There she is, first WARCHEST story of 2014!

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Like clock work, the annual… Arsene has failed > but dun ya worri we spending a warchest simple fns. (See the Le Grove Warchest Classics Lists).

Fuck me, how amazing is this.

Read this article: Link One

How far did you get before you realised it was from last year?

These are the latest from John Cross and this is the latest from Jeremey Wilson.

The interesting twist this year is that the stories have stoked even more anger than normal because the players being linked are so underwhelming, you have to look back to Stepanovs to reinvigorate any enthusiasm for what we’re planning.

Now, I know that it’s only early doors. But look, here’s the thing. The ‘warchest’ stories don’t leak for no reason, across multiple papers on the same day. Think what you like about journalists, they’re paid meet people. The club use them like pawns through the season in exchange for exclusives. That doesn’t mean they’re not critical, but it means they’re often onside of the club. Patrick Barclay wrote an incredibly offbeat story last year about how great Wenger was that he admitted at the AST Meet up was total nonsense.

I’ll give you an example, there was an article on sports channel website recently that outlined how Arsenal fans owed Wenger a debt. Basically indicating we’re spoilt. Do you think that journalist really believed that? No chance. But look what happened yesterday. One of the biggest leaks yet… spend, names and reasoning. Massive exclusive. Which keeps his paper in the spotlight. Which keeps him relevant.

So you’re rewarded with information. And look, all the major players are in the trusted circle. So regardless of whether they’re getting accurate information, they are getting information. This idea that journalists earn six figure salaries to make up stories is, in the main, a nonsense. That’s not to say they might not take an against the grain opinion to help out their club. But the information, of the major club journalists, is almost always from a proper source.

Also, whilst we’re on this. The idea that if you get a transfer story wrong, you’re a liar and a fraud is also wrong. Buying players isn’t like buying a loaf of Hovis, it’s like buying a house. You have lots of houses you look at, some are in price, some are out, some are waiting on other houses to be dropped, some look like you’re nailed on to make the purchase, then they collapse. It’s a complete chance act with no guarantees. That’s not to say it’s as embarrassingly complicated as we make out. It’s just to say that the list of players we’re looking at now may change, because that’s the nature of the beast.

Now, let’s have a look at the list. Chambers of Southampton to replace a 31 French international. Drmic of Leverkusen, to compliment Giroud. Manzuckic of Bayern, a man deemed surplus, as our star striker. Tom Cleverely. Chris Smalling.

The warchest? £70m! We’ll have £180m by the end of the summer. What does £70m buy you these days?

What are the above players achieving for us? We’d have a better finisher in Mansuckic, but for me, no pace. Where are we injecting power into or set up? Where are we injecting rocket fuel into the mix? Where is the strategy in that mix of players?

Now I’m not pertaining to have the answers. But that list doesn’t inspire me. That list doesn’t say ‘well thought out Arsene’. It doesn’t scream world class anywhere. It doesn’t scream ‘upgrade’. You know what it screams? Smart arse and cheap.

You can say things like, ‘wait until September’, a line about as annual as the warchest story. The point is, I have no faith in Wenger and Steve Rowley to deliver what we need. Their scouting abilities have dwindled. They have way more misses than hits and they don’t shop for the right attributes. Even the hits are so obvious, any football fan could make them. We haven’t replaced Robin Van Persie for the best part of 4 windows. We’re still rocking along with a 3rd choice centre back who Arsene clearly doesn’t trust (and it shows in TV5s play). We haven’t replaced Alex Song. I love Flamini, but there’s a reason Wenger isn’t playing him much at the moment, instead opting for Arteta. We have no natural wide players. Where are the players that actually want to play on the wing? Where are the pace setters? Obviously we have one player in Theo. Pace in general. Where is it? We have runners in Rambo, Ox and Theo but it’s simply not enough.

Where is the balance in the squad? Why don’t we have an adequate back up at right back? Why are we scouting players like Viviano?

Here’s the thing though. Our demise isn’t simply about players. It’s about Wenger and his inability to keep up. Warchest stories serve two purpose, firstly, they keep the season ticket holders interested. But let me drill down a bit further on that. It’s not about keeping me or you happy, it’s about keeping the corporates happy. How many genuine season ticket holders are going to sack in their ticket? It could take 5 years to get it back if things pick up. No, these stories, for me, are aimed at the box holders who can take their business to another club. The not so hardcore hospitality people. The club levellers who have two seats for clients.

Secondly, the ‘warchest’ creates the illusion that the only reason we don’t compete is a few players. In The Mirror article, it clearly states Wenger feels our season has been let down by injuries. If your army is depleted because soldiers keep getting injured in battle, do you just bring in more soldiers, or do you perhaps investigate why you’re men are incapable of dodging danger?

Forget the premise it’s just players that’ll plaster over the incompetence. The truth is a mixture of signing the wrong players, which sadly, I have to report, is all the fault of Arsene and his team. He employs the scouts, he makes the calls, he trains those guys. But the reality is, even if Wenger did have all the players, he’d still be an old school manager and he’d still have all the same failings. Great players can’t make up tactical deficiencies. Great players aren’t immune to exhaustion.  Great managers make the difference at the highest level… and we don’t have one these days.

Bayern Munich lost 1-0 to Madrid yesterday. They dominated the game with possession but failed to get in behind Madrid. They were lambasted for being one paced and predictable last night. That’s one of the best teams in the world, who have just smashed their league, who are one down in a semi against Madrid being lambasted. Think of Bayern, now think how far away we are from them?

This season was a monstrous failure mainly because it was a monstrous chance to power on and take advantage of the mess that was going on at all the other top clubs. This is was the season stability was supposed to be king. This was the year we finally had a chance to take advantage of a settled squad.

We didn’t do that.

So now we head into a transfer window with a Liverpool side armed with Champions League funding, United armed with a new manager and £150m to spend, Chelsea with a manager who has been telling the world his disgracefully talented side can’t compete all year so he can carve cash from his owner this summer and a City side who probably won’t fail FFP and will probably ignore and spunk all the cash this summer.

… and we’re sitting there telling the world we’re going hard with £70m for Tom Cleverley.

Sorry if that doesn’t give me a footballing hardon. Sorry if I find this totally predictable. But for me, that’s life as an Arsenal under Wenger. Total, utter predictability from transfers, to injuries, to tactics all the way through to the end result of a season.

Arsene needs a Director of Football. Someone to run these ideas past. Someone to shoot down some of his ideas. Someone who has the experience to deal with him.

It’s a shame. But at the very worst, all we have is two more years of this. Then we can all look forward to Arsenal 2.0. A new vision, fresh ideas and a break from predictability.

703 Responses to “There she is, first WARCHEST story of 2014!”

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  1. Cesc Appeal

    Barcelona to offer £30 Million for Ozil…the fax back would be short, two words, the second being off!

    …first one is fuck.

  2. Rockypires

    This is going to sound cock midwest gun but here goes.

    The 3-5-2 is risky as regards the cb being pulled out of position but as Alan Hansen said and to be fair he is 100% right. He said if defending on the 18 yard line per would be one of top 3 he would have in the world but defending with high line he wouldn’t be in top 30.

    So bearing that in mind keep our cb deep don’t allow per pace be exposed. Play two strong pacey cb like kos and lovern or indeed Sagna alongside him Keep sitting deeply e as most teams now play one up top and draw their midfield upfield means more space for pace up top I theo or reus remy whoever

  3. Cesc Appeal

    Would do people think of Reus as a ST?

    It’s been batted around here a few times, I remember when he first moved to BvB people were saying he’d end up as a ST…

    I remember because he’d literally just gone to BvB and someone asked Wenger whether he was an option for Arsenal and he said ‘we’re keeping our eye on the situation’…remember thinking what a pointless question, the bloke has just moved!

  4. MidwestGun

    Rocky –
    Fair enough. when it works its a beautiful thing. But there isn’t as much margin of error for the back line. Not as much cover. Just not my favorite formation. I wouldn’t mind trying it once in awhile but not sure about long term.
    But hey when I first started playing we played a 4-2-4. How crazy is that? Talk about pressure on the midfield?

  5. MidwestGun

    Cesc-
    Honestly, I’d take Reus and play him up front in a heartbeat, why not? he could always float out wide kind of like Ronaldo. If we had someone speedy to interchange like Theo it could work. Hell id try almost anything over Giroud. Lol.

  6. london gunner

    Reus Striker?

    Well he his clinical finisher, with a long distance shot, pace and great dribbling skills, whose great at turning the shoulder and making those runs.

    The main question is can he play with his back to goal?

  7. Cesc Appeal

    MidWest

    he certainly has all the attributes, tall, strong, super quick, great finish, great from distance, skilful and an aerial threat…also a bit of a play maker as well…a lot of a play maker actually.

    If there’s a release clause of a reported £32 Million, just pay it. Pay it, give him what he wants.

    I’d also see if we could nick Jovetic off City, chances are with FFP and them being blacklisted they’ll want to sell, and to be frank no one needs that amount of quality strikers earning the wages they are.

    Pelligrini seems to like Dzeko as well.

  8. Cesc Appeal

    People may laugh, and he is an injury liability, but I think there’s a great player in Jovetic.

    Trouble is as me and London were saying, with our fitness approach he may be crocked 24/7.

  9. london gunner

    Cesc

    “I’d also see if we could nick Jovetic off City, chances are with FFP and them being blacklisted they’ll want to sell, and to be frank no one needs that amount of quality strikers earning the wages they are.”

    Did you not hear the announcement from Platini today? No clubs will be banned from competing in Europe… the punishment is now just a 130,000 euro fine…

    Yeah FFP was always going to be a failure Wenger was a fool to believe it would lead to some Utopian world Where Arsenal dominate for eternity

  10. Cesc Appeal

    london

    Are you serious!!!

    Hahahahahahahahahahaha!!! You naughty people! You’ve spent over £500 Million, here’s the equivalent of a parking ticket!!

  11. Cesc Appeal

    Please let someone bring that up at the AGM.

    Erm, Ivan, can we stop worrying about being FFP compliant now (now that we were ever in risk of not being) as the fine is equivalent to 2 weeks of Diaby wages.

  12. Cesc Appeal

    I’ll tell you what as well, you’re going to say I’m crazy but I actually wouldn’t mind Song back at the club.

    I always thought there was a great CDM in Song, good height, great build for one, fast (for a CDM), aggressive, good in the tackle, good passer, good vision.

    However…he needs to be shackled, disciplined, told his role and made to play it behind Ramsey. No superman passes, no trying to be Fabregas…

    Sadly I don’t think that’d work with Wenger. Probably get him for like £10 Million as well

  13. Keyser

    http://www.theguardian.com/football/2014/apr/24/michel-platini-uefa-champions-league-ffp

    “The CFCB panel will have four options open to them – to dismiss the case; to agree a settlement with the club effectively putting them on probation; to issue a reprimand and fine of up to 100,000 euros; or in serious cases to refer the club to the adjudicatory chamber.

    That second disciplinary panel can issue a number of sanctions, from a warning to points deductions, a salary cap for the European squad, withholding revenues or exclusion from European competition.”

  14. london gunner

    The question is is Hazzard the most overrated player in the premier league?

    His scored 14 goals… Walcott scored 14 last season…

    His assisted 7 goals Walcott assisted 11 goals.

    Before I get hate I am in no way claiming Walcott is better or on the same level as Hazard just simply stating if he can’t get better stats then Walcott he can’t be a 90 rated player on Fifa.

  15. MidwestGun

    Cesc –
    Song? ………… ok now you’ve just gone too far! Lol.

    But ya if you could get him to not go on walkabout and stop making unnecessarily bad tackles and stop the stray passes. Lot of ifs.

  16. Keyser

    Song was fine really under Wenger.

    Wilshere, Fabregas and even Nasri dropped deeper to pick the ball up from the defence, watch us feed balls into Giroud as he drops deeper, with others looking for the lay-off, as they were better on the ball and more likely to escape any sort of team pressure high up the pitch.

    Song pushing that bit further up with more strength and a decent touch, if not great, mean’t they could also play off him as we moved up the pitch and also that Song was able to break play up quicker if we lost it.

    Where it fell down was in transition, we were pretty good, but not exceptional, Song’s lack of real pace let him down, meaning he’d be liable to give away fouls, still preferable to Arteta really.

    The other plus was that the year after, Song having played further up the pitch, with our fullback situation and a very vertical game with both Gervinho and Walcott, Song’s passing coupled with Arteta scoring several goals really helped us out.

  17. london gunner

    Keyser

    Wengers most loyal servant.

    Platini’s own words

    “you are expecting blood and tears and you will be disappointed. There will be some tough things but no exclusions from European competition.”

    PSG took a big hot steaming shit all over FFP.

    Ibrah, CAVANI 50 Million , marquinhos 27, Lucas 30 Mill and on pastore 30 mill among others.

    They have literally flyed in the face of FFP and what they will receive a 100,000 pound fine.

    FFP was a saving face exercise it was never meant to shake up the game and make it more competitive it was all PR.

    Lol Plattini’s son works for PSG.

  18. Cesc Appeal

    MidWest

    Yeah he needs a tyrant of a manager. Had those games were you just thought Yes! That! That Song! Every game!

  19. MidwestGun

    The CFCB panel will have four options open to them – to dismiss the case; to agree a settlement with the club effectively putting them on probation; to issue a reprimand and fine of up to 100,000 euros; or in serious cases to refer the club to the adjudicatory chamber.

    That second disciplinary panel can issue a number of sanctions, from a warning to points deductions, a salary cap for the European squad, withholding revenues or exclusion from European competition.
    __________
    London, you were correct but it also says bad violators could be sent to a secondary discipline council with worse sanctions. Doesn’t mean it will happen, but it might.

  20. Keyser

    All players are over-rated really, the hype is ridiculous.

    The pooling of talent and the creation of these super-teams, coupled with the lack of real competition throughout leagues means it’s harder to judge players contribution.

    Ronaldo scores shedloads of goals, as has Messi, yet he didn’t play in the Copa Del Rey final and Messi was just as anonymous, Bale providing the difference.

    It’s interesting when teams like Chelsea and Atletico meet, especially the contrasting way in which these teams have been developed, they play a similar style yet are almost polar opposites.

    Atletico pieced together to get almost as much as you could possibly get from them, while Chelsea are the derivative of a huge amount of talent being whittled down to this mish-mash of a team, that was still able to deal with, and quite easily in fact, everything that Atletico could throw at them.

  21. Danish Gooner

    Let me spare you some grief during the summer.Wenger will once again balance the budget as he always does.Hang on a minute you will say didnt he splash 42 mil on Ozil and didnt get much the other way,he certainly did but dont forget he saved almost 600 grand a week on letting dross leave plus geting minor fees here and there,so basically it looked like he splashed the cash but actually he didnt,he trimmed the squad and signed one superstar.It is called distortion of the highest order.This summer will be painfully slow because once again he is not gonna spend any money before we are secured an easy passage in to the cl,if we get there.Newspapers will be as rife with stories like “Imminent signing superstar a or b” etc everyone gets the picture.The fans will watch as one superstar after another is signing up with some other club then Arsenal,then we will have early reports from summer camp that Diaby is doing really well and that he is like another new signing and that Wenger have dropped signing a new DM.Then he will spout something like if we have to follow FFP we just cant not spend and spend and the squad is perfect.THen unrest will among the fans will make him say that 1 or 2 superatars of real qualidee will be signed if we can find them having procrastinated during the entire summer and on 31st of August he will bring in one player of underwhelming prominence……..period.

  22. Cesc Appeal

    I just think the idea of fining someone who has spent ludicrous amounts on transfers is total stupidity.

    Points deductions or exclusion from Europe should be the way it goes. If City think they may start the season on -10 they might change their tune a bit.

  23. Keyser

    London-Gunner – Yeah, I know mate, the Platini quotes are in the article, I read it.

    “FFP was a saving face exercise it was never meant to shake up the game and make it more competitive it was all PR.”

    Lol who gives a shit, it’s something at least, across several leagues, with numerous differences in laws and governing bodies they weren’t going to find an ideal solution to any of it really.

    Like in France where PSG end up paying 30 odd million to Ibrahimovic a year just to get around the tax impliations whereas Monaco pay no tax on their player salaries, fuck knows if they’ve even dealt with that yet.

  24. Keyser

    MidwestGun – Heh, Dial’s been pulling your lots strings for weeks now, it’d be funny if it wasn’t just a bit sad.

    Been interesting reading people’s takes on Simeon’es supposed tactics as opposed to Mourinho’s.

  25. MidwestGun

    London –
    It will if Mourinho plays his B team like he has threatened to do if they don’t change his CL schedule. Little prick thinks the world revolves around him.

  26. salparadisenyc

    If somebody is willing to pay the £40 million fee being bandied regarding Reus he could go as Dortmund would be wise to cash in pre-clause. For us its much better value than Draxler at similar cost, or shall I say less risk. Reus is world class without doubt. Draxler might prove to be that epic player and fulfill the potential and go beyond Reus. The flip side is he may of already reached his peak as others have stated.

  27. SurferX

    Yep- agree with you on that Keyser. Im not sure that people (london) have understood what FFP is. Its a fiscal collar. That means, your targeted, your assessed, your punished. If you dont change, your assessed (again) and your punished more. The collar tightens with each passing year.

    Frankly, we don’t know what the outcome will be for PSG & Citeh (the two clubs with big cases to answer). It became increasing clear around a year ago (from various meetings with UEFA) that the strategy would be to slowly strangle the ability of the benefactor clubs. There are card tricks and mitigations that you can pull out of the hat to get through a single round (eg Chelsea in this monitoring period)- but they don’t continue to work over time. For that, you need to look at the longer picture.

    UEFA have been making it clear that jumping straight to expulsion would be highly unlikely due to the potential for legal recourse & damages (eg via the Striani case). More likely would be the restraint on player transfers; or the restraint on making players eligible for European competitions- the most interesting punishment that is most likely handed out to a serious breach in this round is;

    (Article 29)
    restriction on the number of players that a club may register for participation in UEFA competitions, including a financial limit on the overall aggregate cost of the employee benefits expenses of the players registered in the A List

    The second thing that has not be addressed (by that article) is the right of appeal. By that, obviously that applies to the offending club- but also to every other club in that competition. Do you imagine Man U, Liverpool, Chelski, Pool, AFC, etc will have nothing to say if a 100k fine is handed out? Never lose sight of the fact that this benefits the cartel- ultimately thats why I think it will prevail until challenged. This isn’t anything other than a protect-the-establishment piece of governance; the establishment want it enforced more than anyone else.

    Finally- and the really interesting part that the article completely misses- is legislatively Platini is talking from outside his sphere or influence (or arse to be precise). UEFA ceded assessment and punishment authority to the (legislatively) independent CFCB adjudicatory chamber. This is headed by legal council (2 European Court of Justice judges). UEFA cant tell them what punishments should be applied to an individual case- they just set down the rule book. Now Im not naive enough to think they will have no say- especially regarding leniency during the first period- but its out of their hands on an individual level.

    FFP will stand or fall on the legal challenges that get presented over the next 5-10 years. It will not fail in the first period (this period) just because the most severe penalty isn’t immediately applied. But equally, that doesn’t mean it is doomed to fail either- for that you will have to assess it over a longer term.

  28. Dan Ahern

    Amen CA. Totally nonsensical to fight sugar daddies with fines. The only way is to hit them with points deductions or transfer bans.

    FA likely needs to develop their own punishments too. Dubious UEFA can do anything actually harmful.

  29. MidwestGun

    Keyser –
    I think Mourinho had the tactics spot on. But one away goal from Athletico and it could backfire. I thought he should have pushed for a goal sooner at the end of the match.

  30. Dan Ahern

    I’d say we should try to poach Schürrle from Mou as well. He’s got to be tired of wasting his time among the constant lineups of 8 defenders and 2 skill players.

  31. Dan Ahern

    Please note that I strongly urged the club to buy the following players long before they were secured by CFC:

    Schürrle
    Mata
    Hazard
    Willian

    Even at the prices Roman pays they would mark a good return for us.

  32. salparadisenyc

    Simeone is going to give Mou a full frontal barrage with Costa and Villa up front.
    A draw will suffice.

    Mou is going trophyless this season, as are Barca!!

    Now thats a quality season.

  33. london gunner

    SurferX

    I do understand.

    I will chat to you in 5 years and I promise you not one big club will be excluded from Europe its simply not going to happen.

    Clubs and owners will have sponsorship strategies, If Uefa investigate palms will be greased and nothing will change.

  34. salparadisenyc

    Dan AhernApril 24, 2014 22:53:04
    “Please note that I strongly urged the club to buy the following players long before they were secured by CFC”

    75% of this space did shadow-maker.

  35. Keyser

    MidwestGun – It’s a cup game, for that he probably got them right, considering who he’s got out.

    Though at the same time, it’s not really like he set up his team any different, bar maybe picking specific players for certain areas or match-ups.

    More how Simeone’s set up his team in a conservative gamplan, with a pretty basic stratedgy, to get the best out of the players he has, there didn’t seem to be much more they had to give, let alone any real development of tactical nuances to get around Chelsea’s style.

    Mourinho on the other hand, with probably far more talent at his disposal over the course of the season at least, has simply reverted to type from the opposite end of the spectrum.

  36. london gunner

    PSG have had 5 years to get their house in order. By UEFA not implementing the severe sanctions now, they are simply starting off in a very bad way aka looking extremely weak and timid.

    There is no financial fair play at the top, not in the banking sector so how people think football will become some sort of Utopian ideal is beyond me.

  37. Keyser

    london_gunner – That’s not really the point is it, if it makes them think twice, if that was the reason for Chelsea selling Mata, than surely it’s something.

  38. SurferX

    I can completely understand and sympathise with that view London- the governing bodies of football are (allegedly) notoriously corrupt. However, it remains a cynical viewpoint either way.

    For me, the power in this comes from the cartel- not UEFA. FFP stops those at the top-table being dislodged from it IN FUTURE. If you are a top-revenue earner now, you will most likely continue to being one under FFP. Dont forget, this was partially introduced at the bequest of those clubs under the potential of a breakaway league (the old G14/G18 clubs).

    For the record (so you can tell me I called it wrong 🙂 ) I see PSG getting a transfer ban suspended over a period to cover future monitoring periods- possibly Citeh too. UEFA have sort of backed themselves into a corner with this; too leniant and they will face the wrath of those with the real power (the other clubs); too punitive and they open the whole thing up early to a legal challenge.

  39. london gunner

    Wage caps would be the answer. Of course this will never happen as there are to many vested interests.

    But with Wage Caps, you wouldn’t have Chelsea, PSG and City. You would likely see Southampton climbing the table and Porto becoming more dominant in world football, aka clubs with either great academies with the home grown talent that creates and club with great scouting networks.

    The best Young talent would still no doubt go to the traditionally big/prestige clubs but they may actually stay for a season or to longer and actually develop as a player rather then collect pay checks on the bench.

  40. Keyser

    Another interesting thing was the little loan signings that have made an impact at various clubs, Moses on loan from Chelsea, does he get a Winners medal ? Maybe N5 and Dial can work that out for us.

    Borini spent 4 years in Chelsea’s youth team and the reserves, and is now on loan from Liverpool, I think he’s scored 2 goals against Chelsea this year, one to knock them out of the Carling Cup, the other was the winner over the weekend.

  41. london gunner

    Keyser

    Interesting point about Mata and you may well be right.

    This is utter speculation but I personally feel Abramovich is not so keen on spending huge amounts of money these days. His pumped aload of money into the club but has never been truly satisfied.

    He won the FA and CL with Roberto he got the sack, Ancelloti was quality he got the sack and of course Mourinho.

    He had a vision of Chelsea playing the most attractive football in the world and winning everything (unrealistic as it was) His obviously disappointed.

    I think his come to terms with the fact his spent a fuck load of money and has never truly got he wants.

  42. MidwestGun

    Keyser –
    Ya Mourinho just had his players sit deeper but I thought it interesting how he was using David Luiz as almost a box to box early on to breakup attacks and lead out on the break. But the game developed into a stalemate. Just thought Mourinho should have brought on Shurrle earlier and try and nick a goal. Away goal would have been huge.
    Simeone I expect to study up a little and come with something different.

    Chelscum was polar opposite to the City game where they just killed them on the break instead of sitting back. But I think with Hazard out it killed that notion.

  43. Dan Ahern

    You could potentially do fines IF they are :

    a) fucking massive
    b) dispersed to the other clubs

    Spend recklessly and suddenly you’re helping your competition.

  44. SurferX

    london gunner
    Wage caps would be the answer. Of course this will never happen as there are to many vested interests.

    Also against European law. A complete non-starter. A very nice article on it (and other FFP) here (though it’ll probably put most to sleep):

    http://www.academia.edu/1051691/The_Problem_with_Salary_Caps_under_European_Union_Law_The_Case_Against_Financial_Fair_Play

    Bear in mind that FFP could still collapse under European law. The Striani / Dupont case (Dupont is the buy who represented Bosman) is arguing that FFP is anti-competitive (it is). UEFA’s position is that they have formed the legislation under guidance from the European commission. More here:

    http://www.financialfairplay.co.uk/latest-news/further-legal-challenge-to-ffp-by-striani-and-dupont

  45. london gunner

    SurferX

    I hope your right!

    To be fair if they ever ban PSG from competing in Europe whoever the man or woman who sanctions it has big big bollocks!

  46. Dan Ahern

    london gunner — You could potentially do a soft cap. You establish a salary limit and anything over that amount is taxed at 100%.

    If the league limit is £150m and somebody’s paying £200m, they have to pay £50m. This should either go to FA to fund youth development or go directly to non-offending clubs.

    That would never fly either though.

  47. Keyser

    MidwestGun – A little honesty, the game was soo tedious I started to just see blurs, I thought I heard the commentators or maybe read on here, he’d placed Remieres and Willian out wide or just as a straight midfield 4, to combat their wide players.

    Either way pretty basic, Atletico at home, Chelsea without Hazard, Oscar, Schurlle on the pitch, you’d expect them to be more adventurous, I’m just not sure they have it in them. Individually they can’t overwhelm physically, and technically Chelsea’s players are superior at least in defensive terms.

    Compare Chelsea home and away to PSG, and while Hazard also went off in that game, and Chelsea were pretty lucky, they did press the game a lot more, then they were a couple of goals down.

    I think the difference is, Chelsea resort to this gameplan because they know they can implement it and have more in the tank, Simeone implements it, because he knows his players limitations and decides to build on a clean sheet, rather than work from an attacking impetus.

    Was going to post on how 3 team and their managers, Mourinho, Klopp, Simeone have variations of the same gameplan, but can be poles apart in the details, the resources and how they implement them.

  48. SurferX

    An outright ban will be an absolute last resort- and certainly would never happened in this round. The measure I posted above (regarding a restriction on the value of players that can be registered) was amended later in the process. The legal reasoning that I have been given is that damages (in relation to loss of earnings) would be directly appotionated and quantifiable if a club was excluded from competition and a later legal challenge succeeded.

    In other words, if they banned Citeh and PSG and then the Striani case wins.. Citeh could sue getting all their money back from UEFA. Whereas, if they cap the value of the players that they can register or implement a transfer ban- its much harder to assess loss of earnings (ie they would need to argue that instead of coming out in the group phase they would of won it: which is a very difficult legal case to win.)

  49. Keyser

    london_gunner – Then why sell Mata, for half the teams in the league, with Matic, Mikel, Remieres, Luis and even Lampard, I think Essien’s on loan at Milan, not sure if Milan bought him, Mata had the nous to help break teams down, what difference would it have made to sell him in the summer.

    I thought maybe Abramovich might have liked Mata to the extent he might have decided it was in Mata’s best interests as well as their own to sell a player who needed game-time and was surplus to Mourinho’s needs.

    Can’t help but think in previous years they would’ve simply kept him around the squad anyway, and you’d have to think he might’ve made a difference in games against Palace and Sunderland.

  50. london gunner

    SurferX

    I was amazed that one of most capitalist countries in the World America had salary caps. It always seemed a massive contradiction to their way of life.

    But an overall club salary cap is that part of what FFP are trying to implement just through backhand measures, so it would not aimed at the players but the clubs, it could be argued then that players can be paid whatever wage the club is willing to spend for instance Real Madrid could paid Ronaldo 400,000 they would just have a smaller squad to fit in with the budget but it would be their choice.

    so that would not be anti freedom of movement of workers because clubs still could pay top rate they will just likely to have to think about it twice because of ramifications it would have on the rest of their squads.

    Big clubs would still be buying the best players just a lot less of them at the same time, in essence they couldn’t binge buy.

  51. Keyser

    Simeone – They both implement a pretty basic gameplan, Simeone gets the benefit of the doubt because he’s had far less resources to work with, Mourinho because he’s had results.

    It was just intresting how Mourino’s sculpted his team down from say a massive cinderblock, whereas Simeone’s been klumping bits of mud together until he forms something in his vision. Working from opposite ends.

    Tactically neither really stood out.

    Both games were poor, it’s going to be depressing if Chelsea get through, but they really should be, the only plus is that the teams looked close enough together for Atletico to have a punchers chance.

  52. SurferX

    Abramovich was always one of the biggest proponents of FFP- he saw it for what it was; an opportunity for him to guarantee himself a seat at the top table. The Sheik came along and hardened this. Thats why Chelski have worked so hard to get out of the first monitoring period: not so they can get out of it longer term (the Mata deal is testament to that- but look at their buy-to-lease transfer strategy too); but rather so they can sit on the sidelines and throw grenades (as interestingly Maureen has been doing all season. He has officially taken the award for FFP moaning away from AW this season- AW can’t even beat him at that!)

  53. MidwestGun

    Surfer X-
    Isn’t the basis of the PSG complaint that they are getting ridiculous amounts of money from sweetheart sponsorship deals? Isn’t it going to be hard for Uefa to regulate this? Because now you have an independent board of footballing people trying to judge the fairness of what a 3rd party sponsor can and can’t give?

  54. london gunner

    SurferX

    Well we will see in may?

    Either way 130,00 euro fine seems farcical and rather pointless, you can argue that outright expulsion is not possible at this point but a points deduction should be on the cards or at least a transfer limit.

  55. Dan Ahern

    America has salary caps because every league here operates as a singular giant business. The teams are franchises of the league, not totally independent entities.

  56. MidwestGun

    Keyser –
    Ya thats a fair assessment. I will probably punch something if Chelscum win the finals again. So im hoping Atletico have enough leftover in the tank and Costa decides to bite the hand that will probably feed him next year.

  57. SurferX

    london gunner
    SurferXI was amazed that one of most capitalist countries in the World America had salary caps. It always seemed a massive contradiction to their way of life.

    Well, there are a few things. Firstly, American sports are closed-shop franchises. European leagues aren’t (you get promotion and relegation- and every club is a member to start with). As a result, American sports can successfully argue that they are designed to ensure competitiveness (whereas a cap can be argued to hinder it in some circumstances).

    Secondly, a salary cap could be proven to directly consequence an individual (for example, by not registering a player to play because of the cap), whereas a break-even policy is not direct (it is historically assessed rather than enforced in the moment).

    But, I do agree with you in principle; they are both anti-competitive in nature. Personally, I think the legislation is probably the best you will get within the current EU legal framework- though I have severe doubts about its longevity- it does seem very open to (future) legal challenge on an anti-competition argument.

  58. MidwestGun

    We also have a draft so you are guaranteed top talent if you do poorly. As long as you can identify top talent it literally falls into your lap at a lower salary. So not necessarily a need to spend huge on free agent transfers.

  59. SurferX

    @MidwestGun
    “Isn’t the basis of the PSG complaint that they are getting ridiculous amounts of money from sweetheart sponsorship deals? Isn’t it going to be hard for Uefa to regulate this?”

    Its a good point- short answer, yes & no 🙂

    Firstly, its a set of widely used accounting principles. Firstly access whether the transaction is a related-party: Eithad obviously is so no difficulty there. Then assess the transaction at fair (market) value. So not hard to regulate at all- its fairly standard stuff. Where it does get difficult is the assessment of what fair value is- they will look at deals signed by similar clubs to see whether it they are reasonable and also listen to the argument of the club they are assessing.

    Citeh’s recent accounts had a large amount of income charged as intellectual capital sales (to affiliated entities- like £50m from the ladies team and oparent company from memory). In regard to PSG though, it goes further than that: they had £100m of income outside of commericals just described as ‘Other’. You dont assess that for fair value, you just cross it off 🙂

    This is what I was referring to as card tricks that get increasingly harder to pull off. You might get away with it once, but eventually you will run out of ways of making-up income sources out of thin air.

  60. MidwestGun

    SurferX –
    Ahhh ok, so you can do it creatively but if it raises suspicion you can get in trouble for over using it eventually. Kind of like cheating on your taxes.
    Not that I would know about that. 😀

  61. SurferX

    SurferX
    “Either way 130,00 euro fine seems farcical and rather pointless”

    Absolutely agree: I cant see when it would be relevant. You are either punishing a club that has got themselves into big financial difficulties (eg Malaga, Athletico, etc), or handing out a speeding ticket to a millionaire in a Ferrari.

    “You can argue that outright expulsion is not possible at this point but a points deduction should be on the cards or at least a transfer limit.”

    Not sure a points deduction would work for European competition to be honest- I dont think they could hand one out domestically (though points is in there as a punishment- so maybe Im wrong). A transfer limit of some description seems to be the big stick at this point.

  62. Arsenal 1886-2006

    FFP will probably fail to deliver, what is needed is a complete overhaul of the rules and regulations in all member countries so it is standardised but that brings even more hurdles if some countries won’t play ball. Any country that refuses to accept the rules will be kicked out of UEFA completely and not allowed to enter any teams national and international in UEFA tournaments.
    Then we will get an idea of which countries are truly serious about reforming the money merry go round.

    One other thing I would like to see which get’s my back up is the loan system, you should not be allowed to select more than one loan player for the squad in any match and that player must be under 21 and must be in the leagues underneath your own I.e. the championship. With the money in football and the youth academies there should be no need for loanee’s in the Prem or any other European leagues.
    If you cannot produce your own players or buy players to make up a squad then you should not be in the league in the first place.
    Also make third party ownership illegal, any player with a third party owner will be inadmissible when naming a squad for the season.

    These might sound harsh but I am sick of the way the game is going these days. I was in a cab on Monday coming back from the hospital and me and the driver started to talk about football, within a minute we were talking finances instead of the game itself, and that seems to be common place amongst fans of all clubs these days, especially us.
    The money seems to be becoming more important than the match, the wealthier the owner or the club with the most in the bank seems to be a bigger prize than the actual trophies themselves.

  63. Evan

    Morning All

    A blonde had two horses, but she couldn’t tell them apart. So she asked her neighbour for advice. He suggested that she cut the tail off one of the horses. This worked until the other horse snagged his tail on a fence. So the neighbour suggested notching one of the horses’ ear. This worked until the other horse snagged his ear on a fence. So the neighbour suggested measuring the heights of the horses.

    And sure enough, the white horse was two inches taller than the black horse.

  64. Evan

    Suicide Blonde

    A blonde hurries into the emergency room late one night with the tip of her index finger shot off.

    “How did this happen?” the emergency room doctor asked her.

    “Well, I was trying to commit suicide,” the blonde replied.

    “What?” sputtered the doctor. “You tried to commit suicide by shooting your finger off?”

    “No silly!” the blonde said. “First I put the gun to my chest, and I thought: I just paid $6,000.00 for these breast implants,
    I’m not shooting myself in the chest.”

    “So then?” asked the doctor.

    “Then I put the gun in my mouth, and I thought: I just paid $3000.00 to get my teeth straightened,
    I’m not shooting myself in the mouth.”

    “So then?”

    “Then I put the gun to my ear, and I thought: This is going to make a loud noise.
    So I put my finger in the other ear before I pulled the trigger.”

  65. Emiratesstroller

    I have very serious doubts that UEFA will impose sanctions on PSG and Man City. Both clubs are effectively controlled by Sovereign Wealth Funds.

    Football rather like Formula 1 has become a money making machine. That is
    a consideration which overrides all others and so called Fair Play Rules are
    purely cosmetic and when it comes to ethics they are non existent.

    Realistically UEFA are not going to do anything which damages the revenues
    coming into the sport.

    Arsenal’s current vulnerability is that we have a major shareholder who is unlikely to match the investment available to likes of these two clubs + Real
    Madrid,Bayern Munich and even Man Utd.

  66. Zoran

    “Barcelona to offer £30 Million for Ozil”

    Why the fuck does the wanker not come publically and say to those cunts:
    You can have him for £130 Milions.
    This is the only language those cunts seems to understand.

  67. Phil Wells

    Out this Summer
    Bendtner, Sagna, Fabianski, Vermalen, so far……
    If Wenger has to sell to buy and still leave a £15 + million profit, we should all be afraid, very afraid as now that Barcelona can buy this summer, we had better hope that Kos isnt sold this summer.
    Just replacing these players and improving the Centre Forward would cost more than 70 million which would mean that next year the squad will be the same size and overworked again.
    But next year Arteta & Flamini will also be a year older so even more pressure will be on the squad, Not a good thought.

    Based on this assumption I would be over the moon if we could get
    Remy QPR, Stones Everton & Welbech Man U, Williams Swansea
    Song Barcelona
    at least these players would improve the squad