Power, Corruption And Lies


Blattering Idiot

The only real surprise was the swiftness of the announcement. Even then, it will be a long time and take a lot of evidence to convince me that this wasn’t the plan all along. Win the election and then, knowing the FIFA statutes inside out as he no doubt does, Sepp Blatter knew it would take six months or so for the necessary vote to be put in place to replace him.

With Jerome Valcke’s refusal to travel to Canada – assumed in the media to be avoiding the risk of arrest – for the Women’s World Cup, we ought to have suspected something was up. When notification of an unscheduled press conference emerged, the speculation began but it all seemed barely credible.

But this will run and run. Three months, six; that’s plenty of time to tie up the sort of loose ends which prosecutors might find useful to unravel the corruption previously proven. There’s a hint of the path Blatter’s defence is going to follow. Conspiracy theories are being quietly dropped barely days after they were venomously aired. No longer are the British media and the US authorities entirely to blame, Sepp has easier targets to hit,

The Executive Committee includes representatives of confederations over whom we have no control, but for whose actions FIFA is held responsible.

It wasn’t us, it was them. It was them but can anyone prove they were acting for ‘us’? Perhaps ‘us’ needs to be capitalized.

Things won’t change immediately, the corruption has tangled its roots too deeply into the culture of FIFA. A new broom is to be welcomed but expecting the organisation to change entirely, immediately, is unrealistic. It won’t happen. After all, are there are any credible candidates from within? Surely, no matter their protestations, anyone linked with Blatter’s FIFA is stained. An outsider, someone who hasn’t been involved with this particular Gravy Train is the only one who can rise above the unholy alliances that Blatter encouraged and fed.

Anyone who thinks Greg Dyke is the answer should switch the lights off when they leave the room.

I genuinely don’t know who I would suggest. If you look at football administrators involved with the Premier League, the Football Association, there’s no-one who stands out as an outstanding candidate. The movers and shakers from the English game shamefully abandoned the basic principles of it being the Peoples’ Game. Platini and the rest of world football’s big-wigs have no clearer conscience than those now ensconced in the halls and corridors of power. It wasn’t so long ago that the Frenchman was deemed the heir. Now he’s the spare, unable to pull the fractious UEFA family behind him so FIFA is surely ten steps too far.

Is it time for a complete outsider to come in? That’s a path fraught with as many but different dangers. The key battle will be to inspire – instead of conspire with – Blatter’s acolytes. Perhaps I am wrong but there is as much distrust on both sides of the fence, from the people with much to lose to those who hope to profit from the Swiss’ departure. Any replacement faces the problem of reconciling the conflicting interests which pervade the underground caverns below FIFA-strasse.

Perhaps that’s what is needed, someone to ride roughshod over the self-interest. Is it possible? Blatter’s departure leaves a vacuüm; how it is filled is probably the most important decision football has to make, one that will impact the course of football for years to come.

It’s A Rich Man’s Getting Richer World

All this on a day when this season’s Premier League prize and broadcast revenues were announced. Finishing third in the table, Arsenal earned £96m. Even bottom of the pile QPR earned £65m which is a staggering amount. Little wonder that most relegated clubs begin the season as favourites to return immediately to the Premier League. As the commercial and broadcast deals increase, so too will the parachute payments they receive making The Championship an even harder division for clubs to break out of.

All of which is based on the false notion that the clubs making money are going to use it wisely. QPR prove that isn’t always the case. All that money and they still fail miserably to stay in the Premier League. It used to be WBA who were the yo-yo club but no, the West Londoners were far worse than that. Rule Number 1 for Premier League survival: don’t be an acronym. West Brom prove the point, staying up far more often than WBA.

The money gap gets bigger when the Champions League kitty is shared out. Arsenal will earn more than before, less than others. It’s always been that way, probably always will. Having the funds available makes shopping easier, there’s a bigger marketplace open to Arsène, even if he doesn’t want to buy there. Whilst commanding a bigger fee doesn’t guarantee that a new player will be successful, it offers more comfort that the chances of the move working out are higher. Either that or the selling club ripped the buyer off something chronic.

Squad replenishment and enhancement is part of the natural flow of football. What’s interesting as this season ends is the number of players at Arsenal who are already moving to close off speculation about their future. Theo Walcott’s PR this time is a lot more positive about signing a new deal than last. He may genuinely be on the verge of agreeing terms but more likely that Team Walcott have learned from previous negotiations that playing hard to get in the media has a negative impact on supporters views. Four goals in two games never hurts anyone in the popularity stakes.

With Szczesny and Monreal both publicly stating they want to stay indicates that the players sense there are real possibilities of a title challenge. Whether Arsène wants them is another matter entirely but it makes his job far easier to have stability, to know that two or three new arrivals are not going to disrupt unduly. The initial reaction from any player worth his salt must surely be to improve their performance and make it harder for the manager to drop them.

There will always be discontent if players aren’t playing regularly but for most of the squad, injuries will intervene in their favour. And if they care to look at the goalkeepers, they will see no-one’s place in the side is guaranteed, something which seemed inconceivable 12 to 18 months ago. The times, they are a-changing.

’til Tomorrow.

140 thoughts on “Power, Corruption And Lies

  1. YW says:

    Only because I wasn’t quick enough off the mark, Bob.

    Not that there’s anything new in that.

  2. philmar says:

    Bill, Pogba would be a perfect fit in our system. Like many of our players he drifts wherever he feels like going. 😉

  3. Els says:

    Great post yogi.

    It bothers me the man ure earned more than us despite them ever looking like they would finish above us and the fact that they played much poorer football for the most part. Still I suppose sky have to shovel shit when there’s them big old man ure pigs strapped to their arm chairs.

    Fuck me I still hate Utd.

  4. The Arse in the Gamb says:

    Asked what his thoughts were (about the FIFA arrests) by TMZ, Samir Nasri replied: “Seriously? Everyone knew about it.

    “Everyone knew it was a little corrupt but it’s a good thing that the arrests were made.

    “We needed the United States to be involved because in Europe they did nothing and it has been a long time that we’ve been talking about it.”

    When someone as thick as pig shit, tells us all how it should be done. Thanks Samir, you put us to shame.

  5. Els says:

    I’d agree pogba looks to be a special player but I just don’t think it’s going to happen. If the papers are reporting any shred of honesty (and I doubt it) all the noise from his camp is about him being paid and treat like the best in the world. He could be one day but isn’t yet. However I’d doubt we’d want to over pay in wages.

    Also Bill I’m guessing you were really cranking up the bill dial to 11 when you suggested 2 bale priced players arriving is possible. If you sign a player like that on a 3 year deal for £200k a week plus agent fees and all the other extras the transfer fee ends up being only half the outlay. Don’t forget transfer kitty’s apparently involve wages and all costs involved.

  6. Els says:

    There’s not much better in life than writing a long ish post on your phone for it not to submit.

  7. YW says:

    The question AITG is if Nasri knew it was “a little corrupt”, why didn’t he speak out? Easy to be clever after the didn’t, isn’t it?

  8. Bill says:


    No matter how you slice it we are a very wealthy club. We can’t buy 2 Gareth Bales in 1 year. Not even Madrid will do that. I was using him as an example. However It’s hard to argue against the idea that we could afford 1 player like Bale and a good DM in the same summer if we chose to be aggressive. We have an over abundance of attacking central midfielders and we could sell someone if we really needed to raise money but I suspect we could get by without selling. I would rather we found a good CF but I would love to have Bale if there is not a good CF available.

  9. YW says:

    Yeah, Els, it’s the same as seeing 1k words disappear at 6.30 in the morning…

  10. Els says:

    Noooooo. Okay I won’t compare with that.

  11. Els says:

    Sorry that’s not how I read it. We are wealthy and I think weve pretty much done that level of purchasing the last 2 seasons. I think the bale level of spending is the “Madrid getting they’re man inflation rate”. You can pick up the best players in the world for a good chunk less.

    Despite this, Bale is good but he’s tainted meat. It would be weird for us and I’d guess too wierd for him also.

  12. Jonny says:

    From what I have seen of Pogba this season, he is among the very best in the world. We won’t get him but, personally, I cannot think of many players I would covet more than him.

    Bale may be tainted meat but that would only make it all the more delicious. Again however, it’s the pipeiest of pipe dreams.

    There are plenty of achievable targets out there who would improve us hugely.

  13. Bill says:


    The big point is that we don’t need many players because we have a deep squad. One or 2 more really good players could be a huge difference maker. It’s much easier to find those sort of difference making players in today’s market if you don’t have to be limited to $30-40M. No doubt we would have to over pay but it’s much better to overpay then to not get a player who might be that difference maker. The alternative at this point is adding more money to the pile we already have in the bank. We can’t be afraid to take a risk. Bundles of 1000 pound notes gathering dust in a bank are not much good to a football team since I have never seen one score a goal.

  14. Phil says:

    Good write up YW.
    Blatter’s last remaining competitor for the top job, the Jordanian prince seems reasonable.
    Given how political FIFA has become, I can’t see an American or European taking control.
    People don’t vote themselves out of a role, so FIFA as an entity is likely to remain. It will need a candidate who is perceived to be a clean skin, to rebuild a body that nobody has any faith in.

  15. Columbus Arsenal (MA) says:

    I want to believe that the winning of two trophies in the past two seasons is instilling more confidence in the players. I just hope that this is the case. We dropped to many points at the start of the season and even there at the end where we could have kept City out of second. Finishing with 4 points less than last season didn’t point to progress for me. Perhaps I’m being to harsh in the wake of another FA Cup victory, but I want the title more than the CL right now. I want us to be once again feared.

    As for money, we have it now and as stated by the board and manager, we don’t have to sell our best players anymore. DM and more competition at the striking role would be my first forays in to the transfer merry-go-round.

  16. Columbus Arsenal (MA) says:

    I missed the cricket, looks like a fairly even series… was surprised to see Williamson failing with the bat almost as much as him taking 3 wickets.

  17. Jonny says:

    Isn’t Chuck Blazer’s head fucking enormous?

  18. Bill says:


    You are almost certainly correct about the pipe dream but the only reason that has to be true is because we have been conditioned to believe it’s not possible. We don’t need more then a couple of players so why limit what we can spend on one true difference maker like Pogba. If he was going to come to England there is no reason why we would not be as desirable and any other PL clubs as long as we are were willing to make competitive bids.

  19. Els says:

    Johnny how far away is sep in that picture, he’s far off surely?

  20. philmar says:

    Bale may not want to subject himself to endless hate chants if he were to sign with us. Few players have the necessary fortitude to want the abuse that would follow a move from Shitotenham to us. He may make his life easier to play for Manure.

  21. Bill says:

    I we bought Pogba then we would have to sell either jack or Ramsey since he would take their position and that would easily pay half of Pogba fee.

  22. Els says:

    Well we landed özil, that was a pipedream a week before it came off… But I think Pogba is wanted by everyone and he knows it. He’s up there alright but I think it’s the arrogance and a bit of general gruniness from his camp that turned me off him. I could think of a good few players that could come and give us some competition in the DM role that wouldn’t have to break the bank. Players that would get us where we need to be league wise.

    All this talk of strikers I’d think (especially if Theo gets his way) we’d be more likely to go for a wide player that can score goals.

  23. Els says:

    Bill to you those are just names but to Wenger they are people that he no doubt likes and feels responsible for. I doubt either one of them will be flogged baring a serious drop in form or misconduct.

  24. Els says:

    Not to mention the mercenary factor. The home nations core came about after lots of supposed flighty foreigners jumped ship on us year in year. I would imavine the lads that have been around a while as long as they get a reasonable amount of pitch time will be more inclined to stick out a rough patch. Could the same be said for a typical £50m player. That’s no reason not to sign a top quality player but he’s not about to do it at the expense of an otherwise loyal and very very good player.

  25. Bill says:

    When I watched Pogba he plays Fellaini with a lot more elegance and skill. I am not sure how that fits into our system. He does not move with the ball at his feet like Diaby. Perhaps he could play Vierra and he would be our box to box guy but he is not a deep lying defensive mid.

  26. Bill says:


    That loyalty is a double edged sword. It may be good for the specific player but it can hurt the team as a whole. We certainly did not strengthen our midfield in the past while we waited for Diaby to get healthy. That left the squad short when he never did get healthy and hurt the whole team. I would argue jacks ankles are not quite at the Diaby level but they are a lot closer then we like to admit.

  27. Bill says:


    I can’t believe that either fergie or Mourinho would have kept him as the number 1 striker for 3 years in a row. Undying loyalty is not a positive trait for a football manager when the rest of the players and the fans are counting on him to make the decisions that build winning teams.

  28. Els says:

    Oh my God. Wenger should be celebrated for his loyalty. The sport has none and he’s managing getting shit left right and centre and sticking to gentleman’s agreements, never breaking a contract. You just need to think that through a bit to see the positives it brings.

  29. Bill says:


    Obviously we won’t agree on this one. How would some one like Alexis or Ozil who have played on big teams that won big trophies feel if the boss does not strengthen the team and give it a better chance to win because he feels a loyalty to a specific player. One of the reasons we lost players like Van persie was the fact that we did not win trophies. Same thing will start happening again at some point if we don’t start winning

  30. Phil says:

    I would think loyalty from a manager/ coach to a player in any sport is a positive. It instills confidence.
    If doesn’t mean is becomes the primary decision maker.
    And Bill, to be honest the last thing a manager should worry about is that fans are counting on him to make the right decisions.

  31. buckagh says:

    Heard a sciencetist on the radio the other day claiming that the first person to live to one thousand years old is alive today, if Arsene hears this!! How long is his contract.

  32. Els says:

    Well said Phil

    Also Bill you’re talking in black and whites I say he shows loyalty toward players you’re as he never drops his special boys.

    Wengers Loyal nature landed ozil. He wasn’t happy with life at real and I’m sure looking at our camp seeing Wenger as an admirable and caring manager will have only been pros.

    I’m saying that Wenger shows and admires loyalty, he’s not going to cast aside players that are potentially in that same mould to land a £40m+ player. How we can get to the fact that he’s screwing the team up by not dropping players more and only fielding a generation of galacticos is crazy talk.

  33. Els says:

    I’ve never had you conceed a point to date, but I’m affraid this’ll have to be the first bill. It really will.

  34. Jonny says:

    Scz caught smoking AGAIN? What is wrong with our players?!

  35. The Arse in the Gamb says:

    jonny @ the size of Blazer’s head.

    So is fucking Santa’s but nobody mentions his.

  36. The Arse in the Gamb says:

    Absolutely right YW. I am glad we got rid of the idiot. He is a weight around City’s neck.
    Sorry for all the blatter, but I think this story will run and run. Somebody has to take the whole thing by the scruff of the neck and push for major change. We have left it to the Yanks so far, but please.

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