As we head into the final week or the transfer window, (more or less) all the attention is on departures. Well, not all of it, but most of it. A large chunk. A significant portion. A sizable lump. However you want to break it down.
For a look at what we’re trying to do and where we stand with the players in the departure lounge, Andrew has done a round-up over on Arseblog News. There are players who have been there all summer waiting for their flights, but in most cases the planes haven’t arrived because nobody quite knows where they’re going. We did get a landing during the week when Nuno Tavares had the chance to go to Nottingham Forest, but he clearly didn’t fancy the trip. Which is fine. They probably had one of those really old planes where the TV screen was in the centre-aisle and not on the back of the seat in front of you.
I saw a headline which spoke of an Arsenal ‘fire sale’ which could raise £100m, and I have to say, I’d be pretty pleased with that. At this point, it feels quite unlikely, even if there is more chatter around our prize asset, Flo Balogun. Well, maybe not prize asset, but he’s certainly the most sought after player that we are willing to let go. Chelsea have been linked (but that’s true of basically every player this summer); so too Monaco with talk of another bid coming in from the French side; Fulham are looking for a striker – and have cash on hand – after the sale of Aleksandar Mitrovic to Al Hilal; and there’s even been talk of Sp*rs – although I would posit there’s as much chance of that happening as Maroon 5 releasing a record that doesn’t make me want to put my head through a plate-glass window.
I saw another headline linking Kieran Tierney with a move back to Celtic. I’m a sucker, I clicked. It was a long piece, smothered in ads, and when it got to the crux of the story it said ‘According to [BETTING COMPANY], a return to Celtic could well be on the cards.’
I see. This is where we are now. And I suspect the next week or so is going to be absolute mayhem, particularly if you try and keep up with all the rumours via Twitter. We’re now in a situation where high profile accounts, with their blue ticks, are being paid for interactions, so the quality versus quantity Venn diagram is completely skewed. I’m not saying every journalist would try and maximise this incentive – because there are some who care about the profession and their own integrity – but I think we all know how people can compromise themselves for cold hard cash.
I’m not sure enough of them are asking the question about how a company that doesn’t pay its bills, hasn’t paid severance to the thousands of workers it laid off, and whose advertising revenue has plummeted because of how the owner has behaved since he took over, can actually afford to pay this money. Especially when the ads you do get served are barely a step above mickey pumps, crypto-grifters, shoddy gadgets, and mobile video games which are probably just viruses for your device. Oh, and gambling firms, of course.
Despite @arseblog being a large, long-standing account, I very rarely got too much from opposition fans in my mentions. Now, they are choc-a-block with blue tick wankers from other clubs mining interaction so they can get pennies from Twitter. You’re not making anything off me, you cretins. Mutey-mutey-mute. Not to mention the very many aggregators – for all clubs – who now have basically zero quality control, and will re-post anything at all that’s even vaguely connected because they are chasing cash. Everyone’s gotta make a living, do what you’ve gotta do, but don’t try and dress it up as a commitment to being comprehensive. Own it, at least.
Which is to say, we’ll do our best here to bring you news and stories which actually have some substance and aren’t a copy and paste of some random bloke making something up because he too is after the money. It’s a circle of shite. I mean, people used to do this for ‘clout’, where the currency was literally RTs and Likes, none of which you could spend in the shops. The hefty pinch of salt you already needed for most of this stuff has now become a good handful of the stuff. A large chunk. A significant portion. A sizable lump. However you want to break it down.
Will Arsenal bring in that £100m? I’d be surprised, but as I said above, quite pleased. I’m not sure if we’re planning on any more incoming business before the end of the window, but if we are, it’s more likely to happen if we can get money in first.
Right, let’s leave it there for now. Back tomorrow with more, and podcasts here and on Patreon.