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August 2021

Why do so many people want the Arsenal model to fail?

Why do so many people want the Arsenal model to fail?

By Ian Jenkinson.

During the pre-season and now as the season has kicked off, millions of words have been written in the media, on the social networks and on the blogosphere about Arsenal and their transfer dealings or lack thereof. It has been a topic that has enraged so many fans, with venomous arguments taking place all over the internet. It is my feeling that this has always been the plan for a lot of people out in the football industry.

And it really got me thinking, why is Arsenal’s stance on transfer dealings, and how they generally run the club so rigorously slammed from all corners of the journalistic world? Almost every sports journalist out there loves having a go at us. They write article after article about how “miserly” the club and in particular Wenger is. Why?

They highlight the growing disdain of the Arsenal fans and tell us that Arsenal must now go out and spend big as this will be the only way to appease the fans. It’s not surprising that we find disgruntled fans when they are being constantly fed the same story from the media.

Some people aren’t allowed make up their own minds. And most of the time when they report on ANOTHER player that Arsenal have missed out on by being cheap or too slow in their negotiations they don’t even have the facts. Sometimes we weren’t even looking at that player in the first place.

They are just trying to apply pressure on the club. But you can almost hear the message “Boy, you Arsenal fans must be really annoyed, we think you should get on your managers back because if I were you I’d be pissed off right now”. This is the media trying to destabilise the fans and club.

I think there is a very clear, ugly motive to all of this. And i think it runs far deeper than the journalists.

I have my own personal thoughts on why Arsenal Football Club is so derided in the media for doing what is essentially the right thing. Football is big business at the moment. And it is probably at its peak now with billions being spent every year on TV deals, transfers, wages, merchandise, match day tickets etc. Absolutely massive money is moving around the industry and anybody who has a finger in the pie is doing quite well out of it. Owners, players, coaches, backroom staff, agents, referees and all the relevant bodies – FIFA, UEFA, PGMOL, The FA etc. are all worth a pretty penny at the moment from football.

And then you can take it down to the next level of people who don’t make as much money as the people mentioned above but earn a lot more than they should be earning due to the inflated current market. I speak about the journalists, the pundits, the TV presenters etc.

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And it keeps going down, just like champagne glasses stacked in a pyramid. Pour the champagne into the top glass and soon even the bottom glasses will be full and ready to be enjoyed. And if you were a part of that pyramid you wouldn’t want anything to happen to the champagne would you? You wouldn’t want anything to rock the boat. Let it flow you would shout and don’t let anybody stop it.

I think Arsenal and clubs run like Arsenal are feared within the football industry. We, and other clubs run like us are the ones in danger of rocking the football industry boat. Let me explain.

All the people making big money in the football industry want this gravy train to keep on rolling, it is in their best interests to keep everything as high as possible. The more inflated the better because they stand to make so much money themselves. That’s why the journalists and pundits purr over the big money signings and write so sensationally about the big transfer fees. They love it when a player is sold for £50-60 million as it shows that the industry is still flush (without a thought to the fact that the fee and the players wages over the length of his contract could feed a small third world country for a year).

It is the same when there is a boom in a country in a certain industry.  As for example, some countries which in the past 10 years have had a huge construction boom. When this happened everybody in the industry thought “great let’s make as much money as possible and f*ck anybody who tries to get in the way”. There was little thought put towards the long term well-being of the economy. Everybody’s wages went up to an inflated height. Concrete companies formed cartel’s, anybody who came in trying to lower prices were blown away, maybe even threatened. Governments became involved, brown envelopes were passed around. It became a horrible greedy sector. Everybody wanted a mansion, even if they could not afford one. And then one day, it fell off the edge of a cliff and left a lot of innocent people in an impossible position.

Does this seem familiar? You can apply the above to football now, the Monaco’s, Chelsea’s, Man City’s, PSG’s all trading amongst themselves, keeping everything high, the “governments” of UEFA, FIFA getting involved and the likes of Portsmouth and Leeds left up the creek.

How deep does the ugliness stretch? It is hard to tell but it could explain why we get so much anti-Arsenal bias by referees and also anti Arsenal bias from the TV stations and their pundits and commentators. I have stopped listening to all pundits, I never watch pre-match build up, I turn off at half time and I tune out at the final whistle, I generally record MOTD and fast forward the punditry such is the drivel that they come out with towards Arsenal. Are these people applying their own pressure?

Some of the refereeing displays involving Arsenal are disgusting, this being highlighted by Anthony Taylor’s display on Saturday. There is no excusing his decisions. He punished Arsenal players with free kicks and yellow cards and didn’t do the same to the Aston Villa players when they committed similar if not worse fouls. We didn’t play well but Anthony Taylor cost us the game. And there have been many examples of it before. Are the referees’ in on it too?

You see there are lots of people who would absolutely hate for a club like Arsenal to be successful, a club that could come in and show the football world that you do not have to spend the money that is being spent to accomplish what you want. It would nearly immediately crash the market, the champagne flow would slow down and the greedy glasses wouldn’t be full. That would cost a lot of people a lot of money.

It would be proven that splashing the cash isn’t the answer. And then the ripple effect would be felt all across the football world. That just would not do for these people. They would not let it happen, and i think these people have been a contributing factor in Arsenal’s barren spell. The combination of bias refereeing, bias reporting in the media (to the point that it has gotten fans to turn on their own club) and the unwillingness of any of the footballing bodies to do anything about the refereeing or up until now about the outrageous money being spent (we’ll see how FFP regulations are policed) I think has seriously hampered Arsenal on the field.

The whole thing stinks.

Over the past 15 years you look at the decisions that Man Utd have been given. But it suits the media, the journalists and referees to let Man Utd, the money spinning darlings of the Premier League be the benefit of such bias. It is all money, money, money.

In a time where people are claiming Arsenal have lost the plot it is possible that Arsenal are one of the only few who still know what the plot is. The market isn’t real and everybody knows it but many people are very happy to make hay while the sun shines no matter what the long term cost to football is. A crash is coming and it will hit a lot of people very hard.

Arsenal this summer have had accusations of being derisory and lacking class. Why? Arsenal have bid €40 million for a player. That is a fantastic offer for a footballer. Just because Cavani, Bale and Falcao are being bought by the sugar daddy owners at super ridiculous prices doesn’t mean that other players values go up. Arsene Wenger puts a realistic value on a player and places an offer. I truly believe that it is the market that is mad, not Wenger.

Further to that, Wenger not only puts realistic values on players he wants to buy, he does the same for players he sells. You don’t see Wenger coming out with statements like Rogers and Pardew have recently when an Arsenal player is being touted. Fabregas, Van Persie, Song, Clichy and Nasri all went for realistic amounts. I mean, is Gareth Bale 5 times the player Robin Van Persie is? The market seems to think so. The market isn’t realistic, but the longer the market is like this the better for all involved so it’s no wonder an upstart like Arsenal is being treated as they are by the media and the referee’s etc.

Some people may think I am mad but there is a lot of truth in what I write.

I know Arsene Wenger is on a lot of money and is doing well from this industry but he is almost single handed trying to pull football back into realism. I am top of the queue of people who thinks that we should spend money this summer and buy players, but not at that kind of money, it is absurd.

Football isn’t what it used to be, money has made sure of that and it has changed the face of many football teams to the point that some fans don’t recognise their own club but i’d like to think that Arsenal, my Arsenal will still be run the same, like it has until now, when the shit hits the fan. And it is on the way.

We the fans have been left to foot the bill of this bloated industry we see before us. TV subscriptions, high ticket prices, outrageous merchandise prices all of which are forced upon clubs who need to pay these outrageous fees and wages to players playing the same game that was played 20 years ago by players who earned a fraction of today’s bunch.

Don’t let the media drag you into their world. They will be fished out just like the referee’s, the pundits and all the others trying to stop Arsenal and their like from doing things the right way.

I look forward to the day when football gets back to normal.

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167 comments to Why do so many people want the Arsenal model to fail?

  • Gustav Graves

    Very interesting article. I think people wont really appreciate what youre saying until the “bubble” bursts.
    Housing market did the exact same thing in the US and while it was happening no one wanted to listen to the whistle blowers. But its too late now. Lets hope football doesnt end the same way.

  • ArsenalMike

    I appreciate this article. I agree it would be wonderful if Arsenal spends wisely and acquires top talent. I am from the US, but I have certainly done my utmost to support the club. It saddens me to see fans speaking so vehemently against Wenger. I tend support Arsenal because of the club’s operating and playing philosophy. I believe principal really does matter more than trophies, but I also think it is a false dichotomy to think you cannot have one without the other.

    Perhaps, the most discouraging development is that it appears (like many players) many of the Arsenal fans are as willing to be bought by money as many of the players who have left the club. I support Arsenal because I believe the club stands for something important. I can only imagine, seen in hindsight, the day Wenger leaves the club many will herald his responsible stewardship. He will certainly leave the club in better shape than he found it.

  • Bernie

    Great article and hitting the nail on the head. So stand up for AW instead of condemning him.

  • Philbet

    Great article,with several accurate and salient points,however the media are not only on Arsenals back they are in fact on everybody s back,sure because you and I are Arsenal supporters we notice it more but if you watch more closely all the clubs and managers come under a similar criticism at certain stages, even Tony Pulis at Stoke was hounded by the press & media for playing ‘rugby football’,before being relieved of his duties,the media just love to kick a soft target they have no affection for a club they just see it as a populist agenda which will sell copy and increase there journalists profile,don’t forget Sky is a media company before a TV station, hence the ‘what the papers say’ sections and the media talk shows all over the channels, it far easier to criticize especially when you target is given no right to reply.

  • don

    there is nothing right in what arsenal is doing!paying the highest tickets with nothing to show for,having money and knowing you cannot use it!wenger keeps going on and on about finding quality players,ie he cannot just buy a player for the fuck of it!are gervino,park,per,chamakh,bedntner,squillaci etc quality players?The only quality player wenger has bought in 8 years is Santi carzola!much attention is thrown arsenals way because they are supposed to be a big club!samething happens everywhere.In Spain it happened to madrid when they bought everybody and still failed to bring glory!Arsenal is a big club with a small club mentality

  • don

    8yrs is a long time to continue using a model that has proved it is not/ cant/ wont work!we must adapt and move on with the changes!try something different.a few years back man city was a mid table team,same as chelsea.u can see the difference.soon with our mentality,its us who are going to b a mid table team!

  • Dog

    People don’t want the model to fail, IT HAS FAILED!
    Why waste your time writing a redundant article about a failure that has already happened?

  • dumiescott

    I do agree wit yo.most people dont 4see wen trobl is comg.i bealv the prices a inflated way to high.Bale cant cost 5times mo than RVP wat has he won not even topgoalscorer.

  • T2T

    I’d say that the three main players Arsenal brought in last summer are all class players; Giroud – top scorer in the French league, Podolski, a main stay in the German national team, a team much better than England’s and the youngest ever to get 100 caps and then there is Cazorla, our best player last year.
    Back to the article. I would love to get a couple of world class players to Arsenal. The problem is our wage structure. We have over the last few years had thee fourth highest wage budget in the PL. However, our top earner always makes way less than the top earners in the teams above us. We spend way too much on mediocre players/squad players and not enough on the first XI. Why did we pay Squillaci who ‘never’ got a game the same as e.g. Rosicky? If we need back up and squad players, let that be young, promising players or – players like Rosicky who has been with us for many years.
    Spurs are likely to sell Bale but they will have a better team because they’ve invested wisely. They may lose their match winner but now they are less dependent upon one player to pull them out of trouble.
    We will struggle to be in the top five this year unless we do get 2-3 top players. Losing at home against an ordinary Villa side proves that we still need strengthening. Yes, the ref cost us but we played some nice football and IF we’d have a player like Bale who scored from 12-25 yards on a regular basis, we’d won the game at a canter.

  • ADAM

    hey..i feel like my ayes are open now..i notice not to many comments on this,you know why? cause the truth hurts…i love ARSENAL so much and i live in AFRICA,ZAMBIA to be precise.whenever people around me start talking negatives about the EPL teams, ARSENAL is always the first on the list.this burns me up all the time..

  • Rupert Cook

    Well Montpelier won the French league and I notice that had no effect on the spending of Monaco and PSG. Do you really believe that if Arsenal won every trophy in one year the whole world of football would change? That suddenly all these 60 million pound players will be worth half that? Or that nobody will pay those prices because one club bucked the trend? All that will happen is that the clubs that spend most will spend more to ensure Arsenal are dwarfed.

    You think there’s a crash coming. Really? Have you not noticed there’s a world recession and yet football players’ prices are rising not falling.

    Football is not like any other business. It doesn’t follow the laws of economics like the housing market because you don’t get millions of people following the exploits of a house and celebrating the successful completion of a building. People have attachments to their teams which many consider an extension of their family. Nobody cares when a supermarket goes bust but if club does you can be sure there’ll be a group of individuals that’ll rejuvenate that club.

    I totally agree that prices for the top players is mad and downright immoral when you consider the poverty in the world. And yet we can hardly claim innocence. We were prepared to pay in excess of forty million for a nasty striker.

    With regards the selling of our better players again do you believe that if there had been a bidding war for Fabregas or RVP we would have been overcome with ethics and let them go to the lowest bidder? I’ve never heard of that and I doubt anyone at our club would sanction it.

    I agree with the spirit of your post but I think it a little naive.

  • @Swales68

    An excellent article and not surprisingly one that I fully agree with. Arsenal should in this time of madness be held up by the media as a club trying to do things properly but instead they are attacked from all sides (worst of all thier own fans (shakes head in disgust)). Bale is not worth £98m Suarez is not worth £50m and Cabaye is not worth £20m, but the media because it suits thier agenda and sky’s viewpoint that the PL is the best league in the world it is encouraged.

    Wenger is not the mad one, he is sadly in this day and age the odd one out the sensible one standing on the sidelines saying “this is wrong” but with the rest of the PL looking at him like he’s some kind of idiot. No player is worth £250k per week but since the dark lord took over at Chelsea the PL and European football has descended in to stupidity. Bale a good player yes but his valuation is screwing the rest of the transfer world up, the quote from L’poo shows this “if Bale is worth £80 then Suarez has to be near £50m”. This was backed up by the idiots in the media but in truth it’s wrong, but god forbid anybody coming out and saying that especially Wenger.

    The way the club are run is sensible, live within your means and save money for a rainy day. Spurs look like they are selling Bale and are spending the money before they get it (probably got a loan from Joe Lewis to cover the short fall until Madrid pay up in 5 years time) and for what to try and finish 4th. Spurs are not looking to win the league anytime soon they can not compete with the Chelsea’s or Manchester Cities of this world. What happens if Bale trips over a dog today and breaks his leg where will that leave Spurs (ok Joe Lewis will take the hit but you know what I mean(I hope)).

    Football is not about your youth academy, it is not about how well your club is run, it’s not about what your manager can get out of his players to make the average better (can you imagine Ray Parlour getting a chance at Arsenal now, Tony Adams would of been driven out of the club after his first few games of playing. Would Robert Pires be allowed that 1st season to settle in?). Football is about money and how much you can spend.

    The dark lord at Chelsea with his billion pounds plus of (I was going to say investment but that’s the wrong word) throwing money at players has twisted the popular view of how things should be run, fans are now clambering for Usmaniov to be involved because he has a few Rubles hanging around that they think he will just throw to Arsenal. It doesn’t matter how he came by the money or his aledged past its all about ‘MONEY’ and how much can you give to us now. Sod the future I don’t care that in 30 years time there may not be an Arsenal to go to because they over stretched themselves in the persuit of a trophy now.

  • that’s clever article, Don what do you mean the people are paying the high prices for tickets, hell no, they pay tickets because of a nice stadium, and to watch nice football etc, to be honesty I will never be interested to watch pre-match because all pundits said are all against arsenal, look this guy G.Neville and this Garr ex livepool, he said arsenal is panic, why? he thinks that Liverpool will make top 4, never, arsenal will always be arsenal, look spurs the way they spend money and none player they bought whom has quality more than they the current ‘s arsenal players, only the time will tell, losing one game doesn’t mean any thing and referee had played a big role for arsenal to lose.

  • Kenneth Widmerpool

    Thanks Ian, I agree. Well thought out and observed.

  • Ben L

    very very good article, the part about how people cannot think for themselves i have experienced at work and when i have been talking to strangers. If the conversation moves onto football they ask who i support, i reply Arsenal and their look on their face!! It’s like really… why??

    Then they spew out what they read on the news, like one charity worker wanted me to sign up and to get my interest asked who i supported and when i told him he was saying why Does Wenger, you know like young boys?
    He was saying it like he was a sexual predator!!!
    He moves onto why doesn’t he spend big and i replied and if the other club doesnt want to sell to Arsenal?
    End of conversation!
    Have other people experienced these mindless drones?

    I think the other supporters are trying to make us feel ashamed in supporting Arsenal, at the end of the day i dont play for Arsenal so what they say doesnt apply.

  • Great read and so very true, they’ve all hated us for years.Going back to a recent conversation in Manchester at a wedding a couple of city fans said it all stemmed from the 50’s when we hand everything, the players, the ground, the under soil heating and the famous marble halls. Jealously and scummy small minded northern shit heads. Now its the model!!!! and the trophy less years to sell the papers. In all a top striker( Jackson Martinez)DM,GK and a couple of quality defenders(experienced)and we not as bad as everyone thinks.

  • Kei

    You make many valid points and i think the football world will collapse in the near future but Arsenal aren’t trying to fight the system, they’re trying to be a part of it. They sold so many players that when the injury crisis hit, it was always a question when not if, without buying new players that the squad has basically collapsed. Arsenal fans are right to berate the club, not necessarily for the model, but for not actually trying to win and be content with fourth spot. We should buy players, not enormous over inflated, but players who fit out team and there are plenty out there. We don’t need huge names instead we should just find great player at a reasonable price. Its foolish to hold the team to the standards it once had because they’re long gone. Instead, lets be reasonable fans and accept that other teams actually are better than us and deserve to win. The first step to fixing a problem is actually acknowledging we have one and that clearly isn’t the case with Arsenal FC

  • CaveGun

    @Rupert Cook, football does follow the laws of economics. Any football club makes revenue and incurs expenses; the truth is a lot of these clubs spend a lot more than they earn. Example, Barca has still not paid us in full for the sale of Fabregas, spreading the payment over 5 years. Chelsea although trophy winners still had bad books for many years. And the talk about a crash, no one ever thought Rangers would go into administration. Top team in Scotland but was owing a lot of clubs. Its a great article, like any industry a crash will occur. Anyone who thinks prices will keep going up is deluded. Just like the 100m pound tag on Bale, which everyone is beginning to see is absurd. A crash is coming but I believe it will hit clubs individually before it affects the industry.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Ben L,
    even on Untold we see the mindless drones 😉

  • Jose

    Football now, is like a VW bittle car on a F1 track moving at d same speed and people are amazed not realizing it heading for a crash than d final end

  • Fools Gold

    Wow, this article has really put pen to my thoughts. I´m not much for conspiracy’s and I fucking hate blaming referees for costing us a game.

    But the last 5-6 years for almost every game I find myself screaming at the ref for destroying our momentum in our play. This cannot have been coincidences all the time, teams are allowed to kick us without the ref giving away free kicks, but as soon as we kick them back we always get yellow carded.

  • Mike Thomas

    For me its about time Arsenal considered re locating possibly to North Korea for there the could practise their pure and perfect business model in the welcome knowledge its them that’s right and everybody else is wrong
    Arsenal as a club have benefited from the current economic situation within football and the funny, no sad thing, is that its almost cult like how the Arsenal hierarchy have been able to convince the supporters or perhaps they could be named as disciples, that their model is the true and pure path and every other club is inferior because they don’t follow suit
    As they say wake up and smell the coffee!

  • nicky

    May I join 100% with those who forecast the bubble bursting in players’ wages.
    While I accept that satellite TV and global advertising has brought about riches beyond compare to professional sportsmen the world over, the continued escalation has now become obscene. It cannot and must not go on.
    Insofar as the model that is Arsenal is concerned, the attitude of those of its rivals is simply based on ENVY.
    No team in the 20th century has the history, reputation integrity and world-wide admiration enjoyed by our great Club.
    Other clubs may enjoy greater success on the field, they may be richer and spend more…but their history cannot compare with Arsenal FC.

  • Hi Ian,

    Great article!

    You have painted a complex picture… but I don’t think it’s as simple as all that.


    For instance – have you considered that the BPL is now a global brand that competes directly with other global brands?

    In this world the spectacular sells – the big names are required and, in some cases, protected to keep the brand competitive.

  • Aneeq

    Thank you for this wonderful articale,As an arsenal supporter my mind and heart is at ease once more.

  • Rupert Cook

    @CaveGun, Yes clubs spend more than they earn but that’s how it works. Businesses speculate and plan to profit by doing so. But the laws of economics are stretched in football especially by clubs such as Chelsea and PSG where owners are prepared to spend millions to ensure success. Barca and Real Madrid are in huge debt, is that not so? Well in any other business these clubs would be in administration but that doesn’t apply at the top end of the football hierarchy. Sure many clubs have to live by a budget but the big teams don’t.

    And Rangers was run badly. Wasn’t there lots of illegal goings on there?

    If people think a crash is coming and Arsenal will benefit you might have a long wait. As long as Abramovic and his ilk pump money into their clubs the status quo won’t change.

    When in all the years of spiraling prices in football transfers has the market ever collapsed despite the number of recessions we’ve experienced?

  • Rupert Cook

    @Nicky, that sounds like a statement from North Korea where Mike suggests we move to.

    Do you really believe that our club and it’s way of doing things is envied by everyone? I can’t see why Chelsea or Manu with all their success would be envious of our business model.

    We have a great history but so have several other global clubs. I’m not sure because you state what you do that anyone could construe that as fact much as I wish it were so.

  • Mark Kitching

    There is some truth to parts of the article – ie. Bale is not worth 5 times Van Persie, but that’s the players club trying to dissuade another club buying their prized asset.

    Who’s got the better strategy if we sell Fabregas for c£30M when he had 4 years left on his contract and Tottenham are holding out for £85-90M for Bale, who also is on a long term contract?

    We shouldn’t hold Wenger up as a beacon for decency and virtue because he applies a fairness with the values of the players he sells, we should be trying to get the absolute maximum for those players, it’s common bleeding sense!

    Barcelona: We want Fabregas because he has our DNA. We will pay £30M and not a penny more.
    Arsenal: Fabregas is our captain, has 10 years ahead of him and has 4 years left on his contract. You can have him but for £45M.
    Barcelona: No, £30M.
    Arsenal: Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

    Wenger has also continued to misjudge the market and our position in it. We are no longer a big enough draw for aspiring players and a ‘fair’ bid for a player will be met with anger and intransigence from the ‘selling’ club. They want top dollar for their prized asset and they know that if we don’t pay the money they want someone else will. So once again we lose out, all because Wenger and the club are too short sighted and stubborn to pay the market rate.

    Also, this whole ‘everyone’s out to get us’ concept just reeks of desperation to me. Just go and ask Ian Holloway and the Palace fans if they think Arsenal are hard done by with refereeing decisions!

    I go and watch quite a few Bristol Rovers games and I can promise you all that some of the decisions made week in week out at that level are truly awful, far worse than we got on Saturday. We don’t have anything to cry about.

    The ref was very poor on Saturday but it’s a convenient cover for the real reasons we lost. We failed to take advantage of our ‘on paper’ superiority and were too sloppy and fell into the same old bad habits that had seemed destined to make us miss out of a top four finish last season before our excellent run.

    I won’t deny questionable penalty decisions and a lack of consistent decision making contribute to our defeat but look at Wenger’s tactics. He brings on an obviously unfit Cazorla at half time when Podolski was a much better option. Our total lack of transfer activity now means that the mind numbingly obvious need for a centre back has just been amplified all because Koscielny got what was in fairness a harsh red card, but now we have ONE fit centre back available for the Fulham game and that assuming Mertesacker doesn’t get injured tonight!!

    It’s craziness to run a club with vast resources in this way and totally undefendable.

  • Yippee Kai Yay

    This article shows a little naivety and a blinkered perspective to be honest. Business models have to adapt to the markets around them or they get left behind. Altruism is all well and good, but some businesses fail spectacularly by not adapting quick enough and others flourish.

    Maybe the progressive model shown by other clubs in adjusting to the increasing income isn’t the best, but if ‘the bubble’ has a life span of over ten years, the risk of not being at or near the top if / when it comes crashing down is even worse as you would have sacrificed income and revenue (direct and commercial) during that time frame, so are no better off than those who speculated.

    As an example of other linear thought processes which belie the reality, the comment about Bale not being worth four times RVP? well actually if they have a ‘similar profile’ and ‘footballing ability’ then Bale IS worth four times more because he is younger and could reasonably be expected to be playing as a minimum twice as long as RVP had at the point of sale, bale is tied into a longer contract than RVP was, so market forces dictate that has a ‘commercial value’, as does having a re-sale value, etc, etc, etc.

    In fact considering the length of the article, I have to say it sound more like a conspiracy theorists view, and it isn’t very well constructed position to take to be honest.

    My only hope is that fans of other clubs don’t read this and some of the comments saying how good it is, as they could construe that we are all deluded idiots. Which we are not.

  • Chris

    The Arsenal (ie. Wenger) model has already failed ! It’s been failing ever since he broke up the 2nd great team earlier than necessary to put his faith (and our faith) in beautiful attacking football on a shoe string. He has been forced to abandon his obsession with youth over experience. But he has not abandoned his obsession with skill and technique which should be balanced with power and strength. He has also failed to balance defence with attack – how we play with the ball and without the ball. It is also very well known within AFC that he simply cannot make key decisions.

  • Matt

    It’s failed that’s the problem. Whya would a football clund keep £180 million in the bank?

    If Arsenal were to follow the policy through completely people would accept it more. You cant fleece the fans keep the money in the bank pay the manager a fortune and then say we dont like the greedy football system.

    Make the tickets cheaper aswell as the matchday experience &cut all the salaries and the fans will accept us not spending in the transfer window.

    The club want the cake but dont want to eat it.

  • johnny

    The article has some good points, but unfortunately the situation is more complex than the author presents it. Yes, it is an inflated market, yes, there are clubs paying over the odds for some players. But that doesn’t change the fact that Arsenal need serious strengthening. Do we need a center back? Yes, we do. Do we need a defensive midfielder? Yes, we do. Do we need another good striker? Yes, we do. I’m not saying we should buy Falcao or Cavani, we can’t match Monaco and PSG. But we need to buy players. Honestly, we can’t play Ramsey as CB and Giroud or Arteta can’t play 50-60 games per season. I might add that we also need a big player to join the club. But forget the big player. At least buy those we really, really need.
    The problem is that Arsenal didn’t buy anybody, not that Arsenal didn’t buy Falcao. It’s difficult to believe that Arsenal can’t afford to spend 40 million on three players we desperately need.
    Those problems must be addressed. No matter how healthy our financial approach is, we need to be able to compete in an inflated market. And the only answer is, no matter how we dislike it, “spend some f… money”.
    The harsh reality is that if Arsenal doesn’t spend Arsene won’t remain at the helm much longer and this would be a real shame.

  • blacksheep63

    thanks Ian for an article that promotes so much debate. WE do have to look at the bigger picture (i.e the one outside of Arsenal). The press, in my opinion as someone who has studied the way it operates in an historical sense, is lazy and repetitive. Journalists recycle their own and other’s work and steal without compunction.

    There is a possible explanation which is that papers have to print stories every day at short notice, so very many stories are based on limited evidence.

    Indeed AW said yesterday that the press don’t know this or that but still write stories based on what they don’t know – i.e its pretty much all speculation.

    But they also have base agendas – i.e Tottenham play beautiful football but are only good in the cups, Liverpool are the ‘fans’ club and have the best atmosphere, Arsenal can’t cope with physical football applied by team in the North West, Jose Mouriniho is the ‘special one’, etc ad nauseum.

    These are all based on truth but don’t really bear serious investigation. The same is true for their attitudes towards immigrants, benefit claimants, youth gangs, the royal family, the French and so on.

    The best answer is simple:

  • WalterBroeckx

    I see a lot of premature ejacu.. sorry premature moaning

  • udehsam87

    Great article. Been thinking on this for a long time, but never voiced it out cos people around me are deluded and confused with the media hypes, so I kept it to myself. I am so happy that someone shares my very thought. Arsenal will win a trophy soon, and it will be a trophy haul after that. Believe me. someone said Montpellier won a trophy and it didn’t stop Monaco and PSG from signing big..I say WAIT until we win everything there is to be won and see if their views won’t change.

  • Giddy

    First it was FFP, then he jumped to Video line Technology, He then retorted that the entrance of French teams such as Monaco are blowing the transfers off, he is the same man who is now calling the transfer windows to close before the season kicks off! Surely Wenger and by extension Arsenal has refused to acknowledge his failings and should just be kicked out immediately! The so called Arsenal model and which none anointed to be the benchmark for comparison has failed for 8 years now and no club would envy it at all! We either wake up by having a blend of buying atleast 2 quality players plus our own making as strong to win titles or we risk the likes of Wilshire going away next transfer window.

  • Rejoice

    You go to the blogs hoping to read something interesting, something logical, something balanced about the club, what do you get? You get nothing but negativity from virtually all the blog writers and their readers. They twist the contents of interviews and press conferences. They hardly see anything good in whatever the club does. They over-blow little things out of proportion. They run into poisonous conclusions without the facts. They write and talk like they know more than those in charge. The fans turn on each other with classless words and terms. They even go to the point of wishing death on people. No sense of decency in the use of words, making one to wonder whether opinion is no longer opinion until derogatory words are employed.
    I ask where is factual, logical, reasonable and progressive opinion in the Arsenal blogsphere? Where is informed opinion in our blogsphere? We only read angry outburst devoid of logical and critical thinking disguised as opinions.
    This has made Arsenal bloggers more dangerous than the media they accuse of hating their club. Arsenal bloggers are actually harming the club more the media, the referees, Stan Kroenke, Ivan Gazidis, Arsene Wenger and the board.
    Unfortunately for Arsenal fans, only few realize that the media source most of the bad stuff they write about Arsenal from the blogsphere and fans. After feeding the media with the bullets, then, we turn back and complain that the media hate Arsenal.
    For sure, things are not working out the way I want it. I want them to add some good players that would meet needs in the squad. I want us to be competitive, challenging for honours domestically and in europe. I want us to lift trophies. I feel bad when we lose.
    But to get to a point where all we do is complain, boo, moan, criticise players calling them deadwoods, criticise the manager, the board and anyone who expresses contrary opinion is also adding to the problem.
    Tell me, how much of our complaining, moaning, booing etc has affected the Arsenal hierarchy? If this negative style has failed, why don’t we change to a more polite way of registering displeasure about happening around the club or do we think we can effect change by fighting the club? We are very quick to accuse AW of refusing to change his style and methods and yet we are caught in the same web of refusing to change our methods of telling the club what we want.
    I am looking forward to the day I will come to the blogs and find more information than complain and criticism, humour than sadness, gloom and anger. I am looking forward to a time when the blogs would fight the media, not our club, when the blogs will back every player to shine in the red and white jersey.

  • John G

    Thing is football isn’t about just business models, it’s also about winning matches. The fact that we’re not using the (considerable) resources at our disposal to try and achieve that is what is riling so many fans. Players we’ve bid for won’t win us any games – only players we’ve signed can do that. If the team had won the league last season perhaps Wenger would have some justification for this summer’s inaction, but the fact is we scraped 4th on the last day and went out of both domestic cups to lower league opposition – if our manager can’t see that the team needs improvements and genuinely believes there aren’t players out there who can make our team better then I’m afraid it’s time for a new manager.

  • Tasos


    Brilliant post.

    English football is on the decline. The EPL will eat itself.

    I suggest Arsenal FC move to the Bundesliga where the sport of football is still very much the peoples game.

  • Edu

    @ chris
    i think you’ve just nailed where the rain started beating us!

  • MoW

    I think the article is wrong on just about every point. It’s more than a little paranoid. The media don’t hate arsenal or want us to fail any more than any other team. If anything I hear pundits repeatedly applaud Arsenal for trying to do it differently. However, football is about results and Arsenal have fallen behind their rivals and are letting Spurs catch up and over take. We’re no longer the force we were. We simply are not good enough. This is why we receive criticism. It’s 100% natural and rational criticism. The mainstream media don’t drive opinion. They follow it. The fans and the thier blogs, in reaction to events unfolding at the club, have driven opinion over the last few years. The newspapers have only recently caught up with the tide of opinion of ordinary Arseal fans since a fuss has been made during matches. I find this site interesting, and I’m keen to understand the referee “truth” but sorry, nearly every post claims that the club are victims of some sort of conspiracy, either from the referees or the media or from evil Arsenal fans (AAAs) while making the most preposterous apologies on behalf of the club and its management. The imminent implosion of world football is just one of them. Some of the views on this stie are embarrassing.

    There’s a reason why the club comes under so much critisim. There’s a reason many of the fans, most of the blogs and all of the newspapers are critical of us and particularly Ivan and Wenger. The reason is beautifully simple and elegant. It doesn’t require mental gymnastics to understand. If the loyalist on this site want to understand the reasons, if they seek to understand the truth, if they seek deeper insight into the situation then all they have to do is open the eyes and reach for the answer which is right in front of their nose. It’s really is very simple. Give it a try.

  • Just wondering though MoW why Liverpool don’t get the same stick considering how far they done fell?

  • WalterBroeckx

    Speaking about AAA and their “thousands” of whom want Wenger out.

    Seeing lots of comments waiting for approval I went to the “staff only” site of the website.
    And there I found one person talking utter negative shit under different names. Paul, John, George, Ringo (ok last two he didn’t use but it sprang to my mind) and a few other names he used to spout his negative comments and in the hope to give the impression they are with a lot.

    Of course as this is against the rules I blocked this person.

    Don’t bother people to use that tactics

  • You need to check the IP Walter – some people posting from mobile devices can use shared IP addresses… of course the time frame between messages needs to be taken into context i.e. if they are in close proximity then it is likely from the same person.

    It’s always worth doing an IP lookup first otherwise you can block legitimate contributors.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Na, he even used the same mail address a few times 🙂

  • MoW

    Dogface, who’s to say they haven’t? From where I am sitting they’re a bit of a laughing stock. Rafas last years. The Carroll price. The Hodgson episode. Suarez scandals, the entire Dalglish thing. I haven’t scientifically measure column inches. I confess that. But my perceptions is that they were regularly slaughtered. Henry got slaughtered. However what the club did do was to react and try to do something. Three managers in three years. At least they were trying to solve stuff. Fans and media have short memories. They forgive quite easily. Liverpool are now trying another angle with Rogers and for now perhaps some of the knives have been put away. That’s what’s so annoying about Arsenal. They don’t seem to listen, or react. We have to suffer Wenger’s cringeworthy senile philosophies about how we are so dumb, and he’s so clever, and we can never understand what he’s trying to do.

    Perhaps another explanation, if one is needed, and I not convinced it is, is because maybe Arsenal’s blogosphere is bigger and more cynical than Liverpools. Maybe it’s a London thing. But we have a lot of blogs and a lots of partisan discussion about the club. Which I think is a brilliant thing.

  • para

    You have hit the nail on the head. Money and the stupid spending of it does make the rich richer, they have no time for a safe economical model for it reduces their income, and they will attack it from every corner. This is what is going on. They treat Arsenal as “the black man of football”, they attack, hate, character assassinate in all of the devious nefarious ways they can drudge up.

  • Tasos


    Just imagine if you will.

    Arsenal purchase two English talents (I use the word lightly) for an extortionate £55m sum, only to then sell both players after a mere 2 years for a total loss of £35m.

    Does said club receive bad publicity?
    Does Jamie Carragher abuse said club live on TV for such poor business acumen and claim the Liverpool supporters are paying for their clubs incompetence in the transfer market, as he did Arsenal?

    The answer is right in front of My nose.

  • @MoW

    There are lessons to be learned – as you said Rafa did get the same stick as Wenger got/is getting (how quickly we forget). Liverpool buckled under the pressure and changed and made some dubious decisions both in the selection of manager and in the transfer market.

    I would hate to see Arsenal ‘do a Liverpool’ as it were…

  • Mick

    Fantastic article, one of the most pertinent I have seen on Untold, absolutely agree with all it say’s. Unfortunately it will go over the heads of lots, possibly most, of football fans who are so indoctrinated and unable to see beyond the ‘haven’t won anything for 8 years and spend some f*****g money’ mentality that it will take a catastrophic collapse of the current model to make them see sense. I am sure the sperezes of this world will be piping up soon.

  • Kenneth Widmerpool

    The media award for intellectual luminary of the week so far, goes to Mr.Tom Ross of the Birmingham Mail, on why Arsenal fans are embarrassing. Aint no ham like Birmingham!
    Also special thanks to the Fener fans, who stayed up extra late last night to let of fireworks outside the AFC hotel.
    The “newspaper” that covered this seems to be enjoying it nearly as much as they used to enjoy supporting that Charlie Chaplin look-a-like years ago.

  • Ian Jenkinson,

    Great piece dude! Thanks for keeping the faith.

    As I have commented before, Anthony Taylor is embolden to rub us blind at the Emirates because he knew that rather than get universal blame for doing a one-sidedly terrible job, the entire media and the disgruntled set of Arsenal ‘fans’ would lay all the blame at Wenger’s feet. Boy, was he right!

    I try not to have the mindset that others are out to get me or us with respect to Arsenal but the concentrated campaign of calumny against the club by the media and ‘fans’ this pre-season is just criminal. I have never seen a club, any club put under such monumental pressure before.

    The concern trolling from the media and rival fans about Arsenal not winning anything in 8 years is latched unto by the trophy junkies among our fans. The result is what we saw last Saturday. It was a referee showing utter contempt for the club and its fans. Of course, he wasn’t worried about the fans. Many of them have been vocally hoping for the club to fail for them to feel vindicated. He was only playing the Genie role. I’m sure they are elated now that their wishes have been granted.

    Sadly for them though, and I cannot express how happy this makes me, the result changes nothing! Arsenal will continue to be run responsibly and in a classy manner. You are in a for long sad run gloomers 🙂

  • MoW

    Dogface, yes, it’s scary that with a board who don’t know enough about football you are only the next manager away from “doing a Liverpool”. Its a chilling thought for us.

  • Mike Thomas

    Dog Face

    Every just about every supporter at every club will suggest that the press, the various bodies like the FA, UEFA etc, the referees etc have it for them. The truth is the bigger the club the bigger the interest the more high profile the more often the stories appear.

    You mention Liverpool in truth the have had a massive amount of negative press over the last few months in the main down to Suarez.

    As to Liverpool’s fall from grace the difference between them and Arsenal is at this point in time they don’t have the resources that Arsenal have yet they, Liverpool, have continued to invest vast sums in players

    At Arsenal to us outsiders it seems that the vast increase in match day revenue, huge transfer fees received, CL monies etc hasn’t been used to pay off the stadium debt or invest in additional infrastructure its been put in the piggy bank and the club continue to pat themselves on the back telling all that they have all this money and then don’t seem to want to spend it other than maybe on bargain basement purcahse.
    If Arsenal were struggling to make ends meet then everyone would have sympathy but they are not, the accounts and the CEO tell us they have vast resources, so quite simply no one outside the club will applaud the approach but instead will shake their heads no only in disbelief but also with a grin as to just how gullible some are to be taken in by the propaganda or put another way the stance that AW keeps spouting.
    As they say jam tomorrow

  • @MoW – These are choppy waters we are navigating as a club… I do believe that we have stabilised the ship (so to speak) but I am concerned that we haven’t strengthened the squad – nobody is denying that.

    With regards to the media, etc – as a previous poster pointed out – nobody in the 4th estate would touch the refereeing disgrace with a barge pole and that is a huge concern and implies complicity (see ‘gravy train’).

    There are big issues in sport that nobody seems to want to cover – match fixing (Fenerbahçe as a prime example), use of drugs and inappropriate ownership/sponsorship of football clubs by gambling entities and gangsters – yet we are told that Wenger is the major concern in English football – it’s bonkers, what are we supposed to think?

  • Mike – you would do better if you didn’t try to second guess intention and paint pejorative pictures with your prose – it just makes me tune out and I miss your point entirely.

    That’s just me – sorry.

  • Ed Gregory

    Great article, I would just like to add one comment about the media. I believe the reason media continues its negative bias towards arsenal specifically are still the remnants of the days when arsenal started fielding foreign players, arsenal were portrayed as the team damaging home grown talent and responsible for England’s failures. And this will never change in the eyes of the media.

  • kaius

    Great to hear a plea for sanity as the game goes mental and the analogy of the housing market is pretty apt. Just like the Montpellier has seen two monsters arise and spend like crazy in France, Dortmund’s victories in Germany spurred Bayern into a scorched earth transfer policy. I don’t think any Arsenal success would have been the harbinger of a return to normalcy, as idealistic as that would be. We have to balance common sense with ambition in the transfer market and we’ve shown too little of the latter.

    The madia’s hold on an increasingly connected world does seem to be reducing the average individual’s capacity for independent thought and analysis of what are very complicated matters and the sooner that changes the better. Arsene would do well to be a little more magnanimous given this knowledge.

  • I too dnt believe that higuain is not worth over 25million but what arsene fails to grasp is the fact we are not the only ones interested in the players available. If 5 clubs came in for van persie wud wenger have have sold him to the one offering what wenger felt he was worth????I think not and it is for that reason that he even sold to united in the first place because none of the teams that could pay over the odds wanted to take a risk on an injury prone ingreat. If Wenger does not realise that times have changed then he must return the economics and engineering degrees because in those disciplines u are taught to expect change and be able to manage it i.e if ur system is nt working adapt or change altogether or mix it up. I honestly do not believe that wenger does not want to spend, I ll give an example of Chamberlain deal, Le Prof Spent 12million on a promising talent, which I feel is a lot of money, that is almost what ROnaldo cost United when they signed him, that right there is clear indication that wenger does want to spend money.U look at the luiz gustavo situation he cost wolfsburg not more than 20million. He went to a team in the german mid table, I wonder if we were interested at all if not why were we not because wit arteta injured we are in need of someone who can capably do the job and who better than someone in the mould of GIlberto. And another instance was the higuain fiasco, this cud have been the marquee signing, the fans wud have had so much enthusiasm but as usual we held out and i need nt say much bout what has been happening.So since we decided nt to adapt to the existing treads we have decided to change and set up a youth system meant to supplement the main squad but teams like the all conquering U-18s the wilshere was a part have been disbanded with only wilshere graduating to the first team. Y have coquelin or aneke nt been kept in the squad, with arteta injured they would deputised perfectly especially coquelin because he is a DM he should have been able to protect the defence better if he truly has been getting the correct education. A cheap solution to fixing the teams defensive fraities is let bould handle the defensive aspects and wenger focus thats the job of the assistant. THe board is at fault they r too happy to make profits, I wud suggest to the supporters nt to attend any game until a marque signing is made, to show the board how serious we are because I think they r nt takin us seriously

  • Matt

    So the refs are aginst us in the PL. We all accept this as fact now,the FA are probably in on it aswell.

    Could somebody please explain why we have done nothing in Europe either? Are the european refs anti-Arsenal aswell?

  • MoW

    Dogface. While I partly understand your fears about conspiracies, and am eager and open minded to dig deeper, they are as yet just conspiracy theories. They haven’t yet been proved or exposed. As such I and many others can’t be sure they exist. As a results we are left to focus on the plain and tangible issues that are right in front of us. We simply cannot afford to let things which might not exists stop us from fixing the issues that plainly do exist, because I’m pretty damn sure our rivals are focusing on those tangible issues as we speak.

  • @Matt – no, not at all – but some of them seem to be pro-Barcelona… for the sake of the sponsors and the advertising revenue – the big brands need to progress!


  • MoW

    Can someone please explain to me the economic mechanics which lead to a meltdown in world football? And how this compares to the housing market, and what the implications are for Arsenal?

  • @Mow – when rational debate is labelled ‘conspiracy theory’ then the narrative has well and truly shifted; it becomes hard to discuss this hyperreality without first acknowledging it…

    …all I can say is that I do not accept that.

  • Stroller

    “I look forward to the day when football gets back to normal.”

    And therein lies the problem. I’m not sure whether it has ever been ‘normal’ in the way intended here. Arsenal has always been well-run financially. For the best part of it’s history it has been run by conservative City bankers, so what it is doing now is really no radical departure. The club is an ideal model for risk-adverse investors like our current owner, and those before him, who know that their shareholdings will never turn into a loss.

    I doubt whether any football club, certainly in this country, could have gone about a stadium project of our size and complexity as successfully as Arsenal.

    But here we are – a model of self-sustainability and bastion of the Fair Play model, in a competitive footballing world that still largely operates on the principles of the street market. Will right win out in the end? If so how long will it take? Are supporters prepared to stick by the club when difficult but sensible decisions are made on spending?

    Will rules and regulations eventually dig in and constrain clubs with owners rich enough to treat football like a game of Monopoly finance-wise? Top-down regulation has failed us in recent years in so many other area, can it work for football?

    So many questions, but what are the answers?

  • Shard

    The only thing I really disagree with in the article is that the bubble is close to bursting. There is still major scope for the EPL to grow. South america is a football mad part of the world, and in terms of European football, La Liga has been their default choice because of cultural ties. But La Liga is stagnating apart from the big 2, and the EPL is growing. That’s a market that can bring in lots of money.

    Then there’s Asia. Already a big place for the EPL, but so many more people to turn into a captive viewership, and then consumers. Add in Africa which is growing fast and you have a lot of the world left to still add to paying into the bubble.

    And because there is competition from Bundesliga, La Liga and perhaps soon Ligue1 (esp in Africa) it is only going to get worse.

    Everything else, I think I agree with.

  • MoW

    Dogface. Yep. We kinda reach an impasse don’t we. But I think we are taking about a conspiracy here. And we are talking about one that is still working secretly, unexposed and outside of the parameters of scientific or legally defined fact. Hence it’s still a theory? I wasn’t trying to be condescending with that term.

    And then I finished by saying conspiracy or not, we have tackle the issues in the real world in order to remain competitive. Which was I think the only path out of this conversational impasse.

  • Mate, you could not be more wrong. You can try but still would not work.

    Bale is only worth £85m because he is the man in demand. Spurs do not want to sell and if Madrid want to buy they have to offer over the odds to get him. You cannot compare the bale transfer to the lack of inactivity from Wenger. We are not asking wenger to go out and splash whatever budget he has on Ronaldo or Messi. Your piece seems to imply that we are.
    Its like offering £1m for a 1964 Ferrari 250 GTO when you know it current value is more than £10m because of its rarity. Best players cost money. To be the best you have to willing to invest in the very best. Doing so only results in better results. Improved finances/ more commercial revenue as we become a more attractive proposition. No top player in their right mind would join us right now. Now young wonderkids will and then leave as soon as they get a sniff of big money and more success elsewhere.

    There are plenty of players that are well within the acceptable range of our targets. If Wenger is prepared to spend £25m on Michu, then why not add another £5m and go for Higuain? You seriously think Michu is worth £25m? There is Lewandowski/Lars Bender/Fabregas/Fellaini/Baines/Micah Richards/Kondogbia/Jackson Martinez/Rene adler/ter Stagen/Sakho/Suarez and so many more that should’ve been our targets. Not some ligue 2 wannabe.

    This Project youth of Wenger is nothing but a failure. How many of our so called Great youth players have actually made it to the first team or are part of the England under 20s. Bar Wilshere/Gibbs there arent any. Most of them have been loaned out till their contract runs out because they are simply not good enough. Wenger has achieved so much but has failed in the last 4 years. As a shareholder and season ticket holder, this is unacceptable for me. We are top club and should be willing to pay the very best players the very best wages. Instead we reward crocks like diaby who can barely muster 20 games in one season with a fat contract of £50k+ a week We have wasted around £3m a year trying to get diaby a full season. He should be earning £20k max or worse he shouldnt even be at arsenal. the rest of the 30k should go to offer someone like Bender or someone who actually contributes to the team. with a wage bill of in excess of £140m a year, We should be aiming for top honours, not finish 24 points behind Man utd and scrapping 4th place on the last day of the season.

    What other club would accept such farce? Wenger with his current policies (wage and transfer) would not last 1 season at Real Madrid or any other Elite clubs in Europe. He brags on about 16 years in the Champions League and all he has to show for that is 1 Champions League runners up medal that too nearly 8 years ago. Other clubs have made less appearances but have gone on to win the bloody thing. No one remembers the losers, 50 years from today, no one would even care about Wengers so called record. History books will only look at it as abject failure. failure to modernise with the game. Failure to accept the change in economics of the game, failure to fulfil your only objective as a football manager of a top club; WIN TROPHIES/ACHIEVE SUCCESS! I’m sorry but I dont believe when he says he is working 24/7 in the market and cannot find a single player that will improve us! A club like Southampton who were in admin a few years ago can break their transfer records, then us being the 5th richest club in the world can surely afford to go out and get Cavani on a £250k a week wages. I rather pay cavani that much instead of having your average Bendtners eating up £150k a week and contributing absolutely nothing to the football club. Klopp has acheived much more success in the last 4 years alone with Dortmund and a much tighter wage budget and finances. for £7.6m a year, I expect Wenger to compete. Not spout out garbage everytime he speaks to the media. He is prepared of offer an opinion of bale but refuses to acknowledge that he has to do the same in order to catch up? Sorry to burst your bubble but with the squad SPurs have with or without bale they will tear us to bits this year. Last year we got lucky in sense that spurs tired out towards the end. This year they have strengthened. Make no mistake. We would be lucky to scrape 5th if things continues as is this year.

    Hate me or whatever, but if you cannot accept to see the other side of the argument then,I feel sorry for you. Its because of the thoughts like yours we are in this shithole. You Pro Wenger people make me sick. No man is bigger than the club no matter what his achievements at the club. If the manager is tired, move him on. There are plenty of young, hungry ambitious managers out there that can take Arsenal FC to the next level. Wenger is done at AFC for me. He was done the day he bent over willy nilly to Fergie and Man Utd and sold Robin Van persie to them. He was done when he refused RvP’s challenge to make AFC more ambitious. He was done when he said 4th place is better than winning the league itself. He is done as a manager if he continues to behave as he does. I may have renewed my season ticket by believing in the the false promises made the club this summer but I refuse to step into that stadium until things change. I have accepted 4th best for long enough. I’ve been supporting Arsenal since I was a kid and this years squad is a mere shadow of the great invincibles. Its deteriorated over time. Time for a change, drastic changes from top to bottom.

  • I judge Arsenal on the field of play while others look to external factors for their reasoning.

  • ARSENAL 13

    Last season I had posted a comment in similar lines. People want ARSENAL model to fail. I ARSENAL model succeeds (I BET WE WILL), then the people line Roman and the Sheik and the likewise will take note and will put a cap on their respective spending.

    I believe these billionaires are lead to believe that spending is the only way to succeed. And the people behind the scenes make money.

    Liverpool payed 35 million pounds for Caroll. Whats the guarantee that some of that money has not ended up in the pockets of someone inside Liverpool????….

  • Stuart

    Much of the media is owned by Sky anyway, and if I remember correctly, Arsenal have spoken in the recent past about clubs being able to sell their own games which would of course have an adverse effect for Sky.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ Ian , thanks for this well done article .Some still don’t see the trees for the woods . Others are ‘forced ‘ to follow the ‘ chic’ crowd so as not look out of place .
    To each his own , but in the end, only in your hearts ,and in the darkest of the night will your true gut feeling be revealed ; and only to an audience of one !
    It’s my feeling that we are in the right track ,but it is going to be rocky for sometime . I’ll be still right here .
    Up the Gunners !

  • the outside of rosicky's boot

    Not really sure why I haven’t been on this blog before, but thank fuck i have now for finally someone talks some sense! Thanks Ian for the article, and I completely agree. I can’t bear the rife anti-wengerism and boos ringing round at the emirates much longer and hopefully enough people will read this and understand why its come to that.

    Can’t wait for that day (and I don’t think we’re too far away) when we do get that trophy – maybe that day I’ll watch all the punditry, read all the newspapers and feel overwhelming satisfaction as everyone eats severe quantities of humble pie. Unfortunately though, I know that they will taint it somehow and maybe I’ll just get drunk instead.

    Anyway, cheers for the sense talk and up the arsenal for the match tonight!

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Sometimes many just don’t understand the true meaning or just listen only to what they want to hear .Often with diastrous consequence !

    Lost in translation – A Chinese in Australia

    After living in Shanghai for 50 years a Chinese man decides to move to Australia.

    He buys a small piece of land near Mt Isa.

    A few days after moving in, the friendly Aussie neighbour decides to go across and welcome the
    new guy to the region.

    He goes next door but on his way up the drive-way he sees the Chinese man running around his
    front yard chasing about 10 hens.
    Not wanting to interrupt any Chinese custom, he decides to put the welcome on hold for the day.

    The next day, he decides to try again, but just as he is about to knock on the front door, he looks through
    the window and sees the Chinese man urinate into a glass and then drink it.
    Not wanting to interrupt another Chinese custom, he decides to put the welcome on hold for yet another day.

    A day later he decides to give it one last go, but on his way next door, he sees the Chinese man leading a bull
    down the drive-way, pause, and then put an ear next to the bull’s bum..

    The Aussie bloke can’t handle this, so he goes up to the Chinese man and says, ‘Jeez Mate, what the hell is it
    with your Chinese customs ? I come over to welcome you to the neighbourhood, and see you running around
    the yard after hens. The next day you are pissing in a glass and drinking it, and then today you have your head
    so close to that bull’s arse, it could just about shit on you.’

    The Chinese man is very taken back and says, ‘ Sorry sir, you no understand.. These no Chinese customs I
    doing, these Australian Customs.”
    What do you mean mate’ says the Aussie, ‘Those aren’t Australian customs…………….

    ‘Yes they are’, replied the Chinese man, ‘travel agent man say to become true blue Australian, I must learn
    chase chicks, drink piss, and listen to bull shit.’

  • @MoW as I said – I do not agree with that and I’ll thank you not to declare on what “we” are talking about.


    I do understand where you are coming from but I am coming from a slightly different place – as you said, an impasse – but only an impasse on some issues, not all… I mean – we are both Arsenal supporters are we not and in that we have some common ground!

  • Wenger: ” Wages in football are a serious problem and inflated.” Says the man who picks up £7.5m a year and has collected over £50m in salary the past EIGHT years for winning NOTHING. Gazidis preaches frugality, and is happy to pick up stunning wages for himself. Remember how Usmanov exposed what a sham of a clown Gazidis is? This folks, is the same CEO who rang Usmanov, a major Arsenal shareholder, and asked his company about sponsorship contracts…this dickhead didn’t even realise that it was an Usmanov owned company!!!! How embarrassing is that? It’s a total joke. Anyway, go past ‘GO’ and collect £675k Ivan G. Good job well; done. An absolute farce of a club run by a lying tactically incompetent arrogant loser, who will never again win a single league title, and will finish his career with a ZERO CL success record.

  • @dialsquare – just to let you know, you are going way off topic with that post.

  • Diogenes

    When Arsenal bought Dennis Bergkamp (£7m), Sir Alan Sugar of Twattingham came out and bemoaned the state of the game, saying the money in football was outrageous. That Arsenal were distorting the market and had overspent.

    The market has been skewed by billionaires, but the reality is that football is a global, commercialised game and that Arsenal have the means to compete (£154 working capital – Re: the brilliant Swiss Ramble)… There are no excuses for this horrendous management.

    I’m numb to it all now (thanks Arsene, Ivan et al) but these desperate excuses grate on me. What are you even trying to defend? Memories?? As Dial Square put, you’re looking to external factors and excuses. He have to look at ourselves honestly and objectively – we are stagnating and the management is to blame.

    I hate the state of the game, but I also hate Arsenal football club for sucking out the joy I took from it.

  • A. Stewart

    @ Mike Thomas re: “Every just about every supporter at every club will suggest that the press, the various bodies like the FA, UEFA etc, the referees etc have it for them.”

    Well said and with regards to Liverpool as mentioned..shit, in the last few years they have had so much negative press surrounding their club, from: Benitez and his meltdowns, (including him complaining about FA) to him being hounded out; to big name players leaving (Alonso/Torres); To Hodgson and Dalglish and all their problems; To Andy Carroll; To the amount of stick they took for the misguided signings of Henderson, downing and co..To the various Suarez-gates; to Rodgers often being ridiculed for his musings in the press; to their failures to qualify for CL; to their fans often being mocked in the media for proclaiming next year is their year etc etc etc..

    Anyway as you rightly mention and as I have tried to mention here numerous times, feeling being treated unfairly by the press (and also governing bodies etc.), is NOTHING unique to Arsenal..and yes stories about bigger clubs obviously result in more interest.

    And back to the press, there is absolutely no-way to scientifically prove any agenda, or any elevated level of “unfairness” in comparison to other clubs… Unless one can a) determine all stories, and press communications written about AFC and other clubs and accurately compare tallies..b) accurately come to consensus about what should be considered negative versus positive coverage (even supporters of the same club could view the same press communication differently in its slant) c) account for the new-age press (digital media, blogs etc).. d)accurately compare and tally “rumours” amongst clubs AND be able to unequivocally determine whether it’s the press or not that started them, or agents/players or even clubs themselves leaking information for strategic gain; e) prove collusion amongst press outfits (all while conveniently ignoring they are competitors)governing bodies, refs etc as often stated…

    and a never-ending veritable plethora of variables to make any sort of accurate judgment that somehow Arsenal Football Club is being conspired against uniquely by a falsely convenient homogenous 9it’s anything but) caricature that is the mythical “press”

    Ask any fan of any club big and small, about if they feel they are treated fairly by the press, governing bodies, refs etc…and you’ll find no differing amount of complaints than Arsenal fans.

    Come out of your bubble guys.

  • Shard


    Are you upset solely about this transfer window? If so, I can understand the frustration, although I don’t see why that would suck the joy out from watching football.

    If on the other hand, you are upset about a lack of signings previously, you can’t really say 150m pounds or whatever, because a) lot of that money has come in just this season, and b) the part that hasn’t is only as significant because it wasn’t spent earlier.

    I know the perception of ARsenal’s mangement is that it is horrendous, but I don’t know whether Arsenal’s management is horrendous. I suspect that’s too powerful a statement to make for a club, which has consistently finished top 4 in the league. Unless you think that mismanagment is the reason that has kept Arsenal from winning trophies which would have accrued to them if only the management was not ‘horrendous’, against teams with much bigger budgets.

    I also don’t understand what you mean by management? Is it the manager, the club’s financial officer, the media manager? Who? Or all? That again, would be a sweeping statement. I think if you really want to get to the nub of the problem, you should make some effort to clearly identify what you think is wrong, and why, and what could have been better. A pretty joyless task though so that would probably take the joy out of football too. If winning is the only thing that’ll give you joy, be patient. It’ll come. And new signings will come even sooner.

  • Matt

    The theory here is surely wrong. Suarez was prepared to join us and he wants CL football but we couldn’t agree a fee.

  • Tasos


    Arsenal are cash rich, so we are told, in region of £150m.

    If I were Arsenal FC, I’d want to make sure the man most responsible for earning that wealth was well enough paid himself.

    Another site discussed this topic and wrote;

    “if you just look at player sales between 2010 and 2011 and divide it by his (Arsene Wenger) annual salary of £7.5m, he’s paid for 7 years of his own salary just in player sales — in those two years alone”.

    For the record I agree with you on one thing. Arsenal will never again win a single League title. Not under the current EPL regime.

  • Matt

    Clever words Shard but the reality is there are lots of angry Arsenal fans out there and plenty who are intelligent enough to make there own mind up as to why that is.

    The stadium was angry last year and is angry this year why is that? If it’s all so perfect.

    I dont think Wenger can unify the fans, it’s gone to far and for that reason we need a change IMO.

    It’s like the situation in Egypt. Morsi cant unify the country and neither can the army they need change.

  • Its great to see finally the Arsenal fan base have turned on Wenger his supporters are now in the minority…

    The majority of fans are calling for his head! Just check out any other blog than this even the Arsenal Facebook account Arsenal Fan Tv…

    I am feeling like a smug git right now but bloggers of untold your masters time has come and gone hahahah:P 😉

  • Shard


    Interesting you bring up the situation in Egypt in relation to Arsenal. I agree. It might not be all that different. Although I don’t mean it in the same sense as you.

    And you display the problem right there Matt. If the only way of thinking about it is in absolutes. When did I say it’s perfect? I said we’re not ‘horrendous’ in our management. I realise you are using that as a straw man of sorts and exaggerating. But seeing the world in black and white is easier to do and hence tempting, and if a message painting Arsenal as black is sent out a thousand times every day, it is easy to accept it.Sometimes without even realising. And intelligence has nothing to do with it. It affects everyone.


    Tasos – so he’s paid for himself by making our team worse???? are we meant to thank him for that? and what good is £150m in the bank? does that keep a clean sheet or score us a winning goal?
    We can win another title in this current EPL regime but only if our club changes tact and looks to invest its vast resources into the playing staff! We have the resources to compete, we’re just not using them which is why fans like myself are so frustrated and angry!
    In response to the article – all this week I have read articles on this site and every single one has been excuses and conspiracy theories to blame everyone else for Arsenals current failings. Stop looking for external sources to point the finger at and look at how we can change things/do things better internally to improve and change the fans and medias perception of the club.
    It’s like saying “I didn’t do my homework because teacher said i’m rubbish at spelling” instead of blaming teacher, do your damn homework and get better at spelling! Also just to point out… i’m angry with the club and never buy newspapers, i’m judging the club from the lack of quality I have seen on the field and the lack of desire from the club to improve it! I want better for my club, does that make me less of a fan?
    P.S Diogenes – quality post, agree whole heartedly

  • Matt

    “Were not horrendous” What does that actually mean? It’s just words. Ok things are not normally black or white but by sitting on the fence you always have 2 ways to jump and can keep your options open which i must say you do very well

    Stop with the bluster and tell me what you really think of the current plight of the club and manager.

  • Shard


    As regards Suarez. So what does the attempt to sign Suarez show you? You can choose to say that since Suarez wanted to join us, everyone would. But Suarez is not playing in a CL club. Even a CL qualifier would have been an upgrade for him. Same for Cabaye. Cazorla and Giroud were playing for CL clubs. Would they have moved without CL? You can make up your mind on that.

    Also, what about the not agreeing a fee part? That just shows that our budget for a single player extended to 40m and not further. Or you can say that bid was bullshit meant to just make an appearance of trying to buy. Although how that would work when Arsenal refused to talk about the details anyway, I don’t know.

  • Shard

    Ask the person making the claim that it is horrendous management, what the word means.

    It’s called being balanced Matt. Try it sometime. I don’t see 2 sides to a situation because that is normally only an artificial construct. If you force me to choose between rebellion against Arsenal at this point, and 100% support of the manager and club, I think you well know which side I’ll be on.

  • Shard

    Also Matt, you are only proving my point about the simply duality being created around Arsenal. You’re not happy that I say the club is right in some things and make mistakes in others. No. That is only bluster to you. Either good or bad, is all you want to know.

  • Tasos


    Agree, Arsenal FC now have the resources(money) to turn their attentions to the upper end of the transfer market.

    That didn’t happen by chance. No one has decided to hand Arsenal £150m overnight. People are happy to criticise the club for not spending such a large sum of cash without acknowledging where and how the club accrued £150m in the first place.

    Let Me clarify. I also agree Arsenal are in need quality signings.

    And I honestly believe Arsenal will not be allowed to win another EPL title under the current regime but I would be happy to be proven wrong.

  • Doublegooner



    You can be saved !!

  • Matt

    I didn’y say we didn’t want to sign him and am sure we would have liked to sign him. So the same goes for any player outside of a CL club.So it’s conceivable we could have done lots of business to this point and the CL qualifier stuff is redundant.

    The last time we had a trolly dash i dont think any of those players came from a CL club so teh point about the Udinese game is not really relevant.

    I do see both sides of the argument but it’s been going on for a long time and my patience is wearing thin with the manager. I really did believe Gazidis in June renewed my ST and now feel as if i have royally fucked over and dont reall understand how you cant see that.

  • Arsenal-Flavour, your comment would be impressive if there was any evidence. Citing one Facebook account doesn’t actually amount to evidence.

  • MoW

    Dogface. I’m sure we overlap on more than we disagree, but the toxic entrenchment of opinions polarises the fans like never before. on boths sides. some of the haughtiness from AKBs on this site is breathtaking. questioning whether people are true fans just because they criticise the club for it’s shortcomings… please…

    equally, bile is spewed at them from the other side of course.

    and all this over such a trifle. all we want is the club to improve. for the team to improve. to reach it’s potential and compete higher up the table. 2-3 decent players. that’s all people have wanted (although now realistically we need 4-5).

    probably there isn’t a person here who doesn’t think team needs to improve. that performance have been good enough. that saving money while weakening the squad is a bad idea.

    “It is a strange fate that we should suffer so much fear and doubt over so small a thing.”

    Boromir of course. the situation can be fixed so easily. we don’t have to win the league. i’ve never met one gooner who thinks we should spend £120M and wreck club. all people want is a little more. over the last few years that’s all we’ve wanted.

    it could have been solved so easily.

    of course it might still be solved before the deadline. if we get the right players and fight for 2nd or 3rd place during February, and look credible in the CL, and look like were able to build again the following year then 80% of the criticism will evaporate. a lot of the Wenger haters will come back on board if these small issues are dealt with because with better players i’m sure he’s capable of getting better results.

  • MoW

    Tony, do you browse the net and look at blogs and comments about arsenal? whenever i’ve been to third party sites like Sky or BBC or DailyMail then most of the comments are anti-wenger. in addition it seems most Arsenal blogs are anti-wenger nowadays. this isn’t proof but its evidence.

  • Shard


    We could have done lots of business by now, I’m sure, but that doesn’t make the CL redundant.

    The last time we had a ‘trolley dash’ we were more desperate with our needs (and Arteta came for CL, Per probably did too)since we’d had a major disruption in our squad (3 first team players left) and we were lower on cash, and even apart from the CL, knew our budgets only a week before the end of the window (Nasri left 24th Aug)

    I’ve been over this before. Let’s just agree to disagree. You say the CL has no affect on the ability to attract players (though you yourself say Suarez wanted CL), I say I think it does. It doesn’t really matter either way because we’ll never know.

  • Same Story

    No one wants our model to fail, if i remember correctly Dortmund were praised by the media for beating Real Madrid with a team that cost less than one of their 2nd string players(Modric).

  • Matt

    @ Tony

    Well i was at the game and saw plenty of fans very unhappy with things and saw it last year aswell.

    You need to stop whining on about facts and evidence all the time and open your eyes and you will see lots of angry Arsenal fans just because there isn’t a link to it doesn’t make it wrong.

  • Stroller


    Blogs are evidence of nothing. The constituents of blogs will tend to be limited by age, employment status, sex, and other factors. As Walter has stated earlier many people on blogs take on multiple identities in order to boost a particular line.

    Personally I tend to the view that most supporters don’t take a solid pro or anti Wenger line, and certainly don’t spend hours on blogs debating it endlessly. They are still supporters but not as intense others.

    I would say the same about Sky or radio phone ins, which seem to attract fans of a similar demographic. In these case there is often a particular line that the broadcaster is keen to peddle and will filter contributors accordingly.

  • A. Stewart

    To the Author:

    1) You lumped sports journalists, various types of media, fans etc. all having a go at our transfer policy. I will add to that many players including recent Arsenal ex-players and even arguably current players share the same bewilderment about our transfer policy. Has it EVER occurred to you that perhaps everyone else can’t be wrong and only Wenger and those defending his policies, right? It doesn’t take a financial genius to know that we have had and have the resources (as confirmed by the club’s statements over years) to do better and that doesn’t even necessarily mean brining in the best stars, but also includes doing things more efficiently with wage distribution, a common complaint by many fans for years, that has been validated by the club’s own recent pronouncements on the topic. However, go ahead and pretend that all fans want is to spend 50 mil on a big name player.

    2) “Some people aren’t allowed make up their own minds.” This is disingenuous insulting nonsense. You give fans no credit that they are able to think for themselves. Fans that include doctors, lawyers, successful business people, teachers, students, labourers, government officials, entrepreneurs, whatever. Yet somehow to you and people who think like you, fans (who you have never met) don’t have the intelligence nor gravitas to spot some obvious problems of the club on their own, and are completely being manipulated by the media (and that is assuming they all follow the “media” en large as you indirectly suggest). Now considering fans have been voicing their opinions on not only transfers but a myriad of issues surrounding the club for years, has it EVER occurred to you, that the “media” (which is not homogenous by the way), may pick up on fan sentiment and go with it, as opposed to forming it? Thought not, that wouldn’t fit with the convenient narrative you have already convinced yourself as fact about the minds of people you don’t know personally. Does it make you feel better to insult your fellow gooners (just because they may disagree with you) as not having enough sense to be able to think for themselves? Gooners that polls have shown are amongst the most educated/successful/diverse fan-bases there is.

    3) “They highlight the growing disdain of the Arsenal fans and tell us that Arsenal must now go out and spend big as this will be the only way to appease the fans.”
    More opinionated nonsense that you seem to attempt to pass off as fact. Again conveniently you seem to lump all fans complaints as just big transfers/trophies…If you had been listening for years, the concerns of fans have also revolved on a myriad of topics including but not limited to: wage distribution; dependence of young players; squad rotation or lack of; tactics; substitution patterns; not tactically preparing specifically for opponents (as admitted); playing players out of position; relying on injury-plagued players for too long; elevating 4th to a trophy and the concerns it reveals with regards to ambition; Wenger perhaps being too involved in club operations beyond first team affairs; ownership; the commercial arm; selling our best players, and having/had a self-imposed wage system that arguably underpays them and overpays young/squad players..and many more, but go ahead and pretend that fans haven’t been voicing these concerns for years, and are just dumb neanderthals shouting about trophies and 50 /discussion on all of these and more topics in recent years and not just them supposedly telling fans the only way forward is to spend big.

    4) “Absolutely massive money is moving around the industry and anybody who has a finger in the pie is doing quite well out of it. Owners, players, coaches, backroom staff, agents, referees and all the relevant bodies – FIFA, UEFA, PGMOL, The FA etc. are all worth a pretty penny at the moment from football….I know Arsene Wenger is on a lot of money and is doing well from this industry but he is almost single handed trying to pull football back into realism.”

    That couldn’t be any more hilariously hypocritical. In acknowledging there is unprecedentedly massive money in the sport, but acknowledging and simultaneously whitewashing how Wenger has personally benefitted from it, since he is on some sort of personal single handed crusade which makes his benefitting from the money in the sport (more than the vast majority of managers including some who have beeen more successful on the field) somehow excuseable and separate. How very credible.

    You do make a good point however, there is unprecedented money in the sport, maybe the bubble may burst, maybe there is no bubble. Perhaps the scale is correct, in that the exponential growth of the global following of the game, accurately supports the money being made by TV, media, clubs, players, agents, managers, apparrel etc. Who knows? Time will tell. Personally I don’t see that “football is being ruined” when players are making 200K, 300K a week or whatever, when that’s arguably pennies on the dollar to the amount of revenue they are generating for the fat-cats in TV, governing bodies, nike/adidas/puma, clubs etc. Nor do I see oligarchs or whatever automatically ruining the game. There’s never been parity in the sport (especially the European version) there have always been haves and haves not, simply there are a few more haves now. Some may actually argue it’s better for the game (not saying that is my opinion, but realize they are different ways of viewing this).

    6) “All the people making big money in the football industry want this gravy train to keep on rolling, it is in their best interests to keep everything as high as possible. The more inflated the better because they stand to make so much money themselves. That’s why the journalists and pundits purr over the big money signings and write so sensationally about the big transfer fees. They love it when a player is sold for £50-60 million as it shows that the industry is still flush (without a thought to the fact that the fee and the players wages over the length of his contract could feed a small third world country for a year).”

    More silliness, the exponential globalization of the sport is what is driving the money in it. Technology and smart marketing has brought the sport to more markets and more consumers around the world that weren’t even as remotely able to access the sport as they do today just 10 short years ago, in the Americas and Asia especially. And particularly in many of the Asian countries collectively representing a significant proportion of the Earth’s population, there have been significant increases in those moving into the middle class, and becoming more discretionary consumers of things like sport. That’s what is moving the gravy train, the increased consumer base. Not artificially manipulation by those who are benefitting from it or “want things to remain high” as you put it.

    7) “The market isn’t real and everybody knows it but many people are very happy to make hay while the sun shines no matter what the long term cost to football is. A crash is coming and it will hit a lot of people very hard.”

    Absolutely none of what you said above is fact, just opinion. Only time will tell if there is a hard crash, a natural readjustment, a slowing, or if it remains as is, or even increases. No-one knows for certain, including you.

    8) “It is the same when there is a boom in a country in a certain industry. As for example, some countries which in the past 10 years have had a huge construction boom.”

    No there is nothing remotely “the same” about comparing a boom in a specific industry in a particular country, versus a global product that is followed and loved by a significant chunk of the world’s population across demographics.

    9) “Does this seem familiar? You can apply the above to football now, the Monaco’s, Chelsea’s, Man City’s, PSG’s all trading amongst themselves, keeping everything high, the “governments” of UEFA, FIFA getting involved and the likes of Portsmouth and Leeds left up the creek.”

    What would be one of these articles without direct or indirect references to “doing a Leeds/Portsmouth”. It’s so intellectually lazy to even bring them up in reference to clubs like AFC (the point of this article) as it doesn’t allow for comparisons and difference of a plethora of variables including: location; history; global fan-base; revenues/profits; facilities etc. etc… AFC is not in jeopardy of doing a Leeds, nor will making a couple of marquee singings mean that, nor do those who advocate a couple of marquee signings mean they are irresponsible short-termists who don’t care if we “do a Leeds”.

    10) “Arsenal this summer have had accusations of being derisory and lacking class. Why? Arsenal have bid €40 million for a player. That is a fantastic offer for a footballer. Just because Cavani, Bale and Falcao are being bought by the sugar daddy owners at super ridiculous prices doesn’t mean that other players values go up. Arsene Wenger puts a realistic value on a player and places an offer. I truly believe that it is the market that is mad, not Wenger.”

    And AFC and other clubs (including their fans) often complain about other clubs lacking class, not being respectful or whatever too in certain dealings.. Geez, this is the competitive world of professional top-level cut throat football, no-one has to be nice about things. Also regarding what you think is a fantastic offer for a player, others may disagree and think that it isn’t. So what? What you may think is a realistic offer for a player, others including the selling club may think it isn’t…so what?

    11)”Further to that, Wenger not only puts realistic values on players he wants to buy, he does the same for players he sells.”

    Others may disagree wholly, accept that. Also we seem to command top dollar for our stars but rarely/never seem to accept the top dollar demands of our reported targets who may be stars on other teams.

    12)”I mean, is Gareth Bale 5 times the player Robin Van Persie is? The market seems to think so. The market isn’t realistic, but the longer the market is like this the better for all involved so it’s no wonder an upstart like Arsenal is being treated as they are by the media and the referee’s etc.”

    First of all, the market is not as simple as this. Secondly, you are lending automatic credit and truth to a rumour of an amount/proposed deal and press stories about it, yet in your own post go at pains to deride the press and fans who believe them about expensive player targets we may have never even actually been interested in. Back to the first point, yes the market it not simple, nor is it as simple to say Bale is worth 5 times more than RvP, and as I think you are alluding to create a strawman argument that it’s nonsense to then suggest he is 5 times the player. The market involves any myriad of factors and no two transfers are alike, factors include: who the buyer is; who the seller is; external economic factors; the resources of each club; the league(s) in question; age; existing contract terms; injury history; positional needs; what the player means to the selling club; the player’s desire; competitors for signature; marketing/image/commercialization factors; in the case of Madrid, what Barca has done;….etc etc…

    And if Madrid and Spurs value this proposed transfer at 4 or 5 times what RvP went for, so be it. That’s what the market dictates considering a variety of factors (not just what other big names have been sold for) that deal should be done for, if that is indeed what happens.

    13) “We the fans have been left to foot the bill of this bloated industry we see before us. TV subscriptions, high ticket prices, outrageous merchandise prices all of which are forced upon clubs who need to pay these outrageous fees and wages to players playing the same game that was played 20 years ago by players who earned a fraction of today’s bunch”

    It really doesn’t seem you have thought this through with regards to outrageous fees/wages for players playing the same game as 20 years ago..When in the last 20 years so much has changes with regards to globalization, commercialization, technology, access, marketing etc. If anything one can argue the what players earn/ and in some cases go for is simply commensurate with the exponential money the sport has generated in this time of growth, and some may argue that they still may not even be making what they should (compared to some US based sports like Baseball/NBA/NFL with a far smaller global consumer base that football but average higher earners compared to top euro leagues, many may argue that top players in our sport should make even more). Why shouldn’t players make what they do, and command the high fees they do, considering how so many including: merchandizers; sponsors; clubs; governing bodies and associations; TV/Satellite; other media etc. etc. have gotten unprecedentedly rich off of THEIR talent?

    And regarding fans left to foot the bill..again this is market driven, if fans are willing to pay what they pay to watch the game live or on TV around the world, to buy apparel, and other products endorsed by those connected to the sport etc., then that’s what they market dictates. Will you then complain about Arsenal in particular and its reported premium prices for what many now consider is no longer a premium product (including aesthetically) and their disproportionate (in comparison to other direct competitors) dependence on fan-based revenue generation? Or will you like many here speak of things like its London location, the demand for its product etc. meaning that the prices charges are market driven and fair?

    14) “Don’t let the media drag you into their world. ”

    To bring this right back to point number 2, perhaps you should give your fellow gooners more credit that they are smart enough to make up their own minds.

    15) “I look forward to the day when football gets back to normal.”

    What’s normal? You mean as you mentioned 20 years ago when players earned a fraction of what they do today for playing the same game? Then if that is the case, maybe we should get rid of the technology that has allowed globalization and increased consumerism for the sport, including this very internet that you are communicating your ideas on now. Would Arsenal be the global behemoth it is today without said globalization/commercialization? Of course not. We have benefitted from it no-end too, there would arguably be no Emirates without the changes in the sport, and we wouldn’t be able to pay Wenger his reported 7.5 mil for all those years etc.

    Things changes, life evolves, including sport.

    Other than the above, I enjoyed your post.


    Tasos – we have accrued such a vast sum of money because for the last 3 years we have continually sold our best players and replaced them with cheap rubbish (bar Santi)which just further adds to my frustration! I’m not going to congratulate Arsene for steadily weakening the team over the last 3 years whilst banking a shed load of money that hasn’t helped us in any way shape or form! I don’t want £150m in the bank… i’d much rather have £150m worth of quality replacements had been brought in over the last few years! Plus what good is it having that £150m in the bank when the club have shown NO signs of spending it on improving the team so far this summer either. I’m not happy we’ve got such a cash surplus in the bank, just proof of the fact our team is currently £150m worth of talent worse off than it should be.
    Conspiracy theory’s that the world is out to get Arsenal are just plain pathetic and really quite childish. Nobody is out to get us, our failings are of our own doing! the FA didn’t force us to stock pile cash instead of investing in the squad. Arsenal Management did!!

  • A. Stewart

    “Arsenal-Flavour, your comment would be impressive if there was any evidence. Citing one Facebook account doesn’t actually amount to evidence.”

    @ Tony,perhaps the article would be impressive with the same, any similar complaints about the lack of evidence in the original article?

  • Guninurback

    My god you people are stupid!

    You had to invent all that to make you feel better over the fact that the current regime is simply put “incompetent”.

    Look at this tripe! You’re like the worst form of conspiracy nut!

    Why can you simply not accept that all you AKB where WRONG! We where always right, he was incompetent five years ago, but at this point he should be in a hospital.

    This has nothing to do with him! Its about Arsenal! FFS!

    When will you people start hoping this CLUB succeeds again and not just its managers silly ideas?

  • Guninurback

    I am literally saddened by the poor excuse for football fans that I see on display here, you know nothing of your club, yet you follow its mangers every word religiously.

    I long thought the main problem with Arsenal was the manager, but in honesty it is what you sycophants have made him into.

    Wengers position is untenable, he has lost the majority of the fans, the majority of the press, the majority of the dressing room but not you, and so you are now the only thing standing in the way of this clubs progress.


    A. Stewart – thoroughly enjoyed your response to the article. articulated what I wanted to say much better than I could or have time for… well played sir

  • Tasos


    Buying players isn’t a problem. Liverpool spent around £70m on Downing, Henderson and Carroll.

    Come on Goonerjay, “Cheap rubbish”. Please.

    Cheap Rubbish doesn’t qualify for the CL.

    I accept Arsenal have their internal failings but if you only look inside for the answers then I beleive thats a pretty blinkered stance to take.

    Arsenal are the only team playing Champions League football this week (wednesday) and yet the TV companies have decided to move Saturdays EPL fixture, away at Fulham, forward to 12.45 KO. Anyone that understands the effects of fatigue will accept that by moving that fixture to an earlier time does not help Arsenal’s cause. (external problem)

  • Shard

    A. Stewart

    Among all of that, I’d just like to pick up on the media thing. It’s no disrespect to anyone to suggest that the mainstream media influences thinking. They drive what ‘facts’ you know, or rather what you think you know, because they are your source of information. They also have their own agendas, which aren’t always apparent.

    But forget all of that. Imagine a scenario where the club’s performance was exactly the same, but instead of articles about ‘trophy drought’, and ‘no ambition’ (a media created phrase and way of thinking that spending means ambition), we’d instead have regular news reports of how Arsenal are efficient in the transfer market, how they’ve done well to keep everyone behind them despite a lack of spending, how their focus on developing players is a great achievemnt and is the way to go, how they are the saviours of football and the likes of Chelsea and CIty are ruining football and should never be followed because they even risk their own future etc etc. I know it’s hard to imagine, but let’s say that happened. Do you genuinely think people in as many numbers would chant ‘spend some fucking money’?

  • Tasos

    “only English team”

  • MoW

    A. Stewart. Your response was excellent and far more insightful that today’s post. I couldn’t have done it half as well as that if I had summoned up the energy. his post was extremely flimsy, full of wonky logic and schoolboy thinking.

    Shard, if the media consistently puts a positive spin on news then they can distort the truth and influence opinions to some extent. sure. have your read 1984? i’m not sure what your point is though.

    Stroller, “Blogs are evidence of nothing. The constituents of blogs will tend to be limited by age, employment status, sex, and other factors.” I think you underestimate the role social media plays influencing the world. Blogs are evidence of opinions within the blogosphere, no?

  • Matt

    @ Shard

    Yes because football is about football. Winning and glory it’s not about balance sheets it should take you out of the mundane it’s a leisure activity,to some it’s like a religion.

    If we didn’t have the money sitting in the bank and the CEO telling us how we were now in the big time real fans wouldn’t be going on about spending money.

    We dont want teh club to cripple itself just use what it does have to try to make the club teh best it can be.

    Currently it doesn’t feel that is the case.

  • A. Stewart

    @ Shard…”It’s no disrespect to anyone to suggest that the mainstream media influences thinking. They drive what ‘facts’ you know, or rather what you think you know, because they are your source of information. They also have their own agendas, which aren’t always apparent. ”

    To be honest I was expecting this response. Does the media influence some people? Sure. Does the media also pick up on the sentiment of people as the basis of their stories as opposed to forming it? Sure it does too.

    Can the sporting media’s influence/agenda be really compared to the mainstream (non-sporting) media with regards to policitcal influence which is far more obvious and recorded and is usually along a divide of only two maybe 3 ideologies and political choices on what ammounts to life and death decisions/policies, versus sporting media that addresses dozens, even hundreds of choices of teams(akin to party/political ideology) with all feeling targeted at some point? To me there is little comparison in influence.

    Anyway all of that’s still a heck of a lot different than basically (as is often done around here) categorically stating that fans with a different opinion that the prevailing opinions here are unable to think for themselves and have their opinions only as a result of media manipulation. It’s unfounded, insulting nonsesne, of your fellow gooners.

  • Shard


    And does the distortion work only by creating positive news? Just to be clear.

    My point is that media influences opinions of the public. A.Stewart seemed to think that suggesting that was an insult to the intelligence of fans.

    Whether you think the media reporting of Arsenal is fair or not is a different issue. That comes later. But I disagree with the idea that the media doesn’t influence the way society thinks about certain things.

  • MoW

    Perhaps Shard you are saying that cynicism, negativity and moaning creates a negative atmosphere around the club which in turn leads to bad results, hence the cynics distort the world by creating a self fulfilling prophecy of failure? Is this one of your main problems?


    Tasos – your argument is weak. Just because Dalglish likes to spend silly money on bang average players doesn’t mean Arsenal should stock pile cash and refuse to attempt to improve the squad… utterly ridiculous notion! Or how about I point to the fact that Man City were a mid table team a few years back and after spending on playing staff have won the League in a couple of years to prove spending dies work?! silly argument with little credibility!

    As for the cheap rubbish, granted it may be a bit strong but you CAN NOT argue that those players are as good as the players they replaced, they’re not and surely with our new found financial power we should be looking to replace with equal or better quality… why are we going backwards?

    No mate… your excuses are the blinkered approach. The sensible approach would be to look internally at the fact we should have a big enough squad to be able to rotate and field a team for all competitions we want to play in. Using the fixture list as an excuse is just that… an excuse. Or how about instead of struggling to finish 4th last season after another summer of not strengthening and having to play a Qualifier we made an effort to strengthen the team to ‘try’ to get into the top 3 as a minimum so as to not put us in the need to play a qualifier? For your 1 external excuse/issue I have given you 2 Internal solutions… see my point yet?!

  • @MoW (2013/08/21 at 2:39 pm)

    Yes, agree with what you say – I’m still holding out for 3 more signings before the window shuts BUT I also believe a lot of that depends on tonight’s game i.e. a good result will all but guarantee CL qualification.

    I also think it’s feasible that Suarez does have a release clause for a club that has qualified for the CL – as we have not done that yet I don’t think we can move… Liverpool are holding out with a ‘wait and see’ approach to the situation. This is just a guess on my part but seems likely given all the bluster.

    Who knows other signings in the pipeline that will hang off the result tonight… well – the club know but they aren’t telling anybody.

    Anyway, what I’m trying to say is yes we need some new players and yes I will be very frustrated if this doesn’t happen but I will not lose my shit completely and go into an embarrassing meltdown of told-you-so’s and one-upmanship (like others I won’t mention) even if that doesn’t happen… but if it doesn’t then yes – questions need to be asked/answered as to why this didn’t happen.

    Tonight’s game is hugely important – it could almost be make/break for the season… I think everyone on whatever side of the metaphysical fence can see that or feels it in some way (tensions are clearly running high) – just a shame we can’t seem to let the ego take a back seat and agree!

    Match days used to be fun – something to look forward to… but now – I don’t know, it just turns into a histrionic meltdown, we’re behaving like spurs fans and it’s embarrassing.

  • Shard

    “To be honest I was expecting this response. Does the media influence some people? Sure. Does the media also pick up on the sentiment of people as the basis of their stories as opposed to forming it? Sure it does too.”

    Why is it not insulting the intelligence of SOME people to suggest it influences them? What separates SOME people from everyone else? And how many people is a number that could be called some?

    This isn’t just semantics. It makes all the difference. If some people are affected by the media, what makes you think all aren’t? I say it affects everyone, including me.

    As to the difference between the sport media and the traditional political media, I agree. And this is what I’ve been saying for at least 3 years, if not more. The level of propaganda applied to Arsenal (when even you’ll agree the mood that the media apparently pick up on, was not so bad) is unlike anything I’ve ever seen for a sports team. It was of the kind reserved for politics and wars and such. But, that’s by the by.

    My only intention was to get it across that the media narrative affects the way you view the club. It affects the way I view the club. Regardless of whether you agree with them, they distort the way you look at them. You still haven’t answered whether people would be en masse chanting about spending money if the media never talked about spending money. Rather painted spending as a bad thing.

  • MoW

    Shard, I think Steward agrees that the media can influence people. The initial point was made with regard to the insulting comment:

    “It’s not surprising that we find disgruntled fans when they are being constantly fed the same story from the media.

    Some people aren’t allowed make up their own minds.”

    The distortion can work either way, pro or against any argument. The question is to what extent the there is balanced objective reporting which seeks or explores the truth or whether there is spin intended to manipulate.

    blogs are a heady cocktail of truth seeking and spin. either way. there’s lots of drama in blogs in both directions. the papers and TV aren’t that emotionally invested so they tend say it how they see it, albeit based on their observations of the blogs. that’s my feeling.

  • Shard


    Not really, no. Not such a direct link with results. It’s more a subconscious effect on everyone around the club. Though the principal actors in that are usually more isolated from the rest.

    But without that negativity, a team in our position, would not have the manager under so much pressure, and woul not have such a fractious, desperate (everyone), even disillusioned fanbase.

  • Matt

    This place is becoming like origami.

    My cousin is a conspiracy theorist and he is completely off his rocker in his world somebody is always upto no good.

  • A. Stewart

    “My point is that media influences opinions of the public. A.Stewart seemed to think that suggesting that was an insult to the intelligence of fans. ”

    I’m not sure what you aren’t getting, because that is clearly not what I said, it’s clear what I thought was insulting based on what the author said about people basiclaly not being able to make up their own minds.

    It’s clear what I think, to repeat, and to be precisely clear..:

    I think it’s unfounded insulting nonsesne to say as is often said around here (as mused in the article), and lump fellow fans who disagree with the current direction of the club as being unable to think for themselves, and having the opinions they do ONLY as a result of media manipulation.

    To me it’s lazy because it’s a generalization that a) doesn’t account for any number of differences of the people who have these opinions (including how much they actively follow the media in the first place) b) it’s a generalization of people of the vast majority who you do not know personally, and thus don’t know what their intents, influences, motivations and cognative abilities are c) it’s a generalization of people many of whom have had these opinions long before the media arguably caught up to them and started running with it.

    Isn’t that clear enough, is that remotely the same as a discussion about whether the media can and does influence people?

    And again, Arsenal is celebrated for its diverse, educated and successful fan-base. Give them credit for being able to make up their own minds, whatever the opinion, until you can categorically prove otherwise.

    For example, I disagree with a lot of what is written and commented about on here..but I will NEVER say that those who suscribe to the prevailing opinions here automatically are mindless sheep brainwashed by Wenger and club propoganda..And those who say that to the supposed “AKBs” are just as wrong as those who tell the supposed “AAAs” that they are not smart enough to make up their own minds and formulate their own thoughts.

  • Shard


    Exactly. The media have added legitimacy because they are believed to be balanced. So people are more receptive to their message. That’s all I was saying.

    I happen to believe that the media is not even close to being balanced. Not just regards Arsenal. Some agendas are known, such as certain papers being known as left wing or so on. Some agendas are not clearly known. But media is a business. It stopped being unbiased a long time ago.

  • Shard

    If you’re going to get pedantic A.Stewart, fine, people can make up their own minds. I’ll agree to that. But how they make up their minds isn’t in a vacuum. That is affected by their environment. We still come back to the same thing though. The media doesn’t flick a switch to make you into zombies. It does affect your thinking though. And when I say ‘you’, I mean all of us.

    Yet again, you haven’t answered the question. Would people chant spend some fucking money, in a scenario like the one I described with the media?

  • A. Stewart

    “But without that negativity, a team in our position, would not have the manager under so much pressure, and woul not have such a fractious, desperate (everyone), even disillusioned fanbase.”

    Shard, are you remotely willing to consider, nevermind accept that much of the negativity is driven and initiatied by organic genuine feelings amongst sections of the fan-base? Correct me if I’m wrong but it seems as though you are suggesting that without the media there would be no or very little negativity, or that fans wouldn’t have been able to spot the issues about which they complain?

    Also are you willing to remotely consider that much of the pressure the manager is under is a result of his own policies and doings and fans’ feelings about them? And that many fans have genuine negative feelings about said policies on their own accord?

    Again, perhaps the media is catching up to GENUINE sentiment amongst some/much of the fan base, but it seems you are unwilling to consider that and see them as only the initiator. I accept that the media can instigate and fan the flames of a situation like ours (as they would do with ANY story of fan/citizenry/employee whatever discontent sport or otherwise), but I don’t accept that they are 1) the initiator of the sentiment, or 2) fans are not able to make up their own minds.

  • MoW

    Shard, you,re stepping back towards the conspiracy argument.

    We know most of the papers support the tories. Most of us know the BBC leans to the liberal left.

    I’m sure journalists at certain papers have soft spots for certain clubs and vice versa. I don’t think there’s any anti-Arsenal bias. what there is and what there will always be, is praise for success and knives for failure. that’s what papers do. a decade ago we were the darlings of the press. yes, i’m quite sure there’s a fair few journo’s who think Wenger is a buffoon nowadays. but he needs to look in the mirror and think about what he says before he spouts gibberish.

    the whole thing will be solved if we just do what the fans want. buy some bloody players and start showing more ambition.

  • Shard

    A.Stewart and MoW

    All I asked is a simple question. Stop trying to gauge my motives or tell me I’m seeing conspiracies, or even protecting Arsenal. Can you please answer the question?

  • Tasos


    You do acknowledge then that the fixture list has the ability to pose its own problems for clubs.

    Arsenal had a big squad but people called the squad players deadwood.

    As for Man City, they have a rich owner who pumped extortionate sums of money into the club. No comparison there. Anyhow, the last time I looked Man City won zilch last season. Same Arsenal then.

    As for the rest. I don’t have all the answers. I gather information, watch the matches and form an opinion. We differ on some of those opinions. No big deal.

    One thing I do know, Arsenal are not where I would like them to be but its long way down.

  • Matt

    @ MoW

    Thanks, it would all be completely redundant if the club spent the money.

    The press would love Arsenal again if we had some big name players and started winning again thay are as fickle as some fans.

  • Shard

    Matt @ 4.36

    I agree with that.

  • Shard,

    I don’t want to be a part of the on going debate as I am on ‘sabbatical’ 🙂 but I saw a TeamTalk story that I think helps make your point about how the media influences people’s feelings:

    The story is one thing but the headline is a totally different spin. It is a fact that most readers don’t go beyond the headlines and the first few sentences of articles and stories before switching off. They carry on with the little they’ve read.

    Do read the comments though, and you’ll find out that many readers are wising up to the bullshit.

    I now crawl back into my hole to leave you good folks alone in peace.

    Keep calm and support your team. Best of luck tonight.

  • insideright

    @A Stewart – Ex players (who you say agree with the media et al) say what they are paid to say by that very same media. But for that media we wouldn’t actually know what those players ‘think’.
    Ex players who have actually run clubs (Niall Quinn springs to mind) have been qiuoted as saying that they believe Arsenal is run ‘as a club should be’.
    Arsenal do indeed now have a shed load of money but, sadly, there are several other clubs whose wealth (or rather that of their owners) can only be contained in a row of sheds. Somebody richer will always stand in your way of doing what you really want to do if it suits them to do so.
    Player cost inflation is threatening to dismantle the game as we know it – if you believe that to be wrong (as Arsenal obviously do) then to contribute to it by paying silly money and further fuelling that inflation would be foolish in the extreme.

  • MoW

    Dogface, its a shame you feel that. others feel it too. i am just numb.

    there’s only one group who can solve this now and let us all move on and that’s the club management. the fans wont kiss and make up on blogs.

    lets hope we win tonight and get those players in.

    if anything, at least the high drama of this transfer window will provide us entertainment. im sure we’ll be glued to the internet hoping that something special and magical happens.

  • Shard

    By the way, away from this discussion, I just saw a headline saying ‘Former referee Dermot Gallagher insists Anthiny Taylor got the big decisions correct’

    Who was the referee employed by Premier League TV to give a referee’s perspective to the presenters? Anyone want to guess??

  • @Shard and MoW

    Mow you said:

    “blogs are a heady cocktail of truth seeking and spin. either way. there’s lots of drama in blogs in both directions. the papers and TV aren’t that emotionally invested so they tend say it how they see it, albeit based on their observations of the blogs. that’s my feeling”

    I would say that a lot of blogs and all the national press will put out content not because of any particular ‘truth’ but more for what gets the most attention – the over-riding priority is not to serve up well thought out and researched investigations but to churn out as much disposable crap as possible to draw traffic and sell advertising space.

    It doesn’t really matter what – if ‘Arsenal are great’ stories attracted traffic then that would be the narrative… is this a conspiracy theory or just the invisible hand of market forces at work?

    Also – you are correct, the national press feed off the blogs… but also the blogs feed off the national press – this creates a feedback loop of, in this case, negativity.

    Anyway – that’s just my take on things…

  • A. Stewart

    “if you’re going to get pedantic A.Stewart, fine, people can make up their own minds. I’ll agree to that. But how they make up their minds isn’t in a vacuum. That is affected by their environment.”

    It’s not about being pedantic, it’s about drawing a CLEAR contrast between a discussion on how the media can influence people, versus how gooners who don’t follow the prevailing opinions here (i.e. support for Wenger’s direction) are unable to think for themselves, and only have these opinions as a result of media manipulation.

    “Yet again, you haven’t answered the question. Would people chant spend some fucking money, in a scenario like the one I described with the media?”

    I must have missed the scenario, but without scrolling up…Quite possibly yes they would, who knows, I don’t know, neither do you. This is football, it’s not splitting the atom, or resolving complex geopolitical problems. It really doesn’t take a stroke of genius for fans of the sport to question what in their minds seem like obvious issues (largely driven by choice) that could have been avoided and/or rectified given our resources.

    For example, you really think it takes the media for some fans to become disillusioned with Wenger’s comments about not/it being hard to find better than some/much of what we have, especially given the stated resources of our club? And thus Wenger to be under pressure as a result?

    I think you really need to get out there and really talk to other gooners more about their feelings, and you may be surprised how long they have harboured them, long before “spend some fucking money” became a prevalent meme in the media in the last couple seasons.

    Fan complaint, protests, disapproving shouts from the terraces is nothing new in football or in sport, how so ever were those fans of yester-year able to have feelings of disapproval without the media as we know it today…without live TV, the internet, blogs, social-media etc.. you act as though fan discontent is something new in the new-media age..

    I’m sure you’d agree it isn’t new, and imo as genuine as it was then, is as genuine as it is now.. At least for people like me who give the benefit of the doubt to fellow fans as being smart enough to make up their own minds regardless of what side of a particular issue they sit on.

  • MoW

    shard, i think i’ve answered. the press can manipulate public opinion. i think it’s regarded as FACT in media analysis circles.

  • A. Stewart

    “A.Stewart and MoW

    All I asked is a simple question. Stop trying to gauge my motives or tell me I’m seeing conspiracies, or even protecting Arsenal. Can you please answer the question?

    Shard, I haven’t read all of what MoW said, so I won’t speak for him, but I haven’t anywhere said anything about your motives or whether you are seeing conspiracies, or protecting Arsenal…

    Perhaps it seems as though like fellow fans you may be incorrectly lumping people together to fit a convenient narrative..

    And do note where not just in this post, but throughout this discussing when addressing the thoughts and musings of other posters, I go at length to use qualifiers like: “seems, perhaps, in my opinion etc..” because while like anyone else through your comments I think I can get a feel for where you are going, I don’t for a minute automatically believe I know exactly what you are thinking or your motives…It’s the same credit I lend to all fellow arsenal fans regardless of persuasion, and as you may notice somewhere above, I even specifically said it’s unwise to with authority label intent and motives of people that one largely doesn’t know personally.


    Tasos – yes I do, but I really don’t see how being the 12:45 KO is making that much of a difference? are the players going to get that much fitter with an additional 2 hours and 45 minutes rest if they were on a 3pm kickoff? course not… again it’s the mentality of this blog to find any little thing to turn it to a conspiracy theory to excuse the club of any of its failings!

    These players were deadwood and you know it. But just because we finally got them off of our wage bill doesn’t mean we can’t replace them with better squad players does it? this is most peoples problem mate! we have let 30 players go, rightfully as they weren’t good enough but what good is it releasing them when we don’t fill those positions? so now instead of crap players we have no players… not really an improvement is it?!

    So Man City spending a lot of money and winning things and finishing higher than us in the league thus earning automatic qualification is irrelevant because they have a rich owner but Liverpool spending a fortune on 3 rubbish players is proof that Arsenal shouldn’t spend? I’d suggest you’re twisting the argument to suit your agenda.

    We both agree the club isn’t where we want it to be… there’s evidence to prove we have the resources to be where you and I wants us to be so why aren’t you asking why the club are refusing to use those resources? because that’s all us AAA’s (as you call us) are doing! Instead you are putting your hands over your ears, and pointing at everyone outside of the club to be at fault for our problems!

  • Shard

    Smartness/intelligence has nothing to do with it A. Stewart. If someone controls your access to information (not just in what they tell you, but what they don’t), if someone even puts that information into context for you (news reports don’t read like statements of fact only.), and they do this every single day. What is wrong in suggesting that they, affect the way you think?

    That doesn’t take away free will, but even you admitted that some fans get influenced by the media. Why so? Aren’t you then insulting their intelligence by saying that?

  • A. Stewart

    Insideright..what I said with regards to ex-players is..:

    “You lumped sports journalists, various types of media, fans etc. all having a go at our transfer policy. I will add to that many players including recent Arsenal ex-players and even arguably current players share the same bewilderment about our transfer policy.”

    Also no, not all ex-players including Arsenal ex-players who have had questions about our recent transfer policies in recent years, are paid to say what they think, less you think that everytime someone is interviewed or give a comment they are a paid interviewee, and employee of said media outlet, or a working media professional in the first place. I also said it’s arguable that some current players based on their statements about more signings needed/desired, public stated excitement by big-names linked to etc.. may share some of that sentiment too.

    and re: “Ex players who have actually run clubs (Niall Quinn springs to mind) have been qiuoted as saying that they believe Arsenal is run ‘as a club should be’.”

    I never assigned criteria to what ex-players who comment on AFC’s current dealings (pro, against or neutral) had to be doing in their current lives (be it media, running a club, doing nothing) to automatically lend credibility to their opinions. So good for you if you see Niall Quinn’s opinion as validation, I’m sure there are a lot of people, managers whatever who agree with Wenger’s direction, just as I’m sure there are alot who don’t… Not quite sure what point you have made, other than validating an opinion that seems to agree with your already held one.

    “Player cost inflation is threatening to dismantle the game as we know it – if you believe that to be wrong (as Arsenal obviously do) then to contribute to it by paying silly money and further fuelling that inflation would be foolish in the extreme.”

    I’m not sure if you truly understand the meaning of the word inflation to be honest..and please show me detailed analyses that can accurately conclude player costs are threatening to dismantle the game..I’d be particularly interested in seeing anlyses of players costs in relation to revenue increases (by a variety of stakeholders) in the game.

  • Shard

    Thank you MoW.

  • A. Stewart

    Shard I never said anything is wrong with discussing the influence of the media, and how they MAY affect how one thinks…I’m not sure why you seem to keep alluding to this falsehood.

    And actually sure, the thought process of a person may consciously account for what they are exposed to in the media (which again is not homogenous in its direction or level of reception by comsumers), as just ONE variable of MANY that leads them ultimately to a conclusion on a particular topic.

    For the umpteenth time, I don’t find anything remotely insulting about that topic, or having that discussion.

    That is entirely different from saying (as is often said around here) that fans of a different opinion than those here, cannot make up their own minds and only have those opinions due to media manipulation of their psyche.

    If you still can’t spot the simple and clear difference between the two, so be it.

  • A. Stewart

    “Smartness/intelligence has nothing to do with it A. Stewart. If someone controls your access to information (not just in what they tell you, but what they don’t), if someone even puts that information into context for you (news reports don’t read like statements of fact only.), and they do this every single day. What is wrong in suggesting that they, affect the way you think? ”

    Conflating the media in general, informational controls etc with Gooner sentiment about what is currently happening at the club their support, is very wide of the mark imo, and quite misleading and grossly inaccurate.

    The INFORMATION that fans process and access to form opinions of the club they support are largely garnered though their own two eyes and watching the games and following the club. That imo is the nuclear basis of fan sentiment. They can see with their own eyes and form opinions based on what they are seeing, what the club and manager is telling them about its direction, and very publicly available numbers about the club’s revenues and profits…

    This information is not being withheld, this information is largely personal and organic (outside of club figures), and this information is at the CORE of fan sentiment.

    You are grossly over-complicating what is a fan viewing what is a very simple sport, football. And I believe that yes fans are generally intelligent enough to process these core idicators and make up their own minds and form their own opinions.

  • Tasos


    I try not to pigeonhole people by using the AAA AKB terminology. We have a common goal, Arsenal.

    Getting rid of the “deadwood” is something the club have all but succeeded in doing. Keeping hold of our best players has also been important, limted as those players may appear to some. You see, its not all doom and gloom.

    I think you miss the point about the 12.45 KO. Arsenal are playing on wednesday, away from home in the CL. Fulham have the whole week to prepare. Moving the KO forwards doesn’t aid Arsenal’s recovery period.

    In modern sport small details can have a huge impact on the outcome. Doesn’t mean Arsenal will automatically lose against Fulham, it just makes winning the match that bit harder.

    Man city can afford to buy the likes of Downing, Henderson and Carroll and when it doesn’t work out, do it all again without it affecting their financial position. Liverpool are up shit street for doing that though because they do not have limitless funds, like Arsenal. That was My comparison.

  • A. Stewart

    Again my issue is with saying as fact (as is often done around here) and conveniently lumping a group of fans who you (figuratively) don’t know, haven’t spoken to, don’t know their intent or motives, as having a different opinion than yours ONLY as a result of not being able to think for themselves, and being manipulated by the media.

    Again, that is a completely different discussion that how the media (sport and beyond) can influence people.

  • Shard

    A. Stewart

    I can, and that’s fine. As I said, the second step in that is whether you think the media is fair in its coverage or not. It’s a bit pointless to start that because it’s the whole chicken and egg thing to some extent, and a matter of opinion.

    All I wanted to say was that the media affects the way we see the world. In this case, Arsenal. (Not MAY affect, it does, and you said it influences some people.)

    It is one of many factors, but it is the most repetitive in terms of input, even without any new information in this day and age of news now and regurgitated and recycled articles. Which amplifies its impact.

    I don’t know why it took so long to arrive here, but I hate when people say, ‘I’m intelligent, I have an opinion, and so I can’t be affected by the media’

    To answer some of your questions to me, I am perfectly willing to consider the possibility that the club is the cause of the negativity (to some extent in fact, I think they are) I am also willing to countenance that the club is lying to its fans and their interests are not in some sort of harmony with ours. As of now, I see enough room for doubt, as well as evidence of a plan, to not agree with the dissent.

    In any case, I think a lot of the criticism of Arsenal is without basis (Kroenke stealing money, Wenger earning through profits, our bid is insulting) and the problems we have, do not justify the level of anger around. In that sense, I think it’s an overreaction. I feel that is fuelled by the media driven perception of Arsenal.

  • Mahdain

    @shard 4:44 ofcourse Dermot Gallagher aka the paid misinformer(or perfumer as bob called him) that Anne exposed long ago. I really wish more people had read those series of article about him to see just what an utter twat he is..

  • Zedsaunt

    You either go down with your team or you walk away.

  • Ian Jenkinson

    Wow, thank you everybody for taking the time to read and comment. Some serious debate taking place which the article purposely leant itself to.

    A few quick points i want to reply to.

    There were some people who have said that the Arsenal model has already failed. But i think there is a differing opinion as to what the Arsenal model is working to. The Arsenal model for me was to sustain a certain level of competitiveness while we built our stadium and the restrictions that came with it.

    I think that Arsenals realistic aim during that time was to keep near the top of the table and to hopefully stay in the CL and not disappear altogether just like other clubs before have done while trying to move home. And finally be able to build up enough to buy players and start to be competitive again after the heavy restrictions got lighter.

    And in my eyes the model has been a complete success. Those of you who were expecting us to build a new stadium and still go on and be champions elect every season during those years are not being realistic.

    It is only NOW that we have funds available to build a squad capable of competing again. As of yet, frustratingly for every Arsenal fan the club haven’t spent it but there are still nearly two weeks left to do so, and future windows to strengthen further again, it is a slow process.

    As for all the players we have been linked to and apparently missed out on. How do any of us know we were interested in them in the first place? The only player that Arsenal have admitted in public to being interested in is Suarez.

    @ A. Stewart 3:08pm

    I take great offence to the accusations in your first two points.

    Firstly you write “Does it make you feel better to insult your fellow gooners (just because they may disagree with you) as not having enough sense to be able to think for themselves?”

    I really have no idea how you managed to contort one line of the post into that. And what i copied above is only a fraction of what you actually wrote.

    And you also wrote on another point:

    “but go ahead and pretend that fans haven’t been voicing these concerns for years, and are just dumb neanderthals shouting about trophies”.

    Where on earth do you get this from? You are a regular commenter on this site and although i don’t agree with what you say i always read your comments fairly and i always respected your opinions. Until now.

    I don’t need to defend myself, especially not to you but if you go through any of the articles that i have written for Untold or indeed any comments i have posted on other articles you will see that i have never offended or spoken down to anybody and i certainly do not hold the views you accuse me of towards other Arsenal supporters, or anybody at all.

    I love the stance of this site but i also enjoy the debate that takes place here too from all commenters. And despite some of the posts that go on articles (not just mine), i never, ever talk down to anyone. I have the utmost respect for these people.

    There were probably more accusations in your post but after the first two paragraphs i didn’t waste any more time on it.

    You ought to be ashamed of yourself for such a wayward attempt to put words in my mouth. How dare you.

    That aside, thank you all again, the article was interestingly looked upon by all. Job done.

    Once again, keep the faith people and here’s to a fine win this evening!!

  • Shard


    Nothing new in that actually. Was hoping for something more. The fear that Kroenke has been using/will use Arsenal’s money as leverage for his other businesses has been around ever since he took over. It’s possible.

  • Gunz

    Irrelevant to the post.
    Stop spreading you sadness!

  • Shard


    You win today’s spot the scandal prize 🙂

  • Stuart

    Rupert Cook,
    Re your 7.11pm comment. I was saying something along the lines of what Matt Scott says in his article only this time last year and all I got for it was abuse and ridiculed on here, on Twitter and on other Arsenal blogs.

  • MoW

    Ian. Stop crying. Your points about fans not having a choice to form their own opinion I found at best arrogant and patronising, at worst insulting. That’s how it came across to me.

  • Stuart

    Ian Jenkinson,
    Don’t worry about A. Stewart, he always does that (nit picks and/or twists things) and takes about 10,000 words to state something that could be explained on the back of a postage stamp.

  • Ian Jenkinson

    It certainly wasn’t written that way MoW.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Stuart, abuse seems uncalled for. Don’t know why people would be so full of vitriol for pointing out what may be happening.

    @Shard, not surprising I guess but then I’m not a business man playing around with billions.

    @Gunz, yeh mate, good point, thanks for your valuable input.

  • bjtgooner

    Ian, this is a good and thought provoking article, sorry that I have not had time to be more involved in the debate. Perhaps later.

    It is also interesting that some of the usual suspects try to hijack and change the subject matter.

  • marcus

    Great piece Ian. probably the best I’ve ever read on UA…

    as an aside, how come Sky don’t mention that Webo’s offence is worse than Nani’s, and should really be a red, whilst finding time to go on and on and on about how we lack a proper striker and we are short in central defence!!

    Sagna looks to me pretty good in central defence; I don’t remember the pundits getting worked up about Gary Neville playing centre defence

  • Stuart

    Rupert Cook,
    You know the types. The ones who don’t like those who have a different opinion to them so call names and insults, how deluded I must be! Don’t know a thing about finance or football (throw in a few swear words).

  • Notoverthehill

    Mr Jenkinson and Mr A Stewart hold very strong views and long may it continue! FACTS, are few and far between, gentlemen.

    Tony, may I go off course and correct a slander against Mr Ivan Gazidis?

    Red and White Securities Limited are registered in Valetta, Malta, and are exempt from displaying address, company number etc.

    That letter dated 5th July 2012, claimed that Mr Ivan Gazidis made a cold call on a company called OJSC MegaFon.

    IF, The Arsenal had a decent Press Department, they should have noted back in a brief biographical sketch, that Mr Alisher B Usmanov, had an investment in OJSC MegaFon (then Russia’s third largest mobile phone company).

    Mr A B Usmanov’s investment is in a company called Telecominvest Holdings Limited. To cut the saga short, there was an agreed shareholdings restructuring between Mr A B Usmanov and a company owned by TeliaSonera AB (a Swedish company). The agreement was made sometime in April 2012 and not disclosed until 28th May 2013.

    Mr A B Usmanov’s company now controls 50% + 100 shares and TeliaSonera AB now owns 25.17% of the shares in OJSC MegaFon.

    Mr Ivan Gazidis did not join The Arsenal until January 2009.

    With the strength of TeliaSonera AB in Spain, the Baltic Republics, Eurasia, Nepal, Russia and China, a prime prospect.

    IMVHO, I would give Mr Gazidis a clean licence to explore ALL prospects!

  • Stuart

    Usmanov also has shares in hundreds of other companies. It is also unrealistic that people expected him to check this when in theory, it didn’t matter.

  • Notoverthehill


    At least Scott is quoting the November 2012, Cash at the Bank. He does not have a clue what the Cash at the Bank includes and what it means!

    The Arsenal played only 10 home games up to the 30th November 2012. At the moment, we have only 7 confirmed home games until 30th November 2013.

    From the Creditors, we can quantify the Advance Season Ticket sales to be about £75 millions. This is money that cannot be touched until “bums are in the seats”.

    We then have the Debt Service Reserve Accounts of nearly £25 millions, “ring-fenced”.

    The Arsenal have made an improvement of £7.4 millions in the cash on hand since November 2011.

    The Swiss Ramble is using the cash at the bank as at 31st May 2012. Which informs us, what a “chancer” he is!

    Rupert, download the November 2012 Half-Yearly accounts for yourself and check Note 13 – Cash at Bank and in hand.

  • sukebe


    Haters gonna hate…

  • Rupert Cook

    @Notoverthehill, thanks for that info.

    @Ian Jenkinson, it’s a shame you’re so sensitive because if you read A.Stewart’s arguments you’d find them compelling, but I suspect you didn’t as you realized he’d dismiss your points lucidly and sagaciously.

  • Ian Jenkinson

    @ Rupert Cook

    I am only sensitive when somebody tries to put words in my mouth that make it look like i was being disrespectful to other people. He can criticise, analyse and any other “ise” he wants towards the context of the article, as i said, that particular article very much leant itself to it, and i encourage the debate. But that time he over stepped the mark by taking a cheap shot.

    A. Stewart is an intelligent man (i’m assuming he is male) but maybe if he hadn’t been so pompous in his approach and didn’t try what he tried i would have read further.