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August 2021

Darren Dein now has no more players to represent at Arsenal

By Tony Attwood

At last, the agent Darren Dein no longer has any influence in the world of Arsenal.  It is something that has taken a lot of time to accomplish, and of course we must say from the start that there is no evidence that Arsenal directors have deliberately sought to sell off everyone associated with Dein.  We have to say, because of the lack of data, that it could just be a coincidence.

The last two players in Mr Dein’s wardrobe (as it were) were RVP and Alex Song.  Both have gone in the matter of a week.  Maybe that too is a coincidence.

Now it is not common that I give credit to the right wing xenophobic English paper The Daily Mail, but on 6 March this year they ran the story that Song and RVP would go, and the connection in this departure would be their agent: Mr Dein.

They said in this piece, “Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis and manager Arsene Wenger are convinced the real stumbling block to a deal will be Darren.”

Of course I don’t know if that is true, since I have only met Mr Gazidis once (on the occasion when I suggested putting up the statue of Herbert Chapman – I thought I would drop that one in, in case you missed it last time) and we certainly didn’t talk agents.  We talked history.

So, who has been under the Dein umbrella so to speak?

  • Thierry Henry, (Dein was best man at his wedding)
  • Emmanuel Adebayor, (although I gather this happened after he moved on from Arsenal)
  • Gael Clichy
  • Cesc Fabregas

Here’s another point, the Mail made at that time… “In the past, when the majority of Arsenal’s players were represented and managed by Jerome Anderson’s SEM Group, the star names traditionally remained loyal. ”

They cite Ian Wright, David Rocastle, Tony Adams and Dennis Bergkamp as players who turned down financial incentive to stay with Arsenal.

Now it appear that Mr Dein was able to get very close to the players at Arsenal, even going so far as to  travel with the players  on Champions League trips.

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But of course it would be ludicrous to say that everyone who has left ARsenal for more money was linked to Darren Dein.

Samir Nasri had as his agent Jean-Pierre Bernes, who according to CNN was the “right-hand man to Marseille president Bernard Tapie during France’s biggest football scandal. The pair were found guilty of attempting to fix a Ligue 1 match against Valenciennes in May 1993, in the week before Marseille beat AC Milan in the Champions League final.”

However it is possible that the removal of the influence of Mr Dein might well be very positive for Arsenal.  Indeed it is not impossible to imagine a situation in which the club will say, “If you are represented by Dein, we won’t sign you”.  Of course I just made that concept up, but it does seem strange that one agent should be so closely involved with Arsenal.

On the other hand one could see some of the things that happened as positive.  Mr Dein, it is said, arranged for Thierry Henry to come back to Arsenal as cover last season, and I think most of us enjoyed that.

But could one actually say to an employee, “you must not change agents and have Mr Dein while you are at Arsenal”?   I imagine it is not too much of a restraint of trade to put that in a contract, providing it was made abundantly clear to the player upon signing, and not slipped in through the small print.

Maybe that is happening.  Maybe the club has gone about setting up a Dein free zone.  We’ll never know of course, but it will be interesting to see who the agent is of each new player coming in.

 Ordinary is Pointless

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The scandal of EPL match scheduling

The day that Arsenal as a north London club, began playing


91 comments to Darren Dein now has no more players to represent at Arsenal

  • Bart

    Kees Vos was RvP’s agent, Darren Dein was, afaik, only responsible for his commercial contracts. Of course it only takes one player to change agent and DD is back at the club.
    It might be interesting to do some research into how many player’s careers have been ruined by agent greed; Hleb, Shaun Wright Philips, Adebayor, and now, more likely than not, Song are poignant examples.

  • steve

    I was told by someone in the know that arsenal where glad that he had no more players at the club, did he not also have viera? made himself very rich not a nice man

  • Oli

    Darren Dien is not an agent, he’s a soliciter.
    Also he doesn’t care too much for arsenal after the way his father was treated,
    So no surprise that his clients have left arsenal.

  • Gouresh

    Don’t know about this one, but what happens if the player takes on Dein as an agent after he signs? can/should we sell him pronto? strange one this.

  • Oli according to the list of registered agents on the FA Web site Mr Dein is an agent. He is also qualified as a solicitor. If you have information that contradicts that please do give your source.

  • highamsparkgunner

    Pleased you have mentioned this as for such a disruptive influence as Dein has been it seems his name stays out of most of the media outlets.
    I really think that by taking the players away from Arsenal it fuels the fire for the eventual return of the ultimate JUDAS of Arsenal Darren Deins dad Mr Tango himself David Dein.I mean if he was such a good guy as some newspapers say then surely he would have spoken to his son about this but I seem to think that he encourages the moves himself.
    Don’t forget this is the man who wanted his beloved Arsenal to make the move to Wembley.I think with both Deims away from the club it can only be good for Arsenal

  • Goonerboy


    Typical – let me shove my tongue so far up Gazedis/Wenger’s arse-nal.

    It shouldnt matter who the agents are – the players themselves all have mouths, and the ones who left arsenal accrimoniously did so on their own volition

    Now change the subject Tony – talk about the real issues – like why does someone who owns 60% of the club, only go to 1 game in the entire season? Or why did the club move to the Emirates if they cannot even after 6 years compete financially with not even some of the top clubs.

    Oik approved!
  • Goonergerry

    Have you ever asked yourself why Darren Dein may be associated with high profile players who have all chosen to leave Arsenal in recent years?
    Alex Fynn recently stated that Darren may have been unhappy about the way the Arsenal Board treated his father- David described his axing from the Arsenal Board to Alex as a “brutal sacking”.
    Alex suggested that lawyer Darren Dein “opens the eyes of players to what they may be able to earn”- that he is more marketing advisor than player’s agent. I guess that means image rights, players commercial deals, endorsements with sponsors etc.
    If that is the case- what evidence do you have that Darren Dein has been booted out at the Emirates- and how meaningful is it if he is? Players can get advice from the Dalai Lama if they want.

  • Gavlaar

    I disagree David dein would bring back glory to the club look how successful we was till he left ? Well I hope he comes back and gets money pumped into the team.!

  • The font

    I am sure the Deins would dissergree but the fact is where there is money to be made from historic
    Connections. Not talent it would be very hard to stay loyal to the club

  • Adam

    Dein Darren RLD 662 Independent Agent Registered Lawyer.
    Taken from the FAs list. He is not a registered Fifa player/match agent. There are still players at Arsenal who are represented by agents who use underhand tactics to move players on. My hope is that the remaining players are strong enough, To not be influenced by negative or Arsenal biased agents. Lets see who the press tout next?

  • Giddy

    Hi tony? Could you pliz clerify for me the issue of buyout clause and if its also inserted on players contract in England and if so, why is arsenal players like don’t have it pronounced. I just read that a mr. Ex-song has a buyout clause of 80million euros in his contract

  • Family Enclosure Man

    ‘Maybe the club has gone about setting up a Dein free zone. ‘

    More like the other way around, surely? Dein has gone about setting up an Arsenal-free zone for his clients! I can’t imagine AFC deliberately sought to offload Fabregas and RvP simply in order to reduce Dein’s ‘influence’ at the club – if anything, Dein encouraged them to quit Arsenal against the wishes of the manager and directors.

  • elkieno

    I could research this myself but I am afraid to ‘step outside the untold door’ for fear of reading some bullshit made up by a reporter who does not do any research.
    So how was mr Dien treated bad by arsenal?
    Why would his son have it in for us?
    Finally, how the friggin hell could the Daily Mail have known about the 2 departures (song, rvp) so early on?
    Unless this Son of Dein character blabbed?

  • Adam

    I think Spanish law is different, I believe they have to have a contract buy out clause.

  • zdzis

    I don’t know about this – speaking both about the Dein influence and the buy-out clauses.
    First of all, while I agree there might be something to the Demon Dein (wasn’t the evil kid from “Omen” named Darren? Oh, it was Damien…) story, I think it’s far more complex than that. Yes, I suppose Dein, more as a friend & solicitor than actual agent, impelled several players to force moves to better paying employers – but can we ever be sure nobody has such an influential voice around anymore? Also, the reasons – and circumstances – of the marquee transfers from Arsenal differ. Cesc’s reasons were different than Nasri’s; it seems Song was forced into a move after a series of unfortunate events (including trying to push for a raise), while, for instance, Hleb quite simply chose the money. Dein’s role may be that of a catalyst, but we shouldn’t forget that a number of moves he seems to have been involved in were quite profitable for our good old club. There’s two sides to every story and I’m very curious about his side, even if it’s just for anthropology’s sake.
    Second, the buy-out clause issue may be a question for a qualified solicitor (not necessarily an agent), but in most cases it seems also to be a part of the deal you’re striking with the player; meaning, if you want to put, say, a £100m buy-out clause in Neymar’s contract, he’s in his right to demand a raise, or at least a sign-on fee. I don’t think it’s smart to use buy-out clauses in every situation, since only a handful of players in every team are utterly necessary to ensure quality of play. Also, it would still mean the player could run his contract down and refuse to sign another – and then even the buy-out clause is up for negotiations (or so it seems judging from the evidence). In other words, no solution is final, and if a player chooses disloyalty, you can’t do much about it.

  • nicky

    Regardless of personalities it is my firmly held opinion that agents are the source of the many ills in today’s game. Any young starlet joining (say) Arsenal on his first contract should ask himself “Why do I need an agent? I have a 4 year contract at the end of which, depending on how I have performed, Arsenal may offer me better terms.”
    The trouble arises, of course, when agents start to tout their services, like the leeches they are.
    To my simple mind, a person whose job it is to gain extra remuneration for his client, in return for his own profit, should always be regarded with a degree of suspicion.
    Loyalty is a dirty word in their book and the integrity of a contract is meaningless. Agents and their percentage of earnings income are a curse on professional sport and the sooner they can be outlawed or at least strictly controlled, the better.

  • Giddy, I don’t think there is any reason why a player might not have a buy-out clause in his contract if he wants or if the club wants. But I am not an expert on employment law – the only bits of employment law that I have to know about in my work relate to people who take years to earn what footballers can earn in a week.

  • Goonergerry – I was trying to make it clear that I don’t have evidence. I was merely reflecting on the fact that the Mail made a point about the agent months ago, and that whereas there were previously a number of players working with him, now there are none.

  • Goonerboy: you asked two questions:

    why does someone who owns 60% of the club, only go to 1 game in the entire season?

    Because there are two models of ownership in football – the owner who gets deeply involved and the one who doesn’t. Neither model is perfect – because an owner who is deeply involved can then suddenly lose interest and stop paying money in, and the club can become destablisied. We’ve been talking about this through the summer – and it resulted in our buying one of the best midfielders in Europe for a knock down price. Owner involvement is not essential, and can be dangerous.

    Or why did the club move to the Emirates if they cannot even after 6 years compete financially with not even some of the top clubs.

    That is simple: the money that Chelsea and Man C have is way beyond anything Arsenal could ever make, unless it sold itself to someone with the finances of their owners.

  • IndianGooner

    He has connections with Vermaelen and Diaby’s agents too. Be warned Gooners.

  • Maturks

    Its not over yet because Dein also represents the agents of Vamaelen and Diaby

  • colario

    Slightly off subject but can anyone tell why Barcelona came in for Song. Lets face it Darren could have (I am not saying he did) convinced Song that he would get more money at Barcelona but it means nothing unless Barcelona wanted Song.

    Song is very good at times and at other times no so good. I would not have thought he was consistant enough to attract Barcelona. So what do they see in Song that made them by him?

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    It’s a puzzle. They know they need to replace Puyol as he’s their one ‘proper’ defender who can actually play to Barca standards. Song however isn’t a great centreback nor a great passing midfielder, isn’t schooled in the way Barca defend either. I suspect naughty old Cesc put in a good word for him when the subject came up, as Song is his friend. There’s no question that Song could do a job for them but mainly as cover for Busquets & Puyol rather than a nailed on starter for either position.
    BTW Cesc posted a picture of himself, another Barca player and Song, where the guy standing between them (I don’t recognise him) looks absolutely terrified!

  • Shakabula Gooner

    Dear Maturks:

    You said our new captain, Vermaelen and our hopefully over his injuries, Diaby also have relations with Darren Dein.

    In view of the recent histories with our captains, recovered injured who give us one year of good football out of seven and with players associated with dreaded DD, does this mean we should pen down Verminator and Abou as next in line at Arsenal exit turnstile?

    Should be questioning Wenger too as to why he has choosen players with some relationship with DD as our captain for quite a while now?

    Paranoid Gooner wants to know.

  • Stuart

    Surely Arsenal FC are well within their rights to instruct an agent to ‘head hunt’ a player whom Arsene desires and can therefore choose who represent them?

  • Stuart

    Why does someone who owns 60% of the club, only go to 1 game in the entire season?

    – Let me think, maybe they are not a fanatical football fan, they live in the USA and have other commitments?

    Why did the club move to the Emirates if they cannot even after 6 years compete financially with not even some of the top clubs.

    – Well as far as I am aware, the only top (and when I say top, that is questionable) clubs we can’t compete with are Man City and Chelsea bu then again, with their endless riches, neither can anyone else. Who were you thinking of? What I do know is we would be in the league of Spurs or Liverpool if we hacn’t moved to the new stadium , my only criticism of the stadium move by the way is that is didn’t happen earlier. A couple of years would have made a big difference.

  • Re why Barca wanted Song, I think it might be the fact that this transfer window they have only made one other signing, Jordi Alba (aside from the players promoted from Barcelona B which some web sites to list as “transfers”. Considering how far ahead Real Mad were of Barca last season I suspect there might be a little restless from Barca fans. Especially when they still have their debt mountain.

  • Adam

    So ckeck out section B1a-B1c (of the above link) it basically states that an agent must point the player in the direction of a solicitor. So who do these agents point too??????

  • Adam
    Can anyone shed a bit of light on the link provided. for example what does Exempt European Lawyer mean?

  • bob

    Let’s stop getting hung up on the title “agent”;’that’s window dressing. When it comes to a top player, insisting (as some comments here are doing) that only the Registered Agent counts is a diversion. An agent can be influential, or a mere messenger boy/mouthpiece/contract-signer. A big player has a Team around him. Team Song. Team Fabregas. Team Van Persie. The inner circle of that team is what matters. The player listens to whomever he listens to; and some voices count for more than others in that circle. It’s about which voice(s) are influence that matters. Who is “first among equals” is real. And this petty hairsplitting over whether Dein is the agent or “merely” an advisor muddies the waters.

    To say duh, Dein’s not The Agent stupid, betrays the ignorance or irrelevance of that opinion. To say well, a player could get advised by the Dali Lama, so what (it’s only the registered agent that matters) is as ignorant as it is snarky. Of course snarky wins the day in many circles these days.

    What matters is connections and influence; the ability to spot and opportunity, stoke interest, broker a deal, effect the transfer, turn the player’s head with the well-phrased promise of greener pastures and eternal security, to make the initial and follow-up calls that are answered and returned, and, indeed, to be listened to when speaking. To have the track record in this is power. When Dein walks through a changing room, players notice.

    Darren Damien Dean (3D) has been around the club since childhood; has parlayed the Da’s once massive standing, power and prestige at the club into access to the players, the ability to attract clients, and the access to interconnections amongst AFC, Barfa of Qatar, Citeh and now Manure. The title does not matter in the end. Visibility does not mean power. (In fact, being in the spotlight is more likely to be a sign of impotence than of real influence.) Indeed, as a background figure, (though once sheepishly caught by paparazzi on camera with Gail Clichy after a quiet sit down), Dein makes connections only among top players and top clubs of the world’s top two leagues BPL and La Liga. He is a global player in a globalized game.

    No errand boy, Dein fosters getting his cut via transfers. Some have pointed out here (yesterday) that Dein-Song meetings took place (perhaps started) in July 2011. If that is true, it came at the onset of the Cesc-Leaving disaster. Some newspapers in March of 2012 have him as Song’s new agent. This would come as the ongoing, quiet plans to move RVP enter their end-game.

    Standing pat does not get a person of influence (agent or advisor or representative) his cut of the action. Tranfers do. Having facilitated transfers of our (eventually) all-too-willing top players, Thierry Henry, Cesc Fabregas and Robin Van Persie is now well understood. That would be 3 of the last 4 captains (not Gallas, and we don’t know if there is or may yet be an indirect link to Tommy V). Dein’s Arsenal clients include Clichy and Adebayor. It is no exaggeration to understand him to be an Asset Stripper who regularly makes a meal of Arsenal’s assets. (That he brought “back” Thierry for six weeks, for old times sake, should not be confused with good-guy intent.)

    Dein the Lesser may or may not be a Shakespearian avenger of the spurned Father. This theory makes an irresistible tabloid story line and makes the blood run, hot or cold. Indeed, some people do know the answer to this riddle; but no one hereabouts. In any case, his actions do beg lots of pointed questions. Among the most uncomfortable: Why has it taken AFC so long to wake up and smell the coffee about this man’s impact? Is it too scary to have called him out because of the Da’s past and perhaps ongoing influence at the club? Or has he been useful to some at AFC (which has its own internal factions and differences) because his deeds do bring back transfer money to AFC? That is, DDD brings back money with every self-serving transaction that breaks the fans’ hearts? However we slice it, Dein knows how to turn a player’s head and has done it with ruthless success in today’s Great Game (as the competition for central asia used to be called) where as a blogger wrote yesterday, “cold cash and cold hearts” rule.

  • bongo

    Actually lads I think Song was bought purely for football reasons and watching Barca play recently I do have a feeling he can be the missing piece.
    When Song has the ball no one is going to outmuscle him for it, especially not in Spain. He can play DM, CB and box-to-box and while he’s not a master of any of those positions he is quite good at all of them. He is an intelligent player which offsets his lack of pace and with Barca’s pressing game he will be a lot less of a liability when he roams forward like he was for us.
    As far as Dein as Dein anyone I read with any kind of sources in the club say he was a poisonous ass with a major vendetta against the board after his fathers sacking. It’s not Arsenal football club but the board that they want to punish and what better way to get the fans on the boards back and put pressure on them than to unsettle their best players and make a heap of cash from it too.
    From what I hear they have the balls to actually think they’re doing what’s best for Arsenal as they want to create a situation of such discord that the boards position will become untenable and open the door for Ushimov, known to be close to the Dein’s, to jump right in and pump millions into the club and their pockets.
    Dein is the reason we’re called a selling/feeder club these days and make no mistake he is in Vermaelen’s ear just waiting for one of the other big clubs to start showing enough interest and he will be on the offensive waving money around.

  • bob

    “Should be questioning Wenger too as to why he has choosen players with some relationship with DD as our captain for quite a while now?”
    Shakabula Gooner,
    Yes, this question – however uncomfortable or unwelcome – is begged! I’m an Arsene backer, but I am disturbed by the possibility that his purported friendship with Dein the Dad has resulted in his having had a blind spot or a soft spot for Dein the Lesser, who Arsene has known since childhood. Is Arsene’s heart an invitation for the children of the next generation – Dein Jr, Cesc, Nasri, RVP, Song – to abuse his affections and betray his having developed their talents? I hope Arsene is writing the memoirs. The sooner the better.

  • bob

    Given the track record of taking off our captains, I sadly but soberly have to agree with you: “make no mistake he is in Vermaelen’s ear just waiting for one of the other big clubs to start showing enough interest and he will be on the offensive waving money around.”

    Some will say, well Tommy V. just signed a contract and has professed his love for the club. I am seduced by Tommy V and want him to succeed beyond all previous captains and become a legend. But, I must confess, that I was seduced by RVP and also expected him to succeed beyond all previous captains and become a legend. What skill on the pitch. What joy when another player scored. What a talisman. AND, all the while, he and Dein are plotting their exit strategy for at least six months running. The surface means nothing. It is a well-honed role that camouflages the great game of money breeding money. I pray that Tommy V is the exception to this unfortunate but de facto rule. The question is, what – if anything – can be done to prevent this? I feel there is a continuing war on at AFC and we will not see the end of it, nor the end of Darren Damien Dein. It is sapping our future to chronically allow or fail to keep our best products from the clutches of this blatant and openly predatory behavior that today has become business as usual. Football is fast becoming a fan-free zone where the emotional investment that makes a fan a fan means nothing – in fact it’s an encumberance – to the Deins of the world who know the price of everything and the true value of nothing.

  • Shard

    Fan free zone? I disagree bob. They count on us to have that apathy and emotional distance to ‘protect’ ourselves. The truth is..They need us. if they didn’t, they wouldn’t spend so much time, effort and money into planning and plotting their spin. Yes they might well take Vermaelen away, or Wilshere, or even Jenkinson or Yennaris (who are proper Gooners), but they won’t take my love of watching football, of identifying with Arsenal as my club, or even get me to tone down my emotions just to feel safer in the knowledge of my knowledge (read cynicism)

  • Shard

    With regards to Wenger and David Dein’s relationship. I agree. It seems strange. But I think it just means they can compartmentalise their work, and their friendship. Like two brothers finding themselves on opposite sides of a war 🙂

  • bob

    Whatever else I wildly applaud your raising the Dein Question to a higher profile.

    While I hope it’s true, I do not agree with your defining the situation as it has been unfolding as our having intended to create a Dein-free zone all along. Maybe I’m mischaracterizing what you are saying, but you seem to be turning Dein’s chronic asset-stripping into AFC’s way of getting rid of Dein. Please clarify this point for me.

    Also, only a few days ago, I thought you were suggesting that we were selling Song and RVP to push Barfa and Manure toward their inevitable bankruptcies? Were you not? Indeed, by this logic, if you were serious, Darren Dein is really an Arsenal hero for having economically undermined our most formidable opponents.

    To me, as you might be aware, Manure and Barca are too big to be allowed to fail; and your hypothesis is wishful thinking. I might wish that too, but I don’t see it as possible.

  • Shard

    There is nothing which is too big to fail. Nothing. Things are only kept propped up till it benefits the person doing the propping up. Barca might well survive because you’ll have the whole of catalonia doing all they can to help them survive, if it ever came to it. But ManU.. They are a money spinning machine. And till it’s more profitable to keep the machine spinning, they will be there. Once it becomes more profitable to strip them of all their assets and get out, they will fall. Unless they get lucky somehow.

  • bob

    This, then, is our tragedy. To continue to love what we love even as it is taken from us, over and over again. Is our only fate, as conscious fans, to become aware that they know and plan that we will continue to be this way? I applaud you for making it so explicit because it helps give people a choice: to accept the way it is or to take measures that may one day reach enough of a “critical mass” to have fans demand something better than such cynical abuse. On the evidence to date, there seems to be little evidence that they/we will. But change has a funny way of happening when it’s least expected. We all have our comforting illusions… 🙂

  • Shard

    Agreed bob 🙂

  • bob

    How I read the tea leaves. Imo, with Barfa, it’s not as narrow as Catalonia only. In my construction, La Liga is (unfortunately) Madrid v Barcelona. If either one fails, La Liga goes down and zillions in investment are lost. Barfa is now sustained by the Qatar Foundation, a wild card that neither you nor I nor Tony nor anyone hereabouts has factored in. That name is not on their jerseys for the love of football. It is a brand whose value will belong to the highest bidder, from millionaire to billionaire to zillionaire. Also Barfa has national importance – it is part of Spain’s image in the world. Its players, as you know, are heart and personnel of their national team. There are national stakes in their success or failure. Sources outside the picture will rescue their day; even at taxpayer expense. And many taxpayers will turn as blind an eye to this, even like it and feel effectual, as you have acknowledged will take the abuse that Organized Football regularly dishes out because people love their team. Even if it took a Save Barca fund, the fanbase, in and out of Catalonia, will respond. People will run for office on that platform. Zillionaires will swoop in and save the day. That’s how I see it. Rational bookkeeping alone cannot account for this, where tribalism and localism and nationalism all meet untold wealth from untold sources. Barfa alive will continue to do better for the biggest monied interests than will Barfa dead. Did the Qatar Foundation not just keep them afloat? For this mosaic of considerations, my guesstimate is that they are too big to fail.

    I’d also make similar points about Manure. They are not going down. They are the face of the Barclay’s Premier League. Barclay’s may have been wrist-slapped for making the Libor Rate its plaything, but it’s too big to fail, and the League that is its namesake will continue to place Manure on its masthead. With the 3R’s (Rednose, Rooney and Robin) as its unholy trinity. Manure and Barfa each have massive investment by sets of big players – political as well as economic – whose array of interests lies in keeping this entity (even as a bankrupted entity) afloat. Dead man walking, perhaps, but walking nonetheless. If Manure goes down, the League goes down. We might want that, but at worst (and imo it would be worst), it would morph into part of a globalized super league. Imo, research into the who’s who of those that own entities like Barfa and Manure would reveal why they won’t be allowed to fail. There might well yet or soon be a change of ownership (by forced or intended selling by the Glazers), but not an absence of ownership.

    Now after all this, you’d argue that a world economic collapse will take down even Barfa and Manure, I would have to agree. And I’d also have to reluctantly agree that the stadium loan would be called in hereabouts as well.

  • Shard


    The reason I left out Qatar or the politics of La Liga is because both of those are almost certainly temporary. Qatar needed legitimacy for its bid for 2022, and probably till then, they will utilise the Barca brand and associate with them. (Or until some other club gains the media accolade of the greatest team ever) La Liga might rely on the big two, but those two aren’t the only players there. I think it is inevitable that at some point those two will either quit the league to join a super league of sorts, or they will have to accept to giving the other clubs a larger share of the tv money. Clubs there are struggling to survive, and defaulting on taxes. So far the govt turns a blind eye since it is football clubs (the mob must have their circus), but with their economy tanking, they will start applying pressure on the clubs who in turn will NEED to get something from the big two if they are to continue to exist.

    ManU is different from Barclays. Barclays do the manipulation of Libor perhaps, and indeed are partners in ruining..I mean running.. the world’s economy.. ManU is spinning money for someone. But I tend to think of ManU, the club, more as victims than as participants (even if they are willing victims) Their name brings someone a lot of money, and that will continue for some time yet. But eventually, their name will not be enough to keep them afloat. Their hollowness is being seen by more and more people over the last few years. The ones who benefit from running the league this way, will be forced to jettison ManU to keep their legitimacy (such as it is) and hence keep the money flowing into their coffers. In that sense, I think ManU have actually become too big to sustain. They are probably just being fattened for the slaughter rather than anything else. But hey..maybe this is another of my comforting illusions 🙂 Though, I must admit, the only comforting part of it would be to see the sense of entitlement among their fanbase come back to bite them. For the rest, any club being put to that fate wouldn’t comfort me.

  • Adam

    1.5 An Authorised Agent must, without fail, respect the rights of negotiating partners and third
    parties. In particular, an Authorised Agent must respect the contractual relations of
    professional colleagues, and shall refrain from any action that could entice clients away
    from other parties.
    There is the rule (code of conduct), How do you prove a person is in violation of it?

  • bob

    “the only comforting part of it would be to see the sense of entitlement among their fanbase come back to bite them.”

    We couldn’t agree more!
    And toward that end, I will endeavor to keep Walter’s Gift alive and well – the crime scene report from Old Toilet, October 2004:

    And for all who forget or pooh-pooh the power of truth-seeking, well, amigos, this link continues to reveal Exhibit A in why truth-seeking still matters.

    Kudos Shard, and Walter, for stirring the pot so well. 🙂

  • bob

    Very nice find! Gotta love yours at 1:28:
    “So ckeck out section B1a-B1c (of the above link) it basically states that an agent must point the player in the direction of a solicitor. So who do these agents point too??????”
    So, Keys Vos directs RVP to 3D (by law). In practice, of course, it might have been done in the reverse order.
    Read it and weep.

  • bob

    Here’s a piece of what I was getting act with regard to Manure’s staying power:
    Soros has bought 2 percent of the flotation on the strength of Manure’s brand its the expansion of TV rights. Have a look. I take no joy in noting this. 🙂

  • nicky

    Not quite sure why the status and future of Man Utd was raised, but surely your viewpoint that the Club is the face of the EPL and cannot fail cannot be true.
    On its membership, they have been relegated once and therefore they have no divine right to a position there.
    Even as a successful business, relegation would have a serious, world-wide adverse effect. In these times of economic downturn, no business is sacrosanct (who, some years ago would ever have foreseen the complete global failure of F.W.Woolworth.)
    I simply cannot see the “Armageddon” you appear to envisage if Man Utd ceased to exist as a business.
    Perhaps you know something I don’t in which case you will no doubt tell me.

  • Sammy The Snake


    In a few countries, it’s common practice for the coach of a club to demand a portion of the transfer fees in order to accept the player. This is a clear bribe, complete corruption, and totally true. That is why so many Asian clubs have completely useless players on their roster. Sometimes the manager signs a player who has NEVER played a single match, just because he is getting a cut (which I assume he’ll share with a few to keep things hush hush).

    How much of this do you see in the European game? Could Sir Alex have signed Bebe (who he signed without even seeing a video of, and who turned out to be ablemon) for such reasons? Could some of the outragous transfer fees be due to this phenomena? We all know RVP is good, but to pay 24 million for a 29 year old with only a year on his contract, while your club’s dire need is reinforcements in the middle, smells a bit fishy.

    There’s no doubt this happens in Asia, i’d assume eastern Euro countries may have it too. But England, Spain, France. Having seen The sh!t happening in Rangers, financial institutions, and the rest, this may not be too far fetched.

  • Shard


    Fair point. But I think in this era of billionaire owners and offshore bank accounts, we need to look beyond just the manager getting a cut. Anne’s money laundering series along with the FATF report make it pretty clear that overvaluing of players and high churn in players (more transfers) makes for happy cash washers. This might also explain why Arsenal have never made a 20m pound signing, and why they are attacked in the media for it.

  • bob

    Hi nicky,
    Brands are now worth tens if not hundreds of billions. You can find them listed with guesstimates of that value. I mean just brands. Brands attract investors, sponsors, merchandisers, season’s tickets, TV audiences, sponsors of TV shows, players, media audience. The BPL advertises its products very often – more often that any others – with the badge of Manure and faces of Fergie and Rooney as its short-hand symbol of recognition. This is not only in England but even more so globally. The collapse of Manure would tarnish the brand and the brand recognition that have been built up. It is part of the hook that delivers audiences to the telly and customers to the merchandise; and, in turn, boosts advertising revenue. In my view, Manure is not simple an interchangeable part that can be swapped in and out without tarnishing the vital and valuable image of the BPL itself. George Soros, the billionaire who just bought 2 percent of the Manure stock flotation on the NY Stock Exchange has indicated that it was the power and recognition – worldwide – of its brand and its increasing TV exposure (not the League’s per se, but the League tied to its Manure flagship) – that got him to invest. That’s just an indicator of the BPL/MU combination. At one point within the last 20 years, there was an attempt by MU or Sky to buy each other’s shares (I can’t be precise right now on who was bidding for whom). That bid was rejected by other authorities. But I still believe, without having yet analyzed it, that there are still commercial ties or shared interests that they exercise. Manure gets more TV eyeball exposure, for example, than any other side. Manure gets, as was demonstrated yesterday, the best schedule – and part of that is what TV wants, and it does not want a losing side. Anyway, I see this as just the surface of an interwoven set of interests that Manure enjoys to a greater extent than other clubs. So, without being a business analyst or doing my PhD in sports administration, I’m hypothesizing – while holding my nose – that, in this League, for the foreseeable future – ManUre is too big to fail and it would take down the League. I’m happy, by the way, to be shown the error of my ways on this; and have zero ego investment in being right. It’s just how I see their strength and, even if the Glazers are pushed out or sell out, there will be another ownership group because the League requires that they do not go under. I invite you to demonstrate this is wrong. Not from wishful thinking, but from an actual analysis. In fact, I would implore you to do so.

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    I think you might have something there, though I wish you didn’t.
    If as you suggest, the EPL is basically the ‘Manchester United’ show for the Asian market (where everyone wants a piece of the action because they’ve fucked up the American & European markets) then lots of parties stand to lose out big time if they fail. The problem with this is that it’s football, it’s not that difficult to see that if you expose the mechanisms that keep the underperforming on top to too much scrutiny they fail.
    The more the fans of the other nineteen clamour for the kind of accountability of the referee that other sports fans enjoy on a regular basis, the harder it becomes to hide the fact that the emperor is stark bollock naked.
    The only way out is if United suddenly improve over this season and next, how they go about it, I have no idea.

  • Shard

    and part of that is what TV wants, and it does not want a losing side.

    And thus we have referees boosting them up the table. But what if, as is happening, this becomes noticeable enough so as to render their winning meaningless. DO you think only you or I notice this bob? I’m sure people look at it and cringe and get put off by ManU’s ‘wins’ because of it.

    Thus, at some point, the TV and league (whose primary interest is money not ManU) will find and create new behemoths as the ‘face’ of the brand. (City anyone?) and ManU’s special place in the echelons of the league bosses will fade. Will they fail along with it? No way to know, but unsustainable is unsustainable for a reason. The current state at ManU cannot continue. Not in perpetuity. And I think ManU fans, those that have brains, must fear the absolute worst. Something I’d rather not live with at my club, and is why I am opposed to Usmanov and his sort. Not that Kroenke fills me with glee

  • bob

    Add to add to the joy, I’d piggy back on part of your anlaysis with this further hypothesis:
    The PGMOL ultimately is signed on to protect this (above)arrangement.
    To do so, it must remain non-transparent.
    To remain non-transparent, it must appear to give in to or channel the growing demand for fairness and transparency by fans of the other sides.
    And to manage this effectively, there would tactics such as (for one): go-slow testing and finally acceptance of pricey goal line technology; this whilst retaining true control over the pitch by preventing (or terminally delaying( the adoption of full or fuller video replay/review of ref decisions. That is: goal line technology is the best way to block full ref accountability.

    Woolwich, I’d value your further thoughts on this.

  • bob

    That’s a great point – yes, I agree – the perpetuity factor. As you say, “enter Man City.” This, then, would produce a managed product known as “a competitive league” – That is a perpetual 2-3 team horse-race among the 3 zillionaire clubs – as the new normal.

    It will be interesting to see if this becomes the new grand bargain that’s been struck; and to see if it gets reflected in the actual marketing in the media (and perhaps in the sports press)? Or, will MU’s drive to complete the (thwarted) Rednose XX of last season become the overriding theme? We shall see. Cheers 🙂

  • Shard

    Ferguson will get ManU’s 20th before he retires. Guaranteed.

  • Shard

    Oh and btw bob. To go with the idea of there being a “competitive league”. I’d like to give you, as you like to say, exhibit A

    It’s about the new bumper TV deals where one excerpt reads,

    Scudamore was surprised by the size of the offers, boosted by the ultimate drama of Manchester City clinching the title in injury time of the last game of the season.
    ‘We couldn’t have gone to market at a better time,’ he admitted.

  • bob

    Shard, (Woolwich, Walter, Tony, Dogface, all)
    Yes, Shard! (predictably) I do think this article is exhibit A. Imo, it would underpin adoption of a new “managed competition model” The last-minute Manchester/Manchester outcome has achieved the results that matter: “The agreements, which start from the 2013-14 campaign, are a remarkable 70 per cent increase on the current contract.” I think we’d all do well to keep this arrangement in mind as everyone assesses the unfolding season.

  • nicky

    Thanks for the mindboggling lesson.
    I have a dream. Man Utd sliding towards relegation. I watch FIFA, the FA, EPL, the Bank of England and the Chancellor (not forgetting the referees)striving to keep the Club afloat!
    It’d make a good film!

  • Hmmm, I did wonder about this link, but is it the Arsenal board who were driving players out associated to Dein, or Dein working on exits for players? Or, of course, all just coincidence?

    We will likely never know, but I do feel a little more at ease knowing that Darren Dein no longer represents any player at our club

  • Goonerboy

    Tony – my questions were rhetoric – the point is, the club is rotten systemically from top to bottom – I would even dare to go so far and call out a lot of the supporters of being rotten. There used to be a saying in football, theres the football way and there is the is Arsenal way – which used to mean the club had standards, and principles that elevated itself above all else. They, the board and a proportion of its supporters, have taken this too literally and have elevated themselves to the point where they are untouchable, unanswerable to anyone and also dillusional about the way football is moving. The club and these fans are holding on to FFT ruling to be the clubs saviour. To hell with that, I am not prepared to see the spirit of my club get the sh*t smashed out of it, because some people are holding on to some miracle to save them, while in the process we get mugged off year in year out, having to lose our best players, but at the same time pay the highest season tickets not just in this country, but throughout the footballing world!!!

    When you put that in to context – the way the club is run is insulting to its fans!!!

  • Brickfields Gunners

    I wouldn’t be unhappy if we could nudge Ashavin and Bendner towards Dein the Lesser and get some ‘crazy money ‘ from some unsuspecting club ! Then we’ll call it even !

  • Stuart


    I don’t understand how you can suggest that running the club responsibly is insulting to the fans. The fact the board have chosen to not go down the sugar daddy funding route should be praised as it was an all too easy option to sell out but no, they have held the value of the club in their heart and respected the clubs history and values. You have to remember, there are only two teams in the PL who have this ridiculous funding so it is not the norm.

    So what if we have sold RVP, Cesc, Nasri etc… We never won anything with them anyway so what makes you think we would have if we kept them? I believe it was time to try something new if we want to see a different end result and that is exactly what we are doing!

  • WalterBroeckx

    The way Glasgow Rangers was run, that was an insult to their fans

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    We can add Malaga to that list I suppose.

  • WalterBroeckx

    I could even list a few clubs from Belgium that played in the first division a few seasons ago that went bankrupt.
    and wasn’t there an Italian club also that was relegated a few divisions for going bankrupt?

  • Goonerboy

    So I have to pay for the most expensive seaons tickets in the world, in order to bankroll the club experimenting with success on the pitch? An experiment that has bourne no fruition, and seen our best players leave the club to gain success elsewhere. What has happened to the milllions of pounds these players sold for? I havent seen a single penny reinvested in the club or in the fans – my season ticket keeps rising year on year – but the quality of the football hasnt. Your point about the clubs history and values, is moot, the club, before it started to dish out shares to its old school chums, had 1 owner, and he would invest his money in the club – i would suggest you check your records on the history of the club, you know the one you profess to love. It didnt have all these leeches and shaddy characters sucking the life out of the club for their own financial gain – Kronke from what I understand, while he hasnt invested a single penny in the club, gets £1m a month from the club based on his dividends!!


  • WalterBroeckx

    No, Goonerboy you don’t have to pay it. It is a free choice.

    And I don’t think you understand as the club pays no dividends at all…

    Don’t believe anything you read on some sites…


  • Goonerboy

    I dont have a choice, I have supported my club, man and boy for over 40 years, been a season ticket holder for since I was 14, so why should I have to forfeit my ticket in order to express my opinion and disgust – i want my club to success, and not just in winning trophies, but also the hearts and minds of others – but alas this isnt the case – we have gone from a club with history, standards and values, to a feeder club for others and in the process the fans, get the short end of the stick.

    To compound my view, read this article. As much as I dislike the sun they highlight my point

    £163m earnt in 7 years!!!!!

    How much debt does the club actually have – as it seems to be never ending!!

  • Goonerboy

    As for dividends, yes it does – Kronke gets paid £1m a month from the club – FACT

  • Shard

    Kroenke earns 25000 pounds per year from Arsenal in the form of salaries. Arsenal pay no dividends.

    Kroenke, or more accurately KSE, would also be earning from their 50% ownership of Arsenal media. But 1m pounds a year in dividends.. Sorry.. NOT fact.

  • Shard

    oh sorry.. you said 1m pounds a MONTH… even more a NOT fact.

  • Goonerboy

    wait and see shard, we will have this conversation again in due course and you will see I am right

  • Shard


    Really?? How so? Will you pull out another figure with no evidence to support it?

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    Come on Goonerboy, are you just repeating what you’ve been told by some clueless moron or do you have a reliable source? Basically you are alleging that the club is committing massive tax fraud by not properly declaring dividends in the accounts. Your implication is that Kroenke is cheating the taxman of £3 million per year, right now you’re on seriously thin ice in a legal sense.

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    My apologies, £4.8 million, assuming that the majority of Kroenke’s income in the UK is in the form of ‘dividends’ as you put and therefore would be taxed at 40% as I recall.

  • Goonerboy

    I have a source and that source is reliable. As for the density of the ice i am on, its as thick as you, for making such a silly statement

  • Shard

    Thickness has nothing to do with density.. Pick your metaphors and your sources better.

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    Please keep digging your own grave, it’s keeping me entertained during a boring day at work. Your allegations are more serious than you might think so by all means keep repeating them. You are in the process of libelling a very wealthy man and the company of which he is the majority owner, for the purpose of winning an argument on the comments section of a blog.

  • Stuart

    You’re not really suggesting anything are you? You’re just having a moan which is fair enough, we all do that but even if what you say about Kroenke were to be true, not really much that any of us can do is there. I mean who ever owns the club will be doing so for investment reasons, unless of course you want to get your money out 😉

  • Goonerboy

    i already do, as do 10’s of 1000’s of others – to the princely sum of £1500 for a season ticket. I tell you what you give me £1500 and let me disappoint you year in year out, while at the same time, you can watch my mouth move and all it will spew out is lies.

  • Shard

    You pay 1500 pounds for getting to see Arsenal play football matches. 26 of them I believe. In a fantastic stadium. Nothing more is promised to you for your money. You get what you pay for. Any ‘disappointment’ you may have has nothing to do with what you pay, and if you feel it does, stop paying. The choice is yours.

  • Goonerboy

    Shard – whats the view like up Wengers arse? So you dont expect any value for money when you pay for something – either you are mega or a deluded non season ticket holder armchair keyboard warrior.

    To say that the Emirates is a fantastic, seriously, really? I would think 99.9% of real Arsenal fans preferred Highbury over a soulless, passsionless, full of prawn sandwich eating, mega rich, easily pleased supporters. oh lets me guess you still believe the club moving to this stadium will allow us to compete financially with the best in the world, rather than sell our best players?

    Seriously get your head out of Wengers arse and smell the roses – rather than his sh*t, which you seem happy to eat

  • Shard

    Temper temper

  • Shard

    Troll manual 101

    Section 12: Pretend to be disappointed and angry about the ‘direction of the club’ because you’ve been a fan for (a large number) of years. Be sure to bring up how much money you spend in order to be so disappointed and blame the club for robbing you blind.

    Just to make others feel angry about it, bring up absurd lies which cannot be substantiated, but hopefully will bring others to doubt the truth. Kroenke personally secretly siphoning off funds up to tens of millions per year ought to get the target audience riled up.

    You will of course face resistance from some people who take the time to think. At first be sympathetic towards their simplicity and act like you are ITK. Arguing from a position of unarguable superiority should cow down these folks.

    When all else fails accuse them of being delusional, Wenger loving, armchair supporters. Be sure to include crass words like shit and arse. Cunt, cock, bell end are recommended use too. This should get them to either submit to your obviously superior knowledge, or get them angry, and you can fade away, safe in the knowledge that you have ruined at least one Arsenal supporter’s day.

    Mission Accomplished.

  • Shard


    Added benefits include huge boost to your shriveled ego, and making you more respected, knowledgeable, and downright awesome in the eyes of people you have never met, and never will. But this is obviously their misfortune, since they would be blessed to actually meet someone with your wit and intellect. Remember. Mommy always said you were the best at everything, and that everyone who doesn’t love you is a fool.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Damn I am that 0.01% of Gooners… 😉

    With Goonerboy we maybe would still play at the Manor ground because maybe 99.9% of the Gooners from those days didn’t approve the move to Highbury. Lucky Norris moved us to Highbury. And without the move away from Woolwich Arsenal probably would stopped existing or be a lower league club by now.

    And in a few years time people will say : moving Arsenal to the new stadium was a great move. For some it takes a bit longer.

    And Goonerboy how do you describe:

    passion: booing your own players and manager during games?

    ah you are not that easily pleased I think. Can you ever be pleased?
    rhetoric question, no need to answer

    And maybe instead of moaning about all, everyone and everything you could start spreading the support yourself. Show some passion from the first minute for each and every player. And not start shouting or booing from the first wrong pass in the game.

  • Don’t worry – he won’t answer.

  • Stuart


    You know I meant get your money out and buy the club, then you can do things your way.

    I don’t understand where people like you get the nerve to think you are entitled to tell someone what to do with something that belongs to them. Be realistic now, the owners of AFC are multi billionaires and didn’t get there by the likes of you telling them what to do.

  • bob

    While not on with Goonerboy’s vitriol, etc., I think that your “who do you think you are” position vis a vis ownership of their property (a team) leaves little room for protest (except, perhaps, for the polite letter writing that, to your credit, you have done to various authorities). I’ve two points to raise with you: (1) Stature-wise, fans are a special consumer of a product. They are not the same – as in no rights, legacy, emotional investment, humanity – as say, consumers of toothpaste from Tesco. (2) By the same token, consumers of toothpaste at Tesco might actually have more legal recourse to quality control – on appeal to press health claims – than do football fans who are paying consumers, and pay at a far greater per unit (match) rate than Tesco toothpaste buyers. So I find your apparent defense of ownership rights as you seem to to making it re Goonerboy as problematic in its way as I find his vitriol in asserting his consumer rights.