A lot of news hit the airwaves last night, some of it Arsenal, some of it affects Arsenal. All of it quite interesting with summer rolling in fast.
The most shocking was the story around Alex Ferguson and his mooted resignation from United. The 71 year old has a hip replacement geared up for this summer and apparently has various other health issues. Going on forever isn’t an option, going out at the top is. It’d make sense. United haven’t commented on it due to stock exchange rules, apparently players have been briefed.
Sir Alex Ferguson retires. #thankyousiralex
— ManUtd_PressOffice (@ManUtd_PO) May 8, 2013
This is supposed to be shock news… so what does the succession plan look like? Early rumours are pushing David Moyes as a prime candidate. That would be bold. Either way, this will likely spell turbulence for a club which is known to have factions that have been bound together by Fergie and his iron grip.
News piece number two kind of lends itself to a number of things I’ve been telling you about the reorganisation of the backroom team at Arsenal. Roman Abramovich has reached an impasse with Madrid over Mourinho. Firstly because his buyout clause is a whopping £16.9m.
Secondly, because of the composition of his backroom team. Mourinho brings his own men, which comes at a premium cost. Which means there is a premium cost when they’re sacked. £18m was spent shifting them on last time. It also means that as an owner, you don’t own the relationship, which from a political perspective means trouble. Arsene has built ‘yes men’ towers around him as has AVB at Spurs. Whereas clubs like Swansea and Barcelona own the infrastructure.
This is the shift from football being about the manager, to it being about the composition of the backroom team.
Again, it’ll probably get resolved, but it’s interesting watching it unfold.
The major Arsenal news from last night was the new kit deal. It was described as a knock out last week in the meeting I attended, and boy has it delivered (until United announce their deal I must prewarn). We’re partnering with Puma for £170m for 5 seasons. £30m a year (£20m in bonuses). The biggest kit deal in the world. We’re the first major club Puma have snared globally which is where the premium will have come from. A major Japanese clothing brand also tested the water as well. Nike and Adidas passed. To be honest, they’re both relatively saturated in the UK market. Nike are probably sweating about the potential bankruptcy they’re facing with United’s new demands. I’m excited about the Puma tie up. They make great kits and when you’re the jewel in the crown, which we weren’t with Nike, you get the best training kits and shirts.
Not just that people. Guess who is on their books from a boot deal perspective?
Eboue: Oh do one.
I’m not sure having a boot deal with a kit maker ever makes a difference. It’s always one of those paper speculations that never comes to anything. We can but dream eh?
So, the comms team finally earning their corn eh? 3 deals in a week when you factor the IOT deal I didn’t mentioned. So our commercial revenue has just jumped £60m as of next season, plus the additional revenue we’ll pick up from the smaller secondary deals… plus the additional TV cash everyone is getting.
Football is swimming in money. So much for the death of the league eh? Just when you think it’s all going down the toilet, the TV companies throw another wedge of cash our way. It’ll be interesting to see what happens in La Liga, where the cash doesn’t get distributed fairly.
The important point is that all this signifies is an industrial estate of full of excuses being bulldozed away. This summer, the opportunity is there. We have to pray for a Chelsea win tonight. If we get it, this season has to be the last we ever try and wing. It always has to be about having the best squad our finances will stretch to. Our vision of a best team won’t always land the biggest prizes, but from a fan perspective, most all of us care about is that the club matches the ambition we show as fans. As long as we can head into each season excited about what could happen, I’d be ok with the outcome… for me, the negativity around the club centres around the lack of ambition. Hopefully with all these new deals dropping we’ll go out and make things happen.
An interesting story in the Daily Star has the board and Wenger at logger heads over Loic Remy and Wilfried Bony. The board want Bony who has amassed 31 goals in 24 games for Vitesse. The manager wants Remy. Now, this seems pretty fanciful journalism. Wenger will get whomever he wants. However, what I will say, if you get a chance, take a look at this Bony guy, he’s an absolute monster of a player. Huge! That said, remember Alfonso Alves? Scored more goals that Ruud Van Horseface… what happened to him? Totally shocking.
Right, that’s all I have time for today… get stuck into the comments.
P.S. Who had a ticket renewal notice? FFS…
Also, I made an appearance on the Footballistically Arsenal Podcast. Take a listen here.