by .

The collapse of the Super League on day two marks one of the most spectacular fails in business history.

Owners and their exec leaders spent the pandemic scheming ways to make the most of a bad situation. As I wrote yesterday, they thought they had every base covered. They believed ‘big club energy’ would make the rest of the football world bend to their will. They hoped they could ride this out with the fans.

It did not happen.

Some thought on the tipping points.

Early morning, The AST said that Boris Johnson was not only horrified, he was actively seeking to stop the Super League from happening. Politically, as the top boy, he has a lot of power. He could have interfered with taxes, messed with player temp visas, and most importantly… toy with the residences of billionaires taking up camp in England. If Boris can sniff out political opportunity with his base, you are in trouble. He is the world’s number 1 when it comes to breaking up European alliances. It’ll take a few days to find out what tipped the scales, but I wouldn’t be shocked to learn that the political system turned some screws. I also wonder how the JP Morgan piece played into this. Did someone in the government tell the bank that this was a no-go? That Boris would drag it out and make it deeply unpopular? Watch this space.

Bayern Munich said no, with Germany politely saying fuck off to the proposal. That was followed by the news that PSG wouldn’t play ball. There are rumours they were the inside man on this deal, back-channelling to UEFA where their owner is a big deal. Regardless, how can you have a Super League without those two teams?

The third and most important impact was the wall to wall vitriol spewed in the papers, social media and the sports channels. No one had a good thing to say about the Super League. Everyone hated it. It spoke to greed, it was the antithesis of what makes European sport popular, and it shone a bright light on the characters of those engaging in this act of treachery.

Chelsea bailed first. Then City. Then Spurs, United, and Arsenal. Now there is no Super League.

Ed Woodward was the first big name to resign. He’s out at United. That is huge. He burnt all his capital with the fans and his position was untenable. There are rumours doing the rounds that the Glazers are looking to sell because football doesn’t have a high enough profit ceiling and they want out.

I wrote yesterday what people inside the game were thinking about the possible threats to their ghastly vision. A few gave me pelters suggesting the post was wrong. Not sure how people came to that conclusion. The plan was built to deliver the Super League, the 12 clubs thought they had safety from all the counter-punches. Some of those execs spent yesterday trying to sell those counter-points I wrote about.

Ivan Gazidis on why it works for the little guys.

“The Super League will provide value and support to the whole football pyramid with greater financial resources.”

Florentino Perez on the lack of power to control the big 12.

‘They won’t throw Madrid out of the Champions League, for sure,” Perez said. “Not Madrid or [Manchester] City or anyone. I’m completely sure. Or La Liga either.’

Perez on ‘content’ and the new style of fan.

‘Football is the only global sport in the world with more than four billion fans and our responsibility as big clubs is to respond to the wishes of the fans.’

Barca on how they could convince the governments the influx of money would improve infrastructure (grassroots support).

‘Those clubs in power will share €3.5billion “solely to support their infrastructure investment plans and to offset the impact of the covid pandemic’

What ended up unravelling this buttoned-up plan?


Government intervention.

The fans.

The pundits.

The sponsors.

The players.

The explayers.

The staff.

The papers.

You can’t even call this misreading the room, because I don’t believe these execs thought this was ever going to be a popular plan. They just shit their pants. Chelsea fans literally rocked their bus and it all came crumbling down.

It was a dastardly plan, enacted by folks disconnected from fan culture, who messed their pants after TWO DAYS.

I think football fans are shocked at how easy it was to win. Fan FC, gegenpressing masters, tried to win the game inside the first 10 minutes and scored 7 goals. It was over before there was an official hashtag or a banner to fly over the stadium. We were at the mean tweets phase. I thought this would go on for weeks. I thought the billionaires would plough through like they do with every other change they bring to the game.

They bottled it.

Now what for Arsenal?

Vinai is the face of this move though not the decision-maker. Regardless, he’s lost the trust of the fans, players, sponsors and the staff in one hit. How does that affect his ability to lead us this summer? How can he ever talk about our class again after trying to slip this out the door at 11pm on a Sunday night? If he stays, he’s damaged goods, if he goes, we’re starting AGAIN. It never stops for Arsenal. There is always something terrible to deal with that is of our own making. It’s not just him. Tim Lewis, Gooner on the ground, would have been part of this as well. Plenty of people who love football at Arsenal, went along with this regardless. At least the players and staff didn’t know. Auba deleted his twitter account.

The club apologised, the only one to do so, which is at least a start, but the tone was purposefully naive and misleading.

The system needs to be fixed. We must work together to find solutions which protect the future of the game and harness the extraordinary power football has to get us on the edge of our seats.

We know it will take time to restore your faith in what we are trying to achieve here at Arsenal but let us be clear that the decision to be part of the Super League was driven by our desire to protect Arsenal, the club you love, and to support the game you love through greater solidarity and financial stability.

The miscalculation was the big clubs thought their global fans were different to the noisy rabble in London. They believed the new ‘casual’ fan was engaging with football like they would an algorithm suggestion in Netflix. They believed football was just another type of content like video games, TV, or music. They were not prepared for the commoners to see stability as a collective issue. They believed their own greed and desire to be part of the elite insider group would be the same for the fans. They were all wrong, the values local fans have is part of what makes the game appealing, and they want to be part of that… and are. For Arsenal to be talking about stability after they tried to spoil the game for the many, to preserve privilege for the few, makes this statement so off-key. Values our leadership talk about are marketing gimmicks, this debacle is a proof point to that.

The open letter said a few times they were trying to protect the club and its future. A great soundbite if we were Dagenham & Redbridge. We’re Arsenal. We have a billionaire owner married to into of the most successful families that has ever existed on this planet. He is supposed to be our protection. That was the point of a billionaire owner. If we weren’t getting his investment, we were better of being run privately like we were when we were successful.

Vinai said this when he started.

‘Together we will work tirelessly with the extraordinary staff we have at Arsenal to respect and enhance our unique history, heritage and values; with the overall objective to bring success to our millions of fans all around the world and make them proud of their club’

Protecting the future of our club by eliminating competition was the plan to make us proud? Sacking Gunnersaurus? Firing 52 members of staff before signing a 32-year-old on a 3 year deal for £250k a week? This ‘proud’ strategy needs a rethink because it has never been less believable.

As for ‘mistake’.. come on. This was no mistake. This has been on the agenda for longer than Vinai. No one can be shocked Ivan spoke up about it on Tuesday, this was part of the reason he moved to Milan. Imagine what this would have done for his stock options? This was a premeditated attack on European football culture. It required deep thought and planning. It’s something they knew would distress fans and they just did it anyway. The only regret Arsenal has on this is that everyone else lost their nerve and the stress and embarrassment wasn’t worth a penny.

So what becomes of Arsenal? How does this mess affect our standing in the game? How does it affect the dressing room? How does it impact our appeal this summer?

There was a rumour that Chelsea and City pulled out of this because it levelled the playing field. They exit this debacle winners regardless because they didn’t ever need the money. Arsenal? We’re back to £20m summers in a sell to buy cycle. That felt bad before, now, it feels even worse.

If the Super League is dead, why would Stan continue to keep a club that is bottom of that power league? Isn’t it time to hand it over and admit that this little stunt was the last roll of the dice for a guy that has absolutely no vision or ideas for a game that has passed him by? Isn’t it time for him to be the bigger man and end this. Give the club to someone that likes sport. Do something fair for the fans. Last time I checked, there are 150,000 people tweeting #KroenkeOut. Cash-out. A group repping a very rich family told me they wanted to buy out Arsenal for £2 billion 3 years ago. There are buyers out there. Maybe this mess might offer them a way out as they struggle with costs and focus with The Rams complex. I’m dreaming, this is about as likely as JP Morgan leaking ‘Stan is selling’ to Talksport.

Outside the consequences for Arsenal. What are the consequences for the idea? What stops this from happening again? Who intervenes? Government? FIFA? UEFA? How can the fans be secure in the knowledge this near miss will be avoided… forever. Who will protect the sanctity of the game?

This was a coup. It failed. The lessons of history tell you that if harsh consequences are not meted out, the bad guys come back for the prize again and again. Football cannot allow this culture crime to slide. UEFA let this happen by not enforcing rules, by bungling TV deals, by being average. Time for them to get tough. Time for some accountability. Time to secure the game.

Before I go, Johnny mentioned an important point on the podcast and so have plenty of people that tweet me and contribute to the website. If the big 12 can plan a breakaway during work hours in a pandemic, don’t tell me they can’t do something big on racism in the game. We just played Slavia Prague and everyone in Europe was hoping we’d beat them because of their abhorrent behaviour that goes unchecked. If we can use the might of Arsenal to cut a mega deal at the expense of our soul, then we can use it to fix something that is still stinking out our game.

The fans won. What a moment. The biggest farce in business history and a win for the little guys. Unbelievable. Have a great day, I hope you’re smiling.

P.S. Special shoutout to the immense work Tim Payton and the AST Team has done on this. If you want to put your money towards a force for good in football, sign up to this link and add your voice to their growing membership.

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Jump to comment form ↓

  1. Peckobill

    Don’t worry about salary caps and all that nonsense jump on the bandwagon with the media , ex players and deluded fans who beat the greedy clubs today , while the financial doped are moving they power even more forward

  2. AFC Forever


    “…loyalty they stuck in after the Qatari World Cup bribe and everyone thought the removal of blatter ended all that the naive fool”

    Football has always been corrupt. Blatter and his cronies had been openly taking bribes for literally decades, Jack Warner didn’t have the brains to hide the excesses, yet nobody did anything about it. UEFA is no better, they have allowed corruption via financial doping, years of clubs organically growing through success and good practice wiped out in an instant. History made irrelevant, as the yo-yo clubs throw away the string.

    Appointing the Qatari to lead the European Club Association is a kick in the bollocks to those of us sick of the spiralling wages, transfer fees & uncompetiveness of football that has finally resulted in a CL with four doped clubs now battling to buy their latest plastic trophy.

  3. AFC Forever


    “Need a salary cap and spending cap. this is out of control”

    Need something mate. The great reset. Fans don’t deserve this, the game belongs to us. Fuck, the money we’ve spent we really do deserve so much better.

  4. Ishola70


    I don’t know where you live or where you come from but it seems you don’t know or are playing dumb as to what the ESL would have entailed when you keep mocking those that opposed the ESL..

    The EPL would have been taken away from England.

    The “rebels” were purely banking on pay per view away from England from Asia etc. It was basically over for the “legacy supporter” Is that what you would really want to see?

    And it’s not all about being the winners. The EPL is competitive overall throughout the league even if you get these few clubs that have a head start every season. And there are repercussions for failure. Nothing of the sort was going to happen in the ESL. It was a closed shop.

    We all know the unfairness of some leagues including the EPL but I’m afraid there is no comparison to what a plastic manufactured league the ESL would have been.

    Arsenal would have been taken away from London sooner rather than later.

    Perhaps you would have been happy though to see the London Gunners take the ESL title playing in Singapore. As long as they win eh.

  5. AFC Forever


    Absolutely, the ESL was batshit crazy lunacy of epic proportions. It fire in the face of everything we live about the game.

    My gripe is the fact that nobody has picked on the fact that we need major reform and thus failed ‘coup’ is the ideal trigger to do that.

    With the Qatari appointment combined with the fact we have 4 doped clubs lo get in the CL, things are getting worse not better.

  6. AFC Forever

    *With the Qatari appointment combined with the fact we have 4 doped clubs left in the CL, things are getting worse not better.

    (Apologies for poor typos!)

  7. Emiratesstroller

    I want to make some final points about Arsenal’s involvement in ESL following some of the adverse comments made to me by supporters of Arsenal and other clubs.

    1. I doubt that Kroenke or the Senior Management of Arsenal were the architects or organisers of the ESL Project. I am pretty sure that project was suggested elsewhere most probably by Real Madrid.

    2. Whilst I was not an enthusiast for the concept I would not have wanted Arsenal to be
    excluded if it had gone ahead. It is inconceivable that any club would have turned down the
    offer if their major competitors in EPL had joined and we did not. Would Arsenal Supporters
    be happy if Chelsea and Spurs had joined and we were excluded?

    3. This brings us to the criteria for inviting clubs to join the league. I doubt that this was based on recent form, because that would have probably excluded Inter Milan, AC Milan,
    Man Utd, Spurs or ourselves. None have won recently the Champions League or Domestic
    Title. Indeed Spurs have not won a Domestic Title since the 1960s.

    4. So the criteria for participating in the project, which has not been discussed very much throughout this debate would have been based on different considerations. The most obvious would be financial clout, heritage, global reach, size of stadium and attendances.
    Based on these factors Arsenal would I am sure qualify as a top 12 club.

    At the end of the day I am glad that this project has not got off the ground, because it would
    have ultimately damaged the EPL and that would be disappointing.

  8. Ishola70


    In good enough time Chelsea and Spurs would not have be indentifiable to you and me playing in the ESL from what we had indentified them as before.

    Do you not care at all about club identity.

    It seems like a few others the small minority that your only narrow viewpoint in this is about Arsenal having a better chance to win. To win big.

  9. AFC Forever


    The kingmakers for the ESL were Real Madrid, Man Utd & Liverpool. Woodward was a former senior banker at JP Morgan and was involved in getting them on board.

  10. gnarleygeorge9

    Pedro has been baring the brunt of some contrary banter on here lately. I must admit I’ve been a tad feisty too. But can I say, in a more positive note, how much better the banter environment on his site is these days. Full credit to the author, it’s a pleasure to come on here again. Well done to all who post on here.

    So in passing, don’t forget The Arsenal has a fixture on against the ‘Yellow Submarine’. COYRRR. Kroenke Out!!!

  11. AFC Forever


    There has to be reform, it’s a financial basket case caused by the uncontrolled spending of the doped. It will happen but it wil be harder to implement when you allow board members of doped clubs, like this Qatari, to have influence in the European football organisations. That’s a recipe for disaster and potential for massive corruption – because we already know the Qataris are partial to a backhander.

  12. AFC Forever


    Yes it is a lot better lately. Pedro does a good job generating interest. He is a bit of a magnet for the hardliners who he seems to trigger for some reason.

    We need to sink that submarine and take Kroenke down with it George!

  13. Emiratesstroller

    Ishola 70

    Chelsea, Man City and to a lesser extent Man Utd are all clubs which have achieved success
    through financial doping

    Arsenal could never be accused of that even under Kroenke.

    My personal view is that football clubs do need to be restructured and there should be as is
    the case in Germany a significant local involvement in the ownership of clubs.

    Also there needs to be a more level playing field with “financial fair play” How that can be
    achieved and regulated properly is of course the million dollar question.

  14. bacaryisgod


    All good points. In fairness to Arsenal, even though we’ve plunged in the league in the last 4 seasons, our overall 10 year track record is not that terrible.

    -6 out of 10 years in the Top 4 and one runner-up finish (unfortunately no Top 4 in the last 4 years)
    -Europa SF in 2018 and Finalists in 2019. Currently in this years’ SF.
    -Always advanced out of group stage in the 6 years we were in Champions League
    -4 F.A Cup wins, all occurring in the last 7 years
    -1 EFL Cup final
    -4 (out of 4) F.A Community Shield wins against Chelsea (twice), Man City and Liverpool

    Ok, so the last two are serious padding, but it does show we’ve mostly remained relevant one way or another over the last 10 years.

    Of course, since 2006, it’s been a mostly miserable decline but I think there’s a footballing case to be made for ESL inclusion even without the global fanbase, stadium, history etc.

  15. HerbsArmy

    Lots of talk about the German model in terms of club ownership, but even though it looks great on the surface, it hasn’t made the Bundesliga competitive.
    There’s no point in being majority shareholders if you still have to surrender your best players to another competitor. It would be better for the rest of Germany if Bayern were put into a super league, they have suffocated German football.
    I hope the protests against Kroenke resonates across the pond, but folk like him have no conscience, so we are clutching at straws if we’re expecting him to sell up and put the best interests of the club first.

  16. Pedro

    Gnarley, when you strip out the things that make conversation shite on here, you get better discourse… glad you like it. Some great additions of late!

  17. Guns of SF

    we can only hope that something positive changes come out of this mess.
    What will UEFA and FIFA do?
    The money trail needs to be clear. The teams on top should get more of the pie, but there needs to be transperancy with all budgets … for all to see.
    UEFA can make positive changes too. They just need to act… they need to try and get fans to believe in them.
    I mean, its one bad guy or another it seems…. but shit, we need a good guy to emerge

  18. TheRoyalArsehole

    Kroenke the Wal-Mart Cuck queen has finally crapped the fuck out. I cannot wait to see the zero transfer kitty waiting for us this summer. He will probably not give two shits about us in any way shape or form and want us to choke on it for stopping the move. He felt he had played a business master stroke and drove his shares through the roof. Would have spent next to nothing on a club and let their history alone place them in the category of super league. Karma is such a sweet sweet mother fucker. His deep heart felt apology he gave today was just so sincere. Wait! He does not give a fuck about this club or any of the fans enough to even give a 2 min bullshitter. That should say it all.

  19. Guns of SF

    Stan was exploiting our club and its history and reputation for an easy pay day. What a great sportsman and business man. Taking a hand out for the elites.
    This fool needs to sell us

  20. Tony

    First off don’t shoot the messenger – give Pedro the respect he deserves for trying to navigate through this mess. He was in a no win situation and tried to deliver facts as they were appearing.
    Remember all the times previously you have read Pedro’s pots and told him how good they were and how much they made sense. Just cut him some slack on this lads.

    Now if Pedro resumes his Arteta is the generational one tact, then still keep the bantz respectful, but consider hunting season open again. I know I will.

    A super league is coming; it’s the next step in truly globalizing football.

    For me it’s the way a super league is thought out and how it can improve football particularly from grass roots level.

    Being of an older generation supporting The Arsenal for more than 50 years nostalgia tends to be my go to place when things are so dire at the club in the way it’s run with little thought for the fans and future of the club or during the roller coaster decades of the 60s, 70s and so on.

    The club owning billionaires remind me of the Orwellian driven movie Rollerball where corporations fought each other in a vicious roller skating with a ball game. It wasn’t so much the futuristic game where players were out to kill and maim opposing team players, but what shook me back in 1975 was the way the baying-for-blood spectators recreating a modern day gladiators kill or be killed to win at all costs. It was shock to the system for us who were brought up on free love and hippy power that was the atmosphere we grew up in.

    Ok, we’re not close to that happening and hopefully never will be, but movies are often windows to the future that have a habit of becoming real life, such as space travel to Mars and the Moon.

    The last few days represented a glimpse of the future albeit one of great avarice by people so far removed from the game and who never understood the game in the first place.

    These billionaires don’t need the money to live their exorbitant lives. They have enough for many lifetimes; they just want to win because pretty much they’ve been winning all their lives where their successful exploits have allowed them to buy their way to whatever they want and out of most of the troubles they land themselves in because money buys them almost anything g on the planet. Most countries have had their own Kennedy family where their wealth was amassed from nefarious means, are todays billionaire club members any different?

    Jeff Bezos doesn’t want to pay his Amazon workers livable wages or give work contracts that offers a modicum of job security if press reports are to be believed. £113 billion just isn’t enough for Bezos it would seem. Cutbacks are still needed to squeeze people trying to survive on pennies instead of pounds for the needy Bezos coffers.

    What of the middle east football involvement from countries, such as Qatar? Do they know what it’s like to scrimp and save to stand on the cold, wet and windy terraces with their fathers, brothers and uncles?

    Has sheik whatever his name might be ever really played the game in a league at any level? Probably, if he has, it would be sand football six a side or maybe at Eton, Harrow or similar during PE lessons hating every minute of it because a lumbering BoJo has just wiped a sheik in a full body tackle claiming he forgot he was playing football instead of rugger.

    A jolly tease all round, what? haha. Ooops get the nurse? Or will it require and ambulance sir? I don’t think his leg is meant to face two directions at the same time. Smart lad that Boris, he’ll go far with his dad clearing up perpetual messes behind him.

    I digress.

    If UEFA and FIFA along with the European FAs got together with the AST and their counterparts in other countries, the future of football could be worked out and the profits fairly distributed throughout the game, as I mentioned from grass roots to owners deep pockets.

    Anyone here who has had to live in the committees’ world of operations will know how difficult it is to find complete accord all round that meets everyone’s need and expectations.

    Working out the future of football in going to take time because of the potential billions or trillions that can be made from the game from the billions who love the game now and in the future.

    Because of this there needs to be some form of structured independent policing of the game away from the governing bodies. Something like the police Internal Affairs who police the police, but in this case to police football continually looking to eradicate corruption from the game.

    Generally people hate change it messes with their settled pictures of how things are and how it works for them.

    Change, especially in football needs change over several years not some ill thought out bull-in-a-china-shop approach we’ve just witnessed, as a poor last ditched attempt for Perez to solve his club’s insolvency issues; ditto Barca, Juve and the Milans.

    The efficient German clubs are too well run to need to sell their football souls and heritage.

    In fact the German blueprint for their clubs being owned and part owned by its supporters is a model that should be looked at as the future of football.

    A universally accepted blueprint for the next evolutionary step in football should come in steps people can absorb and accept and let’s not forget enjoy!

    Turning world football into continental super leagues that relies on their own player feeder systems from within their leagues is a task that needs to be undertaken not by wrinkly old men trying to satisfy their lust to be bigger, richer and more powerful than their foes, but from people in their 40s who understand what the games has meant and means to people now.

    It needs people who can also identify with supporters from the working class masses to the upper classes and people to be able to work a workable system from Sunday morning and school/junior football through the minor leagues and up to the super clubs.

    Why do we need change? Because football is becoming stale and mechanical losing its way in the jungle of money and parasites both on and off the pitch.

    The institution of football is dying.

    Just look at The FA cup and how it’s been devalued where once those of us fortunate not to work weekends used to set aside most of the day to watch the warm up TV coverages that often started mid morning and ran until early evening. Those that did work had radios with an earphone we’d try to hide stuck in our ears or more senior people would hide in the board rooms watching a TV normally used for presentations or similar.

    So to recap my view is that change is necessary for football to develop without losing its identity, excitement and being able to be part of a tribal following united in wanting our chosen club to win titles, cups and bragging rights to banter.

    When was the last time our fans were united behind the club in the same way of the pervious decades?

    Fans couldn’t even agree on banning the ESL with fans, such as disingenuous ES who wanted an ESL no matter what because he didn’t want our club left behind.

    It didn’t matter whether we merited a place in the big 6 or not, so in reality ES was no different in his attitude than the Kronkes; ES wanted it all at the expense of others who deserved their CL place on merit and not a long forgotten history that never amounted to anything with us often us not getting out of the group CL stages.

    Watch ES backtrack over the ensuing days along with others that supported the ESL cause.

    We’ve been a divided fan base since Wenger regressed and DD left.

    It’s time for the fans to unite in letting Stan know our feelings. ﹟We Care. do you seemed to upset poor little Josh, so starting with that would be good. I doubt we’ll have enough to make Stan sell but the fans can continually remind the old fool he’s not wanted.

    Maybe the message will get through in the end before Stan pops his clogs and hangs up his wigs.

  21. Sid

    The ESL is a missed opportunity to move football to the next generation, the same way today we dont have the model we had after WW1 when i was a young man back from the war.

  22. Habesha Gooner

    I am very late to the post apparently. But Pedro, I have never seen anyone flip flop between two ideas in 3 days like you have. Either you thought the super league was great as you hinted in your last post or it goes against the sanctity of the game. Which is it.

  23. China1

    I bet if we’d have been given a 340m dump of cash artetas transfers kitty would’ve grown from 30m to 70m.

    If we’re lucky

  24. China1

    Sid which regiment were you in? Pretty sure I walked past you in the trenches by the Somme???

    I was that guy with the rifle and helmet and soggy boots

  25. China1

    Sid no no you’re thinking of my twin brother.

    I was definitely there. You don’t remember seeing me? That guy in Europe with a helmet and soggy boots?

  26. jwl

    Habesha Gooner – read yesterday post again, “grim” is in title and first sentence starts “The biggest heist in football history is underway”. All Pedro did yesterday was tell us what senior football people are saying.

  27. Tony

    Kudos to you for your diplomatic career for 30 odd years.

    Certainly goes to your strength of character here where in some ways not surprising.

    Would have thought what you’ve witnessed there’s enough for a novel or biog?

    A Dutch friend here was in bomb disposal and has stories of utter wow factor to abject stupidity.

    If he ever sobers up, he could write a fascinating book.

    Shame because he’s a real character. We’ve run out of ways to help him so just keep an eye on him.

    He has to admit to his problems before he’s ready for any detox.

  28. China1

    I blame Xhaka and Pedro for the ESL and I’m personally expecting reparations for the distress caused with whatever money JPMorgan wired to Pedro

  29. China1

    I suspect bellerin was in on it as well. Using that JPMorgan wonga to pay for third world slave children to make him a new silly pair of clown trousers

    The absolute fiend

  30. Tony

    I’m curious what you expected from Pedro?

    A post that matched your thinking?

    I don’t know about you guys, but when the news broke my brain was spinning trying to see pros and cons for both sides of the argument.

    In the end I had the luxury of wanting more information over the next few days before pleading my allegiance to either side.

    Pedro didn’t have that choice.

    What would you have said if Pedro wrote a sitting on the fence post?

    This issue isn’t whether we should fire the generational one, it’s the biggest plan for change since the premier league was started.

    Was Pedro whose life is driven by his love of Arsenal not allowed to be affected by his own emotions? Like you both clearly have been?

    What I read from Pedro’s posts was this.

    Day 1
    Pedro was incandescent as most of us were and was against the whole thing,but also trying to get the facts across.

    Pedro doesn’t have researchers and has a job that doesn’t conform to normal working hours.

    Knowing the outcry here if no post was forthcoming Pedro did what he could only do and talk to people he trusted to update him. This assault on football was evolving as was the movement against.

    Pedro said the ESL was inevitable and reported his sourced material. Pedro seemed to me to be more resigned to the inevitable in his post than saying he was now for the ESL.

    Day 3
    No one rally knows what made the Big 6 fold and leave the table. They did and Pedro wrote a post supporting his first post’s views.

    Pedro may have mixed a bit of fantasy with real facts showing relief it was over, as he had expected the fiasco to roll for many weeks in the courts at least.

    Any harm or foul in that? Not for me.

    Throw all the respectful banter you want at Pedro, he’ll give as good as he gets, but with the really serious issues like what’s just unfolded afford Pedro the respect he deserves from running this blog for over a decade and remember he’s human and has deep running Arsenal emotions like you and me.

  31. jwl

    Tony – i dont have any problems with Pedros last few posts, i agree pedro was just trying to figure out what happening.

    Habesha Gooner – i think we disagree about tone of posts? Pedro not a bomb thrower unless he talking about Emery while i think you wanted something more with blood and thunder about scoundrel kroenke.

  32. Tony

    Cool JWL.
    Most of us know where the line between banter and disrespect is here even if it is difficult keeping the right side of it.

    I’ve certainly been hovering over the line over the years.

  33. Pierre

    Looking at the stats for our strikers for this season on whoscored, this is what they show in the Premier league and Europe ( they do not show detailed stats for fa Cup and league cup)

    Eddie 133 mins per goal
    Aub .199 mins per goal
    Laca 141 min per goal
    Martinelli 456 mins per goal (Martinelli has only played 456 mins this season)…

    Pass percentage
    Eddie 80.7
    Aub 77.5
    Lacazette 77.3
    Martinelli 75.1

    Eddie assist every 802 minutes
    Aubamayang an assist every 1,198 minutes
    Lacazette an assist every 1,135 minutes.
    Martinelli no assists in 406 minutes

    So the figures may surprise many on Le Grove ( not me ).

    This season,
    Eddie has scored at a faster rate than his counterparts.
    Maintains possession better than his counterparts .
    Assists at a faster rate than his counterparts..

    Eddie would be on 18 goals and 3 assists in the Premier league and europa if he had played the same amount of mins as Aubamayang, who has 12 goals and 2 assists .

    Lacazette would be on 17 goals and 2assidts with the same amount of game time…

    Taking into consideration that Eddie hasn’t started in the league or europa since December, and we can all remember how our creativity was Zero during the period when Eddie played, then it is quite remarkable that Eddie’s figures are better in every area than our 2 main strikers , who cost the club 110 million..

    I say put Eddie alongside Smith Rowe, Saka and pepe/Martinelli and he will produce…

  34. Arsnil

    The German clubs don’t get involved because fans by law have to own a 51% stake of the club. Greedy leecherous owners at most can have 49%

  35. TR7


    ‘Taking into consideration that Eddie hasn’t started in the league or europa since December, and we can all remember how our creativity was Zero during the period when Eddie played, then it is quite remarkable that Eddie’s figures are better in every area than our 2 main strikers , who cost the club 110 million..’

    Laca with his overall game brings the likes of ESR, Saka and Odegaard in to play something Nketiah is not capable of, at least not as of now. Nketiah has good movement off the ball but doesn’t have the overall game to complement other players. He can’t link up or hold the ball up for long.

  36. Terraloon


    As you say change is inevitable be it wanted or not it’s coming.

    Having read your comments not just once but twice it’s your reference to how the billionaire owners don’t lose is so true so the question that keeps coming into my thoughts is did this play out near enough as they anticipated? I can’t but help think that in terms of personal attacks they probably don’t care and all won’t shed one tear if some of the execs at their Football clubs are sacrificed .
    Big business relies on focus groups or the like and the owners of the clubs surely didn’t go blind into all this. I find that impossible to accept.

    As an aside read this posting from AC Milans supporters groups far more relevant than the slapping on the backs that’s been going on here.

    “Honestly, it makes us laugh to see all those people in the control room of football suddenly claim we fans are first and foremost.
    “The Super League is just the latest in a long line of innumerable manoeuvres over decades that has made football into a business.
    “The birth of this new competition would certainly be another shove to the football of old, which is by now a distant memory, and will inevitably obscure the tradition of the various national leagues, robbing football of the undeniable principle of sporting meritocracy.
    “But the thing that most leaves us indignant is the hypocrisy of all those who contributed to making this sport nothing but a business, those who today stand up in name of the fans, but only because they saw their remunerative and seemingly untouchable project fall apart.
    “Football did belong to the people until the 1990s, when the Champions League was born, destroying the old European Cup. From that moment, an unbreachable chasm has been created between the big and small clubs.
    “Football did belong to the people even when nobody lifted a finger to stop the increase of ticket prices that was imposed by some Presidents.
    “Football did belong to the people even when nobody stepped in to stop the rise of the super agents, who took player salaries to ever more astronomical figures, which could only be sustained with TV rights, the same TV companies that imposed increasingly chaotic fixture lists, with games on improbable days and kick-off times.
    “Football did belong to the people even when rules were imposed to stop any rapport between the players and the fans.
    “Football did belong to the people even when Supercoppa Finals were played on other continents or the dates of some games were changed a few days before kick-off, damaging those fans who had booked trains or planes to get to the stadium.
    “Football did belong to the people even when some clubs were allowed to circumvent Financial Fair Play, while others with less influential Presidents were penalised.
    “Football did belong to the people even when the World Cup was forced to Qatar in 2022, despite moving the entire calendar and disregarding human rights violations.
    “We could list numerous other examples to show the absolute hypocrisy of the words we’re hearing from the football chiefs over the last 48 hours.
    “The Super League is just the latest disgusting step, but those who took football to this point are no less grotesque, so save us these ludicrous performances of rhetoric and morality.
    “Now that the money is running out, feel free to fight it out between yourselves, but don’t you dare name the fans. PIGS!”

  37. Kroenkephobe

    Hiya Tony

    Good piece again. You’re getting up a fine head of steam mate. I was intrigued by your linkage of Orwell (presumably 1984) and Rollerball. Simon Hattenstone wrote a fantastic piece in the Guardian last week suggesting that Orwell’s forecast of never ending conflict involving 3 rotating superpowers was on the verge of becoming reality (China, US and Russia). The plotline of Rollerball was similar in rhat it was warring cities as I recall. James Casn was almost as good in that film as when he played Sonny Corleone.

    I love a bit of dystopian literature. Orwell wrote a variety of stuff but for pure sci-fi I love Philip K Dick and JG Ballard.

    On the football, I’m having to try hard not to think that the season has already ended following the ESL fiasco. I’ve no enthusiasm whatsoever for tomorrow’s game and am just about to suspends my subscription. A dog of a season – feels like the worst one I can remember.

  38. Valentin

    How to improve football in Europe:

    + Force every professional club to be registered as the new European Sport Entity. Set the accounting rules under which they must operate.

    + Impose to have at least 1 fan representative advocate sitting on their board.

    + Set restriction on what a European Sport legal entity can and cannot do. For example no Dividend, higher structure or direct owners in the case of operational loss.

    + Implement strong FFP: for example Ban from spending above 55% of their revenue onto football matter: salary, players fee, agents fee

    + Obligation to buy and sell players via a FIFA clearing house system (less possibility of back hander)

    + Limit the fees than an agent can perceived as percentage of transaction

    + all agents have to be registered to a central database. Make the obligation to behave ethically and legally a central clause of their registration. Any agent who break the rules can be suspended and banned permanently.

    + Redistribute TV rights transparently

    + Impose percentage of coaches with badges to clubs and FA including youth team coach. That can be a gradual increase per country until the number adds up.

    + Make coaching program cheaper and more accessible

    + Impose the local FA and clubs to either have facilities of specific quality level based on their revenue. No more premiership club with poor academy/stadium because everything has been put in the players and their extravagant cars. Portsmouth was a classic example.

  39. Ishola70

    For those that wanted Arsenal in the ESL you need to hope that the planning of it is carried out better in the future. It has been a fiasco from them.

    Then you will be able to celebrate Arsenal’s entrance into the elite along with the final shot in the head for football overall.

  40. Kroenkephobe

    Hi Valentin

    Some good ideas there. In Ingerland, many of those proposals would go against Pedro’s new friend Bojo’s right wing instincts. On another point, what do you think about the idea of a salary cap? I know there is a downside but a cap would cover off some of your ideas.

    A weird old week, possibly the weirdest since I first became addicted to this fuckng sport. I was almost (almost! ) feeling solidarity with the burghers of N17 and the other four for a while. Glad that’s now passed.

  41. Terraloon


    Most of your suggestions are sadly already in place .

    For instance agents already have to be registered ,have maximum fees set, but the one thing that needs to be changed is that the clubs should not undertake to pay players fees they should fall squarely on the players and not be added in as a benefit in kind.

    The PL and indeed UEFA license requirements deal significantly with academy and % of income paid in wages.

    All transfers and fees already are cleared through the FA and of course UEFA all under the control of FIFA. Most people think that when say Arsenal bought sat Leno that Arsenal just paid the money direct . That’s not how it happens. The contract will have been lodged with the FA along with the agreed payments.

    As for dividends good luck with that one because few clubs actually pay dividends to shareholders but as they say there’s more than one way of skinning a cat . For instance invoiced sums for say consultancy fees or services sub contracted from a subsidiary or holding company that can pay dividends.

    As for an overall salary cap again good luck with that one because there are so many ways around that one as it’s easier to have conformity without one. Before the abolition of the maximum wage players wife’s often found lucrative and overpaid jobs in business not directly associated with the club but a friend of a friend who in turn suddenly got some business from the club.

    My working life was in the tax field and you would be astounded how just an average working man found around the rules but when you add in the experts in the field they will find loop holes that are ingenious or just as often basic as a payment to grandma

  42. Valentin


    The 55% limit is in effect a variable salary cap. It is proportional to the size of the club. A fixed limit is kind of bad tool. Too low and it is unfair to bigger clubs. Too Great and smaller clubs will see that as a target that will later drown them in debt.

    If a club is able to increase his commercial revenue in a fairly manner, which means no fake contract with companies linked to the owner, then it does make sense to let them spend more money than smaller clubs. It forces them to try to grow organically. And the surest way to grow organically is to win on the pitch. Grow, buy better players.

    The other point on which I will insist is the next season completion rule. In France the DNCG (The French Professional Sport regulator) demands that a club proves at the beginning of each season that it will be able to financially complete the season. So you do not have club entering administration mid way through a season causing all sort of trouble.

  43. Tony

    That was my 1984/Orwell intended thinking. I hadn’t read the guardian piece you mentioned, but I agree with what you’ve said.

    Was a great movie for its time and James Caan was superb in it and radically different character from the 1992 Godfather 1 as Sonny. In Rollerball Caan proved he wasn’t a one trick pony only suited to mafia movies.

    Have to say Caan’s son is wooden in Hawaii 5.0. Only watched 5 minutes and left the room it was on TV. Hervé Villechaize )Tattoo from Fantasy Island had better acting chops.

    Football wise I know how you feel, but I just can’t let go no matter how I feel or how bad it gets. I’ll watch the game around 6:30 Saturday morning with my son where his enthusiasm is contagious and to be fair although I don’t feel like watching now, come kick off I’ll be front and center in the cinema. My son has read about the ESL debacle and asked plenty of questions to which I gave him honest answers (Pierre pipe down there’s a good chap).

    Hopefully you’ll feel that way, too.

    It didn’t seem to affect him as he has little history with the club: about 5 years.

    He’s loving our youth players and Pepe and wants a Martinelli shirt.

    He made up his own mind on Arteta as he did Wenger’s last years. He’s seen all of Wenger’s glory years from the Internet as he wanted to know everything before he came to a conclusion.

  44. Aussie+Gooner

    One thing that this European Stupor League debacle has confirmed is that our owners regard Arsenal as a brand to be sold and exploited at will. It is like a long established independent family brewery producing award winning beers being taken over by a multi-national conglomerate; the brewery is closed, workers made redundant and brewing moved to a mega keg brewery in Europe. The beer names still appear on the pump clips but it is a very different, inferior product. Welcome to the new Arsenal! Cheers!

  45. Terraloon


    Again clubs in the UK already have to do much the same but it’s far more dynamic than once a year . I believe it’s six monthly forecasts and proof of funding but alas most of those forecasts are based on revenue from others and if those others go ping then there is a domino effect

  46. Valentin


    Most of the rules regarding agents are suggestion not necessarily legally binding. Mino Raiola regularly breaks the rules, get a small slap on the wrist and continue working even when banned.

    I would also ban the payments of transfer intermediary services, unless actual work can be proven. If somebody provide a scouting report that lead to the purchase of a player then it make sense. But often it is just a way to bypass agent restrictions. For example Jia is not a registered agent, yet Arsenal did pay for his services as transfer consultant to bypass the rules.

    Payments in Kind for a player paid by clubs should stop, because it only invite agents to pad their fees without an increase of services.

    I would also force agents to have a tariff grid. In most case there is no valid work justification why a renewal for a £100 millions player is more expensive than the renewal for £20 millions player.

    And yes I agree, forcing players to pay agents out of their pocket would a step in the right direction. A few players will suddenly realise the size of the leech attached to their back.

  47. Valentin


    No, completion rule was never fully implemented in England. It exists retrospectively in the sense that club are warned that they will be punished and dodge points. Look at the number of clubs especially in League 1 and 2 who know that they won’t be able to pay the salary without extra cash injection or an extra long televised run in a domestic cup.

    The system I am suggesting is in advance. BEFORE the season every club has to provide financial and accounting statements proving that under normal circumstances they will be able to fulfill their financial obligation and fixtures.

  48. AFC Forever

    Tony, Terraloon, Valentin

    Very interesting comments I am pleased so many agree with what I have been saying for days, that football needs massive reform. The great game has been turned. Into a closed shop where competition for the top honours is decided by who spends the most. Barcelona & Real Madrid are in so much debt trying to keep their place at the top table that they face bankruptcy. Owners like Kroenke are never going to do that so we will be also rams while the oil states continue to push up transfers and wages. This creates a massively tiered system that wil continue to get worse until we’re left with bust clubs and the Champions becoming a predictable formality. The losers are the fans.

    The only way to control excessive & unrealistic spending is to have a mechanism in place, perhaps wage or transfer fee caps or limits on number of signings. But is it workable? FFP failed because it protected the big clubs & was open to ‘fidfling’ Wenger warned about that, he said the easiest way would be to manipulated sponsorship money – his foresight materialised years later when Ma City & Etihad were caught doing that.

    Fans didn’t want World Cups being given to countries like Qatar through corruption We didn’t want a champions League semi final with 4 doped teams contesting. We didn’t want the incompetent management of VAR ruining the sport. And we certainly didn’t want the ESL.

    So what do we want? We want the game given back to the fans and taken away from the billionaires, beurocrats & bean counters. We want competiveness, integrity and an end to the spiralling costs that has removed sporting merit & replaced it with pure greed. It has been and always will be the fans game, but without regulatory control or a commitment to bringing back organic, competive football, then football will fall on its sword.

    Football isn’t about 12 clubs. It is about a global sport that once belonged to the working class not an Arab, Russian or American billionaire that thinks they can buy trophies like they can buy everything else while we dip into our hard earned cash to support a toy for the elite.

  49. Valentin


    Also a tax system can be implemented in a way that the burden of proof is reversed. For example if you have an expense and no paper to back it up. The government can say we believe that it is a fraudulent payment, you then have to prove that it is a legitimate payment.

    That’s the way most companies behave toward employees when they attempt to claim back expenses, especially on company credit card. A friend of mine while in Indonesia for work had to have his PC repaired by a company called Tittiesbar Inc, his expense was refused. He had to prove that it was a computer repair shop based on the name of the owner. The onus was on him to prove his innocence. He became famous across the expense team as the Tittiesbar man. His story finished well, because he married one of the women working in that department.

  50. AFC Forever

    Anyone see the proposal on a graded transfer system?

    How it works:

    Clubs are restricted on the number of ‘top graded’ players they can have in their squad. This is combined with a home grown and academy incentive to ensure young players have opportunity. In other words it prevents a club from having the 11 best players. The reason for the grading was because spending limits based on turnover was easy to fiddle with sponsorship arrangements & of course the wealthy could buy anyone.

    Players are graded on ability or transfer value with limits in place. So, for example, Man City can only have X number of grade A, B, C players etc in their squad and a combination there of. The idea was to prevent Mahrez going to Man City because they already had their limit. I may not have explained it accurately but it was quite clever.

    In the NFL they use the draft system as a balancing measure, I’m not American but that seems to work to some degree.

  51. Aussie+Gooner

    “Arsenal CEO Vinai Venkatesham has reportedly spent Wednesday phoning Premier League chiefs to apologise for his club’s actions with regards to the failed European Super League.”

    Vinai’s grovelling apology – oh to have been a fly on the wall! He should be the first one thrown under the bus by the Krankies!

  52. Dissenter

    It’s shameful that you’re setting up Vinai to take a position that you endorsed
    The ESL was a move by the owners, not the club’s employees.

    Before you say Bob Woodward, he wasn’t just another CEO so don’t compare him with Vinai.

    It’s a classless move to be pushing Vinai to the exit when you know this has little to do with him.

  53. Dissenter

    Regarding Pierre’s renewed passion for Nkettiah

    If you had bilateral cataracts and a tumor in your visual cortex, you’ll believe Nkettiah is as good as Pierre is peddling.

    We’ve see enough of Edie to know he;s too limited to make it at Arsenal.

  54. China1

    Haha dissenter harsh

    Tbf to Eddie irrespective of the fact I’m not expecting him to make it at arsenal, it takes strong character to get binned off like that come back for a few mins and steal us a draw from the clutches of defeat as a young player. Credit to him

    I’ve always said I suspect Eddie is going to have a very decent career but because of his physical limitations at the moment he will be a late bloomer at senior level. He will be a 15-20 goals a season player every season for a mid level PL club in his mid 20s imo. But can we wait for that?

  55. China1

    Aussie they will sack Vinai only after he’s finished doing his round of apologies so they don’t need to


  56. China1

    AFC who determines the grading of a player tho

    Transfer value is subjective and statistics are often highly misleading. Compare vanishing act assist king ozil with legendary playmaker Bergkamp to see evidence of that

    But look I don’t have a problem with the idea of principle I’m just not sure if it can be really well created. But if they can and there’s less doping and more chances for home grown and youngsters fine by me

  57. China1

    Pedro was bigging up gazidis’ work at Milan when arguing with me a few weeks back

    Much like an elephant Pedro, I am tall, ugly and never forget.

  58. China1

    Eddie is a poacher through and through

    But I think as he gets older at this level he’ll become smarter and add a bit more to his game as it’s not enough in the PL unless you’re a 30 goal a season poacher which he’s nowhere near for now