Wednesday, 29 August 2012


With the current news stories that the media are loving regarding VanPersie, Song and now Walcott there is an underlying issue that needs to be addressed. It’s evident that something is wrong with the ‘basics of business’ side of Arsenal Football Club. Turning a profit, perhaps mocks that statement but there are some clear cases of bad practice. Having mediocre players on good contracts making them hard to get rid of is flawed. Allowing the better players to run their contracts down and therefore allowing them to in effect hold the club to ransom is foolhardy. Not paying competitive wages for those players that make a difference (not to mention failing not buying players that make a difference) is myopic. Having endless faith in player’s potential is wooly-thinking when time and again that faith is not rewarded.
Revenue and expenditure are skewed in this business model that we have, because in regards to a Football club your assets are your players and the failure to invest in good players or create the conditions in which quality thrives is poor practice.
The club is awash with money and the board are reaping those benefits but a more successful club generates higher income. We are not earning enough from our performances on the pitch and in the trophy room. If the board are happy with how things are going and think that seven years without a trophy is acceptable they clearly don’t care enough and are only interested in pound notes.
Money can be the only thing that the people running our club care about, but even then they aren’t making the most out of our financial potential, which makes me believe that incompetence is now endemic. Aside from money the most worrying question is this; what other club of Arsenal’s stature, history, location, fan base and income would allow seven barren years to be tolerated without making managerial changes?
The answer is simple; no other commensurate club on the planet.
We are increasingly looking like a luxury liner with an incompetent crew sailing closer and closer to the iceberg.

Monday, 27 August 2012


Arsenal Football club has had a recent history of great strikers; Wright, Bergkamp, Henry, Van Persie, who's next to take up the challenge? Who knows. Will it be Giroud, or Podolski or Chamberlaine?
I rather suspect that unlike Man City, Man Utd and Chelsea we may not have a great striker until such time as we loosen the purse strings and buy one.
In the meantime Wenger is gambling on a communal sharing of goalscoring responsibility; a risky strategy for a club looking to win a trophy.
Wenger loves a project as we all know and I guess we are now entering the start of 'Project Distribution'
Lets see if it works...

Monday, 20 August 2012

Prophets and profits

Mitigation is used to excuse or explain unpalatable facts and the manager and board of Arsenal regularly utilise mitigation to defend the indefensible decline at the club. 
Arsenal finished third behind the 2 Manchester clubs thus securing a ECL place again. Arsenal have qualified for the ECL 15 seasons in a row. The balance sheet is a bright black. The club has a self sustaining credo and a Financial fairplay  proof policy.  Great. All good achievements I'm sure most would agree, however the magic word is context. 
Finishing third with a huge gap between us and the top two says more about the general poor quality of the league and are we in a better position to finish higher this time around? Is it better to have qualified for ECL again or would a trophy and Europa league (like Liverpool) have been better? Arsenal would have a better opportunity of European victory in the Europa as far as I'm concerned as general when we have faced a crunch game in the Champions League against the big boys we have failed.  Qualifying for a tournament 15 years running is only relevant if the club are capable of winning it: Arsenal have reached the final once. The ECL is seen by the board in purely financial terms
Finances rule the game and where theres money there's the ability to rule bend; Financial FairPlay will have zero impact and hanging in for it's arrival is a fools errand. 
No amount of mitigation can defend barren seasons, player departures, rising costs and false promises. 
My message is simple; stop bullshitting the supporters, come clean and admit that we are a great Club operating like a two bob outfit. We are second tier with first tier prices. We are being run by false prophets whose only concern is profits. 

Sunday, 19 August 2012

A song for Europe

Song moves to Catalonia. Fair enough. He's a decent player in his position but hardly a Gilberto Silva. The question is more about him getting too big for his boots; if what I hear is to be believed. 
Good Buisness? Yes. But only if the incoming funds are spent on improving the squad. Song is perhaps the only member of 'project youth' that had any decent sustained levels of performance. Certainly he contributed more than Denilson,Bendtner, Diaby, Eboue and the others. 
What the future holds for him I neither know nor care. Another one bites the dust. 

Friday, 17 August 2012

High times and low lives

“Ego-maniac traitor, you never did understand
you fell in love with your ego, it did not fit into plan”
-Low life: Public Image Limited

It would be easy to pour derision and bile on Robin Van Persie; yet another captain to desert us. It would be easy enough to feel angered by the manoeuvring that made staying untenable. We Arsenal supporters are a long suffering bunch and we have an annual hate figure, or at least an annual figure to feel disappointed by.

Truth is that these situations go hand in hand with egomaniacal footballers who view success not just in terms of trophies but in how far they can take their saleability; their value as a commodity if you will.

Since 2005 we have lost five Captains Vieira, Henry, Gallas, Fabregas and Van Persie (in that same period Liverpool have had one captain) and that tells a story far more tangible than the convoluted and secretive reasons behind our assets being stripped. It tells the story of a club whose appointed leaders both on and off the field don’t have what it takes.

It’s tiresome that the Emirates has become the go to stadium for the home support to boo opposition players who we once supported. It’s not only tiresome but slightly embarrassing that so much energy is spent on bitterness as opposed to using that energy to get behind our team as we did against Sp*rs and Milan last season.

Its easy to forget that the good times of being a supporter are very good and that there is a lot to be said for bouncing back from adversity. The negativity towards all those ex-Gunners, can be counter productive

Of course I won’t be there next season so I suppose I’m due for some criticism, but I have never, in the decades I have been going to the Arsenal given less that my full energy to positively supporting our own players.

Having said that I can't escape the feeling that this departure is a bad one; an act of treachery.

So the vitriolic lyrics quoted above are not so much about feeling any sense of outrage about the machinations of the modern football world more a way of stating a supporters feeling about Van Persie, but moving on from it. I would say that on a personal note, as a supporter I feel that Van Persie is an egomaniac traitor but, much in the same way that I felt about Fabregas. They no longer play for Arsenal so I don’t care what they get up to.

Basically; fuck him.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012


And so, as a preamble to another season of the bloated, overhyped and cash engorged Premier league we were subjected to the Glutton Bowl between the two most avaricious clubs in the country. If ever a game summed up the state if football it was the Russian oligarch's playthings against the Middle Eastern Sheikh's trinkets in the community shield. It was all there; mercenaries, red card challenges, deception, malice, cheating, inflated egos and everything that the Olympics weren't. The lessons we took about sport from the London games are meaningless in the Premier League. So out of step are the clubs and players that they operate above the morality and spirit of sport.

If the community shield between the club that bought the Premier League and the club that bought the Champions League is an indicator of the arrogance of the modern football world then we are in for a bleak season of petulance, greed and rotten core values.

Of course my support for the Arsenal remains as always; and yes, there are Premier league shaped issues at our club, but we still retain some core values, we still feel like a club that has not as yet sold all of its soul; but at what cost? Success, perhaps?

The Arsenal is part of the problem, part of the disease of the Premiership yet it seems that we still retain a 'good guy' status in regard to the Arsenal way. The question is will we become even more like a purely financial institution that doesn't compete at a football level or will we prove (finally) that victory can be achieved without the saturation of cash and uncouth characters?

Our club does not have such loathsome egomaniacs as Jay Tee, Wazza, Tevez, Suarez et al, all consumed by their sins of pride; not yet, and hopefully we never will.

If the tipping point for the modern game is not far off then maybe the football supporter needs a palate cleanser, a club that they can respect and a club that starts to redress the balance in favour of the Corinthian spirit and some sense of idealism; an antidote if you will. And if so; why not us?

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