We lack marginal gains mentality | Will FFP affect City and Chelsea plans? | Building for the future

by & filed under News Review.

The last installment of thoughts around centres around a mixtures of items, just a note, the below info is from other sources close to the club… not just what I heard the other day. First hand info either way.

Firstly we can dig a little further into the commercial deals we’re crafting at the club at the moment. Manchester United are cutting more deals than you could shake a deal stick at. Their approach to making these happen has been hardcore corporate America. They’re pulling every trick in the book to maximise revenue. They’re stamping all over brands and the people who work for those brands to make sure they squeeze every single penny out of their current successes. The DHL shirt deal is a major example of not really considering that there was a person at the end of that cock up. It’s a ruthless money making approach that’s proving very successful, but long term, it might be an approach that damages the future partnerships when the success disappears. Rugby club Munster took the same approach when they were on top of the world… they stamped all over everyone and now they’re not the elite club, people aren’t so keen to work with them.

Arsenal are attempting to build lasting partnerships with long term partners, so they might not extract the maximum amount of money possible, but long term they think it’s a better bet to work that way. The deals they’re striking this time around don’t have the same length as they did before. So we won’t see 10 year kit deals. We’ll look to chop and change in an obvious bid to make sure we’re always achieving maximum market value, but the more important reason for this as fans, is Arsenal believe we’ll be growing in value as a sponsorship partner. When the Emirates kicked in, taking out a ten year deal was a security blanket when you consider how many clubs usually bomb after a stadium move. The fact we’re risking shorter term deals because we believe we’ll be moving up the ladder is positive.

This summer is going to be a giant stepping stone for the club. Which is why Champions League football is so incredibly important. I have no idea what our plans will look like without the competition, but my guess is they won’t be as ambitious and they’ll have to be scaled back. In my opinion, even if we drop out of the Champions League, we still need to make a serious attempt at getting back to the top.

If we do make it, then this summer might not be as congested as you think. I’m not exactly sure of how FFP works, but I know that you have to at least show you’re trying to be compliant. The Chelsea project this summer will be interesting to watch. Jose Mourinho will cost a fortune to bring over and he’ll expect a hefty wedge of cash to reignite the club. Now, if Chelsea were just compliant last year, I’m struggling to see where they’re going to pull £100m transfer budget from. They’ve sacked and paid off two manager. They’ll be adding £10m to their wage bill with Jose Mourinho. They’ll still have the £80m they spent on all those players last summer. I mean, they could shift on Terry and Lampard… but how would that give them £100m to work with? Have they generated that much cash?

Manchester City sit in a similar boat. They have to find the money from somewhere whilst remaining compliant. Their summer last year was tepid when compared to seasons past. That was in part, due to this whole FFP thing. They’ll be able to spend this summer. But it’s unlikely they’ll be putting £100m out on new players.

Now, a lot of this talk over the past few days has centred around new players being the answer to all our problems. Simple fact is, all our problems on the pitch don’t centre around purely player issues. There’s the problem of the manager. Now, I know people don’t want to accept that there are issues there, but believe me, there are. Wenger is obviously a very capable man. He still performs to a level, even though it’s not quite as high as it was back in the day. So while new players will certainly add some much needed quality to the side, things in the backroom still need an upgrade.

People constantly talk about the degradation of the Premier League over the last few years. They’re missing a massive glaring point. It’s not that the league is reducing in quality, it’s that the league is getting better. There’s no such thing as an easy game anymore. If you watch back videos from 1998, you notice that Arsenal were more powerful, fitter and technically far, far superior. Those margins have slimmed over the last few season.


There are a number of reasons. But in the main, players are fitter. There was a stat on Sky the other day that said players compared to 3 (or 5) years ago are sprinting at top speed 80% more per game. Think about that statistic. Imagine how much fitter you have to be to keep up? The game has upped in speed, it’s become more physical and the small teams are matching the big teams. Teams like Swansea and Norwich have huge backroom teams. It’s all about marginal gains. These are areas we fall back on as a club.

We have a marketing team that have built a huge CRM infrastructure to gather as much data about fans and their tastes as possible. We have a CEO who is obsessed with numbers and statistics. We don’t however, have a manager with the same attention to detail. There are big holes with our approach, mainly because our approach hasn’t evolved over the last 16 years. The reason our scouting network keeps returning duds is because it’s not as good as it should be. It’s not as nimble as other clubs and that’s why we’re slow to the post. Our use of match day data at the club also lags behind other. We survive because we have good players and a good manager. We don’t compete because there are better managers with more advanced teams.

That’s the point about the modern game. It’s not about the manager anymore. It’s about the team that sits behind him. Klopp in Germany has proved that. He has built a world class team with smart scouting, detailed use of data as well as making sure he has the best backroom team available to him. They’ve built a world class team for £35m. So the Wenger ways of old are still possible. If he built a team of staff around him in the same way, we could reduce that 20+ point deficit on United. Will Wenger go that extra mile? Will he bin people like Gerry Payton who has overseen the regression of all keepers he’s been charged with improving? Doubtful. Will he bring in a team of specialists who can eek that extra 5% out of his players? It’s doubtful again.

People talk about Arsenal finishing par the course when you look at salary versus standing in the league. Sure, that makes sense. It doesn’t make sense that Spurs are matching us for a £90m spend. We should be further up the league. As should Chelsea..

So whilst the joy of him opening the purse strings should make for an exciting summer, it’s not the full solution. However, it has to be noted, the Wenger tenure won’t last forever. Once he leaves, the infrastructure of the club on the playing side can be relayed. The club won’t ever allow a manager to build towers around him. They’ll take care of  bringing in the best teams of people who can help drive those marginal gains. They’ll make sure the foundations are set so if the worst happened and the next manager bombed, you’d still have all the specialists in place.

Football is becoming a science. That’s why managers like Harry Redknapp will be a thing of the past. Smart, young,  intelligent managers are the future of the game. Not big personalities who know how to motivate and give the press a cheeky quote. The game is evolving at pace, if you don’t follow suit, you’ll never compete. Arsenal have people at the club who know this.

What new players will do is bring a fresh excitement to the squad. Good players buzz off playing with great players. The Arsenal boys will revel in new transfers in the same way the fans will. They’ll all recognise the same weaknesses at the club as you and I. That injection of quality will no doubt be massive for us next year. The lack of a grey cloud of a player exit will also be a huge bonus as well.

Whatever happens over the next year or so, you can be safe in the knowledge that we have a great platform to kick on with or without Arsene at the helm.



116 Responses to “We lack marginal gains mentality | Will FFP affect City and Chelsea plans? | Building for the future”

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  1. Pizz

    Heard that Bould is gone this summer so hopefully a new assistant can come in and help change things in the coaching department

  2. samsenal

    Desperate for change here.

    I don’t accept that we should make Gervinho-like mistakes. It was known before we bought him that even on a good day Gervinho was a source of frustration because of bizarre decision making. He is dumb. His pace and dribbling might have made him a force in this league 10 years ago when defenders would have been huffing and puffing to keep up but in today’s Leeague he was – at best – going to blow Hot and Cold.

    We want to see excellence at all levels in the club and right now we the timid, cautious approaches everywhere.

    This summer has to be the start of Year One for Arsenal as a Global Superpower.

  3. Pratik Mukherjee

    Hi all,
    I agree with you Pedro to a certain extent only. Its not as doom and gloom with old managers as you are presuming. Check the successes of Sir Alex Ferguson at Manutd. He is older than Wenger, and I doubt that he manages the team in the same way as a young Klopp or a Pep. But he is still winning big-time. So, although a yound manager will bring in advanced science,statistics, energy and enthusiasm into the club; experience and old methods sometimes also pays dividends; and there is no guarantee of success.
    However, a shake up of the club is required if it becomes stagnant…but I think Wenger should be given atleast two more years to prove something; especially as now we have plenty cash to spend; so there wont be any excuses left when he ultimately leaves us.

  4. samsenal

    Gambon – what in the post do you have issue with? Seems reasonable to me – he supports your theory that in the main it’s Wenger that has been holding us back.

    What is so outlandish about the idea that club recognises certain off-pitch issues that need to be addressed too? You yourself have said that this club could become a giant if it behaved like one.

  5. azed

    I agree with you as regards the fact that new players won’t help us. Wenger ain’t getting the maximum from this current squad.

  6. Andy

    From your knowledge pedro,are the club confident in moving the dead wood we have on our wage bill?bentnar,chamack,Denison etc…
    Good post today,I’ll sleep well tonight knowing we have the proper plans in place for the future!

  7. samsenal

    Azed – having better players will help us. If you subscribe to the view that Wenger should take no credit for the Invincibles -that there was little or no actual management there, just top quality players – then the same would be true today.

    Superb players will bring better results than Gervinho/Walcott/Diaby and other wasters.

  8. Rich

    We don’t sign players of the quality of Chelsea, utd, city and the rest of europe’s big guns because there are only a select few top draw players that move, unless we change our wage structure and transfer policy, we will still be shopping in the same bracket and probably won’t progress, Arsene has almost built a team, but has continually had his Jewell’s taxed, Same’s happening at Dortmund, can Klopp repeat the trick time+again??? Time will tell
    Arsene could learn to delegate a bit more, and he certainly needs to move away from a socialist mindset in a capitalistic market, but I still believe Arsene is a top coach+manager, certainly 1 of the best

  9. gambon


    |Hear the same thing every year, nothing will change, season tickets will be sold.

    Rinse and repeat ad infinitum.

  10. Adegunner kolarsenal

    Nice analysis…i reckon d basis is gonna be top four tho,or else spurs might just catch up ds year….enjoy

  11. SurferX

    Hey Kush- still around.. still reading every day.. still the best Arsenal blog bar none.

    gambonMay 3, 2013 10:17:28
    ..even Pedro has become a PR tool..

    as opposed to your goodself. Your just a tool. :/

    On that note Pedro- dont concern yourself with people that cast doubtd on your meeting IG. Firstly, they wouldnt turn it down. Secondly, even if they did, they’d be achieving nothing by doing so. Thirdly, as a reader Id encourage you to get involved in as much as possible- you seem more than capable of filtering the spin from the useful insider info. Time will tell how much spin you’ve been fed: you have to give them the benefit of the doubt because if they shaft the blogging community, with the way social media works now it will come back to bite them in a BIG way. We’ll see…

  12. Johnny5


    Top post but What makes you think we’re not going to sell any players. Sagna clearly wants out. We’ve also got the captains curse to think about. Also kos has attracted interest abroad galatassaray apparently fancy gerv or pod for £12m (sky sports news app). We won’t lose wilshere or theo but were likely to lose players and we also need to get alot of shit players off the books.

  13. Globalgunner

    The club needs a change of manager, everyone except paranoid AKB`s and wenger himself, know this to be true. If he was a truly honourable man, he would quit and take the plunge now. If he is as good as he thinks he is let him try the white hot heat of PSG or even newly minted Monaco. He wont and will stick to `honouring his last year of this contract whether we qualify for CL or not.

    Basically Arsene is stealing from the club and returning less and less on the money spent.

    Opportunity exists now with the upheavals going on in the managers front all over Europe to get a top manager. However as we all can see Arsenal is effectively a club without an owner. A rudderless ship floating with the tides

  14. gambon

    Latest football news

    Its impossible for either to “do a Leeds”

    Both are now genuinely huge clubs with c£250m turnover.

  15. progman07

    I love this blog, but seriously, picking out AGAIN and AGAIN that Wenger doesn’t care about statistics is awful blogging.

    First of all, he LOVES statistics, he has talked a lot about this and he looks at his players’ stats before making decisions.

    Secondly, this is awful, because statistics don’t tell you the big picture, Arteta might have 92% passing accuracy, but no stat shows him getting outmuscled in midfield, or Giroud might have 11 league goals, but most came against lesser teams, and in high scoring ones.

  16. Latest football News

    @gambon it may be impossible for both to do a Leeds United in the real sense of it but something close to it may be possible if they do not stop their recklessness. I pray they continue and go under.

    Plus who says big businesses can’t collapse? Lehman Brothers? AIG?

  17. gambon

    Lol, Lehman bros who had £1 trillion worth of derivatives exposure vs Chelsea whos wage bill is £20m too high.


  18. progman07

    @ my last comment:

    I’d like to add that no stat shows Giroud’s lack of movement either, nor does the possession % tell anything important about a team.

    Using statistics is fine, but there are huge limits over them, because many things in football aren’t able for measuring.

  19. arsenal4ever

    Nice Pedders is so positive about our summer but Gonalons almost signed just shows Wenger is either hopefully gone next year and saves money for new manager or still not prepared spending big on great players. You could see what a 40 mill DM can bring to your team when saw playing Martinez for Bayern. Lars Bender has a release clause of 15 mill €. Absolute no brainer for me and Bayern wanted him before they got Martinez in the end. First of all I would sack Grimandi as scout. He recommended Gervinho and Giroudless. Dear me when will this end? Next one who is already signed could be Jovetic. I like him but he should come together with a real WC poaching striker. Not only him. Jovetic is more suited in the Bergkamp role. Anyway I had hope for the last summers so I still think nothing big will change. Have a great day fellow gooners.

  20. gambon

    I think Gonalons os better than Bender.

    Doubt were signing him though, that’d kill Frimpong.

  21. goonerbone

    In the end it all comes back to the ownership and top decisionmaking, especially in this new world of football, science and business entangled in a way which makes it impossible to be top class if your not great at it all. Our club is the club with the greatest history of the clubs in the greatest city in the country with the most popular of leagues. We even have a fantastic badge, which is also a great asset! With the right ownership we should rule the world and not be discussing projections. Great job Pedro, but beware of becoming a promoter of the boards views

  22. azed

    Wenger should be given credit for the invincibles but right now, Wenger is more concerned about proving to the whole world that Gervinho is a footballer.

  23. Pedro

    Progman, delude yourself all you want… our use of data and analysis is miles behind everyone.

    Did the fact that we were 6 years behind everyone else getting GPS for the players not tell you that?

    Having one opta person at your training ground is not obessed about numbers.

    Maybe in 1998 it was…

  24. a_fourteen

    I would challenge the assumptions in this article.
    (1) Wenger has kept up with the modern game. The move to 433, the absence of a traditional DM, the use of wingbacks are all advancements in our playing philosophy. The fact our league position has dropped from 1,2 to 3,4 suggests the slide hasnt been that significant. Contributed largely by two big money clubs slotting in above us the past few years.
    (2) Comparing Klopp’s accomplishments to Wenger’s is also inaccurate. The German leagues ownership model keeps the sheikhs and oligarchs out allowing clubs like Dortmund time to build. Also, Klopp’s team has peaked. The team he has built will slowly fall apart as stars like Gotze and Lewadowski get poached by bigger clubs.

  25. Simon Gaunt

    Agree, agree, agree. The team needs 3/4 additions and we all know what they are. However, I couldnt agree more with the backroom/coaching changes that really have stood still for 10 years now.
    AW has and still works wonders to finish in the CL spots – it’s time the club moved on into this new era – with or without him!

  26. andy1886

    The league isn’t getting better, that’s b*ll*cks. Sure the disparity between the top three or four is shrinking, but can anyone seriously say that this ManU team that has run away with the league is a patch on any of the title winners over the last 20 years??? If all this improved athleticism is the future why did Barca get rid of Toure, the athlete, and keep Messi, the footballer?? When Gareth Bale is triple player of the year you KNOW the standard is plunging. Where are the Bergkamps, the Ronaldos and the Cantonas? If I want to see great athletes I’ll go watch the Olympics every 4 years. The Premiership is poor because the quality of player is on average pretty poor.

  27. gambon

    “but right now, Wenger is more concerned about proving to the whole world that Gervinho is a footballer.”

    That basically sums Wenger up.

  28. SurferX

    Pedro- I hate doing the whole FFP thing over and over and over… but sooo many people dont get how it works.

    “Now, if Chelsea were just compliant last year, I’m struggling to see where they’re going to pull £100m transfer budget from”

    It hasnt begun yet. Or rather, the first monitoring period (2013/2014) hasnt started. This period will review the filed accounts from 2011/2012, 2012/2013. Clubs therefore have their books reviewed in the year after these years. Then, both years will be reviewed as a set (so an individual year means nothing.. its the collective monitoring period that counts).


    Combined losses of upto c £35m for BOTH years will be allowable (providing they are funded by equity rather than debt). Chelsea came in with a 45m loss. Man City came in with a huge £104m loss- so they are already £70m over with another season of losses to add. And thats before they have had the ‘arms-length’ issue investigated.

    Either way, its not that either club were compliant; nor are they non-compliant. Compliance has not yet been assessed.

  29. N5

    A man speaks frantically into the phone, “My wife is pregnant, and her contractions are only two minutes apart!” “Is this her first child?” the doctor queries. “No, you idiot!” the man shouts. “This is her husband!”

  30. Zoran


    If you think Gonalons is better than Bender from Borussia Dortmund, I can believe it also.
    But if you think of Bender from Bayer Leverkusen, tnen no way!

  31. nepGunner

    How come all of a sudden, even Pedro has hopped onto Ivan FC PR bandwagon? Seems like Ivan and his team have either really impressed Pedro or brainwashed him altogether. All of a sudden the future is not so gloom anymore, mind you, with or without Arsene!!! I like the subtlety there, “with or without Arsene”, implying Stan and Ivan actually give an arse about making Arsenal a major European football powerhouse and the foundations for this “mirage” is already laid out…hmmmm….But, how come the fact whether we will still be CL next season affect this “already laid” foundation? Shouldn’t this change in air still continue especially as per your detailed narration of our new commercial windfalls? I would say, the FFP should make it even easier for us considering the near sure non-compliance issues of Chelski and Citeh…which leads me to point out the following:

    1. Le-Grove has been purchased by Ivan & his PR team for too much negative (!) press (for hefty cash and under the condition of anonymity) to ensure current season ticket sale is not affected further

    2. Pedro is ensured executive box at the Emirates for 3 seasons along with other brainwashed bloggers (as per Pedro – Ivan has stopped penning long 10 year-ish deals. Bad luck!)

    3. FFP is bullsh*t. If you increase your commercial revenue, you can get around the wage limit and pay the extra wages from this increased commercial revenue. Now, I’m not sure about Chelski but Citeh can easily get around this by inflating their Etihad stadium naming right deal as they are practically sister concerns.

    4. Whether Arsenal will be in CL or not, the aim is to sell dreams to fans and later on come up with multiple excuses to ensure they retain some fanbase and then add more fanbase globally to make up for the lost fanbase AS USUAL, hence the drumming of all sorts of optimistic deals along with carefully infused escape clauses like ‘if we are in CL”, “FFP bollocks”, “with or without Arsene”, “players are not the ONLY issues” – like we didn’t know before!

    Like you always say Pedro – maybe I will be proved wrong (and I would love to be), but at the same time, I know I will be proven right!

  32. Zoran


    If you think Gonalons is better than Bender from Borussia Dortmund, I can believe it also.
    But if you think of Bender from Bayer Leverkusen, then no way!

  33. N5

    I was walking down the street with my wife earlier when she accused me of being ashamed to be seen with her.

    “That’s total bollocks” I replied.

    ………………….By text ……………………………………….from across the road.

  34. Pedro

    Wenger to PSG stories
    Press come out and say him leaving would be terrible
    Wenger hints at stay.

    What a shocker…

  35. Alex

    What’s the craic with Bould? At the start of the season we were looking much more defensively sound than previous years.
    That obviously went to shit at some point, but is he a waste of space? I heard rumours Wenger became jealous that Bould was getting credited for improving the defence and then shafted him off defensive duties. What happened?

    Pedro the past couple of articles have been so encouraging, but it’s the same old ‘thinking for the future’. Thinking towards when we’re financially matching Bayern… not even keeping up with them- just meeting them where they are now; when Wenger has gone.
    The future isn’t predictable and fans want change now. Is that immature? Or is it the result of 8 years of underachieving and disappointment

  36. Joburg Gooner

    Wow, I just started following this blog this week and how refreshing has it been. So far the most insightful blog I’ve encountered , keep it up and i hope you get the opportunity to meet with them again. People keep complaining that board has been saying the same thing for years but the board have always reiterated change will come during the 2013/2014 season so i dont know why anyone expected anything any sooner. I prefer to remain positive.

  37. vicky


    That interview clearly indicates Wenger is goona renew his contract.

    Now we can put all this PR overdrive in a proper perspective.

    Also these PSG rumors were fabricated to create a sense of loss and sympathy. Now Wenger comes out and says don’t worry my fans– I am not leaving you !!!


    People keep your expectations under check.

  38. SurferX

    nepGunnerMay 3, 2013 10:57:20

    3. FFP is bullsh*t. If you increase your commercial revenue, you can get around the wage limit and pay the extra wages from this increased commercial revenue. Now, I’m not sure about Chelski but Citeh can easily get around this by inflating their Etihad stadium naming right deal as they are practically sister concerns.

    Complete and utter bollocks. Before you spout rubbish, you really should read a little first to make sure you dont come across like a complete div.

    1. You cant increase commercial revenue for accounts already filed. Undoubtedly, all EPL have upside commercial income (looking at both ManU and the Bundesliga models)- but this is future revenue streams. Will have nothing to do with the monitoring period that begins at the end of this season.

    2. Really, go read- education is good for the soul. There is a common accounting principle referred to as related party / arms length transactions. FFP uses this principle in Annex X(E.7):

    A related party transaction may, or may not, have taken place at fair value…An arrangement or a transaction is deemed to be ‘not transacted on an arm’s length basis’ if it has been entered into on terms more favourable to either party to the arrangement than would have been obtained if there had been no related party relationship.”

    In English, they will assess the effects of any transaction if it comes from a related party (of which Etihad are obviously one). So, they would assess the amount down to a fair-market value if they perceived it to be inflated.

    As a piece of accounting legislature, FFP is fine. The question is not will they get around it (UEFA are effectively judge & jury here), but moreover what UEFA will do about it. I have my doubts that their bite will be as bad as their bark- we’ll see.

  39. Bade

    Good read Pedro

    I agree with many points, though I can’t share the “scientific” side of the game is above the basic one. Which is motivating the players & identifying who’s in the best form.

    Red Nose is the pure example for it. I know he has a bunch of specialist around him, but what he’s getting out of his players is just impressing year in year out

    With the same set up Arsenal & Untied had, I guess switching the manager wouldn’t bare the same results of 20+ points for United over us.

    I think what happened with Barca this season is another example that you just can’t ignore the bigger impact of the manager’s personality on the game

    Their season seemed going for glory until their manager was out & things from then on went tits ups

  40. Bade

    That said, of course adding all the needed technologies to the Arsenal behind scenes staff would improve us

    But I guess we still struggle with training methods, as many ex-players hinted on after leaving & joining other top clubs. Not that I have any 1st hand knowledge about that though ….

  41. Danish Gooner

    Ohhh no,he wants to stay on.That will be another 5 year contract worth 9 mil and no trophies.

  42. Guns of hackney

    If any of you deluded losers think arsene or arsenal are going to do anything any different, you don’t deserve to breath the same air as I do.

  43. arsenal4ever

    @zoran @gambon

    Exactly. I ve meant Lars Bender from Leverkusen. He is miles ahead of Gonalons. Can score goals as well. Have enough of crap shit from ligue 1.

  44. N5

    Guns what happened to you man, you used to come on every day and have nice things to say, then Gambon got banned and you went all angry and ever since you only come on once a day and say something negative and leave (I used to be VoKzii, in case you wonder how I know the history :D).

    Come back to the site and be the old funny GoH and not this angry one!

  45. Heywood Jablome

    Fucking endless spin from the club. Bollocks & bullshit and small-minded drivel. Fed up, fucking off til Wenger’s gone

  46. MoW

    i doubt chelsea or city are anywhere near FFP compliant. last time i digested some Swiss Ramble stats it seemed both would have to curb spending last summer and this summer to stand a chance. since they won’t be doing that i guess they’re taking the risk that Platini & Co won’t show their teeth when judgement day arrives…

  47. Bade

    As for FFP, as I said many times before, people are hanging too many hopes over them changing the game to be “more fair”, while their impact could be almost the total opposite, when they perpetuate the existing situation & deny small clubs to join the top clubs pack, unless it’s some extra ordinary circumstances

    Bypassing those rules won’t be that hard

    Do you know most of you pay more taxes than the biggest & richest people & companies. Why is that do you think?

  48. samsenal

    Yeah Guns, WTF? There’s a lot of love here.

    Even Gambon is feeling optimistic – though he will not admit it.

    Come on in, the Warm water of hope is lovely.

  49. gambon


    im not optimistic.

    Do i think we will make top 4? yes

    Will we progress from there? nope

  50. SurferX

    Back to footie. Ive been obsessed for two years with getting rid of the shite at the club- the players associated with the perpetual failings of the past 8 years. Last season was the first step forward as far as Im concerned: take VP out of the dealings and Ive been very happy:

    Monreal 26 9m
    Carzola 27 17m
    Podo 27 11m
    Giroud 25 11m

    All of these the right age, experienced, no expensive youth ‘projects’.

    We got rid of Song, Vela, Almunia- and a ruck of dross was shipped out on loans (shame they are not out out.. but still, at least I didnt have to watch them with play).

    This year, AA, Squid and Flappy all go. Again, we need to make sure the loanees dont come back. That is THE most important thing. Then, add another 4 like the above. We need the spinal players- GK, DC, MC, FC. Super-super quality please.

    And time to let bacary go too.. his career is going downhill fast.

  51. nepGunner


    As a piece of accounting legislature, FFP is fine. The question is not will they get around it (UEFA are effectively judge & jury here), but moreover what UEFA will do about it. I have my doubts that their bite will be as bad as their bark- we’ll see.

    I know how you bean counters type think…I deal a lot with your types in my day to day work while we go out and handle real people and real issues and get things done! Your above paragraph exactly seconds my point you moron (and yea, this is the first time I have used the word “moron” on this blog and it so fits the meaning).

    How do you calculate the fair market-value of a stadium naming right? or for that matter, a kit deal or a shirt sponsorship deal? Is it based on the number of titles a team has won, or the number of star players on that team, or their wage bill, or the size of their fanbase or capacity of their stadium or the color of their kit or the quality of their playing turf? What has been the parameter for such sponsorship deals in the past? Don’t tell me that such evaluation are not influenced by some estimation and guesswork. And what makes you think that sister concerns will not churn out dossiers and stats to back their new valuation during renewals or for that matter sign some new deals for training kits and training ground naming rights and player bus sponsorship deals and loads of other deals like Manure to boost their commercial income. And most importantly, how do you know UEFA will not leave a backdoor for clubs to escape in case of emergencies citing “re-evaluation” due to omission of some critical facts.

    Before you come out all gun blazing with your fancy typing which is based on the so called rules of as corrupt organization as EUFA whose only concern is making money, get out in the sun, take a walk and smell the coffee.

  52. Leedsgunner

    Same old manager, same tired excuses…
    “We had to rebuild…”

    The only reason you had to rebuild is because you gutted the club in the first place. Whilst not paying our stars what they were worth you spent silly money on deadwood….


    … and is this a joke?


    Who does he think he is? Alex Ferguson? At least he demonstrates his staying power by winning things. Wenger has produced nothing for almost a decade people… TEN YEARS. Lesser managers have been fired easier than this dried up up prune. Thanks for the memories Arsene.

    It’s time to go now. Really, it’s time to go.

  53. Jimbo


    Gonna be another shit summer

    Wenger will sign on again if we get off to a good start next year

    What now?????? Can’t see the above changes you stated happening if he remains

  54. Tim

    Gambon, are you a happy man? Like away from the blog. The real you. Are you as cynical and depressing?

  55. SurferX

    gambonMay 3, 2013 11:35:39
    Chelsea are fine with FFP. They made a profit last year.

    Not completely true. They made a Net profit of 1.4m- but this was in part of two things;

    1. A one-off £18m exceptional gain as a result of a share write-off
    2. A 29m profit on player sales (amortisation based)

    They actually recorded an operating loss of 46m (ie loss attributable to normal trading activites)- and bear in mind those results included the windfall of CL both success and excluded the purchases of Hazard and Oscar (56m).

    They will most likely just be compliant- or only slightly foul of the FFP requirements- but Im not sure where future large scale investments will come from in terms of rules (relative to other clubs potential upside). They are treading a fine line at best- and the opportunity to continue to outspend the competition by adding to the amortisation and wages buckets look narrow.

    My best guess- they are banking on UEFA throwing the book at City and getting giving the a reduced punishment (which would most likely be a warning). Or, hoping that one of the Middle-East backed giants picks a legal fight with UEFA that makes their indiscretions seem trivial.

  56. SurferX

    nepGunnerMay 3, 2013 11:45:12

    No idea what your talking about- none of that made any sense to me. You seem to have backed away from your earlier statement that FFP is bullshit, and are now arguing the difficulties in evaluating related-party transactions. Here, I agree with you. Either way, they filed a 100m loss… thats including the related party transaction. So your point is completely.. err, pointless.

    Either way, I like coffee and its sunny- so, whilst you might not have a clue when it comes to finances and FFP- you are obviously a sage in terms of well-being and lifestyle. Make mine an Expresso.

  57. Pedro

    Surfer, that’s what they guy I spoke to yesterday said… they pulled some accounting tricks… and they’ll get away with that once… if they blow themselves off course this summer, they won’t be able to explain away.

  58. Jed

    The sun is shining and we all feel great because of it.

    BUT I’m not sure I can take too much more of this positive stuff you are writing.

    Can we not get back to negativity?

    It’s fantastic to know that some of the people at the club are sane but they are all under the thumb of our French fantasist. Until Ivan grows a pair and tells Stan how it is we are going to be stuck in Arsene’s 1998 timewarp.

    If Ivan has not found his backbone thus far he never will.

  59. Johnny5


    Axing we also run at a operating loss too £34 million I think it was. That was hidden by wenger selling players again. And didn’t chelsea make a profit due to winning the champions league

  60. Ichiban

    Why doesn’t Wenger play Coquelin at RB considering sagna’s poor performances, he can dribble better and pass better when he’s playing well and Sagna’s recent defensive performances can’t be much better than what Coquelin can provide at rb. He’s even slightly taller than Sagna and produced some promising performances at LB last season when we were short.

    Of course I would love to see Jenkinson playing there tomorrow as well, as long as it’s not Sagna

    We’ll see if Wenger meant what he said when he announced a few weeks ago that places were up for grabs

  61. Radio Raheem

    People really need to stop mentioning FFP. Even if a club flaunts FFP rules UEFA
    can exerciae discrearionary powers on whether the club shouls be punished. City and Chelsea will make FFP no problem. They only need to show that they making genuine attempts into being

  62. SurferX

    gambonMay 3, 2013 11:42:51
    surfer“4 like the above”Erm not like Giroud, hes truly awful.

    Yea- well, I cant really defend that. I like him, mainly because hes not Bendtner, Chamack, Parc, etc, etc. I think he’ll improve- certainly I wouldnt put his first season down as a failure- but he should not be our no 1 striker- no way.

    What I meant was in regard to that fact he was the right age, experience level, etc, etc. Every manager has dud buys.. not every manager plays them for 6 years to prove a point. Between 09-11 he basically let the squad stagnate- and hes paid the price for that the past two seasons as a succession of our best players have jumped ship: players we’ve brought in have just about kept us as a club standing still rather than improving.

    What I absolutely will not tolerate is another year where Arsenal allows this to happen- Im not talking about AW, Im talking about the club.

  63. The Legend That Is Dennis Bergkamp

    For Chelski and $hitty to be FFP compliant all they need to do is come up with another bull$hit sponsorship deal that is worth, say £100m over so many years. They can do this because of their rich owners. I wish we had 1 or 2 eh ? Oh…

  64. Amos

    Pedro. You have to ask yourself why Ivan chose to speak to you when he could deliver his message via a whole host of more traditional media and reach a much larger audience as a result. My guess knowing just how cynical the regime are, comes down to the old saying “keep your friends close but keep your enemies closer”. On the one hand you should take this as a compliment as it shows you have got under their skin. On the other hand don’t lose that power by forgetting what brought you to this position. By delivering his message through you, Ivan buys into and leverages your credibility which helps influence your readership. The more moderate nature of many of the last few days comments section shows he is winning. Beware, Ivan speaks with a forked tongue!

    On the commercial front, it bothers me that with the recent secondary commercial deals we are never told what the actual cash value is to the club. Given that that the club want to announce the value of the new Emirates deal when they think it’s something to boast about, you have to assume that these other deals might be a little embarrassing if the figures were made public.

  65. SurferX

    PedroMay 3, 2013 12:06:43
    Surfer, that’s what they guy I spoke to yesterday said… they pulled some accounting tricks… and they’ll get away with that once… if they blow themselves off course this summer, they won’t be able to explain away.

    Bang on the money. Thing is, everyone expects FFP to be a one-strike and your out type thing, but in reality I would be surprised if the punishments were not progressive: their aim is to bring everyone in line not through clubs out.

    Non-cash operating profits can be conjured up in different ways- but you cant repeatedly do it (they tend to be one-off events), and they only paper-over the cracks. Part of the mitigation if they break the rules will obviously be ‘look how hard we are trying to be compliant’- which is obviously somewhat hollow if youve just splurged another 80m in the transfer market…

  66. SurferX

    Johnny5May 3, 2013 12:12:29
    ..we also run at a operating loss too £34 million I think it was. That was hidden by wenger selling players again.

    Really good point that Johnny. We dont have such a big margin as you think. Its often overlooked that nearly all of our (good) past financial performance has come from profit on player sales and property (now ended). However, FFP discounts any investments made to infrastucture in the football business- we can add back an effective 30m from those results for the purposes of FFP (around 20m in debt and interest repayments in the stadium and 10m club refurb).

    What sets us back though is the owners have so far not put any money into the club. So whereas Citeh and Chekski can write off 35m over the two seasons, we effectively have to break even. So a 100m splurge may be possible from a cash perspective- but would certainly make compliance interesting (bear in mind that if this was all on transfer fees, it would add something like 25m a year in amortisation).

    Definitely doable though…

  67. samsenal

    Proof of the effectiveness of FFP will be in this Summer’s pudding.

    If Chelsea and City make massive Transfer Budget losses it would suggest they are confident of getting round FFP.

    Presumably a club can spend loads of money and make a “loss” for the year if the money spent has been accumulated over many years of transfer profits?

  68. Keyser

    Pedro – Where have you got this information about us being less statistically reliant from ? Like being 6 years behind in terms of GPS ?!

  69. SurferX

    samsenalMay 3, 2013 12:36:13
    If Chelsea and City make massive Transfer Budget losses it would suggest they are confident of getting round FFP.

    Or, gambling on the penalties being not so severe that they’ll regret it. I think this is much more likely to be their thinking.. ie ‘well get a wrap on the knuckles- a warning that we need to improve. If so, we’ll see what happens next’..

    Ironically, when the legislation was written it was always presumed that an English club would be the biggest offender, and Europe would wait and see what happened to them as the test case. Qatar Investment Authority will be having some interesting meetings over the course of the next year.. PSG’s accounts had an item in their P&L amounting to E125m laballed ‘Other’. The battlelines have been drawn…


  70. nepGunner

    So you are not publishing adverse opinions to yours or to those you feel are right? So much for your blog motto – “where you dont just get opinions, you can have one”….Hypocrite.

  71. reality check

    Afternoon all,

    I like what pedros been doing these past few days. As he said what does Ivan have to achieve by giving false info to a blogger?

    Really the guy is rich, his business makes a profit and his boss is happy. Why would he care.

    I think there will be changes, but not enough to satisfy us yet just enough for him to be able to say. “I did everything I could, if you are not happy (fans) talk to wenger”

    Guns ya baaastad! Why aint you debating anymore. Sometimes the One-on-Ones get a lil boring. We need a tag team match.
    Old skool no holds barred.
    Guns & Gambon Vs Keyser & Nasri’s

    You can’t tell me keyser wasn’t funny yesterday.

    “Keyser – jerwayne don’t you mean, Jook Him! ”

    Come on bruv that was some funny shit.

  72. Kiyoshi Ito

    (Good Afternoon everyone)..

    I’ll keep it short..

    It’s always the long-term with the club!

    Enjoy the long weekend..

  73. TitsMcgee

    Article reads:
    “Wenger hints at extending Arsenal stay”…….I hear: “Arsenal compete for 4th place for x more years”….

  74. TitsMcgee

    That’s why I feel finishing in 4th place is gonna be bad for us long term…..he’ll get his extension and we’ll stay EXACTLY WHERE WE ARE for the duration of that extension.

    3-4 more years of absolute ambiguity and mediocrity.

  75. zeus

    Edi Tubau, the Spanish international grass hockey player and Barcelona fan, has managed to cause a stir amongst the Barça ranks after his live tweets during his team’s overwhelming defeat.

    Tubau launched a tirade at Cesc Fàbregas on Twitter, accusing him of not working his socks off for his team. “Cesc, I’ll only ask one thing of you, to run your arse of in the second half. I ask you as a Barça fan,” he wrote first, in a message in Catalan directly addressed to the player’s account, @cesc4official.

    He was even more critical later on. “Seriously, it’s the 65th minute and you’re still not running? You’re not proud of the shirt. You should be ashamed of coming to Barça with that attitude,” he said. “We need to make signings, and good ones – not just for the media, but for our actual needs. And we need to be brave and sell the ones who think they don’t have to work hard here,” he assured.

    “Everyone criticises Alexis, but at least he pours his heart out in every game. Others don’t even break a sweat… right, Cesc?! That was quite a swindle you managed to end up here,” he said. “We need to sign a winger who can break, a centre forward and a good German style centre back, who’s big and imposing. And the stars, or those who think they are, can go.”

    He also asked the press to get on the case of “the freeloaders who were on the pitch”.

  76. zeus

    Very strange that the press are calling Cesc a failed signing along with Sanchez (alexis) who I always felt was a little overrated since seeing him at the 2007 U20 WC.

  77. eboue

    i think theo is the only one who wants to see him play upfront haha useless twat got a lucky finish against utd too de gea should of saved it.

  78. TitsMcgee

    Cesc has been played all over the place in Barca.

    They have some problems right now but Cesc is probably # 9 out of a list of 10.

  79. Cesc Appeal

    If ever there was a time to bring Cesc home…we should be doing everything to get him back.

  80. Dannyboy

    CA, if we had literally any other manager in Europe, he would sign Cesc back in an instant. But we all know Wenger doesn’t agree with paying more than £15 million for a transfer, unless he is transferring his bank contents to a new bank. WONGA

  81. henkamp

    You seem very upbeat about new signings pedro…could a transfer chat happened behind the scenes the other day?

  82. Granddad

    Fresh air from the PR suffocation of the last few days.

    When next you see Ivan, tell him some of us can’t keep wearing newer and newer Arsenal jersies to see matches when we know the outcome would be incessant heartbreaks and taunts from other fans. That’s why we are not buying anymore. Don’t lose your head together with your heart.