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Neymar’s transfer is the kiss of death for Arsenal

By Bard

PSG deal effectively buries the club as a competitive force for the foreseeable future

Those who pay attention to posts on here may remember my post about the massive impact the Pogba transfer had on Arsenal’s ambition (or lack of it). The Neymar transfer is another nail in the coffin, it is a catastrophe for the club. It has indirectly blown the club’s long-term strategy to pieces. The whole point of the move to the new stadium and the lean years that followed was that the pain was short term and that once we had got our costs under control we would be in a position to seriously challenge the bigger clubs. You could argue that the Ozil and Sanchez signings were evidence of that increased financial clout.

The Neymar transfer effectively buries the club as a competitive force for the foreseeable future. Arsenal have now been relegated from the second tier of clubs to the third. Make no mistake Arsenal are not the only club to be affected, it will force several other clubs like Chelsea and even Barca to rethink their project. How much more is Abramovich willing to plough into Chelsea to keep them competitive? While Arsenal are able and willing to pay in the region of £50m this is now the going rate for bang average players.

But there is a deeper more profound issue that should concern us as fans. The club make a big deal of its business model despite absurdly not involving one of the richest men in the world. Neymar’s transfer effectively renders this strategy dead in the water. It is obvious that in the current climate the self-sufficient model is now a model for death by a thousand cuts. Year on year, Arsenal will slip further and further behind the top clubs. You can debate the morality of the current situation or the position of the manager but the only way Arsenal can even remotely stay in the contest is for Stan to sell the club to an individual or organisation with deeper pockets. Premier level football is no longer a game for all comers. At the elite level it is only for those with the deepest pockets. Wealthy as Stan Kroenke is he has neither the financial clout nor the ambition to commit to such a project.

If and when Wegner goes it is possible that a new man will be able to get more from the squad in Simeone fashion, but the gap between what Arsenal can pay under the current model is miles away from that required for top players. It can only go one way and that’s down. We are sadly too used to the white flag being raised on the field but where do we go once the board effectively give up?

8th August 2017 12:31:52

(3/10)

Comments and Reaction

User comments on this article are now closed. If you want to continue the debate, why not do so on the Gooner Forum.

Yes its Ron  12:54pm 8th Aug 2017

In fairness Bard i think Arsenal decided quite some years back to step out of the spending cycle, at least to the extent that they need to spend to challenge the top Clubs. They've just lacked the mettle to come clean about their accepted status as a Club. Reality is they cant afford to do it anyway. Theres a delay in the Clubs fans realising that ASL have effectively dropped out due to the first class imagery the Club tries to project each year. The fans would be far happier about it if they would just open their eyes and accept that Asl aren't at the top table and wont be. There's a massive disconnect between the fans expectations and the Clubs intentions. Its very sad, but people will shut their eyes to reality if its not what they want to see. Being out of the CL for a few yrs will help the fans adjust. It might, perversely just put some enjoyment back into supporting the Club actually. All of those grand and openly stated intentions by ASL back in 2002/3/4 when the stadium project was up and running need to be forgotten. They no longer apply and haven't done for a long time. I don't think a change of Coach will alter much either. That's not to back the present regime as change is needed to inject some impetus into the Club domestically. The PL clubs have been off the needed beat for some yrs European football wise and its decline will continue. It needs it in my view. The hype and pretence about it all needs to be expunged. Theres always a silver lining. - Post No. 108789


peter wain  13:19pm 8th Aug 2017

this is just a convenient excuse for the management of Arsenal. We should have spent more and we would be in a stronger position. Now no top player will come to us. We can only attract players who the big four in England do not want. This the legacy of Wenger and Kroenke. - Post No. 108791


Hi Berry  13:34pm 8th Aug 2017

Yes, Ron...I think it will take a little time, as you say, for the reality of Arsenal's position to finally sink in to one and all. A lot of us who have been in the Arsenal fold since the sixties (and all getting rather long in the teeth now!) don't really recall Arsenal being at the top table in this country, let alone Europe, with a few fleeting moments of glory in '71 and '89 along with a few FA Cup wins along the way. With the exceptions of Malcolm McDonald and Alan Ball I don't really recall Arsenal being big spenders either. George Graham assembled that back four/five on a shoestring. Arsenal's reputation as the 'Bank of England' club was made in the thirties and reinforced with the art-deco stands, all now a sad and distant memory. Apart from that distant decade we have never dominated English football in the way Liverpool and Man Utd did although there was a wonderful few years between '98 and '04 when it really looked as if we were about to do so. I think it is those early Wenger years that made so many people believe we were up there with the big hitters of world football and to have fallen away as we have, for whatever reasons, is unpalatable to so many. Whether it's Wenger or simply financials the reality is that we aren't in the same league as Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern and latterly PSG and if the truth be known we never will be unless drastic changes at board level give us unlimited funds to compete with them. As you say, time to be more relaxed about what Arsenal might be able to achieve....more of a seventies and eighties attitude towards the team might be needed. - Post No. 108793


Exeter Ex  13:37pm 8th Aug 2017

No, the whole point of the stadium move was to raise the share price for the then shareholders, load the debt onto the club itself, then sell those shares at a massive profit. Which they then duly did, to an unambitious asset collector. It was also an ego project for Wenger - his stadium, his legacy. Never mind not being able to compete, they don't even try (Wenger's never-ending contracts the most obvious sign of this) and it was never the intention to do so. They BS the fans every year though that they do, and amazingly there are still mugs falling for it. - Post No. 108794


Yes its Ron  14:12pm 8th Aug 2017

Hi Berry - Youre so very right there. Its the modern Arsenal fans who have this deep seated notion that Arsenal are a Club at the same plateau as Utd domestically. As you say, none of us have experienced that as it was 80 years ago and even then it was short lived. Since then Arsenal have never been close and have never aspired to want to be. They are and have been an excellent Club, but a giant of a Club, they've never been. Ive said many times that Wenger hasn't at all altered Arsenals trajectory, but he and the owner has certainly altered the imagery and its that imagery that brought the split amongst the fans now. The reality is that its TV hype that aids and abets it. On yr spending point which is well made, i honestly dont believe that Arsenal have ever had a resounding success with any player bought at what might be classed as an exorbitant price. Such as Henry and Bergy were bought at the correct price and in Bergys case, a cut price because he was deemed damaged goods back then wasnt he. The Club has no status as a big spender as you say and the Clubs culture will remain that way. We ll win the odd title some times im sure and a Cup here and there. That's what Arsenal do well. That we have the honours list that we do is exceptional given how the Club behaves historically. We ve always been prudently managed and it wont alter. The fans who've signed up to follow the Club since Wenger arrived seriously need to do a few football history lessons and wise up. Like it or not Wenger isnt the sole reason Arsenal are the Club they are, in the position they are. Hes holding us back of course, in my view but only as much we wont progress very much domestically under him. Any change a new Coach will eventually make will be marginal.A Clubs culture is deeply embedded, any Club. - Post No. 108796


Seven Kings Gooner1  14:22pm 8th Aug 2017

Good point Bard about a Simeone type manager trying to drag more from the squad of players, personally I think that style of manager would also suit the current board because the less flamboyant players that a manager like Simone favours cost less money to purchase. Ron: I think you are right, because being out of the CL is where we really belong and so with that bit of honesty it tends to create a better empathy with the fans. IMO I think we are now at the same stage in real terms as we were when Wenger first joined us, a EUFA/Europa cup side who if run under the current management will finish 5th or 6th and maybe win an FA cup. With or without the Neymar transfer fee Arsenal are exactly where they were 20 plus years ago. - Post No. 108798


The Man From UNCLE  14:31pm 8th Aug 2017

I think the tone of this article is unnecessarily negative. For a start PSG are able to land Neymar because they're funded by Qatar. The regime at Arsenal; like it or loathe it, last season excepted, they had constantly kept the club at a high level - yes OK, lack of titles blah blah blah, but had seen off various other contenders - Leeds, Newcastle, Liverpool, Spurs (until recently anyway) - or were capable of fighting it out with the rest - Chelsea, Citeh, Man Utd. In other words, who's the next candidate to come along and try their luck? The 2010 World Cup should have shown any thinking football fan how the game was progressing - it has been a team game for a long time now. Citeh were going to sweep all before them not so long ago weren't they? But age caught up with them and they've had to rebuild again. Yes, in the long run we have gradually declined but you can argue that so has everyone else. - Post No. 108799


Yes its Ron  14:59pm 8th Aug 2017

SKG - Yes, is that which irritates me about the likely abortion of the EC. Its a tournament that Arsenal are rightfully in and could and should try to win so to improve the Clubs very mediocre European standing, even if it did mean another 5th place PL finish . Wengers done league titles, its high time he delivered a European one in my view. As youve gathered, i dont share British fans fraudulent disregard for the Europa Cup. If it was so poor a tournie, why dont many Clubs from these shores win it? Fans here have much to learn from their european counterparts who dont suffer the same delusional tendencies about their Clubs. I get to Italy quite a lot and am lucky enough to see the Viola from time to time - Fiorentina. Speak to the average AC fan or Inter fan and theyre very accepting of where footballs economics have placed them and both have pedigrees that Arsenal can only dream of having. - Post No. 108800


Seven Kings Gooner1  15:47pm 8th Aug 2017

Ron : I agree about the Europa cup, we should try to win it and not worry about playing on Sunday and Thursday. The Fairs Cup win was my best night at Highbury and any European trophy gives a club credence - if Arsene is going to hang around for another 5 or 6 years, then as you say he should make a proper effort to win it. - Post No. 108803


Yes its Ron  16:26pm 8th Aug 2017

SKG - We both know what will happen though dont we. Weak teams, half cocked in the euro Cup, play the tune about Thursday/Sundays on a violin repeatedly and bobs yr uncle, a ready made excuse for failure. - Post No. 108804


CORNISH GOONER  19:37pm 8th Aug 2017

I do find the general tone of today's thoughts a leetl bit negative - for starters are Atletico really a bigger Cub than L'Arsenal? The difference is they have a top manager in his prime as against our "pensioner" in football terms. I fear for Conte at Chelsea but think City will be excellent (sorry Ron) which means that, as usual, we will be relying on others falling short rather pushing on ourselves. More importantly, Europe ain't The States - thank god. And Europe is not in a good place with Establishment smoke & mirrors concealing a pretty unhealthy economic outlook (shades of 2008 again) the consequences of which even Gulf State won't be immune from. Football being a business will inevitably take a hit & from the next recession maybe a healthier situation can emerge. What happened to FFP by the way? - Post No. 108815


mbg  20:02pm 8th Aug 2017

Bard mate we already have our own kiss of death for quite a while now. We want wenger out. - Post No. 108817


mbg  20:47pm 8th Aug 2017

Ah well who cares we're up and running and ready to go. wenger out. - Post No. 108818


Paulward  21:16pm 8th Aug 2017

Whilst accepting we are a fairly small club in European terms, those arguing we are somehow miles smaller than Man Utd and Liverpool domestically are talking nonsense . We have dominated a decade , albeit a long time ago and curtailed by the war, and those that know their history are aware that Arsenal were the biggest club in the country for a significant chunk of the 20th century. It should be remembered that Liverpool were a second division team when a certain Bill Shankley took the reins, whilst Man Utd were relegated as recently as the 1970s. It is also worth pointing out that Liverpool have not been champions of England for 27 years, whilst the " biggest club in the world " Man Utd did not win a league title between 1967 and 1993. Arsenal have competed at the top top table of English football as consistently as anybody . - Post No. 108821


Alsace  21:56pm 8th Aug 2017

The problem is more complicated than Bard suggests. Firstly it is true that Sutton United cannot have any realistic hope of winning the Champions League. They can't buy the players to get close. There is however a range within which a cup competition can be won, and we are still in that zone. Leicester City prove that beyond doubt. There is of course the bent referee factor but that is a constant that all successful teams get the rub of the green. Qatar owning a club is no different from Spain owning Real Madrid. The fact that price inflation does us harm is true but it aint that significant. Barca are blowing most of their windfall on Liverpool's striker. What is holding us back remains Wenger and the inertia which he causes. We have no tactical or strategic plan and we have no leader on the pitch. Wenger remains the obstacle to any progress. If he sticks to his limp moisin nagants (I hesitate to say guns) over Sanchez and Ozil he will be blowing perhaps £100 million of Stan's money. Not even being smeared in the blood of a newly slaughtered fox will placate our much unloved owner after that piece of arrogance. - Post No. 108823


Big Andy  1:40am 9th Aug 2017

This article is nonsense and sounds like it was written by Arsene Wenger. Over the last decade alone there are plenty of examples of clubs overcoming the cash disadvantage and winning major trophies. From Diego Simione's Athletico winning La Liga and reaching two CL finals to Leicester winning the PL it's been proven that money isn't everything. Arsenal CAN compete with the big boys. If the club committed themselves to maximising their resources then a PL title and a CL title could be won. But the club don't give a damn about us - they just want our money. - Post No. 108826


Rippy  8:39am 9th Aug 2017

The market is currently out of line because it's being used as a play thing by the excessively rich. Although there is a real market valuation going on under the surface. Which will eventually become the normal again. Not every player can play for PSG etc. So the absurd money being banded around can't be normal. Agents know this which is why free agent footballers are the new ammunition. Although one serious injury for a top player running down a contract and I think this situation will reverse. Arsenal can and will be competitive if they use their resources. They may not be able to buy the worlds best 20-30 players but the market is massive and football is never straight forward. Stating we can't compete ever isn't correct although we won't be buying a 150 million pound player any time soon ! - Post No. 108828


Badarse  11:07am 9th Aug 2017

The trouble with humans is we absorb the present and reflect on the past, both tangible in comprehension, (Mark of Nark, the past is not tangible as it no longer exists, but can in comprehension, just thought I would place stress on that in case it confused you a little), however we ink in the likely future from scant pieces of information. With that in mind regard a further projection. Will things continue in a similar way, will the graph show a continuous incline? Is something awaiting around the corner to affect, to alter? Brexit, (misnomer should be Yukxit as the UK is leaving not Britain), an unexpected referendum result put an extra £5million on Lacazette's fee. Will Australia take over a club in the PL? Will a Firestick device aid the satellite TV suppliers and send BT and Sky out of orbit? Will any dramatic changes which may be visited upon football in the next decade, be overturned in the following one? Will that financial bubble burst? Will WHU stop blowing bubbles? Will the bubbles in Aero get heavier? Will Bubble and Squeak get more squeak and less bubble? Will bubble perms return? - Post No. 108830


Badarse  11:39am 9th Aug 2017

All going to plan, should be out of here before season's curtain lifts on Friday. Stand by for much flouncing, stomping of feet in a tantrum, spitting of dummies, and Paddington 'hard stares'. Enjoy your day my little egg benedicts. - Post No. 108832


CBee  11:59am 9th Aug 2017

Will Badarse ever shutup - Post No. 108833


Exeter Ex  12:00pm 9th Aug 2017

How dramatic and mysterious you are, Badarse. "I cannot tell you now about my contract, but soon." - Post No. 108834


peter wain  12:27pm 9th Aug 2017

so Sanchez is out for Friday. Waste of time keeping him. Sell all who will not sign contracts. Sooner have people who want to be at the club if they exist - Post No. 108835


Yes its Ron  12:30pm 9th Aug 2017

peter - quite agree. They ll sell him anyway, hopefully sooner than later. Far too much fuss and hype over him anyway. Hes a good player but hes far from being Leo Messi, though the way the pundits speak you'd think he was! - Post No. 108836


RobG  12:34pm 9th Aug 2017

We seem to be forever playing 'catch up'. And we never get there. This Nymar transfer is insane. But, I do agree, it's only going to get worse. - Post No. 108837


Yes its Ron  12:46pm 9th Aug 2017

Rob - it seems that way but dont all Clubs do 'catch up'? The modern player at any Club is transitory. Its accepted they dont stay long now and as such the Club has to reach success quickly within the time that such players are there. If not, they go, and then new players are brought in. The notion of 'building some thing' or 'a project' in modern football is a total misnomer. Clubs just lurch from situ to situ and manage it as best they can. AW always speaks in terms of stability etc etc but he knows theres no such thing in football. Was there ever? Its one of Arsenes stated values, but a wasted one. Our project youth was a building project, but putting aside the lack of quality players involved, it never worked as the ones that were good enough all left due to lack of pragmatism in the transfer market on the Clubs part and lack of time for them in their respective careers. 'Catch up' is normal in my view. The mystery is what is the ultimate objective that the Club is trying to catch? We dont appear to know do we. Such as Real and Barca can 'build', but even then, they know they have to knock up a quick structure before they demolish it themselves in favour of a faster and better new build. - Post No. 108838


GSPM  13:28pm 9th Aug 2017

Bard : you may well be right as to the future, fact remains when Arsenal were at the top of there game circa 2000 to 2006, Wenger could not bring home trophies, by that I mean back to back PL titles & a serious CL challenge, it was as if, "Oh well, we reached a final, what more do you want". So yes, now that football has gone stratospheric in terms of buying top players Arsenal are likely to go backwards, and its likely to get worse while Wenger and he's outdated views are in place. - Post No. 108839


A Cornish Gooner  14:09pm 9th Aug 2017

CBee. When hell freezes over, apparently. - Post No. 108841


mbg  14:29pm 9th Aug 2017

RobG, it's hard to catch up mate when we're forever going backwards and declining thanks to an old out of date manager. wenger out. - Post No. 108843


Ham  14:39pm 9th Aug 2017

Re this am's press conference, is Wenger still pretending that he's the only person in the UK who doesn't know anything about the elephant killer's slaughter channel? - Post No. 108844


Badarse  17:46pm 9th Aug 2017

Oh if only Badarse would shut up so we could all agree and chummy up to each other, even the dogs. - Post No. 108846


A Cornish Gooner  19:56pm 9th Aug 2017

Badarse Hope the protest went well. KAALE? - Post No. 108850


Badarse  10:03am 10th Aug 2017

Woof! Woof! - Post No. 108857


A Cornish Gooner  10:27am 10th Aug 2017

Badarse. Is that two woofs for no, or two woofs for yes thank you? - Post No. 108860


Alsace  10:40am 10th Aug 2017

As if to illustrate my point, a player that Barca wish to but who cost the german club he went to to years ago for £13 million now has a £135 million price tag. This is one set of £200 million floating around because some potentates wanted the third best player in Barca's strikeforce. While such liquidity introduced into the system has consequences, it only has two or three consequences unless it is repeated several times, and it won't be. We absolutely must burst this bubble because any amount of money which comes into the game will just be wee weed up against the wall. - Post No. 108861


Exeter Ex  12:30pm 10th Aug 2017

He doesn't know what KAALE stands for, does he? - Post No. 108863


Issue #266 - Out Now!

Gooner Editorial

21st September 2017

Arsenal Squeeze Past Doncaster

Online Ed – League Cup progress in front of half-full Emirates