By Tony Attwood
Windfalls in monetary terms are generally defined as an unexpected gain in income which could be due to winning a lottery, an unforeseen inheritance, or a tax refund that you didn’t expect.
But Football.London, the website that publishes around 40 Arsenal stories a day, some of which are, perhaps we might say, a little eccentric, have just published the headline that, “The £158.87m Arsenal windfall that could fund William Saliba’s partner and Mesut Ozil successor.”
Now that sentence has some pretty big implications. “The £158.87m Arsenal windfall” suggests it is already there and has happened, and using the word “windfall” suggests it is unexpected and by luck. Like the origin of the use of the word in this context – the apple that unexpectedly falls from the tree and gives you something to eat free of charge (assuming you like apples and the owner of the field doesn’t mind).
And it comes at a time when football is shut down, clubs are haemorrhaging money on salaries but getting none in, in terms of gate receipts, sponsorship funds or TV money.
So wow, this looks good. But where, at such a time of national disaster and financial chaos, is this money coming from? Pretty damn clever of Arsenal to find such a windfall. So we must ask… What is the windfall?
Well it turns out that Football.London is proposing that Arsenal sell-off, at discount prices, a whole raft of players and buy some others. Is that a windfall? Or is that just transfer speculation?
Shkodran Mustafi, a man who was part of the Germany squad that won the world cup, and whose form has been affected by the attitude of the self-same media that FoLo is part of, is to be sold at a fraction of his cost. Even though the man is getting back his old form now the fans are bored with booing him. Naturally with his quality there is interest in him from Italy especially as he is only 27. But no, FoLo think he should be sold for a knockdown £13.5m.
OK knockdown prices are going to be the order of the day when football restarts because so many clubs will be on the edge of bankruptcy, but that still seems low.
But that is Windfall I according to FoLo.
Windfall II is Sokratis, so we break the rule about not changing the whole defence at once. He’s 31 so yes his time will pass, but having an experienced player of that age as a backup against injury is pretty important for a club heading for the top six. But no, he’s gotta go. £16.2m seems utterly unlikely in the new post-crisis market (whenever that is) but he’s out.
Sead Kolasinac has to go – he is Windfall III – because he is injury prone, although that begs the question, who wants to buy an injury-prone player? No price is quoted.
Mohamed Elneny and Henrikh Mkhitaryan make up Windfall’s IV and V, and are both on loan so that means they need to go too, although no figure is given for the value of either of them. But Roma is said to be keen, (although there is again no mention of the meltdown of finances in virtually every Italian club) and the windfall would be £10m – the amount already rejected by the club.
And then there is Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – Windfall VI. And I must ask, would any sane supporter say that flogging off Auba is a “Windfall”?????? Arsenal have said he’s staying, but FoLo know better and suggest Arsenal “could be forced to cash in on their prized asset to fund a replacement, rather than lose him for nothing.”
So the “Windfall” is now a case of “could” and “rather than” as well as a “have to” and then they conclude that, “If all those players were to be sold, that is a projected amount of around £158.87million, based on their total valuations.”
They then trot out the usual suspects as to who we are going to buy.
Oh and there’s a picture of Ozil in the article, but it seems he’s not a windfall.
RB Leipzig centre-back Dayot Upamecano plus a £23million transfer for Feyenoord midfielder Orkun Kokcu are to be bought we are told. And according to the notorious “reports in Spain”, well, “Arsenal are interested in activating the £42m release clause of Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey.
This rather bizarre piece ends with the statement that “Arsenal’s Santi Cazorla replacement has finally been named FOOTBALL LONDON”
It seems unlikely that there is a player named Football London, so I took a look at the link. It was a foolish move.
The piece tells us that the answer is Lacazette and Tierney. Unfortunately it also tells us that “The Premier League could be introduced to Tierney’s “great left foot” when the Gunners face Sheffield United on Monday night.” And honest I wasn’t digging in the archives when I found that. It was linked from the just published “windfall” piece.
Maybe this coronavirus is having more effect than we thought.
What’s really happening in football
- How things are evolving in Europe: it’s doubtful the PL can do the same.
- Arteta warns that players are starting to crack under the pressure. But will anything change?
- This unreported event shows just how fast football can implode
- The two faced approach of football regulators to corruption
- It’s the same old problems at Arsenal. But what are the same old problems?
- 78 players now tipped to join Arsenal this summer – the full list
- How the Premier League is copying the German League – but missing a key element
- The benefits of the Europa League, plus Chelsea sale on the edge of collapse