Contract Renewals and Everything But a Match

It’s one of those days where you wake up hoping for inspiration and all you get is Nowhere Man. A song I haven’t heard for several years, probably since it was last on tv.

It might easily have Road to Nowhere, so obvious was the link to the club at the moment, but this is a big week. A season-defining week, if you like. In years gone past, both would see a second-string XI take to the pitch. The return against Östersunds is effectively a dead rubber. We’ve got to lose by four goals; c’mon, it’s not going to happen, even with a second-string XI. A third one, even.

But the team which plays Thursday is likely to be relatively weak with the Premier League’s best team waiting on Sunday. Not so weak that we lose but it’s a night when the likes of Willock, Eddie, etc, – the great hopes for the future – can shine. It leaves a week’s rest for key players for Sunday.

It’s a fan thing. “Ooooh, he can’t play his first team on Thursday with a big game on Sunday,” which is common sense, you’d think. We think everyone will get injured in the first ten minutes by the clodhoppers we played last week who barely committed a foul.

And football brings extremes away from the pitch. The reactions, well-intentioned or malicious, are extremes. Or certainly the loudest voices are, anyway. He who shouts loudest, etc.

If it’s season-defining for the club, it is for the manager as well. The last contract renewal was, by his own admission, a distraction which created a negative impact on the season. It undermined his claims to always do the best for Arsenal FC but we need to get some perspective on where Arsenal FC is.

International Man of Mystery

If we were destabilised, then questions need to be asked of the players as well. Yes, the manager picks the team but if we’re questioning Alexis’ attitude when he was leaving, then I don’t think it’s wrong to wonder if Wenger’s heart was in it last season.

Yet again, the renewal seems to have come on the back of a sense of euphoria at Wembley rather than any long-term thought-out process. There’s an element of that, of course, but the decision shouldn’t come down to one game. I know the media likes to make out that a manager is sacked if they lose a particular game but there’s generally quite a lot building up to that fixture. Usually, a run of defeats.

That said, getting knocked out of the Europa League this week would be the exception which proves the rule.

Away from that, the club announced Emirates are extending their shirt deal for squizillions of pounds. Quickly followed by a timeline full of sign a new manager/defender/goalkeeper/midfielder/attacker * delete as appropriate as well. As if this deal is going to do any of the above.

Maybe it will. Maybe the new transfer gurus can manipulate funds – and let’s face it, anyone who’s spent time at Barcelona ought to be a dab hand at that – to bring in those players would be marvellous. A manager-defining moment, to return to the original scatterbrain thoughts of today?

We see things as black and white. Ivan’s won the power battle, the biggest test in the coming year is the manager’s contract. It’s portrayed as all or nothing for the CEO while the manager renewing under a ‘new regime’ is seen as meet the new boss, same as the old boss and Ivan’s achieved nada.

Who are You?

Is it good for the club to have the pair seemingly at loggerheads? Ivan moving to Colney was supposedly a sign of him filling in gaps while new heads were found, of a stronger working relationship between him and the manager. Now we’ve got Josh doing a ‘fact-finding’ mission on the club. A new boss? If by boss you mean chairman, not one tear will be shed if Chips’ time is up.

But is Josh a new CEO? That wouldn’t surprise me. He does something similar with Denver Nuggets and maybe the two are ‘combinable’. Certainly, as chairman at the very least. The new face of Arsenal?

Anyway, we’re now one sleep closer to a match which is all that matters.

’til Tomorrow.

38 thoughts on “Contract Renewals and Everything But a Match

  1. lari03 says:

    Uncertainty is not good for the franchise!

  2. Aya says:

    Arsenal must get Maurizo Sarri as the new manager.
    Koulibaly as a new CB
    Jorginho as a CM
    Wilshere a new contract
    Sell Welbeck
    Ousmane Dembele as a surprise transfer

  3. Bill says:

    Another top post yogi

    I don’t believe there was ever any doubt about Arsene ultimately getting a new contract last season. He had all of the leverage on his side because replacing him was a daunting task for a club whose current directors had never had to replace a manager and have relied on Arsene for everything for so many years. I have no doubt that Arsene will want another 2 year deal. However I think hiring non-AKB’s Sven and Raul has decreased Arsene’s leverage and replacing him is now a much less daunting task. I am not confident but for the first time I am hopeful that he will not be offered a new contract and next season will be his last.

  4. Bill says:

    Last year when Arsene was holding out for his new contract there was not a single person on the board or in any senior management position who actually was a football person. Ivan is a business man. Replacing Arsene would have been a Herculean task and I understand why the board would have been reluctant since Arsene was doing the job of several people. Hopefully hiring Sven and Raul has changed that dynamic and Arsene will no longer hold all of the leverage.

  5. Orson Kaert says:

    Without knowing the amount of money involved it’s impossible to evaluate just how good the new deal is with Emirates. However the fact that they have come up with sufficient dosh to make the signing worthwhile to the club must be a good thing.

    I personally am happy that I can through Emirates add a little to Stan’s coffers. I shall be flying with the airline to Dubai and on to Bangalore in a little under two weeks time.

  6. YW says:

    £60m a year; £200m over the course of the contract. You believe the figure you want.

  7. nicky says:

    It seems to me that there is something amiss in the governance of professional football, when a team in search of progress in one Cup competition on a Thursday, has to play in the Final of another Cup competition, three days later. 😉

  8. Wavey says:


    Either £40m or £60m a year then. United’s deal with GM is meant to be around £53m. Interesting to see what they come up with for the sleeve sponsorship.
    Harry Kane and Dele Alli have both recently signed deals for the sponsorship of the soles of their boots with Nytol.

  9. HenryB says:


    That’s a fair point. Maybe no one thought we would get this far in one competition – let alone two.

    We have a squad big enough to cope, tho I suspect the Thursday game will feature some of our best tyros, leaving the main team to take on City on Sunday.

    We could wipe out the opposition on both days, or get wiped out ourselves — depends on the mood on the day(s).

  10. HenryB says:

    I am not sure of the amount that we have negotiated from sponsors, but at a rough guess, I reckon it’s about £180m p.a. outside of the TV deal. [It’s a guestimate OK – so hear me out]

    In contrast, using the same rough and ready, back of an envelope calculation, and based somewhat quixotically on the list of the Top Ten most valuable companies, and a lot of hard work – well …….. maybe 10 seconds worth …. I think Man Utd (who have always run away with terrific sponsorship deals), are probably getting maybe £300m p.a.

    So if we are doing great deals (£180m) and compare that alongside Manure’s (300m) then it puts things into perspective — and a lot more needs to be done.

    At the end of next season we will probably leave Puma, and get a deal with Adidas (Nike having admitted they are cutting back sponsorship to one major deal per club, per country) so we have the chance to make some hay there, and add an improved kit deal to the alleged 26 other deals we have on the shelf.

    Manure have probably got at least twice that number of sponsorship deals, but we are stirring in the sponsorship jungle, and as evidence of that the new cryptocurrency deal is pretty innovative.

    Why my reference to Man Utd? Well they are UK top dogs financially — all those trophies they won over the years has paid off, and they have recouped all their player outlays — and they are our main sponsorship competitors, along with the Spuds, Pool and Chelsea to a lesser degree, as City dance to a different tune with Pied Piper state sponsored airline deals, it seems.

    To offset the good news about the new Emirates deal, is the loss of £40m pa from the CL because we are going to have a hard job getting back that much derided top 4 status – unless a new manager injects a renewed vim and vigour into our PL performances, when AW decides to leave.
    And seriously – who knows when that is likely to be?

  11. Buckagh says:


    Makes sense after all the soles of their boots are on show quite alot as they perform the double tuck inverted triple somersault pike dive

  12. YW says:

    Saw a comment yesterday that shirt sponsorship is set to be announced at £12m p.a., Wavey.

  13. HenryB says:

    Is that shirt-sleeve sponsorship. YW?

  14. andy1886 says:


    It’s nothing new, you should remember the 79-80 season when we played 70 games the last two of which were the FA Cup and Cup Winners Cup finals. That at a time when we had a much smaller squad and were only allowed to use a single substitute per game (and we still finished in fourth place in the league too). Of course if we had not fallen into the EL positions it wouldn’t be happening 😉

  15. HenryB says:

    I was wondering where the Doyen of potential Transfers, his Highness C has been today — but of course it is a Federal holiday in DC today.

    C’mon, C, you cannot disappear from the blog because of a holiday ??????? 😀

  16. HenryB says:

    Bloody hell, Andy, you are an Oracle — who else would know that? Chapeau!!!!! 🎩🎩 😀

  17. consolsbob says:

    Played two matches in a week in 1971 to win the Double. First the league and then the cup. In that season, I doubt, apart from a couple of occasions, no more than 15 players were regulars.

  18. HenryB says:

    Thank you, Yogi, £12m + £40m = £52m pa is not bad beans!! And the new kit deal when it is revealed is pushing us in the right direction — could buy us one leg of Neymar. 😀

  19. Jonny says:

    It’s fair to say the game was played with a fair deal less intensity back then – professionalism has only brought increased issues with regards keeping players fit.
    But still, 2 matches a week is ‘crazy town’ territory.

  20. consolsbob says:

    It’s all relative, Jonny. Still played a lot of matches with fewer players and without the training regimes and cosseting of today.

    Not sure that I would question the intensity of players in the ‘70’s and ‘80’s

  21. YW says:

    As an observation, in May 1980 we played:

    1/5/80 Liverpool (FACSF3R) W 1 – 0 (at Coventry)
    3/5/80 Coventry (D1) W 1 – 0 (at Coventry)
    5/5/80 Nottm F (D1) D 0 – 0 (H)
    10/5/80 West Ham (FACF) L 0 – 1 (at Wembley)
    14/5/80 Valencia (CWCF) L 0 – 0 (penalties)
    16/5/80 Wolves (D1) W 2 – 1 (at Wolves)
    19/5/80 Middlesbrough (D1) L 0 – 5 (at ‘boro)

    We finished 4th and missed out on a UEFA Cup place by two points.

    So in 19 days, we played 7 matches, three of which were in the cup, including a league match two days after the Cup Winners Cup final.

  22. Dukey says:

    Shirt sleeve sponsors, another nail….

  23. Orson Kaert says:


    Ah, 1971 Monday night at White Hart Lane, Saturday afternoon at Wembley, I was at both games. Fantastic. 🔔🔔🔔

  24. Jonny says:

    I think we are talking about different types of ‘intensity’ – players of 70s and 80s had plenty of uncompromising blood and thunder – no question there.

  25. consolsbob says:

    A great week, Orson. I had only a radio for company for the WHL match and then only updates. Pretty sure that it was not even a live commentary.

    Wembley match in front of the tele with my Dad.

  26. Orson Kaert says:

    They closed the gates just behind us as we got into the ground, there was no crowd separation, just as well as my Spurs supporting wife was with me as well as my older brother and a good mate from work.

    At Wembley I was behind the goal where Charlie George scored. Memories, memories.

  27. consolsbob says:

    Tasty finish to the first half at Wigan. Looked like a red to me but the ref did change his mind. Not got a problem with that, personally.

  28. Jonny says:

    That was some finish.
    Go on, Wigan.

  29. agunloye seun says:

    wigan City is always the bane of manchester City no matter the amount of money spent…. somethings just dont change…..wigan for fa Cup 😁😁😁😁😁

  30. Dukey says:

    Spurs supporting wife!! How does that work??

  31. C says:


    Sorry mate, things have kind of spiralled out of control today so focused on getting life back together

  32. Orson Kaert says:


    Brought up in Palmers Green, a Spurs supporter for almost as long as I’ve been following Arsenal, sixty-seven years and counting.

    We used to go to home matches of both clubs in the sixties. Then children and a move to Sussex put a stop to that, just occasional away matches for a while. Then a move to Norfolk meant no more trips to Highbury or White Hart Lane.

    Now we sit together on the sofa and enjoy the games in comfort.

  33. Orson Kaert says:

    If Wigan can do it, so can we!

    That’s City’s hopes of the Quadruple gone, now we need to stop their Treble.

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