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Untold Media: Transfers and the real question to be asked

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By Anne

The Football Media and Transfers: Is it time to ask “Cui Bono?”

“Cui bono?” is an Italian phrase that literally means “as a benefit to whom?” Cui bono? Who benefits? In common usage, this question is often raised in the context of ascertaining motive behind a series of events that need to be explained. If you want the explanation, always begin by asking “who benefits?”

To begin our analysis of the whys, the wherefores, and the various “cui bono”s that might apply in the context of football journalism, I believe that it is first necessary to draw a distinction between the general role of journalists with regard to football, and the general role of journalists with regard to “markets.”

Where the sport of football itself is concerned, the role of the journalist, in principle, is largely observational. Basically, observe the match, and then report on what happened. For a journalist in this role, there could be certain motivations for biased reporting (for example, which team the journalist supports, where the journalist is from, national loyalty, anti-foreign bias, etc.).

However, on the whole, the above role would not create a serious risk for heavy corruption within football journalism as an industry.

The above is in direct contrast to the role of journalists in financial markets. In the financial markets, financial journalists, far from being mere “observers,” play a direct role as “market actors” who influence the movements of the market.

Specifically, It has long been known and accepted that where, for example, the stock market is concerned, financial journalists (and the news reports that they generate) play a key role in influencing stock prices, enabling hostile takeovers, etc. Under these circumstances, the risk for heavy corruption in financial journalism as an industry would be classified as “high.”

In fact, the role of journalists as influential players in financial markets is so accepted and ubiquitous that it’s common knowledge that, with regard to any news report that might affect the markets, one need always ask “cui bono?” before taking that news report at face value. The reason for this is because the journalist might have a relationship with one of the interested parties, the information could have been leaked by someone with a motive to do so…

And so on and so forth, but you get the general idea.

The reason I’m raising this issue in the present context is related to the fact that people often seem to forget that, while football is “just a sport,” the transfer market, true to its name, is, in fact, a “market.” And not a small market either.

Rather, the football “transfer market” is actually a multi-billion dollar global financial market that operates across national borders. However, unlike the regular global financial markets, the football transfer market is almost entirely unregulated, with virtually no uniform disclosure requirements about what money is moving through it, and how.

Also, through my own attempts to research the specific operations of this market on a global scale, it appears that such research on the market has rarely been conducted, leaving it free from scrutiny on many levels (a financial “wild, wild, west,” if you will).  

And when it comes to the operations of this market, football journalists, simply by virtue of their position, are not mere “observers,” but rather are full-fledged “market actors.” Just like they would be with regard to any other financial market.

As an example of this, one need look no further than certain comments made by Arsene Wenger from time to time regarding transfer rumours about Arsenal. For example:

“Arsene Wenger has insisted Arsenal are not interested in controversial Mexican midfielder Marco Fabian.

Chivas star Fabian’s family insist in the Mexican press that he is on the brink of joining Arsenal in a £6m move in January.

But when asked if he was interested, Wenger said today: ‘No. It is just an agent who wants to sell a player.’”

The following exchange between Arsene and a journalist during the Pre-Leeds press conference is similarly interesting:

“Q: I know you’ve said in the past you’re not the biggest fan of the January transfer window.

Arsene: No. I’m still not.

Q: Might it be different this year? I mean, you’ve been linked with a couple of players….

Arsene: Well, every agent who wants to sell his player links himself with Arsenal, most of the time. But at the moment we are not on any concrete case apart from Thierry Henry.”

At first glance, these comments by Arsene seem fairly innocuous. However, there are a couple of highly interesting implications that can be read into them, if Arsene’s words are taken as true. These are that:

1) Media reporting about football transfers is, in fact, influenced by market factors other than just disinterested observation. In fact, football journalists play a role as “market actors” whose news reports about transfers can be influenced by the specific financial interests of individuals involved; and

2) Some football journalists appear to have business relationships with football agents. While the full extent of such business relationships would certainly be worth analyzing further, for the time being, let’s just say that such relationships likely exist in some cases.

Based on the above factors, I would suggest that the question of “cui bono?” is just as relevant to news reports about the football transfer market as it would be to news reports that might affect the stock market.

So, using some of the news reports about the ManU match as an example, let’s get started. Without necessarily dismissing the merits of any of the following articles, let us also begin to consider the question of who might benefit from them:

In the Daily Star, Brian Woolnough reported that:

“Wenger’s transfer dealings since this crisis started a couple of years ago have mystified everyone. Why is he reluctant to go big? The cash is there, it’s not his, so spend it.

Why did he let Bolton’sEnglandcentre-half Gary Cahill, a player he tried to sign last summer, eventually go toChelsea?

Why didn’t he get Scott Parker from West Ham?”

Should Arsenal have signed Gary Cahill or Scott Parker? Maybe. However…

Cui bono, Brian Woolnough? Why does it matter to you whether Arsenal signs Gary Cahill, Scott Parker, or anyone at all, for that matter? Are you an Arsenal fan, who is only concerned about what’s best for the club? Or is it possible that there might be someone else who stands to benefit if Arsenal were, as you put it, “to go big?”

In the Mirror, John Cross published an article headlined:

“Why Wenger’s stubborn refusal to spend Arsenal’s £35m kitty could cripple the club.”

Cross wrote that:

“The frustration is that there is money there to be spent now. In fact, Wenger has around £35m at his disposal…

…what is baffling is that Arsenal’s squad is not as strong as it was. Wenger carries on about big players not having to be big names but he did buy big names in the past: Thierry Henry and Gilberto Silva were World Cup winners. Robert Pires, Jens Lehmann and Freddie Ljungberg arrived as internationals.

Patrick Vieira was plucked from AC Milan… But these days Arsenal don’t even buy in that market.”

Should Arsenal spend this money on big name players? Maybe. However….

Cui bono, John Cross? Why does it matter to you whether Arsenal spends this £35m, and particularly in which “market”  they may or may not decide to spend it?  Are you an Arsenal fan, who is only concerned about what’s best for the club? Or is it possible that there might be someone else who stands to benefit if Arsenal were, as you put it, to “buy in that market?”

In the Guardian, David Hytner wrote:

“The fans want, somehow, to get back to the old level, when the team were regular title contenders. Deep down, they wonder whether the squad is good enough…there is the growing feeling that fundamental change is required.

The plain fact is, though, that it will not come about easily as it is not only Wenger but the chief executive, Ivan Gazidis, and the majority shareholder, Stan Kroenke, who are wedded to the club’s economic model, which is against high-risk spend-to-accumulate offensives.

Those who feel that Wenger should jump or be pushed from his post ought to be careful what they wish for. Kroenke and Gazidis would seek a replacement with similar philosophies and to work in a similar framework, and not only because of the incoming financial fair play regulations. In Wenger, they may already have the best.

A radical view involves the removal of Kroenke and Gazidis, and a fresh approach entirely, perhaps under the leadership of Alisher Usmanov, who owns a little under 30% of the club’s shares and has positioned himself against the concept of the self-sustaining business model. It would be fiendishly difficult to see this happening…

And so Wenger and Arsenal will continue to dip their shoulder against emotional supporters, unsatisfactory short-term fixes and the prospect of an excruciating slide. As another crisis bites, there are no clear solutions. The ever-decreasing circles are dizzying.”

Should Arsenal make some radical changes to its financial model? Maybe. However…

Cui bono, David Hytner? Why does it matter to you whether Arsenal’s “economic model… is against high-risk spend-to-accumulate offensives?” Are you an Arsenal fan, who is only concerned about what’s best for the club? Or is it possible that there might be someone else who stands to benefit if Arsenal were, as you put it, to abandon “the concept of the self-sustaining business model?”

With regard to the above questions of “who benefits?,” I do not intend to imply any specific answers. And the reason for that is because I don’t know the answers. Maybe it’s someone, maybe it’s no one, and I really don’t know which answer applies with regard to any of these specific examples.

However, in light of what I outlined above about about the role of football journalists as “market actors,” and particularly about their ability to influence who earns money and who doesn’t in the notoriously unregulated global trade in football players, I believe that the question of “Cui bono?” is long overdue with regard to the motives behind some of this reporting.

Doesn’t it just seem like common sense to ask?

 

52 comments to Untold Media: Transfers and the real question to be asked

  • WalterBroeckx

    In Arry’s case the answer is obvious… 🙂

    Serious now. A very valid question. Would it be wide of the mark to ask the question if some reporters have opened a bank acount on the name of their cat?

    “slaver” X wants to sell his player, asks reporter Y to launch a rumour and when it works “slaver” X gives a bit of his commission to the cat of the reporter?

  • MV

    I read that article in the guardian…and thought the same…why? Why isn’t somebody writing about how GOOD arsenal’s model is…or how it’s more ethical..? Actually I remember there being a piece about how city’s model wasn’t any good in the guardian…

  • Wenger didn’t sign Scott Parker or Gary “Five Past” Cahill because they are not good enough for Arsenal.

    Wish he’d thought of that when he was signing Marouane Chamakh and Sebastien Squillaci…

  • Ahsan

    A great article and I absolutely agree with you. The media are vultures who would like nothing better than to pick on any club that is struggling. Look at the coverage we received at the start of the season, then it was AVB and Chelseas turn and then recently Kean/ Venkys at blackburn. We are the current flavour of the month but no doubt that next month it will be someone else. In Arsene I still trust and believe that instead of wasting millions of pounds on new players, money which will never come back to us once spent but What we really need is for our current crop to get us out of this hole. They did it before after September and I believe they will once again kickstart our season once February comes round.

  • Mick

    It is extraordinary how Arsenal’s sensible way of conducting it’s affairs are so (almost) universally criticised. Listening to all the Talksport experts almost blowing a fuse in their condemnation of Wengers sensible and sustainable policies it makes me wonder why are they get so worked up about it. I would have thought that universal praise would be more appropriate in recognition of the worthiness of ‘trying to do things the right way’. Apparently not, you get more respect from the media morons if you rack up millions of pounds worth of debt. How are people like ‘arry’ Redknapp or ‘big Sam’ Allardice as they are affectionately known by their media cronies apparently held in higher esteem than Arsene Wenger; it surely baffles me.

  • JohnW

    My dear Anne, the key question should be: Who stands to benefit when a huge section of the media tries to push Arsenal into a crisis? Look at the facts: Liverpool are 5-time European Champions, they have won the PL 18 times and have been a powerhouse in Englsih football for a long time. Why is it that everyone looks closely at Arsenal’s woes and not Liverpool’s?
    Or Chelsea despite being 5 points clear of us in 4th place have not had a spackling season so far either, and yet no one talks about it!
    With Arsenal it’s a different ball-game altogether, why? Who stands to benefit if there was a fully fledged Arsenal crisis?
    Why do I ask? I have a feeling that there’s a hidden agenda to push Wenger out of Arsenal, but who stands to benefit?
    Is it a coincidence that a certain manager comes out loudly whenever we lose a few games? ( I won’t mention his name). With our limited resources at the moment, If we changed the manager, how much would it cost the Arsenal and for how long. Who would benefit from that?
    The questions are many, the answers are limited.

  • nicky

    As I look around me, in my twilight years, I sense that big business of all shapes and sizes has gradually been taken over by financial whizz kids.
    Where, once, dedicated men who had grown up with the business, gained experience in it and steadily attained the top echelons, eventually took over, we now have money orientated experts brought in or fast-tracked to the boardroom.
    Arsenal is a case in point. Here we have a self-sustaining business, one of the most solvent in the country. Not doing too well at the moment on the playing field but financially in very good shape.
    What is the incentive for the Club’s powerful financial
    division to achieve success in the search for a trophy or two each season?
    Every home game has every seat sold. A waiting list for season tickets never appears to lessen. Property deals around Highbury and now the Grove appear to have thrived.
    There is of course little doubt that triumph on the field would be an added bonus, although to those backroom boys preparing the Club’s balance sheets, “they have never had it so good”.
    As far as the fans are concerned, the acquisition of trophies as a sign of success is of paramount importance. That and the lowest possible cost of match tickets.
    I feel that the time must come when financial clout in football clubs should at least be reduced in favour of control being exercised by those tried and tested in the running of our national game.

  • Mandy dodd

    An interesting take, would love to know the dynamics behind the British press wenger obsession. But they should be more responsible, believe me , there are people posting on some of the aaa sites who sound genuinely suicidal! Loved the link in the last thread from Germany, it is only really a uk media thing. Which means it is not reality and as you say, forms part of an agenda rather than objective reporting.
    Maybe the media are just sheep, maybe wenger is just an easy target because he dares go go against the epl formula. Maybe there is a European super league in the offing, maybe the establishment want the three big northern clubs in, maybe there will be room for only one more, and we are not the favoured club, and this has been transmitted down to the media. Who really knows? But something is going on.
    I do worry that a poor season and wenger may decide to call it a day, maybe even he can not take on what is hurled his way. Just wish he cold shut them up for good, sooner rather than later.
    Btw, anyone else notice how quiet usmanov is at the moment?

  • Tasos

    Very good article Anne.

    And on the day Uefa report record losses for European clubs of over £1.3 billion and growing.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/25/soccer-uefa-finance-idUSL4E8CP8CV20120125?rpc=401&feedType=RSS&feedName=rbssFinancialServicesAndRealEstateNews&rpc=401

  • DC

    Nice article Anne!
    It never ceases to fascinate me how the media keep canvassing for football clubs to spend vast sums of money that isn’t self-generated and is debt-ladening?! Would those same people pay more than they have to for something just because it’s “football”?!
    Without a “merry-go-round” of ridiculous and unnecessary overspending, there is no career of delusional self-grandeuring to be made by these people! That is why Arsene is not credited for his model and is quickly victimised at every opportunity!
    The football media and pundits in western Europe, the English-born and practicing being the worst of the lot, have a vested interest in making their existence on God’s earth have some significance to human-kind! They are parasitic and opportunistic scum which actually serve no genuine purpose for football!
    I truly hope that Arsene continues to stick to his principals until their successful conclusion, and does not get broken down as the parasites continue to raise their intensity! Arsene never cracks on his commitment and loyalty but his players do witnessed by their departures to apparently better and ” greener pastures”.
    Paradoxically, whenever Arsene does buy an expensive player, it is never one that the media had highlighted but they still pat themselves on the back on the assumption of “we told you so”, yet when a diamond is found for pennies, that is despised as they didn’t see it!.
    Arsene is stronger and more moral than any other manager of one of the top-flight teams in Europe, nevermind the EPL, as he has never to sold his soul or principals to the unstainsble farce that is the transfer market and excessive players’ wages! Just note this, in the time that Carlos Tevez has been suspended and Man City have been trying to off-load him (just over 6 months now), his income from salary and bonuses would have been just over £9 million sterling pounds! Now, how is that in anyway justifiable! No wonder no one wants to buy him for that kind of money! How can anyone in the media not be reporting that from the rooftops as having been wrong in the first place?! Instead they continue their wankfest of how Citeh can afford it, have the best squad in football, etc, etc!
    In addition, a “winding-up” (closing-down) order has been submitted to the courts against Portsmouth FC by Her Majesty’s Revenues and Customs (HMRC) office! Most of Pompey’s problems stem from the British Media’s favourite managing genius’, ‘array Rednapp, time there and again nothing is reported; and yet he has now been taken to court by the same HMRC!
    So, Cui bono? Well anyone who’s making a financial gain and career from football at the moment benefits from the transfer market. Those not benefiting, are the fans and those smaller people who work in and around their clubs and are the true life-blood of it! It all makes me sick to the stomach, and all well-meaning and enlightened football fans from all over the British football, should be praying and hoping that Arsene Wenger succeeds in his “one-man” mission to save the future of all football in this country!

  • Tasos

    @DC

    Great post, absolutely spot on.

  • dan

    So what your saying we’re not going in for Messi!!!

  • Mandy Dodd

    Great post DC. But the bubble will burst, it always does eventually, just ask Lehman Bros. I guess the media will be pleased as that will certainly be a story.
    As you say, players leave for greener pastures, a significant number regret it , and or continue to profess genuine affection for this club.

  • LRV

    Thanks Anne. I learn a new Italian phrase today.

  • Brian Blogglesnap

    It appears the Emperor has no clothes!
    Unfortunate that Arsene was the one to point it out.
    He must be punished as a result.

    Would love to see the “Cui bono?” turning up on the comment sections of all of the aforementioned blogs……. note to Author,
    copyright this before it is too late!!!

    Potrete usufruire!!! (ish!)

  • Padar

    Brilliant post..
    Hope Wenger proves all them people and haters wrong.
    What he has done is incredible and I still believe he has loads more to give to our beautiful club. In Wenger we trust…FOREVER ARSENAL!!

    When is this ‘Financial Fair Play’ being brought in??
    I’ve been reading about it for I don’t know how long, yet it still seems ages away..
    Do we have to wait until the likes of Barca, United and Shitty can balance their books??

  • Laundryender

    A nice article Anne, another in an extending line from you.

  • Abhishek Kumar

    Hi all

    Sorry for posting something very away from topic..

    But after the last game I am really pissed with the emirates now.. I always dreamt about watching Arsenal from the Emirates but now I would be ashamed to watch with the same bunch of morons if they do not apologise in the next match.. I mean who would want to see a match where the so called fans boo their manager and players when the team is level with manchester united in the 82nd minute..

    I mean everyone blames Arsene and Arshavin but no one blames Vermalen or themselves.. I mean if the fans are supposed to be the 12th player on the pitch were we not reduced to 10 men due to these morons.. I mean even if they had kept quiet would not have sapped the moral of the team..

    I really wish that we lose the CL spot so that these so called fans leave the stadium and some proper fans take their place.. I controlled myself for 3 days but I still feel it so strongly that I could not resist myself..

  • Adam

    @Anne. I think Mark Antony is behind it all.

  • bjtgooner

    @Anne

    Yet another excellent article. The role of the press in sport can indeed be strange at times. I was surprised to note the role the former NOTW reporter Mr Beasley has had in providing evidence against darling ‘Arry – and the fact that Beasley is reported to have paid an informant £8000.00 for information about the Monaco bank account.

    When the press will do this to “the most successful English manager of the era”, just think what they would do to a Frenchman; given the chance. (He really would be in the dog-house!)

  • dy

    if ever Arsene was ‘pushed’ out of Arsenal , the one who benefits most is the one who wants Arsenal to become a super buying club like the rest of Manc Chelsea etc. Fame and glory, and above all MORE MONEY to the transfer market, to the media, to the sponsors, etc.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Thanks Anne for this great post .We may have our suspcions but in all probablity we will never know who the movers and shakers really are .
    I’d have to agree with Walter there would exsist a money trail leading to those crooked jurnos to do the bidding of their masters ,but who is really pulling the strings we may only guess .
    I still feel that for sheer bad luck with injuries and such ,we could have achived AW dreams a lot quicker .We are on the right path and await the day when we get the icing on the cake for his efforts.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    To the younger Arsenal fans could I suggest that you click on to
    the first link that Anne has given above at -” For example ” ,and go the the Mirror Football site and click on number 10 article on your left(under ” Don’t miss these “- The
    football oscars and check out the 10 mins clip .
    Its the ‘Fever Pitch Arsenal Obssesion..’.It brought back memories of the first 1st division title for me as a fan (which I’ve been since the 1971-92 season).It also brought tears to my eyes and a lump to my throat .

  • Anne

    @Walter:

    Very prescient observations.

  • Anne

    @Uncle Mike:

    I like Chamakh, personally 🙂

  • Anne

    @Ashan:

    The point of this article was not to accuse the media of being “vultures,” but rather to question their motives.

  • Anne

    @Ashan:

    But thanks for commenting 🙂

  • Anne

    @Mick:

    “How are people like ‘arry’ Redknapp or ‘big Sam’ Allardice as they are affectionately known by their media cronies apparently held in higher esteem than Arsene Wenger; it surely baffles me.”

    Very good question.

  • Anne

    @JohnW:

    Who DOES stand to benefit “when a huge section of the media tries to push Arsenal into a crisis?”

    Someone benefits… So, go ahead, give me your best guess… Who is it?

  • DC

    Mandy Dodd,
    The bubble will indeed burst and the recurrent failure of the big spenders to reach the champions league or to progress beyond the group stages, will certainly hasten that process!
    Winning the EPL is not so important this season but preventing Chel$ki from making the top 4 is without doubt the most painful and damaging “kick-in-the-teeth” that Arsene and Arsenal can dish-out to the cui bono?” crew! So not wanting us to make the top 4 should never be the wish of any gooner! As a matter of fact, even supporting the tiny-totts in their quest to sit again at the big-boys’ table should be encouraged by all enlightened Gooners! Although I would rather it was Newcastle United this season!
    Off topic, wrt Arshavin, he needs to be sold ASAP for the good of Arsenal FC and for himself! His now regular underperformances are not due to lack of commitment or laziness, but rather because he’s just unable to now compete and cope physically with the pace, demands and work-rate required within the EPL, particularly as a winger! His first half-season was actually his “swan-song” and although he had memorable games, he’ll never regain that level of fitness again! He’s always looked slightly over-weight and now he’s become bigger and shorter of pace! If he remains until the end of the season and Arsene wants to use him, he should be only used as a sub with 10-15 mins left and played in the centre behind the striker where his technical and goal-scoring abilities can be maximised and benefit the team whilst his deficiencies in fitness will be less exploited by the opposition. He’s still alot quicker than most centre-backs but not full-backs and could be that extra central striker that alot of people are asking Arsene to buy this January!

  • Anne

    @Nicky:

    Oh come on… Do trophies really matter more than just plain old good football?

  • Anne

    @DC:

    Good observations. But I would really be interested to hear your best shot at the question I just posed to JohnW. Come on. Hit me 🙂

  • Anne

    @DC:

    I have nothing against you, btw. Nothing whatsoever. Worried about how that might have come across 🙂

  • Anne

    @Tasos:

    Nice link.

  • Anne

    @Mandy:

    Interesting connection with Lehman.

  • Anne

    @LRV:

    Thank you.

  • Anne

    @Brian:

    I can enjoy what? 🙂

  • Anne

    @Laundryender:

    Than you.

  • Anne

    @Abhishek:

    Personally, I really hope that Arsenal doesn’t lose that CL spot. Can we agree to disagree on this?

  • Anne

    @Adam:

    Et tu, Brute?

  • Anne

    @Adam:

    🙂

  • Anne

    @bjtgooner:

    Thank you. You know that your praise really means a lot to me (and if you don’t know already, then you should)

  • Anne

    @Dy:

    More money to them and more money from Arsenal… sigh…

  • Anne

    @Brickfields:

    I agree. We’ll probably never know. But I do hope that we can support our club in hanging onto the money that we have.

  • Anne

    @Brickfields:

    And I’m glad that you enjoyed the article.

  • nicky

    @Anne,
    I’m surprised at your question, reading as I do the comments from fans on a host of Gooner News posts. So many consider the winning of silverware to be the be all and end all of achievement.
    I would prefer the entertainment of good, exciting football….but near the top flight, if possible, of each competition Arsenal enter.

  • Anne

    @Nicky:

    Well, then, I’m glad that we agree about the entertainment value of good football. It’s what I would prefer as well.

  • Rhys Jaggar

    ‘WalterBroeckx
    January 25, 2012 at 2:40 pm
    In Arry’s case the answer is obvious…

    Serious now. A very valid question. Would it be wide of the mark to ask the question if some reporters have opened a bank acount on the name of their cat?

    “slaver” X wants to sell his player, asks reporter Y to launch a rumour and when it works “slaver” X gives a bit of his commission to the cat of the reporter?’

    I hope you are right, because if not, what you have written is tantamount to prosecutable slander.

    In court, under oath, Mr Redknapp has stated:

    1. He asked, and was assured, by Mr Mandaric, that taxation had already been paid on the money subsequently deposited in Monaco.
    2. His contract stated that he would be rewarded for selling players at a profit (Arsene Wenger has never done that, has he???)

    The question which has not, of course, been asked is why that money should be paid into a Monaco account not his HSBC account if it was all tickety boo?

    I don’t know the answer to that question but it does seem rather strange to me that Mr Redknapp only used that account once for a football-related bonus, rather than having every single one he did treated the same way..

    Do start asking the right questions rather than making allegations which you are not prepared to defend in a court of law………….

  • @Rhys – I do hope the hypothetical reporter in question (Y) does to decide to sue Walter for asking these questions… or maybe it is X who will be taking Walter to the cleaners?

  • DC

    Anne,
    Lol! No hay problema!
    Publicly and overtly, the true beneficiaries are those who attain a comfortable monetary living (usually with additional perks and favours) from peddling a business-model driven by a commercial market based solely on blind and irrational devotion and loyalty of its consumers (the fans) regardless of an end product (i.e. entertainment value or success in winning titles and trophies)! This group of beneficiaries incorporates: the playing staff; the coaching staff; journalists and ;independent agents.
    Subversive beneficiaries are those who prop-up the aforementioned beneficiaries and, consequently, also again exploit the blind devotion and loyalty of the consumers – the fans! This group attains far greater monetary gain than the above and may be criminal in those activities however if they are not, they are almost certainly unethical in how they benefit. This group incorporates: media moguls; club owners and directors; club agents and sports’ management groups; gambling and money laundering syndicates! 
    How does that answer your question? 😉

  • Jitty

    @ Rhys

    I am sure that question was asked – I presume that ‘arry has simply not answered it in any statement he gave.

    If ‘arry takes the stand to explain that – then the prosecution will have x on that point.

    Which is of course why ‘arry will not take the stand.

  • Yommex

    Does anybody know why this threatened disclosure hasn’t been made yet? It will definitely provide a clue to why everybody is against Arsenal and Wenger.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2040773/Andy-Carrolls-agent-reveals-footballs-dirty-secrets.html
    I think the money gets spread around some bit with some journalists and media houses benefitting from the whole murky deals. Since Wenger does not get Arsenal involved in such under the table deals, it is to be expected that there will be orchestrated campaign to ensure that his self-sustaining model fails as many other clubs would want to adopt same which ultimately will spell bad business to the beneficiaries of the debt-at-all cost model.