Posts Tagged Arsenal

Outraged Arsenal fan takes extreme measures

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Cesc Fabregas’s £30m move to Chelsea has left many fans heartbroken. But the bad guy, according to one long time Arsenal fan, is Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.

Arsenal had first option to bring the Spain international back to the Emirates, but even though Fabregas wanted to return to North London, Arsene Wenger felt he already had enough players in that position.

This decision has prompted long-term Arsenal supporter John Eastman to take drastic measures.

The 55-year-old Eastman, who has been a Gunners supporter for the last 45 years, was so outraged by Wenger that he had an Arsenal crest tattoo on his chest covered with another design before binning club memorabilia.

After Fabregas completed his move to Chelsea, Mr Eastman decided that he no longer wanted the tattoo or club souvenirs that he had collected over the many decades of supporting Arsenal.

‘Wenger won’t put his hand in his pocket to buy players, he’s too tight,’ Mr Eastman said.

‘He’s broken my heart.’

Love hurts…

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Top 25 teams on the continent

While Manchester City are basking in the glory of a historic title win. Their arch rivals Manchester United are trophyless unless you count the Community Shield.  The English Premier League has been turned upside down. While in Italy an Old Lady is back on the throne. In Spain, Barcelona are hurting and Atletico Madrid are the new UEFA Europa League champions.

Here’s how it all adds up on the European Power Index.

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Arsenal Offer Fans A Voice Through ‘Fanshares’

As the English Premier League grew, it attracted many rich businessmen. The trouble however, with many such businessmen was the complete control of the club. Their money bought the club that was loved and  supported by many fans. Many of these businessmen like the Glazer family that bought Manchester United and Liverpool owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett were not cash rich, just credit rich. The result is that both Manchester United and Liverpool despite being successful clubs are in debt and struggling much to the dismay of their supporters.

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In order to avoid the fans being left powerless and voiceless, Arsenal have come up with an interesting scheme. The London club has invited fans to buy shares in the club and play a role in its governance. Although with one Arsenal share trading at £10,250, not all Arsenal supporters could afford it. This is where the Arsenal Fanshare scheme which took  The Arsenal Supporters Trust five years to plan comes in handy. This scheme encourages supporters to buy an affordable portion of the share, a minimum of £100, either up front or in in £10 monthly contributions, to buy one fanshare, one hundredth of an actual share. This secures the supporter full shareholder’s rights: they get to attend the annual general meeting, ask questions of the directors and vote on policy.

Arsenal is majority-owned by four shareholders: US property and sports entrepreneur Stan Kroenke (30%); Alisher Usmanov (27%), the Uzbek-Russian mining and minerals billionaire; long-term shareholder Danny Fiszman (16%) and Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith who is currently looking to sell her 16% stake which her family has owned for three-generations. Arsenal is valued at around £640m and each of its 62,000 shares trades at £10,250.

Arsenal Fanshare was a brainchild of The Arsenal Supporters’ Trust, a body that opposes the club being bought by one rich individual and demands that supporters be represented in decision-making. The trust hopes that many of the Arsenal’s supporters here and overseas will subscribe, massing small contributions together to form an influential stake. The supporters’ trust spokesman, Tim Payton, said, “The aim is to increase supporter ownership and influence.”

Arsenal Fanshare is fully backed by the club and according to Ivan Gazidis, Arsenal’s chief executive, “In the club’s relationship with supporters, the important thing is that fans are valued and nurtured, not exploited. That’s not only good for the club’s soul; it is also ultimately good for the club overall, because engagement with our fans helps us to be healthier, more vibrant and successful.”

Even though the scheme allows a maximum monthly payment of a £100o which ensures that no one can build a significant holding quickly. The idea is refreshingly democratic especially in light of the recent wars between fans and the absolute owners at  the debt-ridden Manchester United and Liverpool.

Article first published as Arsenal Offer Fans A Voice Through ‘Fanshares’ on Technorati.

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Cesc Fabregas to Leave Arsenal for Barcelona

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Arsenal’s season had started with such promise. The free scoring Gunners had the added advantage of being maturer than they had been in the past and in many games put up a fight when the going got tough. Unfortunately, the season ended in the same fashion as the last, in disappointment. Arsenal were unlucky enough to have drawn Barcelona in the Champions League knock-out stages and were given a master-class in football by the La Liga Champions in their 4-1 loss at the Nou Camp. Just like their Champions League dream died, Arsenal’s title ambitions also fizzled out leaving them third on the league table behind champions Chelsea and second place, Manchester United.

With the north London club failing to add to their trophy cabinet this season, fans must have felt that the worst disappointments of the season were behind them. Unfortunately, the  the final blow was to be dealt by their captain Cesc Fabregas who told  his father figure and mentor Arsene Wenger in a face-to-face meeting that he wants to quit Arsenal and rejoin Barcelona. Cesc had joined Arsenal as a 16-year old from Barcelona’s youth teams where he had played alongside Lionel Messi and has enjoyed the privilege of captaincy and  a demi-god status at Arsenal.

It couldn’t have been easy for the mid-fielder to tell the man he feels he owes his career to that he no longer wanted to stay at the club. A decision that stems, it seems  from the fear of losing out on the higher accolades since Arsenal haven’t come any closer to winning in Europe or in the domestic league in the last few seasons. Barcelona on the other hand are a team on fire. They are the reigning La Liga champions and Champions League winners (till March 28). Barcelona’s manager Pep Guardiola has already proven that his success in his first season at the club was not a fluke and that he knows how to build a champion team.

Arsene Wenger, it is believed, took the news calmly and asked the 23-year old Spaniard to stay for one more season but Fabregas has his heart set on returning home to Barcelona this summer. It is believed that Barcelona would be willing to offer £30m for Fabregas who was signed for nothing by Arsenal in 2003.  Arsenal however, would be looking for more than £40m for the player who they consider irreplaceble and undoubtedly one of the world’s best midfielders. Reports from Barcelona have also suggested that Yaya Touré could be used as a makeweight in the deal.

Fabregas has already said that he wants his future decided before the World Cup and unfortunately for Arsenal fans, it it seems that his belief Arsene Wenger’s vision has suffered a few knocks over the years while his belief in Pep Guardiola’s ability to win silverware is minty fresh.

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World’s Richest Football Clubs Revealed

With the awards season upon us, its no surprise that Deloitte’s sport unit have revealed the world’s richest football clubs list . Real Madrid who have dominated this particular list for the last 4 years have yet again topped it with annual revenues of 401.4m euros. The phenomenal figures based on data from 2008/09 season also see’s Real Madrid become the first global sports team to top annual revenues of 400m euros according to the Football Money League. Real Madrid’s arch rivals Barcelona take the second spot ahead of English Premier League Champions Manchester United who drop to third. Manchester United had dominated the list for 8 years until Real Madrid dethroned them. The authors however, do point out that Manchester United would have been top of the list had the value of the pound not fallen. Despite the exchange rate issues, seven of the top 20 teams listed in the rich-list are from England. Tottenham (15th), Manchester City (19th) and relegated club Newcastle United (20th) making it in the second half of the list. All the 20 clubs are from the ‘big five’ Eurpean leagues with Germany contributing 5 clubs, Italy 4 and 2 each from Spain and France.

World’s Richest Football Clubs

  1. Real Madrid: 401.4m euros
  2. Barcelona: 365.9m euros
  3. Man Utd: 327m euros
  4. Bayern Munich: 289.5m euros
  5. Arsenal: 263m euros
  6. Chelsea: 242.3m
  7. Liverpool: 217m euros
  8. Juventus: 202.3m euros
  9. Inter Milan 196.5m euros
  10. AC Milan: 196.5.m euros

This Deloitte review however, may be a little misleading as it does not include the cost of transfer fees or player wages, or VAT and other sales taxes, and concentrates solely on day-to-day income from football business. The income includes money from ticket sales, sponsorship, merchandising and other commercial revenues, television monies, corporate hospitality, and non-match day stadium use. With Portsmouth becoming the first Premier League club to enter administration, and giants such as Manchester United and Liverpool in financial trouble despite performing well in the league shows that the problem of overspending is still a major concern. The Deloitte list however does indicate that their is still a lot of money in the game and with careful administration through measures such as wage-ceilings and prudent transfer fees, football can get through this precarious financial period unscathed.

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Chelsea Win : Arsenal 0 – 3 Chelsea

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Chelsea won! On a rain-soaked evening in London, Chelsea beat Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium and boy, was it fun! It was a very crucial match and I shudder to think that we could have reduced our 5-point lead on United (the Manure sort! :P) to a mere 2-points but the mighty Blues didn’t disappoint.  I was pretty sure we’d win but that didn’t keep me from biting my nails and looking horrified every time Arsenal had the ball and you have got to admit they had the ball a lot of the time. The first half was scary with the Gunners really having the majority of the ball and playing their free-flowing football which on a normal day (read when they aren’t playing Chelsea/when they aren’t try to win our title) I love to watch.

What stunned me in the first half was the shout for penalty or should I say the ‘non-shout’ from our lads for the penalty. Surely, Anelka was brought down by Bacary Sagna in the box and that certainly was a penalty. I wonder why we didn’t ask for it to be given! I am guessing our brilliant Blueees were just too confident about beating Arsenal (hehe their name really cracks me up… pun intended!).  I love that confident air Chelsea have got about them these days, but guys next time, just claim your penalty!

Arsenal remind me of a pretty girl sitting in front of the mirror brushing her hair, while the house is on fire. OK, I know that probably made no sense and I blame it on the excitement of the win, but  I am going to try and explain it anyway… Arsenal continue to play their beautiful football even when they know that it probably isn’t working and what they should be doing is getting dirty, closing down (fire-fighting), defending … playing the Italian style. They knew they are going to get killed yet they went on nonchalantly flaunting their beautiful footballing style and losing the game.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining, not one bit, and I don’t think Arsenal could have done much today, ‘coz lets face it, they were facing the ‘real’ champions tonight  but in the future if they really want to be serious title contenders they need to add steel to their style.

By the end of the first half, I was starting to get a little jittery and every time the crowd booed Ashley, I wanted to beat them up and when John Terry found Ashley Cole with that wonderful pass and Ashley did his bit of magic to pass to the Drog who scored that first goal, I stopped trying to look for the calculator (yes you caught me I need the calculator for calculating all the points and stuff!). I knew we were gonna win and started appropriately singing ‘carefree where ever we may be’. Within 3 minutes, Ashely Cole did his bit of magic again (that should teach ’em to boo you Ashley!) and the  already stunned Arsenal defense didn’t know what had hit them when they saw the ball in the back of their goal yet again. Thomas Vermaelen’s own goal had  put us 2 goals ahead.If  truth be told, the pass from Ashely was just so good that it was impossible to defend, if Thomas hadn’t gotten his boot to it, Drogba would have; so it really isn’t the Belgian’s fault.  For a long time now I have felt, Thomas Vermaelen has been one of the best buys of this EPL season and I think he is incredibly handsome… well.. after today, I think I can safely say he is purrrfect!

When Wenger brought Theo Walcott on I thought, ‘oh boy!’  However, our lads handled the pacy Theo very well. They were phenomenal and in the words of the great Carlo Ancelotti, the defense did a “fantastic job“.

Oh and Drogba is God, his free-kick from 25 yards was a stunner and something I am going to love watching replays of!

Cheers, Chelsea! ktbffh

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The Open Season: Stronger than Ever EPL

barclayspremierleagueIt has been a weekend of quite a few revelations in the English Premier League. The results from Saturday’s and Sunday’s matches really are an eye-opener, showing us just how much the league has changed since its inception and just how different this season is from the seasons in the past. Being in the top 4 is no longer a done deal or a privy of the traditional top four clubs with Aston Villa, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City hard on their heels threatening to replace them should they even for a second, take their eye of the ball. Aston Villa quite literally displayed this by scoring off two set pieces in their match against Chelsea.

Unlike past seasons, this season has also seen a lot less draws, which just goes to show that teams are stronger and more confident about being able to take points off of each other and off the Top 4.  Moreover the games in the league are becoming a lot more open and most teams are willing to take some risks to try and win. `Win or lose trying’ seems to be the mantra they’ve come up with after analyzing last years’ results in which Liverpool lost fewer matches than Manchester United and yet ended up second despite having done a double on the then would-be Champions.

There is a newfound confidence in the top half of the table.  West Ham who came back from 2 goals down to draw the match against an Arsenal team in explosive form, goes on to show that more and more teams are beginning to believe that if they take their best game to the top clubs, attack and don’t allow their game to be dictated by the Big 4, they have a very good chance of taking a few points off them. Add to that the fact that the top four are picking points against each other. Manchester United won against Arsenal, Chelsea walked away with all three points in their match against Liverpool and Liverpool beat Manchester United showing that the Top 4 know that a draw against each other just isn’t good enough to guarantee them a top 4 or 5 or six finish in a very competitive premier league season.

Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea are going to have to fight for every point. There are just no more easy games for the top teams this season. Tottenham and Aston Villa have improved their squads. Manchester City with the millions they’ve spent in the transfer market are also looking to break into the top four and have quite an impressive squad.

This time, last season, Liverpool were top of the table at 25 points while Portsmouth were seventh and had only 14 points to show. This season, should Manchester City and Aston Villa pick up any points in their games in hand, the gap between the top 7 would be just six points.

This season is probably the most open Premier League season yet, and also the most entertaining. It is a clear indication that the English Premier League has become stronger despite having lost some of its stars to the La Liga and is probably the tightest, toughest, most competitive league in the world.

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