Working for wins, not buying the wins. Football the Arsenal way.

By Walter Broeckx

This week we had a bit of fun with a lot of Manchester City fans coming over to Untold after Tony published an article about the FFP rules and how things were standing at the moment. As usual some of them blame it all on Arsenal that there are any FFP rules at all.  And that alone is showing that some of them are not really …how can we put it gently… aware of how things work in the real world.

Maybe a side effect of living in a world where money is no issue and you (your club in fact) can do and spend what they like without any repercussions. One could say that maybe they dream of being able to do the same at home (wouldn’t we all love to be able to do so) and then don’t want to see their dream shattered by those pesky FFP rules.

In the last article I dealt with the ridiculous thought that it is somehow Wenger and Arsenal who are the inventors of the FFP rules. Now I could forgive some because it sure looks that way. I do admit that Arsenal invented their own FFP rules before the name was ever given. It must have been in the first Wenger years when the new stadium plans came above water. In those days I can imagine that the board and Wenger set up this gigantic and ambitious master plan of catapulting Arsenal in to the future and on to another level.

So Arsenal decided to build the stadium and to completely live within their means. No financial adventures, no risks, living within your own means. It has been a hard time…for some. And certainly because of some bad luck, some strange refereeing and some terrible injuries we missed out on some trophies. That led to the barren spell of X years without a trophy that got under the skin of the weaker Arsenal supporters.

A mantra so repeated by the media that even supporters from other clubs say it and repeat it without giving it a thought. Yes it was sometimes painful at times. Yes I would have loved it if we would have won a few trophies and my god we came close a few times. But for me these aren’t the barren years they paint them.

For me they are the building years. Not just the building of the Emirates. No, we have been the lucky guys to have seen the building of a new Arsenal. And it wasn’t the building like Chelsea or Manchester City have been doing with throwing money around as if it was nothing. Buying all that moves on a football field and spend money that came from outside.

We build our new Arsenal in a slow way. And while doing that we were hit by a housing crisis that hit us hard on a moment when we were just about trying to sell the new flats at the old Highbury stadium. And we had to deal with a big financial crisis that still makes victims today in Europe…

So the rebuilding not just of the new stadium but the rebuilding of the club for the future faced difficulties that nobody had predicted when the plans were made.

But despite all that we kept our club in the top 4 of English football. A place that some other clubs would have taken and celebrated it like mad.  We got criticised for celebrating 4th place on a few occasions by the media and pundits. But when the tiny totts beat Man City for 4th place a few years ago they went berserk and nobody said a word.  Yes, it does matter to finish in the top 4.

What most fans of other clubs don’t understand and unfortunately also some of our own fans don’t understand is that the period we have seen is equal to the Norris years and the Chapman years. In a way it is a combination of the two in one.

Norris saved us from bankruptcy and built a stadium. Chapman built a new team for the future in that stadium some 15 years later and founded a dynasty of league and cup winners: Chapman, Shaw, Allison, Whittaker.

Now we have seen the building of the stadium AND the building of a new team for the future in the same period. And as with all building projects things could have gone better and smoother. Yes, mistakes were made. Yes some players left because they didn’t believe in the project (or didn’t believe in themselves anymore might also be close to the truth) or because there was this lure of much more money than Arsenal could spend (enter the big money teams at the same time).

But as the board and Wenger predicted a while ago : things will change for the good after a while. And so they did. For those saying that money doesn’t matter I just would say that they have to look at what happened after we finally could spend a bit of money again. We bought Özil and won the FA cup and were only a few points away from a double. We bought Alexis won the CS and the FA cup again. Only lots of injuries at the start of the season prevented us from really challenging for the league.

No matter what other fans say or think, they don’t really see the greatness of those ‘barren years’. When in some hundred years an new Tony will be blogging and digging in the history of our club when celebrating Arsenal being 200 years in the top of English football they will point at this period and say that this was the most important period in our clubs history of the last 100 years.

I have,  apart from one split second on the birthday that I share with Arsenal a few years ago, never lost the faith. I always kept my eyes on the whole and bigger picture and not just the last result.  And it never felt like barren years no matter how many times other repeat this.

It felt like being a privileged spectator of the rebirth of The Arsenal.  A club that has stayed loyal to their fair way of working.  I do admit that it takes a bit of thinking and also to remove the ‘I want it now’ mentality that is so much of this world today. But if you could and can just like me it feels amazing to see this unfold in front of your eyes.

Winning the FA cup twice in a row and the CS (we can win it also twice in a row…) was great and felt as a reward. But I somehow have the feeling that this is only the start of the good things that come our way.

And when we achieve those things in the coming seasons we will know that the trophies we win are not bought. No, our manager, our board, our players will have worked for it in a fair way. And that trophy (which already is won) is worth more than 10 bought league titles or 5 CL titles.  We will win those also, but nobody will say that we have bought them as others have.

Anniversary of the day: 

11 July 2003: Peterborough 1 Arsenal 0 – it was followed by Barnet 0 Arsenal 0.  In fact the club only won four out of nine pre-season games, but still did rather well in the season to come.


106 Replies to “Working for wins, not buying the wins. Football the Arsenal way.”

  1. @Tony

    I sent an email to your “asia” account yesterday & have received a message this morning stating that the delivery was delayed. I am not quite sure what the best way forward is – to ensure you receive the message.

  2. Tony Adams spoke to The Independent this week, and he was asked what he believed were the reasons for the unrivalled success he enjoyed at Arsenal in the 90′s, and he had no doubt that the massive investment from Danny Fiszman was the main drive that enabled the Gunners to buy and keep the best players available.

    “I think that a significant factor, 90 per cent, in why we achieved so much is that Danny Fiszman invested £50m in the club and we were able to go to the next level,” Adams said. “I got my first decent contract at the club, so did David Seaman, we were able to bring in Dennis Bergkamp – and that was before Arsène arrived – David Platt, Patrick Vieira, Nicolas Anelka, and were able to pay them – top players from around the world.”

  3. Yet again another boring Arsenal fan trying to be moralistic and talking about City fans like We are used to our club throwing money around. My first point is most of us followed the club down 2 divisions with the kind of support not seen since or before. Our supporters have done the hard miles sunshine. The second point I am going to make is There is only one club who with a sugar daddy throwing his money around managed to secure a promotion that wasn’t earned and that is Woolwich . Now from that day forward that club has never earned anything because it is in a false position morally and in its standing .

  4. Paul: Adams has often quoted this view, but it is, in my view, slightly misleading. Vieira cost £3.5m and Anelka £250,000, hardly the fees of top players. The boost for Arsenal’s finances really came from the selling of these players – Anelka after two or three years went to Real Madrid for £25m. Bergkamp did break the club’s transfer record of £7.5m and was a magnificent signing, or course, and Platt was signed for £4.75m. Platt’s contribution was considered modest by many and his contract was cancelled in the end by mutual agreement.

    Tony Adams antipathy to Wenger started when the appointment was announced and he said in an interview at the time, “What does he know about English football – he’s French”. I am not sure that, wonderful player for Arsenal though Adams was, his views on management and the conduct of the club in the early years of his recovery from alcoholism are the best source of facts.

  5. I have always doubted the veracity of that story, surely a gift of that nature would have appeared in the club’s books .I have never seen anyone’s account that confirms it.

  6. Jack, I think you may not have seen the earlier discussions and debates that have been had on this site with Man City supporters. I believe you will find only admiration from Walter, who wrote the article, and myself and many on Untold, for people who do indeed follow clubs through thick and thin. Indeed we have been having vigorous debates with Arsenal fans who are ceaselessly critical of the fact that Arsenal has not won the league for 10 years or so. It is the financial model that some of us find unappealing, and although the attitude of the very small number of Man City fans who come on this site to defend it.

    There is also the fact that prior to Man C being found in breach of FFP rules, this was just about the only place where all the issues were set out and the prediction made that there was a set of problems. We received huge levels of abuse for that, but two weeks later our comments were found to be right. That left a bad taste.

    But believe me, no one who supports their team through thick and thin ever should be criticised for that in my view.

  7. Real Madrid,Barcelona,Man Utd and Chelsea clubs that Arsenal are now buying players. Not selling to that’s what Arsenal’s building program has brought about.

  8. Tony Adams was a great player (and captain) and would have been even better without the addictions, but his coaching and management success seems to indicate that it’s not his strength. I’d take his comments with a pinch of salt.

  9. Jack, your fan base has increase dramatically since you’ve become successful again, but I guarantee 100% that the majority of the present $iteh supporters didn’t support them when they were in the Championship (or old div 1/2 depending on which time).
    Make no mistake, $iteh have some great fans and have always had a strong following for their limited success but there is no way that your “most of us followed” comment is correct. Like most PL clubs a large potion of your new support has never been to this country, let alone your stadium.

  10. Tony

    Even if the whole Fiiszman thing is misquoted how about the vast sums put into Arsenal by Granda Media?.

    I don’t mean the £20 million that was pic in by way of partnership for the AFC broadband project I am talking about the monies that were turned into equity. And something that would not now be allowable under FFP

    Yes Arsenal used the money to part fund the stadium but none the less it wasn’t money that Arsenal generated through the allowable revenue streams

  11. You poor deluded soul. As it stands Arsenal have a higher record transfer fee paid than Manchester City, so what’s this about earned? If you’d truly earned your ever so lofty position, every player you had would have been raised from Wenger’s nursery to the Gunner’s first team, but can you claim this? No!

    Just like everyone else you bought to attain success, the only thing that’s getting your goat up is that some can afford to pay more to achieve better success than others which has always been the way of the world and business since businesses began.

    Our owner had a master plan from the beginning which was for Manchester City to achieve a no debt future of self sustainability following a period of accelerated investment and growth. Sound familiar? It should do as it’s a road which has been well trodden by many of the worlds most successful businesses.

    Some do it by acquiring bank loans, others are lucky enough to be part of a well run and well funded group structure where funds are injected as equity and not levied against the business as debt.

    Apparently FFP was rushed through to stop another Leeds, Portsmouth or Rangers happening again but the quite odd thing is that in FFP’s first incarnation all of those clubs would have PASSED!!! So go on, tell me again that FFP was bought in for the good of the game and not forced upon everyone as a one size fits all self preservation solution from Arsenal and their fellow G14 members. Because before you do, please remember the great Italian football club Parma who have recently gone under inspite of FFP being here to apparently prevent this situation ever happening again.

    No-one at Manchester City has ever advocated reckless spending based on debt and hope, what we always stressed and asked for was that clubs like our own were assesed properly for the business model we put forward which has now been proven as one of many correct ways to achieve ones aims and objectives. On what planet were UEFA/G14 on where they thought our owners actions would bring potential ruination to Manchester City? We are now in the top 6 clubs in the world for turnover and are likely to post a profit for the last accounting period. We’re in the top 4 for the world’s most valuable sports brands and all this has been achieved in 7 years!

    If UEFA/G14 had any sense they would have accepted (even if it was grudgingly) our business model and not tried to take on one of history’s most successful business dynasty’s in ADUG, which is exactly what you all tried to do to protect yourselves from such competition. Anyway you and the G14 have tried and failed miserably on that score as the laws of Europe have creaked into action to begin the process of consigning FFP to the dustbin which is where it belongs.

    I know you’ve created another inflammatory blog and made sure it was posted on the Manchester City Newsnow pages as click bait which is kind of sad, but yes I clicked and responded to your deluded attempt at a wind up so well done you…. Mission accomplished.

  12. ‘Working for wins, not buying the wins. Football the Arsenal way.’

    FA Cup final 4-0
    Walcott = bought
    Sanchez = bought
    Mertesacker = bought
    Giroud = bought

    Lies and sloppy writing.

  13. Well of course there is much to like in this post. It follows a train of thought that makes sense. I still feel that Arsenal are only one or two ‘bad’ results away from the moaners and detractors resurfacing. Lets see what happens if Arsenal don’t sign another player that is deemed worthy enough in this transfer window.

    It will also be interesting to see how things unfold at Spurs, Liverpool and Chelsea as they go through stadium rebuilding programmes, both in terms of how each of their respective fan bases react, especially if their teams don’t meet on pitch expectations and how each are subsequently reported upon by the media.

  14. Two fishing trips in a week!

    Goodness me, roll on the start of the season so Walter can crack on with misinterpreting referee bias against the Gooners 🙂

    (You need to go back a season or two to see where my assertion comes from there, happy trawling thru the archives anyone who’s interested, I can’t be bothered!)

    Every article you guys write like this just makes you come across as superior, arrogant Tarquins who think they’re better than everyone else, despite all the overwhelming evidence that you are in fact beneficiaries of sugar daddies and their forward investment, with an unhealthy dose of corruption thrown in for good measure -just like all the big footy teams in their histories.

    One of these fine days you might have the honesty to admit you’re just the same as all the rest of us, human and prone to error, not just the flashes of brilliance.

    We can all see the inequality of income that qualification to the Champions League brings – and inevitably that extra £60 million per season tends to allow you to buy an Ozil, or a Sanchez, every season, which the fifth placed team cannot, therefore cementing in place the top four dominance – an extreme form of financial doping if you will, which destroys any semblance of true competition.

    The Arsenal have benefited from this CL financial doping as much as any, and now so do City and Chelsea – that’s why we’re pushing into profits now, and will continue to do so, so in reality City aren’t that bothered if the FFFP rules remain in place as they were (of course FIFA are trying to change them again to thwart City).

    Well, good luck with the season to come, and with any luck you’ll buy some more gems from your feeder club/ youth academy Southampton, and maybe splash some of that cash mountain your Billionaire foreign owners have stockpiled on another Galactico, and maybe you’ll even continue with that Plan B that Wenger finally used to beat us last season, who knows??? 🙂

  15. Oh, nearly forgot, Andy Mack, you’re probably right about the fan base as a whole, I think Jack was talking about match going fans, who are unquestionably mostly of the more middle aged, who started watching City in the seventies, like me, when we were competitive at the top.

    If you got to any home games, there are only a small proportion of supporters on a day trip, and the stadium expansion is mostly new season card holders if I’m not mistaken, so again, local fans who have been priced out before get a chance for many seats at just £299 a season – amazing value for the locals I’m sure you’ll agree.

    I do hope we have attracted six billion new fans like our neighbours in countries like America, Belgium and so on – we need these types to boost income streams to keep up with our rivals who are mining the foreign fans for all they are worth.

    Soon the City Football Group will conquor the world, and we will probably get an underground bunker complex with a white fluffy cat and swivel chair and everything, all paid for by allowable means – the future is bright, the future is Blue 🙂

  16. @ It’s Grim Oop North you only get the CL money if you enter the competition. We have been doing that for 18 consecutive years. Now that great players are coming to play for us is a result of sound financial planning of yesteryears. Now why are others not in the CL for as many years?

  17. Arsenal have won more trophies (3) than any other English club since the summer 2013.

  18. The accountant:

    I appreciate from your title, and also from the website that houses your email address (which says that it combines Big Ideas, Power Teams, Great Brands, and an Involved Audience to ‘Accelerate Your Success) that you are in the big time.

    And although accountants do have a great sense of being exact I wonder why, if you think we are the purveyors of lies and sloppy writing you bother a) to read and b) to comment. In doing so, are you showing off? Do you think you will make us change (unlikely surely). Or do you really think that we have been saying that the entire Arsenal team came either from the youth system or on free transfers?

  19. Like for like = dislike ?

    Fred is 34 years old and he is still single.
    One day, a friend asked, “Why aren’t you married? Can’t you find a woman who will be a good wife?”
    Fred replied, “Actually, I’ve found many women that I have wanted to marry, but when I bring them home to meet my parents, my mother doesn’t like them.”
    His friend thinks for a moment and says, “I’ve got the perfect solution, why not find a girl who’s just like your mother?”

    A few months later, they meet again and his friend says, “Did you find the perfect girl? Did your mother like her?”
    With a frown on his face, Fred answers, “Yes, I found the perfect girl. She was just like my mother. You were right, my mother liked her very much.”
    The friend said, “Then what’s the problem?”
    Sadly, Fred replied, “My father doesn’t like her!”

  20. ” An honest enemy is always better than a friend who lies .”
    As far as I can see ,neither of them are on here !

  21. @The Accountant,
    The cost of
    Walcott + Mertesacker + Sanchez + Giroud = Mangala + Bony
    Arsenal paid for those 4 players over 10 seasons, City in 1 season!

    Arsenal’s net spend since Walcott’s arrival (05/06 season) = ~£65 million
    City’s expenditure in the same time period = ~£565 million

    But don’t let the numbers get in the way, keep thinking City did not buy their titles.

  22. Josif

    You sound like the one of the Salford’s counting thd Community Shield as a legitimate cup. Desperate or what? Bwahahahahahaha!! 🙂

    The bile you Tarquin’s all spout is just utter and total envy mixed with the fear of losing your cherished CL qualification spot.

    You run your club how you wish, but please don’t start telling us how we should run ours. Our club is run on a completely legitimate basis and the only illegitimacy we’ve been involved with is the failed FFP you helped create and wholeheartedly supported as your only means if stopping us!

    I tell you what, if you think FFP is lawful, I’ll start creating my own laws to suit myself too. How about, I’ll set my own tax rate to suit myself, I’ll also set my own national speed limit shall I. Apparently my car is limited to 155mph so I’ll max it out as much as I like where I like and if I get gripped by the Dibble, I’ll claim that if Arsenal and the G14 can ignore European/UK competition law with their FFP, well I start setting my own rules…… Can’t I?

    Oh sod it no I can’t! Just because I set my own rules doesn’t mean its a law! Damn damn damn!!

  23. I can’t help thinking that Walter was making mischief with today”s article.
    Very provocative , but on the whole a reasonable comparison.

  24. @Dribble (an appropriate name, I must say)

    You call Tony deluded, then go on to say “If UEFA/G14 had any sense they would have accepted (even if it was grudgingly) our business model” etc. etc. So as part of your “my way or the highway” reasoning everybody except MCFC is deluded… And then at the end you set up a proposition with “I know”, when it can only be “I think I know” or at least “it seems”. But nevertheless, as you say, “mission accomplished”. That looks like full-on delusion to me.

    I won’t even go into the rest of that quagmire of a comment, but would just recommend you dribble over a list of logical fallacies with explanations for a while.

  25. Dribble

    Your comment “You run your club how you wish, but please don’t start telling us how we should run ours” suggests you have not fully grasped what sort of site you are on. If you look you’ll see that the headline on this site, is, as it has been for seven years, “Football news from an Arsenal perspective”. We’re just a bunch of fans who like to talk football. If you don’t like the commentary that’s fair enough, but actually trying to tell us what the definition of our blog should be, really is a bit rich.

  26. Shame, the silly season is boring for all teams’ fans – possibly why so many fans of teams other than Arsenal are adding their 2pence here.

    As for Tony Adams, he is an Arsenal legend and I respect him for that, but his strength is definitely not his intellectual capacity. Perhaps alcohol pickled too many grey cells.

  27. Congratulations on defending the F.A cup but please stop obsessing about City. The jealousy is getting boring and you guys seem to forget that Arsenal have spent more on a single player than City ever have. Iit stinks of hypocrisy to talk about money being thrown around as if it’s nothing.
    The barren years you refer to does not constitute ‘greatness’. Greatness is winning honours and making history which City have started to do again. In 50 years do you think those barren years will be recalled as representing ‘greatness’? Keep ripping off supporters from your high horses yawn

  28. @Dribble

    I hold Community Shield as a trophy. It’s an English version of Supercup and nobody would forget to mention that trophy in, say, Alex Ferguson’s CV or in any other country with Supercup.

    I give you credit for Capital One Cup – a rather pointless competition that most of the clubs use for improving match fitness of their players.

    So, since summer 2013, Arsenal have won three trophies (FA Cup x2, Community Shield), Manchester City and Chelsea have each won two (League and League Cup) while Manchester United – despite spending zillions since Ferguson’s escape – have won just one trophy (Community Shield).

  29. Just a day after being accused of obsessing over Spurs, Mike now accuses us of obsessing over Man City.
    Who shall we obsess over tomorrow?

  30. Working is something Alexis does.

    Daily Mail has a blurb up, about how much running players have done in the last 2 seasons, and Alexis comes out on top in the EPL at 10392 minutes of running. Number 2 in the EPL, you guessed it, our BFG Per Mertesacker at 10172 minutes.

    Anyway, it seems that Alexis for at least one group of games, averages about 120m for every minute he is running. Hence, in the last two seasons he could have run to Glasgow and back, and probably a little left over.

  31. @Mike,
    You are aware that City’s highest transfer Mangala (£40 million) is only £2.5 million less than Arsenal’s highest ever transfer Ozil (£42.5 million) so let’s not act like Arsenal spent significantly more on 1 player than City ever did.

    In the last 5 years alone, City has spent more than £20 million for 13 different players. In the last 5 years, Arsenal have spent more than £20 million exactly 3 times!

  32. Performance Enhancing Drugs are often seen as an easy way to success. In fact, one of their main benefits is shortening the recovery period between workouts, thus allowing you to work harder and gain success faster. Arsene Wenger termed the money put into Chelsea as
    ‘Financial Doping’ and in that he was probably correct. The ‘recovery’ period or time needed for success was much shorter than the time put in by the other top teams.

    Manchester City has done things differently than Chelsea – primarily the huge investment in its facilities. I think that this is a good thing. I would think more highly of Chelsea’s regime were they to do the same thing…and it would be great if Arsenal could afford investment on that scale.

    I reckon that my criticism of Chelsea has a lot to do with the singular personalities- Roman Abramovich, Jose Mourinho and John Terry. They get results but their character – judged by what they have done publicly (How did RA get all his money?,eye gouging, racist comments) make them exceedingly cringe-worthy. The money flowing in to the club is what it is. We would like to have more money to spend, I think, but what bother me here is that Chelsea seems to use its money, not just to compete but to try to crush others – buying up everyone it can and then loaning them out. But I live in North America where such behaviour has been legislated against so take that with a grain of salt.

    And, my criticism of ManCity is centred around my own distrust of people who own a country and invest their country’s wealth in a foreign football club. Their business model of building teams around the world is visionary but not in a way that allows anyone else to compete. Buying up players to keep them out of competitors hands…In this way they are similar to Chelsea. They take advantage of the lack of international regulations to try to dominate the sport. But, in one way they are dissimilar from Chelsea. They do not as of yet have anyone that compares to the manager of Chelsea or Chelsea’s revered captain.

    Arsenal has money and viewed from the lower echelons of British football or even the Premier League any criticsm of ManCity or Chelsea would seem to be the pot calling the kettle black. For this reason, I think it behooves us to do a number of things:

    1) Continue to behave with proper respect for all smaller clubs as they understand clearly our position vis-a-vis clubs against whom we can never compete financially. This includes showing respect for supporters of smaller clubs.
    2) Push for global regulations of sport that CAN BE ENFORCED – If the amount of money invested in a club cannot be regulated, the number of players under contract to a club should be.
    3) Continue to emphasize ethics within our own club and treat our players, employees and supports with the greatest of respect. We cannot compete with quantity but we can with quality.

  33. Sammrat Ja,

    you have absolutely, completely missed the whole point of my post, which takes some doing – please keep attending those school lessons you so obviously need, and get a responsible adult to check your posts before you press “send”.

    And Brickfields Gunner – please never change, your ramblings put me in mind of a City fan who used to go by the name Esso Blue, on the Manchester Evening News website – completely bonkers, hatstand, and in no way relevant to the article at hand – but funny 🙂

  34. It’s Grim Oop North,

    It’s actually 3 articles in a little over a week now. I appreciate that summertime is uneventful for football fans but all these articles about City are bordering on obsession 😉

  35. Tony,

    Call me a pedant but “Football news from an Arsenal perspective” is misleading because it suggests that this blog has some official tie-up with your club which is certainly not the case.

  36. Just like to add that I agree about Brickfields – his random ramblings are always amusing to read.

  37. Attempt at humour here.

    Would it be better if they were bordering on Scotland? 🙂

    I was surprised by how much Alexis runs, estimate is somewhere around 1250 km over 2 seasons, and I guess Glasgow is about 550 km as the crow flies. I’ve no idea what the road distance is.

    I hope you guys are surviving the obsessive sillyness of the season.

    Time to get back to harvesting statistics.

  38. M18,

    I do love these goofy gooners, they live in a funny little bubble of their very own, and all reason and fact have little to no impact on their worldview, so we might as well all have a bit of fun when having some top bantz with them.

    I am going to have a go at writing in the style of Brickfields gunners, it’s going to be a challenge, and I may have to go to evening classes, but when I succeed, I’ll be able to translate what the hell he’s on about to everyone else 🙂

    Happy Days 🙂

  39. There are a few twits on the main Arsenal website from Petr Cech, having to do with 33. Hee’s 33 years old, he has played 333 EPL games, a human skeleton has 33 vertebrae, and so on. Some blog is guessing that Petr Cech is going to ask for number 33.

    Fine, it’s a number. I was going to suggest he take the number 30, as it has 3 prime factors (2, 3, 5).

  40. This article was in fact a longer answer to a Man City supporter who came along with the media mantra about x years without a trophy.
    The fact that a few Man City supporters dislike it confirms what I have been saying all these years: deep inside they know they bought the trophies just by being Lucky. Fine for you, but just admit it that it has nothing to do with superb planning from the board or other bullsh*t. You won the lottery and that’s it.
    Not that there is anything wrong with winning the lottery by itself but if you then try to make it sound as if you worked all your life for that money is rather stupid in my opinion.
    In a way many (not all) City supporters are rather similar to many (not all) Chelsea supporters. They just try to prented it was all down to superb planning. LOL did that planning include almost going bankrupt and go down to the 2nd division? 😉 Of course not and you know it.
    Much luck with your gaining of the lottery. I will just keep on working for my money 😉

  41. Nice one Walter,

    way to mix up forty odd years of changing owners and boards at MCFC, along with completely ignoring the fact that your sugar daddies’ forward invested The Arsenal with capital to “buy” players, and therefore trophies – financial doping if you will, hypocrisy of the highest order.

    Are you really suggesting the current board of MCFC are anything other than fine business people, who have achieved all their targets in the timescale they set out? Weird if you are, blatantly ignoring facts and evidence again eh?

    When the Etihad has a greater capacity than the Emirates, is that not generating income the “right” way? All those shirt sales to new fans all over the globe, that is the proper way to run a football club, in profit, isn’t it Walter? Really I don’t know what more City can do to copy the Arsenal to cheer you up frankly 🙂

    Also, what exactly are you personally working hard to achieve re the Arsenal Walter? Are you not telling us something rather exciting? Please tell me you’re taking your coaching badges to take over from Arsene in his dotage 🙂

    tell you what, just go on youtube and listen to Martin whatsisface yelling Aguerooooooooooooooooooooooo at the top of his voice, watch Paul Merson singing Bluemoon and the whole of the Soccer saturday posse going bonkers when we won the league at the very last seconds of the season, probably the most exciting moment in all of football history, that should cheer you up, and give you an idea of why you picked the wrong team to support 😉

  42. 1.2 billion quid “invested” and the best you can do is win a title on goal difference?

    Joe Mercer must be turning in his grave.

  43. It must be grim oop north! The most exciting end to a season was when Arsenal won at Liverpool with 2 goals. Mickey Thomas doing the business at Anfield.

    Purchase of City with the Commonwealth Games Stadium was one thing but the crooked collecting of everything Arsenal (Marwood, Viera, technology, methodology & players) was truly shameful. Renaming the stadium Etihad is sad because it was paid for by the UK taxpayer.

  44. @ It’s Grim Oop North & M18CTID – Thanks , I think !
    After 30 years in the medical field and 9 years a medical student, I’ve come across some very fine shit in my time !
    Oh , the stories of folly and unmitigated stupidity ( of patients , coworkers and staff ) that I could regale you with ! Wait a minute , I already do it on this site !
    Believe me , medicine is truly the best laughter ! It has given me a different view to life and I make no apology fore my zaniness .
    And also having subscribed to Mad magazine for 30 years, has ‘turned’ me to the dork side of the farce .
    Walking in my steps by taking evening classes would not suffice ,as this is a 24/7 undertaking. There is no ON/OFF buttons – just the perpetual total wacko one !
    Each joke or statement is often multi-layered and multi faceted very much like a diamond -and each in turn would give a different view or appreciation to the viewer (or reader.)
    Always look for the sheer beauty of it all and not always for the flaws – for even those give it a special and unique character.
    It is a very slippery slope to attain to the giddy heights of unmitigated humorus nirvana .But the ride is always awesome ! Try it .
    Cheers !

  45. This is a fine example . What have you understood from this joke ?

    An priest was seated next to a little girl on an airplane and he turned to her and said, “Do you want to talk? Flights go quicker if you strike up a conversation with your fellow passenger.”

    The little girl, who had just started to read her book, replied to the total stranger, “What would you want to talk about?”

    ” Oh, I don’t know,” said the atheist. “How about God, or Heaven or Hell, or life after death?” as he smiled smugly.

    “OK,” she said. “Those could be interesting topics but let me ask you a question first. A horse, a cow, and a deer all eat the same stuff – grass. Yet a deer excretes little pellets, while a cow turns out a flat patty, but a horse produces clumps. Why do you suppose that is?”

    The priest, visibly surprised by the little girl’s intelligence, thinks about it and says, “Hmmm, I have no idea.”

    To which the little girl replies, “Do you really feel qualified to discuss about God, or Heaven or Hell, or life after death, when you don’t know shit?”

    And then she went back to reading her book.

  46. Robert,

    We have won it since you know. While winning it by 20 points would indeed represent a much greater achievement than winning it on goal difference, ask any football fan how they’d prefer to win it and I guarantee they’d choose the latter. There’s a video on YouTube entitled “Machester City wins the Premier League – everyone goes nuts”. It was put together by an American with no affiliation to the club and there are comments from fans of clubs all over the world, including yours, saying how incredible a moment it was (as was Michael Thomas scoring that last-minute winner at Anfield in 1989 – my favourite non-City footballing moment ever). I remember even seeing a comment from a Real Madrid fan who said he would love to see his team win the title in that manner, and that’s coming from a supporter of the most successful club on the planet.

  47. Brickfields,


    I now get it, you’re a pastor in a hospital 🙂

    Menace – no, wrong, drink it in, I swear you’ll never see anything like this again 🙂

    Robert – do catch up son, two titles and an FA cup, but no fourth place trophies I will concede 🙂

    Now that Fabian delph isn’t coming to the best team in the land, I have it on very good authority we’ll be putting a cheeky bid in for young Jacky Wiltshire, to augment our homegrown quota – he’ll be a great asset sat on our illustrious bench, toking away on is B&H’s 😉

  48. It’s Grim Oop North,

    Spot on. Walter’s lack of self-awareness about Arsenal is rather astonishing and shines through like a beacon in that post.

    Secondly, his comments about working hard for his money are utterly bizarre aren’t they? He’s literally claiming the credit for Arsenal’s current model despite having no input in the running of the club. How does that one work Walter? Please tell us how basking in the self-reflected glory of Arsenal’s balance sheet makes you a better supporter than me?

    I’ll also add It’s Grim that Walter’s upset that the sugar-daddy owner at his local club in Belgium got banged up for fraud which killed the dream. He’s freely admitted on here in the past that he was loving them buying their way up the leagues prior to that so how he can have a go at City fans enjoying our current situation is a mystery. Smacks of sour grapes to me that his local club ended up with a wrong ‘un as an owner whereas we didn’t 😉

  49. @ Brickfields “…Always look for the sheer beauty of it all and not always for the flaws – for even those give it a special and unique character…” So true and thanks for it.Thanks for the humour aswell.

  50. I would just like to know who this “Sugar Daddy” is that the City supporters are referring to?

  51. ‘M18CTID

    I guess you will have noticed that no response to my challenge re Granadas massive financial input that was turned into equity.

    We aren’t talking about a few million nor could there be any arguement as to did it happen or not

    Granda by virtue of their financial input held 9.9% of the equity which irony after irony was sold eventually sold to Kronke

  52. Gooner S,

    He’s called Danny Fiszman. Some Gooners on here are claiming they know more than your them captain Tony Adams at the time and that Fiszman didn’t put any money in but I’d be more inclined to believe Adams himself, even if he was blind drunk half the time. Besides, David Dein has never refuted what Adams has said so that’s plenty good enough for me

  53. Mike T,

    Yes, I noticed that and that’s a very interesting piece of information that I was previously unaware of. I’m somewhat surprised that nobody has bothered to furnish you with a response!

  54. Gooner S,

    the sugar daddies I’m referring to are the one’s currently on your board, kroenke and Usmanov – both stinking rich billionaires who are apparently not much cop at running a successful football club 🙂

    I do hope they make a better job of replacing Monsieur Wenger when he hangs his duffel coat up for the last time, than our neighbours did when Sir Baconface called it a day, or the dippers when they let Rafa go, blimey, look at how much money they’ve chucked at it trying to get back in the top four.

    Not to worry, when Walter finishes his coaching badges, he will no question probably win the league in his first season by playing football the right way 😉

  55. Kenneth Widmerpool,

    that article is pretty funny, but what is funnier, is that most of the comments from you Gooners seemingly don’t understand it’s a spoof!!!!!

    And yes, we are both second cousins to that typical Manchester United fan, ha ha ha ha.


  56. Brickfields,

    nice tune, prefer the Bad Manners version ‘tho.

    Wibble wibble.

  57. M18CTID

    City winning it on a goal difference was priceless especially from almost every Arsenal fan’s perspective.

    Seeing SAF walking around the Stadium Of Light in a senile like daze of disbelief and confusion, was one of the funniest things I ever saw.

  58. Specials wasn’t it? Loved Bad Manners though. Lip Up Fatty, Special Brew……oh, and Ivor The Engine!

  59. Ive never heard a BM version(if they did one), but know the Specials version well.BM did write lots of good songs.They always seemed a bit more skin than Two Tone though.

  60. Wise blind elephants ?
    Six wise, blind elephants were discussing what humans were like. Failing to agree, they decided to determine what humans were like by direct experience.
    The first wise, blind elephant felt the human, and declared, “Humans are flat.”
    The other wise, blind elephants, after similarly feeling the human, agreed.

    ( Moral of the story ? Maybe they should have asked the one eyed elephant for a second opinion !)

  61. Monastery Life.

    A young monk arrives at the monastery. He is assigned to helping the other monks in copying the old canons and laws of the church by hand.
    He notices, however, that all of the monks are copying from copies, not from the original manuscript. So, the new monk goes to the head abbot to question this, pointing out that if someone made even a small error in the first copy, it would never be picked up! In fact, that error would be continued in all of the subsequent copies.
    The head monk, says, “We have been copying from the copies for centuries, but you make a good point, my son.”
    He goes down into the dark caves underneath the monastery where the original manuscripts are held as archives in a locked vault that hasn’t been opened for hundreds of years. Hours go by and nobody sees the old abbot.
    So, the young monk gets worried and goes down to look for him. He sees him banging his head against the wall and wailing, “We missed the ” R” ! , we missed the ” R” !”
    His forehead is all bloody and bruised and he is crying uncontrollably.
    The young monk asks the old abbot, “What’s wrong, father?”
    With A choking voice, the old abbot replies, “The word was… CELEBRATE !!! “

  62. Brickfields,

    that monastery one is funny as, nice one 🙂

    The elephant one, well, a bit wordy mate, heard it condensed before, much better.

    Apologies, it is the Special doing “Enjoy”, in my defence it always gets played at the end of the night when sobriety is a faint memory, and besides, BM would have done it better I bet 🙂

  63. Grenada bought 9.9% in Arsenal. Sky bought 9.9$ in City, United, Leeds & Chelsea. They both sold all their holdings but never lost their bias.

    @Brickfields – you’ve got competition from the Brothers Grimm when it comes to fairy tales.

  64. Menace,

    A bit of research shows that Granada paid 6 times the going rate for those shares in Arsenal – therein lies the difference. A handy little cash injection eh?

    “The crooked collecting of everything Arsenal”? What, did we steal everything without permission? Crikey, and WE’RE getting accusing of telling fairytales.

    As for the City Of Manchester Stadium and your assumption that it was paid for by the UK taxpayer, well you might be advised to avail yourself with a few facts first – the main one being that in just 3 years time we’ll have paid back every single penny out of the public purse. The following isn’t my work but I’d advise you to read it before casting wild aspersions:

    “According to Sport England (though the relevant report is no longer on their site), the only option if there was no viable tenant for CoMS was to build a temporary athletics stadium for the Commonwealth Games and then scaling it down to a small athletics stadium afterwards. Sport England further said that the difference in cost between that option and the option of building the stadium City eventually got (including conversion after the Games) was GBP 60 million. So this, in effect, is the cost of getting City into CoMS.

    We paid the Council GBP 6 million in cash and transferred Maine Road into the Council’s ownership. That transaction valued the old stadium at GBP 27 million, which was its value in our books at the time. However, I believe that it only realised GBP 14 million for the Council when sold for development, so let’s be conservative and take that sum as the value. Thus, from what City gave the Council when we moved to CoMS, GBP 20 million went back to the public purse.

    We know as well that the attendance-based ‘rent’ payments we made between 2003 and 2011 came to GBP 14 million, and it’s been reported that, since 2011, there’s been a renegotiated payment under our lease of GBP 4 million annually (including a component for in return for us being entitled to sell naming rights). That’s another GBP 16 million in the last four years then.

    Add these sums together and you get GBP 50 million, meaning that three more annual payments will more than match the cost to the public purse of City moving to CoMS after the games. That will be by 2018, or 15 years after we moved in. And we’ll continue paying GBP 4 million per year, ringfenced to finance sports activity in Manchester, for a long time after that.

    Now, I admit that the new stadium was a godsend for our club at the time because we could never have financed it using more conventional funding models. But this idea that we’ve given nothing back in return for our good fortune is simply untrue.

    I understand that the Olympic Stadium has cost GBP 272 to convert for West Ham to occupy it and West Ham have paid GBP 15 towards that – without even being required to hand over their own stadium. They have a 99-year lease and are paying GBP 2.5 million per year, so by the end of the lease, they’ll just about have repaid that GBP 250 million shortfall! Compare this with the public purse being in profit from MCFC within 15 years.”

    Now, City have more advantageous lease terms than West Ham. We now are able to sell naming rights, and we keep all revenuse from concerts or other events at ths stadium. But even so, it’s in no way comparable.

  65. M18CTID
    Share price is only value to seller not to the company. Share price reflects the value put by market. So no injection there! Injection is usually in the form of loan. Arsenal is still a shareholder owned company unlike most others in the top 6.

  66. Menace,

    But paying 6 times the share price at the time was rather strange plus it gave Arsenal a handy little windfall when they needed it. In any case, Mike T was saying that some of it was turned into equity which is not allowable under FFP.

    Anyway, that’s something additional to the Fiszman story. It’s telling that when Fiszman was purported to have put his money in, Arsenal’s net spend rocketed in the 95-96 and 96-97 seasons, yet the turnover didn’t. In fact, in 95-96 the turnover decreased on the previous year. That strongly suggests that someone, somewhere, gifted Arsenal significant monies to go out and start spending big on players.

  67. M18CTID

    The monies came in two sums. £47 million on 7 September 2000. Of that sum £20 million was in respect of a joint venture between Granada and AFC called Arsenal Broadband the other £27 million purchased 5% stake and in December 2003 they injected another £30 for a further 4.9% of what was increased equity in Arsenal. the shares werent purchased from one of the existing shareholders.

    There of course is nothing wrong in any of this, in truth iit was a clever move but it once and for all dispels the myth put out by some and believed by others that Arsenal have not had this sort of cash injection

    One of the interesting things that I had overlooked previously was that when this was all agreed the estimated net cost of the new stadium was going to be £100 m

    Eventually Kronke purchased on behalf of KSE the 9.9% of Grandas share in Arsenal and also their share of AFC Broadband for less than Granda had paid initially

  68. That’s very interesting Mike T, so you’re saying the Arsenal were forward capitalised in exactly the same way as City and Chelsea, and taking into account football transfer and wages inflation, was not too dissimilar in it’s outcomes – i.e the Arsenal won trophies by gaining an “unfair” advantage via “Financial doping”, and indeed setting in motion a spiral of inflation which caused many fine old clubs to go to the wall trying to compete? Like leeds United?

    Goodness me, I think some apologies are in order don’t you 🙂

    Commmences holding breath 🙂

  69. Mike T,

    Thanks for the clarification mate.

    It’s Grim Oop North,

    I’ve a funny feeling you may be holding it for a fair while!

  70. Great topic. Thanks for dropping by, City guys. Excellent points throughout. And so brilliantly argued there were not much space left for the typical complacent counter-attacks from the hosts. Maybe there’s more than one truth, after all?

    But I’m sad that Mr. Know-it-all a.k.a. Jambug chose to ignore this debate. It could’ve been so rewarding to see him trying to cope with the visitors.

  71. Cope with what?

    City-lads’ claim is, “20 years ago Arsenal received 50m owner investment – and we have proof. Tony Adams said so. And 50m then is the same as 1.2 billion now, cause we say so.”

    I’m laughing.

    Arsenal is run in a sustainable manner. City is a vanity project.

    Financial doping has got you back to where you were with Joe Mercer 50 years ago. Now let’s see what happens when your sheikh gets bored – or is told by his seniors to stop frittering state money.

    But congrats on signing the English Balotelli. 49m and 200k per week. People said that financial doping would lead to transfer fee and wage inflation. So nice to see you hoist on your own petard.

    And good luck finding another 4 homegrown players at reasonable prices – as you absolutely must to meet EPL regs.

  72. Robert,

    now i know you’ve lost any credibility you might have had, citing the old “when the Sheikh get’s bored” chestnut!

    he’s been our owner for seven years already, and has set us up to rule the footballing world with the infrastructure needed, as a sustainable, profit-making business, like what FiFa asked him to do, and he wanted anyway.

    Also, as a fan would you get bored of your team? City fans are renowned for sticking with the club thru thick and thin, and he’s one of us now 😉

    God help him!

  73. Robert

    Suggest you re read the rules regarding squad numbers in PL .

    Whilst City would be stupid in not having any or indeed anymore but there is not any must with regard to HG players.

    Put another way other you could have a reduced squad in number and not have even one HG player

  74. dieter,

    Thanks. We don’t always have to agree with each other to have good debate – as long as both sides constructively put across valid points and counter-points then we can at least see each other’s point of view. Personally, I don’t think there is just one “right” way to run a football club. The City model works well for City but I appreciate there’s a dearth of multi-billionaire prospective owners queueing up to replicate it in terms of ploughing so much money into every facet of the club to make it self-sustaining going forward, so many other clubs won’t get that chance. The Arsenal model works well for Arsenal but as with City a lot of clubs aren’t in a position to secure funding for a fantastic new 60,000-seater stadium.

    As for Jambug, I don’t know where he is – probably taking anger management lessons. The funny thing about a know-it-all like him is that when you strip things down he knows precious little. Not just about City but about his own club. Do you know last week he tried to claim that Arsenal were a mid-table club when Wenger took over? Funny that as Arsenal had finished 5th the previous season. Then he claimed that Wenger was working on a shoestring budget in his early days yet Arsenal’s net spend in the preceding 3 seasons to Wenger’s first title win in 1998 was only eclipsed by Newcastle! He finished off that post by launching into a character assassination of City’s entire support base!

  75. Mike T,

    I explained exactly the same thing to Robert the other day but he mustn’t have grasped it!

  76. Robert,

    I thought the days of opposition fans peddling the “sheikh gets bored” line were long gone. As It’s Grim said, you’ve lost all credibility with that comment 😉

    As for Sterling, even Wenger thinks he’s a good signing so that’s good enough for me.

  77. Mike T, I have read the rules. Teams must have 8 homegrown players in the squad of 25.

    Grim and M18. I gave you 2 scenarios under which your sheikh would stop. Your knee-jerk reactions are no surprise, but try not letting your emotions get in the way of rational thought. *g*

    M18, Wenger is far too polite to say anything else to the press about Sterling.

  78. Robert you are right if you have a squad of 25 , over 21 year olds ,you have to have to have at least 8 homegrown but you keep saying you must have 8 homegrown players in the squad which is not the case for you could easily have say only 20 in your squad and therefore need only 3.

    There is no requirement at all to have 25 in your squad.From memory other than having a maximum of 17 non HG I think the only other must is to name 3 goalkeepers

    One of the reasons Chelsea had several players play 90% + of all their PL games is that they ran with a squad of less than 25.

  79. Robert,

    Can I ask you something? How old are you? No offence but you come across as a 14 year old kid with your failure to grasp certain simple rules and spouting the same old hackneyed cliches. How on God’s earth would City’s owner ever get “bored”? I can’t think of anything more intoxicating than owning a football club and if I was lucky enough to do so I’d be one seriously unbearable f*cker! Of all his business interests, City is the one that the sheikh is least likely to get bored of. As for your other scenario, again that’s highly unlikely seeing as though owning City has provoked huge interest worldwide and arguably promoted some of his other business interests in an indirect kind of way. The only scenario that I would consider possible for him to walk away is if the volatile political situation in that part of the world encroaches on to his turf, otherwise he’ll sell up when he’s good and ready and I doubt whether that will be for another 15-20 years. In any case, even if he sold up now I don’t think it would impact us too much as we’re effectively self-sufficient these days. But you keep hoping and dreaming that it will all come crashing down for us, there’s a good boy 😉

  80. Mike T, this a quote from the PL website: “All 20 Clubs must include eight Home Grown players out of a squad of 25 for that Premier League season.”

    However, it doesn’t specify whether they all have to be 21+, so I’m guessing that Chelsea filled out their quota by adding 5 under-21s.

    If I’m right, that implies that City would not necessarily have to buy 4 more homegrowns, but could use 4 from the academy. And that would mean I wasn’t as right as I thought I was. *g*

    However, that still leaves City with the need to sell X non-homegrowns before you can buy the same number of replacements, as you’re at 17(18?) now. Not that the hacks understand that with all their talk of multiple signings.

  81. M18 – tsk tsk! Your irrational side is showing. No offence, of course.

    Do you think your sheikh is happy to have spent 1.2 billion, and not to have bought a champions league trophy? Do you think your current squad can beat Barcelona next year?

  82. Robert

    You are really confusing yourself

    Heres what the PL website said re the 2014/15 Squads

    ” After the closing of the summer transfer window each Premier League club had a deadline of 5pm on 3 September to submit a squad list containing no more than 17 players who do not fulfil the “Home Grown Player” (HGP) criteria.
    The remainder of the squad, up to a total of 25 players, must be home grown. A Home Grown Player means a player who, irrespective of his nationality or age, has been registered with any club affiliated to the Football Association or the Football Association of Wales for a period, continuous or not, of three entire seasons or 36 months prior to his 21st birthday (or the end of the season during which he turns 21).
    Changes to the squad list of 25 may be made during the period of a transfer window. Under-21 players are eligible over and above the limit of 25 players per squad. For the 2014/15 campaign Under-21 players will have been born on or after 1 January 1993″

    As you can see and as said earlier clubs don’t have to name 8 HG players but they can only register 17 non HG.

    Under 21s aren’t included in the 25 man squad

    Now if you really what to get even more confused in the CL the under 21 thing includes additional rules. Probably best we leave that for another day!

  83. Robert,

    by your logic, do you think Stan Kroenke and Alisher Usmanov are satisfied with ploughing all that, er, well, scrub that 🙂

    Do you think they’re bored stiff with finishing fourth (or third) every year, with the odd trip to Wembley once a decade? How awful for them, they can’t be real supporters, and surely must be itching to put their money into some other cash cow?

    Doesn’t compute does it, when turned on it’s head, this bored with football nonsense?

    And what is this “g” thing you keep writing? Apologies for not being as “hip” and down with the kids like you 😉

  84. Here’s a decent article explaining how City are planning to dominate world football, and stay ahead of the competition using digital information for both players and supporters – which I’m sure is not cheating before anyone pipes up with any negativity –

    Enjoy 🙂

  85. Robert

    To be fair to you I think a lot of journalists make the same mistake .

    Our good old friend Greg Dyke has plans to change all this but from my understanding he is fighting a uphill battle

  86. Mike, last thing I read was that he’d been shown the door by the PL.

    And rightly so. Imposing home grown quotas is an easy PR move for the FA, and deflects attention from the lack of action by the FA in key areas.

    Tony or Walter did some research on Untold a while back that showed the strongest correlation to winning international tournaments was with the number of trained coaches in a country.

  87. Grim, I read that press release earlier today. Nice of the BBC to host it.

    Yes, it’s a sensible business decision. No, it’s not cheating.

    However, buying such software and implementing it successfully and in a timely manner are two different things.

    Not to mention that having oodles of data and interpreting it are two different matters.

    Still, I wish you well dominating the Outback with data.

    PS: Sorry to rain on your parade again, but City are well behind the curve vs Arsenal. We bought our own analytics company a while back.

    PPS: *g* = grin

  88. Robert

    From my understanding the changes are still being pushed for although from what I am lead to believe if the changes had been voted on they would have been rejected. Here’s what are the proposals are and for which consultation is stated as still progressing

    A change in the definition of home grown player to any player, irrespective of their nationality, who has been registered with any club affiliated to The FA or Football Association of Wales (FAW) for a period of three years prior to the player’s 18th birthday (currently the definition states a home grown player has to be registered with The FA or FAW for three years before their 21st birthday).
    A reduction in the maximum number of non-home grown players permitted in a club’s first team squad of 25 from 17 to 13, phased over four years from 2016. This would have the effect of ensuring that in a squad of 25, 12 players would have to be home grown.
    The introduction of a requirement that at least two home grown players are also club trained players (a club trained player is defined as any player, irrespective of nationality, that has been registered for three years at their current club prior to their 18th birthday).

    Quite radical changes and don’t be at all surprised if they are brought to the table with very minor changes . For instance the number of non HG reduced not to 13 but 14 and the 19th birthday being used and not the 18th as quoted above

  89. Mike, radical changes indeed. Unworkable, in my view. One wonders how much another Sterling would cost under the most extreme scenario.

    Oh well, time will tell.

  90. We are a business so boredom or not is really of no concern the issues is money making and expansion and the time it take to reach certain goals these mean that our owner will be around for decades i think

  91. Grim, Kroenke is a businessman who owns one(or more?) sports clubs in the US.

    Sh Mansour is not a businessman. His boredom would arise not through boredom with football per se, but boredom through not winning trophies (CL especially) or attaining other targets his advisers told him would come courtesy of his 1.2 billion.

    Just my opinion, of course. *g*

  92. Robert,

    Wrong again mate. Sheikh Mansour IS a businessman and arguably a better one than Kroenke. He has a diverse portfolio and better and more influential contacts — rumours that he has Barack Obama on speed dial – and on the day he bought City it was the smallest of 3 (I think) business transactions that he conducted on the same day. This is a man that, at the height of the UK banking crisis, bought a chunk of shares in Barclays Bank to help stop it falling into government hands (and therefore saving the UK taxpayer some money) and then sold them for a £2 billion plus profit a year or so down the line. What non-businessman does things like that?

  93. Robert,

    I did not know the Arsenal have bought their very own IT company, that somewhat rains on my parade, but being a Manchester lad, I’m quite used to it, in fact it feels safe and familiar to lag behind and fail spectacularly 🙂

    however, jesting aside, from what I’ve seen so far, my money would be on City to get the results we want!

  94. Hmmm – I see the net spend argument rearing its head again.

    There is loads of evidence and research that shows a direct correlation between total wages paid and the finishing position of a team. (i.e. the higher the wage bill, the higher the team will finish in the league).

    I have previously seen evidence that prior to the ‘supposed’ Fiszman investment Arsenal’s wage bill was that of a mid table team (i.e 9th or 10th highest wage bill in the league). Afer the ‘investment’ Arsenal suddenly then had the highest wage bill in the league for 3 or 4 seasons before dropping back to having about 4th highest wage bill. Funnily enough this period when Arsenal started to pay top dollar in wages is when they started to have success.

    Arsenal’s expenditure getting in players at this time might not have been hugely excessive in transfer fees but what they paid them in wages was. This is what i think Tony Adams alludes to in his book.

    Just wondered if any of you guys have ever done a comparison of what Arsenal’s wage bill was over the years compared to other teams, and also their finishing position in the league?

    Do Arsenal’s ‘successful’ years only equate to when they had one of the highest wage bills or has there been succesful years when Arsenal wasn’t one of the top 4 payers in the league?

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