I’ve always believed the Mr Abramovich is a complex man – loads of cash, of course, no worries how his businesses do business, obviously, but something else too. My view (and of course I have no inside information from his psychiatrist) is that he not only has to win at his game, he has to win at your game too.
Arsenal’s game, as we all know, is the youth policy to end all youth policies. A youth policy so amazing that there is now a football expression, used by clubs like Newcastle Zebras and Everton-Bolton that they will achieve success by “doing an Arsenal”.
CSKA Fulham have had this aim too – they have had success by buying everyone under the sun, and then keeping the ones that work out while throwing the rest on the scrap heap. The famously played in the -1.5 euro cup final (in which the two teams owed £1.5 billion between them). They bought the league too.
But that was not enough – they wanted to do it again by using the Arsenal system. So Frank Arnesen was nicked from the Tiny Fantasists to create the new CSKA Yoof. And it flopped.
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So in true Russian style Mr Arnesen will be sent to Siberia. Roman Abramovich sees the work of his chief scout and director of youth development as a multi-million-pound cock up. It is that because while they were stealing the likes of that thoroughly moral and nice A Cole, and other players right left and centre, not one youth signing that they stole made it to the first team.
Mr A, boss of the CSKA crowd, has already sacked the whole of his scouting staff – an amazing 15 people. Mr Arnesen then said it was because Mr Abramovich was running out of dosh (see Weekend Avisen, in you speak Dane).
Arnesen moved from the Tiny Fantasists to CSKA for £5 million, and Arnesen said he was producing the best youth programme in the world. It is interesting to compare what they have got there with the players that have come through at, oh I don’t know, who shall I choose, well, err, Arsenal?
50 CSKA scouts wander the planet looking for young boys. Many earn £100,000 or more. It is massively bigger and infinitely more expensive than the arrangement at Arsenal.
And just as the way in which Mr Arnesen was got from the Tiny Fantasists (highly dubious) and the way they got A Cole (high dubious) so the way they get the kids is highly dubious.
So what? Well, first it means Mr Abramovich can only do things he can buy. Second it means that maybe just maybe he is getting a bit fed up. Which would be amusing.