This morning I logged on to my Arsenal online account on the official website and asked for my cashback refund on my season ticket today. It gave me an odd sense of sadness and guilt for some reason. I think that’s because in the back of my mind I was thinking about the thousands of people who might be doing the same, as well as the fact that it means no more games probably until September that I’ll get to watch live in the flesh. September at the earliest, probably, which is a bit of a bummer.
I shouldn’t feel too guilty though because it’s not as if Arsenal have an owner who we all know is invested heavily in the club, has the club’s best interest at heart and will be dipping into his own pocket to ensure that we not only remain as competitive as possible, but that the workforce at Arsenal is being looked after during this difficult time of global economic recession that we are essentially in at the moment.
I have no feelings of guilt towards KSE, more just my continued loathing, but the club itself – by that I mean the people in this country who are trying to operate it – I do have some sympathy for. The ticket office people, those that run the administration side of the business, the average Joe’s that make Arsenal tick, it was those people I was thinking of when I was asking for my money back. When you add the mass rebate that people are asking for, to the complete lack of match day income, and this doesn’t exactly feel like a fun and rosy situation we have ourselves in. I know we all know that, but it’s little actions like what I have completed this morning, which hit home just how tough it is going to be for Arsenal over the next year, minimum.
On the pitch the noise is still around what’s happening with Aubameyang’s contract and with both L’Equipe and ESPN both taking either sides of the ‘contract offered’ discussion, the player himself posted a “don’t listen to ’em, listen [to] music [it’s] better” message on his Instagram account. Well, I can certainly agree that listening to music is better than listening to journalists, but reading music is certainly not as much fun and just as confusing as the messages we’re getting on the Auba contract situation. It’s a tough one because as we’ve seen with the Luiz situation, under normal circumstances I suspect the club will have just renewed Luiz and the money would be less of an issue, but with the situation as it is right now I’m just not sure how the club can justify the wage outlay on a player like Aubameyang if there is a chance they could cash in now. I’m sure there are plenty of you that will tell me I’m talking nonsense and I’d agree that is what I’m here for most of the time, but this is my opinion and when you listen to the dire situation that people more in the know than me paint about the club’s finances, then it doesn’t become as cut and dry as ‘pay the f*ckin’ money’ on a player. There is a balance that has to be struck and that balance needs to be considered very strongly by the club. Because it’s not just an extension that the player would get; he’d most likely get an additional signing on bonus and there are probably more agent fees that would be chucked in there too. All of a sudden this looks a more complicated situation than it might have done three or six months ago.
It just serves to highlight the ever changing and perilous situation that football finds itself in financially. There are so many shifting tectonic plates that it feels like an almost impossible situation to navigate right now. But that’s why people are paid the big bucks at The Arsenal and that’s why we need to hope that although they’ve looked like they haven’t been the best at managing us in the last 12 months or so, that they’ve got some kind of master plan for the immediate future. Certainly when it comes to improving the team because we can all agree that a bit of surgery is needed on this squad, but how we go about doing that with little cash to spend on improving the squad, is a bit of a mystery to simple folks like me.
What we could see is a gradual running down of his contract and if that happens then it really would be depressing. Especially when you hear noises like “Chelsea are monitoring the situation”. The idea of Auba lining up in any other English teams colours is a sad one for me but if they can offer Champions League football and we can’t, then we may be powerless to stop him from moving.
If he does run his contract down then we just have to hope he decides to go abroad. The idea of him joining a Real Madrid or Barcelona next summer would be much more palatable than if we lost him for free to that racist lot in West London.
Anyway, probably best not sweating on things like that right now, because a year is a heck of a lot of time in football.
Anyhoo, time for me to get one with some proper work for today, so I’ll catch they tomorrow with some more musings.