Waste Makers: how Planned Obsolescence entered the world of football.

By Max Kerr

56 years ago Vance Packard published “The Waste Makers”, in which he analysed the notion of ‘Planned Obsolescence’. He coined the terms “obsolescence of function”, which is when a product is manufactured to last less time than it needs to, and “obsolescence of desirability”, where marketing persuades us that the newer version is better than the older, and we need to upgrade goods that are surely going to wear out any time soon.

I have been put in mind of his ideas by the attitudes expressed around the transfer market. The attempt is made to persuade us that we need to upgrade our current toys (the players) with new, more expensive ones. This deluding is demonstrably overwhelmingly successful. Everywhere, supporters have seized upon the concept, and demanded that their club win the race to the top of the slippery pole of spending. Even on this, my favourite Arsenal blog, otherwise sober commenters have pined for a new player for one position or another.

Contrast this with a different model. You take a young, promising athlete and train him within the ethos and style of your football club. While many fall by the way, even if only by being not quite of the club’s rigorous standards, but nevertheless good enough to succeed at a slightly lower level (I think of the likes of Chuks Aneke, who was one of my favourites, or Ossie Ozyakup, who has gone on to become a success near the top), every so often a diamond emerges. Think Jack, Kieran, Francis, Hector, Alex – and a whole squad more on the cusp of greatness. And all the product of our own academy, from the nascence of their careers.

Or consider another model, in tandem with your own production line. You look out for, and identify, emerging talents, still young, but attached to other clubs. You discuss with them, and their parent club, the benefits for all parties should they choose to move to your club. Think Aaron, Theo, Ox, Calum, Carl, and most recently Rob. Throw in Emmie or Matt and you have more than a team. You have spent peanuts on assembling this team. Moreover, you now have rich assets should you wish to make changes. How much would Arsenal profit if they sold all of the above in today’s marketplace?

Of course, your team would be unbalanced and incomplete; more success would be likely with the acquisition of some truly outstanding finished articles (Petr, Laurent, Olivier, Alexis, and maybe Granit are examples, but the only true game changer for me is Mesut!). However, the home grown team would, I suggest, be competitive in the Premier League, though not title contenders.

What set me off on these musings is the imminent purchase of Shkodran Mustafi. I’m sure he’s a worthy footballer, good enough to be in the German squad, if some way behind the talent of Boateng and Hummels. And once he is an Arsenal player I shall warm to him, as I do all players who don the red and white; I shall be disappointed with him when he makes a mistake and a goal is conceded; I shall shout for him when he heads the winner in injury time; but in all essentials, I will like him because he’s Arsenal.

However, we had just acquired a young, unfinished centre half: Rob Holding. I’m not the only observer who thinks he’s the real deal. I’ve been impressed with his calmness, assurance, ball control and distribution, positioning, and especially his heading ability. Of course he’s making mistakes. Kos still does. Everyone does. What’s going to happen to him now that the expensive toy is arriving? Tony has written elsewhere of the pressure to play the marquee signings.

Whatever rubbish the pundits spout about last minute panic buying, it’s probable that Arsenal have been working on the agreement with Valencia and Mustafi’s agent for weeks. After such protracted negotiations, it would be difficult to pull out – and maybe Arsene does see him as an important addition. But I can’t help wondering if he had been so determined had Rob Holding been with us for a bit longer…

Oh well. The consumers have sufficient new toys now to keep them happy till Christmas, when Lacazette, Griezman, Draxler, Slimani, Iscardi, and of course Higuain, will all be coming for sure. Who will be deemed obsolete then?

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37 Replies to “Waste Makers: how Planned Obsolescence entered the world of football.”

  1. Excellent piece. This constant short term view that you can buy instant success, so en vogue among the Twitterati FIFA afficianados, is something I see in all walks of life these days, the “buy new, replace instead of fix” mentality. I would have been happy to see Holding continue to impress alongside Kos but this seems likely to be a thing of the past with the new guy coming in. There have been a couple of errors of course but he is far more reassuring than young Chambers in my opinion and with excellent decision making and anticipation for one so young. I do wonder if there would have been quite so many hysterical calls for a CB had we paid £30 million+ for Holding instead of the 2 million reported.

  2. This echoes my feelings exactly Max. Thanks for writing this. What of Chambers and Gabriel by the way? More Gabriel, really. Is he 3rd choice again after the Mustafi splurge? Slowly, Arsenal are buying more and more. Like everyone else. And this will only become worse once AW leaves one day, whether that’s next year or 3 years later. Football, even with Arsenal will just be about flashing your new toys every year.

    Think of it. Without Mustafi we had Per, Kos, Gabriel, Chambers and Holding at CB. With Nacho and Debuchy able to play there in a pinch. Lets assume Debuchy is gone. That’s still 6 players who can play CB through the season.

    Per would come back late sure. But even so, you still have 4 CBs for 3 months. Gabriel was coming back anyway, fairly soon. What was the point of splurging so big in a position that was well covered? If it was an Arsene’esque gamble at 10 or 12 million, sure. But 35 million for a CB? Its ridiculous.

    Sure, it gives you more backup. But did we need it? Really? The only reason I can see this being a logical purchase, is if AW, in his mind has decided that neither Gabriel nor Chambers is going to make it at Arsenal. And with Per and Kos in their last 1 or 2 years in their prime, he needed to act this year. If that isn’t it, while I wish Mustafi all the best and hope he does well – I categorically disagree with this purchase by Le Boss.

  3. Obviously you didn’t want to learn or you were not able to understand. I won’t waste time explaining the article because it’s self explanatory and the writer did a good job.

    The press has drummed it into our heads that new expensive toys are always the best way to go and now that you’ve gotten some even it you wished for more expensive ones; Higuain and co, you seem to suddenly lose your understanding ability.

  4. Do you blame AW. After all the name calling he has been receiving in the press and by so called Arsenal fans, what do you expect. He would have bowed to the pressure and I don’t blame him. Like the article said, we are all craving for new expensive toys irrespective of the quality. Personally, I don’t think Mustafi is worth £35m but if we buy him for £5m (he is worth more than that) we will look down on him like we do Holding, Kos, Cazorla and a host of others we bought cheaply.

  5. If AW had not gone through with Mustafi, and Arsenal had conceded 4 goals in the next game, he would have been crucified. Maybe Mustafi will prove an unnecessary/expensive luxury. Is that so bad? All our rivals have such luxuries in spades.

  6. Bear in mind that Kos is aging and has been carrying a back injury for some time. For a long time we have asked for Wenger to utilise the squad . The signing of Mustafi is for that purpose alone. He will alternate Kos , Mustafi and Holding as his first choice and Gabriel as back up with cameo appearances in cups and occasional league matches. This is why Chambers has been allowed to leave currently he is not as good as the four that are being kept.
    Regarding the post , it is always nice to see players come through from youth to first team but they do have to meet a certain standard . We are putting a number of squad players out on loan to hopefully increase their experience and usefulness to the club. You talk of diamonds but two of your list are worthy of first pick places . You also list a group of players as more than a team and I have to disagree with you that they as a team would be competitive in the league , I feel more likely closer to relegation. None of those are poor players but none of them have really got the presence on the pitch to lead and they need the big signings to give them the confidence to play their football. One maybe two at a time but the whole lot together , not a chance.
    Our academy does not have a great record in producing great players , the last one I can remember is Ashley Cole , others have made it into the team but none have gone on to have above average International careers . If we want to produce players of the highest calibre we need to look at the background before the first team . It is hard to make a case that any of our young players have reached their full potential and is the saddest thing that they have to leave to get the improvement we should be giving them.

  7. @Arvind

    Yes, signing Mustafi for 35 million pounds sounds crazy.


    Arsenal had had five natural central defenders prior to this purchase: Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny, Gabriel de Abreu, Calum Chambers and Rob Holding. Out of those five:

    -Mertesacker is 32 and injured with a return date set around January or so (I apologize if I’m wrong),
    -Gabriel hasn’t hit the ground yet and is injured with a return date set for mid-October,
    -Chambers is still a youngster and was used mostly as a back-up right full-back last season with his rare appearances as a central defender resulting with two own goals last season (Spuds in League Cup and Chelsea in the league);
    -Holding is still 20 with two rather frustrating experiences in the last few months – he got relegated to League One with Bolton and had a debut against Liverpool in a match in which we conceded four goals;
    -Koscielny had an exhausting experience at EURO 2016 that ended with a devastating defeat in the final in front of the home audience.

    Before Per’s return (not before January) Arsenal are going to play at least 26 matches (19 in the league, six in Champions League and at least one in a League Cup) and maybe even more given that he won’t be rushed back due to the length of his rehabilitation. That’s a lot of time to wait and by that time Arsenal might end out of the title race. Of course, using either one of the young central defenders or a make-shift one (Debuchy or Monreal) is a way to plug the hole but the last time we had to do such thing, we were pretty much out of the title race before the end of the calendar year (2014-15). As always, it wasn’t just due to lack of central defenders but also because Ospina and Coquelin hadn’t been in the frame. However, if you can assemble a complete squad, without square pegs in round holes, everything is much easier. Also, a few bad results with a defence relying on either of two young central defenders could provoke idiots on the stands to take on either Chambers or Holding hurting their confidence and inhibiting their improvement in the process. Also, if you play Monreal on the central defender, you lose the best left full-back in the league last season.

    Mr Wenger is an intelligent man, like a chess player who thinks two, three or four moves in advance and sees the whole chessboard. By bringing Mustafi, he won’t just add another central defender to his collection. No. He will also make both Xhaka’s settling at Arsenal easier (both players are of the Albanian descent) and Mesut happier (both play for Germany so Mesut might be more willing to prolong his contract with Arsenal).

    Also, as you might have noticed in one of recent Tony’s articles, interceptions made life a lot easier for Leicester City last season and Mr Wenger probably wants to make us more aggressive and more successful in breaking the opponents’ attacks higher up the pitch. Mustafi had a decent number of interceptions for Valencia last season and Xhaka has already shown his talent in that area. Ability to intercept an attack higher up the pitch will give another attacking dimension to our team, especially with pacy assets such as Lucas Perez, Walcott, Alexis, Ox and Bellerin.

  8. @Josif: I don’t necessarily disagree with any of your points. It is just that it makes me sad to see us spend such a lot and that the ones that we nurtured and hoped would come good, did not. That is all.

    The point is not whether Mustafi helps us or not. If AW has spent that much, I am reasonably sure he will. Le Boss is a very smart man. The point is that Gabriel and Chambers the 2 cheaper buys and ones whom AW would have hoped, would fill in the gap have not performed as expected. Chambers came here in Aug 14 and Gabriel in Jan 15. It fair to say that both have had a reasonable amount of time to settle in.

    And hence, I have been hoping that they’d step up without needing to buy again. That has not happened and it makes me sad now that AW has hence had to buy an expensive defender.

    Perez.. makes sense, because he’s been trying for a few years now and 17 million is cheap for a forward. And we substitute lots in the forward positions all the time. And Giroud, maybe has a year left at the top. So if Perez works, its a huge success at the right price.

    I am not so sure about Mustafi’s price, that’s all.

  9. Mate, we basically agree about everything.

    I mean, I was sad today when the whole story about Gnabry’s departure popped up. I see that kid as a huge talent, bigger talent than any of Iwobi, Ox and Theo – sharp, pacy, gifted, finisher. And now, if the reports from Bremen are true, we are about to lose him. 🙁 Who knows, maybe we will get Draxler for 50-60 millions (euros, pounds…irrelevant) this summer or in 2017 but that sour taste of losing a talent that had once promised a lot will stay in my mouth.

  10. It was obviously necessary Le Prof signed Mustafi who as @porter has pointed out, he and Holding could eventually become the backbone pair in our defense-line.

    That comes to mind. Does Arsenal defense-line have an issue with being oversized as it’s currently constituted with 3RBs, 4CHBs and 2LBs. These are 9 defenders who can all play for Arsenal in the1st half of this season whenever they are fit to play. We all know Mertesacker is out till January. And both Jenkinson and de Abreu are with fitness and injury issues. A loan out of one of Jenko or Debuchy would have been suggested if Jenkinson and de Abreu have no fitness and injury problems. Has this lack of fitness of Jenkinson and injury to de Abreu forced the Le Prof hand to keep 9 defenders at Arsenal for this 1st half of the season’s campaign? Otherwise, the correct size number of our defense-line shouldn’t be more than 7 defenders at a time. Mark us, Holding who can be called upon to play is not in the list of the 7 senior defenders who should be the correct size number in our defense-line.

    With the rumour of Jack Wilshere exiting on loan, our senior midfielders have been trimmed to the incorrect size of 6 which currently consisted of Ozil, Cazorla, Ramsey, Coquelin, Elneny and Xhaka. Is Le Prof going to sign a new midfielder or promote one from our Under 21 to balance up his midfield options?

    We now have 6 forwards of, Giroud, Walcott, Sanchez, Iwobi, Oxchambo and Perez to choose from. I think we are okay in this forward department.

    2+9+6+6 = 23 is the current size of the Arsenal senior squad by my own calculations. If Le Prof can solve the current oversized issue in our defense-line by loaning out one of his right back, should we expect a new midfielder signing during this transfer deadline day activities?

  11. Just as Abrahmovic’s money distorted the transfer market some time ago, the Sky deal is having a disproportionate effect on current prices.Teams approached for a player by a Premier League team think that it’s Christmas day,when that team is known to be cash rich it becomes New Year and Bonfire night.
    European teams are jealous of the money sloshing around in England which is the basis behind the new Champions League format , they will push the price as far as they can to get their paws on some of it.

  12. If there was anything likely to make a young foriegner wish to go home , a season being ignored by Pulis followed by a successful Olympics would seem to be the perfect catalyst.

  13. That’s exactly it Josif. You are spot on. It is completely irrelevant even if we win the damn quadruple. We’d have just spunked money, bought players and the players won it. It’d prove nothing, except that money is practically everything.

    Sure, for a day I’d be happy that AFC won the league. But, it isnt a big deal. Its just ‘My fancy toys happened to be a bit better than yours’. That’s all. It means nothing to me. Absolutely nothing.

    But the qualifying for 4th through those years of austerity? And building a stadium before it became the ‘thing to do’ like now, that’s priceless. And that’s what I will cherish. With so many players who weren’t in the top bracket, somehow we stayed up there. That will mean more than the quadruple we might win some day.

    Sigh. You’d think I was happy today. But I’m not. I’m very sad. That Gnabry is mostly gone. Chambers is mostly gone. Jack of all people might go. And we’ve spunked a lot of cash. A real lot. 🙁 🙁

  14. While the purchases of the new players may be viewed as Un-Wengerlike, I see it as not only an immediate upgrade on what we had, but also building for the future as these players could be around for the better part of the next ten years. Also to be noted is that the spine of the team has been fixed in two transfers – Cech, Mustafi, Xhaka and Lucas. This is both remarkable and commendable. The good thing this time around is that it is unlikely for the squad to be picked apart by the moneybags as in previous years. I doubt if Wenger will get to buy like this again even if he renews his contract which I pray he does as this team can only get better with time.

  15. i think this year gonna be the last year for Per the BFG at Arsenal and maybe he’s not gonna be play regularly. yes, S Mustafi price is slightly expensive due to the clause in his contract but he still relatively young and got a huge potential to develop into a world class player plus he’s a regular for the German national team. it’s quite clearly AW is slowly building the squad to make sure Arsenal will always remain competitive for years to come without disrupting the squad cohesion. the squad is looking strong with inclusion of the new players, sure AW knows what best for the club and the players.

  16. When life gives you too much lemons ….

    I still remember the day I was preparing fresh lime water for the first time…I ended up adding almost five times the amount of lemon than needed. It was a disaster.I had to correct it anyhow.

    How I wish I could remove some lemon juice from water to make it taste perfect again! But alas!

    Some things can never be undone. Some things can never be changed. There was no way that I know of, to remove the extra lime. So what was the solution then? The only way to correct this was to add four more glasses of water and dilute the lemon juice to make five glasses of fresh lime water.

    This made me think..

    Sometimes we cannot undo some things that have gone wrong in life. Some wrong decisions, wrong choices, wrong investments, wrong actions, wrong associations, wrong words or wrong doings can never be undone.

    So what is the solution then?

    When you cannot correct what is wrong, do not waste more time over it. It is like attempting to remove lemon from water.

    *Instead, get busy in adding so many right things in your life that the wrong seems insignificant.*

    *We all have a negative side to ourselves. We may not be able to remove or correct all our negativities. But we can definitely continue adding positive thoughts, positive reading and positive people in our lives and dilute the negativity. We all have to deal with some easy people and some difficult people in our lives.

    Do not waste time trying to change the difficult people. You will drain all your emotional energy in vain. Instead spend more time with the pleasant positive happy people and the difficult people will not affect you any more.

    Everything in your life will never be perfect. Do not waste too much time correcting what is wrong.

    Let us make the most of our strengths , whatever we have and more importantly our time.

  17. Once upon a time, a very strong woodcutter asked for a job in a timber merchant and he got it. The pay was really good and so was the work condition. For those reasons, the woodcutter was determined to do his best.

    His boss gave him an axe and showed him the area where he supposed to work.
    The first day, the woodcutter brought 18 trees.

    “Congratulations,” the boss said. “ Carry on that way!”

    Very motivated by the boss words, the woodcutter tried harder the next day, but he could only bring 15 trees.

    The third day he tried even harder, but he could only bring 10 trees. Day after day he was bringing less and less trees.

    “I must be losing my strength”, the woodcutter thought. He went to the boss and apologized, saying that he could not understand what was going on.

    “When was the last time you sharpened your axe?” the boss asked.

    “Sharpen? I had no time to sharpen my axe. I have been very busy trying to cut trees…”


    Our lives are like that. We sometimes get so busy that we don’t take time to sharpen the “axe”. In today’s world, it seems that everyone is busier than ever, but less happy that ever.

    Why is that? Could it be that we have forgotten how to stay “sharp”? There’s nothing wrong with activity and hard work. But we should not get so busy that we neglect the truly important things in life, like our personal life, taking time to get close to our Creator, giving more time for our family, taking time to read etc.

    We all need time to relax, to think and meditate, to learn and grow. If we don’t take the time to sharpen the “axe”, we will become dull and lose our effectiveness.

  18. Someone once asked a wise man , ” What is poison ?”
    He replied : ” Anything which is more than our necessity is poison. It may be power , wealth , hunger , ego , greed , laziness , love , ambition , hate or anything at all .”

  19. To make it stand , you wet it .
    To make it wet , you suck it .
    To make it stiff , you lick it .
    To get it in , you push it .


  20. Brickfields Gunners

    Yes, this restores the balance by adding positive things to the negative side of oneself, but be aware that letting all of the negative go will swing one completely over to the other side which is just as bad.


    Keep it balanced.

  21. @ Max , a very fine article . Thanks . I do believe that AW will be able to juggle the whole lot of them and give breaks to some as they tire or go off the boil. I think that he’ll get the right mix and we should do well , if injuries are at a bare minimum .
    Up the Gunners !

  22. @ para -August 31, 2016 at 5:12 am – I think that would only apply if life is a see saw !
    I ‘d rather see it as a dark room being emptied of its unwanted clutter and foul odour , and being replaced and filled with light , fresh air , hope and the very bare necessities of life.

  23. The richest wealth is wisdom .
    The strongest weapon is patience .
    The best security is faith.
    And the most effective tonic is laughter .
    May the true be bestowed with all of them !

  24. ✨?I L♡ve this interpretation of *Prayer* ??

    ✨?Prayer* doesn’t just happen when we _kneel_ or put our hands together and focus and expect things from?God….

    ? ?Thinking _positive and wishing good for others_ – is a *Prayer*?

    ? ?When you _hug a friend_ – That’s a *Prayer*?

    ? ?When you _cook something to nourish family and friends_- That’s a *Prayer*?

    ? ?When we send off our near and dear ones and say _’Drive Safely’ or ‘Be Safe’_ – That’s a *Prayer*?

    ? ?When you are – helping someone in need by giving your time and energy_ – You are *Praying*?

    ? ?When you _forgive some one by your heart_ …that is *Prayer*.?

    ? ?Prayer is a _Vibration_- A feeling – A *Thought*.?

    ? ?Prayer is the _voice of love, friendship, genuine relationships_.?

    ? *?Prayer is an expression of your silent being*.???☺

  25. PRAYER 2

    Husband tells wife that he is going for a 3 day church conference.

    Wife packs his bag, prepares breakfast for him and says, “Darling, let’s pray together before you leave.”

    Husband says, “Yes.”

    Wife prays loudly, “Oh Lord! Grant my husband travelling mercies.”

    Husband: “Amen!”

    Wife: “Oh Lord! Let my husband’s mind not waver. Let him become impotent, if he commits adultery.”

    Husband: Silent !

    Wife: “Oh Lord! If he commits any adulterous act, let him not come home alive.”

    Husband silent. Now starts sweating!

    Wife: “Oh Lord! If he cheats his wife, kill him…”

    Husband: “Oh shut up! I am no longer going! The holy spirit just told me that the meeting is cancelled!”


  26. Great Article Max, and fascinating debate between Arvind and Josif to follow. Goes to the heart of what sport is all about. Is it just about winning (Mourinho)? or does it matter how you win (Wenger)? The French are currently debating whether or not to follow the British model of investment in Olympic sport. There is a feeling in France that Britain has ‘bought’ its success.

    Personally speaking I am happy. I think Wenger gives more opportunities than most to young players, and is yet to make a serious error in letting one go. This is pretty impressive in over 20 years when you look at how much Manchester United are paying for the mistake they made in letting Pogba go for free (btw Wenger tried to get him when he left Man U)

  27. I have to add that we can get a bit precious about “homegrown” players. The idea that Arsenal is a club representing the local community in Islington is pretty out of date and over-romanticised. We all love to see people like Wilshere or Cashley make it, but we shouldn’t get too carried away with it. We think of Bellerin as ‘one of ours’, but of course he isn’t really (as Cesc’s DNA taught us), Holding is not really one of ours either.

    The ones I am really sad about are Jenkinson and Wilshere. Jenkinson comes from a true Arsenal family and Wilshere has truly been with us since boyhood. However, in both cases, I think Wenger has given them more than a fair chance. Sadly, I don’t think Jenkinsson is going to be good enough to be a regular first teamer. Jack is even sadder. Injuries sometimes destroy careers (Diaby) and I am beginning to fear that Jack will be one of those. Most careers destroyed by injury are academy players who we haven’t even heard of. Few players who sustain serious injuries at 14 or 15 will make it as professionals, and in some ways these hidden cases are even sadder than Jack’s. Its a real heartbreaker to see Jack leave, but lets hope its only temporary and that it is just what he needs. In his case at least, there is still hope.

  28. An interesting example of whether it matters ‘how you win’ is Na$ri and Cashley, who both won titles after chasing the cash out of N London. When interviewed immediately following their triumphs both men mentioned how their victories justified their decisions to leave Arsenal. This seems like an odd thing to say when you are celebrating a triumph with your teammates. It suggests to me that both men knew in their hearts that they had done the wrong thing. They bit the hand that fed them, and I think they knew exactly what they had done. It seemed to me that their victories were a little hollow. I’ve often wondered if the wonderful Sol Campbell had a little bit of this feeling in his heart too? I hope not because he is one of my all time favourite players, but it would be only human if he did.

  29. Tim. Did you ever stop to think that the person interviewing Nasri and Cole with their medals,asked them if their victories justified leaving Arsenal, considering the abuse and accusations that they left for money only? Or do you think they just came out with it spur of the moment? They got to win Championships and in Coles case a Championships League medal, while earning more money, and you think that they knew they did the wrong thing? Funny.

  30. Tony, why do all of my posts go into moderation? Having a good idea of who you are, your background and what you’re about, I find it very flattering. And even more enlightening, specifically with regard to your character and motivations. Thank you.

  31. TJ, although we are not operating an exact science in terms of moderation and banning there is a rough grading, some of which, as I have often said before, is automated.

    But generally if a correspondent writes in a way that suggests that he or she has not read or is deliberately ignoring the guide to commentary on the site, then that person will be put into moderation consistently.

  32. TJ I don’t understand how a person having a sense of morality is funny. Whether the sense of morality is one that we agree with or disagree with, having a sense of doing the right thing in a moral sense is a significant part of humanity.

  33. Hi TJ. I watched both interviews actually, and in both cases the comments were unprompted, that’s why I thought they were interesting. If the journalists had asked the question, then I agree, there wouldn’t have been anything remarkable about what Cole and Nasri said, but they didn’t. I think this is particularly interesting in Nasri’s case. Nasri only spent three seasons at Arsenal and they were not particularly remarkable ones. The club seems to have made a great impression on him. Cole’s deep affection for Arsenal is less hard to understand, as he was there as a boy, was part of the invincible team, and clearly owes Wenger a lot.

  34. Are you actually trying to claim that a person who leaves one job to go to a better paid job with better prospects is immoral? That any employee has a moral obligation to AFC, who employ some staff on zero hour contracts. The same staff who had to fight for London living wage? Is that what you’re trying to say?

  35. ‘AFC, who employ some staff on zero hour contracts’

    All matchday staff including stewards. Having known, and worked, with several individuals who were employed by London clubs for stewarding or other roles, they all had full time weekday jobs elsewhere and their football-related employment was based around a desire to be involved in some capacity with that particular club. Arsenal aren’t operating some kind of sweat-shop economy here, it’s simply a simple and flexible arrangement common to the staffing setup of large-scale events management.

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