Arsenal Highlight the New Normal With 55 Redundancies.


If The Arsenal is the only club making redundancies I’ll be surprised, and if it remains at 55 then they will have done well. Yesterday’s announcement was a timely reminder of reality, not just for this club, but for football in general – and, although it pains to say it, for the world beyond. Since the return of televised football and the attendant drama of league seasons ending and promotion and relegation issues finalised, it has been easy to turn a blind eye to the lack of crowds (tv production teams quickly learnt to avoid shots of empty stands, became better at piping in crowd noise) and to pretend that everything was OK. For us, with glorious victory over City and then Chelsea to win our 14th FA Cup, it seemed that the age of Arteta could well be ushering in success of Wengerian proportions.

But Covid 19 is not going anywhere (and Covid 21 and 23 are waiting in the wings no doubt) and normal service won’t be resumed until a vaccine is found, tested and then rolled out world-wide. That is unlikely to be until springtime 2021 at the earliest. The UK government’s hope to have fans back in stadiums this autumn is already dashed, and the imperative to get schools open again will surely mean other freedoms will be curtailed. With a second corona wave feared as autumn turns to winter it will be harder and harder to keep playing squads, coaches, medical teams, referees and linesmen free from the virus. Nobody will be going to the Emirates anytime soon.

Sports that make for easy social distancing have been back on the menu for enthusiastic amateurs for several months now: great news for cricketers and golfers and tennis players, and its encouraging to see that football (training at least) is beginning again. The hope is that competitive matches will start later this month, but so much depends on the virus remaining under (relative) control, and with local lockdowns now happening I cannot see too much football happening outside the professional game this coming season. I strongly suspect that the UK will not be alone in this, and I worry for the development of young players across the world: for all sorts of reasons it’s probably not a great time to be a scout.

So I think that sad though it was to hear of redundancies I fear we will hear of more and more. I wonder how many fans have already renewed their season tickets, or indeed whether the club has even asked them to do so. I probably would not have renewed my Red Membership had I remembered it was on a standing order so I expect that many more savvy than me will not have contributed to the ongoing wealth of KSE Inc. I wonder too how easy it will be for fans to afford expensive TV subscriptions if their own jobs are jeopardised, so I suspect there are some ongoing and quite tense discussions going on between networks, leagues and governments. I would be particularly fearful if I was involved in promoting European Cups and Leagues come September.

Arsenal FC is everybody’s favourite whipping boy right now (and when, to be fair wasn’t it) but although you may find fault with its timing or its PR or even the whole way the club is run I strongly suspect that it is in a far better and more honest situation than many clubs in the Premiership. Heaven alone knows what it looks like in the lower leagues, and although I don’t think it will quite come to this, I do fear for the future of the game itself. In his magnificent poem MCMXIV Philip Larkin talks about the way the outbreak of the First World War was received, picturing the innocent way the men lined up at the recruiting stations as if it were ‘all some Bank Holiday lark’. Never such innocence again, he concludes, and I find myself in similar cast of thought as I hear Prime Ministers and others who ought to know better assure me that everything will be back to normal by Christmas time.

But then what do I know? Easier by far to blame it all on Big Stan or Mesut Ozil while getting ready for a trip to Piebury Corner and The Tollington.

Tim Head, @foreverheady

31 comments on “Arsenal Highlight the New Normal With 55 Redundancies.

  1. Sad, but not a surprise. Untold highlight the discussions in Germany regarding salary cap https://untold-arsenal.com/archives/82457?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=the-big-big-big-change-to-football-that-is-lurking-just-around-the-corner . I suggest that both transfer and salary caps will be required otherwise we could have well paid squads, skeleton support staff and only those with the bottomless pockets of nations will remain financially sound enough to compete.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You post a balanced piece here Heady. You emphasize the substantial financial losses the club faces. I remember warning in an April 1st blog at Uncensored that Arsenal could lose up to 40% of revenue due to the pandemic. So I share your concern.

    My major problem with the approach by Arsenal is some of the duplicity and deception they have engaged in which rightfully generates mistrust in their actions. I did a brief piece for my blog that highlightis “Don Raul Is Lying Low”, as the non-existent face of the top management. Letting Kia Jaroobchian loose to be our de facto head of recruitment is in my opinion contradictory to their austerity policy. The super agent is going to profit handsomely at this rate. Seems usual short-termism of management; cutting key staff to reduce short-term expenses causing greater losses in the future.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Cracking, if sobering, piece. I hadn’t considered it properly in this light beforehand.

    Ridiculously, I’d not given a thought to season ticket situation for coming season. What the heck is it? Are we looking at a hundred million hole or have they been selling as usual, or, say, 70% or whatever.

    Have to say it seems a situation where City’s gigantic financial advantage could be magnified further. As clubs who truly operate on the income they generate are potentially smashed by this, any whose mega budget is partly make believe (or rather is whatever a supremely rich state’s sovereign wealth fund feels like spending, while making some effort to look like complying with rules) will be stupendously well placed to capitalise.

    Maybe it’s not a coincidence that little or nothing has happened with anyone else yet while City have spent 70 million already, and Chelsea, come to think of it, also have one big deal sealed and allegedly close to even bigger one.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Change next year so won’t see any lines being produced for offsides with VAR.

    I mean, I didn’t trust them with it, and logically can’t if don’t trust them full stop, so maybe shouldn’t feel much at all about that.

    Still, suspect it’s one of those where if I’m wrong about them it makes no difference; if I’m right, it’s bad news for us. Definitely makes it easier to screw about.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Nick Ames
    Departures of Cagigao, McDermott & Clark were indeed the tip of the iceberg. Senior scouts covering France/Belgium, Spain, Italy and Germany have also been told by Arsenal that they are no longer needed today

    Liked by 1 person

  6. EPL Chairmen have voted to go back to just the 3 subs from 7 for next season

    Liked by 1 person

  7. By my own rules, often moaned about on twitter, I can’t take it too seriously without credible source, but have seen claim on twitter that respective times for positive (goal*, pen in favour) VAR decision are as follows :

    Pool 24 secs
    Spurs 26 secs
    Utd 35 secs
    Chelsea 46 secs
    Arsenal 4.09 mins

    Love to know if that’s real or what real stats are. If it’s real…I mean ffs what would it take for club to go on attack?

    Forget cutting jobs, signing this or that player, barely matters if the bias or worse against us is that heavy.


  8. Supposing not real, damn I hate the little twerps and shits who invent fake stuff on internet.

    I’m guessing positive goal could only mean if there was possible issue identified, normally offside. Because, obviously, on regular goals the average wouldn’t be anything like that.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. gunnerblog
    #AFC UPDATE: Arsenal have let a further 10 scouts go.

    Mackie, Daniels, Latimer
    Flag of United Kingdom

    Alex Stafford
    Flag of Scotland

    Stephen Bradley
    Flag of Ireland

    Ty Gooden
    Flag of France
    Flag of Belgium

    Julio de Marco
    Flag of Spain
    Flag of Portugal

    Leonardo Scirpoli
    Flag of Germany
    Flag of Austria

    Hans Gillhaus
    Flag of Netherlands

    Alessandro Sbrizzo
    Flag of Italy
    Flag of Switzerland

    Details here for @TheAthleticUK

    Liked by 1 person

  10. It is frightening….
    Arsenal scouts were very good. Unearthed many talented youngsters. I can’t see the way forward. Isn’t it scouting the cheaper, more effective option of finding talents?
    What now?
    I had bad taste in my mouth…

    Liked by 1 person

  11. It seems strange that after the global banking crisis in 2008 banks were forced to keep an larger floating find and were audited to make sure it happened but big companies seem to be surprised by an crisis.
    When you look at companies making millions or even billions of pounds profit for years and are now bellyaching about one crap year in which quite frankly they should have kept something in their back pocket for instead of paying out massive amounts to shareholders and creaming of profits. Especially when you consider many of these comments do all they can to pay little or no tax.
    While I know football is different we are still a large business and 55 staff seems a number we should be able to cope with.
    Looks like an easy way out to me and a worrying decision long term.


  12. 2 issues with this take.

    1. The pay cuts were supposed to prevent this, and I expect it would cause Arteta some problems, and maybe some personal regret.
    2. Tightening the belt on the entire scouting department, especially while clients of 1-2 agents are prioritised, seems less like a financial imperative and more a power grab.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. isn’t is funny how some Arsenal blogs and twitterattie, especially those who are or were part of the “we care more than you” movement last year, now are making excuses for the 55 lay offs, how they now claim the scouting network we had was “bloated”(a term Sven used it seems), that we don’t need scouts now that they are not allowed into games,

    it really does seem that Josh Kroenke read the “we care more than you” lot down to a tee, it really did only take the buying of Pepe for a record fee, for them to now do the PR for our owners and execs.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Would Arsene Wenger have done this?

    Liked by 1 person

  15. now reports are saying that the scouts being layed off are not part of the 55 announced midweek, no the scouts are being let go after Edu done a review of our scouting network,

    Liked by 1 person

  16. According to the @GoonerFanzine, Coutinho and his agents have been at London Colney today discussing a possible move to Arsenal.


  17. re the gooner fanzine story about Coutinho being at London Colney today, Coutinho was pictured at Bayern Munich training this morning, and they have a game v CFC in Munich tomorrow, so I do wonder just how likely it was he flew to London for transfer talks and then back to Germany for the game tomorrow, maybe he will not be in the Bayern squad tomorrow. But gooner fanzine has put his reputation on the line with this one

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Juventus and Real Madrid both out of CL,

    Juventus 2-1 Lyon (agg 2-2, Lyon win on away goals)

    Man City 2-1 Real Madrid (agg 4-2)

    Varane with two howlers gifted man city both their goals tonight

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Unfortunately, see City winning it this year, unless UEFA have their own ver of Mike Riley and his minions , not sure much else will stop them
    Money …John and Paul were naive, and possibly plain wrong, it probably can buy you love. But it certainly buys titles

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Interesting, Juve , the most traditional of clubs, have sacked an established manager and hired a young whippersnapper who was a talented MF in his fairly recent playing years. Sounds a little familiar.
    We shall see, but could be good news for Ramsey.?


  21. Arsenal being linked with a move for midfielder Morgan Sanson of Marseille


  22. spurs being linked with a £30M move for Ainsley Maitland-Niles


  23. If we sell a player of that potential, and indeed quality to Spurs, we would have to seriously question those running the club!


  24. ha ha ha, you have to love how John Cross tries to be the ITK for AFC news, his latest piece of nonsense, to free up the £18M from Ozil’s wages, Arsenal are going to pay up the £18M left on Ozil’s contract to get him to leave.

    and a whole group of AFC fans believe it and think it would actually free up £18M towards the wages of any new signings


  25. well Mandy my view on selling a player, once club decides to sell any player, and set a price, no matter which club meets that price then the player should be able to join them, be that spurs or any other EPL rival. If we no longer want a player we have no right to stop him joining whatever club agrees to the fee


  26. Beşiktaş are reported to be trying to sign Reiss Nelson


  27. Willian has published an open letter thanking Chelsea fans for their support during his time with chelsea.


  28. Agree with you in principle Eduardo, but Spurs!!! No way! Brighton Everton Napoli etc may be a different matter
    I know creative accounting practices exist in football, but cant get the maths of those who think paying Ozil off his full wages will free up the money? Kind of robbing Peter to pay Peter, or something even more unfathomable

    Liked by 1 person

  29. that geoffarsenal guy showing himself up to be as big a numpthy as any of that lot on arsenal fan tv, look at this shit about Ozil


    I’d give him 2 options.

    1. You find a club not in PL to pay 50% of your salary, we cover the rest.

    2. We’ll pay you to sit at home and are not allowed to come in to Colney/Emirates. Or not allowed to train or attach yourself to a professional club.


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