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Permanent Revolution or Eternal Continuity?

Permanent Revolution or Eternal Continuity?

By Tony Attwood

Some fans, it appears, like change.  Lots of change.  Lots and lots and lots of change.

As long as it is the right sort of change, bringing forth trophies and the like.  Some like continuity, perhaps seeing the longer term picture.  So it goes.

Some change of course is welcomed by few.  Change in the model of Liverpool circa 2007, for example, where the promise of a new stadium and a championship winning team turned out not only to be false, but a way of using up vast amounts of money without actually reaching any end, is generally not wanted.  But at the time of the promises it appeared good.

So it was interesting to consider the bid for Arsenal which would wipe out the stadium debt and put vast amounts of money into Mr Wenger’s hands.  Generally speaking it was seen as

a) true – there was lots of money out there and the middle eastern states are throwing it around in the longest run-up the World Cup has ever seen.

b) not of the Liverpool variety but of the Manchester City variety.

There is actually nothing to say that the bid for Arsenal was real and true, apart from the word of the Daily Telegraph, the newspaper that (in a manner that it did not explain) got the exclusive.

I began to wonder about the truth of the story of the massive investor from the Far East when I read the bit in the story that said, to paraphrase, this is the only chance Arsenal have.  No deal now, and you will never see this amount of money available again.

The implication was that Arsenal were on the slide, and this was the last chance saloon.  This deal won’t pass this way again.

It seemed to me a little odd to speak in that way, in that in the modest number of negotiations I have been involved in that’s not quite how it is done – at least not publicly.  Of course this may have been a different type of offer, but even so it struck me as odd.  If, as the Telegraph suggested, a deal of this magnitude would not be there in the future, for in the future Arsenal under its present leadership would spiral downwards and thus be worth a lot less money, then why not wait a bit and pick up the club on the cheap.

In other words, why not let the club slip into mid-table obscurity (where it has after all spent much of its existence, apart from during the Wenger era) and then pick it up for a lower amount, and have more to spend on new players.  After all surely a lot of managers would be willing to take on the club with such a heritage, and rescue it (with a war chest of billions) from its spiral into decay.

So in one sense the deal didn’t quite add up.

And then there was the speed at which the story vanished from the Telegraph’s web site and indeed from everywhere else.  For such a major story it did indeed go away incredibly quickly, and now there is little left of the story.  They came, they saw, they made their bid public, and then they buggered off at high speed.

In fact the life span of the story was rather like that of most transfer stories that we come across, and as we know, most of them are fantasy.

As for Arsenal, the revolution has come, and gone.  Which leaves the question, was it ever real?  And if it wasn’t real, what was the point?

Presumably the point was to destabilise the club a little, turn more fans against the current ownership, and all just before a fairly important game.  In that regard it probably did quite a good job, for I have read precious little saying, “what happened to that story?”

But having done a good job, there is every chance that there will be other takeover stories of the same type around.  After all we never quite knew who was proposing the bid, there was no back-up evidence… in fact everything was set in such a way that it made the Arsenal owner and directors appear in a poor light for not even entering into negotiations.  If Arsenal quickly return to the sort of power it had in the first half of the Wenger reign, the story will be forgotten.  If not the directors and manager will be blamed for letting the golden apple of the sun slip away.

But there is more, for the attempted coup also had the effect of contrasting the stability of Arsenal, with its long term manager and provision for the future in terms of the stadium, and Chelsea with its approach which has many of the hallmarks of constant revolution.

Now there is something to be said for the thesis that by and large the philosophy of Trotsky rules in some football clubs.

While the approach of endless, endless change has found no base at the Emirates, at Stamford Bridge it is blooming.  For here the constant reform through the replacement of one manager and much of his back room team by another manager and cohorts has become a way of existence.  Interestingly this is supported by many Chelsea fans who are calling for the current regime to end sooner rather than later.  Hence the story of a takeover at Chelsea would have had little impact, because change at Chelsea is endless.

So at Chelsea Jose Mourinho could be hailed as the new and old hero.  But Trotskyism had two aims and at Chelsea they end up as two paradoxes: to create an established organisation that thrives on constant revolution, and to represent the needs of the supporters (workers).  But if you measure Chelsea’s managers under the present dictatorship by success in terms of games won, endless revolution has given the fans three of the least successful managers of the current era out of the last four.

But the problem with constant revolution is that it can be bring chaos, often when stability is needed, especially if the owner moves from one extreme (the hopelessly unpopular manager) to the other (an incredibly popular manager) – a hero of the masses.   In that case, Zola for Chelsea fits the bill.  Or maybe Gus Poyet (although connections with Tottenham would be difficult for the Bridge).

But there is another side to the coin.  Yes, a manager makes a fortune if he turns up for a short term stint at Chelsea, especially if unlike the current incumbent the contract is not for such a short term.  But I am starting to wonder if we might not soon enter the stage where the Chelsea contract is not wanted but some of the top names.   Why go there, only to be kicked out in the next bout of revolutionary fervour?

At least at Arsenal, whoever eventually replaces  Mr Wenger will know that they will be in a club that is utterly and totally stable.  Where even what may have been a PR devise invented by a bunch of fans of the Permanent Revolution model, has been shrugged off without any effect.  “Same old Arsenal” can be a sign of dislike, or a mark of respect.

On this basis Michael Laudrup would probably prefer Arsenal to Chelsea, as would David Moyes.  As would Morinho who would love the absolute power and stability that Arsenal gives.  That would leave Chelsea with Fabio Capello or Manuel Pellegrini at Málaga or John Terry.  And don’t laugh too much at that last idea – Permanent Revolution means in part giving power to the workers, and in the Chelsea model this is exactly what has happened.

So it is indeed possible that the wheeze of the notional bid for Arsenal from unnamed people, which reached the Telegraph through unnamed sources, and which may well have been, well, just a wheeze, might actually do Arsenal a bit of good.  It was shrugged off, there is no revolution.   At Chelsea however, the revolution (and with it the turmoil) continues, Trotsky rules, the workers (on the pitch) close ranks and promote one of their own.

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77 comments to Permanent Revolution or Eternal Continuity?

  • insideright

    My reaction to this story/non-story was exactly the same as yours Tony – but with perhaps one additional thought with regard to the timing of it. Doesn’t it actually have the potential in it to destabilise Spurs much more than Arsenal?
    When the EPL was first set up – driven by the then Big Five – Man Utd, Everton, Liverpool Spurs and Arsenal – the latter two clubs were pretty much the same in terms of stadium size, support levels and income. Since then Arsenal have moved on leaps and bounds both on and off the pitch. I’ve got no idea how much anyone would feel happy to pay to own Spurs at the moment but you can bet your life it wouldn’t be £1.5b. At most a quarter of that I might guess.
    The thought (were I a Spurs fan) might be why have we fallen so far behind? Yes they might beat us on the pitch (clinging on for grim death for large parts of the game) and they may well qualify for the Champions League and we don’t. But their stadium remains the same as ever and their ability to exploit CL football remains highly limited. So anyone buying them (for even a fraction of what Arsenal is, according to this story, ‘worth’) would still face the task of funding a new stadium and maintaining their position in Europe by re-investing in the team season after season as players in the current squad drop out of it for whatever reason. An undertaking which, however well or badly you might think that Arsenal have done it, remains daunting and fraught with the possibilities of Liverpool-like compromises and failures.
    So – back to the original story – just who is destabilising who?

  • Tom

    What continuity are you speaking of at Arsenal? Wenger has allowed half of his first eleven to leave the club in last two seasons. Five best Arsenal players in two years, and many others in each season before. That’s way more destabilizing to any club than replacing a manager every year , especially when the new players are of a lesser quality than ones who left. Players build relationships on and off the field that are far more important than their relationship with the manager. Add the constant rumors of players being unhappy or wanting to leave, and you have a club in a downward spiral called Arsenal. Now, of course I’m not suggesting that changing managers Avery season is the way to go ,but having the manager with absolute power like Wenger who seems to have a job for life ,regardless of on the field success or lack there of, is probably worse.

  • Domhuail

    This entire story stinks of Alisher the Usmanov and the Dein dynasty, along with a ¨clever¨ choice of media morons to beguile. It is so outrageously incompetent and unprofessional on so many levels that it deserves only ridicule and to be ignored. Nobody worth their salt in the business world would approach such negotiations in such a transparently inefficient and naive manner….and I speak from extensive mediation experience.

  • Georgaki-Pyrovolitis

    @Tom at 12:46 pm

    and to those who think like Tom.

    In my area of work (mathematical modelling) we describe two types of model: those that describe data and those that EXPLAIN the data. The latter is far better and preferred over the former.

    Tom and his ilk can only describe what we all see with regard to Arsenal but they don’t even try to explain what they see. Perhaps this is because they need to use evidence to EXPLAIN things and of course that changes everything…..

  • Ben L

    Tom – I wouldnt call rumours of unhappy players a reason for Arsenal going into a spiral. A rumour is just a rumour just people keep repeating it over and over in media places and it becomes “fact” but that is just outsiders causing problems for the club. Wenger didn’t just allow half his players leave Arsenal, did you even read into why Nasri, Fabregas, Song and RVP left?
    For RVP i read on some papers that he was forced out by Arsenal and others say he wanted to leave as he wanted to win trophies, so who is right? They cant all be right.

  • JohnW

    Tony,
    I suggested it to the Arsenal website last week that there might be a deliberate plan to attack the Arsenal brand. For me, as a person who lives very far away in Africa, at least this is what it seems. By publishing such unfounded stories, it brings uncertainity into players. It depicts a picture of turmoil and unrest within the club, and that very oftenly translates into poor results on the pitch.
    Secondly, even if Arsenal somehow survives this negative brand-bashing, such stories have the adverse effect of sowing doubt into potential signings. Not many good players want to go where there’s uncertainity.
    So whether the story was deleted or not, the damage has been done, and believe me, there’s a deliberate, calculated attack on the Arsenal brand.

  • Fungunner

    The revolution argument is actually a red herring. Constant change of manager isn’t good for any club. What has brought success to Chelsea is the fact that their owner can go out and buy an “instant” team of top players every couple of years – and if they don’t work out, he can just buy some more, money no object.

  • Adam

    Maybe, just maybe, these person’s of unknown origin recognise that Arsenal are approaching a period of stability, add to that our ability to compete financially and we may see the latest attempt at destabilising tactics.

  • bob

    Adam,
    Do you/anyone know whether the 70M figure for expenditures inclused the customary 30-35M CL reward? If it does not, then do you take on that what you call “our ability to compete financially” will be radically reduced? plus the inability to attract top-drawer talent because of the lack of CL competition?

  • bob

    Ben L @2:24,
    After having “read into” why Alex Song left, are you able to explain the actual answer to that question? Where’s any definitive evidence? I’ve been seeking that answer since August and hope you’ll come through with it, after chiding Tom L for (presumably) not having “read into” why he left (as if the truth has as yet been revealed in the media, anywhere).

  • Ong Bing

    No, the club in downward spiral is Chelski, not Arsenal. Remember when Pool wins CL but finish out top 4?

    Maybe Arsenal can’t finish in top 4 this season, but Arsenal can bounch back next season, because we have manager that can operates the club with small budget. Once Roman stop flooding money into Chelski, they back to mediocre.

  • bob

    Ong Bing,
    Do you not see that a small budget will not enable a top 4 finish in today’s EPL? You are enjoying blind faith, because whoever might finish above us will have the additional 30-35M that comes with a top 4 finish, plus proportionately greater TV money for more appearances, and be more attractive to top-tier talent, and be more attractive to potential strategic business partnerships.

  • Mike T

    Theres none so blind as those that wont see

    The bid warts and all were discussed on Sunday on Sky . They were pretty sure that the bid was invented to test the water a stalking horse as it were. They point out that deals like this arent heard about till they are done deals but they were in no dout that the story (leaked by a PR firm) has legs.
    I love the bit that constant revolution can cause choas.I dont doubt that too much change isnt productive but also any organisation that doenst embrass change is in far more danger of imploding and that is where you as a club are.
    When AW turned up he brought new ideas developed a unique regime but as someone said on here the other day everyone has out Wengered Wenger.

  • bob

    Spuds “ability to exploit CL football remains highly limited”
    insideright,
    Perhaps, but please do explain why you say this is so. If they lose Bale, then I’d agree. But where’s your evidence that with Bale, and their current set-up (Vertonghen, Lloris, etc), and further attempts at self-improvement, that they cannot achieve top 4 status?

  • Adam

    Bob, the rules have now changed, a club can only spend what it earns (some losses are allowed), not only are we looking at Arsenal earning more (with or without CL football) we will see a reduction in others spending. Wages can only rise by £5million a year above £50 odd million. Arsenals wage bill is around £140/150 million. And all this is just the PL, CL qualification is harder now on the finances, we are looking at a period of uncertainty with these new rules, we just have to wait and see if they (rule enforcers)have any teeth. New TV monies for next season is £30 million so even if we dont qualify for CL this is almost off-set.

    How much can Arsenal spend. I aint got a clue (£2.50 on a toffee apple).

  • A. Stewart

    “As long as it is the right sort of change, bringing forth trophies and the like. Some like continuity, perhaps seeing the longer term picture. So it goes.”

    I beg to differ, this statements makes a lot of assumptions and paints an easy, convenient and I’d suspect comforting caricature of those with a differing opinion than yours.

    There are many fans who are open to considering change not for the explicit reason of only trophies, and not only through big oligarch-type spending. Rather there are many many Gooners who think that any myriad of big picture factors (wage distribution, revenue model depending heavily on fans contribution and player sales) and smaller micro factors (such as tactics, selection, substitutions) may need changing.

    To dismissingly caricature and group it as one singular focus of winning trophies (and inference by omission through spending lots, as often done here) is a bit disingenuous imo.

    There are some very reasonable fans who think that there may actually be possibly some step backwards before going forward if change is incurred, but nevertheless think that maintaining the status quo needs to be adjusted.

    Moreover, there are some very reasonable fans that very rationally accept that it’s entirely possible things may even get worse if we make changes, but do nothing and just continuing in stagnation is not acceptable and they accept the inherent risk and uncertainty that any change brings.

    Lastly, many fans who consider change would actually disagree that their focus is short-term in nature as you suggest, but rather they are “perhaps” looking more long-term in their vision for any number of reasons including: 1)Wenger’s/Board’s advancing age; 2) keeping up with changes and evolutions in the modern game; 3) thinking that our revenue model is actually not sustainable and viable in the long term, as the money from player sales will likely decrease as there is less and less quality (especially younger quality) in the squad to fetch high fees, and while results stagnate or regress as a result of replacing better players with arguably less quality versions, fans contributing through ticket uptake (and buying merchandise) which our revenue depends heavily on and arguably moreso than any other big club, will decrease as the product they pay for doesn’t match its premium costs… amongst other reasons.

    To just dismiss fans who want or are open to change as having no thought for the long-term and having a singular homogenous focus of change just for trophies (and only achieved through spending big as UA often infers they want), doesn’t reflect reality imo.

    Gooners with a differing opinion are not your enemy nor the enemy of this club.

  • A. Stewart

    “@Tom at 12:46 pm

    and to those who think like Tom.

    In my area of work (mathematical modelling) we describe two types of model: those that describe data and those that EXPLAIN the data. The latter is far better and preferred over the former.

    Tom and his ilk can only describe what we all see with regard to Arsenal but they don’t even try to explain what they see. Perhaps this is because they need to use evidence to EXPLAIN things and of course that changes everything…..
    ..”

    And Georgaki-Pyrovolitis “and his ilk” can be assumed to be people who make assumptions of people (in Tom’s case making a pretty benign post) that they don’t know
    and condescendingly purport to know what they actually think and attempt to assign clumsy analogous situations to (I guess) prove some pre-conceived notion from some assumed level of subject authority that has no relevance, about those of another “ilk” in a attempt to dismiss their credibility…

    Well at least that’s the assumption I’m making in my area of particular (irrelevant to this discussion )work.

  • Adam

    Long-Term Sustainability Regulation
    From the 2013/14 season Premier League clubs cannot make a loss in excess of £105m aggregated across seasons 2013/14, 2014/15 and 2015/16.
    Any club that makes a loss up to that limit will be subject to a tighter regulatory regime that includes:
    – Secure owner funding for three years ahead
    – Increased future financial information over the next three seasons.

    Short-Term Cost Control Measure
    Premier League clubs are restricted in terms the amount of increased PL Central Funds that can be used to increase current player wage costs to the tune of:
    – 2013/14: £4m
    – 2014/15: £8m
    – 2015/16: £12m

    The Short Term Cost Control measure applies only to clubs with a player wage bill in excess of £52m in 2013/14, £56m in 2014/15 and £60m in 2015/16.

    Taking this in to consideration, it doesn’t matter how much we have to spend on transfers we cannot raise our wage bill by £12million over 3 years. Players will have to be moved on first.

  • robl

    Just poor journslism. Arsenal would be a more attractive investment proposition if we did indeed slide. No one really buys clubs at the top – Chelsea and City were clearly not at the height of their powers. Only united was bought at a high period, but that was only to rob it blind.
    Their maybe a real stalking horse, but their certainly is not a real journalist.

  • Andrei

    @Adam

    “Any club that makes a loss up to that limit will be subject to a tighter regulatory regime that includes:
    – Secure owner funding for three years ahead…”

    If read this correctly it gives club owners option to cover losses by investing more. Sounds as clear advantage for City and Chelsea. Also, wage increase constraints give clear advantage to Chelsea, City, United and Arsenal (in this order) as it locks them in higher wage bracket.

  • Adam

    Andrei, Im still learning as we go on this, but I was thinking the same thing. Its almost as if they have written a rule with the loophole next to it.

  • Adam

    The only thing I can say about this is, for clubs wanting champions league football, UEFAs FFPR should be the first set of rules to abide by? Maybe the rules are set in opposition to allow for investors in the lower premier league clubs?

    What do you think?

  • Mike T

    @Andrei

    And therein is the reason why Chelsea didnt vote against FFP.

    As I have said before be careful what you wish for and although people on here poke fun at RA to survive in the country& the business he is involved proves he knows what he is doing.

    Chelsea have an inbuilt advantage in that their wage bill is already very high and at season end players like Turnball, Hilario, Ferria, Benyoun & Moulda,will be at the end of their contracts and will be allowed to leave also the smart money is on Torres and Essien leaving in reality these players wages alone account for about £750k a week. If Lampard signs another season his wage will probably half in addittion the club will be selling on a number of younger players who arent quite up to the standard so the wriggle room in the figures is massive.In addittion another tranche of players like Lukaka & Courtois have already been purchased
    The point I mention these players & the sums they are paid is that so many on here think that Arsenal are the only team that have been making financial plans or are the only ones going to see their commercial & TV income grow whereas the reality is others have their own probably more aggressive plans and to dismiss others so easily bares all the hallmarks of a organistion that is so intreverted as to be in danger of imploding
    As they say if the people dont change then change the people!

  • Steve

    So was it-
    A-a filler story by the newspapers
    B-a story to try and make SK sell by the fat Russian
    C-a lets put a figure out there and see what happens story by SK

  • Mandy Dodd

    So much out there about arsenal is being presented as facts. This bid, then the stories on wenger bould and the defence, when in reality, few really know what goes on in training, as is the case with most clubs unless you are citeh and have a public footpath next to the facilities. It is like there is some sad git out there who has compiled a list of negatives about the club, with one or two to fit every possible event. What amazes me is how many serious journalists fall for it. For instance, on the defence issue, they all reported Podolski having a whine that his defensive duties intefered with his work up front and in scoring, next they print that wenger does not allow defensive work. Complete contradictions, can’t have it both ways. I repeat, that defence at the weekend had only played together once, one does not speak English, German, or whatever the Belgian language tv speaks. We play a high line and offside trap. It went wrong. Wenger has stated we are in a new building phase, and ominously, he is on a relatively short term project. Not sure what short term means , but wenger these days does not build teams overnight, it has been impossible on his finances. We have lost our best year on year, we have been in transition. Liverpool have been the same, and are arguably a bigger, and recently, better resourced club than we are. But they get a fraction of the negativity we get. Mark my words, this negativity is helped o it’s way by a compliant media, but its source could be much closer to home. This bid story should ring alarm bells with some of our fans

  • The Telegraph story? How did that line from the movie go? It was like bloody missionaries: It bored you stupid until you caved in, and then it, to use Tony’s choice of words, buggered off.

  • Adam

    @Mike T, do you know if covering losses under PL FFP will meet UEFAs version of FFPR?

    Because my understanding of this (which im open to being wrong) is if a club meets UEFAs version the club has nothing to worry about?

    Seems the losses coverage is designed to allow other clubs who won’t qualify for champions league to play catch up?

    What do you think?

  • Andrei

    @Adam @Mike T I wouldn’t take UEFA FFP rules too seriously as I’m extremely sceptical that they can be enforced. Perhaps against small fish like Malaga but not the heavy weights that are capable of mounting a serious legal challenge and apply significant political pressure.

    FA LTSR seems like a real deal and it also looks like RA has outmaneuvered his opponents. City should do just fine and I guess their opposition was only a smoke screen. With SAF retiring United may find it difficult to compete with Chelsea and City as they will miss Ferguson’s ability to pull rabbit out of hat and would have to invest heavily into the squad to compensate. Financial constraints aside I don’t see it happening unless they sort out the ownership situation.

    As far as Arsenal is concerned they are in a reasonably good shape under this deal. Granted in my reckoning Arsenal would have to invest around 200m in the next 4-5 years to close the gap with United, Chelsea and City (don’t mind Spurs – they are pretty much locked out of top 4 by LTSR). This kind of investment should be manageable under new FA regulations but it is not likely under current Board/management regime. In addition Arsenal would have to resolve the ownership situation as well.

  • Sammy The Snake

    You’re putting too much emphasis on a bullshit story that makes no sense.

    Not all parts of Arsenal have been stable. The board & ownership have changed, so has the CEO & players… The ONLY stable element of Arsenal is it’s loyalty to the manager.

  • Mike T

    Adam

    I dont think that the fine detail has yet been agreed in terms of the EPL version so whilst on the face of it the allowable losses seem greater I am not sure if money spent on say a clubs academey, deprecition or community projects will be excluded(which I would expect to be the case) or will it just be bottom line losses.There is also a question in my mind as to the impact of exchange rates.

    Having said all that if the two versions share the same exclusions it should mean that meeting UEFAs will be harder than meeting the EPL version.

    I know a lot of people see UEFAs FFP as being a trump card for the likes of Arsenal I however have a feeling that UEFa will encounter so many issues accross the different countries, cultures, structures, organisational models ,employment laws etc etc that exist within the UEFA family(do you like me quoting Wett Bladder) meaning that policing and ensuring equity accross the whole of European football will prove too difficult reslting within a year or all countries having their own versions of FFP.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Andrei,
    City or Chelsea can go to court as much as they want. If the rest of European top clubs wants the FFP rules they will get there way. I mean the other clubs 😉

    I’m sure the big German clubs will do all they can to make sure that the FFP rules will be installed and obeyed. And also most top clubs from other countries will follow that line.

    Just imagine that UEFA is saying to City (as an example) : you cant play along, you have been bad boys.
    So City go to court. But by the time the judge has spoken the CL will be well under way.

    I also think that to fight Uefa a club should challenge them in Switzerland. Now I don’t know how fast or slow courts are in Switzerland as that could play a part.

    And as said even if they would win their case (and I think they will not win a case as the rules are for all and well known years in advance) the CL would be almost finished.
    I think they will try to use the loopholes but going to court will be the last step.

    Because it would mean that they will lose any good relationship with the rest of the football world. Except maybe with the other sugar daddy clubs.

  • Mike T

    Walter

    Any challenge to FFP will almost certainly come in CAS who will I think will rely on both Swiss and Eureopean law.The norm in cases where UEFA issues a ban is that CAS will suspend the penalty till such time as they rule.
    Do you recall Chelsea were handed a two window transfer embargo by UEFA for what was said by UEFA forcing Gael Kakuta t break his contract. Chelsea appealed to CAS who found against UEFA because Kakuta had never signed a contract .
    As for clubs sticking together that will only be for so long as it suits a clubs own well being.

  • Andrei

    @Walter Nobody is arguing that City and Chelsea would use litigation as the last resort only after all options to find a compromise are exhausted. UEFA rules are made through political maneuvering and balance of power. Nobody cares about good will of Clujes of the football world. Do you think Platini will act against PSG? Do you think UEFA will act agaist Zenith owned by Gasprom UEFA major sponsor?

  • WalterBroeckx

    I thought that the decision on if a club breaks the rules or not are in fact out of control of Uefa as they are put in the hands of what should be an independent committee.
    I do think Uefa will make the final decision on the punishment but that the committee will say what punishment they deem fit. Have to check that to be honest.

    But I think what European clubs want could be of high importance.
    Don’t underestimate the general dislike on the continent for the money teams.

    I think the real reason for FFP rules was the MU – Chelsea final some 7 years(?) ago. Maybe in England it was all aaah and ooohhh. But I assure you in my part of the world (European continent) the general way of looking at that was that it was an utter disgrace that two clubs with a deficit as big as a third world country their total annual income were in that final.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Mike T,
    Then it would mean that we would have a season with no CL if a club would attack the ruling of them being not able to join.
    Now which club will risk this? It would cut in the pockets of the whole European football world.
    And could be the end of the CL.
    Could you imagine all the other clubs who qualified for the CL go to court to sue Man City for their loss of income? That would maybe be even too much for the sheikh to cough it up?

  • Mike T

    Walter
    Cas have already had to face this question some time ago when Porto qualified for the CL but UEFA refused to license them.The reality is the case was dealt with in a very short period.
    You really are expecting too much from FFP it will be a long way down the line before any club is banned for FFP the more likely bans will be because of clubs failing to pay tax/nic , something that is already happening .
    As for your comments about the end of CL that is ironic as it is felt by some of the bigger clubs that the CL is in need of a major revamp other clubs are suggesting a pan eurepeon league following a break away from UEFA.

  • Andrei

    @Walter “I think the real reason for FFP rules was the MU – Chelsea final some 7 years(?) ago. Maybe in England it was all aaah and ooohhh. But I assure you in my part of the world (European continent) the general way of looking at that was that it was an utter disgrace that two clubs with a deficit as big as a third world country their total annual income were in that final.”

    You are re-inforcing my point about balance of power. Back then most leading European clubs were on board with the rules to curtial spending power of EPL clubs. Since then new big spenders emerged in other parts of Europe and the balance of power has shifted. Now the Uniteds, Chelseas, Bayerns and Reals of the world are concerned that if their spending power is curtailed the same rules are universally applied to PSG or upstarts like Zenith and Anzhji with signicantly less transparent financial structure. You may find that leading European clubs and leagues are less willing to rely on UEFA’s decision making which is prone to political maneuvering and favoritism.

  • marcus

    Arsenal are the only English team left in the Champions League…and yet they are a team in crisis with a crap manager, built at less cost than teams like Stoke and Sunderland.

    Only with the ungovernable English Media could such nonsense be spouted.

  • Micko

    Sorry to go off topic but does anyone else find it rich that all the commentators on ITV are criticising the ref for sending off Nani tonight in the Manu v Real Madrid game.
    I seem to remember a game between Manu and Arsenal at Old Trafford a few years ago when Eboue went in for a similar challenge (but with only minimal contact, unlike the Nani one tonight where he made sure he made contact) and was sent off by I think Howard Webb. I also remember all the commentators and pundits saying that it was an easy decision to send him off.
    To be fair to Roy Keane, he’s the only one on the panel to show a bit of impartiality, shame on Lee Dixon.

  • marcus

    It’s incredibly rich Micko. But that is the British Media. God should have made them pocket-sized people.

    Considering Real had a valid goal chalked off in the first half, and a blatant handball by Rafael not penalized by a penalty, Man U got off lightly tonight.

    I don’t remember the Media saying much about RVP being sent off against Barca either, when it was not even a yellow card offence, and Nani’s offence was clearly red cardable.

  • Stuart

    Andrei,
    To be fair, if City or Chelsea (or anyone to that matter) were to take FA or UEFA to court over the FFP regs and won, the rest of the teams would have a case against them for bringing the regs in in the first place surely? I mean, we’ve all been cutting back and structuring the businesses over the years to be in line and then it doesn’t even get enforced? Man Utd would go mad!

  • Tasos

    @Micko

    I can remember so many bad challenges on Arsenal players that have gone unpunished by EPL referees at Owed Trafford.

    Do you think Howard Webb or Mike Dean would have sent off Nani tonight?

    What a difference a proper, unbaised referee makes and how hilarious it was watching Ferguson hold back from exploding at the fourth official.

  • Micko

    Marcus, the media’s silence was deafening !

    Eboue’s sending off……

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jH5t58FCs3k

    and when Arsenal fans weren’t so brainwashed by the media…..

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KyG_IzuFx-o

  • dan

    English media makes me laugh, Fergie must of been praying for old Webb/Dean.

    Well done Real, watching the sky sports panel talk shit is so pleasing.

    Mourinho’s come and get me please was fucking hilarious, sad bastard!!

  • Micko

    Marcus, the media’s silence was deafening !

    Eboue’s sending off……

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jH5t58FCs3k

  • Micko

    and when Arsenal fans weren’t so brainwashed by the media…..

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KyG_IzuFx-o

  • Micko

    Dan, I wonder what the odds on Mourhino taking over from Ferguson are, gotta be worth a bet in my opinion.
    Let’s face it when it comes to influencing refs Mourhino is definitely a match for the whiskey nosed cheat. He can carry on his dynasty.

  • dan

    Old red nose (cheating bastard), was too distraught following the match even to attend the press conference, must of been crying and sobering like a girl wondering why they didn’t bribe the ref, and English media also don’t understand how he missed the chance!!!

  • iniez

    Walter,
    I was wondering what an actual ref thought of the red? Looked to me like nani extended his leg again after the initial lunge. Might have been difficult for someone to see in real time but whats your take?

  • iniez

    Great second link Micko

  • Al

    The English media is pathetic, noone has the balls to call a spade a spade. That was a red card all day, more like de jong’s challenge on alonso in terms of the kind of contact made. They never defended rvp like this.

    Mourinho is a sad little whatnot, he’s courting of that job at OT must be sickening to Real’s fans. Pathetic.

  • Andrei

    @Stuart In theory it is possible but in practice a club like Arsenal would have to demonstrate either financial loss or lost market opportunities. Which would be difficult to do given Arsenal sound financial state and expanded brand presence since the rules were introduced. More importantly any judgement against FFP would most likely be limited in scope. Something like ‘since FFP rules cannot be universally enforced across all UEFA member countries due to differences in commerce and tax laws they cannot be enforced in individual case’. Which pretty much limits application of the ruling to that potential City or Chelsea case. I it comes to litigation and it is a big if don’t expect broad class action case.

  • Mandy Dodd

    The English media are hilarious. Compare and contrast with rvp and the neck grabbers of barca. Can see bale signing for Utd, take cover, the mother of british media wankfests!

  • Mike T

    On balance it was red card but for me you saw for probably the first time in many a year Man Utd not being given the 50-50 type decisions and in reality it made me smile.

  • marcus

    Racism is a terrible evil, and is not tolerable in any circumstances. However, as soon as a ref goes against United, it becomes permissible.

    I see the Daily Mail’s headline is “You Turkey”

    So that’s it, he’s just an idiot from Turkey with the brain of a Turkey. Nice one DM, knock yourself out. Or knock one out and knock yourself out, to continue Mandy’s theme.

    Actually I think they’ve pulled it now…to continue Mandy’s theme even further…

  • Andrei

    In my uneducated view the red card to Nani was a bit harsh however as it was reckless and dangerous foul the ref was within his rights to send Nani off. I think that Nani’s attempt to fake injury once he realized he was in trouble had aggravating effect and might have influenced the decision.

  • WalterBroeckx

    A player, substitute or substituted player is sent off if he commits any of the
    following seven offences:
    • serious foul play
    • violent conduct
    • spitting at an opponent or any o….

    “Using excessive force” means that the player has far exceeded the necessary
    use of force and is in danger of injuring his opponent.
    • A player who uses excessive force must be sent off

  • Mandy Dodd

    Hope we avoid real next round, that ronaldo looks a bit useful, especially the way our defence is at the moment! . As for the sending off, nani was high, not sure if he meant anything or not, maybe some would say harsh, but as I say, compare and contrast………this is Europe, not a Webb dowd dean friendly league

  • WalterBroeckx

    Above you see the letter of the law as Dean knows them 😉

    Kicking someone in the stomach with your studs is dangerous. You can easily kill someone in fact, Fergie. ;-

    Serious now. It is dangerous and then it doesn’t really matter if there is intent (in fact intent doesn’t matter at all). When you endanger another player his safety on the field you should get a red card.

    But in the PL no ref thinking about his future will do this. But yet again we see the difference between refs under the guidance of Mike Riley and the ones under the guidance of Uefa.

    In most countries such attacks are always punished with a red card. I see players being sent off in most countries for fouls that are not even called in the PL.

    I have seen some people say that it was a disgrace to give this game to a Turkish ref. I wonder why? Why are Turkish refs not good enough by default?
    I think that if you are a Turkish ref and if you see on what they have to stand up against in some of their local derby games you know that such a ref in most cases is a strong person who doesn’t give in to the crowd that easily.

    Maybe that is his disgrace.

    I didn’t see the whole match, in fact I only put it on after 64 minutes as Real Madrid was waiting for me to tune in to start scoring. But I did see Rafael sticking out his arm to prevent a header going in from Madrid after a corner. That was a fine example of an outfield player using his arms like a keeper to stop the ball. It should have been a penalty to Real Madrid and it was still 1-0 at the time.

    So he surely didn’t give it all to one team in the parts that I have seen.

  • Tasos

    Poor squad selection from Fergy IMO.

    leaving out Howard Webb tonight was understandable but surely Mike Dean should have made the bench at least.

    Poor judgement.

  • WalterBroeckx

    And if I may add another about the not given penalty for the Rafael handball. It also should have been a red card against Rafael.

    Stopping the ball going in goal with your hands is a red card offen;)ce.

    Maybe that was what made SAF so angry and maybe that was what Ferdinand was trying to say to the ref when he was clapping his hands in front of the ref at the end of the game. He was just saying : he pushed it out with his hands and you missed it.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Two goals in quick succession…. I think SAF needs to learn how to defend.

    So now we will have the entire English press supporting the Arsenal as we are the last hope of English football in the CL??? Will they?

  • iniez

    Walter,
    Interesting to note as well, if I remember right, how the commentators reacted to rafael handling the ball: “great stop from rafael”

  • Stroller

    @Walter

    You hit the nail on the head there. The high kick is always considered dangerous play at European/Internatonal level, whilst it is tolerated in our domestic leagues. The ref overall did OK and was very lenient on the ManU players when they surrounded him at the time of the incident and then mocked him at the final whistle. Mourinho made sure that the incident didn’t completely overshadow HIM by leaving early and then by his brief toe-curling interview at the end.

    Regarding the Telegraph article it does seem a strange coincidence that it came out just after the result at WHL. I feel that it is a rumour constructed by some dissident person or group to create a bit more mischief for the club.

    Anyway as the last surviving Premier League club in the Champions League the price has just gone up!

  • Mandy Dodd

    Think we need this Turkish ref to help out in our league. We may have had less snapped limbs and stoke and Sunderland would be in the conference league, adebayor would have been sent off again last weekend. Vidic and rooney would rarely stay on the pitch. Shame the way scholes career would have panned out for such a talented player…..Ramires Essien drogba and terry would have been sidelined for decades…and maybe we could have relied on diaby after selling song….in this parallel world where refs in England had done their jobs

  • MarcUS

    SAF too upset to speak to media = AW throws tantrum and sulks(media definitions)

  • Andrei

    Actually after viewing the replays I have to change my ‘a bit harsh’ opionion. The ref was spot on and in replay the foul looks even nastier. Btw Adebayour was sent off against Arsenal for a similar offence and nobody including Spurs fans had much problem with the decision.

  • Adam

    A bit of a weird night of football for me tonight,

    I broke from tradition and decided not to drink alcohol, instead I sat on my Turkish carpet drinking my Turkish apple tea whilst timing the game on my genuine fake Rolex acquired in the market town of Kusadasi, Turkey.

    I thought it was a magnificent game and the “best team” won, so I’m off to celebrate with a Sish kebab and some Baklava followed by more of that scrumptious Turkish Apple Tea.

    LOVELY.

  • Hmmm talk of the devil,cleverly stamps drogoba in the chest and the ref grins this is not mike Riley chiefdom where evra kicks the ball and ref scratches his balls,here you kick the ball you get a yellow card those are the rules of the game.Furgus runs from his kingdom but stops knowing that if he dare talk to the liner or ref arrogantly as he always does to his refs he will be gone for 5 matches,he just claps his hands i liked that. Red card!what the heck??Vanpe$ie kicks the ball even before the whistle he gets a red card that is okay,Lehman the best keeper arsenal have ever got(unbeaten in the 21st century)is red carded dubiously and its okay! Give us a break. Furgus tell your boys the champions league is different from your chiefdom, there are people who know the rules of the game out there simple. And let all the world know that The Arsenal is the only team in the whole of UK still in the Champions League,as the so called big teams who have bought good players are OUT.So is buying a solution!May be yes or not the ball is in your court.As of today i have not seen anywhere in any news paper a crisis as it was for us the last time we where beaten. Morons have to know that in a game they have to be winners and losers its part of the game not a crisis wake up MWANGWAMPAS.

  • @dan he was shaking like a zombie you remember the barcelona match ? This was even worse his mouth could not move his eyes where red he could not stand but if it was the Professor guess what!The morons could be saying he has lost it but for Fugus they know if they talk shit they will never get the chance to go to oldtoilet again,just imagine such utter crap.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    I see Ian Wright, among others ,has taken the bait !
    “There’s a sucker born every minute.”
    ― P.T. Barnum

    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/sport/football/article4824542.ece

    P.T .Barnum ,again –

    “Opinions are like assholes; everyone’s got one.”

  • Mike T

    Earlier in the season Torres was booked for a high tackle against Man Utd. When he later in the game was given an incorrect 2nd yellow card just about every Man U supporter was arguing Torres should have been given a straight red for the early high tackle. The two incidents were near enough identical .Strange how opinions change

  • Rupert Cook

    Only saw the last half hour but what a cracking game. A real pleasure to see top top quality players, the kind that Wenger claims we buy, and compare them to our top top quality team. Real Madrid looked like they’d cut our meek team to shreds and even with ten men Manu had a good go.

    Modric was superb and he turned the game. Bet Spuds’ fans were sick at losing him.

    The red card seemed fair to me. It was great to see Fergie lose his rag and to see RVP fail yet again on the big night.

    One thing I think we can see is that our fragile team is a million miles away from being serious competitors in the CL.

  • Micko

    I wondered when Red Rupert would pipe up.
    He probably needed a bit of time to compose himself after last night.

  • bjtgooner

    @Micko

    Unfortunately rupert (depressive Russian AAA sewer rat) is always ready to attack the club in the most sarcastic manner that his script writers can manage.

  • Tasos

    Think Man Utd and the media should stop banging on about the ref after last night.

    Man Utd should worry about their own performance rather than blaming officials for yet another European defeat.

    Real Madrid were far too good on the night, would have been 4 or 5 if Ronaldo wasn’t so selfish.

    Beaten by Galatasary, FC Cluj, Basel and now R Madrid in the last two seasons, this from a team that is running away with the EPL. Doesn’t say much for the stature of the Premier League.

  • Adam

    This is also illustrated by the fact that all 2011/12 champions have at least seven players who are present in each of the three most used line-ups. This figure is up to nine for Juventus, Borussia Dortmund and Manchester City. The latter club is the only title winner where the three most fielded line-ups do not include the same defenders. From a success perspective, this clearly confirms the importance of reducing player turnover in defence as much as possible

    http://www.optasportspro.com/en/about/optapro-blog/posts/2012/guest-blog-player-turnover-best-practices-at-big-5-league-level-by-raffaele-poli,-head-of-cies-football-observatory.aspx