When Love Breaks Down

The club’s financial results remain firmly in the picture, this week will see the interim results published which includes the sales of Fabregas and Nasri. For once though, myths are being laid to rest. Arsenal does spend money; the net revenues from those two were spent bar £12m following the signings in August. How wise the investments were is a different matter.

Once more the issue of transfer funds is being clouded by cash balances. Few, if any, clubs pay the whole of a transfer fee up front. Most deals are structured like an HP agreement paid off over years. There is nothing new in this; indeed following the sale of Nicolas Anelka to Real Madrid, the next set of Arsenal accounts noted that the club had been caught up in the Galactico meltdown with the Spanish club missing a payment deadline and breaching the sale contract.

A key concern to emerge is whether or not the club will fall foul of Financial Fair Play (FFP). The loss of Champions League revenues cannot be underestimated. Currently, the estimate is £45m. Arsenal think this is a situation which can be carried in the short-term and indeed bluntly putting the loss of revenue in the frame is misleading; there are ancillary costs which will reduce as a consequence. For example, bonuses reduce, the same with stadium and travel costs to name but a few. It is the profit which will hurt most in the financial sphere and that is still a significant sum.

Which is before looking at who will and will not leave thus reducing the salaries cost.

This is before we consider whether or not the club will actually fall foul of the FFP regulations. The headline losses over a period of time is well-known, it makes good, sensationalist copy. Provisions exist that show a flexibility to Uefa which signals that club’s are not going to be barred from participating unless there is a clear and present danger of financial collapse. That laymen have come to such conclusions tells you all you need to know; when lawyers get involved, kiss FFP goodbye.

A fuller summary is on the Arsenal Supporters Trust website.

The fundamental issue is the feeling that trust is lost between the supporters and club. That is a grand, sweeping statement and not representative of all views. Some will disagree, others varying along a ‘trust sliding scale’. Sometimes it manifests in seemingly peculiar instances, positively irrelevant issues blown out of proportion, for example the argument over attendance figures. Note that the club do not even speak of them any more.

Essentially, I wonder if the level of trust we believed was there, actually existed in the first place.

The AST serves an important function, alongside the AISA. Both represent the views of fans to the club; with issues such as ticket pricing, the consensus opinion is needed to be put forward and even the club are aware of the need not to price supporters out of the ground. Not that this is anything new.

When the North Bank Stand was needed under the terms of legislation, the Independent Arsenal Supporters Association, the forerunner of the independent supporters movement at Arsenal, received a letter from Peter Hill-Wood noting the concerns about ticket prices but that the board’s hands were tied by legal requirements. Expecting to stave off long-term increases is deceiving yourself, all the two can do is keep the pressure on the decision-makers to ensure they are aware of supporter feelings on the matter but don’t expect significant concessions.

At what point does a stand be made? Arguably if there were ever a time to do so, it would be now. On ticketing prices, I do not think there would be much opposition to a stand. Except nobody seems able to keep matters to a single issue in such circumstances; too often causes are hijacked with playing matters  or become convoluted, lost in the maelstrom of demands.

How this sits with KSE or the board is another matter. There is an arrogance in the belief that they have to listen to us; it is as meaningless as the promises Arsenal make that the manager is accountable to supporters. In fact that latter comment by Ivan was infinitely more dangerous since it engendered a mistaken sense of entitlement. In some respects, Arsène is accountable to us but only in justification of performances.

The key aspect of managerial employment is out of supporters hands, rightly the sole responsibility of the club’s owners. And before anyone argues on that, remember the owners are the employers not the fan base. Can you imagine trying to get any consensus on that issue? The United Nations cannot find solutions to the multitude of bigger problems in the world…

And this is where fan organisations falter: when they observe that they represent the views of the support. Quite simply, when it comes to on the pitch matters, they cannot. It is too much of a broad church and cannot be subject to the same ‘democratic’ process as issues such as tickets and benefits. They cannot be; the only person who represents my views is me. I will find consensus with  others on some issues but there will be a number of conflicting views as well. That is fine, it is how it should be.

Supporters need to unite on some issues but commenting on playing matters? We can’t even agree on the issues that we disagree about so that we can have a full-blown disagreement.

Prescient or coincidence? Arsenal On This Day is the end of days in 1995.

’til Tomorrow.

499 thoughts on “When Love Breaks Down

  1. Infact it will be a predominalty english team filled with players, and with players that arrived no later than aged 18 years of age and practically grew up in arsenal.

    Already we got Coq,Frimp, Gibbs, Ramsey, Wilshere,Walcott, Ox, Chezney, Yennari, Jenkinson and Afobe that are sniffing around the first team.
    They all came 18 or younger to the club or were die hard Arsenal fans when they came.

    It will be grand if this experiment is successfull….

  2. I agree with Jabba and the jibletts.
    When I read that ashley cole wasn’t given the pay rise he wanted I nearly crashed my car.

  3. Yogi, read Kieron O’Connor’s last 3 or 4 articles on The Arsenal transfer budget of £50 millions! It is a mish-mash of mistakes! He is an Arsenal supporter so I will defend his right to project a transfer budget and I will email him IF I think it is mish-mash.

    To say that THAT the AST summation of a November 2011 half-year was based on November 2010 half-yearly! The ticket advance monies will be held in a Clients’Account by The Arsenal and drawn down as the matches tick down. For Heavens sake this was a projection to 31st May 2012. I quote “. Here the Arsenal Supporters’ Trust (AST) seeks to reconcile what will be another profit-generating period with a far from certain financial future”.

    The AST members are supporters of The Arsenal and they are entitled to try and reconcile what they do not know (that includes me) with what they are told and the Annual Financial Reports. They are entitled to know that there are too many flaws in that document for ANY realistic transfer budget to be drawn from it. Whoever drew it up is not an accountant!

    For those who want to know what I think is in the Transfer Budget, I would draw your attention to Page 64, Note 30:
    “Player transactions
    Since the end of the financial year a subsidiary company, Arsenal Football Club plc, has contracted for the purchase and sale
    of various players. The net receipt resulting from these transfers, taking into account the applicable levies, is £12.1 million.
    These transfers will be accounted for in the year ending 31 May 2012. ”


  4. Hunter

    I would never even think of calling wenger cunt

    thats the thing though ..if youd call him a c#nt i would agree ….he is one big c#nt he is….very clever too..he will do you when you least expect it…you wont see it coming…foxy cunt this arsene ..like getting into champions league finals with best defensive record with senderos toure eboue…. and flamini as left back…and ljunberg playing as central mid, left midfield, right half extrem, shaddow striker, and in the hole if necessary…..

    what you cant call him is useless, or non ambitious, or past it. or idealless…or tacitcally naive , or ” you dont know what youre doing” any of that sort

    c#nt is fine with me…its the other descriptions that drive me mad.

  5. Great D-fence from Cahill anid chums there. Not that dislike him, or even have an opinion.
    Just an observation.

  6. poodle | February 21, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    finally some perspective…well thought , well said.

    you read that jabba?….

    even if it pays off in 2032 it will still have been worth it….;)

  7. Poodle

    We have been here before. Players don’t all turn out like you hope. The fact that you have yennais and jenkinson there makes one think you dreaming but your switched off. How would two young rb develop at a club when playing behind sagna. The kids must play to grow but we can’t afford to start the whole process of allowing kids to learn and make mistakes in our first team again.

    Wilshere was brought up a west ham than by the way in the same way Richards was brought up a gooner

  8. Oh dear. Wrong again! Imagine that. Yenanris is a CM. Says here:

    “Versatile midfielder Nico has risen through Arsenal’s Academy ranks and is an England youth international….”

  9. Wait…one more thing just caught my eye
    It says here:

    “Jack joined Arsenal in 2001 as a nine-year-old…”. By the bleedin’ bells of Bow, how the bloomin’ eck did that happen?

  10. Finsbury

    For anyone who has paid any attention to arsenal youth in the past few years you would know that he never gets game time in the reserves at cm. He was in the u18. Even then tou have cow and firm developing. He plays 45 against utd and he jumps to your attention, he has been around for ages bar a huge amount of injuries you would have never heard of him. It’s funny none of you mention henderson

  11. And Napoli score again! Well, if we go out, at least they should go out as well. If Napoli can add another one, it will be a huge task and I think it will be beyond the current Chelsea side to come back from that. Probably no English teams in the last 8, huh?

  12. Fins, midfield is Yennaris’ preferred position – played there quite a lot as U18.
    Not sure I would have called him a midfielder, as his first team appearances have been at RB, but versatile midfielder does technically cover that…

  13. In a recent interview, Yennaris also spoke of being a midfielder, who’s happy to play in other positions. Thank fuck for the dictionary eh? ‘Versatile’ had me very confused.

    Henderson who played for the first team last season? He’s been out injured. Along with Afobe. I suppose we should ask for him to repay his his wages to the club.

    What a useless troll.

  14. but evil…serie a teams are in decline..it says so in the sun the mail etc etc … 😉

    why cant we have world class goalkeepers and centrebacks like chelsea? damn you vengah…..

  15. Eh, Jonny, where’d you come from.

    I was pining for Yennaris or Coquelin* starting at RB after the Marseille games where Djourou played so well. Well I did mentin once I think. I suppose I could’ve wrtitten that every day upon YW’s generous forum. I’m sure everyone would’ve have appreciated it.

    *They are, well, they are quick. And not knowing much, I think quick players are brilliant. Slow players can be good too, sometimes. Yes. Life is simple for me. Simples!

  16. Finsbury

    Actualy I meant in the fact that he is a hugely talented player coming through the club and nobody mentioned him as an option. Afobe started to look good at Huddersfield

    It’s amazing howcaggressive you hunter nag george are

  17. Oooh, so close Napoli. C*ntley clears on the line. It’s fair to say however that Chelsea are getting a hiding almost as good as we did last week.

  18. Er he’s injured. Ou long term. It’ll take himk a season to re-build.

    Rational logic = Aggression. Ok then. If you insist. After you sir.

  19. Evil

    It’s fair ton say that their manager is under huge pressure because of performances like this despite havin very few of his own players and 2 quite barren transfer windows to sort itout

  20. JAbba and chums: ‘Arsenal have the highest ticket prices’.

    Matt: ‘No. No they do not. Look.’

    Jabba and chums: ‘Quick, change the subject!’


  21. Finsbury

    O right I didn’t realise they were naming that young group of players all as first team squad players for next season……they wetent doing that right

  22. I think I want West Ham to stay down. If they stay down, Green is going to leave … which will open up the goalkeeper spot for Almunia who did impress during his loan spell. Maybe they’d be interested in buying him if they lose Green.

  23. My friend’s at the West Ham game and says he’s hardly had anything to do. They’ve just scored a third so it looks like he’ll be on the winning team! He’s done it for England U21s before too.

  24. He’s caught a bunch of crosses and had a talking to by the ref for time wasting! Kevin Phillips beat him with a curler from range but it hit the post. Come on Henri!

  25. Fins

    Funny as you seem to avoid all our stats like the plague as well

    4 years with less points each season.

    More goals conceded each season

    40 percent of games have been lost over the last 56

    These are the damming stats and not one of you ever has ever come up with anything as to why our manager shouldn’t be blamed for it

  26. It’s amazing howcaggressive you hunter nag george are

    do you realise what youre saying?
    do you realise the amount of backflips you make in your statements?
    or how you confuse everything and mix it in a salad?

    aggressive? Ha! …if this was live discussion in some pub you wouldnt be finishing your sentences….id be the first to throw yoghurt and tomatoes at you 😉 and boo you of course..i wouldnt even let you speak..id throw you out to be honest…members only. ;p

    forza napoli! jabba if arsenal had won the european with diego maradona and then gone in second division for a while you would have committed suicide wouldnt you? look at them now…beating the mercenaries…its cyclical…..and wenger has squared the circle….we are consistent the last 16 years..hehehe

  27. I resist the urge to gloat but that result certainly puts everything into persepective for the pundits doesnt it,,,gazzillion spent and still get battered. Now both london clubs in crisis. That fourth spot is now going to be a fight to the death.To be fair Napoli was always the most underated team likely to cause and upset..We are going to beat Milan. Mark my words.COYG

  28. Andrey Arshavin netted twice as Arsenal Reserves put in a superb performance to beat Norwich 5-0 at Carrow Road on Tuesday evening.

    Ju Young Park opened the scoring in the sixth minute from close range before Arshavin curled in a second just before half time.

    Benik Afobe – who had earlier missed a penalty – claimed the third in the 58th minute before Arshavin registered again seven minutes later. Yossi Benayoun capped off a brilliant individual display with the final goal just before the end.

  29. Norwich 0 Arsenal 5 (Res.)

    Young Park 6,
    Arshavin 44, 65,
    Afobe 58,
    Benayoun 87


    James Shea
    Carl Jenkinson (46) RB?
    Jernade Meade
    Martin Angha
    Ignasi Miquel (c)
    Nico Yennaris RB? RB after HT?
    Yossi Benayoun
    Oguzhan Ozyakup
    Andrey Arshavin
    Ju Young Park
    Marouane Chamakh (29)


    Sean McDermott
    Elton Monteiro
    Kyle Ebecilio (46)
    Benik Afobe (29)(73)
    Zak Ansah (73)

  30. @JD
    Now you are just pretending to be stupid, aren’t you? You mentioned those exact same things a couple of weeks ago and I showed you, that it’s a trend in the league. Every of the original Top 4 clubs has suffered from it over the past several years. Chelsea did, ManU did, Liverpool did. And the answer is easy, as well. The league has become more competitive with the emergence of our neighbours and Oil City. You can either blame that on Wenger (and then you have to blame Fergie, Benitez/Daiglish and however is the current manager of Chelsea as I can’t be arsed to keep track of their managerial merry-go-round) or simply accept the facts. Though I believe you will pick the first option, as you seem quite reluctant to ever do the latter.

  31. Evil

    Is it numbers or money your talking about. You see I’m talking about that little thing called team building which a new manger needs to do. You see you’ve taken for granted that our manger has had 15 years to build a club and a structure in his mould. It an advantage that few of you see. You see it because its not there. Despite amazing continuity this team still looks like they dont know each other or the system.

    Avb has very few of his players arsene has all f his plyers

  32. Evil

    So is arsenals form this year a natural trend of things. I see some sides have bucked that downward trend

  33. You see I’m talking about that little thing called team building which a new manger needs to do. You see you’ve taken for granted that our manger has had 15 years to build a club and a structure in his mould. It an advantage that few of you see. You see it because its not there.

    i have read that three times …you see….i dont understand it ….

    especially this part “It an advantage that few of you see. You see it because its not there.”

    LOST must be your favourite series….

  34. the season ticket debate one is pointless.

    there are comparable instances like Matts, where it is much and much the same cost. What isnt a debate is that our cheapest ticket is much much much more expensive than the cheapest tickets at every club in the EPL.

    I dont know why some people are attacking those who point this out.

    Even if exceptions to the rule akin to Matts example are highlighted, and another club has season tickets in our stratosphere, does that make it all right?

    Some will go to very unsual lengths to attack posters they inherently disklike.


  35. Dupsffokcuf, I read that it was a young Norwich team, but I’m sure that getting a competitive game, scoring goals and winning whatever the circumstance is always good for the confidence of a football player.

  36. hmmm chelsea no win in last 5 games …..

    ha!, and arsenal fans go and give shit to wenger?

    would they like to see what chelsea has invested and what arsenal has in first team the last 6 years before complaining to our manager?

  37. @ Luke

    What isnt a debate is that our cheapest ticket is much much much more expensive than the cheapest tickets at every club in the EPL.

    … except at Liverpool, whose cheapest tickets are more expensive.

  38. PG

    I’ve read through all your posts today and once again they are full of agressive abuse and viritrol.

    You are the consistent of ACLF. Consistently wrong, consistently abusing, consistently highlighing people as liars when indeed its you who is the liar.

    Oh, and wind your neck in with the Cesc abuse. Your way off the mark. When he returns to the Emirates, he will get a heros welcome.

    In the last week I have seen you attack Fabregas relentlessly AGAIN, and have seen you try devalue Henry’s return last week. I really do wonder if you are even a fan of the football club.

    Hunter13 – I am someone who never wants to be engaged by you. I genuinely mean this. I wont respond to anything you write.

  39. Hunter13 – I am someone who never wants to be engaged by you. I genuinely mean this. I wont respond to anything you write.

    its ok …it happens to a lot of people who meet me…… when the going gets tough they put on their skirts and hop around …. 😉

    be scared….lol…

    boo !

  40. @JD
    I am not sure what point you are trying to make. Our form, mental frailities aside, is a reflection of the fact, that the league has gotten more competitive. It’s an old cliché, but there really aren’t any easy games any more. A couple of seasons ago you’d have to worry about playing one of the top teams and losing to anyone else was always a bit of a shock. Nowadays it’s kind of normal that even the likes of Swansea, Wolves, Norwich etc. can go around and deliver the odd giant killing or grind out a result.

    @Hunter 13
    Congratulations, mate. You wound up one of the more negative posters on here to the point he plain out refuses to communicate with you. If you manage to get Muga and Jabba to that point, I might have to build you a small statue on my balcony!

  41. Regardless, its a very pedantic view in avoiding the key point.

    We pay extorinate ticket prices, to sustain a business model built on 49% matchday revenue, see the wage bill drastically increase every year, the results and performance on the pitch are negatively inverted to wage expenditure, tickets go up, best players leave, no major signings are made, repeat.

  42. @ Jabba you are wrong. Ofc we can afford it. You may not like it, but it will happen. That’s how the club will do it. Regardless of what you think or not. Deal with it man.

  43. Evil

    If you require a crazed deluded village idiot to fight your fights then god have mercy on your soul! 😉

    Besides, that was PG’s role……..

  44. Anyway – night

    Have to take my horribly simplistic black and white persona to bed, so I can wake up fresh for my horribly simplistic black and white meeting at 730 tomorrow morning.

  45. @Luke
    If you do not want to communicate with Hunter 13, maybe you should stop talking about him? 😉 You don’t really want to have to call on your mummy to check if he’s hiding under your bed again, do you?

  46. @ Luke

    Using the data from the article which you referenced:

    Arsenal: £951 for 26 matches = £36.58 per match
    Liverpool: £725 for 19 matches = £38.16 per match

  47. Evil | February 21, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    😉 easy ….

    and from a personal point of view….an absolute pleasure 🙂

  48. @ Luke

    Regardless, its a very pedantic view in avoiding the key point.

    We pay extorinate ticket prices, to sustain a business model built on 49% matchday revenue, see the wage bill drastically increase every year, the results and performance on the pitch are negatively inverted to wage expenditure, tickets go up, best players leave, no major signings are made, repeat.

    The Emirates is – in my opinion – the best football ground in the country. The ticket prices are not cheap, but they are not extortionate. The wage bill does not drastically increase every year, and the results and performance on the pitch are not negatively inverted to wage expenditure. As has been said many times before, we punch at or above our weight in terms of money spent on wages. Now, if you were making the point that perhaps some of the money could be better spent, that would be a different story…

    What is your key point? Did you read Yogi’s post today or the AST report? Roughly £54m spent on transfers out of roughly £66m received. And we have a stadium to pay for!

  49. billy please be gentle…dont make it so obvious or the umnetioned and disengaged will feel he got hit by a hammer.

    liverpool ticket prices higher than arsenals?

    you sure about that? 😉

    no it cant be …to hell with mathematics…what did they ever prove anyway….

  50. Luke – will Fabregas REALLY get a heroes’ welcome if he ever again shows his face round here?

    Are you SURE?

    This is a guy who signed up to the security of a long-term contract in the knowledge AW was building a team around him having lapped up, over many years, the best coaching in world football.

    As Brian Clough would almost certainly have said – he let himself down, he let his manager down and he let his club down.

    I don’t think he’s a c*nt, just a kid who allowed himself to have his head turned in the aftermath of a glorious World Cup campaign.

    But a hero?

    I don’t think so.

    The sad thing for me is I always previously admired his conduct off the pitch as much as on it – he was thoughtful, erudite and charming and is now completely wasted on the charlatans he joined last summer in a league where he’ll only ever play a handful a genuinely competitive games each season.

    He was so much better than all of that.

    He actually could have become a real hero.

  51. Luke is a liar.
    Why are people talking to a liar?

    Hunter,Luke is a liar you know.
    He will accuse you of saying stuff you never have and the to to busy to prove his claims.
    He is an idiot as well.
    And know nothing about football.
    And Cesc is no hero is he? is he? is he?

  52. @ hunter 13 | February 21, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    Yes re Liverpool, surprising, isn’t it? As Matt pointed out previously, the comparisons typically ignore that the Arsenal season tickets include the first seven FA Cup and European matches as well as the nineteen league matches.

    To be fair, the number of matches isn’t listed in the article, but it’s not hard to find.

  53. Billy’s Boots | February 21, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    kindly, dont forget to use cotton when treating the patient’s traumas.

    class AA…constant class all of your posts ..im a big fan… if not for this manager and after what he;s done …then for who?

  54. And Cesc is no hero is he? is he? is he?

    hahahah ..well he was my hero in san siro a couple of years ago …lol….thats for sure..but unfortunately expecting him to commit his career at arsenal was always a stretch…very sad and disappointed he didnt stick until he repaid manager;s faith with a trophy…….BUT…he wasnt with us so….take the money and run ..as the song goes.

  55. Reading the AST report was interesting and when you ready that shirt and manufacturing agreements net Arsenal around 14 million per season versus an estimated market value of 40 million cannot help but wish 2014 was here faster! We all knew the contracts in place were conservative, I just hope that Arsenal get closer to market values come renewal.

    I am not taking a shot at anyone at the Arsenal, but I am worried about how we are going to shift some of the contracts currently on our books.

  56. Cesc was a great player for sure, but he will never go down as an Arsenal great due to when/how he left. I don’t think he will get boo’d in the way Adebayor and Nasri did, but I don’t think he will be given a hero’s recetpion either. I suspect it will be mixed.

    He was very very good for the club and often dragged us through games when we were struggling. For that he will be remembered fondly. He never led the team to anything significant though; how can he be remembered as a great?

  57. Are we to become a society of jibberers, middle of the roaders and booers? No, say I. Free L’artiste Gainsbourg69.

  58. Arsenal Andrew

    Fabregas is the most important player to Barca bar Messi at present. He starts every major game, at the club he loves, his whole family is associated to, his friends who he grew up with play at. We always knew he was leaving.

    Cesc signing that contract meant we should have been able to demand a higher fee, much like United and Ronaldo, but we bent over.

    We ignored Fabregas’ and other senior players calls for serious recruitment to be made. Year after year, Fabregas would statisically be in our top two performers, he would win us games, and season after season he had to watch the usual suspects make mistake after mistake in what should have been routine wins.

    He gave this club nearly a decade of dedicated and exceptional service. He left us with a broken heart to join the only club he loves more than the Arsenal. I wish him every success, and will sing my little heart out if the maestro ever returns, which he has said he wants to do.

    It was an absolute pleasure to watch him. Arsenal Football Club will be talking about Fabregas and his quality for decades.

    His service and talent is forever etched in our history. Its a shame he was left to carry a team, augmented with only a handful players of his ilk.

    Its a shame he never got to play in a great Arsenal team.

  59. Evil – ha, yes. My girlfriend had to use my 6-iron to prove Hunter13 wasnt in the spare room or under the bed.

    I slept veeeery well last night!

  60. When I tell her that I’m missing her best friends engagement drinks in the country so I can over indulge in sporting and gambling fun this weekend, she might well be!

    Fri – poker night
    Sat – Twickenham
    Sun – Gooners


  61. Just wait till Hunter 13 meets Sprectum # 1. I see a film in there somewhere, not a good one either, but the kind you have to watch. On telly. Until the wee hours. With another cup of tea. Even though you’re tired and don’t like telly. It’s a rip-roaring premise. Poster: “They met on a blogsite. Football fans from the same team. And agreed to meet later at a pub, somewhere on the wrong side of London” (have to say something like that for American audiences). A romantic or at least female element perhaps? “She pleaded with them not to do it. She knew she had to go.” A sub-plot. “Nobody had seen his face before (YW), until tonight”. A sub-sub plot. “On the night of the of North London derby, vengeance, tears of joy, a hero emerges in a game that will change the fate of a team”.

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