Thomas Partey: Solid airport attire + SPACs to debut in sport?

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Is that… you… light…?

Yes, it is.

Finally, the bore-fest of international football is coming to a close and we have REAL football coming back to our screens.

What better way to introduce a better reality than a Thomas Partey Arsenal.com special?

I like the travel look. Clearly, this isn’t a man who cares about comfort on a flight and I admire that. A major scourge of modern fashion is the Ryanair-Leisure crew who find the thought of sitting on a seat for two hours so horrifying, they degrade themselves to wearing items like crocs, tennis socks, matching partner tracksuits, and slovenly accessories like neck pillows. I can’t have it, it’s the visual equivalent of a small child kicking your chair.

I’m glad that’s not Thomas Partey. A nice black jean jacket, a polo, and smart trousers. That’s a sophisticated man right there. I also like that he’s a proper watch guy. You always worry about someone when they rock a smartwatch, especially if the band is customised. The 2020 version of a phone holster.

Our new midfield dynamo is going to wear the #22 shirt. He’s picking-up from legends like Gael Clichy, Yaya Sanogo, and Franny Coquelin. Big boots the fill (or iceskates lololololol)

CORRECTION: #18. If I had a smartwatch, this would NOT have happened.

It’ll be very interesting to see what Mikel Arteta does with the line-up this weekend. There’s no team you’d rather your debut signing lands for than a heavy pressing Manchester City. There’s also no worse game because if he plays badly, we’ll all cry and have to sacrifice to the truth-telling radar merchants. Jokes aside, the player is Simeone levels of fitness, so that’s not a worry. The question is whether Arteta wants to throw a new player into a fairly settled system so soon after joining? Two training sessions is not a lot. Still, the player speaks very good English, he’s elite, and there’s no point in buying players if you don’t play them.

Kante has reportedly fallen foul of Frank Lampard and might be exiting the business this January. How do you fall out with Kante? Seems like the nicest guy in the game. Well, we can guess… touchline Billy Mitchell from Eastenders can’t help himself. Wonder if Kante wants to stay in London? Imagine…

I’m not sure if I wrote about Project Let’s Takeover Football this week? Arsenal is part of the big 6 set of clubs that are using the EFLs bailout to take over the game (have the proposal, yet to decide). It’s a grim project where the gist seems to be that the big clubs in the league want to control decisions and the flow of money.

The Premier League is popular, in part, because the prize money is equally shared. Unlike Serie A and La Liga, who distributed according to club size back in the day. Pound for pound, our clubs are richer, which means they can afford much better players than the rest of Europe, up and down the league. The idea that the Billionaires Club wants to end that to entrench their power is not a shock. It’s disappointing though and I’m glad the Government has stepped in.

It was interesting to read that the Liverpool owners are looking to create a SPAC for sporting entities. SPACs are the new hot thing on Wall Street, it’s a blank check company that goes to market with the intention of merging with other companies. I got burned badly when I invested money in Nikola, the CEO floated an electric truck company with no trucks, then he was called out as being a bald fraud by an analyst, and it all went to shit. Fuck him and my shares that are on the floor.

Anyway, Fenway Group wants to create a RedBall SPAC and float it. They’ll buy up sporting tech firms and clubs and build out a mega-portfolio.

As a public company, Fenway could look to buy up more clubs in Europe, where a number have been on the block, according to a person familiar with the matter.

A publicly traded sports organization would be a relatively untested concept in the U.S. Liberty Media Corp. owns the Atlanta Braves, but the baseball team is a subsidiary of a much larger company. The NFL’s Green Bay Packers is owned by shareholders who mostly consist of fans.

RedBall’s board includes former Premier League Executive Chairman Richard Scudamore, during whose 20 years in charge English soccer turned into a global export and a television-rights cash cow. Premier League matches air in more than 190 countries every weekend of its 10-month season.

What helps the value of something like that rise? Entrenched power and more TV money. Sport is such a great game to get into. It’s largely recession-proof, the fanbase is inelastic, and the growth opportunity keeps getting bigger as the pipes get wider and distribution becomes easier. Scudamore, an incredibly influential string-puller is on the board. Billy Beane is involved. Let’s see how all that influence pans out as smart people look to channel the sea of money in football into their pockets.

Ok, that is all I have time today. Do NOT be sad. I’ll be back tomorrow with some more fresh content.


Free transfer rumours begin to swirl

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So… after a whole week of debating the merits of loaning out William Saliba, David Ornstein reckons he’ll be staying this season.

What a bloody farce.

The only thing I care about is the player being ready for next season. Keeping him is all well and good, but not if he doesn’t land any game time. He’s not going to play in the Europa League because he’s not in the squad. It’d be a very random choice to leave him out of that then keep him in the Premier League one…?

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Scouting and feeder clubs

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It’ll be very casual writing over the next couple of weeks. I don’t have much interest in the international matches and there’s not an awful lot going off on the Arsenal front.

Houssem Aouar wants you to know he’s ok. Honestly, he’s just fine.

“It wasn’t really Arsenal or nothing else, although at the end it was close to that. Really, a choice had to be made and I’m happy to stay here.

“I spoke about it a lot with sporting director Juninho. He shows me confidence every day and it’s a real pleasure to work with him. To stay here for another season – or more – with him, it’s a great pride.”

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Virgil van Dijk and William Saliba parallels are interesting

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Well, you know it’s a sign of the non-banter era when the biggest international break debate is whether or not there’s a conspiracy against William Saliba because the club wants to loan him to a Championship team.

A few things I wanted to clarify.

Talent

I think he’ll be a top player. The signing, as a standalone investment, was kind of wild, but I think his first season in Ligue 1 showed that he has the tools to make it big for us at some point.

Business

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Mesut Özil Last Dance Seemingly Cancelled

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Well, it didn’t take long for the shine to rub from the Thomas Partey transfer.

Arsenal managed to get themselves into the weirdest fight of 2020 as Mesut Özil and our exec leadership traded blows over the redundancy of the man behind the Gunnersaurus.

Now, let me cover off a few things.

Firstly, my deepest sympathies to Jerry Quy who lost his job after many years of loyal service. I cannot imagine how tough this moment must be for him. Losing your job is bad enough without being part of a PR war of attrition with the most famous footballer in North London.

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THOMAS PARTEY SIGNS

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Bloody hell, Edu and Vinai only went and done it.

LaLiga informed Atlético de Madrid at 11.28pm on Monday that Arsenal representatives have paid Thomas Partey’s release clause at the sports association’s headquarters.

The player has therefore unilaterally terminated his contract with our club, which ran until June 30, 2023.

Ice fucking cold. Have you ever seen Arsenal do a deal so bereft of humanity? Unbelievable. That’s a Panenka in the 90th minute of a World Cup final. That’s a rainbow flick against peak Stoke in the 1st minute. That’s rolling into a Bermondsey pub on an away day singing ‘What do you think of MILWALL.’

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