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Rangers fans show Arsenal “fans” how it really ought to be done.

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Woolwich Arsenal, the club that changed football.  Have your name in the book as an official sponsor.  Updated information here

The day when Fulham tried to take over Arsenal – the full story in “Making the Arsenal”

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By Tony Attwood

Last weekend Rangers played at home in front of a full house, and lost 0-1.  At the end of the game TV pictures showed many of the crowd staying on to applaud their team.   Let us be clear about that – to applaud their team which had just lost 0-1.

Compare and contrast with Arsenal.  While we might expect attacks on the team from Tottenham supporters blogs commentaries from Arsenal fans (often starting their piece by saying “I have been an Arsenal fan for xxx years”) attack the players for being not up to standard.

One set of fans applauds the players off the pitch, having lost, the other sets up endless attacks.

Meanwhile Rangers, as we know are in financial dire straits, and Arsenal has money in the bank.  So while Rangers fans quite rightly attack their owner for delivering them into financial hell, the Arsenal Supporters Trust, which has a special interest in ownership and finances claims to have inside information on how much players are paid (not sure how they got that) and attacks the owners for delivering the club into financial heaven.

On the media front, Rangers fans are (at last one might say) attacking the media for misleading them for years about the state of their club, by simply printing anodyne commentaries based on the club’s press releases.  Meanwhile some Arsenal fans seem to be at one with the media for their endless, endless attacks on the club.

Indeed the bizarreness of this last situation can be seen from the way in which Arsenal fans digested the story that Eden Hazzard would prefer Tottenham to Arsenal.  When the real translation of the story came out on this site, showing that the player would much prefer to play under Wenger than anyone else, they went quiet.

It is quite a contrast.

So there is Rangers – ripped off by their owner, utter devoid of money, under investigation by the tax authorities, and in some danger of coming third in the two-horse race that is Scottish football, and they are applauded off the pitch by their fans after a poor home defeat.

Arsenal, having built a new stadium without any public money and currently sitting fourth in the Football League, fractionally in front of a team that has spent so much money of late that if the FFP regulations ever were to be applied realistically they would not be allowed into Europe, are heavily criticised for their playing style and their finances.

Now I am not a member of Arsenal Supporters Trust.  I chose to become a member of Fanshare (the share buying scheme for supporters) which is allied to AST but (as I understand it) that does not make me part of AST.  But I have to say I am very disappointed in their activities and if through Fanshare I am a member I would like to disassociate myself from them.  If they have a problem with the finances of the club they can express them to the club in the normal way shareholders do – at the AGM and through private correspondence.   But of course that is just my opinion.

In June 2003 when Abramovich became the owner of Chelsea and the scale of their spending seemed unlimited I wrote an article to the effect that football as a competition was over.  I believed they would quickly be so far ahead of the rest that only the deportation of Mr A would end the growth of a club that had previously only one the league once – and that somewhere around the time Tottenham last won the league.

As we now know I was quite wrong.  Money can’t always buy everything – although Chelsea with the money have been a much better bet than Chelsea without.  But the comparative failure of Chelsea this year gives me a little hope that ultimately Manchester C will fall the same way, and that financial doping will come to an end – either because of FFP or because ultimately the owners get carried away, and make silly decisions.

What’s more, even the apparently impregnable can ultimately fall from grace.  The latest from Rangers is that the owner has used the sale of future season ticket income to repay an £18m debt to the Lloyds Banking Group.  It was part of the Craig Whyte takeover.

That one fact is so gross that it needs a re-run – at least for me.  Clubs live and breath through their season ticket sales.  The season ticket sales of Rangers for the next three years have gone before they have come in.  And not just that, they have not been spent on new players or new facilities.   They were spent paying off an old debt so the owner could buy the club.

Whyte, the owner, had denied that Rangers’ season ticket holders had paid for the takeover of their club.  I think he was lying – although again that is just my view.  It has also become clear that the club has not been paying its regular VAT and PAYE payments for some time.

Meanwhile Portsmouth FC, recently of the Premier League, recently of Mr Redknapp, recently cup winners, are back in administration.  Quite probably another unheard of consortium will buy them out and run the club, for a year or two as the former majority shareholder Vladimir Antonov has been arrested for alleged bank fraud.

Meanwhile, Barclays Bank, the sponsors of the Premier League, have had papers filed against them in Milan requiring three senior executives of the bank be brought to trial for fraud.  The bank is also being examined by the Internal Revenue Service in America for generating false foreign tax credits.  Fortunately I don’t have an account at Barclays.

Meanwhile England seem happy to have lost their manager – although my guess is that he will sue the FA for constructive dismissal.   But he’s foreign, and he never really did understand England, and anyway we shouldn’t let these clever-clever legal issues get in the way of giving us the manager we want.  (Actually Mr C does have a lot of financial knowledge, and the claim against the FA could be mega big.   If it happens, watch the press’ reaction.  Or silence).

Is this really what we have come to expect of the everyday life in the world of the self-proclaimed best league in the world and some of its near neighbours?

Meanwhile it seems rather possible that Tottenham will be taken over this summer, as they celebrate 51 years since winning the league.   One wonders what sort of new owner they will get if the reclusive current owner takes the money and gets out.  An Abramovich or an Antonov – who can tell?

It really makes me wonder where is football heading.

What is going on, in my view, is that football is in denial of its own insanity.  The ideology of football – the vision of success that can be bought through pouring billions into ventures worth little more than a few shillings has come to prevail over any sort of logic or proper accounting.  Blind faith of the type that suggests that by saying something often enough it becomes true, is now the order of the day.  It is a bit like North Korea – you know it is in chaos, but they still keep holding those military parades.  Losing millions a year is fine, making money is not.  Publicly criticizing your own players for their performance or for their contract is now fine – although always good to state how many years you have been a supporter for.

Complex models of football economics have been replaced by simplistic analysis that say that if we are not top of the league we are crap.  Anything based on evidence and reasoned supposition has been thrown aside.  Perpetual success can never be achieved any more than science can develop a perpetual motion machine, and yet in football perpetual success is believed in and aimed for by many.  Every defeat is the end of the world.  Every defeat is answered by a demand to spend more of the non-existent money.

It was not always thus.  Henry Norris, founder of the modern Arsenal with Jack Humble, spent much of his own personal fortune building Highbury, and then risked everything by bringing in Herbert Chapman as manager.  99 years ago, almost to the day he took the club from a hopeless loss making situation into profit in the space of a few years – and gave the club a period of both profit and success.  It is a model that seems as if it were in another world.

To be in Melbourne, Australia, as I was recently, and see the Etihad Stadium there, is to be reminded of how that company has the vision of a total sports franchise.  To begin, they will have an Etihad Stadium in each country – just as they have in Manchester and Melbourne.  Then it will be one in each city.

It is a fairly horrific vision, and the only hope must be is that the authorities that are supposed to police financial mismanagement will get their act together soon and win a few cases while the FA the EPL will start tearing into mismanaged clubs, and UEFA imposes not just FFP, but FFP+, a set of rules that really has an effect.

That’s the wish – but will it happen?  I doubt it.

“The Premier League is the North Korea of football”.  Remember, you read it here first.

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Tottenham abandon social housing scheme but still get government money for their new stadium!

Why does Arsenal not sack Arsene Wenger?  This is why.

Is this as bad as it gets for Arsenal?  Don’t you believe it

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The Player Files…

Frimpong attacks Piers Morgan: the full report

What Hazard really said: an exclusive Untold Arsenal translation of his interview in France about Tottenham, Arsenal, and Real Madrid

Vermaelen interview, the translation of the full interview

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Latest from The corruption files…

Transfer cash is directly related to criminal activities: the allegations and the court case

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From the Arsenal History Society web site

Iconic Moments in the history of Arsenal – Number 9: Tom Whittaker wins the league.

 

51 comments to Rangers fans show Arsenal “fans” how it really ought to be done.

  • WalterBroeckx

    “The Premier League is the North Korea of football”

    Tony, one of the best lines you have written I think.

  • seriously? do rangers pay the highest price for a season ticket in europe? have they gone 7 years without a trophy? do rangers pay 133 million a year on wages? would rangers sell out every week for 7 years without a trophy? we took 4 thousand fans to sunderland on sat, 5500 fans to milan on weds, then 6500 fans back to sunderland for a 5.15 sat ko. do your home work you useless pile of……….

  • Gerry Lennon

    Nice to find some sanity in this upside down world that some Arsenal fans live in. Thank you

  • another Chris

    chris you are the only useless pile of……… no reasoning whatsoever. Whats does your comment mean? Great article

  • WalterBroeckx

    Chris,
    I really think you should look at the title again and the part “fans” and I don’t mean the word between the ” ” but the ” ” themselves.

  • Ed

    chris – i hate all this spouting about 7 years without a trophy crap. its all relative… relative to the success wenger brought us before. there are hundreds of teams in the UK who would love to be in our position of 4th best in England. If trophies are the main reason to support a team, then maybe you should be supporting barcelona, then perhaps man city, maybe even juventus wen they start bribing the right people again… or just change to whatever team won the championship each season?

    i think the media has too much influence. one half-wit believes the Daily Star about a rumour, tells their friends, who tells their friends, and suddenly everyone is following the herd without finding out the truth. if you say a lie enough times, it will end up to be the truth… and that is why we have so many crticis of arsenal right now.

    we’re not playing as well as possible, but we wont be better with wenger out, we need some changes, but not that many, and i have faith that this summer will be the time for major signings that have an impact for next season. we lost our 2 best players right at the start of the season. i can’t say that i expected a title challenge this year, but once wenger has sorted out his team better, i am sure we will see a much better arsenal next season.

  • Jitty

    Rangers fans would do better to boycott their club enmasse to force out the crooks

  • ed iagree with you. i am an arsenal fan of 42years, season ticket holder in block c. just sick of all the negative arsenal bashing. our fans turn up week in week out, and to compare us to rangers is useless.

  • Willhelm

    Rangers fans despise the ex board at Rangers and have deep concerns about the new owners as well. However, they will follow their club all over the world, regardless of results. Rangers fans have a saying that Rangers are more than a football club. To many Scots and Rangers fans all over the world, they are of historical importance, not just as a football side, but as the leaders of a large section of Scottish society. The club will come back bigger and stronger, just as Arsenal will do through time as well. All clubs have lean spells are transitional periods.

  • Arvind

    Heh.. Make your mind up Chris or whoever you are

  • Pat

    Haha @ Chris. Anyway well reasoned article, liked it, lot of crucial points covered.

    COME ON YOU REDS!

  • Alan Skirton

    Theres one big difference. When Rangers last won the League, and Ally McCoist was interviewed about ‘His achievement’, he responded that ‘Its not mine, its for them behind me’ meaning the cheering fans who were there. The fans know that McCoist is with them. Wenger – I believe – considers the fans to be an ignorant and only barely necessary evil. Even Ferguson, when United won the League last yesr, did that rather naff bow to the fans; naff it may be, but he acknoweded their support and involvement. I believe there is a major disconnect betwen the aloof Wenger and the fans.

  • AS, CPH (DK)

    Wonderful blog. Just wonderful.

    ‘Every defeat is the end of the world. Every defeat is answered by a demand to spend more of the non-existent money’ has never been more keenly felt than through these times. It has actually come to the point where I’ve switched off the official Danish Arsenal-forum (supposedly for the most loyal Gooners around here) and prefer to watch the games with my United-mates as they at least listen and try to understand and put things into perspective rather than resort to seemingly limitless, visceral sh*t tossing after every wrong step or misplaced pass by the Arsenal.

    And, sadly, I agree: These dispirited Goons have kept telling themselves (and each other) that the only option and thereby solution out of these troubles is spendingspendingspending. To the point where you’re more or less considered an infidel/Totts-supporter/Wenger-martyr etc. if you don’t believe in splashing the cash. Pathetic. And saddening.

    Keep sticking up for sensibility and perspective.
    Cheers from Copenhagen.

  • TheSKAGooner

    Tony, as I’ve stated on many occasions, we’re beyond fortunate to have you as an Arsenal supporter. It’s just top stuff, this article. Well done.

  • Arvind

    So it was Chris with the 3 million AAA accounts over the last few days?
    : D

  • Nice article Tony !

    @Chris is hope you are no pier’s morgan since he too claims to be an Arsenal fan for 42 years and always whines even more than you have done here. And one more thing chris next time you post some comment try to read what the article means and then comment about it, or who knows….

  • goonergerry

    Tony, forgive me but at the moment I am less concerned where football is heading than where Arsenal are heading. Arsenal’s very thin underbelly is exposed each year at this time every time one or two players are injured- we appear once again to be in free fall.
    The team we have sold 4 of the players Wenger developed is sitting at the top of the league. No we can’t compete with them financially-but we don’t have to strengthen them by selling them our contracted players either and we can compete with Spurs who have considerably points more than us but spend at least 20% less on salaries than we do.
    How do supporters express their concern and frustration about the lack of progress indeed gradual but consistent decline on the field of Arsenal Football club-not an overnight decline but a decline over several years?
    Rangers are in administration, and so are Portsmouth. yes it could happen to Arsenal if we overspend and act illegally but it could also happen if we continue to underspend- something you have never once acknowledged- if the decline continues and the club ends up relegated this or next year. After we have sold our best players, crowds and revenues reduce considerably- how do we raise 15m per year to pay off Stadium interest payments?
    Just how can Arsenal afford to miss out of the champions league next year?

  • LOL @ “if the decline continues and the club ends up relegated this or next year.”

  • Laos gooner

    Lot of bitter comments there

    I have been a supporter since the 71 cup final which my uncle took me to aged 6.

    I liked the sentiment of getting behind the club and thought the comparison was good. When i was a regular on the North Bank in those good old standing days we were not always a success, I remember a late Pat Jennings save helping us to a point against Everton and I felt great all week afterwards or congoing down the corridor of the train following a second successive away defeat and we’re singing l-o-s-t-a-g-a-i-n lost again lost again cos that was football all over.
    I am and always will be a gooner and that means through thick and thin, I pride myself on saying I support the Arsenal I don’t whinge about them. There are times watching the games when I think where has our atmosphere gone. The away support this season has been excellent and I would like to thank everyone of those supporters at The Manx hole who sang all the way through the second half inspite of what happened on the pitch. Respect
    If you are just going to whinge all the #*%$#*** time you should ask if you are trully a gooner

  • @cuttingstraight

    unfair to compare fans, that lot up there are religious extremists bordering on jihadists!!! Joking aside, good article, don’t agree with all of it. The big question is why is our atmosphere at home so dire but away we’re one of the best and the fact remains that this is team is one of the worst in the last 20 years.

  • Tasos

    Telling it how it is.

    Although I believe not all of football is in denial, the German Bundesliga are showing us the way forward.

    Little or no debt, structured wage bills, a realistic transfer market within its own league, injection of money at youth academies for all teams, season ticket prices are thus at a far more affordable level (current champions B Dortmund season ticket can be purchased for around £250), attendance levels are high as a result, all this and more has led to the game being given back too the people.

    If FFP realistically works then German football has the potential to dominate European domestic football in the near future, and other leagues will forced to follow their initiative.

  • Tasos

    “European club football”

  • WalterBroeckx

    An interesting angle on the Rangers – Arsenal link:

    http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/2012/02/22/rangers-owner-craig-whyte-sells-off-102-years-of-ibrox-history-by-dumping-shares-in-arsenal-86908-23760448/

    Usmanov is benefiting from the Rangers collapse in a way

  • Rich

    Agree on the overall madness of football finances but its wrong to think that its a new problem. Clubs have been going out of business since the beginning of club football and equally significant investors have flitted in and out of football.

    You yourself reference Henry Norris who made Arsenal the ‘Bank of England’ club with investment in the squad up to 4/5 times as much as the equivalent clubs were spending.

    The only true difference is professionalism and leverage because whereas in the past an individual could sink their personal fortune into a club with little thought as to reward, the clubs are now run like businesses where for very little outlay (the Glazers) they can leverage up a club with debt.

    This isn’t a wholly English problem but it does seem like Germany alone has the right approach on this. However, that has no chance of happening here or indeed in Spain or Italy as it would require the larger teams to accept limited rewards for a more competitive league overall.

    Perhaps when each league becomes a one or two horse race, they may be some introspection but until then the big teams are happy to let supply and demand drive up the prices.

  • Anthony Cioci

    I am not complaining about AW not spending enough money, quite the contrary. I think he spends far too much money paying average players bloated salaries.

    How many players are on the wage bill? I believe it is 71. Can anyone verify that?

    We have the fourth highest wage bill in the Prem that we do know and what do we get for it?

  • critic

    “To begin, they will have an Etihad Stadium in each country – just as they have in Manchester and Melbourne. Then it will be one in each city.”
    I think you got carried away a little there. Other wise nice article but i firmly believe arsenal can perform better with the same financial constraints IF they have better tactics which i firmly believe arsene is incapable of.

    Board or somebody needs to add to the coaching side of arsenal to help improve tactics and most importantly set pieces at both the ends.

  • Rhys Jaggar

    Well if the Daily Record story in Mr Broeckx’ weblink is true, then Arsenal should be investing cash into Glasgow Rangers FC right now as a thank you for previous support in their own troubled times.

    Hardly consistent with the vitriol about Rangers that this site has spewed in the past 2 years, is it??

    I’m not sure Arsenal fans would want their £50m cash pile used to bail out Rangers with HMRC, would they??!

    But if Arsenal got £10m a year back for 15 years selling shares to Rangers supporters, you think that would be an acceptable return on the money? Along with 3 Arsenal Youngsters getting exposure to the first team up there each season??

    Can’t see it happening. Can you?

  • WalterBroeckx

    I don’t know how Arsenal has had recently any benefit in any way from 16 shares that have been bought 102 years ago by Rangers.

  • Notoverthehill

    Walter, Jabba of the Daily Record “stole” this scoop from rangerstaxcase.

    If I may quote Hunter Davies from 21st February 2008

    “Douglas’s grandfather, also a minister, also called Douglas, was chaplain to Glasgow Rangers and went with them in the team plane just after the war in 1945, when they flew to London to play Arsenal, in one of the first big postwar football games to cheer us all up. It’s something Douglas has always been quite proud of, but what he didn’t know until recently, when David Murray, the owner of Rangers told him, was that after that game, the Arsenal board presented the Rangers board with one Arsenal share. I rang Arsenal, and yup, Rangers still have it.
    On paper, which is of course what shares basically are, one share doesn’t normally mean much, except in this case there are not millions and millions of shares, as with big businesses. There are only 64,000 Arsenal shares, each one worth around £7,500 at present, though you can’t buy them on the open market. In theory, when the American or Vietnamese vultures swoop, Rangers could well hold the vital share.”

    It would seem that it was ONLY ONE SHARE, and Sir David Murray should know!

    The Daily Record is obtaining all its scoops from http://www.rangerstaxcase. Journalism at its very, very best!

  • steww

    I have been a supporter for 150 years and i love arsene wenger MORE than anyone else in the world BUT he has lost the plot etc etc etc etc
    Excellent article Tony and one can only fear for the mental health of those who can be bothered to fire up their laptop just to find your site, ignore the article and type the same old rubbish. As someone said on another blog recently how about watching for the love of watching? Is the season over? No we have lots of big games coming up and I’m looking forward to them all.

  • steww

    “the vitriol about Rangers that this site has spewed in the past 2 years”
    Oh dear oh dear oh dear.

  • Ruaridh

    @Chris- jus cuz ur annoyed that your Piers Morgans secret love child does not mean you need to prove yourself to him by leaving daft wee comments on pro-wenger blogs. Go home to the states and confront your father and while you are at, would you be so kind to inform him that his role as an “expert” football pundit for the states coverage of the EPL is nothing short of an embarresment

  • Percy

    @Chris: February 22 2012 at 8:07am

    Seriously? Seriously! Rangers have won over 50 titles in Scotland and in recent years cleaned up on many, many occasions. Their fans follow them everywhere, I sat in with them when they came in the thousands to the Emirates Cup. However, there are elements within that support that were evident in Manchester and in the game against Kilmarnock that certainly do not ‘show Arsenal “fans” how it really ought to be done’ and this is not recognized in this piece. But, and an enormous BUT, the Murray board achieved that success with a financial model that has left the club facing almost certain liquidation. And they got out of their responsibility by selling the club for a £1.00 to Craig Whyte, whose background in liquidating companies he has been involved with led to a seven year ban from holding company directorships – Rangers’ outlook under him, for less than a year, looks to be following the trend. If they lose the big tax case, it is estimated that sum plus other debts they have will leave over a £100m in total due, right now: and their ticket income for the next four years has already been spent on clearing the LLoyds loan. If they win that case they still seem to be insolvent.

    And you are championing the Rangers success model delivered by the Murray board? I’m not sure the Rangers’ fans are.

    The legendary Bill Struth said the following when he was honoured by that Club and they hung his portrait in the boardroom:
    “I have been lucky — lucky in those who were around me from the boardroom to the dressing-room. In time of stress, their unstinted support, unbroken devotion to our club and calmness in adversity eased the task of making Rangers FC the premier club in this country.
    To be a Ranger is to sense the sacred trust of upholding all that such a name means in this shrine of football. They must be true in their conception of what the Ibrox tradition seeks from them. No true Ranger has ever failed in the tradition set him.”
    Our very success, gained you will agree by skill, will draw more people than ever to see it. And that will benefit many more clubs than Rangers. Let the others come after us. We welcome the chase. It is healthy for us. We will never hide from it. Never fear, inevitably we shall have our years of failure, and when they arrive, we must reveal tolerance and sanity. No matter the days of anxiety that come our way, we shall emerge stronger because of the trials to be overcome. That has been the philosophy of the Rangers since the days of the gallant pioneers”.

    After 140 years those fans must be hurting big time and pondering on the irony – maybe it points us in the direction of a little more balance when expressing our disappointment. It would not have happened if the guardians had employed Struth’s vision and realism.

  • The Blaze

    To be honest, if Tottenham gets taken over, it would be the latest proof of how unfair football is. Tottenham Hotspur is the prime example of a dodgy run football club. The highest spending club that is not City or Chelsea of the last decade, Tottenham has given away lots of money without anything coming in. At the moment, with absolutely no way to finance a new stadium, because the Olympic goes to West Ham and because Tottenham offers no room, plus no way to expand on their current stadium, Tottenham Hotspur is a ticking timebomb.

    However, if they get taken over, they will be rewarded for their mis-management, instead of being punished. Kind of like Chelsea. And the media will probably brand it like they deserved it.

    Meanwhile, at Arsenal, we have a succesfully run football club, refusing to spend anything that would put the future of our club in jeopardy and we are getting ridiculed by everybody for it. Seriously, the moment we win a major trophy, I am going to slap everybody who made fun of us. With that trophy.

  • Stevie E

    I can’t understand why nobody seems to realise what a massive difference the state of the pitch can and has made in our last few games. Our players are trained to play on a near perfect surface, and mainly get to play on these surfaces. However, when up against a team which is trained to play on a poor surface, that team have a clear and distinct advantage. Let me put it like this, an F1 driver is at his maximum attack on the perfect surface of a race track. What happens when you put him in an off-road rally car? He’s still quick but nowhere near as quick as a rally driver. Does that mean the rally driver is a better driver? Because I’m sure he won’t be as quick as the F1 driver on a track. It’s all relative.

    All this talk about AW lacking tactics gets to me more than any AAA bile about spending money etc. It’s a huge insult to the man who has masterminded all the victories our club has enjoyed over the past 16 years. Sadly, people forget the individual wins (5-3 over Chelsea this year) but focus on the defeats. On our day, on a level playing field we are as good as, if not better than any team in this country. Sadly, that’s not good enough for some supporters, they would rather every other team just bend over and let us score 5 a game. They forget that these teams we play week in, week out have some of the best players in the world and some of the best managers in the world. To think that we should be able to just win hands down is a an extremely childish point of view. Anyone who has played sport at any level will know sometimes the other guy is faster than you, or hits harder. Don’t forget, to the opposition, we’re the other guy and they’re going to try to take us down. Even if that means hitting below the belt (making the pitch off road instead of racetrack), or by having influence of the officials or even people with lots of money and power making decisions go the “right” way. Or sometimes by just being better on the day.

  • bob

    Dogface, goonergerry,
    Agree with dogface on the laughability of relegation. But the too real possibility of our missing out on the top 4 is not laughable, but serious; and you don’t address that part of what goonergerry says. Underspending, goonergerry’s main point, is not simply to be sneered away. You are deeply analytical, as you prove week after week. To me, serious opportunities to spend to strengthen our way overstretched defence in the last year’s x-fer window and to spend to get a clincial striker (and viable backup for RvP) in this past year’s x-fer window are potentially serious miscalculations. As are the pittance of a ROI for Cesc. Arsene himself said that missing the top 4 would be a “disaster.” Arsene does know. And goonergerry is sounding that alarm, which you seem to willfully not heard, or at least not addressed. I wouldn’t waste my time on this if I didn’t know the usual quality of thought you bring to the table. I’m surprised, to be honest. And, goonergerry, you raise an alarm that Arsene himself has raised and which needs to be seriously addressed (and already should have been addressed) in the spaces hereabouts.

  • Tasos

    Arsenal have loaned youngster Kyle Bartley to Glasgow Rangers in recent seasons, is it possible, as Rhys suggests, that Arsenal were attempting to help Rangers out with this particular loan deal?

  • bob

    Percy,
    Just playing a hunch here: Do you know if the Murray of Rangers’ Murray Board one of The Murray’s that dispossessed crofters from the Highlands and Islands in the 19th century, and also produced the last well-hated Governor in colonial NY and Virginia during the 18th century? I sense a similarity in the modus operandi of these creatures. Any sense of this?

  • bob

    p.s. sorry, should read: “…IS one of…”

  • “Sack the clueless manager”
    That’s really working well for Chelsea.
    “Go out and buy proven talent”
    Likewise.

  • Percy

    @bob
    I’m not sure we can blame him for our mistaken colonial ventures. He founded a steel manufacturing business at an early age and this became a very substantial group. It seems, like many others, however, that his businesses have suffered in the over-leveraged bank induced recession of the past few years. More likely he is related to the ‘Minted’ Murrays!?

    Notoverthehill’s credit to the http://www.rangerstaxcase. site is appropriate. Although the author is of the Celtic persuasion, its fairness and balance is exemplary. There is a very big body of investigative research there but it is a classic of forensic comment that puts all the hacks and their snouts in the ‘succulent lamb’ to shame. The lesson seems to be that The Revenue. like with ‘Arry, are trying to send a message and more may follow: although their success at law does seem to leave a lot to be desired. Good job our much maligned board came to a settlement with them a few years back and dodged this bullet.

  • bob

    Percy,
    Not Blaming him per se, but very interested in the lineage. My interest (beyond colonial misadventures) is whether he is of the Murrays (Earls of Dunmore) who then evicted crofters in the Islands and Highlands?

  • bob

    p.s. That is to say, did this Murray’s founding of the steel mfg enterprise come out of monies from the inherited largesse of the very Earls of Dunmore (that is Murrays) who had previously gained from those whom they had dispossessed in Scotland.

  • Percy

    @bob
    Check out Wikipedia, bob. It would seem not, no mention of any link. More irony in that the present line of Dunmores seem to have decamped to Oz.
    In fact, if you search Murray and The Crofters there is a reference to a couple of Murrays in London endorsing the cause of Land Law Reform: so they have some redeeming traits.

  • bob

    Cheers, Percy. You’re right, they’re a mixed and complicated group.

  • @Bob – please don’t try and deconstruct my thought processes… just speak for yourself – that will be fine.

  • bob

    Dogface,
    Sorry to offend. I’ve want to engage this issue with someone on the team and there’s been no takers to date.

  • bawheid

    Pretty bad example to pick for two reasons, Tony.

    It was just two weeks ago that Rangers only managed to muster up a support of 17,800 for a cup game. At home. (Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jimspence/2012/02/rangers.html )

    Not to mention Rangers are currently under investigation by the SPL for sectarian chanting at the very Rangers/Kilmarnock game you cited as a “good” example of loyal fans…

  • There have been a number of comments (some of which have been so abusive that I have not published them) about the negative aspects of Rangers’ fans behaviour.

    My point in this article was not about the sectarianism, which I have commented on, nor about Rangers in Manchester, nor about their financial issues – all of which I have written about a number of times.

    My point was that in this one instance, I thought the fans did well. They stood their, despite the home defeat, and showed the players that they would always be with them.

    That’s it. I was writing about that one moment.

  • //joke
    /* In summary, they’re sectarian, they’re violent, you wouldn’t want to share a train with them but at least they support the team, no matter what.
    Anyway, enough about our away support and back to Rangers */
    //joke