RvP and Vermaelen close to signing, as Setanta switch off looms closer...

Setanta, Arsenal’s digital partner appears to be on the brink of going into Administration. The troubled broadcaster has run up debts approaching 100 million pounds and may not be able to persuade it’s corporate shareholders to come up with the cash through a further rights issue. The affected parties include the USGA, the Scottish Premier league who would lose at least 25 million pounds which could force some clubs into their own administration. The Football league and Football Conference and Premier League Rugby are also likely to be hit financially. The founders Ryan and O’Rouke have some difficult discussions ahead.
Liverpool TV and Rangers TV are the other sporting channels, and along with Arsenal they may be looking at a small financial loss from the sponsorship type arrangements that enable the products to be shown on the Sky digital platform. BSkyB have opted not to bail out Setanta, and clearly the rights would revert back to the clubs and the leagues who would sell on the broadcasting rights. In this market, there is likely to be a reduced price offered for the packages which would bring in Disney’s ESPN channel into the arena. BT vision may also want to attract more customers by providing a platform.
Whether Arsenal TV will revert to being online whilst another platform/partner is being found is the big question. Exclusivity will increase the sponsorship payments from any new partner, and it would be hard to remove the digital feed from ATVO if it attracted many new subscribers on the basis of that new package. So there could be a period of being “off air” and if the club is not to attract more criticism of it’s poor public relations activities, then it had better be clear about what it intends to do and the consequences of that action.
Elsewhere in the Gooner World, Some good news as we await the transfer of Thomas Vermaelen from Ajax, who appears to be coming closer to signing for the club. All has now been agreed between the clubs despite Martin Jol’s objection to the Ajax board agreement to sell the player, and what is left is to perform the medical and settle personal terms. However remember these can be significant hurdles and the transfer could fall through at any point if agreements cannot be reached with the player.
If the rumours about Wolfsburg Bundesliga striker Edin Dzeko going to AC Milan are correct, then where does that leave our Emmanuel Adebayor this summer? Could he be donning the light blue of Manchester City, if they fail to land David Villa, who now appears to be a Real Madrid target? Quite how Real Madrid can pull in Kaka, Cristiano Ronaldo and David Villa is beyond me, but yet again these big transfers will probably go down to the wire which could mean the Adebayor situation will again get very messy.
My sources indicate that Robin van Persie finally appears to be on the verge of putting pen to paper for the club, having been reassured about the prospect of new players arriving. Quite whether this is the message that Ivan Gazidis would like transmitted to other key players is debatable. Expect the exit of some players too, We know about Bischoff being a free agent, but apparently this summer will see the exit of a much loved and household player that you may not have expected to leave. I am assured that it is not Fabregas, so place your bets, as the plot thickens!
Finally Arsenalinsider wish to send it’s thoughts and good wishes to Vic Crescit who is currently in hospital following a car accident. Get well soon mate, if you have the chance to read the site on a laptop from your hospital bed.
Fabregas the King

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