Club crucified again: The most important things we learned

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LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 30: of Arsenal during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Norwich City at Emirates Stadium on April 30, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

David Ornstein continued to go hard at Arsenal with a whole bunch of tragicomic information shared in an excellent Arseblog podcast… Wenger is indecisive, there’s no real planning, poor communication, emotionally charged decision making, shocking scouting network, neutered CEO, and a bottleneck that centres around one man… KING ARSENE… I mean, quite sad it’s all unfolding in such nightmarish fashion… also amazing to see a key journalist go rogue in a usually tight ecosystem of sycophantic reporters more concerned about earning a foreword from Wenger in their retirement book than doing some actual journalism.

A few points of interest here:

Why is someone so close to the club going to rogue? I like it, but the ferocity at which he’s going is intriguing. Whose hand is he biting? Why would you burn bridges, and if you’re not burning bridges, whose bidding are you doing?

He said the club will see keeping Sanchez as a win, because he’s a good player. How someone so ingrained at the club could pass off keeping a disruptive player that’s been slighted as a good deal is beyond me.

He still protects the club in a lot of ways. He says that Arsenal couldn’t possibly tell the world they were selling players as it’d weaken their bargaining power, particularly with Sanchez. Leaving 12 months on your star man’s deal weakens your bargaining power. To be realistic, you never have bargaining power with a 3rd choice left back, a failed striker no one knew about before you bought him, a defender who couldn’t shine at Boro, or a French right back who has had multiple serious injuries, or an exEngland midfielder who played well against Barca when he was 18, but found himself benched for Bournemouth. However, you can get good money. Chamberlain showed that. City’s final bid for Alexis was also pretty impressive. More a case of making up your mind early and working Europe to move them.

He mentioned that one of the key determining factors for Wenger’s contract indecision was fan reaction to him last season. He was warned how quickly it’d turn, something Le Grove has written about all summer (we’re 2 results away from planes and protests)… now the fans know this, hard not to expect the worst if things don’t pick up in the next month, they know they can get to him. Hard not to think the players might not be thinking the same thing… you know, get the old bugger out.

They also spoke about addressing the self-sustaining model. I kind of feel that this is overblown. Arsenal could address the wastage, sell some players, refit the backroom team, work smarter and compete with the biggest clubs in Europe (more on that later). More money is always nice, but Arsenal has so much work to do elsewhere before they can look anyone in the eye and say cash is the issue. It was a bit like me asking my dad for Nike Mercurials when I was a kid… they weren’t making me any better… BETTER GENES WOULD OF OK?

He also spoke sheepishly about the lack of funds the club suddenly announced. I still don’t quite understand how we’ve landed in a situation where there’s no money. Someone needs to explain that to me. Where did the sponsorship money go? What is that cash pile sitting in accounts that conservative estimates state could have seen us spend £90m without wincing? Where did the TV money go? What advantage does a massive stadium have when it’s powering in more cash than every club in the league bar Manchester United?

Something very is fishy going on… because I’m telling you, 22 years of Champions League football, sell out crowds, combined with fairly chunky commercials should have us capable of dropping more cash than Huddersfield (and the 18 other clubs that spent more money than us this window).

Call me crazy, but either someone is committing fraud on an Enron like scale, or Ivan finally convinced Stan K that giving Wenger £150m this summer was a really fucking bad idea.

As the American’s would say, we are a f*cking dumpster fire of stupid shite at the moment.

So what’s Wenger’s response?

To go on BeIN Sport and complain that the transfer window should shut earlier, whine about contracts (despite calling the contract issue ‘ideal’ a month ago), and make the case for more decency in the game.

WTF is going on.

I feel like I’m watching a satirised version of a football club. This is Spinal Tap, but the story is centered on a dysfunctional management team in North London. Someone wake me up, and tell me this is a bad Ricky Gervais pitch?

Arsenal fans are still scrabbling about to excuse the mess. I compared Juventus to Arsenal. My prime goal here was to flush away the idea that we can’t compete with our resources.

Net spend last 3 windows:

  • Juve £100m
  • AFC £93m


  • Juve £180m
  • AFC £200m

The Italian club has reached 2 CL finals in 3 years, they are obviously dominating their domestic league, they play smart football, they churn their squad regularly, sell high and buy low, have a very extensive loan policy, and make ruthless decisions (selling Bonucci after a Allegri fell out with him) quickly.

Here’s a myth, their success has not been based on young Italian players. It’s been based on creaming the best mature talent in the world and giving it a new lease of life. That’s a strategy guys and gals. It clearly works.

Do Italian clubs pay less wages? Yes. I don’t see how any Arsenal fans can complain that Juventus can get away with paying less. If Juventus were in the Premier League, they’d have more prize money and they’d most certainly buy players in their prime and they’d still be successful. If Moratta was running Arsenal, do you for one minute think he’d be banging Kieran Gibbs on £80k a week? Do you think we’d see Jenkinson on £40k a week? Don’t be fucking absurd. Arsenal choose to pay socialist wages. None of our mistakes were dictated by the market. They were instructed by a manager who doesn’t understand value.

There’s a multitude of approaches Arsenal could adopt that would see them compete. We can’t go galactico, but we could be the richest version of Dortmund, Leipzig, and Monaco. Who wouldn’t be down to see the best young players rocking the league? And no, I’m not talking project youth. I’m talking about buying the Dembele’s, M’Bappe’s, Tolisso’s, Bellotti’s and Tielemans’s before they hit the £100m mainstream.

I’d buy into that. Anyway, that’s me done. Listen to our f*cking podcast, ok?

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119 Responses to “Club crucified again: The most important things we learned”

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  1. HighburyLegend

    “Man who tried to sell his best player and spend £92m on a new one on the last day of transfer window complains it’s open too long.”

    For how long again do we have to endure that “thing” who is no longer a manager, and even less a “man” ??
    Hope that he will burn in hell.

  2. ADKB

    The club has been dysfunctional for so long that until Wenger leaves there aren’t any prospects for meaningful change. The next priority would then be Stan forced
    to sell up.

  3. Leftsidesanch

    Confused why Wenger the walking contradiction isn’t challenged more by the media with the increasingly erratic things he has been saying. In all of this, I’m getting a little joy watching what is obviously his “last days” unfold like this.

  4. Idowu

    “We can’t go galactico, but we could be the richest version of Dortmund, Leipzig, and Monaco” —– The thought of that inspires me though, and its something we should be doing with a more smarter DOF and Manager.

    But sad reality that is Arsenal is depressing ..

  5. Wallace


    “Who wouldn’t be down to see the best young players rocking the league? And no, I’m not talking project youth. I’m talking about buying the Dembele’s, M’Bappe’s, Tolisso’s, Bellotti’s and Tielemans’s before they hit the £100m mainstream.”

    we haven’t already been trying this? for every Dembele or M’Bappe there are 200 Reine-Adelaide’s. players with just as much talent but missing some other small component.

  6. gonsterous

    if we get anything less than a win at Bournemouth, the fans will be at each others throats. This sounds like the Senate in Rome. Wenger is Caesar. and we are the tribunes and plebs debating his power…
    (sadly, Wenger isn’t as clever as Caesar )

  7. David Smith

    Clear to me, Ivan has got away with pulling wengers last minute dealing from under him.
    One of the reported requests for change was not leaving everything until last minute planning, ok got Lacca and Seo, but the windows end was insane.
    Perhaps significant it was pulled after Anfield, and maybe other things going on we don’t know about.
    Why should Wenger just be able to buy his way out of a mess, as opposed to actually coaching some very decent players he does have?
    If Ivan did pull this money, it would have been approved by the kroenkes, meaning happy days could be just around the corner
    If Stan was hoarding or frauds get, wouldn’t Usmanov have to be in on it, couldn’t imagine him keeping that quiet

  8. HighburyLegend

    “(sadly, Wenger isn’t as clever as Caesar )”

    But he is as hungry for power than Caesar was, for sure lol

  9. Adam A. Carbarundum

    .”we haven’t already been trying this? for every Dembele or M’Bappe there are 200 Reine-Adelaide’s. players with just as much talent but missing some other small component.

    The component missing is a Manager who can actually get the best out of the young talent. Having Granda Munster tell the kids to go out and “express themselves” is not asking them to pop their pimples.

  10. gambon


    The problem is we even try to be cheap with our youth policy.

    We always buy the shit versions of exciting players.

    Going for Sanogo while France has a breakout generation of top class kids. Very Arsenal.

    Ditto with Fortune & Reine-Adelaide.

    Ditto with Malen, and Bielik, and Barazite, and Crowley, and Merida.

    The list is very long.

    With players like Tielemans, Dembele, Tolisso you are waiting until they are clearly cut out to play at the top level.

    The problem is we try to pick them up at an age where the failure rate is still huge.

    With the way transfer fees are going, it is the future of football.

    Not buying 15 year olds that have had one good game at reserve level, but 19 year olds that have played 20 games in the to flight.

    Outside of Reiss Nelson I would be shocked if any of our kids make it at PL level.

  11. Up 4 grabs now

    Something doesn’t add up with the money.
    I could be wrong but surely our accounts get published?
    Isn’t that how we found out Stan took out 3 million for a couple of years.
    And why do that? The guys worth 7-8 billion, his wife is as well?
    What the hell do you want 3 million for, unless someone missed off a zero every year?

    When the small clubs are blowing 20-30 million on transfer fees and 80-100k wages why are we struggling again?

    How do we have a profit after the transfer window?
    Why are we the club that’s bought the least amount of players again in the premier league.

    Something stinks at the Emirates, and its not the meat in the dodgy hot dogs!

  12. Adam A. Carbarundum

    @ DavidSmth and Pedro…
    Again you guys give Gazidis far too much credit. I’m not convinced that he’s anything other than an overpaid “Yes” man whose more than happy to collect a handsome bloated paycheque for little more than towing the company line and saying the things that people desperate for change want to hear. Snake Oil salesman comes to mind.


    So if there is such a large deficit Pedro.
    1- Where has the money gone.
    2- The interim accounts are due from Deloittes
    Nov 30th 17.
    What will these accounts show-not much i expect.
    But something is amiss and Arsenal are hiding it well.

  14. Up 4 grabs now


    What makes me laugh with our youth policy is we buy these youngsters then either throw them into the first team completely unready, eg Theo, Chamberlain Ramsay, Etc.

    When what we should do is like Chelsea, buy them at a reasonable high price, loan them for a few years so they get experience every week.
    Then bring them back to either play for us or sell on for a profit, since fees only ever go up.
    We recoup our money or make a profit.
    Chelsea have between 30-40 players out on loan. Maybe it’s not ethical or the arsenal way but who cares.

  15. Wallace


    “The problem is we even try to be cheap with our youth policy. We always buy the shit versions of exciting players…

    “Ditto with Fortune & Reine-Adelaide. Ditto with Malen…”

    not entirely true. Chelsea did wade into that market waving a shedload of cash at the best young prospects, but from what I heard we offered Malen in particular a very competitive salary.

  16. Adam A. Carbarundum

    Looks like Sanchez’s world is imploding around him. Double loss in WC qualifiers. Did not get his move to ManCity. All the makings of a rancid mood to return with. Going to be interesting to see what attitude he brings back with him now? One thing is for certain…it’s highly doubtful that Wenger will give him a dressing down, read him the riot act that some papers say he’s going to give the entire team. Sanchez is going to be the key to Arsenal’s plans for success this season. It’s going to be entertaining watching it all play out…the shitshow is only just beginning!

  17. TitsMcGee

    Wenger is so contradictory because at tis stage he’s in survival mode. That guy at work who keeps forking up but comes up with bullshiites excuses at the staff meeting that everyone knows is bullshiite. He’s desperate because he’s being paid ridiculous wages to do fork all and he’s a dictator that gets of on the idea of being some football God.

  18. Dissenter

    I hope Wenger reads all the players the proverbial riot act when they return back from the break. He would go on to make his scattershot erratic team selections and bizarre tactical approaches to Saturday’s game as he normally does…only for Bournemouth to absolutely wipe us out.

  19. Leedsgunner

    “With players like Tielemans, Dembele, Tolisso you are waiting until they are clearly cut out to play at the top level.”

    Under Wenger we all know they wouldn’t progress.

    Look at our so-called British core — they were supposed to be the vanguard of a new era for Arsenal.

    What was the reality?

    Wenger turned them into spoilt average players who are paid way too much for not doing very much.

    Wilshere – broken
    Jenkinson – on loan because no one wants to pay his ridiculous wages
    Ramsey – hard worker, but too focussed on believing himself to be an all conquering hero and doesn’t track back enough. In any case, he should be further on after 10 years at Arsenal.
    Gibbs – no more than a fringe player at best, injury crock at worst
    Walcott – too inconsistent, too prone to injuries and thinking he is better than he actually is.

    Wenger’s talent spotting days are quickly deserting him like his best players.

  20. Leedsgunner

    Oh I forgot…

    Oxalade – promising… but realised he wasn’t getting anywhere fast or meaningful with Wenger and chose the next flight out

    Chambers – after a most brief encouraging start he is left out in the wilderness

  21. Jasongms

    Watching Germany and the pairing of Ozil and Draxler combine and then adding Lemar to the mix, one can only think how this TW could have been with an adequate plan

    A team with

    Draxler, Lacazette, Ozil

    Lemar, krychowiak

  22. HighburyLegend

    So many other players still haven’t realised…
    Or they care just about the money, just like Kim Jong Weng ??

  23. Leedsgunner

    Oxalade looks like he has some potential but let’s not forget that he has also spent an awful amount of time at Arsenal in the treatment room.

    Ironically had he been injured at the beginning of the season, he would have, no doubt, happily taken the money at Arsenal and sat there leeching off the club for another five years.

    No doubt Jack will be looking for improved terms in his new contract next year despite playing less than 50 games in the past 3 years for Arsenal… and you know what? The club will be stupid to give it too him too.

  24. Bamford10

    Glad to hear Ornstein is corroborating what we have been saying here for years. No plan, with Wenger making all decisions.

  25. Guns of Hackney

    I don’t think there is anything supernatural going on with Arsenal’s war chests…we are just a very poorly run club.

    We never know how much a club actually has to spend…if we did, why are the estimates so wildly different? £60m -£250m. It’s not even close, therefore, it must be wrong.

    Did Gazides pull the plug on Wenger’s spending? Doubtful. Why go to the trouble and financials (£20m wage) and a two year deal to make Wenger look like a dickhead? Wenger has been reinventing dick head for the last ten years. Nah, Ivan is on on it. He’s just really bad at what he does when it comes to Wenger.

    Sometimes we try and read too much into things when the simplest answer is usually the right one. We are a #shambles of a club run very, very badly.

    As for our youth squad…Ashley Cole was the last, was he not? Even back then, Arsenal lost the best left back in Europe for £5000. Arsenal have been doing shit decisions for a loooooonnnngggg time.

  26. Cesc Appeal

    The problems at the club are so clearly sourced in the fact that one person is making all the big football decisions with regards to transfers, contracts, scouting set up, coaching etc.

    Centrality of command has benefits when the commander at the centre is great and a forward thinker, when he gets old, cowardly, lazy, stubborn and outdated the entire system that is built on him collapses.

    That is pretty much what we are seeing and what many, many of us on here and elsewhere have been pointing out would happen for years.

    Kroenke of course is to blame for allowing this.

    No progression will ever happen while Wenger and Kroenke are here, they are turning Arsenal into a joke.

  27. N5

    Jack has to be cut lose, regardless of potential. He’ll be 30 and we’ll be saying he has potential. Let him go and thank him for his service.

    *shudders feeling Don looking at me (why you look at me Don?).

  28. TitsMcGee

    Glad to hear Ornstein is corroborating what we have been saying here for years. No plan, with Wenger making all decisions.”

    In truth it really didn’t need corroborating . It’s been clearly obvious. It’s just that for some it seems like Wenger is some diety and they can’t think with their heads.

    Like religious folk whenever they come up against a question they can’t answer or that “isn’t in the Bible”. Just mindless rambling.

  29. Bamford10

    As for the money question, we had £100m in cash on hand in the last financial statement and we spent negative £18m in the window. Plus, transfer fee payments are paid out over two years, not at once. I am struggling to see how we didn’t have money for another signing.

    Not to mention that one of the assumptions seems to be that said signing needed to be a £60m one. Not true. Again, while a £50 signing may be necessary here or there, it is possible to improve your XI and your squad with smart signings in the £15-£30m range.

    And by the way, while Lacazette has been decent so far, I think Morata would have been a better signing. His goal tallying was simply a matter of time and a matter of opportunities. Better frame for a target player, great pace, technical. It was really a no-brainer, actually. Whatever. That ship has sailed.

    Wenger out.

  30. Guns of Hackney


    I’m afraid it is. We can’t believe that a club or business as big as Arsenal could just be rubbish…so we look for fantastical reasons as to why something this bad is happening to something so big and established as Arsenal.

    When a business goes bust, it’s generally because of bad decisions and or, mismanagement. Rarely bad luck. Arsenal are just doing things badly and that’s why we’re in this mess.

    Decision making

    All of the above, we do badly…ergo our business is failing.

  31. Cesc Appeal


    We have been doing things badly for years, how many years have we been talking about poor transfer tactics, poor squad management, inflated wage bills, poor contract handling, no updating in the coaching staff etc.

    After a while that has an effect. It causes little damages over the years that eventually add up to a fatal wound.

    Fans have a chance to do something this season, the media is now turning on Wenger who was previously one of the most protected managers in world football.

  32. Arsene's Nurse

    Arsenal Wages (millions):

    2007– 90

    Source: Swiss Ramble –

    In the last 5 years we have spent 851 million on wages! 851 million, that almost a billion quid. Arsenal’s wage bill has grown, as a percentage, more than any other PL club. See graph.

    If there was one area to look at to save money it would be the extortionate wage bill. No money? We are drowning in money. The problem is we use our financial muscle very poorly.

    There needs to be a proper wage structure at the club with more bonus incentives than a basic wage.

    The accounts are out at the end of the month and I’ll guarantee that they’ll show a substantial cash balance.

  33. Cesc Appeal


    I think it was the fact his reputation looked as if it was going to get hit, he was told by people inside Arsenal way back in June that this was going to be a big summer where £150 Million would be spent along with funds raised from selling, to suddenly being told there is no money at the end of August.

    So I think he basically burned it down, showed how incompetent Arsenal are and that his information was not wrong it is just that Arsenal are a bunch of amateurs basically and you cannot predict what they are going to do one moment to the next, there is no reason or logic because it is all based on one stubborn, egotistical, outdated, lazy manager’s choices.

  34. Guns of Hackney



    I really liked Wenger when he arrived. A breath of fresh air. However, I never really bought into his bullshit. When Cantona did his whole tortured genius poems and quoting Rimbaud, he did it with a bit of a wink. But Wenger always seem to believe his own words…now they are proven to be the ramblings of a maniac.

    I suppose the press love feeding Wenger nonsense as they are guaranteed brilliant copy. Wenger has an opinion on everything and like most empty vessels, he’s covering his inadequacies with words and lots of them!

    Wenger has always wanted to be the smartest man in the room. Alas, he never was.

    As a football manager…he’s always had many flaws but his early teams could essentially manage and play themselves out of trouble.

    I remember a game when we played Boro at Highbury and we went in 1-3 down, we came out and Bergkamp ran the show and we won 5-3. By all accounts, Wenger didn’t do anything…it was down to the players to change things up.

    This has recurred many times since then. Wenger is a coward at heart. He would be the guy shaking in the foxhole while his buddies were doing the business.

  35. Bamford10

    Yes, and the wage spend obliterates the notion that ownership has ever been “penny-pinching”. As do several of our windows.

    Arsenal has plenty of money — and plenty of money, btw, without breaking with the self-sustaining model — but that money needs to be spent more intelligently.

  36. Cesc Appeal



    If you look this summer he has spent more time talking about football in terms of the economics involved and the transfers windows in terms of wanting them closed and regulated etc than he has about Arsenal and what he plans to do having just got a new two year contract and suffered one of his most humiliating seasons on the field and off it.

    Wenger is the like the footballer who tries to do all the flicks and tricks but cannot nail basic possession play, cannot do basic positional play and will not track back, defend or exert energy.

    A friend of mine works in journalism and he says that Arsenal in crisis always leads to massive traffic, so they want it to continue.

  37. Jamie

    Ornstein was made to look like a hack with his recent “Arsenal blew their load on Lacazette” comments. I still can’t believe he put those words out there.

    When a club signs a 50m player on 8m-a-year wages for 4 years, the club doesn’t need to park 85m in the bank to cover the entire cost of the deal upfront. The deal is amortized over the length of the contract. Anyone with even basic transfer knowledge knows this, so the suggestion that Arsenal spent their ‘100m summer warchest’ on Lacazette and needed to sell to balance the books (or make additional signings) is absolute horseshit.

    Buffoonery from Ornstein.

  38. Cesc Appeal

    Kroenke is not penny pinching, I really dislike this whole idea Arsenal fans are stuck on that he will not put any of his own money into the club.

    We do not need him to.

    His failure is keeping Wenger and giving Wenger more power than any manager in the history of football has ever had.

    Part of me wonders whether Wenger destroying Arsenal is the reason we are now seeing short little stints from managers before clubs move them on, or whether it is one of the reasons.

  39. Adam A. Carbarundum

    @Jasongms…everything you write is fine, but let’s not forget…you can bring in 11 of the worlds finest footballers, but if they have a lousy manager (see Wenger) it won’t be long before they “were” the worlds finest footballers.

  40. gambon


    Im not talking about salaries….we all know AFC have severe issues with how they pay players.

    Im talking about how we target the wrong players.

    We signed Asano for £5m the same time that Dembele went for £7.5m

    We sign kids that have a 1% chance of making it, rather than 18-19 year olds that have a 25% chance of hitting it big.

    One day a club will make it to the top with a strategy that incorporates both youth and big wages…..blending what Dortmund & Bayern do, or what Monaco & PSG do.

    We should be the club to try that.

    Project Youth failed due to poor quality players, and players wanting to move on to win things.

    However if you build a team this way, but sprinkle in Sanchez level players, and also up the wage ceiling so that someone like Dembele could join on £30k pw, but make it all the way up to £200k pw – you could be very successful.

  41. Cesc Appeal


    This is what I always think, you have a wage bill and you give the player the wages weekly.

    Lacazette and Kolasinac are fresh wages which add to the wage bill, but Oxlade, Gabriel, Kolasinac, Gibbs, Perez etc all come off the wage bill so I would not be surprised if our wage bill had dropped this year.

  42. Cesc Appeal


    I think it may be a bit of both, showing he did not get it wrong and being pissed at the club for f*****g him around.

  43. Adam A. Carbarundum


    “Wenger is a coward at heart. He would be the guy shaking in the foxhole while his buddies were doing the business.”

    Arrogantly so.

  44. N5

    In the TWD the club and reporters keep discussing Lacazettes wages as if we paid that all up front too. They were saying things like the best part of 100m has been spent on Laca with his contract and 200k p/w wage. We all know they don’t use the transfer budget to pay the players so this was a huge (and often repeated) lie that the club kept putting out there.

  45. arsene's used sock

    Wallace mentioning how jra has something missing, that something is game time, he can’t get any at arsenal because the manager has no clue how to handle youngsters aside from them being cover for an injury crisis.
    that’s not developing players, that’s stumbling through player development and even that description is far too generous.

  46. gambon

    Yeah, what Ornstein said about Laca & Kolasinac’ wages was very disingenuous.

    As Jamie says, you dont pay a player 5 years worth of wages the day he signs for the club.

    The wage bill and transfer pot are very much separate.

    We have paid 50-55% of our revenues out as wages for 10+ years now.

    Our transfer budget is the revenue of the club, minus wages and running costs.

  47. Arsene's Nurse

    I think Ornstein probably feels used. The whole £150 million plus story was released to him by the club just in time for season ticket renewal, as it is every year.

    This year the transfer window was such a disaster the club seems to have tried to pull the wool over peoples’ eyes by saying there’s no money unless players are sold. They sell players, but fail to get anyone else in.

    Ornstein has taken flack for this about turn and makes him look foolish. The club aren’t acting honestly or with any transparency so I don’t blame him for laying into them.

    Hopefully more journalists can do the same.

  48. arsene's used sock

    the joke of the day goes to arsene wenger for wanting the January transfer window scrapped.
    anyone remember that year we had andre Santos?
    imagine the shit show of a season that would have been if we weren’t able to get Montreal in January.
    fucking joke of a manager

  49. Jamie

    Cesc + N5

    Exactly. The ‘total cost of deal upfront’ excuse is the new ‘we don’t have any money to compete with the super clubs’.

    That’s why Ornstein is the new John Cross, in my view. I have nothing against him printing quotes on epic warchests and staff clear-outs if that’s the info he’s being fed by the club, only for it to turn out to be nonsense come the end of the summer. He could argue that he was lied to, and he only printed what he was told.

    His recent statement of ‘100m spent on Laca, so the coffers are empty’, is disingenuous at best. He knows that’s not how deals are budgeted, so why print it? He either drank the cool-aid, or he’s a hack.

  50. gambon

    One big problem is our ability to increase the wage bill, and sign big players is compromised by our embarrassing lack of commercial success.

    Apart from renegotiating with Emirates and signing Puma we have literally stood still commercially for 10 years.

    There is such apathy for the brand, and such an acceptance that we will not be successful, that I dont think big brands are attracted to the club.

    A couple of things that really highlight how amateur we are:

    – We have a deal with Emirates that doesnt allow a separate training kit sponsor. All our rivals make £10-20m pa from a separate training kit sponsor.
    – That same deal wont allow sleeve sponsors, which are new to the PL this year. Teams are starting to announce sleeve sponsors and we arent allowed to. Thats another £5-10m pa
    – We have the lowest number of secondary partners we had in over 10 years. We have just 4 secondary global sponsors. We had 8-10 back in 2008.

  51. Cesc Appeal


    Yeah it is total bulls**t.

    Papers like to print things like ‘Neymar to cost PSG £600 Million’ or what have you, but then you read past the headline and see that it says ‘over five years including bonuses’ etc.

    Just like papers will always say Lacazette cost us £52 Million, he did not, he cost us £45 Million as of now. If certain targets are met that could then rise to £52 Million by next summer.

    They go for sensational over sense. If you follow Ornstein’s logic then you would not expect to see Lacazette’s wages on the wage bill because we have already covered them.

  52. Cesc Appeal


    From top to bottom it is amateur hour, incompetent, lazy, cowardly people with a ‘taking part is what counts’ attitude.

    Nothing we do anywhere in the club is top level, or cutting edge, or display acumen or a willingness to be better and do better.

    Safe, secure, protected little bubble. The self-preservation society.

  53. Jasongms

    N5 exactly

    which has been stated on here many times. Player salaries are amortized over the course of the season and or length of contract. No business or none that I am familiar with would pay an employee their yearly contracted salary up front.
    Even the initial transfer fee can be and is most likely amortized over the course of a contract. For the club and PR operations to even suggest that it’s all paid up front is doing a serious disservice to the fans.

  54. Chris

    Wenger says Dembele transfer to Barcelona was disconnected from reality (he went from 15 million to 135 million) and yet that kind of ratio isn’t too far away from what he was suppoosedly willing to pay for Lemar?

    And all this from a man who once claimed that transfer fees make him dizzy.

    He really ought to just stop talking.

  55. Terraloon

    I personally think that what we is seeing is a pressing of the panic button in terms of the finances at Arsenal

    There is no doubt that the reserves were indeed £123 million at at the end of November but and it’s a big but £23 million of that couldn’t be touched so that was a nett £100 million the problem is that at that point in time 6 months of season ticket funds were already budgeted for or put into number £8.5 million x 6 or £51 million was needed for normal operations add to that the club was committed to pay a sum up to £46 million in respect of historical transfer.Then that £100 million was probably down to zero.

    I am of the belief, and the actions or lack of actions in the transfer window is simply down to lack of funds and the fact the club won’t increase borrowings. I only have O, level maths but I don’t think it was any coincidence that the fee from selling thenOx added to the £60 ish million that Man City were reported to have offered for Sanchez is remarkably close to the monies that Lamar would have cost.

    Ok when the next set of accounts come out the reserves will have been boosted by season ticket sales and the Oxs fee so just comparing like with that probably won’t on the face of it be that bad but as is now being discussed the potential hit Arsenal are going to have to take in respect of lost fees is mind boggling.

    Not having CL money this season will hurt beyond belief and unlike Chelsea who quite simply generated vast transfer income to close the gap they were going to suffer from not having CL monies Arsenal are in grave danger of getting into a downward spiral .

  56. Jamie

    Cesc –

    Right, although I’d argue we haven’t even taken a 45m hit on Laca yet. Not sure how many transfers are paid in total up front, save buy-out clauses. I’d be flabbergasted if Lyon has already received 45m from Arsenal for Laca.

  57. Moray

    Perhaps Our sponsors have already indicated they won’t be re-signing with us. This along with the fact we are unlikely to see CL revenues again for quite some time, is probably making the club nervous to invest in new players. Particularly since we seem to lose money on most of them and have little to look forward to in the youth team. I’m not sure what being affiliated with this Arsenal team is doing for the Puma brand…

  58. Cesc Appeal



    I was just saying we are into them for £45 Million, that might be down to £20 Million if for example we have given them £25 Million up front with £10 Million to come in each of the next two summers. Just as an example.

  59. Adam A. Carbarundum

    @Gambon…isn’t that all with Gazidis? same guy who has done squat all other than tell everyone that all is well, nothing to see here.

  60. N5

    Jason, that’s so true actually. How often do we read that so and so cost so much paid over x amount of time. Most deals are not paid in one go as you say. It’s all horseshite.

  61. Cesc Appeal

    We need to be in order and competitive for the next round of commercial deals.

    We need to whore out our shirts and stadium separately, training kits, sleeves, training ground etc and bring in as much money as possible.

  62. Arsene's Nurse

    If you look at the club accounts you’ll see that for the same period (6 months to Nov 30) the previous year the cash balance was £159,141 million compared with £123,731

    A reduction of some £35.4 million. But if you look at what the figure was for the previous year’s end to the 31st May (after season ticket renewal etc) then you’ll see that it was £226,459 million.

    Therefore one would expect there to be another £60m added to the £123m figure to give the cash balance for the end of the year.

    There’s no way money like that has just been swallowed up.

  63. Guns of Hackney

    Ha ha ha. Three games in and we’re looking for the parachute cord on Lacazette. I agree. Sell in January to athletico for £40m and be done with it.

    Sanchez for £20m. Ozil, maybe -£30m. We’d have to pay them to take that lazy dross.

    Arsenal are shrewd operators, that’s for sure.

  64. Leftsidesanch

    Wenger before the FA Cup final: “The lack of respect from some has been a disgrace and I will never accept that. I will never forget it.

    “The behaviour of some people during the season, that is what hurts me most. It’s not my person that is hurt but the impeccable image of the club around the world. That kind of behaviour does not reflect what Arsenal is.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but weren’t people in favour of Wenger not renewing voting with their feet and mouths. Al ot of the behaviour that was disgraceful were from pro-Arsene types who turned into David Haye on match days in defence of their maker.

  65. Arsene's Nurse

    @Cesc Sponsorship deals are up in 2019. It’s a disastrous time to be going through this turmoil if the club wants to attract top sponsorship. Arsenal should be laying down a base to push for the PL either this year or next. Instead they are doing the opposite.

  66. N5

    CA Alexis and Ozil can agree terms with new clubs in Jan to leave for free in August, I’d say it’s highly unlikely we’ll get a penny for either now.

  67. N5

    “Now the same old deluded man is begging for support ahead of Bournemouth. Shameless so and so.”

    Yeah, give us something to cheer about FFS Arsene.

  68. Terraloon


    A few clubs pay all of a fee up front. Arsenal aren’t one of them. The selling club usually charge interest on the outstanding element of any fee.

  69. Cesc Appeal


    Going to be damaging in terms of football and financially, Sanchez in particular looks like he is off the rails.

  70. Guns of Hackney


    Only overseas clubs. I don’t think they can deal with domestic clubs until next season.

    Whatever happens, we’ve said goodbye to a cool £100m. Mind you Arsene’s £20m is probably the bigger loss in the long run.

    Horrible decision which should be investigated by the thought police. Bizarre.

  71. Elmo

    Wenger claiming that he will have to spend £60-70m to replace Sanchez, because he could have sold the player for £60m on deadline day.

    Does he not understand that the only reason Sanchez’s market value was just £60m was because he was in the final year of his contract and available to sign a pre-contract elsewhere in 4 months?

    Were Sanchez under contract for another 4 years, his market value after last season would have been north of £100m.

    Please show me a prime age brand name player who is scoring 30+ goals for a CL club in a top European league who only has a market value of £60-70m this year, let alone next year. The guy literally doesn’t have a clue what he is doing.

    The ONLY player on the market with that quality of output who will be available for that amount or less will be Sanchez, who will cost absolutely nothing.

  72. Terraloon

    Guns of Hackney

    There actually any distinction in FIFA rules as to who a player can talk to when they reach the last 6 months of their contract. The only requirement is that a club has to advise the owning club that they are going to enter into negotiations.
    There is some confusion as to who can and who can’t sign a pre contract but more importantly the validity of such agreements.

  73. Guns of Hackney


    Errr…oh. I thought that a player can only pre sign in January for a foreign club. Any domestic stuff will have to wait until August.

    However, I don’t suppose that pep and Alexis can’t have a private conversation and ‘agree’ something off the record.

    If a player wants to go, and Sanchez right now is in meltdown, he’ll go.

    This Sanchez decision will go down as THE decision that hopefully brings Wenger down.

    Sanchez alone has pretty much been responsible for any good things we’ve seen in the last three years so to lose him, mentally and physically has pretty much put a 20 point dent in our final total.

    Alexis won’t play for Arsenal again in any real capacity and we have no one who can step in to take his strain. The man has single handedly carried the club. Just like TH and RVP in their last seasons.

  74. Elmo


    My understanding is that foreign clubs can sign a pre-contract with a player 6 months before the end of a contract, with clubs from the same association only able to do so 6 weeks before.

    To me, that explains why City were willing to still pay a high transfer fee this window. While doubtless they’ll still be in contact with the player’s agent thoughout this season, from January they run the risk that a foreign club will come in and sign the player from under them, before they can get pen to paper in the Spring.

  75. TitsMcGee

    From top to bottom it is amateur hour, incompetent, lazy, cowardly people with a ‘taking part is what counts’ attitude.Nothing we do anywhere in the club is top level, or cutting edge, or display acumen or a willingness to be better and do better.”

    Everything we do has all the hallmarks of a floundering company.

    No leadership.
    No vision.
    No plan.
    Disinterested workers.
    Poor work environment.
    Fast track to seemingly nowhere.
    World-class BS artists.

  76. Terraloon


    Here’s FIFA rules re players whose contracts are coming to an end

    A club intending to conclude a contract with a professional must inform the player’s current club in writing before entering into negotiations with him. A professional shall only be free to conclude a contract with another club if his contract with his present club has expired or is due to expire within six months. Any breach of this provision shall be subject to appropriate sanctions.

  77. Danish Gooner

    My God our scouting net work is feeble,not one young brilliant player in years,look at Monaco they had 10 in one season and made a profit of more then 250 mil this transfer Window,we cant even get lost of our players we have to loan them out year in ,year out taking a massive loss and now we are about to lose 120 mil on Alexis and ozil because we couldnt get their contracts done ,it is insane how badly this club is run from top to bottom.

  78. gambon

    There is a chance we could sign Sanchez to a new contract with a buyout clause…..if we were in any way a competent club.

    Knowing the way we work, Wenger is probably up in Manchester with Sanchez helping him find a house.

    Just tell him if he doesnt sign he will not be able to play all year as he isnt committed. Dont even let him play in the reserves, dont even let him train with adults.

    In a world cup year that would be significant. It would also set a standard, meaning we wouldnt keep getting fucked about.

    Ditto for Ozil.

  79. TitsMcGee

    lol you could even end the summer window, it would make no difference for him.”

    At this stage Wenger just likes listening to himself speak.

    He’s so caught up in telling us all the reasons why HE can’t win,(Refs, FFP, transfer windows(lol), oil money, bad luck, accidents) instead of going out and actually motivating his players and trying to NOT be a fork up.

  80. Paddy got bored

    Can’t believe that some on here still believe that gazides is some kind of decent bloke who’s got this silent agenda to take down fraud..
    Sadly it’s all bollox
    Ornstein when you read his comments is not saying anything the red good aren’t!! The geezer has the hump over been made look a mug over the war chest crap and he’s got the hump simple as..
    This gazides is another parasite feeding on the flesh of what was Arsenal football club. All of them trousering fortunes whilst spitting on the fans.
    The lot out

  81. Son of a Gunn(ers)

    Ornstein is acting like hes butt hurt. He has never spoken out this much exposing things on the inside……be interesting to see if he still has his privileged access after this.

  82. Dissenter

    Son of a gunn
    “Ornstein is acting like hes butt hurt. He has never spoken out this much exposing things on the inside……be interesting to see if he still has his privileged access after this.”

    I din’t think anyone fears Arsenal anymore, not agents, players or reporters.
    …and he does not need to worry about losing access. Sinking boats have leaks all over. There are too many people squealing at the clib because they know what his going on in wrong.
    Ornestein is the go-to reporter for Arsenal now. Al the leakers will go to him and he has the most credible voice regarding Arsenal. They fed him propaganda and he is fighting back to save his reputation.

  83. Tassos

    Your Comment Here
    The problem with AFC is not Wenger, Kroenke or the rest of the board the BIG
    problem with AFC is YOU the English fans,
    I am a Greek supporter of Arsenal living in Greece and every time I try to
    understand your bizarre attitude toward the Frankenstein coach Wenger
    I become enraged and desperate.
    If we had the same kind of coach here now he would be swimming in the
    Mediterranean Sea alone trying desperately to reach the nearest coast
    to save his life from the sharks…
    That’s why I think you are the most gullible,stupid,credulous,foolish,uncritical,deceivable,naive,incapable,
    useless,masochistic,pitiful,lamentable,deplorable football fans in the world.
    Unless you start ACTING NOW and stop the bla,bla,bla nonsense ,don’t expect
    anything better for Arsenal in the near future.

  84. Son of a Gunn(ers)


    Agents and players defo dont fear us but i think reporters do, you can tell by the bland shitty questions they ask wenger at pressers.
    Put me in one of them and id ask the real shit fans wanna know. Im thankful to Ornstein for the exposure but i do feel his access will be reduced as a result.
    I do wonder when the players will start talking because u know thats coming.

  85. Ughelligunner

    SOG, if you are a journalist you wont rock the boat mate. Who doesnt want to keep his job? Even pedro doesnt speak unkindly of Gazidis cause he doesnt want to miss those tea sections and little gala invite by the club.

  86. Ughelligunner

    Do you know how embarassing it is for your news paper company not to get a press invite and have to rely on second rate news from other journals because your writer choose to ask question he shouldnt have asked? it is easier to write an article about the suituation, ask such question behind the camera than push for questions you will end up not getting answers for and end the interview section prematurely. Journals are not fans, dont expect them to be pationate like you. If only pedro’s legrove will have an invite, he would ask, but i dont think he would be willing to throw away future opportunity.

  87. Ughelligunner

    Wenger’s and current Arsenal problems are that they too nice to underperforming players, staff and coaches. When Last did we hear that a player/staff got sacked or relegated to the youth sides. We are not ruthless in anything club related. Sometimes, I feel if Kronke was spending his own money be it loan or personal cash into the club, he would demand more from the manager. Now all he does is allow the club to run on its own provided the cash keeps coming. Their Analytical stats machine (run by junior kronke) must have given them the profit and loss result of spending to win the league and champions league. We cant neglect the fact that the club might have use it to run profit/loss and not just players. Fans will continue to suffer until the ownership is changed. Maybe we can go the John Henry route and ask the court to force him to sell just like livepool.

  88. Son of a Gunn(ers)


    It begins. And i for one could not be more pleased. Lets see if he gets benched tho as punishment for speaking out.