Resident Blogger : Simon Itodo
A friend of mine told me on Sunday that Arsenal fans aren’t football fans, we are accounting fans. And it’s true. As a club, we are far too fascinated with the balance sheet, “paying fair value”, and other non-football related crap. And by “club” I mean both fans and management. we use balance sheets as the new trophies.
BANG!! Pls don’t shoot! Here’s my hands, am raising them up slowly!! You can place your cuffs, straight to court, no need for my wife to post bail….judgment! AM GUILTY! Yes I am, aren’t you? Ok, maybe you aren’t but if you haven’t used words like Self Sustainability, Financial Fair Play, Stadium debts, commercial deals, balance sheet, Forbes List to justify to an extent our barren years in an argument with rival fans then I guess you haven’t really argued .
To support Arsenal requires more effort than it takes to be a regular fan of any club in the league, mainly because we are somewhere lost in the middle. We like to think ourselves a big club at least our trophies (yes we have those, football did not start in 2005), fan base and the Forbes money list tells us so, the league table…? Errr not so much, we have not been in the top two in recent years. So to be an active gooner you have to love more than football, finances hence comes into play. Rival fans and sportscasters like to make us seem small, lost, cursed by own undoing..bla bla bla….Honestly I love our model, I dislike rich owners and what they are currently doing to football, the soul of our game is gone, facts echoed by PFA Chief Executive recently you don’t have to look too far to see what can happen to a club when the finances go wrong , Blackburn, Birmingham, Portsmouth, Leeds, Wolves, Rangers, Malaga are just a number of clubs that have suffered recently from awful financial decisions and randy owners getting fed up of the game. Even Chelsea would have joined that list if Roman and his empire did not come to save that ship I wished had sunk to somewhere the devil will look down to and be glad hes got just hell to deal with…damm I hate that club! ESPN reports the joint debt of clubs in Spain is somewhere above the range of 4billion euros….phew!!
As much as football especially in England thinks it can exist in a vacuum and its immune from the current economic downturn in Europe it’s only a matter of time before the cookie crumbles so I salute the work of people like Gazidis , Wenger and Platini who are pushing for FFP (personally don’t think it will work but there’s no harm in trying). Arsenal prides itself as been self-sustainable and this is emitted in almost every interview you hear from the club officials…
Sky Sports Presenter: Monsieur Wenger, how do you think you would fare this season?
Wenger : bla bla bla……money…..bla bla bla….Gazidis…bla bla FFP….
Sky Sports Presenter: Is your target a top four finish?
Wenger : With the new commercial deals we have signed we are in a strong position to compete, errr bla bla bla …….we have invested in the squad with a core set of young british talent….bla bla…Arsenal cannot afford not to be in champions league as we need the money….bla bla ..we will finish high up!!
Sky Sports Presenter : Last year you said it was the year of the OX, whose year is it this year
Wenger : Gazidis …
Can you really blame us fans for using financial statements as our defense all the time when that’s what we are always fed.. if you hear the same thing for almost 10years you are most likely going to start believing it…..until this year. This was meant to be our year!!! Finally! We had stadium debts well under control, new commercial deals had been signed, more money from the Barclays TV deals and all our rival managers who had won anything had either retired ,fired, burnt on a stake, dead etc don’t care really, I just know they aint there hence we are in a strong position, the shackles of no money are gone…FREE AT LAST , FREE AT LAST, FREE AT LAST we screamed…errr , are we free? We were outbid by Napoli for Higuain, or were we? Word on the street says we walked out because Madrid moved the goal post after we had a prior agreement. The problem with word on the street is its dependent on which street you are walking on….anyways back to the issue, just as last season drew to a close we heard all the right things from the people that run our club
the financial resources to sit and compete among the
leading clubs in the world, which is an extraordinary achievement.
Once, a shareholder accused Gazidis of “ruining the club with your financial policies”, and accused the board of valuing balance sheet before football success. Kroenke or ‘Silent Stan’ for being very much in the background, addressed a question on whether dividends were to be paid to shareholders.
No longer Silent,..coughs.. Stan said : “Aside from that, as majority shareholder it is clear we have a record in sports around the world and you can look at our record with our other clubs. “We have never put any debt on this club for acquisitions (during the takeover) and never said money was not available to spend. “We acquire through our own resources.”
I have one regret with Arsenal and that is that I did not get involved earlier.
Kroenke has just one regret, if groups like BlackScarf Movement have their way and a lot of fans are tending towards that way, Silent Stan would have a lot more regrets a whole lot more infact if going by the tweets posted by fans he might need to find a bunker to live in. So while we applaud our self-sustaining, financially exemplary model and we shine the amazing balance sheets for the world to see, Wenger and Gazidis might consider the fans and invest in this club we all love, guide us to win a real trophy not one in the hearts of economists and give us a reason to punch the next scumbag who tells one of those over used ‘you haven’t won a trophy since the Galileo found out the earth was spherical’ jibes.
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