t know the history of our club very well do you??

    Arsenal have been my love for over 50 years since I was taken at the age of 5 to see us play (and lose) to Man U with the Busby babes team and I have researched and written books and articles about our Great Club and this is the most dangerous time for us that I have experienced in all of those years and you must understand why I am saying this.

    Arsenal have always been owned and run by people with money – and those people have in many ways done exactly what youo are condeming now, sure it was done as a Board but, it has always been people with wealth that has built our club and our history.

    I will go on record to say here and now that we would not be any where near the top if we had not had our own equivalent of todays money men back in the 1914 -1930’s, the most infamous being Sir Henry Norris. He not only engineered by nefarious methods to get us promoted to the new Div one in 1919 (it was muted that he used blackmail over one of the most important members of the deciding panels members to obtain the neccessary votes to achieve this feat!) … he also became notorious for not only making under the counter payment to get the best players of the time to sign for us, but he also was behind us paying some of the biggest transfer fees of the time equating to what Man City are doing (Charlie Buchan being a typical case)…He also engineered the signing of Herbert Chapman aguably the finest manager of the era. Norris’s involvement with the club ended when he was found guilty of being involved in “shady” payments and deals and was banned for life in the early 1930’s, however, this wasn’t before, with his “patronage” we had began our multi trophy winning run through the 30’s and also the move to Highbury and the massive support we developed from that time! So arguably without Sir Henry’s money and influence we would not be where we are today.

    I would ask you then to not play the “we are above all of this” angle!! Lets just accept that things have moved full circle and once again men with money are flexing their muscle, and if we want to be at the top we need to embrace the way things are – and I believe that we are lucky that we have Usmanov is in the frame to take us on and I sincerely hope that Kroenke gets fed up with having us as one of his rich mans toys, because believe me he will never put any further money into the club and has no interest in anything other than making money from profits earned, whereas Usmanov wants to be a winner and will lift Arsenal higher and take on the world financially to do it!

    I would also say just think for one second if 10+ clubs in the EPL have billionaires who will fork out money to buy the best in the world, wont that make things even better as the football played by the best players will always win through and wont that make for a fantastic league? Wont it be better to have more of these men owning clubs rather than just 2 or 3 who will monopolise the best? If you have your way and Arsenal stick to it’s “principals” (what a joke that term is when we have a man like Hill-Wood as chairman), we shall become just one of rest of clubs that make up the numbers in the EPL….. is that what you really want? This will make all of our history, achievements plus the support of all of me you and all of the fans that have gone before in last 100 years count for very little as we see our club become something like Huddersfield Town who were a big club when they dominated the 1920’s but fell away because they stuck by their “principles” over money at that time when times were changing?

    I would like my kids and grandkids to enjoy being fortunate in having the club they support being one of the best, not just a club who died away into the oblivion of the massed ranks of the also rans in the EPL or heaven forbid drop down a division or 2 for the first time! You may think it impossible, but once losing becomes the norm, advertisers and sponsers will move over to the winners …. we are at the moment living on borrowed time in that matter, but already we are seeing that the top players dont come or stay with us, and a couple more years of not winning trophies and we will then start missing out on the CLeague things will worsen, the stadium will not fill and it then becomes a downward spiral…. where will your principals be then??
    (By the way just check your history and you will see this is all true – some info will probably be available on wikipeadia)

  43. evonne says:

    are you Kevin Whitcher?

  44. Rasp says:

    Hi Kevin,

    Oh dear, where do I start with you?

    Well first, its a shame in your 50 years of love with Arsenal you haven’t learnt any manners.

    Secondly the author has expressed his opinion and your response is a different opinion so don’t come on here thinking that you are preaching gospel.

    Thirdly, you know nothing of the author, he has also been following the Arsenal for half a century and is as well qualified as you to make a judgement.

    The start to your comment was unacceptable to the point that I can’t be bothered to read the rest, so if you expressed anything that wasn’t a ‘dumb blog’ or ‘stupid inane retoric’ it has been wasted on me.

    By all means respond but if your next comment shows a similar lack of respect as your first it will go in trash. We are happy to hear your views but keep the insults to yourself.

  45. evonne says:

    Kevin – we met, I used to buy the Gooner and get tickets for matches from you. I cannot belive that you were so rude to another author who is entitled to his opinion.

  46. evonne says:

    Germany v Greece tonight – anybody to predict a result?

  47. Rasp says:


    That game is tomorrow, tonight it’s the Czech Republic v Portugal

  48. fergalburger says:

    Kevin you firstly come in by offending and criticising which shows your approach to a discussion. (You might want to think about that is this is a discussion or even a debate, but not an argument – opinions are invited hence the comment box!) For you to wade in like that makes it slightly provocative – especially when you are wrong.

    How are you wrong when just above this you say that this is all true?

    Well, in brief, you highlight an age of pre professional football when it was just a job with a low pay wage. Sustaining a club did not need money men of the ilk you refer to.

    Etc and bloody etc. If you can’t work it out yet you namecheck history as an ally, then you need to question your friends or how good a judge of character you are.

    However, the rest of your point though optimistic and slightly pie in the sky, takes the Republican approach that all growth is good and can cause no harm to anyone. Growth is comparative. It needs competition in order to be assessed. Too much growth renders all competition useless and therefore the sport in general and its lifeblood becomes defunct. Billionaires are not ten a penny. Those who care about football are even less so. They do not just replace each other and to have several all taking control of clubs and adopting the same spending approach is maniacal. Surely you get this? Maybe not.

    London is not Huddersfield. We are very lucky for the cosmopolitan capital that we have as our large and growing source of fans. It is in effect a very fortunate situation as no one could have predicted the extent of the financial and population growth in urban generation and regeneration. Arsenal obviously benefitted far more during the 70s, 80’s, 90’s and 00’s as we had sustained periods of success to count on as well. This meant that Spurs and Chelsea suffered from our success until Chelsea moved the goalposts.

    Anyway, for you to attribute the simplicity of money, money men, history and so on makes it so utterly rigid that you cannot possibly be right. Yet your sentiment is interesting and something I agree with in parts. We either play the game that is in front of us, or we are nothing more than also-rans.

    That much is true, the rest is a poor argument in my opinion (which is not worth that much I accept)

  49. evonne says:

    Rasp – what would I do without you 🙂


    Kevin, thanks for the history lesson.

    I am not taking any moral high ground, i just happen to like the work ethic of the club and the way it is admired by others. i certainly dont need lessons from the likes of you, who sit there on the sidelines screaming for some bloke to give us money.

    Your notion that Arsenal are destined to be an also run without suger daddy money and will go the same way as Huddersfield are laughable. You may know your history but you have little understanding of the present, and your vision of the future is misquided.

    You advocate a suger daddy at the same time that the world is in financial meltdown and when FFP rules are about to bite. Despite supporting the Club for geneartions you are prepared to sacrifice our vaules, and perhapes more importantly risk our future on a man you know nothing about. I dont buy your assertion that Usmanov is some one that is, in you own words ” a winner, who will lift Arsenal higher and take on the world financialy to do it” You simply do not know his intentions, none of us do.

    Our Club has a great future, and will soon be winning things without the need of outside investment.

  51. GunnerN5 says:


    With the exception of your first 9 words that is one of the finest and most factual posts that I’ve read on AA.

    When I read bloggers criticizing the use of wealth and craving for us to stay lily white and pure I wonder if we support the same team.

    You see the team that I’ve supported for 65 years has a rich history of “dirty tricks” and has always been owned by wealthy individuals -albeit they were loathe to part with their money.

    The “purity” tag can only really be applied to the Wenger years as he personally created a model code of ethics.

    I could care less where the money comes from – providing that it is from a sustainable source.

    Lily white indeed!

  52. evonne says:

    GN5 – you (and I ) are old enough to know that NOTHING in this life is for free. Everything has a price tag and in a case of a football club it could be anything from disruption, insecurity, meddling to administration.



    No one is saying we do not have a chequred history. Football is big business and there has always been dirty tricks. However, over generations, and you should know this better than anyone, Arsenal have had a way of doing things that persists to this day.

    So like Kevin, you are prepared to risk our culture and our future on someone you know nothing about?

  54. Rasp says:

    Thanks fburger,

    As a result of your response I went back and read the rest of Kevin’s comment. I hope he comes back on because he clearly is a dedicated supporter with strong opinions – he just needs to learn how to express them in the spirit of discussion.

  55. RockyLives says:

    Good read – thanks.

    You should be ashamed of yourself if that’s how you think it’s appropriate to enter what had been, up til then, a civilised discussion. You seem to be living proof of H L Mencken’s quote: ““The older I grow, the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age brings wisdom.”

    What you go on to argue is perfectly reasonable (although mostly wrong) but it is so undermined by the rudeness of your opening that I have no inclination to reply until you apologise to the author who, as Rasp has pointed out, has been supporting Arsenal for at least as long as you. And who has used some of his 50+ years of being a fan to acquire some manners.

  56. GunnerN5 says:


    I’ve made my point and I feel no compulsion to have to either embellish or justify my opinions.

  57. Rhyle says:

    Good post, Raddy…for me, I’d like to give Kroenke (who’s had about 15 months at the helm) a chance to show what kind of an owner he is.

    I’ve always said the “sustainable” ambitions of the club are scrupulous and admirable – the concern, as you hint at, are that if we fall out of the top 4 breaking back in could be very, very difficult – even with FFP.

    The prize money at the top of the game will growing immensely over the next few years – those participating in that party will see their balance sheet (and their operating profits) growing commensurate with that – enabling to grow a competitive edge.

    FFP actually ensures that the big boys will never be touched by the minnows by removing their ability to spend their way to compete…whilst those who already have spent to compete will have the income to keep them there. Bit of a shambles really…

    Of course…the moral high-ground is not exactly noted for it’s competitive edge and trophy-room…

  58. Rhyle says:

    Evonne / Terry – I think what GN5 is hinting at can be illustrated by the likes of JP Morgan, the Kennedy’s, the Bushes in the US, all of whom have a “checkered” past (read criminal at times) but have become wealthy enough to buy their legitimacy…like it’ll be any different for the Man City’s, PSG’s, etc of the world…so, if we can be part of that why wouldn’t we want to be? It’s important to note his use of “sustainable” in the last line…

    Not that I think we should be spending out of our means…just throwing my two penn’orth in uncalled for!

  59. fergalburger says:

    GunnerN5 I hope you can be compelled and inclined to justify how large amounts of sustainable funds come our way? Surely you do care where the money comes from? I mean would you be happy buying a player if you knew the funds came from Blood Diamond money a la David Dein and Danny Fizman?

    Ian Wright was most likely bought with money generated through modern forms of slavery. That was always a big pill to swallow. Do we want more of the same?

    Usmanov is a convicted fellon and as shady as an Eminem video set in a nuclear winter.

    I think I have managed to open quite a few cans of worms with this point. Sorry.


    Thanks Rhyle. i have no problem with Usmanov the individual, like i say i do not take the moral high ground. i just happen to like the wat the Club does things, and just as importantly, i am convinced that in the long run it will yield siuccess on the pitch.

    GN5, fair enough.

  61. Rhyle says:

    Terry – I’m not a huge Usmanov fan – fergal pretty much nails it for me. While I’d vote for John F Kennedy, I’d never have voted for “Papa” Joe Kennedy…who was a bootlegger with ties to the mafia. AU is bit more Joe, a bit less JFK for me!

  62. GunnerN5 says:


    I refer you to my post at 3:12pm, you are arguing with yourself – not me.

  63. fergalburger says:

    Actually I am arguing with this point. “I could care less where the money comes from – providing that it is from a sustainable source.”

    If you stand by that, then you are rather belligerent and slightly hubristic to not feel the need to qualify yourself. You are also further implying that you have no ethics, morals and most certainly pursue some vicarious quest for power through the funds of some potentially financially viable, yet morally repugnant benefactor. If Saddam Hussein was alive and wanted in would that be ok? What about Hitler as he had lots of gold and it didn’t look like running out until he got beat?

    You can refer to your point like it was some kind of quasi-judicial reckoning but you are arguing like an urchin which I referred to just 10 words before this one.


    Rhyle, the way some people talk on hear, i dont think they would mine if Al Capone took over. hahaha.

    In all honesty, this suger daddy thing will probably be made redundant with the new FFP rules. Many months ago Redders wrote a great piece about the people who scream for a suger daddy showing how riddiculous they sound. i wish that could be reprinted now.

  65. Rhyle says:

    I’ve never called for a sugar daddy…but can see the obvious benefits of having one…

    As I said above, when FFP comes in those “buying success” are likely to grow, let alone keep, their competitive advantage…it’s a well-meaning but broken piece of legislation…while I agree their ability to spend, spend, spend will be curtailed, their spending early on to establish themselves at the top of the pile will put them a mile ahead in terms of squad quality and income…

  66. RockyLives says:

    How disappointing that “Kevin” turns out to be a blog pooper: one smelly dump, then off, never to be seen again.

  67. GunnerN5 says:


    Are you looking in the mirror while you are having this argument?

  68. Red Arse says:


    Good comments, especially regarding the FFP bringing the shutters down on profligate spending, if they work, and also the fact that socio-economic scruples have a habit of changing with time.

    You mentioned a number of instances relating to families involved in questionable ‘commerce’ who went on to be pillars of the establishment, and there are many others.

    The converse is also true, where people of inestimable value to humankind were pilloried and mistreated during their lifetimes but who were eventually reinstated as worthy and respectable after their deaths.

    In the footie world, Manure were the first Premier club accused of ‘buying’ trophies when initially they became a public company, and were then taken into private ownership by an American billionaire who allowed the club’s debt to swell to finance his takeover and to balloon in an obscene way to finance player purchases.

    Nowadays they are seen to be very different to the Chavs and Citeh etc. How so?

    If the FFP rules work, as I said earlier, they will mean a drastic curtailment of the sugar daddies funding player purchases out of their pockets. But, as you have already pointed out, the mirror image means that club’s like Bolton, Wigan etc will not be able to do the same thing, even if they are bought by yet another billionaire.

    We (Arsenal) are in the happy situation that altho’ not a billionaires plaything — OK Kroenke is one, but he is notoriously shrewd and tight with his cash — we have a wonderful stadium and a very good core business that will expand in the next few years, allowing us to compete at the highest level.

    This pointless argument over whether or not we could/should become funded by extraneous funds bestowed by a billionaire is sterile.

    The FFP rules will prevent that happening – and we will not need that sort of funding anyway.

    The future is Red and White — the future is imminent! 🙂

  69. fergalburger says:

    Er actually yes. I was applying my make-up and adjusting my merkin. Anyway, now that I look presentable, have I (or you), got a suitable answer to my questions re: 15.22 and 15.37?

    If not, I am perfectly sated with your cooly dry and hilarious one liners. I can see we are getting nowhere as you have made your point perfectly well and you see no reason to embellish upon or justify your love.


    I dont agree with that Rhyle, i think FFP has real teeth.

    Anyway, ime off. Theres no point arguing about Usmanov, none of us know much about him or what his intentions are.Its even worse discuusing “The moral high ground” I might not want Usmanov, but been an old eastender wouldnt mind Reggie Kray. hahahaha

  71. Red Arse says:

    Fergalbergal, 🙂

  72. Red Arse says:

    Terry, 🙂

    Actually, I am not sure Rhyle was saying FFP will not work, he seems to be saying that if it does work it will prevent other clubs aping (and that is the word) clubs like Chelsea and City. 🙂

  73. Rhyle says:

    Spot on RA – it’s broken only because it ensures that the competitive advantage it’s trying to remove remains, just not as strong.

  74. Red Arse says:


    Not that I wish to get drawn into the ‘non-argument’ you are or are not having with a mirror or another blogger, but surely the question is not just about sustainability, but the context the term is being used in. 🙂

    If the question is ” are we in favour of a sustainable financial model for Arsenal?”, the answer can be seen to have merit.

    If the question is “can a multi billionaire sugar daddy/oligarch pour money into Arsenal on a sustainable basis?” then if ‘sustainable’ is defined by his ability and resources to do so — then I suppose there is only one answer — except FFP will not allow it so the question/point is moot! 🙂 But then I suspect you know that!! 🙂

  75. Red Arse says:

    The key element here, Rhyle, is that the way FFP is administered could work to the benefit of the ‘non-billionaire’ clubs, if it holds back the ability of Chelsea and Citeh to spend money on players until their turnover/profit/transfer-spend is stabilized, allowing the others to catch up.

    Either way, Manure and Arsenal will be the least affected. And I won’t cry crocodile tears over that!! 🙂


    Oh yeah, sorry Rhyle. I do agree with you after all. hahahaha

  77. GunnerN5 says:


    My love for all things Arsenal is beyond any question or doubt and requires no embellishment or justification- it’s been that way since watching my 1st game on Nov 22nd 1947.

    And all of your words, nay, insults will not change that fact.

  78. Rhyle says:

    ‘sokay Terry – I clearly need a translator…lol…

    RA – not so sure about “least affected” if we drop out of CL qualification, the prize money over the next few years will grow so disproportionately to that on offer in the Europa that it’ll be tough to get back in…though we do have the advantage of the most expensive season ticket in Europe… 😉

  79. Rhyle says:

    …another thought’s just occurred to me…

    Do you think UEFA will move the goalposts bearing in mind the financial advantage the PL has in terms of income from TV? Barca and RM are clearly light years ahead of the game in La Liga but UEFA doesn’t seem to be too worried about them…just interested to see if the latest deal gets them thinking and youse guys thoughts on it…

  80. jnyc says:

    Hi Raddy, interesting subject and post. My view isvsomewhere in the middle. I like how we do things, or try to do things. I wouldnt mind a little sugar daddy help here and there occasionally, with Wenger in control. But. I really dont want to be like man city or chelsea, because they are pigs about it. Throwing outrageous amounts to players which makes it very hard to keep salaries , not just transfer fees, realistic. It hurts the competetiveness of the league too much. Psg and malaga will do the same in their leagues and uefa. So i pray ffp works. When wenger does decide to retire, i
    hope we will continue in his tradition mostly. Whoever
    comes in his place may not have his genius, or his eye
    for talent, and will probably need competetive financing
    to keep up with the big money teams. Only Arsene could
    keep us in champs league on a tight budget

  81. glic says:

    Nice post Raddy.
    As I have previously said, 5 years and if FFP doesn`t win us some trophy`s then bring on Fat Boy !.
    Some of the nicest people and ones that I trust are former con`s . They did the crime and done the time but still cant get on with their life`s because some people just wont give them a chance .
    Too quick to judge !.

  82. goonermichael says:

    Nice post Raddy
    I am totally against jabba taking over the club as everyone will know. FFP although it would benefit us will stop smaller clubs from ever competing and preserve the status quo. Manu will always buy the best players under ffp just as they did before


    Cornwall, you are spot on there mate. Like you, i know loads of people that have done bird including some very good friends of mine. I just want to protect the vaules and traditions of the Club and would take Fatman over Stan if i thought he was the better of the two in those regards.

    Who knows in life. In a couple of years time Stan might be slopping out in the Scrubs and Fatman might be philanthropist of the year. As long as neither of them screw with our Club it wont bother me.

  84. GunnerN5 says:


    Check you email @ Arsenalnuts.

  85. GunnerN5 says:

    Podolski – I can’t wait to play for Wenger

    By Rob Kelly – From

    Lukas Podolski says the opportunity to work under Arsène Wenger was a key consideration in his decision to move to Arsenal this summer.

    The 27-year-old – who scored on his 100th appearance for Germany against Denmark on Sunday – will join the Club following the conclusion of Euro 2012.

    And he admits he is particularly looking forward to playing alongside Germany team-mate Per Mertesacker and learning from Wenger over the coming years.

    “He has been a very successful coach both in Europe and around the world,” Podolski told the Official Arsenal Magazine. “This definitely helped in making my decision.

    “He speaks several languages, and German in particular, which is very helpful. We have spoken to each other on the telephone a few times, which was very good and also made my decision even easier.

    “I speak to Per whenever we meet,” he added. “Per has mentioned things about the Club’s organisation, the training ground and the fans, and this has really helped.

    “It might have influenced me to a certain extent, but in the end of course I took the decision to come here myself.”

    Podolski has spent his entire career in the Bundesliga, but is confident he will have no trouble adapting to life in the Premier League.

    “I do think that the Bundesliga has done a lot of catching up in recent years and is no longer that far away from the highest level,” he said. “But England still has the strongest and most attractive league in my opinion.

    “The Premier League has very good stadiums, and the stronger clubs as a whole, and I’m sure I’m going to be involved in some exciting matches.

    “I think I will adapt relatively quickly. I’m a player who plays in a similar style. They play fast in England, score lots of goals, there are tough battles. I enjoy this style of football, so from that point of view, I think I will become accustomed to it all in a fairly short time.”

  86. goonermichael says:

    Jabba has already asked for didvidends. Why does anybody think he will be good?

  87. chas says:

    Fine post, BR.

    I know less about Kroenke v Usmanov than I do about tactical bollix.
    I can’t really get excited about one billionaire or another. As long as the owner isn’t intent on ripping the guts out of the club as at Pompey and Blackburn then I’m happy.
    I like the fact that both stay in the background unlike Abramovich. Hopefully both have the best interests of the club at heart which is the most important thing.

  88. chas says:

    As regards the Gooner, I stopped buying it years ago. I got fed up with feeling depressed after reading it. It used to be one of the highlights of going to the game, being entertained on the journey back on the tube.

    My brother subscribed to it, then started just buying it at home games. He finally gave up buying it this season. When I used to have a quick look, the film poster type photo-montage on the back seemed to be the only thing worth looking at. Almost as if they encapsulated what the old The Gooner used to be about. When it started using the term AKB, it went down in my estimation.

  89. chas says:

    Is anyone else getting annoyed with Keown and Pearce sucking Ronaldo off?

  90. Gooner In Exile says:

    A week away, work, a pending weekend away plus wife with some excuse of not being able to do stuff is keeping me away from joining the debate here as regularly as I would like.

    I haven’t read many comments as I haven’t got the time 😦 but hopefully we were able to debate this properly today after a very honest post from Raddy.

    I saw some earlier comments about Abramovich loans which is true, as I understand it he is actually beginning to remove around £10m per year from the club, how that works with Torres and Mata signings plus Hazard I have no idea.
    As for the Sheikhs their reason is very different, it’s about improving the brand of the Middle East and therefore their signings have been more attacking my guess is Mancini was told to open up the play after some of his use of expensive talent in 2010-11 the 0-0 at the Emirates springs to mind. They want City to be considered with the likes of Barca and because they have chosen a previously unsuccessful club any mention of City goes hand in hand with the Sheikhs and Etihad.

    So what about us?

    Well since dear old Henry Norris have we ever had a chairman/owner putting money in?

    Should we? I would much rather we built from within, and added to, let’s be honest buying players is not the issue, that has always been part of squad development and team building, it’s the fact that with a billionaire owner you can make a few errors and not suffer.

  91. Scott says:

    Chas @ 8.44 nailed it for me.
    We know what Stan brings to the table,like it or not he allows with seemingly little input.
    What will Usmanov do if he gets control??
    Nobody knows is true ntentions,and if it does become a pissing competition with Abramovich then what??
    Will we have a succession of managers?
    It’s the known that concerns me.

  92. Anotherswissgooner says:

    Has entitlement to immediate gratification always been a feature in professional sport? If so, financial doping has increased it a hundred-fold.
    Bitching about players has always been there, but they were always our players.
    We now as fans see players as mercenaries, commodities to be bought and sold, apart from ourselves, living a life we can only dream about (and resent).
    If we want to complain about financial doping in sport, complain about this: the obscene amount of money thrown about in sport today robs us of our ability to identify with our own teams and their players.
    How many times have you read in a comment in a blog, “he makes 50000 pounds a week and plays like that! If I made 50000 a week I’d bleed for this team!”
    I personally am in favor of a salary cap in european football. We have to be able to believe that it’s about more than money. Incredibly naive I know.

  93. Rhyle says:

    Swiss…good comment, don’t agree with all of it but love…no LOVE “If we want to complain about financial doping in sport, complain about this: the obscene amount of money thrown about in sport today robs us of our ability to identify with our teams and their players.”

    I grew up in Stoke Newington, Haggerston and Romford – growing up I had players like Tony Adams, Ray Parlour, who were local to me in Romford, and Chris Whyte who was an Islington boy…my old man banged on about watching Charlie George play on the same pitch after he’d finished his game…who’s that guy for us now? Wilshere, to a degree I suppose…but Stevenage, from experience, isn’t exactly Gooner country!

  94. goonermichael says:

    If there were 10 billionnaires it would just even out. The good players wouldn’t all be playing here because there would be 10 billionnaires in all the other leagues. PSG and Malaga surely suggest that.

  95. Gooner In Exile says:

    Rhyle dig a little deeper around the youth and there are quite a few local boys trying to make it, well local if Romford is local.

    This is where one major problem occurs with the billionaire owner, it’s difficult enough as it is to see local boy done good headlines, how much harder at say City or Chelsea? Even at Arsenal it is difficult as players are not given the time they need to develop because modern football demands instant results and not just boardroom but fans too. One problem that we seem to have is getting our lads into PL teams to get their experience. Most of our youngsters are out on loan at lower league teams or abroad.

    The interesting thing to see with the more recent and local players (Wilshere, Frimpong, Afobe (if he gets his chance), Jenkinson (whilst not academy definitely a Gooner)) is whether the fans give them less stick than they gave our overseas youth talent like NikB and Denilson if they suffer dips in form or are deemed “not fit to wear the shirt”.

  96. Gooner In Exile says:

    Chas I share your views on The Gooner and on Pearce and Keown 🙂

    I used to love The Gooner it was light hearted, a proper fanzine then it started getting above its station. I picked up one a year or so ago and the Editor said that a conscious decision had been made to publish more positive articles in that edition as the readership had complained of the gloom. That still didn’t grasp the problem for me as it was still trying to give an opinion, rather than have a laugh.

    I used to enjoy the self deprecating humour, it reflected the terrace humour I guess the more recent publications also reflect the change in fans attitude towards supporting Arsenal.

  97. Anotherswissgooner says:

    GIE, excellent

    Who is “fit to wear the shirt?”
    Who are our heroes, and what do we require of them?
    What do you think of an arsenal B team to compete in the lower leagues (a la Barca B)? Do you think that may fill a need for our youth? Or would it be unfair to other lower league sides?

    Ryle, thanks for your feedback, what don’t you agree with?

  98. Rhyle says:

    GiE…you do see a lot of local kids, always have, but it’s mainly through the relationship with Highams Park these days.

    We had some amazing kids around us as teenagers in Romford. School teams all had at least one on forms, some of ’em, like Emerson Park, could have 7, 8, 9. It’s always been tough to break through, though – none of the kids I grew up with made it (including me…trained with Charlton and trials at Palace when I was in the RAF was about it…soft right leg…among other deficiences…lol…) but my brother grew up with Stuart Taylor and John Spicer in Collier Row and John intro’d us to Ryan Garry who used to give us his tickets…heh…

    Romford and the surrounding area has always been pretty fertile ground for players…Steve Rowley’s local but other clubs have done all right out of it too. My brother, Brady, was the captain of the Brentford youth team Marcus Bent played in. Brentford signed Paul Davis instead of picking up my brother on pro forms…still can’t forgive him for it…lol…

    Jenks is a great example…both in terms of a local player and whether fans give them a chance…as he’s taking a lot of stick in certain quarters for “not being good enough”. While I in no way thought he set the world alight last season, I thought he showed a lot of promise and stood up when called on…sufficiently…Yes, he made ricks, but so does everyone at times.

    Everyone, regardless of what age their chance comes, takes time to settle in to the first XI picture, especially at a big club like the Arsenal. I hope Jenks proves the doubters wrong…looks like he’ll have his chance to at the start of the season…

  99. Rhyle says:

    Swiss – I don’t agree that all players are mercs, but the mercs are the majority…and I don’t think most are resentful of their life (more disdainful, imo, of how they waste what they’ve been given frivolously on vainglorious, meaningless shit – CR7 spending tens of thousands of pounds having CR7 etched into every window of his house, for example – when they could be spending it on booze’n’birds…lol). Give me Niall Quinn’s charity over Stephen Ireland’s pink spinning hubcaps any day…

    But, mainly, I don’t agree with a salary cap…going to have to run for cover with that one…but I believe in the free market and it’s ability to set it’s own price. You don’t see an independent film maker moaning about the fact his movie didn’t win an oscar ‘cos Fox could afford to pay Pitt £20m for their movie…but that opinion comes with a caveat – that teams should have to operate within their means…and that shouldn’t include sponsoring themselves to artificially boost their balance sheet…but I digress…

    We do have to believe it’s about more than the money, though – it certainly is for the fans who fork out a large chunk of their annual income for tix and merch – so I also don’t agree that that’s naive…!

    Sorry if I’ve rambled a bit there…I tend to do that, hope it makes sense…

  100. Rhyle says:

    Swiss – I think we actually introduced the concept of the feeder club. We tried to buy Clapton Orient in the ’30s as Chapman wanted the kids to play in a proper league (it was thrown out by the FL). I love the idea now, although I think the club’s we forge links with should retain their identities as they’re part of their local communities.

    Formalising arrangements with the like of Barnet…just as an example…which sees them get 5, 6, 7 kids on the verge of the first team will have two advantages

    1 – our kids will be competing against seasoned professionals and gaining experience commensurate with that.
    2 – commercially, knowing that potential future stars will be getting a run out, surely the “feeder” clubs would benefit at the gate.

    O’ course – this comes in response to a query about how we relate to our club…wouldn’t know how I’d feel if we were made a feeder club for Barca or Man City…oh…er…wait…and I wouldn’t know how Barnet fans would feel about becoming what would be in all but name Arsenal ‘B’…

  101. Anotherswissgooner says:

    Rhyle, not at all, I follow you.
    It’s just that the existing model depends on ever increasing TV revenue, ever increasing ticket prices, and ever increasing commercial revenue.
    I don’t see it being sustainable for the majority of clubs. Looking at the European leagues can be depressingly limited don’t you agree? Spain may be the worst example, and England may be the most competitive, but even in England we have seen this year only the fifth different winner of the premiership in over 20 years.
    The trend is not to a more expansive league, but a more elitist one. I believe arsenal is still one of the only clubs who can compete at that level without financial doping, but we need a viable league to compete in don’t we?

  102. Anotherswissgooner says:

    Signing off now, night all

  103. GunnerN5 says:


    My cousins son played for Barnet for many seasons and I was fortunate to be invited to numerous games after which we spent many hours in their clubhouse.

    The only drawback was that my cousin and most of his friends in the clubhouse were Tottenham fans. I ask ya?

  104. Unfortunately i don’t think the feeder club system or Barca B style thing will ever work in the UK. We are just not built towards the top game that way. There are at least 92 teams to protect plus another bunch lower down who used to be part of that 92 that no football fan should like to see go out of business, i feel for Portsmouth fans and Rangers fans. I bet they’d prefer a team to go watch next Saturday rather than face the prospect of no more club as a result of the drive to win trophies (or allow Arry to get out of control).

    I like Jenks too Rhyle.

    ASG i know you have now gone but I wonder if this most recent TV deal is evidence of the changing shape of the game, increased again, and now BT are in the market for the games, this i assume means they will be delivered by BT Vision, i just don’t understand how they could pay what they did, it stinks of the Football League Deal (NTL/OnDigital/ITVDigital?) all over again.

  105. GunnerN5 says:



    Wenger hopeful on Giroud deal

    Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is “90 per cent” confident of completing a deal to take France striker Olivier Giroud to Emirates Stadium.

    Giroud, who is part of Laurent Blanc’s Euro 2012 squad, is thought to command a transfer fee in the region of £13million.

    The 25-year-old scored 25 goals for his club last season to help Montpellier win the Ligue 1 title, igniting the interest of several top clubs.

    However, it appears Arsenal are set to add the promising Frenchman to their squad, which has already been bolstered by the arrival of Germany marksman Lukas Podolski.

    Wenger said on French TV station TF1: “Giroud didn’t play much (at the Euros so far), but he’s going to be an Arsenal player 90 per cent next season.

    “I think he has exceptional potential and will integrate very well in our collective and our way of playing.

    “He is a real team player and knows how to combine with other players and I’m sure he will do well with us.”

    Wenger is working at the European Championship as a media pundit, and has been impressed by Podolski’s displays so far.

    “Podolski did a great job for the German team, he has superb team work,” said the Arsenal boss.

    “He plays in a cautious way sometimes, but he’s still scored a very important goal against Denmark for his 100th cap.

    “I am very happy with what I’ve seen from him.”

    Once the deal for Giroud is complete, Arsenal could then look to offload some of their fringe players, including Denmark striker Nicklas Bendtner and Morocco international Marouane Chamakh as well as Mexico forward Carlos Vela and Brazilian midfielder Denilson.

    Arsenal could also now resurrect interest in Yann M’Vila after Champions League finalists Bayern Munich cooled their interest in the Rennes midfielder.

  106. Rhyle says:

    Swiss…you’re right – it isn’t sustainable and I don’t believe the biggest clubs want it to be for everyone. You raise an issue (that of a “viable league”) and it’s exactly what I see as the future of the game. Outside of the World Cup the biggest brand in world football is the Champions League, attracting the most viewers and the best commercial deals.

    As clubs increasingly differentiate themselves from the minnows – I believe that the gap between the “rest” and CL clubs will grow for the reasons I stated above – they’ll continue to bring in the best commercial deals. Success is attractive. With the increasing commitments made by huge sponsors for both team and league will come increasing demands for a return on their investment – do you think AIG will re-sign their deal with Man Utd should they fall out of the CL for a few years prior to the current deal expiring? They want Man Utd v ELITE European Clubs. Not Man Utd on Thursday nights playing FC Nowhere…with all due respect to those clubs, of course…

    So we already have few elite brands courting few (and becoming fewer) elite clubs. Do you think it’ll take long before one bright spark kicks up and realises that there’d be more money made from a full time elite league? No more Arsenal v Wigan, but full-time Arsenal v Barca, Bayern, Ajax, Inter, PSG…If you’re a huge multinational sponsoring a team, which scenario would you prefer?

    We’ve seen it before in individual countries (Premier League is an example of a breakaway league)…why not Europe wide? And I don’t see it being anything but closed door either – no promotion or relegation, just success and failure. That’ll please the billionaires…no getting booted out via the back door – a guaranteed commercial success just from being associated with it. Now THAT’S sustainability. It’ll be Major league to UEFA’s current minor’s…and it’ll make everyone a fortune.

    Is it the way I think it should go? Not at all…I love a Blackpool, a Barnsley, a Swindon coming up – not only for the inevitable home spanking we give them…but they also add a bit of colour to the season. But it is the way I think it will go.

    Again…it’s late and I’m rambling…time for a movie…

  107. oz gunner says:

    @ BR

    I’m also surprised by your stance, I’m not going to go into it because the likes of Terry and TA can explain it far better than I came, so:

    “Yeah what they said!”

    As for Flamini, I’d sign him back up in a heart beat! Although he has had a very poor run with injuries. He left but the season before that Arsene didn’t offer him a new contract and he there were talks of him being shipped of to Birmingham (apparently didn’t want him), then he had a ripper of a season and we wanted him again. What he did at LB in our 2006 Champions League run was nothing short of amazing (how Keown and Arsene did it with Senderos and Flamini in the back four is beyond me). Oh how I miss the midfield of flamini, cesc, hleb and rosicky.

    I say shove Song over to the Box-to-box with Wilshere and Arteta, and Coquelin continue to learn DM whilst alternating with Flamini.
    Free vs 20million, I’d take free thanks!

  108. RockyLives says:

    Great discussion Rhyle, GiE, ASG and others.

    Rhyle, I agree 100% with your last comment. Since moving to N. America two years ago I have become ever more convinced that the European Super League you describe – with no relegation – is inevitable.

    Like you, I think it’s wrong, but the commercial pressures all point in that direction.

    However, maybe when that happens the lower leagues will become like US college sport, which attracts a huge following and big crowds.

  109. oz gunner says:

    god i forgot about that rocket against Newcastle, that was a ripper

    @ 2 minutes

    I bet if that was Song RVP would have put that away haha

  110. RockyLives says:

    Not sure I agree about the Flamster. He hasn’t cut it at Milan and I fear we may have had the best of him in that last season.

    No doubt he’s one of those players who regrets leaving THOF when he did.

  111. Rhyle says:

    Cheers RL – I think 5 of the top 10 largest arenas are US college ones…Michigan the largest?

    See it more of a majors (NHL / MLB) and minors (ECHL / MiLB) relationship…but hope it would be as successful as the college game in the US…would hate to see the grassroots game marginalised further still…

  112. Gooner In Exile says:

    Rocky the only thing I don’t understand about a Europe Wide League is whether there would be promotion/relegation?

    Will we have feeder leagues still? Say the bottom four get relegated from the Euro League do you introduce euro wide play offs to get into the league?

    I think I would become disenfranchised.

    Maybe the real revelation that UEFA should consider is redressing the CL balance and trying to promote the Europa League and to do that bringing back the Cup Winners Cup.

    Would it be so wrong to have the following setup?

    Top 2 from each league in CL, 1 from the lower (less seeded leagues) playoffs to qualify remain based on seedings).

    Make the group stages bigger and have more matches. 2 leagues of 8? Top 4 through to quarters.

    Then the Europa League would still get some strong teams with matches people want to see, this would be 3rd to 4th place from the big leagues and 2-3rd from the smaller.

    Again this could be done on a similar longer league style.

    Then finally the CWC, with a straight 2 leg knockout draw.

  113. Rhyle says:

    GiE…with the money that would likely be involved in an elite European league, I think owners would seek to eliminate relegation / promotion.

    I don’t think you’d become disenfranchised as the club itself doesn’t change…and you’d essentially be watching the only game in town. As major league sport in the US is where the best go to play, so will it be for football. You’ll be watching great players playing other great players week in, week out. Great for the neutral watching on TV, better for those lucky enough to be supporting a team involved.

    I think the expansion of the CL and the dropping of the Cup Winners Cup compromised the credibility of the Europa League beyond repair. I’ve struggled with calling it Champions League since the second placed was allowed in…I’m getting old I think…’arking back to the good ole’ days…

  114. Rhyle says:

    …good suggestion as to how to make European competition more interesting, though…I definitely think it would work…and rebuild the credibility in the comps that they’ve lost…

  115. VCC says:

    GunnerN5 11:44. My cousins Son also played for Barnet, after a long spell at Fulham. The manager at the time was Ray Clemence. Like you, I used to frequent the club house after the match. I would have hated playing on that pitch.

    Maybe we were sitting at tables next to each other, who knows, it’s a small world.

  116. Gooner In Exile says:

    Think I only played with or against two guys who made the pro game.

    One being Michael Dubery who I always remember being a 6ft centre forward (when the rest of us were 4ft 5) and later when he was my centre back for the Borough team.

    Also played against a guy who made his way through the non league system. I was only just starting and he played for another team in the league within a couple of seasons he was playing 2nd division football via 1 season in the Conference, but he earned more money playing conference football and plastering so after two years went back to that.

  117. kelsey says:

    Morning all.
    Sorry I couldn’t join in yesterday but I feel an uneasy nervousness with the two major share holders who appear to be poles apart as to how they see our cub progressing and there is some justification as to know if the FPP rule will be fully implemented. A bit like tax avoidence or tax evasion, though that might not be the best example..

    The AST meeting with Gazidis didn’t tell us anything we didn’t know already and I still don’t know what Kroenke’s long term plan is. Is it to make Arsenal more of a global brand regardless of trophies achieved or not, for IMO that is also not sustainable.
    What you read about Usmanov recently that if he achieves the magic 30% is apparently not enfoceable so what does the club do if he wants to look at the books ? I see a status quo at the club for some time and will continue until one or the other cashes in.

  118. mickydidit89 says:

    Morning VCC and GiE,
    Dull game on the whole last night and Portugal confuse me. They have a few players I really don’t like, and yet, as a Nation I really like the people.
    I would be really looking forward to the France/Spain clash, but cannot watch tv on saturday.

  119. Gooner In Exile says:

    It is Usmanovs buying spree that has led to the overinflated share price, if he stops being interested and starts selling Stans stake reduces in value, i guess we will find out whether Stan is in it for the long term then, or just to make money.

    I hope in a way Usmanov does do that because then perhaps we can start using the share scheme that was set up for the fans.

  120. mickydidit89 says:

    Yikes, sorry BR.
    Thanks for the post which really posed massive questions on many levels.
    I’m afraid I gave the debate a bit of a swerve. Quite how some people appear to know the motives and what drives some of these billionnaire types is amazing. Pure guesswork and gossip me thinks.

  121. VCC says:

    Morning Micky and GiE.
    I,m looking forward to tonights game watching our new signing Podolski.
    Also I have Gomez and Podolski now in my dream team (yippee)

  122. mickydidit89 says:

    He’s only overinflated the price that he pays for shares. No-one else’s.
    Morning Kelsey.

  123. evonne says:

    Morning all
    Yeah, boring game. But Ronaldo is truly great. Nani though was utter poo
    No buses running in London today. and why – because guys involved in preps for the Olympics are going to get fat bonuses IF everything goes smoothly. So bus drivers want bonuses too. Why? What special do they have to do other than turn up for work as usual? Greed is suffocating the world

  124. Anotherswissgooner says:

    GIE, back on.
    It’s amazing to come back on after a nights sleep to find the subject still open. The sun truly never sets on the Arsenal empire!
    Re your 00:01, I don’t know enough about the TV deals in their particulars to comment, but every fan has to be nervous about the role TV plays in sport in general. You may remember I run a pub in Switzerland. We used sky Germany to obtain the 15:00 games, everything worked well. The day that lady won her court case in the UK last year in order to show the 15:00 game was the day Sky Germany pulled their english commentary from the air.
    Also, I can’t imagine the frustration of away fans when Sky changes the schedule to suit themselves.
    It’s basically an antagonistic relationship between live fans and TV, and yet the league as it stands wouldn’t survive without both.

    Re the “Super League”, coming from the North American franchise system the notion of relegation was completely foreign. We lost our hockey franchise in 1995 (my beloved Jets!) and only last year got it back, at the expense of another franchise. We lost our franchise not because we did so poorly, but because it was not financially viable.

    Why not a super league? I seems inevitable, and may just be the salvation of smaller leagues. The allusion to college sport is apt, because the loyalties are similar in that they are more arbitrary, localized and less success oriented. (I’m Florida State because I am, I’m Stevenage because I am.)
    I don’t see relegation being allowed at that level, but new Franchises can always be added.

  125. Scott says:

    Evening all.
    Giroud is looking more and more certain by the hour.
    Apparently M’Villa is a near certainty also,tough you may know that already!!

  126. kelsey says:

    That makes three left footed strikers/attackers.Giroud,Podolski and RVP

  127. Morning all

    New Post ……………..

    kelsey – hello 🙂

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