Welcome to Tuesday!
The ownership rumours are still swirling, and though I was extremely wrong about the Super League 48 hours, I’m not sure I’ll be so off the mark about KSE switching out to Swedish ownership.
There have been a few rumours that well-connected people have heard Stan is willing to sell. I just can’t see that sort of info finding its way towards Arsenal fans. Stan doesn’t roll in crowds that leak to proles. JP Morgan doesn’t have an insider that runs @Gooner4564. If a deal was going to happen, it’d happen in silence.
More to the point, the Super League might be dead, but I think we’re all living in la la land if we believe that billionaires are going to accept what the fans think and move on. They tried a takeover with force, they failed, and they’ll be back with a subtler type of move… as always.
In a week of fan outrage about competition, Arsenal, Villareal and Roma are about to fight Manchester United for a Champions League spot.
Manchester United failed to make it out of their groups in the richest competition in the world, and they’ve been given a shot in a totally separate trophy just because. It’s outrageous, but it’s a parachute payment for rich clubs.
Even more amusing for me, a week after German clubs said no to the Super League, RB Leipzig lost their head coach to Bayern.
Football is full of hypocrisy.
Stan K lost the battle, but the war rages on, and if there was £500m there last week, there will be 12 billionaire owners chasing it down this week.
The bigger hope for Arsenal fans is that when Stan hands the keys to Josh in the future, the son sells it for an easier life on a yacht.
It’s quite interesting to read Arsenal fans fuss over Daniel Ek. We’re hunting out billionaires like we search out our coffee beans in Crouch End. The checklist is long and idealistic. We’re looking for organic, fair trade, farm assured, low carbon footprint, with packaging that can double as a mini-tote bag. Spotify giving musicians a bum deal is deeply unfair in a business that has been built on being deeply unfair since time began. The Arsenal community is probably the most creative football community out there, the fanbase in North London is a who’s who of culture, art, music and advertising… so clearly, as matches go, the guy treating musicians badly is going to have a section of the fanbase raging.
… but. Could be worse, right? Hard to make a billion being pleasant. You could be minimum wage merchants. You could have a fortune built off government subsidies from your Eton mates. We’ve had someone in accused of mafia-like crimes. Money repped by royalty with human rights abuses to their names are in abundance. We have folk that stole the wealth of their nations. There’s a bad bunch involved in football. Where do you stop with ownership? Even going back to the past, we’ve had diamond dealers, which doesn’t exactly have a rep for being pleasant.
It’s hard to be at one with football and avoid soiling your principles.
If we were to move past the clear issues. The thing that’s appealing about someone who works in tech is their approach to survive has to be innovative, future-facing, and fast. Add to that, bold.
I’ve worked with Spotify in the past. Firstly, you cannot get over the scale of a business like that. The complexities they deal with, the volume of things that have to be done, and the standard of person you have to hire to stay at the top.
Though the tech industry has its issues, you’d totally welcome the data-centric approach at Arsenal. You’d welcome the ruthless approach to finding the best talent and then finding the best model to allow it to flourish. The thing you’d be most excited is the competitive nature of the game, they’re all about rapid expansion and retention. To do that, they need the best product with the most innovative features.
If Arsenal is content, working with one of the most ruthlessly competitive distribtion platforms is probably not a bad partner to have. Outside just the technical stuff, Spotify is very, very attuned to the next generation of money spenders. When everyone in the world was saying the kids can’t concentrate for longer than 16 second, Spotify signed the guy making 3 hour podcasts as part of a doubling down of longform content.
Have my doubts you’d ever hear Daniel Ek say, ‘young people don’t watch football.’
Bigger picture: Imagine someone showing Arsenal the care Spotify shows to its product?
Talking of care, there’s a lot of chatter about the summer Arsenal are planning.
The best news post-Super League is that KSE is going to invest. Seems silly for me to mention that, but for Arsenal to sell, other clubs need to know we have money. Last summer, we were lowballed for good players because everyone could taste the blood of a bleeding P&L in the Colney water fountain. If clubs know we don’t need to see to spend, there will hopefully be less flapping around.
There is hope we could shift £100m worth of talent. Hector, Torriera, Guendouzi, Willock, Reiss and Eddie alone should bring in enough revenue for a reshape. There are also big earners dropping out the other side as well. David Luiz, Alex Lacazette, and the dregs of Mesut Ozil will be leaving the wage bill.
No doubt we still have some contract work to do, but it won’t be Auba levels like it was last season.
There’s also some work to do with the PR of this summer.
Are we shooting to win the Champions League in 2 years?
Or will the club have a smarter view on how they promote the vision?
We’ll have to see what the inward signings look like, my hope is we’re moving away from old men and building back to the top with a youthful zest.
Who knows whether that’ll happen, but one thing is clear, if they botch the way they communicate that, next season will be painful in the stadium.
There’s still some way to go in the season. We’re going to Spain tomorrow to see what Unai Emery’s new side looks like up close.
I’m dreading it. Not gonna lie. Chukwueze masterclass against Granit Xhaka. Unai Emery sliding 46 feet on his knees to lift his button-down shirt to reveal the message, ‘GOOD EBENING.’
Ugh, just did a bit of sick in my mouth.
The karmic forces are rounding on me.
At least I’m in America.
More on that game tomorrow. For now, let’s chat in the comments. x