Well good morning to you all.
The Athletic is running a story that David Luiz cost us £24m for a year, and they confirmed his salary of £200k a week, a story we gave you in December.
I hope that people now start to see why I have deep concerns about how Arsenal are being run at the moment.
Think about this.
We wouldn’t let Laurent Koscielny leave on a free.
He went on strike to move.
We eventually squeezed a £5m fee.
Key takeaway: Arsenal won’t be messed around, this is a new era of deal-making.
Arsenal knew Laurent wanted to move a long way in advance. The club was going to need to sign a centre back with a good left foot. Arsenal has elite analysts and scouts. Those scouts apparently had a name on the list from Dortmund that we could have landed for a good price (who is apparently still interesting Arsenal).
Instead, we raid Chelsea for David Luiz. We up his salary from £125k a week to £200k a week. We drop a massive agent fee of £6m. We give the player a ONE year deal, with an option for two.
£24m for a single season.
There’s no way to paint that sort of deal in a positive light. It is massively inefficient, it is shortsighted, and it was clearly driven by an agent because no footballing man worth his salt would sanction expenditure like that based on rigorous analysis of the market.
I was told that the deal would end up at about £40m at the time, which people guffawed at, but The Athletic correlates the story by stating that ‘intermediaries’ are due another round of fees if we go in for another year.
The interesting part about The Athletic piece is it appears to be a leak from the old school part of Arsenal. Raul bypassing the board to make decisions was a big part of why Sir Chips left, according to Amy Lawrence. Whatever you think of our powerless board, you have to say, that is a huge red flag. Also, remember, Sven Mislintat left because of the contacts approach. Say what you will about his signings, at least they were grounded in more than a whisper in the ear.
Also, I am pretty certain you’re all going to wince when you get the breakdown of the fee for Pepe. Those fees were so large, the Italian clubs had to say no.
This is why the two system leadership setup is a very bad idea. You need a proper sporting CEO that oversees the deals and makes sure that every signing is made for the benefit of the club. Arsenal should also have a board in place to scrutinise the financial aspects of the deals put to them. We should have business people who understand the financial aspects and footballing people to ask whether the move makes sense for the future of the club. Think about the genius of what Raul has managed to do. He’s convinced Josh K to not hire a CEO, he’s managed to sell co-leadership with a junior partner as his sidekick, and he’s managed to minimize board scrutiny to the point where the chairman has quit the club.
The big question is this: What the fuck is Josh Kroenke up to? Parachuting in to tell the fans to get excited, but being tentatively involved is a dereliction of duty. He’s like a Prince being shoved around by his more worldly courtiers.
Anyway, this summer, you have the same agent that on occasion shares a box with Edu and Raul, pushing Coutinho and Willian our way. We were ever so close to landing Willian, I’m not sure if it’s happening now, but again, what will the agent fee look like? If Raul sold Luiz as a bargain, it’s probably not going to be hard to convince Josh K that Willian and Coutinho are smart signings… seems it’s about as simple as sending a Youtube Video title WELCOME TO ARSENAL COUTINHO MAD SKILLZ AND GOALS.
Still, I’m glad a story like this is out from someone credible. Hopefully, it’ll wake the fans up to the sort of decision making going on at Arsenal. Maybe, just maybe, it’ll make the club shape up and play it smarter this summer. Or, maybe, the current climate will put a kibosh on decadent fees as KSE moves hard to buckle up the finances.
The absolutely mad thing about all of this is a longterm career at Arsenal would be much easier to achieve if the club just did things properly. Spend money wisely, bring in elite youth, make the wage bill lean, buy low and sell high. Literally replicate the Liverpool model. A Football CEO / Sporting Director with Champions League medals will command far higher salaries than those without them. I just don’t get why you’d throw bad money at super-agents and denigrate your reputation.
The club is Raul’s now, let’s hope that Arteta can deliver despite him and that one day KSE will wake-up and take Arsenal seriously.
Anyway, onwards. x