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The RVP saga part 2: “Arsenal needs to splash cash in the transfer market to end its trophy drought”

The club that changed football

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Making the Arsenal

By Anne

There is a group of people in the media who were responsible for such infamous scripts as the “Arsenal in crisis” narrative, and of course, the unforgettable masterpiece: “Arsenal needs to splash cash in the transfer market to end its trophy drought.” Not to mention every other “transfer saga” that has ever revolved around an Arsenal player. They’ve just changed their tune a little bit this time around (but in a very interesting and revealing way).

And while I could be wrong (as always), I personally feel completely confident in saying that these same people also fabricated the Robin van Persie “statement” in the summer for the express purpose of scripting the Robin van Persie “transfer saga” narrative around it. The reason I feel so confident in saying this is because of the specific way that this “statement” was disseminated through the media, and also the way that the separate segments of the “statement” were used tactically in conjunction with pre-planned “talking points” regarding what Robin actually “meant” by the “statement.”

However, before I get into that analysis, I have some more updates to get through first about other things that have happened since the “statement” was published, and the conclusions I have personally drawn from them.

My second update, following the quote from Arsene Wenger, is to present you with the rebuttal to my argument from the parties that I’m alleging to be the true fabricators of the RVP “statement.” For some reason, this job appears to have been delegated to Bleacher Report, who recently published an article bearing the impressive headline:

Robin Van Persie Transfer Saga: Finding the Truth Amongst the Fiction”

It sounds like a good idea at the outset. However, Bleacher Report’s idea of the “truth” amongst the “fiction” differs somewhat substantially from mine. I’ll just go ahead and let them tell you (and since the author seems to be sounding a lot like me for some reason, I’m going to specifically designate between their comments and my response):

Bleacher Report:

“According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary journalism is defined as writing characterized by a direct presentation of facts or description of events without an attempt at interpretation.

The reason I checked the true meaning of journalism is because there seems to be very little of it in connection with this summer’s biggest football soap opera. The ongoing saga of where Robin van Persie will be playing as of September 1st continues to rage non-stop. The only thing that is certain is that the majority of stories covering the subject appear to lack facts and be based more on interpretation.


Uh, ok… Lacking “facts” and based on “interpretation” would certainly be one way of putting it. Although I’m not so sure I agree with (or even fully understand the logic of) this next part.

Bleacher Report:

“The one true fact at the center of it all was the announcement that van Persie would not be signing a new contract with Arsenal. The statement was published on van Persie’s own personal website, but even that has been questioned. Speculation still exists that the ‘update’ was actually released by van Persie’s agent Kees Vos on behalf of his client.

Outside of this announcement the reporting has been comical at best.”


Well, I suppose that puts me in my place. Let’s try to summarize this argument: The entire RVP “transfer saga” is complete rubbish, except for the RVP “website statement.” This “statement” is the “one true fact” at the center of the “transfer saga.” Except that it might not be, in which case, the “statement” was fabricated by Robin van Persie’s agent Kees Vos (and definitely not the media, we swear).

Wow, Bleacher Report… Is that the best you can do? Sounds to me like somebody has a guilty conscience…(Incidentally, I would like to thank Bleacher Report for their open admission here that, aside from this one possible element of truth, the RVP “transfer saga” did not contain any other “true facts.” I would have had a hard time proving that otherwise).

And just to underscore this absolute certainty that the RVP “website statement” was entirely above board, and that nobody has anything to hide, the entire Robin van Persie “official website” appears to have now been taken offline. Which means that nobody can see the “statement” as it appeared in its original context, or the questionable website on which it was published.

This is actually a bit slippery, because in making my argument to prove that the “statement” was, in fact, fabricated, I have to be able to show you the original wording of the “statement” as it was published on the website. But now I can’t, because someone has decided to take my evidence away. (Which actually does more to validate my argument than anything I could possibly say. So, thanks again for that, whoever you are). And I can still tell you what the “statement” said originally. It’s just that you’re going to have to take my word for it now. Sorry, not my choice.

However, before I move onto my analysis of the “statement,” I want to take issue with one other specific aspect of this Bleacher Report article; namely, the fact that they represent the RVP “transfer saga” as “this summer’s biggest football soap opera,” and make the claim that, at the time their article was published, the “ongoing saga of where Robin van Persie will be playing as of September 1st continues to rage non-stop.”

Perhaps the “transfer saga” they were watching was different from the one I saw. Because I was actually under the impression that the Robin van Persie “transfer saga” had come to a grinding halt shortly after my initial article alleging the fabrication was published. And I suppose that this is something that’s open to interpretation in a lot of ways. However, in the following segment of this article, I’m going to describe the somewhat different RVP “transfer saga” that I observed.

You can decide whether they saw my version, Bleacher Report’s version, something else, or something in between. But here’s what I saw:

The Robin van Persie “transfer saga” officially launched on the Fourth of July (an American patriotic holiday, interestingly, celebrating America’s victory in war over the British Empire), and announced its arrival on the scene with all of the fanfare of a global media fireworks display (accompanied by a marching band playing “The Stars and Stripes”).

Overnight, Arsenal fans were suddenly inundated by a deluge of media reports telling us that we all hate Robin van Persie now, because he insulted the noble and valiant Arsene Wenger, and the heroic Ivan Gazidis, by releasing a “statement” on his “official website,” where he dared to suggest that Arsenal needed to “splash cash in the transfer market” to end its “trophy drought.”

And while I can’t speak for how other Arsenal fans might have interpreted the credibility of these statements coming from the media (in light of their past behavior), my personal response was to not believe a single word of it, and also to become so angry at this attempt to defame Robin van Persie while pretending to be “real Arsenal fans” that I still don’t have the adequate words to describe exactly how angry I was.

So, again, I can’t speak for anyone else. But for me personally, nothing the media has ever said about Arsenal has made me as angry as this “transfer saga.” And while the rest of the published response in the media and blogosphere would give the impression that nobody else felt the same way I did, the actions the media took in response to my initial article on the subject give an entirely different impression. Because they ended the “transfer saga,” didn’t they? And I can’t see why they would have done that unless they were afraid that, in truth, everybody felt the same way that I did.

Specifically, after my article was published, the whole thing came to an abrupt end, and we were treated to weeks of nothingness, in which the most exciting thing that happened was the following:

No offers yet for van Persie: Wenger

Basically, to sum up the storyline of this “soap opera:” Robin van Persie might be transferred to either Manchester City, Manchester United, or Juventus, but nobody has made any offers yet. That’s pretty much it (I know that I was riveted by the drama of this “soap opera,” weren’t you?) However, one thing that this “soap opera” failed to do was to offer any explanations for why Robin van Persie had to be transferred in the first place. And it also failed to explain why Robin van Persie had completely disappeared from the Arsenal lineup, and hadn’t been seen in public since the conclusion of the Euros.

Based on my concerns about Robin’s unexplained absence, in conjunction with some extremely threatening-sounding reports that had emerged in the media as part of the Fourth of July extravaganza, I published a follow-up article on 6 August (Opting out of Arsenal: the media’s agenda behind the transfer sagas), in which I (among other things) expressed my concern for Robin’s personal safety, and requested that Arsenal fans be allowed “to see Robin, just to make sure he’s alright.”

Shortly after that, Robin van Persie turned up again to play for Arsenal against Cologne (where the media informed us that he was booed by Arsenal fans. But we’ve all heard that one before, haven’t we?) And then, 9 days after my follow-up article was published, on 15 August, the transfer to United was announced, and Robin accordingly turned up in public again, where he was photographed signing autographs for fans outside of the hospital in Manchester (And it makes me wonder, why is it that Arsenal players always seem to turn up at the hospital at the conclusion of their “transfer sagas,” following lengthy disappearances from public view?)

In the end, the only explanation that Arsenal fans were given for the series of events described above was along the lines of the following:

Robin van Persie Treads The Dark Path – Changes Allegiance From Arsenal To Manchester United

“Robin van Persie was a man to ‘look up to’ for any Arsenal fan. He had often stated that he always wanted to win trophies with Arsenal, and not with any other club. Finally, the devil (read – Agent) triumphed over the assured and calm van Persie, and made him do whatever he did.

A preposterous statement later, he made his position untenable at the club – wherein he had no choice but to move forward. Never ever did he envisage a possibility of jumping ship to the biggest rival Arsenal had in the Premier League era; however, it happened. Robin van Persie became the first Arsenal player under Arsene Wenger to ‘transfer himself’ to Manchester United, a hefty 24 Million transfer fee being the only consolation for the club and the fans.”

Uh…right. Robin van Persie “transferred himself” to Manchester United by making a “preposterous statement.” Based on the evidence currently in the public record, I would actually agree that the transfer of Robin van Persie to Manchester United was most likely “forced” in some manner of speaking. However, the transfer was most certainly not the result of a dubious “statement” on a website, which Arsene Wenger himself has stated publicly that he does not believe to be authentic. At least, not unless Arsenal is run by a bunch of timid pussy cats who allow themselves to be pushed around in business negotiations (which it isn’t, because such persons would never be running Arsenal in the first place).

So, media, over to you: What’s the real story behind this “soap opera?” Specifically, why was Robin van Persie transferred? And it was, in fact, a “forced transfer,” who forced it, and exactly what methods did they use? Were these methods legal or extra-legal? Arsenal fans are waiting… Because in case you didn’t notice, the official “transfer saga” has more holes in it than a piece of swiss cheese.

(Incidentally, I would also appreciate some answers to these questions from Arsenal’s new American owners, who were, after all, the ones who officially signed off on the van Persie transfer).

Overall, the most important question left open by the Robin van Persie “transfer saga” is the question of “why?” Because if Robin van Persie didn’t force this transfer, who did? And why is the media trying to cover up their involvement? And if the truth is that nobody “forced” the transfer, then why is the media helping Arsenal to avoid questions from fans about the Club’s own decision to transfer van Persie? Perhaps the real truth here is that the party the transfer was “forced” on was Robin van Persie himself, rather than Arsenal… Or maybe it was “forced” on both?

To stop beating around the bush, what I’m specifically getting at here is as follows: What agenda might the persons controlling this media network have that relates to forcibly controlling the movements of football players between clubs in the EPL, while hiding from the public the fact that they are doing so?

For me personally, the term “human trafficking” is the first and only that springs to mind in response to that question (after all, it’s not as if it’s never happened in football before). And I’ll be returning to explore this subject more closely as a possible agenda for this media campaign in subsequent articles. And of course, this is all just a hypothesis at this point. But when the “fiction” is as strange as what we’ve been observing, how strange must the real truth be?

For the time being, this conclude my updates. I’ll move on in the next article to  the fabrication of the van Persie “statement” itself.


66 comments to The RVP saga part 2: “Arsenal needs to splash cash in the transfer market to end its trophy drought”

  • CB

    My best friend lives in Alderley Edge and saw RVP in a cafe there two days ago, looking happy with himself.

    No-one forced him to move, money did and the promise of trophies.

    Arsenal conduct their transfer business as quietly as possible and we will never know the full ins and outs until AW (or Dick Law) writes a book.

    So let’s move on, please…

  • benhan

    I can’t believe it. Amusing third part of your version of RVP Saga… Really Speechless.

    You wrote:
    “Overnight, Arsenal fans were suddenly inundated by a deluge of media reports telling us that we all hate Robin van Persie now, because he insulted the noble and valiant Arsene Wenger, and the heroic Ivan Gazidis, by releasing a “statement” on his “official website,” where he dared to suggest that Arsenal needed to “splash cash in the transfer market” to end its “trophy drought.”

    If you think the immediate fans reaction following Van Persie twitter update (the news broke first from his twitter account, not from the media) were not honest, and that we need the media to tell us how much we hate him right away after reading that statement… then Anne, I think you’re kinda patronizing us.

    Almost all Gooners on twitter I follow were speechless, disappointed and angry with his update. And we don’t need the media to tell us exactly what happened to be angry.
    Just few hours after that, the first post I read came from bloggers. Some were really disappointed, almost all voiced in unison that RVP statement patronizing the fans, burnt the bridge between him and the club, slapped Wenger and the management in the face. You can’t think these reactions were fabricated as well. They were honest responses to an update RVP himself tweeted. Don’t say that he didn’t read the statement before publishing it.

    Anne, you just outdo yourself in this third part of the RVP Saga article. Not in a good way I must say.

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    Sorry Anne, you’ve gone where no-one will follow.
    The RvP case is the alternate outcome of the Rooney situation:
    Player seeks a massive payrise;
    Agent suggests expressing dissatisfaction with clubs ambitions;
    Manager expresses disappointment with player for talking to the media in this way;
    Board makes a decision whether to grant a payrise or transfer the player.

    The difference is that Arsenal are run on a basis of maximum bang for buck, RvP at >£100k a week doesn’t represent good value for money, not when you can get in a player like Podolski as a forward replacement.
    For United, losing Rooney to City would have wiped millions off the value of the club, something the Glazers are always acutely aware of.

  • benhan

    Anne, to help you to move on with Van Persie, here’s another article from David Ornstein.

    This BBC journalist is very reliable regarding Arsenal update and he seldom fabricates sensational news unlike the Daily Mail, The Sun and others.

    Interesting highlight from that article:
    “It is understood Van Persie was encouraged by the arrivals of Germany forward Lukas Podolski, France striker Olivier Giroud and Spain midfielder Cazorla – to the point where he was open to the idea of staying with or without a new contract.
    But Wenger pulled him aside shortly before Sunday’s friendly victory over Cologne, told him he would be sold if a deal could be reached and informed the Dutchman he was no longer part of his plans.”

    What would you say of this? Wenger and Arsenal don’t want Van Persie anymore after that amusing statement.
    What’s more ruthless was to put him on field at 70 mins replacing Podolski the local hero and witnessing the Cologne fans clapping their legend. I would like to imagine that’s an intentional move by Wenger to show him what gratitude really is.

  • ARSENAL 13


    Did ALEX FERGUSON orchestrate the RVP transfer saga??….

    not bad for a conspiracy theory of my own.

    ARSENE WENGER responded to Sagnas interview..”I believe any player or any employee always has to defend the company he works for and if he is not completely happy with it, then he has to go somewhere else,”

    It clearly shows his annoyance when players question the clubs stand regarding some issues. AND I see this as a statement directed towards Theo.

  • marinegunner

    Off topic but.
    The Online Gooner or Gooner to Gooner as they are now known are currently running a should Arsenal extend Wengers contract campaign.It’s about half way down their first page.As the Online Gooner is a favourite with the AAA Wenger is behind badly.Why not log on and give Arsene your support.

  • benhan

    Arsene Wenger latest view on RVP. He has a blog in Yahoo Eurosport:–sow.html

    The great man is always respectable toward his ex player though he’s not always paid back similarly.

  • Arkadiy

    Although I agree with the general idea that the media is only out to serve its own ends (ie. making money), I think this article is very confused and needs some serious thought and to be written again. What exactly are you trying to say?

  • CB

    Sign up Benhan!

  • Finsbury

    Who can forget last summer, after the window closed the reports by those reliable BBC journalists that AFC were a ‘nightmare to deal with’.
    I’m sure that they were. For the agents.

    I’ve also wondered, briefly, why arsenal played two friendlies with Koln either side of Poldi’s transfer. An interesting way to spend some money.

    Does a ‘third party interest’ have to be registered to exist? No it does not. There are many examples. More common in other leagues perhaps, but there are some infamous examples playing today in the PL.

  • GoonerPete

    Human Trafficking?

    Van Persie isn’t a piss poor little kid from a war torn country, the places these things usually happen.
    He is a 28 year old fully grown man who earns millions a year and can make up his own mind.

    The RvP ‘saga’ was as simple as it seems.
    Player wanted more money and wanted to dictate to the club who their transfer targets should be.
    Club (rightly) refused to listen to a players demands.
    Player(via agents) hawked himself out, burnt his bridges and had to leave.
    I don’t genuinely think he wanted to go to Man U though. I think he had no choice as he could no longer stay and Man U were the only ones willing to stump up the transfer fee Arsenal wanted.

    I was angry too Anne, more so than any other transfer, but I was angry because a player who seemed to be a true Gooner, had kept telling us so etc etc threw all our loyalty we showed him through his injury plagued years back in our faces.

    In short if there was ever a footballer who didn’t appear to be a mercenary it was RvP. Sadly through his actions we now know that ALL footballers are mercenaries.
    Support the club, not the players.

    On a slighyly unrelated note: Hillarious how United are now the front runners for pushing for spending / salary caps 2 months after they spent 24M on a player in the last year of his contract and threw 220K P/W at him.

  • Georgaki-Pyrovolitis

    Goona Gal where are you? I know you are into vicarious atonement so I wondered how you think I should express my feelings about this piece of Untold paranoia?

  • colario

    Anne move on. We fans will never know the whole truth, just as the team that plays tonight will not be picked by us and we will never know Arsene’s reasons for the team he does pick. RVP is Arsenal history. Move on.

  • Sav from Australia

    There are a lot of wheels turning inside wheels in the world of football. But the loyal supporters of Arsenal football club have no time for Robin Van Persie. He is a good player, but the team is better without his (and possibly Song’s) disruptive influence. More professionals, more “gooner gunner’s” to quote Walter. More Arteta, less Song. More Podolski, less RVP.

  • Arkadiy

    GoonerPete – What you said is right. The sad thing is that 6 months ago I would have bet money on him staying…

  • finsbury

    For myself I did not agree with all of Anne’s musings, but it is interesting that even discussing ‘third party interests’ provokes such a reaction.
    Perhaps Carlos’ Kia is as good as it gets for us fans? As much as the undeserving poor helpless football fan could hope for.
    I hope not.

  • Shard


    I think to get some better understanding among your readers here, it might be profitable to split the article into separate issues. The way I see it, let’s keep discussions of RVP out of it while discussing the workings of the transfer market and any issues there that might be worth exploring. Anytime someone mentions Van Persie, it seems people just erupt with calls to move on, probably because they find it hard to move on themselves and any talk of RVP hurts. I can understand that. I feel it too. But like you, I also like to know the truth.

    In this case, I’d go about it with a different approach. You look at the RVP case and the media coverage, and from that extrapolate to what that might mean in the context of the transfer market. I would look at, and discuss, any issues that might exist in the transfer market and then see if any of it could apply to the ‘RVP saga’. If nothing else people will be less emotional about a discussion on the problems of the football market, than about the sale of a great player from their club, and as such might be more receptive to at least understand your point of view.

  • PeteGooner

    @Shard, it’s not about emotion.

    Just everything Anne’s written just seems way over the top.
    If anything it looks like she can’t move on, like perhaps refusing to believe that RvP was a money grabbing mercenary all along and is trying to find anything to convince herself that he wasn’t

    No offence to Anne or anyone, but that’s how I see this.

  • Shard


    Refusal to believe doesn’t necessarily make someone wrong. Neither does being way over the top. For what it’s worth, I do think Brave Sir Robin ran away chasing a pot (multiple meaning possible with that word) So on that score, I’d probably agree with you.

    But while I might think that Anne’s ‘wrong’, I much prefer looking at issues deeper than the conventional thought, as well as acknowledge that there is no way for us to know either way. Especially when being right and wrong don’t have to be mutually exclusive. RVP might have found the money on offer a big attraction. It doesn’t have to mean he wasn’t forced out as well. Not saying he was. Just saying there doesn’t have to be only one factor behind anything.

    And what I really meant was, I’m interested more in the machinations of the transfer market (since I feel not all of it will ever be completely over board) than the RVP saga, and to me the former gets overshadowed by people (understandably) concentrating on the latter.

  • DocBrody

    1. Van Persie linked to the statement on his official (verified) twitter account.
    2. Van Persie has not denied the statement.
    3. Van Persie did in fact transfer to another club.

    Even if you genuinely believe that is a face site, how do you explain 1 and 2?

  • Florian

    I for one think that RVP’s move was more of a consequence of Fabregas’ transfer last summer, albeit in a twisted and distorted way:

    The interview with the Dutch journalist mentioned in one of the last article’s comments is the only insight we have about RVP’s personality and motivating factors.

    On one hand, he seemed to repeatedly underline that he needed a smart midfielder that delivers him 4-5 good passes a game in order to make an impact. He needed these passes badly, otherwise (my interpretation) he wouldn’t be able to get a scoring record that was satisfactory to him in the first place. Maybe a bit of ego here, but nothing out of the ordinary. The real cause would be that even after all these years, he’s unable to score one goal from 2 chances (take Diego Milito for instance), so he needs more good passes for him to be able to take advantage of them. This is one aspect.

    The second aspect is that he seemed to play favorites in the team. As other comments suggested, he had a special relationship with Walcott, and a not-so-special relationship with the likes of Arshavin, Ramsey and a few others. After the Blackburn match, Gervinho too bent to RVP’s demands, and delivered RVP the pass in the Chelsea game, when he could have scored himself. Other players with stronger personalities (like the aforementioned ones) didn’t do that, ans RVP abused a bit of his position to rebuff those ones from the team. Wenger probably noticed that, but since RVP was his scoring chance to get to Champions League, he accepted the status quo, up to a point.

    This is where RVP’s ego really showed up, requesting (again, speculation) that the club transfers a passing midfielder of his liking. Again, the motivation seemed to be good in itself, as RVP is really passionate and wants to play a beautiful, attractive game. My hunch is, this happened before the season close, in a more or less informal way. Of course, at this point Wenger put the brakes on him, and RVP made his mind about leaving. He then issued that statement, which he never denied and took any action against, so any talk about who actually wrote it is irrelevant. He burned his bridges, so Wenger made his mind too about letting him go. Then Wenger transferred PG&C, showing RVP that he had been distrusting and impatient, but by the time RVP came back to try and make his way back into the team it was too late and he had been put on the transfer list already, and we all know what happened next.

    Take notice here that money is at no point involved, consistent with what RVP repeatedly stated. Of course, who would refuse a thicker paycheck, but it was more of a consequence of Wenger’s attitude towards the transfer than anything else (you can’t sign a big player and not pay him accordingly). Wenger knew that he had all the cards – if RVP goes, he gets the transfer fee. If RVP stays he gets one hell of a striker, and maybe that striker would eventually sign a new contract, and we’d be back to square one. Even if that striker eventually leaves after one season (see Henry’s transfer story), Arsenal would still get big money on him. The winning move was really to make the incoming transfers early. Arsenal really learned from their mistakes.

  • Shard


    But who will feed RVP the passes at ManU?

  • Florian

    Good question Shard. I can see two possible explanations:

    1. They are confident they can work out a partnership between RVP and Rooney, with support from Nani and Valencia, and to a lesser extent Carrick and the 2 Matusalems Scholes and Giggs. If you look at their stats for the last season they were doing pretty well in this respect. Off-topic, it’s their defensive game that lets them down more often than before, and RVP’s game doesn’t really help, which is why I assume they will still ship goals throughout the season.

    2. By the time the transfer was up, the matter was out of RVP’s hands altogether. The player had really no choice but to go, and it was the club that decided where. So, the talk about passing is probably less relevant now. The onus is on ManU to figure it all out. I can’t help but admire the positional game Wenger and Arsenal are playing:)

  • Florian

    And third, and maybe most: who cares?

  • Asif

    @Shard – I generally tend to agree with most of what you say…but when you say that when we fans ask Anne or anyone to move on is because we have not been able to do so is a bit insulting. In one fellswoop, you have told every regular visitor to the site that we have to necessarily agree with what has been written or atleast appreciate what Anne has mentioned…but I don’t think that should be the case. Most of us find the whole idea of giving it the form of a conspiracy theory is ridiculous (was avoiding to use this word for long but could not)!

    Who, what, when, why, how of the comment is secondary – ‘his team’ devised his exit route and that was simply not possible WITHOUT RvP’s consent. Can anyone prove that he was reluctant to leave the club? Yes, if in future if it ever gets proven that his kids were held hostage by AAA (or even aliens from Mars) and he was compelled by them to quit Arsenal – I will do everything possible to make up for this outpouring. But not for now.

    I have read the entire series and still do not agree, in fact not even see a point in Anne’s crusade (so as to say).

    Anne – you don’t need to look further for the full comments:

  • Phoenix Gunner

    Time to open an Untold Comedy section…

    Frankly just disrespectful to the field of human trafficking involving genuine pain and suffering.

    Doubtless, in some McCarthy-esque Red Scare style I will be labelled part of the evil forces, perhaps even a key player in RVP’s hostage taking/”transfer”.

    I don’t know why I clicked on the article – some sort of sick curiosity. I really have to stop doing that.

  • Shard

    “In one fellswoop, you have told every regular visitor to the site that we have to necessarily agree with what has been written or atleast appreciate what Anne has mentioned”

    Actually Asif. I was talking to Anne there and expressing what I thought might help her get her point across better to all the readers, including myself.

    So like you are assigning motives to what I said (incorrectly I might add), I also assign a motive (possibly incorrectly) as to why people would put forth their disagreement with the article by saying ‘MOVE ON’. In my view, the express need to move on is also a form of not moving on, but dwelling on a subject by avoiding it. (Does that make any sense? it is almost 3 AM here)

    As to the RVP stuff. I already thought I’d said I disagree with much of what Anne says. But as I also said, being wrong and being right don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

    (Yeah, I turn into a philosopher late at night 🙂 )

    Also, as you yourself bring up, through what you think is an outrageous example about RVP being threatened, there are other possibilities. Whether they are plausible or not, is a different matter. Let’s just take your example. RVP being threatened seems implausible. Some up coming footballer in Korea or Russia (for example) being similarly threatened, not as implausible. But if one can happen, so can the other. Hence my suggestion to Anne to look at the transfer market through a more distant lens rather than focus on what’s closer home. We’re all hardly going to be the most objective about the sale of our ex captain, and what many feel is betrayal.

    Oh, and conspiracy theory. I think by now most of the writers at Untold would wear that term as a badge of honour.

  • Shard


    LOL.. Yeah you’ve got me there with the last bit 🙂

    I do disagree that RVP would have no choice about where he went, although I understand what you are saying there. And yes, Rooney was going to be the guess I would have made too. But to return to your main point. Who cares? 🙂

  • bjtgooner

    What I never understood was if RVP did not really want to leave why there was no retraction of the statement of 04 July. The whole saga did not really make sense and the manures did not and do not really need RVP – unless, as has been rumoured, they planned to discard Rooney.

    If RVP was being manipulated by an outside force it can only have been with the knowledge of his agent or advisor, further, someone with a lot of clout and money would have had to pull strings. I have a feeling that Anne has worked out exactly what has been happening behind the scene and has tried to share this with us while trying to avoid involving UA in a lawsuit.

    RVP has gone, I have no further interest in him as a player, but if there is a sinister element involved in his departure we need to be aware of it – there will be a next time.

  • Adam

    @Anne, I have another theory for you. Most of the Arsenal board are Englishmen who to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the 1812 war and the approaching burning of the White house by the British empire, sold our Dutchman Mr Van Persie out of spite because Holland was the first nation to recognise America as an independent nation. Mr Kroenke of German ancestry thought this a great idea and would only sign off the deal if the Arsenal board of directors could find an idiot to sell Mr Van Persie too. Alas we have the red necked red devils, The rest is History.
    Oh and just so you understand that this Englishman holds no grudges I do recognise the struggle that Englishmen had to endure back in the 1770s to win their freedom from the British Empire so they could build a new nation ratified by other nations who without there help independence would not have been possible. You gotta love the French and the Dutch and the Spanish. And just another little fact for you The American people have declared war on Britain twice. Any chance you could leave out the patriotism.

  • paddy

    To compare a multi-millionaire with the poor, deparate, vulnerable victims of human trafficking is simply disgusting. This site risks losing all credibility publishing such insulting, naive nonsense.

    Obviously the media get up to all sorts. Thanks for the insight. Laughable that you turn your nose up at the journalism of others in this particular post. Oh the irony.

    And as I predicted yesterday, still no proper explanation offered as to why poor little robin failed to distance himself from it.

  • bob

    You might admire AFC’s positional chess game, but I don’t see it that way. Imo, getting Cazorla, Giroud, Poldolski AND keeping RVP and Song – something affordable because of (1) CL money, (2) real estate deal and (3) our/EPL’s richest ever TV sharing deal – would have put us over the top. Getting Cazorla was the midfielder RVP/anyone would crave. But getting rid of RVP (plus Song) is what brought AFC the net zero transfer balance that it (and/or Silent Stan, in my opinion) narrowly looks for in the transfer window. You might call it admirable positional game; I’d call that a Pyrrhic victory (a fiscal win that obstructs our EPL championship). And, as a kicker, a positional “win” (in your sense) that comes at the price of violating the tradition of not selling to (let alone our best player to) our most dangerous (in football terms) traditional enemy. Again, a Pyrrhic victory. Do you really so admire this bean counter’s Result?

  • bob

    Clearly there are different forms of human trafficking and it’s way out of line to equate Anne’s hinting at something gone toxic in the ways of the transfer market with her being terminally insensitive to or blind to the horrifying abuse of children and women by the world’s worst abusers. As many readers here well know, any term can have many meanings, depending on the context it’s used in. Please give many of us credit for being able to distinguish among different levels of human cruelty without resorting to a sledgehammer approach against her moral character in your desire to defeat/undermine her argument and/or its seeming direction. On this last point, it may be the case that there’s more between the lines than can be said without a lawsuit, as bjtgooner suggests. I don’t know either way, but given the ethical and analytic quality of work that Anne has done hereabouts over the last two years, I wouldn’t be thatfast to eternal damnation.

  • Florian


    Swissramble had an article earlier in the year about Arsenal’s finances, where he suggested things are tighter than they look. Even with the new TV deal, the quest for money is still on. It’s the commercials team that really needs to get its game together and start generating more revenue, because this is the area we’re way behind our competitors, especially ManU. That’s why I tend to think that the club still prefers to sell the players that it can sell at a (reasonably) large profit, otherwise the player wages start burdening our budget beyond what Arsene deems acceptable. The club is already spending a larger percentage of its revenue on wages than ManU. So, the definition of “affordable” becomes quite tight.

    Song is another can of worms. He was becoming a destructive influence both in the dressing room, with Sagna the most susceptible since they were best friends, and on the pitch, with his increasing lack of tactical discipline showing. In these conditions, having him in the squad stopped being beneficial.

    I totally agree that with RVP the team would have been stronger on the attacking front. His intended replacement, Giroud, needs time to develop, and doesn’t seem to have quite the same quality (I dearly hope he’ll prove me wrong). Where I believe Arsenal played their cards right is not letting themselves being cornered, and being able to extract the maximum out of the given situation. Nothing new, anyway. Until Arsenal will increase their income to a closer amount compared to the Top 3 (ManC is still discounted), it will need to occasionally use these Pyrrhic victories to keep themselves afloat.

  • benhan

    bob, Florian

    We might be the team with the most cash reserve on the bank, but we are not fools who just refuse to spend this own earned money. I predict we would spend it at the right time with FFP application being imminent.

    If you observed carefully in these last 2 years we have bought players with age over 25 years old bar Chamberlain while Chelsea have been investing in youth using their Champions League prize money. While Hazard would cost them 30+ millions, Cazorla only cost us 12-14 millions. Here the players age was included in their value calculation. Cazorla (and Podolski, Arteta) might have his last big contract with Arsenal while Hazard still have a potential selling value. It’s unusual for Wenger to sign player without selling value but that’s what he did for the last two years. This indicates we might not need to sell players to run the club in the future, something we have to do for the last 5-6 years but the club won’t admit it. We became a trading club (buying cheap, selling high for maximum profit) in order to survive during the new stadium building.

    These 25-27 years old players will help us in the time being, for 2-3 years to compete with the Sugar Daddy clubs. But in the next 3-4 years they would be too old to complete and we want to avoid being an ageing Chelsea. We have to invest in the squad next 1-2 year, in youth. And at the time, FFP will have limited the spending power of City and Chelsea. We would have more resource to compete with them on wages too since the new commercial deal would be big in 2014. So we could avoid being sabotaged for player like Mata.

    Next season, I can imagine us spending big in youth ala Hazard transfer. Maybe we could snatch Goetze? We know Wenger was interested in him last year. Or we could spend money on peak players like Benzema or Falcao. We don’t have to resell them since we’re a different beast in 2014 due to the FFP application and our new commercial deal (will bring another additional 30 millions a season). We would change from a trading club to a buying club.

    Arsenal is playing a waiting game with FFP on the horizon. That’s why you would read Gazidis and Wenger keep saying about FFP. They have strategy in building this club, and a long term one it is. And giving Van Persie a 250,000 a week for 4 years plus 5 millions signing on fee for a player who can only deliver another maximum service for 2 years isn’t part of the long term strategy.

  • ozziearsenal

    I support the club we had 3 players trying to screw the club with wage demands RVP ,Song, Theo Two have left and we have made money out of their deals ,Arsenal was willing to increase their income but the Big Big money is else were and I have No problem with that Theo as most fan support is NOT worth the High increase in income M/City buy player just to weaken their opponents and then farm them out eg tinny Tott Non challengers. Put yourself in Arsenals shoes ? Pay the Mortgage or gamble for the title KNOWING no matter what you do they got more Money to spent then you Mr Wenger has done the best he can do for the club make money and find a solution for the team Theo has a choice money short term or be a player.

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  • Shard


    That’s a very good comment. The age of our recent buys does suggest we’re ok with making losses on our initial investment in them, which does represent a change.

    I also think we’ll see our purchases affected by the 25 man squad rules. Who’s deemed good enough from the academy. Which U21 players can make an impact and who can’t. To fill those positions we might see purchases of players under 18 (so that they would have spent 3 years with us and count as homegrown when they turn 21) Also, we might see some 28-30 year olds being bought to fill the gap while some academy players mature.

    Superstar purchases, FFP or not, will probably be very infrequent. There are very few players in the world who Wenger believes can make enough of a difference to justify their price tag. And the competition for those players would be intense. I think the player would have to choose to join us over some other clubs for us to be able to have a ‘name’ signing.

    But, I am cautiously optimistic about how our club’s transfer strategy is shaping up. Paying Robin 130k + add ons (as reported) was a high enough valuation. If that wasn’t enough, there’s no point blowing our budget on him. We’ve bought well. I do think we’re a striker short, unless Chamakh rises like a phoenix, but maybe January will see us buy one (while selling Walcott)

  • Sharpshooter

    One of the weirdest articles I read on Untold. I really can’t understand what Anne is trying to say. RVP showing up at hospital, and this means…what? Has RVP been a victim of “human trafficking”? How? Why?
    Anyway the idea of RVP being “trafficked” is ridiculous. For Christ’s sake, the guy has a family, a lot of lawyers, agents, friends and he’s a multimillionaire. I can’t imagine how anybody might have kidnapped RVP, really.
    And this part of the article – “Based on my concerns about Robin’s unexplained absence, in conjunction with some extremely threatening-sounding reports that had emerged in the media as part of the Fourth of July extravaganza, I published a follow-up article on 6 August, in which I expressed my concern for Robin’s personal safety, and requested that Arsenal fans be allowed “to see Robin, just to make sure he’s alright.” seems the weirdest of all.
    You think Arsenal kept RVP locked in a cage and the fans should be “allowed” to see him? So in the end Evil Arsenal physically forced RVP out of the club? Btw, Arsenal is a team in England or in Sudan/Congo, etc.?
    If we take into account the fact that RVP earns now some hefty 200.000 pounds per week, that’s the strangest case of “human trafficking” I ever heard.

  • Sharpshooter

    I rather say this is a case of “Rvp, he leaves when he wants” or “We need Batman. Robin’s just left.”

  • benhan

    couldn’t agree more. The more I read about the article, the more I worry about Anne. Lately Sagna confirmed he expected Van Persie to leave, so he surely was part of the “human trafficking” conspiracy. *coughing*

    Wenger was extremely interested in player like Hazard and Goetze. For him they are super super quality. I remembered last summer transfer window several news outlet reported Wenger submitted a bid of 35 millions for Goetze and rejected. I wanted to believe it because we had the cash reserve to do it and that player is extremely talented.

    Too bad that we lost Hazard but we can’t compete with Chelsea who has Champions League prize money and especially with his wage demand.

    We’re indeed short in the forward department. I can see us selling Walcott in January and buy another young talented winger/striker. The emergence of Chamberlain has made life difficult for Walcott at Arsenal. Even if he agrees to sign a new contract.

  • bob

    Florian, Benham, Shard,
    Can you provide a link to the Swiss Ramble analysis. I’d like to see for myself how/whether he factors in valuations of the new epl TV deal, the real estate deal completion, and our CL qualifier money from last season.

    You place your bet on Gamble 1: that a combined FFP (with teeth and enforcement) and a 2014 mega deal will turn from trader status to buyer status. I ask what you think would be the range of return between an AFC that was an EPL champion as well as CL qualifier, if not winner versus a 3rd-4th place finisher as we seem to be now. That is, my bet would have been on Gamble 2: that keeping RvP and Song in addition to C-P-G would have brought us to the point EPL winner and the CL finals. This in turn would have dramatically changed the climate for the 2014 negotiations, the chance for a fresh array of strategic partnerships, more prestige in the transfer market, an end to toxic media abuse, and further knock-on effects. So to me, let’s be honest: this is a tale of two gambles. Maybe two fairy tales with happy endings. But there’s nothing certain on either side and I don’t see that the FFP will finally come with real teeth that truly roll-back or further deter the (already) blatant defiance of the Petro-Clubs.

  • Arvind

    @benhan: It’s just another opinion ..really. Anne has done tons of good work on this site and a lot of her work has been uncovering the ‘hidden agendas’. This too is one on the same lines. Again, you do not have to believe it, even I am a little skeptical but that does not mean you have to be condescending in your tone and talk about ‘worrying about Anne’s mental health’

    While the article is a little far fetched, it is certainly not beyond the realms of possibility that there is more to it than meets the eye. Forget RVP…the Alex Song transfer is just downright weird if you ask me. What could he have done so badly that Arsenal took a “potential” loss on him? Then again as Shard could mean we’re just being more ruthless and gambling harder than before..much harder.

    Again…to all who read this and thought it’s a blog…it’s an opinion… nothing more. The title of the post and the first paragraph are more than enough for you to decide whether you want to read on or not. If you think its a lala land article, why don’t you stop reading? I see no point in fuming through an article and complaining about precious lifetime wasted right at the end.

    I do not expect Walcott to be sold in January. No way. He’ll either sign or go at the end of the season.

  • bob

    “Song is another can of worms. He was becoming a destructive influence both in the dressing room, with Sagna the most susceptible since they were best friends, and on the pitch, with his increasing lack of tactical discipline showing. In these conditions, having him in the squad stopped being beneficial.”

    On Song: There’s no way that you can know this, unless you were there or are close to the team in ways that you don’t reveal. There’s a mystery about Song’s departure that you excuse without knowing. I’ve got my theories too, and have expressed them; and have waited for the implied promise of his replacement, if only for needed insurance (once Diaby is overplayed, and Rosicky and Jack take the necessary time to return to viable form, for 3 examples). But you have it all down to Song the Disrupter. I’d rather not contribute to that story. With no further evidence, it’s far too pat in filling in the blanks – unless you know and perhaps might divulge.

  • bob

    Fully with your keeping the Song saga an open question. Definitely more than meets the eye in that Untold saga.

  • bob

    Would you confine “screw the club” only to wage demands? to any wage demands? how about not admitting that zero transfer balance is the only way the club will proceed? Is that simply Okay? Do you think – given his actual value on the pitch and his age – that Song’s asking for more than 55k a season over the next 3 years is to “screw the club”? I have no time for Song’s decision to dance with Darren Damien Dein as his advisor-agent-whatever and might want him out on that score alone. But on the face of it, he did deserve a raise, and not – unless you, like Florian – can prove that he was an intolerably disruptive force – to so readily consign him to the dung heap.

  • Shard


    I don’t base my optimism on FFP being applied fairly. Although I do think FFP will have SOME effect. However, regardless of that, in simple terms, we’re a club with a large fan base, a great new stadium, in London, have a great academy with some great prospects coming through (not all of whom will make it, I know), and we have new shirt and kit deals to sign in the next 2 years which will bring us some cash. Despite all that missing in recent years, we’ve still managed to finish top 4, and if it weren’t for some strange, but so recurring so as to not be strange, referee decisions, we would have had a few trophies to back up the claim as to how good we are. What’s to be disheartened about? Sales of some players? We’ve been there before.

    On an individual basis, they might bear inspection and discussion. But at the larger strategic level, I’m not sure it makes much of a difference. Our player purchases do exhibit a different way of doing things than the past decade or so. I see that as a sign that the board’s confidence in the financial situation is growing. Will we ever be top of the pile in financial terms? Probably not (at least not anytime soon). But we never were. I still believe we’re on the way up. Unless we screw up big time. Making a profit in the transfer window doesn’t equal screwing up. Especially if the results bear out that decision. I still think we need another striker, but I think we’ll see some January purchases. (and I think it was the right decision to not buy fullbacks last January, what would we do with them now? and as it turned out, we didn’t lose out in the end. High risk. yes. A mistake. No.)

    Also, since you bring up Song. I agree. He deserved a raise, and he asked for it. I’m not sure about the veracity of reports about his attitude so I’ll ignore that. But according to Song’s own representatives (as quoted in the media), he wanted to stay at Arsenal more than anything, except it was apparently an insult that Arsenal refused to go beyond saying they’ll discuss his contract after Sep 1. If true, then that does show an arrogance and lack of respect towards the club from Song. The club obviously had more pressing business to attend to during the window than haggle over a contract which still had 3 years left on it.

  • bob

    My point about the fullbacks was principally meant to apply two January’s ago – when we were fighting on 4 fronts and already visibly stretched out; and some people here and many around the blogs were clamoring loudly for a purchase(s) to shore up the defense. That did have awful impact as a major ingredient – along with the refshite maximus – in our flameout. The club gambled, put parsimony ahead of trophy (in 4 cases) and lost. Spawning a train of events that in no small part led to the debacle of two summer’s ago. As for this year, no one (except possibly Arsene) was seeing Jenkinson’s development. So we can now say what would we have done with another fullback or two – for this season. (Jenkinson’s cross last night to Gervinho was brilliant.) But I still don’t feel that he’s enough to rely on yet, and only hope that Sagna returns in a close enough to top form to begin to spell, and then take charge in his previous world-class manner. On the left side, well, let’s hope that Santos gets a few games in before he’s sent of to jail for the driving charge. That too leaves only Gibbs, who, like Jenk, is mightily improving (great on offense, but not yet enough in defense).

    As for Song, even if he/Dein showed their arrogance toward the club, let’s be honest: the club jumped at the opportunity to ship his butt out of town, posthaste. I don’t think that’s down to some hurt feelings of Arsene/Gazidis from a player’s arrogance. These are tough, thick-skinned operators. Again, while you’ve characterized it positively as nothing wrong with making some profit out of the x-fer window, I continue to feel that the governing rule of this ownership/board regime is to achieve zero transfer balance and maximize the rest as profit. And, as we know, the price we pay on the pitch – when a first place finish is otherwise thisclose and achievable and affordable – is to settle for less than what we could have achieved. That both angers and, even more, saddens me. And I say this out of love and loyalty. I don’t like seeing AFC become too much of a bean counter’s paradise instead of a possible fan’s paradise – and this very season.

  • Shard


    I never painted the sale of Song as a positive. Just not necessarily a negative. Or at least that there are unknown factors.

    I don’t really care how much we spend or make in the window. The media’s turned football into a circus mostly based around the money aspect, and I’d much prefer to avoid it.It didn’t always used to be like this. The only worry about money that I’d really have i that we’re not being mismanaged so as to make our existence a doubt.

    For the ‘investment in the team’ (that’s a fairly new term, well popularised) there have ALWAYS been calls for more players, or better players at Arsenal as far as I can remember. We were all clamouring for a centre back the year before Kolo Toure was converted into one. There were calls for Kanu and Wiltord being replaced by better players since they weren’t good enough. Edu wasn’t considered anywhere near good enough until his last season with us. Fans will always feel they are short of a player or two. Or lack quality in certain areas.

    I don’t really care about the zero spend. One, it isn’t zero investment. There’s just a realignment of resources. Would you rather pay RVP 130k or Cazorla 120k over 4 years?I’d pick the latter option, especially since we bought Podolski and Giroud too. We all agree that the salary structure needs a revamp. The best way to free up resources is to statr from the top, IF you can do it in a fairly stable manner.

    The blowup of the team started when we sold Fabregas. Our team is almost completely different to what it was 2 years ago. I think it’s a planned process, of which the sales of Song and RVP are a continuation (not that it was inevitable that they would go, but the club chose to go down that route). And when you consider most of our purchases since then, they’re of players at near their peak age. Keeping RVP and Song would help the team (if they were committed to the cause) but might have delayed the realignment process. I’m not saying I’m happy they were sold. I’m saying this obsession with money is wrong, and we should try and look at it from the playing and team building aspect as to what the club might be trying to achieve.

    Keeping Van Persie, and Song, would strengthen the squad. It would strengthen any squad if you simply ADD players to it. But ManU didn’t add Cazorla. Chelsea didn’t get Giroud. Every team has a limit to what what they can buy and retain. I think we’re making pretty good use of our resources.

    P.S. As for buying fullbacks at the start of this season. I wasn’t for it. I didn;t think it was required. We can’t plan for Sagna not coming back without having any adverse report from the doctors. Jenkinson was always going to improve, and if not, we also have Coquelin and Yennaris who’ve done well there, without even requiring Koscielny or Djourou to move there. And I would be surprised if Santos actually went to jail considering there was no damage to property and no one was hurt. Although the courts in Britain have surprised me before. The positions I felt we lack in was DM and striker/winger. Dm I’m less worried about, and hopefully Wilshere, Frimpong and Rosicky can come back soon. but striker/winger is one position I’d like to see filled. (Though Gervinho did well there)

    I warn you though. I think we’ll buy someone in Jan, but we’ll sell Walcott too. Which would raise the zero spend spectre again.

  • bob

    Good stuff, as ever. 🙂 I agree that it’ll be Walcott for whomever equals zero spend. What this is doing – football wide – is making a total mockery of the traditional mode of being/becoming emotionally attached to the players on your/our teams. This is down to corrosive money. So that, imo, it becomes highly problematic – except for non-rational tribalism that loves its badge regardless of who wears it – to be a fan (to say the very obvious, but I’ve felt like it’s worth saying out loud). I mean, if players and management are so money-driven, then what then are we rooting for? Perhaps a useless passion, but I do like a bond that lasts a while (or a clear-cut one night stand, so to speak).

  • paddy

    Sorry bob. I stand by every word said and would prefer it if you spared me the patronising tone. Words and phrases can have different meanings? Thanks for that. Human trafficking was a thoroughly inappropriate expression for describing the predicament of a pampered celebrity. Inappropriate, insulting, disgusting. This is football, g et a grip This site and Anne have published great stuff in the past. I know this. These articles are not great or even good. Stop falling over yourself to defend what is essentially a poor series of misguided articles which fail to address all the obvious questions to be asked in response. Yet again, why no statement from him denying responsibility?

  • benhan

    @Arvind, bob in case you missed my comment on previous Anne’s article:

    “The truth behind Alex Song’s departure from Arsenal #AFC
    Alex Song was sold by Arsenal, rather than him leaving being another player ‘leaving’.

    The problem’s started last season, when Song became agitated about his contract situation and it started to affect his on-field performance. The management were furious with his lack of defensive discipline and laziness towards the end of last season, in particular after the loss of Mikel Arteta to injury. Song didn’t jet off to his summer holidays on best terms with the Arsenal staff.

    Pre-season began, and Song’s Agent (Darren Dein) approached Arsenal for talks over improved terms for his client. Arsenal let Darren Dein know that Song had 3 years remaining and would only be willing to sit down with him once other situations had been sorted. After that, Song’s attitude in training became a serious problem.

    Song had always been a bit flashy and was sometimes late & slow, however he’d now become disruptive and was deemed to not be working hard enough, openly bragging about how much Barcelona want him to his teammates. This problem came to a head in Cologne, where Steve Bould, Arsene’s new right-hand man, “almost had Alex Song by the throat for being lazy and not listening to instructions”. Alex Song’s Arsenal career was in the balance.

    The tipping point for Arsenal was when they found out his Agent, Darren Dein, had been offering him around Europe to other clubs; Barcelona in particular. They believed Dein agreed a contract for Song with Barca to force their hand into giving him improved terms; however, it did quite the opposite with Arsenal being “disgusted” with this behvaiour. A few days after the First-Team had returned from Cologne, Alex Song was told he could leave.

    After knocking down approaches earlier in the Summer, Arsenal let Barcelona know that Song was now available at the right price, and they were happy to negotiate. Barca came in, and a deal was wrapped up relatively quickly for two clubs who don’t hold the best working relationship.

    It was Arsenal’s choice to sell Song, and although to the naked eye it seems he’s gone on to better himself, the fact Arsenal have let him go with 3 years left for a fee they could have easily commanded next year, shows how they were happy to let him go and he was no longer part of their plans.”

    From @AFCAMDEN, one of the respected ITK. He’s pretty much correct in many Arsenal issues and has good insider info. I believe his version more than Telegraph Darren Dein’s version though both versions contain some same facts with different presentations.

  • benhan

    I worried about Anne coz I almost could feel her pain. It seemed like she tried too hard to justify her own view: that Van Persie was the victim of his transfer not the actor/director. Her argument has big flaw from the very beginning: she refused to acknowledge the 4th July public statement came from Van Persie himself.

    Whoever wrote it doesn’t matter coz it was written with his consent and published with his approval. Just like whoever can write Obama’s speech but still it is Obama’s speech.

    And to suggest he’s involved in human trafficking in this whole transfer saga is really insulting the reader intelligence. I hope Anne could stop for a moment, think again about her own view based on the readers comments here. When you publish your own view in public just like what Van Persie did, you’re bound to challenge of others. Especially if your argument doesn’t make sense at all.

    The sooner she can accept that Van Persie is the author of his own statement, the easier she can let her go. That’s why we keep posting objections here and asking her to move on.

  • benhan

    “let him go” I meant…

  • benhan


    This club statement easily rejected your suggestion that Van Persie statement was fabricated by other parties beyond he and his agent:

    Club Statement
    [Wednesday, July 04, 2012]

    Arsenal Football Club has issued the following statement with regard to Robin van Persie’s future:


We have to respect Robin’s decision not to renew his contract. Robin has one year to run on his current contract and we are confident that he will fulfil his commitments to the Club.

    “We are planning with ambition and confidence for next season with Arsenal’s best interests in mind.”

  • Florian


    Here’s the article by swissramble that I was referring to:

    My bad, it was last year:)

    About Song, here are 2:

    Now, I’m not saying this was the only factor. Wenger stated repeatedly that our midfield is overcrowded and he can do with one player less. We’ll probably never stop speculating, but imho it was merely a sumum of contributing factors.

    Sorry for the delay, had a really busy day at the office:)

  • CB

    Sign Benham up!

    Or get Anne to write more b’lcks so that we get some great research on a subject. I understand the background to the the two big summer transfers out far better now.

  • Shard

    I’m not sure what Anne meant by the human trafficking part, but in my view, it’s not RVP or any other transfer that she’s talking about per se, but the money generated from it. (At least that’s my interpretation of it)

    Now, I am more than willing to believe that a lot of the money from transfers isn’t really accounted for. Agents’ fees, endorsements and image rights etc are complicated. Factor in offshore accounts and secrecy laws and you are bound to have some money go ‘missing’ (Ask the tax authorities on Harry Redknapp, who’s still low down in the larger scheme of things) Also, there is generally a wide discrepancy in reporting of transfer fees, and they seem to often be pulled out of thin air, until one figure gets universally accepted. Maybe Anne’s indicated what that ‘missing’ money is being used for? Once again, I must say I don’t know what she means. I’m trying to figure out what she means before I refute it (or agree with it)

    As for the Song story. Any ITK, no matter how reliable, himself relies on ‘sources’. these sources will also have their own agenda. These ITK’s (even if genuine people) then become another way of spreading the narrative that these sources want to spread. Who are these sources? Could be anybody. At the club? Maybe not directly at the club but someone who has more access? I don;t know. neither does anyone. So while the information from these sources isn’t useless. It must be seen in context and not as the ‘truth’.

    However, reports of Song’s bad attitude were going around many of the trusted blogs as well. Now, the chain of possibilities. 1) True, and the truth just came out. 2) True, and club leaked it (with what purpose?) 3) Untrue, but someone (maybe the club) planted that story. With what purpose?? No way of knowing.

    So again, Song’s bad attitude is just one possible factor in it all. Even if it’s true, there might be other factors to it.

  • Shard


    Indeed. The emotional attachment to players is under threat with the constant trades etc. But I don’t think we should accept that. I mean, so what if a player you gave your affections to decides to leave (or is sold)? there will a;ways be others. It shouldn’t change how you feel about the game because otherwise, we’ll definitely be just left as ‘shells’ of fans who pay money to watch a ‘product’, and that too only out of force of habit than any other reason.

    What is a little worrying is that, as it is player transfers seem to be increasing with player power. And while Tony showed surprise in clubs voting for the 25 man squad rules, what it does is force more player trading, since you can only retain a finite number of players, forcing you to sell 26-30 year olds who you can’t find space for, or 21-22 year olds who just won’t be able to get a game if you don’t let go of players who’re ahead of them in the pecking order. (though loans will also go up, but the point still stands)

    As we know (or think we do) transfers increase the likelihood of money going ‘missing’. (If people don’t believe that, they need to do some research) So these rules in fact force more transfers on the clubs, meaning more scope for agents (and others) to make money (and take money out of football), while of course as fans, reducing our ability to connect emotionally (in a positive manner) with the sport (or business as it is to them) I don’t know which way Arsenal voted for the rules, but Wenger has been a very vocal opponent.

  • benhan

    @Shard someone at the club briefed the press (could be intentionally). You’ll get the same story of Song on BBC, Guardian, Daily Mail and The Mirror. But the best chronological presentation is from the post I pasted above.

    That’s why Song’s agent responded with his own version in Telegraph. He refuted the bad attitudes but had the same fact as above article: They released an ultimatum to Arsenal to offer new contract before Sept 1st.

    We’ll never know the truth except Wenger or someone credible in the club comes out in public with it. Wenger won’t do it. He’s too good to his players for doing it. But we can choose to trust whichever version based on our own judgement of the source. For the Song’s case I chose to trust AFCAMDEN and John Cross than Darren Dein.

    For the 25 players rule on the contrary I believe it would reduce transfer activity. By limiting the number of players a club can have, the rich clubs won’t stockpile good players. Thus the transfer activity over time would be reduced.

  • Shard


    The rich clubs can still stockpile players. Remember these rules apply only for the league. Not the cup competitions. And most of the rich clubs don’t really give game time to their young players anyway, and in some cases even established players just sit on the bench, and they will continue to do this more, except that because of the homegrown aspect some will get game time. But the stockpiling of talent will continue. If only to stop other clubs from buying good young talent.

    As for the story. I’m not saying Song’s attitude was great. just saying that any story comes with some riders, because people leak different versions, and the press report according to their agendas too.

  • Adam

    For those of you who live in the UK. This is happening frequently. The question is why?
    This could construed as the British authorities trafficking children.

  • Shard


    Oh God. That’s terrible.