Morning all. My name is Andrei Arshavin and this is 24 days of my life… Thursday 1st January 2009 This is the day that the transfer window opened. I am still at Zenit. My dear friend Jack Bauer and he has promised to free me from this place and take me to a promised land. I sit here in my house and wonder about the day I will gain freedom. Friday 2nd January 2009 Today I’ve found out that Arsenal has spoken to Zenit and are negotiating my freedom from hostage. I look out of my window, but can not see the Emirates plane; where are you Arsene? There is no press conference today – I will have to wait until next Friday. Saturday 3rd January 2009 Secret Agent Dennis Latcher has called me today. He wants to talk about how much money I will pay to leave. Zenit give me a measly £90,000 per week, but this money means nothing to me, it is blood money. He told me the conversation was strictly confidential and that no-one at Zenit could know. In case Zenit have bugged my house, we have spoken in morse code for the last 3 hours. I will think about this. This could be the key to my freedom. Sunday 4th January 2009 I have stayed up all night with my calculator and can see that I can pay – I can pay a lot to gain my freedom. My weekly earnings are £90,000. My outgoings are £789. I have a surplus of £81,211. This is good. I will call Secret Agent Dennis Latcher and tell him I can accept anywhere from £789 – £90,000. My freedom is worth more than money. Monday 5th January 2009 Today was a big day in my life. In a secret meeting held in Moscow, I have been informed that Zenit officials have met with my people. They have agreed to let me go. But they want ransom money, I believe they want £20,000,000 which we I do not have yet. Secret Agent Dennis Latcher says he will contact MI6 Chief Ken Friar. They want me to leave Russia soon. It may be my only hope. I will start packing my bags. Tuesday 6th January 2009 In my adventure to the south of Russia, I have found a small eating place they call a “cafe”. In these premises is a small TV with SKY Sports News on it. I can see they talk about me. No-one here knows who I am, although they all look at me weirdly. I am wearing a disguise – a moustache and glasses – I have a plastic big nose on – maybe that is why I have the weird looks.
However, in recent weeks, speculation concerning a possible January move to Arsenal has increased after he was given permission to discuss his departure from Zenit. Reports suggest Zenit are demanding a £20million fee for Arshavin, but the Gunners value the 27-year-old at considerably less. Zenit, though, have told Sky Sports News that they are confident of agreeing a deal to sell the playmaker to Arsenal this month.I am happy at this news. I hope, I pray. Wednesday 7th January 2009 I went back to my secret cafe and have been watching these sports channels. Secret Agent Dennis Latcher was caught in London by CIA News of the World. He has been tortured for information. I pray he is okay. I do not want him to be hurt. But he is good, he did not reveal too much.
“There is no news, no negotiations yet. I represent the player and I can assure you I would know if something had been discussed.”I have not spoke to him yet – is this true? I need to find out. Thursday 8th January 2009 Today I went to Zenit headquarters. I went there to pick up my kit. It needed washing. I could not see anyone when I went there. It was very quiet, I was very scared. As I travelled back to my house, I got a phone call. It was Secret Agent Dennis Latcher:
“It is the people of Zenit trying to initiate some kind of interest. They are trying to use the media to make the price of Arshavin £20million – I would not take it seriously.”But now what can we do? Can we affect the global economy to change the exchange rate? That I do not know. What I do know is that Zenit are holding out for this ransom. It is criminal. But it is the world we live in. I will wait another day. Tonight I will will make chicken and pasta, it will make me feel better. There is a press conference tomorrow – I will speak of my freedom then. Time to sleep. Friday 9th January 2009 Today, I woke up and received a parcel. It contained a special letter from Arsenal. They have asked me to kept it a secret. It is a Junior Gunners kit – with a little badge. I cannot wait until the day I can wear the real badge. I will speak at the pres conference soon, but I must not mention Arsenal, this I know.
“I want to play at a good European club and I want to prove how good I am. I think it is a distant prospect that Zenit will ever be as big as the likes of Real Madrid or Juventus. It will take some time and Zenit must win many titles first. But recently the club have been progressing. The main thing is that the management should have willingness and players should be provided with opportunities.”There, I have proclaimed my release. Saturday 10th January 2009 Today I went fishing. I could not catch any fish because it was too cold. I returned home. As soon I returned home, I had a message on the answering machine. It was Secret Agent Dennis Latcher. He has told me that Arsenal have made an offer to Zenit for my release. This pleases me and I will watch Eastenders today to learn how to speak. Sunday 11th January 2009 Today I received a telegram. It was a signing telegram. It was from Zenit – they will not negotiate. I ran to the cafe. It was my only way of finding the real truth… and then I saw this and I knew it was true.
“I can confirm that Zenit did get an official offer from Arsenal about Andrei Arshavin. It was rejected as insufficient. They offered about £10m. No new offers have arrived from them since. At the moment, Arsenal are the only club to have approached us about the player.”Monday 12th January 2009 Today I met with Secret Agent Dennis Latcher. He is a good man. I gave him my book – I hired it from Zenit’s Library under a fake name – it is called “Positive Thinking by Peter Crouch”. We must speak what we want and one day it may come true. Later that day I received a memo.
“Negotiations between the clubs about Arshavin are continuing. Since both sides want them to be successful, we should expect a good outcome soon — and certainly before the end of the transfer window.”Postive thinking could work. I am waiting anxiously. Tuesday 13th January 2009 Silence. Sometimes a good thing, something a bad thing. Sometimes an okay thing. Sometimes a little bit okay, a little bit bad and a little bit good. Silence. Silence confuses me. I do not know what to think. I will drink an expresso. Tomorrow will be a different day. Wednesday 14th January 2009 I have mixed signals. Zenit refuse to negotiate, but today I received the terms of my release. Arsenal are offering me £80,000 per week, this is 80 x what I wanted so there is no problem here. They say everytime I score a goal I will receive another £5,000 and every time I make an assist I will also receive another £5,000. This money is too much, but I will accept it – as I do not want to cause problems. In the letter, they told me to watch Sky Sports news tomorrow. I will pack some socks and go to the cafe in the morning. Thursday 15th January 2009 I left my house early. I went to the cafe. On the way I coughed. It was a sign that something could happen soon. When I got to the cafe, I saw Arsene Wenger OBE on the TV. I listened intently.
“I am very hopeful. Days? Yes, because the transfer window will close and we have already crossed halfway. It will be days. But, if it doesn’t happen then it doesn’t happen. We want to continue to improve and focus on what we can improve here with the players we have.”This is just a cover I know. It is a tactical statement to Zenit – I am not worried that they do not need me, I am worried that Zenit won’t let me go. Friday 16th January 2009 This morning I slept in. I awoke at 11am. I will need to change my ways soon as pre-season training starts soon. When I woke up, I had a bird on the ledge of my window. The bird had a note – the note was branded “The Sun” with a picture of Arsene Wenger OBE. It read:
I am worried. Saturday 17th January 2009 It is day 17 and I am very worried that my release will not be granted.
“[We are] nowhere. That means we are not close to signing anybody. We know what we want to do, but we are not close to signing today because I would tell you. But there is no basic news. There again, we are in negotiations yes but we want to respect our principles. I am very hopeful [of a deal]. We will know in days because the transfer window closes on February 2 and we have only crossed halfway. If it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen. There again, we want to continue to improve here with the players we have.”
“I don’t think it is worth to talk about [Arshavin] at the moment because we are nowhere near signing him. But he is one of the players we consider. He is not the only one we are on. Yes [I am still hopeful over a transfer].If this does not happen by the end of this week, I am planning to travel to London. I will need a Visa for this – or maybe a mastercard. I need to speak to Secret Agent. Sunday 18th January 2009 Today I devised a plan. I have employed the KGB to run a credit card scam on Dick Advocat. They will charge £1,000,000 worth of vodka to his credit card. My people will help him pay it off. I need him on my side. Monday 19th January 2009 My credit card fraud attempt has paid off, Dick Advocat is broke and needs the money. He has broken ranks.
“Negotiations with Arsenal continue and the chances are very high that Arshavin will soon play in the English Premier League.”This is the best news I have heard. I have paid the KGB £250,000 and now I believe the move will happen. I am pleased. Today, I boarded a plane to Dubai. I am going to train with Zenit until I move. It is very awkward. No one sat next to me. Tuesday 20th January 2009 Today I have heard much news. Arsenal have offered £12,000,000 but Zenit want more. I read in the newspaper this morning – The Daily Zenit – a quote from the leader, Maxim Mitrofanov.
“The situation has not changed since Friday, which means Arsenal would like to pay only £12m, not one cent more. And we, at Zenit, are ready to discuss with them about maybe a better offer from our side. We are ready to make a step forward to them, but they should do the same. However, I have told the people from Arsenal we are ready to discuss a lot of things to make the situation easier for them. They have a deadline, as I understand, until 26th January, because after that, they should have some time to get another player and I respect this position.”Zenit are willing to discuss. I am very happy. Wednesday 21st January 2009 Today I was contacted by Andrew Webster and he told me of his recent events. I sent him a box of chocolates – he has given me a new idea for my freedom. I called Secret Agent Dennis Latcher and told him of this. He made a statement for me. I can see a ray of light now. I will eat pasta tonight. “Unfortunately in this matter there is no movement. The sticking point is, of course, money and rather the totally unacceptable amount of Zenit’s demands for Andrei. The position of the club remains unchanged and that is the reality that we have faced for a long time. If the situation remains unchanged we will use Article 17 of the Fifa rules and buy out the contract of Andrei at the club, which could happen as early as November this year. Thursday 22nd January 2009 Today is final day so far in my series… I am in Dubai training for Saturday’s game with Uzbekistan. I shouted out from my hotel:
“My hopes now rest with God. Apart from him, nobody can help me.”Apparently the media are here and have published it. I will shout out something else. Maybe they will publish that too:
“Zenit have to think realistically. I believe that Arsenal’s offer is much closer to my real value in the transfer market at the moment.”I hope I have not crossed the line. There are only two days left in my series. I hope that it can be resolved. I hope they listen to me. Only God can help me. As I walk downstairs to train, I am presented with a cake, inside the cake is a note – it is from Lord Peter Hill Wood. It reads:
“This is our final offer – we don’t go any further. If we don’t get him, we don’t get him. There are other fish in the sea.”I should try and go fishing soon, the fish will be warmer here. I will wait… I will wait anxiously and pray for my release.]]>