11 responses

  1. Woolwich Peripatetic

    Whilst in a way it is good for us, the compensation agreements aren’t that generous when you factor in what it costs to bring through a young player from an early age.
    Then again, most academies seem to produce athletes who can play football, rather than footballers who are athletic.
    My worry is that we would be deprived of the opportunity to acquire talents like Gibbs, the Ox and Jenkinson for a fair price as less well-funded academies simply wouldn’t bother to have more than a handful of players on their books if at all, if all they are going to get is an eighth of what they would previously have received.

  2. Long Island Gunner

    Very informative and helpful to understand academy dynamics in the coming years.

    I, for one, would welcome an article / reference piece (if it already exists – apologies) of the production of PFA / Euro pro players that have come through AFC Academy since about 3 – 5 years after Wenger arrived and, presumably, put his stamp on the Academy construct.

    If I say Pretty Please, would it help???

  3. Domhuaille

    Spain and France have got it right. Barca’s Academy is a residential affair and the only thing hindering their absolute dominance is the ridiculous Spanish national Law that says a player under 16 cannot sign a professional contract. AFC have taken full advantage of this idiotic regulation to encourage talents like Cesc,Miguel etc. to come to us.The Germans and Dutch have the same setup with their Sportsverein (local sports clubs supported by their municipal and state bodies). They produce significant talent and the kids get to learn great Football from the start with first class coaches and managers and facilities.
    The French Fontainbleu national academy has produced countless stars like Henry,Anelka, Ribery and so on.The UK needs a similar structure to compete internationally. The real question is; what’s in it for the small Clubs developing these talents in Britain? How much would AOC have cost us if this new rule was in place?

  4. Notoverthehill

    Tony, off topic but relevant?

    The chance of your askng a question at the Arsenal Holdings AGM, is perhaps non-existent.

    Note 3 Turnover details a minimal increase in the Retail and Commercial sides of the business. Note 6 shows an increase in the monthly number of Administrative employees of 28. If Mr Wenger is not present then the football side of the business will be skated over. Mr Ivan Gazidis cannot deny responsibility for an increase in personnel that is not justified by the reduced overall turnover!

    Try for it, Tony. Go for it Tony and put Mr Gazidis in the spotlight!

  5. Charlie

    I know this might be against the grain but could we get a detailed explanation for why shareholders where pressurised into selling their shares to Kroenke rather than Usminov. Believe me, i have heard this first-hand but cannot reveal my source. There is a clear hostility by the board towards allowing a billionaire to take control and contribute his own money towards purchasing players but i would like to break through the propoganda and force the likes of Gazidis and Hill-Wood to admit that the real reason is their desperation to cling on to their own power at the club. I used to think it was terrible to be at the whim of one man and be subject to a precarious financial situation should that man get bored but now i’m starting to think that it’s all a smokescreen. You can at least ask for a clause which requires said billionaire to give 2 years notice before pulling the plug to pay off remaining years of big-money contracts. Having said that we haven’t actually seen anyone looking to invest their own money in a club suddenly pull the plug so why do we fear that eventuality so much.

  6. Tony

    On the Ox issue, I think that under the new rules Southampton would be able to hold onto him if they wanted to, bring him through their academy and then sell him as a player with some first team experience, as they have done. I don’t see why they couldn’t do a transfer deal as this time.

    I rather see the new rules as a set of rules for evaluating young untried players who are still in the youth system.

    Perhaps the most likely outcome is that the Ox could have been signed by Arsenal at the age of 9, and we would have had him all the way through. That would be to our benefit.

  7. Tony

    Concerning the AGM, this is the first Arsenal AGM I will be able to attend so I am extremely cautious about how I behave there.

    But I can offer a bit of insight.

    Mr Gazidis addressed the AISA meeting a couple of months back (if you were there you will remember my performance as a stand in, in front of the assembled membership, as we waited for Mr Gazidis to arrive).

    He answered the question about our marketing department and said that we had the bigger staff and they are making progress, but everything is being geared around the end of the existing contracts that were signed as part of the move to the Emirates. He noted that Man U now have a London marketing office, and made it clear that Arsenal’s team knew exactly what they were up against.

    I can’t judge how valid any of this is, I can only pass it on. But I can say that at a private meeting 3 of us had with Mr Gazidis on another occasion he identified one part of the world that Arsenal is working on 100%. It was a confidential meeting and I am not going further than that, but I believe that a sizeable chunk of the club’s marketing work is in securing this overseas market as Arsenal home territory.

  8. Tony

    I have no inside info on the takeover of the club, and why one buyer was preferred to another. But as a person who has been a director of a few limited companies, I think there is always a question of preferring one person to another.

    You ask: “Can I work with this man?”

    I think also David Dein had become personna non grata when he was thrown off the board. I have only been involved in ejecting a fellow director once in a company (and obviously a much smaller company than Arsenal) but basically my feeling and those of my fellow directors, was that we did not trust the man we threw out.

    Of course I have no idea exactly what led to Mr Dein’s removal, but there were newspaper rumours that he was going behind the board’s back to try and push the club in one direction while the board had voted to go a different route.

    So given that Mr Dein is associated with Mr Usmanov, perhaps the feeling on the rest of the board is that they would prefer to work with Mr Kronke, who does after all have a track record of being successful in large sporting ventures.

    But, really I have no insight into this, and I am just saying how the world seems to me on a friday afternoon.

    I’m still jolly pleased that I have my entry ticket though.

  9. Notoverthehill

    Tony thank you!

    BTW according to the Chairman who first sold part of his shareholding to Dein Senior and was instrumental in having Dein senior, invited to the Board of Directors – I will never trust that man agains!

  10. Arun Mor

    I agree that it will help big clubs but what about the smaller ones ??????
    They won’t be able to make big money through their academies which helps them stay afloat and compete with the bigger ones.The gap between smaller and bigger clubs is going to increase more after this decision.

  11. Gooner Gal

    @ Tony, thanks for this article as it is exactly the kind of thing I hoped you would post. I think doing away with the 90 minute rule is really great news for our UK scouting network. Also as you rightly say, I think at the development stage of players we have a real competitive advantage over other clubs which should mean that we will be a big draw for young players and parents all over England.

Back to top