How Tottenham tried to prevent Arsenal from signing Ozil

By Tony Attwood
It is a view propagated by lazy journalists that transfers are just things that clubs do.  Dead simple.  Arsenal need a new player in the certain position, so they identify the best player out there, and buy him.
It is an interesting and rather amusing approach based on the notion that all the power is Arsenal’s – they just have to spend the money on the fee.  Rather than also take into account
a) the player’s wage demands
b) whether the player wants to come
c) whether the club want to sell
d) whether anyone else is in the market
e) what the agent is looking to do, in order to maximise his income
And all that is before we take into account the really shady side of transfers such as
f) the transfer that is never going to happen but is invented by an agent to up the value of his player
g) the transfer that is invented to take attention away from the real transfer that is going through quietly
h) the transfer of a non-existent or lower-grade player that is suggested in order to make other clubs waste their time trying to find out about the player and watch him play – thus wasting club time
i) the transfer involves a certain amount of money laundering to which the buying club must be party (see our articles on this range of activities too).
There is more and more of this type of thing, the vapour transfer, the phantom transfer – we’ve covered them all here.
But for the journalist and their allies on the blogs, such things don’t exist – if Arsenal need a player and don’t get the player it is a sure sign of Arsenal’s ineptitude, rather than anything that is actually going on in the increasingly murky world of transfers.
The ins and outs of transfers rarely make the news because it is not in the interest of clubs, agents, players or money launderers to have them made public, because doing so could well screw up current or future business.
However one little story from the murky world did emerge this week (sadly on a day when we were not so much Untold as Unavailable) and that was the attempt by Tottenham to stop Mesut Ozil from moving from Real Mad to Arsenal.
What Tottenham tried to do was include in the Gareth Bale deal a clause preventing Real Mad selling players to Premier League clubs for a year.   Tottenham recognised, of course, that Real Mad would have to sell in order to afford Bale – not least because of the impending inspection of Real Mad’s accounts over the land deal they have done with the Madrid city authority.   So Tottenham thought they had a chance of getting their own rivals taken out of the equation.

Now this is quite interesting because it goes some way to explain why the Bale deal was delayed and how Tottenham were signing players ahead of the deal to replace Bale.   It was presented in the press at the time that the delays were due to arguments about money.  Now we have found out that the arguments were about this additional clause in the contract.

Four players were named in Tottenham’s proposal: Ozil, Angel Di Maria and Karim Benzema – all of whom were being talked up last summer as possible Arsenal transfers, and Fabio Coentrao, who Manchester United wanted.

Of course much remains unclear, but it is being said that Ozil made it quite clear that he wanted to play for Wenger – having talked to our boss before he went to Madrid.  Real needed some cash from a club that was able to pay sooner rather than later, and so the deal was done, with no guarantee to Tottenham.

Although the ploy failed it is an interesting example of exactly how these things work, and the new ways clubs are finding to manipulate the market to their own benefit.

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27 Replies to “How Tottenham tried to prevent Arsenal from signing Ozil”

  1. This trend of blatant attempts to tilt the playing field is becoming more and more common amongst the more unethical clubs around now, clubs who are owned by people used to the shadier sides of modern day business practice. The loan system is being abused by the rich clubs who are in a position to buy players to prevent their rivals from strengthening and then strategically loaning them out to influence rivals chances. If we look at last summers transfer window we see the example of Chelsea who were prepared to allow Everton to strengthen by allowing Lukaku to go there on loan whilst diminishing Arsenal’s chances by refusing a similar arrangement with Demba Ba. Arsenal’s tussle with Everton for the 4th place is a direct result of the actions of a third party, namely Chelsea.
    What position in the table would Liverpool and Arsenal be occupying now if Henry had not lied about the Suarez buy out clause? And then he has the gall to brag about it. Unbelievable.
    Now we have the Levy revelations, a direct attempt to interfere with another clubs ability to act freely in the market, its a bloody disgrace. Surely the powers that be must get to grips with this ability of one club to influence the prospects of rival clubs.
    I am afraid that ethics is a dirty word now with some clubs, I hope our club never stoops to the levels some of our rivals now appear prepared to go to in order to achieve success.

  2. Just goes to prove what has always been written here about the difficulties of transfers. We are a club that clearly does not knowingly play ball with certain aspects of transfers….like money laundering for instance.
    Agree on the issue of ethics, though find it hard to fault Spurs and Liverpool for looking after their own interests in such ways. To completely misquote Christine Keeler…well they would wouldn’t they…..
    Everyone else is fighting dirty, not an excuse in itself to join them, but in the context of a game, must be tempting at times. Indeed there are times when some hidden AAA side kicks in, I have felt a sneaking admiration for Liverpools stance on Suarez, and even more, at times, wish maybe we had shown such resolve in keeping players…..but then back with a bump as I realise we kept the majority of our finest longer than Liverpool will ever keep Suarez…and actions such as theirs will have negative as well as positive consequences over time. If I was a star player joining them, I would be double checking their release clauses with the finest lawyers out there. But Ultimately, glad Arsenal seem to steer clear of such kerfuffle, lots of slippery slopes await those who are tempted.

  3. Sorry off topic but I have just heard on Talksport direct from Arsene’s mouth in answer to the question ‘are you going or are you staying’….. Wenger answered ‘I am staying’ and that my friends has just made my weekend.

  4. Very wary of anything I hear on Talkshite, but if indeed from the horses mouth, that really would be great news.

  5. This story doesn’t surprise me one bit.
    It merely confirms that the professional element of our national game is now big business.
    Sharp practice and chicanery is the order of the day, in the pursuit of success.
    Accountants and lawyers rule the roost.

  6. There is a lot of sadness in football with the deaths of young men from injury and the dreaded cancer. Tito Vilanova who managed Barcelona (after Gardiola), passed away from cancer at 45. The man was dedicated to the game. I am sure all football fans will join me in passing our deepest sympathy to his family.

  7. Classless spuds, real shame on them. Now we also know what they are smoking at Anfield and everywhere dirty.

    If Arsene says he is staying, I believe him and I’m not surprised he said so. I like AW, he sure knows how to piss the AAA and the media off. Some of them in their usual ‘expert’ mind had predicted his departure this summer. This is great news. We sure cannot lose any player (old or new purchase) we wanted this summer.

    My prayers go to the Vilanova family and the rest of football world on Tito’s demise. Oh death, where is thy sting…?

  8. Hey Mandy, it wasn’t Christine who said that but Mandy Rice Davies. Surely you of all people would know that.

  9. Great to have our Untold back!

    Mandy Dodd,

    Probably because I was never in doubt about Arsene extending his contract, I am not surprised at all by his confirmation of the fact. As I have said a few times before, there is just no way that Arsene would walk away from this team. From what I know about his character, there is absolutely no way.

    Still nice to get the confirmation though.

  10. The media’s reaction to this story sure is telling… it;s all too clear which side they bat for.

  11. Congratulations on getting the site back up.
    Apolgies if my comments on Gazprom and the Crimea were ill advised. Just kidding, I hope! 🙂

  12. It is reasonable to ask why the AAA made the choice to ignore all the available indications last Summer that AFC were stalling because there was some kind of haggle involved, not exactly an unimaginable scenario at the time consdiering that AFC had made many D-Day haggles. The AAA were adamant in their propaganda that Arsenal FC were not going to sign any players. This was, let’s not mince about, it was an insane allegation. When was the last time no players were signed during a summer window? And so, why would that happen the Summer when Arsenal finally began to emerge from their austerity period? Allegations which some people were happy to lap up.

    The meltdown follwing this propaganda last summer on the internet was a staggering and disturbing example of confirmation bias. Possibly interesting to an anthropolgist but it had very little to do with the football.

  13. Possibly the funniest transfer deal in thie history of transfers.
    And the AAA denied themselves the pleasure of appreciating the moment.

  14. Thank you, Tito. We all know Barcelona would not the force that we knew without your knowledge and youth product. Arsenal will always remember you as a great football man and wonderful humble person. Fuck, Mourinho

  15. I’m sure we all remember the protracted negotiations for Ozil and that they were running parallel to the even more protracted negotiations regarding Bale.

    The initial thought was that the Spuds were trying to prevent Ozil being available for the first North London derby of the season, as it was we beat the Spuds without Ozil – who signed for us a few days later. But I don’t think anyone at the time guessed at the depths of the attempted manipulation from Levy & co. Shameful – one should be able to expect better – but Levy has lowered the Spuds well below their previous level of classlessness.

  16. He isn’t that kind of player!

    > 16:09: RED CARD- Stoke’s Ryan Shawcross

    > Ryan Shawcross is already on a yellow card when he brandishes his studs in a challenge with Danny Rose. It isn’t pretty and the Tottenham man yelps in pain as he takes the impact on the shin. Andre Marriner has little choice but to dish out a second booking.

    Shawcross hits the showers for a second bookable offence, because he still doesn’t know how to tackle.

  17. @Gord that Shawcross tackle should have been a straight RED. It was a leg breaker and Rose was lucky he didn’t have all his weight on that leg.

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