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Untold Finance: If we didn’t have world-wide scouting we would be like poor sad Everton – on the edge of the end

By Tony Attwood

Phil’s comment in his Man U match preview that his boss was offering a bet that Everton would end up higher than Arsenal this season made me smile.

Of course my smile vanished in the light of the result in Manchester, but that did not change the fact that Bill Kenwright has recently been setting out the problems at Everton by admitting that they have issues with the bankers who are now effectively running the club – just as recently the bankers were running Liverpool, and how they are (seemingly along with Revenue and Customs) now running Rangers FC.

What made me smile, at least inwardly (for it was not done to be seen smiling after the Manchester result) was just how able fans are to ignore reality when pursuing their own vision.

I was particularly reminded of this today when looking at the various blogs around, which are still talking about “The player Wenger must sign” and “Wenger’s failings during the past transfer window.”  Such evidence that we have suggests Mr Wenger was by no means the master of his own situation this last transfer window – and yet they continue (without debating the issue) to suggest that Mr Wenger is the master and the board and CEO does his bidding.

Anyway, my thoughts today turned to investment in the team – and I notice that the press and their anti-Arsenal allies in the blog world have continued to say been saying that we have not been investing enough.  (And yet we have invested in Jack Wilshere over nine years, bought Alex OC, Gervinho, an extraordinary full back who apparently can’t be any good because he came from Charlton but who looks great to me), Frimpong (again over 9 years), Coquelin (if as I suspect he makes it through), Ignasi… Oh and quite a few players right at the end of the window to.  I won’t bore you with the rest of the list.  You know who they all are.

Against this Everton have invested in no one – neither youngsters of the Wilshere and Frimpong  variety nor new players.  The chairman of Everton said recently to supporters that income from recent player sales and the former training ground had been taken by those lovely people at Barclays bank to cut the club debt level.

Additionally Everton recently sent a document to the bank outlining their need to provide the manager with new players for the new season – and apparently Barclays told them where to stuff it.

The Everton chairman doesn’t give interviews now to the press because he knows he has nothing to sell – the club has made a thumping great loss every year since selling the Rooney creature – but he was reasonable enough to talk to fans – something you think they might have welcomed.

Instead it looks from the outside (and of course I am an outsider, with no detailed internal knowledge) that the supporters said they would not reveal the story – but then did, thus revealing how awful Everton’s plight is and dropping the manager and owner in the proverbial.

Kenwright admitted that Moyes has not had a penny to spend on players for three years: they are in fact in the same position as Liverpool were when the banks took them over.  The owner is desperate to sell the club but no one wants to buy.  You could probably have it for 1p if you wanted.

Worse, two people have offered to buy the club, but it is now suggested that these offers were either hoaxes by Liverpool fans or fishing expeditions by other clubs trying to see if Everton had indeed found someone with money who they could tap into.

Banks are now calling in their debts across the land of football, as Untold has been saying for two years, and Everton are in the firing line – as we have also been writing for two years.  Blackburn has been pulled in by the banks, Rangers continues on the edge (I hope to produce an article on this shortly), and Everton seem to be toppling over.  In lower leagues Plymouth seem to be hovering, and lower still just down the road from me Rushden and Diamonds were among many smaller clubs that went this summer.

In the seemingly illegally issued summary of the meeting with fans Kenwright apparently says: “What do you think our squad is valued at for insurance purposes? It’s about £180m but the banks won’t take that as security. You have to battle with your bank, daily for me. When David started I told him: ‘I’ll make you a promise, I’ve got no money but we’ll move heaven and earth to give you £5m a year.’

“On average we give him £5.6m every year. Nine years that’s £45m that we haven’t got. Add that to the overdraft and you can see what trouble we’re in.”

“We have just done a document to the bank which says you can’t stop the football club from trading. Do you not think the bank doesn’t ask me every week how we’re doing with the sale? They’re desperate. So what I’ve told them is: ‘Don’t kill us this season.’ No, I will not sell Jagielka, just as last year I was hung, drawn and quartered [by the bank] for not selling Arteta.”

And what is Mr Kenwright’s reward for not taking a salary and for desperately trying to keep the old club going?   Apparently regular death threats.

That’s how it goes in football – and  that’s the decision for all real fans of all clubs that don’t have big time owners, world-wide marketing (like Man U) or world-wide scouting (like Arsenal).   You can issue death threats to a person who is working day and night to do his best, or you can support your team through thick and thin and just hope they are there next year.  And know that increasingly they won’t be.

Arteta, when he signed his last contract at Everton, outlined a vision for Champions League football at Goodison Park sold to him by the club.  That ambition was just PR talk of course, and finally Arteta realised he had been duped.  He put in his transfer request.
Everton played the long game and lost seriously.  They could have had far more than £10m for Arteta a year back, but instead they took Moyes word and gave Arteta a contract that could only be sustained with Champions League qualification – for which they required the collapse of all the clubs above them.
Now the banks have capped the overdraft at £25m.  Blog copy follows saying “this is the worst team I have ever seen at Goodison and I have been there for 25 years.”  Ring a bell?
Everton took £2m less for Arteta than Liverpool took for Raul Meireles because Everton are in the shit, and Arsenal knew it and exploited it.  All those fans who moaned about how useless we were for waiting to the last minute should realise this.  We played the situation, and got the player cheap.  We played the fact that Arsenal is solvent and Everton is bust.  Quite possibly we offered to pay the money over 1 or 2 years instead of 4.

Everton have no money for players and have failed to get their stadium project going, and have screwed up the training ground project by annoying local councillors, basically calling them a bunch of useless busybodies rather that democratically elected representatives of the people.

The business phrase is is “a spreadsheet in retreat” along with “PR at full speed”.

Every penny Everton get goes to paying off the bank – there is no future for this club unless they can do a Liverpool and find a new investor.  I was one of those who thought Liverpool would not find a new benefactor, but they did.  But Liverpool is a more iconic name than Everton.

Everton won’t finish above Arsenal this season because there is a strong chance Everton won’t finish this season – or at best will finish the season in the hands of the banks.  And other clubs will go the same way.  They have no world-wide scouting and so nothing to fall back on.  We know we will have two new players next season because the youth team will produce them.  And that’s before we spend a few quid on new players.

The game against Man U hurt terribly, but we are still here, still profitable.  Everton is one of many that really can’t be sure what happens next.

Untold Arsenal

Arsenal History

Making the Arsenal

60 comments to Untold Finance: If we didn’t have world-wide scouting we would be like poor sad Everton – on the edge of the end

  • bob

    Tony,
    I don’t like to start the new entry with unfinished business, but some of it still lingers and is not being allowed to go away, or be wished away. And as with your piece today, financing the major part of the story that will not go away. Yes, we are still standing and presumably are flush enough to be able to make another move or two in January should conditions – like injury, duh – so merit; or if we’re close enough so that one more big signing can put us through to real contention for the championship. This, said, the media like SkySports and their ilk are now starting to highlight Arsenal’s Cesc: the Business Blunder to skewer Arsene and AFC. With no PR or inside light on the story, this has the makings of a toxic disease that can eat away at the underpinnings of the club and gain traction if Arteta and the new boys are underwhelming. The problem is that, right now, with no further details on the inner workings of Cesc’s deal, AFC is very vulnernable to these ill=intended stories (that is, attacks) and will have to do something to combat them. The club should stand up for itself in dealing with this and not put it on to defenders and well-wishers in the blogosphere to have to carry its water. Is there anything to do with the banks calling in any of the Arsenal debts? I don’t know, can’t say, but you or someone reading this will have a more informed opinion, if you’re willing to opine. In any case, whatever the financing really is/was, something, sooner or later, will have to be done about this fallout to come from the Cesc transfer window saga because it is now coming under the media microscope. Any doubts people may have? Well, start with this as an opening teaser:
    http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11670_7150733,00.html

  • bob

    p.s. and our worldwide scouting has to be supported on the business side by world-class deal-making. The selling of Cesc to Barfa does not fulfill the promise of what the scouting of Cesc once brought through our door.

  • para

    AFC should loan some players to Everton, so they can get PL experience.

  • @Tony,
    Well said but it will fly right over people’s heads. People just don’t have a very good grasp of money, it’s why the western world is up to its eyeballs in consumer debt.
    @bob,
    It was never an open market. If we’d been able to tout Cesc around to other clubs, he might have become the first £100 million pound player. He was only ever going to one other club.

  • @para,
    Now there is a brilliant idea. We could loan them for free, pay half their wages, it’s good for both clubs.

  • nicky

    Bob,
    I really think the Fabregas Story should now be put to bed. The guy was desperate to return home, he had underperformed for his team during much of the season, whether for physical or mental reasons. We received a not inconsiderable sum for him, bearing in mind the obscene monies in football today.
    Let it rest. Let the media have their frenzy.
    We have now, what is beyond price….a team of players WHO WANT TO PLAY FOR ARSENAL.

  • CaveGun

    Arsenal and Arsene could do nothing about Cesc’s move to Barca. You can see the transformation in the young man since moving to his boyhood club. He’s scored like 6 goals and an assist, for club and country, only in August. Cesc’s last two seasons with us weren’t as explosive as this. I strongly believe Arsenal will finish in the top four this season and our new signings are really confidence boosters. I feel sorry for Everton cos they are quite a decent club but a transfer chest of 5 mil pounds will really not help a club with Champions League aspirations. They should intensify efforts in getting an investor. I’m happy we got Arteta though.

  • @CaveGun,
    That’s the harsh reality of football, no-one is going to buy Everton. They are the second club in a poor (financially speaking) city. No-one is going to pay London prices to watch Liverpool, let alone their neighbours and neither club has a 75,000 seat stadium to make up the difference. Unless there’s a billionaire out there who was a boyhood Everton fan, they will inevitably fold with the way things in football stand.

  • shakabulagooner

    Consider this analogy:

    Through hard work and prudence, a work-a-day bloke qualified for a hefty mortgage to move to a beautiful home and in a rich people’s neighborhood predominantly. His neighbors are mainly old money types and jackpot ticket winners.

    Initially, the children and friends were happy and praised the hard work and prudence of the work-a-day bloke to high heavens for his careful investment that qualified him to hobnob with neighbors a shade above his economic class.

    However, as time went on, it became clear that the bloke requires sustained prudence to meet the mortgage bills and that he cannot possibly shop in the same places and with the same intensity that his neighbors can carelessly afford.

    Unfortunately, the same children and friends now complain bitterly for not plying his home and themselves with the goodies they see in the neighbors homes all around.

    It is easy to forget; so easy that it is never a bad idea to, once in a while, drive the children and friends to the old neighborhood to visit the old neighbors from time to time.

  • John L

    Poor David Moyes. I think he has done a fantastic job with very little revenue to work with. Hes been able to get alot of his players to perform above their ability. Hes made everton better then their market value. Everton have a number of good youth prospects but its very difficult to turn potential ability into current ability. Rodwell, Coleman, Baxter are all players with talent but Moyes needs to get them to step up a level or two. Arsenal fans forget this, as we see it all the time, but turning players into stars is very difficult. Its why we see any club that can afford (or not) to bring players in rather than develop, do.

    Just makes me take a second to thank god for wenger. any club that stays within its means needs to promote players from within. problem is theres just not that many coaches and managers out there that can actually do that on a regular basis.

    Everton’s problems arent all down to money. Its a problem with coaching and youth development within the game….

  • gulp

    I still do not understand why we did sell Cesc for that stupidly low price. Someone at the top did not do their homework….

    I also think that as Everton moves closer to the edge, arsenal will take the advantage again and snap up a couple of more fine players fron Everton..for a bargain price ofc. They will then be criticised by the pundits for not paying over the odds.. as usual..

  • Mandy Dodd

    i do feel for moyes and kenwright, both are doing their best but sounds like some very worrying times.
    Think Bolton also in a bit of trouble, not helped by their stance on Cahill.
    is Jack really signed up for nine years?

  • John L

    @Gulp: we sold cesc for such a low price because he wanted to leave, and barca couldnt afford anything more. its unfortunate that barca’s 3 year PR campaign seems to have paid off.

    However, Arsenal showed its class by selling cesc. it shows we care about our players and want the best for them. we treat them like humans. I think this will play out in arsenal’s advantage in the future, yes we might pay less excessive wages than our rivals, but players know they will be given respect in regards to their life decisions. That will hopefully cause players to be more attracted to arsenal.

  • Arvind

    Posted a comment but it didn’t appear for some reason. So in a nutshell I’m really grateful we have AW..it reminds me of a Savage Garden song – “Affirmation” which has 2 lines which I always remember:

    ————-
    I believe the grass is no more greener on the other side
    I believe you don’t know what you’ve got until you say goodbye
    ————-

    And that’s what the AAA will say when AW finally goes one day….

    I do hope sincerely that Everton get out of trouble. Of all the ‘kick em’ teams they have done it the least and beaten us fair and square many times by playing good aggressive football. I do like David Moyes and have a lot of time for him.. the way he has built a team as well which seems to sink sink sink and always finish top 7 or top 8 with a practically zero budget is amazing.

    Here’s hoping they do well this year too.

  • critic

    “I was one of those who thought Liverpool would not find a new benefactor, but they did. ”

    Just shows how naive we are. Manu, chelsea, mancity, liv are now big brands which will always have some takers. May be David Dein was correct in supporting ownership model.

    What’s your thoughts tony?

  • the font

    great article i hope people now understand arsene wengers approach
    and get behind him and the team

  • Stevie E

    Read an “interesting” article in the Telegraph today comparing our transfers to Stoke. Now, the first part of the article basically criticised Arsene for leaving it late, just grabbing any player he could off the shelf etc. But its not that which pissed me off, what really got to me was it was Arsene who was personally slated but it was Stoke who did their transfers, no mention of Pulis. The article actually opened with Arsenes comments about 20 people dealing with negotiations but that didn’t stop the writer carrying on with his uncalled for verbal assault. The best thing about this whole thing, the player who was the focus of this lavished praise… Peter Crouch 🙂 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/stoke-city/8735681/Jim-White-Peter-Crouchs-arrival-at-the-land-of-the-giants-represents-deadline-days-best-deal.html

  • para is right. lend moyes afobe and ozyakup and both sides win. everton need a midfielder and a striker and we need both kids to gain experience at the sharp end. i would throw in coquelin but for the ANC in january. manu should look to recruit moyes before sir fergie leaves. his teams play attractive ball and if he can get them so far with nothing for a budget, he would be frightening with united’s money.

    i’ve watched cesc play for barca and spain recently. amazing the difference location makes. he will have xavi sitting on the bench before this season’s out. kudos to cesc though, for staying as long as he did. but we have our own cesc who other teams will covet. we hope jack will stay like giggs and scholes did for united. and we hope arsene doesn’t decide to take his playbook elsewhere. after all, he has french dna doesn’t he?

  • bob

    Stevie E,
    As we know, it’s Arsene = total dictator, and their knives are still out. Vigilance, amigo.
    Nicky,
    you’re really saying Barca couldn’t afford any more? How do you know this? even so, I’ll consider putting it to bed, as you’d wish, but if the media campaign starts to unify around this theme across a lot of papers and TV – as it’s a vulnerable spot – I’d think something more than silence would be called for. Anyway, let’s see. Cheers.

  • LoL i FaiL

    Everton do have young players coming through, and a successful youth academy which has produced young talent with sell on value; Jack Rodwell, Wayne Rooney, Francis Jeffers (lol)…
    Ross Barkley has already played this season, and looked good, and he is 17.
    I’m an Arsenal fan not an Everton fan but you can’t just present things as facts just because you don’t know otherwise.

  • bob

    Mandy Dodd,
    I hope Jack is signed up for 9 years, but who’s his agent? That’s probably equally relevant in these times of limited loyalties. Cheers.

  • Domhuaille MacMathghamhna

    Tony…..excellent article and very worrying indeed, not just for the EPL but for the European Leagues as well. If one or two EPL Clubs default on their debt and are repossessed, that could seriously affect the EPL in general. While Aw and Liverpool will definitely be poised to get Everton’s best in January or next summer, they will face stiff competition from Shitty and maybe Chelski, who will try and buy up any decent player so they can sit on Shitty’s bench and never play for anyone else, while being paid 120000 sterling per week.
    It is the same old story, those who have get more and those who have not starve more. AFC are in the envious position of having resources sufficient to attract some good players and not having serious debt or financial constraints like many of the EPL teams.They also have a tremendous program that is providing them with alternatives if they don’t get their transfer targets.

  • Ed

    i am concerned about this financial doping. its the same as cheating basically… you know on the Football Manager computer game, there is an editor where you can give yourself pretty much billions to spend… i would call that cheating. so how is having a billionaire backer allowing you to spend over your means not cheating in real life?

    I am not particularly confident in how this new Financial Rules plan from UEFA will work and i think it will be very easy to use their wealth subtley to get round the rules.

    Some people say that the big clubs who get money from the champions league cant complain because they get more than the other teams in the league. But they miss the fact that most of these clubs have earnt their right to be there and it doesnt make them infallible. They do not have the limitless money to have a 30m flop like shevchenko, balotelli, adebayor, etc. and then the next transfer window, go out to buy a 50m torres.

    when man utd and arsenal were regulars in the champions league, the other teams always thought they had a chance because they may have injuries or suspensions or loss of form and it would affect the team. now, how do the likes of tottenham, aston villa, everton, etc (who are decent sized clubs) hope to compete with chelsea and man city? how do bale or modric feel when they were top 4 a couple of seasons ago above man city, and, for no other reason than money, city have blown them out the water – dzeko for 30m, then if hes not good enough, how about 38m for aguero? 25m for nasri to keep johnson out the team?

    at the moment, you have to say all the other teams are competing for 2 of the top 4 spots. Man Utd have great resources due to good marketing, and they have done very well to compete and beat the billionaires but it is only a matter of time i think until man city and chelsea are regularly above them. until then, that basically leaves all the other 17 teams competing for the 4th spot which only gives you the qualifying round.

    all it takes is another couple of billionaires, and then everybody, including man utd will be shut out the top 4 and champions league places.

    I sure hope the FPP from UEFA will deal with this threat.

  • Ed

    however, more relevant to the article,

    i hear about all the footballers’ wages being bandied around and i often wonder how a football club can be profitable?!

    when you have 10 players on 100,000 a week! another 10 on 50,000 a week! you gotta be bringing in a lot of dough to cover that. just those 20 players would cost 78m a year… this is abit of an extreme case, but even if you have 25 players (the registered squad) on about 35,000 a week which seems to be a normal mid-table team player salary, it costs the team 45m a year! thats not including the other staff such as manager, coaches, behind the scenes staff, kit men, admin etc. you also have to account for travel to games, maintaining the stadiums, websites, before you even get to transfers and buying new players.

    you get alot of fans complaining that football is just about money and its a business nowadays. however, i think the problem is that some fans forget their football team is a business. would a regular fan encourage their company to spend above their means to get the rising star in the accounting fields/law/ or banking industries? with the possibility it would bankrupt their company and they may be out of a job?

    That is basically what most fans are doing when encouraging their teams to spend what they do not have. not every team is Man City or Chelsea, as this report on Everton proves…

  • RedGooner

    I think Arsenal have very done well in all areas except one.
    I would like to see the wages reduced for the majority of these younger players I think we are paying over the odds for some before they really prove they will make the grade.

    Denillson, Vela and Bendtner come to mind.
    I would sooner have seen that the likes of those would have been on half the money are on.
    This would have allowed us to pay our star players more and possibly enticing some of the bigger names to our club with that extra cash available. Im pretty sure thats why no one signed any of them on a permanent deal.

    Would also after seeing coquelin play and frimpong. Frimpong go on loan to a premiership side like wiltshire did until he curbs that over enthusiastic attitude when tackling giving back chat etc to officals.
    I think he would come back the finished article while coquelin has a more level headed approach looking at the man utd game.

    BUT we dont have much to moan about as Arsenal fans and plenty to look forward to over the comming games with all the new signings.

  • Kentetsu

    @ Bob: Arsenal have already spoken that they would be able to get at least ten million more in an open market, but there was nothing they could do as Cesc only ever wanted to go to Barca. What Barca is doing now, though, is giving another kick in the back (assuming the quotes are not invented or twisted by English media).

  • bob

    Kentetsu,
    But Cesc was signed for 4 more years;
    and he cannot dictate his price on the market.
    There is an irrationality (an x factor) at work
    in this transaction. Perhaps it’s that Cesc would
    effectively have gone on strike after the x-fer window
    closed? perhaps it’s Arsene having promised Cesc last
    season that he’d be gone no matter what this x-fer window?
    perhaps it’s an unknown factor that Arsenal had to make
    a bank payment and was short without the Cesc sales money?
    No one knows and we should admit that there is an irrationality
    at work here that in market terms at least is to AFC’s own detriment. And, without an explanation, we are vulnerable to an expanding media bashing on this very point; which has already started and, one hopes, won’t spread, but I wouldn’t bet on it. And, like you said, the Barca VP who allegedly just said Cesc would have fetched 60M on the market deserves to spend all eternity in a place with a very hot climate. What a sadistic prick.

  • Abhishek Kumar

    Hi Bob

    We never needed Cesc money for a payment to be made. Wenger himself declared that no money can take Cesc out of Arsenal if he wants to stay. Staying mum through the whole window he just ensured that his dignity is maintained.

    The problem must be that Barca had no money to give but they had to take Cesc out. So Arsenal was required to take the maximum out of Barca. I am sure if Barca had not been so bankrupt these days we could have easily got 50m out of them.

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    Irritating as the Barca article is, I see it more as a riposte to the cules who thought the club were wasting their money on a player who sttuggled to displace Xavi in the national side. The Messi-Fabregas partnership seems to have taken Barca to an even higher level, if that was possible.

  • Cornelius Ombagi -KENYA

    Mr Tony I STRONGLY AGREE WITH YOU OPINION!we have always discovered before the rest. Indeed why cry when our best leaves are they true gunners?

  • M.V

    Does anyone think Cesc would of stayed if Arsenal won the league or championsleague last year? I don’t think he would of stayed anyways…he would of probably found it even easier to leave if he’d won something (I think). Now he’s hanging out with his mates, speaking his native language, etc. 🙂 I think it’s nice that he was let go. In one way he was worth more, but that’s cause the market is inflated like crazy!

  • @M.V.
    It would be more interesting to consider, would he have gone to Barca, if they were struggling to remain in the CL, getting battered at the Bernabeu by an all conquering Real Madrid etc?
    I suspect the answer is even more of a yes.
    FWIW if the remaining 18 teams in La Liga force through a collective rights agreement and the current rights holders fold (both surprisingly likely) then Barca (and to a lesser extent Madrid) are screwed. If their TV revenue falls into line with other collectively sold leagues then they are looking at a shortfall of £60 million a year, given the value of the current (unsustainable) contracts. And they are racking up debts on their current income…

  • Almost every transfer from Arsenal is presented as being a transfer at less than market value by the buying club, and a blunder by Arsenal, in the media.

    When Arsenal do make a statement it tends to point out that the deal is complex and includes a number of extra clauses such as how many games are played.

    Certainly as an article on Arsenal History pointed our recently, Barca got very stung with the deal for Henry, who cost them something like £250,000 a game. So they will have loaded the deal to incorporate number of games played (not least because of Cesc’s continuing injury crisis of the last 2 years).

    You can believe Arsenal is populated by dolts who can’t do a deal and happen to make a profit in a sea of loss making companies by pure chance, or you can believe that Arsenal actually know what they are doing, and so make a profit while all around are making a loss. Pay your money and make your choice…

  • Tigergunner

    I read that Cesc stated that Wenger persuaded the board to sell him to Barca at a lower price. I believe that he made a verbal agreement with Cesc for him to stay for one more season last year. And he was keeping that promise.

  • Tigergunner

    I believe in private Wenger knew Cesc was leaving. His replacements was Nasri/Jack. And Gervinho would play in Nasri’s former role. He was just putting on a show about not selling Cesc to get the best price possible. The plan was in dis-array when Nasri decided to leave.

  • bob

    Tony, all,
    I am a financial dolt, no problem. However, I do have curiousity and a memory. And, if I am not mistaken, while I still have that memory, somewhere a month ago I learned from these very pages that the Cesc deal was partly made possible because of an alleged financial x factor (a hedge fund person, perhaps, whose name was offered up) that provided some part of the money that the ALLEGEDLY bankrupt Barca needed to complete the deal. So, here’s what doltish me thinks: (A) If you still stand by that deduction (that strongly felt hypothesis, at the time), and (B) because Barca is a Spanish institution and the UEFA flagship, it is too big to fail, like a bankrupt mega-bank that is not allowed to go bankrupt, because it would be so massively damaging to football itself. Now, if any of this is true, I ask in a doltish way – without presuming that I know better than Arsenal – why are people building in the construct, or call it an assumption, that Barca was too broke to offer us more? How does anyone know that? How does anyone know that there was not a mistake at AFC? I also love AFC, enough to pose this question so that the same x factor does not occur again. Meanwhile, all the rest of us dolts, having no more explanation offered from AFC, have to endure the bullshit that has just spewed forth from the mouth of the Barca VP on, essentially, how they took us for a ride. I’m sorry, but with the greatest respect, I cannot accept that to raise this question – because I am upset, like Walter, and like Shard, and others, and because I am a Gooner who loves my team – makes the questioner some kind of holier than thou, or more knowing than AFC’s management. And yes, I pay my money to be an AFC member and my choice is to know more about my team, and to care enough to want to know why this deal, on a business level, was not a business mistake. It appears that way to doltish me. I have no ego about any insults for my being doltish. 🙂 And I’d love to entertain fact-based analyses. Can we learn something beyond the silence; or is silence that golden?

  • Bob, my view of the Barca purchase was based on putting 2 and 2 together – such deals are becoming more common in Spain because most clubs are bust, and because they are legal in Spain. And I note that just over a year ago Barca could not pay their players, since when they have banned photocopying in colour. To me it still looks like a very reasonable interpretation. But I do think the deal may have included additional payments based on number of games played.

  • Tiger gunner – I read a million things about Mr Wenger this summer. According to the Guardian for 2 days he had major health problems – but suddenly in the paper these have vanished. You can choose what to believe – all, some, none… that’s what we do when we buy papers in England.

  • Arvind

    @Bob: By all means question in whatever way you choose and do question everything said by anyone. The only point is – there is no one who can give you valid answers or facts apart from the Arsenal and Barca boards and Cesc’s agents and family and Cesc himself.

    What Barca says in public while extremely hurtful, could just be a load of drivel to trick the world into believing Barca isn’t skint OR it could be true. What PHW and the board say about us having loads of money and a big transfer kitty might be true OR may not be true. When AW talks about transfers, players and his team and the funds in public, he may OR may not be speaking the truth.

    That’s because all these people know that what they say in public is a double edged sword and specially with a media that waits with great alacrity for a single slip by someone connected to the club [Obviously you would know this better than many].

    So I am just saying, while the questioning is good and valid I respectfully ask you this.. Who is going to give you the facts? Arsenal? Barca? Cesc? Nope. Please go on asking them, that is just fine – but its kind of hard for anyone to answer these..we can debate on Untold, we can speculate and we can try and rationalize .. but that is about it.

    The only thing that is true is that AFC with AW is a classy club which will not hold its players to ransom and treats them like human beings. The other thing is that Cesc could not be put on to the open market as there was only 1 club he would go to. This all appeared on the Arseal website. Everything else is.. well..lets just say .. opinion.

    Lastly…a little OTT but India has something called an RTI(Right to Information) Act that can be invoked if someone wants to learn something about a deal that the government made. Is there something similar in the UK? If yes.. we could ask Arsenal through that channel. If not.. its just debate. Nothing more or less.

  • bob

    p.s. and, to be even more doltish, I would hypothesize that Dein the Lesser and the hedge fund guy with former ties to big clubs like ManUre and Chelsea (I’m not bothering right now to look it up, but it’s in our UA backpages, so I could) were able to swing the Cesc deal to their advantage and that Dein the Lesser is making a meal off his poaching of AFC talent (he was involved in the Adebayor dealing to Madrid and, alarmingly is RvP’s agent). Also that they and AFC well know that, in fact, at the end of the day, Barca will not be allowed to fail by the Spanish govt and by UEFA – it IS Spain and a source of Spain’s national prestige, even as a Catalan side. And, now, to my bottom line: I do not want to see a repeat of this x-Cesc matter in the case of RvP, also our Captain, also, like Cesc, Darren Dein’s client, and have an irreparably broken heart. Now do I know better than AFC? I wouldn’t attempt to say or try to prove that I do. But do readers really NOT fear that something similar might well happen with RvP? Yes, yes, no one is bigger than the club. I agree. But before sounding that mantra, please consider that by knowing a smidgen more of why Cesc returned less than market value, that a similar dynamic might overtake us in losing RvP. I say might. I don’t know. But, under the current circumstances, I don’t feel that this is not under consideration by Darren Dein as his next big payday and, I feel that Gooners ought to figure out the contingencies and be vigilant enough to try to obstruct (raise hell) about any signs of that emerging. Otherwise, you take your chances means – losing Cesc and RvP and who else, without a squawk. Signing off, your dolt of the day.

  • bob

    Tony,
    Why should that Barca color-copying scandal be given any more credence than anything the media echo chamber slanders us with? Is there any real evidence of their having to cut back on color-copying? Did their posters, and annual reports, or whatever bs they offer up to their supporters and to the international media suddenly show up in black and white? I don’t find that purported cutback to be convincing as an indicator of their financial woes. I agree, they do have financial woes. But unlike most of the world, they are a national institution – the pride of Spain (even as Catalans, delicious that irony) – and are too big to fail. I wish we were given that kind of backing. Whether they know it or not, the Spanish people are ultimately supporting Barfa through their taxes. And surely, Barfa management know they will not be allowed to fail, at least that’s how I see it. And that’s why, again, Barfa goes through us at Camp Nous – their Bussaca Moment – so we could have Barfa-ManUre for the main course at dinner. (Too much detail, there, I know.) We are up against that kind of ref-shite in the CL/UEFA domain because Barfa – brilliant on the pitch, of course – has the level of built-in (if unjustifiable) political and financial support that we do not have. My lament is that what I think is going on is as obvious to AFC management as it is to my doltish little mind, and that still, somehow, we sold Cesc at far less than we should have had back (while that pompous vp thief rubs salt in our wounds). And my fear is that AFC will fall to similar pressures, with different but overlapping players, in the potential for RvP to sashay out the door in next summer’s transfer window with Dein the Lesser ushering him through. Farfetched? God, how I hope so.

  • bob

    Arvind,
    If Barca was the ONLY club x-Cesc would go to, then why does that lower what we could get back in return? Explain that in detail, please. Why, in that case, couldn’t we – as Arsene did, earlier in the summer – say that he would not be allowed to leave for less than 40M – which already was undervalued (and Arsene then got stick for that figure!) Yes, Arsene is my hero and classy. But if Cesc wants Barca and Barca so wants Cesc, and Barca’s VP scumbag tells the media that saying they only had a 45M budget to spend “worked” – yes, that was his word yesterday, “worked” – then we were faked out, taken for a ride, cheated. Choose your word. This should not have happened, and I’m not sure that Arsene was on side at all with either (a) Cesc’s leaving or (b) with anything less than the 40M which he publicly asserted, even as Barca was bullshitting about its only having an overall 45M to spend. You took (or continue to take) that seriously. Poor little Barca, and now the pour salt in the wound. I can only hope we meet them again in the CL this year and return the compliment, choke hold by choke hold. Not classy enough for you? I agree. But this is my one exception to the strive for the higher road ideal. And, to be up front, my second excepton will be if RvP is also permitted to walk out the door, for another less than market value return. Something you would accept?

  • Arvind

    That’s not the point Bob. For all you know its just empty bragging by Barca. Assume its not..and they robbed us. Lets assume that.Ok?

    Now for Cesc. We say no go. 50 million or you stay. Cesc stays. Next? He is depressed. He has bad games. Then since hindsight is a wonderful thing(not being sarcastic) we all say. WTF.. AW should have taken what he got and run and spent it on someone .. whoever. Unhappy player..no good. You know the script. AAA have a field day. Endless speculation. Players not certain Cesc giving his all. Etc Etc Etc.

    We did it last year and AW hoped the captaincy + a good year might help Cesc stay. It didn’t. And had we won..he’d have gone none the less IMHO. Winning titles didn’t help Ronaldo stay at ManU either.

    AFC is in a big lose lose situation either way. We took the practical road out and as it stands now…we aren’t worse off for it IMO..although the months ahead will reveal more.

    This isn’t about Barca or how much they could pay. Its about how much we could squeeze out of them before the inevitable happened at the same time balance our squad. It is about what was best for AFC. AW has done things in the past by which he has proved he does know what is best for AFC.. nothing shows me he has lost it.

    Obviously you’re entitled to your opinion, but that’s my take.. and if that doesn’t convince you lets agree to disagree and move on.

  • odai

    on the note of barca being broke.. their equivalent of a supporters trust have filed suit against the president rossell for not contacting them before the ‘Qatar foundation’ was placed on their kits. this had something to do with their owning a part of the club. Rossel has now come out to say that without the 160m euros in 5 years barca would not have been able to be sustained as they were already making losses in excess of 9 million at an alarming rate(don’t know if its per month or annually). So they are indeed in dire financial situations. I for one feel the straw that will break their self-righteous back is their league would restructure the deal. its inevitable!

  • odai

    About the comments being brandied by the vice-president it really shouldn’t bother anyone. Of course it hurts as fans that our club is being spoken of as week-willed and whatever but we must remember that this is a self-righteous pompous self-promoting(more than a club(cnut more like)) barca, they know what history has against them in plain evidence. I’m referring to their totally unsporting behavior after we lost at the camp ‘now’ this year;) they kept referring how we didn’t “string 3-4 passes together” and “no shots on target” which well are facts and no body denies that but the stats showed that it too them 46 minutes to score their first goal (after an uncharacteristic error from Cesc;)) and by the time of the red-card we were going through. and after that did their chances double and they then went on to win. History will also look at the way their players dived and play acted and grabbed others by the throat and got away with it. They believe they can do no wrong and with Plats at the helm of uefa this may well continue but the thing is the universe will eventually turn sour for them.

  • @Tony i hear that Cesc gets less than 80000 Pounds per week is it true! I also hear that the maniac @ Newcastle is the one who is officiating us with Swansea is it true?

  • walter

    Kampala gun,
    On saturday we will have Stuart Atwell as the ref

  • Ronnie Brown

    We may have got less for Cesc than the crazy market values but we got a very good price for Nasri with only a year left on his contract, 26 million? We paid about how much, 12?, you could say 15 mil would have been an acceptable offer so we got over 10 mil more than that, we made a lot of money and it means we also have additional money to spend, before Arsene leaves I think he’s gonna smash his tranfer record, he put in some huge bids this summer, we have some money to invest, we brought in very good players this window too, some of which will go on to do extremely well for the club.

  • mark

    I just feel like I’ve heard this all before. Other clubs are all on the brink of collapse all the time, whether they win trophies or not, but we are fine and should just be grateful for that. Are everton not just a worse version of us? No trophies, no money and forced to sell their best players? Big deal. And actually they have produced some good youngsters in recent years. Osman and hibbert broke through shortly after Rooney left, I believe, and they’ve had some success with Jack rodwell and seamus coleman. I doubt its as bad as you say Tony, I don’t get the feeling they’ll be out of business this year as you suggest. We, on the other hand, might well be out of Europe, which represents a

  • mark

    Sorry, writing this on my phone is proving challenging. Was just going to say the obvious that missing out on a champions league place would be a bit of a failure for a club of our size. My main point is we shouldn’t take too much comfort out of evertons supposed problems which really don’t seem that bad…

  • Jas777

    Bob,

    I think with the Cesc situation you have to look at it in a employer – employee relationship and think of cases where you work, when someone you work with is from overseas and they wont to go home. You can see their heart isn’t in it and regardless of what they say their performance isn’t as good as it once was. Of course in some cases the employee comes back a few years later.

    As for RvP isn’t it a different situation as he coming up to only 1 year left on contract so would be more a Samir Nasri situation or Gary Cahill situation.

    You get what you can if you know he wants to go or else he rides out his contract so can negotiate a better deal for himself as he doesn’t have to worry about the club he goes to having to pay a transfer fee meaning more salary for him.

  • bob

    jas777,
    I dunno jas. I haven’t made that much per week in years of work and never had a five year contract. And in today’s Guardian, true or not, Cesc has been quoted as saying that Arsene helped convince AFC to let him leave and at a lowered price. This is not small: either Arsene did this, which is bad business but filial loyalty; or he didn’t do this which means that the Guardian should be sued for slander and doing damage to Arsene and the AFC brand/reputation.

  • Ed

    @bob
    i dont think arsene would do that if there was nothing in it for him? he can probably see the effect it is having on cesc, and the rest of the team and whether we could have got 15m more for him, the detrimental effect over the next 1 or 2 years would more.

    jas777 made the comparison of a worker being sent overseas and being homesick. but in terms of wenger asking his bosses to sell a wantaway player, i would use the comparison of a share in the stock market.

    wenger bought a share (cesc) for about 50p about 8 years ago, that share has since risen in value to about 500pounds at its peak about 1 year ago, however, due to poor performance of the company, the share is now worth about 350 pounds. instead of waiting on this one company to improve and increase value again which may or may not happen, wenger decides to sell him for 350 pounds, and use that 350 pounds for doing other things – buying other shares, perhaps less risky shares for the future, perhaps investing in a house which will make his family happier and is also an investment which may or may not work out but at least the arsenal family is happy which will improve relatinoships.

  • Rhys Jaggar

    The biggest issues facing Everton are these:

    1. Why can’t they get stadium plans approved ever?
    2. What really happened in 2005/6 about the Champions League?

    Barclays reckon Everton won’t make top 4 but probably won’t get relegated. So the best financial scenario is no new players.

    Everton could wipe out their debts, again, if they had to, selling Rodwell, Jagielka, Baines and Barklay. You know it, I know it and the whole country knows it.

    Of course they don’t want to do that.

    Because it would gut the club.

    But they are not insolvent.

    And if you can’t see that you’re not very good with figures.

  • bob

    Ed,
    Well 500 vs. 350. At least you’ve got the ratio of market value to getting stiffed just about right. Scary what you’re willing to rationalize – i.e., AFC’s well being as a side and our self-respect. Nor would I be so fast to conclude, on no evidence, that Arsene really was pushing – as the Guardian says – that much less than market value after Arsene himself was public in insisting nothing less than 40M, if any sale at all. I’m sorry, but I have a dangerous habit called memory. And you have forgotten, somehow, Arsene’s public positions – before Silent Sam rode into town- which have since be reversed. And then you go about rationalizing the deal as if it’s Arsene’s thinking, when it’s your fantasy of what went on to justify a reasonable present moment, on the financial side, which could have been so much better, on the financial side. On the emotional side, please, don’t get me started…

  • Jas777

    Ed,

    I meant someone who went overseas not sent but the situation is similar.

    Bob,

    If Arsene did convince the board to sell Cesc for less it is probably because he deals with Cesc more on a day to day basis and saw that he wanted to go home to Barcelona so had a word with the board. To me that shows he is pragmatic and values the welfare of his players more than the board do.

    You never know but the fact Arsenal did let him go for less may mean Cesc returns after winning everything with Barcelona to win something with Arsenal.

  • bob

    Ed,
    Cesc returns
    Godot didn’t return
    JC, not yet
    The prodigal, well, maybe?
    But wow, not that I’d mind if he’s not crocked, but you
    go a very long way – conjuring the most delicious fantasy – in rationalizing (and admitting, mind you) that there was a bad business deal in the financial return on investment. I’d like to see now if Cesc continues without injury, or gets another hammy. And whether he’ll do an errant backfoot pass to Arteta who scores, next time we get into the CL and choke them as payback for the several Busacca Moments that were hand delivered via Red Card Express on that pitch.
    But, Ed, Cesc on the rebound – wow! I’m gobsmacked at the thought; but it is truly the last straw you grasp at, imo, unless you have some unstated tidbit of insider information on the deal that the rest of we great unwashed are starving for?

  • Jas777

    Bob,

    I think it was me who said it not ED

    No insider knowledge just a bit of hope and case scenarios I have seen in my time of employment. Of course football is different and the money is different and a nice young lady may change his mind ( and resulting nice wee kids)

  • bob

    jas777,
    Sorry if it was you and not Ed. too many fires to put out in my overstretched life. Cheers.

  • jenikcarl

    All this talk about the ‘bigger than anything’ clubs like Manu, Barca etc is a little unfounded. When the push comes to shove if the U.S.A govt can lay its own cos like Freddie and Fannie to the sword along with a few of the worlds best known investment banks, I find it hard to believe that footballs clubs (Spain already facing debt crisis) wont be called upon to pay off their debts. For all their success onfield Barca have stabbed themselves in the back by stating they got Fabregas for cheap. It wont matter, I believe, if a player wants to go only to Barca. Players will be put out to the market to get their market values.