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You Can Stick Your Billionaire Up Your.........

I used to harbour a real soft spot for Manchester City. It may be in part owing to a mutual distaste for their neighbours, it might be from that time at Maine Road in 2001 when Arsenal had raced into a 4-0 half time lead and the City fans, always ones for laconic, self deprecating humour, chanted "what`s it like to be outclassed?" followed by, three minutes into the second period, "0-0 in the second half!" But in light of their recent sensational takeover by the Abu Dhabi United Group (so that`s what our perennially injured midfielder does with his spare time?) I have felt that soft spot fade somewhat. Interpret this as one of the big boys feeling threatened if that is your inclination, but the speed with which they were willing to jump into bed with the deplorable Shiniwatra removed the sheen from my fondness. Even if, in typical City style, they came up with an amusing chant to honour their benefactor. (To the tune of the Proclaimers, "You can take £500million and you can take 500 more, cos Thaksin`s got another £500million underneath his bedroom floor. Shiniwatra, Shiniwatra.") With Thaksin`s assets frozen as he refuses to re enter Thailand for fear of imprisonment, City looked to be lacking atonality and knee deep in the brown stuff.

With Thaksin not exactly screaming larceny from the rooftops, this development pleased me somewhat. Firstly, because it elucidated the deplorable incompetence of Scudamore and his cronies in applying the 'fit and proper persons test`, which looks to be one of the most flimsily applied pieces of legislation since the Government`s laughable ASBO scheme. Secondly, I regarded it as a kind of moral victory for football, illuminating the delightful schaudenfreude of watching a human rights abuser and all the supporters that soporifically anaesthetised themselves from his past get their comeuppance. The footballing deities seemed to have stirred themselves from slumber and declared, in the delightfully menacing words of Thom Yorke, "this is what you`ll get/ if you mess with us." However, the comatosed Gods of football must have slipped back into their narcolepsy as deadline day saw an audacious buyout from Saudi Royals, their interest piqued by the prospect of another plaything. Scenes scattered across our scenes as City fans greeted the signing of Robinho with Bacchanalian delight, once again they were lifting their skirts and accepting a shafting from the Abu Dhabi United group and all of a sudden the top flight had another steroid injection to deal with. Most of these supporters were likely unaware/ unconcerned that the family behind the group, the Al Nahyans, were the subject of an Amnesty International Report to the UN in July. The fact that their regime offers detention without trial, public floggings, but not the vote for citizenry did not appear to register on the Eastlands radar.

Perhaps you cannot blame them really, after years of comic underachievement, subsequent relegations, managers that lasted for 33 days, the boardroom battle of Swales and Lee, the death of Marc Vivien Foe and the spectre of United`s shadow engulfing them, perhaps they feel they are entitled to take a seat at James Bond`s Monte Carlo table. But from a moral standpoint, do City fans want it that way? With a synthetic cash injection? Is not the essence of sport, perhaps ironically, the last bastion of the Capitalist ideal, best man wins, best clubs get the best players and the best clubs win the biggest prizes? I wouldn`t argue that the wealth distribution of football is fair and even at this moment, but is another billionaire the solution? (Though it does make me laugh that such a right wing governed sport as football has people rushing to orgiastically apply Socialist principles when it suits their agenda to do so). Perhaps my thinking is outmoded, perhaps the fact that my immediate social group is comprised entirely of people who support lower league sides, but a football club means more to me than that. It is more than a result on a screen and a trophy on the sideboard to boast to my mates about. Perhaps that`s because when you go drinking with Millwall, Crystal Palace and Sheffield Wednesday fans, there`s a limit to the amount of banter you can realistically indulge. But Arsenal play for 180 minutes every week at the most, yet the club demonstratibly dominates all of our thoughts for much longer than that in an average week. It is a culture and an epoch we buy into (if you`ll excuse the phraseology there). The clubs I mention above, Palace, Millwall and Wednesday; they have not achieved a great deal in their modest histories, they are unlikely to achieve much in their futures either. Yet people still turn up in their thousands to watch. When a friend of mine renewed his Millwall season ticket this summer, he remarked on the insanity of paying money, knowing he would watch his side lose more than they would win in the third tier of English football. Does that not prove that supporting a team is more than just a Saudi businessman presumably bored with the spectre of public floggings?

Would I have been happy had Arsenal been taken over by these devil may care billionaires? Not at all, not only for the moral implications but because I happen to treasure the fact that my football club is not a circus. City`s star signing got the name of his new side wrong in his first interview as their employee. With fickle, starry eyed players comes a brand of synthetic interest, the kind of which I am sure annoy those who supported Chelsea through the 1980s. While it`s fair to say Arsenal attracts its fair share of glory hunters, I wouldn`t be comfortable with this artificially piqued interest in the club. Aside from his questionable sense of ethics, this is one of the reasons I strongly resist the neon claws of Usmanov, together with his Daily Mail driven campaign for power and his attempt to sensor naysayers on the internet. (Though you have to give credit to him and Dein, they have achieved the impossible by making the august publication of the Daily Mail even more despicable than it already was).

But something that is wantonly overlooked by City fans are the broader financial implications. Firstly, upon the club itself, the Abu Dhabi group have called themselves an "investment company", though given their boasting about signing Ronaldo and talk of them initiating the first £500k weekly contract; they are obviously unconcerned about receiving much of a return on their investment. Whatever the semantics of it, the fact is that City are now at the absolute behest of their benefactors. The wage bill is likely to sky rocket to unprecedented proportions, should the Saudis decide to pull the plug in a fit of pique, City`s future will be plunged into immediate danger. One can foresee the manner the club is likely to be run in, with talk of immediate Champions League success, instant pressure is applied to the current staff and an unpleasant environment is created. Whilst the Abu Dhabi Group may know a thing or two about business, football is somewhat trickier and breaking the hegemony of the top four is likely to take at least a little bit of forbearance. For the long term, it does not look at all sustainable to me and like Icarus who flew too close to the sun; the wax might just fall from beneath City`s wings in the long term.

There are of course the worrying implications of football as a whole, this summer`s transfer window was a little like the quiet after the storm. A global recession had forced clubs to reign in their spending and a little sanity was restored to the game. Barcelona spoke of selling before they could buy, Chelsea were unusually frugal by their standards. Now with the Saudi billions entered into the equation, already astronomical wages will swell further, transfer fees will inflate as sellers look to milk City for all their worth. When the time arrives for the seller to replace their "asset", negotiations will fat with avarice, as the new seller looks to feed on City`s sloppy seconds. As competing sides struggle to compete financially, their only riposte will be to raise ticket prices still further, which will likely be met with indifference from a paying public in the grip of the credit crunch. The Abu Dhabi Group might as well have ridden into Manchester on four horses, because their arrival could have apocalyptic consequences on a game already close to eating itself with talk of distorting competitions to include foreign league games, the G-14, ostensibly a group of pigs with their snouts in a trough, of which we are part, and such like.

Construe this as a terrified whinge from a member of the Sky Sports, super duper Grand Slam Sunday endorsed big four who feels threatened if you must. Perhaps you will throw the predictable cry of envy at me, perhaps you think I that, as early as my mid twenties, I have entered fuddy duddy territory with my overly romantic notions. Or perhaps I think football is fast losing its appeal, gripped in a cyclone of sheikhs and fakes. I want my club to be successful, of course. But not that way thank you, I don`t want any part of that vulgar circus for reasons moral and long term fiscal. Not for all the tea in china, or all the oil in Siberia for that matter.LD.




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The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday September 10 2008

Time: 10:42AM

Your Comments

Good article LD. I've grown increasingly annoyed with a lot of MC fans over the last few days at their 'If Cesc doesn't come to us he's a fool' bollox. They're running before they can hold their head up. I don't want to knock City, like you I have a soft spot for MC. Be careful though. If money automatically got you Champions League football, Tottenham or Newcastle would be there instead of us. If billions won the champions league, Chelsea would have at least one. With Cesc, Kaka and others quashing City approaches already, players don't seem too impressed by their money. Unfortunately these billionaires are not football people. If I were a City fan, I'd worry about the long term implications. BE CAREFULL WHAT YOU WISH FOR!!!!!
navydave
i wholeheartedly agree, not much more to say than that, nice article
Monkeyjerky
Lol I like City fans, why not give them their moment? I don't want to follow the same apth as their club though. Arsenal is fine as it is thanks. And their comments about Cesc and Ronaldo make me laugh, so it's worth having them around. Dellusion is always funny.
Regiboy
The hypocricy in this article is galling. FYI Abu Dhabi is the richest state in the UA Emirates. If you were so outraged by the human rights of Abu Dhabi then why have you allowed them to inter alia name and help pay for your new stadium..unbelievable double standards. To cap it off YOUR Peter Hill-Wood said yesterday that he would recommend selling up if Arsenal were subject to a massive bid from an Arab consortium ala MCFC! If you have any decency at all you will apologise to all City fans for insulting them with this bilge. If not, I can only assume it is all bitter hypocricy again from a Champions League top 4 cartel member scared of some decent competition for once. As for not liking City fans anymore, well that is ok as we will continue our self mocking chants and humour without mourning the loss of our bad weather friends. A very happy Man City fan after 30 years of pain, taunts and continually having our first team and youth team raided by teams with Arab/Russian sponsors (with dubious civil rights records).
City Girl
It would be nice if you had your facts right lol. We were not bought by Saudis.
jigga1233
Read this about one of your shareholders :) its in two parts Part1 Alisher Usmanov, potential Arsenal chairman, is a Vicious Thug, Criminal, Racketeer, Heroin Trafficker and Accused Rapist I thought I should make my views on Alisher Usmanov quite plain to you. You are unlikely to see much plain talking on Usmanov elsewhere in the media because he has already used his billions and his lawyers in a pre-emptive strike. They have written to all major UK newspapers, including the latter: “Mr Usmanov was imprisoned for various offences under the old Soviet regime. We wish to make it clear our client did not commit any of the offences with which he was charged. He was fully pardoned after President Mikhail Gorbachev took office. All references to these matters have now been expunged from police records . . . Mr Usmanov does not have any criminal record.” Let me make it quite clear that Alisher Usmanov is a criminal. He was in no sense a political prisoner, but a gangster and racketeer who rightly did six years in jail. The lawyers cunningly evoke “Gorbachev”, a name respected in the West, to make us think that justice prevailed. That is completely untrue. Usmanov’s pardon was nothing to do with Gorbachev. It was achieved through the growing autonomy of another thug, President Karimov, at first President of the Uzbek Soviet Socilist Republic and from 1991 President of Uzbekistan. Karimov ordered the “Pardon” because of his alliance with Usmanov’s mentor, Uzbek mafia boss and major international heroin overlord Gafur Rakimov. Far from being on Gorbachev’s side, Karimov was one of the Politburo hardliners who had Gorbachev arrested in the attempted coup that was thwarted by Yeltsin standing on the tanks outside the White House. Usmanov is just a criminal whose gangster connections with one of the World’s most corrupt regimes got him out of jail. He then plunged into the “privatisation” process at a time when gangster muscle was used to secure physical control of assets, and the alliance between the Russian Mafia and Russian security services was being formed. Usmanov has two key alliances. He is very close indeed to President Karimov, and especially to his daughter Gulnara. It was Usmanov who engineered the 2005 diplomatic reversal in which the United States was kicked out of its airbase in Uzbekistan and Gazprom took over the country’s natural gas assets. Usmanov, as chairman of Gazprom Investholdings paid a bribe of $88 million to Gulnara Karimova to secure this. This is set out on page 366 of Murder in Samarkand.
jigga1233
I still say this'll all end in tears city girl. Sparky will be out of a job by May, and if this arab guy can't bring in the superstars he's promising then maybe his interest will wain. I might be wrong, but non-exhaustive resources financially doesn't mean you can have whoever you want! Chelsea - Henry/Robinho/Kaka, City - Berbatov.
navydave
part 2 Alisher Usmanov had risen to chair of Gazprom Investholdings because of his close personal friendship with Putin, He had accessed Putin through Putin’s long time secretary and now chef de cabinet, Piotr Jastrzebski. Usmanov and Jastrzebski were roommates at college. Gazprominvestholdings is the group that handles Gazproms interests outside Russia, Usmanov’s role is, in effect, to handle Gazprom’s bribery and sleaze on the international arena, and the use of gas supply cuts as a threat to uncooperative satellite states. Gazprom has also been the tool which Putin has used to attack internal democracy and close down the independent media in Russia. Gazprom has bought out - with the owners having no choice - the only independent national TV station and numerous rgional TV stations, several radio stations and two formerly independent national newspapers. These have been changed into slavish adulation of Putin. Usmanov helped accomplish this through Gazprom. The major financial newspaper, Kommersant, he bought personally. He immediately replaced the editor-in-chief with a pro-Putin hack, and three months later the long-serving campaigning defence correspondent, Ivan Safronov, mysteriously fell to his death from a window. All this, both on Gazprom and the journalist’s death, is set out in great detail here [Not now it's not] Usmanov is also dogged by the widespread belief in Uzbekistan that he was guilty of a particularly atrocious rape, which was covered up and the victim and others in the know disappeared. The sad thing is that this is not particularly remarkable. Rape by the powerful is an everyday hazard in Uzbekistan, again as outlined in Murder in Samarkand page 120. If anyone has more detail on the specific case involving Usmanov please add a comment. I reported back in 2002 or 2003 in an Ambassadorial top secret telegram to the Foreign Office that Usmanov was the most likely favoured successor of President Karimov as totalitarian leader of Uzbekistan. I also outlined the Gazprom deal (before it happened) and the present by Usmanov to Putin (though in Jastrzebski’s name) of half of Mapobank, a Russian commercial bank owned by Usmanov. I will never forget the priceless reply from our Embassy in Moscow. They said that they had never even heard of Alisher Usmanov, and that Jastrzebski was a jolly nice friend of the Ambassador who would never do anything crooked. Sadly, I expect the football authorities will be as purblind. Football now is about nothing but money, and even Arsenal supporters - as tight-knit and homespun a football community as any - can be heard saying they don’t care where the money comes from as long as they can compete with Chelsea. I fear that is very wrong. Letting as diseased a figure as Alisher Usmanov into your club can only do harm in the long term
jigga1233
its a sad day when fans from different clubs are having a pop at each other regarding the suitibility of their foreign investment. we are all from the same stock. we watched football on muddy pitches for years, players were paid £250 a month and the owners of the club had a history with the club and were at hear supporters. we have been invaded by money. there isn't enough money in the UK to support what the premier league has become. Russia, America and Arab states are the only ones who can afford to run an english club. its a very sad state of affairs. one day Arsenal will succumb to the evil that has already consumed Chelsea and Man City. we are all losers at the end of the day. the game that I fell in love with has gone and now I must learn to love something uglier. Hey if we still had DD, we'd have been the ones sold to Abu Dhabi. he saw it coming years ago to be fair to him. I agree with your sentiments whole heartedly LD, but ask gooners if they want to stay independent and never win another trophy or be bought by a billionaire and compete for trophies, I think I know what most would vote for.
gazzap
I can't believe this article has made it on to the boards!?! Do you not have any understanding of the Middle East. Abu Dhabi is not in Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi is in the United Arab Emirates (UAE)!!!!!!! . Your own stadium is sponsered by the national airline of the United Arab EMIRATES!!!!!!!! " However, the comatosed Gods of football must have slipped back into their narcolepsy as deadline day saw an audacious buyout from Saudi Royals" Is this genuine idiocy on your part or is it something of a more sinister nature, along the lines of their all the same that lot! Abu Dhabi has nothing to do with Saudi Arabia and it much publicised repressive regime!! UAE is considered a moderate Arab country. You are allowed to worship your own god, there are many Churches for you to attend should you wish. Crime is almost nil! You feel safe in your home and never worry that you or your family will be attacked. If this is the result of criminals knowing they will be flogged if caught I'm ok with that. Maybe the UK could learn something from them. Amnesty international have highlighted UAE on a number of issues but AI have also highlighted the UK and your managers country France on issues of human rights but you are not calling for Wenger to end his term at Arsenal because of it. There is a saying "It is much better to be thougt of as a fool than to open your mouth and prove it"
Salford Blue
What the matter LD....Ickle Little CITY have the audacity to have ambition, actually have aspirations to play in the champions league, maybe we might actually get some silverware in the coming seasons..... This article is a disgrace it is like a parent admonishing a small child.... What also makes you think you would have a say IF a billionaire came along and offered enough to tempt your board into selling up? What would you do LD...Stop supporting your beloved Arsenal or maybe start dreaming of all the world class players you could potentially sign? I love watching Arsenal play and I was there in 2001 when you gave us a masterful display of total football, but this attack on CITY is completely unwarranted and as "City Girl" stated "The hypocrisy in this article is galling"...
M19 Blue
What the new owners are trying to do has never been done before. Everyone keeps saying that Chelsea could not buy silverwear but they have done pretty well since Roman took over. However what Chelsea have done will be nothing compared to what this group has planned Chelsea in the last five years have bought 1 player over £30m in Romans reign in the same time Man UTD have bought 1 Player over £30m. The Abu Dhabi group plan to sign atleast 18 in this bracket. Now I am not saying that they will be able to buy every player with a value of over £60million as that would be impossible. Cant see Gerrard leaving LFC etc. However there are more than enough world class players in the £30m+ bracket that will be persuaded. Think about that then a team where every single player even our worst transfer will be worth more than the current top twos best in their last five years. Only then will we see if money can buy football and on the basis that it makes every other aspect of business easier I would not predict that our future will be any different CTID :)
jigga1233
Jigga and City girl, you think we like having Emirates on our shirts and having that fat odious rapist own Arsenal shares? no siree, we most certainly dont. at least we can admit it. Man city fans are living in a bubble probably down to lack of success over the years.
gazzap
The more I think of this article the more I think it is racist. Can you imadgine if every nation was compared with Zimbabwe!! Just lump them all together, their all the same that lot aren't they? Or is it just crass stupidity on your part tim Stillman? You were happy to take their money when they sponsered your stadium!
Salford Blue
Jigga, get in the real world!! You will not get anywhere near the amount of players you are talking about. Superstars tend to want to be special to a side, when they're not, they sulk or get disillusioned. This is one of the reasons Real Madrid have become a more stable outfit in the league since the Gallactico term has been removed. You are being unrealistic.
navydave
Neither do we to be fair Gazzap. I wish we were owned by a Manchester Trillionaire but that just aint going to happen and we are never going to compete with anyone without money. All big business and individuals have Human rights problems as Our new guy Gary Cook said " I worked for Nike for over 15years and we were always getting accused of Human rights Issues" We use products everyday from countries who's records are often overlooked on their basis of world worth (The middle east OIL, China and India Manufacturing). The sad fact is that we have been bought out and I would rather see my Beloved CITY win and have a small amount of guilt in my heart than see us have the rollercoaster ride that we have been through in the 30 years I have been a fan. Jesus I remember us in the old 3rd division and would have sold my soul to the devil to get us out of there. CTID
jigga1233
navydave Again i see your point and this is one of the reasons I am advising caution to the rest of my city mates. However players have no loyalty and at the moment they all think why should i go to X for £120k a week and get little football when I could go to Y for £100k a week and play regular football. Well again I think the way these boys will offer wages will be different would I move to city for £250k + a week or move to Y for £100k. And players will go dont get me wrong we will have mercenaires for the first couple of years but then IF and its a huge IF we are CL qualifiers then we will be able to tempt the bigger names to us.
jigga1233
agreed. its all about perspective. Arsenal can afford to take the moral high ground because we have been and continue to be relatively successful - with a board and control who have been in place at Arsenal for many years and are Arsenal fans. Say we lose that in the next year or so, and Usmanov takes over - every gooner in the world would then love to be taken over by the Abu Dhabi group. Or if Arsenal were just about avoiding relegation each season because we simply didn't have enough money to compete with the likes of City and Chelsea, then again gooners would be begging for an Abu dhabi type to take over. This is where City have been for a long time - in the footballing wilderness. They came a long way under shinawatra and now they will compete at the top table with the top 4. Make no mistake City will be top 4 within 3 seasons at the very most. It took chelsea 2 seasons to win big trophies from a similar position to where City are now - there is no difference between Chelsea and City. Do chelsea fans feel empty because Abramovish owns them?? not at all, they just feel empty when they fail to win a trophy now.
gazzap
I'm just hoping (and it might be a big ask) that players are earning so much that they are going to be have more money than they can spend anyway, so move to X or Y for footballing reasons. We already have to rely on this as we don't pay (the highest earners) as much as our rivals. Maybe now I'm the one being unrealistic, but I would question players motivation once they start to earn a million quid a month!
navydave
navydave. If you were earning a million quid a month would you go after 3 months sod this I am off or owuld you think I might like to earn this type of money for the next 5-7 years. Name me one member of a business who gets demotivated by less money. I dont know what you do for a living but I bet your boss could get you to work a little bit harder if he said paid you 5times more than you are on now.
jigga1233
Gazzap A proper fan with sensible suggestions thank you I wish all our fans were like this :)
jigga1233
You got me Jigga, I'm a hopeless romantic. But believe me I don't earn more money than I could spend! You do get rare cases in football where players take pay cut to join certain teams for footballing reasons.
navydave
I think let the City fans have their moment in the limelight, after years and years in the shadows of manure, they deserve some joy, we all know that only the money grabing players will join City, so the fans will soon see that players who just play for the money don't care about the fans or the club, so if City are losing they wouldn't care as long as they get their pay!!!!! Great Article by the way
hackneyval
Hackneyval. Who plays for arsenal for the love and not the money?
jigga1233
Hackneyval talk about nieve....ALL footballers are money grabbers and don't for a milli-second think that Arsenal players are any different!!!!
M19 Blue
And dont say Cesc cause he would not join full stop, but if a spanish side had been bought out and they wanted him say Barcelona or Real would he still consider this suicide?
jigga1233
Navydave-As for the superstars and crazy timescales, you are a bit behind the times Dr Al-Fahim has been sidelined by the Sheikh as he has obv reacted to the negative reaction of City and its fans to his arrogant boasting before even buying the Club. http://www.thenational.ae/article/20080909/NATIONAL/292369537/1043&profile=1043 That is not our style. We leave arrogant taunting to the glory hunters in Trafford who are shaking in their boots at the moment with their petty sniping from behind the wall. As for "losing" Berbatov. We made United break every transfer rule (and get away with it without a points deduction) and pay an extra 10M to the cowardly Tottenham. That was just a statement of intent like Robinho. Don't tell me you would not have loved it to see the sight of Berbatov sat on Citys bench with arrogant Baconface fuming in the opposite dugout. Robinho isn't the answer either (what can you expect in 12hrs). Though, can you imagine Abramovich contemplating bidding the extra 4M euros realising that he cannot compete anymore as he is no longer top dog. Priceless just priceless. Yes the tears have started but they are ones of laughter. I cannot see how Arsenal are not enjoying all this drama too. After all, we will prob not have a team until next year and even if we come good this year, well, you only have to beat Liverpool with the mega signing Riera.
City Girl
I must admit, it's made an interesting week, but not all City fans are as gracefull and good humoured as you. I have seen a couple of ridiculas comments on Vital City. Making out you are already bigger than us, and that's just a bit pre-emtive. That's why I didn't say all city fans. Enjoy it, I just hope it doesn't backfire!
navydave
I think it's quite sad that we are getting so much grief. We are a club who have long-suffered and remained loyal throughout. Now we've followed the example set by the big four we get slated by their fans who have gone straight for our throat claiming the whole thing just isn't fair. I'm sorry but I am not going to aopologise to you or feel sorry for you. I suspect good times will follow for us and I am sure as hell going to enjoy them, just like I did the bad times. And you can all kiss my bottom.
SkyBlueSuedeShoes
City fans on here will be unfamiliar with my usual stance. Re read the article, I am absolutely 100% against the onwership of Usmanov or with him havong anything to do with the club, to the point that I have stated on ehre before that he, or someone of his ilk takes over, my season ticket, away scheme membership and everything goes out of the window and I won't support them. Simple. For those throwing out the predictable, "you're just jealous" lines, re read the article, I don't want Arsenal to be successful that way and if it means tumbling down the league to preserve our integrity, I'll take it. This article wasn't written as an Arsenal fan but as a football fan. I'm not interested whether you take a spot in the top four or not, it's the game I'm worried about. Evidently you are not, that's fine. The Abu Dhabi group is backed by the Al Nahayn family, I suggest you look them up before throwing your accusations of racism and other such rubbish against me. I'm under no illsuions that footballers are mercenaries, again I have stated that on here many times. Ask anyone on this board and they'll tell you I've repeatedly called most members of our squad mercenaries and warned against regarding them as anything else. This ownership might backfire on you, but it will certainly be abd for football. Particualrly in the lower leagues, but I guess the first wad of cash made you forget that you were in "League One" only eight years ago. Salford Blue, our French and English contingents aren't the very people who enforce and uphold those human rights abuses, they just come from the same country. I don't recall taking any money from anyone for the naming rights of our stadium. I've spoken out here many times about not buying Arsenal merchandise because of the disgusting practises of nike. My point is I'd rather see Arsenal fail than succeed with artificial cash, especially if it was ill gotten. And to clear up another lazy, hackneyed stereotype, I did not say I was against foreign ownership, just morally reprehensible ownership. City fans on here need to pull their heads in, you have a right to disagree, but please think before throwing hurtful accusations around. Especially when you know precisely zero about me and what I have written here and elsewhere in recent years.
Little Dutch
SkyBlueSuedeShoes, please read the article and make at least a half decent attempt at grasping what it's about. Because you've missed the point so badly I'm wondering if your real name is Emile. So what if you've remained loyal? That's what you're supposed to do, hundreds of clubs all over the country have fans who have remained loyal. Like I said, by best mate's a Wednesday fan, so he deserves an even bigger billionaire human rights abuser than you do? I'm not asking for you to feel sorry for Arsenal, where have I asked that? Why don't all clubs who haven't been good enough to get any success all get billionaire owners then? Where would football be then? You have to stop thinking you're special and that just because you got relegated a few times that you deserve this. You don't anymore than a fan of Rochdale does. The point is, this is sport, and if City haven't been successful over the years it's because you haven't been good enough. Neither have Arsenal been good enough to win anything over the last three years, I accept we were ousted by stronger competitiors (except Chelsea). Like it or lump it, that's what sport is, competition and not everybody wins. If you don't like it, I suggest you stop following it.
Little Dutch
Little Dutch are you therefore saying IF Arsenal were bought by an organisation with obscene amounts of money you would stop supporting them?
M19 Blue
I'm willing to bet that most of these City fans had a very low opinion of Chelsea and/or Abramovich up until a week ago...
TPowell
If that money was tainted, yes, absolutely. I'm not the type to bury my head in the sand and say, "screw public floggings and the right to citizenry, I remember a penalty shoot out against Gillingham so I deserve to propser from that suffering." If we were boguth by a billionaire who wasn't "tainted" in this way, I wouldn't withdraw support but I would find it an enormous turn off. But Randy Lerner at Villa proves that you can just take a club over and run it sensibly.
Little Dutch
TPowell, Mr. Hammer meets Mr. Nail. Bang!
Little Dutch
The massive over reaction to an article that clearly has had a lot of effort put into it (and subsequent nit picking) is amazing. We are all entitled to our point of view, even Spurs fans, but easy there Citeh fans, don't take things so personally, i would of thought that having been the laughing stock of the Premier league (along with sp*ds & the barcodes) for so long you would all have thicker skins??!! Clearly not!
LondonGooner
More and more assumptions......Why Oh Why would we have a problem with Abramovich, he stopped the rags winning..... Is that hammer still banging???
M19 Blue
I'm sure if you google the name Laurent Kasper Ansermet you'll see exactly why you should have a problem with Abramovich. It puts a petty local rivalry into perspective a bit.
Little Dutch
That is not a baseless assumption. I find that Abramovich and Chelsea are the amongst the most derided subjects in the EPL. Perhaps not for those of you in Manchester. But tell me this, have you ever used the word Chelski?
TPowell
Little Dutch, you stated that City are now awash with Saudi money. The money of the Al Nahyan family has nothing to do with Saudi Arabia or the house of Saud. The UAE are a sovereign nation. How can you expect people to take your comments seriousley if you are making such glaring errors in your statements and conclusions. At what point will you start to want Arsenal to fail. Your team has already accepted Nike's cash. As you have already acknowledged Nike have a very poor record on observing human rights. Your stadium is named after the UAE's airline (an airline that has members of the Al Nahyan family on its board) and you have taken Usmanov's money as well. your team has gladly taken these organisations and individuals money, so why do you still support Arsenal? If you have such high principals surely you should walk away from Arsenal and want them to fail. Or are you happy to take their money as long as they don't actually own the club? Would you vote for an organisation that was supported and funded by Nazis but was not run by Nazis? Your principals seem hypocrytical.
Salford Blue
Little Dutch- I know you are fundamentally wrong to put the ills of football on the back of the proposed take-over of Manchester City. The ills of football as we know it probably started at the formation of the EPL which was set up so that the lower league clubs (which at the time included the perpetually well supported City I think) would get a far lower share of the tv money. It was pure greed. I believe Arsenal along with the usual suspects voted for that. Then UEFA as a reaction to the G14 clubs threatening to form a European League (which included Arsenal) the Champions League was set up that will forever in my mind have every winner devalue every true European Cup winner before then. This final carve up of massive tv revenue and sponsorship finally ended any hope of any team outside of the CL being able to compete on a consistent basis in the EPL. Then with the added extra place, Chelsea assisted by mega millions were able to retain their place and compete (good luck to them as at least it was a league of four and not three). I am at a loss to understand your arguement. What has the current lack of competition and predictability in the EPL and mass loss of revenue to the lower leagues have to do with Citys good fortune now. It is quite obvious that you need to look closer to home as two key times in the history of the game in this country your club has twice voted for greed over the collective good. I do not think I or Man City are the moral arbiters for football and have the right to point fingers at others so I don't have to remind you it was also not us that had Barcelona threatening to shut down all its youth teams due to the poaching of its best 15 year olds. What a loss to football as a whole and a real disgrace that would be. Just like filling up a government grant funded youth team with foreign talent when the whole purpose was to improve the production and standard of English/British players in the EPL. Despite being riled by your article I still like the way your team plays and wish it no ill. Oh and navydave I do feel Man City without disrespect to anyone else are the biggest club in the EPL bec I support and love them. Surely all fans feel the same about their clubs too.
City Girl
Delve a little deeper SalfordBlue. I acknowledge what you're saying CityGirl, I have supported Arsenal already beyond my principles, I take no part of the Nike merchandise, I am livid that Usmanov is anywhere near our club. I acknowledge the formation of the PL and the Champions League etc, this is more of a straw that broke the camel's back type scenario. The things you mention turn me off massively of football. But at least Arsenal earned the right to sit at the top table of football, through sound management on the team and financial side. If you read me regularly you'll know my opinions on David Dein and his part in that whole schebang. Money has done a lot of good things for football too, that shoulnd't be forgotten, though mainly it has been for greed. But the very least you could say for it would be that it was the greed of people who had dragged football up by its shoelaces and people who weren't routine human rights abusers. What I'm saying CityGirl is that I've been going off top flight football bit by bit over the years, even though my own club has largely benefited. Google an article I wrote here called 'The Men Who Sold the World' which will expand on that in more detail. What I'm saying is that if Arsenal were taken over outright by dirty money and given success we didn't earn, that would be the final straw. Like I say the article has wider intentions than Man City and Arsenal.
Little Dutch
City Girl, if your reference to foreign talent in a youth team is a dig at Arsenal, you should be made aware that Arsenal had 4 players in the U-19 game vs. Holland. How many did City have in it?
TPowell
Little Dutch, how much further do you want me to delve? However far you delve you will not move the borders of Saudi Arabia to incorperate UAE! Let me get this right, you are still willing to support Arsenal and consider yourself a fan, pay at the turnstiles etc. But if they increased the amount of "dirty money" that they currently have swelling their coffers you will walk away? How much dirty money do Arsenal have to accept before it becomes unacceptable?
Salford Blue
Oh and it was an Arsenal player who scored both goals and another Arsenal player who was chosen as motm by the commentators
TPowell
city fans, the essence of the article revolves around two points: 1. the dodgy backgrounds of OWNERS of clubs 2. the methodology of becoming a competitive side. Under both accounts Arsenal FC has a clean sheet. MCity on the other hand hasn't. Usmanov is a scumbag and the current Arsenal board has fought tooth and nail to keep him away from the club. There was no way of stopping Dein from selling his stake to the Uzbek, but the rest have resisted and I'm proud of that. Arsenal fans, the majority of them, have been united in supporting the board and the share lockdown agreements. The club is profitable and works within its limits. On the other hand Man.City... your obvious incapacity to create a development strategy, stability and steady progress with your own resources and brainpower thus failing to become a consistent competitor for the top places of the premiership led to the swift discard of your knickers followed by a Chelseasque oiled invitation: firstly to the patron saint of Thailand, and then to those who have built skiing slopes in the middle of the desert just because they can. It's pathetic that you are trying to find ways of equalling the position of AFC and Citeh. Good luck is all I can say.
G4L
Arsenal have not profited from Usmanov's money. The shareholders who sold the shares to him have but, to the extent of my knowledge, Arsenal have not taken a penny from him.
PENZ
G4L.....I think you need to understand the essence of the replies from City Fans No one is trying to "Find ways of Equalling the position of AFC"....We are basically stating those in glass houses should not be throwing stones.........How could a club a lowly as MCFC ever say anything against the holy ARSEnal.....
M19 Blue
M19, I bet you can't come up with something more pathetic?
G4L
ARSEnal are going to win the premiership????
M19 Blue
AMEN!! Just have to correct you one one thing, LD -- these are not "Saudi royals" who've taken over City. Call the Emirate Arabs "Saudis" and they'll try to restrain themselves from punching you out--or beheading you. :-) Gulf Arabs DETEST the Saudis. I too have always had a soft spot for City and wished them well last season. However I was sickened by the site of City fans publicly embracing Thaksin, asking for his autograph, treating him like a celebrity. Some City fans did not react that way at all, however, there's a City fan blog that did not ignore Thaksin's human rights and corruption background at all. I can understand City fans' wanting to see their club finally be successful, having mixed feelings about Thaksin and now these Emirate royals. I just don't like it when some of them warmly embrace it all unquestioningly, robotically, totally indifferent to the reality of the identity of their new owners, the potential effects on football and their club. I also had to laugh at the scenes of City fans shouting "WE'VE GOT ROBINHO!" as if they'd just gotten Maradona, ffs!! LOL!! Robinho's a good player but smart defenses can handle him, I've seen it done too many times.
jaelle
PENZ - This article seems to be claiming the moral high ground on whose money you would or would not want to accept as investment in your club. It claims that City have been bankrolled by dirty money from Saudi arabia when in fact the invesment comes from Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. Whilst your on the moral high ground you need to look over your shoulder at the name of your stadium and think about the £100m your club took from the UAE.
Salford Blue
G4L has also got it. I don't know, City fans have always been legendary for their humour and within ten days of joining the nouveau riche it seems to have eroded in a tide of over sensitivity. Listen, you have to acknowledge how bad the implications are on football as a whole. Crying, "waaah, we've been too badly run and too badly managed to compete, we deserve a sugar daddy" doesn't cut it for you anymore than it does for anyone else. Arsenal, Liverpool and United earned their place at the top table through astute management and having good managers. I can't defend the avarice of any of the aforementioned on occasion, but it is small apples compared to a completely artificial injection because some billionaire stuck a pin in a map.
Little Dutch
TPowell-What has that to do with my perspective/answer to the headline article. How does it add to the debate? It doesn't make anything I stated a lie, does it? I don't think it reflects on the quality of our mainly British youth team (which in fact beat a star studded money no object mostly foreign Chelsea team to be Champions last season) that the U19 coach has chosen a few Arsenal youngsters. Good luck to the boys. We still have produced 26 first team players for City and many times that number now have a professional career in the EPL and the other divisions due to our Academy. Surely the quality of our production line is indisputable but really apart from answering your comment adds little to the debate. As for your assumption I was referring to Arsenal, well if the cap fits...
City Girl
Broken Record now Salford blue. Do you know ALL the backgrounds of the members of the 'group' who have taken over your club. Unless your answer is yes, don't be too self assured that they are soley UAE. I'd always be suspicious when a group of people put up the money to be faced by an individual. That Dr what's his name is a reality TV star in Dubai (as well as a very successful property developer). Obvious choice to head up group of people who might not all be as clean as a whistle!
navydave
Little Dutch - Your right about City fans having a sense of humour but asking us to beleive that our new owners are Saudi's is a bit much. Just admit it you were wrong about where you thought our investment came from. The repressive and vile regime that is Saudi Arabia in not Abu Dhabi.
Salford Blue
City Girl.. City youth weren't champions last year. They won the Youth cup. next you'll be saying Spurs won the league!
navydave
LD, G4L...WE GET WHAT YOU ARE SAYING....But you don't get how hypocritical you are being...how ever you put it you have taken MILLIONS of pounds from UAE.......Did you then get hundreds of blogs slagging you off??? No.....But lowly City get a cash injection and suddenly the current top 4 are on our backs saying how we are ruining football......HYPOCRITES.......
M19 Blue
M19, When we got £100m over 10years, we didn't make public statements about buying other peoples top players at vastley exagerated prices to prove a point! I don't think this is the same thing. It's a totally different scale.
navydave
Maybe the complete over reaction from Citeh fans is a pre emptive defence of their position now that they have a sugar daddy to bankroll the club instead of sound financial principles, a forward thinking board and a talented proven manager who has the faith of fans and chairman alike? Just to point out also, Arsenal have produced more English players, plying their trade throughout the English top division currently than any other top flight team. nearly every team outside the top four and some in it have ex Arsenal youth players in thier squads!
LondonGooner
TO ALL THE CITY FANS HERE: G4L made the point very well. Unlike you, who've embraced your new owners (with total indifference to their identity, background, etc.--you don't seem to care at all about that), Arsenal's board and fans are unanimously AGAINST Usmanov or any such lowlife takeover. A lot of Arsenal fans call our new stadium Ashburton Grove instead of "the Emirates" precisely because we don't like its unsavory origins. You on the other hand, mindlessly take into your bosoms ANYBODY with no reservations at all. I don't think you'd care if it were Saddam Hussein who took over your club. The other thing is that, having read some of your blogs in the last few days, a lot of you've suddenly become just as obnoxious as Chelsea fans -- posting comments full of arrogant swagger, predictions of doom against other clubs, mindlessly predicting that every world class player will just flock in droves to you like robots. In other words, in one week, you've all become just as arrogant and obnoxious as the idiot fans from rival clubs that you've had to deal with for years.
jaelle
LD - I was born and raised in Abu Dhabi. I'm not gonna stand up and defend the UAE but I'm just confused about the "depth" I have to go to see that the Al Nahyan family are Saudi Royals!?! Provide at least one reference!
yazz
Ironic that the two sets of most defensive fans are also ones that have attempted to (one successfully so far, Chelski) to BUY success rather than earn it........! As for the £100 million, we were at the top when we got it and will be at the top when it runs out, it also doesn't give some fat head with a big mouth in our club the right to harp on about other teams players like a school kid who has just discovered Championship Manager. It's cheap (ironically not) and nasty and just like Chelski you may soon find that reaction from football fans towards your club also. Deserved, that's not for me to say!
LondonGooner
M19Blue--it's HILARIOUS on your part to say that fans of other clubs are now saying that City's destroying football. Arsenal fans and fans of other clubs have been saying for YEARS that this trend of sugar daddys like Abramovich is destroying football -- that the FA is destroying football for refusing to stop it. You guys just can't see that your case is now seen by many (because your new owners have taken the trend to such a new, extreme level with their unprecedented cash resources) as the final nail in the coffin, the final step that will finally destroy our game. That's all. This goes beyond club tribalism -- something you just don't get. It's about caring for the future of the sport. Arsenal fans have been incredibly worried about a club takeover, we don't want to see it happen. We see what's happened to your club and it makes us feel like there's nothing the Board can ever do to stop it.
jaelle
Navydave So now the problem is with our new owners stating they are going to buy everyone elses top players? Or is it the amount of money being invested? Maybe you could enlighten us as to the figure at which it becomes wrong?
M19 Blue
Also, I don't recall Arsenal fans or any Arsenal officials ever publicly swaggering about poaching big name players from other clubs, claiming that those players would be "CRAZY" not to come to us.
jaelle
navyblue - No I don't know all the group that bought City, but I am sure that Saudi Arabia are not stalking horse in the takeover. Dr Sulaiman Al Fahim who fronts the group was chosen because he is a very astute businessman with experiance of dealing with the media which the takeover was sure to generate. However he is now taking a back seat, read this article http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/leagues/premierleague/mancity/2706279/Man-Citys-Abu-Dhabi-front-man-sidelined---Football-news.html . Who are you suggesting that the group represents, modern day Pol Pots and IDI Amin's? I couldn't care less who invests in Arsenal. But I don't have a sense of humour when people claim my club and the supporters of it are in someway morally bankrupt when the posters own team accepted money from the very same country in the naming of its stadium. Hypocrisy is an ugly trait.
Salford Blue
City Girl, you opened up that topic in your post, you were the first to go off topic, and I simply retorted that despite your assertion that our youth team is affecting the development of English players we had more players in a U19 England squad than any other club. It is clubs like Chelsea and now presumably City who stifle the growth of English players as they now assume that as soon as they're good, their club will just buy a Robinho to play in the first team. At Arsenal, English youths are in free competition with foreign youths for a shot at the first team. As you will soon see with Jack Wilshire.
TPowell
Navy Blue?????? was that intentional? All I'm saying is make sure you know all the facts before you correct others. I hope, for the sake of football, that all concerned are of the highest moral fibre! There are not many people THAT rich, who have no skeletons in their closet.
navydave
Salford Blue - As supporters, we didn't welcome that money with open arms, as mentioned very clearly on numerous occasions above. You have. That money didn't make us a top club, we were at the top of the tree when it happened and due to the sound structure at the club, can your's say the same? Clearly and obviously not! The continued assertions from yourselves that we are hypocrites just doesn't hold water unless you are making sweeping generalisations with tenuous connections. Our club belongs to a group of people who have it's best interests firmly at heart, you're noa rich man's (groups) play thing, nothing more than a large cygnet ring, a diamond earing or some other item of bling, that will as they always do, lose it's lustre and fade.
LondonGooner
jaelle - What is it that the new owners of my club are supposed to have done? As for all the posturing and swaggering that has gone on from some City fans recently I find that embarrasing. Dr Sulaiman Al Fahim who came out and said we were going to buy every top player on the planet has now taken a back seat. Probably due to his boasting. It seems to me that the majority of people only have a problem with the amount of money City's new owners have. If we had been bought by a middle eastern business man with much smaller pockets nobody would bat an eyelid.
Salford Blue
stifle growth? lol, Frank Lampard was the second best player in the world a couple of seasons ago, what more do you want from Chelsea? Chelsea is very very veeery different from City. Chelsea spent tons of cash even before Abramovich came.We qualified for the Champions League without his assistance. So even with financial problems, we were progressing.
k_chelski
"If we had been bought by a middle eastern business man with much smaller pockets nobody would bat an eyelid." -- if that businessman had engaged in the brutal "sport" of camel races with child slaves as jockeys, owned companies that routinely brutalize foreign workers and treat them as slaves, I certainly would "bat an eye." Salford, I do know the Gulf states, know the region pretty well. There are definite differences between Saudi and the smaller emirates. I am also very sensitive to anti-Arab/Muslim bigotry (I get into arguments on and off the net all the time). Don't try to pass Abu Dhabi on to me as some kind of paradise of moderation.
jaelle
Lampard has never been close to the top ten of best players in the world LOLOLOL K Chelski you crack me up mate! Only to rose tinted Chav fans has he ever been a world class player.
LondonGooner
LOLOLOLOL, really? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2005_FIFA_World_Player_of_the_Year
k_chelski
LondonGooner - Whether you accepted the money with open arms or not, your club accepted the money and you as supporters will bask in any glory that money helped fund. However big or small our clubs have been funded from the same source. The only clubs that I have seen genuinely upset/angry at City's takeover have been Manure fans and Arsenal fans. I can only put that down to fear of what City could become. Chelsea fans have generally been saying "bring it on". If Arsenal don't win any silveware in the foreseable future I'm sure you will take great comfort in the fact that your club is run by a group of people who have it's best interests firmly at heart.
Salford Blue
So Lampard is now a product of the Chelsea youth system?
TPowell
Couldn't give a flying **** what that say's I know what I and the majority of other people see. Tell me, if that list and governing body is so accurate, then why didn't someone like Henry, clearly the best in the world for atleast 2 years ever win the award. Following that list is like the being one of the morons who swear by Vogue magazine's "10 must have" lists. Any award that isn't statistical based and rather on peoples opinion soley is never difinitive. Oh unless you think the top ten chart songs each week represent the top 10 BEST songs???
LondonGooner
No, but does it change the fact that he reached his prime at chelsea? West Ham's Frank Lampard wouldn't be a starter for South Korea. John Terry is though.
k_chelski
Salford Blue - You are a small time club with big time money, that much is clear. As for being happy with the board we have in charge and them having our best interests at heart..... in answer to your statement, I was a fan under Terry Neil and i'm just as much a fan now, success isn't intrinsic to me being an Arsenal fan and quite clearly nothing to do with being a Citeh fan.
LondonGooner
It is statistical based. It's based on the amount of points you get from votes.The national team captains and managers vote for the best player. I think they know more than the majority.Henry never won, but if you look closely, no one stayed in the top 5 more than him.If they gave an award for best player of the last 5 years, he'd win it.
k_chelski
Personally I think we should let the chavs, both north and south versions crack on with each other in a "who can buy the most over priced, lets get shafted over the cost player" then sit back and laugh at the tacky chavness of it all! Almost as interesting as the football both teams play!!!!!
LondonGooner
Only Chelsea fans think Lampard and Terry are "world class." Mourinho has some kind of weird mancrush on Lampard, his view is blinkered. Decent players, nothing more.
jaelle
K_chelski, that is still an opinion based vote, every vote is statistic, but they don't vote for him through stats they vote through opinion ,don't be so obstreporous!
LondonGooner
jaelle - I've never claimed that UAE are a "paradise of moderation" but they most certainly are not Saudi Arabia. I also know the Gulf states well. Camel racing with boys was banned in the UAE in 2005 and by 2007 most races were with robots. This does show a willingness to put cruel traditions in the past and progress.
Salford Blue
Only Arsenal fans think only Chelsea fans think Lampard and Terry are world class. Lampard broke the record for most consecutive games played without injury. He's the opposite of Ro-sicky.More than 100 goals for the club.Just bitter because Henry has never won the award.
k_chelski
LondonGooner - "success isn't intrinsic to me being an Arsenal fan and quite clearly nothing to do with being a Citeh fan." Correct.
Salford Blue
TPowell It was not off-topic. If you re-read my comments rather than just the end of that post you would understand the context of that. I was making the point that before one club starts moralising and thinking it has the moral highground over another then you should make sure that your own house is in order before you start. Remember, I am only commenting on your site because my club has been unjustly accused of being the cause of footballs ills and having fans that are stupid or are unaware of moral context which is an insult. I have answered all accusations with reasoned arguement without insulting Arsenal (why should I?). The headline itself surely has been written to get a reaction from Man City fans, never mind the content. I think I have demonstrated in my posts (from the start) on here that the article is at best ill-advised and smacks of hypocrisy given the place the game is at now. I am not unhappy or concerned that Arsenal are now investing in Eng/Brit youth (I made that point earlier as I am not your moral arbiter). As I stated earlier, I do not understand the bitterness or even why Arsenal fans are bothered about who owns Man City unless it is fear of competition. It is not as if we are writing about your Club in the superior, patronising and in no small way insultingly warped manner on our site. I had to check twice just to make sure it wasn't Man Utd site. As for the comments of Dr Al-Fahim, I addressed all that in my second post earlier, gave my views and even added link to the orig article. Please read this debate from the start and then comment. Thanks for reading and considering my viewpoint to those that did. Good afternoon.
City Girl
kevin, Lampard being superior to Rosicky in he injury dept. is hardly a measure of his qualities as a "world class" player.
jaelle
I'm not claiming he is superior to rosicky, I'm claiming he is just as good as rosicky in a opposite way.That's a world class quality. Ro-sicky almost never players, Lampard almost always plays.
k_chelski
City Girl, even though you SAID that you have not insulted Arsenal in your answers does not mean that you actually have not. Stating that one should make sure their house is in order implies that there is something wrong with Arsenal or its policies. And this is an insult, no matter how you cut it. You are very eloquent to say the least and you have defended your club as would be expected, however your post that I was referring to has an overall tone of putting Arsenal down though it was not done explicitly. Surely you can understand why I'd come to my club's defense as you've come to yours.
TPowell
City Girl - I like you.
Salford Blue
"am only commenting on your site because my club has been unjustly accused of being the cause of footballs ills" -- CityGirl, it's comments like that that make people accuse you of over-defensiveness and overreacting. That's an incredibly ludicrous, exaggerated comment and shows that the article has hit a nerve. NO ONE IS CLAIMING THAT CITY IS UNIQUELY RESPONSIBLE FOR FOOTBALL'S ILLS. That's a ridiculous claim and a ridiculous argument. As I said in an earlier post, the spotlight right now is on your club only because of your new owners' having such extraordinary wealth even beyond Abramovich that those of us who worry about the SPORT do worry that this is the final nail in the coffin for the game. You apparently don't care at all about the game, you can't graps the concept of going beyond petty club tribalism. You can't grasp the notion that FOOTBALL fans like LD or I actually do care about the direction of the game. You're too stuck in your club tribalism to do that. "I do not understand the bitterness or even why Arsenal fans are bothered about who owns Man City unless it is fear of competition" -- "bitterness"? Again, another extreme interpretation that says more about your knee-jerk sensitivity. Again, the article has hit a nerve. Again, you can't imagine that an Arsenal fan could have any other motive beyond petty club tribalism. If you'd actually read the article objectively, as a FOOTBALL fan rather than just as a narrow-minded City fan, you'd understand what I'm talking about. The article was written by a FOOTBALL fan who's worried about the direction of the game he loves, an Arsenal fan who's worried about what all this means about the future of his club's ownership, who doesn't want the same kind of takeover to happen to his beloeved club. Obviously these are concepts you can't grasp because any idea that goes BEYOND petty club tribalism is too alien to you.
jaelle
jaelle - I can't speak for City Girl but the article certainly hit a nerve with me. The nerve that it hit was the grossly incorrect nerve. LD tried to claim that City have been taken over by Saudi's and asked City fans to look into their consiences at the thought of being linked with such a repressive regime. LD has still not stated whether he made a mistake in that link or if he truly believes ADUG are a front for the Saudi Royal family.
Salford Blue
Jaelle-I am appalled. Shame on you for that.
City Girl
Thanks Salford Blue. I cannot believe the personal way Jaelle has written that comment. To be fair the author of the article gave a very reasoned and thought out response to my discussion with him. Rather than state I have sub standard intelligence. After that personal insult I am no longer interested in commenting here. Thanks again Salford Blue and the other knowledgable debaters if whatever club you support.
City Girl
"Jaelle-I am appalled. Shame on you for that." -- oh brother. Listen to the outrage, rather than refute my argument. Good way to avoid my argument. Salford, I think you're putting far too much important on LD's mistake re the Saudis v. the Abu Dhabi royals. That's such an entirely insignificant point to LD's MAIN argument about the direction of football as a sport, of the game we all love. THAT'S the point of discussion here, not a geographical mistake.
jaelle
You guys can come on here calling us hypocrites but I can't strike back and call you blinkered club tribalists?
jaelle
I understand the city fans being upset by this article, I'm not going to claim any moral superiority for being an arsenal fan as I don't know much about what kind of characters are funding either club. It was widely regarded Shinawatra was an unpleasent character so I'm glad he's not the owner anymore. I've yet to hear anything particularly bad about the background of the ADUG from a reliable source. As a football fan, i'm more concerned that this takeover will make it more of an uneven playing field. I'd still feel the same if arsenal had all the money instead of man city. There's no satisfaction in winning things when you have such a huge advantage in the transfer market over everyone else, especally when it's not been earned. It makes things much more interesting when you have several clubs able to compete on the same level in the transfer market. You really get to see who the best managers are then.
jubair
I was trying to be a bit diplomatic earlier today, but bollox! It's our site! I can understand you wanting to come and defend you team, but you're boring me with the same old points now. Some people have written rubbish about Arsenal players on your site before and there were no low flying rattles from us. Enjoy the season, it'll be exciting for you, if not too disappointing!
navydave
The following links will take you to info on human rights issues as related to the UAE (detention and torture of migrant workers, press censorship and persecution of journalists, disappearances/detentions of human rights workers without charge, violations of women's rights, etc.): http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE25/006/2008/en http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE25/005/2008/en http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE25/003/2008/en http://hrw.org/english/docs/2007/12/17/afghan17559.htm http://hrw.org/english/docs/2007/11/20/pakist17377.htm http://hrw.org/english/docs/2007/11/13/slanka17328.htm
jaelle
no offence but i wud have said the same thing (and i am...) but i have a nasty feeling that if they had bought the club i support....i wud be jumping up and down with a tea-urn for an underwear mind you....tim stillman.....you "Moral Implications".....are not your problem....the fact that you are gonna get kicked out the top 4 is........but like i said.....NO OFFENCE (intended)
roni_spurs
roni_spurs, why would we get kicked out of the top four? We finished 3rd last season compfrtably ahead of Liverpool and 4 points from the title, we have a made a solid start with numerous players injured so far this season, compared to your teams utter s**t start! and you really think a team with next to no history will dislodge the team that has finished top 4 11 years on the spin? Hmmmm clearly another bitter and twisted salad dodging spuddy who can only watch as his expensively assembled team receieve one beating after another at the start of "their" season, how has it gone for you so far? Like what you see?
LondonGooner
Sorry, no offence intended or course......................
LondonGooner
LD, Tim Stillman, "t055er" as i will now refer you as. you are a disgrace. now before you accuse me of not following your writing, let me say i have followed this website for nearly three years now, only decided to join over a year ago. in fact it was one of your articles which prompted me to join. i used to enjoy your writings because at the time, you wrote without a clouded veil of self gratification and unfounded stance of "higher than thou" morality. i am an arsenal fan through and through. i live in asia and my family collectively have been supporting arsenal for over 40 years, pretty much on the advent of english football reaching our region. never in the long and proud history of the club have i felt our fans behaved like idiots. we always felt that arsenal supporters were a gentile lot, and not hooligans as found in other parts of england and europe. firstly, this article was not neccessary! it serves no purpose other than the rantings of a knowledge deficient amateur writer. you knew from the moment you wrote this article, the response you were likely to attract from the city fans, and yet you wrote it on the pretense of a farcical concern for football in general. is this not an attempt by a jealous zealot to make a vindictive swipe at a rivalling football club by hiding under the stance of moral preachings? i think so. secondly, your facts are clearly warped Mr Stillman, as correctly pointed out by SalfordBlue. remember tim, knowledge extends far beyond than what one can obtain from google. therefore prior to contributing articles to a public forum (and this message goes to the editor), please ensure due diligence is taken before making ridiculously inaccurate comments especially in the context of racial, political and religious realms. This forum is read by many "international" fans who do not share a tunnel vision view of global issues. The comments made in this article parallels to one remarking that the British Royal family also rules france, and is a principal backer of a german investment group. Thirdly, it is due to investments like these which have been made in some shape or form throughout the recent history of the EPL, that "English Football" has been such a success. A success which all english fans never hesitate to highlight when discussing club football. Remember, it is because a chinese company sponsoring everton that millions now watch the epl in china, also why manure has support in korea. the same goes for us with emirates sponsoring our shirts and stadium that many in the middle east can associate with us. possibly, ADUG may have just ensured that the EPL stays the best league inthe world for many years to come, and also the most exciting and eventful. fourth point, we are no different than any other club in terms of foreign money contributing to our coffers. its simply a difference of scale, which PHW has coincidentally hinted might not be the case in the future. so it is funny and sad at the same time when i read our fans sayings they do not like the fact that "emirates" are on our shirts. final point, i applaud city fans for your honest response to a disgraceful article, city girl and salfordblue in particular. i hope an apology comes to you in the not so distant future.
supersof
Supersof, call me what you will because it doesn't particulalry interest me. Look at the title supersof, there's no reference to Manchester City, so it wasn't written to them in an attempt to get hits. Google the article 'The Men Who Sold the World' read it and inhale the content before referring to any "farcical" concern, this sort of thing has been a theme throughout my writing for along time. The other points you make I have acknwoeldged on the forum and in the article, I apologise if ensuring the Premier League stays the super duper bestest in the world sponsored by Sky Sports doesn't really excite me, I'm sorry but it doesn't. Check the comment above "money has done a lot of good football." You're right, I am talking about a different scale, that was the point of the article and a point I acknowledged on a multitude of occasions. As for the apology, you can't throw insults at somebody then demand an apology, doesn't really work like that. The article explicates in full that I do not think ADUG is good for football at all, if you found the fact that I am yearning for some kind of soul and insanity in English football offensive, then that's your beef and not mine. Call me whatever you like, because I don't really give a *****.
Little Dutch
Supersof you make many good points in a well thought out and eloquent way, bt no one gives a flying f**K, because you started the whole thing off with childish name calling and an incredibly patronising tone, which makes any point there after moot and totally invalid, so you can climb down off of your moral high horse and join the real world or deal with it. A quick last point, I hate the fact we now have Emirate son our shirts, corporate football is what is distancing people like myself from the game we all love.
LondonGooner
Saying that though, I just got me 2 tickets for the NLD late October for a ton! Nice!
LondonGooner
Wenger has just questioned the integrity of Spurs and the weasle that runs them. Mass hypocrasy seems to be the norm at *****efartlane nowadays. They actively poach Ramos whilste under contract, then scream and cry like babies that Man Utd do the same to them, then lift their skirt and drop their knickers quicker than Paris Hilton in a room full of marines to take the extra cash shafting Man Utd promised them, yet another example of the most overated football club in the premierleague slipping into the gutter.
LondonGooner
The multi millionnaires are good in the short term, but what happens when they get bored of their adventure?
Markcity
 

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