Friday, June 02, 2006

The long and short of the Beveren case, and Cygan's off?

I haven't got much time to write, but here's a nice summation of articles to protect and comfort us all from the, to be frank, defamatory statements emminating from the Beeb. I expected better from a programme like Newsnight. I, like other Gooners, paled when I saw 'Arsenal face FIFA probe' fly up on NewsNow, but anyone who had read even the entire BBC article could see that we'd actually done little wrong. If we have exerted undue 'influence' on Beveren, what about Chelsea's feeder clubs which Abramovic virtually owns? I think the real story here is a convenient leaking of a story defaming David Dein on the eve of his re-election to the FA.

Have we done anything illegal? No No No

Of particular note in the above three articles: 1) should MPs keep their mouths shut about things they know nothing about? er, yes - see ANR 2) Does the fact that Beveren have mostly Ivorian players mean Arsenal have done anything illegal? No, even if does upset old Sepp Blatter.

Are Fifa actually going to investigate? No, or at least not initially. I'm also annoyed that many sites have run the story in a 'Arsenal invested £1m in the club'. No they didn't. They gave it as an interest free loan to a consortium who then invested it in Beveren. Arsenal have never at any point bought or owned shares in Beveren, or unduly influenced the management/running of the club.

Are we the only ones with a slightly dodgy amount of influence over our feeder club? Clearly not, as the Arsenal Times shows in this, generally, excellent article. Maybe, Abramovic's finances will get investigated? Sorry, I just fell off my chair laughing. His financial web is so tangled it's questionable whether they could be investigated. But hey ho, FIFA must sort out Arsenal first, not some ex-Soviet playboy who appears out of nowhere and buys the Premiership with billions made in undoubtedly shady operations. Ho hum.

So, My feeling, and certainly my hope(!), is that little will come of all this. Especially as any half decent lawyer could get us an acquittal if it does go further.

Nice/strange to see David Mellor defend us as well, and tell Kirsty Wark basically, 'shut up, you don't know what you're talking about'. Nuff said.

In other news, a sad day for the club as Cygan's off? I found this statement in the Arsenal, wtf? comments:

Le défenseur central d’Arsenal Pascal Cygan (12 matches dont 11 titularisations, 2 buts en Premier League cette saison) serait en contact avec l’AS Saint-Etienne d’après le site Eurosport. L‘ancien Lillois de 32 ans pourrait trouver dans le Forez une place de titulaire qui le fuit depuis qu’il porte le maillot des Gunners. Son temps de jeu et ses titularisations n’ont fait que diminuer d’une année à l’autre. Au total, Cygan a disputé 64 matches et marqué 3 buts en quatre saisons de Premier League.

Basically, for you non-Francophones, he's off to St-Etienne according to Eurosport. Haven't been able to find it on there, but found this elsewhere. Hardly conclusive, but I think I speak for us all when I say, Pascal 'Zinedine' Cygan, you're a legend...but perhaps you could donate your towering skills to another club...

On that note, Til later.


Anonymous said...

I agree that this is probably rubbish, but why deflect away from your own clubs issues by constantly sniping at Chelsea???
Concentrate on your own issues and you might not need west ham to do you a favour on the last day of the season next year!!

Cendrowski said...

Lovely piece, which manages to concentrate your defence on the convincing argument that, apparently, Chelsea have done 'worse', but we always get away with it, nobody looks into it.

You conveniently forget that, in 2004, when Chelsea drew against CSKA Moscow in the Champions League, there was actually a thorough investigation into any links between Chelsea and CSKA. The UEFA investigation concluded that there were no links between the clubs.

I hope that FIFA throw the book at your lot. That said, I can't see it happening. That fragrant Mr Dein will be far too busy using his shady influence in the F.A. and the G-14 to escape with an apology from all concerned.

Had it been Chelsea, of course, Mr Dein would be moving Heaven and Earth to have every SW6 employee hung, drawn and quartered.

OJAY said...

Its just another ploy, by the Beeb to boost their flagelling ratings.

Anyway, back to the real issues concerning Arsenal. We need to make more signings two central defenders since Cambell's going, Thuram and Curtis Davies. Two central midfielders Viera and Joey Barton and a centre forward capable of scoring 12 -17 goals per season Torres.

EuroBlue said...

The verb 'to flagel' does not exist in the English language. Otherwise, however, your argument is very sound: the story can't possibly be true because it was on the BBC.

Yeah right.

Anonymous said...


Mysicbeg said...

I agree with your comments and infact posted to that effect around 1 o'clock this morning.

Having read the Newsnight feature over and over again on the BBC pages, I found nothing what so ever to suggest any manipulation, bending or breaking of rules.

Newsnight have lost the plot. I have heard many supporters (regretably including Arsenal fans) that are jumping on a band-wagon whose wheels will drop off very shortly.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I am no expert in the rules/regs or indeed in full posession of the facts (not that such a detail is enough to stop the BBC making a major report on a serious news programme) but how is it Arsenal have this attention when ENIC who own 29.9% of Spurs also have a stake in about 5 other clubs across Europe ranging from 11% to 99.9% - and please, before anybody rants about deflection of attention from Arsenal to anyone else, this is not about Spurs this is about the confusion in the rules and this is just an example I read elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

If it had been chelsea you would be calling for the book to be thrown at them. Arse denied having any involement a number of times before being forced to come clean. It is a very shady area and I doubt north londons third finest will get into any real trouble but it will certainly damage the clubs reputation.

Anonymous said...

Damage the clubs reputation?
So I guess being funded by a shady soviet billionaire whose finances can be called questionable ,at least, must put the gloss on an otherwise unblemished rep of the chelski.

Anonymous said...

Oh cendrowski if u knew what u were on about u might no it is not being taken up by FIFA it is now the Fa's buisness. Also explain to me why when a player signs up to one of these new footballer companies that have recently emerged, they are immediately chelsea boun with pre contracts. This story is hardly mor perculiar than the Mikel mess

Anonymous said...

Enic own 29.9% of clubs. This figure is not above 50%, so it doesn't give control. I'd have thought that was a bit obvious.

The point about the loan is that it gave GOAL control in the proportion 50% to de Weale, who represents Arsenal, and 30% to Guillou, who represents Wenger, and only 20£ to Beveren themselves.

In addition, profit on sale of players went 60% for Goal, 30% to Guillou and just 10% to Beveren.

In addition, Wenger's investment in the Ivory Coast academy represents a brown paper bag by any other name, whereby he directly profits when Arsenal themselves or any other club buy one of the players. At the very least this is a conflict of interest. How much of it returned to the academy itself is in doubt seeing as the guy from the academy said none had come to them at all.

Everyone's answer to these issues is to say look at ENIC or look at Abramovich. Well, someone can do that on another day. Today we're looking at Arsenal and it stinks to high heaven. Open your eyes.

tata said...

"Enic own 29.9% of clubs. This figure is not above 50%, so it doesn't give control. I'd have thought that was a bit obvious."


"Control or ownership of other clubs, and of course the use of feeder clubs is not unique to Arsenal. ENIC control 29.9% of shares in Spurs, 43% of AEK Athens, 11.8% of FC Basel, 20.2% of Glasgow Rangers, 96.7% of Slavia Prague and 99.9% of Vicenza.

"South American football journalists recently feared that Roman Abramovitch was trying to set up a network of feeder clubs around the globe, so that he can buy and allocate players around the world until needed, and then move them onto Chelsea. Indeed Czech Jiril Jarosik joined Chelsea from CSKA, and revealed that CSKA players considered themselves Chelsea ’s reserve team. Abramovich is the major shareholder in Sibneft, CSKA’s sponsor, but has been cleared of any "official" involvement by FIFA."


Anonymous said...

The implication of some of these comments is that Arsenal, though acting within the letter of the law, have still been behaving unethically. Have they? Towards whom?

Not the Ivory Coast players, as far as I can see, for whom the academy provides young players with a decent place to live, four square meals a day, an education and the chance (for the fortunate few who will make it) of rescuing themselves and their families from the direst poverty imaginable. Football in that godforsaken war-torn country offers a couple of hundred Ivorians a decent life - adequate housing, much-needed medical treatment, a little peace, a little hope, none of which would otherwise be available to them. Is it enough? Of course not, but it's a hell of a lot better than nothing, which is what they'd be left with if the academies were to close. (There's a good article on the Ivory Coast players, in particular Zokora and his family, in this month's Spiegel.)

As for Beveren, a not very successful club in a nondescript league, they entered into the partnership with us of their own free will. Like the other Belgian clubs who act as feeders for the richer and more successful clubs in England and France, they probably wish the reality was otherwise and they could use only home-grown players rather than Ivorians and Arsenal's reserves. But that isn't the reality at the moment: lacking resources (money and nous) they'd sink even further if left to go it alone. This may be tough but you can't say it would be more ethical if we withdrew from the partnership with them. Both clubs are gaining something. We didn't hold a gun to Beveren's heads.

As a couple of people on other sites have mentioned, there's something pretty peculiar about the timing of this story. I mean, the existence of feeder clubs is scarcely big news. It must have something to do with Dein's (non)re-election, but who engineered it and why? More to the point, what are the implications of his departure for us?

Anonymous said...

So why deny it for so long???????

If it's that big a deal for Arsenal why have the denied lending the consortium the money for so long?

Why do ASEC say the £500,000 transfer fee for Toure has never been paid?

Anonymous said...

When, where and to whom exactly did Arsenal deny the loan 'for so long'? I don't recall it being reported that they'd been publicly asked about it before this witchhunt broke out.

As for the next question: either 1. the fee in fact hasn't been paid, in full or in part; 2. It has been paid and ASEC are lying; 3. there's never been any dispute about the fee for Toure - you're just mischief-making in a totally pointless way.

I really dislike these rhetorical questions-cum-snide-insinuations. If you know something set out the facts and your sources. The level of discussion on this site is sometimes the pits. Pity because it looked quite promising initially.

Anonymous said...

I've been reading Fever Pitch lately, and I think Nick Hornby has a point - as a whole, Arsenal supporters can dish it out, but can't take it.
We insinuate that Abramovich is setting up a global football network to lauder Russian Mafia money, but we put our heads in the sand if Arsenal loan money to a company that buys out another club. Yes, it's legal, but so's Chelsea's network.
We laugh at Spurs whinging about the food sickness thing, and spend two weeks agonising over Eto'o's (possibly) offside goal.
Unlike Millwall, no one like us, and we care.

Anonymous said...

I've been reading Fever Pitch lately, and I think Nick Hornby has a point - as a whole, Arsenal supporters can dish it out, but can't take it.
We insinuate that Abramovich is setting up a global football network to lauder Russian Mafia money, but we put our heads in the sand if Arsenal loan money to a company that buys out another club. Yes, it's legal, but so's Chelsea's network.
We laugh at Spurs whinging about the food sickness thing, and spend two weeks agonising over Eto'o's (possibly) offside goal.
Unlike Millwall, no one like us, and we care.

Goonerboy said...

So i suppose that i'm just being hypocritical if I point out that I think its a farce that Gill has replaced Dein on the FA board?

Fair enough on the Eto'o goal, but if you think that Arsenal's 'financial irregularities' with Beveren are comparable to Abramovich's finances I don't think you're correct. Abramovich is a menace to English football: even my mates who are Chelsea fans admit that.

Anonymous said...

"Abramovich is a menace to English football: even my mates who are Chelsea fans admit that."

Are you serious? I have not met any sensible football fan who thinks he is a 'menace to football', that includes Chelsea, Arsenal, Man United fans. I would be interested to know what kind of Chelsea fans you know that agree with you here. this is a very narrow minded, ill-informed view.

Stop complaining about being investigated like you have some god given right to be above it. if you are inoccent then great, the investigation should prove that. Chelsea where investigated for invlovement with CSKA and were found innocent, if they are investigated again then fine.

just seems you have something to hide...

Goonerboy said...

So, you think there's nothing wrong with a billionaire turning up out of nowhere, buying a club, running it at an over a £100m loss per year with no promise of placing the club on a stable financial setting, and, effectively, destroying the premiership as a contest?

Abramovic will ruin Chelsea when he upsticks and leaves one day - which he will. If you think he's had a positive influence on the premiership you've got your head buried in the sand.

I agree what Arsenal have done is shady, but it's not illegal, and it's trivial when compared to other events in current english football.

Why isn't FIFA investigating the Jon obi Mikel situtaion, for instance? I'd say Chelsea engineering the reneging of a tranfer, and the clear manipulation of a young player - including kidnapping - by his agent(s), is slightly worse than the Beveren issue.

Anonymous said...

Shady in what way - ethically, legally? Legally I can't see anything wrong with Arsenal's relationship with Beveren (nor could the Belgian authorities who closed their investigation in 2002). To say it's shady suggests the use of feeder clubs, who receive various kinds of support, including financial, is unusual but that obviously isn't the case.

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