I read somewhere that if you stop walking, you can lose walking fitness. This alarmed me. I’ve gone from 8,000 steps a day to nothing. So I went for an 8-mile walk yesterday. Not good. Who knew you could lose walking fitness? I’ve never had a painful hip? Wtf is this?
The Premier League is starting to react to pandemic issues, the latest club to fall in line is Aston Villa. Their players have taken a 25% pay cut that’ll see the club through the next 4 months.
“First-team players, first-team coaches and senior management have all agreed to defer 25 per cent of their salaries for four months to assist the club during this period of uncertainty with a further review taking place at the end of this period.
“During the two seasons since Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens rescued Aston Villa they have supported and funded the rebuilding of the Club with a huge level of personal financial investment.
“They are continuing to provide substantial funding which, combined with these significant salary deferrals, enables Aston Villa to confirm that all non-football staff – full and part time – will be retained and paid in full throughout the lockdown.
“There will be no furloughing of staff.
No drama. No individuals stepping back to assess the finances. Just a commitment to the hand that feeds them.
Chelsea players, not so much. They’ve refused a 10% pay cut, preferring to defer money to local charities. There’s been a lot of scoffing that Arsenal players have been held to a higher standard by the media. I agree, that’s because we’re a bigger club than Chelsea. It’s all in the name.
Chelsea has been built on money taken from the Russian people. The owner has artificially propped up the club for many years. All their success is down to mercenary behaviour. Are you at all surprised Frank Lampard didn’t get involved and the players weren’t interested?
It’s still scandalous that the richest are the least likely to make a contribution. There’s a great article about how the players think on The Athletic. All the thoughts and concerns are the same as normal people have when they have their salaries cut. The main difference, as I’ve said over and over again, is that normal people don’t have a choice in the matter.
I think specifically with Arsenal, the players that kicked up the most fuss are those that likely won’t be with us past this summer. Mesut Ozil still hasn’t agreed to the deal, his people are apparently assessing the numbers while his teammates; much poorer, are just handing over their bit.
The main consideration for Ozil’s team will be two-fold.
- What does this do for Brand Mesut? The entire world has been affected by this problem at the moment, every single country and their people will be feeling the pain, and the German is refusing to give up for his club? Football is not a business. It’s a community focal point. Right now, his charity endeavours are on the back burner, how he behaves will be top of the agenda. Does he really want to damage his brand in this moment? As a person that works in advertising, we’re painfully aware that the masses will remember what businesses did during this moment. Footballers are no different.
- How will a refusal reflect on potential owners? Mesut Ozil is going into the final year of his deal with very bad football numbers. He’s not the player he once was. He’s more famous for his Fortnite exploits than his assists these days. Anyone bidding on him is taking a huge chance. The world will be different, clubs will be risk-averse, will they take a mega punt on a player that is making it clear he’s the most important person when it comes to the club?
I suspect the climb-downs in round 2 were quite heavily linked to the above points.
Auba is in a particularly odd situation right now. He has a year to go on his deal, but the transfer market will have collapsed and his market value may have dropped. Does he move to Inter Milan on the same money? Does he see out his final year and risk that football gets even worse? Is his best chance at mega-money staying with Arsenal? I mean, rose-tinted glasses, I’m sure there are other clubs in the Prem that could pony up for him, but it’s untested times right now. Last thing you want to be seen as is a mercenary.
Arsenal Football Club is resuming training of sorts next week. The thinking is that we have 10 pitches, which is safer than running in the park. I’m not sure how things have been in the UK this weekend, but in New York, it certainly felt like people switched into ‘oh fuck it, let’s just see what happens’ mode. It was very busy out and about. It’s going to be very hard to keep people locked in for too much longer… unless, they put Premier League football on. Then we’ll all stay in.
Finally, this would have been North London Derby weekend. What a day out that would have been. I’d have started the morning with my fangs out.
‘This is a battle of visions. It’s a battle of fan ‘new coach’ preference. One person will survive this, the progressive fans that saw a bright future, or the miserable fuckers that thought Jose would be a nice touch at The Emirates’
Then we’d have spent all morning arguing. What a terrific day we’re NOT having.
Anyway, stay safe, see you tomorrow. x