Ok, I’m panicking. I’m freaked.


And I need the optimism and positivism of Untold NOW!!


FFP is out of here and even Arsene Wenger has seemingly given up on it. Jesus, what the f…?


I thought FFP was going, you know, ok.  Not fully fledged (yet), not perfect (for sure) , not unchallenged (there was bound to be a fight) but, nonetheless, making some difference at least. 

The bottomless-pocket spending of Chelsea and Man City seemed to have been curtailed (a bit) and they seemed to be having to sell players in order to invest in new ones. 


And Arsenal, with its new sponsorship deals, was spending now and, to a much better extent, competing in the transfer market once again. Having been dubious of Arsenal’s strategy over recent years, I was beginning to believe we might just be able to nudge our way back after all. 


There’s a way to go still I know but Ozil, Alexis, a trophy, another cup final coming up and a deeper squad overall was giving me some grounds for optimism. And if Arsenal, this summer, could continue to invest in line with its new found income, we might buy another player or two from the top drawer to complete the job. And, although Chelsea and City might also invest, the FFP would prevent them from blowing us out of the water completely.


But our FFP safety net has been taken away. And the rich can throw their coins in the air, guzzle on their grapes, caviare and wine… and indulge, indulge, indulge …without restraint. 


As I recall it, according to Mr Gazidis, our plan, should FFP ultimately fail, would be to stick with our commercially responsible, self-sustaining business model and do our best in the circumstances. Mr Kreonke isn’t going to join the orgy. At least not using his own money.


Doesn’t that mean effectively that we will be massively outspent, miss out on the best players and watch while those clubs with richer and more inclined owners sweep all before us and pot all the pots?


Whatever disagreements I may have had with you Untolders in the past about Mr Wenger, I am looking for some of your renowned upside. 


I know for you guys being a fan is about supporting the club as it goes about doing its business the right way. And winning isn’t everything. But winning is something, right?


It’s going to be ok isn’t it? Guys?



The books


  1. Fret not Fishpie of course it will be OK. We have got the one thing the oilers do not have and that is Arsene Wenger. Trust him to do us proud, starting with the FA cup in a couple of weeks.

  2. Clubs with more money will always be able to take more, and bigger risks on players, however it doesn’t affect how effectively they can use them or how many will ultimately pan out. I think, as long as it doesn’t get stupid, we’ll be able to compete for the kind of players we need, anything else is up in the air, even without financial steroids.

  3. We all know AW always have a rabbit in his hat. He has been outsmarting everyone in recent years, so I’m expecting another pleasant surprise next season!

  4. We all know that this team is capable of blowing everyone away, this is why some of us get frustrated at some of the performances, but these are just the little tweaks that constantly need to be made both physically and mentally and a good balance between using our (now big squad)many available players throughout the season.

    We can see this clear, and even when the “big moneyed” teams park the bus, this is a sign they fear our football. I must point out here ManU did not park the bus, they came at us, this is probably why they are our rivals and not Chel$ or Manc$.

    Look at Chel$ and Manc$ attempt to get Arsenal players so they can get inside info on how we train 🙂 and they do attempt to play as we do.

    Ok a few additions to the team should always help to improve, and i am sure that if the players AW has in mind are available (price and willingness) then he will add them, no doubt at all.

    For some reason the team loses that URGE, that FIRE that DETERMINATION in some games, and we all know this is a no no. So until those things are there in EVERY game we will falter at times. This is actually the time when others that are straining to get to play be given a chance and to rest one or two players.

    I actually think that players should only play 5-6 games then playing only 45 mins in next game or not at all if looking tired. This will allow the “2nd” players to get a chance to blend with the rest of the team, for i have noticed that when players are swapped or moved, sometimes we falter until a sort of feel is developed again.

    All in all, i am waiting for AW’ next masterpiece which is surely to be unveiled next season. 🙂 When this team takes off properly.

  5. I had serious doubts it would ever work. So I was delighted this summer to see real evidence it had.

    City would have bought more, but even clearer was the effect it had on PSG- who couldn’t pursue Di Maria. Unlimited budgets, which effectively are what PSG and City have, don’t exactly kill my hopes for, and our chances of, success, but they sure do hurt them.

    It’s not the giant transfers of massive wages that kill me, per se, it’s the vision of football where making mistakes in your recruitment does no long-term harm.

    True, it might be a pain even for billionaires to spend huge sums on players who end up disappointing, and if you got a bunch of them wrong one year, oh no, it might just cost you your chances in the league (though in PSG’s case, probably not) and champions league, but then you just…spend loads more again. You should be hurt quite badly in football when you spend big and get it wrong.

    And, with any real sort of budget, even a huge one, this is the case : what you spend on one thing/player is money you cannot spend on another; this gives hope to others who cannot spend as much but can hope to use their money better than you.

    It also means even the richest have to think hard before using any of their money- for instance there could be a very promising * 18 year old who interests all the big clubs : a proper valuation of him is somewhere between 6 and 10 million. When you have a budget, no matter how large, you think hard about it, and you don’t pay much over that unless you are fairly convinced he will make it for you. With an unlimited budget, things are totally different : you think he might well make it, that’s enough, let’s pay a price the others won’t pay. If it doesn’t work, so what? Next year our budget is near unlimited, too.

    I hate it, and if FFP is breathing its last it is very bad news for our chances in the years to come.

    The bright side is simply that we are in a stronger position than we were. There are still players who will not join clubs unless they are convinced they will play enough, or whose choice is not solely determined by the highest wages. Sanchez and Ozil are clear examples to me of guys who could undoubtedly have earned more elsewhere. All they had to do was wait.

    That said, and moving from the bight side again, who knows? Maybe City, PSG and Chelsea were not faster out of the blocks, or even in the bidding for those two, because FFP was a big issue for them at the time. If City were aware of Sanchez coming on the market, they had to decide between the defender they thought was essential, and Sanchez (who had been a major target for them years before. I read he was even followed around by them on his off time to suss out his character! He passed, but so did the scouting regime, from City to Liverpool, who had been desperate for him before he opted for Barca). Without ffp, no problem, just go after both.

    Sorry, Fishpie, but there’s no way of looking at it other than a very bad thing for the club. We have to hope the team’s cohesion continues to grow, that everyone vital stays, and that we don’t miss any major targets we might have as a result of this.

    They can’t buy everyone, but they can give it a damn good shot.

    *Joe Gomez and Patrick Roberts seem perfect examples. Two excellent youngsters who were both superb when England’s under 17s won the Euros last summer. Neither are at the biggest clubs (Charlton and Fulham), all the big club’s are surely thinking seriously about bidding. With an unlimited budget, the choice becomes easy : Sure.why not? You’re not sure, son? Does an extra 5 grand make a difference? Ten?…

  6. Mick, DR and Michael… good, good… yes …Arsene… it’s true… despite his lack of trophies he was still able to woo Ozil and Alexis… he still commands respect among enough big players…so yes perhaps he can still do the business this summer… but bugger, the club predicated its plan on FFP and the speculation is that there are many clubs around Europe looking to sell to other rich individuals who will make it even more difficult.

    Our board and Arsene got it wrong about FFP. I hope they have the imagination and entrepreneurship to come with other income sources going forward though. We can’t rely on Arsene’s ability with magic hat forever.

    Can’t help worrying our Board isn’t at the cutting edge of innovation and new thinking. I hope the Kreonke boys and Ivan aren’t going to stick their head in the sand. Time to be proactive methinks.

  7. I was beginning to think that they had cloned “our” Henry and stole his money and now all we see is a clone on TV, like all the other clones.

  8. Rich…yes .. that’s good too. Owners may be rich but that doesn’t mean they will not be careful how they spend and given there is a limit on the squad numbers and how its made up (homegrown vs imports) there is a degree of restraint. I think the long term battle is now as much about who you’ve got on the Board as much who you’ve got on the pitch.

  9. We were massively outspent by Manchester United in the time of the Invincibles and they took the majority of the titles but we were able to win when we were not hit by injuries and had a settled side. As long as we can have 3 or 4 truly world class players then we will have a shot(and we really only have 2 – Oezil and Alexis…we LOVE Cazorla and Jack and Aaron, etc. – but they are not clearly amongst…say…the top 20 players in the world at the moment) FFP alone was never going to bring us titles…we have to do our part, too. I would say the bones of FFP and our new financial ability may still be enough for us to challenge.

  10. @Fishpie,

    Yes the death of FFP hurts the club, but the difference now is that Arsenal has A) Arsene Wenger and B) a much more settled larger young team than our nearest rivals. If a new player comes in and they were to become a regular starter, they will have to be a real superstar to break into this team.

    The key for Arsenal is to maintain their health next year, which I think will happen with our new medical team. Look what’s happened to the players that came back from injury – Ozil, Koscielny, and Giroud, all came back stronger. With a summer to work on most of the players, think we’ll have more improvement on that front.

    Arsenal could have won the league this year, if it wasn’t for all of the early season injuries, just think Koscielny, Ozil, Giroud, Ox, and Walcott all out for at least 3 months this season!

  11. Maybe I’ve missed something but do we actually know what they mean by relaxing FFP?
    When we know, then I can decide if I should panic or not.

  12. FFP is not dead! where the hell did you get that?

    they are tweaking the rules a little bit to allow clubs to be over the limit if its part of a plan. so an owner or club can go to UEFA and say yeah we are a little over but we have growth in these areas and we have a long term plan to get in the green. if uefa approved that application it would allow a club to be in the red and not face huge fines or squad reductions.

    the argument was a bit along the lines of…if you by a shitty old car, for 500, fix it up which costs 1,000 but also alot of time and effort, and you do it yourself, so that you now have a good car possibly worth 2,500….you should be allowed to do it.

    so UEFA has basically said okay, if you have a plan, but that plan would see you be in breach of FFP for a year or so we have the authority to issue a permit allowing that in special cases.

    UEFA has said they will continue to enforce FFP on clubs. FFP has worked in the way it was supposed to, not to limit billionaires, but to reduce debt. in that redard it has worked quite well. it is, quite simply, not dead, but evolving which i personally think is a very healthy thing!

  13. All I care is about ARSENAL. I want ARSENAL to do the business the right way. Like I run my business. Spend what I earn and not live my life on credit cards.

    You don’t have to look far back. Lessons from the 2008 financial collapse has to be taken aboard by footballing world.

  14. part from walcott none of our players make intelligent runs with good timing.
    Even alexis’s runs are not too great and thats something he ll have to work on. When you dont make those runs mesut ozil becomes ineffective and basically the ball is passed back to him and then recycled back and forth again without any meaningful penetration.

    Thumb up 24 Thumb down 6

  15. Fish pie, FFP is here to stay it has a role in protecting clubs from solvency caused by over spending. Leeds Utd?

    All that is happening is that the rules MAY be relaxed.

    It’s still relatively new so it was to be expected that there would be tweets and rule and amendments. Whatever way you look at it, we are a different club today to ten years ago. Arsenal will always be there or thereabouts, however what we have achieved with Wenger and the boards help as enabled us to close the ‘financial’ gap. I couldn’t give a monkey about Man City and Chelsea or the damage they have done to football. Let the media fornicate over those clubs, most football fans know what they are.
    Whatever they win will be tainted and they will never be able to achieve the respect we hold.

    You cannot buy the class Arsenal has earned, however many trillions of Petro dollars you throw at it. That is why any success we achieve is worth ten fold what the oilers and their friends in the media bang on about.

  16. Financial Foul Play? Why not? There is nothing an expensive player can do that a low cost good player cant. Wenger has proved that players properly coached into a system is better than any tactical team. The one thing that makes it difficult is the crooked officials. Officials rule the game. Cheats are bad but shameless cheats cannot be touched (Taylor is good example). It’s like outlaws in the wild west with the latest sub-machine guns. A colt may be great out of a holster but a gun delivering 200 rounds a minute is more destructive.

    Sometimes I think that a set of nasty brutes added to a team just to destroy skilled opponents might be the solution. It might be, but it is not sport anymore.

    I thank God that Arsenal are gifted with Wenger who has kept ‘role model’ a living term.

  17. I hope you guys are right in it just being a relaxation and that as long as its part of an ongoing sustainable business plan, “investment” will be allowed. I appreciate they are trying to stop clubs becoming insolvent due to knee jerk reaction borrowing. But Arsene was talking about this change in FFP as though it hadn’t done what he had hoped. That’s why I interpreted the term “relaxation” as EUFA face-saving spin and that it actually means the flood gates are open once again. But I guess we will see how this all plays out. I agree Arsenal has “class” but Arsenal is competing in a real world where hard nosed business drive is critical to providing a platform for on the field success. My instinct is the club will need to raise even more money now to stay in touch financially. I think I saw some figures recently that indicated City and Chelsea still generate more commercial income than we do even with FFP in place so I’m not convinced our executives are yet doing all they need to do now, let alone what will be needed going forward. I do however take courage from your optimistic comments. Thank you.

  18. Good to hear from you Fishpie. I have never subscribed to FFP . I am going to be careful here, when I post I always think about the headline ..supporting the club,manager and players. I don’t want to break that . But I believe that we have an owner, who has done nothing legally wrong, but an owner who has elected not to put money into the club , at a time when many owners have put money into their clubs. I could go further , I believe in the NAV perception of things, is it possible Wenger was trusted to build up a sum in reserve on top of competing with owner funded clubs? Nowadays, we can stand on our own, financially, thanks to our genius manager, who had to compete with the sugar daddies ,oilers, but had an owner who put nothing in, quite possibly instructed an amount to be held in reserve , for whatever means…controversial I know….. With Wenger taking the flak for over caution and under spending in the name of FFP when in reality, at least some of this may have been down to the owners restrictions, I refuse to believe the smart minds at this club where ever totally taken in by FFP.
    And that is why I hold our manager in the highest possible esteem, as does insiders like David Dein and Bob Wilson. I don’t think we will ever fully know the truth of what Wenger has been up against

  19. The FFP was never meant to right all wrongs, nor to actually reign in excessive and extravagant spending in its first few years. Arsenal never predicated their future on the FFP being 100% in force and successful….they are, too smart for that. Here is what we have that most of the sugar-daddy and oilgarchy clubs still lack:

    1)The same manager for 19 years, and the best in the EPL,

    2)A debt load that is manageable and that doesn’t burden the club,

    3)An excellent team chemistry and mix of youth,experience and maturity,

    4)A proven system that does not rely on financial shennigans and trasnfer slight of hand to avoid consequences,

    5)The best stadium in the UK,

    6)The ability to buy mega-players while developing fantastic youth talent as well,

    7)A worldwide fanbase and an improving marketing process that will augment our finances yearly,

    8)A team that, despite the officials and the hackers, still plays beautiful Football,

    9)The ONLY EPL team that has been in the CL for 17 straight years and the $$$ that comes with that,

    10)The clear potential to win the EPL and trophies in the near future.

    I’d say that most of the EPL teams below us would give their right arms for our circumstances!

  20. FFP is not dead – its health and well being may be compromised , but not yet dead . Let us be patient and await what transpires in the end . Everything is still conjecture , confusion and nothing concrete has been carved in stone .
    No one is immune to the vagaries of time and tide ; politics and policy changes or greed and gluttony . No one is too big to fail .The high and mighty have been time and again fallen, or been brought down.
    Arsenal in the meanwhile will go on their own destined path , not at all dependent on the charity of others , but with eyes very wide open and very aware of the thorns , pot holes and pit falls along the way . And not to mention the naysayers , the backstabbers and the ostriches ( whose heads are in those pot holes !).
    We are at present in a good place , and this will not only attract good and positive people and players , but also the dreamers , the righteous and the forward thinkers .

    So Fishpie , take the chill pill , buckle up and enjoy the ride !

  21. FFP or no FFP Barrca appear to have got £50 million together to make a bid for Aaron Ramsey

  22. John L, what is going to happen if the plan does not work? Will they be punished then?

    Brickfields Gunners, no one is too big to fail? Where have you been living this past 2 or 3 centuries? The big big ones only “fail” now when it benefits them, trust me, they have really got TOO big.

    Probably the only thing that Arsenal supporters should be in fear of is: If Arsenal decide to drop their philosophy and start to spend bigger that they are. Of course by Arsenal fans i mean NON-AAA.

    Financial Foul Play 🙂 Super.

  23. @Fishpie

    I’m sceptical of Uefa in general and with regards to FFP well I must say I didnt have much confidence in them. It isn’t going away but will be changing. Let’s see how it changes before we leap of any bridges 🙂

    All said and done it isn’t going to alter how I support Arsenal regardless of whether we win, lose or draw – trophies or not.

    There is much cause for optimism. Arsenal’s next big decision is who to succeed Arsene Wenger. I have faith in Arsene Wenger, that even with the changes to FFP, we will compete for trophies, especially as the demands for repaying the stadium subside. But he is 65 now. How long will he go on? Perhaps he will confound us all and go on until he is 70! But whomever comes in next has to be as adept as Arsene Wenger has been over the last number of years in making the funds you have go a long, long way.

  24. @ Para – During my younger days , I for one , never believed that I’d see in my lifetime the fall of the Soviet Bloc , the Berlin wall and reunification of Germany . Neither did I foresee the imminent end of apartheid .
    All this did happen for some reason or another , and was is for the better or for the worse is open to debate. Likewise the fall of despotic regimes of ‘strongmen’ over this same period of time , gives me hope that we can overcome.
    True , I’m a dreamer and not your usual kettle of fish. I avoid the glare of bright lights and hotspots and the nightlife .Money is for trading services .Not for chasing .
    I chose not to return to my hometown ( the biggest city here ) and started my own practice in a little village where for nearly 25 years ,I have served my patients ,99% of whom are of a different race and religion . They have supported me all these years ,and have accepted me as one of their own.
    Never in my wildest dreams ,during the dark times of O’ Neill , Howe , Graham and Rioch , did I envisage my beloved Arsenal playing such breathtaking and exhilarating football . The trophies will come in due time . In the meantime I AM in Arsenal Heaven !
    So forgive me for being a dreamer and not joining the others at ‘their’ Kool Aid stall .But don’t let me stop you , and , please ,go on have another on my behalf !
    Cheers !

  25. There’s a story doing the rounds over here (in the USA) that Ramsey is being targeted by Barcelona again. How can they get round FFP to even attempt this?

  26. Brilliant stuff guys. It’s why I read this site. Believers.
    May you all have a wonderful cup final, win draw or lose…well, win…obviously.

  27. Thanks Brickfields and OMG. All you both say is relevant and inspiring.

  28. Masterstroke, Wenger addressed the Ramsey rumours in his interview today on the Arsenal.com website.

    It is just more BS.

  29. Brickfields

    Good post there. Not sure if I’ll ever rediscover my own optimistic streak, but I know it’s surely the better way to be, and it’s cheering to see someone who is both optimistic and offers a telling reminder of what we should be grateful for.

    Might try learn a little from it in terms of what I post here (until the next time a ref plays up, anyway!)

  30. Everyone on here seems to be glossing over the negative effect FFP has had on promoting competition within leagues and ensuring the have-not clubs remain outside the cosy cartel of top European clubs that FFP has spawned. The most obvious example of this is the increasingly predictable outcome of so many of the leagues these days – Bayern, Real, Barca, Juventus, Chelsea, Man City, PSG are all high profile examples of how the rich clubs are just getting richer while the FFP rules prohibit anyone taking over a middling club and spending obscene amounts of money to try and break into the top echelons. In reality many of the top leagues have now become as laughably predictable as as the Scottish league which used to be Celtic or Rangers but is now just Celtic. The ridiculous opposite example of this is QPR who, having won promotion and being owned by an ambitious owner who wanted to compete in the Premier League, spent ‘too much money’ in relation to turnover and now, on top of being relegated, faces crippling fines for daring to be better. I think there is an eastern European club who, having spent a fortune before FFP began to bite, have now won their respective league eight or nine time on the trot.

    On the other hand, both of the once mighty Milan clubs are suffering because they are in a Catch 22 position of wanting to spend big to compete once again but risk falling foul of FFP if they do.

    Arsenal and Arsene Wenger have used FFP as a mitigating circumstance for the club’s inability to compete with Chelsea and Man City over the past decade and have pretty much taken a ‘holier than thou’ attitude when preaching the self-sufficient mantra only to now find the rug has been pulled from under their feet.

    While I take an inordinate amount of pride that Arsenal have stayed relatively competitive in the face of Chelsea’s and Man City’s spending I think we should all realise that the game’s finances have changed the landscape forever and tough decisions need to be made. Are we going to stick dogmatically to the self-sufficiency model and watch the obvious big spenders cement their place at the top table while we struggle to keep up, or are we going to call on some of the funds available from the combined wealth of Kroenke and Usmanov (a combined wealth which dwarfs both Abramovich and Mansur) to try and take us to the next level?

    I’m not advocating a spend, spend, spend approach, but in the grand scheme of things, surely making an extra £100m available in the close season from our two main shareholders to bridge the gap between us and Europe’s elite clubs is not going to bankrupt us and not going to jeopardise the solid foundation upon which the club operates?

    The theory behind FFP was to stop ‘superclubs’ buying success ad infinitum but all it did was to concentrate power in those clubs who were able to spend big before the rules hit home…witness the way Bayern now have the ability to stockpile any top quality German player which makes them stronger and their rivals weaker…simples. Chelsea have embarked on a similar stockpiling strategy over the past few years before loaning their purchases out…then, hey presto! new goalkeeper Courtois is brought in at no additional cost and seemingly within the rules of FFP!

    FFP was always going to be impossible to enforce with so many accountants and financial advisers running rings around UEFA. Now that the rules are to be relaxed maybe we can look forward to a little more in the way of genuine competition for the have-it-all clubs. It will be interesting to see just which side of the fence Arsenal decide to come down on.

  31. Thanks , guys . There are times when I too want to be like the Hulk and go on a mad rampage , especially at the refs , the ostriches , stupid politicians and moronic people generally , but I have found that humour does temper one’s sensibilities and sanity .
    Oh the lovely stories my tv could tell you if it spoke ! All those choice comments made during our games , raging at ‘them’ whose name shall never again pass my lips ; , all those ‘Yeah right ‘ type comments at the news and the world at large .
    Thank god that it was all not being recorded !Or I’d be up on charges of blasphemy , sedition , treason ,and intent to generally despoil and derail the ‘good’ intentions of governments , corporations and football bodies !
    There aren’t ant recording devices in our television sets , are there ? Really ?
    Now you’ve got me worried !

  32. City Earn more than you with and therefore have more to spend with or without FFP

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