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October 2016
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The bid for power in football is becoming confused, complicated and uncertain.

By Tony Attwood

Who holds the power in football?

In one sense one could argue that much of this season has been about just that topic.   The club owners, the players, PGMO, the fans, the mainstream media, the FA, Fifa, Uefa, and even unfunded blogs like Untold, who when ranged against the previous groups on the list should have no power at all, try to influence how things are.

A while back I did a whole series looking at the key operators in football from a power point of view, and I’ve started to think of such matters again in the light of recent events.

Of course a huge amount of power rests with the clubs.  But as I tried to point out in a recent piece which was illustrated with pictures of fans from a whole variety of clubs holding up placards demanding the manager should leave, fans are making a pitch for power once again – although only with limited success.

But as we are constantly told, next season is the season of untold megawealth for the clubs, so surely that gives them the power, along with the TV companies who can now more or less decide at a moment’s notice when the games are played, what bits of football we see, how competitions are organised, etc etc.

Thus it seems reasonable to start with money.

Forbes recently announced that the top 20 teams are collectively worth 24% more than the teams filling those positions top 20 slots a year ago.  The cause is the increased income from television contracts and kit deals.

Here’s the value of the top ten football teams…

  1. Real Madrid £2.52bn
  2. Barcelona £2.46bn
  3. Manchester United £2.3bn
  4. Bayern Munich £1.85bn
  5. Arsenal £1.4bn
  6. Manchester City £1.33bn
  7. Chelsea £1.15bn
  8. Liverpool £1.07bn
  9. Juventus £900m
  10. Tottenham £704m

Now let’s try and relate the figures above for those clubs in the Premier League to Turnover, Wages and wealth.  In fact Turnover and Wages give us the same top five.  It is the value that is out of sync.

But as you can see neither turnover, wages or value predict where a club will end up in the league.

Club T/pos Turnover Wages Value Pts pos
Manchester Utd 1 £433m £215m £2.3b 5
Manchester City 2 £347m £205m £1.3b 4
Chelsea 3 £324m £192m £1.15b 9
Arsenal 4 £304m £166m £1.4b 3
Liverpool! 5 £256m £144m £1.07b 8

Indeed this has often been the case.  Manchester Utd had the highest turnover in the 1970s when they got relegated to the second division.

As things stand the actual league table looks like this

1 Leicester City 37 23 11 3 67 35 32 80
2 Tottenham Hotspur 37 19 13 5 68 30 38 70
3 Arsenal 37 19 11 7 61 36 25 68
4 Manchester City 37 19 8 10 70 40 30 65
5 Manchester United 37 18 9 10 46 34 12 63
6 State Aid Utd 37 16 14 7 64 49 15 62

As we all know Leicester have massively overachieved beyond anything expected in terms of past experience, turnover, wages or wealth, although as noted before there is some uncertainty as to their financial situation particularly vis a vis their marketing operation which may be the source of their funding, and details of which may become clearer in the future.

We also know that State Aid Utd are able to spend massively because they have virtually no stadium costs from next season onwards, while gaining extra income by being able to convert their existing ground into flats.

Tottenham’s finances have looked a little odd for quite a while as we have noted several times and questions have been raised about the inter-relationship between Tottenham, Real Madrid and Spanish banks that have appeared to finance Madrid transfer arrangements which under EU law they should not be doing.   Certainly if the UK votes to leave the EU in six weeks, that will be one investigation that Tottenham may well be spared.   But they still have to pay for the stadium, and there is still no clarity as to where this money is coming from.  Bank loans seem likely, and that, combined with the cost of playing at Wembley for a year could affect even their very odd balance sheet.

But at the same time the championship of Leicester suggests we have entered the new era in which money is not the deciding factor when it comes to who wins the league.   Is that right.

I think so – but only up to a point.

As you will have seen, we have done a referee’s review of the atrocious Chelsea Tottenham “game” (one can hardly call it a game in the normal sense) and then Walter has published a commentary on the situation that we all observed.

Following that came the game between State Aid United and Manchester Utd, a match which was preceded by scenes revealed in pictures circulating in the press and elsewhere – scenes that take us back to the worst days of the 1970s.

Both of which remind us of power in other sectors: State Aid Utd gained a huge amount of power by getting its stadium, and the running costs of its stadium, for next to nothing, knowing that they now have even more money to spend on players.  Man U’s vast fortunes from world wide marketing.  Tottenham’s and Chelsea’s ability to do what they want on the pitch and with punishments totally out of sync with what happened, or what were given out before.

Then came the comments of Mr Sullivan, a co-chairman of State Aid United who  laid the blame for the delayed kick-off squarely at the feet of Manchester United – a further power game.  It was a statement suggesting that “clubs like Man U have got away with this sort of manipulation for years, but now we are big players, and it serves them right if they get caught up in this.”

Of course Sullivan tried to squirm out of it with a very weak comment afterwards, and it was a clear power game – would be highlighted by the media but then forgotten. They have loved State Aid for quite a well, and made much more fuss about them leaving one ground and moving to a Tax Payers Stadium, than they ever did about Arsenal leaving Highbury and moving to a stadium they were paying for themselves.  The owner’s time in prison and his past trading activities are neither here nor there to them.

The fact was that Sullivan was on radio saying definitively, absolutely and with that total certainty that he always brings to all statements that he makes (be they able the violence of fans or about the way tax payers’ money has been used to finance his club’s stadium) that there was no trouble with the bus, none at all, and that it was just stuck in traffic.   So when he said, “There were people around it and people were being pushed in all directions but there was no attack on the coach,” few in the media really went for him or held him to account for, “If you check the coach, there won’t be any damage,” he said.

If he can tell such tales about a bus, imagine what stories he can concoct about a stadium, and a load of tax payers money.

Then if we move on to the Chelsea/Tottenham game there again was the case of a power battle – not just a battle between two totally out of control sets of players, but two clubs saying, “we can do this our way, and PGMO and the FA won’t stop us.”  And they did – and true to their belief, PGMO and the FA have done very little.  Certainly nothing in comparison to the two points deducted from Arsenal for a far lesser affair at Old Trafford in the Graham era.

It has always seemed to me from such evidence as I found, the Old Trafford affair was whipped up strongly by the media who talked up the “football is out of control” story, along with a load of rubbish about “children being given a bad lesson in sportsmanship.”  It was a media power play to say, “we, the media, are the guardians of the well-being of football.”  The FA reacted accordingly.

They don’t do that now because of the power shift.   The live-tv-media has power because they pay for football, rather than tagging along as mere reporters.   So they reported the Chelsea game like it was entertainment, with only a limited amount of concern about the lack of rule appliance by the ref, and no concern about the lack of serious comeback from the FA against the clubs.   They knew it was newsworthy, but didn’t want it to bring the entertainment value of football down.

And this shows you power at work.  In the 70s when the fans took control by invading the pitches, and often turning up in smaller and smaller numbers, the media’s control was lessoned.  Now the fans turn up to games, TV demands full stadia for its at home audience, and PGMO (which didn’t exist in the 70s) has moved into utter secrecy.

For the print media, the TV companies that don’t have live rights, and the bloggettas all that is left, now that the power has moved to the likes of Sky and BT Sport are ever more negative derisory headlines.  Try a few of these for size…

  • Thought Manchester City fans were bad? Sheffield United supporter lays into players on lap of dishonour
  • Premier League review: Lucky Louis van Gaal gets away with reckless gamble
  • Manuel Pellegrini offers bizarre explanation for Samir Nasri omission
  • Ronny Deila says nothing he did at Celtic would have been good enough
  • Arsenal fans aren’t angry really, they’re just bored

All of which have appeared over mainstream articles in the major newspapers in England in the last few days.  What we have now is a non-live-football media fighting the live-football media, the former telling us that it is all “bizarre” and with a negative input on everything, and a live-football media saying everything is wonderful.  It is fact just another power battle.

As a result of this we have a Newspeak approach to football.  In any normal sort of analysis, “consistency” is considered one of many positive values to aspire to.  But now it seems that only certain consistencies are of value.  If as seems likely Tottenham end up one place above Arsenal for the first time in 20 odd years then that is a sign of Arsenal’s failure.  If (as is now certain) Arsenal are in the Champions League again, that is irrelevant because fourth is not a trophy and consistency is boring.

It is this sort of reversal of reality in a world in which “this counts but that doesn’t” on a totally arbitrary basis that is the result of these power swings.

Indeed one newspaper told us this week that Liverpool fans are happier than Arsenal fans, because Arsenal’s consistency has become boring.   But Liverpool, as with most clubs in the league – including Chelsea and whichever of Man U or Man C don’t make it to the Champions League this year) have spent far more than Arsenal over the last 20 years desperately trying to achieve what Arsenal fans reject – regular entry into the Champions League.

So with power now in the hands of a small number of broadcasting companies, and, I still believe, PGMO and a few other organisations, what on earth is there for us to do?  (Other than support our team).

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55 comments to The bid for power in football is becoming confused, complicated and uncertain.

  • Rosicky@Arsenal

    Top Gun

    in continuatiion of our debate on the previous thread re consistency. I think you did not follow my point. Do you think Leicester is more consistent by winning the league this year as againsr Arsenal finishing in Top 4 for 20 years. Leicester will be considered consistent if they won again the title for lets say 3/4 years or even if they finish in top 4 continuously. Now can you say that Leicester will win the title next year also or finish in Top4 . No wise man will put money on it.
    Arsenal will be at better odds finishing top 4 next year and may be for the title also.
    So which club is consistent????

    Re the benefits of playng CL football apart from money is that you cant sign top players if you dont have CL football. Liverpool and United will have difficulty to sign top player as against Arsenal being in CL this year again.
    I hope my point is explained.

  • Ernest

    “Now can you say that Leicester will win the title next year also or finish in Top4 . No wise man will put money on it.”

    How do you explain this years finish, based on your statement above?

    No mistake, Arsenal are consistent performers, but they are not consistent winners. Leicester have accomplished what was considered unthinkable a year ago. Only time will tell if they too are to be considered consistent in performance.

    Your argument in using Leicester is somewhat unfair, given that they won the title in only their second year back in the PL. I think you get the point?

  • Mandy Dodd

    The power in football…..since Blatter and Havelange polluted the game from the very top, power lies with some pretty unpleasant entities.
    Illegal Bookies and dodgy agents are unfortunately part of that chain of corruption, some undoubtedly have the resources to buy some referees.
    As for Mr Sullivan, there is a widely circulated picture of him with The head of what I would consider the joint most feared criminal gang in London.
    I will not link it or name this man on here, I don’t want such scrutiny on untold, but suffice to say this guy , who rose from the ranks of the ICF , the West Ham hooligan firm has never been convicted of anything,, despite being linked to some pretty unpleasant crimes.
    Sullivan was photographed with him several years ago after providing a “loan” to this person. Curiously, this figure had land compulsory purchased for the Olympic stadium. Doesn’t make Sullivan guilty of anything….perhaps just frightened…….but murky nonetheless

  • Luvyourclub

    So you sell an item on eBay to someone. You don’t check where they got their money from other that they paid. This is the case with selling anything. Real Madrid want two players from Spurs which Spurs are reluctant to sell but the player is trying to force a move there. Where RM get their money shouldn’t be a concern to Spurs because if RM are up to no good then they will be punished. Nothing to do with Spurs. Do the police knock on people’s doors because a buyer used drug money.

    Sadly with trying to prove all is wrong around Arsenal and they are doing things right I hate to say it but a few recent articles have been scraping the barrel about Spurs. They have no sugar daddy and are building a new stadium probably how Arsenal paid and built theirs. The Chelsea game was a one off, yes there have been niggling fouls all season but this is the case with all other teams.

    Remember people are annoyed with Spurs fans for their take on the promotion 100 years ago when Tony proved all was above board. Let’s not go down that road and try to scrape barrels in our hate or not liking them much.

  • Nick

    The sad thing is thatLeicester have as much chance of winning the league next year as we have. But for 12 months Leicester fans won’t care because they are the premier league champions , something we haven’t been in a very long time..

  • colario

    “So with power now in the hands of a small number of broadcasting companies, and, I still believe, PGMO and a few other organisations, what on earth is there for us to do? (Other than support our team).”

    I agree with you but I am not too sure about your phrase “Other than”.

    We can respond to the TV purveyors of ‘easy truths’ which are usually information that is without factual truth.

    We can promote the PMGO for what it is ‘ a closed doors organisation in an open door society.

    We can join with supporters of other clubs who want to bring back the dependence of the result of the game, to football on the pitch and not off the pitch as is now and has been for sometime.

    We can start a campaign for skillful football and the abandonment of the English game of ‘thug football’.

    ‘Other than’. Well we can stand up and be counted.

    I would like to think this is more than what I have noted we can do.

    Any suggestions?

  • Ernest

    @Mandy…”I don’t want such scrutiny on untold,”. Precisely what you have done in your attempts to throw Sullivan under the bus. You are the company you keep is generally true, but be very careful about what you say about such people…they are rich for a reason.

  • Ernest

    @Rosicky…”Liverpool and United will have difficulty to sign top player as against Arsenal being in CL this year again.”.

    No they won’t, they never do. Legendary clubs with deep pockets. Even without CL they can sign the right players. So too could Arsenal, if only their Manager would open the purse strings just wide enough to let the moths out.

    CL is a yearly tournament. Not in this season does not mean the next you won’t. It also means less games and greater opportunity to vault into the top for ((see Leicester). Missing a year of CL is not a deterrent, it can be a benefit in disguise if used to your advantage.

  • AlexP

    @ untold: sometimes I find your articles difficult to read and a bit confusing, the first chart in this article had me lost, second one kind of made sense, I am 30 years old and supported/followed Arsenal for past ten years, that’s when I got more interested in football, I feel the need for trophies, not the need to revolt because we achieved a better position in the table than all ‘top’ clubs apart from Tottenham, it shows how sad the British press really is, they bash Arsenal for being consistent and at top of the game and glorify failure to achieve the above mentioned things.

    @ Ernest: my friend you might want to go and ‘support’ man city, Chelsea or United , after all they are winners, only I can not see them ever doing it the Arsenal way. As mentioned in the article Leicester under spent and over achieved. Now compare the last decade of Arsenal life in relation to City, United, Tottenham, Liverpool, Everton, Chelsea? Arsenal massively underspent but overachieved

  • Leon

    Ideally most of the power should be with the consumer, but it’s doubtful if that’s likely to happen any time soon.

  • Ernest

    @Leon…you are correct, the power does lie with the consumer. Sadly they seldom take advantage of this because they often place love of the game above freedom of choice and their ability to exercise it.

  • Rosicky@Arsenal


    i think you are mistaken . Top players will not join clubs without CL football. Can you name few players who joined a club not in the CLs.

  • Rosicky@Arsenal

    Lets have a bet that leicester will win the league next year. I can bet Arsenal will finish ahead of leicester next year.

  • Rosicky@Arsenal

    Do you think Arsenal cud have signed Ozil and Alexis if we didnt have CL qualification???

  • Ernest

    @Rosicky…if Arsenal do not sign players in the off season, they may not finish above Leicester. Leicester will be in tough next season, absolutely. But Arsenal have some problems of their own, a crisis of confidence being chief among them. Leicester showed just how strong belief is as a weapon, something that sadly Arsenal lacked for stretches at a time.

  • Ernest

    @Rosicky…Money talks. Players want CL, yes. But they want money more, and the foundation of a CL contender is more than enough to convince them.

  • Ernest

    Both Ozil and Sanchez were considered surplus to requirements by their former clubs. Arsenal had the money and the clubs had the players to sell. I think in both instances the circumstances were favourable to Arsenal. Saying that, you are right, having CL most certainly helps – it gave Arsenal the funds needed to buy the players.

  • Rosicky@Arsenal

    So you are putting money on Leicester for next year too. Brave man you are…
    Even knowing that Leicester victory is very much debateable and heavily influenced by the refs.
    The refs gifted so many points to Leicester that even a blind man can see the biased decisions.

  • Ernest

    Leicester won because Leicester won, @Rosicky. Being gracious in defeat defines you greater than being so in victory. Why can’t you simply give credit where credit is due? Leicester may be a once in a lifetime phenomenon, but they earned it nevertheless.

  • hotie

    why won’t people give credit to who it’s due, leicester lost just 3 matches all season. like ernest said, they won because they won, nothing more nothing else. these guys play football like they can’t lose, like they simple cannot lose, they rarely panic, they have the flair and muscle, what they did should be celebrated and. they might not win the league next year but they are champions and they deserve it!

  • Robert

    “We also know that State Aid Utd are able to spend massively because they have virtually no stadium costs from next season onwards, while gaining extra income by being able to convert their existing ground into flats.”

    That’s incorrect, Tony. West Ham sold the site to the Galliard Group. Source:

  • ob1977

    Penalties from losing ot drawing positions helped gain Leicester at least 10 points, amd this is just penalties, not saying anything dodgy going on but with this same refereeing for most clubs (ours included) then the league table could look significantly didferent…

  • Josif


    If Chelsea hadn’t qualified for CL 2012-13 through winning it, Hazard would have signed for Man City. Had we been pipped for fourth place by either Spuds 2012-13 or Everton 2013-14, neither Alexis nor Ozil would have signed Arsenal.

    @Rosicky – we have already agreed that Leicester had more than a few referees’ decisions going their way but that doesn’t change the fact they have won the league because they have a 20-goal-in-the-league forward and we don’t.

    Chelsea could make a return to the top next season as they don’t have a European football as a distraction.

  • Arsenal 1 Chelsea 0. 18 minutes gone in the Cup Final, brilliant goal curved in from distance.

  • Rosicky@Arsenal

    Ob 1977
    completely agree Leicester being awarded penalties n offside goals and there opponents denied stone walled penalties massively boosted there points tally.
    The thuggery of Huth and Morgan being totally ignored by the refs helped them on the otherside of the pitch too alonwith the serial diver vardy gifted with dubious penalties.
    Only Mahrez has been a fair footballer who deserves credit imo.

  • Rosicky@Arsenal

    If you think Vardy is a 20 goal season striker how many clubs are after his signature. I think none.Everybody can see he is a cheat and he manufactured penalties unfairly.
    If you agree that Leicester has been heavily favoured and Arsenal being denied fair points why should i accept Leicester fair winners?

  • nicky

    I used to think that after Bosman, players held power in the professional game.
    Then I changed to the satellite broadcasters, world-wide, who certainly seem to control the timing of matches in order to satisfy their advertisers.
    This season though, after the domestic largesse bestowed on Leicester City by match officials, I’m not so sure.
    As my great grandfather often used to say, “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”.

  • Nick

    Firstly why do you think we will finish above Leicester next year?They will strengthen in positions that are needed where as we will do exactly the same next year as this and the year before and the year before that.You also say that there’s only mahrez who deserves any credit but if you were to be totally honest and pick a best 11 from both teams there wouldn’t be many arsenal players in there.
    Your blindness on the failings at arsenal and your inability to give credit where it’s due to the title winners shows me that you will use every excuse in the book to exhonerate our manager of any blame.

  • Gord


    The bid for power is still alive and well in FIFA. Domique Scala has resigned from the audit and Compliance Committee as the infant bladder has insisted that his committee control who gets onto independent committees such as the Audit and Compliance Committee, or the Ethics Committee.

    Reports in many places, I read a Deutsche Welle report (in English).

    The report says nothing about the infant one leaving the meetings in Mexico with a full brown paper bag. Or if Mike Riley 😈 was there.

  • Josif


    Because the gap is 12 points. Because we had the same problem in FA Cup and Champions League match against Barcelona – lack of a killer in the box. Yes, Vardy is a cheat that I would never want at Arsenal but his finishing is something that we haven’t had since Van Persie’s departure. Most importantly, because Arsenal FC haven’t made an attempt to break the PGMO terror.

    @Nick – I would take only one player from Leicester to Arsenal and it’s Kante. The team would be Cech-Bellerin, Per, Kos, Nacho-Kante, Coquelin/Cazorla-Rambo, Ozil, Alexis-Welbeck.

  • Rosicky@Arsenal

    If you feel Arsenal will finish below Leicester next year lets wait and see.
    Josif have supplemented my views that apart from Mahrez Arsenal players are better than Leicesters which further strengthen my belief that we will finish above them.After all the PGMo will have to check there act next year surely to award so many dubious calls to Huth Vardy & co.

  • Nick

    Yes just one of Leicester team would get into our far superior team…I thought we were 13 points b3hind them not the other way round.mind you you probably think if it wasnt for bad luck and referees we would of won the league and champions about being clueless.You like our manager believe all the poor excuses to blame everyone except him.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    Leicester finished ahead of us because they were a superior team. I think on average we have a higher technical level than them but they managed to play a style that suited their skills. Yes, it a was a perfect storm of few injuries, early cup exits, and favourable refereeing decisions…meh, they won and we didn’t didn’t.

    As for Tottenham…In truth, most of my animosity is directed at their supporters and not the players. Sure, they play a rough style and get away with it but they also play some nice attacking football…Still wouldn’t want my sister marrying a spud, though.

  • Josif


    Mahrez also dives (he tried to get a penalty in the second half against us) and for some reason I feel he is about to become a one-season-wonder in the mould of Michu.

  • Andy Mack

    Odd article. It asks one question (who runs the PL) and starts to answer it, but then goes off on a tangent forgetting the original question…

  • Polo

    Leicester to be above Arsenal next season? I highly doubt it, why? Leicester took most teams by surprise during first half of the season as those teams played more open, next season many teams won’t play as open against Leicester so they will find it hard to win matches. This season, they won against most of the big teams, however I can’t see that happening again next season, when ManC and Chelsea return to normality. Manchester United will probably get the missing link a decent striker so they would be more difficult to beat.

    Arsenal well it’s Arsenal always consistent.

  • para

    So the media, a seemingly separate bunch of “news” reporters, but trust me, they all belong to 3 news corporations, and those 3 belong to the World Bank and it’s owners. I posted links some time ago. So we can see they are all owned by the very same people. All agenda is dictated, yes dictated by them.

    All i can say is, that people who give thamselves no choice usually end up not being able to influence anything in life. They follow along what ever agenda or attack is thrown at them and become sheeple.

    It is important especially for your own spirit, to let your opinion be known, what ever the result.

    Your opinion may well be the catalyst that sparks another to stand up, and that one could be the one to tip the scales. Think on that.

  • Top Guns

    rosicky@arsenal as you say with Champions League qualification then you can sign the best players. So why is it after 20 consecutive years at this level and being able to sign better players are Arsenal still unable to finish in the top 2 of the PL?

  • Polo

    @ Top Guns, could it be that the other big clubs who also qualified for CL signed better players and pay higher wages? Besides this season how many times had a non-qualified CL club won the Premier League?

  • Polo

    @ Top Guns, in 20 years Arsenal won the Premier League 3 times. Any Arsenal supporter would have known that surely.

  • Top Guns

    @polo but this season has proved your argument wrong!
    You can’t just twist an argument to suit your own agenda. Either higher wages make a difference or they don’t. Make your mind up!

  • Polo

    And also in those 20 years Arsenal came 2nd 5 times.

  • Top Guns

    @ polo you can also say that in the past 10 years Arsenal have not won the title, yet in the 10 years prior to Arsene Wenger joining Arsenal we won the title twice.

  • Polo

    @ Top Guns, you can’t use one season to dismiss 23 seasons. Definitely all the big clubs under achieved this season, but to use 1 season to dismiss the trends is just nonsense. If Leicester or any smaller clubs win the Premier League next year than your point could be valid, so let wait and see.

  • Top Guns

    @polo well your recent comments have just dismissed the last decade.
    Look I have nothing against Arsene Wenger, he is probably one of the most successful managers ever at Arsenal, but the fact is if he couldn’t succeed this season then he is highly unlikely to do so from now on. the hard facts from the past few seasons bear this out.

  • Polo

    @ Top Guns, and prior to that Arsenal didn’t win the league for 18 years, so what’s your point? AW won 3 league titles in his first 10 years.

  • Top Guns

    @polo my point is wenger’s continual failure at the highest level over the past 12 years. Even with the benefits of CL money we are incapable of making progress

  • Brickfields Gunners

    The anonymous whistleblower behind the Panama Papers has conditionally offered to make the documents available to government authorities.

    The Revolution Will Be Digitized

    John Doe.

    ….” The media has failed. Many news networks are cartoonish parodies of their former selves, individual billionaires appear to have taken up newspaper ownership as a hobby, limiting coverage of serious matters concerning the wealthy, and serious investigative journalists lack funding.”

  • Polo

    @ Top Guns, are you not contradicting your comments? You saying Leicester and other smaller clubs have a chance to win the league next season so why can’t Arsenal? After all the season kick off with everybody even on points.

    Now you wrote ‘So why is it after 20 consecutive years at this level and being able to sign better players are Arsenal still unable to finish in the top 2 of the PL?’ But Arsenal under AW has won the league 3 times and came 2nd 5 times. So now you saying last decade? Changing the goal post I see.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Why honest men lie –

    One day, while a woodcutter was cutting a branch of a tree above a river, his axe fell into the river. When he cried out, the Lord appeared and asked, “Why are you crying?”

    The woodcutter replied that his axe has fallen into the water, and he needed the axe to make his living.

    The Lord went down into the water and reappeared with a golden axe.

    “Is this your axe?” the Lord asked. The woodcutter replied, “No.”

    The Lord again went down and came up with a silver axe. “Is this your axe?” the Lord asked. Again, the woodcutter replied, “No.”

    The Lord went down again and came up with an iron axe. “Is this your axe?” the Lord asked. The woodcutter replied, “Yes.”

    The Lord was pleased with the man’s honesty and gave him all three axes to keep, and the woodcutter went home happy.

    Some time later the woodcutter was walking with his wife along the riverbank, and his wife fell into the river. When he cried out, the Lord again appeared and asked him, “Why are you crying?” “Oh Lord, my wife has fallen into the water!”

    The Lord went down into the water and came up with Miss Universe. “Is this your wife?” the Lord asked. “Yes,” cried the woodcutter.

    The Lord was furious. “You lied!”

    The woodcutter replied, “Oh, forgive me, my Lord. Please understand my situation…You see, if I had said ‘no’ to Miss Universe, You would have come up with Miss World. Then if I also said ‘no’ to her, You would have come up with my wife. Had I then said ‘yes,’ you would have given all three to me.

    Lord, I am a poor man, and will not be able to take care of all three wives, so THAT’S why I said yes to the first one.”

  • Top Guns

    @polo I take it you still want Thierry Henry to be playing for us as well.
    Poli times change, stop living in the past

  • Polo

    @ Top Guns, how am I living in the past? You wrote this ‘So why is it after 20 consecutive years at this level and being able to sign better players are Arsenal still unable to finish in the top 2 of the PL?’

    I answered it with facts to dispel your assertion. If you were a real Arsenal supporter you would never have wrote such question.

    Now, I can’t deny the facts that in the last 12 years Arsenal haven’t won the league title, however in that 12 years only 3 clubs had won it, and those 3 clubs are the biggest spenders on player transfers and has the highest wage bill. Is it a coincidence?

    We just have to wait and see if Leicester’s winning the title this season is the beginning of the end of the big clubs dominance in winning the Premier League title or it goes back to normality.

  • Andy Mack

    Topgum, please stop referring to the last 12 seasons. Anyone with even a tiny bit of understanding of football knows why we didn’t win the league in the first 8/9 years of that period. The fact that we stayed in the top 4 during all that period is amazing and we seriously over-achieved for much of that time.
    However you do have a point that we’ve under-achieved in the last 2/3 seasons.

    Leicester may still beat some of the ‘Big Clubs’ next season as the big clubs usually play for a win and rarely park the bus. So the Leicester game plan of sitting back may work against some of them. Where I expect them to have problems is that many smaller teams treated them like a team they could beat and didn’t sit back against them this season. Next season the smaller teams will go into the Leicester games thinking a draw wouldn’t be bad result (against the PL champs) so they’ll sit back and force Leicester to play a different game. If Leicester don’t press the ‘small’ opposition then they could at best have a run of draws against them which would have the secondary effect of knocking their confidence which has been one of their main factors for success this season.
    I expect the bigger teams to have problems gaining the points totals that they have in recent years as the smaller teams are buying the quality that will give them the chance of more ‘shock’ results, but the end result will be the same teams in the top 5/6 that we’ve seen in the last 10 years.
    It’ll be interesting to see if I’m right about it though…

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Hope – for Club or country .

    Three old men went to see God.

    The 1st old man an American, asked God when will his country come out of recession.

    “100 years,” God said.

    The American started crying. “I will not live to see that day”

    The 2nd man a Russian, asked God “When will my country become prosperous?”

    50 years, came the reply.

    The Russian too started crying. “I will not live to see that day.”

    Finally the (Fill in as you see applicable ) asked God,”when will my country become corruption free?”

    God started crying. “I will not live to see that day.”

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Some fine advice –


    1). PRAYER is not a “spare wheel” that YOU PULL OUT when IN trouble, but it is a “STEERING WHEEL” that DIRECT the RIGHT PATH THROUGHOUT LIFE.


    3). FRIENDSHIP is like a BOOK. It takes a FEW SECONDS to BURN, but it TAKES YEARS to WRITE.

    4). All THINGS in LIFE are TEMPORARY. If they are GOING WELL, ENJOY them, they WILL NOT LAST FOREVER. If they are going wrong, don’t WORRY, THEY CAN’T LAST LONG EITHER.


    6). Often when WE LOSE HOPE and THINK this is the END, GOD SMILES from ABOVE and SAYS, “RELAX, SWEETHEART; it’s JUST a BEND, NOT THE END!”