The Lehmann Show, Arshavin sells Pepsi, and Premier League Debt

Kickette has the scoop on a bunch of Premier League players who posed for Pepsi and one of them was Arsenal’s very own Andrei Arshavin. I don’t know about you, but for me that photo seriously needs a caption. Feel free to add one in the comments.

Gods, I miss Lehmann

You really need to hang on until the very end with this video: funniest fucking tackle I have ever seen.

Serious Debt

Let’s actually be serious for a minute… ok, there has been a lot of talk from UEFA over the last two years about addressing the problem of debt in the Premier League but up until now it’s just been that: a bunch of talk. Well, as it turns out a secret agreement among the top clubs and top leagues seems to have been hammered out with UEFA and it looks like everyone is going to agree to do something about debt levels. This secret deal has been leaked to the press and is currently making the rounds — I even saw a watered down bit in ESPNSoccernet.

If you want to get the real skinny on how this is going to play out, you need to check out Tony’s article at Untold Arsenal.  According to Tony, Arsenal are going to be fine but several other clubs are going to need to do some major revisions if they want to play in Europe:

Anyway UEFA are now going to publish this report in full, and come out with a new set of Financial Fair Play rules, which it says are agreed in principle by the big clubs and their leagues.

These require clubs to break even financially from 2012-13. There are suggestions that the loophole of putting money into shares so it doesn’t show as debt is being closed in the new regs.

What’s more the report specifically (and yes it is specific on this) identifies Manchester IOU and Liverpool Insolvency as catastrophic in its own right, and there is implied criticism of the way the EPL and the FA have simply closed their eyes and said and done nothing about the disaster.

Ouch!  If I’m a Chelsea fan, first I’d kill myself, but then I’d be shitting my pants right about now. How, exactly, are they going to break even much less turn a profit when they have the second highest payroll, no academy, no prospects coming up, and are bankrolled entirely by a Russian Oligarch? And Liverpool? And Man U?

Hmmm… looks like Arsene Wenger’s fiscally prudent approach to football is going to pay dividends sooner that I thought.

Oh and one more thing, you should fully expect Arsenal’s name to be lumped in with the other financial dopers in all the papers. Despite the fact that Arsenal are one of only a few clubs who are managing their debt, used the debt for improvements rather than leveraged buyouts, and are turning a profit every year.

That’s just how reporters work.

29 thoughts on “The Lehmann Show, Arshavin sells Pepsi, and Premier League Debt

  1. Vote -1 Vote +1Marty McFly

    Caption: “Marty has the first caption cuz he’s back from the future!” (Says it with the tongue sticking out)

  2. Vote -1 Vote +1Grimbo

    Thanks for picking up on this Tim – It’s what I’ve been banging on about in my first couple of posts.

    Wenger was quoted as saying we should be proud of our fiscal achievements as well as those on the pitch – I wholeheartedly agree.

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1Tim Post author

      @PHW, I completely disagree. First, no one knows how much Walcott earns per week and the £60,000 figure is probably misleading.

      Second, Arsenal’s wage structure is important to the long-term health of the club because it’s much cheaper to pay a bunch of 20 year old’s £60,000 a week and turn 1 or 2 into real gems than to wait until they are 25, have a £40m price-tag, and demand £200,000 a week in wages.

      Cesc’s rumored sale price alone proves that theory.

      1. Vote -1 Vote +1PHW

        There are other factors that need to be considered in the overall approach. Arsenal paid an initial transfer fee for Theo and then future payments. So he wasn’t cheap. Then there is the lead time till the club gets any real onfield return. The other related aspect is the fact he takes a position in the first team squad while we wait for his development – so there’s a real opportunity cost. I haven’t mentioned his injuries.

        As for not knowing his true remuneration package, that’s true, yet then again by that measure do we know anybodies? What we do know is that Arsenal are one of the biggest payers in the EPL.

      2. Vote -1 Vote +1Tim Post author


        He’s not cheap, but he’s still cheaper than Francis Jeffers and there’s a lot more potential there, you have to admit. As for taking places from others, how is he doing that when he’s injured as you point out?

        He’s also English, which makes him twice as expensive in the English market, and twice as marketable if he comes good.

        It’s prospecting, pure and simple. Wenger sifts through hundreds of kids looking for gems. It’s cheaper and in the long run Wenger gets to craft the players into the type of player he wants.

        How much would Theo go for on the market right now? Even injured? £20m?

      3. Vote -1 Vote +1PHW

        Hmmm, the comparison to Francis may not look so funny in time.
        Your reference to prospecting and ctpa’s earlier is closer to the mark. Nothing wrong with that in itself, the question is how much can a club of Arsenal’s stature and aspiration rely on prospecting as its primary strategy?

        When I referred to opportunity cost I’m describing the way having Theo on our books means Arsene counts him as a real option. To me he’s not, yet to Arsene he is. Hence his refusal to buy and ‘not kill’ etc. So Theo’s presence weakens the squad, ditto Bendtner, ditto Vela.

        His current market value is something I’ve thought about, at this stage we might recoup our capital outlay but not likely much more. Currently he’s injury prone and looking every bit as far away from ‘arriving’ as he did 4 years ago. No serious club would pay big money for him at this stage.

      4. Vote -1 Vote +1Tim Post author

        @PHW, “Arsene counts him as a real option. To me he’s not, yet to Arsene he is.”

        And that’s what most criticisms of the team boil down to: “I feel like Arsene is wrong.”

        Fair enough, I appreciate all opinions on this blog. You can probably tell by now that I think Theo is Arsenal quality and tautologically would say that the fact that Arsene puts so much faith in him proves that he is.

        Of course, Wenger can be wrong, but he’s also right quite often. We’re no longer fighting for 4th place. That’s something right there.

      5. Vote -1 Vote +1PHW

        Tim, “And that’s what most criticisms of the team boil down to: “I feel like Arsene is wrong.”

        Whilst true, that’s a bit uneven, aren’t we all simply expressing our feelings? Even in this discourse your proferring that prospecting is a valid primary strategy and that Theo is Arsenal quality. Is there evidence to support either? Or just feeling?

      6. Vote -1 Vote +1connolysagent

        @Yan, Theo didn’t start football until 12. So he’s a long way behind in terms of footballing intelligence. He’s done remarkably well to get to where he is right now. He’s competing against players who have an instinctive feel for the game, and he doesn’t.

        Will he make it? It’s still too early to tell. He’s 21, 22 now. You need to give him another 3 or 4 years to make it. Certainly, he’ll never be a tricky winger like Ronaldo or even Eboue. He doesn’t have the skill. What he does have is pace and the ability to finish. I think once he learns to make the right runs, Wenger will switch him up front, and he’ll flourish as a Michael Owen-type player. Or he might not make it. You never know, but it’s worth it to keep persisting with him. I’m not sure if he’s worth 60k a week, though.

    2. Vote -1 Vote +1XTG

      @PHW, £60,000 is well off. Cesc only earned £50,000 until last season. He’d earn about £35,000 plus appearance and goal bonuses.

  3. Vote -1 Vote +1nycgunner

    so stoke is up 3-1 in extra time. if they go on to win this game, which they should – 1) they will be tired on sunday and we should run them ragged and 2) they will spend the next 3 nights binge drinking and we should run them ragged. on the other hand man city will try their best to rebound from their loss and should give chelsea a very good fight – a loss for chelsea is a lot to hope for at the bridge but a draw is not too far from a possibility.

  4. Vote -1 Vote +1nycgunner

    and ade got a red card which means he misses the chelsea game. that mofo is still plotting against us!

  5. Vote -1 Vote +1ctpa

    Man City will have Tevez back for Chelsea. He’s coming back from over a weeks stay in Argentina and his mind may lack focus with his family concerns.

    Have to credit Stoke for that 3-1 win.

  6. Vote -1 Vote +1connolysagent

    Does anyone really think UEFA will bar Liverpool, Chelsea and Man Utd from the Champions League? The CL is run by TV money, and you don’t get as large a profit without those clubs in the competition. Plus, if UEFA ran the rule on all Premier League clubs, how many would pass muster? Us and Man City (their money has been written off). And if push came to shove, Abramovich would write off the rest of Chelsea’s debt each year, and that would probably allow them to qualify.

    Caption: At least this looks better than our away shirt.

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1PHW

      Once you start establishing rules around financial discipline in football the whole environment will start changing. Currently, pretty much anything goes, what happened at Manchester United is a prime example of the ridiculous. One of the worlds most successful clubs ‘bought’ and then foisted with the cost of the transaction. Well might their supporters want a piece of ‘american businesssman’ Malcolm Glazer.

      The money in football is obscene, so if the authorities can start capping the excess – great. We’ve already seen in the real economy that markets don’t self-regulate, greed and glory is lurking and needs to be contained.

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1XTG

      @Patrick, Bad news if I’m honest. It just means Nederlands will call him up for the WC, then he’ll just get injured again. I’d much rather he gets an off-season and starts fresh for the next campaign.

      1. Vote -1 Vote +1Patrick

        RvP is in his absolute prime. I would not wish for him to miss the World Cup. That would be awful for him.

        Better that we have a happy Robin than a sad one.

  7. Vote -1 Vote +1jeffers

    the debt report is all a good idea, but I dont see how an agreement could have been reached in principal by the big clubs and their leagues when it is those who will suffer most?
    Man U, Liverpool and Chelsea would be stuffed, so I cant see them limply agreeing and I also can’t see Real Madrid just deciding to stop buying the galacticos and compete with the rest of the mere mortals.

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