How can we get the sort of Arsenal that the Anti-Arsenal and Arrogant Amnesics desire?

By Tony Attwood

The desire of some supporters seems to be to have Arsenal getting results akin to those achieved by Manchester United in the 21 seasons between 1993 and 2013.  During that period they won the league 13 times, they came second five times and came third three times.  It came after a period of 25 years without a league title – a period which included a spell in the second division.

Or perhaps to be like Liverpool.   They won the league 11 times between 1973 and 1990 with seven second placements and a 5th.  But they’ve had no titles in the last 26 seasons.

These are the two runs in the modern game in England when one team utterly dominated.   The period when our correspondent who wanted Arsenal to win the league each season or at least be challenging until the last few weeks, came about, would have been happy – had he supported the right club.

It is the sort of thing that you see all the time in Germany where Bayern regularly win the title, in Spain where either Barcelona or Real Mad win the title most seasons, or indeed at the moment in Scotland.  Indeed if you are not familiar with the Scottish league you might care to look at the table today….

# Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 27 26 1 0 73 16 +57 79
2 27 16 4 7 50 24 +26 52
3 27 13 7 7 37 32 +5 46
4 27 10 8 9 46 35 +11 38
5 27 10 7 10 35 36 -1 37
6 27 8 8 11 29 32 -3 32
7 27 8 6 13 31 37 -6 30
8 27 6 10 11 25 43 -18 28
9 27 6 9 12 29 45 -16 27
10 27 7 6 14 32 54 -22 27
11 27 4 12 11 26 39 -13 24
12 27 4 10 13 31 51 -20 22

Here you will see that not only have Celtic won 26 out of 27 games, but also that Rangers in third are closer to being bottom of the league than they are to being top of the league.  You might also be interested in the crowds that attend matches in Scotland these days.

Now you may have noticed that the English Premier League is a little different from this, for we don’t have a team like the Man U or Liverpool of the past, nor the Arsenal of the 1930s nor indeed a Celtic, Bayern or the Barcelona / Real Mad duopoly in the Premier League.   We have half a dozen teams who can cause each other difficulty and have title winning aspirations as well as the occasional upstart club that sneaks in and gets the title before quickly fading away again.

When Arsenal won the league in 1971 under Bertie Mee, Arsenal were the most successful club in the history of the English football, having won the title eight times.  Since then the runs of Liverpool and Man U have overtaken us.

So the question is can we have such dominance again by one team such that they are in the top two year after year?

At the moment that seems difficult to imagine for two reasons.  One is that there are not just one or two potential winners but half a dozen (a factor that is necessarily for an unexpected winner to emerge as with Leicester last season) and there are teams whose wealth is so overwhelming that they can not only spend anything they need to get the title one year, but they can then do it again next year.

Plus as I mentioned before, while some clubs spend their own money and run up huge debts in building a modern stadium, others are able to take the money from the owners (or in two cases in England be given the stadium by the state) without any Financial Fair Play penalty, and use all their income on transfer fees.

Obviously, like any Arsenal supporter I want another period like 1998 to 2004 or going back before that like 1931 to 1938 (when we won the league five times) but as we have seen it is a struggle to get that.  Where I differ from some supporters is that I don’t think there is a simple way to achieve this in an era where there are a number of teams expecting to win the league, and where several of them have access to far greater sums of money than Arsenal have.

And indeed in a scenario where even the richest clubs in the league can’t always turn that into points.

Which leads to the question, what is it that stops the super rich clubs like Man C, Chelsea and Man U walking away with the title every season?  How is it with all that money and expertise and recent history of winning the league, could they not become the 1-2-3 of English football year after year?

It is noticeable that only twice this century have the three super-rich clubs come 1-2-3.  Of course it can be argued that the massive sums of money they now have were not in place at the start of the century, but we should then also note the last time it happened was 2013, and last season the three super-rich clubs didn’t get any of the top three places.

So that fact gives us hope, but it also gives us a problem.  If money (and with it every transfer you want, plus any managerial appointment you want) doesn’t bring a guaranteed top three finish (and remember that third is not a trophy, any more than fourth is) what does?

I certainly think some help from outside can do the business – whether that be luck or some rather dubious refereeing decisions.  And on that note, let us also remember that although people regularly write to Untold and announce on radio and TV that blaming the referee is an excuse, it is interesting that no one other than Untold has ever done even one season of detailed analysis of the refereeing of matches – let alone the six seasons we have done.   Indeed I don’t think anyone has even done one month of detailed analysis to compare with what we do.

And yet they could – especially for the first 16 or so games of this season where we have presented all the evidence of all the incidents in video form, to prove the accuracy levels and bias we claim for referees.  It is all on the Untold website.  You just need to go back and do the analysis again yourself.  We’ve done the hard work in gathering all the evidence.

But let me finish in a different time zone.  The question of referees brings me to the question, has it always been like this?  Has there always been dodgy refereeing going on?

In case you never saw it, Walter once did a historic referee review – choosing the notorious game that ended the 49 run unbeaten.   It is still on the History of Arsenal web site in case you want to see…

The Ref Review from the past. Man U 2 Arsenal 0; the unbeaten run is over

Arsenal History Books on Kindle

The novel “Making the Arsenal” by Tony Attwood which describes the events of 1910, which created the modern Arsenal FC, is now available for the first time on Kindle.  Full details are here.

Also available on Kindle, “Woolwich Arsenal: the club that changed football” the only comprehensive history of the rise of Arsenal as a league club, and the attempts to destroy the club, from within and without.   For full details please see here.

Both books are also available as paperbacks.  Please see here.


73 Replies to “How can we get the sort of Arsenal that the Anti-Arsenal and Arrogant Amnesics desire?”

  1. By every measurable metric, arsenal is vastly richer than Chelsea.not a little, Vastly. The only difference is Chelsea has an owner who invests in the club. Arsenal has a majority shareholder who neither invest his immeasurable wealth, nor engages with the 2nd largest shareholder, who, as the world and his mother knows, makes abramovich look like a penniless pageboy. Until you acknowledge this, how can we take the rest of your ‘facts’ seriously. Nobody should attack you for opinions, but the day if Chelsea being wealthier than arsenal is 5 years old at least. If the intentions of the owners were equal, arsenal are on a different level altogether than the plucky little blues. It is ambition and ambition alone that defies this undeniable truth.

  2. So go and support your plucky little blues then and leave us in our deluded peace

  3. What an absurd childish response. The only person in this conversation who could change support is you, I would suggest. I point out arsenal’s wealth because that’s a fact. Not from me but from every source ive ever come across. Tell me, what makes you turn on a fan who actually wants his club to progress? I presume you are an arsenal fan? Do you enjoy Chelsea winning titles? Perhaps you do. I and many long term arsenal fans don’t. It’s just we refuse to take it in a servile fashion and act accordingly. But if that’s the way you wish to take it, that’s up to you. Dont forget its our club too.

  4. Ambitions of who, betting companies, TV companies, Media conglomerates?

    OT – but I just saw David Elleray on Sky saying that Video replays would “help stamp out match fixing”

    So, are we actually admitting that this is happening? Why say that if it isn’t?

  5. Arsenal deserves better supporters than it has. Why don’t the AAA support another team? I hope Arsene stays for another 20 years. That should be enough to make the AAA switch to another team!

  6. What has gotten in to you as fans? ‘i hope arsene stays another 20 year’s??? Arthur, so do i if he delivers the success arsenal deserves? But you sir appear to want arsenal to underachieve..for 20 years..just to spite an imaginary group of people whose ‘crime’ is to want London s biggest football club to…wait for it…be Londons biggest football club? Are you serious??? If so, maybe you’re right and the club deserves better fans
    Wake up to yourself.

  7. Arthur, I have some respect for Spurs supporters, the record since 1961 has been appalling yet no protests and they can still virtually sell out Wembley for a no hoper league game.

  8. So Sleepinggiant want us to become Chelsea. Just say the word: I want to be like Chelsea.

  9. well sleeping giant ….you say it yourself ‘ if the intentions of owners were equal’

    so i repeat..why should i blame/abuse/drive out wenger when the CHIEF with the mustache is not approaching it like an abramovic

    then we want arsenal to approach football like a chelsea/roman?

    trophies are the fruition of your work…you dont bust the company to get them. thats stupid. continuity is far more important than yoyo-ing up and down in search of glory/bankrupcy

    as for the choice to run arsenal as a self financed entity thats owners decision not wenger’s…..wenger is just so good at finance management that has made it work spectacularly …within 7 years you could spend a little again instead of selling even the furniture…you only moved in 2007…its just ten years and they showed progress from year 7 in finances when they were expected at least 10-15…

    finally in this league…the others waste money and eventually get it right for once or twice and then back to drawing board …arsenal never wastes..only invests. one opens the drawer every summer and voila finds 400m to play with…the other opens the draw and has to budget because next year he might not even have 50m if he approaches it like fm16…

    having said all that…..yes some players need shipping out immediately but the biggest crime is that the club does nto have a bastard figure to deal with refs media and stupid fans. take pressure of the players and managers. in that respect…i want dein back or similar who will make dean dowd clattenburg think twice before abusing our right to a fair and equal contest and same for somw hacks who make a living shitting on arsenal…. some words could be exchanged there too…

  10. I hate to tell you Walter..pretty football, occasional cup, no title challenges…we have become Chelsea.or spurs. This servile knee bending is the opposite’s a sickening insult. I want arsenal to become like arsenal. Nobody else. I guess you have forgotten what that used to mean. Or you want to protect an individual at the expense of the club. Up to you to have that opinion. But I will not let you away with associating success with a nothing club like Chelsea…history demands that success should be the ambition of the arsenal. You clearly don’t share that view.

  11. The regulars here can be so juvenile some times. It’s embarrassing for a blog that is supposedly read by millions.
    Andrew/Walter. Sleepinggiant is saying the sort of things you all should be repeating in your articles, and the best you can come up with is the 9.09 & 9.37 comments.
    So effing sad. No wonder this blog is ridiculed & despised.

  12. Hunter. I haven’t said I want to drive out wenger. Honestly I think his time is naturally up, but I feel that a more ambitious board would probably have made that decision already. But as i have said, the ambition needs to start at the top. If arsene delivered the title next year, nobody would be arguing for his removal.

  13. ‘history demands that success should be the ambition of the arsenal. You clearly don’t share that view.’

    ok but when i see arsenal’s history i dont see any real madrids there. more like valencia… you disagree?

    would you not find it hillarious if fans of valencia and athletico demanded owners show ambition of real madrid?

    in the absence of anything stronger from board..wenger is vital..cause apparently he is the only one keeping it together.

    my venom is with owners and board who leave him alone to deal with everything. and with fans who fail to rally behind him and prefer to listen to durham and ..

  14. Sleepinggiant;

    “I want arsenal to become like arsenal.” That is a sentence that I really don’t understand.
    What does this actually mean?

    That sounds a bit like: I want my Arsenal back. But what Arsenal do you want back? The 13 title winning years Arsenal? yes we all would like that.
    But this also means that we have had 117 years with no league titles. That is also “our Arsenal” in fact.

  15. If you lose the inner child, you die.

    I have to prove my inner child is still alive and kicking from time to time.

  16. he wants the vieira pires henry back but he does not realise that they were french who came to play for a french manager and formed their ithaca here and kicked asses from newcastle to southampton

    but planets dont align as often….

  17. What a strange and confused article.
    Hasnt the argument always been on here that Arsenal can’t compete with the likes of City, Utd and Chelsea yet now it’s being suggested that that wealth is irrelevant in terms of league position?
    Again time after time we hear that The building of The Emeriates came purely from earned income yet never any mention of Granada Medias £77m to buy a 9.9% of increased equity which was 6 times the cost at that time of the shares.Hey nothing wrong with that investment just the continual denial that that money came in and that it was crucial in the new development.
    I too question both the cost to Man City and indeed WHU but how is the clubs fault? If Arsenal had been offered a grant of say £100 million would the club have turned it down?

  18. Walter, You have answered your own question. We want the title winning teams back. That is the aspiration. That is what the club us bound by its history to try to achieve. Of course we may fail. But we need to see that the club shares this ambition. That the club wants to get us there.My feeling, and that of many, is that it does not. Actions speak louder than words..we get very little of either from the club. But the manipulation of words to imply that a cl place is anything more than a poor consolation place is an insult. A slap in the face of the aspiration to be the best
    Tell it like it is. It’s not a disaster as some may say, but it’s simply not, of itself good enough for a club of our wealth and history. As to your inner child, I rather thinking was excited by cup final and title-winning, not platitudes and balance sheets. Be honest with yourself.

    Arthur.. Can’t completely agree. Spain is a two superpower state. Growing up, even before George resurrected the club, arsenal was seen as one of three superpowers in English football. Such was it’s history, it was still expected to perform. Since then we have added 5 titles, and have, as demonstrated, impossible wealth to tap if the owner showed the intent. It is nothing short of disingenuous to say arsenal have any barrier keeping them from competing at the very top
    Other than thecglass ceiling imposed by the club and perpetuated by some fans.

  19. Hunter, there have been 13 titles won by teams with no Vieira Pires and Henry since our last title. There is nothing passive about alignment of planets in the football world; Planets don’t align, clubs make them align. As some club has made them align in each of the past 13 seasons. It just happens that arsenal have not done their work to make them align.

  20. The ambition from Kronke seems to be invisible. Seriously no team under an ambitious owner would have put up with the lack of a league title for 13 years. Even the Arsenal of the 20th century would have moved Wenger on some years ago. Even the Wenger of 15 years ago wouldn’t recognize his modern self. He’d have had a serious talking to his modern self, I suspect.

    When someone dares to suggest we should be like Chelsea, you know win a few titles every now and then he’s childishly mocked. People on here love to have an owner who doesn’t spend his money on the club as if it’s some moral triumph and they go into raptures of some abstract notion of “the soul of Arsenal” being damaged. If that ever existed that died when we sold out to Kronke. It’s ironic that an owner who doesn’t spend his money on the club occasionally dips into its finances and takes out 3 million. He’ll take but not give.

    At least the owners of Chelsea and City actually seem to care about winning things. Kronke seems to view Arsenal as nothing more than a supermarket or bank. I know which sort of owner I’d prefer.

    The strange conundrum which isn’t really a puzzle, but appears to be to owners of the ilk of Kronke, is that if he did decide to provide the club with huge funds we’d probably be even more successful on the field and as a business.

    Meanwhile the club fan base continues to be rent asunder by ill feeling which I think even the supine board are beginning to worry about. It’s a tough decision for them if they do jettison Wenger because much of the fan base still support him. Perfect example on here is someone like Pat who declares Wenger to be the best manager in the league. Evidence would tell us otherwise. But I understand the emotional reflex many supporters have in defence of Wenger, for some he’s the only manager they’ve known at Arsenal, for others they just can’t believe he’s fallible.

    Anyway we have an FA Cup tie to win. Let’s not underestimate Lincoln, they’ll be playing to make history. COYG.

  21. yep roman makes planets align ..but he buys drogba essien malouda robben ballack if that fails he buys hazard fabregas costa ….

    arsenal buys song denilson arteta and coquelin…..

    what are you comparing?

  22. Gents, I’ve got to go to work. Look I don’t comment on this blog to get agreement. I may be a masochist but deep down I suspect many of you wouldn’t disagree with me
    .or maybe not!!!. Can I just finish with a plea to Tony and Walter? Fellas, you may feel embattled but your blogs spend more time attacking the arsenal fanbase, of which you are a part, than anything else. You rarely write, even on other topics, without some snide put down of fans of your own club(yes we all do it to a degree, but surely that’s for us comment fodder rather than esteemed bloggers!). Can I ask for a rethink? For god’s sake, wenger out or wenger in, we support the arsenal. Wenger will go, arsenal will remain. The reconciliation has to start sometime. How about saving your vitriol for fans of other clubs? It can be a bit depressing. And yes of course I can simply ignore, but I do like to read about all things arsenal. Good day all.

  23. ‘Perfect example on here is someone like Pat who declares Wenger to be the best manager in the league.’

    sorry yellow canary but he undoubtedly is. we are talking managers ..not first team coaches. wenger is top top manager. the only one who runs his club at such a high level without anyone’s financial backing ..on his own really.

    conte does not have to worry about chelsea’ finances…nor mou for united nor pep for….

    for this i blame the board…but then we need to we want the club to be able to stand on its own two feet or do we want a sugardaddy? thats the real fan crisis imo and the real debate….not wenger.

  24. Sleepinggiant
    That has to be one of the best posts on untold.And so true.Many supporters of Arsenal are vilified on here for daring to criticise any aspect of the club.Many are fans that spend thousands on the Arsenal and want the best for their club and to be the best once again.Its a shame none of their anger can be channeled into the people who are hindering us being back where we should be and that is the owner the board and to some extent the manager.

  25. Its a shame none of their anger can be channeled into the people who are hindering us being back where we should be

    so we should go after kroenke then?

    granted. i agree to an extent. he cant sit silently why wenger gets all the flak

    however i have difficulties with your ‘back where we should be’

    back to 7th -12th with no europe and pityful finances or back to the dream team wenger gave us?

  26. Yellow Canary
    Amazing isn’t it that one of the best new commenters gets trolled by the blogger & another article writer? markyb at his best.
    The game changed for the worst with Abramovic & we got left behind, but I remember many Arsenal fans attitude was “well at least we’ll have some money to spend” when Kroenke came in and now that nothing came of that it’s been spun to “we do things the Arsenal way”.
    Ask me would I have liked to see us get unlimited funding, hoover up some of the best players in the world & win multiple trophies I’d have given you a big YES I WOULD!
    Too late for that now, so I content myself with the occasional FA cup. but I’m not deluded, I know that “the soul of Arsenal” was sucked out by the Kroenkes & Gazidis but people here are in denial.

  27. Wise words from sleepinggiant. Nobody with an ounce of ambition could disagree with what he says.

  28. Hunters if you think that Arsenal should be between 7th and 12th in the premier league, and that the reason why we arent is all down to Arsene Wenger then more fool you. You actually think that we are massively over acieving???
    We are the 6th richest football club in the world.
    We have a bigger cash surplus than any other club in the world.
    Our gate reciepts are one of the highest in world football.
    Our 2 Owners combined are richer than at any other club in the world.
    I would sadly say we are underachieving and most of the footballing world would agree.
    The likes of Athletico and Borussia dortmund have been overachieving but that has been helped with having quality young managers who are tactically very good and most important HUNGRY for sucess.

  29. It may be extreme to say but I reckon it is Arsene who is anti-Arsenal. He has proved himself incapable of evolving tactics, buying the right players and a host of other things. Arsenal have become a soft touch and as Lennon said they are ‘like a bunch of spoilt brats.’ Have lived and watched Arsenal from the 60s to Wenger’s early years where Tony et al ensured we got the trophies while Arsene did his cod philosophy/accounting thing. The cod philosophy remains the same as do the sarcastic and witless articles that come on here by the hour. On the one hand Untold are so self-proclaimed carriers of Arsenal’s history and on the other hand deeply immeshed in siege mentalities, poor satire ans proto Orwellian notions of what is worth keeping. Distant golden ages are fine but most of the last half century is a calamity and judging by the abuse heaped on some of our greatest heroes it begs the philosophy of Untold as a torch bearer or just a self-serving website to get people to go to kindleworld or marvel at the host’s self-appointted celeb status. Peace and love to the schoolkids of Lincoln. Shame most of the kids in Islington don’t get to feel the love from an overpriced, elitist outlet such as ArseneFC has become. Just get me coat ….

  30. “Arsenal has a majority shareholder who neither invest his immeasurable wealth,..”

    A little knowledge for you:

    Our owner did invest his immeasurable wealth, to buy the shares from different people to become the major share holder.So, he did invest. Although, its KSE which owns majority stakes in ARSENAL Holdings plc and KSE is owned by Kroenke. Ideal situation for ARSENAL would’ve been multiple shareholders with maximum being around 25%. BUT pluralism in business can a double edged sword too with lots of infighting leading to destabilization.

    Now I dont know how he runs his businesses, but a neatly run business cant just take money from one place and dump it into some other. In other words, If Kronke decides to inject some of his own money into ARSENAL, it should be in the form of loans. And ARSENAL has to return him at some point or it has to be converted like Chelseas owner did. If there are some other legal way of doing it please educate me. Please dont tell me let him invest in the training center and academy from his money.

    To bluntly put it, NO Kroenke cant put his money into the club without financially burdening it.

    What can Kroenke do?
    Well, He can make sure that ARSENAL get to use the money it has generated in whatever the board and the manager feel is worth investing in. And guide them with his expertise so that we dont waste the hard earned money of something absolutely rubbish. If hez not doing it already.

  31. Hunter13 – dude I love what your saying. Keep doing it. There are a bunch of morons here who have sight but are too stupid to see.

  32. tom ..wait a minute.. you dont remember yoyo-ing up and down..1st one year 10th the next …7th..12th…a cup team at best…

    do we not remember that?

    do we not recognise that the only manager in arsenal history that gave you the bug/software to consistently challenge is wenger? not one or two years and then back to 7th and 8th but with consistency.

    you are 6th richest precisely because wenger runs it at a budget and SAVES instead of wasting.

    bigger cash surplus? lol maybe as a legal vat paying entity but roman will pump 500million if need be through various ‘investment schemes’ and we will stick our cash surplus, the whole of our 106m and 65pounds 73 pence, up our royal asses.

    when youre at a poker table and your opponents has limitless funds while youre there with youre solitary 10 grand for the night dont go all-in in every wait and grind it out till the others get tired or start making serious mistakes. thing is …can you last the disctance do you have the guts and the patience to sit through and make judgments to carry you till heads-up ?? wenger does …fans dont. and im with wenger.

    yes the two owners combined might be richer but they dont want to put their own money in. if you think usmanov is generous and will happily give 2.5 billion of his private money to make arsenal a barcelona then sweet dreams. cruyf took 4 decades at barca plus gaspar laporta bertomeu pulling strings.

    atheltico and borussia? arsenal has been doing what theyve been doing 20 years in advance…

    ralise it mate…arsenal is no real madrid…thats our level the roma/valencia/athletico…the 3rd team of england traditionally and now sadly with city and chelsea you will suffer because they have come to make ruthless entry in elite while youre going the conservative/safe way which will take longer and many failures to get it right.

  33. Leon, sorry but someone who writes this : “By every measurable metric, arsenal is vastly richer than Chelsea.not a little, Vastly” should show evidence.

    As he didn’t I couldn’t take him serious.
    If he would prove his metrics then I am even willing to apologise. Now I found that such a ridiculous statement that I poked some fun.

  34. Walter
    I think he was comparing the wealth of our two largest shareholders with Abramovic.

  35. Sleeping Giant – I think that your analysis is not quite right – it may be true for the last week or so, because the action of some fans and their media pals is a major story, but overall it is not how it goes. Our themes of the organisation of referees in the PL, the way the mass media sets the agenda, the horror story of the FA and Fifa, grassroots football and the way it is being destroyed, the lackadaisical approach to controlling drugs, the financing of football, the way that only 3% of the predicted transfers last summer actually took place, the relationship between money and success…. if you look beyond the last week or so you will see we deal with all of these. But we deal with them when there are issues.

    I don’t feel embattled at all, but being out on a limb is part of the territory that comes with adopting the name Untold – we deal with the stories others don’t. And I am not too sure many people are exploring the way in which the media sets the agenda, and those opposed to the current management feed into it which keeps it turning.

    But there is another point – I feel there is reason to theorise that the activities of the media and some fans will do long term harm to Arsenal, and I do think that by not looking at that, we would be stepping aside from our remit and that would be a shame.

  36. Leon,
    So we can say he didn’t express himself very well because then he shouldn’t have named the club names in that sentence but he should have directly used the names and private wealth of the owners/shareholders.

    I’m still waiting for the evidence for his sentence. Maybe he is trying to find it?

  37. Tony

    “I feel there is reason to theorise that the activities of the media and some fans will do long term harm to Arsenal”

    Spot on.

    I fell out with, and no longer have contact with an ex colleague over something very much in tune with your thoughts.

    It must be 10 or 11 years or so ago when it all started. You know, around the time when we hadn’t won a trophy for all of 2 years, and the media abuse began.

    Our fall out was specifically about talksport, and particularly you know who.

    He told me not to ‘take it so seriously’ ‘It’s only a laugh’.

    I told him I thought this kind of constant anti Arsenal propaganda, for want of a better word, will undermine our club in the long term, and turn our own fans against us.

    He wouldn’t have it, but suffice to say it was he himself who proved my point, as sure enough, after listening to that garbage day after day, he ended up well and truly in the aaa camp.

  38. off course…you throw enough mud..some of it will stick.

    but why are they throwing mud ?

    i think its because he is foreign and bossed them in their own game in their own backyards…. its a bitter pill to swallow that an articulate intelligent measured professional from frogland who looks like the ceo of imf is bossing them in their national which is reserved and used for populist escape from mundane society and not seen as the scientific business finance industry it has become…..

    they’re liek …wtf wheres the gaffer to shout and act like bully…who is this technocrat ??????? arrrghhh sack them all..

  39. oh hero :

    “He is going through a really difficult period but at the same time I know Arsene and he is not the kind of person who will throw the towel in and walk out of this situation,” Vieira told Omnisport.

    “He will fight for it because he is proud and he will give everything like he has been doing for the football club. It is true that people are doubting his capability to manage the team… but I think you have to look at the players and in some situations the players have been letting Arsene down a lot because coaches have responsibility but players have responsibility as well.

    “You can work the whole week in how you want to play but when [the] players [are] on the field they are the ones who have to fight and if you don’t do it then it is a problem. So we can talk about Arsene, we can talk about other things but I think it is important for players to take responsibility and look at themselves in the mirror.”

    steve bould time to pull finger out and slap them little shits to honour the shirt, the club, the manager, the fans but most importantly for themselves them shameless little arseholes wheres their playing ego… challenge them!!… we cant expect the 67 yearold to be the bad cop..its you steve.

  40. Hunter13 – so beautifully put ‘its a bitter pill to swallow that an articulate intelligent measured professional from frogland who looks like the ceo of imf is bossing them in their national game, which is reserved and used for populist escape from mundane society and not seen as the scientific business finance industry it has become…..’

    The envious or perhaps jealous bastards pick on his zip because they cannot polish his shoes. I have been advocating several of these wobs to look at themselves in the mirror…….. I think several mirrors have shattered with the ugliness of ignorance. There are several groups of media taking the piss, but the reality is they are unable to compare their own success to Wengers.

  41. Hallo Menace! i dont want to sound too offensive but as a foreigner for me its clear as day that lot of the venom is pure shauvinism/xenophobia/contempt for the savvy and sophisticated spectacled prof

    but not in the sense of posh elite looking down on him but more like populist savages nenaderthals cannibals hating the non-conventional style and attitude of the articulated and well educated/well-travelled.

    here they were used ot gaffers chewing gums swearing at eachother and ‘banter’ …wengeris above all that shit…wenger professionalised their league and imo squared the circle. tookfootball and broke it down to its minutest detail. scientist.

    also sometimes here they give you the impression football is substitute for war..banks of four..strike cross and thunder tackles..blood and tears..the cpatian grabbing the game by the scruff of the neck(whatever that means..mayeb they meant gerrard.hahaaa) and all that romantic stuff.
    wenger takes the war-element out of the game and approaches it with an understanding among driven mature professionals to seek excellence as a group. not by force. he wills et it all up for you to only focus and excell…as long as you have it in you and you want it off course.

  42. Evidence….As I said earlier, by every list that I have recently seen that has been published by forbes etc, arsenal sits behind only the super super clubs, man u, Madrid, etc in terms of value, profitability, revenue, cash in hand, etc. It is the same when looking at Romans worth, compared to our mega rich cartel. But Apologies to anyone who hoped I have a dossier on this. I don’t either collate or collect these datasets. But I am an arsenal fan and I read them when they come across my table. I do not claim to have an absolute knowledge of them. But I do read them when I see them. And I do so with an open mind and a will to be informed. And increasingly over the past 2 to 3 years, from my reading of these lists, there is a gap… and moreover it is increasing. You may ask why I put credence in these lists. I don’t per se but (and perhaps I have missed the occasional one) what they do is point a startling contradiction to what this website has presented as dogma. So I’m not presenting evidence to make a point..I’m raising it to contradict what you present without questioning it yourself . And not just does the dogma appear to be refuted by the reported data. They point rather to a club that you bracket as immeasurably wealthy, as being not just beyond arsenal, but actually significantly behind us. Again I am not making the statement as such, merely pointing oitthat anything I have read completely contradicts your assertion, which itself is unsupported . And if you forgive me, I suggest your bracketing Chelsea with the real big boys appears based on the outdated lazy journalism you rightly criticise elsewhere. In short, Chelsea used to be the big dogs, but events have left them behind as surely as they once left the rest behind. that is a deficiency in your truth that is probably ignored because of the incredible onfield performance in two of last 3 years. But it’s most certainly notified to their wealth..look at their business in that period and it is extraordinarily astute, because they just aren’t able to outmuscle any more. And that’s just the club’s and their organically generated wealth..we already know that the combined wealth of kroenke/ usmanov (not to mention the untapped firepower that could presumably come from Walmart without breaking any rules…a la man city and China) is vastly beyond roman. And to counter hunters point, roman has no mechanism to inject capital into his club that is not available to kroenke /usmanov. The difference is he owns his club to make it better and acts in the interests of that horrible institution. I’m pretty certain, on thevother hand, that every reader and contributor to this site realises arsenal is owned as part of a portfolio. It is stock. And in the eyes of the majority shareholder it is in not even the blue riband element of that portfolio. So that is the evidence as such. All of the comparative lists I have seen show an increasing gap to Chelsea in our favour. There is no argument that the wealth of our shareholders vastly outstrips Chelsea. If one was to argue the detail I accept, but surely there’s enough here to completely destroy the categorising of Chelsea as in a differ league to arsenal. Sorry if this is incoherent.. I’m typing on my Samsung on the tube home.

    As to tonys other comments, I openly encourage the dedicated research into crap refereeing etc by the site..Good on you. I Hope you succeed in exposing it. But it’s not something I’m passionately interested in. But please go easy on other arsenal fans of a different view. As I said the healing needs to start somewhere.

  43. Just reading some of the other comments. Walter, you profess not to take me seriously because of my lack of metrics(hopefully in some way explained above). And of course that is your prerogative… Not the first time for me i assure you. But Why then do you take the counter view expressed by Tony in the post seriously, when he similarly has presented no metrics? I’m only responding to what I remember seeing as being contrary to tonys declaration ads to Chelsea being in a different league (and I may have missed some lists..I’m not pushing any agenda, just reporting what I remember ), I’m not making it up…Surely Tony at the very least has as much a case to answer as i? Surely as the person making the point, he needs to demonstrate his assertion? in the interests of balance?

  44. ‘And to counter hunters point, roman has no mechanism to inject capital into his club that is not available to kroenke /usmanov.’

    ah ok if you cant beat them join them…the arsenal way apparently ….since the others cheat and approach it like should arsenal. thank you.

    what happened to sticking to your guns ? your beliefs?

  45. Lol hunter..that’s a little extreme don’t you think? My point is valid. Roman hads no mechanism available to him to inject cash into his club that is not available to Kroenke / usmanov to invest their vastly superior reserves. The difference is that arsenal is not a priority For Kroenke other than as collateral , and to protect his control of the club, he is unwilling to tap usmanovs bottomless pockets. It is, as I have said, a matter of much wealthier men not having the shared interests of my club enough to combine and make roman a small footnote in football history ; to put arsenal where we belong. The sleeping giant.
    And by the way, as someone who knows a little of our history I would most certainly not point to ‘an arsenal way’ as a code for ethical business dealings. Quite the opposite. We got where we did by ruthless business practice today the least ad I’m sure you know. In the move to Highbury, in the eviction of Ashburton tenants. And ask the people of St Louis what they think of Kroenke’s ethics.

  46. “The Arsenal Way”
    There’s no such thing. There never was. It’s just PR spin, but if anybody thinks Arsenal had a Corinthian spirit about them, it disappeared with the Hill-Woods, Bracewell-Smiths, Deins et al.

  47. Walter
    Usmanov is reportedly worth $14.4billion
    Kroenke – $6.3b
    Abramovich – $9.1b

    Arsenal are estimated to be worth $2.02b with revenue of $524m
    Chelsea are estimated to be worth $1.66b with revenue of $505b

    Arsenal gate receipts are £100m
    Chelsea’s – £71m

    Are these the numbers you were looking for?

  48. I used to see a great Arsenal commenter around the blogs called SurferX. Sleepinggiant reminds me very much of him in style & substance. I wonder if in any way they are related. Hope to see much more of him here.

  49. Sleeping giant, everyone dreams of having a rich dad to bankroll them, but as responsible adults, most of us have to be self-sustaining. Your argument is basically for Stan Kroenke to be Arsenal’s rich dad, if Arsenal are the mature and great club you seem to think it is (you keep bringing up the titles we deserve, suggesting some great stature), it should be self-sustaining and be proud of it.

  50. Hi Tom, are a better man than I. Those are the kind of differentials I remember. Significant. Certainly no argument that Chelsea are somehow in a different higher league in those figures. The opposite if anything.

    Sievezone the heritage that Kroenke has inherited demands more. Self sufficiency is a mode of running a business. It is not the objective of a sporting team. It can’t be..Walters inner child would never have become involved if it was!!!! None of us would if that’s what it was about. The truths is this. We are arsenal. Not little Charlton or Fulham. Not little west ham or Chelsea. We have a history and heritage of being Londons let’s face it only giant football club. The duty of the owners is to find a way to run the club and perpetuate that history. If they can do that with self sufficiency great. If they can’t, their duty to arsenals history is still there. It doesn’t go away. They need to find another way. Telling us a cl place is anything other than a consolation prize betrays that heritage. It suggests they have a different view of arsenal’s heritage than those who follow the club. They are not willing to compete, to push at a level where a less well off club like Chelsea routinely competes. Indeed we currently compete with spurs rather than our peers which just isn’t good enough. Perhaps the question is, why would you be at odds with that as an arsenal fan? Do you really think anyone with arsenal in their heart is benefitting from Chelsea outdoing us?
    I started supporting arsenal over 40 years ago. I didn’t celebrate financial results then. I dont now. I celebrate winning things. I’m sad when we don’t but want to believe we at least try. The club gives its all. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt that going in to a season. Not good enough for arsenal.

  51. Tony, in the light of Tom figures rather than my comments, it would be good if the Chelsea myth was put to bed once and for all in your forthcoming blogs. They have not been wealthier than us for years and have much less potential. This is an arsenal blog, not a Chelsea one. Lets recognise them for the grubby overachieving minnows that they are. And encourage our own club to put the little Russian in his place.

    And lets hit Lincoln for 10 eh? No argument there’s I hope!!

  52. Hello Sleeping Giant,

    I hugely respect that you have been an Arsenal fan for 40 years, makes you a massive fan in my book. I have only been supporting Arsenal for about ten years, so maybe I lack a bit of perspective in that regard.

    Do you agree that in 40 years, football has changed a lot? Not just in terms of the finances but also in terms of the way clubs are run. Consequently, I posit we have to support clubs differently than we did years ago. Yes you did not celebrate financial results then, but the unavoidable truth is that those same financial results affect everything else in the club, so not to be scoffed at. It is the foundation the club is built on. otherwise, we could do a Leeds U all over again.

    And believe me, Arsene Wenger wants to win more than any of us. He is like the card counter at the blackjack table, and not done too badly as far as I can tell. Again, massive respect to you as a long time supporter. These are just my opinions from 10 years of supporting.

  53. Leon by arsenal way i purely mean the philosophy practices and vision wenger brought. club was a bit blind before him. the concept that arsenal will play clean honest attacking football. the concept that players are well trained and self-caring individuals. the concept that our facilities will have nothing to be jealous of say a barcelona or a real madrid. the concept that we promote and encourange youth. the concept that from 10yearolds to senior team the playing style in ONE and to be perfected. the concept that we dont overpay just cause for the sake of agents/fees. the concept that we show respect to the game and to opponents. the concept of being honest hard working and ethical basically. i have not seen wenger resort to cheating. i have not seen wenger sitting back like a coward waiting to steal game with a deflection. i have not seen wenger ordering players to go on the pitch and injure others. i have not seen wenger walking side by side with refs enjoying a laugh like some other scumbags.

    sleepiong giant – ‘ Self sufficiency is a mode of running a business. It is not the objective of a sporting team’

    well this might come as a shock but sports teams…are businesses ever seen sports became professional and not just ‘corinthian’ hobby time 😉

    for the team to exist and be succesful you need a machine behind it that has to work yes you got it …like a business..a serious business too.

    i mean this is elementary…kids in highschool can understand it.

    chelsea is undoing us currently but they invested heavily for a decade to have world class players and their targets were global domination…our targets were to financial survival with denilsons and almunias…what are you even comparing ? chelsea less well off? are you insane?

    40 years fan huh…so you saw arsenal holding the tradition of giant club in 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 …etc etc huh? wow man you must have suffered backpain from lifting all them trophies with the lads …

  54. this can not be serious.. abramobvic came and got stuck in our faces with 1 billion to play with and you are comparing with arsenal where wenger had to sell players to have a transfer budget.

    you suffered plenty trophyless seasons without having stadiums to repay and without russians and arabs distoritng the competition. …what was the excuse then for this giant football club you have in your mind?

    where si the dominance ala liverpool? ala ajax? ala ac milan? i dont see anything…….

    oh the 30’s again huh…. ok i give you that…and since then? pityful……for a giant club as you claim.

  55. Hey Sievezone.. 40 yrs as no more a fan than 10. All in it together. My point is arsenal must look upwards. To the top as it always has..or at least as our fans always have. I personally have no concern about arsenal doing a leeds.. Just as i have no concern of man u Barcelona real Madrid, even Liverpool or Milan, or any of the traditional powerhouses. There is a massive gap between competing where we should be and overstretching ourselves a la leeds. Arsenal going into liquidation simply by stepping up its ambition is nothing more than scaremongering in my view. Indeed looking at toms figures, it would take an act of purposeful financial sabotage to plummet to leeds level. And make no mistake the onus is on our esteemed owners to find away. As I said, they own arsenal, not Charlton. If they can’t make it happen in a sensible way, perhaps they aren’t up tovthevjob. I fear they are happy to leave the scare out there for their own purposes. But hey that is only a cynical opinion.

  56. Hunter… You’re not reading what I said. We know roman invested heavily. He was the new kid on the block and was first with mega money. the bastard is the games best owner, hate him or hate him. But he has been caught up and passed out by wealthier owners and super sponsorship in terms of weakth. As tom has shown, kroenke /usmanov could put down 2bn for every 1bn he does. It is precisely because they don’t, despite their superior wealth, that they must be questioned. They are wealthier but not as good owners. That is what the figures say.

    Yes arsenal was dominant in the 1930s, an intermittent force but a constant one until 1989 but then won 5 titles in 14 years following graham/wenger. In English football, that is super successful. We have alway been one of England’s big Martin Tyler(not mine) intro or epilogue (can’t remember) to the history of arsenal, where he makes the argument we are England’s most important club. His argument. Not yours, tonys or mine. You think he wrote that as a joke? you think arsenal hasn’t always been a giant? Lol….Behave.

  57. Look, I’ve made my.points. Can’t devote any more time to it. Thanks for kind comments, toms superstats and all the arguments. Night

  58. Bit dopey all this adoration at the percieved genius of an accountant manager whose vocabulary moves from good spirit to little bit. Yep definitely a man of Satrean perception with a dash of Camusian daring. Seems the old dodderer got stuck with the myth of Sisyphus literally. Camus triumphed in taking on a philosophy of sweetness and light while Arsene sat head in hands at the bottom of the hill as his Barcelona replication ended up in the nice try bargain bin. Hunter – have you ever spent time on the Holloway Rd? Sure menace has been there once or twice which is what makes him such a hard man.

  59. “Hi Tom, are a better man than”

    Hi Sleepinggiant, thanks but I think most Untold regulars might take issues with that statement 🙂

    Here’s something Id like to share with others though.

    Over the many years of going to Arsenal games and making the trip from Chicago( none this season),I have brought back Arsenal kits for my sons and their cousins.

    They used to ask regularly for Arsenal shirts and jackets whenever a new season’s issue would come out but not anymore.
    Even my youngest son, who’s most loyal of them all, doesn’t wear them anymore.

    Whether one wants a change of manager or not( I have become indifferent to this issue a while ago now), the fact young football fans abroad don’t want a free Arsenal jersey any more should be a concern.

  60. Just a few notes.


    Bayern have won four in a row and it is very likely they’ll make it five. They have been without any serious competition ever since Jürgen Klopp’s Borussia lost the winning rhythm. Prior to this winning streak, Bayern had won five out of 11 league titles with Borussia Dortmund (3), Werder Bremen, Stuttgart and Wolfsburg making the title winners list more colourful. Their current streak has started in 2012-13 when they added Javi Martinez for 40 million euros (their offer met the minimum fee release clause so Athletic Bilbao couldn’t reject their offer) to their already strong team in order to finally beat Borussia Dortmund who had won the double before that.

    After doing that, Bayern have been without a serious competition in Germany, especially after finding the way to get all Borussia players they want.

    But my point is, Bundesliga used to be a very competitive league not so long ago. Five different clubs won the league in 11 years. In the same period (2001-02 to 2011-12), there were four Premier League champions (Manchester United 5, Chelsea 3, Arsenal 2, Man City 1).


    They used to be the most competitive league before Qatar poured billions in PSG. The Parisians hadn’t won the league for almost two decades (1994-95 to 2011-12) and they had players such as (deep breath) George Weah, Leonardo, Ronaldinho, Pauleta… During that time, nine different clubs won the league and that list would have been longer if Lyon hadn’t had seven-year domination. This season might bring the change in the shape of that wonderful Monaco team.


    Since Rafa Benitez’ second title with Valencia (2003-04), Barcelona and Real have won the league in 11 out of 12 occasions with sole exception being Atletico Madrid. (Not “Athletico” as some people here write.) The worst duopoly in the world as they have special tax regime (Bayern have complained about this in the past), special TV rights deal and yet they still need as much cheating as serving referees across the world would tolerate. Oh, I wish I was the ref in just one El Clasico – I think I would have broken the yellow card record for dissents in just one minute as I would have booked all players that would surround me.

  61. @Sleepinggiant, like your style, put some good points across, time for a change on a lot of fronts….

  62. If Arsene Wenger decides to extend his contract for another 2 years because he thinks that he can take Arsenal back to the top would he forgoe his 20 million salary for those 2 years to prove most fans wrong.I know i would if i already had 100 million sitting in my bank account.He confesses to love Arsenal football club but probably not enough to work for free.

  63. Here is a post from another website that i thoght id share with you..

    From the day that we moved from Arsenal FC to Arsenal PLC the writing was on the wall. It went from being a football club that we all care passionately about to a business with all the vultures that that entails. Consider
    1. On the board the two major shareholders are two of the richest men in the world in Silent Stan and Usmanov who at one stage was listed as being the second richest person in the world. Yet neither has ever put a penny into the club!!!!!

    2. A manager who has serially failed over the last ten years and yet is rewarded with over eight million a year and after a defeat of epic proportions is still allowed to chose if and when he leaves because this is the Arsenal way!!!!!!!

    3. Our scouting system has become not alone obsolete but defunct. Compare it to the likes of Athletico Madrid and Borussia Dortmund who year after year have to sell their best players and yet are away more competitive than we at the Arsenal.

    4. Our medical system has also gone completely up the left. Loosely put when an Arsenal player gets injured he stays injured. Wilshere was permanently injured until he went to Bournemouth. Then Lazarus like he was suddenly able to play every single week.

    The club at the moment is pure water from top to bottom and with the honourable exception of Sanchez have no fight or balls whatsoever.
    Because of the acceptance of mediocrity matters and only going to get worse and worse. For real change to happen the board have to go and because they have the financial clout that just aint going to happen. Wenger has to go but so does every other blazer in the club.

  64. @tom

    The only good point is No. 1.

    All others are too easy to deny.

    2.The manager who has “serially failed over the last ten years” has managed to keep Arsenal in Top 4 while having just three seasons of serious net spending (2013-14, 2014-15 and 2016-17). In 2013-14 we won FA Cup, in 2014-15 we won FA Cup and Community Shield.

    3.It’s Atletico, not Athletico. Athletic (without “o”) is from Bilbao, Atletico (without “h” is from Madrid). Secondly, having a decent scouting service is much easier when you have decent home-grown talents in the country. Arsenal have a misfortune to be surrounded with English talents which is usually a media euphemism for every English player that has managed to hit the ball without falling on his bottom. Borussia can pick home-grown players from the richest talent pool in Europe (the German one) while Atletico can do the same with the second best talent pool and the third-party-ownership is not forbidden as it is in England.

    4.At Bournemouth, he plays just one competition. Bournemouth players won’t get targeted like Arsenal players do. If you don’t know what I am talking about, watch Wilshere’s game against Sunderland away (2012-13, we won 1:0) and Aston Villa at home (we lost 1:3). Both were refereed by Anthony Taylor.

  65. ” The duty of the owners is to find a way to run the club and perpetuate that history”

    Who enforces that? The fans? The FA? Scudamore & the Premier League? The Fit & Proper Cttee? The combined forces of the media? Parliament?

    Is it an ethos you are born into? Maybe it comes with the club? You acquire a football club, and with the acquisition, the sense of your duty creeps upon you, and envelopes you, and you stand there, hard and bold in the certainty of you have to do, your duty.

  66. osassa – whats with Holloway road & being a hard man? I lived on Mercers road in the late 60s & then moved to South London. Arsenal was local. A short walk on a Saturday a few quid through the turnstiles & onto the North Bank.

    If anyone believes that Wenger coaches his team just to make money, they are deluded. His teams are always coached to win trophies. The amazing success he has had, has tainted the thinking of many. They assume it is easy. It has been a life’s work. His entire focus has been football & his last 20 years have been Arsenal. His remuneration is nothing compared to what he could have earned had he been mercenary.

    I find it amusing when one compares the financial worth of shareholders to the worth of an owner. Its a bit like saying I am worth billions because I bank with Nat West. One loans himself funds, the other would loan funds to an entity not wholly owned but with higher risk as others share in profit/loss. That’s why bank loans are the norm of shareholder owned clubs. Taking loans to buy footballers would be amongst the highest risks for lenders.

    The ‘massive gap’ that Arsenal & Leeds have is because Wenger is a qualified Economist & has managed the funds of Arsenal with prudence. The special one would have got us bust within 2 years.

  67. Again, the difference in status of the ownership is entirely artificial, and 100% within the power of the.owners/majority shareholders. They chose the format or vehicle that suits their own ends. If(and I do not believe it is a correct reading but will go with it for the sake of your argument. In fact it’s not. Roman had Chelsea borrow from him and simply wrote off the loans
    You see, it’s easier than breathing.. IF THERE IS THEVWILL) it is easier for roman to invest than kroenke /usmanov it is because he has sey it up for that to be the case. Because he wants that to be the case. If our oligarchs had the will, and the success of the club at heart, they could at a stroke create the same mechanism. They wont as they have other plans for my club. I repeat again

    Arsenal is both systemicallywealthier than Chelsea, has richer backers so potential access to even greater funds than Chelsea and has because of its history more potential. A much bigger and richer beast but one whose regime is not devoted to arsenal. Their owneris a football fan and simply wants it more than our absentee.s

  68. If the owners of AFC invested their moneys in the Club by all legitimate means possible would that translate into eternal domination? I don’t think so, the solution is just not financing but a plethora of issues ranging from training, tactics, refereeing, administration, transfers, preparation for matches, financing (yes), state of available soccer facilities, coaching, recovery from injuries, reward and punishment for infractions, player attitude and application, etc.

    The debate should then move on to assessing which is the most urgent facing AFC, the next after that, and the one after that, until we have a comprehensive prioritized list. For now our discussions are progressing without our reaching any consensus on actionable points.

  69. Tom

    I see you can dig out ‘supporting evidence’ for other people, but alas, when it comes to supporting your own statements you seem to be coming up short.

    I’m still waiting for you to find evidence to support this statement of yours from an earlier thread.

    Just to remind you, you said:

    “I bet you stopped watching the Arsenal when Pires and Eboue regularly dived for penaltys.”

    As a reminder, I said it depends on what you mean by ‘regularly’ really doesn’t it, and put up a couple of links to some truly regular ‘divers’, namely Gerrard and Rooney, and suggested that despite the media labelling ‘Pires’ a diver, and your agreement with that, he was not in the same league as those two, or many others, past or present.

    Come on Tom, prove me wrong and I might even join your little fan club.

  70. in my own opinion, I dont think that korenke is to be blame for arsenal failings in the league/champs league buh Arsene wenger…
    Arsene wenger is a coach that I still wan to win trophies with arsenal but my problem with him is his attitude towards his players…. wenger is too soft on his players and that is what really affecting arsenal.. we do always hear arsenal players let him down,they lack winning mentality e.t.c, even mertersacker said they were not ready for liverpool match after 12 days break and walcott also said “We wanted to just show passion and commitment, that hasn’t been there in the recent weeks to be honest, and we did,” Walcott told Arsenal Player after bayern game. so that is prob with wenger bcos he is the one fielding the players,training them and given instructions…that is where Arsenal problems lies.. our players can give more if they see person that can motivate to…Wenger is a very good coach without doubt but he needs to let the players put more commitments

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