If you think you know your Arsenal, it is time to think again. Woolwich Arsenal, the club that changed football.
By Tony Attwood
Remember that series we did a little while back on Billionaires running football. I’ll put a link to the series at the end of this. But first I am going to make a total prat of myself by reprinting part of one of the articles: the article on Málaga – the club that holds the registration of Santi Cazorla.
Here it is
Malaga. The club was bought in June 2010, by Qatari investor, Abdullah bin Nasser bin Abdullah Al Ahmed Al Thani. Chilean manager Manuel Pellegrini, was brought in, having previously been at Villarreal and Real Madrid. They have been revived and moved from relegation threat upwards. It is a gradual climb, but this seems the new approach. Not, buy everyone now and win the league next year, but a three year plan. Old players out new players in. This last season they qualified for Champions League qualifiers for the first time ever. The system works.
“The system works” indeed. The reason we are buying Cazorla is because the system doesn’t work. Cazorla has let it be known that he is ready to leave Málaga and would be happy to sign for Arsène Wenger. The asking price is said to be €20m. And this is because, he, along with others, haven’t been paid.
According Cazorla and the club negotiations have taken place. So what of the man, and what of the team?
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He is a winger who can play left or right. He played for Villarreal but a year ago almost to the day he went to Málaga CF for a fee of €21m. But with the club now doing a Barcelona and not paying people in the summer, he wants out.
And if Sheikh Abdullah Bin Nasser Al-Thani does not inject more money yesterday (or today at just about the latest), the sale of Cazorla would represent the swiftest way for the Spanish club to survive without punishment from the league. For if Málaga do not pay what they owe by 31 July they will go down to Division B and lose their place in the Champions League participation.
Since the owner has put over €150m into the club across two years this seems odd. Journalists speak of “sources” who claim that he is a one-off individualist who does things his way, and expects everyone to jump. Money after all, talks, (except when it swears as Bob Dylan reminds us). Since no one knows if the money will be in place on the last day of the month they have to take steps, and that is why they will sell. Besides, while the debt is outstanding, the Spanish league will not allow them to make any signings. With debts paid they can keep their champions league slot open, and buy other players in the hope of a return of the money man.
Incidentally Cazorla is not the only one not being paid. Ruud van Nistelrooy hasn’t been paid either, which I find rather amusing, droll, funny, laughable, exquisite, etc etc. Sorry, I shouldn’t, but you know…
A meeting is scheduled today between the AFE, on the players’ behalf, and the LFP (La Liga), on behalf of the club, to reach a resolution.
Villarreal claim Málaga owe them €3.5m for Cazorla, and the Spanish tax authorities are demanding almost €7m which is not clever news as the Supreme Sports Council in Spain introduced a new zero-tolerance policy on debts in April which says clubs with outstanding debts other than previously accrued debts for which payment plans have already been agreed, face automatic relegation.
Neither the owner nor the vice-president of Málaga have been seen in Spain for a while. José Carlos Pérez who ran the club day by day tragically died a few months back, and Fernando Hierro, the manager, has resigned saying he is not “comfortable” with his role or the situation.
Arsenal have talked with Cazorla’s agent and other hangers-on, but Mr Wenger said the club was still working on the transfer.
Cazorla has played 45 times for Spain scoring six goals, and played 38 league games for Malaga last season scoring 9. In his last spell at Villareal he played 127 league games scoring 23 goals.
Mr Wenger has also hinted that other transfers are in the pipeline.
The Billionaire files…
- How governments are taking over football
- This is a moment that Arsenal should spend a little cash. £100m anyone?
- If trophies were on offer, where would you draw the line?
- Arsenal to play in blue and white at home next season
- How football is being taken over, and the dangers that are emerging
- As the billionaires take over football clubs, Fifa urges “direct action”
- Usmanov and Kronke – what a deal would mean for each of them
- The billionaire clubs – their owners and their success