Morning. Firstly, well Arsenal Women qualified for the knockout stage of the Champions League with a 1-0 win over Ajax last night.
A game not without controversy, due to some strange referees, but also this:
Interesting post match with Jonas. Arsenal are not happy that Ajax tried to make the goals 10cm smaller tonight. Arsenal took notice in the warm-up and switched again.
— Tim Stillman (@Stillberto) September 28, 2022
That sounds very weird. I don’t even fully understand how you would do that, but why is obvious and should leave Ajax open to serious scrutiny from the authorities. The draw takes place on Monday, so we’ll see who we get then. As always, full coverage and analysis on Arseblog News.
Update: Speaking to Tim this morning, it seems as if the actual goal posts in use are too small, perhaps due to the youth setup. That’s crazy.
Elsewhere, there is an interesting story in The Guardian about Arsenal’s interest in setting up a ‘multi-club network’. He says:
Kroenke, who owns MLS’s Colorado Rapids, NBA’s Denver Nuggets, NHL’s Colorado Avalanche and NFL champion Los Angeles Rams, among others, is also understood to have explored the possibility of acquiring clubs in Brazil, Belgium and Portugal. . . While Arsenal sources have downplayed immediate plans, the club is believed to want to develop its existing links with the South American country in particular.
This follows comments last week from new Chelsea owner Todd Boehly, who expressed a desire to do something similar, but didn’t get as much coverage as his laughable ‘All-Star Game’ idea.
Manchester City is already doing it, through the City Football Group owner of the aforementioned Manchester City, as well as New York City, Melbourne City, Yokohama F. Marinos (Japan), Montevideo City Torque (Uruguay), Girona (Spain), Sichuan Jiuniu Mumbai City FC (China), Lommel SK (Belgium), ES Troyes AC (France) and Palermo.
You can see how there would be benefits to the ‘big’ club in having these associated clubs, whether it be easier movement of players on loan or using them as sort of ‘feeder’ clubs to develop talent more quickly. It could also be good for staff development, coaches, analysts etc, and then there’s the whole ‘branding’ side which is probably part of this as well. A shared philosophy, assuming it is exciting and interesting, will probably be of benefit to all those clubs, with the smaller ones getting the kind of investment and financial support they might not otherwise get.
However, the other side of this is about the progressive monopolization of football by big clubs/entities. The Wikipedia article on City Group says:
City Football Group Limited (CFG) is a holding company that manages association football clubs. The group is owned by three organizations; of which 78% is majority owned by Newton Investment and Development LLC, 14% by US firm Silver Lake and 8% by Chinese firms China Media Capital and CITIC Capital.
Faceless corporations are unfortunately a reality in the world we live in, but surely I can’t be the only one who finds that whole paragraph depressing. Perhaps all of these investment firms are kind and benign and simply provide opportunities to investors and employees due to their benevolent approach to financial matters; but most likely, they are companies that prioritize profits at the expense of everything else. A holding company within a holding company within a shell corporation that owns your local football club also bought large tracts of residential property in your town at the expense of first-time buyers, contributing to a crisis of housing where nobody can afford to buy a house and rents keep going up and nobody thinks about how a city is supposed to function without people being able to afford to live in it.
An extreme example, perhaps, and enough about what’s going on in Dublin, but I worry that the little things don’t exist. Your local coffee shop is pushed out by another homogeneous chain opening 50 yards down the road that has the financial backing not to worry about rising rents or dilution of trade.
I suppose the difference is that there would be an investment in the football club that would be beneficial to him, but even that raises questions about sporting integrity, a division of resources that skews the playing field. Much like we’ve seen with Man City who, were it not for the rise of Liverpool’s best team in 30 years, would have marched to the title every season in a relentless, single-minded manner that is basically boring to everyone but them.
Here’s the thing though: if Chelsea is talking about it publicly, if KSE is considering it privately without revealing too much, and Liverpool is also waiting on that platform, it’s probably unavoidable and there’s not much anyone can do about it. regard. I guess we’ll see what happens.
Right, that’s your batch for this morning. We’ll have any emerging fitness news on Arseblog News throughout the day, we’ll be back tomorrow with more and a new Arsecast.