Posts Tagged ‘Chelsea Debt


Happy Friday the 13th

Well, this is boring.

Ahead of the Cardiff match on Monday, Arsene Wenger gave his Friday press conference and completely failed to say anything provocative. Oh, he talked about Tony Adams (hire him please) and Phil Scolari and how William Gallas is a great professional (’tis true) but come on, give us something! Tell us that Cardiff are cheats or that Dudu is absolutely going to start or that Denilson is suddenly the best player on the planet, something.

I guess it’s not meant to be.

Here’s what we do know: Eduardo is not Eduardo, he’s someone else, someone who refers to himself in the third person. This confusion is giving Wenger pause over whether he can include him in the Cardiff match on Monday — the player is registered as “Eduardo” and no one is sure if “not quite Eduardo” is registered with the FA and thus allowed to play in the FA Cup rematch.

For me, “not quite Eduardo” is a lot better than “not at all Eduardo” so I’d play him, irregardless the rules. Watch, he’ll get “not quite a hat trick.”

Seriously though I’m not putting any expectations on the player and he’s asking us to be sure we don’t ask too much too soon. Fair enough, I hope he gets better and is able to come back. If not, he will always be fondly remembered. That said, I wish him Godspeed in the recovery, it’s an understatement to say we need him right now.

How’s that for the most ambivalent statement ever?

Something I’m not ambivalent about is being sick and tired of Diaby being in the recovery room, and just in time for Cardiff, he’s out with a thigh injury. Why can’t this player put together a string of, say, 15 games?  And what’s wrong with his thighs? Why is he constantly injuring his thighs? Maybe he should wear those American Football style thigh pads. Not that I think he’s great or anything but with all the other injuries to the midfield and after Rambo’s performance at the last match Diaby would have been a welcome pick in the midfield.

I can’t believe I just said that.

But seriously, we all know what’s going to happen. Wenger is going to pick Song and Rambo in the middle, Nasri wide left, and DENILSON WIDE RIGHT!!! Vela? No. Wilshere? No. It’s going to be Denilson. It’s not that I hate Denilson, I like the kid, hell he’s our best player (!) but he’s not a wide player. Maybe Arsene will suffer a blow to the head and play Vela or Wilshere wide right. I’m not going to hold my breath.

Now you see why I miss Diaby?

Ok, now that you’re thouroughly depressed, here’s a story about how Chelsea are still planning on being solvent by 2010 despite the fact that their annual losses are over £60m and their payroll is 70% of their turnover. I love the fact that they are still paying Jose Mourinho and that the figure above doesn’t inlcude the reported £15m they need to pay Scolari. Not long now, Goonahs, Chelsea will be in a major fiscal crisis and it will be 1 down, 3 to go.

That’s it, see you tomorrow.


Barton Debtor’s prison

Maybe it would be better if they had kept the plastic pitch at the Luzhniki Stadium? UEFA chief Platini has been so focused in on his role in eradicating debt in the various football leagues that he failed to oversee the installation of a proper grass pitch for the Champions League final. But no matter, because due to insane Russian visa policies, hyper inflated costs in the world’s most expensive city, and the scary thought that Chelsea supporters aren’t really all that ardent, there won’t be a full stadium to see the crappy football on a crappy pitch anyway.

Yes, it’s true, it’s a slow news day Arsenal fans. In fact there are only two actual “Arsenal” stories: the Nasri story (which is reprinted daily) and a pretty cool story on the dot com about the season highs and lows. I know, exciting stuff.

I have to mention Joey Barton, my favorite madman, because he got 6 months for that assault at a McDonald’s last Christmas.


That means he’ll be out until at least November. Fingers crossed that Arsenal play both their matches against Newcastle before he regains match fitness. But really, I have to wonder why this guy is even allowed to play at all? If you read the description of the assault in the link above and combine it with his glorious career as a criminal you have to pause and wonder what kind of lunatic would sign him to a contract? Oh yeah, Sam Allardyce… Good on you, Sam, how’s retirement?

The only other story is that a little bit more detail about Chelsea and Man U’s debts has been revealed in the Guardian; it turns out that this year’s Champions League finalists collectively owe £1.5bn. The funny part of the story is Chelsea’s insistence (through Peter Kenyon’s rabid drivelings) that they don’t have any debt. Oops, I mean “outside debt.”

In their rather Orwellian manner, Chelsea are claiming that they have no debt because, as it turns out, all that money that Abramovich is pouring into the club is actually just “interest free loans.” Which isn’t really a debt right? So, while the Guardian maintains that Chelsea currently owe £736m, Chelsea says “we owe no external banks.”

Right, you just have collateralized debt obligations to the tune of £578m issued as bonds in the name of Roman Abramovich and payable within 18 months of his demand. David Dein once famously described Abramovich’s spending as “Roman’s sitting in his tank firing £50 notes at us.” As usual DD was wrong, because if you look closely at those notes, they are IOUs.

Debt? What debt?

The other interesting fact in this article is that both United and Chelsea are actually running annual deficit spending as well. So, not only do that have enormous, unsustainable, club killing debts, but they run nearly £80m in the red every year. And every year their debt gets bigger and bigger and the prospect of their wealthy owners ever earning a dime on their billions in “investments” gets smaller and smaller.

I can’t see any future for these two clubs that doesn’t lead to a financial collapse. If you look, the signs of crisis are already in the offing; United can’t even pay off their transfer fees from last year‘s foray into the market. How long before teams stop selling them players on IOU? What happens to United if their banks demand payment on their debt (they currently can’t even pay their interest)? What happens to Chelsea if Roman gets sick of losing £100m a year and stops funding their unsustainable salary structure? Or worse, demands a portion of his £600m debt be returned?

There was a time, when I, like many Arsenal supporters, saw the free spending ways of Man U, Chelsea, and Liverpool and wished that we had some rich guy to help us compete in the market. I no longer have any lingering doubt about the course the Arsenal board is on.

So, enjoy the Champions League final tomorrow; I’m sure the trophy will be for sale soon on Ebay.

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