The manager’s resigned, the league is ending. Where next for Arsenal?

At the end of this season, it finishes.  It is all over.  No more.

I speak of course of the FA Tesco Women’s Premier League of 12 clubs.  The winner of the league will be the final winner, because that’s it.  What happens between May 2010 and March 2011 I am not sure – there will be some sort of intermediate competition I suppose.

At the end of last year 16 clubs applied to be in the new FA Women’s Super League, (they are great at names at the FA) launching in March 2011.

Eight will be selected by the FA to play in the League with the results announced next month.  The initial applicants were…

Arsenal Ladies FC, Barnet FC*, Birmingham City Ladies FC, Bristol Academy Women’s FC, Chelsea Ladies FC, Colchester United Ladies FC*, Doncaster Rovers Belles, Everton Ladies FC, Leeds Carnegie Ladies FC, Leicester City FC*, OOH Lincoln Ladies*, Liverpool*, Millwall Lionesses FC, Newcastle United Women’s FC*, Nottingham Forest, Sunderland Women’s FC.

The * shows clubs that are not currently in the Premier League.  Of those in the Premier League Watford have not applied, and nor have Blackburn.  Leeds Carnegie who this season won the League Cup and who are currently lying fourth in the league with a very impressive record, have now pulled out.

Leeds Carnegie are the team who used to play as Leeds United.  Then the club was taken over by new owners and they distanced themselves from the women’s team, and asked them not to use the Leeds United name, nor its colours.

At the same time as the bids, the FA also announced a deal to televise Women’s Football, with ESPN getting the rights to The FA Cup, the Super League and England Under-21s.

But (so insiders say) there will be contentious choices in the Super League line ups when the eight clubs are announced next month.

Barnet have done very well in the Southern Division this year – they are currently top (the league below the Premier League is split in half with a northern and southern division), and they claim to be confident.

As with the early Football League when clubs like Chelsea got a place without having a team or a club because the league wanted to make the number of London teams up, so there is a feeling that geography is important.  With Watford not bidding that keeps the southern team numbers to three – Arsenal, the Women’s KGB and Millwall.

But there is talk that Sunderland might not get a place – although that would be strange.  They are currently top of the league – although they have played more games than anyone else.

The current top positions are

  • Sunderland played 16, points 31
  • Arsenal played 10 points 27
  • Doncaster played 14, points 23
  • Leeds played 9, points 22

The big challengers to Arsenal’s never-ending run of success last year were Everton, and the league championship was settled at the very end of the season.  This year however Everton have played 8 and already lost 2.

Arsenal however have had a problem. Vic Akers left as manager after having set up the club 22 years ago (or something like that) and a replacement was found – but he has just resigned so they have had another change around.  Arsenal also got knocked out of the League Cup early on this year, and they are finding it harder, having lost some of the top players to the American league last year.

I know most fans never think of going to see Arsenal Ladies, except maybe watching the FA Cup Final, but it is worthwhile.  The crowds are small (maybe 1000 to 2000) and the games are at small non-league venues, but against that, Arsenal have scored 46 goals in 10 games – which is not bad going.  When we’ve gone, Jane and I have enjoyed it.

If you ever get a chance I’d urge you to go along.  Details of matches are of course on the site.



Experts have just spotted the first Yaya of spring. The Yaya is normally not seen until April, when it is predicted that the Yaya will transfer to Arsenal in the summer.   But a siting this early can only mean a period of utter desperation has settled in to football journalists.  “I’ve never ever seen a Yaya this early,” said expert Yaya spotter, Ima Cuckoo.  “This is quite remarkable.  If the Yaya start appearing any earlier I will have to go looking for dog kennels.”

Holland except to pick Robin Van Persie for a friendly in April.  “Why shouldn’t we?” said Hardly Van Anyone, the manager.  “The mere fact that he has been crippled twice while playing for us, is not our fault, is it?   And it is not as if they were important matches anyway.”

Arsenal will sign the entire Ajax squad this summer following positive reports from Dennis Bergkamp.

Kamil Zayatte of Hull wants to go to Arsenal.  “I hear it is a beautiful example of late 19th century tube line architecture, and I have long hoped to see it.”

MEANWHILE in the outer reaches of Mongolia, the world spins and turns….

“Making the Arsenal” – the novel.  Available from and from the publishers direct.
Our new superstarWellington Silva
The days when football journalists could write, entertain and make us laugh (a true newspaper report about Arsenal in the 1930s)

EPL owes more money than the rest of Euro football combined.

Should the top clubs from smaller countries move into Euro Leagues?

Arsenal win the league: the start of the new golden era.

Why did Arsenal move to Highbury, and not somewhere else?

(c) Tony Attwood 2010.

20 Replies to “The manager’s resigned, the league is ending. Where next for Arsenal?”

  1. Rumour of the day:

    Fabio Capello has been asked by John Terry if the England boys can fly back from South Africa for a day at Royal Ascot during the World Cup. Captain Fantastic assured his manager that the aim was to spend their bonuses before they had earned them, as this meant they would actually need to play well this time around. Jet lag would not be a problem as the squad member who won the most money would pay for the return corporate jet with full bedding and separate suites.

    When asked whether the numbers on the plane would be greater than 23, Terry indicated that Ashley Cole might need cheering up, Michael Carrick might need waking up and Wayne Rooney might need a minder in case his former gambling creditors still remembered the number of creditor days which ensued before settlement was complete. No WAGS would be on board, but beyond that, the female contigent was still unclear……..although a sweepstake on which squad member would be the first to bed Cheryl Cole was now running.

    The manager is not thought to take longer than 12 minutes to issue his decision…….

  2. Why is the Premier League being replaced with the Super League, if the only change is the addition of 4 more teams?

  3. Womens football… the nightmare of many refs in my country. Let me explain myself on this. I have nothing against women, au contraire… but womens football gives a double feeling.
    And when you get a gama in the national divisions then you get good games of football even in Belgium where womens football is not as good as in the Uk. But those are good games.
    The nightmare is however when you get a game in the lower divisions which are organised per county. And when you got a game in the lowest division and of the lower placed teams… er… then you can do your match from withing the center circle of the pitch.
    This season I had a very demanding game at U21 level and pulled myself a muscle but I could end my game. The next week I had a ladies game in the lowest division and lower placed teams and I was able to do this game without any problem. I couldn’t run properly in fact but it just wasn’t necessary to run hard. I even was writing an article in my head during the game and had no problem during the whole game. Nobody had noticed that I had a muscle problem at the end of the game.
    So womens football is always a bit of a double feeling. When you get the national league it is nice to do but on the lower level… well good if you get some physical problem but otherwise very boring.

  4. On the other hand I have seen the lady’s cup final the last years and must say I was very impressed with the Arsenal Ladies. They really had a great team which has been weekened recent like Tony has explained in his article.

  5. Well-endowed – the changes for the Super League are

    Fewer teams not more – the point being that there are not enough good players and they are spread too thinly, so the aim is to have a smaller number of top clubs, but bigger regional leagues so those who want to play can.

    The league moves to the summer, rather than through the winter. Look at the league table and you will see how many matches have been abandoned or postponed because of the pitches.

    The clubs are in many cases financially unstable, and the aim is to have a top league of stable clubs, to make the game grow and develop, so a good player knows she can find a solid club, well run, playing on a pitch that survives.

  6. Best rumours so far!
    The first Yaya of spring… and Zayatte’s quote. Inspired.

    [Back on topic]
    It may sound harsh, but as fully Arsenalified as I am, I really cant find anything in myself other than a passing indifference to the Arsenal womens team.
    I follow and take an interest in the reserves and youth teams – but only in that they eventually (hopefully?!) impact on the first team. The womens team however is just a complete other sphere to me, doesnt impact on anything at all. The team can be as succesful as anything, (and well done to them for being so!) or they could be rubbish, but it doesnt have any effect on the 1st team at all. Am I unusual in my diffidence, or are other gooners as apathetic about the arsenal womens football as me?

  7. I’m not indifferent. My dad went a couple of times last year and I had meant to join him but had other plans. i do take a passing interest certainly.

    Moreover I’m very proud that our club takes this form of the game seriously and hasn’t just TOTALLY ignored it as an irrelevance like many moneyed clubs have.

    I think our club just has a better moral barometer than many clubs – we try to do things The Arsenal Way and this holds to a certain level of tradition.

    So yeah – I’m all for it.

  8. i follow the results of the ladies’ team on the club website and bbc sports. i would love to go down to the games, but i live in munich.

    i was hoping that the bayern munich frauen would progress in the champions’ league and draw arsenal, so i could go down and watch arsenal ladies. but it wasnt meant to be.

    duisburg is a bit too far out, and i have commitments which prevent me from travelling that far out.

    there were reports that kelly smith and alex scott were supposed to come back on loan. i suppose that deal has fallen apart, since it has been so long? any news on this?

    i really wish we still have kelly smith, kaz carney, alex scott and anita asante. but i can see why they want to move to the States.

    i think UEFA should look into creating a European Super League on top of national competitions. the top teams get promoted to this Super League and that is their only competition. Relegation will push them back to the domestic leagues.

    i know financially and logistically, it isn’t feasible. most of the players are not professional.

    but i feel that the FAs and UEFA have to do something. The fact is, with the exception of Germany, the rest of the european leagues are losing their best players to the WPS because of money and the standard of play.

    other than that, i feel that it is wrong to say the ladies team is insignificant. they are a part of the arsenal football club. and it shows how complete, how holistic we are.

    that together with our community work highlights how special arsenal is as a club.

    it makes me proud to be an arsenal supporter.

  9. Did anyone manage to see the financial report today. The club has made huge profits and the best part was that property part is no longer a liability. Infact they have almost payed all their debt and all the new sales would mean more money or less debt for the club.

    The report is a beauty to read and tells us how beautiful this model is.

  10. Yes Abishik looked very nice indeed. I was hoping that someone would take a further look on it and give us more information. Maybe one of the people who have more knowledge on these things will tell us more. I hope so anyway.
    “By 30 November 2009, the Group’s total net debt had been reduced to £203.6m (31 May 2009 – £332.8m).” More than 100M less debt in half a year… that really is impressive I would say.
    The future is Arsenal.

  11. walter and abishek — It’s a great report, indeed. But if you want some dark comedy, look at how Le Grove is interpreting the report.

    The only thing more dangerous than stupid people are partially-educated people (with internet connections).

  12. Tim – we think the same thing. I just saw comment but I had said the same thing on Walter’s thread this morning, check out my comments on that as well. I think that post on Le Grove has to be one of the funniest things I have ever seen, except for the fact that so many people seem to be agreeing with it. My goodness, what are those people smoking and where on earth can I get some of it????

  13. Jezus Tim, really how is this possible…
    Seen someone say : “do we need 100M in the bank with a team that is shit”.

    JC, a shit team that is 3rd for the moment… how can you say things like that ??

    Well I don’t comment over there (anymore) after some bad experience I had.

  14. I just finished reading through the accounts in full and they represent interesting reading for those so inclined. Our footballing costs actually went up considerably (and thus profits down) due to increased wages. Those increased wages are all the new contracts that have been signed recently. The matchday revenues went down by almost 4million due to one less home match. Other revenues were level or down due to the recession. Despite all that we made a profit of 18million from the footballing operations.

    The Highbury Square development is 12million away from being debt-free. The club continue to pay down that debt (originally 135million) and believe it should be gone this financial year. After that all revenues are profits for the club. There are other property developments the club is involved in which are now debt-free and so all further revenues from the three additional property developments will be profits for the club.

    Basically everything looks very solid. The club has 101million in cash on the sideline of which 22.5million is required to be held as security against the stadium loan. That is a nice chuck of money to have set aside for a rainy day (although fans with no brains would rather have the club just SPEND, SPEND, SPEND that money without any thought for a day when we might actually NEED it).

    More of the same please.

  15. Paul,
    It was indeed a great read.. especially the part where the total debt has been reduced from 330m to just over 200m. The hard work of 10years is starting to pay off..

  16. Tony: Look at the league table and you will see how many matches have been abandoned or postponed because of the pitches.


    Even though there has been postponements due to the weather, the main reason for the big difference in the played games are the Womens European Cup, which was held last fall and the league started at around the same time. So teams which had a lot of players there were allowed to postpone the fixtures from that time.

  17. Abhishek, it’s an Arsenal blog that’s probably the polar opposite of this one (though you probably figured that out already from the above comments).

  18. @ walter and Paul C. — Yes, it’s ridiculous. I mean, it’s one thing to make knee-jerk reactions to plays on the pitch, and pretend like they know what they are talking about.

    It’s entirely another to make them regarding financials…

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