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To support or not to support, that is the question

Untold Arsenal on Twitter @UntoldArsenal

By Walter Broeckx

With the start of the new season we are once again facing a lot of problems. But we are not alone in this. But as we focus on Arsenal we don’t really bother the problems other clubs have. Because Cesc and Nasri are not the only ones that are being sold/chased/wanted by other clubs.   Does it matter that Cesc has gone and that Samir may go at any moment?

In the bigger scheme of things it probably doesn’t really matter.

What does matters is ARSENAL FC. Players have been coming and going through our history of 125 years. Because this season it is 125 years that we have our club. On 11 December we have the anniversary date of the first game of our club and by some silly coincidence this is also my birth date and I also pass a special date in my life this year. No wonder I had to become an Arsenal supporter.

We live in a complex world in football. The big debt clubs. The sugar daddy clubs. They all make it difficult for the clubs, like Arsenal who have a different approach to the way of doing things. We cannot pay wages like other clubs.  For example, I read rumours in my local newspaper that Sneyder is asking £200.000 a week. And thinking that in my country, which isn’t exactly a poor country, there are many people who earn this in about 10 years and have to live with this.

I know Arsenal pay their players also a very high amount of money. Because if they wouldn’t do this the modern mercenaries that football players are would be gone before you can close and open your eyes. No football player would be happy with £20,000 a year. Even £20.000 a week will be not enough for most of them. Now I don’t mind that people earn a good living but I must admit that when I see the daily images of dying people on my TV in East Africa I do get a sour taste in my mouth when I read that a football player wants at least £200,000 a week. I wonder how many people could be saved with that kind of money? But I cannot change the world and would it be any better if I would have that power?

But this is modern football in these days and well we can do nothing about it. Except hoping that the bubble will burst rather sooner than later! But Arsenal has to survive in such an environment and has to go along the same road to some extent.

Now for some time Arsenal has been a club that has gone its own way; the Arsenal way I would say. A totally different approach compared with the clubs loaded with debt or owned by sugar daddies. We try to be self sustainable.

Yes, it makes us somewhat vulnerable for the moment. Because we are out priced when it comes to transfer amounts and wages by those big money spending clubs. Our board is very determined to keep the model of self sustainability working for Arsenal. They are convinced that this is the only way to keep the club in good shape in the future.

We have the luck to have a manager who knows a bit about economics and who has the same ideas. If he is entirely happy with the situation is another question but he has committed himself to this model the club has chosen and is working within this model. With all the handicaps it brings him. Not being able to just buy and pay for the player he really want.

Now the message of Arsenal being a self sustainable club has been made public for years. And the board and the new owner support this vision for the future. This also has been made clear. So for those supporters who are unhappy with this and who are very vocal on the internet it is something to think about.

Nobody is forced to being an Arsenal supporter. No other person is holding a gun against our heads threatening to kill us if we don’t support Arsenal. So it is our own free choice to support the club or not.

Now if you, and this is your right, do not agree with the official point of the board you can do a few things. You can turn your back on Arsenal and just stop supporting them. It is like when you have been a member of a political party and the party changes something in their program and if you don’t like it you can vote for another party.

Or you can still stay but revolt against the way the club is heading. That is also a very valid option.  You could write blogs full of arguments on why we should go in to debt. You could write articles full of arguments on why we should look for a real sugar daddy who will buy all he can buy. If this is y6our point of view, I can only respect that. I would not agree with it but I can accept that people have different opinion.

However what you cannot do is go out and insult people and this includes the manager and the players. Because then you stop being supportive. And we have chosen to be supporters so the players and the manager will get my support as long as they are in our club. Once gone they can rot on another hells bench for my part. But I don’t think that any player will play better if we insult them.

I think it is clear, or better said, for me it is clear.   We have played the first game of the season, and now is the time to make up your mind. Do you support our football club (even if you don’t agree with the self sustaining model the board has in mind) or do you not support it?

Supporting means accepting that the players are who they are and support them even when they make mistakes. And they will make mistakes as we all make mistakes in our lives and at work. But isn’t being a supporter just about supporting a player when he has a bad time? It is for me. Do I mean we cannot say a player had a bad game? Of course we can say that when a player has a bad game. But is this a reason to throw in insults?

So as the new season starts I am here (be it in another country) ready to support my Gunners. Come good times all the better. Come bad times I will still stay there and try to support you. I have chosen to be a supporter and so I will support. I agree with the board on the self sustaining model so for me this makes it a bit easier to be loyal to the club, the manager and the players. But for the others I really think it is time to make up your mind: do you really support the club no matter what happens? If so then just support it whatever happens. If not, then maybe it is time to think about it and call it a day.

We don’t need support when things are going our way, we then just need to be happy. But when things go difficult, then we need support. Then we don’t need moans. Just support or go away I would say if you are not able to support Arsenal through thick and thin.

Here’s one hoping for a good anniversary year. Long Live The Arsenal! Long Live The Gunners! Wish all you Gooners out there a good and pleasant season. To support or not to support, that is the question.

Our failure this season?

The Untold Ref Review: didn’t he do badly?

Our failure this coming season

“Making the Arsenal” is now available via Arsenal’s official on line shop

More details on “Making the Arsenal”

Why you should buy a programme at the Udinese game on Tuesday

89 comments to To support or not to support, that is the question

  • walter

    And I risk of sending you to another website and maybe never come back to Untold 😉 but you must read this and I must say that this much hated player by many Arsenal supporters does have something intelligent to say

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2025700/Gary-Neville-Arsenal-fans-shouldnt-criticise-Arsene-Wenger.html?ITO=1490

  • Byron

    Alas it is not so easy to just stop supporting but there is a big difference between being self sustaining and selling 67 million worth of players and bringing in 23 million(two under 2o years)

    If I support the model then I am owed about 45 million in signings , presuming Wenger had no budget to begin with.

    I may support self sustaining but I will not support profit taking when we don’t win anything and tickets are the most expensive in the league

  • It is an interesting article Walter – and I’ll quote an exact piece of it below. But I would add this is not the first time such a thing has happened.

    Remember the Roy Keene article a year or two back. It was an amazing tribute to Mr Wenger by a man who most of us on this site will have hated as a player. And there have been other such tributes as well.

    Anyway, for anyone with a mind to read it, here’s an extract from the article Walter cites.

    So they haven’t won a trophy for six years? Well, Manchester United went 26 years without winning the league, Liverpool have now gone 21 years without the title and Manchester City went 35 years without winning a trophy. Tottenham have gone 50 years without winning the league.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2025700/Gary-Neville-Arsenal-fans-shouldnt-criticise-Arsene-Wenger.html#ixzz1V6AA5pem

  • Byron, there is no profit taking. The executives are paid salaries in keeping with their job, but no one is drawing a dividend.

    What is the point on spending money for the sake of it? Because by and large once it is gone, that is it.

  • Byron

    That is refreshing to hear that all profits are going into the club but where are they going now? I thought we had finally paid back the stadium?

    I don’t like to complain because I am a huge Wenger fan but i feel that the negativity around Arsenal is gaining momentum and its got me caught up in it.

    It’s not about how much we spend but that we bring in first team players( I was delighted by the purchase of Gervinho) so far we have bought four including Cambell and only one is a starting player yet we have lost a LB and two midfielders that is why I become frustrated.

    Everton is a selling Club and so are Arsenal the reality is the model at this time can’t win silverware and we best stop having high expectations

  • Lhubko

    Great article as usual. This website is some kind of miracle for me. Sometimes, I think about writting some articles for our local Arsenal web (Czech and Slovak), but then I come here and can read exactly what I would write. And today it’s even more that way, because I was also born on 11 Dec (excatly 100 years after the first match) and ” I also pass a special date in my life this year” – a quarter of a century 🙂 Happy to have you Untold

  • ricky

    This is not a good time to write an article like this. I have said many times that we should syop writing articles that incite hatred and anger. The writer had turned a deaf ear to this. We lost a great player today and is certainly not a good time to said such things.

  • ricky

    This is not a good time to write an article like this. I have said many times that we should stop writing articles that incite hatred and anger. The writer had turned a deaf ear to this. We lost a great player today and is certainly not a good time to said such things.

  • ars-n-hole

    How we can sell our best player for 36.7 million, one of the top 5 midfielders in the world, when players like Andy Carrol are going for 35 million is beyond me…….200 million buy-out clause, what a slap in the face!!!

  • Byron

    I am sorry for being negative on untold. The writers are clear on the purpose of the site.

    Sadly I see this as Wenger’s last season. The sustainability model will survive but Wenger will get the sack at the end of the season.

    Lets hope I am wrong and once again Wenger proves he knows best.

    In Wenger we trust

  • Ronnie Brown

    Support Arsenal and Arsene is the answer.

  • Byron, no we have not paid for the stadium. There’s a long way to go yet – about 10 years or so I think. What is coming to an end are the front loaded marketing deals that were set up to give us a lot of money up front from Nike and the Emirates. These can now be negotiated.

    But we can pay for the stadium out of revenue, and that is the great thing that we have done. Without transfers we make a profit each season.

    I think we were sitting on about a £15m profit on transfers over recent years before selling Cesc.

    Ars n – the issue you raise about Carroll is one in which the question is, what on earth were clubs doing, with a deal for Carroll at that price. It was his price that was bizarre, not the sale of Cesc, which for a player who has suffered so many injuries in the last couple of years is not bad.

    Barcelona have said that the deal is worth €29m (£25.5m), to be paid in two instalments, plus €5m (£4.4m) in bonuses dependent on the club’s success and another €5m to be paid by Fábregas to Arsenal, €1m for each year of his new contract. But I suspect there is another fund being used as well – as I pointed out in an earlier article about the use of a Jersey company who will part own Cesc’s economic rights.

  • superflygooner

    The only thing I’m scared of right now is if Wenger goes the only people that are likely to damage the club during this period are the supporters.

    Wenger made cesc and nasri into stars and he will do it again and again we are at a turning point in terms of finance with these financial fairplay rules coming in the playing field is about to get tilted in our favor and we have the right man for the job.

    I’m glad cesc is gone just wish nasri had gone first he is a disruptive influance.

    Another thing I’m tired of is people blaming wenger for the restraints the board puts on him and he takes all the heat in stride and people give him grief.

    Wenger has vision which most short sighted arsenal supporters lack it’s easy to say spend spend spend but sugar daddy’s don’t last forever specially when we have a few competing all they gona end up doing is pricing everyone out of the market.

    Some people may think it’s not good to spend late in the season but I think it’s best in our current financial situation to let the big spenders fill their squads then you can pay cost price for who ever is left.

    Granted it is risky we may still spend little more then cost but it’s less then we’d spend when we competing with other bidders.

  • ricky

    I think we should just ignored this blog due to its one-sided story. Iam not anti-Wenger but fans hated him when he does not practiced what he actually preached. All that came out from his mouth are lies and same to Gazidis. There is no or little truths in it.

    I want to ask the writer why Usmanov is not invited into the Board as he can inject cash to repay the debt or whatever Gazidis is planning to repay. Is the Board trying to conceive something from the fans and shareholders?

  • Byron

    Tony your knowledge of the backroom workings behind the Game is amazing I must say I am not at all near your level when it comes to understanding the finances involved at the club.

    Sadly Though unless Wenger can unearth another Henry( which he very well may do) the current climate suggests we may not have a realistic chance of winning the league for a number of years. This is what leads to neagativity, I am 23 and cannot remember a time when Arsenal was a top 6 not top 2 team regardless of where we actually finished, I always felt we could win the league.

  • walter

    Ricky,
    it was an article to ask people to love and not hate.
    I think that people full of hate towards Arsenal and AW will read it as hate towards them but I think this is more the problem of people hating things than me loving Arsenal.

  • Stroller

    It seems that we (supporters) are turning ourselves into business managers and accountants these days, scrutinising the details of the club’s balance sheet and transfer dealings in spreadsheet detail. Let’s keep it simple. We know the club is fundamentally run on a sound financial basis. Equally, we don’t have sugardaddy throwing money about. The fact that most of our dealings (in or out) seem to take longer than most indicates a strong negociating approach and conservative attention to detail. As such I don’t believe we overpay when buying or underprice when selling.

  • superflygooner

    When I listen to the shit that comes out of some peoples mouths then I voluntarily become an advocate for eugenics.

    Ricky please grow a brain you obviously know nothing about the fair play rules or arsenal’s finances even if we spend 100 million pounds there is no guarantee we’ll win anything ask chelsea, liverpool, mancity and real madrid how much have these clubs spent in the last few years.

    So why risk financial security for a few years just for one season where you have no guarantee.

  • Shard

    @ricky

    What does inviting Usmanov on the board achieve in that sense? What stops Usmanov from paying anything he wants to right now? I don’t expect him to pay anything without ‘control’ of the club of course. Nor do I want it. But even if he does have a seat on the board, I don’t expect him to give Arsenal anything that he doesn’t take away anyway.

  • J

    What a joke… so its finally come down to this, metaphors and comparisons to dying and starving people in Africa and linking that back to arsenal … as if, hey, its not all that bad, think about people in the third world, they really have it bad.

    Perhaps you should ask if the board, players and manager respect us fans…. not the issue ? well it is for the modern supporter. We invest to much into the club, financially and emotionally, to be treated as mere fans – for wrong or for right, the modern supporter wants to be more involved with his or her club.

    And lets not be silly, arsenal is a very rich club… it reminds me of Gervais joke about flying in first class and Paul McCartney flying in coach – he ended the joke by saying lets not be to upset for Paul losing so much money in the divorce, because at the end of the day …. Its Paul McCartney!

    The myth that spending big on one player would ruin everything is a joke … arsenal have the money, its simply poor and weak management has allowed for this wage structure to be set in stone, whereby average and poor players receive massive wages and our star players get less then half they would at our rivals – if wenger was stronger he would tell them to perform better and keep their wages, continue to fail and get their salaries cut – don’t like it, well go somewhere else and see if you 1. get played at a club half the size of arsenal or 2. get anywhere near the same salary

  • Dec

    What a greedy bunch we have become. I’ve supported Arsenal from across the Irish sea for 40 years now, coming of age in the seventies and eighties when Leeds and Liverpool and Co were dominant and their supporters didn’t half get a kick out of the local idiot who supported a club seen as English Establishment to the core and who won virtually nothing. Even the emergence of Brady, Stapleton O’Leary, Jennings Rice, Nelson etc. didn’t help. It simply wasn’t cool (nor convenient, trips to London were damned costly, unlike trips to Liverpool) to support Arsenal and a top half finish was the almost seen as a successful season. If it wasn’t for the odd cup, the trophy cabinet would have been more like a museum display. True fans supported the club throughout, because we genuinely loved it. It never dawned on us to desert the ship or come out with the hate comments that Arsene Wenger gets from some so called fans these days. We have a club that’s regarded as one of the best in the world, is on the best financial footing of any in the big leagues anywhere and competes at the business end of every year for the biggest trophies in club football. Mostly due to the foresight and wisdom of Arsene Wenger.
    Yet, we get drivel from some who’ve discovered Arsenal in the lst few years and who know nothing of the reality of truly supporting a foot club. We should look in admiration at TRUE supporters of the little clubs who’ll never raech the dizzy heights but still put heart and soul into their club week in week out. If we never win another trophy for a generation, TRUE fans will stick by the club, anybody with doubts should head elsewhere now, where their fickle attitude might be acceptable. Sorry for the rant guys, it’s geting a bit tiresome listening to some ‘fans’ these days. Great article Walter.

  • Chowdhury

    On this very topic of “support” – here is my two cents…

    I’ll let you in on a secret here. Not too long ago, GUNNERs travelled to KL, Malaysia as part of their Pre-Season tour. Ok that is no secret, I know. But the fact that I flew to Malaysia to see ARSENAL play “live” for the first time in my life, well that is the part that is not yet “public”. And will remain that way as far as my other half is concerned. Officially, there happened to be a business opportunity for which I had to travel to Malaysia during the same week when the GUNNERs travelled. Well that is my story and I’m sticking to it. 😉
    Anyway, once inside the stadium, it was all worth it. Seeing the players coming out of the tunnel for the first time, that was just history taking place. The whole place just went ballistic. Over 70,000 screaming fans don’t lie. Now the incident that I will reminisce for days to come was during the warm up session before the kick off. They were showing highlights of past games on the giant screen at the stadium. But from the sound of the cheers you would think that people were watching a live game. In some part of the trailer the Barca game came up. It was the part where RVP draws level, I doubt if there were a single spectator who didn’t stand up during that moment. When the ball went past Valdes on the big screen the whole place simply erupted. I wonder they were any louder at Emirates when it actually happened. While they were showing the highlights Scehzny[I didn’t even try to spell it correctly] and Vito were practicing with our Keeping coach while rest of the team were inside to get dressed I suppose. All 3 of them actually stopped their warm up and looked up at the screen to get a feel of what is going on. I bet they didn’t imagine in their wildest dream that 70,000 people can go crazy looking at some game that’s already been played months ago. And you know what? It didn’t feel strange to me. Because that is how it is. That is Arsenal and that is their support in this part of the world. For every doomer who whines and moans about “high ticket price” and “not winning silverware”, there are at least ten Gooner who wish they were fortunate enough to be at Emirates even when Arsenal plays some meaningless friendlies during preseason. During half time I was chatting with the person next to me and he also was seeing Arsenal for the first time in his life. He said something in the tune of “If Arsenal could take all the fans around Asia to London and then drop them back after game, they would never ever have to worry about not having sold a single ticket”. And he does have a point I believe. After seeing the other 69,999+ screaming Gooners, cheering every single touch of the ball by the Arsenal players, you would see his point too. You ask me, and I couldn’t offer you a single valid reason as to how or why supporter would “Boo” their own club? If anyone has lost the plot here, it has to be these people. Like Walter said, “It is time to make up your mind”. Through thick and thin, you cheer for the team you love, regardless of anything that might differ from your own liking, let be it the players who are in or out or coming or leaving. We are no accountants or agents who make a leaving in dealing with player transfer or an investment banker who scrutinizes every single column of the team’s spreadsheet. We are simply the “Supporter”s. The Gooners. Who appreciates. Who cheers. Who lifts the team when they need inspiration. Who sings someone’s name when he is having a bad night or a bad touch. Who understands. And more than anything, Who believes.
    Come on us Gooners. Let us show our true colors. Through thick and thin, WE BELIEVE…

    And Walter, thank you for the post.

  • tally

    Supporting means accepting that the players are who they are and support them even when they make mistakes – yup absolutely right

    thank God someone understands loyalty

  • beck

    this thing about the most expensive ticket price is very spurious and the majority of fans pay nowhere near that hundred pound top price.
    only 1 club have all tickets cheaper than the 35pound that you can pay to see us play udinese tomorrow night which is on general sale.
    as for support i will be in my season ticket giving 100 percent support.that is my part of the bargain and i will keep it with the same amount of excitement that i have for the last 40 years.
    can,t wait

  • ricky

    Shard,

    Then just sell Usmanov the shares and that is is what Arsenal former shareholders had sold to Stan. What is the problem then?

    Sorry Walter, Iam a little frustrated after Cesc left and np other players are bought to replace him. Another of Wenger lie was that he said is not about money but the type of players. Is Mata, Cahill, Benzema, Hazard not suitable for Arsenal? That is why the fans hated him for making us look like a fool.

  • Stroller

    @ricky

    You are being selective on the Wenger quote. He said it is also the selling club’s readiness to sell and the player’s wishes. i.e. there are many factors, and buying players isn’t like going to a supermarket. He made to direct or indirect reference to any of the players you list.

    So long as people like you can twist his words, and wrongly accuse him of lying there is little room for rational discussion.

  • adi

    @ Tony, I agree there’s no point in spending just for the sake of spending, but you have to agree that we are in desperate need of central midfielders, a centre-back and a striker. Squilacci and chamakh used to be good at some point in their careers, they aren’t now. And, to add to that, wilshere’s injured, cesc is gone and rosicky isn’t consistent enough.
    As far as signing joel campbell at striker is concerned, he doesn’t have a work permit yet, and judging by the ryo case, it takes at least 2 weeks to procure one, if it is given in the first place.
    I still trust wenger, but patience is running thin among the fans, especially now that even the away fans have starting chanting against wenger.

  • bob

    superflygooner,
    a few points,
    First, I would be very careful about invoking “eugenics” in any context, let alone as a club against someone you disagree with here. With that rage-out, you are playing with dynamite to even play semantics with it. if this is too obscure, and I don’t wish to spell it out, just check out the word and its uses and history on wikipedia, or anyplace else. this is still football.
    Secondly, the fair play rules will not happen, and Tony has as much acknowledged this over the last week hereabouts. It will only if the billionaires bubble bursts and the big players decide it’s the only way to save football itself. Right now they are not worried about risking all of football when, in agreement with Walter, they are creating the bubble that will burst. If your model of success is predicated on the success of fairplay rules in the near future, or in some rational expectation, you’d do better to rethink the model.
    Third, developing our players to reach a world class level, like the ex-Cesc, will lead to them doing a Cesc and forcing a sale despite any number of years left on their contracts. That is scandalous and will ruin any rational basis for running a club that is based on development and sustainability. I passionately believe in these, but we need to combat the Cesc Factor with something. Perhaps quality depth at whatever cost, and enough rotation among all the players so that no one is banished for too long to the bench. I think we all need to have this convervation. That is: how to deal with the Cesc Factor as a threat to undermine the player development that Arsene/Arsenal rightly pride ourselves on.

  • ricky

    Stroller,

    Iam a Wenger supporter since the day he stepped into Arsenal FC and Iam still a supporter. The only football club I have ever supported is Arsenal and will remain to the very last day.

    I think everybody got a price on thir heads if “price is not a problem”. The media may not be accurate but they are not way off.

    I think you are pretty naive when come to football. I hope Wenger will stop talking those that he cannot fulfill and I do not know of any fan who like to hear Wenger giving empty promises. All the conversation is recorded in video and there is no sugar or salt added to make the statmeent taste better.

  • bob

    Hello? moderation, for challenging a prior abusive posting?

  • Shard

    Ricky

    “Then just sell Usmanov the shares and that is is what Arsenal former shareholders had sold to Stan. What is the problem then?”

    But WHY sell to Usmanov? What will he bring to Arsenal? Do you really want a Chelsea type philosophy at the club? What is the guarantee Usmanov won’t simply strip the club of its assets and move on? So far, he’s the only one who has asked for Arsenal to pay out dividends. Which means he’s the only one who has said that the club should take money out, and pay its shareholders, which means him.
    Of course Kroenke’s ‘ownership’ isn’t ideal either. My guess, and it is only that, is that since Stan was only brought on board after Usmanov arrived on the scene, it was done to prevent a hostile takeover. Usmanov also offered more money for the shares, yet the directors, including Fiszman whose death prompted the sale of his and other board members’ shares, decided to sell to Kroenke. Why? Because they felt more comfortable with that choice.
    I guess, the question to you is, do you want our club to be run as a business, in a self sustaining way, or do you want to rely on a rich sugar daddy to fund the club’s expenses. Both have pros and cons. Only one of those paths leads to a potential existential crisis. Usmanov is no saviour, neither is Kroenke. There are no ‘clean’ shortcuts to success.

  • ricky

    Shard,

    It is a matter of opinion and I do not want to enter into a war of word.

    Whether is self-sustaining or funded by sugar daddy it does not matter as long as the club remains strong and win some trophies to show of its ambition. Usmanov intention is everybody guessed and we should not jump to conclusion. If there would be a hostile take-over, nobody can prevent that from happening and is just a matter of time. A club that is making money will not escape the eyes of the sneaky vultures circling Arsenal FC.

    Sadly, to built a stadium to realise its ambition as a big club was not follow with the same ambition to really challenge for titles with the right type of players.

  • bob

    ricky,
    if there is a “just a matter of time” hostile takeover of AFC as you seem to predict, then whether it succeeds will depend a lot on whether we the supporters will stand for it. Not all that forever long ago, fans at yes, ManUre, stood nobly to prevent the intended BSkyB takeover of their team. If Walter can (rightly) point to their Neville’s doing right by us in today’s column in the Mirror, then I am happy to point to the example set by even (especially?) those ManUre fans whoso actively and successfully (at that time) supported their vision of their side. Nothing is inevitable if you see it coming, as you appear to do. Standing strong for a principled vision of your side’s well-being is as noble as it gets in football.

  • jayj

    Cesc goes with all my blessings a true legend. If we can keep Nasri then I really dont see a problem our midfield is strong. Lets not forget Arsenal aren’t exactly a poor club we a very rich club with real money.

  • Shard

    ricky

    “Whether is self-sustaining or funded by sugar daddy it does not matter as long as the club remains strong and win some trophies to show of its ambition”

    Agree completely. But, is there not more risk in one owner having 100% shares, taking the club off the share market, making all decisions? It could lead to more money being poured in, and consequently more trophies, but it could also lead to the club being run into the ground, and becoming bankrupt, go into administration, or even stop existing. In my view, the reward does not outweigh the risk in that ownership model. That’s all. I don’t know why you’d think this was a war of words. It was nothing of the sort on my end.

    As for the ambition bit. I’d like to see some big name players at the club, but 6-7 years of being conservative, while some of the front loaded deals can be renewed with better terms, is something I can live with. Especially considering how much the football world has changed since those deals were signed.

  • ricky

    Bob,

    I don’t think the fans can do anything sbout the take-over and will not call it hostile take-over. We are reaching a road where you are the odd one out of the “Big Boys” race unless Arsenal decided that they remain content as long as in the premiership and does not matter the position.

    Unfortunately English FA will do very little to discourage such practices although through Platini we observed the implication of Financial Fair Play. FIFA are already under threat from big boys to form “Super League”.

    So, what did they do to Man City? Nothing, all talk but no action and a good lawyer will give them the nececcsary escape clauses. Soon all the other rich clubs will follow suit for example, clubs like Barca, Real Madrid, PSG, Man City, Chelsea, Malaga, Anzhi and etc.

    So what happen to Arsenal? Possibly 7th to 11th placing in the premiership. Players salary will also increase and anytime soon we can see players paid 400K a week.

    What are your thoughts? So where’s the sustainbility come from and how to sustain a club unless Arsenal is raking in 100 to 150 millions pound a year in advertising and sponsorship?

  • superflygooner

    @ Bob I know the full meaning of eugenics

    If ever there was a master league of arsenal supporters you and tony and the other gooners on this blog would certainly make the grade but this idiot

    Ricky just spouts rubbish this isn’t football manager this is real life.

    I’m not saying people should fully agree with me or any one but as tony always says when you make a point use facts and logic.

    Ricky please go play with your friends at Legrove.

    Does any one have any idea what the starting 11 may look like tomorrow I dont care about cesc his gone now he did us proud on many occasions but his gone we need to focus on the players we have.

    I’m thinking

    schez-sagna,DJ,Kosser,gibbs-song ramsey rosicky-arshavin wallcott gervinho

  • ricky

    Shard,

    Share your view on this. As I said this is only a debate and a matter of opinion. My view to you are the same to Bobposted earlier.

    I understood the predicament a club is facing in England. Over-paid players and paying over the odd for players is damaging the club financial.

    I hope Arsenal will not end up like that. Sadly, we may see the club remain stagnant for a while until all the big boys got blown off or go under administration since Arsenal cannot challenge with them pound for pound.

    We have to be realistic that our talented squad may not be able to compete at the same performance level with Man Utd, Barca, Man city, Chelsea, Real Madrid, PSG and etc as this take some time for them to gel together and have the experience needed and also hope that they do not end up like Cesc Fabregas.

  • ricky

    Ricky I have cut your email because the exchange is getting too abusive. There’s no point slinging this stuff at each other. I have been out today and not checked the blog, so maybe others have been doing it, if so I will go back and sort out them – not trying to single you out, it is just there is no point having abuse going on. It never gets anywhere.

    Tony

  • toto

    To come back to the original question of whether or not to support, the answer from any true Arsenal fan will be unequivocal support for the club. After all is said and done, Arsene has contributed hugely to Arsenal’s present coveted status world-wide. There is no pleasing some people and I bet you there are disgruntled fans even among those clubs more successful than us. Unlike some of the more successful clubs in England and Spain, Arsenal is not threatened by mounting debt, and yet it has successfully held on to its place as one of the top clubs in Europe. The glory hunters who are more interested in boasting about trophies at the end of the season can find another club to “support” if we can call that support at all! Many arsenal fans are not obsessed with this trophy thing, although we all would like to see us challenge for honours every year. I agree we have had the same defensive frailties over the last 5 or 6 years and have had the worst defensive record of the top four every season since 2006/7, and I am concerned we appear unable to solve that problem. I don’t think the solution has to be £20M centre backs, but whatever it is it has taken Arsene 5 years to fix, unless ofcourse he hasn’t been trying because he doesn’t see it as a problem. Is there something wrong with the team? Yes. Am I happy at Arsene’s effort to sort it out? Not completely. Will I continue to support Arsenal? Absolutely, without a shadow of doubt.

  • ricky

    I think punk like you are not fit to be an Arsenal fan. You have got me wrong as there is no negativity on my part throughout. I think you got reading deficiencies and must be a low IQ person and will not blame you.

    Why bothers to watch football if you cannot except the reality of the football economy we are having now?

    Sorry pal! you certainly seems like one to me. Go Fly kite man!

  • bob

    ricky,
    Lesson one as I see it is that Ex-Cesc Factor has (had) to be planned for. In my view, the one way for a non-billionaire takeover model club is to invest what we have in a quality bench with the promise, upfront, that there will be sufficient ongoing rotation to keep everyone involved on the pitch, and, hence, interested and loyal somewhat. In effect, a starting XV or thereabouts. That’s one idea for a re-orientation that would be sustainable without one-man rule, competitive and, with our fair share of the world’s unfair luck, perhaps a cup or two somewhere down the road. So, my preliminary thoughts…

  • jayj

    Is Wenger in the market for anyone? I really don’t think so this is it for the season.

    Wenger must of saw this coming many a summers ago J.Wiltshire/A.Ramsey two youngers already in our squad, listening to the Cesc Barca conference today he indicated this already.

    Eboue to Galatasary looks likely but again will Wenger buy a replacement?

  • steww

    Excellent article Walter. Anyone who lies about and insults our great manager in public or on a public forum simply isn’t a supporter. Not a debating point a fact.

    sup·port
       [suh-pawrt, -pohrt] Show IPA
    –verb (used with object)
    1.
    to bear or hold up (a load, mass, structure, part, etc.); serve as a foundation for.
    2.
    to sustain or withstand (weight, pressure, strain, etc.) without giving way; serve as a prop for.
    3.
    to undergo or endure, especially with patience or submission; tolerate.

  • steww

    Oh and for those moaning about Gael not being replaced. Um, hello? Anybody notice how utterly brilliant Gibbs was on Saturday? Now I read right here that Eboue may not be replaced – I suppose you didn’t notice our new cover at right back playing in all those pre season games?
    And anyway, those of you who can’t cope with great players leaving, it happens all the time to all clubs and always has. We always overcome.
    One more. The same idiots in the press churning out garbage about us not replacing Cesc once called Arsene all sorts of rude names for ever daring to imagine Cesc could adequately replace Paddy Vieira, and some sheep like fans followed what the tabloids told them.
    Plus ça change (plus c’est la même chose)

  • ricky

    Bob,

    I agreed with what you had written. The Cesc issue is not easy to handle as every player has the right to leave a club they no longer wants to play for.

    I hope people will not see me as anti-Wenger. A true fan is someone that have a little element of negativity and a lot of positivity. Negativity shows that you actually concern for the club you love and not rubbing salt into wound.

    I admired people who show only positivity a “Come what may” and that makes them happy all the time.

  • jayj

    Eboue shown the door could that liverpool incident have been the last straw?

  • steww

    Ricky – not being negative in public doesn’t mean I’m happy all the time it means I don’t give succour to my sworn enemies. In private I rant and rave throughout every match – my family, even my dog won’t stay in the same room when Arsenal play, I am transformed. BUT in public like here on this forum when the club is surrounded by enemies just show some full blooded 100% support. Is that really too much to ask?
    Oh and stop feeling the need to repeatedly tell us you support ‘Wenger’ (or Arsene as us fans c so much. It smells of protesting too much to me.

  • steww

    Hmm wierd thing that posted as I was typing the last bit but you get my gist I’m sure.

  • menace

    The FA react with charges and no mention of their official who did not see anything yet acted with Newcastle advice and failed to award Arsenal a penalty.

  • jayj

    @menace

    You get the feeling the FA is racist, Arsenal clearly aren’t an English club managed by a french man.

    Too many bad calls in the recent seasons to think otherwise.

  • stuartlondon

    For me, the issue is a simple one. Will a constant stream of negativity and abuse result in our manager and our players performing better? I think the answer is clearly no, and so because I want our performance to improve, and because I believe in showing respect for our team, I don’t engage in that kind of behaviour. It doesn’t mean that I don’t have some strong feelings about the current situation. But if the time ever comes when Arsene Wenger needs to step aside for the good of the club, I believe he will be the first to recognise it. I don’t think that time has yet come.

  • ricky

    Steww,

    So what your enemies can do to you on the internet?You must be drunk? You already said what you did privately!

  • Shard

    @ricky

    The difference is airing your dirty laundry in public, as opposed to people knowing that you have some dirty laundry at home.

  • bob

    Are the financial terms of the Ex-Cesc transfer known/announced as yet? Please, please tell me that it’s not for only 26M?

  • Shard

    @bob

    I doubt that the financials will ever be accurately known. The only confirmed figure is from Barcelona who have major incentive to lie about it and understate the amount they payed. Even so, we obviously were shortchanged. I don’t think there can be any doubt about that.

  • Miyachi!!!

    Awesome. Now if we can just print sixty thousand of these and hand them out at the emirates on match days :-). Great to have some perspective. The joey bartons and media of this world bring down our players and ‘supporters’ are right in there with them helping by showering abuse. Come on guys, get a punching back, book gym sessions after each match or buy wholseale supplies of gum like Ferguson. Anything to vent out boiled fustrations but by all means support your team in the match. Supporters support,its in the name. great post.

  • bjtgooner

    @ bob & Shard

    Like you I am curious to know the exact terms for Cesc’s transfer and I will be surprised if we ever get the whole story. The financial company apparently involved in this transaction – QSI – must get something in return; can anyone can advise details?

    @ Walter – Re supporting the club – it is really essential everyone backs the club just now – the true fan backs the club through thick & thin. I wish there was some way of getting some sense into the disruptive elements, including the AAA, but it seems too late for them. Perhaps they should should support the Spuds (hopefully in the same disruptive way they have “supported” Arsenal – they could have a field day with ‘Arry).

  • jayj

    Any news of Arry’s court hearing?

  • bob

    On the X-Cesc deal terms: We’ve had some super fiscal eagles hereabouts on UA last season. Maybe some one or two of us will/can ferret, deduce, conjure or interview the fly on the wall and help us to think better about what we really have to spend, more or less, in the transfer window. I can understand why a club doesn’t want this made public while negotiations are going on. But is surely keeps the fans squawking at each other with, alas, no real knowledge to go by. Really, how can we fight so hard about what policy to pursue for our club when we’re not allowed to know a thing? I guess it’s when we stop fighting and caring out loud that the club might start to worry.

  • Walter you are spot on. Lets get behind the team and do wot we have to be doing.As far as i saw yesterday no team is perfect and if we come together and give our team the support we can do it. Walter i hear that the Spanish players are striking is fabre$as doing the same!!

  • FunGunner

    @ bob
    They can’t tell us anything that they don’t want the wider pucliv to know.

    @ Walter
    I agree with you but I am driven to despair by the sheer number of those fans who invoke their “human right” to moan in public, or boo players, and generally contribute to the negativity. Apparently it is their right to be permanently and vociferously angry and vindictive and unless the club does exactly as they want, they will withold their support. They don’t want to break off the love affair with Arsenal – they just want to hang around and make Arsenal miserable. They subscribe to a raft of erreoneous beliefs about the club, they possess an unshakeable faith in their own knowledge of business, finance and football and they have a sense of total entitlement. And to top it all, some of them believe that it is Wenger who is holding us back.
    Can you believe that on Saturday, when there was clear evidence of the transformation in the defence which they have clamouring for, there was no appreciation – just booing and shouts of SSFM. Must have been soul-destroying for the team and manager.

  • Dark Prince

    To be honest, the crowds are a bit crossing the line now….

    I supported them to express their opinions in the last game of the season….

    But now if this is goin to happen in every game then, i dont support it….

  • Gooner S

    Well said. I will support Arsenal no matter who plays for us and no matter how long we go without a trophy. I genuinely go to watch Arsenal on a game by game basis; delighted to see a win or even a few goals. I totally agree with your point of view about the offensive and abusive comments left on blogs, it really has to stop. We all support the same club. Most of these comments would not be made if they were done face to face.

    I don’t have an issue with people disagreeing with my point of view or with them getting upset, frustrated and dissapointed at poor performances or even at the activities of the club in the transfer market but there really is no need to be abusive.

    Support your team. Onwards and upwards.

  • Shard

    @Dark Prince

    I must commend you for coming out and saying that.. It isn’t easy to do.. A big thumbs up.

  • we are not kids to be told every now and then that we are not afraid to spend money if we quality players. the fans deserve to know what is giong on and they will understand.

  • bob

    Friends, I’m onside. But honesty permitted, it bothers me more than a little that Cesc can break a 5 yr contract and was not put on the open market where, as Arsene said today, he would have brought back a lot more than we got back in return. We have to live with that deal, it is not orthodox economics, and it is part of the price of our having Cesc stick around for least season, I would venture to guess whilst knowing nothing, as no one else here does either. We have to be able to love our team with passion and unity, and not feel that raising questions that we can learn something from is not part of what it also means to love one’s team. So, taking on Gooner S’s correct point that there’s no room for abuse and anto’s also correct point that information is golden, I respectfully and caringly back Arsenal, disagree with getting less for Cesc than we should have, and get behind Arsene and team as we move on.

  • Ugandan Goon

    @Bob,
    i find it odd that you are finding it hard to wrap your head around the fact that between wenger and fabregas there existed a bond and a trust that went two ways, wenger is a man of massive integrity and moral courage and i can almost see him fighting cesc’s corner if anybody suggested we sold him on to a club he didn’t want ot go to.
    Ps. there is an article on the website where Wenger states categorically that cesc wasn’t sold to generate funds for the club rather because the player had expressed a strong desire to return to Barcelona. contrast that with don fergus’ remarks after he got a badly needed 80 mil for his club that ronaldo was a virus!

  • bob

    Ugandan Goon,
    Surely you have your romantic notions of that father-son bond and that custody battle gone sour, but I don’t wrap my head around the sanctity of that bond as it has harmed us going into this season. Not only financially – thanks for making me a straw man who, like Fergie, only cares for money. Sorry but I won’t accommodate you on that stereotype. But the cost is also in preparation and training time, making other deals or not, having the option to splash big or not for quality as needed, and going into the season with wounds that need to heal. I find your inability to grasp that people can have mixed feelings – deeply mixed feelings – in this difficult moment for the team that we love – rather odd, to use your word for it. You can have the father-son bond tale all you like; but I prefer other forms of psychodrama that don’t end in poetic denial. That said, Go Gunners! Kick the shite out of Udinese. Living well is the best revenge (to quote Woody Allen)!

  • bob

    p.s. And, from today’s so-called Guardian, here’s the happy ending to the soap opera that I call In X-Cesc: “Francesc senior stared silently at his son, the picture of a proud papa. Sister Carlota was there too. The whole family was. Kick-ups done, everyone headed to the Paris room. They took their seats, shifting each other along, shooting inquisitive looks each others’ way, giggling and joking, as they nudged each other along – you here, no here – like a family occupying pews at a wedding. Before them stood Fábregas, who left eight years ago, departing home at 16. He has been in London a third of his life.”

  • Paul the Gooner.

    I am totally behind AW,however i do think we need to look at the situation at the end of the transfer window.Lets seewho comes in.Cesc was always going to leave,however he let himself down badly last season.He clearly did not want to play for us and it showed.That shit Nasri, after Xmas was clearly tapped up and he again did nothing.Gallas was correct about him.I do think the next 4 matches are MASSIVE.These i think will decide if AW stays.If wedo badly the media will decide.They want us to fall.Keep the faith!

  • Ugandan Goon

    Bob,
    You are taking this too far, an employee looks to moves on, life goes on. Dude get a grip.
    You seem to think that the rug was pulled from under us by barca, it wasn’t. the club knew he was going, that might explain the injury that has kept him out of pre season.
    The player has gone, no amount of remonstrating is going to make the slightest bit of difference.
    And also read my comment again- my point was, there is only one thing to do when a player decides to go, sell him! AFC is run by people with class- it should come as no surprise that a fantastic servant of the club has been afforded the best deal posssible under the circumstances.
    You also seem to query the depth of the bond between the gaffer and his erstwhile captain, it is common knowledge!

  • bob

    Ugandan Goon,
    You can sling about “get a grip” dude and the rest of your pseudo-hip idiom but they mean nothing to me. I’ve said, that last season and this season, your precious and yes, DEEP father-son bond, was and has been and today is destructive to us as a team. Get it. I can’t help if you continue to fail to understand that someone’s deepest bond can be other people’s bad day. And your “move on,” a guy can change jobs, is deeply shallow and mind-numbing in its ability to miss, yes, the depth of this passing but mournful moment. I have no more to say to you today.

  • Gooner Gal

    I was talking to someone earlier to today and was asked how unlikely is the scenario that the disgrunted Arsenal Supporters Trust & Jabba the Hun have joined forces to destabilse the board and manager because of the takeover. This got me thinking that there might be something in this regarding the embarassing supporter situation we have at the moment. As I cannot understand why the previously great away supporters are now are singing about spending money. It doesn’t seem spontanious, or relative to the team’s actual performce in front of them on the day. I does seem like a pre arranged chant designed to attract attention and headlines and make Arsene Wenger and the board uncomfortable. There are marginalised people out there who were very angry about Stan’s takeover earlier this year and we have had problems ever since.
    .
    The AST overstates it’s importance to all Arsenal fans, in order to garner the attention of the UK media and have a platform from which to heap pressure on the club. I think this is quite disappointing because they do not accurately represent the views of minority shareholders within AST, let alone the external fans. I like the actual shares scheme but not necessariliy Tim Payton and his cohorts. When I think about some of the rabid things being written about Arsenal on blogs and the sheer number of them becoming increasingly ridiculous in their assertions, it can and does affect the opinion’s of the average fan.
    .
    Some of the blogs work hard at planting seeds of mistrust towards the club and stoke the rumour mill. Earlier this year when a few blogs all on que started trying to whip fans up into a frenzy about the ticket increases, I thought something was up.
    The english press was briefed about the ‘fans fury’ and the ring leaders asserted that thousands would turn out in protest. This of course turned out to be rubbish, when only about 250 half hearted people turn out for it. But I saw how a minority of angry fans exaggerated their numbers, how in tune they were with all fans and how much influence they had with the masses through the media and the internet because they managed to go viral very quickly with their message. They systematically posted their anger about prices on loads of websites to try and engender support.
    .
    It seems that these idiots that boo have renewed their tickets for some reason, with every intention of destroying the club from the inside out this season. It is up to every Arsenal fan to stand up to them and not allow them to divide and conquer. They are a total disgrace and you do have to question where their heads are and what do they think they will achieve. This minority group that has the privilege to go to matches do not have any more rights over the global fanbase that cannot get to games. Neither do I think generational supporters are superior to other fans.
    .
    I conservatively estimate that there are around 40m Arsenal fans around the world, so even if there were 100,000 people that went to games and showed their anger, they still wouldn’t be a significant number or propotionate representation of opinion and gauge regarding whether Wenger is still the right man for the job and whether the board should go. The booing idiots don’t represent everyones view, no matter how vocal. They are just a disgrace. I do think upon reflection that there are some people who have there own sick agenda to disrupt and create discord amongst the Gooners for their own end game. They have been planting seeds of resentment for ages now and it is sad to see it take root.

    I implore all sensible fans to not get sucked into the faeces being spread around and support the club. The team and Arsene Wenger deserves a massive cheer tomorrow. Do not let the losers win.

  • Edda

    I must say i really hate this “spend some fucking money” chant. This makes me think that Arsenal fans have under average brains… I read about alot of “Superstars” that Arsenal fans want Arsene to buy, and they think that if we earn 30m £ a year (actually one of the best profits in fotball) then we can afford to buy a player like Aguero, Sneijder, Tevez, Jagielka, Cahill. The thing is that if that player cost 25-30m and signs for us for 4 years, the cost is at least double the amount because of the wages. Like it is now with Man City, Chelsea and Liverpool splashing the cash like drunken sailors it’s the smart way to find good players that are not linked to the above clubs. If anyone of those clubs are interrested in a player and offers him 150000-200000£/week contracts why would he want to come to us ? Its sad but true, AW has only 2 options when he goes shopping, he has to go abroad and find an unknown but good player or wait untill all others finnish their business and then try to snatch a signing or two right before the window closes. But whatever he does, i love Arsenal FC too much to allow any player to ruin our wage structure, then we would really be in big trouble!

  • Gord

    Hmm, why write today? I go to GoonerNews, and what’s near the top?
    Trust now has to be earned Mr Wenger
    I think Arsene Wenger earned that trust a LONG time ago. But the recent presence of so many members of the news and blog communities who for one reason or another felt they _HAD_ to get Arsenal to sell Fabregas to Barcelona bothers me.

    Personally, I don’t think that Fabregas would have moved if the “press” hadn’t of been pushing for this to happen for so long. Barcelona had no need, Arsenal didn’t want to sell. This was entirely a situation driven by the press.

    Cesc only wanting to move to Barcelona severely hamstrung Arsenal. And the transfer fee was nowhere near market value. Cesc has performed admirably for Arsenal. One can hope some equity comes out of this in the future. It is possible none does. I believe if there is a loss of equity in this, the press is entirely the reason for this. They have been trying to manufacture a story for a long time, and they finally got it.

    Perhaps there is someone Arsene Wenger can find to drive the offense with vision and accurate passing. I think it is entirely possible that this person is already at Arsenal. It seems that nobody can immediately step into this on past performance (which includes last weekend at Newcastle). Confidence is a big part of playing, and maybe some positive fan support will help this person step up, and make all those good passes. And maybe get a few goals along the way.

    I guess I am looking at how everyone else ranks Arsenal players for the foreseeable future. I’ve no idea if this shows up at Untold Arsenal on any kind of a basis. Having players rated that never made it into play and having players rated very poorly for a single incident isn’t something I thought I would have to consider when I started surveying player ratings.

    But, one can always hope for tomorrow to be a brighter day. In the UK, it is already 2011/08/16 as I write this. But for me, tomorrow is Arsenal meeting Udinese. And yet another search to find player ratings to analyse.

    Keep thinking positive.
    Gord

  • Ugandan Goon

    @gooner gal,
    Well siad, Lass.
    There has been alot of shrill almost liverpudlian whinging going on around the club.
    I am so happy we have the board we have because we have kept the press out and bleat as much as they like the rabid AAA are not going to change one iota of policy at the club.
    Up the arse!

  • FunGunner

    @ Bob
    It wasn’t our decision, it was Cesc’s. We couldn’t put Cesc on the open market. A transfer is an agreement between three parties – the buying club, the selling club and the player. If the player makes it clear he will not agree to go anywhere else but Barca there is no point in trying to sell him to any other club. We held out as long as we could but they were determined to bid low.

    @ Anto and bob
    Remember that infomation about the club’s dealing is sensitive information and it is not possible to share it with the fans without sharing it with the whole world.

  • Shard

    @FunGunner

    Yes. It was Cesc’s decision. Basically his desire to push through a move screwed us. I can understand if he wants to move. But he signed a long term contract. If he is going to move, Arsenal should at least get a fair value for him. Arsenal clearly didn’t want to sell, Barcelona clearly didn’t have money or didn’t want to spend on him. It was Cesc who pushed through this move and in doing so, he has screwed Arsenal out of a fair return. He had a contract, from which both Cesc and Arsenal were to benefit. Cesc got higher wages, Arsenal were to get years on his contract which would ensure a good price if he’s sold. But now. Cesc gets what he wants, Barcelona get what they want, Arsenal lose their best player for a very low price. ALl because Cesc couldn’t follow through on his committment to Arsenal, and pushed for a move now. Regardless of what Barca were offering, leave alone their tactics.

    Yes, Cesc’s public statements have been very heart-warming. But actions speak louder than words, and his actions have been disrespectful to Arsenal.

  • bob

    Shard, FunGooner,
    I totally agree that x-Cesc is the driver. I don’t agree that he alone dictated the final sub-market value return. We can know the former. But what about the latter? How does he totally dictate the terms of the deal? Honestly, please explain how we don’t get X amount, or (as was floated a month ago) Alcantara included? That’s where I find Arsenal fell down – IF it fell down. I also think, but surely can’t prove, that the quid pro quo that kept Cesc here last season was that IF we didn’t win a major trophy, he would go to Barca in this summers x-fer window. And, as Arsene said yesterday, he does keep his word. So that’s where my thinking is at the moment: x-Cesc/Dein/Barfa about 100 percent responsible for the transfer; AFC/Arsene about 49 percent responsible for the relatively poor return. Clearly the percentages are absurd, but my point is that there’s shared responsibility in how we turn the leverage of holding a 5 year contract into the reality of a poor and DEFERRED return. I do value your thoughts.

  • bob

    p.s. Shard, yes, totally – the words speak, but the actions speaker louder.

  • bob

    pps. And, perhaps the other party to the x-fer, the one that Tony hypothesizes may well own a nice slice off the x-Cesc, could be ferreted out. They make money off this x-fer. What’s a few quid or euro to a willing reporter or two or three, especially in a down economy, to churn-churn the swill.

  • goonergerry

    I don’t agree with your idea of what constitutes support. I don’t agree with your view about what constitutes sustainability. You don’t achieve sustainability in a football club by only buying kids and unknowns.
    I don’t support the appointed custodians of this club-like the American corporate lawyer the club has appointed as a MD. I judge them as employees on their performance- and I don’t like some of what I see. If you want a business model then you have to expect these employees to be judged on their performance in all areas and they are not- especially Wenger and Gazidis in the transfer market. It doesn’t take a great skill to sell your best players for much less than their market value- and not purchase replacements.
    If you don’t want to hear criticism then don’t open Arsenal up to the public- and don’t expect us to pay.
    Arsenal is a football club- its main purpose is to win football matches- it does not exist solely to make a profit for already rich individuals who have chosen to invest in the club and it is no more your club than mine and it is far less yours than Alisher Usmanov’s.

  • Rhys Jaggar

    In terms of what you can do about sky high wages, it is unfortunately true that loyal supporters of a few clubs can do far less than most.

    At many clubs, season ticket demand is not such that you end up on a 5 year waiting list if you resign your ticket in protest. Be that against sky high wages or sky high ticket price.

    At Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea, Spurs, Man Utd you basically resign your right to watch live if you do that.

    The only way to stop this happening is a salary cap for clubs. If you said this was £100m a year, how many people would object? Some. £200m a year? almost none.

    The net societal effect of the changes is this.

    To start with, football was watched and played by the working classes.

    Then the players started earning a lot and became the nouveau riche. But for a while the fanbase remained the same.

    Then as ticket prices went higher and higher, the fanbase started becoming middle class at the grounds.

    The final change will be if footballers start being ex-public schoolkids (probably second generation with dads who made a fortune from the game) who grew up in Surrey, leafy shires of Cheshire or the like.

    I’ve been asking a few times recently: how many of those rioters would have rioted if they could go to football every Saturday afternoon? The answer is probably quite a few more than zero, but it’s an interesting question to ask.

    Because if you take away the working man’s game and don’t replace it with anything, you ask why you are surprised that the disenfranchised riot…….

  • bob

    Rhyss,
    Great analysis! I’m with it until one more consideration enters the equation, imo: An affordable workingman’s ticket means a proper workingman’s job that can pay enough to sustain the choice to attend the workingman’s game.

  • ash

    wenger made promises? or the media said he made promise?

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    I think your analogy only holds out at the very top level. At lower levels of the game, attendance is poor, ticket prices are low (too low in many cases) and the game is suffering. The market has spoken and it said “Who wants to actually watch Brentford versus Charlton, when Chelsea versus Arsenal is on the telly?” It’s perfectly possible to go and watch a game of football for a reasonable price of a weekend but hardly anyone bothers.

  • bob

    Woolwich Peripatetic,
    On this one, I’d say your response to Rhys’s analysis only holds true at the lowest rung of the table. You say “the market has spoken” but I wonder whether everything is based on ticket prices and what’s free or not on the telly or whether for lack of funds the team is really poor and non-competitive and only adds to the demoralization that some communities already feel given their respective economic distress, etc. The world does not simply reduce to a simple and simplistic “the market has spoken” and I know you’re really smart and smart enough to know this.