Barcelona Bankrupt? Arsene Sign Defender? And it’s going to be a Spain vs Holland Final…

Morning fellow Gooners… It’s funny old world isn’t it as by Sunday evening, we’ll have a new Champion of the world  – as Spain and Holland will take on each other to see who is the best team in the world. It’s going to be a Cesc vs Van Persie final and down at the Emirates, one of our players, at least, will be a World Champion… So if anyone ever asks you about not signing English players, there is a testimony to our policy – I don’t think United and Chelsea have any players in the final (feel free to correct me)… and with so many Barcelona players in the Spain squad, I’ll have to support Holland. Plus as we’ve all seen, Holland do have some of the most beautiful girls (courtesy of ITV) around. Of course, the main reason for supporting Holland is because of the ever so loyal Robin Van Persie, whom his coach says is one of the best:

“Robin is extremely talented. He is one of the best football players on this planet. He was injured for a very long time and you do need a certain rhythm. Sometimes it comes just like that. Sometimes it takes a bit longer.”

The final will be an amazing footballing affair and RvP is very excited, and so he should be.

“I have a really big picture of Maradona on the wall at home in my games room. It is an unbelievable picture of him holding the World Cup. He is on his team-mates’ shoulders and he is holding that trophy with passion. If we win I want that picture with me holding the World Cup, having hopefully scored in the final.”

And I’m also glad to confirm that we’ve made our second official (big signing) (i.e. not youth), in Laurent Koscielny, whose name I can spell without having to copy and paste anymore. I think that’s why there was such a delay, so we could all learn how to spell his name – or maybe (as the Lorient president said), it was down to administrative reasons. The total fee is believed to be £8.5m (around 10 million euros), which is quite cheap for a top defender these days, but only if Koscielny is a top player. There are some reservations about his pedigree having been playing in Ligue 2 just a season or two ago – but I don’t buy that – look at players like Lescott, Jagielka, Ramsey etc who have made the jump – at least Koscielny has had a season in to the top league.

Our new number 6 had this to say:

“I’m very excited to be joining Arsenal. They are one of the biggest teams in Europe with many great players. I’m really looking forward to playing in the English Premier League and the Champions League with my new club. Also, in Arsène Wenger, Arsenal has one of the best managers in the world and I can’t wait to work with him and do my best for the Arsenal supporters.”

And Arsene spoke highly of the new central defender:

“Koscielny is a central defender with great ability who performed extremely well last season for Lorient. We identified him as a very strong centre half, who has made big progress very quickly. He has shown he is mentally strong, he’s a fighter and a very strong competitor. Koscielny is a great addition to our squad.”

But forget the talking, the talking will be done on the pitch, but he does look like a fierce (Keownesque) player:

Interesting news from Barcelona’s new president Sandro Rosell – who gave the Barcelona members an overview of the state of the club and alarmingly revealed that the players had not been paid for June. For me, to start understanding the levels of debt that Barcelona are in opens a whole new view on the Catalunian club. Their finances are seriously worrying and the sales of Yaya Toure and Dmytro Chygrynskiy have been done purely out of financial necessity than a sporting desire. In fact Chygrynskiy was sold back to Shaktar Donetsk for 15 million euros, when Barcelona bought him for 25 million euros the year before. That’s a massive statement and admits errors in judgement and also there financial predicament that the sale at such a loss was so necessary.

Here’s what Rosell said about the club’s finances:

“We found a club in debt, with liquidity problems. At this point we have to take a loan to pay the wages of the players. The banks know that we have a business plan that will allow them to recover the money. The club is not bankrupt because it generates income. The members shouldn’t be afraid because it is under control. We must resolve this tension. It can be done in two ways: to have extra income, like selling Chygrynskiy, and/or taking a loan, which is what we have done. The previous board had already begun this process. We followed the same path – the same banks, the same target but with a different business plan. Laporta’s board also knew they needed this credit.”

Barcelona have actually taken an additional loan of £150m on top of their £350m debt, and being such a top club and not being able to pay their player’s wages is not acceptable. It’s even stranger to think they don’t have a club shirt sponsor – something that may change next season in light of such financial issues. And what is even more strange is their continual persual of Cesc Fabregas, despite not having any money to buy him.

First we hear that Barcelona want Cesc but they will honour our wishes – we refuse to sell – but yet they continue to hound us, continue their illegal tapping up. We say we’re not going to sell, they lodge a £29m bid after just signing David Villa for more and then we reject it. Yet they continue to tap up Cesc, tap up his family, get everyone in the Barcelona squad to say something about him. And then they release their financials, which of course, are absolutely abysmal.

And then Rosell has the audacity to say this:

“I’ll try to see Wenger in South Africa, then we’ll tell you what happens. We would not pay the €50-60m that I have read about. If Arsenal do not go crazy, he might play at Barca. There will be €50m to sign more players. This is the case every year. This is our plan for the future.”

I mean, what planet are Barcelona on? I’ve never seen such nonsense in my life. How on earth do they think they will afford Cesc, his wages, let alone his transfer fee.

Til tomorrow, mes amigos…. til tomorrow.

  • jeffvip

    I start to hate Barcelona too… even though i used to like their playing style… maybe they will resell villa to valencia for 20M after this season

  • vj

    hmm now that we have signed the two people we had expected, chamakh and koscielny, who else, we still need a CB and Gk, at the moment Schwarzer looks to the next arsenal GK, but what bout another CB, I reckon it will be someone even less known than koscielny, since i think koscielny will be first choice with vermaelen (actually it could just as well be djourou)but another CB will be back up

  • http://worldofarsenal John

    Wolfsburgs, have signed both Arne Friedrich and Simon Kjaer. This I feel makes the signing of Koscielny questionable. As both the above player have international exp……………..

  • Nick

    @John… you know Arsene and he’s always gonna go with youth and promise over experience. I am disappointed to read that Kjaer has already signed for someone as I thought we were very interested in him. I thought he’d have made a great addition to the Gunners.

  • RVP

    kjaer looked like a good prospect but he didnt have a great world cup myabe wenger thought he wouldnt be able to cope with the pressure at arsenal?

  • devday

    @ John:
    Do you know how much they paid?

  • devday

    Just taken a look and the value of the transfer was 15m euros (about £13m) – I don’t think he was that highly rated – none of the Italian, English or Spanish top teams were interested…

  • devday


    Genoa have completed the signing of Portugal goalkeeper Eduardo from Braga for an undisclosed fee.


    great blog as per usual, just seen on sky sports, that arsene is looking for another CB

    and yes all this barca lark, is laughable. They need to sort themselves out. But probably this isnt just Barca. I mean Real must be in a simillar situation

    As for WC final, hope Holland win, really starting to dislike Barcelona and Spanish football in general

  • Nick

    Just announced that Howard Webb has been named head official for WC2010 Final match. First Englishman to officiate a final since 1974.

    Come on Netherlands! RVP get your goal!

  • RVP

    schwarzer signing close to completion only thing stopping this is wengers enquiry for eduardo(braga)
    swp signing close to completion
    melo/clichy swap deal close to completion
    j.cole basicly choosing between us and spurs
    wenger says that hes still looking for a defender
    this could be a v.good summer for us

    next year could be

    gibbs koscielny vermaelen sagna
    song melo
    arshavin fabregas cole
    van persie

    traore djourou new cb eboue
    diaby eastmond
    rosicky ramsey nasri

    and we still got denilson walcott eduardo bendtner wilshere

    whatever happens i know we will win something next year 100% sure

  • RVP

    *and shaun wright phillips

  • devday

    RvP – We won’t get SWP or Melo, we won’t sell Clichy either. Eduardo has already moved to Genoa.

    We will sign one DM and potentially a GK, but I doubt any more.

  • RVP

    actually looks like it will be schwarzer as eduardo has joined genoa

  • Gooner Get Ya

    I thought is was the tv company that was close to collapse as they have separate agreements for tv rights and thus not having that valuable income has forced the loan move. Real have used a different company for their rights so they have not been affected.

  • Gooner Get Ya

    I really hope we sign mertersacker as he has looked a class cb thi world cup. I have heard romours that aw is considering using djourou as a DM alongside song, what are your thoughts?

  • Kodjo

    well djourou was a defensive mid b4 arsene converted him to centre back…either way we need another signing on the defensive side


    Arsene has already said he wants a CB so we can expect that…no way SWP comes, and no clichy/melo deal. No reason for clichy to really leave, Juve arent obviously better than us

    but J.Cole could come, I feel that he’ll choose spurs, just because of Redknapp

  • Kodjo

    Joe Cole can go wherever he wants…he is not crucial to arsenal

    no way swp is coming to arsenal …where is he going to play?

    paying more than 2 million for shwarzer is bad business considering his age…

  • Sam

    Barca are in a big financial mess, like most other “big” clubs. Most of them have to start selling players for income generation.
    This may sound crazy today, but if I were running Barca, I’d go to Arsene and try to swap Cesc+10Mil for Xavi or Iniesta. This may make sense for both teams.

    BTW, how many players do ManCity need? They keep buying players… I reckon a big clearance sale by the end of summer by ManCity.

  • ny

    SWP is not in form.In form SWP is better than J.Cole , Ronaldo and Messi.We should grab him .We need somebody like him to do a miracle in the opposition box.Other wise we again will end up losing/drawing the games by having a lot of possession , sniffing around the penalty box worrying how to get inside.

    Also I prefer De Jong over Melo and if we are in search for a 4th choice CB cum 2nd choice DM , remember Paul Scharner is still available for free.

  • SCH

    De Jong = Yes
    SWP = No (all sentimental due to Mr Wright Wright Wright!)


    CB Yes
    GK Yes

    Adopt the World Cup formation 4-2-3-1 you can see some logic in this.

    GK (TBA)

    BS – LK – TV – GC
    AS – DJ
    RVP – CF – AA

    Question is who fills in for AS/DJ when/ if injured elsewhere other than CB (new face promised) we have ample cover

  • Kodjo

    @ ny

    scharner is decent player hard nosed defender/midfielder???but has lost the plot over the last 2 seasons..he has been inconsistent…i dont think arseene will go for him

    de jong is good but lacks height in key areas…i pick melo (the ferocious beast)over him….on the basis of zeal, tough tackling, no nonsense approach and i think he has more power than de jong.

  • RVP

    i agree that de jong is better than melo all round but i cant see city selling him to us.i agree that i wouldnt like to see us swap clichy for melo as clichy is loyal and when at his best he is world class but the last couple of seasons he hasnt been great and maybe wenger feels the time is right for gibbs.swp would be a good addition to the squad maybe he wouldn’t get in our first 11 but he is a class player.schwarzer would be a good buy for 3mil and with j.cole i would like to see us signing but if he doesnt then its not a big deal we could get someone better—SNEIJDER

  • Nick

    @RVP…. Sneijder would be epic but I don’t see Inter letting him go at any price we could/would afford. I’d like to see a push for Van Der Vaart

  • http://worldofarsenal Josiah

    i have faith in wenger bringing in the right signings.

  • Flamez

    @nick Theres one price that would work for me with inter, swap cesc 4 sneijder and ballotelli and let them deal with the barca bullsh*t

  • RVP

    the sneijder deal could be quite simple.rvp and sneijder are now good friends so rvp could help to persuade him to join-if the board of inter will listen to a certain amount of money im sure benitez would rather sell to us than ferguson at man utd-IF cesc wants to leave sell him to inter and use the money to buy sneijder-benitez will use the money to try and buy gerrard or torres.

  • RVP