Gooood morning you sexy beasts. How are we today? It’s a roll-neck-jumper-no-hair-product kind of day for me. I’m in business mode. I’m gonna invest £63 in the stock market and tell my cat I bought in the dip. I’m gonna put meeting notes in my girlfriend’s digital calendar to discuss her poor performance when I’m on Zoom calls. This is not a day to trifle with Pedro Buffet.
In the news, we’re really lacking out here. It’s Oxford Street on lockdown right now. If news were a person, it’s just been caught by the feds going out for a Mars bar for the SECOND time in the day. It’s rarer than… ok, you get the point. I’m padding this blogs word count like Mesut pads his stats.
We made a podcast last night and questioned what’s going on with the Edu and Raul transfer strategy. Watching the stats guys drop out of the club is a worrying Twist. As Alex correctly asserts, Sven was the data guy, Raul was the contacts guy. The yin to the yang. Sven finds the gems, Raul brings them in. That model with a strong CEO overseeing the show should have been a dreamy combo. As it turned out, it wasn’t so dreamy. Now we seem to have shifted heavily into the contacts world of sport.
How often has that worked out? What does the future of Arsenal look like when it comes to deals? You can look at the speculation, which has us competing for Walce, Jonathan David and Odsonne Edouard. That ‘seems’ like a roster of players you’d hanker after.
… but then you see the reality. Cedric Soares and Pablo Mari. Willian this summer. Top corner contacts scouting.
Where are we heading? Hopefully, it’s more Saliba’s, Tierney’s and Martinelli’s… because I really would be sad to see us hoover up a load of favors that never seem to be returned. We’ll see though.
In a very interesting twist, the Premier League clubs are asking the PFA to accept a motion for clubs to defer payments of up to 50%. A huge sum of money, but one that makes total sense when you consider the entire world is shut down with thousands of people losing their jobs. Footballers earn more in a week than most do in a year, they should be able to handle a temporary cut, especially if it’s to save the clubs they work for. It’s already happening in Germany, Hans-Joachim Watzke calling the play “a valuable sign of solidarity.”
Talking of the PFA, it’s believed that the players are not happy about the notion of returning to action behind closed doors.
‘Players do have concerns and understandably so. It would not be our preferred option but everything has to be considered at the moment.’
I think this is a fair worry. Conflicting messages have been a key theme in politics. I’m not sure that telling the UK they can’t go out to buy a second packet of sausages because of social distancing quite works if you’re letting 22 guys on a pitch play sport. People are also easily led astray. You know that fans would go and hang around outside the ground just because it’s more interesting than eating another bag of spicy Wotsits.
… but, on the other side of things, maybe a bit of well-regulated sport is what we need right now? I can’t decide.
I think the big thing to watch for is how the TV firms deal with this. If they pressure the Premier League or ask for a rebate, that could spell trouble for negotiations for the next deal. Bezos, Cook and Hastings might be waiting in the wings with their extremely deep pockets ready to offer a far sweeter deal. There will no doubt be a strong relationship with Sky, so we’ll see how they play it. Now is not the time to be overly aggressive. What a nightmare though, the TV execs have to protect shareholder value without pissing off one of the most valuable prizes in world football.
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This week we talk about the Premier League, what social distancing will do to future crowds, and we speculate heavily on the summer or autumn transfer window. I’m on with Alex, give him a follow here.