Man City and Chelsea – serious about FFP or just having a laugh? And Arsenal’s youth ready to step up.

By Tony Attwood

There were two utterly contradictory stories in the British press this Sunday.  In the Sunday Times there was the tale of Manchester City deciding that they were going to sort financial matters out and try and get themselves within the requirements of Financial Fair Play.

The other papers ran with the story that their sporting director Txiki Begiristain has flown to Brazil for talks to sign the 20 year old striker Neymar at the end of the season, as a prelude to finally getting rid of  Mario Balotelli.  Although not overtly stated, there was a suggestion in passing that Balotelli would be offered at a knock down price so that whatever club he went to could maintain his City salary.

But Barcelona are also said to be after Neymar and few people seem to doubt that Santos will sell him.   Chelsea and Real Madrid have also shown an interest, with the asking price being around £32m.

One of the interesting facts in this story is that Brazil would like their star to remain in Brazil for the 2014 World Cup but quite amazingly Brazil is currently ranked number 18 in the world.   There is a partial explanation of this in that Brazil as world cup hosts is only playing friendlies (as they don’t have to qualify) but even so… 18!!!

While on this topic it is interesting to look at a few other rankings.  USA is down to 28th in the world – despite having put in positive performances in the World Cup finals over recent years.

Here’s the rankings at the top:

1: Spain

2: Germany

3: Argentina

4: Italy

5: Columbia

6: England

Anyway, back to Manchester City – if they can’t do a deal in Brazil they will have a go at getting Radomel Falcao from Atletico Madrid – but then again both Chelsea and Real Madrid are in the market at around £48m – although not until the summer.

Chelsea are also after Bayer Leverkusen’s Andre Schurrle up front, and he will cost around £25m.

So what is going on?  Are these clubs with the almost limitless finances going to try and balance the books and thus meet FFP,  or not (and so stand up to Uefa and say “Ban us if you dare”?

In one sense they could buy players such as those mentioned and balance the books with a mass clear out.  It is said that Man City have around 50 professional players on good salaries, and what they want to do is have maybe four or five world class players, and bring in lesser players in the remaining positions.  Fire sales, this scenario suggests, will be the order of the day.

As the last story we published said, Uefa is starting to do the business, by banning Malaga from Europe for the next four years.  But would they really do this with Chelsea and Man City?

Chelsea have long tried to get around the problem by developing their own youth policy – a story we have covered many times in the past.   That, it is hoped, would bring through their own young players like Jack Wilshere while following the Arsenal model of investing in promising youth from elsewhere.  Also there is talk of Daniel Sturridge going to Liverpool for £12m in January – but such a sale would hardly scratch the surface of their problem with getting to grips with FFP.

But the overall point is that Chelsea and Man City are struggling to develop their international exposure any further in terms of real revenue, as they have already made the leaps in sponsorship deals that Arsenal are only just coming to (such as the new deal with the Emirates).

So Chelsea and Man City are now in a position of finding it hard to move the marketing up further, while adjusting the cost of players’ salaries  (the one truly big expense that could be brought down) is all they have left.  Yes, setting up a youth system is good, but it takes time and there never are any guarantees that your promising youngsters will become the stars of tomorrow.

Although the AAA, in one of its more recent statements, has said that it is important that Mr Wenger should not be allowed to buy any more players, because his choice of players is so poor, the reality is that all top managers buy players who don’t work out. In fact as far as I can tell, Mr Wenger is a better judge of youth than most.

I can’t tell you, any more than you can tell me, which player or players at Arsenal really will come through and shine for us, but with Kyle Ebecilio,  Damian Martinez, Martin Angha, Ignasi Miquel, Thomas Eisfeld, Nicholas Yennaris, Hector Bellerin, and Serge Gnabry, all lurking in our under 21 team, there is surely every chance that a couple of them really will make it in the next year or so.

So we end the weekend no wiser.  Will Chelsea and Man City try to work within the rules of FFP, or will they call Uefa’s bluff?   Whichever it is, this story will be one of the markers in the history of English football.


The books…

The sites…

95 Replies to “Man City and Chelsea – serious about FFP or just having a laugh? And Arsenal’s youth ready to step up.”

  1. Malaga and the rest of the clubs that are receiving sanctions should be prepared to sue UEFA if ManCity and Chelsea are not penalised.

    I for one do not believe that the big clubs will be held to account. The big players contribute too much money to the UEFA coffers.

  2. The thing is newspaper rumours are just that – they are usually bollocks. The real intention of Txiki Begiristain’s visit to Brazil was actually a FFP-friendly one, to work with his scouting network on getting first refusal on promising kids across S. America. I recommend the Sunday Times article for a look at City’s new strategy which is to buy players not quite there at lower prices and have them learn off the 5 or 6 world class elite players at the club. Plus promote from the youth squad as Karim Rekik was yesterday (to little fanfare… after all City never give kids a chance).

  3. 1) Malaga were not banned from UEFA for four years. They were banned from the next competition they qualify for, meaning they have been banned for one year.

    2) Chelsea turned a profit in the 2011/12 season (albeit a very small one). This profit is before accounting for one-off expenses, youth development costs, or contracts signed pre-2010 that can be excluded in FFP. Chelsea are in very little danger of not complying with FFP even if they spend big, largely due to amortized accounting. They could buy Neymar AND Falcao in January and they’d likely still fall within the acceptable deviation of the rule for the first two monitoring periods.

  4. I was going to make a comment about how I only pay 670 quid for my season ticket, whilst Arsenal fans pay £1990 but the majority of ‘gooners’ who come on here have never been to London, never mind The Emirates.

    Keep supporting a club that year on year rips its fans off; this ‘fair play’ nonsense Is Wenger buying the board more time; he’s every comitee’s wet dream. He protects them and will keep doing so, at the financial expence of the paying Arsenal fans, till they stop paying him £175,000 a week.

    It’s over

  5. I just can’t see UEFA doing it, look at Barcas situation they earn a lot of money and win everything in sight have some of the best players in the world but a year ago couldnt afford to pay their staff…….can you see Barca with Lionel Messi kicked out of the CL………BULL, they will be allowed to compete and rub others face in it whilst steal their players on the cheap because ‘they can’t afford much but come and play in the best team in the world with messi, xavi, iniesta etc’

    SCUM the lot of them i HATE Barca and their ethics how they walked over us to get our best players on the cheap they are a bunch of ****ers i hope they go bankrupt……..same for some other sugar daddy clubs in the EPL!!

  6. Interesting if a little biased article. One point you make which is incorrect is that Man City are struggling to increase their revenue. Their figures have just been released and the knocked 100 million off their losses, in fact revenue was up over 50% and that will only keep rising. There is one team who you fail to mention who are the worst offenders and who will be the reason FFP will never take off and that’s PSG, of whom Platini’s son is an employee. Their emergence as big spenders with lob sided sponsorship deals is the best thing that could have happened for City and Chelsea.

  7. Look here my little arsenophile, when you, united and liverpool were scooping everything up and paying large amounts for players there was nothing said. Now there are new players at the table with bigger cahonies, all of a sudden the cartel circle the wagons. Do you not think Sheikh Monsour (being a very smart businessman) has a very impressive legal team that have spotted the holes in Platini’s farcical restriction of trade treaty?

    Check out Platini’s son and see what he’s doing at PSG. Level playing field my ….! How can a club with NO debt be vilified when our ‘quiet ne1gh6ours have a debt of £400+m? I noted these FACTS were missing from your cycloptic article.

  8. Yes City will try to comply. All this nonsense about huge transfers is concocted to get thickos to buy papers. The big spending days at City are done, the past few years have been a high spending catch up excersise. The next period will involve turning the club into a sustainable business whilst growing the profile and maintaining on-field success.
    Wish everyone would wake up and stop believing all this gutter press nonsense (about any club), jus enjoy the chuffin’ football peeps!

  9. Citeh are far too smart to face penalties on FFP. They will drive a coach and horses through them. As our feeder club, you should be more worried about Theo.

  10. Ethical Arse-nil!! How about take off your tinted glasses and talk about your rip off ticketing pricing. Seriously your moaning and whining is getting boring, you sound like a whining whore craving for crack who just cant shut the fek up.

  11. Here is your FFP what you speak of, getting blown up by no other than platini’s son PSG ‘in talks over 100m-euro deal’
    Paris Saint-Germain are reportedly in talks with a Qatari bank over a sponsorship deal worth 100 million euros per season.

  12. Suggest you put your own house in order rather than looking jealously elsewhere. Most of the youth you mention has been bought in. How’s your ticket prices?

  13. @Blueshy
    I saw a cup match this season where Arsenal scored six goals.
    I paid ten pounds.
    I thought that was pretty good value.

  14. Blueshy,
    why do you talk sabout rip off season ticket prices and not compare like for like?
    At Arsenal, all premier home games, FA cup games and Champion league games are included in the price.
    As a season ticket holder one is guaranteed to watch all these home games.
    They can also purchase their seats for the “carling cup” at reduced prices.
    There are reduced prices for junior gunners…£350.00 up to the age of 17 and for fans over 65 a price of £380.00.
    As far as I am aware, no other club in the premier league includes the games I have mentioned and I don’t think there are the level of discounts available for teenagers/old age pensioners either.
    My daughter pays £980 for her ticket, so for three generations of gooners to go to the Emirates costs £1700.
    Every year we see top class football from premier league, europe and knockout cups.
    Now give me examples of better value than that Blueshy and please try and be a little more intelligent with your words mate, otherwise some people might think you are a moron!!

  15. @Tony
    In view of Alex Ferguson’s negative comments today about Michael Oliver, it is interesting to note that Untold described this ref as ‘excellent but with a slight bias’ last season.

  16. In view of Alex Ferguson’s negative comments today about Michael Oliver (after Manchester United drew with Swansea), it is interesting to note that Untold described this ref as ‘excellent but with a slight bias’ last season.

  17. You didnt read much about the Malaga ban.

    Nothing to do with FFP.

    They were banned because:

    -they didnt pay tax in time
    -they were late with wages to players
    -they did not pay transfer fee for a player/more players they bought in time

    Chelsea/City never really had these problems.

  18. look it is about time you and united fans start getting real the premier league is the best in the world most watched and best supported FACT nothing wrong with the way its promoted or run. Its the envy of all in football. So you have to look at why certain clubs want FFP Them clubs mainly being arsenal and man ure. A great blog by swiss rambler explains in detail why them said clubs will benifit and quite righly points out that if theres nothihg wrong then nothing wants fixing. He goes on to say that the cartell have had it so GOOD for so long that compition scares the life out of them and because they have some of the UK media on the payroll they can present an argument to support a quite frankly idiotic FFP debate. His main point which is pivitol in any legal arguments is why not look at something like this say 15 years ago when chelsea was bought and leeds almost was liquidated he says that the situations arsrnal and united are in is nothing more than very bad mangement of the whole clubs [finacially speaking].MY club man city has seen many ups and downs thats part of football but they have NEVER asked for the rules of football to be changed to suit which STINKS

  19. Alex Ferguson has been manipulating referee decisions for years by aggressively slagging them off.Van Persie’s reaction was equally violent if not worse than the original offense.It seems that our ex-hero has been learning a lot from his new mentor.

  20. As for Shitty, Chelski and Barca , don’t expect too much co-operation from that lot.

  21. What relevance has Malaga got with Chelsea and Man City? The English clubs have less debt I think than the other English Premier League clubs so the analogy has no merit. Maybe compare to Man Utd who have a massive debt but even then no merit as Utd’s Revenue more than compensates. Its hard to understand the validity of any argument here except wishful thinking of Arsenal fans that there rivals’ superiority will be overcome by football administrators rather than superiority on the field. A sad indictment of some football fans that they see this as the way forward to win success by banning the superior opposition.

  22. and please don’t moan about RvP, Fabregas and Nasri or Utd, Barca and Man City. If Arsenal wanted to retain those players they could have done and very easily but the directors preferred to line their pockets than provide the long suffering Arsenal fans with quality on the pitch. Is that what is called FFP? More money for directors and sod the fans who religiously renew season tickets.

  23. Shuggie,
    Don’t be a bigger idiot than you can help.
    The only way an Arsenal Director can make money out of the Club, is by selling his shares, in which event, presumably, he would no longer be a Director.

  24. @Shuggie. Your comment shows how ignorant you are when it comes to Arsenal. Unlike at Manure Arsenal directors do not take money out of the club and line their pockets with it.

    Who is buying manure? The fans, who buy the tickets and the labelled goods. Who owns manure? The Glaziers.

  25. banning malaga is a walk in the park for uefa. the team doesn’t possess great players to showcase. and its probably not a serious dent commercially for UEFA. UEFA will pass the test if it can ban a high profile team regularly featuring in champions league. if UEFA can’t give judgements impartially, there is no point of FFP. Hoping that the Neanderthals in UEFA really upgrade themselves. FFP provides a clear chance to step up their validity, credibility.

  26. @ Shuggie, Malaga have broken the FFP rules pertaining to outstanding debts to other clubs, players and tax obligations. The same set of rules also covers a cumulative loss of no more the about £45 over 3 years with a breakeven trend. Currently city’s wage bill is higher than turnover and Chelsea who were on course until they blew it with the Torres, Luiz, Oscar, Rameirez and Mata transfers. Now Chelsea are hoping to get around this by wiping the slate clean converting all of this debt in the form of loans from the owner into more shares, which is a technicality and would come under non football income.
    Will UEFA act? They get their money from TV rights so regardless of how rich City et al are, they rely on the neutrals every year tuning in to keep the brand alive, so if they will be watching the ratings very closely for signs of dissillusionment.

  27. ELITISM has been fought in many countries and industries for many years. The Elitism within UEFA will also be fought against in time and probably with a Revolution. Heads will be under threat at the top of UEFA and once they start looking, the media will find the corruption. This will have a knock on effect down through the food chain.

    Fair play will not take effect until the corruption in UEFA is exposed and favourtism towards elite teams is stamped out by the less favoured teams, especially those with less debt. The ones who can make a huge difference are the ones who excell within the fair play criteria, teams like Arsenal who operate well within self generated revenue. A team that is not bestowed any special leeway but a team big enough to have a voice nonetheless. Arsenal will probably wait until they fail to reach the CL before they use their muscle to fight the cause, but this is like watching America attack oppressive regimes like Iraq and Libya, but turn a blind eye to China’s bullying or Russia’s barbarity in Chechnya.

  28. My understanding is that FFP incorporates a wide range of regulations and rules including the ones about paying debts and players on time. FFP is being introduced over time – the debt issue was introduced first, the reduction of losses is being introduced over time.

    If I am wrong in thinking that FFP incorporates all these new regulations, my apologies – if someone could show me where the payment of debts and salaries regs is, other than within FFP, I would be grateful.

  29. The sugar daddy clubs just make a mockery of football. Remember when football was a sport and not just a rich man’s plaything?

  30. why is converting debt tio equity a technicality? The point is they owe nothing to anybody unlike Malaga who do. I think you’ll find anyway that neither Chelsea or City (or madrid or barca or any other important club) fall foul of that law if you read the detail including exemptions. Keep on tilting at windmills chaps while the big clubs take the trophies. And the arsenal directors aren’t entitled to dividends seems to be what is being said above. Very surprising that I’d say but then I’m not a financial whizz kid like all the Don Quixotes that typifty Arsenal’s supporters these days.

  31. Gunner. When was that then? When Man Utd broke the British Transfer Record buying Denis Law in the 60s or the Arse paying megabucks at the time for Peter Marinello. Its always been a Rich man’s game that’s why its called “Professional” football. If you don’t like it go watch an amateur team where money doesn’t count. Its your choice but you choose to support a club that actually spends megabucks but just happensa at this brief moment in time to be outspent be a small handfull of others. Unfair, unfair! grow up

  32. I see a lot of jealous reactions from les nouveaux riches.
    Deep inside they know and are jealous of the fact that some 10 years ago when all our clubs had around the same capacity stadiums we were the better side.
    Deep inside they are jealous because the stadium we built is built and paid for with money the club earns.

    But they can brag with the titles since then. Not because they have better managers. No the only reason is the fact that some rich owner poured money in the club and saved it from bankruptcy or having the usual midtable-relegation fight.

    So with the little bit of morality that is still somewhere inside them they know this all to well and deep inside they wished they would have had their own Wenger along the line. So they would be able to say that they did it on their own. But they cant and they are ashamed of it.

    The hard reality is that they weren’t good enough to do it on their own and probably would never be good enough. And that hurts and our history and achievements over the past decades are a pain in their ass.

    They see themselves daily confronted with the question: where would we be now without the sheikh of the russian?

    Now some will call me jealous now. But no, I’m just proud of the way my club works. Within a budget in a sensible way. If all would work that way there would be no global crisis, no bank crisis, no economical crisis. It is the language of money that has overtaken many of us and where we buy all we want on credit no matter the later cost for the rest of the population.

    Arsenal is a beacon of light in these times and my god they hate us for showing that there is another way. The way of working and building, seeing your building destroyed by money throwers and money orientated players, start working again, start building again. They know this is the way to really work in the long term and they hate us and admire us.

    But they will never tell you that. But just read between the lines…

  33. point being how on earth are platini and his gang [GILL AND GAZIDIS MAN CITY FAN BY THE WAY]going to stop city redevoloping half of MANCHESTER creating hundreds if not thousands of jobs which have already brought huge revenue to manchester and investment into the city. Which has the backing of the goverment and local council do you really think platini and europe are going to stop CITY thats why man ure and arsenal are trying to push through ffp in this country promblem being spain and other countrys can sort there own TV deals out WE cannot so NO level playing field this ffp can never work end of CTID

  34. Platini/Uefa would LOVE to ban a premier league team.
    The only fly in the ointment is PSG.
    As everyone knows Platinis son is there, I really can’t see him being able to ‘sneek’ them through.
    Citeh may have increased their income but no-where near enough to make them FFP safe.
    The Chavs are were in a better position until they lost to corinthians and lost in the CL. They could be in difficulty.

    Barcalona and Real will both easily pass the FFP because their income is vastly better than any other team due to their TV deal income and their global fan base.

  35. FFP is already taking effect.

    Roberto Mancini was openly angered at the lack of pre-season signings by Manchester City as the club continue to back its sporting director Brian Marwood in his power battle with the manager.

    Although City could escape a ban even if they exceed Uefa’s threshold by arguing that they have displayed a positive trend by cutting their losses from £197.5m in 2010-11 to £97.9m loss for 2011-12.

    But there is pressure on Uefa to heavily scrutinise Abu Dhabi-backed City’s record-breaking £400m sponsorship deal with the kingdom’s carrier Etihad Airways.

    Uefa’s FFP is one issue for the sugar daddy clubs in England to be wary off but what if the Premier League introduces its very own version of FFP, as looks increasingly likely. And we all know if SAF and Man Utd want something to happen in this league they usually get there way.

  36. Tasos. UEFA know Mansour could take away UEFAs monopoly if he so wished. This is why noaction can be taken against Man City.

  37. @Shuggie

    I’m not so sure.

    If as you suggest no action will taken, then why are City even bothering to comply within the rules?

    Truth is, no one can be 100% sure what sanctions, if any will be taken. Although Uefa have previously banned all English teams from competing in there competitions, way back in the bad old days and I’m sure big powerful lawyers were around back then.

  38. look people dont you get it city are in a fantastic financial situation in all businesses you have to speculate to accumilate in our recession the worlds leading ecconomist and business minds will tell you that investment is needed to bring us out of recession not stop investment because by doing that we will be taking austerity measures till the year dot and businesses will fold do arsenal fans want to see football clubs thrown out of the league because they might have cash flow problems that might effect there accounts for a period of time I for one dont want that to happen even to my biggest rival man ure but the way things are going that might happen only uefa can ignore logic and create a rule that is the complete opposite of any business logic because man ure arsenal and the corrupt english media

  39. it is opposite to business logic it is designed to perpetuate a cosy cartel which now includes both Chelsea and Man City by the way. The reason These clubs aren’t challenging it is that the owners stand to make more money especially through FFP because it gold plates their investment.

    Oh the irony.

  40. @boki

    Malaga’s ban has everything to do with Uefa’s FFP;

    UEFA’s Executive Committee unanimously approved a financial fair play concept for the game’s well-being in September 2009. The concept has also been supported by the entire football family, with its principal objectives being:

    • to introduce more discipline and rationality in club football finances;
    • to decrease pressure on salaries and transfer fees and limit inflationary effect;
    • to encourage clubs to compete with(in) their revenues;
    • to encourage long-term investments in the youth sector and infrastructure;
    • to protect the long-term viability of European club football;

  41. tasco arsenal have two of the richest men around in stan kronk and usmanov you call them sugar daddies in your rant about citys owners fact is they want pennies to be put in thier pockets as apossed to his highness mansoor who wants to help the british ecconomy BIG differance dont you think. WHATS THE BANNER SAYING WE WANT OUR ARSE BACK.

  42. I think a lot of Man city fans have visited this site recently and are stating that the middle eastern Royals are helping the British economy through the purchase of their club. Maybe.

    The Mansour family have been purchasing their defence weapons from the British for decades. We train their forces. It was the British pulling out of the area that initiated their union in to the UAE.

    This family is kept safe through their relations with the UK and its allies, Manchester city’s status is dependent on this relationship. Manchester city fans need to thank circumstance for their success as the fan base has not contributed at all.

  43. Tony

    Unpaid debts are covered in booth the regulations of the Champions League and the FFP document. It’s fair to associate them with FFP, but that particular regulation has been in existence for the better part of a decade.

  44. You think City fans aren’t thankful???

    We can all peddle the past but that’s what it is the past. You think the relation ship isn’t reciprocal? between Abu Dhabi and the UK. Its called international trade and investment.

    The fact is that their investment has been hugely beneficial to East Manchester and jobs and continues to be so. What on earth is wrong with that?

  45. Steve. Thankyou that is correct. We have done likewise in the UK with the likes of Portsmouth and others in the English League and Rangers in the Scottish League.There can be no doubt that clubs who fail to pay their debts to others whilst overspending as Malaga did and Rangers must be punished in some way but FFP was never required to do that.

  46. nicky and colario. I’m Ignorant am I? How do shareholders of PLCs make money without selling shares?

    Either, salary &/or commissions &/or expenses and/ or interest on any loans made to the club &/or dividends on profits made by the club.

    I have an inkling that most if not all Arsenal Directors make money in one or more of those ways year on year. Or are you saying all such money’s have been ploughed back into the club, players wages and transfer fees. I think not but then you class me as an idiot for daring to suggest your Directors have invested money to make a return.

    Maybe you can enlighten a lowly accountant like me?

  47. your ignorance is astounding. You think your showing gratitude by coming on to a pro Wenger site, who believes in financial prudence and flout someone else’s wealth to us. Are you stupid or do you not think about what you do.
    The UK’s relationship with the UAE is the past, the present and the future which your dependent on. Mancs history, present and future are embroiled in politics, arms dealings, oil production or in the future tourism. Get a grip you F***ing idiot.

  48. ref adam their you go sprouting on about the empire oh dear oh dear clowns like you should stick to reading comics as for man city fans your ignorance is blind 84.544 still a record for a english game MAN CITY v STOKE city do more than any other club for there comunity arsenal will allways be from now on a feeder club because of their stubourness and ignorance bye bye brtie

  49. Tasos

    Check out PSG sponsorship deal before you moan about city’s! Its funny how arseholes moan about sugga daddy’s when their own stadium is sponsored by the same royal family backing city (Emirates)! Thats alright because its arsenal and no onr else gas the right for substatial spinsorship. Hypocrites springs to mind.

  50. I’m kinda with CrankyFatMan,
    to be honest, I try not to bother reading transfer tosh (some you can’t get away from) as it makes no difference to what happens whether I read it or not. I just wait and see what happens at the end.

  51. Are all City fans so defensive?

    I did not abuse your club, nor was it a rant.

    If you believe your club has nothing to worry about regarding FFP, fine.

    Time will tell, although FFP actually allows any sugar daddy ownership as long as it plays by the rules and invests in infrastructure and youth academies. Nothing wrong with having rich owners in that respect.

  52. there you go again tesco the rules are already there ffp is a new concept which is illigal but is being pushed through by arsenal so that arsenal can disguise the fact that they are a club which is badly run and want to profit as apposed to investing in your club by its currant yank owners with rules that have stood for over 100 years which promotes investment and new challenges you just dont get it do you

  53. Shuggie might be getting on your nerves, but my legal anaylsis of the FFP is the same as his. It is not an antitrust legislation – it is not meant to promote competition or equality. It is meant to prevent situations of adverse effects caused by insolvency or other financial problems. I.e., when you don’t have a reason to believe a club will default (Roman, Sheikh Mansour, et. al) then you don’t need to implement the sanctions. Malaga did just that- and they got the stick. I do not think myself that the purpose of the FFP was to crystallize the top clubs – but it is a sad side effect.

  54. “arsenal can disguise the fact that they are a club which is badly run”

    Sorry craig stephens, debate with you is futile.

  55. Where did I mention the Empire Stephens, I state fact about our (yours and mine if your from the UK) relationship with the UAE. But if you wish to term the relationship you benefit from most a comic, go ahead. Write to Mansour and explain it to him. But do yorself a favor and use your crayons and draw him a nice picture as well.


  57. @ Shuggie,

    “why is converting debt into equity a technicality?” Because if you already own something lock, stock and barrel issuing more shares to yourself doesn’t dilute the shareholding or bring in new investors.

    Usually you would convert cash you are owed into shares (or more shares) in a business, so you have something tangible for your cash.

    I’m not judging before I get a backlash.

  58. The UK government have announced that they wish to rid the UK of all retards, All flights will be departing from Manchester and they have reminded Craig Stephens to pack his crayons.

  59. @ Adam, if you’re directing that at fans of either Manchester Clubs then I think you’ll find Heathrow very handy for many….


  61. “Did you hear what happened to old Craig Stephens last time city were in a cup final” “He walked all the way to London for the Cup Final to save on the train fare and then had to pay £20 to get in because he was too tired to climb over the wall!”

    Show me your money.

    Sorry should say Show me someone else’s money

  62. A white van driver used to keep himself amused by scaring witless every manchester city fan he saw sauntering down High common road in his blue and white uniform. He would swerve as if to hit them, and at the last minute, swerve back onto the road.
    One day as he was driving along the road, he saw a priest hitch-hiking. He thought he would do his good deed for the day and offer the priest a lift.
    “Where are you off tae, Father?” he asked.
    “I’m going to give Mass at St Michaels’s church – it’s aboot 2 miles down the road,”.
    “Nae worries,” said the driver, “Hop in and I’ll gee ya a lift.”
    The happy priest climbed into the van and they set off down the road. Suddenly the driver caught site of Craig Stephens on the pavement, and instinctively swerved as if to hit him, but just in time, remembering the priest in his van, swerved back to the road again, narrowly missing the idiot. Although he was certain that he didn’t hit him, however, he still heard a loud “Thud”. Not understanding where the noise came from, he glanced in his mirrors, and, seeing nothing, said to the priest, “Oh sorry Father, I nearly hit that man city Fan walking down the road there.”
    “No need to apologise Sonny,” replied Father, “I got the ba$tard with the door!”

  63. thanks robl just kept lock on so adamsky could read it so here we go again ARSENAL FAN GOES FOR JOB INTERVIEW BOSS SAYS WHATS YOUR NAME ADAM SAYS THE ARSENAL FAN. SPELL IT SAYS THE BOSS STICK YOUR JOB UP YOUR ARSE SAYS ADAM bye bye adam

  64. @Robl,I assume you mean London reds aka Manchester United fans?

    I can’t really say the same for city fans, as I believe they do hibernate in Manchester and only come out when oil is struck in the middle east.

  65. Merry Xmas to all you Gooners out there who are concerned about the financial viability of your football club, and how that impacts on your ability to deliver on the pitch 🙂

    I have commented a few times on the many, many articles dgenerated on this website and other Arsenal related ones, but as yet another debate has been started, I guess I’ll put my ‘pennorth in again.

    Because this is about the Arsenal, I have to start with where it all went badly wrong, the new stadium, and the debt repayment that has strangled investment in the squad.

    It is no coincidence that since taking out the massive mortgage on the stadium, believed to be initially upwards of £400 million pounds, (coincidentally the same amount of money that SHeikh Mansour has invested in the City players so successful over the last three years or so), the Arsenal have failed to win any silverware at all.

    It is plain for all to see, that in the short term, i.e the last seven years, the Arsenal have failed to pay competitive wages, and transfer fees, to attract the calibre of player that they used to, before saddling themselves with a risky property venture just before the current economic crisis hit hard.

    Because the property sales aspect from the Highbury development have dragged on, and realised much less profits than predicted, who can blame the Arsenal board when they make the decision to rein in Wenger’s spending, when faced with the very real possibility of financial ruin – prudent management at this time was deemed to be preferable to insolvency.

    Manchester United were able to attract the top players still, like Van Persie, despite having the worst, blood sucking owners in football, probably because they did not go down the risky route of building a brand new stadium, preferring to extend Old Trafford in phases, rather than borrow monies to fund business growth at a later stage.

    Arsenal’s front-loaded investment to gain a competitive advantage over their rivals has back-fired quite spectacularly, going from a team we all loved to watch, who looked like they would remain unbeaten forever, to the current parlous position, whereby the fans are desperately pinning their hopes on the misfortune of others falling foul of new legislation, designed to halt football owners from ironically, front-loading investment in their clubs.

    Of course, the stadium debt will be cleared in around five years or so, providing the fans keep on stumping up the highest prices in the land, to watch a team who are a shadow of the Invincibles, with of course the distinct possibility the “floaters”, the fans who only follow the successful teams, will instead latch onto the new flavour of the season – City, or Chelsea.

    Will the Arsenal go the way of the likes of Liverpool? There is a real danger of this happening if the squad isn’t strengthened to compete with the Big Three, but again, that’s another gamble which may well fall foul of the new Fifa Financial Fairplay Regulations – the delicious irony of it is too much.

    None of this is Arsene Wenger’s fault either, I can’t fathom for the life of me why so many Arsenal fans are calling for a change of manager, ridiculous, and guaranteed to plunge the Arsenal into mid table obscurity, i just hope for your club’s sake he stands strong and rides the hard times out, until all your financial restraints are cleared.

  66. i allways had a soft spot for arsenal even my wifes familly who cant stand the sight of them said dont get involved and some of them are reds there idiots. no i said ive posted on quite a few of there sights but sadly i think there right after adams rants the one good thing is you never see any arsenal fans in the north anyway champions of england lets hope arsenal dont have to wait another 8 years before they can show ther faces in london again dont hold your breath though merry christmas to all real fans and school starts on jan 4 for adam the muppet ps lets hope sheik mansoor does not order his wife to terminate the contract with arsenal emirates oh forgot that adam did we mansoor is the son in law of the ruler of dubai

  67. adam been to highbury many times and to emirates in full football atire 6 pound for a hotdog you londoners must be rolling in money wilst the rest of us struggle next out walcott

  68. Craig I was born in Hampstead (next to Islington) managed to escape Londinium Just after the Romans left, Moved a few miles north to Hertfordshire, Live in a little river side cottage (even have the fishing rights to the river lea). But I don’t generally go fishing I use the internet for that and today I caught a wonderful blueish colored Manc fish.
    Anyway isn’t it past your bed-time. Hurry now or else Santa won’t visit you.

  69. Craig just because you got turned over by an Arsenal fan don’t generalise and call all Arsenal fans names. If you cannot handle the banter, then don’t turn in at an Arsenal site and start all your bullsh*t.

  70. last post on this website now. spot on melon man seems to go right over certain heads anyway. Adam as a proud manc with irish roots and a devout catholic i found your joke to be something out of a special school but never mind.As you sit there with rod in hand placing your inferiorty complex on your hook as bait and as you casted your line in the hope of catching something like a great big personality or failing that a small reality check in your traquile silver spoon rivers of the south of england let me ask you this.How many arsenal fans were shocked at going out of the milk cup to bradford. answer not a lot.your heading one way son and thats SOUTH.Adam i have no like or problem with arsenal these are just three quarters of arsenal fans will tell you anyway.ref ROBL good point although people might say salford is a seperate city and has nothing to do with manchester. Secondly there are some that might point out that providing no violence is used it is better to get robbed in salford because people dont carry 6 pound on them up north than to take out a morgage for an arsenal game and catch food poisoning in islington. all the best over christmas boys and girls

  71. Have to say again, excellent site. Nice to see an Arsenal blog that generates genuine debate instead of the usual sack board/decapitate Wenger/spend money/castrate chamack blah, blah, blah (although this discussion seems to be getting a bit personal)

    Also don’t get the defensiveness of the billionaire boys clubs. If your club is is as good as you say it is for you, football and Manchester/west London in general then what’s the problem?

    The only thing I would say is that surely AFC are good whatever happens. We’re in a great position for FFP and if that doesn’t work and things start ‘heading south’ we have one of the richest men in the world who desperately wants the club (and sponsorship possibilities which come with his involvement). Or have I simplified it too much?

    I’m personally behind what we’re trying to do now and also back the manager 100%. As for the board – they may not be perfect but are they any worse than any other football teams owners?

    Oh and should point out I pay 960 odd quid for my season ticket and a hell of a lot of people who sit around me do to. Yes it’s quite a bit but those people mentioning 2 grand tickets really should do some research into ticket options at AG rather parrot the tabloids.

  72. you are completely correct on Wenger Melon Man, I cannot see why anyone would want him out in our circumstances either

  73. AC Milan another European giant declared last week that they ‘will try to follow the footsteps of Arsenal’.
    They said they will go out and try young and still a bit unproven talent to build a new and most of all cheaper team for the future.
    If I can find the time I will write an article about it. It is on my to do list from last week….

  74. Craig, Remember you addressed me first and caught me in a mood to challenge, I have no problem with any football club that their fan base supports financially. I don’t care for your Irish roots, the Irish in me is dead. As for Catholicism that’s your choice, Im non practising Roman Catholic, with Irish roots and I found the joke about the city fan and priest hilarious.
    If you do visit this site again and I hope you do as it is a very interesting read, I will in future treat you with respect and not light hearted humour (which is what it was).
    Merry Xmas.

    Go raibh tú daibhir i mí-áidh
    Agus saibhir i mbeannachtaí
    Go mall ag déanamh namhaid, go luath a déanamh carad,
    Ach saibhir nó daibhir, go mall nó go luath,
    Nach raibh ach áthas agat
    Ón lá seo amach.

  75. Peace has broke out.

    To all City fans, I don’t blame you celebrating your success as you’ve had a torrid time of it in the last ten years, certainly worse than Arsenal have ever experienced. Savour every moment because it may not last. I recall being euphoric with Arsenal between 98 and 06 but even then cherished those times because I suspected we’d be also rans again and that’s what we are presently.

    Some Arsenal fans have a bad case of sour grapes when it comes to rich clubs like City and Chelsea. I suspect plenty would love it if Kronke subbed Wenger a 100 million but we all know that’s not likely. I don’t recall Arsenal fans being too concerned about poorer teams when we buying better and more expensive players so why on earth should City fans care about their club spending large amounts on the likes of Tevez, Silva, Aguero and Kompany. Personally I’d love to see those four playing for us. Anyway we have to make do with what we’ve got and support them fully.

    Nowadays Arsenal fans should cherish the few decent players we have as it’s very likely they’ll be sold on at some point. I can see Wilshire’s market value rising every game and I suspect that one day he’ll be sold. I hope not as I see him as being as vital to Arsenal as Lampard and Gerrard have been for their respective teams. But that’s the self-sustaining model we have adopted and those who support it will have to accept the harsh realities of it.

  76. @Rupert Cook
    “I don’t recall Arsenal fans being too concerned about poorer teams when we buying better and more expensive players so why on earth should City fans care about their club spending large amounts on the likes of Tevez, Silva, Aguero and Kompany.”

    Better yes, more expensive? Give us some names please, and just don’t confuse quality with expensive. On the contrary to what you say here, Wenger is famous for his bargain buys & unearthing gems for ridiculous prices, not the other way round mate.

    That even up to today our most expensive player has cost no more than £15m when just about any club that has finished in the top 8 in recent years has already broken the £20m barrier shoots down that statement. Even our rivals concede that AW knows how to work the markets; I honestly cant believe that this statement came out of someone who calls themselves an Arsenal fan(I’m assuming you’re a gunner, and apologies if you aren’t:-)). Sorry but you just spouting utter nonsense.

  77. @Al, we were spending quite a lot compared to most teams in the EPL around the turn of the century. And Wenger has unearthed some real bargains, no doubt, but that ability has deserted him a little in recent years.

    @Stuart, indeed we were but who’s going to moan if Wenger gets handed a large lump sum from Kronke’s wealth to spend on players?

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