By Bulldog Drummond
The start of the first campaign under Mr Emery seems such a long time ago. Two defeats in the opening games against Chelsea and Manchester City, and those who had clambered for years for Mr Wenger to be kicked out, still blaming him for the results. Then along came 12 straight wins.
In fact we didn’t lose until mid-Decembrer away to Southampton, but that was the start of a new sequence of one win in five. We never got that regular winning feeling back, and although we did reach the Europa League final, there was no great optimism that we would overcome Chelsea once there… and so it turned out to be.
Soon the habit of calling for the manager’s head was repeated and out went another manager and in came Mr Arteta. Now his thus far short reign has brought a new feeling of light and positivity to the club, aided greatly of course not just by the fact the club is winning but by the fact that we are once again beating the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City. Even if it is just occasionally, we are doing it, and that feels so good.
So when it comes to WHAM at home the only thing that could spoil the fun might be over confidence, and I feel that it is extremely unlikely that Mr Arteta will let that happen. He looks to me like a man who plans for everything. Even down to using a language that the rival bench can’t understand, when shouting out instructions to players. And lovely fellow though I am sure David Moyes is, I don’t think he’s a multi-linguist.
Although it is of course easy to feel over-optimistic, the fact is that WHAM are a mess. We know what it is like to let a brilliant talent slip through the club’s hands (Gnabry is the obvious example and he was knocking the goals in again in Germany last night) but WHAM seem to have this even worse with the sale of Grady Diangana.
The only hope for the club looks like a takeover, but why should the owners sell, especially as there is a small financial penalty that the owners have to pay if they sell in the next two and a half years. After that they are laughing all the way to the bank. They will make a fantastic profit for no outlay, and the only downside they have to face is a spot of supporter abuse. Given that the stadia is now shut, all they have to do is avoid the bloggers and stay well out of sight in the East End.
And of course when they come to sell there will be bidders – who would not want the deal that WHAM got for the Tax Payers Stadium, wherein it is mugs like me (the UK taxpayers) who funds the place? If the owners don’t seem to care, then that is simply what is to be expected.
The club is of course making a loss at the moment, because filling the stadium with obedient fans is the way they make money, but the owners don’t even mind this too much, since the club is paying them not just as directors but also for interest on the money they have loaned to the club. Fans in the stadium – the directors make money. No fans in the stadium, they still make money. Enough to pay Karen Brady over £1m a year.
And they also have enough to buy some players, but seem curiously slow in doing so – which perhaps is not their fault. Everyone knows WHAM have the stadium for free, so if WHAM come knocking on the door for a player the price goes up.
They will presumably eventually fire Moyes and give him a pay off, while bringing in another manager who will promise to turn things around, while the club’s fans fume and the owners wait for another two and half years when the no-sale clause runs out, and then getting the biggest pay out yet. By which time WHAM could be in the Championship.
Meanwhile those of us who are UK taxpayers continue to fund the owners’ get very rich very quick scheme – and their fans must now surely take at least some responsibility for letting this happen. They don’t go to WHAM home games now because they can’t. But in the days when they could go – that is when they should have protested, leaving the stadium empty, and making their anger public.
They should, just in my opinion, and of course it doesn’t affect me as I am not a WHAM fan, make it quite clear that they are never going to the wretched place again until the current owners leave.
At the moment the virus is doing their job for them, but it has probably come too late to force an early sale. As a result of their earlier inaction they will now have to wait another two and a half years.
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