Premier League clubs back PROJECT RESTART

by .


Here we are, who’d have thought it? Just us, our beer guts, and not a lot to talk about.

I smashed my phone yesterday. Very upset. The replacement wasn’t cheap, because obviously I wasn’t insured. Did I think that I’d have the ability to break a phone during a lockdown? No. I move about 7.5 feet a day, yet somehow, I managed to drop my phone so aggressively, it has totally broken. I’m here, literally dreaming of a cracked screen. Fuck my floors.

In other news, Arsenal has signed their first player of the season. Willy Saliba is going to cut his loan with St Etienne down and return to the bosom of his mother club. This has been sped up because there’s going to be no more Ligue 1 this season.

That gives Arteta 46 options at centre back when the football returns. Good times.

It’s so amusing reading around Twitter accounts with regards to transfer news. I saw one guy, who has an account called something like @REALDEALTRANSFERNEWS crowing that he had the Thomas Partey story right all along. The fact that so many people engage with these accounts is spectacular. Can you imagine a proper agent engaging with a transfer rumour Twitter account?

‘Guys, how do we get this rumour to spread so it’s believed? The Guardian? The Daily Mail? Shall we go to Dave Ornstein?’

‘No boss, go to the home of NO BS TRANSFER RUMOURS on Twitter. It’s some kid in his basement, but he has so many deep connections that his work is 100% right. He literally doesn’t BS about transfers.’

Anyway, needless to say, the world of transfer rumours funds a lot of websites and jobs, so the machine goes on.

One rumour that doesn’t seem to go away centres around Luka Jovic. He moved from Frankfurt to Madrid for £53m last season and he failed badly. He’s interesting from an Arsenal perspective because he’s young, intense, with loads of potential. What I struggle with is the money aspect of the deal, I’m not sure how we get there. We’d have to either swap him for Auba or Lacazette, or we’d have to pony up some cash through sales. I’m not seeing how we bring that over the line. The more realistic option next season would be a loan.

I do wonder if the loan system is going to play a big role next year. Clubs will want to lower their wage bills. Madrid might opt to keep their bench stocked with elite kids and farm out some of the more expensive failures. That might be the same across Europe. Arsenal already doing a fairly good job of that this year, managing to find a home for Mikhi… who is apparently still a Roma target, with Arsenal looking to do business for Cengiz Ünder in exchange. 

Would be a very weird deal, to swap a 30-year-old for a 22-year-old, but hey, I’d take it.

Broader point here is this: There’s no certainty in football at the moment. The last thing clubs are thinking about right now is how they can use spare capital to invest in new players and contracts. I think a lot of the noise is about getting bites from clubs, which I doubt are coming. No club can talk about new contracts or transfers until they know what the fuck is going on.

The Premier League is still determined to finish out the season. All clubs are united behind PROJECT RESTART. The UK has now hit 100k tests, so the target has now been met. If they can get an overflow going and all the important people can be serviced, then that should pave a way forward for the football clubs. You’re still going to be in a dodgy situation with the players. Asking them to risk catching a virus isn’t cool. You don’t know who lives with high-risk people. What is the cost if a player gets the disease and ravages their family?

… but at the same time, this is business and the brutal reality is the clubs might not be there if the league doesn’t play out. Clubs thinking that fans won’t gather if they put the North London Derby in Newcastle are deluded in my opinion. If you gave our free ice cream in an ebola hotspot, you’d still have people showing up saying things like ‘you just gotta get on with life, hardly WWII is it?.’ A debate for another day. Vote is in a week. FOOTBALL COULD BE COMING BACK THANK THE LORD.

What to do, what to do.

Right, that’s your lot, see you in the comments xxx

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56 Responses to “Premier League clubs back PROJECT RESTART”

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  1. Ernest Reed

    You guys crack me up, no matter when Pedro posts you somehow manage to show up for the only game in town, 4th Place!

  2. Spanishdave

    It’s the most exciting thing around at the moment!
    It will be strange watching football with no crowds, the game is all about the chanting and the emotion of it all.
    I think the players will struggle to get into the games as it is like their practice games.

  3. Upstate Gooner

    I wasn’t one of them 4th place trophy people for a long time. It actually bugged me a bit, especially when that’s all they did, without ever commenting that is. Still does sometimes. Not even sure if they read the actual post, tbh. I mean, at least give Pedro some props and acknowledge his work. Either way, it’s harmless fun. I work from home for the past 7 weeks now or whatever so I’m in front of my computer pretty much all day now. Less so on weekends but still. So figured I’d participate in the Tro4hy game. Managed to nick a few. Oh, and Thanks, Pedro. Your posts might not be always to my liking but your work is certainly always appreciated.

  4. NJ Gooner


    How did you break your phone? Are you floors made of marble or bloody stone?

    Thank you for the blog. I thought a Jovic-Auba swap, possibly with a little cash coming to us, was a good idea four months. Nothing’s changed my mind on that front.

    Football being “strange” without the crowds? I live in New Jersey and was just able to take my first walk in a park this morning for almost two months. It felt like paradise.

    By the time they play games again, most of us will be content to watch Xhaka and admire his speed; to marvel at Mustafi’s decision-making; and to coo at Lacazette’s strength. Don’t underestimate the power of relativity. We will all be so grateful to watch Arsenal under any circumstances.. Like a drop of water in the desert.

  5. Upstate Gooner

    I watched Inter vs Juve game played behind closed doors and it was weird indeed. But… I’d take this weird any day of the week vs No Footy at all. I’m literally like 2 days or so until reaching the end of Netflix. Oh, and Ricky Gervais is brilliant, by the way. Just finished first season of After Life. Great show.

  6. Frank C

    Football won’t and should not be back.

    Considering the corporate malfeasance demonstrated by PL owners and directors since 2001 I hope the league crashes and burns.

    How is it that after 9/11 that no one thought soccer games could or might not become terrorist targets? The league owners and directors should have been securing insurance and funding for deductibles, uninsured losses and other potential catastrophes over the past two decades. That should have been a given over the past five to 10 years with the explosive growth of broadcast revenue.

    While no one would likely have predicted a pandemic, SARS, EBOLA, H1N1 should have opened eyes. The point is that all clubs and the PL itself should have sufficient cash reserves and liquidity. Yet today, as has been laid bare, except for Man U, Man City and to a lesser degree Tottenham, none of the Premier League clubs have any cash reserves. Nor does the PL apparently. You can be sure that these actions are and were in clear opposition to recommendations the clubs and the PL would have received from risk managers and insurance brokers. All the clubs, and the PL itself, took the risk and knowingly bet on themselves. Now they have lost and need to suffer the consequences. This type of gross mismanagement is astonishing particularly when you consider Belgium and Wimbledon.

    Belgium had insurance for the loss of broadcast revenues so all clubs are getting their revenue and the 2019 – 2020 season will be settled quietly with no dire situations. Wimbledon was fully insured for the cancellation of its event. The Premier League could have had coverage as well. It would have been expensive because the potential risk is greater but they make the revenue to cover this.
    They bet on themselves and lost. Now the clubs want players to accept risks that most won’t want to, refuse to return ticket money to fans for matches that can never be attended and want broadcasters to pay them if they can’t deliver games.

    And we are supposed to believe the environment is now favorable to moving forward?

    Your remarks on testing are off the mark and misleading. While the UK has finally completed 1 Million tests, the rate of testing is less than 1/2 of what has been done to date in Spain, Italy and Germany. Testing in the UK evens lags behind France and the US. The death rate per million of UK population, as measured by World of Meters, has been skyrocketing the past week and at the current rate the UK death rate will surpass Italy in about 2 weeks. Unbelievable!

    Of course though, the PL won’t move forward unless and until the government gives them the green-light. But we can see through these self-serving statements from the PL. Can you?

    The Prem will use the government decrees as the reason the fixtures could not be played and the season not completed. They will point to their training and preparedness, their vast testing regimen (of course not highlighting how the players can have access to be tested while front line health care workers can’t) as proof they were ready to fulfill their legal obligations but the British government would not let them. That will be the basis of the claims and lawsuits to try and force payment or prevent clawbacks from Sky, BT DAZN and others.

    Self serving politicians and greedy club owners will not dictate the terms of life for the next several months. The virus will.

    Let Kronke put a few hundred million in or sell the club. The same goes for the other club owners as well.

    European football needs a reset.

  7. Spanishdave

    Cheer yourself up
    Watch on YouTube Bob Seger Old Time Rock and Roll 1983
    The sax player is out there.

  8. Graham62

    Frank C

    Excellent post.

    To be honest I’d fallen out of love with football long before covid-19.

    I know I’m not the only one.

  9. Ernest Reed

    Thanks all, it feels really good to be back. We may not always agree on some things, but each of you are sincere and passionate about the club we all love and thats what matters most!

    Thank you also to Pedro for welcoming me to LeGrove. I look forward to future matches and just saying hello to everyone. Thanks all again for your support and best wishes, it means more than most of you will ever know.

  10. Pierre

    I would go as far to say that Ricky Gervais is a genius…love his work .

    Good evening Graham ,
    If Arsenal were at this moment champions of Europe or league champions with Henry, Vieira , Bergkamp and Pires still playing , would you have fallen out of love with football…..I think not.

  11. Pierre

    I’m just waiting for the day when you have a little dig at me again , then I’ll know you’re on the mend.

    You must have been tempted ?

  12. Ernest Reed

    Hi Pierre, hope you are doing well? There will always be an opportunity to have a healthy “debate”. To be honest, I have been tempted but would rather that football gets going again. Hope you are able to get back on the course again soon. Take care of yourself.

  13. Valentin

    Franck C,

    Great post. However if you really believe that the Premiership will change their greedy way, you are sadly mistaken.
    The problem for most UK sport is that their greed and hubris has surpassed their competence. Remember when the English Football League rejected Setanta Sports offers of reduced payments because they were sure that they had guarantee and they were proven wrong.
    I would trust that SkySports and BT have better lawyers than the Premiership.

  14. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Porter sorry but that is not 100.000 individual tests . They are counting the ones that are wrong it’s only about 60.000

    But I don’t want to swing it round to bolorics …

    This swap LT for Franck of fc has all the hallmarks of bollox… Milan skint wNt a deal cos they don’t fancy no more…

    I would take under …

  15. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    G 62

    I know exactly how you feel

    My passion drained years ago only love I have is because I was besotted. …. not no more…

    Sort of find it fun … greedy bastards struggling .

  16. Kwame

    The idea that the PL should be started should not be countenanced. The owners of these clubs must stew in their own juice over their own recklesslessness. You minimize your risk by having some form of insurance cover. They failed to do that. The lives of our footballers are a million times more important than the purported loss of revenue if the league is not completed. The whole world is under siege and here we are talking balderdash!

  17. Marc

    Apparently Brighton have come out and opposed the plan to finish the season in neutral stadiums. Trying to cut through the CEO’s waffle it seems as if it’s basically because they’ve got some really tough home games and don’t want to lose any home advantage.

    What happens if a single club or a minority of clubs refuse to play ball?

    Apologies for the pun!

  18. R.S.P.C.Arsenal


    Like I said other day

    Where is the home advantage in this new procedure.

    Half the Sean you have it ,,,then last ten games you don’t…

    Cancel the thing

  19. Pierre

    Yes Ernest I am well thanks , I am missing my golf but we all have to be sensible out of respect for the key workers and the people that have sadly died , I can wait a few weeks more.

    Have to say I will be very surprised if there will be any football to watch for a good few months, I just can’t see the season being completed.

    Hopefully I’m wrong.

  20. Marc


    Mate denying the Scousers the title will make me piss myself laughing for months, no years, actually decades!

    On a serious note what happens if a couple of clubs refuse to play etc? Is the PL decision making process based on majority voting or does it have to be unanimous?

    This might just unravel – a club like Brighton will be doing the maths on getting this seasons money against being relegated.

  21. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    We just can’t force it through.
    Give the scousers the title

    And euro standing go again like last year .

    All unfinished.

  22. alex cutter

    “Mate denying the Scousers the title will make me piss myself laughing for months, no years, actually decades!”

  23. Tony

    Frank C good post

    Graham good to see you back I feel similar to you in your recent football views and especially the way Arsenal continues to be run. Hope you and your family are well.

    Ernest good to see you back and hope the pain eases more each day.

    Long road to travel I’m afraid as those of us will testify who have lost partners, parents, family and close friends now and in the past.

    Time will be the healer – cliche I know but it’s very true. Hopefully you have a good support group around you and, as you can see here, you are amongst people who sincerely care as being fellow Gooners.

    We need posters like you with intelligent, smart and amusing retorts, and serious kudos props to you as you are in a real minority getting Pierre to post without mentioning Ozil or his lord Wenger coupled with agenda driven massaged stats. Won’t last for long so keep your keyboard skills honed.

  24. TeeCee

    No surprise to see Brighton opposed to playing again, looking at their fixtures they’re likely to go down. I fully expect Norwich, Bournemouth , Watford, Villa and West Ham follow suit, fairly obvious. Top 4 clubs will say the same thing I’m sure. The only teams likely to want to play on are those in 5th -11th because they’ll all want the chance for CL or EL football.
    My prediction is that they will try to play on at neutral venues and fans will still turn up at stadium’s and everything will be cancelled anyway after a couple of games.
    The season is gone, time to admit it.

  25. Emiratesstroller

    Frank C

    A very well considered post.

    I do think that football will need to cut its cloth to cover its needs.

    I will be surprised if the “greed” element will evaporate as memories are often
    short, but most clubs will be on the brink in the aftermath of this crisis.

  26. Sid

    Covid19 is just the straw that broke the camels back, whatever was happening in the EPL was unsustainable
    Peppering over cracks like trying to finish this season will not help anything,
    Alot of restructuring is needed but all you will get is half measures until its too late, humans dont like change

    You heard it here 1st!

  27. Bojangles

    If you have an hour to spare head of to the Arsenal page and watch the DB video. It’s worth watching.

  28. Graham62


    Good morning to you.

    Actually Pierre, my love of football started to wane as the imperfections of the sport started to disappear.

    Contrary to your belief that it had to do with Arsenal’s fall from grace and my feelings towards a certain Frenchman, it was as the game started to become too perfect, along with the commercialism, greed and alienation of the fans that made me feel less attached to the game.

    Progress is all well and good but I think you’d be the first to admit that the ethos and culture of the sport has been gobbled up over the years.


  29. CG


    “”””The one person who tried to keep the ethos of the game was that certain Frenchman.”””


    (How the game and Arsenal will miss his class and integrity during the months ahead.)

    I note the clubs have delayed the announcing of the annual amounts they pay the agents.

    Will be interesting reading, to say the least to see what Raul and Edu have been up to the past 12 months.

    I know PedRo will be at his forensic best when ( if ) they are announced.

  30. Uwot?

    R.s.p.c. Arsenal…….for the last time.We ain’t giving the the thieving,whinging scousers the title.No f***ng way! For reasons explained copiously on numerous occasions.Pack it in son.Thanks.

  31. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    U wot

    It would be tainted if they are given it…

    They could be teased that it was a false title…

    This season done..

  32. Graham62

    Once there is a semblance of normality 🙏 I hope that clubs look at restructuring the way it not only rewards players but, just as significantly, they also draw a line once and for all on the way agents can dictate terms and conditions and hold clubs to ransom.

    On top of this the EPL and the FA should act as one body, for the benefit of the domestic game in general. The grassroots of the game along with the lower leagues should not be allowed to disappear from our domestic footballing landscape.

    All football fans value the culture and history of the game and the need for having a progressive lower/non league structure. Without this, what’s the point?

    Communities will die if we don’t act.

    Forget European super leagues it’s the national structure that needs our full support.

    All this power and greed has to end.

    The PFA should also be held accountable