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Money first, football very much last

The time wasting at the end of the game at Cardiff, with the home side holding on for a draw, rather than going for a place in the next round, sums it all up really.   If Cardiff do get into the EPL they will fit there perfectly alongside clubs like Bolton, Blackburn, Fulham, WBA, and whoever else is there slogging it out at the bottom.  11 behind the ball, doing anything to survive.  All that matters is survival and the income.

At Arsenal, apart from those who remember the Woolwich days, there is no knowledge of what relegation means.   But for every other club, from the Tiny Totts to Manchester Bankrupt, relegation is a much more recent memory.

Ask anyone who has seen their club go down and they will tell you it is a terrible experience.  But the following season where they bounce back up, that is great – and makes up for all the pain.   Talk to a Leicester supporter and they will talk of the humiliation of being in the third division – and then the joy of being top  of the league.  That’s how it goes.

But that is not how it is for the chairman.  As the manager of Cardiff so clearly admitted, their own supporters were booing their players for wasting time in the 0-0 draw – but the chairman was really excited.  He wants 45% of the cash that will come from game at the Ems.

I hate to tell him this, but I am not at all sure the place will be full, and if Arsenal really want to fill the stadium, they could do worse than make the game League Cup status, and charge £10 and £20 for seats.   Not only would that encourage a lot of Red Members to turn up, but it would also send out a message to other clubs in the Cup: don’t expect a pay day if you go for a draw.

The fact that this is now a topic of debate shows how far the game has fallen.

The balance is coming back however – Mr Absent Abramovich has just sold a lot of his shares in a gold mining company at a fraction of the cost he bought them for, and Liverpool is so insolvent the new buyer is looking to pay £100m less than he offered for the club last year.  In fact he could cut his offer even more – because Liverpool will fold in July if there is no buyer.

So the financial changes are coming, although as usual UEFA is acting far too slowly.  But with the likely collapse of the price that can be got for TV rights (following this summer’s court case on the retailing of Sky cards), and the UEFA plan to limit expenditure on players to 50% of non-chairman-sponsored  income, investors (who seem a bit slow on the uptake in the world of football) will ultimately realise that once again the game is going to change.

Back to the replay and the question of crowds – the only game I’ve seen at the Ems in which a large part of the ground was empty was the Diddly cup game against the Tiny Totts that we drew 1-1 last year.   I think that was not a season ticket game, and maybe this one is (I’m a silver member so don’t keep track of such things), so maybe there will be a pay-out for Cardiff, but if so, that’s not really how we should be doing this.

(c) Tony Attwood 2009.

4 comments to Money first, football very much last

  • don't believe the hype

    I agree Tony – Cardiff should not be rewarded for their lack of ambition at the end. I saw newsnow headlines before the game was even played, talking about how many tickets they could sell for the replay at our place.

  • mavientes

    I’ll be honest and admit that when Arsenal were drawn away to Cardiff I wasn’t filled with glee. I thought that the tie could be a potential banana skin for us and defeat would give the Arsenal haters another reason to have a pop.

    An away draw in the FA Cup at Cardiff is a very difficult game. Cardiff can cause any team big problems at home, the crowd are very intimidating and this almost acts as an extra player for them.

    We’ve come through a potentially difficult afternoon with a draw. Admittedly a draw isn’t the best result because of an already hectic fixture list now becoming even more hectic, but at least our name is in the fifth round.

    We have to try and take the positives from this. As I’ve said, a draw wasn’t the best result but we’ve remained unbeaten for a while now. It’s another game undefeated and the side can gain confidence from that.

    Arsenal have found clean sheets hard to come by this season and today’s was a bonus. It gives the defence a boost and defenders always cherish not conceding as much as strikers score goals.

    Song had his best game in an Arsenal shirt but we must remember that it came against a Championside side. He still has to go a long way to convincing me he is Arsenal quality but credit is due where credit is due.

    The FA Cup is full of shocks and I’m glad that Arsenal have avoided one. I’ll admit that being happy we avoided a shock doesn’t show the greatest of ambitions but at least we are in the draw for the fifth round.

  • Rundhel

    mavientes; totally agree with you – i think many peeps are being harsh here – we played crap but they are really good

  • jetha seth

    I sincerely hope we don’t buy Micah Richards he makes more mistakes than Silvestre who’s hardly a shining light for defence.

    I didn’t actually think we played that badly at all, we just didn’t look very threatening. The second half was much better but we didn’t look like a top team, we don’t have a striker that has a real cutting edge, that can produce something out of nothing, we need a new Henry, as for midfield, I knew Cesc was damn important, but I hadn’t realised how bad it would be without him, we need him back and a also a defender who will run at players and go past them and not always go out to the corner flag or wings like we always do, thats all we do, just get the ball to the wings.

    As for the final result, we don’t deserve much better, Nasri had a sitter and screwed it up and Adebayor too, I really am sick of him, as for Bendtner he is a joke, our front line is pretty pathetic.

    RVP is the kinda striker to make something out of nothing i believe…can’t b as good as he’s been in every single game i guess. And i have the funny feeling Eduardo is gonna come back sooner than AW has been saying after our attacking performance 2day! And maybe a bit more motivation to ensure we get Arshavin? Maybe, just maybe…