Part 2 of a guest post by Red Henry. Continues from Part 1.
Following the logic of the ignorant can be a dangerous thing.
It is psychologically proven that when the brain cannot comprehend what’s happening and you don’t understand what’s going on, you panic. Fear creeps in.
What is this?
How does it work?
I don’t understand…..
Not everyone who watches football, knows football.
Not everyone who plays football becomes manager afterwards, or owner, or even pundit.
If they did really know they would be trying to make a living through football instead of what they actually do.
The sport has evolved to a status beyond the dreams of even the biggest opportunists in world business. The game is not longer a game, it’s a global industry. It is subject to the same rules that apply to every other industries.. Supply -Demand Cycles, Vat, Income, Expenses, Corporate Structures, ISO……and a whole lot of other bullshit which frankly has nothing to do with watching Thierry curling it in the top corner of the goal frame.
Or so we think…..
Arsenal, lacked in this department. We might well have been a famous English football club but in terms of a company in the world football industry, the club was a relatively small player and nowhere near the traditional names of Europe. David Dein was instrumental in his efforts to raise the image of the premier league and consequently Arsenal’s but the real job in terms of the company being run efficiently, was to a large extent, of Wenger’s making. We have to recognise that had it not been for Wenger’s eye for a good bargain, Arsenal would struggle to make any profits, even in his early days. We hear a lot about the marketing department and this and that but again to attract sponsors you need not only a winning team but also a healthy organisation that wont expose the sponsor.
It is not Wenger’s fault that Arsenal as a football company was a bit behind in certain company assets such as infrastructure, i.e stadium and training ground and medical facilities.
It is not Wenger’s fault that Arsenal was never a huge football power or a money making club that could use its “marketing” appeal like a Madrid, United .Munich or Milan.
It is not Wenger’s fault that Liverpool has won 5 in Europe and is considered the only English club that can walk shoulder to shoulder with the continents biggest most historical clubs. (sadly ManU has joined that elite to an extent , but they weren’t unknown, they had a glamorous..history..Busby Babes..etc).
To all those stupid people who accuse Wenger for taking the club backwards, I ask them
“What the previous managerial regimes did, to be able to expand the club to the extent where it could launched to a whole new level and era?”
Some will rush to answer that it wasn’t only Wenger, that others helped too, like Dein and Friar and Fiszman. To them i reply that they didn’t get the question, for it was Wenger’s outrageous success that gave all of them the belief and the spirit (plus time and opportunity and finance) to go with their plans.
Plus they had the most qualified manager to supervise it all.
Using the early, unprecedented, success, the people who own the club decided that now was the time for the next level. That it was the right moment to build a new and bigger ground to increase revenue and to upgrade all the training and medical facilities. Making the club a pioneer when it comes to the modern and efficient organisation of a football club from top to bottom, in all departments.
The quality and class in which all this left people around the world amazed.
The only people who complain however, are those who are going to benefit from this in the long run…the fans.
It is hard to convince the fans that in a period of infrastructure investment that trophies are the priority. They are clearly not. But this is also a company, building its new venue and naturally they don’t want to shoot themselves on the foot coming out telling everyone ” we are skint for the next twenty years so forget any titles”. How many would pay for such a product in this industry?
Hence the diplomatic attitude and stance form manager and club. The aims will always be high. That’s what we show to the outside, that’s what we expect from players, that’s what we educate.
However personally and internally the company has objectives, mainly financial. So let’s not pretend that we don’t see how the manager is trying to balance the expectations of fans with the objectives/targets set out by the company.
He could easily call the fans “stupid” for their expectations or even “blind” (since they can’t see how that jewel of a stadium would obviously mean a sacrifice in the title statistic for a while.)
He could have insulted our intelligence, but he didn’t.
He could even have told the board to F off and that he won’t tolerate a drop in standards or spending power but he didn’t.
He could have also laughed at the board for asking him to beat Drogba (27 y.o) while he had to play with Theo (17 y.o) and Cesc (20 y.o).
He could have joined Dein when he sold for 75 million to Red & White, he didn’t.
Some other huge clubs from Europe were asking for his signature, he didn’t even bother entertaining them.
These actions show a professional of enormous loyalty .
As fans we should be looking at giving back even 10% of that loyalty and before anyone starts talking rubbish about his salary, personally I would give him double what he is on if he managed to slice my mortgage repayment period in half. Only the stupid would dare abuse or wish out the one person whose work and activities produce nothing but positives for the club in this mad industry.
If trophies are your only measure of Arsenal, then I wonder why you choose this club? 13 champion titles in 125 years of history. that’s roughly one per decade.
Wenger won three in his first decade so even if you follow this logic…Wenger still has credit for another two decades.
He has just spent one on solidifying Arsenal’s foundations for another century.
So there is another one to go before anyone can complain to him about.