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How Man IOU fans are responding to their club’s crisis. A guide for catastophists

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This week’s special activity:

Go to your local public library this week and ask them to order a copy of “Making the Arsenal” by Tony Attwood.  You don’t have to read it but I would like to get a few more sales as we are coming out with a new edition shortly.   (And if you were one of the kind folk who bought a first edition copy, my sincere thanks.  Hope you enjoyed it.)

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The Independent Manchester United Supporters’ Association (Imusa) has  written to  members and asked them not to renew their season ticket next season.  If you read my previous ruminations you might recall that I was suggesting that Arsenal’s catastrophists might think of doing the same if they are sincere in their anti-Wenger beliefs.

Imusa believes that a significant drop in season ticket sales will force the Glazer’s to listen to potential buyers such as the Red Knight consortium which is being run out of the Goldman Sachs offices (GS themselves being investigated by financial bodies in both the UK and US).

Imusa acknowledges that not all fans will have the courage of their convictions but they ask those who are going to renew to leave it to the last possible day.

They have also called for a complete boycott of  all food, drink, shirts,scarves and beach balls – except those in green and yellow.

What is interesting is that while Arsenal are still making big profits, and have lots of dosh to spend Man IOU have little in the way of spare cash because they have first to pay the Glazers who take millions and millions a year, and second they have to pay interest on the £720m debt.   While much of that interest has now stopped because of the bond, the bonds have to be repaid one day, and so presumably Man IOU are putting money aside for that great moment.

The bond issue documents showed how much the Glazers will take out of the club every year until 2017.   And it was a lot.  More in fact.  And if people don’t go, then they won’t have money.

Imusa support the view that we have been expressing here for a while that  the majority of games at Very Old Trafford (100 this year in fact – “Making the Arsenal” covers the opening of the old place) fail to sell out and tickets are often available elsewhere.



Of course because your average Man IOU fan lives in Surrey, the away tickets are very popular since the grounds are much nearer.  But the crafty buggers at Man IOU only let you get the tickets by being a season ticket holder and then entering a ballot.  Not a great incentive to Surrey Man.

According to JP Morgan who handle such things at Man IO, “We note that 17,000 people are on the waiting list for Manchester United season tickets.  However, this somewhat overstates the demand as we note that no deposits have been paid and many seek specific seats in the stadium.”

So the waiting list at Man IOU is very different from that at the Ems where you have to pay up some money first.  Also, (and I can tell you this for sure since it happened to me) if you come to the top of the waiting list, you have to take your ticket/s up there and then at Arsenal, you can’t say, “no I will wait until next year”.  If you wait, you slip back down to the bottom, and lose your deposit.

(Incidentally this is so different from how it was under George Graham.  I went for a season ticket then, turned up at the ground, and was given a list of a dozen seats in the area I wanted to be in.  I was told if none of those were any good they would come back and find me another selection.  How times change.  Must be something to do with that Wenger fellow).

Anyway, back to Man IOU.   A Virgin Money poll in March 2010 said that six out of every 10 United season ticket holders were considering not renewing their season ticket.   I am not sure that really tells us very much, but it is interesting that the Catastrophists are, at least at present, not suggesting that everyone who is against Wenger should give up a seat.

Still, just in case you are still reading, here is the poll (straight after the linky type things).  The figure on the right is the percentage considering cancelling season tickets.

Man Utd 59%
Wolves 54%
Burnley 31%
Fulham 29%
Everton 28%
Blackburn 28%
Portsmouth 28%
West Ham 27%
Aston Villa 24%
Sunderland 23%
Wigan 21%
Tottenham 19%
Man City 18%
Birmingham 17%
Chelsea 17%
Hull 17%
Arsenal 14%
Bolton 13%
Liverpool 9%
Stoke City 9%

46 comments to How Man IOU fans are responding to their club’s crisis. A guide for catastophists

  • well-endowed gooner

    For a site purported to supporting Wenger in all he does, you do write an awful lot about other clubs’ problems, Tony.

  • hartwick89

    Hey WEG why don’t you read the title and put into the context of the times and Arsenal…

    You are included in the title as you are what I consider to be a catastrophist…

  • RVP

    @WEG get a life, you are getting boring now.

  • well-endowed gooner

    Truth is often boring RvP. Fantasies are such fun, happy things and reality is mundane.

  • Flamini@milannotreplaced.com

    Ah here you go
    The Economic Lecture after every disappointing result
    I dont even care about Manchester’s debt
    All i care about is Arsenal
    The Football stuff

    What Wenger Fanboys thinks is that we can achieve glory when Mancs collapse
    Chelshit losing Abramovich Liverpool going downhill
    But the truth is there will always be another team to step up
    There will always be new contenders
    While Arsenal stick with the same method and running in the sama circle

    God profit profit profit
    Like a broken record!
    Ajax Lyon Marseille they make profits to you know
    Don’t brag about it to much
    They (Arsenal Board Wenger) makes full profit out of faithful supporter
    And Wenger does not invest on the squad properly
    Make proper adequate replacement for the player he sold for gaining profit

    Just my usual 20 21 22 23 cent

  • Phil

    Good read Tony, always good to have someone keeping us up to the date with the issues.

    Don’t forget though that the bond has a yield too, similar to how a loan has to pay interest. Off the top of my head, the yield that the Glazer’s had to pay is only a couple of % less than what the interest on the bank loans was. So that means they make a small saving, but really this saving was eaten up by the circa £40million costs of doing the bond issue.

    All the bond issue did really was to allow them a way of paying back one loan, so that they had longer to pay all the money back. But as you say, they still have to pay off the bond in 7 years, so only really delaying the inevitable.

  • Cliff

    Somewhere between none and a little. It’s bizarre we’ve ended up here. Really bizarre. I thought we had it this season, I really did. What we’ve had instead is a lesson in the importance of the squad and the strength of key individuals within the team. These are the key issues that Arsène has been exposed on. Most of the first eleven (excepting the goalkeepers, possibly the fullbacks) can dominate and destroy, but the squad (bench and backup) is full of weak minded, apathetic players who are afraid to take responsibility. This is the legacy of Arsène’s waiting for the youth to bloom policy. The youth have bloomed and, a few excepted, they’ve turned into players who don’t know how to win. And perhaps, don’t want to win, either.

    It’s shocking and really demoralising stuff to watch as a fan. But what’s more demoralising is knowing it’s going to continue. That’s the real problem. Arsène is stubborn, loyal and often blind to the flaws of *his* players. Because that’s what every player at this club is: his. He brought them here. He chose them. He told them they were good enough. Some are, some aren’t. But those who actually aren’t, who’ve been exposed as imposters unworthy of wearing the shirt, are not being either a) educated rigorously (as Mourinho did to improve defensive responsibility when he took over at Chelsea) or b) shipped out. Arsène ignores the flaws. He tells both himself and the fans that things will improve later. Always later. It’ll be better next season. Always next season. He never steps to the plate, acknowledges the flaws and addresses them with the intellect we know he can show in the transfer market. He’s too attached to the players he has. He has bet on them. The bet went bad a season or two ago, when the success of a young player was shown to be just as variable as those purchased at ages 24-30. But still he bleats on about “youth” and “lessons”. The lessons are never learned and few of the squad players are actually young any more.

    Do I have faith? Pretty much “no”. I had faith a few years ago, but it’s been slowly eroded and, every time the club are presented to take a step forward by making a transfer that would really improve the team, Arsène runs in the opposite direction. I sigh. Shrug and shake my head. Every time, a little voice in the back of my head says “did you really expect any different?” and the truth is that, no, I don’t expect any different. I expect Arsène won’t sign a goalkeeper this summer. He’ll bleat about the positive experience and lessons of this season, sit on his hands and do nothing. He won’t sign a great defender at their peak. He won’t sign any player who could actually be considered a “great.” Someone who would immediately and irrevocably take the team up two or three levels. Someone whose class is not up for debate. It’s soul destroying stuff when it happens season after season.

    Do I think he’ll still be here in five years? Of course.

    Robin and Cesc, I feel sorry for you. You deserve better.

  • RVP

    To all the haters out there, if you don’t like it then you know what you can do!!!
    No one forces anyone to come on here.

  • Phil, can you help me out here. Does the Bond therefore mean that each month, or each year, the bond holders receive a cheque equal to the interest? If so, I’ve got it wrong, and I’ve written this wrong. I thought that didn’t happen and you simply got your money back at the end, plus all the interest.

  • Ian Trevett

    The strengthening of the team has already started. Chamakh is in the news today pretty much saying that he is going to be an Arsenal player next season.
    For all the talk about getting a new keeper and a centre half (which i am sure will be addressed in the summer), we suffered from a a lack of a good forward this season. I’m sure that all of us would agree that one of the pivotal moments of the season was van Persie’s injury. Until the the speculation was whether we could keep up the average of 3 goals a game for the rest of the season. After Van Persie’s injury we had to look to Cesc as our main source of goals.
    When he came back from his injury, Bendtner tried his hardest and scored a few key goals but the other strikers didn’t score enough goals.
    So this signing is an important one. The rebuilding for next season starts here…
    By the way who do we want to win tonight?
    Normally a no-brainer. No-one wants Spurs in the Champions league, but a champions league place plus unlimited money at City is a big worry. I think this summer, Liverpool, United and us will be looking on at the sidelines when Abramavich and the Arabs throw ridiculous money at the likes of Torres.

  • Flamini, I guess we are just looking in utterly opposite directions, so much so that when you write what you suggest is a summary of the view of myself, or Wenger, or someone else, I just can’t recognise it.

    In a couple of sentences my view is that when Chelsea came along the world changed – and it changed again when Man City joined their economic model. What we had to do was to find a model which would allow us to fight off the challenge of Man City and Chelsea’s economic dominance. One approach was to go down their route and use Usmanov. Another was to develop world wide scouting combined with the youth project.

    If you feel the latter has failed, ok, but what do you suggest instead? Are you an Usmanov man?

  • john

    we are fans of arsenal we only care about football matters dont show these scrap economy we want trophy and if that shit wenger can not deliver than he should leave for god sake

  • RVP

    He built a stadium, why do people forget that like it doesn’t matter. I’ve asked the question before and i will ask it again, name me a single club thats built a new stadium and still managed to stay in the league. Try and keep it to English football and recent history, say past 20 years.
    Leicester City, Walkers Stadium, Relegated
    Sunderland, Stadium of Light, Relegated
    West Ham, Upton Park, Relegated
    Man City were even given a stadium and still got Relegated. Arsene has not only managed to build a new stadium but also compete at the highest level, that’s reality and the truth. So put that in your pipe and smoke it!!!
    In Arsene We Trust

  • Flamini@milannotreplaced.com

    @Tony
    Yes youth project has failed
    Name me our success product beside Fabregas
    Who turns out to be World Class Player?
    Always with the Usmanov then ask me why the board
    Keep pushing Kroenke?
    Arsenal does not need to go Chelsea and Mansour Siti road
    But is it hard to address squad issue season after season?
    Why cant our so called scout system can not find adequate replacement
    For our sold players?
    Why does it has to be youth?
    Why does it always has to be young 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23
    I mean in the january transfer window we clearly need a striker
    And he goes spend the money to buy Gallindo and Wellington?
    Those youngster does not come cheap you know
    Wenger is known for buying decent players and make the most out of them!
    Why cant he find a suitable decent player with sensible price?
    How much longer does our squad need Re Generation?

  • If you take into account all he had to fight off besides the stadium you would understand more how a great manager he truly is. He’s been fighting injuries not only a squad plagued with injuries but with the worst ever timing : losing your key players before rivals head-to-head, losing three left backs at once, going into a CL 1/4 with a reserve team, losing 12 first team players at the season end… He is also fighting sugar daddies teams : Chelsea, Man City. He is fighting other rivals who overspent : Man U, Liverpool. He is fighting with styles only allowed by inept refereeing. He is fighting against his own greedy (ex) players : Flamini, Hleb, Ade…
    And still delivers a quite competitive team every year while trying to bring into fruition his youth project.

  • Flamini, You don’t get the youth project, do you? Cesc is the result of the scouting network.
    The real youth products are under 18 with the class of Gibbs and Wilshere the first promotion. But I guess it is easier to criticize and throw punches than trying to search, understand a system like Tony does.

  • Phil

    Tony, imagine a £500million bond issue as a series of mini loans from lots of different people and it’s easier to get your head round. The yield of the bond is the interest rate on the mini bank loan, in effect. So their total interest bill hasn’t really fallen by much, but the bond issue allowed them to pay off the bank. So they are still in debt (it’s just bonds instead of bank loans) but the main thing for them is the “everything must be paid back by” date is later, as you rightly explained.

    I’m unsure when all the yields are paid on the bonds, I’ve never thought of that. As the amount of money they pay the bondholders is similar to the interest bill, I’d assume it’s paid as they go along, like the loan (imagine £500million with 8% being added on every year, all payable at the end. The debt would balloon enormously!). As I say, I’m not as clued up on bonds (a bit like Greece), but I’m sure that’s the basics right

    Remember Manchester United turn a operating profit pre tax and interest (as do Liverpool I think, which is why they can go “look at our profit, and the average fan knows no better so believes). After interest, I think not.

  • Of course project youth has failed. Its there for all the world to see.

    But hes still at the helm therefore Wengers way is still Arsenals way, and for a man so full of pride as Wenger is he will never admit his mistakes. I was admirable what he tried but hes actually rewarded failure accross the board and created and sort of quasi love fest of players who cannot crush opposition against the big players , only really get up for champions league games (see drop off after barcelona)and do not have what Vermeelen has in abundance heart and spirit.

    Therefore as an experiment it failed. Asmirable as it was.

    The squad is a direct reflection of all Wengers good and bad habits. Hes Done. If he does not buy big this summer.

    I for one hope he does spend and get rid of the deadwood but on past experience ill be surprised. I never want Arsenal to lose.

  • You cannot even say Arsenal play power football anymore its so sad.

  • Flamini@milannotreplaced.com

    @Stubby
    What do you expect with the unbalanced blend of our squad?

  • Flamini@milannotreplaced.com

    Oh my god people calling Flamini greedy because he wants a decent contract
    He is a hardworker what do you expect? A same amount of what Silvestre gets?
    What his asking is the same amount as Theo gets per-week

    Look something has to be done deep down inside you guys know it

    Wow the stadium plan was planned 4 Years before Wenger
    I respect the man
    But having total blind faith i shall not

  • Sean

    Judging by your list, Stoke, Hull and Bolton must be doing something right.

    The most surprising team is Wolves…..forget Man. United…..there’s your story.
    What’s that all about?

  • I think that some of the clarification of terminology has been missed and a confusion exists as to what the youth project is.

    The Youth Project as the term is used here, refers to the gathering together of a group of 11 year olds 7 years ago, a team that progressed to win the Youth Cup last season, and who this season have mostly been out on loan. The kids are only 18, and it is true we have only seen a limited amount of them, but they are only 18.

    I can’t see how that project failed.

  • Flamini is greedy because he still had to prove what he did was not a fluke of a season.
    He was fine during the 2008 season. But that was it,we offered him double what he was receiving while looking after his career like we to all our players. He was greedy and left for a better pay but lost more. He could have become a big player and would have a lot more in pay-rise, sponsorship deals and international football had he stayed instead he is rooted to the bench of an old team. That’s why kids are taught to not be greedy.

  • Apologies Arsenalteranga, I jumped straight in and wrote a similar piece, without going through all the emails since I last looked at the site. You have said it perfectly – by repeating your point I didn’t mean to suggest you had not been right in all you said.

  • John, if you only care about football without any reference to the economy, I do think that you are perhaps visiting the wrong blog.

  • patqwerty

    I’m a big fan of your site Tony, never fail to check it out on a daily basis. Not because it’s good unfortunately, but plainly to see how deluded you guys can be. Everyone’s in desperate need of a reality check here. And before you start labelling me as a catastrophist, let me remind you that I’ve been a loyal follower or AFC (and Wenger coz I’m sure you’d like to hear that) since the early 90’s. I think Wenger has done miracles for our club, no doubt about that. I’m not here to criticize him either, I still think he’s doing a great job. What gets my blood boiling is the fact that none of you guys here seem to want to recognize OBVIOUS flaws. Just a reminder-recognizing flaws isn’t a bad thing, that’s how we’ve come to live in this amazing, sophisticated civilization. But please Tony (and the rest), just come out and say it when it’s the elephant in the room.

    CLIFF has made a good point, and well presented at that, but yet, NO ONE has decided to respond to that apart from Ian Trevett (credit to him). Some might call it blind faith, or being a fanatic. The article about refereeing decisions going against us speaks for itself with regards to the latter. You’re not the only one who thinks that the whole refereeing situation in the EPL is in shambles, and yes, I do think that we get it worst compared to the rest of the big four. But yet, that article was just a tad bit too extreme I felt.

    Has ANYONE admitted that our performance in Blackburn was painful and shameful to watch? No. Instead, we blame the others, namely Fat Sam’s Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels tactics, and the referee. I do think that we should’ve gotten a bit more protection from the ref, but when the world knows (apart from everyone in this site of course) that our physicality and goalkeeping situation is in shambles, why wouldn’t they target that? Did everyone really expect the ref to blow the whistle everytime someone merely looked at our GK? Please…and worst of all (yes I know, we have a lengthy injury list and we’re effectively out of the title race), most of the players showed absolutely no desire, belief, professionalism or courage with that display. And honestly, it hurts me to even say that.

    I’m sure those of you still reading this are definitely thinking that I’m a certified catastrophist, and if you do, it’s a shame because that just means no one in this site is open to criticism or has a mind of their own to question certain things at times. And just to reiterate my position-I don’t think Wenger needs to be axed unlike some fools out there suggest. I still do think he’s the best man for the job and I still believe that when it all falls in place in the future with our young players and good financial model, we’ll be a force to reckon with, but I think our downfall is the absolute failure and oblivion to recognize weaknesses and flaws (because if we do, we wouldn’t have to wait another 5 years for a trophy). And of course, I’m not expecting anyone to respond to this comment because that’ll be very uncharacteristic of everyone here.

    Have a nice day.

    ps: it’ll be an even bigger shame if you do not post this

  • scythe

    I’m afraid I don’t buy this we’re only one/two/three players away from dominating- we’ve heard that for about…. well ever since Wenger said United’s dominance was going to end in 2004. In 2006, he said “this young team will only get better”. Where are we now? We’ve known for some years that we’ve had very bad goalkeepers and that our squad is not good or robust enough when the going gets tough, especially after March. The lack of cover is criminal- we all thought a harsh lesson had been learnt in 2008, when after leading for the best part of six months, we imploded in the League and Champions League. We’d somehow got through that season, nursing key players through games they should have been rested, but came unstuck at the end, not all of it due to Eduardo’s injury. We have too many sub-standard players who are eating away at our wages bill, most on improved contracts, but also will not make it, or are past it. ( Denilson, Diaby, Rosicky, Eduardo, Vela etc).This is a time to ship out these players to make way for others who 1. Have talent and attitude and 2. Do not pick and choose when to play. We have had money before, but Wenger has chosen to deploy it on players who were not the most crucial needs at that time ( eg the £35m on Nasri/ Ramsey/ Arshavin) and so we’re going to add one or two players “max” in addition to Chamakh!. Now we suddenly have funds this needs to be spent on a goalkeeper, central defender and defensive midfielder. We may even have more than the £40m, if we ship out the dead weight we currently have, so time to be ruthless, Wenger. But above all, we need leaders and fighters and that’s been lacking for several years now.

  • Joe

    Wengers right though. Don’t spend just get a team full of Sol Campbells (out of contract will play for therapy sessions) and your laughing.

    I cannot get over this Player of the Month award to be honest. It says a lot about your squad lol. I just keep seeing Campbell getting brushed aside by Blackburn and looking a little sad as the ball flies in the net. I see it like a dream all smokey then bursting through comes Sol Campbell of 10 years ago in the same situation, defending like a hero. Winning the ball or the free kick then starting off a sweeping attack.

    Some of you must be getting misty eyed about now!

    SOL CAMPBELL :0)

  • Davi

    How has project youth failed? Fabregas and clichy are probably the oldest ones from that “project” at 23 and 24 respectively.
    Some of these fans are so impatient and hungry for success, its pathetic. There are a host of extremely talented youngsters waiting to come through – Gibbs, eastmond, wishere, JET, nordtveit, merida(?), lansbury, bartley, barazite – THEY are project youth. When these players start to reach their early 20s, we will see something.
    More recently, the mistakes that have halted us are to do with injuries. We have not only signed but then fully relied on players with known injury records (eg rosicky and rvp), and then seemingly not being able to treat injuries appropriately; resulting in more and more injuries. The over-the-top tackles that seem to be encouraged more against us in this country dont help matters. Eduardo looked a fantastic player when he signed, and barely missed a game in croatia for at least 3 years from the looks of it. I doubt diaby had such injury problems before joining this league as well. Even fabregas has started to pick up injuries now, when he never used to miss games during his first couple of years. This league just wears you down it seems, particularly if you’re an arsenal player. I just hope ramsey can recover from his injury better.

  • cape gooner

    Tony, most bonds have a “coupon” which is “clipped” every six months. Thus, imagine BP issuing bonds of GBP10m at 6%. The coupon is GBP300 000. The bond is tradable and will sell for a function of the current interest rate, the length of time until repayment and the risk of not getting paid. If that risk is zero (it used to be for sovereign debt) and the repayment date is very far away, then the price fluctuates inversely to the interest rate. So if interest available for new money increases to 12%, the price of the bond will fall to 5m.

  • Patqwerty

    To go on a web site to see how deluded the writers are is one of the weirdest things I have ever come across.

    To go on the site every day to check that they are still weird suggests a need to get out a bit more.

  • patqwerty

    Typical response that I expected, instead of actually acknowledging flaws. That wasn’t a personal attack against you, Tony. Its about how no one here wants to admit faults and weaknesses in the club.

    I guess you still haven’t come to terms with technological advancements Tony, its called an iPhone. You should check it out sometime, its great.

  • rusty

    I can’t really blame or pity Flamini — he was out of contract, which granted him complete freedom of movement, and unless Milan lied and told him “Gattuso is retiring and we want you to replace him”, he knew the situation he was getting into, he knew his options, and he chose more money, less playing time, and living in Italy. It was a personal decision, and in trying to find balance in his life, I don’t think we can excoriate him for choosing “greed” over “loyalty” or anything like that.

    I do think the club bears some responsibility for allowing him to get out of contract, because if they’d been overpaid for him the way they were for Hleb (17 million euros?!), it would have been seen as a coup. But even there, Flamini had one exceptional season that maybe could not have been anticipated.

  • Cannon Man

    I think too many people have trouble co-relating issues within and around the club and understanding how they affect one another. When you’re not putting a sickly positive spin on things that can’t be excused (my opinion in recent weeks), which is understandable given the overreactions on the opposite side of your fence but not all that helpful in my opinion, you prove yourself to be the best Arsenal blogger by some distance.

    Articles like these are what separate supporters into those who ONLY care about what they see at 3pm on Saturdays and those who follow everything pertaining to the welfare of the club as evidenced in the comments. When I first discovered this site, I was reading backwards for days because of articles like these. This is Untold Arsenal for me. Not the glorifying of shirkers who don’t play as though they are privileged to where the shirt.

  • scythe

    I really hope Man City win tonight otherwise we may wake up next Monday morning and find Whinger has relegated us to 4th and CL qualification. And with Flaphehandski or fawlty Manuel in goal and Silvestre The Cat in defence we may struggle. And to think Brownsville wants Whinger to sign another contract, Oh My God what an awful thought, 3 more years of rubbish sideways passing, crap defending, and not a trophy in sight. Still it’ll keep Whinger out of the old people’s home and his bank manager will enjoy the £5million a year that goes into his bank account.

  • Marc

    Tony – I thought the bond secured / taken out by the Glazers was offering a 9% return. Is this just added on to the initial investment when repayment is due or a annual charge?

  • Zulu Gooner

    Well posted Tony, but god there are some loonies and cretins out there who call themselves Arsenal supporters!!

  • Ian Trevett

    patqwerty
    Thanks for giving me some credit 🙂
    I am a Wenger fan and will defend him always but I don’t see myself as deluded.
    I find many of his critics deluded as they see not winning the title as a failing on his part.
    The reality is we are competing in an unequal competition, distorted firstly by Abramovich and now by the owners of City. Just as the money being spent on football went crazy we were hamstrung by the biggest investment in bricks and mortar imaginable.
    ie our rivals have a bottomless pit of money, we have to be ultra-cautious to ensure the building debt doesn’t drag us down.
    To even compete (albeit only until mid-April) is an achievement. To expect titles in such a time of upheaval is the deluded view.
    And before anyone suggests it, I am not settling for second best. We will have the funds to invest once the debts are under control and then we can have some real fun in the transfer market.

  • Dino Gunners

    I understand your reasoning but you seem to be peering through severe rose-colour glasses. Its great that Wenger is providing a profit every year while reducing the stadium debt, but it is an injustice to the fans who pay title contender ticket prices if Wenger is not doing everything he can to make his team capable to win championships. At the beginning of the year it was abundantly clear that Wenger needed to purchase a keeper (as Almunia is not as convincing as other keepers and our other keepers were rookies), cover for defense (as Djororu had a long-term injury and our primary backup became Silvestre and our starting defensive midfielder). What we are saying is not spend 100 million dollars buying players, but given we made a profit of 30 million dollars why not spend around 10 million on a proper keeper and 10 million on a defensive option. At the end of this we would still have financial prudence with a profit of around 10 million and now a squad with sufficient depth to challenge for a title. Your logic that the youngsters are coming and replacements are too expensive does not make sense if the young players are not good enough now and we spend time and money on wages to develop the player to adequate current ability.

  • Fine Whine

    I have been reading this site for months.. I love the intelligent financial detail it goes into for all the clubs in the PL.. I respect the views on both side all the Authors have for the way Mr. Wenger has brought this Club to the Precipice it is now at..

    This Precipice has two ways of going.

    over the edge and falling
    or turning with a New sense of Grit & determination to fight the teams which finally through exorbitant investment are staring to grow into a New force..

    I Believe the Mr. Wenger, deserves , no has the right to have one or two more seasons and 4 more transfer windows to fix which we all believe is fundamentally wrong with our team.. I won’t go into the areas of the team because it’s been talked to death..

    What i would like to know, is if Tony & Friends believe that mr. wenger has any faults at all or made any mistakes.. Because as much as i love the comment on this site, and i really do, I feel at times you are not partial at all.. This i think would be healthy for you and the reat of us.

    One last thing.. Can you stop Plugging your book stating to be a bit like Mr. Palmer.. & no one wants that…

  • eduardo

    Dino just one thing on “we should have signed x y and z for £10M” type logic, who are these players, which clubs were keen to sell them to us, do you know for a fact Wenger did not make bids, enquire about lots of players, look at the market in Jan, who moved, who did we miss out on, where was all these available players, how come other sides even more in need than us did not spend the £10M, £20M etc on two or three players to make them better, its not bloody well FM, its real life, if a club has a player we want and they don’t want to sell, only way to buy the £10M player is pay £15M for him, and that does not make sense in real life, thats what causes fianancail meltdown, have fans so short a memory that they can not see that is what went wrong at Pompey, Leeds, WHU etc etc,

    Also do not blame the club if you misunderstood that the move to the Emirates would “eventually let us compete with the big spenders”, stop beliving bit part quotes from the media that puts a totally different slant on what has really been said.

    One question for stubby and those who go on about it, in your opinion when did as you would call it “project youth” begin, if you answer this I will gladly debate with you if it has failed or not

  • Abhishek Kumar

    Hey Patqwerty

    By going out, probably what Tony meant was to get some life and go to places which interests you. By asking you to go out he did not ask you to get out of your home or cyber cafe whatever it is.

    Frankly, I do go to some neutral sites like Goal.com to see the common perception and I just come back. I never comment in a place which I dont like. I dont even know what is Le Grove. But the problem with queries like yours and Cliff’s is that they are way too long. We just come here to relax, read a few good things and go back to work. Even though Tony and Walter and others explain the main issues every day, you guys never want to listen or quote the same thing in a different way. I can myself counter more than half of Cliff’s arguments, but the problem is that I think it as a waste of time and not worthy enough to do it.

    I have just one suggestion for you. Please break your questions in parts (e.g Q1, Q2, Q3). I am sure that each individual question will be answered by one or other. If something is still unanswered we can label it as a genuine issue.

    PS: Thanks for letting us know about iPhone. I just realised what I was missing in life.

  • Dino Gunners

    Eduardo, I was merely giving you an example. I obviously do not know what Wenger did and who he bid on. But when a player of obviously quality comes up then Wenger should bid on it. For example, why didnt he bid on Given last year? I understand Almunia was having a good season, but its clear that Given is a better player (well at least in my opinion) and he was purchased for around 8 million. At the very least, there would be good competition for the goalie position. And don;t talk about having 8 million dollar backups is a waste because look at Rosicky, Eduardo now, they are both backups and would arguably still be even if they had not suffered their injuries. Also, the total sum for our keepers would have been around 10 million (Almunia cost between 2-3 million), hardly unstable or unsuitable for a club of Arsenal’s size and would provide good backup had one become injuried.

  • yank fays

    old hag think about your pension and leave this for the younger minds to worry about this

  • eduardo

    Dino where did I mention about the price of any back up players, never mind £8M that you quote,

    Now on to why Given was not signed, Arsenal play a high line defense, Given is a goal line keeper, signing Given would have ment changing the entire type of defensive line we play, we play highline with a sweeper goalie, its the hardest type for goalies as it leads to a higher risk of coming out of the area and being rounded by a forward like Drogba did in FAC to Fabianski, and it also risks a goalie being chipped when out of his goal like Zlatan did in CL, please take a look at Given’s all round goalkeeping, he does not come for crosses, not even good at ones in the six yard box, he is a shot stopper, a great shot stopper, but he does not and never has commanded his area, now look at our goalies under Wenger, they are asked to come for crosses, for balls over the top, I also say on Given ManU turned down the chance to sign him several times cos they too want their goalie to be more than a shot stopper