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How newspaper football journalists have become part of the opiate of the fans

By Tony Attwood

What is the purpose of newspaper football journalism?  It is not a question one hears asked very often, and indeed is not a question that football journalists ever pose at all.

But this is Untold, and the clue to what we are is in our name, so let’s try and answer the question.  Why do we have newspaper football journalism.

1.  Is football journalism there to report on recent events?

This was the original idea of the newspaper, and is bound up with the very origin of the word “news” – it comes from the mid 15th century word “newis” – the plural of “newe” meaning a “new thing”.

And there certainly are a lot of new things in the world to report, but the trouble for the newspaper is that radio, TV and the internet get there first.

And this is where our problem begins because the football journalist working in newspapers has lost his raison d’être.  As a reporter of the new things he’s outmoded and outdated, out of touch, out of time.

2.  Is it then to be reflective, to interpret and make sense of an ever increasingly complex world?

Now that would be good, and indeed some newspaper articles do this well, as do certain magazines like the Economist, New Scientist, New Statesmen and the like.

And the important thing about these publications is that one can gain insight even if one doesn’t agree with some of the underlying positions taken, because the articles are long enough to allow the author to spread out his argument, and be reasonably honest about his journey within the article.

What’s more, in such magazines, which come out weekly, the writers know that events will have moved on by the time people read what they say, so, there is no question of one focussing utterly on the past half day.

And that is where the newspaper football journalist falls down on this score – he is so bound up with today’s events there is no chance for a broader perspective.  The whole “Five things we learned this weekend” is a desperate way to stay up to date, without doing any work.  And it never succeeds.

3.  Is it to investigate and to question critically?

Well, certainly in some of the more serious newspapers this is certainly the case when it comes to some areas of public life.  Generally not in relation to politics, where the papers stick to the news that supports their own vision of where the country should go, but it can be true elsewhere.

Sometimes in economic matters the press can pick up on issues of importance, and give us a detailed analysis of what’s what, as they can on secret government surveillance (although most papers in Britain let us down seriously badly, as they did during the Edward Snowden affair), and they are generally hopeless over the corruption of the police by politicians in child sex cases, such as that of Lord Greville Janner of Braunstone, a man whose case the government clearly don’t want us to know about.  They were also fairly feeble in looking at how whole local councils can fail their populace when child sex exploitation becomes the normal way of life in certain parts of the country.

So if the press fails to expose and pursue on issues as importance as child sex abuse can we expect anything when it comes to football?  Football is never as important as the rights of children to a decent life, but there is still much to investigate.  But failure elsewhere means it is unlikely to be found.

4.  Is the point of football journalism to run press statements?

My answer is absolutely not, but this is what the British press on its football pages is doing, as with the Independent printing an outrageous load of excuses and lies about Barcelona just recently in an article that treated whatever the club said as the truth.

Or what the Telegraph did in running PGMO statements about referees as if there were not a single element of controversy in anything they ever said or did.

Re-printing press releases is the lowest form of journalism, and that is where we seem to be.

5.  Is it to annoy?

The Duchess in Lewis Carroll’s “Through the Looking Glass”, had the view that little boys only sneezed in order annoy, and thus gave the famous advice,

“Speak roughly to your little boy,
And beat him when he sneezes:
He only does it to annoy,
Because he knows it teases.”

The poem gave us an insight into the chaotic insanity of the world of the Duchess, and indeed gives us a view of a similar situation in the sports departments of our newspapers – and indeed our radio and TV stations too.

Here there is no chance of looking back and contemplating, taking a long view and seeing the overall impact of this and the effect of that.

No, the cause of each action is known, there is no need to consider any background or theoretical interpretation, everything is clear and simple so we can hit the child because we know for sure why he has sneezed.

Football, they are saying, is simple, so we don’t need any serious insights or theoretical analysis.  Besides football supporters are stupid, so that’s all they deserve.

6.  Is is to undermine certain players?

If point five above seemed a bit dark, then this consideration really should make you worry.   Think on this headline for example

What now for Theo Walcott? Nine years at Arsenal and still not a certain starter.

It is gibberish of course – for a long time Theo was a certain starter, but his recovery from injury has been slow and has coincided with a rare run of few injuries in the team.  But this headline is very large type ignores reality and screams out worry.

And yet it is only when one asks, what is the purpose, that we get to understand anything about what is going on here.  Worry becomes an easy solution, you don’t need to do any analysis or have any thought if all you are going to do is worry your reader.

7.  Is it all then to cause worry and doubt?

This point now comes out of point six, and is certainly bolstered by the headline

Why Arsenal, Manchester United and City will suffer under new rules

That story was run about the change in the way clubs get drawn in the Champions League – but it was run about six months after the initial decision was made by Uefa.  The implication of the headline is that things have changed – but nothing had changed from the decision last year to reward champions of leagues more, and longevity in the Champions League less.  It is just there to cause worry and doubt.

8.  And is it also to tell us we’ve got it all wrong?

Doubting headlines certainly are commonplace, and of late we have seen the growth of the headline that not only focuses on doubt but also suggests that our perception of reality is askew, as with “Have Arsenal really improved this season?” by Charlie Eccleshare on 23 April this year.

The piece opens with the arrogance that many of these more recent doubt and re-think pieces have delivered.  “We decided to compare Arsenal’s key statistics from last season and this season to see if the club really have made significant progress.”

Nothing “We’ve decided” – you, poor reader, can’t sort these things out.  And why should you – you are just a football supporter, of no importance, significance or indeed intelligence.  Don’t you worry your pretty little head about this, let the big boys get on with the job.

So they come up with a conclusion, before presenting any data, and it is that “the results suggest Arsene Wenger’s team haven’t really moved up a level.”  Here is how it goes…

Firstly, in terms of points gained per match, this season’s Arsenal are actually doing worse than last season’s counterparts, and their win percentage has also decreased.

Arsenal 2013/14 Arsenal 2014/15
Points per Game 2.08 2.06

 

Arsenal 2013/14 Arsenal 2014/15
Win % 63.2 62.5

But then the figures shown that Arsenal are doing more – they are scoring more goals which is what most of us like to see.

Arsenal 2013/14 Arsenal 2014/15
Goals per game 1.79 1.97

And then it all gets muddled.

Overall, Arsenal are conceding fewer goals per game in 2014/15 (1.00 compared to 1.08 last year) – though this can be largely explained by three major aberrations last season: the six-goal defeats away at Chelsea and Manchester City, and the 5-1 loss at Liverpool.

Arsenal 2013/14 Arsenal 2014/15
Clean sheets 17 11
% Clean sheets 44.7% 34.4%
Goals conceded per game 1.08 1.00

And from all this they conclude:

It’s very much been evolution as opposed to revolution at the Emirates this season, with improvements either marginal or non-existent.

While recognising that this is a load of old turnips…

It is of course always of limited use to compare a team with one from another season, as all that really matters is the comparison with the teams in the league currently.

But still Arsenal are doing poorly.

Nevertheless, a look at the stats is a reminder that Arsenal haven’t made the great strides that many have been suggesting this season.

And finally a bit of patronising

And the Gunners shouldn’t scoff too much at last season’s fourth position – they’ll likely be in that position by the next time they play, albeit with games in hand.

(Actually Arsenal weren’t – they were second, but maybe the fortune telling glass at the Telegraph who ran this story was misted up).

Now I have given over a lot more space to this possible use of the football columns in the papers than the previous seven points because it is more invidious.

It looks like analytic journalism – not really investigative, although that opening bit about “we’ve decided” tries to make out something important is happening, but the analyses is nonsensical.

Each season is different because of injuries, the vagaries of referees, the success of clubs in attracting new players, the comparative strength of each side, and of course chance.

This sort of analysis would tell us that the Man U team that won the league in 2011 was actually worse than the Man U teams of 2010, and 2012.  In 2011 they won the league but with a considerably poorer number of points than in the years either side of that when they didn’t win the league.

But to make this important is statistical nonsense because it doesn’t take into account the way different teams were playing and their comparative strengths.

Of course we can draw conclusions from data – like the fact that Liverpool with Suarez were a much better team than without him: they came 7th, 6th, 8th, 7th, 2nd… and that second was with him.  That is a good starting point to analysing Liverpool, but even then it is still only a starting point.  It is when you realise that in the seasons of 7th, 6th etc that Liverpool were closer to relegation than winning the league, that the new insight starts.

But this fine management of data needs more intelligence involved than this article shows.

9.  But maybe newspaper journalists are just there to have fun?

Occasionally the press is funny, as with Chelsea are more popular in the Outer Hebrides than at home.  That is funny because reading it we all know that the population of the Outer Hebrides is far smaller than the capacity of Stamford Bridge, and so there’s a reversal of reality, which arises from the way the stats are considered.  But sadly this type of fun is rare.

And here’s a worrying thought – think of the rumours that bedeck most newspapers most of the time.   We all know 99.9% of them will never happen, and that most of them are simply invented without even the first element of truth in them.

So why are newspapers deliberately misleading us in this way?

The answer the journalists who come up with the gibberish is that it is because people like it.  Karl Marx’ phrase, “the opium of the people” comes to mind.

But according to Marx, religion is there to perpetuate the hierarchy of society, to keep the Lords on the top table, and us plebs scrabbling for scraps.  So are newspapers doing what they do vis a vis football, to continue their own existence, rather like the hierarchies in Marx view of religion.

Maybe, but if that is so the methodology is set up to mislead and depress.  The jokes are few and far between and most fans don’t see the failure to get a player who is “set to” come to their club as a joke.

10.  So what are newspaper football journalists there for?

If we judge by what they do, not much apart from misleading and depressing.   We don’t need them to report on recent events, they are not the slightest bit interested in investigative journalism, their skills at interpreting a complex situation seem south of zero and they are no good at telling us who our team is going to buy next year.

They are however good at running press statements and annoying people who really know about their clubs with half-baked semi-skimmed analyses and undermining players by suggesting they are no good, not wanted or just past it – which means they are good at causing worry and doubt, not least through telling us we have got it all wrong.

Overall it seems that they have no useful purpose at all.  So why do we still have them?

In his song, “Tombstone Blues” Bob Dylan said,

Now I wish I could write you a melody so plain
That could hold you dear lady from going insane
That could ease you and cool you and cease the pain
Of your useless and pointless knowledge

My review of Tombstone Blues on Untold Dylan, chose this final line of this verse as the key to the whole piece.  My thought then was that we lived in a world of useless and pointless knowledge.  What I didn’t think of at the time, was that even useless and pointless knowledge is better than being undermined by half truths, lies, rumour and tripe.

We are being fed knowledge which is not knowledge at all.   We are being laughed at and treated with utter contempt by football journalists writing in newspapers.  We are being given lies and half truths by people who present themselves as knowledgeable.

It is all rather sad, and it’s time to do something about it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

38 comments to How newspaper football journalists have become part of the opiate of the fans

  • goonersince72

    Tony
    I agree completely with your thoughts on ‘journalists’. The problem is so endemic to modern society I don’t think it can be separated from a litany of “half truths, lies, rumour and tripe”, as you so eloquently put it, that permeates society at large. Honestly, all that can be done about it is what you do with “Untold Arsenal”. Tell the truth, publish the truth, support the truth. Keep on with the good fight and know you have many, many supporters. Thanks for all you do.

  • ClockEndRider

    Spot on, Tony.
    Thing is, so many people don’t have sufficiently developed critical faculties to figure it out. They buy their daily paper out of habit and can’t break it. Bring on the day when the talentless armies of football journalists have to mix with the hoi polloi they patronise and get proper jobs.

  • colario

    The internet has changed news reporting in two basic ways.

    1) When we receive the news.

    2) How we receive the news.

    It means we no longer wait for the newspaper to arrive in our hands in order to read the latest news or report of the game.

    With football we can read about the game as it is being played. This means the newspapers no longer have news of the game first. So what is the newspaper football reporter at the game and wanting to keep his job to write about that is new?

    The answer is invent and write the inventions in such away that there is a chance the readers will accept inventions as ‘news and fact’. Many do.

    The pundits (usually ex pros) are expected ‘to know’ what is really happening in football and are paid to share their ‘insight’. Yet we are usually told something that is common knowledge can be proved or reveals the limited brain power of the pundit.

    Before 1840 the year of the first postage stamp if you received a letter you had to pay for it and it was expensive.

    So most people you knew only sent a letter if there was bad news and the receiver could afford to pay for the letter.

    From this situation came into England the phrase ‘No news is good news.’

    Internet has brought us ‘instant news’

    However the fact remains if there is no news about Arsenal ‘that is good news’.

    What to do about the present situation. Can we stop the tide of lies and cover ups and the subjective rubbish framed as ‘objective news’, that is published on the net and in the press?

    I don’t think so.

    Newspaper circulations are I believe decreasing yearly but the internet is growing and growing.

    As far as I know unlike the actual newspaper even if no one read the online edition it would not result in ceasing to publish on the net.

    I don’t read the online sports pages and I find articles about them here a turn off.

    I appreciate links that are posted here by posters I go to them but instead of giving them a serious read as I used to do I now skim looking for any crumb of objective information they might contain.

    I cannot believe that the internet is entirely to blame for the plethora of misinformation that media now gives us. I wish there was a way of stopping the flow.

  • Ted Drake

    Point 2 should be an article in itself published on the front page of every media outlet today.

    Regarding the “is it to annoy?” question, half the reports (I use that term lightly) put out by Skyn Spots News since the Chelsea game have been gloating reactions to the “boring Chelsea” chants, essentially rubbing the victory in the face of Arsenal fans, and not mentioning once how the chants related to Chelsea’s tactics that and the Man Utd games specifically, and not the whole season. It was clear that it was a reaction to Chelsea turning up and arguably not trying to actually win the game.

    Thank Wenger for UA.

  • Genorm

    Football journalists think they are above the fans, but equal to the players. Media celebrities? Not likely. I can’t think of one I respect any more – ostentatious, irritating, lying. Well done to Pearson for answering back last night.

  • bob mac

    If it is truth you are after, then watch and listen carefully to an Arsene Wenger press conference on the club website.

    Always very interesting, and often very funny.

    He is absolutely brilliant in this area of his job.

  • bob mac

    Deary deary me.

    Thierry, why on earth did you join the media muppets.

  • Notoverthehill

    Money, deary me. money!

    A reputed £4 millions Plus BBC?

    Darren Dein has earned his born!

  • Notoverthehill

    Or should that be corn?

  • Jambug

    Never seen such an over reaction to a chant.

    The old adage ‘Thou Duth Protest Too Much’ comes to mind.

    Jeeeeez, have you ever heard such a furore. I think Patrick Barclay in the Evening Standard is still crying.

    Honestly he’s like a ‘One Direction’ fan on heat the way he’s fawning over Mourhino. And I thought he was a decent journalist.

    And here’s one you can always rely on to stick his knife in, good old Ian wright, aparantly he is Sooooo embarrassed.

    For pities sake wright, we had boring boring Arsenal sung at us every week, and I don’t recall anyone being embarrassed about that.

    I wonder, was you ‘Embarrassed’ for Mourhino when he started crying about every one picking on him. Are diddum’s.

    And did you get ‘Embarrassed’ for Mourhino when he started crying, irony of irony’s, about teams parking the bus against Chelsea?

    Don’t you think it’s about time you got over your kid not being good enough for Arsenal. Talk about a chip, you’ve got a whole sack of ’em.

    Since Chelsea last won the League and cup double in ’09/’10 they have spent a staggering £500 Million pounds on players, with a net loss of almost £300 Million, at almost £56 Million per season to win: One FA cup, One League Cup, and now finally, after that absolutely staggering spend, a League title.

    If they hadn’t won it, now THAT would of been embarrassing.

    Honestly, is Jose really so precious he cant even brush of a few taunts of boring boring?

    And are the media so far up his backside they have to spend an entire week defending him?

    It seems it’s a big fat YES to both of those.

  • Jambug

    The point is it doesn’t matter what we do, what we win, they will always find something to denigrate us with.

    Even the ‘Invincibles’ where criticised for too many draws.

    Rest assured if Ozil had stuck away a winner at the death all we’d of heard of was how Chelsea where robbed.

    Mourhinos toys have been slung far and wide as it is, can you just imagine the tantrum if he’d lost?

    Poor old Patrick Barclay would be inconsolable !!

    You bet you life on it, where there’s a journalist there’s an Arsenal critic.

  • Jambug

    Also, whilst I’m on a roll, isn’t it funny how we don’t get this kind of out cry when fans aim vile chants at Arsene Wenger.

    Chants of Boring Boring aimed at Chelsea is embarrassing and warrants a media outcry.

    Chants of ***** ***** (I cat even bring myself to type it) aimed at Wenger doesn’t warrant a word.

    The Shameful, Hypocritical, two faced media make me sick.

  • finsbury

    Great article
    Great comments

    Thanks

  • Mike T

    jam bug

    How right you were with your quote only I would suggest that you take a long hard look in the mirror

    Suggest you have another look at your statement about what Chelsea have won since winning the league and cup double in 9/10 or was it just deliberate to ignore the CL and Europa cups?

    Perhaps you can tell me was the return on Arsenals spend per trophy since you last won the league.

    While you are at it look again at the figures you are quoting in respect of losses ( yes they were huge but not anywhere near the figure you quote)

    As for why so many have taken exception, not just those connected with Chelsea,to the chants and indeed Wengers comments following Chelsea’s 1-0 win over Man Utd is something you will need to work out for yourselves for its not about what Chelsea did its more about what other clubs weren’t able to do.

    I do agree with you about the vile chants at Wenger the trouble is that all clubs have idiots who let their clubs down just like the Arsenal supporter immediately to the left of us on Sunday who during the minutes silence in memory of the Bradford fire. Shouted out “fabregas you are a c**t

  • finsbury

    Can anyone remind me qhyb jose got the sacka from Gazprom INc. last time out? Why the players hounded him out of Madrid? Why he got rid of Mata band cost Gazprom the title last year, in the words of Gazprom fans, not mine!

    How are Roman efforts to buy out the bridge stakeholders going? I never got an answer to that question from the Gazprom fan above.
    Whilst the AAAA have been groaning hard for Usmaov levels of investement in their Special Agent friends, the Chelsea hardcore have been at war with their owner (“Fordham Investments”! Don’t laugh, it’s cruel…) It’s a funny old game.

  • finsbury

    Battersea has gone. Perhaps Gazpro willre-develop Loftus Road?
    Where else can Roman stash his roubles?

  • bjtgooner

    The press unfortunately have lost sight of their own purpose – to report news (and as far as we are concerned football) and information truthfully, accurately and without bias. That they also slant news about politics, economic affairs, etc is equally despicable.

    Re favoritism on Sky – The Manures, Dippers and Chelski all have their home tv station on Sky – could this be a source of favoritism shown to those teams by the Sky muppets? – the rest of the media tend to regurgitate the comments previously made by the muppets. If so what is the nature of the relationship between the media and the PGMO?

    @Mike T – we all tend to assume you are basically a nice guy (rightly or possibly wrongly), but while your loyalty to your manager would normally be commendable, anyone supporting the eye gouging Odious One starts to look similarly tarnished.

  • Philip Durell

    Nice article Tony. I’ve deleted all the Arsenal blog aggregators and now read Untold, ACLF and Arseblog

    Much better depth & opinion

    Thanks

  • apo Armani

    @Jambug
    April 30, 2015 at 8:41 pm

    Love the way you put all that and I would scream it out from roof tops word for word mate!! 🙂

  • Micheal Ram

    Another rubbish propaganda from http://www.goal.com.

    http://www.goal.com/en/news/11/transfer-zone/2015/04/30/11292732/arsenal-theres-no-better-place-than-madrid-casillas

    CaSilas never mentioned Arsenal but yet it’s been twisted.

  • para

    Sad that the media is the lapdog of the so called “elite”.

    I have long learned that if they are out to get you, they will continue to do so even if you have invented a cure for ALL ailments, or changed football for the better as our beloved AW has done.

    In my youth I used to actually think that football was separate from politics and such, but boy was I wrong. Every facet of our life is under control and the only way out is to realise that it is so.

    Scientists from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
    have determined that if just 10% of any given population holds
    to an idea, that the idea will become adopted by the
    majority of the country.

    Now listen to this and you will get an idea of how they(elite) think about us.

    A quote from Zbigniew Bizezinski, adviser to the BHO in an address
    to the CFR (Council of foreign relations).

    “It used to be so much easier to control a million people than
    to kill them, but today it is infinitely easier to kill one
    million people than control them”.

    Bizezinski and his kind will NEVER let the 10% factor take hold.

    Remember though, the sign that we are getting deprogrammed
    is our acknowledgement that our actions are/were at some time or the other influenced by the media.

    Do I see through their plans? Even if I think I do, I can never
    be 100% sure. DAMM.

  • Mike T

    Finsbury

    You clearly are trying to either be funny or clever

    the process of either redeveloping or moving from SB is ongoing as for the pitch owners selling up thtat seems unlikely unless the process determines that redevelopment isn’t feasible. the last EGM voted 62% in favour alas for RA the majority needed was 75%

    The CFC pitch owners brought the pitch area from CFC with a loan fromCFC which in the main remains unpaid. In reality the structure created is far more akin to the models of supporter involvement many cry for compared to just about every other PL. the process in either moving from SB or indeed it’s redevelopment is on going and a major report to the owner is now being taken forward . Architects in Switzerland are exploring options.

  • Jambug

    Mike T

    Addressing your points.

    1) “Suggest you have another look at your statement about what Chelsea have won since winning the league and cup double in 9/10 or was it just deliberate to ignore the CL and Europa cups?”

    My apologies for that over sight. It was not deliberate. My original point was really only relating to the title, which is why I was specific about the period, but because it was a double season I decided to include the other domestic Trophies at the last minute. Because I was in ‘domestic Trophies’ I overlooked Europe. I take great care with my stats so I’m gutted I made that oversight, but it was only that, an oversight. Sorry.

    Obviously the CL is a massive Trophy.

    So okay, all that money spent for a CL and finally a League title.

    NB: You cant count the others because as you will have noticed, since we won the FA Cup, that has been relegated to the status of ‘non Trophy’ along with our top four finishes.

    Only PL and CL wins count now apparently.

    So given your enormous spend don’t you agree that that is the MINIMUM return you should expect and would in fact be embarrassing if you DIDN’T win it?

    2) “While you are at it look again at the figures you are quoting in respect of losses (yes they were huge but not anywhere near the figure you quote)”

    No? Really?

    Can I suggest you take a look here:

    http://www.transferleague.co.uk/chelsea/english-football-teams/chelsea-transfers

    Even last year Chelsea spent £118 Million on players, including 2 x £30 Million Plus ones. We have only ever spent that twice in our entire history.

    Now, okay I concede your NET spend was only around £5 Million, which is the most important figure, but that only makes the preceding 4 seasons spend even more remarkable, because even with that Chelsea’s 5 year net spend is still:

    Gross spent: £498 Million

    Gross return: £221 Million

    Nett: £55,641 Million.

    If my basic CSE Maths is correct that IS about £50+ a season.

    You are just like all the other Chesea fans I speak to, in denial about how much you actually do spend. I mean, I do understand, with figures like that it must be so easy to lose count.

    3) “Perhaps you can tell me was the return on Arsenals spend per trophy since you last won the league”

    Yes I can:

    Gross spend: £390 Million

    Gross return: £308 Million

    Nett Spend: £83 Million

    Per Season: £8.3 Million

    Now those figures include our 2 record signings made in the last couple of years since our financial constraints eased a little.

    The 12 years, 2000 to 2012, preceding that are:

    Chelseas Nett spend: £570 Million or £5.7 Million per season.

    Arsenal Nett Spend: £57 Million or £5.7 Million per season.

    Yep that’s right, Chelseas Net spend is TEN TIMES Arsenals

    Given those figures, don’t you think comparing what you have managed to achieve with what we have achieved is like comparing Arsenals achievements to, say Stokes?

    No hold on, that’s no good because they’ve actually got a higher net spend than us.

    Villa then? Nope.

    Blimey. Trickier than I thought this. You think of one.

    So Mike, stop living in denial. Your Club simply spends spends spends, and if you need to you spend some more.

    You never know one day you may actually pay your debt back, I mean really pay it back, rather than carry out some more of that inventive accounting.

    Until then nobody will ever give Chelsea or Mourhino, anything like the credit your deluded fans, Narcissistic Manger, or sycophantic Media friends, think you deserve.

  • Jambug

    Corr:

    Chelseas spend for the last 5 years should of read:

    Nett spend £278 Million (not £55,641 as I typed)

    Per Season £55,64.

    And Chelseas Nett spend per season for the preceding 12 seasons, as you can see from the total Gross figure, IS £57 Million per season, and not £5.7 Million as I typed.

    Sorry. Lots of figures doing my head in.

  • Jambug

    Either way, all the figures I used can be found here.

    http://www.transferleague.co.uk/

  • finsbury

    Thanks for the reply Mike. I’m certainly not clever but occasionally it’s true I can be funny.

    FC Utd’s new ground, Broadhurst Park, looks great. I wish them well. That is the model of supporter involvement that many cry out for. Lest there be any doubt or obfuscation out there. Certainly, I wouldn’t be a fan of a growing debt (£57M p/season!!!!)

  • finsbury

    Corr.: (£57M net spend p/season!!!!!)

  • Jambug

    As I made a few Typo’s I’ve re posted, hopefully without the typo’s.

    Mike T

    Addressing your points.

    1) “Suggest you have another look at your statement about what Chelsea have won since winning the league and cup double in 9/10 or was it just deliberate to ignore the CL and Europa cups?”

    My apologies for that over sight. It was not deliberate. My original point was really only relating to the title, which is why I was specific about the period, but because it was a double season I decided to include the other domestic Trophies at the last minute. Because I was in ‘domestic Trophies’ I overlooked Europe. I take great care with my stats so I’m gutted I made that oversight, but it was only that, an oversight. Sorry.

    Obviously the CL is a massive Trophy.

    So okay, all that money spent for a CL and finally a League title.

    NB: You cant count the others because as you will have noticed, since we won the FA Cup, that has been relegated to the status of ‘non Trophy’ along with our top four finishes.

    Only PL and CL wins count now apparently.

    So given your enormous spend don’t you agree that that is the MINIMUM return you should expect and would in fact be embarrassing if you DIDN’T win it?

    2) “While you are at it look again at the figures you are quoting in respect of losses (yes they were huge but not anywhere near the figure you quote)”

    No? Really?

    Can I suggest you take a look here:

    http://www.transferleague.co.uk/chelsea/english-football-teams/chelsea-transfers

    Even last year Chelsea spent £118 Million on players, including 2 x £30 Million Plus ones. We have only ever spent that twice in our entire history.

    Now, okay I concede your NET spend was only around £5 Million, which is the most important figure, but that only makes the preceding 4 seasons spend even more remarkable, because even with that Chelsea’s 5 year net spend is still:

    Gross spent: £498 Million

    Gross return: £221 Million

    Nett Spend: £278 Million

    Nett Spend Per Season: £55,641 Million.

    If my basic CSE Maths is correct that IS about £50+ a season.

    You are just like all the other Chesea fans I speak to, in denial about how much you actually do spend. I mean, I do understand, with figures like that it must be so easy to lose count.

    3) “Perhaps you can tell me was the return on Arsenals spend per trophy since you last won the league”

    Yes I can:

    Gross spend: £390 Million

    Gross return: £308 Million

    Nett Spend: £83 Million

    Nett Spend Per Season: £8.3 Million

    Now those figures include our 2 record signings made in the last couple of years since our financial constraints eased a little.

    The 12 years, 2000 to 2012, preceding that are:

    Chelseas Nett spend: £570 Million or £57 Million per season.

    Arsenal Nett Spend: £57 Million or £5.7 Million per season.

    Yep that’s right, Chelseas Net spend is TEN TIMES Arsenals

    Given those figures, don’t you think comparing what you have managed to achieve with what we have achieved is like comparing Arsenals achievements to, say Stokes?

    No hold on, that’s no good because they’ve actually got a higher net spend than us.

    Villa then? Nope.

    Blimey. Trickier than I thought this. You think of one.

    So Mike, stop living in denial. Your Club simply spends spends spends, and if you need to you spend some more.

    You never know, one day you may actually pay your debt back, I mean really pay it back, rather than carry out some more of that inventive accounting.

    Until then nobody will ever give Chelsea or Mourhino, anything like the credit your deluded fans, Narcissistic Manger, or sycophantic Media friends, think you deserve.

    All Financial Statistics available at:

    http://www.transferleague.co.uk/

  • bjtgooner

    @Jambug

    That was a good response to Mike T.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    After 30 years of deteriorating standards in news reporting , and the addition of crap disguised as facts in the local press , I ‘ve finally stopped the newspaper subscription.
    Truth be told I ‘d only read it at the breakfast table and in the throne room ! Even then its first the sports pages , then cartoons and then only the headlines ( most of which are often funnier than the funnies !).
    Suddenly I feel a lot smarter and very much happier ! And since I don’t trawl the internet for the ‘latest’ poop scoop about Arsenal , nor listen to all them ‘experts’ on the pre , post, highlight shows as well as the commentary – life is so much better .

  • Jambug

    bjtgooner

    Thanks.

    I like Mike T but as much as he seems a reasonable guy, I’m afraid he is just like all the Chelsea fans I speak to, only a little politer, who basically all say pretty much the same things:

    -We haven’t spent that much money. (Yes you have)

    -It hasn’t made that much difference. (Yes it has)

    -Arsenal have spent as much as us. (No we haven’t, nothing like)

    or

    -Arsenal have the money they just don’t want to spend it. (Yes we have some, but it’s a pittance compared to what Chelsea spend)

    But every time I show them these stats they huff, mumble something along the lines of ‘You’re just jealous, and move on to slagging Wenger off.

  • bjtgooner

    @Jambug

    My impression of Mike T is that – yes he is usually more polite than the average Chelski fan, although he can be a bit sarcastic when under pressure; however, I also feel, based on his comments, he is a lot closer to the Chelski administration than the average fan and a lot closer than he wants us to realize.

  • Mike T

    Jambug

    I agree it was a good response but my comments were based on you talking about losses as opposed to the sums involved in transfers. Also your post was talking about gross transfer dealings hence my question re your gross transfer spend per trophy.

    I agree that in view of the sums spent by us, which are indeed huge, we should be delivering trophies

    As for either me or indeed Chelsea fans not acknowledging we have spent vast sums on transfer well of course we have and did it make a difference well again of course it has as for your spend again the figures are clear that Arsenals net transfer spend is increasing at a pace indeed, I know its very selective but since JM returned our net spend has been £54m and yours £97m.

    I thought your point about Arsenal having the money was inteesting and yes the cash reserves are huge as for not wanting to spend the reserves again that’s interesting and although I haven’t done the sums FFP complicates matters

    As an aside I recently read an article published on line about 5 years ago about Kronke Sports bid document which is worth a read

    bjt

    No not close to Chelsea administration but have some contacts in the wider football community who often pass on a snippet or two in the main they are about matters money an the occasional tip bit one really interesting one for you is that Chelsea have interest in both Benteke and Kane and whilst I personally doubt the Kane one is more than just an interest there appears to be something in the Benteke one

  • Jambug

    Mike T

    I did state Net, baring one typo I thought that was clear.

    And yes we have started to spend, but it takes time to catch up ground.

    When you started to spend it didn’t happen over night, and you only really had United to contend with on an even remotely similar financial footing.

    It took City even longer, but they had United and yourselves to contend with on an equal financial footing so that was understandable.

    Now we are trying to bridge the gap, but we have Yourselves, City and United to contend with, already at that enormous level of spending.

    To suggest that with our self sustaining model we can MATCH the spending of you 3 is a highly contentious superstition, so even with our extra money it is going to be extremely tough to match, let alone exceed your achievements.

    If, and it’s a very big if, FFP works, at least to a degree, we have a chance, but it’s just a chance.

    The fact is Wenger will still have to work miracles.

    As for the fans, this is what you said:

    “While you are at it look again at the figures you are quoting in respect of losses (yes they were huge but not anywhere near the figure you quote)”

    So somehow you had got it into your head that ‘you hadn’t really spent THAT much’

    Be honest, you are amazed at quite HOW MUCH you have actually spent aren’t you?

    The guy at work the other day said, and this is nearly word for word:

    ‘I read somewhere you’ve spent as much as we have. All this, we have no money, is just a smokescreen’.

    He actually believed that. I showed him the figures and he just started on about Wenger.

    But the point is, as far as Chelsea fans are concerned it’s all a blurr. Then they read an article in the Sun that was probably just referring o the last 2 years you referenced, whilst ignoreing completely the previous 12 years.

    Understandably I suppose a Chelsea fan fed up with the money jibes grabs this with both hands without realising quite how misleading it is.

    The truth is the sums we are talking about are absolutely astronomical and if it didn’t win you titles then we really should be talking about embarrassment.

    As usual I appreciate your measured responses.

  • bjtgooner

    @Jambug

    Just to qualify your well made points: –

    There are a couple of other differences between our situation and that of Chelski.

    Firstly AW has built the team (probably an enforced build due to our stringent finances), but still the AW way, Chelski have bought their team, on occasion paying over the odds to gazump other teams.

    Secondly, what money we have spent the club has earned, we know the source. With Chelski..well one could not be entirely sure!

  • Mike T

    @ jam bug

    I think we are talking t cross purposes

    I am under no illusion as to just how much we have spent on transfers my point about losses were in response to this

    Since Chelsea last won the League and cup double in ’09/’10 they have spent a staggering £500 Million pounds on players, with a net loss of almost £300 Million

    My response was that our accumulated losses since our last league win although huge do not amount to £300 million. I now understand you are talking about transfers as opossed to overall company losses

  • Jambug

    Yep.

    Just transfers.

  • Gord

    Not football whorenalists, but whorenalists in general.

    In times past, a news release would attract many journalists. One or more people would present the content of the news release. Questions were then entertained. And journalists often asked questions to obtain more detail about specific points of the content, or other issues peripheral to the content. And a few times in a blue moon, questions from left field came out, little or nothing to do with the topic at hand.

    Today, whorenalists all know what the topic of the day is, and what they would like the news to be. After the content is presented, one after another the whorenalists speak in a manner designed to put words in the mouths of the presenters. And this prose from the whorenalist may or may not have anything to do with the topic of the conference. The presenter usually struggles as well as they can; answering or not answering. The next whorenalist steps up, and makes his/her attempt at the exact same topic as the previous whorenalist. And then the third follows, again trying to put words in the mouth of the presenter to the same topic the whorenalists before did. And this happens until all the whorenalists have had a chance.

    It’s like they all worked for the same entity. It is also disgusting.

    That is why managers like the guy yesterday lost it. The whorenalists aren’t interested in finding information, just pushing agendas.