Yesterday, Robin van Persie announced that he will not sign a new contract at Arsenal.
Back in the midst of of late December or November, I know it was cold and I know it was wet, and I remember an article that named Arsenal as the model of how to run a football club. Now I can’t remember where I read this, because as established in the first sentence, my memory is for jokes, but the thrust of its point was this – Arsenal’s balanced wage structure and value of growing players over buying them gave them a stability over the long term. This stability would lead to long-term success, while flashier, more big-spending clubs would shine bright before fading away. Looking back at this now, I can’t help but wonder if this was written by UEFA, whose cherry picked ‘role model’ teams, championing financial restraint and growth, keep getting talked up before getting their ass handed to them. And Arsenal, who have to consider both their ever-diminishing impact on the Premier League and the fact that for the life of them they can’t seem to keep hold of world class players, might have to bring an end to the era of being holier than thou. Or risk losing everything.