As featured on NewsNow: Arsenal newsArsenal News 24/7
Get the best Free Bets and Free Betting Offers for your football betting
As featured on Gooner News
Arsenal News & Transfers
Arsenal News
The Soccerlinks Hit List
September 2014
M T W T F S S
« Aug    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930  

Link Refer

Archives

e-soccer

What would make me stop supporting Arsenal?

By Tony Attwood

In the discussion columns this week there was a question to me, along the lines, “What happens to Untold Arsenal, when Mr Wenger retires or resigns or is kicked out?”

And linked to it was the secondary question, what happens to me, as an Arsenal supporter?

Arsenal, as I have said so many times, has been in my blood for almost 60 years so not supporting Arsenal would seem a strange thing to do.  Although there have been times when I have been annoyed and angry with Arsenal.

The Billy Wright era was an awful experience – and an endless reminder that Arsenal had once been great but were no longer in that position.   The end of the Bertie Mee era was awful – with gems like Brady in the team we spent time bottom of the league.

I suppose the only consolation in some periods of Arsenal awfulness was that Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United made fleeting visits to the second division – and we didn’t.  Which is why we are now edging towards an utterly extraordinary 100 years since we were elected to the first division in 1919.

But I have had problems with Arsenal even when doing comparatively well.  The Rioch season was mind numbingly awful to me, the way he had the team playing was just not what I wanted to see, and I met his dismissal with happiness only tempered by the fact that I had never heard of Mr Wenger.

So what will happen when Mr Wenger goes?  I guess I will carry on supporting Arsenal as now – and Untold will carry on as now.  Unless of course we do something utterly stupid (in my opinion of course).

And what could be stupid or immoral enough to have me close down Untold and not renew the season ticket?

It is hard to say, but here’s a few things that would have me thinking very seriously indeed:

a) the sort of financial support deal that Notts County, Leeds United, Birmingham City, Portsmouth, Rangers and the like have gone in for of late.  Money that may or most probably may not exist, coming from people who may or may not be that rich, and absolutely no transparency and quite possibly a load of crookedness en route.

b) The appointment of Harry Redknapp as manager – or come to that the appointment of the current manager of Newcastle.   Jose Mourinho I could take, whereas Benitez would have me edging out.

c) The decision to try and rival Chelsea, Man City and the rest in transfers.  All that will happen is that instead of offering £30m for a player we would offer £40m and Man City would offer £50m and so on.  Unless we were, like Man City, so wallowing in money that it would just make no odds what we paid, we would always lose out.  £100m for a player plus £30m a year for six years.  Yup – quite possibly, but it is obscene and I don’t want to be part of that.

d) Outright support for Fifa, Uefa and the FA being expressed by the board.

e) Support for the club from the press.  I always remember that after the conclusion of the Unbeaten Season when I just stood there at the end of the Leicester match, tears streaming down my face, just endlessly applauding the team for the greatest footballing feat I had ever witnessed, the next day the Guardian (or was it the Observer, I can’t remember) ran a piece about how Arsenal weren’t that good really and calling it an unbeaten season was an insult to Preston North End.  If the press came out and supported Arsenal, then I would start getting seriously concerned.

f) Ground sharing with Tottenham, Leyton Orient or West Ham.   No, no, no, never.  No matter what.

g) The board paying themselves dividends.

h) The removal of the statue of Herbert Chapman.

i) Sacking Mr Wenger.

j) The achievement of actually managing to serve a cappuccino that roughly tastes like it.  It is not that I wouldn’t be happy, it is just that I would be so bemused I don’t think I would be able to take it.

I am sure there are more, but its nearly time to go back to work, so I will leave it there.  But yes, there are some reasons why I would pull out of my support for Arsenal.  But not that many.

As for Untold, who knows.  We’ll take that issue when it happens.

——————————–

The books…

The sites…

79 comments to What would make me stop supporting Arsenal?

  • avatar El Gringo

    Love it, Tony! Among your many good articles, this one is great.

  • avatar Legolas

    Respectttttttttttttttttttttttt

  • avatar Yake Gunner

    Great Article, Tony.

  • avatar Lanre tijani

    Im arsenal fans, This is good advise to arsenal especially arsenal fans that in london always quiet, if we countinue like dis we spend more 8years without trouph, image board said that will not break wages structure because of players now walcot demad 100 per week and sagna 60 per week, stupid board no trouph no motive players with wages…. What did u expect from team .

  • avatar zuer

    Tony,
    it bemused me to no end that a nice cup of capuccino that taste roughly like a one would stop you from supporting arsenal REALLY :)

    For me, I can’t really imagine arsenal without Wenger… Sack him, i’ll stop supporting Arsenal..

  • avatar mick g

    Good article but given all the reasons that would make you stop supporting Arsenal, what should Arsenal be doing that they haven’t been doing since the invincibles? Seems like something amongst the things that will make you stop supporting the gunners just might be the solution to our problems.

  • avatar the mickster

    football suporters can often fall into two catergories.
    1/ Adult ones, who appreciate a budget limit, realise the whole football world doesn’t revolve around their club or players, and you can’t defend the indefensible.
    2/ Childish ones, the ‘but i want it now ones. How dare ‘my’ club not do what ‘I’ think is right. John Terry isn’t a c@unt !

  • avatar Cameron Wolfe

    Tony good article. Makes you think?
    I’m almost of the believe that the team chooses you? I was lucky enough to watch the 1989 Liverpool v’s Arsenal game. It was without a doubt the best game I’d watched. Full of excitement and drama. Until that game I’d only seen limited highlights (the goals) of English football at the end of my normal Scottish football program. After that game I was hooked. Moving to London for work meant I was able to watch them live. (Highbury then the Ems)
    Now in Canada. Still as big a fan. Up at 5.30am some mornings to watch the game live. Lunchtime CL matches.
    As much as I am a huge Arsene Wenger fan I can’t think of anything that would stop me supporting Arsenal.
    Obviously like Tony pointed out there would be certain managers that I wouldn’t like but when the team plays. No matter who’s out there on the pitch I just want to watch free flowing football and every player giving their all for the cause. Win lose or draw. I’ll always support Arsenal.
    Definately wouldn’t switch to another team.
    Gooner for life!

  • avatar ne

    I have been waiting for your article since the AGM. You are one of those senior supporter in these club, well as for me it was really hurting when getting an arrogant kinda answer from our chairman and endless of excuses from our ceo and manager. The thing is for these past 8 years, there are quality player that we can get for bargain but the manager or board or ceo never push for it. These team could walk into another path actually but they choose no, principal?nah, I thought it was for profit actually. I’m not asking us to do the leeds kinda thing, spurring the money. But with the transfer budget and the wage budget that we have, we can afford a top notch player but yeah our team might be small by then. Its better to have quality then number, example is there. 3 player to replace one RVP, seems not working out. PHW ““Thanks for your support and interest in our affairs.”

  • avatar diamonddave

    not bad article, but i can think of many reasons why i would stop supporting arsenal, and let me add not by choice, this club since kroenke took over and the board have become greedy all you hear is the same old story we want to be succesful yet on te other hand they sell our top world class players and who are in their places, if you look around they are not world class, if the papers are to believed sagna going to italy with no disrespect jenkilson is not of the same calibre had been seen this season he has made some howlers, then their is the high ticket prices to watch a mediocore team, why should we pay those prices when we can go to utd or chelsea to watch world class players at cheaper ticket prices, i have sent back my season ticket because i am fed up of being ripped off and as all supporters know the last 5 yeras have been awful, but when you look at the performances the question arises why? becuase players are fed up of seeing top players leave and it is killing their moral it is funny wengers comment to lift the flat atmosphere why is it flat? because players belief comittment moral all drops when you see one week you play with van persie next some french player who to be honest has not performed, wenger is to blame to a degree but the ones that are responsible is the old farts in the board room who are killing our game because of greed and to line their pockets at the expense of supporters, it is about time we supporters stood up for one ground kroenke out and gazidis and the rest of the old farts with him and bring in someone who wants genuine success, when you read the papers chelsea have made a profit yet they still made some super signings world class players, and their profit was more than ours we should be asking then where is the money going? it is about time we supporters stood up and demand the removal of the board and kroenke and we need to demonstrate in not spending our hard earned money in this club but we need to demonstate at the stadium and start being heard enough is enough of what we are seeing at our beloved club.

  • avatar walter

    I would still stay an Arsenal supporter when Wenger is gone. And one day he will be gone.
    But what does turn me off is the fact that I see a league that is bend.
    I don’t look at CL games unless Arsenal is playing. The others I don’t look at them any more because I think uefa is corrupt and I have enough of the Busaca-moments.

    the same goes for the PL. I only look at Arsenal games and games I have to see to review. And before I couldn’t have enough of the PL. Now I almost have enough of the way the PGMOL is discrediting the game.

    But no matter who is manager of Arsenal I still want them to win each and every game. And that is something that cannot be said of some AAA people who want us to lose every game to be able to tell: see you I was right.

  • avatar ogban

    Mr Wenger will not be sacked. But if nothing comes out of this season, I can see him throwing in the towel in the face of pressure, especially from within himself.

  • avatar Notoverthehill

    Tony, your hat is in the ring!

    During World War II, with Highbury under military occupation, where did The Arsenal play their games?

    It would seem that a vacancy is being kept open for a certain person, in the Boardroom?

    A changing of the Old Guard is due, as Mr Gazidis is the only Director in the U.K., without a bus pass!

  • avatar Jefferson Davis

    What would make me stop supporting Arsenal?
    HYPOTHETICAL..

    I do not think anything would apart from maybe:

    If the club supported racist policies;and
    Moved out of London;

    I would hold a grudge with the club if they ever sacked Arsene.
    I would also petition for an entire stand to be named in his honour. A bust is a given already, dare I suggest.

    Jefferson

  • avatar nicky

    @Notoverthehill,
    During WW2 Highbury was taken over by the ARP (Air Raid Precautions).
    For the remainder of the War, we shared White Hart Lane with Spurs.

  • avatar rupert cook

    I want to see Arsenal win every game. I don’t care who’s in charge as long as they and the players give their all for the club. Some people seem to confuse Arsene with Arsenal.

    If Wenger went off to manage another team they can support him there. The rest of us will support Arsenal.

    Maybe one thing would make me think twice and that would be if Abramovic or someone of his ilk bought our club. I don’t want a crook running the club but then Kroenke is a rich business man and I imagine there are some unpleasant skeletons in his closet. So maybe there’s not much difference.

    In the meantime, to paraphrase some supporters, I want my Wenger back. (The one that was around from 1998-2005).

  • avatar Shard

    It must be something pretty terrible to stop me from supporting Arsenal. I suppose there must be something that would achieve that but it’s something I don’t think I can know, until it happens. And I’d rather not find out.

    Tony, I am going to strongly disagree with you regarding Mourinho. He is exactly the sort of person (and even manager) I would never want to be associated with my club. The behaviour of his players, across teams, has always been terrible. And that is only because they draw their cue from him. He’ll waste time, he’ll cheat, he’ll tell his players to kick out, and above all, he’s only in it for himself. He doesn’t seek to develop the club. No long term concerns for him. If an academy has to be destroyed to buy ready made players who’ll win trophies for a 3 year period, and then leave the club in ruin, he’ll do it. And apparently, that makes him a winner. That is the sort of attitude I despise. Until he stays at a club for a long period, builds and rebuilds a team (without splashing the cash unreservedly), and stops the self worship cult he’s built up, I will not even consider him for Arsenal. Luckily I think the board agree with that point of view.

  • avatar Adam

    If Usmanov got full control it would be a problem for me, or a company with a history as that of Bayer AG, Gazprom but both of those alredy own clubs. Plus I like to think we would do something about it rather than remove our support.
    @Mr Attwood, with Usmanovs links to Gazprom how can he own shares in Arsenal, isn’t it a conflict of interests?
    And slightly off topic but Chelsea have reported a profit would you believe. I wonder how much that Gazprom deal is now worth?

  • avatar El Gringo

    Shard, I agree wholeheartedly about Mourinho. Couldn’t have said it better myself.

  • avatar Adam

    Mourinho or should we say Gestifute?

  • avatar Andrei

    @Adam What is so special about Gazprom history?

  • avatar Adam

    @Andrei, they are state owned and shouldn’t be supporting one club within it’s borders. Bit of an unfair advantage wouldn’t you agree?
    I know other state controlled companies are building new stadiums for the world cup but Zenit really splashed the cash recently.
    Which I know you don’t have a problem with.
    But some of us do.

  • avatar Matt Clarke

    Tony, I have to agree with Shard re: Mourinho (well said Shard).

    However, you admitted that you’d rushed the article off, so I’ll just take that comment with a pinch of salt. :p

    Another thing – why would ground sharing with The O’s be so bad?
    (It’s not that I have a view, it’s just: I do not understand, Spuds, of course, Hammers, sure, but The ‘Os? Harmless, No?)

  • avatar mick g

    So, most people want Arsene and the current board to stay as they are not the problem. So what is the problem?
    Personally my Arsene knows best days are behind me. Anybody who thinks playing Andre Santos as full back against Man Utd was a good idea has lost all my respect.

    Sorry but Arsene must go and someone needs to come in who can spend the money available on better players and tactics than those chosen over the last few years (not the Arteta and Corzola’s but the Squillaci, Chamakh, Ki Sung-Yeung, Silvestre, Arshavin, Djourou, Senderos, Gervinho’s etc) . Also the board and the manager need to sort out our player salary scale, it’s ridiculous that we can’t pay top dollar for players but our salary bill is one of the highest.

  • avatar Shard

    mick g

    Some fair points, but you can’t just discount the Cazorlas and Artetas and focus only on the player purchases that didn’t work out. I think any objective analysis will say Arsene gets more player purchases right than wrong. Also, if the players we buy are so bad, then surely the manager deserves credit for getting us in the CL spots every year?

    That the salary structure needs to change has been accepted by the CEO of the club. You cannot, however, do such a thing overnight. Old contracts need to run down, and also not be allowed to used as a benchmark for players we’d like to keep (eg You can’t say Theo should get 100k because Chamakh gets 60k, while at the same time saying 60k is too much for Chamakh)

    The salary structure is also not ‘ridiculous’. It is simply a legacy of the stadium move, where we decided that due to expenditure being less, the only competitive wages we could offer was to young players and hope they’ll deliver on their potential. Nothing ridiculous about it. A sound enough strategy.

    Also, Arsenal’s salary costs include wages for the staff, and not just for the players. As far as I know, that is not the case for other clubs’ reported wage bills. So the wages are lower than you might think.

  • avatar mick g

    Once again, so what is our problem?

  • avatar Shard

    Problem is the overall scenario in which we operate. However, that isn’t something we can do anything about. (Though the FFP is something we, and some other clubs, will try to push for) I could also mention the state of refereeing as a problem, but I guess that enters ‘conspiracy’ territory, so never mind.

    Anyway..Those are our problems, on a macro scale. Trimming the squad of unwanted players, realigning salary structure, increasing commercial revenue etc are (limited) solutions to those problems. Something that Arsenal are working towards.

  • avatar bjtgooner

    Tony – a good article and an interesting question.
    I have supported Arsenal since the days of a young Pat Rice at full back – not just yesterday. It would be hard for me to stop supporting Arsenal, but when I really ask myself the question I can think of two scenarios: –

    1. If rupert the rat became manager – just think the players would be so bored listening to him they would lose the will to live never mind play!

    2. More seriously, if a new owner bought the club using blood stained money I could not support the club during his tenure.

  • avatar Andrei

    @Adam Perhaps it is unfair advantage but you have to take into consideration that the business model you are used to or advocating for may not work well in the places like Russia or Ukraine. The arrangement(s) they have there is probably the best among available options.

    Anyway, what does it have to do with Gazprom history that prompted you to single them out?

  • avatar RobL

    @ Rupert Cook “I want my Wenger back. (The one that was around from 1998-2005)”

    He never went away, pre 2005 we only had to compete with Utd, Barca, Real, AC,& Inter for players. Since then the German league has sorted out it’s finaces, PSG, City, a whole host of Russian teams, Malaga (briefly)and your Brazilian super agents have turned up to snap up players Arsene scouts (Alvarez), or out bid (Mata).

    It leaves us taling more risks on less consistant players. As for the trotted out mantras that the players are out there – really? who and how much and who would come in for them if Arsenal bid?

    Our Arsene never went away, we just can’t compete for an entire team of consistant players. Yes we sold Cesc, but we couldn’t afford to keep him and he’s only played 90 mins 4 times this season.

  • avatar RobL

    “Anybody who thinks playing Andre Santos as full back against Man Utd was a good idea has lost all my respect.”

    Really? he has 22 caps for Brazil, all since 2009 so obviously he’s crap. Squil got 21 Caps for France so surely in a position where you have to take a gamble both were worth a punt?

    Granted they haven’t taken off, but it’s hardly a Veron sized gamble is it.

  • avatar Adam

    @Andrie, Why do you feel the need to defend Gazprom?

  • avatar Matt Clarke

    Another article this week made me question my support of Arsenal.

    When I used to go watch there was no racism on the terraces (that I was ever aware of) and I was/have been since proud of AFC for that.

    However, hearing that there have been hissing gas jibes from some Arsenal ‘supporters’ (directed at Spuds) has made me think again – I was shocked to hear this.
    I could not support a club where such gross disrespect was not dealt with – I hope that it (and ‘they’) goes (go) away from Arsenal soon (or better still, mend their ways).

  • avatar Matt Clarke

    #Another UA article that is.

  • avatar Adam

    Andrei, you have not leapt to the defence of Bayer, Why the need to ask me about Gazprom and not Bayer?

  • Arsenal always come first regardless any fan who considers anything else is not a true fan

  • avatar Andrei

    @Adam It is not about defending them – they are quite capable to do it themselves. I’m genuinely curious what is your reservations about them compared to say Emriates? If Gazprom came with a big sponsorship deal for Arsenal would you object?

  • avatar Adam

    Yes Andrei I would object. Gazprom own Zenit St Petersburg, Gazprom sponsor the Champions league/UEFA, Gazprom sponsor Chelsea FC, Gazprom sponsor Schalke.
    One of our share holders Usmanov is/was chairman of Gazprom investment holdings.
    Yes Andrei I would object.

  • avatar Pat

    Very funny Tony!
    I especially liked your point about if the press started to support us!

  • avatar GoingGoingGooner

    Would I object if the board appointed ‘ol ‘arry as manager…yes! Would I stop supporting the Arsenal…no. Though I must admit I would adjust how I talk about the club. My forthright support for the club, my desire for them to win would probably be tinged with a lot more humour (gallows or not). In truth, I have probably already adjusted how I support the team since Chelsea and ManCity hopped on the money express. I still support the Arsenal but my expectations have been affected by the reality of all the money being tossed around that doesn’t belong to us.

    What would it take to pull the plug on the team?…probably an egregious breach of ethics/morals by the club. If the owner were to do that, I would probably be in the position of a lot of ManU fans who are against the Glazers. Tough to say.

  • avatar Florian

    @Andrei,

    It’s called conflict of interests. I didn’t know about it either until I moved to US a few years ago, as I’m coming from the former Eastern European block too. So it’s understandable up to a point. But it will become more clear if you make the parallel between a worker who earns his money and a guy who strips to get more money than he deserves.

    Personally, I believe if Arsene goes, Arsenal will never be the same. I started supporting the Club back in George Graham era, and witnessed highs and lows. Whoever doesn’t understand that the times have changed and will continue changing has a problem with reality. So, I’ll probably continue supporting Arsenal, though in a different way, as apart from Arsene I don’t see anyone so special in the whole football world. Maybe Jurgen Klopp, at quite some distance. But that’s another story.

  • avatar bjtgooner

    @Adam

    You are correct about the Gazprom/Usmanov conflict of interest. Is Usmanov still involved with Gazprom – even if not chairman?

  • avatar Andrei

    @Adam Well Emirates sponsorships include Arsenal FC, Milan AC, PSG, Hamburger SV, Real Madrid C.F,, Olymiacos FC, Official FIFA Worldwide partner, and Asian Footbal Confederation. Like Gazprom Emirates are state owned. Do you have any problem with them sponsoring Arsenal?

  • avatar Adam

    bjtgooner, Im not sure finding information on Usmanov is not easy.
    Andrei, Yes I was going to comment on that earlier but waited to see what your game is.
    Timeline of Emirates sponsorship; 2002 sponsors Asian football, 2004 sponsors Arsenal, later the other clubs you mention.
    The big one you missed out is Manchester city with it being owned by a member of the UAE royal family.

    Gazprom brought Zenit long before they started to sponsor Uefa or other football clubs so we have a clubs owners sponsoring other football clubs and some of them in the same competition.
    To answer your question; Yes I have a problem with the Emirates sponsoring other teams in the same competition as Arsenal after signing a deal with Arsenal.

  • avatar Adam

    Look Andrei there is a link between Sibneft and Gazprom, Abramovich and Gazprom.
    Gazprom are the company (state owned) that acquired Sibneft from Roman, the subsidary is now called Gazprom Neft. Gazprom have recently sponsored Chelsea in some capacity for an undisclosed amount, Chelsea have just posted a profit for the first time since Abramovich took control.
    Gazprom own Zenit and have done for some time. Gazprom are state owned. Abramovich use to hold a govenment position.
    Could you please explain to me and others what is going on?

  • avatar bjtgooner

    @Adam

    Thanks for the info, I also had a look on the net & it appears Usmanov is still strongly tied to Gazprom, although it is difficult find clear details – murkiness seems to surround him.

    His involvement in Gazprom and his shareholding in Arsenal must be a conflict of interests – however he is probably arrogant enough to brazenly carry on with both. His history however is very worrying.

  • avatar Adam

    Dmitry Medvedev (current prime minister)use to be chaiman of Gazprom.
    Viktor Zubkov current chairman of Gazprom and twice prime minister.
    Gazprom has acquired about 6000 subsidary companies.
    Again Andrei what is going on?

  • avatar Adam

    bjtgooner,
    The mad thing is Russia have been asked by many governments to fully privatise their industries but they just keep acquiring more companies under Gazprom. The last time a government merged so many companies together especially in the petrochemical industries we ended up in a world war.
    Im not stating this will happen, just a warning from history.

  • avatar Andrei

    @Adam My game is simple – I’m wondering about selective treatment of certain individuals or companies as in your singling out Gazprom and Bayern AG. I’m not really challenging it simply asking for clarification.

    And yes, I have a personal agenda here too. I’m a bit sensitive about the topic as I have a first hand experience with business people who have Eastern European background encountering this kind of selective treatment in Western Europe and especially in the UK. It is practically non-existent in the US, in Asia you have to deal with general mistrust and reservations towards all westerners and in the UK profiling of businessmen from x-USSR is just rampant.

  • avatar Andrei

    @Adam “Gazprom has acquired about 6000 subsidary companies.
    Again Andrei what is going on?”

    Just a concentration of capital in military-industrial complex. And since there is not yet a legal and business fabric to protect private interestest it is more practical through goverment controlled channels. It is just a grim reality but probaly quite a bit of time is needed to bring the system to resemble western model. If it ever comes to that as there is doubt if above mentioned model will survive intact.

  • avatar Adam

    Andrei, My partner is from Eastern Europe, My son is a proper little European mongrel. I spend a lot of my time in ex-communist countries. If I have come across as discriminating it is not my intention. Believe it or not we have experienced discrimination in England because of my partners nationality. Not many people in my family marry in to the same nationality.
    You have to understand that I look at Gazprom and see it as a platform for political power. which can be perverted by a government.

  • avatar bjtgooner

    @Andrei

    I am quite interested in the debate you are having with Adam; I hope neither of mind if I ask a question – would it be correct for me to deduce that as there is not yet a legal and business fabric to protect private interests, corruption is therefore uncontrolled and that elements of Gazprom are likely to be up to their necks in such corruption?

  • avatar Adam

    That is a question I would like Andrei to take a stab at.

  • avatar Adam

    bjtgooner,
    I sometimes wonder that with Abramovich selling off Sibneft to the Russian government then legging it to England and gaining a higher profile with his acquisition of Chelsea was more an act of self preservation. considering what happened with Boris Abramovich Berezovsky. Add to that Yukos and its forced sales.

  • avatar Andrei

    @bjtgooner and @Adam
    There are currently two things at play in Russia. First, in this is also true for other xUSSR countries just on a smaller scale is that simply put you have to stay in power in order to survive. To keep your business, your freedom and in many cases your life. Therefore, conducting business on a large scale is only practical (and safe) via goverment controlled entities. Just look at what happened to Yulia Timoshenko in Ukraine when she lost elections. Not that she was innocent – she helped herself and her “team” with billions of $$$. The same is happening now to Michael Saakashvili and his party in Georgia.
    Secondsly, and this is specific to Russia when Putin came to power there were multiple buisiness groups fighting tooth and nail to control oil & gas interestes as well as other profitable industries. The majority of population was sliding deeper and deeper into powerty with nobody giving a $!#$%^. The country was simply disintegrating and that threatened existence of the business elite. So Putin was brought to reign in the oligarchs and take goverment control over strategic assets and pacify the populace by sharing some of these riches. What we are seeing now is just continuation of the process. As side effect it produced mega companies powerfull enough to start flexing their musles on the global scale.

  • avatar bjtgooner

    @Adam

    Agreed. I also suspect Usmanov was happy to try to get out ahead of the posse – the exact make up of the posse might have been interesting.

    Anyway, time here for some shut eye. I will check tomorrow & see if Andrei responds.

  • avatar bjtgooner

    @Andrei

    I don’t think you covered my question re Gazprom & corruption.

  • avatar Andrei

    @bjtgooner I think using word corruption in this case is misleading. There is rampant corruption at lower and middle goverment level. With Gazprom is just the way to do bisiness – it is different business model. People controlling Gazprom are not stealing from the goverment they own Gazprom through goverment. It is practically impossible to separate goverment and business at this level.

  • avatar Adam

    Andrei, Gazprom is a massive company and I don’t think people appreciate just how much clout it has and will continue to gain.
    About Bayer AG (aka Bayer 04 Leverkusen), Research “IG FARBEN”&”Fritz ter Meer”.

  • avatar Sav from Australia

    @Andrei
    What gives Gazprom and other Russian companies the right to destroy the environment of northern Asia?
    I question Gazprom’s right to the oil that flows through its veins. Those lands were subject to genocide, they should be used as a testament to the tribes and peoples long past, not as part of the war on the environment.
    But I could say the same of many companies in many lands.

  • avatar Sav from Australia

    I would stop supporting Arsenal if they lose the moral high ground.
    That’s right doomers/AAA (I’m looking at you Rupert).

    I did not know Arsene Wenger’s character in my early years of watching football. I did not know much about football clubs and how they are run or referees and how they are bent. But once I started paying attention, I realised the quality of the club and the quality of the man – Mr Wenger. I support them both and I will continue to do so. Nothing is guaranteed in life I suppose but morality is why I support The Arsenal and Mr Wenger. Also, I enjoy supporting the underdog, the lone wolf.

  • avatar Andrei

    @Sav You are talking to the wrong person. I’m not PR representative for Gazprom :) On the same note what gives Royal Dutch, Chevron and Exxon-Mobile the right to destroy the environment of Central Africa? What gives BP the right to destroy the environment of Mexican Gulf?

  • avatar Sav from Australia

    @Andrei
    No right at all. We all pay for fat cats short sightedness.

  • avatar colario

    I tried a whole year not to follow football and in particular my club Arsenal. On the 2nd Saturday of the next season I found myself standing at the window of a TV shop at 20 to 5 looking for the Arsenal result. The Wright years, the end of the Mee reign, the Neill pain and the on coming gloom after 1991 before Arsene’s arivial.

    Unlike most I knew of Arsene’s time at Monaco and was excited at the prospect of him coming to Arsenal.
    I feel for Arsene and Boro, they fought against football corruption in France and find themselves fighting the same battle here.

    Arsenal is our club Arsene is our manager. They are the best. So why follow any of the rest!

    I don’t have a reason for not following Arsenal or for following another club.

  • avatar rupert cook

    @ Sav, you and bjtgooner, who obviously has an alliterative dictionary and can’t leave it alone, have bought into this fictitious edifice known as the AAA. Obviously you two can’t get through life without a villain or two to keep you happy.

    Strange that I want Arsenal to win every game which doesn’t fit into AAA criteria.

    Perhaps we could discuss the credentials of Mr. Kroenke? Exactly how squeaky clean is he. He’s married to the Walmart owner. Walmart has come in for some heavy criticism for the way it treats its workers. I wonder if Kroenke had a word with his wife being the principled man some of you may think he is.

    And no I’m not defending Usmanov and his ilk and I have no wish to upset Andrei but I think corruption is rife in Russia. Putin is no more than a dictator. And yes I lived in Russia and also married a Russian so I have a little understanding of that society.

  • avatar rupert cook

    http://www.thefootballnetwork.net/boards/read/s378.htm?721,13629038,13629097

    This is a piece about FFP.

    I would love to know what thoughts there are on this.

    bjtgooner, do feel free to unleash your incisive scathing wit, others please feel free to comment sensibly.

  • avatar bjtgooner

    @rupert

    For one little depressive sewer rat with acne and a lisp you really claim to get around, are you sure you are only one rat, not a whole nest?

    Just remember that you are the one with the compulsive pontification disorder – it is as if you have to use every debate on this site to back stab the team and the manager, irrespective of the subject being debated. It is as if someone was feeding you cheese to disrupt UA.

  • avatar rupert cook

    I don’t have a lisp my furry friend. That was a little sense of humour, something you maybe devoid of.

    I was taught to respect people’s opinions whether they differ from mine or not. It’s not my problem you take pleasure in insulting others.

    Perhaps you should read the piece before you reach conclusions.

  • avatar bjtgooner

    @Andrei

    The concern would be that the mega corruption associated with individuals, who would work in companies like Gazprom, becomes a way of life – it appears appropriate to such individuals to be involved in all sorts of evil and crime just to achieve advancement or financial gain, the lack of law and order in Russia and its former states unfortunately encourages this evil.

    While we have more than enough hoods in the UK, the transfer of the mega corrupt into the UK is not desirable – further their involvement in football would not be for the benefit of the game – there would be another agenda.

  • avatar bjtgooner

    @rupert (depressive sewer rat with acne but not a lisp)

    So when you claimed to have a lisp you were not telling the truth, have there been other occasions when you were economical with the truth?

  • avatar rupert cook

    @ bjt Calm down, dear. If you actually read the exchange between myself and the other poster we were having a little light banter. Do you think I’m the Pope?

    Trouble is you see everything through eyes of rage.

    You seem obsessed with me. That’s very flattering.

  • avatar bjtgooner

    @rupert (depressive sewer rat eith acne but not a lisp)

    What a silly rat you are. It is OK by you to back stab our team and manager, when you are called to account you try to retreat behind a false cloak of alleged respect of others. When you are dishonest and get your tail stomped on you stupidly try to claim I am enraged – not the case little rat – I am just enjoying dissecting you.

  • avatar Nick Lee

    @Tony

    good piece and tickles your senses in this trying period. A few questions maybe you could enlighten us on.

    1. what’s with the press vs Arsenal thingy? Any historical track on this? I’ve noticed that it is not confined to just the press, but also the live commentary. Did Arsenal players mess with their wives or what? Thought only Terry and Giggs are primed for that

    2. Newcastle manager… I suppose you refer to Pardew. I thought last season and this season (to-date) he did outperform his managerial duties. I personally am fond of the Everton manager… seemed to outperform every season with constrains and limited resources

  • avatar Nick Lee

    @ Walter

    As a ref, what other forms of bribery, besides monetary, would sway you?

    In Asia, bribery is purely monetary, period.

    Which brings me to BPL… IMO I’m still on the competency/biased perception rather than the monetary bribery, which I assume most Refs on the take would be in for. Unless there are other forms of bribery which I (assuming I’m a Ref) would not risk taking for.

  • avatar rupert cook

    @ bjt I haven’t backstabbed anybody, merely doubted the brilliance of a manager who’s delivered zilch in seven years.

    Doubted a club’s policies, a club that’s sixth richest in the world with an approximate cash surplus of £170 million pounds.

    If you wish to ignore some obvious mismanagement at the club that’s your prerogative. I meanwhile will wonder which direction this club is going.

    Carry on with your insults, it’s usually a sign of an inferiority complex.

  • avatar rupert cook

    @bjt whereas I agree with you about the evils of corruption in Russia and it’s neighbouring states you also have to consider that our banks didn’t mind engaging in fraud in the form of PPI.

    Business, it seems, attracts the greediest sorts, by its very nature, of course.

  • avatar bjtgooner

    @rupert

    Your version of your own history on UA seems a rather sanitized one, once again economical with the truth, or maybe when one is a nest and not just a rat it is a case of the individual on line not quite sure of what others have squeaked.

  • avatar rupert cook

    @ bjt,I think you’re getting a bit paranoid. I suggest you take a little nap, maybe read a good book and then return refreshed and reconnected to sanity.

  • avatar bjtgooner

    @rupert (depressive sewer rat with acne but not a lisp)

    Perhaps you take your own advice, otherwise we may to take you to the vet!