Making sense of the Fabregas affair, aka “Less than a shirt”

Barça is “classless.’ Right. This is so, so tiresome. I’m sure that outraged Gunners fans will visit this site with more of the same. Perhaps this post headline should be “We love Catalan puppies” or some such, but that isn’t going to happen. Instead, here’s a little dose of truth and logic for both sides. It might not all be right, and events might make a liar out of me, but take it as you will:

Leave it to Dad. Francesc Fabregas, father of Cesc, says “No biggie,” on the shirt prank. Here are some more of his quotes:

“It was a day of celebration and anything goes. If anyone misinterprets it, they have to see that it was part of a celebration.

“Cesc has [made] it very clear what Arsenal has been and is for him. He is super grateful to them and it has never crossed his mind to do something wrong towards them. Cesc said what he wanted to do [sign for Barça] the day after the end of the league so that Arsenal had time to react.

“It would have been nasty to say it today, when they are almost on the verge of starting the pre-season. But he always did so thinking about Arsenal. It remains to be seen how everything turns out.”

Hmmm …. so I’m going to call BS on Fabregas Sr. and the uncertainly he’s drumming up, with ….

Fabregas isn’t coming to Barça this summer. Now, most cules who understand the game and how we play it are very happy about that for a number of reasons, but first and foremost because his transfer price would argue for a starting role, which weakens our team. Can’t sit Xavi, or Iniesta, and we shouldn’t sit Keita or Busquets. So where does Fabregas play? Find me a club with a 50m+ squad player. Yes, Iniesta will get hurt, as he always does, and Xavi could use the rest, etc. But how long will it take after Fabregas were to come before Sport and EMD start squawking about “We paid for him, why isn’t he starting?” Countervailing arguments will be that his price is only going to go up from here as he ages and improves, and this is true. I just think that he isn’t needed, and Wenger is too adamant about this transaction, at any price.

So he stays put, and hopefully Arsenal will win some silver so then Wenger can keep him (unless he decides to leave after this coming season), instead of snarking at Rosell about the way his captain was pursued, not that I think any such pursuit was legitimate or based in reality. (More on that later.)

Fabregas could have ended this at any time. Just speak up, something along the lines of “The Barça rumors are nonsense, I’m not going anywhere, so relax.” Yes, he dedicated the WC win to Arsenal fans, which was a very classy gesture. Why not go the one step farther and say “And you’ll have me for as long as you want me.” Because rare is the player who would make that promise, particularly a young, ambitious one.

The shirt prank was silly, but not Armageddon. Just like Fabregas Sr. said. Further, find me a drunk person (whether on booze or success) who has done anything logical and intelligent while in that state. I believe that the gesture was to poke fun at the incessant rumor-mongering and prattle. No, it wasn’t part of an organized campaign to finalize the transfer of Fabregas, and anyone who would think that is paranoid. If Fabregas wants to leave, he will submit a transfer request and then let his soon-to-be former club handle it. It isn’t as if touching a Barça shirt is going to be contagious, like cooties or something.

For the record, the players should have understood the context and not done it. But people do stupid stuff all the time. But to label an entire club “classless,” to suggest that the adolescent-minded prank was the final straw in the attempt to lure Fabregas to Barça is (and there is no other way to put this) crazy. Flat-out, full-on, eyes spinning like pinwheels crazy.

Iniesta disavowed any knowledge of, or participation in the prank. He added that yes, it would be a delight to play with Fabregas at Barça. Duh. What does anyone suppose any Arsenal player would say if asked what it would be like to play with Messi? What player would say “I’d rather not answer that, because it might be construed as tapping up.”

None. So when Barça players are asked about Fabregas, they say what anyone would say about the potential of playing alongside a world-class player. They weren’t coached by the club, or handed scripts of words to say, with underlinings in the margins that say “Now say these words exactly, because we have to unsettle Fabregas just so, in order that he will come.”

Come on. Really? I know that people think Barça is evil, but really?

Arsenal is a big club. It’s one of the biggest in the world in terms of reputation, so it should stop acting like some segunda side. “You’re talking about our player! Stop that, lest he be unable to resist the lure of you, jezebel.” It doesn’t work like that. Players are grownups, Arsenal is a top-four perennial in the Premiership. There are three ways to keep players: silver (trophies), gold (salary) and platinum (playing time). Give them all three, and they’re yours forever.

Further, if we have really been tapping up Fabregas, there are legal avenues to pursue that are available. As of yet this hasn’t happened, and I confess to not being sure why, if in fact we have been tapping up Fabregas. As I’ve said, alleged meetings have or haven’t taken place, contact has or hasn’t taken place. Who knows?

Know your history. Fabregas was the heavy election pawn in the race between Sandro Rosell, the eventual winner and current Barça president and Joan Laporta, the most recent Barça president, and backer of a Continuity slate. Had Laporta been able to get a Fabregas deal done (he wasn’t going to, and everybody who understands the business of this game knows that) before the World Cup, his Continuity slate would have breezed to victory. So you pay lip service to the cause even as you know it isn’t going to happen, and you hope that it will help your folks in the election.

Rosell did the same thing in order to win the “more Catalan than thou” contest, by pledging to bring our “native son” home. Fabregas left in search of playing time and stardom, and has received both. His home, until he decides otherwise, is with Arsenal, in the Premiership. Understand election promises and what they mean. If Rosell were to have taken office and dropped the fundamentally nonexistent Fabregas pursuit, it would have looked bad to the fans and supporters. So you meet with Wenger, he tells you to go to hell, and you can shrug your shoulders and say that you tried. Then you can resume the task of strengthening your squad with players that it actually needs.

We don’t do business that way. Think about the way that Barça does business. When has the club ever conducted a protracted, very public courtship of a player? Names pop up and suddenly a deal is done. The Yaya, Henry, Hleb, Txigrinski, Keita. Alves was about the most difficult recent transfer. David Villa is more the typical Barça transfer. Or Ibrahimovic, or Maxwell. The deal just gets done. It’s how Guardiola prefers it, it’s how Laporta and Txiki B. preferred it, it’s how any right-minded technical staff prefers it. The more the name is out there, the higher the price is. It’s why I believe that Barça have no intention of buying, or even seriously trying to buy Fabregas this season. Our first offer was a joke, and a bad one. Everybody knows that who knows anything about the current transfer market. By Rosell saying that Barça won’t pay more than 50m for Fabregas, even though he knows his valuation is, and should be higher than that (Kaka, anyone?), he is in effect saying “We aren’t serious about making this deal.”

Anyone who thinks that Barça doesn’t respect Arsenal is misguided. It’s a big club to big club relationship. Yes, the Spanish sporting press is stupid for acting like Fabregas was something that was stolen in the middle of the night. Yes, the politicians are stupid for acting like Fabregas is just sitting, weepy-eyed, at Arsenal, clutching a senyera like a security blanket, muttering “Take me home” en Catala. But it is impossible for a big club to unsettle the star player of another big club. The player either wants to leave, or he doesn’t. Citeh players and management could dance the mambo in a conga line while wearing thongs with Messi’s picture on them, and Messi isn’t leaving Barça. I wouldn’t want to see it, but it wouldn’t affect Messi’s desire to remain with the club.

You silly, bankrupt Catalans should leave our captain alone and figure out how to save your club. All big clubs have debts. Arsenal has debt, in the hundreds of millions, just like Barça. Any unbiased story lays that out quite clearly. Debt is the cost of competing on the international scene. Simple as that. Barça isn’t in any more danger of going into receivership than Arsenal or United or Chelsea is. Debt gets restructured, loans are taken out to pay bills that help a club restructure, or defer a bit of debt that is easily repaid. It happens all the time, and will continue to happen.

It’s just a game. Lighten up. Players come, and players go. This season, we lost an iconic Barça player and man-mountain in The Yaya (who will always be The Yaya to me). He left because of playing time and guarantees thereof, one of the big three planks in player retention. It happens, and is part of the game, a game played by childlike grown men, a game that is also a business. But he also left because the time was right to sell him. His price was never going to be higher, and his wages were never going to be lower. Perfect time to sell. Nobody knows what the outcome is going to be in the Fabregas affair ultimately (as in way down the road). I do know that it isn’t worth all of the bile and invective that has been spewed.

And that’s what I know.

P.S. This post is going to appear in news filters. It is my attempt to put this whole matter into some perspective. In this space, we don’t mind debate, even spirited debate. But uncivil communication will be deleted. Summarily. Let’s have this be a space where this matter can be discussed by folks who understand the game, even the oft-impure, business side of it.

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In my fantasy life, I’m a Barca-crazed contributor over at Barcelona Football Blog. In my real life, I’m a full-time journalist at the Chicago Tribune, based in Chicago, Illinois.

235 Comments

  1. Kari
    July 13, 2010

    My Fav Cuddly Toy Golazo from last season (unil I remember another one that is):

    *http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBOATA6Lh_E

    My Fav Ibra moment that wasn’t a goal:

    *http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4JRfbgLQZY

    (Yeah, remember that? Do you guys really want to sell someone who does that. I mean, REALLY ? :D)

    Why I don’t want FabregasWhoWillBeStayingAtArsenalWhereTheyWillActuallyPlayHim 😀 :

    *http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iq_zRoGI5mA

    (Aww, yeah)

    A Messi assist (because you can’t make a list and now have Leo 😛 )

    *http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvPMVcXjsKU&feature=related

    RayRay LOL moment (he just says what we’ve been vehemently debating over the last few months so casually)

    *http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=narnhX48fJ0&feature=channel

    (Yaya 🙁 )

    Barca. season. start. now.

    • Kari
      July 13, 2010

      * not have Leo *

    • Jnice
      July 13, 2010

      “Barca. season. start. now.”

      Right?

      Preseason begins on the 19th, so I can’t wait to at least see some pictures.

      Nice videos you posted, Kari. I need some Barça in my life right now, and I’m not talking about the BS rumors on Sport or EMD.

  2. tyler
    July 13, 2010

    Thank you Kxevin for a fairly cool headed approach to this whole mess. To the “gooners”, I like and respect your team, and think you play the best style of football in the EPL. I admire Cesc and hope to see him one day in a Barca uniform, because he is such a talent and Wenger (more than Barca did) has brought out the best in him.

    However, I think most of the “gooners” that are full of nothing but petulant insults and different ways of saying “classless” are just ignoring the real fact. And it’s a fact that would inspire fear in me as a fan of my favorite club:

    Your captain, your best player, your symbol of what it is to be an Arsenal player has never come outright and say he is staying.

    Like Kxevin said before, I don’t care if tomorrow Marca wrote an article about how they see Messi as the future for Real Madrid and Florentino is preparing a mammoth sized bid. Because Messi has always simply said, he’s happy where he’s at, and he doesn’t want to go anywhere. The lack of directness in all of Cesc’s responses only add to the ambiguity that politicians, members of the board of Barca, and the press conjure up to sell papers/tickets/votes or what have you.

    It’s normal for humans to act in rage when they are afraid of something, perfectly natural response. The truth is the Arsenal fans that resort to name calling, debt squabbles, my team has more class than yours are ultimately afraid of one thing: They don’t know when the last game Cesc will wear an Arsenal shirt will be, or worse, that that game has already been played.

    Look, he’s not coming this year, and maybe not the next. Which is fine, we’ll be fine, and Arsenal will benefit greatly from his play and leadership. I think the best thing that could happen is for the man in question to just man up, step to the microphone and say, “Don’t worry gooners, I’m not leaving, and I won’t leave until my contract is up”

    But he hasn’t and he won’t, and so the fear-mongering will continue.

  3. July 13, 2010

    Kxevin, however hard you tried, you sound more like a diplomat – one sent to another country to lie for his. My childhood club was and remains Rangers International of Enugu, Nigeria. Barca was the first European outfit I took to heart but when Findi Goerge and Nwankwo Kanu went to Ajax, I had a second team in Europe. Eventually Kanu led me to Arsenal and I got stuck. Arsene and Arsenal remain the best things to happen to modern day football.

    However, Barca remained my second team. Messi remains my world best. Xavi is my best midfielder in the world. Iniesta is my world’s most dangerous player on the ball. Guardiola is my second to Wenger as great coaches that give modern football its fair share.

    But believe me, I’m not going to watch any Barca match this season unless paired against Arsenal in the Champ League.And I’m not alone! Why? The club and her players have behaved like uncivilised bushmen the way they went about tapping up Fabregas. When has a transfer in World football ever involved every player of the pursuing team expressing in various fora how much he wanted the player to be part of them?

    From the beginning, I told whoever cared to listen that Fabregas wasn’t the type of individual to leave Wenger in a lursh…a man who gave him EPL debut at 16, made him the captain of one of the biggest clubs in Europe at 21!Fabregas is far too intelligent for the rash behaviour of modern-day footballers. Watch his play – he plays with far more intelligence than skill. Watch every of his public statements – he weighs every word he utters. Such a player will not hand in transfer request as long as Wenger is in charge. And Wenger has insisted his skipper is not for sale. So, to your tents O, Barcelona!

    However, Kxevin, you tried very much to balance the thoughts, unlike your club, including your past and present presidents. They’re lucky they’re dealing with a man like Wenger, who is a perfect gentleman. Let them try that stunt with Alex Ferguson or Jose Mourinho!

  4. Jaygooner
    July 13, 2010

    Mr Tai Obasi from Lagos, can I just say WOW! You are a true gooner, so proud to see Arsenal supporters from all over the world. Kanu is loved at The Arsenal, at Portsmouth too, he is a true gentleman. Hello Barcelona see the post from Lagos? You aint got no fans there and NEVER will have. The Future is Red and White Dynamite Arsenal! Thank you Tai. you just made my day.

    • Jose
      July 13, 2010

      There is no need to post opinions in the form of facts. Barca likely has many fans in Lagos, Nigeria.

      • Jaygooner
        July 13, 2010

        Likely? isn’t that trying to post an opinion as fact? It is well known that a huge proportion of the African population support Arsenal first, Man U second, Liverpool third and Chelsea fourth. They do not wear Barca shirts in Soweto. I aint even going to get into the argument why, cos it will get political.

      • Jose
        July 13, 2010

        I am sorry to bring up this sad occasion once more (reason I said it was very much likely there were Barca fans in Lagos was this).

        //http://af.reuters.com/article/sportsNews/idAFJOE54R08I20090528

        If a small town in Nigeria can amass a “crowd” of Barcelona supporters, it is very likely that Nigeria’s biggest city (Lagos) also has supporters of the most successful futbol club of the last 5 years.

      • Jnice
        July 13, 2010

        😀

      • kirsten
        July 14, 2010

        dude im in South Africa and you cant compare the love true football fans have for barca lately here in SA. You cant talk of midfield players without mentioning xavi and iniesta and we understand Fabregas is an exception in the EPL because of where he got his schooling(La Masia). And the reason guys think we all love EPL teams is because our broacasters only feed us boring EPL matches. But with the success of the treble season, they have been forced to show us more of La Liga as well. And now barca fans like myself do not have to watch barca during champions league only, but we get to watch la liga as well. And barca is the team we use to evaluate our local footballing teamss, it is the barrometer, it is the benchmark. I have been a fan of barca since the one-time season of the real Ronaldo is a barca shirt. Aand hopefully one day i’ll get to live my dream and go watch Xavi in the camp nou before he retires.

        With arsenal as my second favourite team, im kinda saddened by how the whole saga turned out. I can only guess that the reason barca players want fabregas now is because the want him to be ready when xavi retires. They want him to learn from the maestro himself. And it is that reason that fabregas wont call off the show because back in his mind he is thinking of the opportunity to learn from both pep and xavi(I love cesc’s play but i honestly think he can use some lessons from xavi).

      • July 19, 2010

        to be honest, I was in Lagos and Accra last summer and chelsea and barcelona shirts were the most popular

  5. Hartwick89
    July 13, 2010

    Tyler,

    The one thing you refuse to acknowledge is he has… he has.. he has…he has stated He wants to ba at Arsenal! It is you who has refused to listen. And, that fact is what proves you wrong! The facts are not pretty as you claim we are being hurtful, misleading, etc. Facts are the facts. Your team is being run like the rest of the world. Into bankruptcy. Facts. I cannot insult your team if I am stating facts…. If your team chooses a road of irresponsibility and runs a club into bankruptcy you have to say it is not so (which is false) or it is true and suggest ways to keep into existence. Regardless, focus on the facts and don’t take them personally.

    • tyler
      July 13, 2010

      Wrong.

      Quote: “”I haven’t said that I will definitely leave Arsenal,” he told The Mirror.
      “Everything is possible”

      Source: *http://www.sport.co.uk/news/Football/40104/Fabregas_I_could_stay_at_Arsenal.aspx

      Date: July 1, 2010

      These are all facts. And the ambiguity is enough to drive any Arsenal fan crazy. Why not just say, “I’m not leaving until my contract is up. I love Arsenal it’s the only club I want to play for.”

      Instead like Kxevin has mentioned before Cesc has played his cards close so that ultimately whether he stays or goes he isn’t the bad guy.

  6. midnightmoor
    July 13, 2010

    I can’t believe that you don’t think Barca have acted inappropriately in this whole saga…

    Firstly, we could maybe do business for Cesc in a few seasons time, however you’d need to pay the money you still owe us for Henry & Hleb (which doesn’t look likely at the moment given that you can hardly pay your own players), plus when we do decide to sell Cesc, it will be for a fee closer to Ronaldo’s than Chygrynskiy’s (30m for Cesc?? Please), which of course you wont be able to afford.

    Even if he does want to ‘come home’ and his lovely Barca DNA is blue and red striped, the way you as a club (players and presidential candidates) have behaved will ensure that Arsenal make it as difficult and as expensive as possible for the transfer to go through. And rightly so. Might teach you some courtesy in the way you approach other club’s players.

    I used to love Barca, but I shall be firmly hoping that Jose beats you lot this season.

    I know you;re just fans and that you cant control what the players/presidents do or say, but as Arsenal fans, we have every right to be upset at how you have gone about this Cesc deal…

    • Ryan
      July 14, 2010

      If you so easily switch from Barca to Madrid, I’m not sure “love” is what you’re talking about. Maybe bandwagoning from the Ronaldinho era or more recent years is more apt?

      • Sol
        July 14, 2010

        People who have followed Barca because of its tradition and heritage are being disenfranchised by the way it is conducting its business.

        I am an Arsenal fan but have followed Barca since the mid to late 90’s when you had players like Ronaldo and Rivaldo etc. However, I have been completely turned away by the relentless and destructive pursuit of Fabregas, who I might add is the Captain of another football club. If that doesn’t encourage an ounce of sensitivity to a buying club, then I’m afraid the hierarchy that presides over Barcelona currently, and also that of Laporta, has fallen very from the tree that was once held in the highest esteem by fans across the globe.

        I have never witnessed such scandalous disrespect for another club. When the entire structure of Barcelona, from top to bottom, from President to player, does it hardest to force through a transfer by making a player’s situation untenable at another football club – it is conduct saved for amateurs and small fry who have no reputation to tarnish.

        Arsenal on JUNE 2ND, issued an irrevocable statement that made it absolutely clear that we are not going to sell Cesc Fabregas. It is now JULY 14TH and here we are still talking about it. It means NOTHING that the player may want to leave, the club is not selling and that is all that BARCA NEEDS TO UNDERSTAND ABOUT THE SITUATION. He is not for sale so everybody can shut up about it already.

        But no. We are in store for another month at least of this constant chatter from Barcelona players and Barcelona sporting directors and suchlike. Disrespectful and amateurish.

  7. RDC Route
    July 13, 2010

    Wow. Another Arsenal supporter here and I find all of this comical. Barcelona are basically acting like the bastard child you don’t bother to teach any manners to. No class. From the president, to the technical director, to the so-called neutral papers, etc. Your manager is the only adult of the lot.
    Icing on the cake is that you can’t live within your mean and you still covet your neighbor’s goods. Let’s be clear to all of the fiscally limited. No club needs to take out a 125mill Euro bridge loan to pay salaries unless they are in deep trouble. That’s about a third of your turnover. It means that money is likely also to pay back other debts.

  8. GREECE BARCA
    July 13, 2010

    as arsenal fans you have every right to go to yours blogs and said anything you want about barca.oh i am so sick of this.i am going for holidays so have fan guys.

    • Jnice
      July 13, 2010

      Wish I was going on holidays, have fun.

  9. GREECE BARCA
    July 13, 2010

    yes we have no class.we have debt.we have cancer.we have destroy the whole world!come on,grow up.there are most important thing in life than cesc.he is a millionaire 23 years old.

  10. Bundy
    July 13, 2010

    wow that took ages reading all the comments lol

    there have been many points raised so far and some taken to extreme lengths of debate over this Cesc saga which shouldn’t.

    But I think there are a lot of important issues that havent been illuminated, which should be.

    Firstly, the biggest point is the logical reasons for buying Cesc. Kxevin has probably reposted this about a million times but, He speaks for many Barca supporters on this blog that Cesc is not wanted. We see it as Illogical to buy him at this stage, given that we would have to squeeze Cesc somehow in our team.

    But with the “best time to buy issue” there comes complications because well, if Barca lets say leave it too late to sign Cesc, then he could rightly lose his spot potentially in our midfield. Given we have Jonathan dos santos and Thiago soon to feature regularly in our first team. Then there are other outside candidates like Gourcuff and Ozil who are very close fits of a ‘Barca’ midfielder.

    Then the other issue Kxevin pointed out a few times, is Barca’s actual mentality or willingness to buy Cesc. In the true case in my eyes, its not really serious.

    Then comes our new President. He has spoken out that he does want to buy Cesc yadda yadda. BUT, and its a big BUT, he also promised many things in the elections and he has already broken some of them, within weeks of coming to office. Now this just labels the credability of what Rosell says. In my eyes, I don’t think Arsenal fans should worry about Cesc leaving anytime soon, because well there is no seriousness to Rosell’s approach for buying Cesc.

    these few points are what should be taken into acount first and foremost. 80% of the Cesc saga is created by the media, and well so far the media is winning, because everyone is talking about Cesc, Barca, Wenger and Xavi etc.

    Arsenal are a great side, same as Barcelona. Both have played with success and entertainment. But what spoils many situations is how the Media affect things. The media feasts on football and the insecurity of fans.

    • July 14, 2010

      Good accompanying summary to the original article. If Laporta, Rossell and Xavi had kept their traps shut and negotiations had taken place behind closed doors without encouraging an ever eager media for their own agenda’s there would be no problem. Indeed this public courtship suggests that no deal is on the cards, unless its a very ill-judged attempt to drive the price down.

  11. Benj
    July 13, 2010

    That was an amuzing read, great job kxevin and all the lads who have commented. Its funny to see the blind way that fans can actually just go on and slander the club and make unprecedented claims about the debt, fanbase, players and policies of FCB.

    I just want to address the constantly arising “what would you do if Puyol/Pique/Xavi/iniesta were wearing a R*** M****d Shirt?”

    Well, Mr Gunner sir, it is a completely different ordeal. Our players (the ones that we would really really care about if they left for EE) are from the academy, most are Spanish and quite a considerable amount are even Barcelonistas/Catalunyans. They have an in built loyalty to the club and understand that the rivalry isnt like an English rivaly, it’s not “we live next to each other and therefore hate each other”. I wont go into the politics but there is nothing in England that comes close. Therefore yes if it happened to one of our cats, there would be uproar.

    HOWEVER…

    Fabregas having the shirt of the club he used to play for, has said he wants to play for in the future, where his idol coaches, is just a prank. Get the fark over it.

    PLUS it would never happen to our players anyway, especially Puyol, he would simply break out of it, no questions…

    And about the Figo ordeal, see what I have just written, to move from us to them is to move from freedom to oppression, from Cultural Artistry to Military Dictatorship. Things may be different in terms of politics now, but the spirit of the civil war remains. We were just lucky to get Luis Enrique so early I think…

    • July 14, 2010

      Man, I loved Luis Enrique..what a player!

  12. BA
    July 13, 2010

    sick and tired of Arsenal supporters who won’t shut up and constantly disparage my club. you, Arsenal, are a selling club. understand that, accept it. talk of “class” and “taste” from a club who, in this very case, spirited off with one of our youth players for peanuts due to age of contractual consent differences between Spain and England and who are now considering selling him back to us for 40,000,000 more than what they paid for him are beyond ludicrous. be happy with the good piece of business you might be doing, rather than bitter about your own lack of prestige and success that doesn’t allow you to keep your best players.

    that Arsenal are in a 2nd tier of clubs who have no history of success in European competition is an unalterable, indisputable fact, not my opinion. in learning to live with this fact you, Arsenal supporters, are going to have to come to grips with the fact that if a club in the 1st tier of European football, like Barca, wants one of your players, more than likely that player is going to go there. that’s just the way the current hierarchy works. being bitter and crying foul like whining children over the consequences of this doesn’t dull your frustration, it only annoys everyone else.

    so enough. go commiserate with each other as you watch this thing play out like everyone else.

    • Bart
      July 14, 2010

      Oh dear, what a sad and self deluding post, exactly the arrogant and patronising attitude we Arsenal fans have issues with. Never mind, it’s apparently the Barcelona DNA.

    • Sol
      July 14, 2010

      That is exactly the attitude that I associate with Barca fans these days. Patronising, supercilious, condescending, belittling…I could go on.

      I’m sorry, you’re a bigger club than us. Take your pick of our best players. Sorry for standing in your way Mr Big Club.

      I’ll just disband all the things I wanted to say, I don’t have an opinion. Your club is better than mine, fine, you carry on then. I can’t possibly have a response to the fact your club has more trophies in its cabinets.

      I wonder where your support might go when Barca go through a barren patch (akin to the one between the 2000 to the end of the 2005 season – or did you even know about that at all?) You carry on supporting a team only because it wins. Thats the only impression I have from reading your comment.

      I hope the majority of your fans aren’t like this one Kxevin…

    • July 14, 2010

      Re poaching kids…see Zahavi who you lot nicked off us around the same time….only it never made the news because his development stalled and he was sold to Portugal. As for 2nd tier club, that may well be true, but its not our fault we were comfortably the best team in europe, beating all international visitors before there was European competition! Timing is everything I guess! Oh and if you can’t understand or empathise with others, perhaps an analogy would help….perhaps if your partner left you for a richer man with a bigger bank account and greater sexual prowess, you’d feel rather less happy about the natural order of things. Empathy is a wonderful thing!

  13. tutomate
    July 14, 2010

    the only one being classless is Cesc.
    Yes I said it.

    He should make it clear he wants to move to barca by making a transfer request or he should make it clear he wants to stay at Arsenal by putting on an Arsenal jersey and telling the press to shut up.

    I’m not asking you Arsenal fans to hate Cesc just saying that he can stop this anytime he wants.

    Think about it.

  14. Josep
    July 14, 2010

    Somewhat good point, BA.
    Its bad when a lot of these posts are Arsenal supporters attacking Barca’s team/supporters, and most of the Barca responses are well thought out, polite responses. I also find it funny that most of the “Pro Arsenal” posts are like 12 Thumbs up, none down, and all the “Pro Barca” ones are the reverse.

    Look, we all can agree that this transfer saga has been out of hand and ridiculous. But every sport needs a big summer story.. Speaking as an American we just had LeBron James, last summer had Brett Favre.. and in this sport last summer we had CR7, and somewhat Benzema..

    I mean people, this is going to happen. But, can someone enlighten me on the transfer of Cesc from Barca to Arsenal, and what the difference was between that and Merida’s?

  15. Luis
    July 14, 2010

    Yes, why does everyone kepp talking about this. Lets just wait and see. Arsenal fans fear losing him and are dealing with this is balming barca- i understand that. But here on this blog we’ve mostly accepted hes not coming this season and nor do we want him.
    Kxevin- I understand you needed to defend barca fans and have your say, but I feel its never going to conclude this fiery topic; I would prefer if all cesc conversations were banned for the rest of the summer. what do you say?

  16. Luis
    July 14, 2010

    I also want to add: Who cares what arsenal fans may say to us? Sure its tiring but so is having to, or feeling the need to defend ourselves. We’re not talking about human morality here, only football.
    One of the reasons I love this blog is that there is less self-righteousness here in this community(i.e theres no right way to play football!). I hope we keep it this way and realise we are just appreciaters and supporters of barcelonas beautiful game.

  17. gunned_down
    July 14, 2010

    Well, Fab is important for Ramsey and Wilshire development those are the future of Arsenal. Like Ronnie was to Barca he contribute lots to the younger barcas. Fab had paddy!

    • Josep
      July 14, 2010

      Very true. Fab didn’t make the first team on the regular until Viera was gone correct? Its just normal, especially how Arsenal play. Wenger has a knack for grooming young players (why am I even saying this) and making money for his club. But it seems recently, he’s forgot how to win and his main focus is to gain money from transfers. He mentors the youngsters until they’re ready, then lets them go.. and brings in younger players.

  18. lovelymofo
    July 14, 2010

    So, when does the next post go up? Can it be a Pep post? He’s signing his contract tomorrow/today right?

    • Jnice
      July 14, 2010

      Yep.

  19. tutomate
    July 14, 2010

    best recap of the WC Final by far.

    *http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/video/2010/jul/13/world-cup-2010-final

  20. Harry Barracuda
    July 14, 2010

    Can I please offer the opinion of some of the more level-headed Arsenal fans, and can you please look at this impartially.

    Barcelona’s constant antics to destabilise another club’s player are pathetic. The shirt incident I’m not bothered about, I doubt Fabregas likes Pique any more than Ferguson did.

    But it is Rossell’s pathetic insistence that he will “seal the deal” and “we will get Fabregas at our price” that is pissing everyone off.

    If you want the world class player contracted to our club, pay the money. It isn’t our fault you totally overpaid for Zlatan, if you’d asked me before I would have said offer them 50p and a cadburys creme egg.

    The fact is that Fabregas is worth 60m, so cough it up and he’s yours. We don’t care if you can’t afford it. If you can’t afford it, stop pretending you can.

    It’s like a chav wandering around a Rolex shop with his girlfriend telling her what watch he’s going to buy.

    And they normally end up picking up a fake round the corner for a few bob.

    I doubt Arsenal have any problem doing business with Barca, but unfortunately Barca seem totally unable to conduct business in a professional manner.

    Which is probably what’s making the price go up.

    If you want Fabregas, someone needs to tell your club to start negotiating properly.

    There is no finer example than Barca of PUT YOUR MONEY WHERE YOUR MOUTH IS.

    • Jnice
      July 14, 2010

      Fabregas and Pique have been friends since the age of 13.

      • Benj
        July 14, 2010

        WIN 😀

    • Josep
      July 14, 2010

      How are we supposed to look at this comment impartially?

      Realize how elections work, want-to-be Presidents make huge guarantees thats the name of the game. Like Madrid’s president, and the new Galacticos. You just say things the fans want to hear to get votes. I mean in fourth grade I ran for class president and promised air conditioning to all the students in the class! Something they wanted, and would vote for, that I couldn’t guarantee.

      • July 14, 2010

        That perhaps is a difference in mentality. Over in En-Ger-Land, for all our faults (plenty I know) there is still a somewhat deeply ingrained sense of fair play when it comes to sport (and indeed politics…why else would people have been naive enough to vote for Cameron!).

        To give a comparison, I was voted President of my University, and worked my nuts off to achieve the vast majority of my promises even though it resulted in threats etc, because it was my moral responsibility to do so, having asked for the trust of my peers. This probably makes me old fashioned!!!!

  21. July 14, 2010

    Good post Kxevin. Though you and I and many fans tried before, what I call the “Alcoholic impact” of Cesc, which makes everyone ramble nonsensically will unlikely end.

    I wish one of the following to happen:

    1) If Barcelona is still interested in Cesc-and I hope not- I hope they offer the biggest deal they are welling to offer (at the moment I don’t care how overpriced that will be, just finish this. Either deal done or (move to pint two).

    2) If Barca are not going to meet Arsenal demands, they must announce publicly “We swear -and let a corcodile eat our heads if we are lying- we will not sign Cesc”. Maybe, the Spanish media shut up, and Arsenal fans calm down (and we start a relaxing preseason vacation, is that too much to ask for?).

    3) I dont mind that -instead of Barca announcing it, let Cesc do so. He can say:”This story hurted Arsenal fans and I cant be part of it” or any bullshit that will help creating better vibes for him at Arsenal to perform well next season. Sure Arsenal fans will shower Barca blogs with victorious chants, but as usual: Who care.

    4) If Barca are really tabbing Cesc (without any reason that also fit Arsenal’s management, which is another story that fans are not taking in consediration), Arsenal should report it to UEFA and I will be more than happy if they freeze Barca out of transfer market for two seasons. Platini can whisper it in Sandro’s ear so he does two fast -NEEDED- transfers and then we can relax for two seasons with the players we have in the first team and youth academy. Thats the best -two years- news for Barca, and everyone else. Beside tabloids.

    I have concerns after all this madness that it will leave an impact on Cesc performance. If he stays where he is, he already raised doubts. If he move, the price and effort and chaos that introduced his signing put a heavy load on his shoulders to perform exceptionally (much better than I believe he can actually do).

  22. Bundy
    July 14, 2010

    Ok guys, can we lay off using other players in our arguments. This has nothing to do with Busquets, Ibra, Henry etc.

    now people are starting to make this issue personal.

    Firstly, nothing has happened so far with the transfer issue, there is nothing indicating that Cesc is physically signing with Barca. There is no OFFICIAL evidence, only spoken quotes or spun up headlines in the papers. Firstly everyone is fighting over something that hasn’t even happened yet.

    I will repeat myself, Rosell says a lot of things he doesn’t live up to, he is a business man, and whatever he says is of his own thinking and not of his ‘actions’.

  23. Aliyu Magaji Makarfi.., Nigeria
    July 14, 2010

    That Arsenal have a lot of Fans all over Nigeria is an underestimation. I dont know why, but i have been supporting The Gunners a long time ago. Arsenal has the largest fanbase here. But one funny thing here is, for the fact that I am a die-hard Arsenal fan, that does not stopped me from admiring Barcelona. This may not be unconnected with their style of playing free flowing football and the fact that so many transactions, i mean player exchange has been taking place between the two clubs. In fact i can not remember any club that has former Arsenal players like Barcelona; Petit,Overmars,Gio,Sylvinho,Hleb,Henry and still counting. That showed the strength of their relationship. But this Cesc’s saga is really pissing me off, I hope it would be resolved sooner rather than later.

    • July 14, 2010

      “That Arsenal have a lot of Fans all over Nigeria is an underestimation. I dont know why, but i have been supporting The Gunners a long time ago.”
      No surprise about it. it even indicates some of the traditional distribution of football fans in London between Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham.

  24. Philippe
    July 14, 2010

    Well, i thought the article was quite reasonable and well balanced – one of the more sensible I’ve read to be honest. That doesn’t however stop the feeling of antipathy towards Barcelona and its players when they continue to wage this very public and rather childish campaign right across the media. To be honest, I dont really care if Fabregas stays or goes – Arsenal is bigger than him. I’ve walked along Avenell Road, and more recently Drayton Park on matchdays now for nigh on 40 years, and I hope to be doing the same (in a bathchair) in another 40. I’ve seen Charlie George, John Radford, Liam Brady (still the best of em all), Gus Caesar (nuff said!), Bergkamp, Henry, Fabregas. They’re nearly all gone, Arsenal remains. I just think that a club like Barcelona ought to learn to deal with its transfers (and its players) in a more respectful way. In some ways I would have liked to see Arsenal make more of this, but actually when you think about it, their one statement said more positive things about my club than all the chirrups of pique, chavvy and all the rest have said about yours.

    Oh, but one thing puzzles me. If Barcelona are so staunchly catalan, and represent a people who have suffered decades or whatever of oppression, how can seven of their players plus a catalan at Arsenal, have the gall to pull on a spanish shirt. Like they really care about catalonia!! Seems to me that Spain is Spain is Spain, and catalans are as Spanish as the rest of em when it suits their gold, silver and platinum.

    • July 14, 2010

      great post..

  25. Jake
    July 14, 2010

    Citeh players and management could dance the mambo in a conga line while wearing thongs with Messi’s picture on them, and Messi isn’t leaving Barça.
    ::: Yaya Toure anyone?

    The shirt prank was silly, but not Armageddon.
    ::: This isn’t the issue here. There is a bigger one.

    Anyone who thinks that Barça doesn’t respect Arsenal is misguided.
    ::: Tell that to every Arsenal fan who has had to live with this shit pretty much every transfer window. It was the same with Henry.

    When has the club ever conducted a protracted, very public courtship of a player?
    ::: Really? I mean seriously.

    Fabregas was the heavy election pawn in the race between Sandro Rosell, the eventual winner and current Barça president and Joan Laporta, the most recent Barça president, and backer of a Continuity slate.
    ::: And so you admit that it is Barca who is in the wrong here?

    So when Barça players are asked about Fabregas, they say what anyone would say about the potential of playing alongside a world-class player.
    ::: Dont’ look like that to me. Almost every day there is a new interview with fresh quotes from a Barca player.

    “We aren’t serious about making this deal.”
    ::: Why keep pestering us like a god damned parasite?

  26. jordi™
    July 14, 2010

    It seems like Cesc is always the victim no matter what.He says and hints he wanted to play for us, gooners attack our club, His father goes a step further and says it explicitly, gooners attack our club.I bet if he sends in a transfer request,Arsenal fans would slam Barça’s “disgraceful” behaviour, because , you know, Sandro has control over a grown man’s free will and “forced” him to cut ties to his employers.Get real.This same venom was apparent last summer with Valencia fans when we tried to sign Villa, theres no reasoning, what ever facts you present, Barça is the bad guy.Just like last season i think the situation has become untenable for this summer, i wouldnt rule it out completely- they might still sell him after they get all their season tickets sold- ja!Consider that Gooners.But next summer just like with Villa,i wont be surprised if we wrap him up swift and quiet.I personally dont want him back yet.First because we dont need him, and second because unless it costs 5 million pounds like pique its a travesty to pay upwards of 40 million pounds for a player from your own cantera, No to Cesc unless its for peanuts.

  27. GoonerInBarça
    July 14, 2010

    Okay where to begin…

    In general I’d agree with most of the post. Normally the shirt incident would have been an irritant at most. However after the constant comments by the Barça player, Rosell, Laporta & Co it’s more the cherry on the cake. Frankly the only person completely innocent would be Pep. A truly classy manager and I only wish he’d instruct his players to act the same.

    I do agree that it can’t be compared to Ramos/Casillas putting a Real shirt on Iniesta etc but perhaps more like Capdevilla shoving an Espanyol shirt over one of the Barça players. Highly disrespectful and not the conduct expected of a professional football player regardless of whether they had ust won the world cup.

    Secondly I’d disagree with your comment on the debt. You can’t compare the two debts of the clubs. Arsenal’s is steady debt being paid back at around £10-15m a year over 20-25 years in what is essentially a mortgage for the stadium. Barça’s debt is more akin to running up huge debts on a credit card. For the first few years you’re ok because the bank won’t demand it back but just like a credit card there will be a time when they want they want it back. Let’s not beat around the bush, it’s a huge sum that isn’t sustainable. Whether it’s closer to €200m or €400m isn’t the issue. The main issue is whether Barça can reduce it. As it stands you are only making a MINIMAL profit on the back of unprecedented success. No club has ever had a season like that before and the prize money would be incredible but to only just turn a profit can only be worrying especially with the general situation in Spain- 20% unemployment etc.

    A comment on the recent history of transfers between the clubs. Very rarely have Barça got the better of Arsenal in these stakes. £25m (a giant sum in 2000) for Overmars whose glass knees reappeared after the transfer, Petit only lasted a season, Hleb got stroppy and didn’t perform, Henry only gave one season at the top level. So I doubt Wenger will suddenly just give in. He has a lot of faults but simply won’t give up on the Cesc saga.

    And finally as put very well by the great Liverpool manager: “Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I assure you, it’s much more serious than that.” 😉

    • July 14, 2010

      Barcelona’s bank debt -before the recent 150M- was only 29 M. The rest are more or less running operations that is not a concern. Something you can find in any business. This club paid around 300M in the first few years of business (new board 2003)where the club was still in its re engineering cycle both managerially and on the sports level (it was ruins after before 2003). Now the club is a cash generator. Banks know it.

      Not to say that Barca’s financial situation is too wealthy to be debated, in fact I am mostly interested in Sandro’s plan to remodel the stadium and how will that effect the financial stability of the club on the long term. But so far, there are no concerns, dont believe all what you read.

      • July 14, 2010

        *(it was ruins after before 2003)

        My English reached new levels. just erase the “after” that’s before “before” and leave the “before” that is after “after”. And you get a more English-like phrase.

      • July 14, 2010

        To be fair, there are so many conflicting viewpoints on this one for both clubs, to claim any of us know ‘THE TRUTH’ is naive in the extreme!

        That said this guy http://swissramble.blogspot.com/ knows his stuff about both as far as i can tell

  28. fred
    July 14, 2010

    barca have always paid through the nose for arsenal players, most memorably overmars, but also hleb and henry. So the bottom line is that they will have to fish a lot more than 30 million for fab. When they do they can have him.

  29. Bundy
    July 14, 2010

    I have to get this out.

    Pretty much every Arsenal fan is saying the same thing, no need to repeat it. I get the point.

    Arsenal fans are angry because on the way Xavi or Pique answer QUESTIONS about Cesc in interviews, thats fair enough. But those players have no intention other than answering questions, the rest is read from what newspapers and websites scribe.

    The problem here is, THERE IS NO TRANSFER, I CAN’T SEE IT YOU CAN’T SEE IT, then why are people complaining about something that doesn’t exist? why are Barcelona being blamed for nothing?

    I understand, that Arsenal fans feel insecure, well so would I in Iniesta and CO. cases. But the bottm line is, the media has won, the media created all of this. There is no “tapping up”, there is no secret kidnapping.

    The whole point of the prank on Cesc is between friends. They all know each other even between family. The problem is that its being viewed over the internet and on papers who speculate something that isn’t true but a silly joke. THERE IS NO CLASS this and CLASS that, WHAT THE HELL IS CLASS AND CLASSLESS?

    and enough with attacking other players, why bring other players into the debate, that have done nothing?

  30. joseph
    July 14, 2010

    How would Barca fans react if Real players put a Real shirt on a Barca player after every thing else thats gone on for the last 2 months.Remember Figo

    • Can't We All Just Get Along
      July 14, 2010

      I don’t see why this question keeps popping up.

      If someone like, say, Cesc himself put an Arsenal shirt on Iniesta…we would laugh.

      It’s a joke. A prank. An April Fool’s Day-like hoax made by a bunch of drunken players who had just won the freakin’ WORLD CUP.

      It doesn’t insinuate us trying to “tap him up” or disrespect Arsenal. It was just a funny joke (yes, it WAS funny) done by his teammates.

      Arsenal fans, seriously: get over it.

  31. fcbfan
    July 14, 2010

    Personally, this Cesc thing is really anoying. Spanish press, just stop pls. the world doesn’t revolve around Cesc. and Cesc, man up! instead of staying quiet. and Cesc fans, he’s a grown man, a captain and therefore I am guessing won’t get unsettled easily by media crap.

    I hope Xavi has at least 3 more years. and I hope in that time, JDS and Thiago will be ready to take over, or we may even see some other mid from the youth la Busi and Pedro emerge, making Cesc unnecesary in the end… cause I’m really getting tired of this Cesc Saga!

  32. July 14, 2010

    Whew! What a night! Astute observers will notice that the number of comments has gone down. I think the room has been pretty well cleaned up.

    Thanks again, everyone, for (mostly) playing nice. I think that fans should be able to discuss their respective clubs without descending into barrages of four-letter words, name-calling and invective.

    As “classless” seems to be the word of the day, I guess it will have to be, even though its accuracy depends upon perspective and club affiliation, right?

    Thankfully, I think that Rosell got an earful from Wenger, and will tone down all of the “I’ll sweep in and get this business done, because I am Sandro” stuff, and go about trying to match the accomplishments of the exceptional presidient he has replaced.

  33. Kxevin
    July 14, 2010

    The latest from Fabregas:

    “There are times we do not even know what we do, so everything can be forgiven.

    “These are things that happen at special moments. I don’t think it should be gone on about much more because it was just another anecdote of a great night, a great celebration.

    “Pepe [Reina] took me there [to the front of the stage], the truth is that I didn’t know anything like that was going to happen and so I was a bit surprised.

    “At first I thought it was a flag or something, but it’s nothing.

    “You had to enjoy it and if it’s a way to have fun, it’s nothing.

    “I think now the less said about the subject the better, because these things are worse for everyone when they come to light and people talk more about the matter,” he added.

    “Right now we have to be very calm and what will be will be.”

    • majatt
      July 14, 2010

      This is my issue, if Fab would HIMSELF make a decision and say “guys…cut it out “the problem would be resolved. He keeps making half hearted comments; added to the fact he can call Xavi, Messi etc. and ask them, as a friend, to simply say no comment to the questions they are continually asked.

      It’s like your friends keep publicly hinting you should get back together with your X but you are already in a relationship. Rather than making a firm statement you keep saying “we’ll see what happens”, “I’ll always love her because of what we shared” etc. Her parents are asking your parents what’s the deal and you aren’t saying “Stop this, I am happy where I am”. Even if one friends keeps banging on its unlikely you can’t get 5 of your friends, particularly one of your closest, to shut up.

  34. poipoi
    July 14, 2010

    oh this is so stupid, he has played with you for some years and he wants to leave, look like you are not a club to love. if you like and respect the player and owe him so much just let him go.

    I mean, come on… you had never seen midfield until you saw cesc fabregas play in your team. honey is not made for the mouth of the pig, so keep playing volley-ball next year guys and let the kid come here to play some world champion footy. (+messi)

    España campeona del mundo, inglaterra la risa del mundo. lol

  35. Sol
    July 14, 2010

    What relevance has this to do with anything thats being discussed?

    “But we saw who won”? Nobody is debating that Barca have a better squad than Arsenal. Self-gratifying nonsense.

  36. Sol
    July 14, 2010

    People who have followed Barca because of its tradition and heritage are being disenfranchised by the way it is conducting its business.

    I am an Arsenal fan but have followed Barca since the mid to late 90’s when you had players like Ronaldo and Rivaldo etc. However, I have been completely turned away by the relentless and destructive pursuit of Fabregas, who I might add is the Captain of another football club. If that doesn’t encourage an ounce of sensitivity to a buying club, then I’m afraid the hierarchy that presides over Barcelona currently, and also that of Laporta, has fallen very from the tree that was once held in the highest esteem by fans across the globe.

    I have never witnessed such scandalous disrespect for another club. When the entire structure of Barcelona, from top to bottom, from President to player, does it hardest to force through a transfer by making a player’s situation untenable at another football club – it is conduct saved for amateurs and small fry who have no reputation to tarnish.

    Arsenal on JUNE 2ND, issued an irrevocable statement that made it absolutely clear that we are not going to sell Cesc Fabregas. It is now JULY 14TH and here we are still talking about it. It means NOTHING that the player may want to leave, the club is not selling and that is all that BARCA NEEDS TO UNDERSTAND ABOUT THE SITUATION. He is not for sale so everybody can shut up about it already.

    But no. We are in store for another month at least of this constant chatter from Barcelona players and Barcelona sporting directors and suchlike. Disrespectful and amateurish.

  37. OhYes
    July 14, 2010

    Pique’s so awesome! He’s always up to no good. Damn prankster.

  38. fcbfan
    July 14, 2010

    Our Gamper trophy opponent Milan is supposedly to honour Ronaldinho. Wonder if it’s still on if R10 Flamengo move happens. Ah poor Sandro! 🙂

  39. GoonerInBarça
    July 14, 2010

    I’ve mentioned this before here that Arsenal are (secretly) happy to let Cesc go. The only thing stopping the transfer is Barça’s inability/unwillingness to pay more than £40m for him. As it stands Cesc has a 5 year contract and therefore we can demand what we want for him as we have no risk of him running his contract down any time soon. Arsenal have put him in the Kaka/Ronaldo bracket of player. If that sort of sum is bid Arsenal will probably let him go without any fuss but I can’t see that happening this summer.

  40. Vj
    July 14, 2010

    Speaking of Arsenal legends, Thierry Henry has left for the New York Red Bulls after we rescinded his contract..

    Farewell ‘King of Europe’..

  41. Stephen
    July 14, 2010

    I read half through the comments and I think most people just didn’t even bother to read kevins article (which great read Kevin, i liked it and want Cesc even less now)

    I’d like to just say that I dont want Cesc, are we being illegal about it, NO, the press is blowing it out. The joke, well how do we know that Cesc didnt ask them to do it???

    Ultimately I want Barça to win without Cesc, and Arsenal to continue to lose with Cesc. Period.

    • GoonerInBarça
      July 14, 2010

      Yawn, it’s opinions like this that wind up the Arsenal fans. You’re being contrived for the sake of it now. Cesc clearly didn’t have a clue what was going on, you could see in the look on his face. I’m sure even the most staunch of Barça fans would agree with me on that.

      And yes you ARE guilty of tapping him up. Just because you haven’t talked to him directly (although that may have happened behind closed doors) the players and president(s) have blatantly and regularly spoken about wanting and trying to sign him. It’s very clear in FIFA rules that zero talk about another team’s player is allowed with regards to transfers. FIFA can’t do anything unless Arsenal complain though but we’re probably just saving our time and money as we all know Sepp Blatter wouldn’t want to punish his dear darlings of club football…

      • July 14, 2010

        But is that really true (re: Sepp Blatter). What do you reckon the real reasons are that Arsenal have not pursued a tapping up complaint against us? Yes, that’s a serious question.

        Also, what’s being made of the most recent Fabregas comments (posted above) in Arsenal land?

        Thanks.

      • GoonerInBarça
        July 14, 2010

        Well I live about 5 minutes from the Camp Nou (:P) But as a soon to be repatriated Arsenal fan most sane fans don’t seem annoyed at Cesc for the incident even before his comments. I think like everyone else the fans are just looking for clarification of what the hell is going on. We don’t care if he goes or stays (as long as the deal is right) but just want it done with. If you handed over £60/70m we could rebuild our team with 3 or 4 high quality players but to do that the deal would need to be done quick.

      • July 14, 2010

        Well now I understand your screen name. I’ve probably walked through your neighborhood on many an occasion.

        And I think that we’re all seeking clarification. I think of Maicon’s unequivocal comments about the likelihood of playing for Mourinho in his new locale. He made absolutely no bones about it. Impressive.

        Another question: Do you think that if we did a deal, that Wenger would turn around and re-invest the money in players? What’s the view on what seem to be his buying smart and low theories, as they relate to the club’s current silverless period? Are people committed to it, or is the clamor to buy a big name or two, that could combine with the club’s youthful, talented core to get you over the hump?

        We’d like nothing more than to see your style of football win the Prem, by the by.

      • GoonerInBarça
        July 14, 2010

        As for the tapping up thing, only 2 major clubs have ever been found guilty of tapping up. Chelsea twice for Ashley Cole and Kakuta which were both either overturned or reduced punishment and Roma for Mexes. So this implies it’s very difficult to prove and and a mutual agreement between clubs would likely be an easier solution.

      • July 14, 2010

        Makes sense. I’d forgotten about Mexes.

      • Dave
        July 14, 2010

        Sepp Blatter has always been a Madrid fan, check your facts

      • July 14, 2010

        Sepp Blatter has always been a corrupt figurehead of a corrupt organisation lining the pockets for him and his friends. The man has come out with racist comments, sexist comments and a thousand very very stupid comments since jumping into that even bigger crook Havelange’s grave. If you slipped him a fiver he’d turn a blind eye even if there was any way of proving a case!

  42. Cule24
    July 14, 2010

    Sorry but this is absolute bullshit. I’m so sick of Arsenal, their fans, and their whining it’s not even funny. They have been bashing Barcelona for well over a year – ever since their CL loss and gained steam since talk of Cesc returning started floating around the papers. Listen you morons…Cesc was our player when Wenger and Arsenal tapped him up and got him for close to nothing because of a loophole in Spain. Barcelona is offering Arsenal 40 Million (not 10 dollars…not a hundred) to bring him back.

    What’s pissing me off about all this is Arsenal is playing the victim card when all Barca is doing is going after a good player who is young…something that Arsenal’s entire transfer policy is built on.

    I also find it sickening that many fellow cules are pandering to the Arsenal fans as if we have made a big mistake. We didn’t. I might agree that it has gone a bit overboard, but certainly not enough to degrade and insult Barca, its players, or its fans.

    It seems like Barca wants Cesc…and Cesc wants Barca. I frankly don’t give a shit if the transfer happens…but the backlash has gone overboard. I believe if the fans don’t want their player sold they should voice their concern to Arsenal’s management instead of going on a whining campaign on every football forum and blog out there.

    So all you Arsenal fans out there…either man up and respect the fact that transfer stories that turn ugly are a part of the game…or quit watching football.

    • Jake
      July 16, 2010

      We might have got him on the cheap but he has been with us for a long time. Wenger has developed him to what he is today, one of the best midfielders in world football right now by taking a huge gamble (replacing Viera) and giving him a chance to play regularly at such a young age. A chance he would’nt have been given at Barca with Xavi and Iniesta in front of him. I along with many others believe he is the second best midfielder in world football right now, behind Xavi.

      Is it not fair that we demand compensation for this? Just because he once played in Barca, should we bend down and let Barca fuck us? I don’t think so. That’s not how businesses work. We ain’t a fuckin’ charity.

      Why aren’t Barca after Merida who was a more highly rated player than Cesc at the time? That’s right, he didn’t turn out to be a very good player. So Barca is using the fact that Cesc one played there as an excuse to get a player on the cheap instead of paying what he is worth. They have tried unsettling him ever since he started playing well and then you wonder why some of us are pissed off?

      • Cule24
        July 16, 2010

        I guess you missed the part where i said that we’re paying you 40 million. If you can calculate that…that’s a 40 million PROFIT on someone you got for nothing – it’s not bending over and definitely not charity.

      • Jake
        July 16, 2010

        40m is spare change for a player as highly regarded as him and he has still got like 10 years or so in him and has a 5 year contract with us. He’ll walk right into pretty much any team in the world. These days even when pretty average players are going around for 20m or so, 40m is an insult to the player as well as our club.

      • Cule24
        July 16, 2010

        Listen genius…your point would make sense if Cesc wanted to stay. Since he doesn’t, 40 mil is more than enough for someone you got for free and wants out of that hell hole. What you and your fellow gooners seem to think is that you can sell him to ANY team. Cesc won’t go to any other team.

        What I do love about all this though is that Arsenal will think twice before tapping any more Barca youngsters in the future. Youngsters from other teams will also think twice before signing with them out of fear of being held hostage when a bigger club comes knocking. Arsenal is in a lose-lose situation if they keep acting like drama queens.

  43. July 14, 2010

    Wow, probably the most sensible Barcelona post about Cesc’s saga that I’ve read.

    But a few things are obviously misplaced…

    “It’s just a game. Lighten up.”
    Well, then so should Barca and stop asking their players to harp on about this every day. It’s just a game, Fabregas is staying with Arsenal one more season, big deal right?

  44. July 14, 2010

    I am an arsenal fan who is torn on this one. I have always had an admiration and respect for Barca, but the behaviour of a few individuals towards Arsenal in this affair (and others previously) is pretty lacking in ethics (not that I associate this with Barca on the whole)

    Its easy to see the player’s attraction to go to Barca. A lot of the problems have been the result of the ever exciteable spanish sports papers who need to fill column inches, and the British press, the vast majority of whom (amazing coincidence….nothing like an anti-zionist conspiracy) have spurs fans as sports editors, and are vastly anti-arsenal and have been for years.

    However, the presidential candidates have shown a massive disrespect to Arsenal and the player in the drip drip drip media campaign to promote their own agendas with the effect of de-stabilising Arsenal and unsettling our captain, with little or no real desire to sign him (as he is clearly worth a lot less to Barca than to Arsenal). This is particularly galling as it follows the messy transfers of hleb, henry and petit (we let you have gio on the cheap and overmars was silly money), for which Arsenal are still owed substantial sums. Indeed this obvious lack of consideration for Arsenal through the battle of presidential egos has probably significantly forced up the price of any future transfer. This has been exacerbated by the mixture of very public comments from Barca players (iniesta and messi very innocently and with respect/ Pique and particularly Xavi rather less so – particularly the disparaging terms used by Xavi), and the continuing bullshit campaign (thats been going on, fuelled by Laporta for some time) about divine right to cesc’s ownership and ‘barca DNA’, quite ignoring barca’s recent attempts to sign 2 arsenal academy players, and the ‘theft (!)’ of Zahavi from the arsenal academy some years ago.

    I agree with the initial assertion that most intelligent Barca Fans aren’t that bothered (you’ve got some bloody good youngsters in reserve), and that any transfer will happen next year as opposed to this, as it would be implausible for cesc to request a transfer regardless of his desire to return to catalonia. I think if more Arsenal fans read this article (or had a decent knowledge in the first place), there would be less widespread panic in North London. David Villa is a better and more important signing than Cesc would be for Barca.

    On the financial issue, the relative impacts of debt is realistically minimal to both clubs, but I suspect that a few at Barca are looking nervously at the EU economic situation re outstanding loans (but I suppose they would have the same dodgy bail out as Real Madrid!). Either way, both are in pretty good health compared to many in La Liga and the EPL.

  45. July 14, 2010

    Ps I remember reading this blog after the CL game where you said with complete certainty that Fabregas dived! Pretty good dive if you can break your leg doing it!!

    Also felt sorry for little leo in the world cup, unlike at barca, no one knew how to link with him….

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