M.A.D or Mutually Assured Destruction, was the tactic that prevented a Thermonuclear exchange between the two super powers in the 1950’s and 1960’s as they jockeyed for position on the World geopolitical stage. The doctrine was based upon the realisation that if a conflict lead to one side or the other launching a nuclear missile strike, then the other side would be able to have enough of a retaliatory strike to destroy it’s aggressor. So what has this quaint dalliance into Politics got to do with Arsenal Football Club? Well simply put it underlines the current impasse which threatens to strangle the club on and off the field.
There are two key components of this doctrine at Arsenal. On the field we have Arsene Wenger and his Hungarian Coach Boro Primorac. I hold Primorac as First team Coach responsible for Arsenal’s shocking deficiencies in defence of corners and free kicks and the inability to create any kind of threat from set pieces that we gain. The problem is of course that having come from Grampus 8 in Japan with Arsene. Primorac is Teflon coated and made of indestructible material. The only way that he will be put to one side is when Arsene Wenger leaves the club. So attack or try to sack Primorac and lose Arsene Wenger.
If you thought that the other pairing was the Billionaire twins of Kroenke and Usmanov, then think again. These two extremely rich Businessmen continue to spy upon each other from their respective bunkers with a game of tic tac toe being played in no man’s land. Despite the ironic parallels of West versus East. They are in fact more birds of a feather than deadly enemies. Their quest? Who can be proclaimed as saviour of Arsenal Football Club and still make an obscene profit from the future sale of Arsenal shares. Even today Usmanov has increased his holding to 29% in stark defiance of the controlling stake of 66.6% owned by Silent Stan.
In fact the other component is the self sustaining philosophy that underpins everything about profits versus expenditure. Whilst being a perfectly legitimate accounting strategy for the prevention of a financial meltdown, it is wedded to the Board and Arsene Wenger like the terminal embrace of a giant Boa Constrictor. The prey being the fans are being squeezed close to the point of asphyxiation. The lifeblood of the club represented by world class players is in short supply. We are not allowed to speculate to accumulate and that my friends will lead to our eventual downfall if we fail to win silverware this year.
Put bluntly it goes like this, “Breaking News! Highly regarded player snubs Arsenal shock!” and “Arsenal player not signing new contract!” The problem lies in the fact that we over pay our youngsters. Not that I am wanting several more players on 120K a week, but at least we would have the capacity to afford the players that would make our objectives attainable. Ivan Gazidis has employed some gold plated commercial executives, they will be soon be on trial when it comes to the renegotiation of some key sponsorship contracts due for renewal. However Sponsors like winners, and face the reality folks, Arsenal aren’t winners! So even though the heritage and branding of Arsenal still carries much corporate respect. We would not get the kind of offers that would be bestowed upon a Liverpool or Manchester United.
We need to find more income whilst remaining true to self sustainability. This must mean a restructuring of the wages policy and with it cuts in the salaries of the youth/reserve squad. There could also be a move to reduce the profit margins of the Football Agents who receive eye watering sums just for changing the dates on their word processed contract templates. Talk about a rip off! If we all said NO to Agents, or made the player responsible for those costs, all of football would benefit. Thirdly because we all know that any big names available will NEVER be bound for Arsenal, the price of the second tier also goes up, because selling clubs know that we will be desperate for them.
This where the Billionaires come in. Ivan Gazidis was vociferous in turning down what he interpreted as handouts from Kroenke and Usmanov. So he had better find an alternative way of getting the revenues up soon without hitting the fans pockets further or face the smoke like a latter day Nero, playing his violin as the Emirates burns. Ivan Gazidis knows that he needs to find a way that the CLUB can benefit from these two rich individuals without breaking the established doctrine of living within our means, which as currently stands means us having to sell our best players like Fabregas. The sad facts are that we will be destined to go down in history as the best run club NEVER to have won the Champions League…