Arsenal have been used as a warning to Barcelona about what can happen to a club when they start to decline.
No doubt the biggest story this summer was Lionel Messi leaving Barcelona because they couldn’t afford to pay him. We all knew that the Spanish giants have been in a bit of difficulty financially for a few years, nobody surprised that their tactic of continuing to spend stupid amounts of money, while burying their heads in the sand, didn’t pay off in the end.
It begins, “Less than a quarter of a century ago, Arsenal was in glory. Arsène Wenger had managed to weave an extraordinary team that marvelled at its offensive football and had made forget the mocking chant of Boring, boring Arsenal with which rival fans belittled a team that, yes, won some Leagues, but bored sovereignly with the defensive George Graham on the bench.”
You can tell from that alone it is not going to end up anywhere fun for Arsenal fans.
They go on to note that Arsenal are in relatively decent health financially, although it should be noted that the word ‘relatively’ is doing a lot of heavy lifting there.
“Why is all this a bad omen for Barcelona?” they continue. “Because it shows how easy it is to move from glory to decline. Because Barça is now beginning that phase in which there is no money to keep the old stars and attract new ones. Because Spotify can’t come to save them. And, above all, because it has a gigantic debt that makes us think that the years of lean cows are going to be many, many, many.”
I guess we did always want to be at the same level as Barcelona, all we have to do now is hope that something tragic befalls Bayern Munich, too, and Ivan Gazidis’s prophecy will have finally come true.