Sep 022008

My initial reaction to the Man City takeover yesterday was simply ‘oh, another one’. The new owner, Dr Sulaiman Al-Fahim, was making the same noises as so many of his predecessors. ‘We’ll break the top four, we’ll win the Champions League, we’ll be the biggest club in the world’.

Of course, we’ve heard this before. Peter Kenyon is always banging on about being the biggest brand in the world, Shinawatra said it, even Al-Fayed said it when he bought Fulham. And look where they are.

But now, it seems that he’s serious, with today’s frankly ridiculous claim that he’ll buy Ronaldo for 135m. Or is it ridiculous? If they offer United that sort of money, the offer will undoubtedly be accepted, and if they flash enough salary around, they’ll get the players on side. After all, Robinho signed, and City aren’t in the Champions League, and nor will they be next season as they don’t have the squad and will be too far behind by January. If I were told that Robinho is now the best paid player in the world it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest.

So is this bad news for Arsenal? On the one hand, City will get stronger over the next few years, so talk of a big five aren’t far fetched. But other than that, it is much worse news for the rest of the top four.

It seems that Al-Fahim is interested in glamour signings, so he’ll be competing with Chelsea for those. Abramovich already has a headstart with his squad, but he is no longer the biggest fish in the pond. Already Al-Fahim is talking about players as if they were collectible Panini stickers, and as the richest kid in the playground he feels he can own them all.

Chelsea buy ready made players, Arsenal invest in youth, United do a combination of both, and Liverpool….well Liverpool aren’t really threatening anyone. With an impatient owner, I can’t see City joining us in developing teenagers, choosing instead to outbid Chelsea for the next star they’re after.

So this isn’t all bad. It certainly makes the Premiership a more obscene place to be, but it is amusing to think that if Abramovich offers a club 35m for a player, Al-Fahim will simply up it to 40m. They will compete in the same market, so to speak.

And realistically, the only player of ours City will be interested in is Cesc, as has already been suggested. And that will never happen, by choice of the player himself.

So, for Arsenal, this changes very little. We can proceed with the same strategy we’ve been following, while watching Chelsea realise they aren’t the bully boys of the Premiership anymore.

And anything that makes Peter Kenyon squirm can’t be all bad.

  5 Responses to “The Premiership just got a little more obscene”

  1. Its going to be a bloodbath between Chelsea and ManC. Rather, Chelsea might just give up once ManC enters the market for any star. However, will this be sustainable? ManC might just end up with a bunch of overpaid (and probably spoilt) stars whose commitment will only be to money. Furthermore, the manager might just lose importance completely in front of a group of players with over-inflated egos. Infact, I think ManC is going down in the next 2-3 months as the team will be very very unsettled due to the salary disparity.

    Interesting times ahead for Premiership… Al Fahim is gonna destroy its reputation.

  2. We should not have too many Abrama in the EPL otherwise it will turn out to be another showoff place. It is clear that with eleven players on each side, victory can hardly be bought. Chelsea has not won the champions league inspite of all the spendings. ManC will however bring another dimension to the EPL. Highest priced players are not necessarily the best players. They need to play along with others and each will be asking for higher pay etc.

  3. The buying of ManC from the former Thai owner by a wealthy Arab and then the coup on Robinho all happened at such dizzying speed. But when all the dust settles will all that money thrown at the problem translate into results and trophies for the club?

    I doubt if it would. Hughes as a coach has never impressed me. I resent his former team’s bullying and body throwing defense tactics.

    Hughes will have a hard time building a team from this pot-pourri of talents and win any trophy for that matter. If he extends his same old strategy from his old team to this one then Robinho would be an obvious misfit and would soon be looking for a new team.

    Arsenal should be waiting in the wings for him if he will not cost another arm and a leg plus one jaundiced eye thrown in

  4. Arsenal should use this idiot to our advantage, like telling them that Mark Randall is the new Cesc/Beckham and they should buy him for 30 mill, that would be funny.

  5. its all healthily obscene, for us anyway. chelsea should focus on their playing style instead of auctioning with the arabs. yes, battle of style, which both lack in abundance still, well compared to us anyway. :)

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