FTK Blog: MAD is the word


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…


34 Comments on "FTK Blog: MAD is the word"

  1. Boro Primorac is a Bosnian.

  2. What i don’t get is we have two billionaires as major shareholders and we are still scratching around for cheap signings. Surely if one of the major shareholders brought in a few well known quality players in then we would start to be more commercially appealing worldwide with TV rights and shirt sales, all this well run rubbish is starting to wear thin with me. Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manu etc are all in debt is Fifa really going to say you can’t be in the Chapions League due to the fair play rules when those teams probably bring in the most TV deals than any other team in Europe. It seems to me the directors have been getting rich from Arsenal FC and the supporters poorer. I’m not a shareholder so i couldn’t care less if Arsenal have made a profit i just want to see my team compete. If Wenger wants just to stay in the top 4 every season i’m fine with that but then why charge so much to watch Arsenal reduce the bloody ticket prices.

  3. Fabregas_The_King | 21/06/2011 at 12:19 |


    Thanks mate…

    I correct it.

  4. Fabregas_The_King | 21/06/2011 at 12:21 |

    @Angelic Beardy

    You are absolutely right, but what annoys me is that IG uses that excuse to prevent any funds being funnelled into the club.
    Already Chavski are on course to spend another 100million, but will they be denied entry to the Champions League?

    WILL THEY F***!

  5. There is hardly a tick difference in the world of sponsorship deals between the names of puds, manure and Arsenal. And therefore Arsenal will do contracts completely in line with the other giants- and yes we are a giant.
    There are more football clubs formed around the world at the youth level carrying the name, Arsenal than any other club. Arsenal and our cannon are everywhere.
    Arsenal entered into sponsorship deals, naming rights in particular when they were new to the PL. We did a longer term deal on certain of our rights in that area because the financing of Emirates was not a sure thing. It hung in the balance many times! People forget what the club went through to finance and build the ground.
    Football is not a game of simply hiring a new cog to fit into a hole. For as much as citeh, chelski manure, real, barca have spent it is amazing their failure rates on many of those purchases. Hleb to Barca was a perfect example. Adebayor to Citeh another.
    It seems fans would rather see a manager making poor purchases and being seen to “do something” than to be perceived to be the wise tortoise who plods alone being extremely strategic about purchases and homegrown talent.
    You argue our youth are paid too much and yet the best clubs in the world who sustained their superiority did it by developing talent not buying it.
    for all the galacticos cost Real and the super star players that were there, they never won anything after the 2002 CL championship!
    The answer is completely boring. A strategic mixing of youth development (the majority of the squad) with purchased players to fill the gaps or improve stragegic positions. Ah the new incarnation of the chant— BORING BORING ARSENAL!
    As it relates to the squad, it will work and it is working.

  6. I’m sorry but has all our cheaper signings all been successful. I understand that buying big doesn’t always equal success on the pitch but surely if we spent that extra few million on Alonso we would have been much better off than with Denilson. In the end of the day you often get what you pay for. I really don’t understand paying big on an experienced defender or goalie with EPL seasons under their belt.

  7. Two best thing for the club right now would be to get rid of clueless Bojo Primorac and get a forward innovative thinking coach. Secondly, Kroneke a poor paper dollar billionaire to sell out to filthy cash rich Usmonov….a wishful thinking!

    Fact is football is all about money, passion and loyalty and one can not run it like any other normal business especially if one wants to win trophies!

    Slimy IG and Kronke cannot hide under clubs special history and tradition anymore….fans need trophies in return for their hard earned cash.

    If Kronke doesn’t want to underwrite 20m+ signing than sell out to Usmanov now and F Off to your Hampton beach Villa!!!

  8. An excellent blog by the way FTK!

  9. FTK, you’re blog gets more and more silly by the day, I think i’ll try and avoid it unless you anything interesting to say.

    I havn’t a clue what you were trying to say and whatever it was seemed a load of waffle. By the way, how do you know that it is Boro that is reponsible for Arsenal defensive deficiencies? too many people make too many presumtions, and that is what it is presumptions. This is the same Boro that helped Arsene win 3 League Titles and 4 FA Cups at Arsenal, and now like everythings else to do with Arsenal he’s apparently useless, get a grip.

  10. ‘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’

    Fair enough i suppose, but then you mention Liverpool, who have only gone one year less than Arsenal since winning a trophy, haven’t won the league in over 20 years and so have never won the premiership, and now haven’t even qualified for the champions league for the last two seasons!…….tell me again why they would be considered ‘winners’!

  11. Pid83 when i first read said quoted line that’s what i thought but i think what FTK is saying is Liverpool and Manu have a long history of winning trophys especially Liverpool with the Champions League/European cup. There is no arguing that Liverpool and Manu are the most supported English clubs outside of the EPL so already have a big fanbase for sponsors to tap into. Though it pains me to write this.

  12. Fabregas_The_King | 21/06/2011 at 14:03 |

    Sorry mate but have to disagree with you completely.
    Are you really saying that the naming rights for the Stadium and shirt sponsor and the kit sponsorship by Nike was good business?
    Listen my friend, those deals were done when we were not cash rich and Keith Edleman had few options, the money up front option meant the deals were more favourable to the sponsors than the club.
    So check your facts…

  13. Fabregas_The_King | 21/06/2011 at 14:07 |


    Great handle by the way.

    I am sick of Arsenal not being able to buy decent ready made talent to reinforce the squad.
    We are selling club, and if the reserves and youth are the fodder to bring in cash from the lower leagues, why pay them as much?
    Man United is where the youth stars want to go, as they will be guaranteed an honour within two seasons.
    No such likelihood at AFC, so now even decent players are playing hard to get.
    Until we start winning PL titles and secure ONE Champions League, we will be on the second tier because we cannot afford to pay the market rate which is inflated by the likes of Real Madrid and Chavski…

  14. Fabregas_The_King | 21/06/2011 at 14:14 |

    I was trying to say


    Coaching – failure to correct basic defensive skills means stupid defeats ot losing 4 goal leads – already evidenced.

    Transfer Market – Failure to attract world class potential players or potent squad players means the youth have NO-ONE to learn experience from – RESULT?
    Poor confidence and a weakness under pressure. We need players who have won titles or don’t crack under pressure and WHO WORK DAMN HARD FOR THE SHIRT.

    In order to prevent financial castrophe by ending up in the Europa league, we need to find more cash if we are going to maintain a strict self sustainability model of only spending what we earn.

    NO DO YOU GEDDIT??? :-*

  15. This blog seems senseless and ill thought out.

    Rather than constructing an argument or presenting a cohesive point you just list a bunch of random unsubstantiated accusations.

    Plus, you can’t have a shot at Wenger for not spending, and then also take a shot at the board for not releasing funds. Its pretty clear to anyone who thinks about the issue that our revenue is just not there. The money we have is still basically from player sales. The full weight of the Toure and Ade sales are still to be used.

    That s why Wenger is so cautious, and that’s why he looks at resale value. If he spends 40 mill in a season, it s a huge risk because he knows the club can only generate more through more sales.

  16. Fabregas_The_King | 21/06/2011 at 14:16 |


    Liverpool and Manchester United have a global fanbase to die for, it makes our market insignificant and almost non existent.

    Commercial revenues cannot be increased based upon the UK market alone.

  17. [quote name=BP]Boro Primorac is a Bosnian.[/quote]Weeeelll…. just to be a bit of pain in the sunless spot, he’s Herzegovinian. Mean f”k all to us, but in those parts it’s a huge difference. Usually we call this region Bosnia, and leave out
    and Herzegovina. There; annoying history lesson of the day!

  18. It was good business at the time.

    Hindsight wasn’t available to them then though…

  19. Not saying they were… in hindsight. But at the time when we were doing deals for money up front!!! They were. It was all part of what we had to show the banks to get the bigger lower interest loans. Anyone remember the big deal about the loans we got and the favorable interest rates?
    Look I am not sure that is the issue now anyway. The fact of the matter is, on the commercial side, Arsenal are leaving money on the table and calculations are that amount is about 10 mil a year!!! In new potential deals. I believe that is just about the alleged signing fee for Gervinho— meaning a 10 mil signing each year is being lost!!!
    It looks like AFC have a warchest of 50 mil for this summer plus whatever is cut from wage packets or gotten by selling players.
    Jenkinson, Gervinho and who else? A swap deal for Denilson or someone (Bendtner) to get Willian?
    We all agree we need to buy some talent this summer.
    And we all agree that tactically we must improve next year.
    And we all agree we are tired of not winning-
    But I think Chelski and Manciteh are buying cause they don’t develop players in an academy yet. They dream of developing players and having an academy like ours however! They would love to be in our shoes cause they know it is what is required in the future. It is why our chief scout is being offered 3 times his wages to join Chelski!!!
    Academy costs are not calculated in Fair Play. this is a huge benefit to us the newbies don’t have. So they are driving the price of “proven” players up available in the market to be able to buy time and develop what we have! There is a seachange taking place and we are one of the 2 or 3 clubs best positioned to take advantage of it!! The only people who can f*ck this thing up is ourselves. I think we are going to purchase or we have already developed what we need.

  20. we can buy ready made talent. but we don’t necessarily play a ready made game. So the talent pool is immediately reduced. And the ones that can- quick, technically strong, youngish are highly sought after.
    So Nasri purchased in 2008 says we are the most talented squad and he doesn’t want to go anywhere else to play.
    Tommy v purchased 2009 immediate impact player lost for entire season after suffering injury captaining his country!
    You say we are a selling club but that is not really true. our sales have helped us be better and gotten rid of at least in one case a poisonous player.
    And we are not a second tier side. Talk to tottenham who feel second tier due to their ground and other limitations which preclude their ability to play with the big boys.
    Arsenal are the number 2 earning club out of the PL. Like 5th in the total world rankings.
    And we have won PL championships before, we are no Liverpool on that score. I think you want to say starting winning them again.
    The holy grail for us in my opinion is winning the CL and even if we won a PL title we would face many of the same issues.
    I understand the frustration my only issue is the baby and the bathwater and things aren’t nearly as bad as people want to make out.
    Walk around public events in yank land and you will see as many arsenal shirts as any other PL teams. Go to the shops and they are selling them, and not on discount!!

  21. John in Norfolk | 21/06/2011 at 15:51 |

    Much of the problem is not many clubs want the players we consider to be surplus to requirements.

    Fabregas is the only one for whom a bid has been made, and that’s really only a rumour. Nasri and Clichy are reported to be of interest to Man.U and Roma respectively.

    There is hardly a queue of buyers lining up to purchase the likes of Bendtner, Arshavin, Denilson, Diaby, Rosicky, Eboue, Squillaci, Almunia and Traore.

    All of these players are on relatively high wages and have an over exaggerated sense of their own value.

    Our academy has produced a gem, in Jack Wilshere, but three others were released just last week, Randall, Cruise and another, whose name I can’t recall, all for free.

    Generating revenue from player sales is not as easy as it appears, how much of the fees for Toure and Adebayor is still available is debatable.

  22. Fabregas_The_King | 21/06/2011 at 15:58 |

    Goonamerica said:
    But I think Chelski and Manciteh are buying cause they don’t develop players in an academy yet. They dream of developing players and having an academy like ours however! They would love to be in our shoes cause they know it is what is required in the future. It is why our chief scout is being offered 3 times his wages to join Chelski!!!

    Ok fair comment mate, but now we can’t attract good young hopefuls, admittedly for the same reason that i am critcising our own youth policy. Not enough cash

    Phil Jones should have been captured, but too bad,
    We can’t afford the deal with Gervinho because of other contracts means that we have to sell Fabregas..
    Are you sure Chavski want to be in our shoes???#
    Finishing second and probably going to win eh Champions League BEFORE we do???

  23. FTK has a major, major point regarding the First Team Coach.

    The opponent woll allow The Arsenal to have 90% possession in three-quarters of the field EXCEPT in the Opponent’s vital penalty area. The object is to put the ball into the opponent’s net, only RVP did that consistently. We have problems in both penalty areas and Mr Wenger knows that.

    The average wage/salary is the annual salary bill divided by the average number of employees in that same year. The Arsenal average was £232K, ManIOU was £198K and the tiny tots was £205K, all per annum from the last accounts available for the Financial Year 2009/2010. SO it is trophies that attract the best players and NOT perhaps the bigger pay cheque or electronic transfer these modern times.

  24. Fabregas_The_King | 21/06/2011 at 16:23 |


    Again I have to disagree, but then again as the author, I would do so would I not?
    I have constructed a very clear argument why adhering to dogma which has injurious side effects means that either you create wriggle room as opposed to abandoning the policy (self sustaining model) or you create a solution (reduce costs of player contracts)
    If after this explanation you still can’t understand it…

    I really cannot help you.

    try reading this explanation and then retract your own illogical premise. Had you been better informed, you would have to accept that the £50-£60 million plus for running a stadium etc is very high, and needs addressing.

    If Wenger is so prudent that we drop out of the top four, your blinkeredness may be fine for you, but that is not for the majority of disenchanted Gooners

    Word of advice
    If you say this:
    “Rather than constructing an argument or presenting a cohesive point you just list a bunch of random unsubstantiated accusations”

    Then at least come up with something concrete and sensible to substantiate your point of view. Of the revenue is there, we just choose to use on paying off interest on a bank loan and have poor revenue streams from piss poor commercial activities.



  25. Fabregas_The_King | 21/06/2011 at 16:49 |


    That told him!!! 😆

    But far more politely than I did…

    You have basically concurred with my stance which is simply put…



  26. eastmond.

    International window only opens on july1. don’t know effect on our sales but I feel there is a dam of announcements and movements which will all happen somewhat quickly. A bit like bridge financing and 5 people selling their homes to each other in sequence.
    And Fair Play is changing things.
    In almost any other league in the world Bendtner is a top quality striker. In the PL just not the bill of goods we need. I don’t think we will have any problems getting offers on him from the continent.
    why do I think the Turks would love Denilson?
    Clichy to Roma 7 mil. and Gibbs steps into role and or Carl Jenkinson sharing time-do we lose anything?

  27. The correct it not just talk (not done yet). I’m Hungarian and I don’t like reading it, although Primorac’s nationality is irrelevant.

  28. It isn’t working, and it won’t work, in fact it’s already over.

  29. Even signing Samba and Gervinho this Arsenal squad wins nothing.
    The AFC business model is not as sustainable as some believe.

  30. Fabregas_The_King | 22/06/2011 at 08:59 |


    Fair comment mate! 🙂

    Edelman did his best at the time and the deal done was actually very favourable to the club regarding the stadium loan, plus the cash infusion by Danny Fiszman.
    The sponsorship deals were pants though…c’mon lets be honest, on the back of the Invincibles? Emirates were taking the piss and they probably new it.
    Lets propose changing the name in 2016 and see if they like it…lol

  31. FTK – good blog. You know who you have to sign up with !

  32. Fabregas_The_King | 22/06/2011 at 18:24 |


    W.H.O.A.G. ???


    Listen I don’t have to sign up…

    Read my blogs!

  33. FTK, tongue in cheek comment michaevallian comment.

  34. [quote name=Fabregas_The_King]@J.I.N

    That told him!!! 😆

    But far more politely than I did…

    You have basically concurred with my stance which is simply put…


    I dont question your honesty, but I do question your line of argument. Arsenal do have older quality players, i.e. arshavin (or at least he was a season ago) and RVP. You seem to forget that no one heard of Nasri or Wilshire or fabregas before Wenger found them. Now you are afraid to loose them, why? because they are great. You didnt know they were great until until wenger recognized their talents waaay before any other premier league manager.

    Please dont use fabregas as an example for “we are a selling team” arguemnt. No doubt he is a good player, but is he a good player for the EPL, very questionable. He clearly cannot keep up with the physical demands of the EPL, and its no good to have a player who never plays, and wants to go to another team. Nasri can actually deal w/ the physicality of the EPL, and we need another midfielder who can like vidal, alverez. I find it a bit embaressing that I, an american, understand the physical requirments of the epl better than you.

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