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UEFA demand clubs cut debts. KGB Fulham agree – and other rubbish

Here’s a stange story.   Michel Platini says that he will pass legislation to ensure that from 2012/13 onwards every club in the Champs League have to have accounts in balance.

That presumably means that the club has positive assets – take the money they owe away from the assets they have and if it is positive you are ok.  It is what businesses have to do all the time – and banks get very nervous if you can’t show a positive outcome.

In Arsenal’s case we have the debts of the stadium, as our main negative.  Against that we have the value of the stadium if sold, the value of the apartments and industrial units, future guaranteed earnings, money in the bank, and (presumably) the value of the players.

I say presumably because I know in the olden days the value of players was not included in the assets, on the grounds that they were too fragile a commodity.  That might have changed.

Anyway, no sooner is the word out of his mouth than up pops the cheeky chappy Absent Abramovich to say, “yes old bean, jolly good show, I’ll buy into that.”

This led to M Platini to admit that the call for this new ploy came from, well, not to put too fine a point on it, Abramovich, Silvio Berlusconi, and Massimo Moratti (WC Milan and InBetween Milan respectively).

Asked why, Platini said (and try not to laugh too much when you read this), “They do not want to pay out any more…. Roman Abramovich is a football person and passionate about the game.  He loves football. He has come to me and said that we must do something about this.”

Now the KGB in Fulham under Mr AA has spent money.  Quite a bit in fact.  And they make losses: £67m in the last year alone, making a total debt of £700m.

Loveable lad Peter “I’m chief exec of the KGB” Kenyon, is quoted as saying, “The real work is in the detail and those discussions will continue in earnest over the next 12 months. I don’t think anyone could disagree with the broad principle.”

Ah yes.  Pesky stuff detail, especially while buying Zhirkov for £17m.

Kenyon and co have an answer: the club is developing a youth policy.  But, youth policies are tricky.

At Chelsea it involves allegations of bungs, tapping up, and well, not to put too fine a point on it, downright failure.

It all relates to Frank Arnesen who was tapped up from the Tiny Totts to develop a youth policy that would outshine Arsenal.

But on 19 September 2006 Arnesen was shown on BBC Panorama offering  15-year-old Nathan Porritt of Middlesboro £150,000 spread over three years to move to Chelsea.  Chelsea should have had three points deducted from their league total because of that (one of the fines they got in the Cole fiasco) but the EPL “forgot.”

Arnessen has spent fortunes buying young players, but as yet none of the players have made it to the first team.  (Amusingly when I said this once before on this column a KGB supporter said that I was obviously an idiot since Terry came through the youth at Chelsea.  True – but rather missing the point that I was talking about Arnessen and Abraomovich).

Arnesen said, “It is clearly laid out in our long-term planning for 2004 to 2014 – after which we aim to be self-financed – that from 2010 and onwards our top priority is to introduce one player per year into the Premiership squad.  But that is from 2010.”   And not 2008 as the chief executive previously sayid.  Just a misunderstanding I guess.

Unfortunately things are still looking a bit shaky – and I did a little piece recently on how a Charlton youngster refused to sign for Chelsea, on the grounds that none of the players ever made it.  A bit of a tickler that one – for the boys in blue.

Michael Woods (not the service station on the M5) and Tom Taiwo joined from Leeds for £5m.     Franco di Santo cost £3m from Audax Italiano in January 2008 but has vanished (probably under a pile of concrete)and the rest are on loan.  Maybe their Jack Wilshere is in there somewhere.  Who knows.

But Chelsea still think they can create a youth policy by buying up children, sticking them in Stamford Bridge, and letting it happen – and this is the basis for the acceptance of the UEFA plan.  They think by the time it arrives they will have a club with a youth stream, and by having the new UEFA policy that will lock the door against anyone else coming in.

And if it fails, then no problem – they convert the AA loan into stock, put it in a trust, and hey presto the company is solvent.

Dear old Mrs UEFA isn’t quite up to such complexities, and so goes along with it.  Quite possibly they’ll find a way out for Manchester IOU as well, who have debts of just under £700m.  Liverpool Insolvency have debts of £350m which they are having to clear at £60m a year.  Real Mad are, well, real mad, with debts of £800m.

And there are new kids in the race too.  Sheik Yermoney in Manchester and Sheik Yerbooty in Portsmouth and gearing up, and even more bizarre is Notts County – now owned by the Invisible Men.   Yup – that is it – no one knows who owns Notts County.

Which raises the issue, how do you do a rich and proper person analysis on the Invisible Man.  And his wife.  And nephew.  And whoever else owns the shares?  Thaksin Shinawatra is my guess.

In other news – there have been several occasions of the Lord Wenger picking up little phrases and historical notes used here from time to time – a reference back to the Battle of Old Trafford when Arsenal were kicked off the pitch while winning the league, and a reference to Anti-Football and even a hint towards “Rotational Fouling” (although he didn’t use the term) are two recent examples.

Of course the Lord Wenger has better things to do than read this ramble, but it is nice to fantasise that someone near him might occasionally glance our way, and pass on the odd thought to him.

Last, there was a comment in correspondence for the last article about fans from other clubs going onto Arsenal sites, and winding Arsenal supporters up.  Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester IOU are known to do this. Rather childish I think – but yes it does happen.  I would say, “if you are reading, Tiny, KGB and debt-laden fans, hello,” but that would assume they could read.

(c) Tony Attwood 2009.

Extracts if this article are available without permission on Team Talk Arsenal

15 comments to UEFA demand clubs cut debts. KGB Fulham agree – and other rubbish

  • Pete the First

    Good article Tony. Platini is clearly chasing his tail if he is getting in league with Abramovich. He obviously likes seeing himself on TV too.

    As for that dyed in the wool Man Utd fan Peter Kenyon he is a mouthpiece for the sewerage that spews from the underworld that runs Chelsea.

  • Cape Gooner

    Hi Tony, I really don’t think that you can talk about Chelsea and ManU in the same way. Although in their books they both appear to be 700m in the red, the Chelsea creditor doesn’t expect the money back, while the ManU creditors do.

    Arsenal is allowed to sell tickets to its Diamond Club for big bucks, so why can’t Chelsea sell their chairmanship for very big bucks? When Abramovich writes off his loans, Chelsea does not show a loss. Real Madrid, Milan, Man City and many others are in the same position. ManU, Liverpool and West Ham are not. They owe real money to people who want it back. And there is no way they can pay it outside of hyperinflation! So, if they are to survive, they need a football loving buyer with deep pockets.

    Arsenal, of course, needs nothing from anyone. Sorry David Dein, although you are a real Arsenal man, you are wrong.

    Tony, perhaps you can tell us about how the Tots are financed. I have always assumed directors with deep pockets. Is that correct?

  • Marc

    Tony – Whatever you think about Platini (I’m not going to give my views on him I don’t want to have to defend a libel charge) his plan is desperately required for the health of the sport, unfortunately the chances of a system being put in place that does what is is supposed to and is not open to all sorts of corruption are beyond remote. As for Abramovich, of course he supports the idea, a new kid with a bigger cheque book is on the block and this threatens Chelsea’s plans for European dominance. The fact that the rules will be applied in a way that allows people who have already run up debt to continue as long as they appear to live within their means in future. What the Abramovich’s of the world want is to stop anyone else using the same method’s he used to build, sorry buy success.

    If this rule is brought in, in theory it will be good for Arsenal as everyone will have to operate under the same model that we have been for years. This would give us a clear advantage over ManU, Liverpool, Chelsea, Man City and the Spud’s.

  • LRV

    At the risk of repeating myself everytime Tony, this is another great article. I grow much more proud of my team each passing day. To have a club that is so well run with great (FFF) fortitude, foresight and forthrightness, is so exhilarating.

    I assume that even DPBs (Deep Pocket Benefactors) are first and foremost humans. They are business men like any others, who at some point will need to get some sort of return on their investment. They will one day get tired of deeping into the pockets, especially when the pockets need replenishing; and it will eventually need that.

    As for Platini, he seems to be having quite a few strange bedfellows nowadays, he would ensure that his Real Mad, KGB, WC & InBetween Milan, etc friends find a way before he implements anything. I wont be surprised if nothing happens until they can find face saving ways.

    Le Boss is telephatically connected to your site, don’t you worry. What attracted us surely is enough to attract him as well. You see, if you have hidden friends somewhere, something will connect you with them.

  • waltergooner

    I was a big fan of the player Platini but as the uefa boss he has lost my sympathie.
    We all know he will work something out that the big debt clubs now will protect against new rivals.
    But in the mean time it will force them to work like we do now already and that will be dificult for them.
    I got a feeling that the majority of our Gooners finally are getting the whole picture.
    But for the fans of those teams that are buying and buying whatever they want or think they need it will be a big adaption. We have gone throug it and we must admit it wasn’t always easy and we had to bite our lips sometimes.

    The people that are screaming to buy another 8 foot tall CB is a very small minority now they see how things are developing at and around the Emirates.

  • pig

    sounds like an attempt by aa etc to get uefa to implement a ruling that would not do the job properly at all.

    as mentioned earlier, chelsea need to spend money, they are addicted to it. manu and pool and (soon to be)city and plymouth as well.

    all they are doing is goin to their dealer to ensure that their supply wont be cut off.

    a junkie will never kick a habit if he is comfortable in his surroundings. these big spending teams are comfortable with the rut they are in, and dont want to change.

    platini (the main Man) will make sure that when any rules come in, the big clubs wont be affected, just the smaller ones.

  • Donnyfan1

    AW will support Platini on this. Arsenal will be the best team in the world by far. No-one will be able to spend and Arsenal don,t need to anyway- they have a fantastic group of 50 players who will see the club at the top of Europe for the next 15 years at least. Bring it on!!

  • walter

    On the other hand any ruling that will make the clubs work within their earnings would be a good and wise thing.
    But any rules made should be cristal clear and apply to everyone.
    Wait and see, said the blind man…

  • IndianGooner

    Tony, I’m not sure if UEFA is going to bring in this legislation by the mere fact that it would take ages for Real Madrid, Chelsea, ManC and others to balance their accounts. They have very high Player wages to Income ratio and it would not be easy to get that into control. This is a mere ploy by Platini to get into the ‘Good books’ of many people(Arsenal fans & other ‘normal’ football fans) who have been unhappy with him over the last couple of years.

    Or maybe to take the focus away from the Eduardo incident if this article( http://www.independent.ie/sport/soccer/arsenal-fury-after-lawyers-cry-foul-over-uefas-flimsy-eduardo-case-1874275.html ) is to be believed. It says that “European football’s governing body offered up in evidence against Eduardo was one paragraph in a two and half-page fax in which they accuse him of an “obvious dive.” They did not send any accompanying video evidence to Arsenal.” whereas Arsenal has given a 19page submission along with video evidence. This proves that it was a ploy against Arsenal and not a step to take away the ‘dives’ from the game. if it was, they there would have been atleast another 10-15 incidents since the Eduardo’s.

  • Armin Medic

    Interesting part is that Platini in many occasions said he is against purchasing “under-aged” players. So how does he think clubs will be able to “fill” their ranks once they cant make new debts? Damage is already done, prices of players are already reached such height that even you want save money, you cant, because you just wont be able to buy even average player for less than few millions. It will take years till agents finally accept that 40-60 million purchases wont be possible. Solution is to try to find players in pore countries, but than you stumble upon 6+5 rule, which is also about to be introduced. And if you add to it “Eduardo case” you got quite clear picture, UEFA don’t have plan. It is just bunch of bureaucrats whose dealings are nothing else than pure excuse for their existence.

  • diceman1984

    Platini can go suck it!

    He has shown time and time again what a moron he is…..

    This proposition won’t do any good, as we all know MOST of the clubs are in debt.

    Wenger, the great MANAGER he is, has been controlling and closely watching every aspects of the club. Why won’t we buy someone? Because the market is UNREALISTIC this summer, I would think that is the true reason. Melo would be a good player but 20 millions+ pounds??? Hell no, we bought the great Verminator for 10 mil and even Henry left for 16 mil.

    So you would think that Wenger WOULD buy someone if he thinks it’s the right choice at the right price. As of now, with all the moans and begging we buy someone (including myself), we’re one of the best FINANCIALLY footballing club because of this mananger.

    And say all you want, although we haven’t won a thing recently, Wenger is still the second best in terms of trophies won behind you know who. So he’s a winner, PROVEN winner, and will bring us back into those days again soon.

    And lastly, let those morons (read – non Arsenal supporters) come and wind us up. They know they can’t beat us FAIR and SQUARE on the pitch. And another reason they always come is because we have the best bloggers who seem to have common sense unlike their own kind.

  • walter

    I agree with that diceman, we not only have the best manager in the world but also the best blogger in the world with our Tony over here.

    On the buying thing on a blog, dont know which anymore, after the MU game someone was moaning about “we have to buy a big CB, DM of +7 foot so we don’t conceed those goals anymore”. I dont know how much he knows about football but in fact it was our biggest player, Diaby, who made the owngoal, not those to short CB we have. Some guys really are dumb or maybe like LRV found out, some fans of other teams who are coming to disturb our fans ?

  • peter stoery

    Football is full of irony and how unsurprising it was that we saw two incidents similar to the Eduardo issue, yet with Arsenal on the receiving end and to little derision.

    I was sat in the Stretford End close, fairly close to the tunnel, so near to the Arshavin penalty incident. Utd fans reacted with speed and hope that it was a great tackle by Fletcher, who I thought was excellent for Utd, but it looked to me that Arshavin was completely taken out. It should have been a penalty.

    The Rooney penalty was hard to take for two reasons. United procured the dodgy 50/50 and Rooney went down as the challenge was made, I watched it happen right in front of me. You could see it coming as soon as Giggs played Rooney in. Almunia, like an idiot, bought it. I think there was some contact from Almunia’s shoulder, but that was pure luck on Rooney’s part – he’d already started to fall.

    The teams we challenge with for success have top-level international keepers – we cannot compete without one. To try is a folly and a liability. I would dearly love Wenger to act and sign a new keeper before the transfer window closes, but I entirely doubt it.

    United have to do something about the ‘paedophile’ chants. The chant is unfounded and totally unacceptable. Ferguson should make a straightforward and clear demand that it is so and that it must stop. He has the power to stop United fans making that chant and it is long overdue for him to say so.

  • Oneillovesyou

    Arsenal looked composed and able to break down ManU. ManU were verty poor and lacking inspiration until the goals gifted to them. On this viewing my thoughts are that Arsenal still try to play nice football but look as though they can be muscled out of the game (as always). ManU you have to asssume can only get better and this is a typical slow start – but at the moment they are there for the taking

  • Flint McCullough

    “It is just bunch of bureaucrats whose dealings are nothing else than pure excuse for their existence”

    Sums it up in a nutshell!!