Is KSE Bringing The Game Into Disrepute?

Call a referee every name under the sun, get yourself a booking or two along the way and the FA Beaks will have you before them for “bringing the game into disrepute”. The letter inviting Stan Kroenke to defend himself against the same charge is surely winging its way to KSE HQ as we speak.

We might have hooked up with a philanthropist billionaire, one who despite making oodles of cash, gave much back to society, recognising the privilege of their circumstances. No, we get a gruesome twosome. Yesterday’s announcement that the KSE-owned MyOutdoor TV (MOTV) would broadcast to the UK its menu of big game hunting.

Don’t worry, it’s ethical. Quite what ethical means is beyond me. Unless, of course, the elephants and other animals are being given rifles, body armour, and suitably fast all-terrain vehicles in which to escape. And the green light to stalk the hunters and ravage their miserable bodies out of existence. Not particularly ethical, just less one-sided, I think.

KSE doesn’t care; the argument put out in defence of the channel was based around, “it’s legal, get over it”. I didn’t see it but I’m sure there was an “if we don’t show it, someone else will”, defence as well. Which they probably would but they wouldn’t be the majority shareholder of Arsenal FC.

Which is where the issue becomes clouded. The Football Association will no doubt take the view that KSE’s investment is nothing to do with football, legal, and nothing to do with football. There’s little time or appetite at FA House for ethical hunting of transgressors in the boardroom. Mainly because the FA suits know the boardroom suits can afford better lawyers.

So why is MOTV bringing the game into disrepute if it is legal?

Ethical Hunting

Whichever way you dress it, ethical hunting is still hunting. Not only that, the ‘rewards’ end up stuffed above the mantelpiece or plastered across walls with photos of the grade A plum with a rifle posing above it. Man, conqueror of everything on the planet.

The problem football faces is where the boundaries of ‘disrepute’ lie. They are very flexible and contain three strands: legal, moral and image. If the first isn’t an issue, two and three come into play.

Is MOTV’s existence as part of the KSE portfolio morally dubious? In itself, no. Broadcasting big game hunting is where the issue exists. Programmes will cover fishing and all sorts of other aspects of the great outdoors which allow viewers to channel their inner Bear Grylls. Or if the hunt goes wrong, Bear Grills, Bakes and Barbecues Man. I was going to put roasts but we’re already talking dubious morals and don’t need to add to that further.

It’s one aspect of their programming which is causing the issue and honestly, if that was ditched, the issue goes away. The question Kroenke has to answer is whether the money gained from this aspect of the endeavour is worth the opprobrium of the masses?

It is lucrative; KSE isn’t interest in chump change. And disturbingly, tacit approval is given by Kroenke if that aspect of the programming continues.

Hitting the Bottom Line

We live in a society which is quick to outrage. The politics of hate and economics of greed divide the world, and the media feeds that frenzy with its profit-driven column inches. What fuels a tirade of abuse one day, is embraced a month later. Will anyone beyond the animal rights groups remember MOTV once the season starts?

While the output is, in my view, morally unpalatable, I’m not sure football will see it in the same way.

They should however. There is a puritanical instinct toward the players which is not pursued with any zeal for others. It’s wrong. Had Dele Alli invested in MOTV, all hell would break loose with cries that he should be sacked from the England squad. He probably would be; fined as well and told to mind his p’s and q’s in future.

Kroenke won’t face any censure, and that is wrong. This is an investment on his part which brings football’s moral stance into disrepute.

Hit football’s bottom line and the game takes notice. “Boycott Arsenal!”, the cry went up; “Sack him!”, the ill-informed declared, knowing a soundbite rarely faces scrutiny. Neither thing is going to happen. It’s a storm in a teacup; commercial negotiations won’t suffer on a wide enough scale for any action to be taken. Sponsors will watch the reaction with interest but only when the season starts is when they will really take notice.

Absolute Reality

The reality is that while the MOTV incident brings football into disrepute, nothing will be done. Expectations that Arsenal will take a stand are a nonsense, only aired if an individual is seeking a career change. The board won’t do anything. They could take the admirable stance that resigning is the only path to follow but that would mean paying for their own tickets. Not going to happen.

It’s another nail in the KSE coffin. Another reason for them to be unloved. They will not give two hoots. Nothing, but nothing will change at Arsenal. There is not a catalyst for change at the club, certainly not change of that magnitude.

The good ship Arsenal will sail through these choppy waters and survive. Will the next billionaire owner form an orderly queue at the door and present your ethical credentials for inspection.

’til Tomorrow.

97 thoughts on “Is KSE Bringing The Game Into Disrepute?

  1. Great piece Stu – sensitively handled.
    Spot on about the double standards too.
    I very much suspect you’re right – nothing much will be done at the end of the day.
    Our capacity as football fans to tolerate myriad indignities, outrages and y’know generally being fleeced seems almost bottomless once the games start…

  2. Funny how the club (manager included and upfront often enough to remind us) tries to claim the moral high ground of ‘doing things the right way – the Arsenal Way’ when it suits them. I look forward to the deafening silence on this subject though. Hypocrites the lot of them.

    I have a lot of time for David Dein and he deserves a huge amount of credit for our achievements in the early Arsene years, but introducing that vile wig-wearing parasite to our club was a truly horrendous error of judgement on so many levels.

  3. YW,

    The hunting lobby will say, with a certain amount of justification, that it is hypocrisy for ‘non-hunters’ to belly ache about them, when we allow millions of poultry, cows, sheep etc to be killed in less than humane conditions.

    The difference to me, is that ‘hunting’ is a primal instinct from early in our history to enable men/women to search for and kill animals to eat, whereas these so called Big Game hunters do it because they can afford to do so — and they just want to kill magnificent animals!

    Food is the least of their concerns. Bastards.

  4. andy1886,

    It certainly was and the previous owners who sold their shares (Lady Bracewell or something?) to Kroenke to become majority share holder should own up to what they did.

    Now we have conflicts of interest, power struggle and a weak board. The previous owners really should own up that this is very unarsenal.

    Who’s ever heard of a large owner (over 30 %) who’s denied a seat on the board. At large or listed companies it is very rare.

  5. YW,
    If there’s a Boycott at Arsenal I hope he teaches us how to play in the corridor of uncertainty!!! 🙂

  6. HenryB,

    Funny enough I read an interview about an American big game hunter last week who said that he justified his ‘sport’ by the fact that he would annually pay $500k to the South African game reserves to help fund their breeding programmes in exchange for them letting him onto the reserve and bagging a rhino or two!

    Its a strange world in which we live…..

  7. HenryB,

    And to those I would reply that the majority of us oppose inhumane food production techniques and we certainly do not enjoy indulging in such as a hobby! (yes I do buy as ethically as I can). If instinct was any excuse we’d still be raping and pillaging of course…

    In short as you say people who kill animals for fun (*cough* fox hunting) are pathetic bastards.

  8. Welsh Corgi Cardigan,

    Yeah, I recall that the key was Danny Fiszman selling his shares in two stages to Kroenke, with that in place whatever the rest of the shareholders did was irrelevant, the writing was on the wall. They used to make such a big deal of being guardians of the club but when push came to shove they all cashed in. And to add insult to injury Kroenke failed to support the Arsenal Fanshare scheme. Greedy bastard.

  9. andy1886:

    If instinct was any excuse we’d still be raping and pillaging of course…

    The wild west is alive and well my friend, just the final frontier has shifted a bit.

  10. In my experience the Yanks love to shoot things. Guns, Guns, and more Guns.

    Maybe that’s why there are a lot of US Gunner fans? Tenuous…

    Shitehouse Stan won’t bat an eyelid.

  11. Agree Andy. David Dein and where he cocked up:

    – Selling to Stan Kroenke
    – Selling to Alisher Usmanov
    – Selling Ashley Cole to Chelsea
    – Selling players to Barcelona via his son Darren
    – Selling Arsene Wenger to the Press continually

    Funny how the club (manager included and upfront often enough to remind us) tries to claim the moral high ground of ‘doing things the right way – the Arsenal Way’ when it suits them. I look forward to the deafening silence on this subject though. Hypocrites the lot of them.

    I have a lot of time for David Dein and he deserves a huge amount of credit for our achievements in the early Arsene years, but introducing that vile wig-wearing parasite to our club was a truly horrendous error of judgement on so many levels.

  12. Have to agree with the comments of JC here:

    Arsenal majority shareholder Stan Kroenke has been criticised by Gunners fan and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

    Kroenke courted controversy on Monday after launching a bloodsports television channel in the United Kingdom.

    The American oversaw the launch of My Outdoor TV, which features regular hunting programmes in which endangered species are targeted.

    Corbyn, an Arsenal fan, hit out at Kroenke for his participation.

    “I’m appalled at the glorification of killing wild and rare animals on this TV channel,” Corbyn said.

    “As an Arsenal fan I’m disgusted that Stan Kroenke is involved in such a brutal, unethical and unnecessary activity.

    “This is not sport. Kroenke should stick to football if he wants to be involved in sport. In my mind ‘blood sport’ is a contradiction and there should be no place on television or anywhere else for it.”

  13. Kudos, YW.

    Highly amusing to see those with a more, erm, positive outlook attempting to defend the indefensible.

    “Mock outrage” apparently. I kid ya not. Ffs.

    JC’s statement is spot on.

  14. A tough audience today.

    Not sure how you manage to knock out the articles day after day in the off season YW. Well done! 😉

    (What does Yogis Warrior stand for/mean – Have I made a Boo-Boo?)

    no apologies on your 2 day absent , and you came with this boring post. just expressing my feelings

  15. andy1886,

    Absolutely agree. I’m disgusted in our owners appetite for these antics. I’m almost embarrassed to be a fan at present, between KSE existing and Wenger’s contradictions re contracts after the loss to Sevilla and then lifting the cup having lost! C’mon.

  16. It is always a good idea to educate oneself before getting too hysterical.
    Whilst I agree that killing anything simply for the sake of killing is wrong. These animals need to be periodically culled in order to relive unsustainable pressure on their limited environment. They will be shot either way be it by the hand of a trophy hunter or by the hand of a game warden.
    The difference being that the trophy hunter will pay between $10k and $100k depending on the animal. This money goes directly back into the conservation of the land and animals. From providing food and housing to the conservation staff, anti poaching equipment and vetinary fees, some of it makes its way into the local communities. The meat from these animals is also distributed to the local communities who have a very hard time getting good protein.
    I grew up on a game reserve in South Africa and whilst I’ve never taken to hunting for personal reasons, I’ve been around it my whole life. I’d much rather eat an animal that’s lived a a life in the wild and been humanely dispatched as opossed to one raised in a stall purely for consumption and fed bucketloads of antibiotics and steroids.
    I don’t condone killing as s sport and I certainly detest the people that get pleasure from it.
    But to the People on the ground working to conserve these animals for future generations it is a necessity. It’s a very unpleasant one That none of you that have never been involved in it should be so quick to judge.
    The trophy hunters on the other hand are a disgusting bunch and deserve any judgment that comes their way.

  17. Pistol Fish,

    Some fair points there of course but I doubt that Stan is supporting hunting from a conservation viewpoint. Regards the wider picture the very fact that inequality is so extreme that this sort of activity is deemed in any way to have a positive side says a great deal about the way the world is run, often by the same class of person that just happens to enjoy blasting living creatures to get their rocks off.

  18. I largely agree with you Pistol but the fact remains, the people who indulge in this are utterly abhorrent and it is not something with which I would ever wish our club to be associated.

  19. Some comment on F365 about the differing models of player turnover contrasting in particular Arsenal and Chelsea….

    By any measure that farm model is working. The sale of Nemanja Matic for £40m takes Chelsea’s transfer income since the summer of 2013 comfortably over the £400m mark. These figures can only ever be rough estimates but – for comparison – Tottenham have brought in around £320m, Liverpool £250m, Manchester United £175m, Manchester City £150m and Arsenal just £60m.

    The days of Chelsea as the carefree spenders and Arsenal as the parsimonious selling club are long gone. The Blues may still splash more BACS than Arsenal on transfers, but in terms of net spend, Arsenal’s outlay is over £100m more in the same period. Arsene Wenger preaches cohesion, but the consequence of cohesion is that the Frenchman is currently looking at a 33-man first-team squad list bloated with average players like Carl Jenkinson, Mathieu Debuchy, Kieran Gibbs and Joel Campbell. If Chelsea are the productive farm, Arsenal are the donkey sanctuary.

    Of course, Chelsea being lower ‘net spenders’ than Manchester United, Manchester City and Arsenal would mean nothing were they unsuccessful on the pitch in that same period. No English team has claimed more points – or, more importantly, titles – since 2013.

  20. Thanks for that, PF. Very interesting and unknown to me before.

    But those that want to do it? Well, the world has always had such utterly selfish and egotistical individuals. The difference now is that another sort of parasite can make money out of glorifying it in the name of entertainment.

    That’s the way the World is going.

  21. Kroenke should stick to football – I’d prefer he didn’t actually.

    Is this channel meant to be pay to view? Can’t imagine there is going to be that much take up in the UK until they give guns and explosives to the animals as well. I’d definitely watch it then.


    The AKBs argue that Chelsea bought their early success through player acquisitions. Maybe they did, but they have since adapted their model in a way that allows them to effectively balance their books, or at least reduce their net spend to a level that can be financed from club revenues. Arsenal’s model was focused on buying ‘cheap’ youngsters who it was hoped would develop, with the initial ‘big’ purchases being very promising English players. It is an approach which has backfired and over the last couple of years the club has hugely increased its net spend to try to catch up. Its failed miserably so far and we have fallen further behind as we focus on one or two names whilst making do in other positions.

  22. Pistol Fish,

    Always good to hear more details.

    I do think that SK would sell his own grannie’s kisses for money though.

    Maybe we could stick HIM in the middle of a big game reserve , naked & smeared in animal guts & then see who is the King of nature without weapons.

  23. YW,

    Probably because it’s the point at which Arsenal changed their approach and started (with the acquisition of Ozil) to compete on a more level playing field with the other big clubs. Also I seem to recall, about that time Abramovich moved more towards a sustainable business model for Chelsea. You could argue that we have been no more successful after we decided to spend the bug bucks than when we were holding it all together on a shoestring (not that we didn’t have the funds to compete, we just chose not to up to that point).

    Begs the question can we trust our economics graduate with the purse strings? Given some of our purchasing decisions and the oft criticised wage structure I would suggest that the answer is that we can’t.

  24. Solicitors’ ethics. Ya gotta love ’em but in terms of a response only direct action will do. Case in point: A local dentist lost half his patients after it was revealed he had been illegally poaching in Africa.

  25. Interesting post Yogi. I grew up in rural South Dakota which called itself the pheasant hunting capital of the world and now I live in Texas where almost everyone I know owns an arsenal of firearms. However, I have never owned a gun or killed an animal with a firearm in my life. I have the same gut instinct as you with regard to the idea that killing any living animal just for fun is abhorrent. I have spent a lot of my time and a whole lot of my own money saving abused horses and I have 3 dogs that I rescued and I would have a whole lot more dogs and horses if I could. However, my distaste for hunting as a sport has also caused me to research the subject and I have talked to a lot of people who know more then me about conservation and everything that Pistol Fish says in his comment at 12:16 is correct.

  26. I am not opposed to hunting if it is well managed and the number of licenses is controlled by people whose motivations are good. However, I will never understand the mindset of the hunter who takes pleasure in actually killing an animal. I find it even stranger how many people actually take vicarious pleasure from watching someone else shoot an animal on TV.

  27. @Andy

    The Chelsea model may allow Chelsea to meet FFP (if that counts for anything). It was set up by Peter Kenyon, and has only worked due to the surge in transfer values. It doesn’t take into account the amount splashed on wages or the failures. Look at how many players they are dealing with:

    I find it unusual for Chelsea to be selling their better players. Past couple of seasons has seen them sell Oscar, Ramires, Matic and Costa is on his way shortly.

    Matic to United strengthens a direct rival. Maybe Abramovich is saving a few roubles for the new stadium?

  28. As Andy points out, I think the way Chelsea has run their business and their football club in this decade should be a great model for how to run a “big team.” Abramovich has been a genius, IMO. When he bought the team he recognized they needed to spend a lot of money to turn Chelsea into a big club. He understood that winning generates revenue. However, early in this decade the original group of players that was so successful from 2005-2011 had clearly run out of mental and physical energy and was fading quickly. Players like Drogba, Lampard, Essien, Malouda, Anelka etc etc etc were aging and not worth very much on the open market. They needed to completely rebuild the team. They have made a few mistakes but overall the results indicate their strategy of selling and buying players has been very well executed. I suspect they would have sold Wilshere while he was still worth a lot and used the funds to get a player who could help them. I doubt they would even consider the idea of giving Ozil a new contract and no doubt they would have made every effort to sell him although I am not sure who in the world would take him right now.

  29. Good stuff Yogi and glad you were able to get a break prior to the start of the season.

    Personally I don’t own nor do I ever wish to own a gun nor do I condone killing anything just for the sake of it BUT I also think and have looked into it and spot on from Pistol for his comment. I think while it sounds crazy, there is a sort of good that comes with the well run locations.

    For me, the biggest issue is that its broadcasted on TV as some sort of sporting event and for that I am disgusted (along with the fact people mount these animals up on the walls as trophies), because the public outrages when these animals attack and mual people yet cheer and want to watch when thr opposite happens.

  30. The other interesting news is this whole Lemar or Seri rumors. I think the one thing that it shows is that Lemar, if true, is being brought in to play as a CM and if Seri is the ‘Plan B’ than we need to get one of them done immediately.

  31. Why are we not in for Matuidi? one year on his contract, I hear he will be available at crazy rates.

    Also, C, you told me this Neymar move was just gossip…

  32. Jonny,

    We’re not allowed to buy any more players, as we can’t register 8 of the ones we’ve currently got contracted.

    Need to sell a few before we buy. Not saying we’re cocking the window up again. Yet

  33. Jonny,

    This Neymar thing is crazy to be quite honest. Its rare that you see a top 5 player move let alone from Barca or one of the big clubs in Germany, Italy or Spain to Ligue Un PSG. The most interesting part is that you see Inesta speaking directly to it and telling him to make a decision now.

    Neymar is actually back in training at Barca and part of me thinks that Neymar isn’t quite as sure he wants to leave as he once thought. I know most think that his move to PSG is all but done but until then and based on how much fun he has been having with Barca this pre-season, I think he will stay and understand that he is the future of Barca. I think he is caught in 2 minds: be the future of Barca and know that he will ALWAYS be able to compete for La liga and CL titles or go to PSG who seems stuck where they are as a top club that won’t win the CL.

  34. Jonny,

    Stan’s next spin off channel, Killing Humans

    Unwanted footballers on astronomical contracts are released into urban city scapes, whilst multi millionaires try to catch and kill them.

    I’d probably watch that, might even pay for it. He cuts the wage bill and earns from the sicko who wants to pull the trigger.

    Stan – if you or your cronies are reading and this comes to fruition in the near future, I want my cut bitches!!!

  35. Jonny,

    Why aren’t we in for Matuidi, that has been a question I have asked for the past 4 years as he seems to be loved by the supporters and valued by the club but managers keep trying to replace him. I would gladly take him.

    The other player I would have is Rabiot as he seems to be only partly trusted by Emery but when called upon has been superb. I mean against Barca in both legs he was if not the best player on the pitch, then one of the top 3 and that includes that front 3 of Barca.

  36. Jonny,


    Yea we need to get rid of some of the players and though we already knew it, its interesting that you are seeing articles today about how Arsenal are accepting fees for players but these players won’t leave because they don’t want to take a pay cut. You are seeing names like Ospina, Jenks, Gibbs, Jack among others.

  37. Andy 1886
    Wenger’s backers will dismiss those numbers by saying Chelsea sold well only because they have been hoarding talented players from all over the world ( 40 plus out on loan), and Arsene simply overachieved with a group of average players no other club really wanted.

    As to why Wenger then decided to give those average players such rich contracts( Jenkinson, Gibbs etc), they will say he had to to keep them happy and performing at a high level.

  38. Tom:
    Andy 1886
    Wenger’s backers will dismiss those numbers by saying Chelsea sold well only because they have been hoarding talented players from all over the world ( 40 plus out on loan), and Arsene simply overachieved with a group of average players no other club really wanted.

    As to why Wenger then decided to give those average players such rich contracts( Jenkinson, Gibbs etc), they will say he had to to keep them happy and performing at a high level.

    The problem with that theory about Chelsea is early in this decade the big name players that Chelsea stockpiled who could have commanded high fees at one point were all aging/fading superstars who were not worth a whole lot in the transfer market.

  39. Arsenal are going to have to start playing ‘makeweight’ in some of those wages…

    In passing, I wonder how the AKBs settle this spiralling contract mess of AW’s making and keep their fragile he can do now wrong world the right way up.

  40. Fabulous. Make it happen.


    Stan’s next spin off channel, Killing Humans

    Unwanted footballers on astronomical contracts are released into urban city scapes, whilst multi millionaires try to catch and kill them.

    I’d probably watch that,might even pay for it.He cuts the wage bill and earns from the sicko who wants to pull the trigger.

    Stan – if you or your cronies are reading and this comes to fruition in the near future, I want my cut bitches!!!

  41. I have been called negative over the years but right or wrong I prefer to think of myself as a realist. I really think part of the problem for Arsene is he has not been realistic about how he rates a lot of our players, and I think he has let emotional attachment to players especially the younger ones influence his decisions. For example, he has stuck with a player like Gibbs for all of these years and paid extravagant wages for many average players. Early in this decade Arsene clearly over rated the ability of his young English core plus Wojo to mature together into a group of players who could have consist positive influence.

    We all want to believe our players are better then they are but the person who makes personnel decisions for the club can’t do that. Chelsea has no problem selling players but it seems like we can’t bring ourselves to pull the trigger. I suspect Arsene thinks like a fan sometimes and will see what he wants to see when he watches the games and unfortunately there is no one else in our organization who can offer an opposing opinion.

  42. I think Gibbs has been in the first team for longer then anyone else in the current squad. When he first started to feature with the first 11 most of us who are honest (myself included) will admit that we thought he was the next great LB and he would make us forget about Ashley Cole. You would think Arsene would learn a lesson from watching the way things have played out for Gibbs and for dozens of players like him. You just can’t predict the future of players like that. The issue with our wage structure and overpaying players who ultimately turn out to be ineffective has been around since late in the previous decade and unfortunately there is no one in our organization who can give second opinions and convince Arsene that he needs to reevaluate the way he does some things.

  43. If I might say without causing you embarrassment Bill, I think your motivation and achievement is tremendous in doing your very best to alleviate animal suffering.

    Well done, sir.

    In contrast – people who ‘love’ their animals don’t always love them that much.
    In a case here in the UK, two guys got prison sentences for fraudulently mixing tons of horse meat with a tiny proportion of beef and called it ‘pure beef’ when they sold it to supermarkets and restaurants.

    How did they get caught? Inspectors found the ‘chips’ used to identify ‘much loved’ ponies in the meat because these guys did not realise the horse meat contained ‘pets’ who are registered, and callously disposed of by their owners as they ‘upgraded’ as their kids got older.

    So it is not just the hunters of lions, giraffes, rhinos in SA who are pretty despicable. 😀

  44. Bill, @ 5:16

    You are correct – it is not possible to predict who will become a good, very good or great player at an early age – and one of the reasons – and it has affected Gibbs badly – is his disposition to chronic injury.

    Another, like Jack, who if he did not forever keep breaking down with various injuries would be a very good player.

    But life is often about trying to predict what, or which, is the best way forward — and as often as not getting it wrong – football is no exception, I’m afraid.

  45. What a great post and excellent discussion. It certainly generated responses on a slow football news day.

    I think Andy had it right about the apparent benefits being indicative of the wider problems of inequality. At the very least don’t glorify it by putting it on television for profit. I think it is entirely fair to dislike the fact that our majority shareholder is involved. I’m sure he engages in hunting on his numerous “ranches” he has purchased in the West.

    But the bigger argument to be made against Kroenke is how poor an owner he is. Connecting the other line of discussion here, the Chelsea model proves that there are a variety of ways to go about a self-sustaining big club model. But ours doesn’t provide success and fails to account for the opportunities unique to competitive sport. Between a passive and uninspired ownership lacking vision or ambition and the outmoded dependence on one man’s unaccountable approach, AFC have gone backward. It is so clear that we are at best treading water.

  46. Finally, Bill, you will be pleased to hear;

    You said “I have been called negative over the years but right or wrong I prefer to think of myself as a realist.”

    Some say, “I am a realist, with no time for your world of make believe” or “someone who hopes for or accepts only what seems possible or likely, and does not hope for the impossible”.

    But comparisons are made for the optimist [positive] who sees the glass half full, or the pessimist [negative] who sees the glass half empty —– the truth is the ‘real’ realist is the guy who knows the glass is just half f*cking full.

    Sorry, Bill, by your definition you are not really a realist. 😀

  47. I hunt deer to eat. If I get a good rack, it may go up on my wall. I know some hunters that hunt for the trophy…to get their names in the record books (and yes, they do exist)…but to a man, they harvest the meat (though some donate it to charity). Have an opinion on this but please inform yourself, too

  48. I have debated this issue many times with passionate hunters including my son in law and I always take the anti-hunting side since I do find the idea distasteful and very few people will argue on that side of the fence. I have talked to several people who are experts in wild life management and animal conservation. These are people who have made animal welfare their life’s work and very few of them hunt themselves. However, they all say that some form of population control is needed and trapping and relocating or trapping and sterilization is not realistic. Every one that I have talked to is in favor of controlled hunting.

  49. Limestonegunner,

    The difference is that the Chelsea model required the owner to put money into the club initially to take the club up a level. When that was achieved it became easier to stock pile youth as well, using the loan system effectively to ensure that the talent was able to develop in a competitive environment. Chelsea don’t use the loan system to park players, they have a loan coordinator who is in contact with the players regularly. Coaches at the club analyse videos of loanees performances and provide regular feedback to the players on what they need to work on. The loan system is as much a part of the development system for young players, as direct coaching from coaches at Chelsea. Young players are either prepared to a degree that they can be brought into the club, or sold on. Even if they are sold on they are at a development level that another club actually wants to buy them. Not many players are necessarily of a quality that they can play for Chelsea, but they do help to provide the finances that allow Chelsea to buy players who can play for the first team. The likelihood is that if a youngster is good enough to go into the first team, he won’t prove to be a dog.

  50. Back to Arsenal. I don’t think anyone would argue with the idea that one of the reasons we have struggled over the years and the biggest reason we have the wage issues is because Arsene tends to be overly optimistic in his assessment of his players. Nothing wrong with hoping for the best but overly developed self belief in himself and his players is one of the reasons Arsene will try to find an excuse when things go wrong rather then admitting that he has a problem. It always feels better to blame something which is outside of your control because then its not your fault. Bottom line is you don’t get better by looking for a reason to pat yourself on the back for something that goes right. You get better by looking in the mirror to find the real cause of the problem when things go wrong and then finding a way to fix the problem.

  51. Wavey,

    I agree and this is a better system than we have devised. But I think far more money has been generated in selling first team players. Success makes their value greater.

  52. Bill,

    In terms of reason, this is the logical conclusion. Systematic overvaluation has plagued us for years. This is part of the reason why I think a new manager is o key part of what is required now to build a winning side. A lot of our players, even some of those we rate on skill and talent are and have been chronically underachieving g. We need to start rebuilding the team like Chelsea did.

  53. Jonny,

    You know the craziest thing about the Neymar thing is that for European futbol, its probably best that Neymar stays with Barca; I mean Barca with 200m leads them to essentially rebuild their team on the fly.

    I mean they could essentially give PSG back 80m for Veratti, possibly 120m for Griezmann or 80m to Dortmund for Dembele or Aubameyang. Could you imagine a Barca line-up that looks something like

    Ter Stegen
    —-Busquets—-Veratti—-Inesta or Gomes (Portugal CM they signed last season)
    Messi———Suarez——Dembele or Aubameyang

    They would essentially be replacing Neymar with 2 of the best players in Europe and if they get Aubameyang he would be a better finisher than Neymar to pair with Messi and Suarez while getting Veratti, who IMHO is the best CM in Europe bar none.

  54. Wavey,

    So in a nutshell they have been smarter than we have, employing a modern strategy and business model to both maximise the likelihood of developing talent and also of generating income from those that do not make the grade. Meanwhile we failed to embrace the twenty first century and stuck to the old tried and tested method of overpaying for potential and letting it rot on the bench until their contracts expired when it didn’t come off.

  55. Brilliant article Yogi – eloquent and articulate. The rot at AFC started when the passionless soulless owner Kroenke took charge and the organization’s bottom line became more important than its place in the EPL table. AFC is a small bit of a massive worldwide portfolio of an amoral piece of crap. The owners have no passion for the game and have sucked it out of all that work there, including the players.

  56. I see that Liverpool spanked Bayern 3-0 this evening. It’s only pre-season but Klopp’s men might not struggle with the PL/CL demands as much as some seem to think.

  57. Bill,

    I think you are absolutely bang on Bill. AW has allowed his emotional rationale to dominate his practical thinking and management of players.

  58. For years I have disliked the myth building surrounding Wenger – it both excused him (stadium rebuild) and imbued him with talents he patently did not have (an economist, a shrewd business operator) as just two examples.

    As soon as this window opened we bloody well knew we needed to act decisively to cull our squad just to comply – let alone revamp/rebuild.

    Yet to date we have sold Szczney (in a contentious manner) and yet played hardball with others (Gibbs, Wilshere) knowing full well not only was the fee an issue (of our own making) the wage demands were already a hurdle (of our own making).

    We are not only amateurish but bluffing with weak hands.

    And, for the umpteenth time I will point out all comings and goings have somehow revolved around Sanchez when he should and could have been a non-issue.

    The fact is several clubs have been handling their business affairs more astutely than Arsenal for years. Early days I predicted happenstance would dictate this window’s activity rather than our own decision making and whilst it’s far from over, little is happening to suggest otherwise.

    Just by the by, interesting no one has mentioned if the Neymar deal goes through, Ozil is apparently one of the players in Barcelona’s sights to re-strengthen (Coutinho, Ozil or Angel Di Maria).

    Obviously a truly elite team is the only destination that would make sense for Ozil and his talent . The fee reportedly being considered would be around 50 million (whereas Liverpool are trying to push for 100 million for Coutinho).

  59. DFS

    If Neymar leaves, Barca can have Ozil as far as I am concerned. My suspicion is they may go after Sanchez to replace Neymar. Sanchez would be a direct replacement for Neymar as their wide left forward.

  60. Bill,

    I would love to see Ozil at Barca – however I think his declining productivity is as much Wengers fault as his own- I have long argued we do not have the structure to fully utlize him.

    Frankly I think he could work well in Serie A but of course as he is world class in a rarified sense, you could only realy see him a Bayern (for obvious reasons) or the likes of Barcelona or PSG.

    If Neymar went to PSG and then Barcelona took Ozil as a plan B for a hefty sum I would welcome it also (I prefer to see players at their peak).

    I can’t imagine Barcelona would enter the fray for Sanchez- there has been no indication of any intention. Their first choice appears to be Coutinho (it looks like a difficult deal) with Ozil and then Angel Di Maria as back up choices.

  61. There is no defence. You cannot defend killing rare magnificent species for a perverse, worryingly psychotic kind of pleasure, which are in their own environment, which do not need to be killed, and by their very presence give millions of people a huge amount of pleasure, by equating it to the fact that people need to eat. You cannot defend the fact the Kroenke is trying to make money out of this unacceptably savage, barbaric and totally wasteful and useless behaviour either. The FA should be petioned, as to whether someone with no morals at all should have a majority shareholding in one of the oldest and most famous clubs in the world. I think we as fans also feel uncomfortable, that some of our money may be being used to fund this disgraceful behaviour. It has been shown that elephants have the same emotions as humans, so to treat them in this despicable manner is tantamount to torture. Hillsborough had been handled in a ‘legal’ way up to a year ago, this is clearly pushing the bounds of legality, and people who can be charged for animal cruelty, should be, starting with Kroenke.

  62. andy1886,
    I don’t know why people were so keen to have him over Usmanov – the fact that he is American should’ve rung warning bells after the other American owners. Maybe Kroenke is behind the daesh propoganda channels as well .. would seem to be about his level of morality and barbarity,

  63. gmv8,

    Well said.

    The issue which strikes about Kroenke and this programming is the shits knew it would be contentious. As someone mentioned above, last year a famous lion ‘Cecil’ was shot by a dentist from Minnesota – and it caused outrage around the world.

    This was a political decision as much as anything else. They knew it would cause offense and knew they would find an audience – let’s antagonize. Its a naked appeal to a specific political base – a FU to contemporary culture….to the perceived left, perceived greens, perceived environmentalists.

    Pistolfish made an honest argument with many fair points. 15 million hunt in the US and most pride themselves on their ethics, their hunting and butchery skills as well as their ability to cure/preserve meat to ‘provide’. The idea of a hunt might thrill, but killing for sport runs against their grain.

    However when humans engage in killing highly developed mammals for sport (in most cases with high powered rifles from distance) that, as you say, is psychotic. To film it, to mount heads as trophies underlines the bloodlust. Shooting a leopard proves what?

    However, to collect and collate footage to air in a documentray series is an overtly political act.

  64. andy1886,

    And this all comes right back to Wenger. His reluctance to delegate any real responsibilities mean that he has to take on all of the roles. They say a Jack of all trades is a master of none.

  65. Wavey,

    True, and that’s reflected in the players he likes. Usually players who can full fill multiple roles, not specialists who excel in a particular position. Is it any wonder that several players who have been at the club for many years still do not have a defined role?

  66. andy1886,


    Wilshere (17), Oxlade Chamberlain(5) and Ramsey (8)have been on Arsenals books for a total of 30 years.

    I pointed out the other day posters were having a discussion (in earnest and for the thousandth time) about where to play Ramsey or Oxlade Chamberlain and what were the stronger/weaker apects of their games.

    I wish the entire fan base (let alone board) could take a step back and attempt some perspective. Its all hidden in plain sight.

    That lack of decisiveness and direction manifests itself on and off the pitch. I am quite concerned the transfer moves and general progression of the City and United squads for instance.

    It looks to me three or four teams will be ready from the outset and if any pf the given ‘top six’ lack momentum they’ll be trailing in the wake.

  67. Bill,

    Agree. I suspect that Sanchez will be desperate to get back to barcelona. He didn’t deserve to get booted and now would love to show that was a mistake. Pep just can’t compete with that sort of transfer.
    I also think that Sanchez would be better for Barcelona than Neymar: better workrate when he doesn’t have the ball (though Neymar is no slouch) and doesn’t dribble as much. Neymar can make Barcelona a bit static.
    Betchya Barcelona is desperate for the dough and wants to send Neymar out the door.

  68. I am not supporter of hunting nor happy with Stan Kroenke deciding to show it on TV. However, I am quite bewildered by the media’s reaction calling it unethical. West Ham’s owners made their wealth by selling porn and essentially got the stadium free. Chelsea’s owner essentially fleeced the poor Russian public and has admitted paying bribes to obtain state assets at throwaway prices. I have never heard the media questioning the ethics of those owners (with one honorable exception of Sir Matthew Syed writing one article on Abramovich).

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