The only place to start from an Arsenal perspective is Eddie Nketiah. He’s continued his good form with Leeds!Leeds!Leeds! and netted again. I think I’m right in thinking he’s scored four goals, all of them from about three feet out.
Arsene’s fox in the box has turned up.
Going to Leeds to learn under Marcelo Bielsa can only do him good. Arsenal put a lot of effort into choosing the right club for his loan spell and it looks like it is paying off.
Some might wonder how he fits in at Arsenal in the future. Given the head coach is may change before Nketiah returns, I’d suggest the future is a long way off.
That’s not me jumping on board the ‘Emery Out’ train either; his contract has a break clause this summer and a lot of whether he gets to use the one-year option afterwards is down to us finishing in the top four, I should think.
Bring Out Yer Dead
The EFL certainly have some dead to shift. It was a grave day at EFL HQ when Bury were expelled from the League while Bolton are heading in the same direction.
No-one should doubt that the owners are ultimately at fault. It is their stewardship by which clubs rise or fall but football authorities – the EFL, FA and Premier League – all bear their share of the burden. David Conn of the Guardian lays out the failings at Gigg Lane.
It’s almost inexplicable that the EFL didn’t give Bury more time to negotiate. Two more deals were apparently on the table and whilst I understand the situation cannot continue indefinitely, letting it play out is infinitely more preferable than the dreadful situation in Lancashire this morning.
The EFL compounded the decision by giving Bolton, a club in equally dire straits, 14 days notice of expulsion.
When one club goes under, it’s a rogue owner. Two? That’s carelessness on the part of the EFL as much as bad ownership.
The rules governing ‘fit and proper’ have long been criticised for their inadequacies. It’s basically a two-question form asking whether the new owner(s) had been a bad boy and then whether the answer to that was a lie.
Bury’s owner apparently never proved to the EFL that he had sufficient funds to bail out the club in the first place. Then all sorts of questions which his due diligence picked up on surfaced. His purchase of the club was more disastrous than the previous owners which nobody thought possible.
It raises a question about what to do with ailing clubs. Nigel Clough’s soundbite that the Premier League should do more is one half-arsed answer.
Premier In? Premier Out More Like.
There’s an issue with the PL giving EFL clubs more money. Where does it go, as Bolton and Bury’s fans are wondering? It’s weighted toward Championship teams presently and there’s no sense they wouldn’t snare a bigger share of the pie given half a chance.
The EFL, FA, Premier League and PFA could form a fund designed to rescue ailing clubs. Not to loan money as is currently done, but to take them over. The owners have to walk away with nothing, all loans they made to the club ae cancelled, etc., and the authorities find new buyers but keep the clubs alive.
It’s more of an idea than the EFL had in recent years. Their behaviour is shameful; they don’t keep anywhere near as tight a grip on owners as they should nor do they take the governance issues seriously.
Requiring the clubs to approve rules over governance is the same as turkeys voting over Christmas. There is no way they are going to act responsibly or vote for anything onerous. The EFL’s governance of clubs is broken and failing; the overhaul needs to be implemented by third-parties.
David Squires on the fate of the two clubs is as ever spot on.
Arsenal Warning Klaxon
When KSE and Usmanov became involved at Arsenal, alarms were raised. Plurality of ownership was mocked as irrelevant; just a small bunch of uppity fans who liked the kudos of being shareholders crying over their lost paper.
Bolton and Bury are the warnings about what happens when rogue owners get involved. At any moment in time, Nick Knowles is likely to turn up on your doorstep with a camera crew. Except this time, no paint, wood or MDF is going to put the club back together again.
You might think that the two clubs from Greater Manchester bear little or no resemblance to Arsenal. We’re self-sufficient and reliant upon owner investment. True, but then again so were Liverpool under Gillet and Hicks. Appropriately named for the former, because it was a close shave when they almost went to the wall.
It is a warning, however, that disaster isn’t the exclusive domain of lower league clubs. What happens if KSE lose any more interest in their London toy? Junior speaking publicly this summer is the first genuine engagement with fans since Noah began woodwork classes.
It doesn’t change a thing; KSE are not invested in the club in any way beyond the dollars used to buy the shares. Even that money didn’t go to the club; not a sausage.
What can you do? Destroying the shareholding structure means KSE can do things away from prying eyes. More so with the parent company registered in Delaware. Nobody knows what shenanigans Enos and Junior are pulling. There’s a chance they may not be but the secretive nature of that state’s laws mean nobody knows.
Tangoman, Johnson and all the others complain about tax havens and secrecy with this on their own doorstep?
UEFA Beef – It Won’t Be Brazilian
Which makes the issues raised by supporters groups all the more important. The rising number of issues addressed by coalitions of the groups is of concern. Never have supporters been so disregarded.
There will always be club-specific issues but most are part of a broader arc, affecting all clubs. Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, and Tottenham groups are clubbing together to engage with UEFA over the European finals, host nations and ticketing.
The so-called custodians of the game don’t care at pan-European level, an attitude bred from the national level. Money is the god of associations and leagues; they take the sponsors and television buck, bending with the wind depending on which way they are told it blows.
Football in the meantime is reduced to the same product level as toothpaste. Football clubs used to be an essential part of the community. Some still are but the higher up the ladder you go, the more global influence wrenches them away from their roots.
The balance they need to find, to embrace fans from all parts of the world as well as the locale, is lost. Yet the reason clubs appeal so much is because of their roots, how they engaged with the community. It formed their thinking and informs them to do this day.
If the custodians of the game don’t care, there is no hope. Football will eventually eat itself. As per usual, fans will watch through that restaurant window, viewed with the disdain reserved for snot-nosed Dickensian street urchins.
It’s our game; don’t let them steal it completely.