Friday, August 31, 2012

Jamaica Returning Residents Info

You have been living away from Jamaica for some 20,30 or 40 years and in all that time you have not been a regular visitor to the island but now you have decided that it is time for you to retire and you want to retire back home in Jamaica. In all the time you have been away you have been carrying around these romantic memories of how life use-to-be, how wonderful life was in the area where you grew up. So you spent many years dreaming and pining about returning home to recapture these special moments in your beloved country.

There is nothing wrong with this except, you have been away from Jamaica for such a longtime and like anywhere else, life change, people change, places change. Some change for the better and others change for the worse but you would not know this about Jamaica because you disconnected yourself from Jamaica and like Morpheus disconnecting Neo from the Matrix, have been living in a romantic dream world.

First let’s clear up a few simple facts about Jamaica Today:
First Fact, Jamaica can be a Blood Sucking Black hole when it comes to money. Once you prime that pump with a few dollars it quickly transforms into a transatlantic money sucking vacuum cleaner because a lot of Jamaicans worship money and getting it consumes them and drives their greed.

Second Fact, there are people in Jamaica who have mastered the art of the “Hard Luck Story”. All they need is a willing ear and before you know it you are sucked into another dimension, the twilight zone where they ride you like a Jackass without giving you a drink of water. Heck even the Government mastered this fine art. They sell poverty, hard luck stories and "poor ting pickney looks", (kind of like puss in boot from the shriek movie) to every lending agency willing to listen. Jamaica it seems has mastered the art of existing at the mercy of others. So do not believe everything you hear because there is a method to their madness since some live by the saying” When you find a jackass, you ride him to pasture”. Again this is driven by their worship of money and greed.

NOW... I am not saying you are not supposed to trust Jamaican people because some of the nicest and kindest people I have met in my life are Jamaicans in Jamaica. But all you need to do is apply some commonsense.

Building your Jamaican Dream Mansion:
So you have chosen to build your dream house instead of buying a ready made house. One word of advice from me is  “You cannot be an Absentee Builder”. If you are going to build your house in Jamaica then it is best that you are in Jamaica to oversee what is happening. I am not saying you cannot find a trusting developer to do the work for you but there has been so many reports of people sending their money to Jamaica to build a house and when then come home, no house, no money and no builder!.

You have it in your head that you are going to build that dream house to rival all other dream houses, your version of Buckingham Palace. The problem is you are going to build this mansion in a village that may not have improved in all the years you have been away. In fact the area may have declined and you are now building a $40 or $50 million Jamaica dollar house in a location where the houses cost on average $1 to $3 million Jamaican dollars tops. Yes the quaint little village that you grew up in, is now impoverished and maybe crime ridden full of cutthroats but like I said you would not know that, because you did not do due diligence. You have been away for 20, 30 or 40 years and failed to keep up with changing times. You have no idea what is what and who is who and as they say “Location, Location, Location” is everything.

So you built a mansion, a sight to behold, the talk of the town, you import the expensive luxury automobile, wear your pinstripe suit with a bowler hat and cane driving down to the local village market to pick up a few provisions. All the while attracting the attention of the wrong type of people, those that want, what you have and God forbid they decide to come and take it from you. It would be wonderful if the rural country village you grew up in, remained wonderful, charming and peaceful just a darling of a village and I am sure most are but you cannot just move into an area you have not lived in for 20, 30 or 40 years without having firsthand intimate knowledge of life in that area. This place is now completely foreign to you, the people are also foreign to you and you are foreign to them but here you are with all your wealth and worldly possessions on display for all to see. In an area where poverty is all around you and now you feel like the only deer in the woods at the start of hunting season.

Common Sense and Street Smart
Whatever street smarts you picked up in your adopted country should return with you to Jamaica, don’t be naive, just be sensible!

If you are planning to return to Jamaica to retire, then make plans to visit Jamaica often, especially in the years leading up to your retirement.

Spend some time not just in the place where you grew up but in other places, research all areas, ask questions about different areas, about the crime rate in those areas, stop by the local police station and talk to the officers on duty, read the daily papers, watch the nightly news online, monitor the property value in different areas, research the schools in the area.

Disregard whatever old world concept or notions you had about life in Jamaica 20, 30, 40 years ago, wipe the slate clean and rebuild Jamaica in your mind from the ground up. At the time when you migrated you may have been in a certain social class but you may have evolved or devolved depending on your experiences and now you belong in a completely different social class and mixing different classes together can be risky. That is why in Jamaica we do not gentrify places, we pack up we Milo box  and move to a better area and leave out low class people.

If you are going to build a $40, $50 million dollar mansion then try to build it in an area filled with other mansions that value close to that amount. Since that is now your wealth bracket and people in that wealth bracket already have in place the appropriate security measures to ensure the safety for themselves, family and property. That may also be the right social circle for you to engage your mind, filled with like minded people. For example Vineyard Town 20, 30 or 40 years ago was a nice place to live but today you would not want to build a $50 million dollar mansion in the middle of that area, why? Because it is a ghetto with people who do not see life like how you see it. For that price range try Norbrook, Waterworks or Jacks Hill, the view from Bracknell Avenue is perfect all year round.

Money Cannot Buy Class! It goes both ways not because you can afford a $50 million dollar mansion means you have class and should live among decent people. If your lifestyle is low class then maybe you should live among people with matching lifestyle regardless of how much money you have. Nothing brings down ones property value faster than a low class vulgar person with money.

Idiotic Behaviour that will get you in Trouble:
I have a relative who came back to Jamaica for a visit after 40 years away from Jamaica, while staying with us he complained to no end that he hated where we lived. He called us bourgeoisie and proclaimed that he was going down to Barbican to be with his “black brothers and sisters”, his words not mine. We tried very hard to talk him out of it but could not, we told him to exercise caution. That night he put on his best English threads and off he went down to Barbican for a drink at Beenie bar with his “black brothers and sisters”. On my way passed the bar I stopped in to see if he was OK and saw that he was having a whale of a time buying his 5th round of drinks for the entire bar. Its was as if the man was trying to redistribute the Queen's wealth. People from all over Barbican filled the bar trying to get a drink from the very generous, rich English Gentleman, so I left him and went on my merry way, thinking who is the bourgeoisie now.

In the wee hours of the night after spending all his money buying drinks for Barbican and under a couple drinks himself, he decided to make his way home. But some of his “black brothers and sisters” must had been watching him because they pounced on him soon after he left the bar. He had no money left but they took his Jewelry, his clothes, the English threads and his shoes and he had nothing left but his knickers (underpants). He was saved by some of his “black sisters” who had been drinking with him. They came to his rescue and escorted him home. But for all I know it was their friends who jumped him.

I am not saying Barbican and Beenie bar is a no go area, not at all. My friends and I have on occasion stopped in Barbican at Beenie Bar for a couple drinks over the years but it is an area that requires certain amount of street smart, especially after 1 am in the morning, just use some common sense. I am sure there are parts of London that he would not have gone to flashing money about, the same for almost every country, I do not understand why the same level of street smart did not hold true for Jamaica.

Once you move back or even visit Jamaica it is NOT important for everyone in Jamaica to know you are a returning resident or visiting Jamaica. You are Jamaican, so just be Jamaican, in other words, you do not need to follow Ms Lou's advice and say “Poo” instead of “Pa”.  At times, fitting in works much better and to your advantage and sometimes not standing out is what you want to do. There are people who talk more patios and act more Jamaican when they are at home in foreign countries but when they come home to Jamaica they are transformed into a proper English Gentleman and Southern Texas ladies with accents people in both England and Texas would never recognize.

The impressions Jamaicans have of returning Jamaicans and of life in foreign countries was in fact created by returning Jamaicans. Because of their need to show local Jamaicans that they lived in a foreign country, have been changed by it and made it in life, they have arrived. Flashing and flossing everywhere. I know people who spend up to six months’ salary on two weeks’ vacation, splashing it from the minute they set foot at the airport. A person I know would start to splash cash the second he set foot back on Jamaican soil and boast how he spent several grand while still at the airport. I then heard he went back to NY and called another friend to borrow some money to pay for his rent. No wonder Jamaicans concept of life overseas is twisted with people being engineered to leave from birth.

Crime in Jamaica

Updated 2018/06/29: I hope this blog post did not come across as if I am sugar coating Jamaica or returning to Jamaica because the reality is crime is a real problem and how you inject yourself back into Jamaican society matters and can be the difference between life and death.

Official figures revealed that at least 85 Britons, Americans and Canadians have been killed in Jamaica since 2012 and 200 British, American and Canadian expats murdered in the country since 2000.

Mark Shields, Jamaica’s former deputy commissioner of police, said returnees were seen as easy pickings by criminals, who see them as wealthy and naive to the country’s security risks. “I’ve always considered them to be an extreme risk,” he said, adding that police chiefs had previously “under-appreciated” the scale of the crime but that it was becoming a major issue. “There’s a significant risk to returning residents for robbery, fraud and the ultimate crime of murder,” he said. Shields, advised Jamaican expats to “think very carefully about immersing themselves in local Jamaican culture in a rural community when they haven’t been back that much”.

The number one concern for returning and visiting Jamaicans is the issue of crime and rightly so. No one wants to return to a place where guns are barking every night like “mawga” dog on the street and bullets passing your ears more times than buzzing mosquitoes. But if we take the time to study the pattern of crime across the island one would realize that the majority of murders and criminal activities are localized to handful of parishes and very localized within those parishes to a hand full of ghetto locations. If one could look at a murder map of Jamaica, one would realize that the vast majority of Jamaica and Jamaicans are safe and living in peace, the people in these places rarely hear a gunshot or experience any crime what so ever. Even though their perception of crime is very high. We have three Counties and 14 Parishes in Jamaica with a population of over 2.8 million people and most of those people and location go about their business in peace and enjoy life as much as anyone else in the world. 

I am by no means saying that Jamaica does not have a crime problem, it is a fact that our murder rate has been over 1000 for the past couple years but 98% of those murders occurs in a handful of Ghetto communities within a hand full of parishes and everyone can list these troubled no-go communities. We know which ghettos in Kingston, St. James and Spanish Town and we know to stay clear of them and they seem to stay clear of everyone else.

One of the problem or recent development is that these days, we are now so very connected, a fender bender car crash can happen on Hope Road at 3:00 PM and at 3:02 PM news of the crash is instantly broadcast to Jamaicans worldwide, Jamaicans living in Germany are aware of the accident as Global satellite systems disseminate information at the speed of light to internet servers and smart high tech hand held devices worldwide. Back in the days if three murders happened today we may hear about 2 in printed or electronic media the next day or over the next couple days and a fender bender would never even make news that would just be idle chatter by the people who saw it. People outside of Jamaica may never hear of it at all, the Daily Gleaner used to be monthly in the UK and people in NY would have to wait for the Star to publish every couple weeks. So most crime would go by with most Jamaicans at home and abroad not knowing it ever happened.

Coupled with the fact that news media’s are competing with each other to see who can find and report the most negative news, because bad news sells and is addictive to most Jamaicans. We are now bombarded up to the nanosecond with every criminal activity, every accident, every little thing and at the rate it is coming in, it has started to have an effect on the minds of Jamaicans worldwide. We cannot assimilate that much bad information at that rate about our little rock without suffering from it.

Do your Research and Practice Diligence
There are some wonderful places in Jamaica to live, in almost every County, every Parish but thorough research is required. Integrating yourself into any society is a strategy that you must learn and understand. I have read reports after reports of returning residents complaining that after spending every red cent they have to return to Jamaica  and are now too broke to leave. Disappointed with the condition of the area they moved to or shocked that paying bills is such a manual process, while others complain about the crime rate. The fact is what they are complaining about is known worldwide and not a secret just requires due diligence, research and then research it again, understand what you are leaving behind and what you are coming home to and where you are coming to, weigh the pros and cons with an open mind before making that move.

The Troubling Rise of Right-Wing, Racist Neo-Nazi Hate Groups and Governments
Your parents might have raised you to resent Jamaica, engineer you to leave Jamaica but the fact of the matter is Jamaica is our birth right. It is the only country in the world that must let you back in because every other country does it as a courtesy, what they give you, they can also take away from you. This land is your land, this is your rock, your society to mold, your nation to build.

Could it be that reason why we have so much problem in this country, is because the people of Jamaica see’s Jamaica as a place to escape from, so why waste time fix what you are so busy trying to discard? Maybe this rise in racist right ring Neo-Nazis and anti-immigrant feelings in the USA and Europe with their clandestine deportation flights, is a blessing in disguise. Maybe now we will begin to look at our rock not as a place to escape from but to embrace, to change and to Nation Build.

Jamaica Nice Every time!!!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Is Arsenal FC a selling club?

Well if it walks like a duck, quack like duck then it must be duck, the behavior of Arsenal over the past couple years will suggest that we are very much a selling club, the club is behaving like a stock broker, buy low sell high and players are the commodity. For the past several years Arsenal have been buying cheap, young unknown talented players then invest very heavily into their development turning them into world class play makers  in demand football stars then selling them to the highest bidder. Because of this Arsenal is in a state of perpetual rebuilding simply since we continue to sell players that make up the core of the squad, players we should build the squad around. The problem is, "if a player wants to leave, there is very little the club can do to stop that player" and in this world of crazy money players are going to come up with rubbish every reason under the sun to justify them leaving instead of admitting they are leaving for more money. Arsenal’s financial guidelines makes perfect business sense but in today’s footballing world does not make much footballing sense.

Most of the players who left Arsenal leave because of money, with maybe the exception of Cesc Fabregas who I truly believe just wanted to return to his beloved Barcelona and if I am not mistaken took a pay cut to do so, however Barcelona only wanted him after Arsenal made him the player he is today, we gave him that chance to shine and Cesc Fabregas used Arsenal as a stepping stone back to Barcelona, I believe it was always his intention to leave since day one. It is now being reported that Alex Song might be leaving Arsenal for Barcelona and by the time you read this, it may already have been a done deal but here is a player who came to Arsenal when he was 17 for only £2.75m. He is now world renowned in demand Master Midfielder and once again Arsenal might be losing another one of their best players and its back to the drawing board, building and rebuilding like Fraggles in Fraggle Rock.

If I am reading this correctly Wenger is saying the Song can leave because we have adequate cover in midfield but having adequate is not the issue, the real issue here is having the best cover and the best man for the job is Song. Most of the players he listed only play if Song is injured or having a bad day... They are good but not as good a play maker like Alexandre Dimitri Song Billong .

Our Rivals are winning trophies simply because we keep selling our best players to them, last season I looked at Manchester City celebrate winning the title and all I saw was former Arsenal players lifting the trophy.

Summer Clearance Sale:
It seems almost every summer the big rich clubs (Barcelona, Chelsea, Manu and Man City, Real, Inter) line up at Arsenal’s gate waiting to buy our players like buyers at Billingsgate fish market. To them Arsenal is like a summer garage sale with quality merchandise to sell. During the transfer window Arsenal is targeted, I see no other club being targeted as much as Arsenal FC. These big rich clubs are happy when Arsenal buy cheap, young underdeveloped players because they know in a couple years’ time these players will be well trained, fully developed, become master of their craft and cheap.

A question was asked of me as to "why Arsenal is targeted more than any of the other club". The simple answer is because of Arsenal’s financial guidelines, we are cheaper than the big rich clubs and we produce top quality players which makes us the center of market activities. It is not hard to lure our players away, it is very easy. Players who are at Arsenal now are at Arsenal because the Big Rich Clubs have not yet come a calling. The days of club loyalty by players is over and young players come to Arsenal because Arsenal have a reputation of turning young unknown players into in demand football masters, it is the best place to develop. Arsenal FC is being used by young players as a stepping stone and by big rich clubs as a source of cheap developed talent and all because of our Financial Guidelines which by the way is Good for the Club business wise.

Cesc Fàbregas joined Arsenal at Age 16 in 2003 because he believed he would have limited opportunities if he stayed at Barcelona, became Arsenal Captain in 2008, left Arsenal went back to Barcelona in 2011 for an initial fee of £35m, he was making £110,000 a week at Arsenal.

Robin Van Persie joined Arsenal in 2004 for £2.75 million, he became Arsenal Captain in 2011 and leave Arsenal for Manchester United for £24million after that club agreed to pay him a weekly wages of £250,000, £12.2m-a-year, Arsenal had offered him £130,000-a-week but that was not good enough. What really bothers me is not that we sold RVP but that we sold RVP to a top 4 rival like Manchester United or to any club in in the Premiere League. If Wayne Rooney wanted away from Manu, would Alex Ferguson sell him to Arsenal...? I think not!!!! RVP should been sold to another country, in another league... The fact that he is still playing in the Premiere League and at Man United is just disgusting and an insult to all Arsenal supporters.

Samir Nasri Joined Arsenal in 2008 for a fee of £12 million, reason for joining “Arsène Wenger gives great opportunities to young players”. In 2011 he transferred to Manchester City for a fee of £25 million cursing Manager, club and supporters on his way out and doubling his weekly wages to £175,000.

Gail Clichy Joined Arsenal in 2003 at the age of 16, in 2011 Clichy joined Manchester City for a fee of £7 million, Clichy’s salary increased from £58,000, excluding bonuses, to over £90,000 a week.

Kolo Toure Joined Arsenal in 2002, for a fee of £150,000, in 2009 he joined Manchester City for a fee of £16 million and then helped them secure the services of his Brother Yaya from Barcelona. In 2010 Kolo Toure was the world’s third highest paid defender with £470,000 per month, totaling £5.5 million per annum.

Ashley Cole was created by Arsenal, emerging from the youth system to become one of the best defenders. Cole has a nose for smelling cash and quickly picked up the scent from Stamford Bridge. At least he was somewhat honest enough to admit that he left for the money after demanding £60,000 a week Arsenal only offered him £55,000 a week. Later he signed for Chelsea for £90,000 a week and to add insult to injury they threw in that whining Bitch William Gallas and the dressing room was never the same again.

Mathieu Flamini Joined Arsenal on a free Transfer and left Arsenal on a Free Transfer even after the club offered him £50,000 a week to sign an extension contract. He joined AC Milan who offered him double the amount, he never realized his full potential after leaving Arsenal.

Alexander Hleb Joined Arsenal in 2005, played some good football in 2007-2008 then jumped shipped for the great Barcelona for £11.9 million he then fell off the face of the footballing world.

Emmanuel Adebayor Joined Arsenal in 2006 for £3 million, in 2009 Adebayor transferred to Manchester City for a fee of £25million and a weekly wage of £170,000.

Alex Song completed his £15m move to Barcelona from Arsenal. Song, who had two years left on his contract, joined Arsenal as a 17-year-old from French side Bastia in 2005.He initially arrived on a one-year loan deal, with a £2.75m fee agreed to make the move permanent. However Song has found first-team opportunities at Barcelona hard to come by and now wants to leave.

Theo Walcott will get a special mention here even though he is still with the club for now. Rumor has it they he refuses to sign a new contract, yes Theo!! Here is a player who use to trip over his own legs, it got to the point where most Arsenal supporters wanted him gone, he was not making an impact like Fàbregas and would totally melt in front of goal but the Club and the Manager did what they do best, invest in the development of the player and now that the player is making an impact he wants more money or else he is away? Walcott is demanding a wage hike, from his current weekly salary of £60,000 to £100,000 however it is reported that Arsenal is offering an increase of £80,000-a-week and i expect him to laugh in their faces and walk, if not this season then next.

Is Arsenal FC A club without Ambition?
The idea that Arsenal Football Club is a club without Ambition is total rubbish, unless you measure ambition by the amount of crazy money you are willing to throw around and how much debt the club can acquire. Above is just a small sample of the quality players Arsenal and Wenger brought to the club, they are good, quality world class players and the club invested in their development but they all left questioning the clubs ambition to sign quality players, they were the quality players and was entrusted to win us titles. They complain that they want trophies, they who are entrusted to score goals and win matches.

As Agent86 said to me …. “I also feel that the players who leave have no spine. What bigger challenge (or way to pay back the faith the manager had in you) than to stick around and win trophies? Taking the easy way out and jumping ship makes you a weaker character to me than chasing more money, even if it is your right to do so“…. And I totally agree with him.

The Real Sugar Mac Daddies of the English Premiere League

At the root of the problem is financing and it all started when British owners decided to cash in and cash in big. This started what is now known as the Sugar Daddy Syndrome as clubs that had problems mastering traditional squad building techniques decided to just throw in the towel and throw money at the problem. All previous attempts at squad building failed so they decided to sell the club to the richest Sugar Daddy they could find who would then proceed to throw crazy money at players as if they were precious metals, (classless new money types are the preferred choice) . The price of players began to sky rocket like the price of Gold and Oil.

Difference between Real Investors and Playboy Owners:
Real financial investors invest in a business, they invest to make a profit and the actual business though important is not their primary goal, the club they purchase is a means to a financial end. They make decisions to maximize their profit margin and those decisions may or may not be in the best interest of the club and they will never put the clubs interest above their own. The owners of Manchester United and Liverpool fall into this category.

To a mega rich playboy there is no difference between purchasing a club, a mega yacht or a fleet of Lamborghinis, they all hold equal value and provide equal source of enjoyment, they are just play things to enjoy until they no longer add any enjoyment to their lives. They do not buy these entities to make money, money is not their problem the fact is, they have so much money coming in and not enough time to spend it or things to spend it on. To them buying a club is just another way to throw around excess cash on weekend hobby, turning cash into capital assets. The owners of Manchester City and Chelsea fall into this category.

Not all of the Sugar Daddy ventures worked out, some clubs and fans were tricked into believing that they were getting a Sugar Daddy to beat all Sugar Daddies who would start throwing crazy money around but instead ended up with owners who just drag their clubs deeper and deeper into debt.

The first real Sugar Mac Daddy was Roman “Macadocious “ Abramovich who bankrolled Chelsea Football Club, the 68th richest person in the world, with an estimated fortune of US$12.1 billion and he was not afraid to transfer large amount of his funds from his personal Bank account into the clubs Bank account.

Players all over the world began to pick up the scent of money and the market became a feeding frenzy, loyalty to club, fans and country was now a thing of the past as players began to shout that now famous line from the movie Jerry Maguire …..”Show Me the Money!!!” to their Managers.

Some clubs, fans and players saw what Chelsea FC had achieved and declared that they wanted some of that but Sugar Mac Daddies like Abramovich are hard to come by. Clubs were sold to people and groups they perceived as Free Spending Macs only to end up with owners who are not idiots but money grubbing business men acting in their own self interest.

Manchester United owners the Glazer families are not interested in throwing vulgar crazy money into a club and in fact spend more time taking money out of the club. The club is in debt up to their eyeballs, to the amount of $530 million and it is getting worst every day, plus floating the clubs shares on the New York Stock Exchange is going the same direction as Facebook, down, down, down. The Glazer family does not exist to serve Manchester United but Manchester United exists to serve the Glazer family.

Liverpool FC also thought they got themselves two Free Spending Mac Daddies in owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett. But Hicks and Gillett loaded the club with debt causing unmanageable debt management problems. In 2011 British MPs was warned by one of UEFA’s most senior officials, that Liverpool FC’s debt (the club is £350m in debt) problems brought them within hours of administration.

Only one other club achieved the Chelsea like Sugar Mac Daddy status and that is Manchester City Football Club. City was acquired by the Abu Dhabi United Group a United Arab Emirates (UAE) private equity company owned by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, member of the Abu Dhabi Royal Family and Minister of Presidential Affairs for the UAE (cha ching!!!), they also manage oil reserves worth an estimated $1trillion (£555billion).

Manchester City has reported an annual loss of £194.9m for 2010-11, the biggest in English football history but since owners are allowed to spend their vast fortunes on their clubs this means nothing when that owner is the Abu Dhabi United Group, I suspect Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan spends that amount in a week on cars.

And Again!!! … Players all over the world began to pick up the scent of money but instead of Stamford Bridge their hound dog like noses are pointing towards the North of England to Manchester City and again to justify them jumping ship, bailing on their fans and club they then turned around and accused their club of not having any ambition. It is very clear how they define ambition, if you cannot pay me what Manchester City, Barcelona or Chelsea is offering then clearly you have no ambition, you are a bum!

The current financial system is not sustainable for the vast majority of clubs, they do not have unlimited amount of funds to enter this crazy market, they cannot rack up debt year after year. This is a bubble like the housing bubble, this is a footballing bubble and it will burst if something is not done to normalize the market. European governing body Uefa’s Financial Fair Play regulations mean all clubs must restrict their losses between 2013 and 2015 to just £38m and Clubs which fail to comply with Uefa's new financial fair play rules could face player bans and points deductions.

Breaching the regulations could be forced to cut their squads if they continue to buy players while recording such losses, adding that Uefa might exclude teams from European competition altogether if infringements are particularly severe.”

Only time will tell how this will end, I fear something drastic must happen to force clubs to think and act sensibly. It is only when a top four club goes into administration will the clubs wake up and burst the bubble bringing these players back down to earth.

  • Chelsea - £191m (up from £174m in 2009-10)
  • Manchester City - £174m (£133m)
  • Manchester United - £153m (£132m)
  • Liverpool - £135m (£121m)
  • Arsenal - £124m (£111m)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Players Come and Players Go but Arsenal is Forever


"I was gambling a lot at the time and the move to Boro doubled my wages, but the grass isn't always greener. I regretted it within a month. Arsenal was a phenomenal club."

"It is very difficult to stop players leaving if somebody offers them three times as much,"

he said, he felt it was time for "a new challenge"

Cole, having stated in the publicity for his book that he had been "fed to the sharks" and "hung out to dry", signed for Chelsea soon afterwards, earning a reported £90,000 a week

"We are not naive enough to think it is not linked to money," Wenger said in the days before the deal was completed. "He says he wants to stay, and if he goes somewhere else that means it is linked to what?"

"I can't get used to the chaotic way of life in London, where everyone is racing around 24 hours a day," Hleb himself said in July. "It is uncomfortable and I'm mentally tired."

The move was finally completed in August 2011, with Arsenal having accepted what Arsene Wenger described as a "reduced fee" as the midfielder had refused to countenance other offers.

For his part, Nasri described himself as "really happy" three days later when he completed the move, but Wenger was convinced that money had bought that happiness.

The common thread among most of the quotes above is that they all left for more money. Those that didn’t wanted out of the club regardless. Either we change our wage structure or we keep chancing that the right players will stay long enough to win us trophies before they turn 30. We can fault player or club/manager all we want. It’s just reality. We have a wage structure that should be respected for good or for bad. It’s what keeps us from FN up on a whim and buying a player for crazy money and then paying him crazy wages. It’s not going to happen. Arshavin comes to mind.

From a players’ perspective, if I know I’m not going to make the maximum at Arsenal when I turn 30, why would I stay unless my love for the club is extreme and genuine? It’s a two-way street. I’m not absolving Van Persie in anyway. Hell no! He handled that situation like a proper kont. And it won’t help to pay City-type wages. We’d go bankrupt. There’s a middle ground. We can find it if we really want to. I read a couple months ago that Gazidis is looking into restructuring the wages. Maybe when the current marketing deals run out we can renegotiate them to earn more and have more to pay the want-away stars. Yet I’m not sure that’s going to stop a player who really wants to leave from leaving but it’s a step in the “right” direction, I suppose.

The club also has to look at itself if we’re being honest. Why do so many very good to excellent players leave? Is it really all about money? For me it’s more about money than anything else but a good investigation explores all possible causes. We are truly at a crossroads. More so than any other point in the Wenger era!

I won’t be a hypocrite and deny a footballer or any employee their right to make as much as possible. Owners make obscene amounts of money so why shouldn’t the employee earn whatever he can? What I don’t care for is the way players lie through their stinking teeth about why they want to leave if it’s about more money. I have way more respect for the player that leaves because he can earn more and says so than the kont who says it’s not the money and then goes to earn double what we were paying.

One thing is for sure. If we win trophies, the sting from players leaving won’t hurt or last as long.