The idiosyncratic nature in which footballers deal with contract situations nowadays need to be put to bed, forever! The club needs to come up with a rule-book that defines how contracts are to be renewed for all players, irrespective of their contribution to the club. If a player has exactly one year left in his contract on the 30th of June, he either renews his contract or gets listed as ai???For Saleai??i?? in the clubai??i??s transfer window. The renewal of contract talks have to start well before the Contract Renewal Deadline Day (CRDD) arrives.

Extinct Species!

.

Arsenal Football Club has let the dogs do the talking rather than the master controlling the situation as far as contract talks go. The system needs to change for a better and settled future. Here are a few ways to handle things at the Board-Room in London Colney.

  • Start sending automated messages once every day to the player and agent three months before he enters the CRDD giving him a picture of the clubai??i??s golden past and an account of the ambitious future.
  • Cut down food supplies after training at the training ground two months before CRDD, mark food items with ai???You need to earn itai??? banners.
  • Screen historic and emotional videos at the stadium premises every night and show them to all the players who are within two months of the CRDD.
  • Completely restrict wives and girlfriends of the player within one month of the CRDD from visiting expensive malls anywhere in London.
  • Completely restrict the player, agent and his family within 20 days of the CRDD from visiting restaurants in London and from using the Heathrow for any onward journey.
  • Completely stop training, restrict the player from using Arsenal merchandise as he is within 15 days of the CRDD.
  • Place Snipers at strategic points in and around North London and track down players who interact with any suspicious looking men wearing blue and carrying small brief-cases, within 10 days of the CRDD.
  • Kidnap the player and the agent and bring them to the ai???Boardroomai??i?? if it has reached 5 days within the CRDD and proceed with the following.

Pick The Pill

Before enunciating a single word about the new contract, ask the ai???Red & White Pill/Sky Blue Pillai??i?? Question: ai???Pick a pill – if you pick the red and white pill, you stay at Arsenal, and your life will consist of simple belief and blind faith in the manager and the club; youai??i??ll be given a contract that will keep you satisfied in modern day economy. If you pick the sky blue pill, your contract papers will be decimated right away and you will no longer be part of Arsenal Football Club, all songs associated with you will be annulled tooai???.

If the player responds with the first option, give him a new contract, ask him to sign it, escort him out to the clubai??i??s gym, bathe him in rose water and exterminate all previously held rules during those three months before the CRDD. This should be followed by making him pose for the new season jerseys and other merchandise and enrolling him for all future sponsorsai??i?? brand ambassador duties.

If the player responds with the second option, without citing the word ai???ambitionai???, shake his hands and ask him to leave with a slight smile on your face. If he responds with the same option, but with ai???ambitionai??? as a word explained in the context of a plausible rationale for departure, punch him on the nose, tie him up in the boardroom, torture him with high voltage electrical signals and Elton John songs played backwards, place him and his agent in an ice-cold refrigerated truck, drive them to the nearest available waters of River Thames and throw them away with an assortment of red and white candies for a symbolic depiction of their contribution and sweet memories with the club.

Nobody Changes The System

Football is a tough sport; if on-field activities are tough, so should be the system off-the-field! Arsene Wenger and Ivan Gazidis need to be strong with their views and actions, while Stan Kroenke needs to read more about The Beatles and Princess Diana as he keeps on updating himself about the British culture, of which he knows zilch. The indication from the club to fans should clearly be ai??i?? ai???The club runs the players not the other way!ai??? If Arsenal is a benchmark in Football Economy, they should also be a yardstick to how players and contracts are handled at a club. The plain and simple truth is ai??i?? ai???You donai??i??t change the system, you change yourself to stick to the systemai???. If Arsenal believes in ai???Only spend what you haveai???, you need to believe in the system; this wonai??i??t change, if you donai??i??t like it, please donai??i??t sign for the club in the first place.

The System!

.

Over the years, Arsenal Football Club has been run in a fashion that symbolized the vision of the club; while the brand of football has changed – be it Chapmanai??i??s uniquely organized football, Bertie Meeai??i??s tactical football, Terry Neillai??i??s brand which saw them reaching four cup finals in the same number of years, George Grahamai??i??s ai???boringai??i?? yet highly ai???disciplinedai??i?? game or Arsene Wengerai??i??s classy, eye-catching football – the way things have been run at the club, has almost been the same over the years. Sir Henry Norris might not have written down a strict vision statement for the club, but there was a telepathic understanding among all managers as to how the historic club needs to be run right from the day it entered the top tier of English Football in 1919. Arsenal has never left the top tier ever since that season; the only club in English football to achieve that! By all means, it certainly looks like there is something about the club that is right, that is believable, that is venerable, and that is to be continued with a few polishing here and there in the way certain things are handled in the club.

Robin van Persie And Theo Walcott – What Now?

The above is not applicable when Arsenal Football Club plans to deal with the ai???situationai??i?? that surrounds the future of two footballers ai??i?? van ai???Injury-Free and Ambitiousai??i?? Persie 2.0 and Theodore ai???Consistent in patchesai??? Walcott. So, what does the club do with them? The club needs to deal with them on a similar strategy ai??i?? ai???Place your cards on the table right away, whatever has been said in the past doesnai??i??t count, sign for us right away or leave us for goodai???. Now, with van Persieai??i??s replacement (Giroud) already in and Walcottai??i??s (Oxlade-Chamberlain) almost there as far as consistency goes, Arsenal are in a much better position than they were when Cesc was leaving the club. Arsenalai??i??s Board-Men need to make it clear to these players that the club will decide their future and not the other way round.

Let us take the club for a ride!

.

And, finally, when Arsenal has already won the prestigious Markus Liebherr Memorial Cup even before the season has kicked off, what is all this fuss about not being ambitious? No, seriously?

****

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8 Responses to “Arsenal Culture – Contracts At Gunpoint : van Persie And Walcott Miss The Critical Window”

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  1. Excellent article. Spot on.

  2. Andrzej says:

    If they hold them to contract the club IS deciding their future and REMAIN in control. Employment or contract law cannot differ from any other profession simply because you are a footballer. Arsene Wenger could have asked them to sign another contract 2/3 years ago but didn’t….AW’s decision, again. “Arsenal Football Club has let the dogs do the talking rather than the master controlling the situation as far as contract talks go,” this is impossible in itself. ANY contract is open to negotiation! If both parties agree on set terms and sign on the dotted line, how are RVP or TW dictating ? Currently, they are in the process of negotiation. That means discussing what mutually beneficial deal can be concluded to the satisfaction of BOTH parties. This could have taken place last year or even the year before…but in TW’s case the club wanted to see how he would progress on field. Personally if 25m had been offered by Chelsea, Arsenal should have bitten their arm off and lost him. Not his fault he’s irratic or he hasn’t attained the level of consistency we would all love to see, but 15m profit is an exceptionally good deal for the club. Board’s choice.

    As for RVP………At first I thought traitor, but then I thought, if he was crap, no one would give a shit. Arszavin and Chamach being cases in point. Nobody truly knows what goes on behind closed doors. Arsenal’s boardmen hold and HAVE HELD the cards since the initial contracts were signed. They ARE in control! If you don’t believe that why not accept 25m for TW? why not accept 2m for Arszavin and lose his wages? Sorry mate I completely disagree with you. Wenger knew RVP was always prone to injury, Dick Advocaat submitted to this. Everyone thought Francis Jeffers was a good buy. It wasn’t and Jeffers was offloaded. Bentner always maintained he was going to fight for his place. He tried, failed and now he’s being offloaded too. So who are in control? The players??? I think not!!!

  3. Andrzej says:

    Further to that, Arsene Wenger took over from Pat Rice. If you’re going to be any sort of anaylst get your facts right!

  4. steve says:

    Super article Sounak..couldn’t stop laughing while reading the pick the pill part…!!!

  5. Matt says:

    Superb — spot on my friend.

    They sign today or leave tomorrow…

  6. Aashish says:

    I empathize with Arsenal fans, but to an extent, Arsene’s “greed” and that of the boardroom has to be held accountable. Handing a player a contract extension (with renewed terms, aka higher wages) at least 1 and half years before he becomes eligible for a bosman free transfer, instead of the 6 months that Arsenal are according themselves, should give the club some vantage with these players.

    Agreed, that, with players such as perennially-on-the-medical-table persie, and ten-games-a-season walcot, it is a huge gamble and can lead to a lot of deadwood. But if you cannot show your commitment towards and belief in these players, why do you expect loyalty? Can you really blame them for trying to command with their vantage, while a year ago, you could have done the same?

    All the mercenary vs club servant talk is utter bullshit. Players are “owned” and “traded”, much like cattle. The only humanity left in all this, is to allow the player a say, without all the emotional blackmail and fan hatred, in whether he deems it suitable to sign a new contract, or take his talents elsewhere.

  7. Let’s hope that Arsenal stick to their guns, and send a firm message that we are not a feeder club to anyone. It will be a great message to the fans and also to future wanaways. Let’s be prepared to lose the 25 mill transfer fee and if Van Persie does not give the club his full commitment then he must rot in the reserves. If he is disruptive then he could face suspension. As for Walcott, who apparently thinks he is worth 100k per week, just get rid of to the highest bidder. I realise that this is rather contradictory, but RVP is truly world class, whereas Walcott, well words fail me.

  8. Aditya Sharma says:

    Great :)

    BTW why are you even fighting for Walcott? He barely contributes, and the Ox is already as good a player as he is. Sure, he’s a good tool to have in your inventory, but he’s hardly someone who should be able to demand huge wages