Last night I listened to Talksport radio and heard an account by Graham Hunter. He is someone that I respect concerning his inside information about Spanish football. This blog is initially to report Graham Hunter’s comments, and finally to comment upon the wider issues. Graham Hunter confirmed to Talksport that the previous buy out clause for Mata expired upon Sunday night. This was 25 million euros. At this time according to Mr Hunter, Arsenal football club were in deep discussions with Valencia Football club and the Mata family. At this stage the Player had rejected an interest from Tottenham. Manchester United had transferred their interests to Wesley Sneijder. The buy out clause of 25 million euros has now been replaced by a buy out clause of 60 million euros. It is understood that the hold up was the failure to resolve the Fabregas transfer. Mata wants Champions League football, He wants to leave Valencia, who are a club with major debts. Apparently when the expected bid matching the buy out clause from Arsenal failed to arrive on Sunday night, Mata was described as being very disappointed, and having discussed it with his team mates. It appears that the expected transfer has caused tensions within the dressing room. He has become “Unsettled” it seems unlikely that he will change his mind and stay at Valencia.
OK that is the latest news… again courtesy of Graham Hunter a correspondent of Talksport radio. Other Sources including SkySports are confirming that Juan Mata’s Father has confirmed that Arsenal did in fact make a bid in time, but being below the buy out clause, this bid was rejected by Valencia.
My take upon all of this is that Arsenal Football Club have been exposed as playing fast and loose with a very talented player and if Tottenham had been able to offer Champions League Football, then they would have lost him. Equally Arsenal were fortunate that Manchester United who had also expressed an interest in Mata have managed to agree a deal with Wesley Sneijder. Gazidis and Arsene Wenger have said that there is a substantial amount of transfer funding to buy players. In this case unless they are lying, there would have been no reason to fail to make a bid equal to the buy out clause surely? There is the argument that having bought Mata would mean that if Nasri and Fabregas were to finally stay at Arsenal, then someone would be surplus to requirements, plus the wages demands of Nasri would be a deal breaker. So let us suppose that Arsenal Football Club have taken a calculated gamble. That Mata definitely wants to come to Arsenal, and that Arsenal have pledged to buy him. Then all that is required is for the Fabregas deal to be closed and for Arsenal to know exactly how much money will be left for the remaining transfers. The main problem is not one of either Gazidis or Wenger lying, rather it is due to the over strict adherence to the self sustaining model which is the problem. We spend what we earn and no more. So in a sense Gazidis and Wenger are at least guilty of hyperbole. Arsenal having substantial funds means effectively not enough to make all of the transfer targets without selling Cesc Fabregas.
The refusal to breach the model even for a million euros say, is therefore is a matter of choice by Arsenal Football Club. They are so obsessed with the economics of running the club, that they are willing to risk losing decent players. So it is clear that ambition and success for Arsenal Football Club on the field comes a distinct second to financial prudence as expressed by the self sustaining philosophy, Like it or not. I happen to dislike it intensely, especially considering that we have two Billionaires at the club. If we then fail to make the necessary purchases at the end of August that the club needs precisely because we have refused to pay the going rate as it would breach the self sustaining model, then I shall be leading the calls for Ivan Gazidis to resign at the end of the expected unsuccessful season. If we stay as we are, we have no realistic chance of winning the premier league and even less chance of winning the Champions league. At the end of this coming season, the self sustaining model must be given a facelift. It is seriously harming the ambitions of Arsenal Football Club. I cannot believe that Arsenal have decided to abandon success in favour of hoping that it’s rivals will be punished by the UEFA fair play rules. Manchester City have proved that loop holes can be found, so why should Arsenal continue to hold the moral high ground and be trodden upon underfoot by our rivals. This will have the consequence of dividing the fan base still further. If Arsene Wenger and Ivan Gazidis were politicians in the UK, they would surely be voted out at the next election. It is this lack of accountability to ordinary Arsenal fans which means that nothing will change. How sad.
We need not be totally depressed and there is no need to man the barricades and protest against the club. Rather, the fans must collectively go over the heads of both Gazidis and Arsene Wenger and write to Stanley Kroenke or Alisher Usmanov and ask them to change the parameters of the Self Sustaining policy. I do not trust Stanley Kroenke as much as I did, as he has yet failed to rule out the imposing of share dividends upon the club. A situation that would consign any further hope of success for Arsenal in the Champions League to the trashcan. As for Juan Mata he is an intelligent young man, he has a preference of position to play as a second striker. He has excellent football technique and knows that he is a valuable asset. He will have calculated that due to the severe debts of Valencia, they will not be in any position to turn down a bid from Arsenal which will now be below the existing buy out clause nof 60 million euros. Arsenal might now have to persuade Mata to ask for a transfer request and thus lose his loyalty bonus, or hope that Valencia are so strapped for cash that they will take alot less than the buy out clause. In any event, the games played by Arsenal football club has cost them more money than if they had made the deal on Sunday night. At the end of this week I predict based upon the above events. Barcelona will have bid £32 million with £5 million add ons for appearances etc for Fabregas, shy of the £40 million wanted by Arsene Wenger. It follows that Juan Mata will become an Arsenal player for I predict around 28 million Euros or £19 million. As for Samir Nasri, this mess will run until the last day of the transfer window when I expect him to be sold to Manchester City for £25 million. I wonder how right I will be. Come back and challenge me when the dust has settled!