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Cesc could be here for years

Cesc could be here for years

For a club that hasn't won a major trophy for a few years, supposedly a unique position if the current media determination to remind us is anything to go by, there's a strong air of confidence around the club. Certainly the atmosphere at today's AGM is one of assured expectation.

Only a couple of seasons back as the banking crisis and resulting property crash threatened to undermine years of planning and put back the clubs anticipated financial progress under the weight of property development debts the caution at the club was evident enough. While the noises coming out of the club were that the property developments would pay off in the end the speed with which they would do so wasn`t at all clear. In the summer of 2008 former chief David Dein was encouraged to announce that the club faced 'a bleak future' without significant outside investment. Twelve months later and less than 15 months ago cohort Usmanov was insisting only a £100m rights issue would get us on track financially. In the event market conditions over the last year have given a significant boost to the club as sizeable short term debt has been virtually eliminated and the long term debt will be allowed to run down comfortably over the next 20 years or so.

With our own financial uncertainty allayed while upcoming Uefa financial fair play rules begin to impose constraints on less financially ordered clubs and a decade of investments of almost £500m in physical assets; training facilities, academy and stadium behind us yet still in front of a number of others the doubts have been removed.

"We have earned our independence. We do not have to rely on anybody but ourselves for future success." declared Gazidis as he pledged that future significant property profits still to come over the next few years would be ploughed back into the squad and not used to reduce long term debt.

Perhaps it's that confidence that allowed Wenger to express the belief that Cesc could stay for a 'few more years' yet despite popular forecasts that he`ll be off next summer. Financially there seems to be no need for us to lose players earlier than we need to and every prospect that we'll have the strength to make it a hard decision for them to leave and an easy one for others to come in.

Does all of this reduce the pressure to get 3 points this weekend? Not a chance. It's true more than its ever been that, in the modern game, successful football can only be as a result of a successful business but that success still has to be delivered on the pitch. If we can take that boardroom confidence onto the playing field then anything is possible.

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Date:Thursday October 21 2010
Time: 3:13PM


Sounds good. However i am worried Vermaelen. Looks like we might not see him in a while
21/10/2010 15:24:00
21/10/2010 15:28:00
Whilst it's true that we're in a position where we don't have to sell ou best players when big money offers come in ... but when that player's heart obviously lies elsewhere there's little point in pretending he's not leaving us next summer. If he is still Arsenal captain at the start of the 2011/12 campaign I will be astonished.
21/10/2010 15:31:00
Agreed, Rocky. Am also very struck by AW's comments re Vermaelen. Rumours are we won't see him until next year.
21/10/2010 15:34:00
Largely depends on the strength of his contract. If the protected period expires next summer, not summer 2012, and Barca's financial position doesn't impose any barriers then the best bet has to be that Cesc will go in the summer.
21/10/2010 15:41:00
It makes no sense whatsoever for AW to make such a definitive statement about Cesc if it's supposed to be written in the stars that Cesc will go next summer. Who says that it will definitely happen. Six months ago if anybody had predicted that Rooney would be heading for the exit door of ManU come January, that person would have been laughed out of town. A lot can change in football, very quickly.
21/10/2010 15:43:00
Wenger is doing his usual positive, jumpers for goal posts analysis of the situation, which is fair enough, but let's be brutally honest here, this is very likely to be Cesc's final season as an Arsenal player, it has nothing to do with how good we are or what we can offer. He just wants to go home. I love Wenger but he borders on patronising sometimes, it's not intentional and it's partly due to his forward, positive thinking, but we all know Cesc loves Arsenal and wants to win things here, what Arsenal fan doesn't think that? These things have nothing to do with him staying or leaving, can we just keep it at "Whilst he is here he will give his all" and leave it at that.
Professor Calculus
21/10/2010 15:47:00
Not sure what our strong financial position has to do with Cesc leaving or not next summer, sure it's nice to be able to compete with contract offers but I don't think that's the point here....
21/10/2010 15:49:00
The only thing that will change Cesc's mind is if we win the PL or CL. Anything less and I think he's 99% certain to be off. He clearly sees potentially one of the best sides in history, with an extraordinary generation of talent, and wants to be part of it. But I doubt he'd be as eager to leave if Barca were struggling to make CL each year.
21/10/2010 15:52:00
If not for a certain amount of financial muscle Cesc might have gone this summer so it has a role to play. If his protected period expires next summer then there is nothing other than Barca's finances to prevent him going.
21/10/2010 15:55:00
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