Cesc – Barca – Sol and Nicklas

Nicklas-Bendtner-Arsenal

Well, well. Not too much good news at the moment. First Sol Campbell. He’s reported to have signed a one-year contract with Premier League returnees Newcastle United, promoted back to the top flight as Football Championship winners at the end of last season. 

This is a blow for us. I thought Campbell performed very well in the latter half of last season. We’ll also miss his steadying influence in the dressing room too. His performances were all the more remarkable when you take into account that prior to returning to us he only played one competitive game for Notts County away at Morecambe before bailing out of the financial house of mirrors at the world’s oldest professional football club. I can understand that he wants to play regularly in the twilight seasons of his career. He’s far more likely to do that at St James’ Park than at the Grove. 

An audit of FC Barcelona’s accounts by international accounting firm Deloitte ordered by incoming club president Sandro Rosell shows that Barcelona lost €77 million (about £66.8 million) last season. Total income was €408.9 million (around £348.9 million). Outgoings were €477.9 million. Total debt now stands at €442 million. 

You do have to take into account that FC Barcelona is a multi-sport club with major expenditure and income in other sports, particularly basketball, the second most popular team sport in Spain behind football and much more popular than it is here (there are two former FC Barcelona players currently playing in the NBA in North America). 

All that said Barça managed to make a profit of only €11 million in the previous season when they won everything in sight including La Liga, the Copa del Rey, the Champions League and the World Club Championship. They clearly are going to have pull in their financial horns as the new UEFA financial fair play regulations take effect. 

All that should be good news for us as it will progressive limit the Catalans’ financial fire-power in their quest to poach Cesc Fàbregas from us. We’ll see. I suspect we’ll get to see him for one more season in our colours before he returns home. I’d hoped for longer but I always thought he’d go back to Barcelona at some stage. 

On the injury front it appears the gremlins are working their malign magic yet again. It appears likely that Nicklas Bendtner will miss the start of the season with recurring groin problems. This is starting to become a big problem. Bendtner clearly wasn’t firing on all four cylinders for Denmark in the World Cup. Cesc Fàbregas (assuming he’s still with us) and Robin van Persie will also miss the start of the season as I predicted, not being due to return for pre-season training until 5 August. I think this is a smart move by the manager. I’d rather them miss a few games at the start of the season than run out of gas at the business end next February to May. 

Whether we’re in contention for silverware then is an open question. We certainly need to strengthen. Another experienced central defender is required now that we know Sol Campbell won’t be with us. We also need to strengthen in goal. Manuel Almunia skippered the side in our latest pre-season win, after missing the first two friendlies. We shall see. I think we will struggle to do better than we did last season if we don’t. Last season was by no means a disaster but we weren’t close to good enough against the heavy hitters, against whom we picked up some comprehensive beltings. 

Keep the faith! 

vic@arsenalinsider.com

{jcomments on}
  • ben

    Yes “keep the faith” thats the mantra!

    If not this season than there is next…..

  • John

    I think when you mess people about like Sol, Flamini for example they will tell you to stick your contract.

    Wenger knew Silvestre and Gallas were going he should ahve signed up Sol before the season ended instead they jerked him about and now he has signed for another club.

    Bad decision

  • nick_USA

    Arsene Wenger has already done the heaving spending of about 4 millions (koscielny 10m – Eduardo 6m) as he said he would spalsh the cash before world cup, and now we have a much better defence right, umm, wait, not really….

    please dont give me that crap that I am not a real arsenal fan

  • TitlestotheArsenal

    It’s hard to keep a sense of optimism as the season draws near. With the team we have at this point, we simply will not win anything. Again.

    That’s the simple truth, but I cling to my fool’s hope that Wenger will actually spend the needed cash to get real quality players to the team. And please sooner rather than later. We need the team to gel well before the season starts, and in a dream world we would have been done with signings at this point. I guess in a nightmare world, we ARE actually done with our summer signings 😥

    I hold out my hope that we will sign Akinfeev (or Frey) for the goal, and someone like Mertesacker or Hangeland to strengthen our central defense. If those two positions are not strengthened, we will not stand a chance again the other big teams in the EPL. Also it would be great with another central midfielder of class, but I’m not greedy, and will settle for Akinfeev and Mertesacker! 😆

  • Waz

    Vic/FTK

    With your wider sources close to the club do you get the impression that signings are still desired and are actively being sought or should we expect the usual rhetoric from Wenger of ‘trusting the youngsters’ that we get each closed season when it’s obvious that our business is done and he wants to further the ‘project’?

  • Homer

    god but you people are nitwits.
    nice faith in the club. and the manager.
    season not even started and the whinning begun.

    thats right kiddies, its as easy as fantasy manager fifa. splash cash, buy buy buy, yip yip yip.

    fack off the lot of you.

  • james mc daid

    wenger and this board are clueless,we are weak in centre defense,so we unload four centre halfs and bring in one,jd is a cripple,kos is better than silvestre we think and hope,wenger do your job,sign two world class centre halfs and a world class keeper and make us great again,if he cant do that then he should resign,thats all.

  • Waz

    I think resigning is extreme but I would think it irresponsible for AW to send us into a campaign without depth if there are injury concerns around the players coming back.

    We just need to be sensible and not risk rushing players back because we don’t have any cover, that all depends on what the medical staff think i guess and what AW sees in training.

  • notoverthehill

    Spend, spend, spend, when Real Madrid and Barcelona are on the prowl. Man Citeh, Chelsea with Manure lurking, only ‘arry Redknapp is the only fool who will enter the market at this stage.
    As for the Futbol de Barcelona, it is KMPG who checked Laporta’s end of term summary. Lazy or lousy journalism. Deloitte are the auditors for Barcelona and Arsenal Holdings Plc., different partners being responsible. The audit for Barcelona’s 2009/2010 accounting year should be in full swing, Arsenal Holdings should be completed by now.
    Barcelona owed €60 millions of Income Tax from way back, this was paid off by borrowing, so Barcelona still owe somebody else €60 millions.
    The Nike contract for Barcelona runs from 2008 to 2013 with a five-year option to 2018. The €250 millions now left is guarantee for the money Barcelona have borrowed. Real Madrid, BarÇa and Manure do overseas tours to help pay the interest on their borrowings.
    The muppets who wish to spend more than they earn, should support teams that do that like Spuds, Pompey, Soton and the ‘ammers.

  • THE American Gooner

    I think the sensible attitude about our transfers is in between the doom and gloom and the we hail Wenger at all costs attitude. Arsene has done good business this off-season with the additions of Chamakh and Kos. But, with Gallas Sol and Silvestre gone, we simply need another CB, bar none. Sure, I would love another GK (a real top class one) to replace Almunia but as for our real needs, it is another CB. Getting Metesacker is vital – he was excellent in the world cup, he is young, and his heading is top class. He fills a real need.

  • John in Norfolk

    Vic,

    Why would Fabregas be likely to run out of gas before the end of the season? He only played a total of about one hour in South Africa, I should think he would want to get a few games under his belt as soon a possible.

    As for RvP, the chances of him staying fit long enough to get worn out are, on past experience, as likely as President Obama awarding “Most Favoured Status ” to British Petroleum (that’s BP to the rest of the world).

  • John in Norfolk

    John,

    How did Wenger “mess people about”? Both Campbell and Flamini were offered contracts and chose not to sign them.

    Flamini went to sit on an Italian bench and Sol hawked himself around half the clubs in England and Scotland before signing for Newcastle.

    If anybody did any “messing around” it was the players not the club.

  • Clock End Mick

    I just think Arsen has a long memory like me.Sol messed us about the last time,saying he was going abroad, then sighed for Pompy.WE LOST MONEY.We need fresh blood in that position for the futur,lets not live in the past

  • db10

    Regarding Djourou, 1 serious injury doesn’t make someone a cripple.

    compared to last season’s available players we have lost 3 centre backs (gallas, campbell, silvestre) and gained 3 available centre backs (koscielny, djourou, nordveit). So I think numbers is not lacking and nor is quality. What we lack is experience and consistency. We may get consistency with Koscielny but I would say we need 1 more centre back who has lots of experience who is in his late 20’s or early 30’s. Don’t ask me who, I am not a football scout or manager.

  • db10

    On that logic why would any player ever get tired if all they do is play 90 minutes per week and occassionaly 90 minutes midweek? The reason that Cesc needs a break is because he had to train every day for a month excluding match days when players like nasri, walcott and rosicky would be sitting on a beach somewhere. I’m not a pro footballer and I assume you’re not either but I imagine that if I trained 5 times a week it would be pretty tiring because you have to train with the same focus and commitment that you play with otherwise training would be pointless.

  • Vic Crescit

    @ Notoverthehill – I stand by story. Deloitte were bought in by new Barca president Sandro Rosell to undertake a special audit. If you don’t believe me just ring or email the Barca press office and ask them.

    @ Waz – my sources tell me that we’re still in the market for players. With the new PL squad restrictions and UEFA financial fair play regs starting to bite this coming season we’re going to be in much better shape than many in a couple of seasons. Many are going to have to really jam on the breaks and lose players. We nned a couple of players now though in my view.

    We shouldn’t be mugged off either for fees or salaries but we can more than afford a couple more players, You only have to look at the accounts to know that. Sol Campbell, William Gallas, Mikael Silvestre, Eduardo and Philippe Senderos (although most of his salary will have been covered by Everton last season) have all left and only two have joined so far, so there’s room in the salary budget.

    A good deal of that room will be taken up by players being offered new improved contracts but income should be up too with the new PL broadcasting contracts, assuming gates and ommercial income hold up OK.

    In summary, there is money to spend, several tens of millions of it (on wages as well as fees though). I think AW is still in the market from what I hear. I just don’t think he’s as convinced of the necessity of reinforcements as many Gooners, including me, are.

  • TopGoon

    Where’s Jimmy? That silly bollocks is usually here by now… anyway… Jimmy, you are a penis.

  • db10

    who are you? A stalker?

  • TopGoon

    I’m afraid not, I just bring truth.

  • Filip

    At least one solid central defender is a must.

    Arsenal are linked up with many players so let’s hope at least will become one of the Arsenal players!

  • AnotherGoon

    Its nice to know there are other fans that are in the ‘middle of the pitch’ when it comes to our club. I agree that the centre-back is the main concern. I also would love to see a world class keeper btwn the sticks, but you have to admit that if one of the young guys(Szczesny,Mannone) gets the #1 jersey they are going to be uber confident after seeing all the big names Arsene supposedly turned down. (by the way AmGooner, how are you watching the cup this wkend? Im also in the US)

  • THE American Gooner

    Vic what do you hear about Metesacker? Is this media garbage designed to sell stories or is he a legitimate target? I would love to see a tall CB like him, who was a wall against Argentina – that would help our defensive corner kick ineptness greatly.

  • THE American Gooner

    Was going to ask the same thing. Doubt it is on Fox Soccer channel and I do not believe it is on Arsenal TV. Any ideas, fellow Gooners?

  • Stateside Gooner

    Last year it was on GolTV if you have it. I haven’t checked the schedule this year but I would assume it would be on there. otherwise you could try and catch it on http://www.channelsurfing.net. Enjoy.

  • Berg10

    Sol WAS offered a new contract and as much as I’d have liked him to stay he was true to form and jerked everybody about.

    Same old Sol!

  • Berg10

    Maybe AW was waiting to see what Gallas and Campbell were doing as well as trying out a few of the younger players in pre season, and that includes the Emirates Cup.

    Ideally he probably have wanted to tie everything up early, sadly in life nothing is straight forward, of course, you may be right that he is jerking us along but lets wait and see and in a few weeks time I’m sure there’ll be plenty of abuse chucked around if the latter becomes fact.

  • Berg10

    Ooh that’s harsh TG.

  • Vic Crescit

    @ THE American Gooner – as far as I know the Per Mertesacker *story” is bollocks. I hope so. I’m not nearly as impressed with him as some are. Not a bad player but no better than we’vw already got. Likewise I have the same opimiom of Seb Frey and Maarten Stekelenberg. IK but not worth the money they’d want and the transfer fees they’d command.

  • Jimmy

    Mourinho would call you a voyeur TopGoon. Nice to know you missed me 😳

  • Andy Mack

    [quote name=nick_USA]Arsene Wenger has already done the heaving spending[/quote]Wow… you mean the transfer window is over already… I missed that. 😮

    you may end up being right but if he does spend in the next month then you’ll look a real twat!

  • Roachy

    I saw an interview with Edu, and the interviewer asked him why did he decide to leave Arsenal. He said it basically came down to the contract. The first offer Arsenal made was a laughable, the second offer was below par, and by the time Wenger made the final offer Edu had already signed elsewhere.

    He commented that the reason for Arsenal’s lack of trophies is too many experienced players leaving the club too quickly.

  • james mc daid

    db10,severe lack off quality between gallas,campbell,silvestre and kos,jd and nordveit severe,and thats being kind,even big phil has the cv off a world beater compared to these lads,record breaking clean sheet run,two world cups,arsenal,ac milan,everton etc etc,personnally i think it would be a disaster to go into the new season with these guys as starters,we need at least one world class centre half maybe two and a world class goalkeeper just like we did two months ago and why we have not got them yet is really down to poor management by mr wenger and the board in my opinion,lets hope these guys wake up and do Arsenal proud,thats all i want really.

  • RedandWhite

    i r a q g o a l s . net

    or a d t h e

    both will have the games for free on the internet

  • notoverthehill

    Sandro Rosell i Feliu, The President of FC Barcelona, is leading the partners with a ring in the nose.
    HOW can Deloitte now claim their previous audits were rubbish. Why should they make a statement as reported, before completing the audit.
    I have checked out the FC Barcelona Press Room, surprise, surprise, not a mention in any shape or form.
    The Annual Report 2009/2010 will be interesting to see how the numbers have been juggled.
    I, myself find the El Punt more subtle than the Sport types. The AS and Marca are best for the punters’ views on various topics.
    Neither Real Madrid or Barcelona are examples of supporters’ ownership. Exeter and Brentford oerhaps!