David Luiz deal shines a light on what ‘contacts’ dealing gets you

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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

313 Responses to “David Luiz deal shines a light on what ‘contacts’ dealing gets you”

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  1. Freddie Ljungberg

    “The total package is worth around £5m to Southampton”

    Firstly this is all speculation, secondly it doesn’t mean that we paid 5 million.

    It means they got a fee, saved on wages and potential bonuses etc, not that we handed over 5m to them. Pretty basic reading comprehension.

    And, it’s still only speculation.


    Did you see the rumoured fee for Coutinho? €10m loan and obligation to buy for €70m. Add agent fees and VAT to that and it’s 1 billion dollars. Or thereabouts.

    If we brought Fraser it would be because one of our strikers or both was off and we move Martinelli to the center. Then we only have Saka out there on the left. Need 4 wingers. Would prefer Said Benrahma or similar myself but since it’s just as backup I can’t be too bothered. Just don’t want us to spend any of the budget on the wings.

    It’s all about that CM and AM. Maybe CB if we ship out enough of the old crappy ones.

  2. Sid

    Guendozi wanted to knock the sauce out of the saucy one, a real alpha male, its also clear on the field

    You heard it here 1st!

  3. Dissenter

    “It means they got a fee, saved on wages and potential bonuses etc, not that we handed over 5m to them. Pretty basic reading comprehension.”

    No the argument was that we handed 1 million loan fee to them and that the entire package cost us as much as 5 million based on the tabloids. I explained why it may have been plausible; 2.5 million is already accounted for, the balance was what was being contested.

    You flippantly wrote about basic reading comprehension but missed out on what the argument was about. You don’t have to agree with me but try no to twist my point.
    I never remotely suggested we handed over 5 million to them.

  4. Dissenter

    Glad to see that you’re enjoying yourself with my VAT line.
    Glad to be of service finally. Hope I made your day mate.

  5. Sid

    shorter men are more likely to show indirect, rather than direct, aggression toward taller men

    Napoleon complex is most likely to manifest in situations where the shorter man has all the power, and the taller man can’t retaliate.

    Im telling you for free!

  6. Valentin


    Who do you think is the MD Fahmy reports to?
    Raul explicitly said in two separate interviews that HE was the guy having the final say on players deals. He also decide on players’s contract policy.

    For example, he is the one who has imposed the policy of no more inadvertently letting players run their contract down. Sign an extension or be sold.

    Fahmy determines the contract not the overall package, nor the policy.
    Same thing in any company the head of HR enforces the recruitment policy, but does not do dictate it. The head of HR make their recommendations based on the info given to him by the MD, but ultimately the MD takes the policy decisions based on the business direction and his personal judgement.
    If Arteta is desperate to get a new CB and that CB is slightly more expensive Raul is the one who will authorise the extra payments (after consulting the Kroenke) not Fahmy.

    The legal terms of contract are vital, so I am not diminishing his importance. Just that he has a very specific role.

  7. Champagne Charlie


    I think asking Saka and Martinelli to produce and produce is somewhat hopeful although I take your point. Pepe has much to prove, and Nelson is a squad player imo unless he transforms himself mentally.

    I’d be focused elsewhere in the squad, I’m merely reacting to speculation I’ve seen. For me Partey is a priority to balance our CM which lacks a degree of mobility and suitability to the league/approach Arteta is keen to undertake.

    All players could be binned with reason, but I’d consider Laca, Mustafi, Torreira as most likely high profile cash generators or bargaining chips end of season.

    Replace those three with Coutinho/Partey and we look a bit meaner I think. Martinelli would go central and Coutinho and Partey would offer a lot of what we’ve missed this season from midfield. Namely athleticism and ingenuity with final product.


    No, haven’t seen much of the reported fees involved but I don’t imagine Barca to be in a strong negotiating position as much as they may dream up such a scenario. James at Real can be had for a bag of quavers after he’s been whored out on loan. I think an initial loan with an option to buy is possible – though I’m unsure what would represent value in the new financial football landscape. Hard to judge.

    Pre-COVID I’d have said 60 mil for Coutinho at 27 is good business.

    Also think the link between midfield and attack is being overlooked as a pivotal area of concern for us. Defensively we have Tierney, Mari, and Cedric who have yet to make a mark, plus Saliba coming in with huge promise. Meanwhile we don’t score outside of Auba/Laca and our penetration is currently ‘Pepe or bust’. Coutinho can slide past a player and finish/create, he’d be a huge contributor imo though I understand the hesitation given the money around him.

  8. Valentin


    At least with you Marc can’t use his usual “banter line” you mis-explained things because English is not your native language to hide his lack of comprehension. He has to resort just basic gaslighting.

    He had the same comprehension problem with a comment that I made when I compared Raul negotiation tactic with Gazidis school of negotiation.
    He had to resort to attempt to twist my words before taken to task by Andy.

  9. Marko

    No to Willian and Fraser. One’s too old and expensive and the other is not what we need and wouldn’t likely improve us. Agree that the idea of Coutinho being finished or a failure at his last two clubs is a bit agenda driven cause you know Kia and Raul. He’d improve us immensely but I couldn’t justify it with Ozil still here with his wages.

  10. Sid

    Torreiras defensive numbers playing in a team playing an expansive style are better than Thomas Partey.
    Surprisingly even Xhakalson has more passes than Partey into the final 3rd, xhakalson also has more progressive distance.
    Dozis attacking output is better than Partey, xhakalson and Torr.
    Partey is comfortable playing in a tight defense. Against liverpool, barca, madrid the ball possession of athleti is around 30%