Le Champ of the year award | Fans shouldn’t design club crests

by & filed under News Review.

Good morning fellow Gooners. This morning is the same as yesterday and the same as the day before. The constant rehashing of a stagnant news feed is beyond dull and most of it is made up. So I shan’t be delving there this morning.

I will quickly jump into the amusing story about Everton and their new crest. They didn’t consult every single fan on the planet so there’s been a huge uproar… now the club have said they’ll consult with the fans next year.

For gods sake… it’s a club crest. You have to adapt things. Football fans are so stuck in there ways with everything. I mean, Arsenal fans still moan about our last badge which was horrendously outdated by the time we changed it… I still hear people pining for Highbury… you have to move with the times. I think the idea that Everton would consult with fans over a logo is nonsense. What do football fans know about design? Trying to get a design past 3 people in a business is hard enough. Imagine taking advice from 100,000 people who don’t have the first clue about anything to do with design? Madness. How does the saying go… ‘a camel is a horse designed by a committee’…

Anyway. Enough on backward looking fans.

Today we can talk around potential players of the year, and honestly, there aren’t many candidates.

First up…

Theo Walcott was the man who went into the season in a very precarious contract situation, he had one year on his deal and the demand was simple… He wanted to play and he wanted to play centrally. He didn’t sign a deal as we sailed past August 31st which had all us Gooners fearing another high profile loss either in January or this summer for nothing. When I say high profile, I am fully aware that in the grand scheme of our history, he’d probably not be classes as high profile. It was more symbolic for me… another player we’d persisted with. Another player who’d left for pastures new.

Anyway, he was mostly benched for the opening rounds of the season. Gervinho was kind of banging them in for fun whereas Giroud was struggling. Wenger did eventually stop his sulking when our points total looked pitiful and Theo eased himself in. He consistently scored goals most of the season (past November). Mostly they came from outwide but occasionally when he was allowed through he middle, like against Reading… he flew them in from there as well.

If Theo has added anything to his game this year it’s decisiveness. He’s more direct than ever before and he generally knows what to do early. His finishing has been clinical. My favourite goals was then one against Newcastle where he was chopped down in the box, he jumped back up and chipped the keeper. A supreme goal for a man who really lacked in most departments up until recently.

Overall return for the season was double figures assists(14 I think) and 20 odd goals. Can’t argue with that. Not many players returned that without a top class striker to play with.

Santi Cazorla

The little Spaniard joined after the usual 3 year battle to sign him. He arrived as the Cesc solution and he came with a big reputation as a player who could play with both feet… Xavi described him as the best.

It didn’t take long for him to start showing why he was so highly regarded. He was more of a dribbler than Cesc and his skill on the ball could be dazzling at times. His size looked like it could be a problem when i first saw the pint sized magician, trouble for opposition with a hope of manning him off the ball was you couldn’t get close to him. He created space where there was none.

He could also shoot… though I do seem to remember his opening months dotted with a sharp spoon over the bar from pretty much any distance. He scored some crackers though, probably the best came as a consolation against United when he rattled it into the top corner from outside the box at he end.

He was quite heavily overplayed through the season which took its toll on his game. He was ever present in the squad, but not ever present on the pitch… 20 minute bursts of magic would be tempered by chunks of AWOL.

As the season climaxed he found himself played outwide. Many said that he didn’t do a good job there because his stats weren’t as impressive as the ones Lukas was putting in. For me, stats didn’t tell the whole story, he gave us more balance outwide. Having someone who could control the ball, cut in through the centre, make a telling pass… well, it just made us a stronger side. He finished the season with 13 assists and 12 goals. Not a bad return for a player who cost us next to f*ck all. A great buy and a great character to have around the squad.

Mikel Arteta

Now, I know he wasn’t exactly pulling up trees this season, but in the absence of a captain who wanted to captain, I think Arteta really stepped up. He plays with a maturity and confidence the rest of our midfield lacks. His legs can’t hack three games in a week, but his commitment to the cause has never been in doubt. He sometimes slows play down a bit, but generally, he’s the one player you can rely on to battle his way through 90 minutes. He’s a big name in the dressing room and he’s far more a leader than poor old Thomas Vermaelen will be. An outsider for player of the season, but there’s no doubt he’s been very important to our set up and stability in the back 9 of this season.

If I was going to put in an award for half season heroes, I’d have to put Aaron Ramsey in with a shout. He’s come in for some stick over the years, mainly because he’s played out wide right when he’s clearly not a wide right player. When played in the centre midfield with Arteta, he really started to shine. He held his discipline, stuck his foot in and occasionally made a telling pass. His goal towards that back end of the season against Wigan (I think) was well deserved. I think he’ll have a solid future at Arsenal and I’m glad he’s starting to show glimpses of being able to handle football at the higher levels. Also on that list would Laurent Koscielny. Put out in the cold when Arsene Wenger bizarrely gave his 3rd best defender the captains armband at the start of the season…. but when the manager needed to call on the Frenchman after another abysmal performance from Vermaelen, he came in and shone like Alex Ferguson’s nose in the snow. Calm on the ball, agressive on the floor… even solid in the air. 4th place was made ours because of the defence. Our best total in years. He was a major part.

Outside that lot, I don’t think there was much else to shout about!

377 Responses to “Le Champ of the year award | Fans shouldn’t design club crests”

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  1. pinkz

    Where is our first signing? I read we needed to make a statement early………….hasnt happened yet!

  2. DM

    I don’t think it’s so much that Everton didn’t consult their fans, as much as the fact that the new badge is seriously awful. I mean seriously. Have you seen it?! Really, really bad. Fully understand fans’ anger.

  3. Tim

    Only Walcott and Arteta in the poll. Seems a little unreasonable. I would have voted for Santi Cazorla and if the option was there too then Bosscielny.

  4. Danish Gooner

    Wenger is on holiday or have forgotten his i-phone,blackberry,android phone,telegraph etc so dont expect any thing to happen before late july.

  5. Dan not Stan

    Don’t agree with your comment on design. The fans certainly do know best and history and tradition go hand in hand with celebrating past glory.

    Not sure what a designer would know about football, or more precisely the passion of the fans. Especially when he’s collecting a fee.

    The badge is an integral part of the shirt and the designers can do one as far as I’m concerned. I know lets change the Arsenal motto to something modern like ‘Av it mys on’.

  6. Willie

    Santi and Koscielny. Don’t know who impressed more. The BFG brings so much calm. Ramsey was decent. Theo Arteta “constant.” Theo, at times exhilirating, others frustrating. Gibbs/Monreal good. All of a sudden we a RB problem.

  7. gambon

    “I still hear people pining for Highbury… you have to move with the times.”

    Let me guess, we moved “to compete with Man Utd and Real Madrid…..LOLOL

    Emirates move was a disaster, horrible horrible stadium.

  8. Nasri's Mouth

    I remember when our badge was last changed, people got upset, though we didn’t have the amount of social media so I don’t think it snowballed into such a big thing.

    You have to ask yourself though, before it was changed, how many people were clamouring for the previous one to be re-instated? None.

  9. ardentgooner

    I would say Walcott

    Arteta for me is a hastily modified DM. He gives away needless freekicks which in turn have caused us problems this year. He shouldn’t be playing as DM. more of a link between DM and AM.

  10. Moray

    the new Everton badge looks like a Blue Peter competition runner up.

    and I pine too, but not so much for Highbury as for a team capable of winning anything.

  11. gambon

    “Signings will not be made until we win our CL qualifier in late August.”

    Unfortunately this shows the pathetic lack of leadership, vision and ambition at the club.

    Not to mention that if this is the plan we may as well not bother.

  12. Willie

    Freddie and Henry criticize Arsenal players for celebrating fourth. “I really do hope the Arsenal players were celebrating coming ahead of Tottenham instead of coming 4th, because you can’t celebrate 4th at a club like Arsenal” (Henry).
    Real talk.

  13. Charlie's gunns

    I think Per should have been included solid for us all season. Lets not let the papers rush us into a frenzy. Have the chavs or the mancurians signed anyone yet?.. Let’s wait and see

  14. Nasri's Mouth

    Gambon: Emirates move was a disaster, horrible horrible stadium.

    at least my knees don’t get hurt from banging on the seats in front with all the standing up and down though

  15. sylv

    Re: Everton crest – tbh I was never a fan of the current Arsenal badge, if I don’t look at it with Arsenal glasses on I’d say it’s probably the ugliest one in the league. It looks cheap and plasticky, shame that seems to be where most crests are headed these days because they have to be “simple, instantly recognisable”.

  16. Moray

    At least Everton have removed the irony of having Latin in their club crest.

    A series of grunts and clicks would be more apt for a Liverpool based team.

  17. vicky

    I read about Skertel situation at Liverpool. He wants to move to a different club.

    I think we should try to sign him. He imo is a good defender.

    PL experience and very very responsible defender.

    He is going through a slump but then who doesn’t bar you know who.

    Definitely better than Ashley Williams.

  18. DUIFG

    Kos for me all day. Rock at the back, spot on pedro, wringer got himself in a tangle over the verm captaincy. Should be first on team sheet. Glad he has shown Los doubters wrong.

  19. puppyguts


    the new everton badge is bloody ugly. i think its harsh to criticise the fans for complaining, you make it sound like they are kicking up a fuss just for the sake of it.

  20. Skinnywill

    gambon May 29, 2013 09:59:22
    “Emirates move was a disaster, horrible horrible stadium.”

    I couldn’t disagree more, yes the atmosphere at times is not as good at it should be but the same could be said of Highbury once we lost the standing.

    The Emirates is easy to get in and out of (which is a godsend with 2 young football mad children) and has all the facilities you would expect in a modern stadium including an excellent view of the pitch from where-ever you sit.

    I can’t see your issue with it other than the financial constraints it has put on the club over the past 5 years, but even that is more down to Wenger’s socialist wage structure and his seemingly lack of desire to pay the going rate for top players.

    I loved Highbury as it held many special memories for me as kid growing up most notably the 88/89 season where as a 16 year old I would finish my Saturday job and jump on the train to be one of the first inside the stadium which I did for every home game that season.

    But time moves on and you have to move with it. The new stadium was an excellent move for the club the mis-management of the clubs wage-bill has been the biggest crime over these trophyless years.

  21. Dev_Gooner

    I agree with the logo issue. Fans should have some input after all they are stakeholders of the club. Mind you there are some Arsenal fans I know who still think our new logo is rubbish and they wish they had never changed it in the first place. Roll on with the times man, Our new logo is slick & easy to photoshop it onto Nelson from simpsons pointing his haha finger at spurs! LOL

    Emirates I like as a stadium, however as a football arena, Nope. Too mundane and dull. though I have never been to highbury myself, it was miles better in terms of atmosphere. Something the club should push on improve. too much empty space behind the goals, improve on field performance and player stature and it all will make a difference.

    Santi has to be player of the year for me. The little spanish magician did his magic without which I think things would’ve been very dire. the only bit of good to come from wenger this year I feel. Now he needs to push on and improve the team other wise there are clubs already eyeing our prized asset again!

  22. Inter YourGran

    There’s a really strange sense of dread and forboding surrounding Arsenal at the moment.

    Players celebrated 4th, whatever they want to say. They really didnt want to be the group of players who missed out on the champions league for the first time in 16 years. Bit sad really, but the truth and slightly embarassing!

    In regards to player of the season it has to be Cazorla or Walcott. Koscielny & Ramsey get special mentions also. I don’t exactly see the point of Arteta in his current role half the time, but he did a job when we needed him too and for that we should be grateful.

    Onto transfer news and it’s all quiet as per. The club need to pull their fingers out and act like a footballing powerhouse. All this talk of ‘the windows not open yet’ and ‘ we cant make moves until we are in the CL’ are the ambitions of a small club. Are we going to wait until every club has had first pick then collect the dregs when we’re competing with teams like Lille, Sporting etc. for players.

    Neymar’s gone to Barca, Lewandowski is on the verge of a move to Bayern. United have contacted Barcelona over Fabregas, Di Maria is on his way for a medical at PSG & Arsenal are sniffing around some 22 y/o who plays for Lyon. How very Arsene’s Arsenal….

    Sorry, rant day!

  23. gambon


    The emirates wasnt built to allow more fans in or gove us more cash to spend. It was built in order to increase the value of the club, milk the fans for more cash that wont be spend, and push the club down the corporate, rather than regular fan route.

    As for “financial constraints”, since the day we moved we have been generating £30m more per annum, yet we spend much much much less on players than we used to pre-emirates.

    This all doesnt even mention the silly corporate bowl with silly overly banked tiers that allow the middle corporate tier the best views, the silly dipped corners that remove any semblance of atmosphere, the ridiculous gap to the pitch, the pathetically priced food and the betting kiosks that dont pay you if you win without having to go through an elaborate process.

  24. Skinnywill

    The player I feel we need is Rooney. Him up front with Santi in behind would be a perfect combination. They can both drift wide and deep pulling players out of position allowing Walcott and Podolski to run in behind and come in through the middle. Giroud is a decent Plan B but he is too static to get the best out of a 4-2-3-1 that seems to be Wengers preferred formation.

    A decent midfielder to compliment Arteta, Ramsey, Wilshere and Oxlade Chamberlain, A wide-man to back up Walcott & Podolski and a decent versatile defender would mean a decent summer and a chance to progress. I am not too fussed about a keeper as I believe Szczhney has what it takes but perhaps an experienced back-up would be nice.

  25. Nasri's Mouth


    In the long term the emirates stadium will allow us to spend much more money than we would have been able to had we stayed at Highbury

  26. Kemp1886

    I don’t mind emblems evolving and changing but our current one is terrible.It is tacky and lacks any hint of tradition or class,which is what makes Arsenal special.

  27. Skinnywill

    Gambon – I understand your points, but I guess those things are not as important to me anymore. I go 4-5 times a year with the kids and feel that visiting the Emirates is a good experience. As I sit in the junior gunners section on mostly category B games (i.e. Swansea, Newcastle etc) the tickets are pretty good value (1 adult and 2 kids for the Newcastle game was £65 and the kids still talk about that game now). The ticket prices in other areas I agree are expensive and to me cause the biggest issue with the atmosphere as with those high prices comes a level of expectation that is not being met. If fans felt they were getting value for money and had an exciting and competitive team on the pitch I am sure the atmosphere would improve.

  28. gambon

    Nasris Mouth

    We have been able to spend for a long time, but we arent doing it.

    Last year we made £11m profit on transfers, yet spent £8m renovating Club Level and the Boxes.

    So doing up the stadium was deemed to be £19m more important than the squad.

  29. GoonerLad

    Cesc to Arsenal to share player-make role with Santi. Cesc could also play behind the striker and Santi can also play out on the wings. Wilshire isn’t the finished article yet. Not so sure about Jovetic, would like to see a finisher like Eduardo.

  30. Pedro

    Gambon, struggling to understand how a man so into finances can say the stadium move was a disaster?

    To the guy earlier in the post who asked what a designer knows about football… every one of
    the design team where I work love football

  31. kay

    Cesc or Grenier if Cesc doesn’t want to move
    Sagna Replacement if he leaves

    Hair Gel
    World s Best ST

  32. Inter YourGran

    Does anyone rate Thiago Alacantra? He has an 18m euro release clause as he’s payed under 60% of Barca’s games. The clause is vaid until 1st August…. Risk?

  33. Paddy got up

    I’m with you Gambon
    That ground of ours is awful. I totally detest it
    Pop arena designed for plastic fans and tourists. And toffs!

    Not to mention the lies told to sell it to us in the first place…
    This time next year Rodney!!!!

  34. gambon


    What good is all the money in the world if theres no intention to spend it?

    Anyhow,there were numerous other options we couldve looked at, both in terms of expanding capacity, or financing the emirates once we decided that was the only way.

    The Emirates was built to exploit the fans, increase the value of the shareholders holdings…..it was NOTHING to do with football.

    The fact that our spending power went up immediately, while we became a selling club that run a transfer surplus proves that.

  35. Raz

    Can anyone shed any light on the benefits of being locked into a payments scheme the way are? Minimal payments every year until 2031 – how is this beneficial? I am sure the club could have paid off the stadium by now if it so desired, but I’m sure I read that we would face sanctions should be attempt to pay more than the standard payment amount at any one time.

    And does our club actually make money? Why is such a big club like AFC in need of selling £20m of players every summer to stump up for a debt payment even in that position? We have a 60’000 seater stadium, we have the highest prices in Europe, we have low stadium payments and a £145m~ wage bill – yet we need to sell £20m of stars every year to pay it, despite earning a minimum of £20m in the CL every year since 2006 and a minimum of £50m from our position in the league? How is that sensible finance?

  36. Nasri's Mouth


    I don’t get your point, are you denying that the stadium will generate considerably more revenue than Highbury in the long term?

  37. Pedro

    Gambon, it wasn’t a disaster. The lack of spending isn’t the stadiums fault.

    Expanding Highbury wasn’t an option either.

  38. gambon

    Usmanov knows what he’s talking about:

    “The previous decision by the Board to fund the building of the Emirates Stadium with long-term debt was, we believe, certainly not about self-financing. If it had been, it would have been funded through a mixture of debt and non-dividend equity. Instead it allowed, in our view, the major shareholders of the time, who happened to all be Board directors, to load the Club with a liability, to benefit from increased future revenue streams and consequent increase in the value of their holdings, whilst avoiding dilution of their equity. The Board of the time then appeared to pursue a policy of increasing ticket prices and squeezing the fans to cover the short term cost increases which allowed them to bridge until all of these shareholders and Board directors sold 100% of their holdings and cashed out at vast profits. “

  39. Raz

    Pedro, how does the Emirates compare to the Etihad in terms of feeling in the stadium? Sadly I’ve never been to the Emirates (well, I have, but not on a match day) but I’ve been to the Etihad twice now.

  40. Inter YourGran

    I like the stadium, but do agree it feels like a shopping mall and souless. Once we start having trophy winning sides in it again it’ll feel more like home I guess.

    Also, the branding ’emirates’ doesnt help, nor does the ridicuous ticket prices and food costs. Not a cheap day out to go to the Arsenal, so the fact the stadium is ful of toffs and tourists is par for the course…

  41. Savage

    Am I the only one seeing only 2 options in the poll?

    The worst badge in the league is Fulham. The Arsenal one is very marketable and I’m happy with it – it’s a very solid Web2.0 design and works well with lots of different media.

  42. Pedro

    As for exploiting fans… I disagree. Exploiting corporates . Ticket prices are just ahead of spurs… London prices

  43. gambon

    “Expanding Highbury wasn’t an option either.”

    Yes it was, expanding the East & West stands wasnt.

    We couldve put in a 3 tier North Bank, and the same at the clock end, which wouldve given us 54000 fans at much much much lower cost.

  44. gambon


    Exploiting fans by getting them to fund the Emirates.

    Bearing in mind the Emirates doubled the clubs value overnight, should the directors not have given up their equity in order to build it……if it was for the good of the club?

    Its no different to politicians lying to the public in order to get them to fund wars that are making these politicians and their friends rich.

  45. mystic

    Gambon, my understanding is that planning permission was not given for extension to either the North Bank or Clock End as there were considerable objections by local residents.

  46. samsenal

    Fascinating debate on the stadium brewing here. I’ve got my bowl of popcorn…

    Thiago was considered Barcelona’s number 1 prospect. There was even talk that they didn’t need Fabregas….

    Haven’t watched him this season but to be fair to him there can’t have been much opportunity for him to play.

    I thought he was a CM but was corrected on here the other day by others saying he is an AM.

  47. Nasri's Mouth

    We couldn’t increase the capacity of Highbury to the current capacity of the Emirates, nor (and quite possibly more importantly) could we have increased the corporate seating to the levels we have now

  48. gambon

    Nasris Mouth

    The Emirates will cost us £640m overall

    If we couldve grown Highbury to 50k for say £100m, im pretty sure that wouldve been a much better idea.

  49. Nasri's Mouth


    Corporate income?

    And I’m not convinced we ‘could’ have increased it as you say.

    As for exploiting the fans. I’d bet that if we were still at Highbury, the ticket prices would be the same now as they are at the Emirates, so the level of exploitation would be the same wouldn’t it?
    More fans being exploited at the Emirates than at Highbury? Well possibly, but no-one is forcing those extra 22k of fans to turn up every game

  50. Usedbustickets

    Pedro perhaps when you have been around long enough to appreciate something that has built over a great number of years, you’ll understand the difference between tradition and being backward looking. It’s bad enough when we have big money taking over football clubs, it’s quite another level when Marketing Twonks see it as their mission to change everything that tradition has built / evolved, and that’s what you have seen at Everton.

    The Everton supporters bit back against the start of a ‘new order’ of marketing that sough to replace tradition, and good luck to them. It’s a bit more of an impassioned response than the shrug of a shoulder indifference you get from the ‘typical’ middle class supporters you get at Arsenal these days.

  51. Raz

    “What do football fans know about design” — the implications of this rhetorical question are totally unfounded. Why wouldn’t football fans know about design?

  52. tomb

    I think the emirates is being used as a smoke screen to deceive the fans. It is a great stadium as was Highbury. I am pleased it is now built, but to now constantly use it as an excuse to not fund a better squad is not right . We have a surplus which after 6 years of selling should be used to build a team that befits the size and stature of the club. No more excuses.

  53. gambon

    Nasris Mouth

    When at Highbury we used to pay big salaries and you know….spend money on transfers, with less regard for profits.

    Since the Emirates move our profits have gone through the roof, our cash balances from £10m to £150m, yet Aston fucking Villa have spent £24m on a player, something we still wont do.

    Clubs that have outspent us on transfers since we moved?

    West Ham
    West Brom

    Pretty much any team in the PL and half of the championship.

  54. rhj

    Koscielny for me, for the way Wenger treated him. Only took Wenger 2/3 of the season to concede what everyone else knew and start playing his best defender.

  55. Wengers Plastic Bottle

    Gambon how many shit players in our squad that are on like 30-50k?

    without kicking a ball

    remove them.

  56. gambon


    Its absolutely relevant.

    Fans paying big prices to see world class players, being paid world class wages, winning trophies arent being exploited

    Fans paying the biggest prices in world football to see a load of guys on low money, a huge uncompetitive squad, the best paid manager in the game, winning absolutely fuck all and regularly being humiliated most definitely are being exploited.

    The club didnt struggle to shift tickets in 2004 for example, now they are struggling like fuck.

  57. Dev_Gooner

    Its not half as bad as the owners of Cardiff city completely changing the identity of the club from cardiff blues to red just because red is a colour of prosperity where he comes from. Imagine how cardiff fans felt over that. Compared to that change in club logo is petty really.

  58. Usedbustickets

    @ nasris mouth

    The Everton badge according to the press had been in use since 1938. Not sure of the relevance to the date, the important point is that the supporters consider it part of their tradition …. you know the old saying perception is reality, and if the perception amongst its supporters was that it was a tradition then it is!!

  59. Nasri's Mouth


    It’s not relevant because you ignored the corporate income increase, the fact that fans would more than likely being charged the same whether we were at highbury or the emirates, the fact that there’s nothing to suggest we wouldn’t have followed a similar wage policy had we stayed at Highbury, and my doubt about whether we could have increased Highbury to 50k as you say.
    Had we stayed at Highbury, we’d now be in a situation where the future would be looking particularly worrying.

  60. goona

    @ Gambon

    “Aston fucking Villa have spent £24m on a player, something we still wont do”..

    ….that comment says it all don’t it! Totally agree!

  61. gambon

    “Had we stayed at Highbury, we’d now be in a situation where the future would be looking particularly worrying.”

    As opposed to loading a £640m liability on the club?

    Moving stadium was NOTHING to do with competing, it was the transformation of Arsenal from a football club into an entertainment business.

    Completely opportunistic in that the directors saw an opportunity to grow their own wealth substantially, convert the existing stadium into £300m worth of flats with expected £100m profit (at absolutely zero risk to themselves).

  62. Josip Skoblar

    Santi, Mert and Kozzer were our best players this year. Ramsey has also improved and deserves a mention.

  63. Josip Skoblar

    I agree: the Emirates is no longer a special stadium like Highbury was. It’s the type of standard stadium that you now have in most European cities.

  64. samsenal

    Gambon, do you believe the director’s/BoD/Shareholders have hampered Wenger’s ability to spend at all as a result of the move?

  65. Josip Skoblar

    ‘Moving stadium was NOTHING to do with competing, it was the transformation of Arsenal from a football club into an entertainment business.’
    Quite right. And I underline the word ‘business’.

  66. Usedbustickets

    @ nasris mouth

    Interesting but my point still remains as far as the fans were concerned there was only one badge and that was their tradition … classic case of perception is reality

  67. Highbury

    Lolest! ” a camel is a horse designed by a committee” laughed out my Bratwurst the only thing i was having for lunch Herr Pedro should replace 🙂

  68. samsenal

    If we agree that the intention was to transform us into a business would that business not have to make a profit/avoid a loss?

    In which case, until corporate/commercial revenue was due for increase in 2014, would profit-making from players sales not be a cornerstone in the strategy to turn Arsenal into a business?

  69. Nasri's Mouth


    So I go back to my original question,

    are you denying that the stadium will generate considerably more revenue than Highbury in the long term?

  70. nuudles

    Gambon, on your point of expanding Highbury: yes it might have been possible to go up to over 50k, but keep in mind the much higher demand then on proper escape routes & etc and I am not convinced it could have met those requirements. Even if it happened, that would be the absolute limit. We are now 60k+ at the Emirates, and if we go through a period of immense success there might even be scope to expand the Emirates, while Highbury would have been maxed out.

    Pedro: Santi for me all day long. Yes he was not quite as good in the last quarter as the first three quarters of the season, possibly fatigue, possibly being played out of his best position (apart from Wigan, where he had a monster of a game). Put it this way: over the last 10 or so games I would say Santi is JUST behind Koz (& Ramsey). Over the period just before Theo resigned Santi was JUST behind Theo. Similarly you can pick pretty much any period and Santi would either be our best or second best player for that period. Since the players who were first when he was second chopped and changed (probably Diaby at the start of the season, Theo for a bit, Koz for a bit, Arteta for a bit, etc), Santi would have to be number 1 overall.

    It is a disgrace that Hazard got into the team of the season over Santi. Not saying Hazard was not good (he was fantastic), but Santi created more, scored more and was more important to our campaign than Hazard was.

  71. Mayank

    What was our wage bill at Highbury?

    What’s our wage bill now?

    If we stayed at Highbury and had 8 trophyless years would we able to pull ourselves up? Or would we be doomed to become an Everton sized club?

    What’s the logic of staying at Highbury. The money we’d have saved up will be the difference between the wagebill over 8-10 years. Then what?

    Unless we’re hoping to stay at Highbury and hope for our white knight in the shape of Usmanov, criticising the move is about the most short sighted thing a fan can do.

  72. mrz

    I think Walcott had a great season. He has totally silenced his critics. His confidence and hard working has finally been paid off. I hope he will do even better this season.

    Onto the transfer rumors, Chelsea is reported to be after Jovetic and is ready to pay 25m. We all know what happens when Chelsea targets someone to land(except Falacao, wondering what went wrong!!)..Reminds me of Juan Mata…dejavu!! will we let our London rivals to snatch away another top target?? I think we will…

    So..Lewandowski goes to Bayern, Rooney likely to stay at Man Utd, Falaco most likey goes to Monaco, Cavani to Man City, Jovetic to Chelsea and Higuain to Juventus….All gone…

    I wonder if we ever linked with one of these players….What the hell we do with 70m transfer funds???

  73. Raz

    I was happy to accept the ‘dry period’ of ‘less financial strength’ due to the Emirates build, and was totally sold on the reasons to buy it. I understood when the club turned around and said it would be a difficult 5 years. I understood we’d need to maybe sell some players for a few years and we did.

    I was led to believe that a move to this stadium would result in a DECREASE in ticket prices due to increased attendance. The wool has been well and truly pulled. And isn’t it strange how the club decides to employ Gazidis – a man who has made a career out of two key things – 1) streamlining operating costs in big businesses (often before a sale) and PR/spin-doctoring? This should have been a temporary role during a confusing financial period – not an everlasting role at the club.

    Then what? Then we are brainwashed into thinking the way we do things is actually the best way! We hear of ‘self-sustaining business model’ – which turns out to be bollocks when you look closer. We also have the most VILE motto in football thrust upon us, sold to us on posters and t-shirts and mugs by our own club, when it should be heralded as an embarrassment, and also a total lie:

    “We don’t buy stars – we make them!”

    Fuck me.

    “We will hide behind this stadium build and use it as our weapon of frugality!”

    That’s more like it.

    60’000 fans paying a fortune every week and we can’t afford to pay £20m to the banks every year despite league and CL income, without selling our best players?

    8 years and counting? What happened to 5 years? Nothing has changed in that time so why has 5 years become 8 and counting?

    And where has the ambition gone in the market? I remember the day we signed Arshavin and how happy every gooner was – it wasn’t Man U, or Chelsea, or Madrid who’d just bought the hottest property in Europe – nope, the mighty ARSENAL.

    Then what?

    We don’t have a club website, we have a PR and marketing page. The stories are cyclic, predictable, clearly scripted, meticulously placed in the world of media at specific times. There’s a rotation system of dull, insincere comments from player after player on a weekly basis that are simply cringe-inducing. There’s rarely any decent news, rarely anything fun that isn’t aimed at 6-8yr olds (Djourou – Arsenal Insider…seriously….)… the whole thing is WET.

    You don’t even get a vibe that we are winners in any way from the output on the club site.

    The Americanisation of the club is horrible. A football game is not the same as a sports game in America where you go to meet your pals, hang out, chat business, ask about the wife and pay fleeting interest to the game in the background. That’s bullshit corporate american sport.

    We have a dishonest manager, a dishonest PR guy, and we’re constantly fed lies about the immediate future of the club.

    They’ll scream and shout about a £150m Emirates deal won’t they? When was the last time we heard ‘there is a plan to improve the squad, specific targets have been identified and we’re working on it – money is not a problem’? Yes that’s oversimplifying but the club needs to give the fans ANYTHING to go on. Announcing a ‘war chest’ that never gets spent is distancing the fans from the club. It’s creating a big rift. If it’s there to be spent, why isn’t it being spent?

    We announced the Emirates deal in November. We weren’t even in 4th spot at that point. The money we stood to lose if nothing changed was between 20 and 30 million pounds. Is it not worrying that the club chose NOT to spend that in January in order to push us into that top 4 spot for definite? If we were prepared to lose it, why didn’t we just spend it on a good player?

    Doing so would have increased our chances of a top 4 finish (and actually we could easily have come 3rd if we’d added more in Jan, which would have totally changed this summer) plus at the end of the season you still have an improved squad with less to do in the summer. Win win win.

    What did we do? We went to Crystal Fucking Palace and asked them to give away Zaha/we used Zaha in the Walcott negotiations while the club bleated about how good Gnabry is, and then we had no plan for signings until Gibbs got injured, whereby Wenger then proved he can box off a top deal in 24 hours if he wants.

    Our wage bill is not the only problem at this club. It’s backwards from top to bottom.

  74. Mayank


    There’s no point in trying to argue with Gambon over this. He knows what he’s saying is wrong but he’s in the mood for shit stirring. He’ll use logical fallacies till the end of time before he admits that.

  75. 1971 Gooner

    It’s the success and quality of the team that does most to generate a good atmosphere in the stadium. If the team of 10 years ago was playing at the Emirates the atmosphere would be much better than it is today.

    I loved Highbury, but those who mourn its passing are possibly looking through rose-tinted specs. I remember the mid-1970s and early-80s when the team and atmosphere were crap.

    Solution: invest properly ON the pitch, bring back success and watch the atmosphere improve.

  76. Mayank


    A lot of people including Pedro, are revising history by saying that we’ve had cash to spend for a few years now. We haven’t.

    Just last year the AST had said our club can’t buy without selling. We were tied into some pretty bad deals that we’re only beginning to come out of.

  77. Raz

    @Samsenal – yes it does mean that – but why did the club tell us this period would only last up to 5 years?

    Why does the club insist on reminding us ‘ we budget for a lack of CL football for 2 years in every 5′ instead of simply spending 2 years’ worth of CL winnings every 5 years on top of what we have in the kitty?

    If we can afford to lose CL money twice every 5 years, then that equates being able to spend it should we achieve 5 straight years of CL football. This is what I meant by backwards-run club.

  78. Nasri's Mouth


    I guess it’s their badge after all so I shouldn’t be sticking my nose in. Everton probably thought they could get away with it.

    It’ll be interesting to see whether fan power works. Can’t imagine it would be too hard to incorporate the motto and laurelly things within the shield itself

  79. Keyser

    “He’ll use logical fallacies till the end of time before he admits that.”

    It’s the LeGrove way, don’t knock it, it’s what keeps us coming back.

  80. samsenal

    Raz, i don’t disagree. I was putting it out there because there are some who believe that Wenger has not been restricted by his bosses.

    1971 – there are fans of smaller clubs who would scoff at the belief that the club needs to win things to generate an atmosphere at The Emirates. There are plenty of hopeless clubs with great atmospheres.

    However, the guys running Arsenal have made it SO difficult to warm to the club in its new guise. If fans thought Arsenal were doing all they could to compete there would be a much better atmosphere. Right now, fans feel exploited.

  81. Nasri's Mouth

    @1971 Gooner

    In the last few years at highbury when we were playing brilliantly, the atmosphere always seemed as though everyone was waiting for a bit of magic to cheer.
    Like people went there, folded their arms and said ‘right, we’ve come here, entertain us and we’ll applaud’ rather than getting behind the team from the start to make that happen. Maybe that’s just my impression of my memories though.

  82. Mayank


    “‘Moving stadium was NOTHING to do with competing, it was the transformation of Arsenal from a football club into an entertainment business.’
    Quite right. ”

    all football clubs are entertainment businesses. Football is entertainment and clubs make money off of said entertainment. Even if the club itself doesn’t make money the people attached to it do.

  83. Mayank

    “It’s the LeGrove way, don’t knock it, it’s what keeps us coming back.”

    I’m not knocking it, just telling it be known.

    Also, I’m pretty sure it the advertisement of our own statements (wrapped up in logical fallacies) that keeps us coming back.

  84. Raz

    @Mayank I think whether it’s there or not has been deliberately made difficult for people to decipher.

    As I mentioned, Gazidis will say we can afford to live without CL football and they budget for that for in 2 in 5 seasons (he says this when defending how the club is run) But then if you ask him to spend that money once it’s been earned and he’ll start to squirm. You ask Wenger about it and he’ll say it gets used for fees and wages. I thought the tickets covered wages?. If we can afford not to earn it, then we can afford to spend it if we do earn it. That is not fiction.

    What we really have is a manager with no intentions on winning the league, and who goes unsupervised, whose every remit seems to be about recouping or not spending money. A top 4 finish is less risky than a failed title push so they simply don’t bother.

  85. Santos


  86. Mayank

    *letting, not telling.

    Also quite surprised Pedro’s post mentions Kos and Ramsey both of whom had half a good season but not the bedrock of our defence, Per.

  87. MadeToLoveMagic

    The end of the season came at the wrong time for Ramsey, he was just beginning to find his feet for rye first time in ages. When he is on form, I don’t think there are many better than him, I think we have an absolute gem in Ramsey I really do.

    My favourite arsenal player this season is kos though, to come through the Birmingham debacle and show the character and quality he has shown is is awe inspiring for me. He plays with passion, a smile and real tenacity. His love for arsenal is written all over his face. I LOVE KOZZER!!! What an absolute beast of a player. That clearence against Newcastle in the last game sums him up. He makes defending almost balletic.

    Santi? well what more can be said about the man. He is genius and how we got him for 15 mil is a miracle. He has it all, he makes football beautiful.. Plus he has a very amusing grin, I think he would make any dressing room a better place.

    Mert has been awesome, I can’t remember even talking about him , which for a defender is always the best sign. A striker is the opposite of course!!which leads me on to giroud. Now I can’t say a bad word about him. He has come to a new league as a replacement for the best striker in the world, who had left amongst huge controversy. Olivier has done well, yes his finishing was poor on occasion, but I’ll forgive him that, we was playing with huge pressure and put right in the deep end as arsen likes to do. Next season he will be on fire, especially if we get a top class cf, as then the pressure will be off a little because he won’t be our only option, we will be fresher and also fighting for his place, all good things. I like giroud, took me a while but I’m there now.

    Jack showed flashes of his brilliance, we all know what he is gonna turn into if he stays fit, quite simply the best midfielder this country has ever produced.

    Arteta as pedders said, is a rock, on and I expect off the field. He will never set the world alight but he would do anything for this club and has been a pivotal and great great player for us. Every teams needs an arteta, eR except Spain of course!

    Theo is still a funny player, funny peculiar not funny ha ha. But what has happened to him over the last couple of seasons , ESP this one, is staggering. If he finds consistency consistently then we have quite the player on our hands. He has so much experience for his age it’s insane. He struggles mainly with confidence, I swear William Halas fucked him up by slating him so publically

  88. Skinnywill

    Just read on the Arsenal website that 30 years ago when we last toured Indonesia they bought the great Charlie Nicholas (one of my first Arsenal hero’s). Let’s hope they make a signing of similar excitement this year when they return there!

    While Charlie never fulfilled his potential at Arsenal his signing was a big coup as he was hot property at the time.

  89. Raz

    @Mayank tell me how the recession affected AFC? Did fans stop attending? Did they decrease wages? Did they go and purge broke clubs of their players a la Cazorla deal? Did AFC decrease ticket prices as peoples’ levels of disposable income dropped? No. The recession didn’t affect Arsenal at all,

  90. Santos

    Moving to Ashburton Grove wasn’t a bad idea per se. It is just that the club has become too corporate rather than traditional these days; should I say too capitalist?

  91. vicky

    Moving to Emirates was a good decision from a logical point of view but the board and Wenger have used this move as an excuse to do nothing and just mint the profits generated from it.

  92. Skinnywill

    Raz – it did, it made the development of the old Highbury stadium less profitable due to a drop in house prices.

  93. Keyser

    Not sure ‘advertisement’s’ quite the right word, more to stem the flow of mis-information, while also enjoying the process.

  94. Nasri's Mouth

    Raz: The recession didn’t affect Arsenal at all,

    What did it do to property prices do you think?

  95. mystic


    When reviewing the potential for buying in the January 2013 transfer window:

    ‘AST’s analysts estimate that the club has around £70m-£80m currently to spend. This, they argue, could cover two £25m players, plus the extra £5m or so the club would have to pay each of those two players in wages in their first year at the club (ie. this would total around £60m, leaving some cash to spare).’

  96. Raz

    @NM fair point it affected property prices. How badly were the properties of Highbury affected though?

    And what difference would it have made anyway? Are we or aren’t we locked into a low payment plan until 2031?

  97. Santos

    I really wonder the things that will be revealed when Wenger is gone; either by him or ex players or current staff. They will be enough to sell tabloid papers and memoirs.

  98. Gooner S

    “Emirates move was a disaster, horrible horrible stadium”

    You may not like the stadium. Fair enough that’s personal taste but to call the move a disaster is just plain silly.

  99. Keyser


    A Paradoxical version since ‘mini’ would never be the first word you use to describe gambon’s fat ass.

  100. MadeToLoveMagic

    ER galls that is, Anyway, I think we have the basis of a really really good side, Oh year signing of the season… STEVE BOULD… . we all know wenger is clever, what ever you think of him you can’t argue that,, he does understand the art of defending, he just chose to ignore it , style over substance in a way,but I think having BOULD around has made wenger pull is head out of his ideological obsession and put his his energy into sorting the defence.. The resuly is we haveThe solid basis of a team, and more importantly culture of our club is changing. The spurs game was the turning point. Now we will see a return of the glory days im sure.. We just need 3 or 4 big names and we are in business. Come on arsee prove us wrong, Spend the mother flipping money$$$$$$$$$$.

  101. Pires_legend

    Pedro, thanks for the post always a good read. I do sense de ja vu when it comes to transfers and I feel this season will be no better.

    I’d like to touch on two points

    1. Transfers!
    Now the season is over and the dust has settled and the club (not the Arsenal fans) have reached their objective of finishing in the top four I am struggling to believe that we’ll go out and buy the marquee signings needed to compete with Man U, Chelsea and City.

    Do I realistically see us breaking our wage structure to land Rooney – No! Do I see us breaking our transfer record fee for a player – maybe, or just about, I think the max we will payout is £18-20m, no more than that, especially if there is no return on the player. People may say well we did that with Arshavin, but I remember the day we signed him and was overjoyed with prospect that one of Europes’ finest players at the time had signed for us.

    What I do expect is Wenger to make the odd overpriced addition to the general squad, and I mean by that is paying over the odds for average players, think Gervinho, Monreal (we could of got Cahill for £8m or even Van der Vaart).

    Those Tier two players who have potential to become really good are the players we’ll sign. It has worked more ofetn than failed mind you, Kocseinly, Vermaelen, Cazorla, Giroud, Nasri – scum etc

    I believe that season ticket holders had a week from the last game of the season to renew their season tickets or risk losing the option to renew is this true?

    I bet Wenger will send his scouts out to watch the U19 tournament to unearth the next best talent. That’s why I’ve resigned the fact that we wont get a Cavani, Jovetic, Villa etc signing it just won’t happen. This all leads onto my 2nd point.

    2. Stadium repayments.

    Because of the huge loan we took to finance our “new” stadium (which cost £400m I believe) we effectively have to pay approx £15-20m every season until 2031. This is fixed, there’s a penalty for early repayment, like any mortgage on a property. We can finance this through annual season tickets, match day gate receipts, shirt sales, merchandise, player sales, TV revenue and Champions League revenue.

    We are a well run club especially with how Wenger rules with an Iron fist of players he believes will improve the squad and those he gives far too much faith into (Denilson, Bendtner, Djourou, Almunia etc)

    The problem we have is that our Board and Wenger dangle the carrot that we are on the verge of success but they actioned upon these words. The stadium debt is a smokescreen to keep the fans hopeful that oneday we’ll have a clean sweep of al the trophies – IT WILL NOT HAPPEN.

    There two ways in which it could happen 1. the Bayern Munich Model, fan ownership of the club, fans have a majority say in the running of the club and they enforce the 50+1 rule which prevents 1 single owner taking full control of the club.

    The fans pay on average £20 for top flight game in Germany as opposed to £60 for a tier 2 game at the emirates. The fans who invest their money into the Team means they own part of the team, meaning they have a say where the money gets spent, which doesn’t end up in some fat cats pocket (think of Gazidis getting paid £1.2m plus bonuses for securing commercial deals for Arsenal, which is his job).

    This model builds a stronger relationship between the fans, the team and the senior management, which at Arsenal isn’t at all close to achieving.

    Then you have the rich oligarch model, and we have one who owns a large portion of shares but isn’t allowed near the boardroom. In Usmanov we have have the Times richest living individual willing to raise the funds and the profile of Arsenal to compete with the “top” teams.

    Hypothetically he could wipe out our debts completely and buy big players to bolster the squad, moreso than chelsea and Manchester united.

    Neither option will happen in the near future becuase of how the club is run from the top, Ken Friar and peter Hill Wood have to much of a stranglehold on the daily running of the club, they measure their success by the bottom line profits and networth.

    Unfortunately this will continue to happen.

    Hate this part of the year with no decent footy tournament to help keep distracted it’ll be a long old summer

  102. Mayank

    “I think whether it’s there or not has been deliberately made difficult for people to decipher.”

    Maybe. But pretty sure there hasn’t been as much money as people on here claim.

    See if we spend less than £30m this summer I’ll agree with you that we’re interested in hoarding cash. People seem to forget that the AST was pretty categoric in the statement that we didn’t have enough cash to buy without selling. Whether that include fees and wages or just one of them I don’t know.

    Also, it’s going to be pretty much impossible to plan for 4th in the coming seasons.

    There are 3 clubs gunning for 1st and 6 going for top four. All 5 of the six spend all the money they can conjure with the exception of Utd. If we were underspending deliberately we’ll have to stop now.

    The margins are getting smaller and the it wouldn’t surprise me if the 5th placed team scores 75 points next season.

    A competitive side generally finishes with 80+ points. A side going for fourth until now would do so with 68-70 points.

    Spurs and ‘Pool will both hope to increase their points total by five or so points at least.

    The window between top 4 and top 2 could be down to 5 points next season. We have to aim for the latter if we don’t want to risk missing the former.

  103. Bennydevito

    I’ve had a tweet from a man u fan who has had a tweet from someone that man u have officially contacted Barcelona about Fabregas. Anybody else heard this?

  104. Mayank


    A good part of the stadium was to be financed by selling Highbury property. Pretty sure the recession would’ve effected property sales if nothing else.


    I’ll try to pull out the piece from last summer when the AST said we have to sell to buy.

  105. Mayank


    If its true that we have a 50% sell on clause for Fabregas, Barca would be mad to sell him to anyone else.

    I think they might even contact us to try and sell him rather than the other way round.

  106. Thomas

    Arsenal-Man.City in Finland in August?
    I’m a lifelong Gooner from Finland. News are spreading in the Finnish newspapers today that Arsenal will play Man.City in Helsinki on August 10.
    Could it really be true?

    Thomas the Finn

  107. Ashwin Gunner

    For me player of the season should be Ramsey. He has had an amazing impact in the final run in.. He made the defence look stronger and also linked up will while attacking. For a lad who had a terrible injury while on the ball, he seems to have forgotten that and now is fearless to go for tackles. He has improved massively. He is young and will surely be the fulcrum of our midfield in seasons to come…

    second would be Klos… We saw to sides of him in the carling cup game against reading. First half was abysmal. Second half he was a beast controlling the entire defence line. He was a very imp piece of puzzle in our defence. and he also kept the BFG and TV on their toes.. He is passionate about the club. The celebration after his goal at newcastle showed that. For the first time in 3-4 seasons, our defence looked solid.

  108. samsenal

    If Cesc goes to United…if we let that happen…


    We should riot.

    Or complain bitterly on Le Grove.

    One or the other.

  109. samsenal

    Mayank, this 50% clause is crucial to this. Is there any way of confirming it?

    Actually…thinking about it….is it that Crucial? if Cesc is available for £25m we have to buy him. United must not get their grubby hands on him.

  110. Ashwin Gunner

    Oh dear.. I just saw the news that man u has contacted Barca officially to sign Fabregas… I just wish he doesn;t got to old trafford. That will be a disaster… Please Cesc. show your loyalty…

  111. MadeToLoveMagic

    Haha how do we know this gambon fella is fat keyser?? Have you seen his fat arse?. Or is it that his screen name sounds very hammy? Jambon, gammon, hambone hmmmm.?

    Anyway I’d like to thank you boys for making this the best football blog out there, I love LG but without the comments it would be like any other blog. Regardless of the quality of the posts. Pedro you a legend mate, awesome writing skills. Can’t believe you manage to do a post a day on top of work , life etc, congrats. Wheres Geoff..? Why doesn’t he write anymore, Did you guys fall out??? Life’s tooI short, hug it out.

    Pedro, I’m up for writing a little guest post if you ever wanted a day off writing. where could I send it so you can decide whether its shit or not?

  112. gambon


    Every wage bill in the game has risen dramatically since 2006, not just Arsenals, so its not like Emirates stadium has supported our wage bill.

    Cheslea make nowhere near what we make from matchday revenue, yet they have revenue as high as ours.

    Guess what, some teams make money from other sources than fans, such as prize money, TV money and commercial money.

    I maintain there were many options we couldve explored, what we did was the best way to exploit the fans and make themselves much more wealthy.

  113. Santos

    United don’t really need Cesc. They should be aiming for Fellaini and Milner, remember that Kagawa won’t be willing to sit on the bench for another year, as the world cup is drawing closer

  114. gooner87


    Barcelona would have to sell for £60m to BREAK EVEN on the transfer due to our 50% of next sale clause

    Can you see them selling to united for £25m and having to give £12.5 to us? Could you see Wenger not bringing him back if the fee was in real terms £12.5m?

    Fabregas will not leave and will retire at barcelona

    …Or join Monaco