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August 2021

Pest Control – Barçelona

 Ordinary is Pointless

The Great History of Arsenal Competitioncomplete with prizes and now with hints

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By Carb O’Hydrate, our Irish correspondent

There are two types of football clubs.  Type A clubs buy in players whom the manager and his team think will turn out to be brilliant players for the club.  Type B clubs buy players to show they are a big club who will not be pushed around.

Type B clubs are run by pests who feel that their club’s own fans are so stupid that they won’t realise they are being duped.  They get a name player from somewhere like Arsenal, play him a bit, waste a load of money, and before the fans complain that they have just come second in a two team league, go off and do it again.

So inept are these people that they allow their young players to drift off to amateur clubs, where they can be picked off by clubs like Arsenal, while they are busy having their vice presidents check that no one is doing any photocopying in colour.

I actually first heard the Type B philosophy expressed within Arsenal in the days when the view really was that to keep the fans happy Arsenal had to make a big name signing every two years.   That was it – not a signing because it was a real bargain deal, but because the player was known.

It kept Arsenal’s name to the fore, and made everyone continue to believe in the big club philosophy.

Fortunately those days are way behind us.  Mr Wenger is firmly of the Type A approach – and with a twist.  The twist is that when he sells on he makes the buying club pay too much, and get far less than they imagined.   As such we have the Pest Club, doing the buying, but being stamped on, as all pests should be.

Barca are of course the prime example of the Pest Club flitting around like pesky flies picking up the likes of Henry and paying him nearly half a million pounds a game, picking up Hleb and not playing him at all, and on and on and on.

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Anyway, it seems the vice-pestident, Josep Maria Pest-Bartomeu, has buzzed in to London to tie up midfielder Alex Song.  Pests do that – the tie up bit.  £15m is said to be ready to change hands.  Arsenal are rumoured to be asking to see the colour of the club’s money before they let Alex go.

What Alex doesn’t know perhaps is that Real Madrid were a long way ahead of Barça in the two horse league, and so far all the Pests have done this summer is bought a full back from Valencia.

Poor Alex.  But then, that’s what you get from cavorting with Pests.

Fortunately they won’t be around much longer because their debt is big and the banks are revolting, as is the local government for the region.

A year ago the Vice Pest of Finance, Javier Faus, said,  “We followed an austere line, we’re committed to growth and we’ve reduced the debt, but we’re still in a delicate situation. The debt is still too high for us to be able to dictate our future. We can’t afford to owe so much money to the bank, and we need to generate more income.”

Now this is where it gets fun.  Barca are now boasting a 40 million euro record profit last year – largely achieved because they didn’t win the league and so had no league winning bonuses to hand out!  But the debt is still 350 million euros.

Meanwhile  Spain has cut spending and raised taxes.  The regional governments like Catalonia accounted for two-thirds of Spain’s deficit slippage last year, as Spain missed its target of keeping the deficit to 6% and so it is they that have to cut.
But Catalonia and Andalucia have refused to play, meaning that those running the Euro show see Spain as a pest; ineffective and liable to default.  Budget Minister Cristobal Montoro said, “We are talking about the application of European standards.”

The Catalan regional government has  said it is on the brink of financial collapse as it could not afford to make payments for  July to non-profit hospitals, old age homes and other social services agencies.  It is trying to use a new central government fund worth up to €18bn.  The central government set a debt limit for Catalonia for 2012 of an insane 22.81% of output and of 23.6% in 2013.

Now here’s the twist.  Spain’s central government want the European Central Bank to buy Spanish debt.  The Bank will do this if it sees Spanish banks reigning in their own wild lending to businesses with little chance of paying the money back.

And that lending includes lending to pests… like football clubs.  Pest Control indeed.


45 comments to Pest Control – Barçelona

  • Need pest control on this blog.

  • FinnGooner

    GReat article SIR. Just what I needed.
    But I reminded me about this article in Finnish news paper. well I guess everyone knows that Finland wanted guarantee from Spain for payback for our taxmoney that we gave them. Well one news paper (tabloid really) asked people what Sspain should give Finland in exange answers were bad, awful and ok, the list included: Spanish national football team (week or two after Euros), Catalonian pests and Canary Islands.

  • bob

    Mr. O’Hydrate,
    Realizing that the Celtic Tiger has been slain, there are other wild cards in the financial equation to consider than only banks. To wit, Barfa has a new big relationship to an entity known as the Qatar Foundation. do to your analysis? Has it put Barfa deeper into the shit, or has it made them a deal that lifts them out of the shit? They’ve replaced Unicef on the jerseys for a reason. I don’t know, but their potential impact needs to be thought about. To me, pests like Busquets, Iniesta, Pique (and last summer, Puyol and Cesc’s other crushes) need to be controlled because they are tapping-up in plain sight and without a principled protest or legal counter-action. But these are cockroaches. The question is begged: is there a new zillionaire spider afoot that is keeping Barfa afloat?

  • bob

    p.s. sorry, meant to write: “What does that do to your analysis”

  • Lobsta

    As much as I love reading about your insight on these kind of things, I really REALLY hate hearing about other FC’s issues on such a brilliant ARSENAL(The Greatest club of them all) website.

  • Gooner jack

    @bob I think we should be looking at the spectre of FFP. I’d be interested to see a breakdown of barca’s finances to see what’s really going on there.

    If barca had paid upfront for cesc that profit margin would have been much smaller, if they had paid what he’s actually worth it would be non-existant!

  • bob

    Gooner jack,
    Yeah, alas, but no club will let anyone see any real books, if any, imo. It’s economic warfare this (blood)sport and the books are crown jewels, methinks. I hope FFP brings fairness, and it would so help AFC and our pitch quality, But I also think Barfa of Qatar are too big to fail, as their fall would bring down La Liga and be a domino in a whole row of dominoes. My sheer guess it that it’s worse to too many big interests – including national and regional pride – to let them go down than to find ways (and benefits) of keeping a fiscally wounded behemoth on life support. Unless there’s a huge transfusion via the QF (at who knows what quid pro quo).

  • Lil Nap

    Many teams finance their players purchases so it does not necessary show up on their P/L but will on their balance sheet. So even if Barca paid Cesc buy upfront but finance the sales then their profit remain simialr but with a higher debt on their balance sheet.

    It is quite interesting to read that the reason behind Barca profit is that they did not win the league(assume these are facts). It just to show winning do not always generate profit…..LOL.

  • The font

    Pre 90s the Spanish government bank rolled real Madrid not sure if that ever got paid back or was written off

  • tommyt

    I have a feeling the govorment bail out of madrid was written off 🙁 It has long been considered by most that the fall of a football team can have a direct effect on the city.. (ask Tony Pulis)

  • v.KUDUZZ

    If barca think that they can buy one of our best players, why don’t they (barca) sell lionel messi to arsenal or for a swap deal.

  • RVP gone 24mil sad day Gooners

  • Elvis Senthil

    Like they say, the best lolz are lulz .

    It feels so good to sit back and watch them rot. Their pursuit of Song is either a sign of new financial backing or a desperate attempt to pretend everything is A-OK, we are still the best in the world mantra.

    I wish they had a few matches against stoke .
    Shawcross tackle to Messi . KABOOM
    The house of cards collapses ;D

  • Stuart

    RVP has gone Man UTD

  • nicky

    Sorry to be off-topic but Man Utd are said to have issued a statement that a fee for RVP has been agreed with Arsenal.
    Subject to a medical and personal terms he will sign before the weekend.
    At last it looks likely that we will be rid of a disturbing influence over the past month or so and can move on with new blood and new game plan.
    The future looks brighter than many a moon.

  • marin

    Robin van Who?  Seriously though, cheers for the goals but you’re dead to me now. Cheers also to Uncle Arsene for flogging him to Utd, well done sir, you’ve really earned your salary with this move.

    take it we will be hearing the ball sit about how we have already replaced rvp

  • laundryender

    Time to move on

    Song to Barca and MVilla in anybody, that would float my boat.

  • @Nicky of all teams did we have to sell to oldtoilet ! They sold us Silvester is he in the same category as van$ersie! So how much ‘are we getting, are we having Berbatov or Nani? With this we have stooped so low, will Furgus ever sell to us Rooney or Evra;not in a life time . Really who does not know what he has done to us for ages.I now believe Song is next to Barcelona wish him luck, hmmmm

  • Stuart

    Kampala, all is not lost. Can you see him playing a full season?

    I know he had a great season but I can’t understand anyone buying RVP with his fitness record. It’s not money well spent, I think in a few months we will be smiling when we see we have offloaded another player at exactly the right moment and to weaken Man Utd with it is even better 🙂

  • @Stuart hope he does not, but if he does how will you me and you see him lifting the premiership. He is going to be pampered as never before’@Stuart you know what happens when you are @oldtoilet,don’t you? Mark my words

  • Wooby

    @Stuart, for me, the struggle at hand is the emotion of having done business with SAF. It goes back to something Tony had written awhile back about supporters of clubs being a “family” or “tribe”. It is just very hard to accept our tribe conducting business with the sworn enemy.

  • nicky

    @ kampala gun,
    As soon as RVP made that statement, I wanted him out to the highest bidder.
    He won’t repeat his heroics of last season and in the meantime we have moved on stronger and more confident.
    Think about it.
    We have signed 3 top class players who want to play for Arsenal.
    Diaby is back and Wilshere will be soon.
    Last summer’s signings are about to enter ther second year in the EPL, with more experience.
    A number of our young starlets are knocking on the first team door and expect to be bloodied this term.
    The future is bright indeed.

  • Matt Clarke

    This gem from

    “The last time season the Gunners played without Van Persie was 2003-04. Their record that year? A league-best 26 wins, 12 draws and zero losses.”

  • Florian

    RvP going to oldtoilet is probably the only bothering thing in the deal. Otherwise, I wouldn’t break a sweat. I’m just curious as to how did he actually manage to have a good season, considering his track record. Maybe someone could shed some light about this. A combination of fitness techniques and game tactics? Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t remember having seen RvP being tackled on his ankles too many times last season, so he must have been actively moving away from defenders in his search for space to operate. This topic itself deserves a full-blown article of its own.

  • Wooby

    @Matt Clarke…thanks for the article and quote. Brought sunshine to what was a cloudy afternoon. 🙂

  • Florian – I’ve written a few times that I don’t think he’s injury prone any more. He had loads of muscle injuries early on which suggests an imbalance between the muscles (rectifiable by training) or some sort of nervous system problem – they pulled some teeth IIRC and that seemed to fix it.

    If you look at his injury record since I think 2009, they’ve only really been “bad luck” injuries – do we think Frimpong is injured prone cos he’s goign to spend two years out? No, we know he’s done a cruciate by accident, which raises the probability of doing the other cruciate. Sometimes shit just happens.

    I’m no physio, but I’m very curious to see how RvP does fitness wise this season. Assuming I’m right on the above he should be OK, but remember he’s played more games in the last eighteen month period than he ever has done before – perhaps like Jack the sudden sustained stress on his body will have some form of unforeseen impact. I’m purely speculating here, but it’s not implausible

  • Stuart

    Kampala, Wooby,

    I would be more concerned if we had lost one of our up and coming stars of the future to Man Utd eg Jack Wilshere (smilar to losing Cesc at his prime). I am OK with losing RVP now as his best days should have happened when he was constantly out injured, I’m sorry but it’s just a sad fact of life that it’s all down hill from here. Granted there are the odd exceptions to the rule but I would be amazed if he manages another full season ever again, the older you get, the longer these little niggles take to heal.

    Another point of note is that RVP only thrived because of the set up he was in. Our entire team was set up to serve RVP and put him in a position where he has no option but to score. He wont get that at Man U, Rooney & co will want too much of the action and how will they react to the new boy coming in and taking the limelight?

    I actually think it is plausible that Fergie is worried and has bought RVP thinking that is what he has to do to weaken us.

  • Stuart

    Recognise this?

    “I dont have the inclination to go anywhere, this is the best team for me to be in.
    The bottom line is I want to win trophies with ARSENAL, not with anybody else.

    I know you can win trophies in many countries and in many different way, but I want to do that in our way

    I’m sure I could win things at another team in another country, but would it feel like our trophy, my trophy? I’m not sure it would. Anything we win here will come from the heart and that’s what I want. It’s my dream and I see no point in speaking about other teams when I have the dreams.

    I think other people know that about me; I’m just hungry to win with Arsenal and that’s it.”

    Robin Van Persie 20/02/2011

  • bob

    Here’s a bookend to pair with your most excellent find above:
    “It’s been years since Arsenal sold a player to Manchester United,” he said. “I think it was Frank Stapleton [in 1981].
    “They were always our massive rivals and I know we sold a lot of players to Manchester City but Manchester United were always our rivals and we didn’t want to help them.”

  • bob

    p.s. that by Ray Parlour who voices the Arsenal Tradition that’s been shredded. Take care.

  • RedGooner

    One swallow doesnt make a summer
    One player doesnt make a team.
    I think we got a fair price considering everything age/contract/unsettled etc.

    We probably dont even need to buy anyone to replace him but if Song and I wont sign Walcott with a contract sitting infront of him go… we surely have to replace them on the basis that last week were all excited because we had strength in depth and that needs to remain the priority.

    Otherwise its back beyond square one.

  • Damien Luu

    @legweak: If it is really 24 mil, I say this is a very GOOD day for Gooners. And over 3000 Gooners already agreed with me on by clicking “like” the news.

  • MK

    Man utd are effectively paying around $70 million for VP’s services for the next 4 years (24 + 11 the first year).

    Hopefully that outlay prevents them from properly replacing Scholes and Giggs as they will be relying an awful lot on Kagawa coming in and playing well from the outset to provide creativity in the midfield.

    Still I’m not sure VP won’t last the whole season at Utd, anyone who dares try a bad tackle on him will now actually be sent off for it (not to mention that teams like Stoke won’t even try tackling him anymore).

    Will be interesting to see how many penalties are now given to him compared with how many he received at Arsenal. Same player, same situation, different team, different outcome?

    Horrible thought that maybe VP read this site’s ref reviews and decided if he couldn’t beat them (the Refs), then he had to join them at Man Utd. 😉

  • Sav from Australia

    Van Persie to Man Utd strengthens their squad. He was out the door anyway, so it does not affect Arsenal’s squad. However, from the point of view of an ex-Arsenal player – coupled with that statement of his ‘official’ website – it does seem somewhat disrespectful to go to Man Utd (rather than City or Juventus), given the rivalry between the clubs and Wenger and Fergie.

    I don’t know if I am reading too much into it – maybe he could not get any other offers at his asking salary – but maybe he is just a bit nasty, and wants to move to Man Utd to insult the supporters.

    @Stuart 10.02pm
    Agree with you about that last comment mate.

  • Ed

    i think we ripped off man utd, so though im not happy that he is leaving, i don’t think its a bad deal for us. i dont think him going to man utd, man city or juventus makes a big difference.

    24m is stupid money for an injury prone, 29 year old in the final year of his stupid even man city wouldnt pay it. and i don’t think he is a necessary buy for utd – they have wellbeck and hernandez. not as good as rvp, but not 24m worth of improvement… they might as well have bought a central midfielder with that money which would make me more worried.

    i still dont think he would produce the same level this season after we played him into the red zone last season and then had the Euros. he will probably be similar to the end of the season when he popped up with the odd goal every few games, but then our system was made to help him scored. every chance went to him. and as a posted said above, he won’t get that at man utd.

    all in all, i am not too disappointed. less disappointed than when fabregas left.

  • Wooby

    MK, I think if RVP stays healthy, SAF may drop Rooney into the middle of the pitch with Carrick, then play Kagawa up front in the hole behind RVP. This strengthens them greatly.

    Stuart, if I was Vulcan and strictly logical, then it is simply good business to sell high / buy low…and from that perspective, we have done well. We have essentially swapped RVP, who is likely at his peak and will decline in the near future, for Poldi and Giroud, who are just stepping into their prime – a good trade. Where it stings is that we are selling to ManUre. Given the bitter rivalry between ManUre and ourselves, it is rather unfathomable we would choose to do business with them. If we had to sell, better to sell to someone for less than to ManUre.

  • Damien Luu

    I don’t think it is bad AT ALL to sell him to Manure. First, the guy wanna go, so you have to choose the highest bidder. Second, he will not do for Manure as good as he did for us last season because a) he is a slow starter/adapter – it took him quite a time to adapt into his new position in our team; b) he will not receive such a great number of assists from Manure midfield – ie. no more easy tap-ins; and c) I doubt that he could pull out another season like the last one even for us, due to injury, loss of form, etc.

    And after seeing what Podolski and Giroud can do, I don’t have anything to worry about or to be sad 🙂

  • Damien Luu

    But I have to admit that he (RvP) may win some penalties for Manure 😉

  • Brickfields Gunners

    I felt a ‘sugar rush’ after digesting your Carbo laden piece
    about what’s cooking in the land of Catatonia, but nearly choked on the news of Robbin Vont Pussy ! Thank heavens for Herr Heimlich, for spitting it out !
    Never knew he liked the ManUre pile that much!Bon appertit, you shithead !

  • Gf60

    Strange that our two world class players (Cesc and RvP) were core players in a side that won nothing during their time with us? Personally, after all Arsenal did for Robin, if I read that he’s been injured early doors, my tears of sympathy will be noticeably absent.

  • John L

    i think arsenal were absolutely right. for a player with his injury record (i want to say around 120 games in his first 7 years?) and at his age, with only one good season under his belt, he was asking to much. (im guessing this costs man u around 65-70m over the next four years or so)

    arsenal and arsene’s stance were correct, and seeing as he wanted to go its a reasonable price as stated above.

    my disappointment comes from that of the player. sure, if i was offered a job doing the same thing im doing now, i would take it. maybe i shouldnt be so judgmental. however, his letter to the world a month back was a bit…disrespectful, i thought. i also generally dislike outspoken greed and lusty ambition.

    as a player i think you also must think of your legacy. once youve made as much money as RVP, i would think you would start to think of your legacy. RVP will be remember as a great player, but in the days of messi and ronaldo, he wont be remembered as a legend of the game in ten or fifteen years time. it is with club and country that players achieve true immortality, so mercenary players have to be very very good to achieve truly legendary status. if he wins two or three premiership titles and a champions league in the next four or so years with united he might go down as a legend for united. i think thats unlikely.

    if he had stayed with arsenal and won the titles (i believe) this team will inevitably win. he could have retired with us holding an immortal status.

    it is from this that my disappointment comes. united got a good player, but for how many games and at what price?

  • robl

    It’s much colder and rains a lot more in Carrington than London Colney, so if you’ve had a lot of injuries and muscle issues than perhaps Southern Europe may have been the better choice to prolong his career? Then again it’s all ab
    out the money…..

    Not sure Mrs VP will be too happy either what with Manchester and it’s one restaurant…..

  • Stuart


    re : “They were always our massive rivals and I know we sold a lot of players to Manchester City but Manchester United were always our rivals and we didn’t want to help them.”

    It’s just that I’m not convinced this move has strengthened them. He wont be home grown so will take up a place in their 25 man squad and what a waste of a squad space if it is taken up from the medical room.

  • Ong Bing

    Don’t put the eggs in 1 basket. So Arsene puts the eggs in 3 basket. Wise!

  • Hurrah for Hippos

    In fairness, players that Barca have produced from young: Puyol, Xavi, Iniesta, Valdes, Pique, Fabregas, Pedro, Messi, Busquets, Thiago.