Morning peeps. Happy Friday! How did that come around so quickly? I don’t know if it’s the same for you, but my first work week has absolutely flown by and I’ve got to be honest with you, I’m pretty glad about that, because:
- I’ve also given up booze
- I’m currently trying to shift Christmas pounds and so the sooner I get through January the better
- The sooner we get out of this blasted UK lockdown the better and if the days can fly by then all good for me.
And all good for Arsenal too, by the sounds of it, because after about two year’s of trying, it appears like we’re moving to the final stages of the Mesut Ozil saga. And I have to say whilst I’m sad that it has ended this way for a player who has such natural talent and with whom we should have been talking about a legacy and legendary status, I’ll be just glad when it has ended, because it has become a pretty tedious cloud that has hung over us for about two year’s now. But social media and various press outlets were reporting yesterday that the deal to take him to Fenerbahce is on the verge of completion and it’ll be a three-and-a-half year deal that he’ll sign.
Mikel Arteta was doing his pre match presser yesterday and the fact that even he said Mesut can leave if the deal is right for the club, suggested to me that there was some rumblings happening, which is why we’ve also heard so much going on throughout the afternoon and evening yesterday too. But here’s the key; Arteta said if it is right for the player AND the club. That is – I think – quite an important point to note and for those people who are saying “just get rid” I understand, but my hope is that “just get rid” doesn’t mean we pay all of his wages to play for another club, then he goes and signs for that club on a lucrative deal thereafter. I am sure that will work for Ozil and his people, but how does that benefit Arsenal?
There’s an argument that it gets a player who could be part of a dressing room division out of the gates at London Colney, but from my perspective it doesn’t make sense to just pay ALL of his wages. If Fenerbahce are coming to Arsenal and saying “look, we want him now, so how about you give him to us, we’ll pay £100k-per-week of his wages”, then it works for Arsenal. Ozil’s contract is until the end of June, that’s five months of a contract which would equate to £2million saved for Arsenal. Ozil still gets his big wage, there’s also talk of a loyalty bonus which I’m sure Arsenal would just pay anyway and they would have had to in June as it was, so it makes sense. We get the player off the books and can move on with our lives, save a bit of cash, plus we can properly look at what other options there are for a creative attacking midfielder in January. But if Fenerbahce aren’t paying a bean of his salary between now and the end of June, then why would we just gift them a player? What do we owe them? And in addition to that, there is an argument that you might as well keep Ozil around as a backup creative midfielder if at the end of January you haven’t been able to secure the services of another player.
That’s my hope for the situation anyway, that Arsenal can save a bit of cash and Ozil gets his move to see if he can re-ignite the last few year’s of his career at the club.
The saving of money would also be of great interest to Arsenal too, after they confirmed yesterday that the club has taken the government up on the Bank of England Covid Corporate Finance Facility, to the tune of a cool £120million. That is similar to what the scummy lot round the corner did in the summer last year and is repayable in May with a low interest rate. From a financing perspective it makes sense given the troubles the club has had as a result of zero match day revenue (or close to it) and in May I guess the expectation is that season ticket renewals will go out for the next season, as well as some sponsorship deals coming in, so the club will be in a slightly better position.
But it still somewhat leaves a bad taste in the mouth that with an owner worth $8billion we are having to take loans out. I get the fact we’re emphasizing the ‘self sustaining’ model, but for any people who ever thought that KSE would ever dip in to their pockets to try to ‘speculate to accumulate’ on The Arsenal, this clearly shows that this is never going to happen. So for those people who thought that KSE had dipped in to their pockets for the signing of Partey in the summer, this is a dose of realism, because you can bet your bottom dollar that KSE will want Arsenal to pay all of that money back. Now, if we’re looking at a team that needs investment in the summer, does the fact that we’ll have to pay back this loan to the Bank of England and probably KSE for the Partey deal, mean that transfer hands are tied even more – especially if we don’t get in Europe?
We don’t know of course and I have no inside information. I am purely speculating as is my wont on my blog where I dump my Arsenal thoughts. But I make no secret of my dislike of KSE and the Kroenke’s in general; they have been the ever-presents in a decline that had been going on for a number of years and they have yet to show any kind of leadership that demonstrates they know how to turn Arsenal back in to major players. That is all I want for my club and if they had been able to show signs of turning us in the right direction then I’d be a-ok with them. But the fact we’ve seen none of that over a number of years just has me more and more convinced they are bad for Arsenal.
I hope to be proved wrong because that means Arsenal are a successful team and we are all happy. But I’ll believe it when I see it. And with KSE I just ain’t seen it.
Back tomorrow with a pre-match preview and some thoughts on football matters rather than off-the-field stuff.
Have a good one.