by .

Arsenal finances dropped and I have no time to analyse, needless to say, it was not a great year. Our wages topped out at nearly £240m, our players sales were pitiful, and covid left us with one of the most painful losses in Europe this season (£127m)

Some interesting snippets?

KSE took over the loan from Barclays and didn’t call it in. That means it’s their money that they are putting in, though it is essentially only relevant if there is a next owner.

This is particularly pertinent as Chelsea’s owner is under some stress because all his, you know, direct ties to a nutcase dictator. The football angle is Chelsea might be tough to own moving forward, the Arsenal loan segue is that if Abramovich sells, he’ll expect the £1.5b in loans he gave the club to come back to him. Quite a steep ask, wouldn’t you say? I don’t think KSE giving Arsenal loans matters in the grand scheme of things, they have the fanciest stadium in the world, and the 2nd biggest collection of clubs… it only matters if they sell.

The next thing that was interesting to me was the Arsenal have accrued the 3rd highest player sales over 6 years. Ain’t that mad? VERY MAD. All I can remember is Iwobi? £213m seems high. What is going on here?

The number the AST will be looking at is the 55% increase in broadcast revenue to £184m. I think they have every right to ask ‘why are you putting season ticket prices up?’

The worrying trend is that we’re now 6th for revenue in the league. £40m below Spurs. £150m behind the big three in the league. That is striking. It also tells you why Vinai will bend over for dodgy crypto products like Socios. This is part of an issue a decade in the making, that I wrote about extensively. If the product you are selling is football, and the football doesn’t deliver big trophies, sponsors won’t buy into it.

What ‘story’ were Arsenal selling over the last decade?

‘Top 4 supremacy, no chance of competing, Mustafi with the BIG slide tackle’

Arsenal now HAS a story worth selling. I really hope the commercial folk at Arsenal lean in hard with sponsors. Arsenal is the most exciting project in Europe right now. Young players SELL sponsors. Young innovative coaches that has high standards is a selling point. Progress up the table SELLS. Add that all into the mixer with LONDON as the backdrop and your start to get into a sexy position.

At a base level, what is our next Amazon deal going to look like if we make CL? That is some blockbuster TV right there.  The Arsenal story this season, so far, is going to look very good.

Arsenal need to strike while the focus is there, we’re not selling top 4 mediocrity now, we’re selling a young team that is going back to the top. Arsenal need to make the sales guys work for their bonuses, which can’t be high, because clearly they aren’t doing that well.

This little graphic is doing the rounds on Reddit.

England is incredibly tribal when it comes to football. You are raised on football as a point of pride. You inherently dislike certain fans, you have disgust for certain clubs, you don’t like certain players. You are CONSTANTLY having your views of the game influenced by those around you. The idea that the birthplace make-up of these refs doesn’t feed into the ‘unconscious’ bias is laughable.

There are deeper bias issues that go on. The worst is hierarchical. An example of this in action is PGMOL apologizing to Frank Lampard, second generation football establishment royalty, complaining about a handball. Did Arteta get that treatment for worse decisions? No.

The whole institution needs to be ripped down. There are no redeeming features.

Arteta also needs to learn how to bully the refs. Politeness doesn’t work. Dopes only respond to aggression. Frank Lampard went aggressive and he landed a phone call and he’ll probably get nice decisions going forward. Arteta could learn something there.

More charts?

Arsenal creating chances through… the middle?

Amazing what a few choice signings can do for how balances the side it. We actively seemed to avoid the middle of the park last season, donut football… we were one of the worst teams in the league through the middle.

The progress is real…

Right, that’s me done. Put down everything you are doing and listen to the podcast.

99 Responses to “MONEY MONEY MONEY”

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  1. MidwestGun

    All the financials means to me.. as a fan is we are no longer on a self sustaining model.. Up to Kroenke Now. Hopefully he will come through.. as him selling the team now just got harder for a legitimate offer to come in that would cover his loan investments and what he thinks the net worth of the team is. currently..

    That offer by EK last summer was not even close, in my opinion, bordering on a joke offer. 3 bills might not even get it done.

  2. Pedro

    Midwest, you are right, I know someone who was close to that whole Ek thing and he didn’t have a clue.

  3. Northbanker

    Bankz- I really don’t get why you seem to get off on being the first to post. You presumably don’t read the post and you must spend God knows how much time just logging in to check for new posts

  4. Northbanker

    The Ek offer would have been highly leveraged and been disastrous for Arsenal. I genuinely believe Kroenke looks AG his clubs as a legacy he will leave his heirs
    Would love to know how he generates his cash

  5. AFC Forever


    Yes, I think you’re right.

    However this snapshot from Swiss Ramble puts some perspective on the numbers:-

    1. 2021 loss was clearly driven by COVID, but significant investment in the squad also played a part.

    2. £127m loss is not great, but there are some positive signs. Match day income should return to pre-pandemic levels, the wage bill will fall after many high profile departures and there will be no repeat of once-off debt refinancing (which will lower interest payments).

    3. As matches were played without fans ARSENAL lost a key revenue stream, putting them at a big disadvantage compared to others. To illustrate the importance of matchday revenue, it accounted for 23% of the club’s revenue in 2019/20, the second-highest in the Premier League. In comparison, Spurs 24%, Man Utd 17%, Liverpool 15%, Chelsea 13% and Man City 9%.

  6. MidwestGun

    I don’t know the details of Stan’s personal balance sheet. But I do know he owns 60 million square miles of real estate that he charges Walmart to sit on. So lease money. That has to generate a lot of cash.. Plus he owns a ginormous amount of beef cattle. The price of beef is astronomical right now.

  7. Jonnygunner

    NorthbankerMarch 1, 2022 21:12:24
    Bankz- I really don’t get why you seem to get off on being the first to post. You presumably don’t read the post and you must spend God knows how much time just logging in to check for new posts

    Was just going to post this very comment, he contributes nothing to the blog other than ‘first…second….’

  8. AFC Forever


    The price of everything is astronomical…!!!. My energy bill has gone up from £85.00 per month to £230 this month in around 3 years!! We’re sucking mints to keep warm…!

  9. AFC Forever

    Middlesbrough should have won this. Two headers that should have been buried. Conte is looking a worried man.

  10. Wicked Willy

    I don’t have a problem with them raising prices. A seven year freeze was much appreciated, but at some point it neeeed to happen, and they are facing the same rising prices that we are. They are investing in the squad, and the stadium, and They’re not comply pocketing it – it feels like it’s being reinvested. I want us to compete, and I want us to return to sustainability, so all good with me. I also like the new policy around youngsters. It’s important we nurture the future fan base and I’m glad they’ve recognised that.

  11. AFC Forever

    Major Jeneral

    He has a good touch and awareness but you can see he’s still learning. He’s still got a bit to do but that’s to be expected. What about you?

  12. Upstate Gooner

    From April of 2021 (it’s probably a bit lower now)

    Forbes’ Business of Soccer list

    1. Barcelona – $4.76billion (£3.46bn)
    2. Real Madrid – $4.75billion (£3.46bn)
    3. Bayern Munich – $4.22billion (£3.07bn)
    4. Manchester United – $4.2billion (£3.06bn)
    5. Liverpool – $4.1billion (£2.98bn)
    6. Manchester City – $4billion (£2.91bn)
    7. Chelsea – $3.2billion (£2.33bn)
    8. Arsenal – $2.8billion (£2.04bn)
    9. Paris Saint-Germain – $2.5billion (£1.82bn)
    10. Tottenham Hotspur – $2.3billion (£1.67bn)

  13. Major_Jeneral

    “AFC Forever

    He has a good touch and awareness but you can see he’s still learning. He’s still got a bit to do but that’s to be expected. What about you?

    I could not agree more. The teething period is difficult but it is part of the process. As long as he is determined and willing to improve, he will come good.

  14. Wardo

    Conte is so transparent on the side lines lol

    He’s off at earliest opportunity

    What an utter shit show (great show for gooners)

  15. Wardo

    I wanted them to win actually so they had more games as they’re shit and wouldn’t win it any way

    Spursday is no longer it’s now jewsday

  16. Invincibles

    Pedro if you look at the full table you include on your Twitter feed – 120 million (so over half) of the sales were in a single season 2017/8

    That year we sold (among others)

    The Ox

    We also swapped Sanchez but not sure if that is given a value

    Kieran Gibbs plus Jon Toral alone made around 10 million which is close to our total sales in 20/21

  17. Words on a blog

    When you look at the Arsenal finances it becomes very apparent that Project Youth 2.0 was driven by the Kroenkes and KSE looking to drive down wage costs and not by the footballing philosophy/vision of Edu and Le Grove’s Jesus (aka Arteta).

  18. Words on a blog

    What we have over here at Arsenal is the happy marriage between an owner who doesn’t want to pay for anyone over 25 and a manager who can’t man manage any player over 25, because, who knew? successful established footballers have dogs.

  19. Pedro

    Words, what you have is a great strategy being executed by one of the best young coaches in world football.

    You gotta suck up those facts at some point.

  20. AFC Forever


    You have to give Stan credit for his work on the training pitch. He has also been smart with his identification of players. Quite the owner, he can do everything.

  21. Words on a blog


    Sure, a great strategy, but one devised by the Kroenkes.

    If Arteta executes it well, and we get top4, well and good.

    If we get top6, the Kroenkes will probably give him one more chance.

    Otherwise he’s off.

  22. LoveSausage

    Great stuff from Spurs. They really help getting me through the downtime between our games.

    The finances aren’t surprising. It could have been worse. But it also shows why we need to get that CL spot. Fans will buy in on a young exciting team. Sponsors couldn’t give a shit. You just need to look at the billboards at an average airport terminal to see what they’re paying for. We need success to stay competitive.

  23. Tony

    Invincible’s, thanks for putting me right.

    My memory isn’t what it used to be and Google wasn’t helpful. I have this memory of me walking out on a cold, windy Sunday Morning football pitch having just got back from Europe, and us being 13 points behind at around Xmas. That’s where it goes blank other than it was before 1990 and my subsequent heart attack resulting in bypass surgery that year.

    It was the year after I hung my boots up at 34 because of work commitments and not keeping as fit as I should/needed to have done.

    Herb and Pierre have far better memories than I regarding Arsenal due to me often being out of the country for work. No Internet in those days. I was always playing catch up news wise.

    What I remember most about the 70s & 80s is that, we as fans had hopes for success in cups and Div 1 titles, but we knew that winning them was not a given nor expected, as we lived in in a different world football wise compared to today. Far smaller squads and a lot less money in the game. Trevor Frances being the first £1m player sums it up perfectly.

    Maybe it was Liverpool I just remember us being 13 points up and ended up conceding the title run in, maybe I was wrong about that, too. My only real memory of Bruce Rioch was like others: D Bergkamp signing and I was excited about Wenger joining because DD had brought him in. That was enough for me and the next decade with Wenger was just perfect at the time for all gooners.

    We started to expect wins and titles/cups. We haven’t stopped expecting since except for the oil money in the game now tempers that expectancy. Chelsea up for sale now or so the papers say.

    I feel there is a need for world super leagues where the financial status has to be regulated and with 3 teams being relegated at the end of each season to keep it honest and huge financial prizes for teams managing to take the relegated places, so they have the income to play the current super league teams on a more level playing field.

    With PPV the money will be there for all.

    Bob, you’re right I’m very happy right now and feel we could achieve more than many think. The Arteta super fans are more anxious to belittle fans who dare to mention a negative in our play or have genuine concerns of Saliba leaving us or more upsets with Arteta and the players to come.

    All warranted concerns that we ALL don’t want to happen particularly as we’re so well placed to pull off 4th place.

    I’ve thought about your thinking regarding being pipped for 4th and the gray area such a finish could possibly occupy.

    Our position is one of strength and in our hands to lose.

    So, for me, I’m still 4th or bust providing we don’t lose out to key player injuries, but even then Arteta has to hold his hands up, as it was he who diluted the squad so much without adding in key players as back up.

    So happy Spuds lost again last night – long may their losing mentality reign.

  24. Rambinho

    Tony thanks for confirming you don’t have a fucking clue what you’re talking about….admitting even Google didn’t help you.

    In your case less is definitely more.

  25. DivineSherlock


    Sorry big no to Super League , UEFA can scrap Champions League and start one but it has to be on merit . The beauty and joy of watching football is that its unexpected and unpredictable . If you make it predictable it becomes boring . Super League by its very idea is boring .

  26. DivineSherlock

    The absolute joy is to watch teams like Middlesborough beat Spurs . The grind has to be respected , look at West Ham playing Sevilla in Europa League and the possibilty of drawing Barcelona . West Ham , a team that was struggling to avoid relegation .

  27. Tony

    “UEFA can scrap Champions League and start one but it has to be on merit”

    Did I say I didn’t, Divine? Merit, fairness and full transparency is essential.

    A super league teams can still be involved their own country FA & League cups.

  28. kjelli

    Please lets not play the victim here. I tend to ackknowledge, that we get what we deserve in
    the end.Focus on every game and the opposition weaknesses and we are sailing.

  29. Emiratesstroller

    Arsenal’s transfer policies are not significantly different from those of Liverpool both in the
    past or for that matter in the present.

    Liverpool were always very good in their recruitment of players from lower leagues and less
    fashionable clubs. Another feature of their transfer policy was the “profiling” of players by
    looking at their family backgrounds.

    Arsenal also followed similar policies in the 1980 and 1990s with the recruitment of players
    from unfashionable clubs such as Winterburn, Dixon and Bould.

  30. Emiratesstroller

    You can add David Seaman to the list of players who arrived from unfashionable clubs. He
    joined us from QPR the year that they got relegated.

    So our entire defence of that generation when you factor in Tony Adams who came through
    the Academy gave us 10-15 years service.

  31. Invincibles

    Tony the only season I can think of is George Graham’s first season – we were 7 points clear for around a day just after Christmas and 4 points in the New Year including after the first of our three “one nil down, two one up” (remember that fanzine!) at White Hart Lane.

    It was a bit unsustainable to be honest – we had a cobbled together squad with Martin Hayes as top scorer and completely collapsed. Everton won the league and we were 4th.

    It was a very positive season though as we went on to win the League Cup Final against Liverpool having beaten Spurs in the third leg of the semi final. And it set the base for Anfield 1989.

  32. James

    I by no means support the idea of a Super League because of what it means to the small clubs like Leicesters, Andelerlects, Young Boys and the Spurs and the needed revenue it brings for them.

    But the commercial viability of a Super League makes sence. During a group stage of a Champions League there are 128 matches played. But how many of those matches are commercially sustainable or bring substantial revenue, when you consider Rapid Vienna will play Malmö or Spurs will play Young Boys. How much do you thing everyone makes off of the small fixtures like that.

    The super League is an sound concept commercially where every European week there are big matches without fail. The global market wants to see these games not the afore mentioned matches. 12 clubs signed up Us, Utd, Spurs, City, Liverpool, Chelski, Athletico, Juve, AC Milan, Barca, Real, PSG. That list could hit 16 if you consider Manaco, Inter, Roma and Newcastle would have thrown their hats into the ring too. 8 matches per night on a Tues and Weds all huge fixture the whole world will pay to see. That’s why certain members went all in and some are still in. Unfortunately it’s a matter of when not if for the super League cause sponsors will start asking for it and that will kill the Champions League, it’s all about money.

    On our financial figures I’m highly impressed concidering a big transfer outlay, massive wage bill and of course COVID. We’re hope fully going to spend big this summer too but now stadiums are full again and the wages structure is way better. Plus Europe next year hopefully champions Leagues 8 per season we should be turning a substantial profit. Why the club has felt the need to increase ticket prices is beyond me.

    But onwards and upwards, I’m liking the way in which the club football wise is going and long may it continue

  33. DivineSherlock


    It will get boring fast enough when you see Arsenal go to PSG for nth number of times only to lose 3 nil . What keeps the PremierLeague fresh and compettive is that you have to go to every ground and be on the money to beat the teams . I give equal importance to Arsenal Watford as Arsenal Chelsea . Every game is important , revise the CL format sure , dont create another breakaway league just to clear the doping clubs debt.

  34. Goobergooner

    It would be decent if instead of groups and knockouts, everyone that gets cl spots in the leagues, gets into the super league that is actually a league rather than a knockout. Everyone plays everyone twice. If you wanted to add a knockout/finals stage, make it so the top 4 or 6 teams go through, with the top 2 getting a week off or something and play the winners of 3-6.

    That’s how I’d prefer it if it came to that.

  35. englandsbest

    European super league run by Clubs is coming, like it or not. Why? The major clubs cannot survive financially without it – aside from PSG, City, Newcastle, etc – and who wants that?

  36. Invincibles

    And of course PSG did not join the proposed ESL and Chelsea and Man City were lukewarm and the first to bail out – they all knew it would even things up.

  37. James

    I completely agree with you Divine. As I said I’m against it but unfortunately all the company’s and conglomerates who fund the champions League will demand it at some point.

    It’s sad but it’s the truth

  38. Muppetman

    What did everyone make of Contes tactics last night? Sitting back trying to hit Boro on the counter. Understandable against City but you’d think he could have come up with something different against a championship side. If that was Arteta he would get slaughtered and rightly so.

  39. Tony

    The world is a small place these days. Global markets are more easily available, which makes the PPV so lucrative.

    If there were 18 teams and say 6 were relegated each season, I doubt if it would get boring.

    The billions generated should be divided up with a substantial part of the income (billions) to go to the lower leagues of the clubs participating, which would give those clubs a fighting chance to qualify for a relegated place left vacant. There should also be funs available for poorer countries to develop.

    Providing the wealth is not just sucked into the elite clubs’ abyss, world football could be both entertaining yet rewarding throughout the industry in each country, and still leaving the super league clubs to be making far more than they are making now.

    It’s only a bad thing if greed and corruption sets up and runs the super league.

  40. Pierre

    Mike Riley has officially apologised to Everton for the handball error at the weekend.

    This just rubs salt into the wounds of every Arsenal fan that has witnessed countless wrong decisions given against Arsenal this season and for the last 18 years.

    Why we never kicked up a stink who knows , and now it will seem like we are jumping on the bandwagon by demanding apologies for every decision that has gone against us.

    Untold Arsenal had it right all along and they have been endlessly ridiculed on Le Grove.
    Everything we are hearing about now regarding Riley’s, mob , untold Arsenal has been teeling us for the last ten/15 years, and they use evidence to highlight the obvious bias against Arsenal over the years since the infamous old trafford debacle when the cheating Riley did everything in his power to make sure we would lose the 50th game.

    Untold have been telling us about how we get the same refs week after week , how there are no refs from the south of the country and how it can lead to a bias in decisions.

    You only have to look at the referees we have had this season, wasn’t it something like the same 3 referees have been involved in 60% of our games …that should never be allowed to happen but Riley will always do his utmost to put the spanner in the works when it comes to stitching up Arsenal..

    Sadly Everton have received the apology that Arsenal should have demanded numerous times this season..

  41. Graham62

    I’m not in agreement of the Europa conference league.
    Imo , the CL should be restricted to the champions of each domestic league and maybe the runners up.
    The Europa League should be for teams finishing 3-5
    The Europa Cup Winners Cup should be for those teams winning their domestic cups plus team’s finishing 6th in their leagues.

    It seems that UEFA want as many teams to experience European competition but at the expense of quality and genuine competition.

  42. Graham62


    Arsenal have always been slow to act.

    As for Riley, he needs to held accountable and changes made to the way VAR is operated.

    I still get angry thinking of the OT debacle.

  43. Pierre

    “Imo , the CL should be restricted to the champions of each domestic league and maybe the runners up.”

    I actually think that by having the top 4 qualifying for the champions league creates interest and excitement for many fans .

    Take this season , If it were only league winners and runners up , the season would be as good as over domestically for teams like Arsenal, tottenham, west ham , wolves and even Chelsea , as the top 2 places are as good as done and dusted.

    I like the interest and excitement that qualifying for champions league brings , it stimulates my interest in other games the include chelsea, united, west ham , tottenham and wolves.

    Without the possibility of qualifying for champions league our season would be as good as dead as europa league just doesnt stimulate the interst or create the excitement.

  44. Pierre

    Should Everton not have demanded an apology for the referee not sending off one of their own players (Godfrey) for deliberately raking his studs down Tomiyasu’s face, or does it only work one way, or the over the top tackle leg breaking tackle on Tavares in the same game.

    What has happened is Riley has reacted to media pressure , something there will never be when Arsenal are wronged by the officials.

    Maybe Arsenal need to learn some lessons in how to kick up a stink when these type of decisions go against us.

  45. Dissenter

    Chelsea are in fir a shocker
    Abrahmovich is selling in a hurry and the core of their defense is walking away in free transfers.
    Let’s see how they do when a new owner that doesn’t treat it as a plaything comes on board.

  46. Goobergooner

    I may be the only one, but from memory I don’t feel like there was any intent from Godfrey. In my opinion I thought it was accidental.

    There has been way worse decisions against us than that one.

    Saka getting absolutely hacked is the prime example.

  47. Dissenter

    ‘accidental’ dangerous play of that magnitude is still.a red card
    Referees are not supposed to use intent because they have no way of figuring that out.

  48. NORG

    For the princely sum of £9M. Mavropanos to Stuttgart for £2.8M. The two purchasers are laughing at AFC’s expense.

  49. AFC Forever

    Sorry boys. PGMOL is my favourite subject.

    PGMOL is an organisation that fails to mitigate risk and implement a robust system of accountability. This makes it not fit for prupose. Ex-members of PGMOL, including Halsey, Poll and former head honcho himself, Keith Hackett, have been warning Riley for years. The geographical situation and the lack of accountability are serious issues he keeps ignoring. They all call him incompetent, he’s not a popular man.

    I was at a football event that discussed this quite a few years ago, it was to do with YoutheRef. Hackett gave a speech and explained where the risks were and how they could very easily be mitigated. Mike Riley had apparently refused this advice claiming he didn’t want his men undermined. This is why he doesn’t like VAR. The referees love him because he has their backs. Almost like FIFA.

    Hackett does not believe officials deliberately cheat but he thinks they make biased decisions and shouldn’t be put in those positions.

    To explain:

    They are affected like all of us with a range of biases, whether that be unconscious or conscious. Bias can cover a range of things; for example, geographical prejudice like the North/South divide or the Lancashire/Merseyside rivalry. Some teams are disliked, others liked. Same with players. or Managers. Who do their kids support etc. There is also the pressure of refereeing a team in the area where you live or your children go to school. Perhaps where you drink or socialise. That 60/40 decision becomes a 50/50 one.

    However, it gets more interesting.

    Chris Kavanagh was behind VAR when it decided Man City’s Rodri did not handle the ball. PGMOL has apologised because there is no way Kavanagh could possibly get that wrong and they know it. The video was so clear. Now Chris Kavanagh comes from Manchester. Paul Tierney the referee is also from Manchester. Now nobody is suggesting he cheated but did bias (unconscious or conscious) affect his decision? He made a serious mistake that has caused suspicion and should not have been in that position.

    Go back a few weeks and you will know Chris Kavanagh has a history of weird mistakes behind VAR. He was the man who decided Harry Kane’s high challenge on Liverpool’s Robertson wasn’t a red card, much to everyone’s amazement. There were claims he made that decision because Kane was England captain (perhaps that’s why Lampard received an apology and we didn’t?). Might be true, Shearer got away with murder. But nobody picked up on the fact he was from Manchester and there is a rivalry between Liverpool and Manchester. Again it is not about accusing him of being a cheat but about giving him these games and allowing him to continually make terrible decisions that do not make sense.

    However, that was a bad error of judgment awarding in favour of Kane. So what did PGMOL do? Yep, you guessed it they appointed Kavanagh to referee Spurs v West Ham a few days later….!!!!

    Riley doesn’t think it’s a problem. He has been warned but laughed it off. The problem is it’s difficult to stop giving these guys local games because there are so many of them. North West England claims 7 referees from the list of 20 that have officiated 5 games or more, that’s a whopping one-third of our referees from the Liverpool/Manchester area. Of the rest, 5 are from the Midlands, 3 the North East, 3 the North with the other 2 coming from Australia (Gillet) and the South West (Hooper).

    Hackett and Halsey hate it because there is another RED WARNING issue.

    3. THE APPOINTMENT SYSTEM – or how to play the odds
    One of the accepted concerns about the manipulation of results is the appointment system. In Italy, their match-fixing was done through the appointment system, allocating referees they knew to be favorable to Juve to games where influence or help was required. In Italy money exchanged hands so we have to be careful, that’s not the suggestion here. However, if there is no financial corruption but you wanted to increase the chances of a favorable result you would do it through appointments. VAR is probably the best way. PGMOL have stats so they know the numbers. Let’s say the stats show that in games refereed by Martin Atkinson, Arsenal have their worst win record. Appointing him to a game increases the odds of Arsenal losing. Likewise, if you know Darren England is a rabid Man Utd fan with a huge tattoo (which he does and has been warned to cover up), sticking him behind VAR increases the odds further. During the run-in for 4th, the appointment system can be used in a way to slant the odds. Keep your eyes out.

    Hacketts concern is that the integrity of the game is paramount. Especially with so much betting involvement. He does not believe there is any corruption but he is concerned about unconscious bias and the appointment system. The lack of accountability is a real problem, especially where decisions have been so bad they question the ability and credibility of the man behind VAR. When a mistake is made that flies in the face of the rules of the game, fans have every right to ask for a punishment to be dished out. Instead, PGMOL rewards them with another game.

    PGMOL has been criticised for years. It isn’t anything new.

    The introduction of VAR has exposed them, which may explain why Riley was so against it. There are biased decisions being made because there have been no attempts to mitigate against it. These mistakes are bad ones, they cannot be ignored. Without any accountability or a change to the appointment system, it won’t be changing anytime soon. Wenger wasn’t paranoid, Arteta isn’t paranoid and neither are the fans. It’s not just Arsenal seeing unexplained errors, although we get more than our fair share for certain. Hackett isn’t imagining things and neither is Halsey. Something is wrong, it stinks and needs to be culled – starting with Riley. Perhaps we are starting to see it all start to unravel. There should be a robust investigation to ensure the game is as fair as possible for every team because it isn’t and it is open to manipulation.

  50. Tom

    Roman liquidating all his London assets in a hurry, Chelsea included, is probably a bad news for Ukraine and its people.
    His supposed involvement in brokering peace talks between Russia and Ukraine and his close connection to Putin, however forceful his denials, makes him the ultimate insider with solid knowledge of what Putin’s intentions are.

  51. Terraloon


    The same was said about Man City when their owner Thaksin Shinawatra, was the subject of sanctions and had to sell and low and behold they were bought out by , well a country and from that point on things changed massively for them
    Let’s just see how the Chelsea thing plays out because the likelihood is that RA will be able to sell and walk away and as to who buys , which someone will if he indeed sells, will be looking to make money one way or another and that won’t be by starving then of cash

  52. IAT-Robbie


    Yeah we were paid £30m for Sanchez and in return we paid £30m for Mkhitaryan. So it should still show up in the player sales.

    I thought we weren’t very good at selling back then but now?! No comment😷

  53. The Bard

    Does look like curtains for this era of Chelsea’s history. With the Russian gone and maybe the woman who runs the show it’ll be a while before they’re back as a force. Whatever Abramovitch is to Putin he has been one hell of an owner. He sets the tone, the culture and puts in the money.

  54. DivineSherlock

    Abramovich must know that sanctions are gonna happen otherwise he wouldnt have pulled that stunt of passing the ownership of the club . Safe to say we dodged a mighty bullet with Alisher Usmanov

  55. Positive pete

    Well the chickens have finally come home to roost.Abramovich is jumping ship & looking for top dosh £4 billion to be exact.No chance Jose! Wants his loan of £2 Billback as well.Chavs don’t have the money.The stadium does not generate enough money & a rebuild would cost around a furthe £3/4 billion.Approaching Sofi stadium costs of Stans LA venture.They can’t move anywhere else in west London.& the ground is leased by CPO .A non profit entity.
    They are f*** d?
    AFC forever.Keith Hackett right. & so it begins.

  56. AFC Forever

    Abramovoch and Chelsea might be lucky. Hope not.

    Fordstam (Abramovich) are owed just short of £2 BILLION by Chelsea – so that is what it cost to buy Chelsea some history with money stolen from the Russian people. He wants it back now.

    With calls in Parliament yesterday to seize Chelsea, Roman’s lawyers have acted swiftly. I really do hope they stop this sale going through and they are made to function like any normal football club for a change. If they do get sold, let’s make sure it isn’t to another oil or terror state.

    We should take a lead from our American friends and rename Man City as the Abu Dhabi Doo Doo, Newcastle as Saudi Arabia Assassins and Chelsea as The Russian Mafiaoso. Let them be called what they really are for a change. All joking aside, the sooner we introduce some sanity into football club ownership the better.

  57. AFC Forever


    Yes mate. Could be a good year for football and Arsenal. Chelsea and PGMOL both getting fixed. Here’s hoping.

  58. IAT-Robbie


    For all his links to Putin, isn’t Abramovich more of an Israeli citizen these days?

    The newspapers are reporting that he’s selling a London property portfolio of at least £200 million. I remember when his VISA issues began in 2018. His London portfolio was worth a lot more than the above figure, so he must have already started some of his assets between 2018-2022.

  59. TheBayingMob

    “Our wages topped out at nearly £240m”

    Pedro, a few days ago you posted a graphic showing our wage bill down to ~87m … can you explain the discrepancy between that graphic which you lauded and this statement above? Thanks …

  60. Mb

    Clubs should be run on club’s money. As much as I’m excited to see Kroenke’s money buying us players, we gonna go in the same death spiral Chelsea’s are in. 2 fucking billions to the owner, can you fucking believe it?

    What you earn is what you spend. Keep it simple.

  61. Rich

    The idea a room full of drippy career bureaucrats are going to fix the standard of refereeing, seems extremely far fetched to me.

    There’s literally no problem that they couldn’t make worse.

    Remember the initiative that if the ball strikes the hand, then it was a penalty? I think that lasted 4-5 games, then they realised how ridiculous that was, and changed it

    They decided that a team needed 13 outfield players + 1 goalkeeper to postpone a game, then decided to change it

    Which wasn’t fair on both counts, because some teams had benefitted, others had lost out, if you want to change rules, you do it at the beginning of the season, not during.

    At the start of every season there’s some useless new initiative, that usually ends up causing carnage

    Moral of the story, whatever the issue?

    The answer is rarely more bureaucracy, because all they’ll do is screw things up even more, pat each other on the back, then hand themselves pay rises as a reward for their utter incompetence…

    If we want to improve the stand of refereeing, then create a competitive market place, where competence is rewarded, and incompetence is punished

    Hitting referees in the pocket is the best way to focus minds, and exit those who aren’t up to the task.

  62. Terraloon


    The baying mob. Financial year vs current year.

    AST are suggesting that the current years wage will be between £225-£250 million in the current year.