16 Comments

Did The Arsenal Board Lie To Us ?

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Arsenal “lied” to the fans. They said we would be as big as Bayern Munich. They said we would be able to compete financially with any club in the world. Blah, blah feckin blah.

How many time have you seen or heard such bollocks? It is said, repeated and accepted by the brain dead all over the Arsenal fanbase. It can be only one of two things that allow this ignorance, either those saying it, and believing it, are genuinely stupid, or they are choosing to pretend to be stupid.

Arsenal now they make more £££ on matchday than any other football club in the world. When the stadium move was planned, that was the goal. It’s an incredible achievement that it has now been realised.

However when the move was being considered, matchday income would have made up the vast majority of income. So had the circumstances remained the same, we would actually have been one of the biggest clubs in the world, right now. The problem is that “right now” match day income is less than 25% of the income of big clubs. The rest comes from commercial sponsorships and TV . So that means we are still considerably behind the really, really big boys.

Of course people will then ask why our commercial income doesn’t match theirs ? They will insist “we should be doing better”. This insistence is made from a position of total ignorance and lack of understanding.

Commercial deals are given on the worth of the brand name, which more or less comes from the global standing of the club based on recent and historical success. That is where Arsenal fall down, historically we were miles behind Liverpool and United, at least in the terms of global support. So when the worth of kit deals etc. are calculated, we are in the queue behind them. You know 5 Champions Leagues and all?

The rise of world wide popularity of the Premier League also means the most successful PL teams are ahead of us there too. City and Chelsea are at an advantage because their owners have chosen to buy them domestic (and in Chelsea’s case European) success. Sponsors not only know about the recent success of these two pretenders, but they know that their owners will continue to plough money in, in order to get more success , over the term of any deals struck. That makes them a more valuable investment than Arsenal.

The only way to make us more valuable, to sponsors,  is to win more.  But in a league where at least three teams can massively outspend us, that is no easy task. It’s not as easy as saying “we should be doing better”. The fact is we are doing better, a lot better. But the other clubs not only have the advantage in buying players, they also have the advantage when it come to being sponsored.

All this is before we even consider that the petro-fuelled clubs also sponsor themselves.I think City’s training kit is sponsored to an absurd extent by, basically,  Mansour’s brother.

So before we accuse the board of “lying” we should consider that they have in fact achieved the goal they set out too. They just failed to see into the future , just like every other board in the world. No one could have foreseen the change to the football landscape,  especially the serial moaners within our fanbase.

The reality is that our board has done remarkably well, given the changes in revenue streams and the global recession that they encountered, and in the midst of a property development based stadium move. So let us  celebrate the good work they have done rather than ignore the difficulties and demand, that somehow by magic, we achieve par ( or better)  with Real Madrid.

16 comments on “Did The Arsenal Board Lie To Us ?

  1. Excellent George and you are of course right on those points, the world changed.
    However the board did lie to us and everybody out of necessity. The handicap we had was denied even before one brick was layed in the new stadium. As the football world changed the lie got bigger. To have been honest would have been financial and sporting suicide and crucially would of handed an advantage to all our foes.
    Had roman not turned up and with a little luck the trophies would have still kept coming maybe at a slower pace but trophies none the less. When you consider 2006, 2008 and our youth players up against chelski’s massively expensively assembled squad in the league cup final and even then they needed an offside goal to claw their way back into the game.
    With a few trophies in the bag the end state would have been reached earlier and then the club could have been more honest. Sometimes in life you need to ask why someone acts a certain way and the influences acting upon them. The realities could have hardly been worse once we made it into the new stadium and so to keep the high level we achieved will be judged in the future as a major sucess.

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  2. I read this in a Lancashire accent.

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  3. those that are now bemoaning our sponsorship deals compared to the biggest of the new deals other clubs have now signed, are being disingenuous, on two fronts, as when we signed our last big deals which were right up there with the very best, these same people belittled the usefulness of said deals, with stuff like “we wont spend the money anyway”, and the second point is that these people know that when we sign our next deals in a year or two, they will all going well, be right up there again with the very best deals out there.

    How many non CL winning clubs have better sponsorship deals than AFC, I can only think of the artificial deal City have.

    By the way, you know that old soundbite, what is the point of being in the CL when we don’t win it, well in the last five years AFC have earned something like £160M in TV money alone from being in the CL, that is Ozil, Alexis, Xhaka, Mustafi and change over.

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  4. Arsene lied his bollocks off, but go ask the Totts if it’s easy to qualify for the CL twenty years on the trot and for the second round thirteen years out of twenty.

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  5. I would say Arsenal did not lie, but were purposefully ambiguous and done nothing to clear this up, and allowed misconceptions to flourish.

    Its much like how Arsenal use the term “compete” when talking about CL and BPL, you see any club taking part in a competition can claim it competes, but only a couple of clubs actually “contend” for the winners spot. The ambiguity in we will “compete” for x, y and z, is that fans take it to mean we will be “contenders”.

    By the way, five years ago AFC income included £65M from player sales, our latest accounts show we brought in £2M from player sales. We have not sold a first team player we wanted to keep since cunty to man utd four years ago. and since then we have signed the four most costly players in the clubs history. So no one can tell me our financial position has not changed massively for the better in only four years.

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  6. Ben Dinnery ‏@BenDinnery 4h4 hours ago
    Bellerin, Walcott and Monreal will re-join the main group in training tomorrow. The trio should be OK for the derby [barring setbacks].

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Irish TV really don’t like Arsenal, none of our 4 CL group games were shown, by either TV3 on Tuesdays or by RTE on Wednesdays, and our 5th game v PSG is not being shown either.

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  8. Arsenal and Arsène have been swaying their bollix off for 20. Years to establish themselves in the top ten in Europe on a regular basis.
    Any look at UEFA’s coefficient table in recent years emphatically proves that our club has been one on the highest rated and consistant club up there with the best of them.
    Bear in mind (bare?) that 6 of 7 seven seats at that top ten table are permanently reserved for the proper big boys, all of who have piss early leaves not to worry about, and run as PG rightly and clearly says we have to squabble in the ‘best darned skill technically less league in the world’ tm
    There is no shame to behind the line of:
    Madrid, Barca, Bayern. We have on occasion beaten these bastards.
    I’d say we are equals of Dortmund, Juventus, Atletico, PSG. On the football pitch at least.
    Chelsea’s rouble fuled ride into the upper reaches of the coefficient table will soon drop like a stone thanks to the Specialist. And despite winning the thing once or twice the pair of. Lancastrian clubs the BBC so dearly love are well down the guest list from the top table clubs in Europe.
    How Benfica stay at the top level constantly is an utter mystery.

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  9. The annoying thing about the R16 draw is that because teams from the same country can’t play each other – that leaves mostly the successful German and Spanish teams as the most likely opponents for English clubs.
    Hence our club’s more than close relationship in recent years with Barca, Bayern and even Dortmund. Same old same old.

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  10. The year Arsenal made a breakthrough to get up to 8th and hence a top seeding in the draw – UEFA go and change the rules to let the Russians, Belgians and Portuguese league winners in ahead of us.
    Sheesh.

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  11. In terms of the so-called ‘big picture’, Arsenal clearly ARE now competing with the biggest clubs for the biggest trophies and the best players football has to offer.

    That the club told PR-led porkies at certain points in the journey is largely beyond dispute but the price we may have paid in a collapsed credibility and an impaired ability to attract the best young talent during these years was potentially catastrophically high.

    To any of us who turned up for Bergkamp’s summer testimonial, the sight of the bare bones of a stadium greeted us around about the same time the club told us we had money to spend on replacing players like Vieira and his ilk.

    The reality was that at one point we were struggling to pay the players’ wages and years of austerity lay ahead of us.

    Actually winning stuff was the least of our worries; the possibility of ‘competing’ was the height of our ambition and even that rested on Arsene’s extraordinary abilities to out-perform every other coach on the planet in terms of £’s spent for points/league places gained.

    When Arsene re-signs at the end of this season it’s likely that The Wonder Years could really be upon us, as an already mightily strong squad continues to strengthen and compete and yes, win, at the highest levels.

    But those first 6 or 7 post-Emirates seasons will go down as The Miracle Years. It turns out we had not a bean to spend, contrary to the club’s official position. THAT was the Board’s lie, but frankly, my dears, who gives a damn?

    Some of us, at least, could see the bigger picture. Some of us could see what we are about to become.

    That others chose not to support the manager or the club during these extraordinary times will be a matter for their conscience alone.

    I’m just glad and proud that my conscience – and that of the friends I found during this era – is as crystal clear as the day I started supporting Arsenal Football Club.

    Liked by 6 people

  12. ArsenalAndrew,

    I am posting this because all I could do was like your 7.04am post but I want you to know that if there is a higher button, I’d generously press it. You spoke my mind brilliantly. The last 2 paragraphs are perfect although I happened to have lost a lot more friends than I kept during the era. I guess in a bizarre way, the period helped us to know who people really are or how easily led by the nose most are.

    Thanks again for the comment.

    Liked by 4 people

  13. Top stuff George – and also to Andrew who nails it. We may have sailed close to, but with Arsene at the helm, we would never have gone with the wind.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Top post and top-notch comments. I think Arsene stopped short of outright lying and the board were much the same. We just, of necessity, left things unsaid.

    For most of those years I reckon he did believe we could win it, just that it was unlikely or very unlikely we would. I believe both the optimism and the realism would have been essential to a manager who had to keep pushing on while expectations remained sky high, yet whose job had become a great deal harder.

    My take is that Wenger would have needed that genuine optimism for his own motivation and to keep the players constantly outperforming the budget- no mean feat- for years.

    So the optimism was real. We aimed as high as possible the whole time, but knew that winning the league would be extremely difficult. Normal, let alone generous refereeing would not be forthcoming, but the deterioration * in refereeing and the savage treatment this paved the way for, leading to serious injuries we could never afford if we were to reach the highest goals, could not be anticipated.

    For instance, in trying to envisage a midfield to take on all comers around 2006, Diaby would have been seen as a main piece; who knows what could have happened if he had been allowed to fulfill his immense potential- those three games with him, Cazorla and Arteta about 5 years ago were enough to convince me he would have been a gigantic player for us.

    *set in motion at the time Reyes was infamously targeted, by free kicks being nothing, clear yellows being free kicks only, and reds being yellows only.

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  15. If you can’t figure out that there was a great and opposite change in the financial situation at the club and in English football simultaneously on your own, then no amount of truth telling will do anything to help you. After all, those of us who tried telling it were abused for it often enough. Would the club saying it really have made any difference to their attitude? It could though, have affected our ability to compete and accomplish even as much as we did.

    The club and the manager not only set us on the path to greatness, but stayed the course during the changed circumstances and tough times delivering the impossible. Something no one else would even attempt. Look at all non oil fed clubs and how quickly they’ve given up their vision..if they even had one in the first place. And this despite not just the lack of funds, but frankly the pathetic cheating by the refs and the often disgusting media propaganda, visages of which still remain.

    If you can’t figure all this out, you don’t deserve the truth. And if you can’t back the team during this tough time, but rather make it tougher, then you don’t deserve to win anyway. They’re more attached to their idea of superiority (of knowledge and ambition) over Wenger and others at Arsenal even more than the idea of winning anyway. A sure sign that Wenger is a great manager and a great man, that those sorts will try to run him down.

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