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Wenger In van Persie Admission

Arsene Wenger has lifted the lid on some of the preamble leading up to Robin van Persie's summer sale to Manchester United this summer. With one year left on his contract and van Persie publicly criticising the club, there was little recourse but to sell and United were the only club van Persie wanted to go to.

Though some of Wenger's comments around the sale are obvious enough, there are still some rather frank admissions in there for the manager of the team to be uttering publicly.

As detailed by Amy Lawrence in today's Guardian, Wenger starts by cryptically describing the phonecall from Alex Ferguson which set the ball rolling, 'It was a very professional phone call, and there was more than one. I will tell you the rest another day.'

Wenger went on to explain how van Persie has developed into one of the world's most accomplished players, 'What he has is a high level of confidence in his qualities. He knows his game well,' his former manager said.

'He knows how to exploit his qualities and he is more patient than he was five or six years ago. Now he stays up front. You maybe won't see him for 20 minutes. But he knows he will get a chance and use it.

'Before he used to come back into midfield. He uses his killer instinct much better now. He is at the peak of his game, 29 going on 30. He uses all his qualities in a calm and intelligent way.'

However, it was Arsene's answer to the question as to whether watching van Persie succeed at United hurts him that has raised eyebrows, 'But what is painful is to see United so far in front of us,' he said. 'We knew when we sold him to United that would be the case.'

Obvious, maybe, but still a big confession from the manager and one that makes January's thus far plodding approach to the transfer market look even more strange.




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The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday January 12 2013

Time: 10:46AM

Your Comments

Whatever happened to 'i only speak about Arsenal players' ffs I hate all this, just demoralising, cheers Arsene, let's concentrate on January eh?
shewore
Yeah cheers Arsene, want some pepper to spray in our collective eyes or chili sauce to smear round our nether regions whilst your rubbing that salt into our wounds? Open your wallet or just **** off now Arsene seriously, your schtick is tired and well past it's sell by date. Goonerdom has finally snapped, unable to bear this increasingly bewildered man trot out his increasingly tired platitudes any longer. More action less talk, if you aint gonna ***** then get off the pot etc etc etc. If you think this squad is complete and this seasons' results and performances have been acceptable from a threadbare squad being run into the ground then your time at Arsenal in the eyes of many is over old chap. This window is the decider for me, I came to the realisation some years ago that we would not win again under the man but if you sit on your hands, doing nothing again in this window when we are so obviously painfully & precariously understaffed then it'll be au revoir Arsene from this gooner. I'll have seen all I need to, I'll be giving what games remain to friends.
nikolaijns
Rocky7, would you mind putting in a link to the original article? Ta.
FunGunner
I have kept a studied silence about the transfer of Van persie, that silence hasn't come easy, it's been a function of pain. The pain I feel every time I see him in that shirt, the pains I feel for all the years of believing in him as he nursed one injury after the other, the pains of believing that those who runs the club would do what is right by the fans. I feel betrayed. I begin to understand the pains of a husband or wife, who walks in to find their spouse giving head to another person, and whats more, it's head being given in an incestuous homosexual relationship. It hurts. The sale of Robber Vandal Parriah, has cured me of any illusions I might have had about football, it marks a watershed moment in my life as a man and as a football supporter, I can never forget this, and regardless of what success Arsenal may go on to achieve in future, I will never support a player again. They are chattels to be traded, and they are workers much like any other. They may be hired and fired, and they may resign whenever they believe a better deal is to be had somewhere else. Before the PC brigade would presume to tell me what to think or say, bugger off! I am not a legrove adherent, I rarely join in their madness, but I sincerely believe the management of the club has let us the fans down, and they have done so very badly. A failure to qualify for the champion's league should see Wenger sacked, and the American chased out of town. A once great club has been reduced to ruins. Pls, do save your lectures for the marines!
deledudu
Are you saying it's your dad or brother giving the judas a blowie Dele? that's some pretty fecked up shizzle if so.
nikolaijns
Can you keep your Viyyash bloke on a leash. He spends more time on our sight talking about our players.
asherthesmasher
I'm not sure what issue anyone could take with this. He was simply answering a question that was put to him. There's nothing that wasn't known already or that should cause any controversy.
Amos.
Easy Nik! Thought that was your sister and ya wife?
deledudu
@ Rocky7 - found the Amy Lawrence article now! @ deledudu, we had no choice about RvP. Save the anger for him.
FunGunner
Lol "deploy Amosbot"
shewore
FunGunner, please educate me, what would have happened if the club took a decision to keep him to the last year of his contract, in answering that, be informed, I am a lawyer with almost 20yrs experience, and I do possess more than a passing knowledge of the Laws of Contract. This decision was still up to the club, I have heard all the rationalisations, and at the end of the day, it came to a decision about money, the club chose to take the money. End of story
deledudu
Deludu - honestly in your opinion could we have kept him for the last year even tho his contract wasn't "protected"? Cheers
shewore
You need to refer to Article 17 of the Fifa statutes governing player transfers as amended in 2008 following the Webster case along with case history since then to know that Arsenal do not have the power to stop a player outside the protected period of contract from unilaterlally ending his contract. I really don't understand why anyone should find any difficulty understanding this.
Amos.
@ deledudu - I refer you to m'learned friend Amos. shewore's question has already been decided by the courts.
FunGunner
It's amusing to see shewore desperately trying to find some way to ignore the evidence in his determination to find any stick with which to beat the club. He's not the sort of fella you'd want to see on a jury. "Don't bother with the evidence - he looks guilty - that's good enough for me!"
Amos.
One of your lot, Viyyash-Ramosh, is spending so much time trolling at Vital Spurs that he's inviting massive retaliation at your site. Since you have so few comments generally at Vital Arsenal, it wouldn't take much trolling to overwhelm the site. If you want to invite trolling here, so be it, but wouldn't it be better to have enough conversations amongst yourselves that she doesn't need to find company trolling at our site? By the say, you should adjust your poll to include DoF as a position in need of additions. ciao, folks.
Total knobhead
Errrm, he posts over here as a Spurs fan and causes similar annoyance. So I guess he's just a nutcase. But why you think we'd be arsed enough about VS to send someone over there I've no idea. I guess you're not just being clever with your username.
Little Dutch
2 things Amos, i genuinely am interested in a lawyer's perspective. And unfortunately i've already done my jury duty, he looked dodgy as f--k, ABH, custodial sentence, i was over the moon! If you were in the dock pal you'd be for it.
shewore
If you're genuinely interested in the legal perspective shewore then there're plenty of authoritative resources on the internet with substantial detail on the legal effects of Article 17 on contract law and the cases that have taken place since 2008. Maybe deledudu has something to add but the fact that he isn't already familiar with such an important piece of sports/employment contract law with such a high legal profile, which has involved everyone from the EU commission, though Fifa, CAS, and the Swiss Supreme Court probably suggests he still has some research to do first. You were just looking for any stick to grasp so that you could poke the club with it. If you were in the dock and I was on the jury I'd consider whether there was any evidence to support the charge against you. In this case you're guilty of blind prejudice. ;)
Amos.
deploy Amosbot is the best ******** comment ive seen on VA - ever. Cheers shewore :D
Sajit
Amos, your defence of almost every thing Wenger and the club do is admirable, and you do put up good arguments, but even you are so far on the side of defending the club at any cost against any blame whatsoever it just comes across as unbalanced.
Gooner_Vin
When you hear Fergie say that he wanted the player badly enough hence he paid the premium and you contrast that with our penny pinching, is it any surprise of the positions of the two clubs. Funny how we expect other clubs to pay a premium for our top players but when it comes to other clubs we can't see they'd want the same. As the likes of John Cross of The Mirror have said, Arsenal have a reputation for dithering in the transfer market.
Gooner_Vin
They're either good arguments or unbalanced arguments Vin. If they're unbalanced it should be easy enough to pick them apart. Not that any of it is really a defence of the club, they're big enough to look after themselves, simply that there's another perspective of the club that isn't only unremittingly negative. Those with an unremittingly negative view of the club hate seeing it challenged, especially if they don't have a cogent response, so spend a lot of time simply challenging the idea that anyone should post a positive view at all. It's much easier to state that everything and everyone is *****e. ManU spend within their resources as much as Arsenal spend within theirs.
Amos.
I think that arseblogger's blog today perfectly sums up where I am, and where many of our support are too.
Gooner_Vin
Essentially there are 2 sides to this issue. One is that the club couldn't really do anything to prevent RvP going and the other is that they sold him simply to cash in. The first position is a fact of player contract law, supported by circumstantial evidence, the second is unsubstantiated opinion without much in the way of evidence of any kind. We know that RvP could unilaterally terminate his contract, we know that he could have stayed if he'd wished and we know that he didn't. The choices to be made were all RvP's and not the club. Yet the popular opinion, such as arseblogger expresses, continues to deny that while insisting that any contrary evidence that doesn't support that view is unbalanced. I agree that much of our support leans towards the negative. Like arseblogger but for different reasons I also find that sad sometimes. But then again I don't really care too much either and it's quite entertaining to take it on from time to time.
Amos.
Interesting that Arsene describes the phone call that Fergie instigated as 'professional'. What form might such a 'professional' call take? Could it be something along the lines of 'Look Arsene, we're old mates, you probably won't win the title this year even if RvP stays, but if you sell him to us we'll stand a chance of shutting up those oily lot down the road. We'll bung you a few bob. Alright you'll have to spend a chunk of it on another striker if you can find one but you'll still have a bit left over. Come on do us a favour, for old times' sake!' or is a 'professional' call more likely to be along the lines of 'Robin has said he wants to join us and as his contract is unprotected there's nothing to stop him doing so but as we're jointly liable we have to agree between us the amount of compensation (transfer fee) that is due to you under Article 17.' Just idle speculation of course and we won't know until Arsene, as he promises, tells us one day. I'd imagine he'd be less likely to tell us if it reflects negatively on the club though.
Amos.
Amos, I salute your continuing insistence on seeing only one part of the argument raised, but may I ask, how many players have ever invoked Article 17? It exists as a fact, but everybody have avoided having the rule tested or interpreted as far as I can tell. I do not practice in the narrow and evidently esoteric area of the laws governing football contracts, but I do know, that neither RVP nor any of the other parties would have tested that law, our management merely hides behind the excuse to take the cash. Be as passionate about our club as you care, but it wouldn't be a bad idea, if you began to demand answers from Wenger and the board. Nothing rationalizes the mess they've made of a once great club.
deledudu
I totally understand why RvP went and I get why we sold him. I'm, personally, not angry about any of that. But I am bemused that, as it stands, we're in 6th place and we seem prepared to do this battle for 4th with 1 striker in our entire squad. That troubles me. Our backs were to the wall with RvP, but try and do the best with the situation that you can. I just can't for the life of me believe that Arsene Wenger can't find a single striker in the world capable of playing for Arsenal and affordable to us too. Particularly when his seeming inability to find anyone is such a repeat theme throughout every window. We're always 2 player short it seems and I think, personally, we'll be punished for it this year, big time.
Little Dutch
Well the good news is Wenger says he'd be open to Fabregas returning in 4-5 years. I agree LD - surely, if he can't identify a good striker that checks all the right boxes he isn't doing his job. Of course having only one pure striker on the books means he'll probably be held to ransom by selling teams so he won't buy anyone. I hope I'm wrong and he surprises me by buying a good striker and addresses at least one of our other weak spots this window so he is left with fine-tuning the squad in the summer window rather than yet another wholesale re-build. Hopefully he realizes that saving £5m this month means losing £30m+ next season on Champs League revenue. Penny-wise, pound-foolish?
elbondo
Might be wenger's way of sending a message to the board tbh. Saying "we knew this would be the case might mean, I told you what would happen. might be a way of getting a message to hit the board, especially with Walcott situation going on.
Arsenales f.C
It most definitely isn't me prepared to see only one side of this issue deledudu although that's always a popular deflection from those unable to support their side of it. How many players have invoked Article 17? I'm genuinely surprised as a lawyer even without experience of the sporting and employment law that you aren't familiar with at least some of the more pivotal cases. You might look at Guttierez in his move from Mallorca to Newcastle and Matuzalem from Shakhtar to Zaragosa. There have been many others too numerous to mention since 2008. The law doesn't need to be tested. RvP's rights were well established. He simply exercised them. Now while it's fine to ask questions of Wenger and the board it's not a bad idea to question your own prejudices from time to time either. In asking why it isn't easy for Arsenal to find a striker that ticks all the boxes it's worth recalling that the only one ManU could find was ours while Italian champions Juventus could only find Bendtner.
Amos.
Amos, i dont pretend to understand much about player contract law, especially anything cobbled together by those clowns at FIFA, but assuming Van Persie was threatening to evoke article 17 to terminate his contract early..wouldnt that have been deemed as for an unjust cause thereby opening up the possibility of compensation to the club? The 'professional' nature of the negotiations between Wenger and Ferguson strike me as simple bargaining behind the scenes. having gone through this mess with Rooney Ferguson would have been well aware of the possibilities and will have used it to his advantage. However i simply cannot believe RVP would have dragged this matter, the club and its fans through the courts. That and the rumours that there had been a change of heart with the player willing to review his decision makes me suspect the club decided to cash in rather than stand on principle.
Wyn Mills
It's not a bad idea to try to understand player contract law before rejecting an argument based on it Wyn. It's not a bad idea to take a look at the other side of most arguments in fact. Fifa didn't cobble together this rule. It was the result of negotiation between the EU commission to bring player contracts in line with their freedom of movement laws and actions through the courts. It is thoroughly legally sound and tried and tested. The whole point is that there aren't any sanctions on either player or the club he joins (provided they follow the rules) for breeching a contract without just cause when in an unprotected period of that contract. Yes the club is entitled to compensation (set fairly low in Fifa guidelines) subject to national laws but compensation is all they're entitled to and more critically they cannot prevent the player leaving and joining a club of his choosing. In this case Arsenal got £24m 'compensation' which on empirical evidence is more than would have been awarded by Fifa's DRC or through the law courts. Rooney's case was different as he wasn't in an unprotected period of contract. RvP would not have dragged anyone through the courts because he didn't have to. You're free to believe what you wish of course but don't deceive yourself that your conclusion is one reached though any balanced judgement or an understanding of the factors that would have determined the course of this move. You believe what you believe simply because that's what you want to believe.
Amos.
Absolutely brilliantly explained, Amos. So many of the criticisms that fans come out with are irrational, unfounded or contradicted by the evidence - which is why I reject them. Not because I am too loyal, or a sheep, or a sycophant. Too many of the internet fans accept unquestioningly any criticism or negativity without actually evaluating the substance of them or the source. There seems to be an unconscious assumption that criticism is always objective, therefore must be true. Which is not the case. @ LD, just to add to what Amos said (with which I agree), I think if you put together what we know about AW and how he likes to operate, the position we are in is understandable. AW genuinely rates his players highly, and he only wants to add someone who someone who is significantly better. Therefore, whatever position he is looking to fill, he wants someone close to Dutch Badger/Busquets/Cesc/Kompany/Villa quality, at least potentially. I can fully believe that there is not someone like that around for sale now - mid-season. He also wants his players to get the chance to play, so will not overstock. And of course, he can pay a lot, but not top dollar, so that player as to really really want to come to Arsenal, not just the PL. I do take your point that numerically we are significantly down in the striker position, at least until Gerve comes back from the ACN and in those circumstances AW might want to lower his standards a teeny bit. However, set against that is his propensity to act for the long term. And he won't want to tie up resources in another player who he's not thrilled about rather than having that money available for someone else in the summer. He'll wait.
FunGunner
Actually, I haven't expressed what I meant. What I should have said is: the assumption is that because in principle it is good to question, any criticism automatically has merit.
FunGunner
Its not a question of rejecting an argument, Amos. Its whether one takes a simple black and white view of the options that the club had. Since the club chooses not to tell its fans anything its hardly surprising there are varying opinions on what really happened. How can you be so positive that Van Persie evoked or threatened to evoke Article 17? Ive seen no statement of that as fact so surely you are making an assumption like the rest of us?
Wyn Mills
The simple black and white view is the one you're taking Wyn. They're a few more shades of grey in the argument I've put forward. Of course we can't know for sure what happened but there're things we do know as I've said before. We do know that he could unilaterally terminate his contract if he wished. We do know that the club issued a statement expressing their expectation that RvP would honour his remaining year of contract. There would not have been a need to do that if RvP had not raised the expectation that he might not. Similarly, if RvP had really intended to see out his contract he would not have risked souring his relationship with the club with a statement so early in the transfer window informing everyone that there were fundamental differences between him and the club. That could only serve one purpose. Conversely we know that the club could not terminate his contract against his wishes (in any pragmatic sense). We do know that there is absolutely nothing the club could do to prevent him leaving in any unprotected period of contract. We do know that given the need to buy another striker that any financial gain to the club was relatively modest. We do know that the financial gain to RvP was significant (we also know that he would have thought at this stage of his career a move to ManU or City or Juve would have brought more trophies). We do know that a 'professional' call at Fergie's instigation (significantly not AFC's ) was made the content of which Wenger is not too embarrassed to promise he would reveal at some point in the future. So there are a number of assumptions that support the conclusion. We know that AFC would only have had any choice at all if RvP had wanted to stay in which case he would have done. You can decide, or allow your prejudices to decide for you, where the balance of probability lies. So tell me what supports your assumption?
Amos.
Wyn Mills, the options Amos laid out are not his personal view of the club's options. There is law governing the situation, which dictates what our options were. He has merely laid out what they are for your information. And he is able to do that because he has bothered to find out.
FunGunner
Amos, for someone who built a reputation based on objective analysis, your readiness to abandon objective responses in favor of ever more personal attacks, does you very little justice. Thanks for your time
deledudu
if RVP were effectively holding the club to ransom, as you imply, why wouldn't the club reveal this? it would certainly have taken a lot of the heat off and would reflect less negatively on the club. RvP also accompanied the team on pre-season, something I feel doesn't point to a fait d'accompli situation. Why were Wenger and the club also making noises late in the day about keeping RvP 'at all costs' if they knew he was bound to go? Point is Amos, many are asking questions. You are the one who appears to have decided there are no questions to be asked and that the club had no choice. There are no shades of grey in your argument, only the certainty that everyone else must be talking nonsense.
Wyn Mills
Wyn, why should a man who seems to have cornered the market in the knowledge of everything Arsenal, not possess the capacity to speak as the oracle? Lets all just bow to his superior intelligence
deledudu
Obviously a gulf in class between you and city :)
philbill
rvp asked to be paid what he is worth but the club refused. that was one of the primary reasons he left. if he is the best player in epl, he has every right to demand for the best wage when wenger is the 2nd best paid manager & gazidis the the best paid ceo (compares to similiar position) although both of them are very far from what they deserved. the fans are also paying the most to watch the team play. funny that no one uses the wages of the men at the top as benchmark for expectation setting. only wages of players were used. if i were wenger, my job is simple. i would just sell all my top players who demand top wages & replace them with mediocre players with lower wages so that i can always come out and justify "look, our overall wage budget is not the highest, thus even if we not winning anything, we are still over-achieving". oh, well, he has been doing that already all these years
Joe_@**
Perhaps Juve's scouting team is as poor as Arsenal's if they could only find Bendtner. Which doesn't take away our scouting inefficiency. If there isn't a single striker out there who could improve this squad, then we should be much higher in the table, which we're not.
prits
Has anyone noticed how much more enthusiastic RVP's movement and body language is playing for Fergie? Off the ball he is moving harder into space, chasing harder, and just generally way more up for it. Honestly for us he was anonymous for us for most of games for us and then popped up for a goal at some point. But for Fergie, he is looking awesome. Gotta make you wonder.
Will-i-am10
You'll find Joe that RvP has said himself that he didn't speak to the club about money in which case that can't be claimed as a primary reason. I never claimed that RvP was holding the club to ransom and don't think for a moment he was. That isn't the argument at all. At his age he felt that he couldn't wait another 2 or 3 years at Arsenal in the hope that he would win something. The money would have been useful secondary justification though. I can't blame him or the club for the situation both found themselves in though I can find a lot wrong with football that allowed the situation to develop. The claim levelled against the club was that it was their choice to sell RvP. We know that if RvP wanted to go they had no choice, under Fifa rules, other than to let him go as he was in an unprotected period. We also know that if he wanted to stay that the club could not terminate his contract without his agreement. The only choices open were open to RvP and not to the club. Ergo it couldn't have been the club's choice to sell him as it wasn't a choice they were free to make either way. Now with that simple logic it should be easy enough to decide who is being objective and who isn't. It isn't a lack of will to ask questions of the club that's the failing here. It's the lack of will to question your own prejudices.
Amos.
RvP's transfer was quite clear - he didn't want to stay, and frankly, after that summer statement questioning Arsenal, I don't see how he could have. Ultimately, you can always say it was the club's decision, but you cannot ignore other factors which pretty much forced the club's hand.
prits
I can't recall who said it, but the line 'deploy Amosbot' is the best line written here ever. But what is the Amosbot? It's the predictable voice that will repeat itself over and over and ******** over until either people get bored and give up their argument or . . . no, that's it. But seriously folks, Wenger has surprisingly admitted that he sold the best player in the league because he was powerless to keep him, and that may or may not be true no matter what the Webster ruling might say. I doubt RvP would have invoked it- if he wanted to he could have got out for about £4m and Man U could have added £2m per year to his contract and still saved £12m. That tells me he wouldn't have done it so Arsene flinched and all of Amos's 'contract law' stuff was accurate but irrelevant. Now we have three centre backs, one is suspended so we have two for Swansea. Good ones, but we are an injury away from disaster. Arsene says we have a complete squad and a balanced one. We have neither. I hope we have some things in the hopper and a couple of players will be coming in. If not, hello Thursday night football. All these names bandied about, I think our only signing this month will be Carlton Cole, and it will be a Gazidis signing much like Park and much like Park Wenger won't play him. I didn't used to be this cynical, and I don't like it. Wenger is killing me - please go away, I can't take your bull***** anymore.
elbondo
amos, i mentioned "that was one of the primary reasons he left". of course there were other factors depending which sources we choose to believe. the negotiation of rvp's contract begun a season before his departure and the offer on the table were reported to be in the range of 100k - 130k pw. man u offered twice of that. had we offered the same amount, who knows he might have stayed since he is a gooner (as he publicly declared)
Joe_@**
RvP wouldn't have stayed even if we'd matched ManU's money Joe. He turned down City who apparently offered a good bit more. He's 30 this summer. He probably has about 2 years left at the top level. It'll be 2 or 3 years before Arsenal will be able to compete on a more equitable level. That's why he left. It's not hard to understand his reasoning and not hard to see that sadly there's nothing Arsenal could do to prevent him going.
Amos.
RvP wanted us to show ambition. Its quite simple. We didn't, and to some extent are still not. Its a story repeated over several seasons for this club. The miracle is we've got away with it for quite so long. The Webster ruling red herring cant hide the fact that our management no longer see us realistically competing for the title but are prepared to sanction the sale of some of our best players to those who are.
Wyn Mills
If you think that RvP could have bought himself out for £4m then you haven't been following the argument or case history at all elbondo. I won't repeat it as you weren't able to follow it first time but it's all still there and there're plenty of resources elsewhere if you did ever want to extend your input beyond the superficial. I quite like Amosbot myself. Less automated than the usual hackneyed, cliched 'spend some *****in' money' tosh that passes for argument but definitely programmed to respond to it. Worth it just for the indignant bluster it generates from those that can't respond in any other way.
Amos.
We can't compete for the title Wyn. We probably haven't been able to since 2006 but even less so since Mansour started adding an extra layer of inflation (or upped the stakes if you prefer) in 2008 and changes in player contract law in the same year made it even easier for them to hoover up players. It was hard enough to do so before the Abramovich effect kicked in as much wealthier ManU won the title twice as often as we did when we were winning trophies. The ambition in the club has been there to invest in increasing the revenues to compete with ManU (and we have done so) but it isn't possible to generate the resources to compete with City and Chelsea no matter how much ambition we have. The only worthwhile ambition we can have is the ambition to get football to curb those excesses.
Amos.
It kind of undermines our strategy of increasing revenue to compete with Utd when we sanction the sale of the league's leading striker to them, doesn't it? We are nowhere near to competing with Utd. We are competing with Spurs, Everton and Liverpool.
Wyn Mills
I think something we can all agree on is that it's pretty sad, the reasons for that will differ depending on your perspective, whilst our hands have been tied a lot over the last 5 or so years, I do think we've brought a lot of this on ourselves. It's been done to death but we've shown too much faith in mediocrity & perpetually injured players, we've made some poor choices in who we've signed over the last few years - this "top top top super top quality" kinda undermines itself when you go and sign Gervinho, they're gambles that the hope will come off, obviously no signing is guaranteed to succeed but some are clear as day a lot safer bets than spending 10m each on 3 average players.
shewore
We couldn't prevent RvP going. Whether he went to City or ManU he was going to go. The preference would have been to get him to go to overseas but there wasn't anyone else willing to pay his 'compensation' for him. What has undermined (albeit in the history of the club only relatively short term) our strategy of increasing revenue is to have allowed others to undermine that strategy with a strategy that can't be sustained. That has been outside our control but football seems to be coming to terms with the damage that is doing not only to us but others as well. There's a discussion on that very topic on the forums if anyone wants to get involved.
Amos.
It is certainly been hugely disappointing and frustrating if not exactly sad shewore. There's been some fun in it too. Invariably some of the smaller decisions have been wrong. There have been some misjudgements as well as misfortune along the way. To a large extent that's inevitable in football but I don't think those misjudgements would really have changed our fortunes over the last few seasons - except maybe a Carling cup or two. The bigger factors for our lack of success have all been external. The basic strategy of the club is very sound but unlikely to see much of a change in our fortunes until external changes in the game slowly begin to even the odds. It'll probably be at least 2015 before we can have any realistic hope of standing a chance to celebrate anything worthwhile. The best we can hope for now is that the club keep doing the things that will keep us in the game.
Amos.
yes, the probability was high that rvp was going to leave somehow but couldn't the board show a little more sincerity? offering 1/2 of what the shrek was earning was certainly an insult. the again, the argument of age will prop up. i'd say players nowadays are much fitter and have a longer career compared to a decade ago. furthermore, rvp's strengths are his technique, finishing, intelligence and positioning, not physical prowess or speed, thus his career would probably last till say 35. the board has to stop treating players nearing 30 like garbage
Joe_@**
They can only pay the same wages as ManU as and when they have the same resources. In total terms Arsenal still spend a good bit less than ManU but a significantly higher percentage of their revenues on wages than ManU do. But in any event RvP said he wasn't even prepared to discuss the money with AFC.
Amos.
In 5 or 6 years are we honestly gonna be competing in transfers with the likes of Chelsea, Utd, City etc? I don't think we will, there'll be some ways round this FFP. The only people that this is hitting hard at the moment is the punters that go, I think ticket prices will continue to rise, as I can't see players' wages going down, the whole thing is screwed up. The only winners are that players and people like Kroenke, Gazidis etc, who are earning their money through revenue generation (read fleecing fans) not on pitch success.
shewore
Strong existing finances, sponsorship revenue growing, unsustainable spending inhibited, we'll definitely be better able to compete than we can now. We don't yet know how effective FFP will be but it is in the interests of far more clubs that it is successful than those that it isn't. That should give it some help on its way. Wages probably will rise - player contract law will see to that - but I don't think transfer spending will be anything like as obscene as it has been -especially if FFP is introduced into the domestic leagues. Ticket prices could still rise (most things do) but broadcasting revenues are likely to grow at a faster rate than matchday revenues.
Amos.
The problem for us as a club is if we cannot maximise our commercial revenue it leaves us very vulnerable to falling match-day income on which we are more reliant than most. If the team fail to perform its a possible double whammy of less bums on seats and a less attractive sponsorship package.
Wyn Mills
I guess that's right Wyn but Spurs and Liverpool have sustained decent commercial deals and good gates while not even matching our level of success consistently at least. We've signed a new deal with the Emirates which kicks in in 2014 along with some other sponsorships that are due for renewal. The next couple of years won't be comfortable I don't think but as a club we're in good shape to get through it.
Amos.
I shared the pain of many of us everytime RvP scored but I told myself that if he had stayed, he probably won't be able to score that many and our defense won't be able to protect the lead. We were just a inferior team and there is a huge gap between top 2 and us. So think this way, if we ended up third, we are the champion of the sub BPL.
dyiu2000
Amos, repetition and condescension do not necessarily equal truth, but keep telling yourself that. Tell me Amos, how much would it have cost RvP to get out of his contract on a Webster? How much did Webster eventually have to pay? I'll tell you - £100,000 LESS that the amount remaining on his contract, i.e. £150,000. However, I will ignore precedent and defer to your unquestionable intellectual superiority to myself and every other poster on this forum. BTW, where did I say 'spend some effing money'? All I said was if he was willing to invoke Webster, he could have gotten out of his contract for the amount remaining on it, and that had he invoked Webster Man U could have got him for a fraction of what they paid. I don't know the exact figure, but neither do you so please stop acting like you do in your inimitable blustery fashion.
elbondo
More indignant bluster elbondo? The history of player contract law didn't end with Webster. There have been some notable rulings since which have an effect on any potential settlement. As the obligation falls onto not just the player to settle the compensation but any club he joins is automatically held jointly liable they have an obvious interest in any potential liability they might incur under national laws of contract as well as Fifa rulings. No club wants a protracted battle on this in large part because courts have looked unfavourably on restriction of freedom of movement and any scrutiny they are subjected too may risk loosening player contract even further (is the difference between protected periods for players under 28 tenable in law?) which isn't in the interests of any major club. There has been a long running case (currently 3 years) where CAS overturned the award made by Fifa's DRC and awarded a much higher compensation than Fifa rules indicated based on the cost of replacing the player and not residual value of the contract. That in turn was overturned in March of last year (presciently for RvP) by the Swiss Supreme Court on the basis that there has to be a relationship between the abilities of the parties to pay any compensation. That doesn't necessarily make it higher or lower than the CAS award but currently the potential for a large payment is still there. One basis on which a 'selling' club can challenge the level on payment is the value of his new contract. So if, for example City were offering him £15m a year, plus a payment (transfer fee) to the selling club of £15m then that could put the 'compensation' at £30m (less what the club would have paid him if he'd seen out his contract say £5m in wages) = £25m. Perhaps less if the principle of amortisation can be successfully applied. No one can be too sure of the precise numbers in any individual case, which is rather the point really, but you can appreciate why it is better for all concerned to reach an agreement rather than risk arbitration or the hazards of litigation. At the same time the club can't prevent a player from leaving they can only seek to reach agreement on the compensation. Hope that's not too repetitive for you - any condescension was intentional ;) BTW where did I say you said 'spend some effing money'?
Amos.
the argument of frugality on wages due to financial constraint is absolutely unacceptable. for example, how many mediocre forwards we have? chamakh, bendtner, gervinho, park, arshavin & even giroud. probably walcott too. their combined contribution would not even match the impact of one rvp. in recent years, each time we sold a top player (usually due to our reluctance to meet the wage demand), we would deploy our scatter gun transfer policy, using up almost the entire amount of transfer fees received to buy a pool of mediocre players and ended up paying more in total wages to the new sub-standard players. i certainly agree with the general sentiment here that probably selling rvp this season would prove to be selling one too many for the club
Joe_@**
Will forever find it hard to get over RvP's sale to Utd and here's why. If this were simply a question of money RvP would have ended up at City, and to some extent this would have been easier pill to swallow. The fact that we sold to Utd, a club not doped to the eyeballs on sugar daddy cash, means it really comes down to ambition, and its here we've been found wanting. Even if it made short term commercial sense it's the sporting equivalent of raising the white flag and pulling down your own trousers. Totally bonkers and the perfect justification to RvP for leaving. Who can forget Wenger's immortal word's “If [Fabregas and Nasri leave] you cannot pretend you are a big club. Because a big club first of all holds onto its big players.” When your manage utters that and then you watch talent seep away from the club you can only reach one conclusion. It was surely Gazidis' job to take RvP to one side and tell him that frankly the move to Utd was impossible, and by the way we have your wife and child hostage.
Wyn Mills
@ prits - hear hear about the overal situation and the letter. Btw I can't believe some of you will still not let this go. @ Wyn Mills, release the money stick. You are grasping the wrong end of it. RvP was not sold for the money, he was sold because he wanted to leave and the law is on his side. Players are not chattels, you can't make a player sign a playing contract with a club against his will. The only club he wanted was Man United. All we could do was to hold out for as much money as we could get, which AW did. (I do like the hostage idea, though.) The move to ManUre was not simply a question of money for RvP, though I bet he isn't getting less than he would have got here. Our so-called lack of ambition is in fact the effect of selfish and ungrateful stars sodding off and leaving AW to rebuild a squad season after season. And to make it worse, because of the contractual circumstances in which they left, we got less from their sale than it would cost to replace them (Nasri excepted). We gave them chances as young players, turned them into stars, let more experienced go to give them room to flourish, and then they just turn round and go cheers, I'm off. If RvP had had any genuine love or loyalty, he might have calculated that he could give us one more year to help achieve stability and a platform to build on in return for all the support and development he had benefited from over several years when he would play barely half of each season, sometimes due to his own foolishness. If he had made that calculation, he could have kept his mouth shut and left on a free at the end of this season. But that would have involved gambling on his own continuing fitness and reputation. Which he was not prepared to do. Amosbot is clearly indestructible. Resistance is futile. You WILL be educated. :)
FunGunner
Amos wrote: Hope that's not too repetitive for you - any condescension was intentional ;) So, you are admitting that in your mind you are superior to me? Are you a Spud cuz you sure are delusional. Oh, I get it, a smiley at the end means you are just being endearing. Not. As for Amos wrote: BTW where did I say you said 'spend some effing money'? Well, you didn't, but you used the oft used media trick of putting two things together that don't go together or may not even be related so that anybody who is in any way distracted might put them together and think, "Oh, elbondo is one of those spend some fecking money" people (I'm not) so Amos is right. Don't get me wrong - I appreciate your insight and you often put a spin on things so that even simpletons like I can grasp a small percentage of your all-seeing knowledge. What I don't appreciate is your subtle and not-so-subtle put-downs of anybody who doesn't agree with you (i.e. almost everybody). Your opinion is valid, your knowledge is admirable, your behaviour is not worthy of a mod. When VA was looking for new mods, I was all for Louisa but preferred the abrasive yet humble Goofle/Tom14 to you. I didn't actually know who you were when you were appointed as you hadn't made a post at that time, or if you had it wasn't memorable. I'm done on this thread, so until next time, stay well.
elbondo
...and I hope you can stay well too elbondo :)
Amos.
Fun, we'll have to go our separate ways on this. My post is about ambition , not money. I've never believed the choice was as stark as some make out (ie: no choice). The club has exercised its option to sell, and in doing so have not only taken the easy way out but also displayed the same lack of ambition which has resulted in that player's departure. For someone who believes so strongly in the sanctity of honouring one's contract I find it surprising that Wenger has such a poor record in getting his players to honour theirs. I’m also not sure you can lay the blame entirely at the feet of ‘greedy players’. Whatever the various scare stories RvP was still a player under contract. Whether he would have evoked the Webster ruling or not is pure conjecture, although one has to question whether Ferguson would have paid more than he would need to if the suspicion was the player was planning to buy out his contract. The unquestionable fact is RvP had a contract with this club until the end of this season and one of the options open to the club, given our historical failure to tie him down for a longer deal in the first place, would have been to ask him to see it out. (the club really need to sort out longer contract lengths as well as the wage structure) Sometimes you just have to stand your ground and make it clear you will not be bossed by players, or you will forever be at the mercy of agents and predatory clubs. On slightly improved terms I have no reason to believe the player wouldn’t have continued to give 100%, knowing he had to keep himself in the shop window. There’s also the chance he may have changed his mind. Its not unknown. His value to the club? Obviously his goals making the difference in us achieving a CL place once more and the revenue from that of £40m+. If we fail to achieve this at the end of the season and factor in his sale we will stand to lose considerably more than we have gained. I’m not so sure this is such the good business its made out to be. And that’s not even touching on the commercial sponsorship repercussions. The club might well still lose money if we fail to qualify AND have lost the player at the end of the season, but that’s a risk we no longer appear willing or able to take.
Wyn Mills
It's all getting a bit circular now but just for the sake of clarity - the length of a contract beyond the statutory 3 year protected period (under 28) is only of significance in the amount of 'compensation' that can be claimed, limited to a maximum of 5 years, otherwise it doesn't matter how long a contract is given a player still has the right to leave without just cause and can unilaterally terminate his contract after 3 years (or 2 years over the age of 28) once outside a protected period if that's his wish.
Amos.
Amos, I prefer to use the expression 'buying out his contract'. :)
Wyn Mills
You seriously wanted RvP still at the club, despite him making that statement in the summer? It's naive to think that a contract can be enforced just because it's written, especially when your captain has publicly said that he doesn't want to stick around. It's not so simple. If a player wants out, he normally gets it. Assuming his motivation will not be impacted if he sticks around is again simplistic. If the argument is around not replacing him effectively, I'm on board with that. This squad needs another striker in the 15-20M range and we would be much better placed as a result.
prits
Prits, What did he actually say in that statement? He said I'm not renewing my contract. Where does this translate into I want to go immediately to United? Read between the lines if you want but there was nothing else conclusive in that statement except I have huge respect for Wenger and the fans but I disagree with the direction the club is going and I'll hold more talks with Gazidis when he gets back. Perhaps I am naive, but tell me what I'm missing.
Wyn Mills
You can't force a player to play, but neither can he just walk away if he wants to end his contract early. I imagine that usually involves some negotiation with the club.
Wyn Mills
The point is that in an unprotected period of the contract you can just walk away. It doesn't need any negotiation. You just tell the club that's what you're going to do. Any negotiation might start from that point but that's what his advisors (Darren Dein included) in this case would have done for him. (Any significance that Song was the last remaining player involved with Dein jnr? Clichy and Cesc were also on his books). The club would have started the negotiation much earlier of course but once he says 'I don't wish to discuss it until the summer' (when the protected period expires) they'll have known what was coming even if they harboured hopes they might have persuaded him to stay. Time to call time on this I think. We'll all believe what we believe I guess.
Amos.
Hey! Been a nice long banter here and, for what it's worth, we did go through a similar round of "back and forths"as to the propriety of RvP's statement and the club's subsequent attempts to make something of the very uncomfortable position in which it found itself, way back in the summer of '12. I recall the majority thought the Dutch man made his stay with the club and as captain, untenable after that. What Wenger failed to do was replace him adequately; a recurring theme these days and one the club needs to change.

It is very painful to see our best player doing it, even better, for a rival club and single handedly shooting them to the title (so far, at least; yet to hear them referred to as "one man club, mind..) so the emotional outpouring here is understandable. The club really did go a bit too far there and I remember thinking Wenger was trying to get himself fired so he can be compensated, a la Roman @ Chelsea; it wasn't expected at all and it is only after careful consideration of the issues that one may perhaps, be able to move on from the angst felt. That is all in the past now; we have to look forward and do the little we can to drive the team as far as it can go this season.
Naijagunner
I had a good holiday somewhere sunny and fun paying full attention to the wife and kids. i could barely steal glances at the site with all the activity lined up. to be honest, I really did look forward to reading about new signings, by this time so as to make the team a bit more competitive than it is now. The confidence is seeping away with each big game lost and things just aren't looking as best as they could. Here's hoping Wenger has a couple lined up. Why do I feel our manager is waiting for all the good available players to be taken so he can tell us how hard he tried but just couldn't find the right ones?
Naijagunner
 

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