Another book about the summer…….

Arsene Wenger’s comments on Arsenal.com suggest that we may be heading for another one of those Transfer Window that Arsene could write a book about.

It is very unedifying to see us linked with so many players but not to have actually managed to sign one.

Gazidis was quoted at the end of last season that we would be looking to spend money, that the wage structure had to change, and that the club was ambitious to win trophies. He also went on to say that Arsene could effectively stay as long as he liked.

I have a problem with the quotes because I believe that if the club were that keen to spend money and change wage structure they would not allow Arsene to stay if it is him that is blocking the spending. This seems to be the general story when looking at blogs and the redtops.

I think Arsene is perhaps too loyal to his employers, if Mourinho was treated as Arsene has been treated by the board he would be negotiating his settlement within hours, Arsene has been covering the Boards backs for a number of years now and still they do not help him.

Early signs in the summer were good, a number of players were being released and sold on, this we believed to be about freeing wage bill for a big signing or two, however I fear it was more to do with freeing squad spaces due to EPL rules on homegrown/non homegrown etc.

Now Arsene comes out and is quoted as saying the following:

We are ready to do quick deals but all the transfers do not depend only on us, but we are prepared to wait. It looks unlikely before the Emirates Cup.

We still have a strong squad but we are there on the market to try to strengthen our team. With or without additions we can be title challengers next season.

When asked about Rodgers comments on Suarez he said the following

He must explain that, I don’t know. We are not close to signing Suarez or anybody else so there’s no reason why I should talk about it.

There is nothing to say. I have been away now for two or the weeks and it’s hard to see how things are advanced because everyone is on tour at the moment and it’s very difficult to get in touch with people.

I believe that everybody competes on a very high level. What has changed recently is that in Europe, countries like France have bought some very talented players who would two or three years ago all have come to England. That makes the chase for talent very difficult.

What we want is not a name but a good player. The name is less important. What is important is the quality of the player. We want as many top players as we can but we have to focus on the players and develop them as well.

In midfield you have plenty of candidates – there’s a big fight in midfield. Sagna has settled in well as a centre back. We have a strong squad. We are there on the market trying to strengthen our team.

It would appear from the above that Arsene is already starting to be a disbeliever when it comes to the Board helping him sign his targets. Maybe it also indicates that the whole Suarez thing is balderdash of the highest order, but with Liverpool being so open about the offers it is hard to ignore.

Whether Suarez is the right man for Arsenal or not is irrelevant at this point, what is relevant is that yet again Arsene in my view appears to have more content for his Transfer Window Opus, apparently it will be entitled, Arsene loves our club and the job too much to walk away, but sometimes for his own reputation’s sake I wish he would.

Written by Gooner in Exile

106 Responses to Another book about the summer…….

  1. kelsey says:

    A good post GIE and a lot of what you say I mentioned earlier today. Will we ever know the whole truth as to what goes on behind closed doors. The cynics will say AW has a job for life at an extremely good salary.

    I will always be grateful as to how he has had to literally juggle balls in the air without dropping too many during this period since 2005 but all good things come to an end but my main concern that if he decided to leave which is unlikely would a new man have as much power as Wenger alledgedly has and would there be real investment without quibbling about the odd million or so so that we actually get a player that would really benefit the team.
    I have to say in the last 3 seasons the acquisitions haven’t worked out as well as expected.A least half the players bought have proved to be not of the standard of a club such as Arsenal and maybe Wenger, with age has lost the eye for getting it right more often than he gets it wrong.

  2. njstone9 says:

    I’ve often wondered if/when Arsene would write a book.

    My desire to know how we came to sign Park is greater than my desire to unravel the mystery gunman and the grassy knoll.

  3. Rasp says:

    Great post GiE, I had started to pen something on a similar theme but talking only of ‘the administration’ as I have no idea whose idea it is to create unrealistic expectations on transfers and who it is who really decides what we are prepared to spend.

    If Arsene is the fall guy for the owner/Board then he has very broad shoulders.

  4. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GiE, Thanks.

    Let’s face it, none of us can wait to get our paws on a copy of that book.

    “Please Arsene, don’t take the confidentiality bung, we’ll have a whip round if money is tight”.

  5. alex says:

    Just do not know what to say any more if we do not buy a single quality player then we are no more a top team just a content top 4 team at best, I am not looking forward to the coming season now So disappointed thinking very seriously about scrapping my season ticket for next year all Β£1900 pounds worth if I thought we was not going to buy any one I would not of renewed it for the 15th time running, I have always stood by my team and Arsene but this coming season I am not sure I can endure the crap all over again.

  6. Gooner In Exile says:

    Alex, I have never thought my admission price entitles me to expect trophies.

    To be fair from 15 years of owning a ST you were very blessed in the early days. I’m sure there are fans of many clubs who would take what you have seen over that 15 year period.

    This post wasn’t about whether we should be buying, or who we should be buying, it was about who to blame if we think we should sign and don’t sign anyone.

    I have difficulty saying I want X Y or Z player because I see it as being disloyal to the group of players we have already. Yes there could be some more depth in certain areas but if we don’t sign anyone I want to be able to give the players who are pulling on the red and white short week in/week out my full support, if in the back of my mind I had already replaced them with AN Other then I’m not sure I’d look at them the same way.

  7. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Good morning to you all.

    I don’t think it’s too surprising that we have as yet failed to make any significant signings.

    In the clubs that have “done the business”, Man City, Chelsea, Barca, PSG,Napoli etc. it is not the manager who makes the big decisions but the Director of Football or some other such official.

    At The Gunners Wenger’s input is paramount and Wenger has been half a world away from the action. With the end of the Far Eastern money making tour I’m sure we will see some business concluded fairly soon, but don’t expect it to be done the full glare of the media, That is not The Arsenal way nor is it the manager’s.

  8. 2Bob says:

    What makes you so sure its the board holding Wenger back?
    Personally I think it’s the other way around. I think there is talk of a new contract in an attempt to make him feel secure to spend. I think the board are at a loss to know what to do with the man, and I think they lack the knowledge or skills to replace him.
    The board will turn on Wenger if this all goes wrong this season. I suspect he had zero intention of signing a “big” player, and just strung the fans along while season tickets were still selling.
    This season I think he’s crossed a line though. I think he thinks he’s untouchable, but if he doesn’t buy and we do badly and fail at the cups, I think Wenger is going to find a world of hurt when the crowd sings they want him gone.
    I think the board will panic and take action if and when that does happen.

  9. Red Arse says:

    Nice effort, GIE, you deserve praise for trying to help fill the TransferLull. πŸ™‚

    It is difficult to say anything original about this particular TW, and as you say, AW could write a book on transfer windows past with many ‘If onlys’, or ‘maybe ifs’ to explain or justify our transfer inertia each summer.

    I know there is a school of thought — let’s call it Dada realism — which attempts to paint a picture of Arsenal’s transfer culture as fomenting unrealistic transfer expectations.

    If true, that would be a cruel and self defeating policy of knowingly calling for ‘big money’ spending on top players to help season ticket sales, which then sees any such tranfers fail to materialize.

    Given the limited numbers of season ticket holders (40,000?) this policy is trying to seduce into renewing, as compared with the hundreds of thousand of non-season ticket holders such a policy would inevitably disappoint, I would have to dismiss this theory out of hand.

    Not all ‘realists’ would profess to believe the above theory, but many more would believe a similar one which says that someone at Arsenal — the Board, Kroenke, Gazidis, Laws, Arsene Wenger or all of them — have knowingly lied as to the likelihood of major signings, or at the very least allowed themselves to gull the fans into believing it to be true and thereby raising unrealistic expectations.

    When pushed to provide evidence of the truth of this belief, it is usual that the confirmed ‘realist’ will declare that they might not have any hard facts, but that the club have ‘history’ with unsubstantiated transfer dealings, and that the sports pages of the newspapers have carried stories about this player or that which must have some truth to them on the basis of there being no smoke without a fire, although the fall back is usually that all ‘red top’ journalists are lying bar-stewards.

    Why then do ‘realists’ feel so disenchanted with the Transfer Window and the lack of player acquisitions, even though there is still over a month to go before it slams shut?

    Well, the fallback mantra is that the realists do not trust the Board, or any combination of the above named, and refuse to allow themselves to be ‘conned’ into believing significant acquisitions will be forthcoming, and anyway their cynicism is a form of self protection by managing the level of intense disappointment or the hurt that comes with being the only ‘top club’ fans with their noses pressed up to the window of the ‘shop’ advertising players for sale, only to see Chelsea, Manure, Citeh, PSG, Monaco or Real Madrid waltz off with the pick of the best players.

    Time for me to ‘out’ myself, I suppose, and declare that I am not a ‘realist’, or a ‘doomer’, or an AKB, nor yet a hopeless optimist.

    No none of these.

    Without any ‘evidence’ per se, I believe Arsenal are doing their best, by their own standards, to improve the squad by trying to make good any perceived team weaknesses. What they will not do, and neither would I personally, is to be held to ransom over the valuation of a player.
    If Arsenal value a player at Β£25m, and the selling club hold out for another Β£5m or Β£10m it is not acceptable to call them misers because they refuse to treat those sums of money as if it is insignificant.

    Where I do find fault, is not with AFC sticking to its valuation of a player, but that once that difference between buyer and seller becomes obvious they should move on. They should have an alternative player, or players, in mind at a value both clubs can agree upon, rather than lamely hoping something will ‘happen’ on the last day of the TW.

    [It is not the intention of your correspondent to impugn any bloggers, living or dead, other than to say — if the cap fits ………… πŸ˜€ ]

  10. GunnerN5 says:

    Wow,

    First of all a BIG welcome back to Kelsey, your rational/gloomy viewpoints have been sorely missed, along with your insights into what is happening behind the walls of the Emirates, please keep us informed, and don’t leave us again!

    GIE: Great post to create open dialogue and it has already spawned many varying points of view.

    2Bob, I’ve been a supporter for 66 seasons and my loyalty to the club was never about how much I spent or how successful we were it was all about a deep and unbridled passion for my club. It’s fantastic when we win a trophy but in my 66 seasons 51 have been trophy less but my passion for the club is as strong today as it was after my 1st game in Nov 1947. If in your mind it’s all about success then you would be right to cancel your season ticket as no club in the world can guarantee success.

  11. GunnerN5 says:

    GIE;

    It’s well known on AA that I do not read the Red Tops and I do not believe any of the transfer speculation until I see an announcement on Arsenal.com or I hear the words spoken by an Arsenal official.
    Therefore I am immune either positive or negative feelings until a firm transfer is announced.

    Looking for someone at AFC to blame for us missing out on the “speculated” players is almost pointless, as the “blame” may be simply that we could not buy at what we felt was a fair price or that the player was being too greedy in his wage demands, or the player was simply not for sale – who’s to blame then. To my way of thinking it’s just like any business deal – some you win and some you lose.

    To state that the BOD or AW are lying just to create season ticket sales just does not make any sense to me – if we had an exodus of season ticket holders or we had empty seats to fill then they would have to find creative ways to sell them and lying is the last thing that would work and the most easily sussed..

  12. johnnie nyc says:

    i think there was a window of opportunity, very early on, when we had higuain if we had just paid the 25.6 mil asking price quickly, decisively.
    but as usual, we had to try to be bargain hunters..we went 22-23 (which i saw as a steal) and stood on it– and let it drag out.. this encouraged Madrid to wait and see about Napolis cavani money.
    it turned out to be the right thing for them to do.
    it will all be a shame if we don’t get Suarez somehow. will be very disappointing. but at least we are trying now.

  13. 2Bob says:

    GunnerN5, it’s not about trophies for me, and I don’t recall ever saying it was.
    It IS however about doing the best we can, and you can disagree with me, but in my opinion we are not even close on that front.
    I can’t match your 66 years, I have a mere 42 to speak of, but in answer to Red Arse, season tickets were available until at least this last week, and now we suddenly hear Wenger is “not close”, which suggests very strongly to me that the last ones have now been sold.
    In terms of 40 000 fans versus several 100 000, how much revenue do you think those 40 000 generate for the club in comparison to the other 100 000?
    And no, I haven’t taken a season ticket for the last two seasons specifically because of the way this club is currently being run.

  14. Gooner In Exile says:

    Bob….given current opinion of Arsene is at best split down the middle, if not more against than for I think it would be a very easy decision to let him go.

    Do you think Abramovich discussed buying Torres? Or any other names, the ManCity board didn’t have a manager but were still doing business, “this players available”, “how much?” “Done!”.

    Nothing to stop our board doing the same, Wenger will work with those at his disposal he has for so long. It’s been revealed Wenger didn’t want Nasri to leave.

  15. GunnerN5 says:

    2bob,

    I would suggest to you that the way the club is being run today is the envy of the majority of clubs on a world wide basis. The financial model they developed just prior to the stadium being built has placed the club in a position to be able to compete with all teams with the exception of those who are owned by sugar Daddy’s with bottomless pockets.

    Now we are in that position it does not mean that we should allow ourselves to be taken to the cleaners in the transfer market and I personally value their sense of prudence.

    I’ve been retired or semi retired for about 15 years and I watch every EPL game that is telecast, and here in Canada, we get more live games than most countries including all cup competitions along with the Italian, Spanish and German leagues. Given all of the games that I watch each week I would not swap my allegiance to any other than Arsenal. Our on field product is not as good as AW’s early years but it is still up there with best in our history, with the exception of the odd season here or there.

  16. GunnerN5 says:

    GIE:

    Where on earth did you hear/read that the majority of Arsenal fans are against Wenger?, I’ve never heard a single reputable source make that statement.

    On our Arsenal Arsenal managers poll he was the runaway winner, so the fans closest to us most certainly do not share that opinion.

  17. kgooner says:

    Hello all. And welcome back Kelsey. I hope all is fine. I, like GN5 find your rationalism refreshing amidst swayed and popular opinion and was glad to spot a comment from you on yesterday’s post after a hiatus. It was as i have come to expect. Insightful and steadfast.

    As regards Arsene, I view him as a man with strong values, principles and with an unwavering resolute mind. All these attributes however, do not exempt him from his subordinate duties owed to the club and board who run the club. It is quite possible that he is at times obliged to follow what the board expects in line with his principles of respecting authority. His much awaited book (and possibly spin off movie lol! ) will reveal much. All we speak of now is pure speculation and it is unjust to cast the blame on Arsene. He is the manager an employee- not the board. Frustrations should be channeled at the club, essentially the board who oversee all of the club’s activities. Wenger is an easy sacrificial scapegoat and i totally admire and respect him for never playing to the tune and harmonies of mindless critics both from within and outside the fan base.

    I think we have a descent squad bar a couple of additions. Seriously, i think we could do better with this squad in the upcoming season if we have a full fit squad. A cohesive squad and unchanged squad from last season might play to our advantage compared to our ‘rivals’ who have made additions and changes to their team and in their management. Problem is, this is the real world and not fifa. Anything could happen and the knock on Koscielny alerted my pessimistic tendencies and our trend of having crucial players injured. I was and still am hopeful of an arrival, realistically however, Arsene’s comments yesterday was some sort of deja vu if you know what I mean.

  18. GunnerN5 says:

    kgooner,

    A very rational post and I am entirely in agreement with your sentiments.

    I guess we all hope that “deja vu” does not become another reality and that somehow, someway we do the unexpected.

  19. Red Arse says:

    2Bob

    You are entitled to believe what you want, of course.

    As to your question, how much does Match Day Income contribute towards the club’s coffers, well, the Annual Accounts last year showed that including all competitions, the total annual Match Day income amounted to Β£95m.

    It is estimated that Arsenal get about Β£2m for every home game, so that would be Β£38m for home Premier League games, of which season ticket sales amount to approximately 2/3rds, (Β£26m).
    This is not to be sneezed at, but forms a minority of the total Annual income which last year amounted to Β£235m.
    That equates to match day season tickets amounting to only about 11% of the total.

    Financially it does not make any sense to upset the season ticket holders by lying, in the way you are suggesting, when a) it is a relatively small percentage of the total, and b) there seems to be a huge waiting list of fans wanting to get a season ticket.

    I don’t suppose any of that will convince you, but it is based on fact, not supposition.

  20. GunnerN5 says:

    Nice set of facts Red Arse, well done for being able to dig up that data.

  21. Red Arse says:

    Hi GN5, πŸ™‚

    I noticed we seem to be saying much the same thing, again, today.

    Disappointment is difficult to deal with sometimes, but it seems to me that there are a lot of people squealing before they have been hit this summer — as I said earlier — the TW is open for another 5 weeks!!

    Better not become associated with a self opinionated Arsenal diehard like me!! πŸ˜€

  22. verily says:

    Arsenal are profitable thanks to a model which relies heavily on two seemingly juxtaposed positions: Matchday revenue and player sales.

    40.5% of the clubs total turnover is generated by fans at the game.

  23. 2Bob says:

    Red Arse, the one mistake you are making is regarding what used to be a long season ticket waiting list.
    I instructed the club to remove me from all lists last season when they offered me a season ticket because of the RVp debacle, but I still got a phone call one or two days back asking me if I wanted a season ticket, so that lengthy list simply isn’t there anymore, or no one is putting their money where their mouth is.
    Just for interest, I started out at just short of 39 thousandth in the queue when I put myself on the list about 5 years ago.
    GIE, I don’t think anywhere near a majority want Wenger out at this stage, but the balance is swinging, and if he continues his behaviour I suspect it will start swing a lot faster.
    GunnerN5, while I appreciate the myth of this club being well run is quite popular, the fact remains that without serious selling off of the family silver (our top players), we would have made losses.
    Considering the stature of the club, the low levels of interest and manageable debt, the turnover generated etc, I would suggest that as a business, this club is nowhere close to being well run. Any business owner (and yes, I’m one of those), would be horrified at how close we are to BEP given our turnover and gearing. If you presented a business plan on our current performance, an investor would suggest you look at something else.

  24. 2Bob says:

    Btw GIE, I think the board has in the past attempted to purchase the odd player, Richard Wright is one possibility I can think of.
    I suspect there might have been one or two others, such as Park.
    These players seem to mysteriously never get played.
    We don’t have the sort of personnel at the club in the same vein as Citeh or Chelsea, so I don’t think our lot can make purchases on their own, and if they did, I suspect Wenger would, and has, just ignored them.
    I think Wenger is long past his sell by date.
    I think he’s built the club up in very difficult circumstances, but I also believe he’s now pulling it down and destroying all his previous good work.
    It’s a bit like Salazar.
    He was the perfect example of two of the great truisms of politics and leadership.
    Plato said, the only man fit to rule, is the man who doesn’t wish to do so. As a political science lecturer he was not interested in ruling his country, but was forced to because he was the only suitable candidate.
    It was also said, “power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely”. After years in power, he eventually became corrupt and a tyrant and was deposed in the revolution of the rose.
    I think Wenger’s a bit like that now.

  25. evonne says:

    2Bob – quoting Plato on a football blog, that’s the first πŸ™‚
    You clearly have good general knowledge, but how do you know how much say does Arsene have in running of the Club?

  26. 2Bob says:

    Hi Evonne, the answer is simply that I don’t know. I can only surmise based on what little I can glean from what are probably very dodgy sources, but I was questioning the position of the author that Wenger is being hung out to dry by the board.
    From my perspective, I think it looks like its the reverse based on a few things, an example being Gazidis’ pronouncement s. I see that as an attempt to push Wenger into pushing the boat out.
    I think the Saurez “interest” is Wenger’s reaction to the pressure by saying, “if you’re going to try and push me I’m going to react by buying your worst nightmare that even many of he fans won’t want”.
    Would that be childish of him? Yes, it would.
    Do I think he’s capable of that? Unfortunately, yes, I do.

  27. Gooner In Exile says:

    Bob quoting Plato will make you very welcome on this blog πŸ™‚

    You may feel like others are questioning you a bit over eagerly….that’s for two reasons, most of us respect Arsene, as you yourself appear to, but also a number of us still think he is the only man for the impossible job, but maybe we are just set in your ways.

    But perhaps the most important reason as to why you are getting so many questions is that we haven’t had new visitors to these shores for a while so we are enjoying someone new to talk to πŸ˜€

  28. Gooner In Exile says:

    GN5 it’s the impression I get when going to games, there is definitely an element who are not fully supportive, or just not fussed either way. But given the choice to sack Wenger I still don’t think it’s a difficult decision from the board in a PR sense, whereas sacking him after two seasons having sold all his best assets from under him probably would have been seen as being a little more disloyal. For me the media paint a picture that this is all Wengers choice and therefore the fans believe it, and hence the Board would not have to spend too much time justifying the decision.

    Obviously if they ask him to leave under negative circumstances he may then deliver the truth of how the club has been operated for the last two or more years and maybe the Board wouldn’t be happy with that.

  29. evonne says:

    2Bob – you are right about the season tickets long queues. I was on the list for about 8 years before I received an invitation to buy one 2 summers ago. I didn’t purchase it not because I don’t disagree with the way the Club is run, but because I could not afford Β£2500. If it was about my judging the board and the manager I would have bought several season tickets.

    I agree with GiE (always). Wenger is the best paid manager in EPL for a reason – he takes the blame and sticks his neck on the line for the board. How do I know that – look at him. Have you ever seen a man more eager to win? He is desperate to finish his career on the high, he will not walk away from a job half done.

    Don’t read too much into his comments, he cannot tell the truth and does his best not to lie, a tall order if you ask me. And to accuse him of failing in the transfer market over the past few years is unfair. Look at the squad – Santi, Per, Arteta, Koscielny not bad ha?

    Selling family silverware to balance the books, tsy tsy tsy, we are being unfair again. How would you stop a player who wants to leave? Do you honestly believe that AW wanted to lose the dutch so-and-so? I think not, no in fact I am certain he didn’t.

  30. GunnerN5 says:

    2bob,

    You have a very vivid imagination, Arsene a corrupt tyrant – do leave off!!

  31. 2Bob says:

    Evonne, you and I differ on RvP and a few other issues.
    While I might accept that selling RvP was necessary, selling him to Manu was not, and was unforgivable.
    I agree that in the past the board had a reputation for avoiding big transfers, I recall George Graham being asked why he didn’t “splash out” on occasion. His response was that he’d love to, but every time he tried the board’s argument was “but you’re doing so well as it is, why do you want to change?”
    However, that was a very different board to the current one.
    I do believe the board and Wenger agreed to knuckle down until the debt was under control, and that a few unforeseen circumstances hurt their plans (economic downturn, Chelsea, Citeh), but I think Wenger is in a rut. He believes very strongly in himself and his principles, and I think he believes he can win, but on his terms.
    He’s been ridiculed and laughed at, and once before turned round and proved them wrong with the invincible s, so I think he thinks he can do it again.
    The problem this time is that I don’t think he can. Not using that model at any rate.
    Right now I see every season for him as one of those games on a computer that you simply restart if you haven’t succeeded, it’s just that the fans aren’t quite getting the whole restart thing, and a few are starting to get a little agitated.

  32. 2Bob says:

    GN5, I was using the example to illustrate how a force for good can evolve into a destructive one. I was not intending a literal comparison.

  33. Shard says:

    Hello GIE

    I usually find myself agreeing with you about almost everything. But I don’t really see how selling/releasing the players we didn’t need was only because of squad rules. We had space in our squad last season, and now will have more. But even if this is true, surely it also brings down the wage bill.

    I generally also do not agree with supposed conflict between the board and Arsene Wenger. I’m sure they have their disagreements, but I think they share the same vision, and generally agree on how to go about things. You mention Nasri who revealed that it was Kroenke who sold him rather than Wenger. But firstly, I don’t think Nasri would know what exactly went on (although obviously the ultimate sanction would come from the board), but you have Wenger saying he sanctioned the RVP deal, and Cesc saying Wenger was the one who convinced the board to let him go for a low valuation. I just feel that organisationally, Arsenal don’t cut off one arm from the other, and that this gets on people’s nerves because they don’t get information via the fallout, and can’t find a scapegoat because of it.

    Take this ‘budget’ for example. It’s widely considered to be an official figure of 70m given by Gazidis, who never mentioned any figure. In fact, what he’s mentioned in the past, is that there is no pre defined budget. Both the manager, and the board decide what to do with whatever resources they have (and can get) Let’s say an opportunity came to purchase Messi. Our ‘budget’ doesn’t go that high. But Wenger goes to the board and says I think this player would really affect matters, and shape our future, so can we spend next year’s income, and maybe take a loan, so we can buy him? Depending on how strongly he feels on the football side, and how far the board feel they can stretch on the business side, they find middle ground. Sometimes that’ll be closer to the football side, sometimes to the financial side.

    Now interpreting Wenger’s words is highly risky anyway. Sometimes he says exactly what he means. Sometimes the opposite, and sometimes he just gives a soundbyte because he’s asked. As a result, it becomes very difficult to glean information from his statements. Typically, the most negative possible (and impossible) connotation is generally picked out. I don’t know what it means. I just think it highly unlikely that Arsenal will not purchase any players this summer. Because I don’t think they are stupid, and I don’t think they are malicious in their intent.

    As for not signing anyone so far, I can list some possible reasons for it, as well as for the rumours (assuming they weren’t made up)

    Arsenal start the summer wanting to get rid of the ‘deadwood’. They do this quite well, although it is an ongoing mission. This frees up money in wages, as well as squad space. Although it does cost money to cancel contracts, it is deemed a worthy expenditure. (The only way this can be is if we’re planning to replace them)

    So the process of replacing them starts. We send out feelers to various agents for players in certain positions, as well as using our scouting network. We identify a shortlist of players we want so we establish contact with their clubs to get an estimate of what they’ll cost (the agents will fill us in on what the wages might potentially be). This then gets reported in the papers.

    Meanwhile we are trying to sign a ‘marquee’ player. Or at least, concentrating on signing our most expensive player ever. It might have been Higuain. It might be Suarez. Or someone else. Who we buy, defines who we should get in other positions, because of a)cost, and b)how the team will work as a group.

    In my view, the second aspect is what most other teams don’t worry about too much. That is what you lose by separating the purchasing from the coaching. ManCIty will say, here are a group of players, coach the best out of them. Arsenal meanwhile will not buy players unless they are convinced they can work well together (Sometimes, this gets lost due to an urgent need) I think both, cost, and this factor, taken together explain the speed of business of some other clubs in relation to Arsenal.

    So while the Suarez deal (or any other deal) is in the pipeline, we also wait on Cesar (i think our lowest priority) to drop his wage demand, we wait to know whether we pay 12m for Williams, or 8m for Rami, we wait on stories of Cesc going to ManU because that impacts our midfield decisions etc etc. We’re asking around, we’re making calculations and working out configurations of what’s required. It isn’t ideal, especially with other clubs looking for deals too, but I genuinely think that with the inherent risks in this way of doing business, also comes the reward we get of (generally) having less wastage, and a better team oriented game on the field.

    ALLLLLLLLLLLL that said..BRING ON THE SIGNINGS!

  34. Red Arse says:

    2Bob,

    Not too sure about your Plato quotes!
    Have you read his seminal work; The Republic?

    Your reference to ‘power corrupts; absolute power etc’ had nothing to do with Plato, but was part of a quotation of the famous historian John Emerich Acton.

    But what Plato did say, referenced by his philosophical musings was,

    a) ‘I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing.’ and;

    b) ‘Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.’

    That said, a great modern philosopher said;
    ‘Reading Plato should be easy; understanding Plato can be difficult.’

    Food for thought when trying to cherry pick quotations to fit your own prejudices. Funnily enough, Plato said just that in different words! πŸ™‚

  35. Shard says:

    Apologies. I didn’t intend to go on so. Maybe I’m just making up for so many days away from the blog.

  36. neamman says:

    Im not sure you can blame the board. I think if AW said buy they would. If there are no major transfers I think the blame lies more with AW.

  37. 2Bob says:

    Evonne, whether you consider selling of players (the family silver) as being voluntary or not, the fact remans that those sales kept the balance sheet positive, without those sales, there would have been losses.
    So, forced or not, the company business model was poor because it is simply unsustainable under those circumstances. (Selling non current assets used to generate revenue to represent profit on the balance sheet).
    Yes, we now have enhanced revenue sources, but given the revenue and gearing that the club already had, you really have to be worried about the business model if the club was struggling so badly until now.

  38. 2Bob says:

    Red Arse, yes, I have read large portions of Plato’s The Republic, especially concerning the four types of government.
    If you read what I wrote, I never claimed “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely” was a quote from Plato. While I was typing I simply couldn’t recall off hand who it was from, so I was suitably vague as to its origins, and nowhere near attributing it to Plato.

  39. Shard says:

    2bob

    The business plan was made more than a decade ago. Since 2003, we’ve hardly had any increase in the commercial revenue, while the rest of the league has grown exponentially in that regard. Although TV money has gone up, the growth in wages and transfer fees has more than accounted for that. It’s faced a lot of difficulties, unforeseen circumstances, and ridicule, but what was the alternative to this business plan? Besides, it is testament then to Wenger’s ability to extract so much out of his players that we have safely negotiated our way through the years of strife. In any case, football clubs do not make for very good business ventures. Unless you leech off of them like the Glazers or (to a lesser extent) Lerner.

  40. 2Bob says:

    Oh, one more point Red Arse, before I continue reading the thread, I didn’t “cherry pick” quotes to “suite my own prejudices”, I think you’ll find those two are known as political and leadership truisms, and the basis for a great deal of debate when studying political science or leadership, be that business or military.

  41. Red Arse says:

    2Bob,

    Your comments are full of ‘I think this’; and ‘I think that’ but you are very skimpy with actual facts.

    Earlier you asked me a question regarding the income generated by season ticket holders. Obviously the factual answers did not meet your expectations because you seem to have conveniently overlooked the reply you asked for.

    Have you ever read the published Accounts of Arsenal PLC?

    Can you substantiate your oft repeated nonsense about the club only surviving financially because of the sale of the ‘family silver’ i.e. the sale of our best players? Facts, figures, ratios?

    GIE, 26M and myself, accountants and a lawyer, pore over the figures every year after the Accounts are published — next lot due soon — and we do so with a forensic eye for detail.

    Please elucidate.

  42. 2Bob says:

    Shard, a business plan is never that rigid, and should not be followed unchanged for a decade. Any business has to adapt to circumstances, be they unforeseen or not.
    The whole point is that Arsenal is always being held up as an example of a club being run as a successful business, a model to be admired and emulated.
    That simply isn’t true.
    As for man united (spits), they do generate more turnover, but they also have far higher levels of debt to service.
    Their gearing is hardly comforting but their commercial spread is far wider and effective, and despite looking like a business on its last legs, they wash their own face and make profit despite being under far more financial stress than us.
    In fact, much as its unpleasant to admit, Manu are being run a lot better than we are.

  43. Red Arse says:

    2Bob,

    Stop it.

    GN5 has already taken you to task about the reference to Wenger being a ‘corrupt tyrant’. If the quotes you rely on are vaguely attributed or not relevant to the dubious case you are trying to make, why make them?

    In any event, when my fellow bloggers were giving you credit for quoting Plato, you did not take the time to explain you were being ‘unambiguous’! Pissh.

  44. Shard says:

    2bob

    ManU are the epitome of the self financing model (minus the Glazers), and they have first mover advantage in this regard. But that doesn’t mean Arsenal are wrong to try and catch up.

    I never said the business plan was ‘rigid’. I’m saying it had little room for mid-course correction due to circumstances which largely could not be predicted, and in any case, there was little alternative in the larger strategic framework of not selling the whole estate to a billionaire rather than just some old trinkets we had at the dinner table for a while. How’s that for an analogy?

  45. Red Arse says:

    2Bob,

    My last comment to you, as this is becoming ridiculous.

    Arsenal PLC are a publicly listed company with all the statutory and stock exchange rules that dictate its governance.

    Since Manure were bought by the Glazers and brought back into the private sector, they do not have to publish all the details of their accounts, apart from headline information stipulated by the Companies Act.

    You are trying to compare chalk and cheese, with one important common factor, you know nothing about the finances of either entity as is obvious from your comments.

  46. Red Arse says:

    Shard,

    Now that you have passed your exams and are the heir presumptive Head of the Civil Service, I presume you will be around a little more frequently. πŸ˜€

    I will look forward to chatting with you on diverse topics, and as I write, I am trying to think of subjects where we can disagree, just to spice things up!! πŸ™‚

  47. Red Arse says:

    Shard,

    You have a point regarding Manure — they certainly are the 2nd richest (most successful) football club in the world according to the list produced by Forbes;

    1 Real Madrid
    2 Manchester United
    3 Barcelona
    4 Arsenal — Yikes, there are Arsenal — 4th — what a shitty financial model they must have — according to someone!!
    5 Bayern Munich
    6 Milan
    7 Chelsea
    8 Juventus
    9 Manchester City

  48. Shard says:

    RA,

    How I wish you were correct with your first few words. Unfortunately it is a bit more complicated than that. Firstly, the result isn’t out yet, so I do not know whether I have passed the exam. Secondly, that was only stage 1 of the exam. They have a more intensive, subjective, written exam of 6 papers, plus essay, plus language papers which I need to get through. And if from among the roughly 12,000 (that were whittled down from about 250,000) that give that exam, I am among the 4-5k who get called for the interview, and then clear it for one of the roughly 1000 administrative posts (out of which the top ranking jobs are about 100-150 after removing quota reservations) , I will join the service for training for 12 months, after which I will be sent on assignment. Simple really. No sweat. Unfortunately, blogging sometimes has to take a backseat.

  49. evonne says:

    2Bob – thanks for responding.
    Some of the members of the Board have left, but the ethos, company culture and objectives have not changed in almost 100 years. This is my favourite advert, dated 1925:

    Arsenal Football Club
    is open to receive applications
    for the position of
    TEAM MANAGER.

    He must be experienced and possess the highest qualifications for the post, both as to ability and personal character. Gentlemen whose sole ability to build up a good side depends on the payment of heavy and exorbitant transfer fees need not apply.

  50. Shard says:

    Here’s something we can (probably) disagree on. Forbes’ lists are a load of codswallop.

  51. Red Arse says:

    I obviously have a lot more confidence in you than you have in your goodself! πŸ™‚

    It is my privilege to know a number of very accomplished Civil Servants and from the discourse I have had with you, I rate you in their intellectual group; except when you disagree with me — obviously! πŸ˜€

    Anyway, you have my best wishes at every stage of your arduous travails.

  52. Red Arse says:

    Evonne, πŸ˜€

    Sir Henry would love you!!

  53. 2Bob says:

    Red Arse, if you’ve read the financial statements then you know that what I stated is true regarding the nature of profit generated.
    In terms of your statement regarding the season tickets etc, you made a claim that I knew was incorrect, and mentioned it. Regarding the rest of your figures, what exactly would you like to say about them? Yes, a significant portion of revenue is derived through season ticket sales. A significant portion of revenue is derived through red members sales. There are some interesting agreements regarding the catering side and merchandise such as shirts scarves etc, but a large portion of our revenue is derived from match day sales, which is considered by many (including the board), as not entirely healthy.
    It seems fairly obvious from your tone that my posts are winding you up. That was not my intention, and I really have no wish to enter a pissing contest with you.
    My posts are full of “I think this” and “I think that” precisely because they are. What were you expecting? I spend far too much time writing papers and documents that have to cite sources for every day for me to want to spend my free time doing the same thing, so while I am happy to admit my conversations are based largely on conjecture, I must then assume from your stance that yours are not? Otherwise, what’s your point?
    Anyway, this is your turf, and I’m really not here on a wind up, And i really have better things to do than spend time debating with people who start getting aggressive, so I bid you adieu.

  54. evonne says:

    RA – come to the rescue. I think 2Bob is wrong in saying that we would be in the red had we not sold our best players. Can you remember how much of the money that we received from the sale of TH, Cesc, Nasri and the dutch so-and-so was reinvested in buying ‘replacements’?

  55. evonne says:

    RA – and you don’t???? pssshhhhh…..

  56. evonne says:

    2Bob – don’t go!!!!! please πŸ™‚ it has been really good reading your views. BTW are you single?

  57. Red Arse says:

    Shard,

    You are being a little unkind to Forbes, but in fact I wrote a Post on this very subject, (I cannot remember for which blog πŸ™‚ ) where I explained that ‘codswallop’ was a technical expression often used in error. πŸ™‚

    There are a number of differing factors that can be used to assess the value or worth of football clubs, and there are a number of organizations that produce such lists.

    Whichever methodology is used only perms a slightly differing order of financial merit from the usual suspects and the top 9 clubs usually remain the top nine whichever order they shake out.

    I was only trying to support your view on the efficacy of Manures financial model. Of course, if you prefer, I can come up with another which would rubbish them, it is just that such a list may not be very realistic!! πŸ™‚

  58. Shard says:

    RA

    Thank you for your (dreaded?) vote of confidence.

    As to the lists. I was just looking for something to disagree on, since that seemed to be your wish. I do understand (to a limited extent) the distinctions, and I agree that largely the top clubs stay near the top in any methodology that the various lists follow.

    I call it codswallop not because of the lists themselves, but how they are misrepresented and misunderstood, often as ‘rich lists’. Only at Arsenal could you find their name at near the top of the list being used as further ammunition to blast them with for their ‘miserly’ ways. Or indeed being blasted for it’s business model because “ManU are run better”. These lists often succeed (whether by accident or design) in lowering the discourse and making it one of absolutes, discounting all factors that cannot be quantified. Or rather, to be more precise, which aren’t even intended to be.

    So the lists are fine, but their usage to prove a general point in a debate is codswallop πŸ˜›

  59. Red Arse says:

    2Bob,

    Perhaps you are right. I have been cross with you because to put it simply I see Wenger being castigated on so many blogs that AA has always appealed to those, like me, who, even though they may disagree with AW on a number of things, and maybe even wish him gone, their views have always been open to debate, as yours have.

    This is not my ‘turf’ and you have as much right to express your opinion as I do, and certainly there is no need to feel you have to go.

    I apologise if my defense of Wenger and the club has been a little vigorous, which is a compliment to you and your ability to argue your case.
    I cannot and will not apologise for defending AW — even though I have my own reservations about some of his decisions – but I recognize that is often because I do not know all the facts. (Remember your mate Plato) πŸ™‚

    Anyway — apologies if I have ruffled your feathers — it was just in the heat of the discussion. You may well find on other topics that I am just as vociferously supportive of your views.

    You are a welcome addition to the AA blogsite, and I think you will enjoy it on here and meet bloggers with similar views.

    You will find that I am the odd one out! 😦

  60. Red Arse says:

    Shard,

    Understood and agreed! πŸ™‚

  61. Illybongani says:

    RA ….what next? Are you going to make 2bob jump up and down and nick his dinner money?

  62. Red Arse says:

    Evonne,

    Sorry I did not respond earlier.

    The sale ‘proceeds’ of the various players like Cesc, Nasri and Co, effectively go into a ring fenced ‘pot’ which have indeed helped Arsenal to break even from a profit and loss viewpoint.

    What I mean without boring the ass off everyone, is that Arsenal write off or ‘amortize’ the reduction in the value of their players every year.

    So what they do is to buy player ‘x’ for Β£20m with a four year contract. So, at the end of Year 1, the value of that player will have been reduced by 1/4 (i.e. Β£5m) so that prudently, if the club do not sell the player or extend his contract, they would ‘lose’ that original Β£20m over the life of the contract.

    However, if they sell that player for Β£30m at some stage during the contract term, they calculate the written off cost against the excess over cost reflected in the sale price.

    The info is shown, in total, in the accounts every year, but as it is the valuation calculated as at the date of the accounts, this does not always reflect the eventual outcome, because of these variables and the strictures imposed by accounting convention.

    Puzzled? So am I!! πŸ™‚

  63. Red Arse says:

    Sounds like a good plan, Illy! πŸ™‚

    How are you? long time no bong! πŸ˜€

  64. Illybongani says:

    I’m good thanks…far too busy at work for my liking. Suffering from government cuts, haemorrhaging staff but same amount of cons. Hence my disappearance off the radar. How’s things in the bean counting world?

  65. Red Arse says:

    I’m still off sick, Illy, with no date yet fixed for my return, and as a self employed plonker, I am becoming brassic. (Is that the word – brassic?) πŸ™‚

    But Rocky told me he has some dog biscuits he is going to send me!! πŸ™‚

  66. Illybongani says:

    Sorry to hear that. Nowt serious I hope. Don’t you guys do a lot of work from home anyway?

    Can you offset dog biscuits against your tax bill?

  67. Red Arse says:

    Rocky’s tax bill is probably helped by his charitable donation — his new puppydoodle is probably less impressed!! πŸ™‚

    Good talking to you — hope you can find time for even short visits to AA in the future!!

  68. Illybongani says:

    Yep … As soon as we spend Β£40m on one player I’ll be back. So that’s never again then! No, of course I will. For now I’ll just cut and paste last years posts – because I don’t think anything’s changed. Except this year the players for which we were “close” would have cost a bit more.

  69. Red Arse says:

    And a Post, Illy. πŸ˜€

    I remember your previous effort, last year, received a lot of praise, and AA always needs good Post writers.

    Luckily, you cannot yet ‘hear’ my stomach rumbling on the blog, but I can, and so I am off to get something to eat.

    Ta ra for now! πŸ˜€

  70. kelsey says:

    Morning πŸ™‚
    To be quite frank I got lost with all this accountancy jargon but having looked through the latest accounts as reported by Swiss Rambler our gate turnover is 3 million and we would have made a loss on the last accounts if it was not for the sale of high profile players.

    What does this so called socialist policy or whatever it is called actually mean ?

    There has been many a discussion about our total wage bill which i understand as it includes every employee whilst some clubs break it down differently but neverheless our total bill which rose dramatically last accounts is substantially more than say Spurs. I believe 140 million to about 90 million.
    We obviously have been paying far too many players an inflated wage against their actual performance, so it is a gamble that they either develop through the ranks and automatically become first teamers and are worth every penny (but very few do) or we buy players who more often than not become cameo players or are frozen out by AW and sit on the bench picking up a sizeable salary.

    The penny now seems to have dropped with this cull of players this Summer and IO don’t think we have finished. The hardest player to move on will be Bendtner who must be on a generous wage.
    I still actually believe we will buy a couple of quality players but who they are is another matter.

  71. kelsey says:

    According to the Daily and Sunday Express, Fabregas will go to United. If true that will not go down well with the fan base .It can’t be dismissed and again it strengthens the opposition. All we ever got from United was a washed up Silvestre.

    Surely the board aren’t thinking of gaining more revenue from the protracted deal when Cesc left us.
    Hopefully the Express is wrong.

  72. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Because I said I would, I’ve scribbled a post.

    GiE stepped up yet again yesterday, managed to unearth a new and intelligent blogger, who was then hounded off the site and ended with this comment:

    “Anyway, this is your turf, and I’m really not here on a wind up, And i really have better things to do than spend time debating with people who start getting aggressive, so I bid you adieu”

    I mentioned the other day how a few writers keep this site going, and it’s tough when impossible to attract new bloggers.

    I’m fucking glad that didn’t happen on my watch.

    Later.

  73. kelsey says:

    OK, seen it. Some people always think they are right,me included but none of us know the real facts and accounts can be manipulated.
    AA is all about diverse opinions and one should respect every contributer, though there are the occasional infiltrator as on every blog and that needs to be dealt with.

    I think at this time of year with endless rumours floating about many of us start to get a little agitated whilst others just let things take there course.

    Think I will leave it at that πŸ™‚

  74. Rasp says:

    Morning Micky @ 7:14, I wasn’t around yesterday but I’ve read through and you have a point.

    I have also written a post which I am reticent to publish because it is likely to encourage a similar reaction. It asks the question why does the club encourage unrealistic expectation in supporters? It creates a divide and that is reflected in the tone of comments in the blog world.

    I hope 2Bob comes back and we can chat in a less confrontational manner

  75. kelsey says:

    Morning Rasp πŸ™‚ Ignore me …..see if I care.

  76. Gooner in Exile says:

    Micky and Rasp, I tried to get in early with 2Bob to explain that he was anew visitor and as we hadn’t had one round these parts for a while he was getting a lot of attention as it was someone new to talk to.

    He seemed like an erudite guy, so I agree a shame that he felt he had to leave.

    2Bob wherever you are we hope you come back soon.

    Kelsey, Rocky asked the question recently as to how much Cesc was worth to us, I think it is tricky, do we need him? There is an argument to say he has been replaced, like you I think there is a PR victory to be won, if Cesc chooses to play for Moyes over Wenger I think it is a concern, I also think as you say to see them sign him and join up with BSR once more would be unthinkable.

    But I hope that Cesc is a more principled man….although when it comes to footballers I suppose I should have learned my lesson by now!

  77. Rasp says:

    Many apologies kelsey, I hadn’t refreshed my screen to see your comment when I posted my comment. I appreciate we are singing from the same song sheet πŸ˜›

  78. Rasp says:

    Morning GiE, as always, yours is the voice of common sense. Can’t wait for the football to start and all this unhealthy introspection to end πŸ˜•

  79. evonne says:

    I hope you are not angry with me about 2Bob. I did ask a few questions, genuine questions, because he seems a knowledgeable guy. I wasn’t rude to him and was sad he decided to go.

    Sorry if you are upset with me 😦

  80. Shard says:

    Morning all,
    Do we need Cesc? Not particularly. But we need him to not choose ManU over us. If there’s something to this rumour, then that might explain our reluctance to spend on another midfielder right now.

    Kelsey,
    About the wage structure. I don’t think it’s a case of the penny dropping. It’s more a case of having the ability and opportunity to change course. A course that wasn’t wrong in my opinion.

    We paid our young players on potential because that was the only way to ensure squad stability. Let’s say we had paid our squad players like Denilson, Diaby, Bendtner less than we did, and used the remaining wages to pay RVP, Cesc, maybe Nasri. Do you think the oiler clubs (or Barcelona for Cesc) would have lost their appeal? I don’t. If we went to 200k (unlikely to be affordable), they’d simply go to 250k. End result, you still lose your star players.

    But what about the squad players. They play to a level good enough to get you top 4. Sure, they can still be tempted away, but if we pay Denilson 60k, he’s unlikely to move to Chelsea for less than 80k That makes him less desirable to Chelsea, since they can extract more value from somewhere else, and hence he stays with us, and ensures that we have some stability in the squad and aren’t firefighting on all fronts.

    If we pay him 30k, Chelsea look to buy him and offer him wages of 60k. That is, if he has been performing decently. The only players we’d be left with, albeit at lower wages, were ones we couldn’t use at all, while all the decently performing squad players would be tempted away along with the stars.

    And while Denilson didn’t develop like he could have, that was the risk aversion strategy that went into paying him and his like on potential, and not only does it make sense, it delivered on it’s minimum requirement.

    Now, because we can afford to replace players that don’t perform (transfer fees/agents fees etc), we can make a change and stop paying on potential alone.

  81. Irishgunner says:

    Fabregas turned his back on this club two and a half years ago – wouldn’t be shocked in the slightest to see him move to that lot.

  82. evonne says:

    Shard – I’ve been saying for a while now, that the football bonanza is going to come to an end. Nothing goes forever and the exorbitant money merry-go-round will stop. At present football is very fashionable (thanks to brands like David Beckham) and it is cool to be ‘in’. I have no idea how or when the balloon will burst, but it will.

    Let’s say in England all clubs had a wage curb and nobody was allowed to pay more than say Β£20k a week. All the superstars would leave and go to the Mediterranean clubs. So what, we would still enjoy the game, would still support our club and more than likely be able to afford season tickets. Personally I would love that and could not care less if I never saw Ronaldo, Messi, Suarez, Torrez and co play live. I never saw Pele or Maradonna and survived.

  83. Shard says:

    Irishgunner

    I agree. It wouldn’t really surprise me if it happened. In some ways, it would perfectly demonstrate the way football is these days.

    In fact, I think the only reason he would choose us over ManU is because our mid term prospects seem better than theirs, and because he wouldn’t have anything to prove to us. He could just get on with playing football.

  84. evonne says:

    Irish, honestly!! Not only you still have a grudge with Cesc but you changed your gravatar to some monster. I was persecuted for Rory Delap, but your taste in men is worse than mine πŸ™‚

    I am going to the Ems on 3rd, same as you. Fancy some Evian before?

  85. Shard says:

    evonne

    I agree with you about the bubble bursting, to some extent. What I think is more likely to happen is that it’ll be curbed precisely to stop it bursting. The FFP is a step in that regard.

    The ultimate step would be a wage cap as you say. But problem is, that whichever league comes up with it first, will lose out so heavily in the short term, that they might not even survive in the long term. It has to be a pan European, if not global effort. I think that eventually, either that will happen, or there’ll be a breakaway superleague where they enforce their own rules akin to US sports. Or both.

  86. Irishgunner says:

    Shard – I agreed and to be honest after him and van persie I’ve given up on any form of loyalty in football.

    Evonne – you leave my future husband and his lovely cheekbones alone πŸ˜› oh Benedict πŸ™‚ would love to meet up – I’m going to go to the two games though what is your plan. Also its not a grudge it’s seeing the situation for what it is.

  87. Red Arse says:

    Wow.

    I have just read the comments regarding 2Bob, and it seems i have suddenly become persona non grata.

    I argued with 2Bob because he seemed quite capable of holding up his own end, and because i did not agree with the points he was making.

    No bad language or insults were exchanged.

    When I realized he was not happy with the way the conversation was going, I apologized to him if I was being vociferous in my responses, and made sure he understood he had every right to express his opinion.

    I asked him to stay and said he would meet people who would agree with his opinions, and that it was not ‘my turf’ and he would find that I was the ‘odd one out’.

    We can all get carried away with our passionate defence of the club and the manager — but what I think is important on a tolerant site is to apologise when you realise you may have hurt someone’s feelings.

    After almost 3 years on AA, and often filling in with comments on those days when the blog is quiet, I am absolutely stunned by the reaction of those I thought were blog friends.

  88. Shard says:

    RA

    They were just excited to make new friends. They still love you. As do I (in a non gay way of course) πŸ™‚

  89. evonne says:

    Irish – what about Theo? Were you not delighted that when he signed da ting? That’s loyalty, no?

    I am not sure if my brother wants to see both games, I would. Shall we provisionally agree to meet at the tavern at say 1pm?

    Shard – I cannot remember stats so please help me here – how much revenue is from overseas? My guess is a small percentage. The TV viewing and match days money would still be there, if not more. With lower wages (being the biggest expenditure at present) the clubs stand to make bigger profits. Everybody’s happy

  90. Shard says:

    evonne

    You forget the ancillary benefits. The EPL has the highest viewership across the world. That viewership doesn’t bring in the money directly, but it brings in the sponsors, which in turn bring in the wealth to the league. It brings clubs the money (and the possibility of growth) from foreign markets through merchandising.

    Without the viewership the sponsors stop paying the TV companies and the tournament sponsors big money because they don’t get the exposure they want. The TV company in turn pays less, and the rest of the world pays to watch other leagues where the best players will go. The entrenched fan base will still watch the games at the stadium, but the other leagues will start to attract viewership even in Britain. The game won’t die. t’ll be purer in some ways. But less and less people will want to watch it, and those that do will find it harder to because the TV will prioritise better ‘products’.

  91. Irishgunner says:

    Was delighted he signed of course but he could still go next summer contracts mean little.

    1pm sounds good to me I’ll be there πŸ™‚

  92. kelsey says:

    Shard
    as i stated earlier I am not an accountant but have started up and bought and sold a few diverse businesses.
    The question is “what is the going rate for a player bought on potential”

    The example of Denilson doesn’t stand up. To an extent he was a gamble purchase and after a fairly short time he was hounded by a number of fans but Wenger persevered with him but eventually one can only assume that Wenger made a decision (which was proved right) to try and sell him or for him to go on lone. Why ? because he didn’t reach the standard that was expected of him by the manager.

    Before we bought him he was captain of the under 19 national side and in one S.American tournament he was dreadful and dropped for the final,yet we still bought him,so initially Wenger saw something in him.

  93. Gooner In Exile says:

    RA don’t think it was aimed at you, there were three or four of us asking similar questions at first, I stepped back because you were doing a fine job, recognising that there was no need for me to add to your comments/questions…I understand everyone has a voice to be heard, as do you, and if you look at the timeline you can see why it is perceived hounding….no one person was in the wrong for entering the discussion with 2Bob, but with 3/4 bloggers questioning his views you can see why some could consider it hounding even the recipient himself.

    Shard I agree on the wages.

  94. Shard says:

    Kelsey

    Yes he didn’t. That’s the risk you take for paying on potential. Wenger got it wrong about how Denilson will develop. That happens. Despite that, Denilson was still a member of the squad that fulfilled it’s minimum criteria. So maybe Wenger didn’t get it totally wrong either.

    The other risk Wenger and Arsenal could have taken was to not offer Denilson a salary that would preclude him from moving to another club. In which case, if Denilson developed better (or if someone else was willing to take a gamble on him) ,he would have been off, leaving Arsenal having to hunt around and buy someone to replace him.

    Wenger, on the basis of his coaching experience, decided the second option was more risky. You disagree with it armed with hindsight and on the basis of how it turned out. That is not the best way to judge the reasonableness of a decision. Wenger’s and Arsenal’s decision to risk paying players on potential was perfectly reasonable. As is the attempt to move away from that now. It is not an admission of failure.

  95. Shard says:

    Sorry. The ‘Yes he didn’t.” was meant to be in response to the ending of your second paragraph Kelsey.

  96. evonne says:

    GiE – you are right about 2Bob. I reread the conversation and can see why he backed off. Terrible shame, seemed a good guy. It is tricky to engage someone in a ‘conversation’ without questioning their opinions. Oh well, lesson learnt.

    Shard – very, very true about sponsorships, silly me.Thanks for waking me up πŸ™‚

  97. evonne says:

    Irish – c u there xx

  98. Rasp says:

    Redders, don’t be daft. None of the comments were directed at you personally, just the collective. We’d like to keep 2Bob on the site and of course we always want you to be a major part of the site.

  99. kelsey says:

    Of course it is hindsight,Shard I haven’t got a crystal ball πŸ™‚ but as I said Denilson had patchy form before we bought him though one must allow for his age at the time.

    I have seen a lot worse players than him since first going to Highbury in 1958 and various managers stuck with them regardless of form,though of course in those early days money,scouting and agents were not to the forefront as today..
    I still think we overpay players on potential.There should be a basic with incentives or bonuses as in most businesses IMO

  100. Rasp says:

    Just seen GiE’s comment saying the same thing. Come back Redders, we love you πŸ˜€

  101. Morning all

    We have a New Post ……………….

  102. kelsey says:

    Trouble with RA is that he suffers from the affliction as myself and one or two others. He has a good heart but is a very sensitive giant πŸ™‚

  103. Shard says:

    Kelsey

    Denilson was just an example to illustrate the point that we opted to ‘overpay’ so as to not lose a potentially very good player, to maintain squad stability, as well as not lose money because sometimes it would cost more to replace a player than to pay him a little extra.

    I’m not saying we get it perfect kelsey. But do you know for a fact that we didn’t have incentives written in to their contracts? I don’t know either way but I would be surprised if we hadn’t.

    I’m sorry if at any point I appeared rude. But it’s just become accepted that Arsenal got their wage structure completely wrong, and that myth is one of my real bugbears. Even with the risks and the flaws in it, maybe, just maybe, that wage structure is also the reason we’ve been able to stay in the CL spots without having money to spend in the transfer market? Who knows? But I can understand the rationale behind it, and I think it’s unfairly maligned and not well understood.

    But either way. I would agree that the need for as much of an egalitarian structure has passed, and I think we’ll be seeing a change in that regard. Quicker than I would have thought what with contracts being cancelled and all.

  104. Shard says:

    evonne

    Good morning πŸ™‚

  105. kelsey says:

    Shard

    Not for a moment did I think you were rude.

    We can bothh assume certain things about what goes on behind closed doors at the club,but as others know I had a very good contact at Arsenal, the late danny fiszman and I assure you that there was disarray with the then current board with the transfer of Fabregas. I am absolutely convinced that there is disharmony between certain board members, appointed officers and Wenger himself.

  106. The proof of the pudding is in the eating , there is a reason tottenhams wage bill is considerably less than ours with arguably better players, that reason is wengers ridiculous socialist wage structure, arshavin park and chamack on Β£50k per week to not play is obscene no wonder we are left with the dross we are left with.

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