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How the Guardian newspaper made a total mockery of the Arsenal AGM

By Tony Attwood

I was going to leave the AGM, and let it be.  I was there, I watched and listened, and talked to fellow members of the club on the AISA Arsenal History Society stand, which we were granted by Arsenal.

So I’ve said my piece in an earlier article, but then I read the Guardian article, and I thought.  “Fuck, I was at the wrong show.”   Then I thought “No – they were at the wrong show.

According to the Guardian, and I quote:

“Arsenal have never seemed further removed from their original dictum. Victoria Concordia Crescit (Victory Through Harmony) seemed like a distant memory as supporters made clear their discontent…”

Oh if only the Guardian had shown an interest in reading a bit of real and proper history, instead of the history made up by their AAA allies.  A distant memory?   You don’t even have to go out and buy a copy of The Crowd At Woolwich Arsenal FC (and we had copies on sale on our stand at the AGM) to know that Woolwich Arsenal were regularly booed and jeered by their own supporters when they failed to move quickly up the league from division two in 1893 to champions of the first division in 1894.  The AAA dates from the foundation of the professional league club.

Then the Guardian says, “and the board members snapped back”.  To see how much this is part of the tradition of Arsenal AGMs all you have to do is look at the time when Sir Henry Norris (rescuer of the club in 1910, builder of Highbury, hirer of Herbert Chapman,) was kicked off the board of the club.  Reports of AGMs being suspended and the police called in are common place.  We’ve even done reports on the Arsenal History blog.

“Some of the exchanges were personal, prickly, and the atmosphere became quite sour. It was not such a surprise to see the shareholders aiming verbal bullets at the board members on the plinth, but it was highly unusual for the snipes to be returned.”

Oh come on.  Snipes returned?   It was the same boring old argument that the AAA has waged against Untold.  The AAA says, get money, somehow, anyhow, borrow it, bring in a rich Russian, put up prices, any old thing, but get money, and compete with Chelsea, PSG and Man C.

The board says, all that happens if you do that is that Chelsea et al pour in more and more money and wages and transfer fees go up more and more.   Unless you own half the oil fields of Russia you will never win.   Better to work with the vast majority of clubs in the Premier Leagues to bring in our own Financial Fair Play regulations.   Mr Gazidis felt sure they would happen, with or without Uefa – there’s an article on Untold which goes through the maths.    We were not sure if there was enough support: Mr Gazidis is closer to the action.

Here’s another guardian piece  “Gazidis had a sharp retort for someone who lamented that Robin van Persie’s departure was humiliating. “I’m not sure if that is a question or an expression of angst,” smarted the CEO, before ticking off another dissenter for monopolising the microphone as he tried to restore order.”

Oh really!  There was no breakdown of order.  One question-asker was dominating the microphone and boring the shit out of the rest of us who wanted to hear other issues debated.  There was no disorder.   And the response of Gazidis was actually a lot more interesting and amusing than anything else that was said by the questioners.

“Inside the cavernous hall, as long as the sidelines of the Emirates pitch” says the Guardian.  A point of detail, and not that important, but no, we were in one of the many club level areas, and actually behind the goal. 700 seats were laid out.  I know because I put an Arsenal History Society leaflet on each one of them.  It gave me back ache. And unlike the guardian reporters I took the trouble to look out of the window at the pitch.

“The Arsenal Supporters’ Trust had its manifesto, the Arsenal Independent Supporters’ Association its pamphlet” – yes Guardian.  So why not tell us about our pamphlet.  I think it is rather good and worth a mention.  (Mind you I wrote it).

Mr Wenger said, “We have to be united. I accept every different opinion but it looks to be like the modern world produces little groups of little opinion. The little communities need to live together for the common strength of our club, for the good of Arsenal.   The Guardian said, “he preached”.  What absolute nonsense.  It was a lucid speech delivered without notes in the man’s third language.

“Arsenal remain, for now, a club caught between their internal ideal of a sustainable business and external pressure to be bolder with their resources in search of success.”  No they are not.  Arsenal has made a decision to push for the Premier League’s own FFP rules and support Uefa’s rules – which have already started to have an effect with numerous clubs banned or fined already.   As Mr Gazidis reported.  And then explained further when a member of the audience failed to quite grasp what Uefa is doing. (a read of Untold would have helped him too).

Here’s a last bit of gibberish from the Guardian.  “Arsenal’s board have pinned their hopes on Financial Fair Play, and a slew of new commercial deals in 2014, to help them to find a silver lining. In the meantime, the outlook remains cloudy.”

“Pinned their hopes” indeed.  It is called strategy.  It is carefully thought through and planned.  It is well organised.  It is clearly analysed.  Discussions have gone through with every other club in the EPL.

Pinning hopes relates to putting a £1 into the lottery as a way of getting out of debt.   This use of language is all wrong.  It gives a totally wrong reflection of what happened at that meeting.  And given that the Guardian is written by people who know their English one cannot but assume that we are back to the old Bash-the-Arsenal approach.   But why?

700 people were in the hall, and an early speaker urged everyone to vote against the re-election to the board of those who were standing again.  17 people did.  17 out of 700.   Fractionally over 2% of the AGM voted to oust the board.

If that is a revolution in the making, goodness knows what peace looks like.

——————————–

43 comments to How the Guardian newspaper made a total mockery of the Arsenal AGM

  • avatar quake

    I read reports about the AGM and i thought that chaos had broken out so it was nice to read your article put more of a balance view this is why i always look for untold point of view.It even got reported about fan revolt in our sport media just shows how quickly reports are picked up and travel round the globe.

  • avatar bc

    I was there also i am not saying the guardian was right but i am afraid that after reading your articles i am more convinced than ever that there is so much uncertainty around the club. in my 43 years of following the club i have seen so many disputes. i remember the dark days when half the stadium wanted mee out and the other half didnt the same with neill howe and even burtenshaw. but the divide the current board and management is like something i have never seen before. we are not divided anymore into 2 sides, no now it is total anarchy everyone seems to have an opinion and yet hardly anyone tends to agree. i am not sure where this will all end or when but all i know is the current regime and i mean by that board management players backroom staff and supporters will not bring success to this club. we need someone somehow to pull us altogether with something. i cant help but think that it the answer lies with a fat russian but please someone give me hope elsewhere i am well open to it.

  • avatar Shade

    Thanks for giving us the real picture. Some of us fans don’t live in UK. Our sources of arsenal news are largely media reports and the media always puts a negative spin on anything arsenal. So it’s nice to know what actually happened from a fan who went to the meet!

  • avatar Mahdain

    @bc if someone is to be blamed about the current situation in the fanbase then look no further than a certain Uzbek billionaire. I know it may sound like crazy but i cant help but think he is the pulling all the strings behind the idiotic Black scarf movement,the AST and ofcourse a certain dooming waste of an internet space blog.Divide and conquer

  • avatar nicky

    One must never be surprised over the way in which the national dailies express the news……particularly the sports news.
    Personal opinion of the writer becomes fact and the selective nature of forecasting is generally based on the need to titillate.
    In separating the wheat from the chaff following the AGM, the news that both Man Citeh and Chelsea are currently operating within the proposed FFP Regs is staggering to say the least. If this remains so, it will defeat the object of putting right some of the blemishes in our national game BEFORE they can be put into effect.
    Apart from that, the AGM seems to have gone like all others.
    The French have a saying “The more things change, the more they remain the same”.
    Those real supporters who are able to attend are always in a minority, they barely have a voice and are invariably clobbered by the establishment for any form of criticism.
    And so the AGM is over for another year
    The Club has been made aware that while there is general support for Arsene Wenger, there is a groundswell of opinion that in a number of areas, things must improve. Loyalty remains from those who matter but must not be taken for granted.

  • avatar Mahdain

    these past few days on twitter really made me want to pull my hair out.. Full of moaning,bitching,dooming,attention seeking drama queens who take pleasure seeing us lose and think they are whiter than white and that anyone who can think sensibly is a “blind twat”. Some even resorted to the cheap racial stereotyping shots. Apparently just because some of us dont live in the UK and cant afford to attend matches weekly we are not true fans.
    There is absolutely no way can you tell these idiots are fans and tbh i wouldn’t mind if we adopted the Fergie approach and ban all the journalist who throw vile abuse at our manager starting with Adrian Durham. Then turn to these “fans” and make an example of one or two preferably Tim Payton and Geoff/Pedro and ban them indefinetely..
    Dictatorship? Isnt that what they call us now? Lets give it to them in reality then

  • avatar bjtgooner

    @bc

    I suspect the problem source is a fat Russian – his supporters seem to be the ones agitating behind the scene and deliberately trying to cause instability. I have seen this type of thing before and it is very hard to cope with. Anytime the team does badly they (the SoFR = AAA) come out of the sewers in force. I don’t know for sure, but suspect that some of the transfers out have been encouraged by a fat person who wants Wenger to fail – he sees him as a block on the route to a takeover. What happens if he takes over? – much money will go out – why else does the fat billionaire take over companies?

    Oh, by explanation SoFR = Supporters of Fat Russian.

    Not all of the solution, but part of it is – stand fast – stand behind the manager, team and club – we all can have our footballing opinions but the manager knows much more than all of us put together – he will develop and improve the team – lets let him get on with it.

    @Tony

    Interesting article, I had a quick look at the Guardian report and did not like the way the AGM was presented. However, the Guardian has been anti-Arsenal for some time (I’m sure most of us have read bob’s excellent reviews of some of their articles) so I don’t spend my hard earned money on that paper.

  • avatar Mahdain

    What riles me up the most is when they throw vile personal abuse at Arsene aka our most successful manager calling him words like “old senile fool”,”frenchy twat” and “out of touch fool”… Show the man the respect he RIGHTLY deserves..

  • avatar bjtgooner

    @Mahdain

    I have been a bad boy, I had a look today at one of the really obnoxious semi Arsenal blog sites. (I did sanitise the laptop afterwards.) You will find our double talking “friend” Doublegooner being very obnoxious and very anti Arsenal and anti Wenger on that site. Yet he tries to be plausibly anti Wenger on this site.

    Oh – I liked your article above, I was preparing my post at approximately the same time.

  • avatar allan

    good article as always, we must support our team and our fans
    who pay for the club please give helpfull and constructive critisism instead of sweeping condemnation i love this club
    and would rather read more reasonable comments on how to improve the current situation. im afraid i cant offer much
    opinion as im not an expert but would wish we could attack a
    bit more like we used to. the performance seems a bit lacklustre but one thing im certain arsene will sort it out.

  • avatar Stubby

    What a load of B*ll*cks!how well are we doing on the pitch is what matters. Regardless of the reason, in 8 years we have gone from invincibles to also rans! new stadium or not, we should have built on that, not let it waste away! Since Herbert Chapman we have been willing to accept Arsenal as being second best in England, never mind the rest of the world. In my lifetime we have not gone as long as we have now in winning something. we won the double in 1971. I was eight(just!). Only the second team to do the double in the 20th century! We were the most successful domestic team in the country after 1971. Since then, liverpool and Man U have surpassed us by a mile. Wenger has some good business ethics and on a level playing field financially he would wipe the floor with Fergie, Mancini and chelski managers on the pitch. but his dream is never gonna come true. Money will always win. Sad. I would love to see in reality Financial Fair Play, the best supported teams having the best money, playing at the highest level but it aint ever gonna happen.

  • avatar Stuart

    Stubby,
    Are you joking? No way have Liverpool surpassed us. Arsenal were team of the century even taking into account the Liverpol dominance of 70’s & 80’s. And Man U in the 90’s

  • avatar chris from Cambridge

    The Guardian isfor woolly woofters.

  • avatar Stg

    I’m never to sure what fans expect to be said at the AGM. Do they think the owners/directors will come out with some amazing quotes about how poorly the club is run or how they think the manager is rubbish and the like. It is a meeting where 90% of the time is taken up with them telling us what they want us to hear and the other 10% avoiding answers.

    This situation is not confined to Arsenal AGM’s every management meeting I have been to has been the same. I am also amazed at how many Arsenal football bloggers, tweeters and forum posters know the ins and outs of what goes on at Arsenal and how many great owners, board members and managers Arsenal have if only they were given the chance!!!!!

    I honestly can not see what the Arsenal board have done wrong from a business level but I think I am in a minority there by reading the blogs, forums, twitter and the newspapers.

  • avatar J

    I have read your articles… But up untill now I have not fully relaised the truth. You are a puppet of the Arsenal board! You hinted as much in this post, by crediting the board for gving Arsenal the credit for giving you the chance to talk to, ‘fellow members of the club on the AISA Arsenal History Society stand, which we were granted by Arsenal’.

    What about PHW snide comments and disgusting attitude?

    What about kroenkes lies about meeting with the fan groups?

    TYou are so biased in your writing it is hard to even take you seriously enough to write a decent response to this garbage.

    And you lie aswell… so 2% raised their hands over the re-election issue? Well, you are the only person who has come up with these figures in my research, with most suggesting that a fair majority voiced discontent!

    Shut this site down, apologise for your clear bias and retire from what ever it is you do… your purple writing and bias line is not helping arsenal fc and you should feel ashamed by writing lies to supporters less fortunate then yourself.

  • avatar Justice

    J, thank you for that response.

    I’ve had this inkling that this article is written by an employee of the board, if not Gazidis himself.

  • avatar ARSENAL 13

    @ J….
    SO dumb.

  • avatar Persian gunner

    I hate how everything is so unfair against us!
    There is only One Arsene Wenger!
    I believe if we were playing in a league with fan based teams like Germany, we could be real challenging side every year, but in EPL and CL these money based teams are extremely annoying!
    I live in a country with the experience of using petroleum money income on football, lots of goverment dependents clubs used the easy money on bringing average players, who were just made popular by media and newspapers.
    Year after year our football has been destroyed, no new talent has been found and transformed to a quality player, our league get worse and worse that you can not even watch a game for 15mins, match fixing is a disaster, supporters are really disappointed and estadiums are empty!
    If this FFP does not change things now, the evil petroleum money is going the destroy football anywhere around the world!

  • avatar pharo9ja

    you and your cult of brainwashed Arsene fans are so out of touch with reality,its unreal.
    You sit behind your keyboard and preach the FFP mantra- a dream that very well will not change anything and here’s why.
    Chelsea,united,city are successful on the pitch. The success guarantees a larger global brand and following which in turn guarantees a higher ceiling in endorsement and sponsorship deals.
    While wenger and gazidis get paid the highest wages around to asset strip this once great team,your so-called moneybags are makin sure the future of their clubs are guaranteed as “big clubs”.

  • avatar Nick Lee

    @Arsenal 13… what is ‘so dumb’ about J?

    Besides the points by J, I believe IG gave an update on the potential commercial revenue.

    Sports sponsor deals are predominantly based on popularity of ‘star players’ and success, and rightly so for commercial reasons. The likes of Messi, Ronaldo, Shrek et el. Even Lampard, Terry, Drogba featured time and again.

    In short, this is a vicious cycle. You don’t have success, you don’t get consideration and/or negotiation power for top dollars from sponsors as well as top players who, besides wanting to be paid handsomely, would also want to be associated with success (and I mean trophies). Top players do not guarantee success but without them you can be guaranteed as also-ran.

  • avatar Stg

    Sunderland’s £20 million a season shirt deal looks like a good deal. Have they got the type of star players or sucsess that a team like Arsenal have?

  • avatar Stanley

    I cant say for sure what our problem is but its funny how we blame the well endowed clubs for our nearly 8 barren years. How does Man City splashing out on Robinho has anything to do with us losing a 4-0 advantage against Newcastle? Or how does Chelsea’s billions explain us coming Fourth when we had to do well in our last 12 games but ended up drawing and losing majority that City ended up passing us? We dont have quality players, is that it? So how come they were challenging for the title till the last 12 games? Dont get how the money other clubs have affect our league cup finals against Birmingham or our lackluster performance against Norwich or even all the matches we fail to perform. It would be different if we lost every time against these big spenders, then we can say that they bought all the best players so are better than us but that’s not the case because we give them a tough game and sometimes win. Doesn’t that mean we aren’t as rubbish as we think? All am saying is we should stop putting mediocre performancestry especially against clubs we feel are lesser, maybe then we would care less about how much these clubs decide to spend. To be sincere, I feel we have a squad cable of winning something. Not like United played the best football last season or hard a far better team than us but they almost won the league.

  • avatar Nick Lee

    @Stg

    value of deal is relative. 20 million could be the entry level. Too much? The decision maker has to take accountability… with the usual spin.

  • avatar Nick Lee

    @Stg

    May I also add that there is a perceived marketability about the EPL, oft touted as the most viewed league in the world. The perceived viewership, exposure and potential is there..

    Any team in the top division will have some form of sponsorship, whether they are successful or have the top players. Additionally, there are many sponsors… top notch as well as the upcoming who will not be able to compete with the big sponsors for the top team ala MU, MC and Chelsea.

  • avatar Nick Lee

    And while we are on relative value, 20 million looks good but what do you think MU and the likes will be getting?

    It can’t be 20 million right? So the value gets jacked up and the top teams will get more and more…. its a $ game

  • avatar rupert cook

    Wenger still banging on about fourth place is a trophy. No it isn’t but winning the CL is. Does anyone who has not had their brain removed or tampered with really believe Arsenal can win it? Wenger gets more deluded every season. Sell the best striker in England to Manu and then expect to challenge for the league. No one has any idea what Kronke and Gazidis intend for the club. Every year we sell our best players and buy clowns like Gervinho and mediocrity like Ramsey. Remember years ago how Wenger said we fight on all four fronts for trophies. Now we just fight for a false trophy, fourth. If Fergie had said fourth was like winning a trophy he’d have been run out of Manchester. What major club in Europe still employs a manager who’s won nothing for seven years? Tells you all you need to know about the ambition at our club.

  • avatar Nick Lee

    There’s no way out but to start winning trophies.

    Gate collections is finite and you can only squeeze that much out before threshold and resistance dawns.

    I suppose the management has numerous revenue options. That’s why they are paid handsomely for.

    But I strongly believe these options hinge on a succesful team

  • avatar Mahdain

    @bjtgooner must be great minds thinking alike and all

  • avatar Paul "the Gooner"

    At least we have a AGM!.Do City,Utd or Chelsea have one.Can someone please tell me if we sacked AW who would take over.I can only think of one.How many clubs in europe would want AW as their manager.Many!

  • avatar Adam

    I reckon if Arsenal did part company with Wenger it would start the biggest scramble for a manager football has ever seen. Clubs would be sacking their managers left right and centre to make a spot available for the professor.

  • avatar rupert cook

    City, United and Chelsea seem to be doing alright with or wtihout one. If there are so many clubs who want Wenger they’re welcome to have him as far as I’m concerned. The man has run out of ideas, off and on the pitch. The football we play is now ponderous and predictable. Wenger has been outwitted by so- called inferior managers at so-called inferior teams season after season. It seems there is some sort of collective lunacy at Arsenal. Maybe Derren Brown has hypnotized a large portion of Arsenal fans.

  • avatar Mandy Dodd

    Thanks for providing what really happened for those of us who were not there. Gazidis and co are clearly a smart bunch, if they say we are moving in the right direction, they must at least be given the benefit of doubt for a while. A couple of dodgy results should not derail everything. One more point, much was made about Stan refusing to take money out of the club ad dividends, one source indicated the truth was, he could not really answer that legally because the board have to make all such decisions, but those at the meeting apparently in the know insist that he has never had any record of taking out dividends and it is highly unlikely he would do so. The source of this putting the record straight for Stan…surprisingly, Le Grove. So there is no evidence whatsoever Stan intends putting the club in debt, or taking dividends out. OK not all monies may be invested in playing staff as many would want, but this is very different from the line some take. Stan clearly lets the board run things completely…he keeps quiet, backs the manager and generally stays out of it,as does the Spuds owner, and the City owner 9who has visited Middle Eastlands once) and many others. Who cares if Stan meets fan groups, when the CEO and his execs do so regularly, Wenger has promised to as well
    The fact is, until we win something, we are an easy target for UK press BS. I fully expect a tabloid story to break that Arsenal invited Jimmy Saville to train the youth team for a period in the 1970s.

  • avatar Gooner S

    I followed the AGM on twitter with John Cross and (yes)Le Grove (Pedro).

    They were both telling a similar story. Both agreed that Arsene Wenger came out of proceedings with credit. Both thought Hill-Woods behaviour poor.

  • avatar Mandy Dodd

    A more sympathetic take on Stan in the Telegraph

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/arsenal/9636478/Arsenal-owner-Stan-Kroenke-pays-price-for-low-profile.html

    I cannot say I am sure about him, but until he does anything his critics fear he might, he deserves some leeway….I say deserves, as owner, guess he can do what he wants!

  • avatar ARSENAL 13

    @ Nick lee

    I was referring to the “lie”.

  • avatar rupert cook

    Until we win something. I wonder when that’ll be. Seeing as Wenger regards the FA Cup beneath us and the squad’s far too poor to win the league or CL I predict the next trophy to be around 2020.

  • avatar Mandy Dodd

    Thats a bit revisionist, he actually said the FA cup was 4th on his list of priorities, not beneath us.

  • avatar Stuart

    Rupert cook, come on, be realistic here, your twisting of words makes you part of the laughing stock.

  • avatar Notoverthehill

    Once again, thank you, Tony!

    It is very clear that those on the platform, do mingle with the “fans” after the Chairman closes the AGM! That includes the American owner. Tim Payton, is the barefaced liar!

    As for Robin van Perfect-Fit, we can now guess that his take home pay is in the region of £130,000 per week. Overtaking Wayne Rooney! To leave £300,000 a week on the table, seems to prove he is not greedy?

  • avatar Nick Lee

    @ Paul the “Gooner”
    … Can someone please tell me if we sacked AW who would take over.I can only think of one.How many clubs in europe would want AW as their manager.Many!

    Agreed with you Paul. Many in Europe would want AW. But after 1 season and no trophy, you think the Real president will be kind to pat him on the back? What about trying Chelsea and Roman.

    We are not talking about just well paid manager. We are talking about manager who can deliver under pressure. No title and you are out. AW is smart enough to realise that, isn’t he? No accountability at Arsenal… fourth is a covet achievement and 7 million pounds, which incidentally not many clubs can afford or double/triple. Why take the freaking risk? No accountability, friendly board all in to cash out as much as they could before the spin generate enough resistance. Do you know how much Arsene had made since 2004/2005 during the barren years? He’s a freaking rich man, no doubt about that.

    And who can take over? Well why don’t we roll back to the time when AW was first introduced to Arsenal. Remember the famed quote: “Arsene who?” And if fourth is a acceptable achievement for the board, then its not really hard to get a manager, cheaper of course, to do that. But that’s not my point. I don’t begrudge AW. I’m only dead set against this freaking board

    And speaking of which where this site is famed for their controversial theories, I would look forward to an investigative and objective study into the Arsenal board. For a start, what the heck is that old fart still the chairman when consistently he had utter complete insensitive remarks, the most recent being the parting shot at supporters at the end of the AGM?

  • avatar Nick Lee

    @Notoverthehill

    well, selling the top scorer, the only recogizable player currently for Arsenal, our best player and captain… and to a title rival … oops forgot fourth is ok, says a lot about us don’t we? Wenger came out in an interview and said he missed RVP. Well there goes $ versus ambition.

    How we cannot hang on to RVP still baffles me. So he claimed he wanted out… so what? He’s under a contract which has 1 year to run. Arsenal should be tough enough to say no, and be prepared to lose on the Bosman. We chicken out for $ as usual and gamble on that he is aged and may not perform, dress room mutiny and the crap…

    As of yesterday, RVP is joint top scorer, banging in the goals when he wants. And how many of those goals put MU in 2nd place now? Go watch the reruns of the matches and figure.

    I posted comments on various blogs on my take that we will regret and naturally I was ridiculed. I’m vindicated for now at least but I’m not a happy dude.

  • avatar Nick Lee

    @ Rupert Cook
    Until we win something. I wonder when that’ll be

    The proceedings at the AGM already tell you something right?

    Banging on FFP is so, well …. you don’t pay a CEO to utter that crap. At least give a better spin to justify his huge salary and bonus (for?)

    These rich owners don’t become rich overnight and by accident. FFP? Expect them to come up with creative ways to cirsumvent that.

    In short, Rupert, expect more of the same at least for these 2 seasons and I’m being optimistic.

  • avatar bob

    Nick Lee,
    What you write (@2:55, excerpted below) is in tune with I said hereabouts for weeks this summer, and got my fair share of stick for it hereabouts. Indeed, AW could have said no to RVP who then would have HAD to do well for us in order to command a top shelf salary after he’d (possibly) have left us next summer. It was a bluff. FFS, Mancini said no to wantaway Tevez and, after their standoff, Tevez then contributed mightily to their business end last season. Yes, as you say about wantaway RVP: so what?
    Why can’t we say no. And then to sell him to Manure so that they have last season’s top two scorers. And there is no sign of injury or we’ve seen the best of him; or, as you say, any of the self-deluding rationalizations that were the mantra hereabouts. Now barely a peep about the man – this man who was destined to implode and be cursed and be injured immediately for having left us. Anyway, I do love Arsenal; but I too have serious doubts that too many on this board would allow that emotion – and I mean sincere emotion – to take hold. It’s not the business way. There’s much more to say on this account, but I so want this team to gel into winning form that I’ll leave it at RvP for now. I wish AW and the team the best and continue my support. But having a memory for the moves and lack of moves of the last summer and the previous winter’s transfer window has been a terrible and sobering wake up call to way the game is being played at the top of today’s AFC.

    “How we cannot hang on to RVP still baffles me. So he claimed he wanted out… so what? He’s under a contract which has 1 year to run. Arsenal should be tough enough to say no, and be prepared to lose on the Bosman. We chicken out for $ as usual and gamble on that he is aged and may not perform, dress room mutiny and the crap…As of yesterday, RVP is joint top scorer, banging in the goals when he wants. And how many of those goals put MU in 2nd place now? Go watch the reruns of the matches and figure.
    I posted comments on various blogs on my take that we will regret and naturally I was ridiculed. I’m vindicated for now at least but I’m not a happy dude.” Agreed, Nick.