RVP – Good Business?

Arsenal’s sale of Robin van Persie to Manchester United is good business. Arsène Wenger has three young attackers in Podolski, Giroud and Cazorla to replace one with a worrying injury history.


” According to the gallows humorists of N5, the obvious candidates to be Arsenal’s next captain are Sebastian Squillaci, Marouane Chamakh and Park Ju-young. There is a painfully obvious theme when examining the list of adored skippers since Tony Adams bowed out: Patrick Vieira, Thierry Henry, Cesc Fábregas and now Robin van Persie. Gilberto Silva and William Gallas may have moved along with considerably less drama but it is striking how often Arsène Wenger hands over the armband to a particularly valuable player, only to have to pat him on the back as he exits shortly afterwards.

This episode provides yet more evidence for those who slam Arsenal as a selling club. It pours fuel on to the debate about how ambitious they can ever wish to be with the self-sustaining model they believe in so vigorously. But within the club they will sit tight and wait for it to blow over. They read the updates from Rangers and Portsmouth and feel increasingly sure they are doing the right thing.

They know their place in football’s economic table. They know under the current ownership, who believe in running a tight ship, that they cannot compete with the clubs who are bankrolled by oil. They know that, despite Manchester United’s controversial financial arrangements with the Glazers, Van Persie’s new club make the most of their marketing potential in a way that they currently cannot. They know that keeping hold of a player worth over £20m in the last year of his contract is not an option.

Arsenal are hamstrung by weak sponsorship deals that were struck when they were desperate to generate revenue to fund the stadium move from Highbury and by the vast salaries they are committed to for players who are not required but not shiftable. It is frustrating but it is reality. Their self-sustaining concept is a difficult one to sell when stars turn their backs on it but Arsenal refuse to risk a collapse by overstretching themselves financially.

Van Persie’s departure is not welcome and of course Arsenal will miss a player so talismanic last season he played a defining role in the team’s elevation from 17th to 3rd. But at least they have had the whole summer to plan their response.”

Continue reading why Amy Lawrence in the Guardian feels that selling RVP was good business.

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