Finance options we shouldn’t take

by & filed under News Review.

Happy Saturday people. There are some rumours doing the rounds on the internet that Raul is exploring player financing options via a special fund that was started off the back of a super-agent transfer back in the day. The fund in question is called 23 Capital. They help clients in music, entertainment, and sport gain access to liquidity. This is from their website.

Our capital and solutions capabilities encompass straightforward advances through to more complex, off balance sheet structures. We offer artists, entertainers and professional sports teams the freedom to create, inspire and compete supported by finance that is flexible and most importantly fair.

If you are out of a job right now and struggling to make ends meet, you might find this sort of copy on a payday loans website. The operation looks opaque and it’s quite complicated to explain, but here’s The Guardian making sense of it through the lens of a deal for Silva.

A few days after confirmation of Silva’s move XXIII Capital began trading. Companies House showed a registration of charge document was filed on 11 September 2014 for an unspecified amount. The company was listed as being controlled by the Candlewood Investment Group, based in New York but registered in the tax haven of the Cayman Islands.

So what does all this have to do with Bernardo Silva? His move to Monaco was made permanent in January 2015 for €15.75m but it would be another year before the story became clearer. In January 2016 the Football Leaks website published three documents which revealed details of the transactions between Benfica and Monaco.

The first two concerned the agreement for Silva’s loan and permanent move and the third – dated 10 July 2015 – shows the mandate for the first instalment of the transfer fee: €5.25m. What seemed unusual, however, was that while Monaco were listed as the liable party it was XXIII Capital who were due to receive the funds rather than Benfica.

Other documents later explained that XXIII Capital had purchased the credit from the Portuguese club, a method employed for numerous other transfers in that period, including that of the midfielder Giannelli Imbula’s move to Porto from Marseille in 2015.

Benfica described their actions as “a normal financial operation”, although there was no mention of XXIII Capital in their annual financial report in 2015. That states the profit from the sale of Silva was €12.855m, meaning almost €3m appears to have gone elsewhere.

Given the lack of official documentation it is difficult to know exactly how that money has been distributed. It is likely that at least 10% of the total fee would have been allocated to Gestifute for its brokering services; records state Mendes’ company received €3.995m from Benfica that final year, which also included the transfer of João Cancelo to Valencia for €15m. The question remains how much was paid to XXIII Capital in exchange for the acquisition of the credit, with potentially €1.3m not accounted for from the €15.75m total loaned in three instalments – an amount that corresponds to 9%

The firm, run by a Brit (Spurs fan) and an Aussie, has gained ‘credibility’ for brokering the deals for Griezmann and João Félix. The reason Barcelona used them is because they couldn’t gain credit through normal channels… but again, read this and tell me it doesn’t sound like they’re solving a problem that is there for a reason.

“All clubs will absolutely have the same need and challenge around the fact that their intangible assets, the players, suck up all their liquidity,”

“If you think around the principles of a transfer, you have the selling club who want the money up front, and why not, and you have a buying club who for a whole range of reasons want to defer the payment. We often get involved and can say: ‘We can solve both your needs, help one have their money up front and help the other defer over five years.’ All you need to negotiate is the cost of the finance.”

This looks very much like short-termism that has been allowed to flourish (in normal times) because football clubs are not run like proper businesses. This from football finance expert Kieran Maguire, of the University of Liverpool, sums up why the game is so ripe for this sort of service.

“They have realised that the transfer market and the club transaction market is unregulated, often unprofessional and contains people who see football as an opportunity for an easy profit. If anyone can then come in and run a professional service and effectively provide a one-stop shop, then there is a gap in the market,”

“A boutique operation, and that is what they are, don’t have to go through so many layers of approval, don’t have to go through governance rules you may see at JP Morgan, where a bank of that nature is very risk concerned and will have a compliance department, which to a certain extent is the tail wagging the dog in corporate lending.”

I’ve just finished a book called Den of Thieves that tracks the career of Michael Milken and his rise to prominence in the 80s as the ‘King of Junk Bonds.’ To be clear, I’m not drawing comparisons to the man and the illegal acts he committed, but what does draw parallels how junk bonds were also marketed with a ‘this is good for everyone’ vibe. Selling club gets the cash, the buying club gets long payment terms, agents get fees, the finance firm gets fees… everyone is a winner, right?

We are about to find out.

The junk bond market in the eighties gave small companies with limited assets access to the credit they needed to buy huge companies in hostile takeovers. Everyone looked like a winner. Then it all came crashing down, because in the end, someone had to pay the bill when firms were crushed by the weight of interest payments they eventually defaulted on.

Giving football clubs access to the capital they can’t get through normal channels could prove to be problematic. Barca’s £100m purchase of Griezmann; that they couldn’t afford, now looks an unmitigated disaster because the exponential growth of the transfer market has come crashing down along with major revenues streams. In response, most normal clubs have reduced wages by 20%. Barca savaged them by 75% to stave off problems (so did Atletico). The question is, how bad are their financial issues? What we know for sure is they’ll never recoup that Griezmann money if they need it, the transfer market has gone to shit for at least 3 years, but Barca are still left footing a bill for the player and the fees they had to go outside the system to get.

In normal times, no problem, but now? There could be trouble. The reason the Spanish banks wouldn’t lend is because Barca borrowed £500m for their new stadium. To put their financial exposure into perspective, they turned over almost a billion euro (€990 million) in revenue last year and only made £17m in profit. That’s a 1.7% profit margin in the GOOD times. Razor-thin margins like that mean you have little room for bumps in the road, well, that bump in the road has arrived and it’s a meteor landing on the M25 during rush hour.

There aren’t many people that are serious about risk assessment when it comes to finances. We’re optimistic by nature and short-term needs usually override rational decision making, which is why we make dumb decisions. So when someone offers you ‘fair terms’ you sign them. Did all the poor suckers that took WONGA loans worry about terms in the fine print? No. They needed the money and likely didn’t think about the worst case. What they didn’t realise is that no one gives out loans to customers with shit credit ratings without fail-safes and fat profits for the risk. The terms are always weighted to make money, otherwise, there would be no point.

Football is the wild west. It’s a naive industry that has been savaged by vultures. Super agents taking disgraceful fees, rampant back-channel dealing, transfer fee manipulation, and middlemen sucking the life out of the game. It’s all there. It’s barely disguised. Fans just let the party roll on, as long as there are superstars on the pitch. There will be a day of reckoning though. It’s out of control and I suspect we’ll start to see some of that happen over the next year or so as over-leveraged clubs start to make big financial decisions on who does and does not get paid.

Back to my point. I have no idea if Raul is interested in utilizing this sort of fund for transfers. A random twitter account saying they know stuff they don’t is an annual thing Arsenal fans foolishly engage with. What I will say is that it wouldn’t shock me that it’s being suggested. We hired Unai Emery because an agent recommended him when all data and anecdotal evidence pointed to him being a bad pick, we have football leadership that seems susceptible to cajoling by super agents. Borrowing next seasons transfer budget to make the Champions League was a gamble we took last season that will likely fail, but at least it’s money we knew we had. Doubling down on that gamble, but with an outside financier would be reckless, especially in a climate where the natural appreciation of player value has stopped.

These deals and financing offerings only work for the people making monster fees off the back of them. Junk bonds had a day of reckoning, people lost jobs, healthy companies disappeared… but you know who didn’t suffer? The people making the fees off the back of them. Beware the financiers with the ‘too good to be true’ products. There is always a catch and it rarely benefits the consumer (fan).

Arsenal might not have money. We might be struggling with cashflow. It might be a tough couple of years. What we don’t need is a ‘fair’ loan from a company registered in the Cayman Islands. We have a billionaire that runs Arsenal. He has $10b worth of wealth and he could access liquidity in a heartbeat. He’s already come out of this covid nightmare £300m richer. If we need to borrow money at fair rates, let’s go through the normal channels.

See you in the comments.

444 Responses to “Finance options we shouldn’t take”

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  1. Un na naai


    You need to read the comments from Raul
    “The new normal” and temper your desires a little bit.

    I really can’t see us having the summer you’re hoping for
    Dmf cmf amf

    Its not going to happen

  2. Brooklyn

    Un na naai,
    If we don’t get into CL within couple of season it will be even worse. In vaccum for Arsenal deficit will remain same but that CL spot to Totts or Chelsea(when their owner has slowed down spending) means it will affect us 2x.

    In present situation wage is manageable, Mkhi, Ramsey, one of Auba/Laca and Ozil big wage players are/will be gone by the end of next season. Players will be added but looking 3 season back we will have done very well.

    Loss is for this season only, even 50 million loss for a club of Arsenal’s stature for 3-4 consecutive seasons can be managed at present especially if we get into CL.

  3. Brooklyn

    And even accounting for loss this and next season, we will surely have some 30-40 mil for player transfer without any sell.

  4. Un na naai


    You think arsenal can operate at a £50m loss per season over 4 seasons?
    Mate. We’ve had profits for last 20 years with cash balance of over £200m and we still can’t “operate” our budgets are still paltry compared to lesser clubs in our own league.

  5. Brooklyn

    Goetze joined Dortmund back from Bayern without salary cut i.e. 170-180k pw….They tried to get him to sign new contract for significant cut…he didn’t agree to it….He had 14G+A in just 26 appearance just last season(playing mostly as CF/false 9 though)…he hasn’t developed as hyped but is still a Ramsey(as CM) level of CAM….

    So for free, at 27 years of age even counting for his injuries, experience and technical ability along with very good work rate is very good deal.

    If Auba goes then he can compete with Ozil for No.10 and Laca for similar false-9 role.

    People here who like Laca compared to Auba as CF will like Goetze even more. Goetze may not score much but he will bring good work rate of Laca with far superior technical skills to bring team-mates into game.

  6. Brooklyn

    Un na naai,
    If we get to CL we will especially with wage being reduced…do you even know how much club earn for getting into CL?? And just getting out of group stage….the amount is 2-3 times compared to last time we managed to make CL.

  7. Un na naai


    Course correction. The recession to end all recessions is on its way mate. Clubs cannot afford to be as flippant as you with their finances now. It’s as simple as that. Barca and Atletico are in the champions league and operating at a profit but are still in trouble
    They are looking to offload players at a severe loss right now.

  8. Valentin


    Extrapolating this season number, we would have made an operational loss for the last three years. AST reckon that without Champion’s League next season and play behind closed door Arsenal will face a shortage of £144 millions.

    With Raul having already gambled next season transfer budget last summer, You are seriously deluded if we think we are going to invest significant amount of money this summer. We are going to try to sell any players clubs are ready to pay good money for.
    If rumours are true, Arsenal are primarily looking at three problem positions: left CB, left back and defensive midfielder. If Aubameyang refuse to sign an extension (which is most likely), then we try to sell and have to replace him with a ready but cheap striker with more physical presence.
    I expect the outgoing to be in greater number than the incoming.

  9. Habesha Gooner

    Un na naai
    A free signing won’t cost much at first but you will find out how expensive it is later. Goteze will have high wages and will be difficult to get rid of just like Ozil. I don’t think he is worth it now. And I believe we could find value elsewhere. Lots of clubs have been hit hard by this pandemic worse than us. We could get an exciting prospect if we scouted for it before on the cheap because of clubs need to sell this summer. I believe we could even get like a Buendia signing for under 10 mil this summer. But a free player will have much higher wages and the cost would eventually become the same. We need to look forward, we shouldn’t target Goteze. We should give Smith-Rowe and Willock a chance if we can’t sign someone who wouldn’t improve us.

  10. Emiratesstroller

    I suggested in my earlier post today that I do not think that it serves the best interest of team and squad to make constantly wholesale changes each summer.

    It is bad for morale and continuity in building a successful team. On the other
    hand if players are not fit for purpose then of course by necessity you need to make changes.

    What did become apparent is the football and results produced in first half
    of season was awful. We were leaking goals like a sieve, our midfield lacked
    creativity and goalscoring potential and Lacazette was completely off the
    boil up front. It was a dysfunctional team.

    Following the arrival of Arteta we lost just one game in EPL and that was in last
    10 minutes against Chelsea. We were unbeaten in 11 other games some of which were admittedly poor draws.

    Nevertheless there was at least some evidence of a gameplan and more consistency in team selections.

    When Arteta first arrived my instinct was that we needed to bring in two
    or three central players in defence and midfield.

    I was not disposed to make material changes up front and that would still be
    my preference

    Sadly it seems that Aubameyang is likely to leave this summer although that
    would not be my choice.

    Arsenal need to bring in at least 2 new players in midfield. We are short of quality in that department. Frankly I do not want to recruit “swap or loan”
    players. It does not work taking other clubs rejects.

    Mkhitaryan is the last player swapped and whilst that may have been considered the best solution in the Sanchez deal it was bad business and
    cost us a ridiculous salary for a very average player. Now it is difficult to shift the player for a transfer fee.

    Ceballos had one decent game at the start of season against Burnley, but has
    been either injured or ineffective during rest of season.

    The club needs to get back on track and recruit players with the correct quality and enhance performance.

    It is this recognition that I am reluctant to shift out of club this summer Aubameyang even if it means that he leaves on Bosman in Summer 2021.

    Solving one or two problems each season is realistic, but making constantly
    multiple changes is unlikely to improve performance.

  11. Un na naai


    Yeah mate. I agree with you there. I’m just of the opinion that there may be 1 big(ish) money signing. Anything else is loans/frees/player exchange.

    The old days of academy players and smart scouting networks are coming back. I for one am delighted. This will benefit the national side hugely

    On topic apparently we are nicking Fraser from Bournemouth on a bosman. They wanted £25m for him a year ago.
    This is exactly why we need to cut Aubameyang loose as soon as the 19/20 season is done. Hopefully with a CL position.

  12. CG


    “”””Cg Were you genuine .?Seriously. Cloughs mob were the best 11 I have seen at home… then came united”””””

    I would go along with that in recent times
    Forest and Man United were the best teams I ve seen play against Arsenal

    Managed by Cloughie and Fergie off course.

    2 managers who never had these absurd coaching badges that supposedly you need to be successful.

    Klopp is basically just using the same methods as Cloughie and Fergie did before him .E.g

    Big Goalie – Tick
    Shilton, Schmeichel ALLSON

    Big Center Half-Tick
    Kenny Burns,Pallister , VVD

    Great Left Winger- Tick
    Robertson, Giggs, SALAH.

    Then they keep the game simple for the players ,dont worry about the opposition,keep the same team and go on and win European Cups.

    It’s all about man -management.
    Coaching is important but so overrated at the professional level.

    That’s why I would prefer Sean Dyche* as our manager with Arteta doing what he is good at on the coaching pitch as his no.2

    Dyche started his career under Clough at Forest, interestingly.

  13. Sid

    Coutinho, Gotze are deadwood for their respective clubs, for every 30 castaways from clubs theres probably 1 who goes on to be successful especially players past mid twenties.
    klopp would be the 1st option to take Gotze if he thought he would be useful.

    Im telling you for free!

  14. Terraloon

    Much debate on here about how much will be spent etc.

    Much denial on here that sales will probably be non existent

    Much denial on here just what a mess Arsenals finances are in.

    Ok this is just a view but far more informed than my take on matters.

    Worth reading particularly the cash position and also the situation with regard to the two major sponsors (Adidas &. Emirates)

  15. CG

    Big No to Cortinhio.
    Big No to Gotze.
    But Yes on a pay as you play contract to Lallana.

    Two footed ,premier league experience, handsome and was born very close to the current training ground ( allegedly) so should not be late in the mornings.

    Proper player, plays with his head up.

  16. Valentin


    I feel like Don Quixote fighting windmill when I tries to explain to some that Arsenal is in a bad financial situation. Any dream of splashing the cash in a few big names is fanciful in the extreme.

    We can’t afford to lose Aubameyang for nothing next summer. If PSG is so enclined, exchange him for Draxler and £20 millions. Solve three problems in one full swoop. 1 get decent money for a player over 30 years old. 2 get a proper LW who can share the position with Saka. 3 open a CF place for Martinelli.

    We need to sell/give away Mhkitaryan, Elneny who even on loan are still a drain on our resources because we subsidise their wages.

    If somebody is willing to buy Torreira for what we paid for two years ago sell him and replace him by a cheaper more athletic player. Same thing with Xhaka.

    If PSG is really interested in selling Aerola and there is interest in Leno in Germany, then sell him as well and get the better player for cheaper.

  17. Un na naai

    Val, Terra

    Spot on. We were hardly big spenders before the corona virus debacle. Anyone who thinks this now puts us in an advantageous situation is as you rightly say, in denial. I say deluded. More championship manager fans living in their digital reality

  18. CG


    “””Come out of the closet, CG.””””
    Not quite ready, yet

    He is handsome though.
    Google images and see for yourself.

    Lallana reminds me of a poor mans Robert Pires.
    But he will do for us for 18 months- but if he aint on Kia’s list, the Dopes wont ‘ even know who he is.

  19. Un na naai


    I’d deffo be up for the Draxler plus cash deal. I’m not so sure torriera or xakha are going anywhere
    Not with our midfield so thread bare as it is.
    Ceballos is a goner
    Guendouzi offers nothing of note, ozil is subdued without 1 or 2 other ballers to riff off.

    Really our midfield consists of xakha, Torreira and Willock

    We need bodies in. Not out. If anything I’d be inclined to let Guendouzi leave for as much as we can get and use that to bring in Partey or whoever Arteta wants

    And let’s remember, we were linked with tonnes of players all summer last year and ended up with players we weren’t linked with

    I very much doubt we are in for Partey if he is being so heavily linked.

    My guess is there are 2-3 under the radar options Arteta and the team are looking at. Likely Spanish

  20. Graham62

    I will be totally honest with you here, based on where we stand, I find all this talk about the ins and outs of players rather sickening.

    Goetze still expecting to remain on £160k a week. How wonderful ! Other players on massive salaries twiddling their thumbs waiting for this all to blow over and still expecting things to go back to normal. Agents chomping at the bit, ready to get the ball rolling again. It’s a frigging disgrace.

    If the governing bodies announced next week that, from next season, whenever that is, all player salaries will be capped and that those players who earn in excess of £300k will have their salaries reduced by 50%, I would 👏👏👏 them.

    Remember folks it’s us, the fans, that suffer the consequences of all the greed that exists in the game.

    Millions out of work, the country(world) in a recession and we still talk about the haves and the have nots. The reality is that no one knows when this is all going to end and significantly, those that think that things will return to exactly what they were, are living in cloud cuckoo land.

    Football and all other major sports around the world along with their governing bodies, are going to have to get their houses in order.


  21. Bob N16

    Graham, I understand your feelings on the excessive pay the players get and the massive disparity with the vast majority. I find it hard to accept the price of the ST in relation to my available income.

    How do you feel about anybody, from any profession earning £5m + ?

    We obviously live in a ‘market forces’ driven economy. The enormous TV/Commercial/Match day revenues enable clubs to pay fantastic salaries for the top players. Footballers are not really that different from the bankers/bond dealers etc who are paid similar enormous amounts. If they pay loads in taxes they are contributing a load to the Exchequer so it’s not all bad.

  22. Northbanker

    Bob agreed
    With tax planning becoming increasingly more difficult if not impossible the true underlying tax rate applies to these salaries so that means almost half of what these players earn goes to the Treasury

  23. Un na naai

    My gripe is not with players earning ridiculous amounts of money
    All power to them

    My gripe is with their mercenary attitude. Their greed and their attitude towards us fans. With clubs like our own shitting on us from a great height for profit. With agents taking the piss and tv channels dictating games. With the corruption of governing bodies like fifa and uefa

    The game has turned into a gross corporate mess. Far removed from the simplicity of a working man’s club and escapism from their mundane jobs. (For the record, I really enjoy my work)

    I hate the way prem clubs in particular sheiks the players away from fans and cocoon them in a little safe space. Modern football has attracted the modern fan too. The yuppies are paying big money for tickets and pricing out the little guys. The prawn sandwich brigade. The London luvvies who rather than shout and cheer and roar their team to victory, would rather boo someone like Eboue.

    The whole game went rotten after Euro96 when it drew the yuppie fan.

    Time to bring it back down to Earth a touch

  24. Northbanker

    The Coutinho story seems to still be running- this is surely only a loan deal at best? It could be a good stop gap for us for next year as a CAM and give us more time to assess the readiness of EST in that role

    Unless there’s some dose of reality in the wages I can’t see how it can happen though

    Maybe a combo of wages cut and subsidy from Real might swing it

  25. Un na naai

    Barca aren’t having ozil
    And nobody is paying him £350k pw

    He and Aubameyang will see out their contract and get as much as they can on a bosman elsewhere

  26. Marc

    “How do you feel about anybody, from any profession earning £5m”

    No one bats an eyelid if the Rolling Stones (insert whichever huge band etc) do a world tour and earn tens of millions, no one complains when a recording artist signs a muti million deal to record 5 albums.

    There’s a reverse snobbery around football because it’s seen as a “working mans” sport.

    Personally I don’t have a problem with Messi earning a staggering amount my issue is with piss poor players earning a £100k per week – and we’re back to Xhaka!

  27. Northbanker

    We have short memories and the world will largely revert to what it was pre Covid, recession permitting and subject to new tech

    We have since the dawn of time and through every previous pestilence and plague

  28. andy1886

    Northbanker, do you seriously believe that footballers, unlike every other wealthy individual, do not employ tax lawyers and financial advisers to help them avoid paying as much tax as possible? If you can find me a single player who pays 100% of his tax without a quibble I’d be amazed.

  29. andy1886

    Marc, it’s the greed that people don’t like. Seriously, why does anyone need to earn that sort of money? In a world of finite resources for every millionaire there have to be people so poor that they need to use food banks and live in hostels. If everyone had a reasonable basic standard of living them maybe it’s not such an issue and you can put it down to envy.

    Why is MO on £350k/week? Because he and his agent demanded it. I’m sure he knows that he’s not worth it but he asked for it anyway. Greedy tw*t.

  30. Un na naai

    BojanglesMay 25, 2020 11:27:37
    You live in a corporate world Un, learn to live with it.

    I most certainly do not.
    My world is far removed from corporatism

  31. andy1886

    Fingers crossed that the Coutinho thing is a non-starter. Don’t rate him at all, another light weight drain on the budget if we sign him.

  32. Terraloon


    It is said that Kante refused to take any payment by way of image rights in sisal his income go through PAYE

    Rarely are individuals happy with how much tax they pay but some players put vast sums back into the community they were born in . Quite often when players are given Testimonials they donate every thing generated to a charity.

    The irony is that the players and indeed managers of yesteryear took a far bigger % via brown envelopes or the like. Boot money was rampant and signing on fees often were not paid through clubs accounts.

    I am not naive enough to believe that all monies paid today is accounted for but matters at the highest level in the UK in terms of payments being subject to tax/nic is far more transparent nowadays.

  33. andy1886

    Un, maybe not, but I can guarantee that I’d give the majority of it to causes I believe in. Nobody needs that much money.

  34. Terraloon


    My step daughter earns minimum wage. She owns her own flat for which she pays a mortgage, she owns a car and has decent savings. She doesn’t go on holiday, she refuses to buy a sandwich or a coffee .

    She thinks anyone earning over £20k Is overpaid.

    I thinks she is barking as does her sister who earns circa £30k and her partner nearly double that. They are saddled with debt, rent a house, never have two half pennies to wipe their a**se with yet spend vast sums on coffee, sandwiches, clothes and basically moan how unfair life is and despite us giving all the kids enough of a deposit on a property that money paid off credit card debt.

    My point is that for some no matter what they have it won’t be enough. What some would be satisfied with others would call sub standard or as I have witnessed from renting properties out some people have no idea how to respect possessions or property and just expect more to be done for them.

  35. andy1886

    Terraloon, I’m sure that there are some good people in football, some less so. Charitable donations are of course tax advantageous and the original point was about how nearly half of players’ wages go to the treasury which is something I doubt.

  36. andy1886

    Terraloon, so how did she buy a property? It would be literally impossible on minimum wage. No bank would lend based on that level of income without a huge deposit which again would take decades to accumulate on minimum wage.

  37. Bob N16

    Marc, I’m with you on the salaries; AFC has been appalling with their misuse of the payroll. The vast majority of the players who are on £100,000+ a week would not be receiving their current salaries anywhere else(Bosman’s aside).

    My other issues are with the season ticket price. I would love AFC to be known as a club that really looks after its supporters and doesn’t try and extract as much as they can. I know that’s idealistic and the boat has probably sailed but look at Germany’s pricing (I appreciate the supporters own 51%).

    The agents should always be working on a percentage of what they can negotiate for their clients and should never receive lump sums from the clubs. Players need to be represented but it’s hard not to see agents as glorified leeches.

  38. Jamie

    “She doesn’t go on holiday, she refuses to buy a sandwich or a coffee.”

    No disrespect, but this sounds grim. Rather than being satisfied with earning £10 an hour or whatever it is for the rest of her working life, maybe she should ask for a promotion.

  39. Marc


    “My other issues are with the season ticket price. I would love AFC to be known as a club that really looks after its supporters and doesn’t try and extract as much as they can.”

    Look I wouldn’t complain if my ST was cheaper but the cost of a ST at Arsenal is very similar to the Spud’s – there is one major difference. We get 26 matches they get 19 so Arsenal are by no means the worst club out there.

  40. andy1886

    Apologies Terra, didn’t read your post correctly first time around. It’s great that you were able to support her, but there are many that don’t have parents able or sometimes willing, to help their kids onto the property ladder. Without your help even living frugally she’d be stuck in the rent trap.

  41. CG


    “””Players need to be represented but it’s hard not to see agents as glorified leeches.””””

    All the players need is a good solicitor.( Or parental guidance)
    Why can’t they think for themselves anyway. Are they that dim?

    We sent kids to war at 16.

    They are brainwashed into thinking that they need one. ( like the fans)

    Paul Scholes and our Wenger never had one.
    they seem to have coped.

    FA should aim to have them out of the game entirely by 2023.

    And all they have to do is implement this simple ruling.

    If a club pays an agent a cent – they will be deducted 10 points for 2 consecutive seasons.

    If players want to pay the spivs , good luck to them.

  42. Terraloon


    Far from difficult.

    She added the money we gave her to money she had saved. She didn’t go to Uni even though it was on offer.She had a weekend job while at school and from age 18 through to age 23 yes she lived with us and paid keep of around 1/4 of her take home she saved around £3 k on average a year she had what she called her pocket money of around £60 per week.

    She now takes home just under £300 per week . Her outgoings are about £750 pcm. She lives far too frugal a life for me but she cuts her cloth as she sees it.

    She purchased via a shared equity scheme and pays a mortgage on the 50% she owns and what is classified as rental on the bit she doesn’t.

    We were talking to her sister this week. There are several schemes available. One for instance required £6200 deposit, a mortgage of £469 pcm and rental on the balance amounting to £500 pcm. This was for a brand new 3 bed house which their income would easily have allowed a mortgage to go ahead but the house was smaller than the detached 3 bed they rent for £1100 pcm.

  43. andy1886

    Un, I already do give to causes even though I’m not a big earner. Can’t say that I’d give it to Stan though which is effectively what you’d be doing. We’d still manage to screw it up anyway (they would probably give Ozil a pay rise lol).

  44. Terraloon


    I personally love having a coffee or a sandwich out but not really that critical in the scheme of things . As for holidays again I look forward to ours but she really isn’t that worried about going away. We live in a beautiful county with miles of green countryside and miles of beeches.

    As I said earlier too frugal for me but she is content with her life . Now if we were talk about the nights in the winter when she sits with a throw around her to save putting the heating ok then yep I think that’s grim but she could afford the heating on but likes to see her savings grow.

  45. Graham62


    I don’t begrudge anyone earning £5m a year, in any profession, as long as it’s relevant to their input and skills.

    The commercial aspect of sport and life in particular, where not only sportsman but also musicians, singers, social media icons, film stars etc can earn incredible sums, has become a fact of life.

    As you well know, there are far too many average footballers are on over £100k a week and in a fair few cases, too many poor players are on salaries that are way out of sync with their true potential.

    You know that there are many people out there, not just footballers, who earn excessive amounts or, in some cases give themselves bonuses and increments that are not necessary and are, to all intense and purposes, done out of greed.

    Personally, I don’t think anyone is worth £300k a week, irrespective of their importance to the flow of the economy. That’s me.

    Maybe if the nurses and doctors were given a wee bit more for their incredible efforts, along with all the frontline workers risking their own lives on a daily basis things would be a bit different. In an ideal world things like that would happen.

    As Marc and Un na naai highlight, “piss poor players earning 100k a week” and the “mercenary attitude” that exists within the game, is wrong, no matter what way you look at things.

    Maybe nurses should be on £50k+ a year, rather than their present £25-30k which, based on your earlier post, would put far more into the coffers of the economy than a load of substandard footballers.


  46. Andy1886

    Terra, fair play to her, originally my assumption was that you were suggesting that someone on minimum wage could buy a property off their own bat.

    Unfortunately the cost of housing is totally out of whack relative to wages. Insufficient government investment as well as selling off housing stocks hasn’t helped but buy to let has been a bane too.

  47. Graham62

    I see that Ayia Napa(Cyprus) will be off limits to all the Brits post pandemic. Clampdown on drinking in public, drugs and improper behaviour will mean 95% of Brits will not head out there, unless that is they change their ways and genuinely care and respect the environment they are visiting.

    Not a bad thing then.

    New laws and regulations have been established to make the resort a more tranquil and traditional destination.

    No doubt flights and accommodation will be more relevant to a more sophisticated and higher class of clientele. Folk then that respect another countries culture and way of life.

    I’m sure the residents of Ayia Napa along with many more Brit based destinations around Europe, will not be too upset.

    Sorry guys, just putting the world to rights today.

  48. Marc


    As long as I don’t have the head of the Hotel Association in Ayia Napa on the TV bitching that they’re all going bust next summer because no ones going there.

  49. Valentin

    More than just Aya Napa, because COVID is still not under control here the entire Isle of Cyprus will be off limit to British resident and Russian resident. Both nationalities used to be their main clients.
    That allows them to reframe the island as a cool family oriented destination rather than the European drunkard, loud mouth party central.
    I am sure that with COVID-19 and the need to have social distancing until the arrival of a vaccine, lots of cheap, packed in resort will either go bust or try to attract a different clientele.

  50. Aussie Gooner

    When Kim Kardashian’s net worth is greater than that of Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, Mick Jagger, Roger Waters etc etc we know the world is in trouble!

    Add Kim’s wealth to that of her husband and you are looking at a combined total of $3.6B!

    There are 19 countries on the earth with less National Net Wealth!

  51. Marc


    There’s an article on the Sky News website about the Oxford vaccine – they’re worried about the testing because new cases of the virus are dropping off so quickly they don’t think they’re going to have enough people to be able to run the trials.

    I don’t know about anyone else but I’m finding life is getting more surreal by the day!

  52. Aussie Gooner


    No one I know can work out exactly what she does – but whatever it is she must do it well!!!!

  53. Aussie Gooner

    Zlatan has just snapped his Achillies – I guess he is now off the list as Abu’s replacement!

  54. Dissenter

    What’s the situation down under with this Chine vs Australia spiff
    It seems China are bent on using Australia as an example to make others fall in line.
    Self interest may very well be the order of the day in the post-Covid world.

  55. Un na naai

    Fuck thought I’d been banned there.
    Oh the injustice!! 🙊

    Not gonna lie, my lockdown hair is getting well 70s. All I need are bell bottoms and a tank top and I’m away.

  56. Un na naai

    MarcNo one I know can work out exactly what she does – but whatever it is she must do it well!!!!

    I knew a girl once that was well worth £11bn for what she did well. My oh my…

  57. Sid

    Entertainment is the new religion.
    social media icons, film stars etc are the new priests. They have caused intellectual and cultural stagnation.

    The reformation is coming disruption triggering war on them and persecutions. Their end is near.
    Along with billionares the new Tyrants

    You heard it here 1st!

  58. Aussie Gooner

    The Bosman ruling shifted the goal posts as far as the player/club relationship is concerned. Financially players thereafter became company liabilities instead of assets in the traditional sense. Their ability to produce income for the club became exponential and was no longer linear as at the end of a player’s contract he no longer had a value to be sold or traded. Consequently the super agent was born to exploit this dichotomy. Arsenal has not been very good at adjusting to this ‘new’ reality. Club loyalty became a thing of the past and personal wellbeing took precedence. Unfortunately many footballers are young and naive at the beginning of their journey and are ripe for exploitation, not this time by the club but by agents promising the world.

    Arsenal are in their current predicament partly because of the failure of the club to manage finances and employees. They have been seen as an easy touch by the agents for years and stories are rife in the industry how vulnerable Arsenal are. We have witnessed with our own eyes the mistakes relating to contracts, senior management appointments, investments, residuals, income generation and asset management.

    It is time for the club to turn a corner and get their affairs in order. The Abu situation is a case in point. He should have been offered a contract extension last year. Abu will not now sign a new contract with his agent whispering in his ear about the riches he can secure by leaving at the end of his contract as a free agent. We will also encounter similar problems with our youngsters like Saka who will have their heads turned by persuasive agents. Players already on extortionate wages like Ozil, Mustafi, Xahka etc will milk the club dry and move on at the end of their contracts. Ozil worked out a couple of years ago when he signed his new contract that he didn’t have to put in any effort to receive his huge salary.

  59. Un na naai


    It’s by design. The dumbing down of society is all part of the plan. Love island and big brother and all this rubbish. Geordie shore

    Hope to god my kids have more sense than to even attempt watching stuff like that in my house when they are older

  60. Aussie Gooner


    As you can imagine Australia is very dependent on trade with China. They buy our Iron Ore, Gas and farm produce – we buy their crap electronics, consumer goods and dodgy building materials! 31% of our exports go to China. The dependence on the economy of one country is frightening. Add to that the covert purchasing of Australian agricultural land and businesses by Chinese state owned entities relate to a typical case of ‘having all ones eggs in one basket’.

    China knows that it has got Australia over a barrel and our questioning of the origins of COVID-19 will not help matters.

    Here is a very good article on the situation

  61. CG

    Aussie Goon

    “”””They have been seen as an easy touch by the agents for years and stories are rife in the industry how vulnerable Arsenal are”””

    That’s because we have owners who reside in LA- and have allowed total and utter pillocks to run the club.

    How we miss people like Dein…
    Dein who was a vital cog in the FA too , would have not allowed Arsenals chronic demise.
    How he ain’t back at the club in some capacity- just shows how disinterested KSE are.

    (Great post Aussie.)

  62. Dissenter

    I thought the Australian policy of jumping in like that was very naive considering the dependence of trade with China. Australian self interest ought to come first more so when you logouts have dealt with Covid-19 quite well.
    It ought to be Trump against China, everyone else should steer clear.
    Trump was praising Xi in March and us in changing tune to distract and to fire up his base.
    Boris Johnson is too smart to jump in like that as are most world leaders.

  63. Aussie Gooner


    The dumbing down of society begins in school. Sorry to tell you but your kids will be influenced by such zombie television/media when they are in the right demographic for such exploitation.

    As Sid said social media tycoons are the new priests not the industrialist of yester years! Look at the worlds richest lists and see the rise of social media giants like Google, Facebook and tech companies like Microsoft, Oracle and online business models like Amazon!

    What exactly does a ‘social influencer’ do?

  64. Jamie

    Cummings trying his best to explain why it was reasonable for him to repeatedly break his own lock-down rules. Awkward.

    “I, I, I, I think I acted reasonably. “

  65. Marc


    Surely if there is a reckoning for China in all of this it would be best if all of the countries concerned actually took a joint stand? The US, EU, UK, Japan, Korea, Canada, Australia etc etc together would just be far too powerful for China to ignore.

  66. Jamie

    Marc –

    That is so simplistic. Imagine everyone in the country exercised their own discretion as to what trips were reasonable to make during lock-down.

    Short answer and according to government rules, zero.

  67. Dissenter

    True dat but China’s treatment of Australia will make other countries think twice about joining in.The last thing the world needs now is a trade war atop the economic debacle we have already.
    More so, Trump hasn’t been that much if a global leaders and really shows no fealty to alliances other than his ego..

  68. Marc


    Agree re starting a trade war – really the last thing the world needs at the moment however I do think western countries need to look at weening themselves off of “cheap” goods out of China.

  69. Marc


    Come on there’s a world of difference – I can understand someone stealing food to feed a staving child – I don’t understand someone committing physical violence against another person.

  70. Marc


    If the parent of a murdered child kid the person responsible could you understand their actions whilst still think it was wrong?

  71. Aussie Gooner

    I turned 60 yesterday so I won’t be around to see the full long term affects of climate change, globaisation and mass migration from war torn regions. However my children will.

    In the short term my pension will be taking further hits, my investments will plumet and I will have to work on to a much stage than I had planned. And in my business that is not a good idea!

    Why is Boris defending Cummings? Is his judgment that seriously impaired or is his grip on the nation sufficient to see him over the line?

    Bring back football before we all go mad!

  72. Marc


    What Cummings did was wrong but I do find the press’s attitude more than a little hypocritical – a hoard of them ambushed him outside of his home the other day – at least a dozen or so all of them tripping over each other and ignoring the social distancing rules.

    If Cummings is wrong then what about the journalists?

  73. Terraloon


    Yet again the supposed top journalists haven’t added to the debate.

    The questions they are asking Cummings are pathetic and whilst I think he is a dick they really haven’t been able to nail him.

  74. Un na naai

    Aussie GoonerMay 25, 2020 15:39:20
    UnThe dumbing down of society begins in school. Sorry to tell you but your kids will be influenced by such zombie television/media when they are in the right demographic for such exploitation.

    Aussie goon

    I’ve been saying this for year mate
    The school system is predicated on the factory system
    This is a fact
    Neat little rows, read back what I put on the board
    Open your textbook
    Not enough freeing of minds or REAL critical thinking. My children will of course be influenced by their friends. However, we live in a lovely area and the school itself, however routed it is on an industrial, Victorian framework is still a lovely nourishing school as far as schools go. Myself and my wife are also very aware of societal constraints so I’m sure our kids will have very hippyish views in adulthood

  75. Un na naai

    Cummings comes across as a sociopath….

    He tells the media to shove it
    Good on him
    They want his head on spike because he oversaw the brexit strategy through Boris
    Boo bloody hoo

  76. UTarse

    Rare for me to post anything political but I’ll make an exception for Cummings. He’s a lying manipulative cunt.

  77. Terraloon


    He clearly doesn’t give a toot about how he comes over to them.

    Theses are the top journalists in the country and they haven’t a clue how to unpick his stance.

    They are desperate to call him a liar but they don’t have the ammunition or indeed proof that what he is saying is incorrect.

  78. Marc


    I with you 100% this is politically motivated and the media smelling blood.

    If he’d had stayed up North rather than returning to work when well enough they’d be accusing him of abandoning the Country in an hour of need.

  79. jwl

    Parents protect their children, regardless of the law, I can totally understand why Cummings would want family to look after his autistic child if him and wife got sick. Parents who follow law, but endanger their child health, are idiots.

    Cummings is lightning rod because he was head of Leave campaign and many remainers are still butt hurt about losing referendum, he has to be punished forever more.

  80. Marc


    I don’t have kids but I do have a niece and 2 nephews and there isn’t anything in the world that could stop me from doing whatever it took to protect them.

    I can understand him traveling to his fathers farm – the test drive etc was bloody stupid.

  81. Guns of SF

    Anyone from PSG that we can take?
    Auba might end up there… back home with more $$$
    Draxler in a part swap?

    I have serious doubts of a front line of Saka Pepe and Gaby- all are very young and with out a proper midfield, it will be a mutiny by the fans

    I am warming up to Coutinho… use him as a 10. CAM

    A major upgrade to Nozil

    A loan is fine.
    Sell what we can, grab Partey…

    those 2 right there would be huge.
    Grab some talent from south america as well….
    will not cost as much….
    Mix it up

  82. Marc


    “The school system is predicated on the factory system”

    My nephew is ten and has been off school for weeks – the school has set up a website with homework etc but the school hasn’t been in touch since it closed.

    Why isn’t his teacher having a weekly conversation with him (and all the other kids) for 30 – 40 minutes checking on his homework, how are things etc – the teachers are all on full pay sitting at home in the sunshine and the fucking unions are arguing about reopening schools – usually it’s the end of the world if a kid misses a single day because of a family holiday.

  83. rollen

    Right about schools guys. Its its design to create dumb sheep easy to manipulate. Parents needs to do education now. Same with media now. No more truth. Just created narrative/reality.

  84. Marc


    I actually had a Head of Year tell me and a friend when I was n my last year at school (long time ago now!) that it wasn’t a schools job to educate kids but to prepare them for a life of boring work.

    I’m actually quite proud I managed to exhibit some self control and not get expelled for calling him a cunt – maybe I should have!

  85. Un na naai

    Marc, Terra, CG

    Totally agree
    What makes the media any different? They are sending news teams to Co Durham to report on him being in Durham and swarming around his house, totally flouting social distancing.

    The whole thing is a total scam.
    You’re dead right. Go see your nephews and nieces. Don’t let anyone tell you any different.

  86. Dissenter

    Has it not occurred to many here that players may refuse to come to Arsenal .
    We aren’t in the Europa league never mind the CL] and have an untested manager in charge.

    All this talk of Draxler coming to retire at Arsenal is laughable. There’s a reason he’s comfortable sitting in the bench at Arsenal.

  87. Bob N16

    It’s understandable that someone would support Cummings if they supported his politics, so was astounded to see how the Daily Mail laid into him.

    Always think it’s interesting how people slag off the media when the media doesn’t support their viewpoint. This country has predominantly a right wing press, so it’s ironic when right wingers have a go. Always feels like that when they’re not going their own way they throw their toys out of their pram; just like Trump who attacks any media that doesn’t show full support for him and dares to criticise.

    Strong press leads to a strong democracy.

    Cummings did not set a good example, regardless of whether his decision making was understandable. If Johnson wasn’t so dependent on his help, he would have got rid of him in a moment. The fact that he didn’t illustrates how important Cummings is and how needy Johnson is.

  88. jwl

    Public schools were created by the german grand parents of nazis – schools taught kids to obey authority and get people used to idea of being in airless rooms for many hours per day so they obedient when stuck at work in factory six days a week.

  89. Un na naai

    rollenMay 25, 2020 17:07:27
    Right about schools guys. Its its design to create dumb sheep easy to manipulate. Parents needs to do education now. Same with media now. No more truth. Just created narrative/reality.

    I complete agree but humans are social creatures. Especially children. They need interaction with their little buddies every single day. That’s a must

    Round my way it’s a given as all the mums interact and by default the kids are always together but I’m sure it’s not like that in many house holds

    That’s an issue

  90. Dissenter

    Some of your Covid-19 restrictions in the U.K. are outright draconian.
    To think some here in the states are storming state houses armed to the teeth over milder lock-downs!

    This Cummings fella drove all the way to Co Durham in his car which is self-containing any possible infection. He wasn’t doing hop scotch all the way and sneezing at every mile he passed, was he?

    What passes as controversy in the U.K.. can be really funny, looking in from this side os the Atlantic.
    I was that doctor that threatened to resign if Cummings wasn’t fired. Lol.

  91. Bob N16

    jwl, ‘public schools were created by the german grand parents of nazis’

    Does that deserve to be unpicked?

  92. Marc


    The press aren’t behind my view – it’s the actions of the unions and teachers.

    I should point out that I very rarely read a newspaper – got fed up with all of them to be honest.

  93. Marc


    It’s a politically motivated attack – Cummings was the driving force behind BREXIT and the media at large are very pro EU.

    That and just basic laziness.

  94. Bob N16

    Dissenter, the thing is Cummings is seen as the unelected puppet master behind the ‘throne’. Very clever but lacking any suggestion of empathy towards others. So when he was ‘caught’ not following the ‘stay home’ repeated ad nauseam message which he was most likely responsible for, it was and is understandable why he was ‘attacked’ with relish!

    If he showed any genuine remorse, most people would have accepted his explanation.

  95. Terraloon


    Interestingly and strangely I don’t think you will find that Cummins is actually a declared Tory. I think his politics are more Liberal.

    Cummins doesn’t seem to respect the press and from what it seems he won’t give private briefings and far from favourites he is detached .

    Politically motivated or not the TV journalists who were there today clearly don’t share Conservative beliefs and this is their attempt to get rid of someone who they have seen as a bit of a renegade and won’t play their games.

    You only have to look at the way he dresses he clearly doesn’t conform and clearly doesn’t give a stuff and love him or hate him he clearly has skills.

  96. Bob N16

    That’s one view Marc!
    Politically motivated attack! ‘The media at large very pro EU’, seriously?

    You barely read a newspaper, check out The Express, The Times, The Telegraph, The Sun, The Mail, the majority of the press – very pro EU??? up against The Independent(Central), Guardian(Left of centre)Mirror (Left of centre).

    Sky – pro EU

    BBC- accused of being dominated by Liberal intelligentsia – in contrast to the right wing predominant gets accuse of being to the left when I would argue that is only because of the right wing press not being able to control it!

    Social media – that’s where Cummings and his crew really get stuck in and manipulate incredibly successfully.

    But Marc, not sure I’m going to change your viewpoint so I’ll stop now!

    Back to Arsenal chat.

  97. Marc


    The Times is incredibly pro EU.

    As for implying that Cummings is something new – what the fuck was Alistair Campbell?

    Part of the inner circle who fabricated evidence, lied to Parliament and took us into an illegal war.

  98. Jamie

    Marc –

    “Jamie I never said I condone stealing.”

    I didn’t say you did. Maybe you’re confusing me with someone else.

  99. Bob N16

    The English school system may have it’s faults but if you compare it to the Spanish system for example, it’s far superior. In Spain they still believe in predominantly rote learning and their system produces fodder for the large civil work force. The teachers are allowed to set their own equivalent of A levels (Bachillerato) and then mark them themselves!

    Not saying our system is perfect but it’s not too, too bad!

  100. Dissenter

    Thanks lads for the inside gist about the nothing burger Cummings controversy

    So it’s just a comeuppance for Brexit