It seemed that Arsenal were going to announce the new “director of transfer negotiations” (or some similar title) sometime around now, but now it seems it won’t happen.
Paul Donovan left Vodafone (a company forever tainted with its associated with Manchester Bankrupts) and there was talk that he was the man for us, but it seems we really wanted Peter Lawwell from Celtic. But then he said he wanted to stay in Scotland (a curious choice and one that to me seems to have no sound basis in logic, but I guess some people like to live in Scotland so who can say? I mean, I live in Corby, and most people don’t even know where the East Midlands is.)
Thus we still don’t have a Chief Exec or whatever the title is – which is either a total disaster if you believe that there are all sorts of players who we would have signed but didn’t because there was no one to negotiate with, or really hasn’t affected us that much anyway.
Some argue that the fact that the club wants a Chief suggests that they think we are at a disadvantage, but then the fact that they are in no hurry to get the right man for the job suggests that it is not so important after all.
A curious situation, and one that Untold Arsenal is, as always, ready to solve.
You see, maybe this is all part of the long slow process towards the departure of the Lord Wenger. I have zero inside information on this (so no change there) but it is obvious that one day he will move into retirement. Not now, not the end of this season, but it has been said that he is not, after all, immortal, and so retirement could be an option.
Of course what we absolutely do not want is for the Lord Wenger to say one day one May, “I’m off” without us having a clue what happens next. So what we need is everything in place – ready to receive a new manager who will have all that Wenger set up, rolling along, singing a song, walking in a Berkgamp wonderland (as it were).
Most of it is there… the training, the youth, the world-wide scouting, the reputation, the stadium, the excellent financial situation, the support, the 8 year season-ticket waiting list, the silver membership waiting list, even the blooming travel club waiting list. The only bit missing is the man who handles the big time negotiations, leaving the manager free to do the other stuff, like beating Porto 4-0.
It don’t mean that the Lord Wenger is going to leave this season – a sensible thing to do would be to have the Chief in place for years ahead – indeed we might get through two Chiefs before we see the Lord Wenger move on, but it is the “office” in its broadest sense that needs establishing.
How different this is from Sir Alex F-word who has just said that he won’t never again ever talk to the press. While Arsenal have the soundest of finances and support, at Manchester Bankrupt they can’t pay their interest, the season-ticket waiting list has “dwindled almost to nothing” and with “recession starting to bite” (quotes from the Guardian), Manchester Bankrupt have got troubles ahead at a time when Sir F-Word is getting daily redder in the face. Prat though he is, the media love him, and taking him out of the equation does the Bankrupts no marketing favours at all.
Meanwhile we might contrast the lovely Arsenal with the situation of our near neighbours, Leyton Orient, and that other local club, the Tiny Totts. While the Orient seem to have a fair idea how to live within their means, the Tinies are not quite there at all. There is an amazing release from Reuters today saying that one more defeat for the Tinies will mean the departure of the manager, just as the “club” (I use the word in its loosest sense) is about to be sold. (I should add that in the world of journalism, Reuters is just about as God-like as you can get – they have writers, re-writers, checkers and re-checkers and nothing but nothing leaves their offices unless they know it is so).
I have no idea who they are going to sell to (everyone has their own idea) but how ironic if they sell to a group of Arabs (ignorant perhaps of the club’s religious history or perhaps just being very modern and saying these things don’t matter any more) and they sack their manager just about the same time they sacked Mr Joll last season.
There was a very funny remark indeed from their interesting assistant manager (a Mr Poyet apparently) who said that their two remaining forwards couldn’t play together. A bit remarkable given they have just sold everyone else. Oh it must be tough being a Tiny.
As I speak (well actually as I type) the Totts are playing a game in a previously unheard of competition in darkest Poland. We wish them chaos and calamity. A little trip into the Championship, selling off all their “players” (another word used in a vague inaccurate sense), a half empty “stadium” and basically the Orient could rise to be north London’s second club – which I would quite like.
Actually given the chaos in the High Street the O’s are pretty much in that position anyway.
God, I wish I didn’t have to write anything serious this afternoon. That Diet Coke has gone straight to my head.
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