Archive for December 2nd, 2008


Burnley v. Arsenal — Debt in the Premier League

I find myself in an unusual situation: there’s no television coverage of today’s match in the U.S. So, as excited as I was to see Arsene’s 18 youngsters take on the team that knocked Chelsea out of the Carling Cup, I don’t get to. BOOOO! Maybe I’ll see if I can get a stream on

It’s going to be a tough challenge for the young squad, up till now they have played home matches and against “lesser” competition but in Burnley they will find a squad that moves the ball well and has some teeth up front. And they will have to do it all away from home, which means that they will need to defend well and patiently wait for goal scoring opportunities.

Tough match for a bunch of kids.

Ahead of the match, Aaron Ramsey is brimming with confidence and has claimed that he could be Arsenal’s Steven Gerrard: wait, he wants to be a xenophobic diving prick? Personally I hope he’s not a Steven Gerrard, I’d rather he be Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey. No time like the present to start, Aaron. Burnley’s got 5 red cards this season so they are going to get “stuck in,” how will you respond? I wish I could watch.

Speaking of responding…

Robin van Persie claims that the Gallas outburst wasn’t targeted at him. Hmmmm…. Eboue? Honestly, I don’t know and don’t really care, Gallas isn’t the captain, Cesc is 2-0, and the team seems to be playing well. That’s all that really matters.

The boss talked about responding to the win over Chelsea, hell, the whole team is talking about it: they need to keep the heat on, their foot on the gas, not let up, give 110%, pick your metaphor. Anything less than a win against Wigan on Saturday will be an embarrassment: not only is it a home game but it’s against the team that the youngsters dismantled 3-0 just a few weeks ago. Wigan will be looking for revenge but Arsenal will have a full squad, well rested, and can have no excuses.

And finally…

I’m not typically a fan of articles that talk about debt in the Premier League, usually because they are poorly written, have the tone of a screed, and often like to highlight Arsenal’s debt and downplay Chelsea’s. Basically, they are almost always a propaganda piece in favor of getting some Sugar Daddy in at Arsenal. But I found one this morning that has a picture of the Emirates but doesn’t mention Arsenal’s debt at all. It’s a pretty good look at what’s coming for Chelsea, Liverpool, and Man U (among others) given the global credit market and their levels of debt compared to their income. A club like Man U is probably too big to fail (some rich guy will always buy a club that big) but Chelsea supporters should be very, very worried. Chelsea have started the downward spiral and rather than being “self sufficient” as Peter Kenyon suggests, they will be insolvent in two years time. They can’t possibly sustain $150m a year in losses without Roman’s money and since he’s turning off the tap and they aren’t making cuts in salary the losses will continue. It was a bad business plan from the onset; use $1bn to buy up the world’s talent and try to transform a mid-table team into the world’s biggest club in just a few years. What they are left with is an insane wage bill, a huge debt to their owner, a tiny outdated stadium, and a couple of Premiership titles all because they overlooked one thing: history. To be the biggest club in the world takes time and sustained effort, many, many championships, and a long history of overcoming adversity. You can’t buy that, Roman.

Right, late for work, if I get to see the match I’ll do a Good, Bad and Ugly tomorrow. If not? Oh well! Here’s to the Young Ones doing a number on Burnley: Up The Arse!

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December 2008