The socialist republic of Asburton Grove
I FACED a choice between watching Swansea on TV or Man City in person and chose the latter, so I’ve only seen the highlights. Nice goals from us, that’s for sure.
Equally, their equaliser was hardly one of those where you simply had to shrug your shoulders and put it down as one of those things that happen. The marking wasn’t great.
On a wider point, I must touch on Arsene’s comments on wages before the Swansea game. I try not to write about what he says because frankly I’d be here all night and I’d get quite angry. But this one I’m going to touch on. On our wage structure, he said: “We have a more socialist model.”
Now, no doubt some of you will argue that comment has been taken out of context. To that I say, frankly, balderdash.
Arsene Wenger is not a novice with no media experience. He’s been answering questions twice a week for 16 years at Arsenal and when he mentions wages and socialist in the same breath, he knows the score. More comments here.
What I’d like to say is that firstly, the use of that term is fairly appalling frankly when Premier League football wages are concerned. I once did work experience with a firm where you could argue there was a socialist wage structure: from what I could decipher it meant those at the top of the organisation were paid a little less than they might have been elsewhere and those at the bottom were paid a little more than they might have been elsewhere – with the crucial point being that little bit extra was intended to be the difference between being able to get by and not being able to get by. Nowadays you get the idea of a living wage – enough to live on.
To equate this with whether or not Carlos Vela (to pluck one name from thin air) is paid £2,000 a week or £20,000 a week is just delusional and for the fans who stump up for (or in many cases aren’t able to stump up for) what is most clearly not a socialist ticketing policy, kinda hard to swallow.
The other point, of course, is that plainly this policy has served us very, very, very badly. We persistently struggle to keep those we want to keep and offload those we want to offload. The best are not paid enough and the worst are paid way too much. One wonders how much we’ve spent subsidising the wages of players we’ve loaned out.
And lest we forget that even if a player is loaned out at no wage cost to us, with every season that passes their contract has a year less to run and what transfer value they have diminishes ever further. It’s not great.