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Nigel, we are most grateful to you for sparing the time to talk to us in what we know is a very busy schedule. Firstly, could you tell us about the formation of the AST and the role that it plays in the club and your role within the Trust?

The Trust was formed in June 2003 and was a joint initiative from AISA and the Supporters Direct, the umbrella body for all Supporters’ Trusts. It currently has over 3,000 paid up members and is active in many aspects of Club life. It was originally conceived around ownership and governance matters and before the compulsory purchase of all shares by KSE in 2018, the Trust owned six shares in Arsenal. When Arsenal Fanshare was in operation it had £3m of pooled funds actively buying shares in Arsenal. I have been the Treasurer of the AST since its formation along with Glyn Taylor, the Chair, also since June 2003. Campaigning against the Super League in 2021 was a key moment in the 20 years of the Trust’s existence. The AST sits on the Arsenal Advisory Board formed after the Super League debacle.

Although we are primarily looking to focus on the financial affairs of the club it is impossible not to discuss the incredible strides the club has made this year on the field. Can I ask if this has surprised you? Is there one overriding reason for our success or is it a combination of key factors coming together? 

Yes, I am as surprised as are the odds setters and pundits if you look back at pre-season predictions for this year! The addition of two big league winners such as Jesús and Zinchenko have clearly been pivotal but over three years since his appointment this is clearly now “Arteta’s team”. He has got rid of players he didn’t fancy for reasons of either attitude or ability and has been backed significantly in the transfer market over several transfer windows. After the end of season collapse last season clearly 22/23 was a make or break time for this project.

Perhaps we could begin by asking whether after three Covid-disrupted seasons of losses to 21/22, is the club back on track to re-establishing its self-sustaining financial model? 

Five seasons out of the Champions League “trough” has clearly had a massive impact on finances and outgoings have had to be pared back accordingly. The famous Josh line about having a “Champions League wage bill in the Europa League” was all about the need for financial sustainability. 

Are there any vulnerabilities around the club’s debt, which is rising again, although it is increasingly owed to the owner?  There does not appear to be much margin of error with the cash flow, although, again, it appears to be moving in the right direction?

KSE refinanced the long-term stadium loans during COVID which freed up cash trapped in reserve accounts – the Partey transfer money! This £217m KSE loan needs two years notice for repayment and is at an undisclosed interest rate, believed to be base rate related plus a margin. Arsenal also owe other clubs just over £200m for stage payments on players already with the Club. This is how transfers are structured now with a certain % paid on signing and then further payments over several years. This is debt that increased massively as Arsenal have got more active in the transfer market. And we shouldn’t forget the £17m owed to those loyal A,B, C and D bond holders who lent the club money when first building the North Bank Stand and then when there was a cashflow shortage in funding the Emirates build. 

It would appear that (tempting fate! ) we are certain to be back in the Champions League next season . It has been a long and painful road back but presumably this is transformational in boosting our finances? Fans, understandably tend to look at finances from the perspective of who we can buy with this extra money but in a general sense how will this level of increased revenue affect the club? 

A run deep into the latter stages of the Champions League can be worth around £90-100m with very little extra costs. Such revenues clearly impact wage paying ability significantly and we all know the almost perfect correlation between wages spent and final position in the league. At present Arsenal’s wage bill is the 5th largest in the PL. The wage gap to the “top four payers” is £130-170m per season or an extra 60% – the impact of CL money!

Of course, we’d love to know what scope we have for purchases in the summer. Are you able to hazard a guess at this? 

Arteta will be backed again in the summer window but as seen with Mudryk and Caicedo, Arsenal do appear to have limits beyond which they will not go. The average age of the squad is young and some say light in depth so CL money will definitely enable the wage bill to increase closer to the top four payers. The one thing Arsenal haven’t done well recently, Iwobi excepted, is “sell well” i.e., offload players for decent prices. This, though, is a reflection of the squad shambles when Arteta took over. 

There is inevitably huge emphasis on Financial Fair Play and the Premier League rules affecting financial sustainability. The dramatic backdrop of the mountain of charges against Manchester City and the extraordinary financial behaviour of Chelsea in the transfer market has been (and continues to be) a massive story. We also have the potential impact that the influx of new money coming into the Premier League through new owners (some of whom are effectively nation states) has had, which makes it imperative that we have to manage the club as effectively as we can. We don’t have the wiggle room of many of the clubs with whom we compete. What is the Trust’s view of our management model and where do you think we may have a particular advantage over our rivals? 

This is the massive debate raging. With PL clubs owned by Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia and with Qatar interested in MUFC, what chance do clubs who seek to be “sustainable” have? For this very reason Liverpool’s owners are seeking fresh investment as the massive midfield rebuild appears to be beyond their financial means. When you have distant and “passive” owners it is essential you have a top class executive team off the field as well as first class football related leadership. Arsenal have made several missteps in this regard but we are hopeful that the process of “upgrading” continues. 

Looking more widely at revenue, where might the club find future additional sources of revenue, especially given the current outlook for sponsorship/merchandising and broadcasting rights? We have fallen behind most of the other big clubs in growing revenue. The Emirates and Adidas deals run to 2028 and 2030 respectively, I believe, so there is not much scope for new revenue there for some time, but the PL broadcast rights run to 24/25 so one supposes this will have to be renegotiated soon? 

Gate receipts and broadcast income pretty much speak for themselves – sell all your seats, have plenty of games on TV and do well in the cups so these are “on field” revenues. You are right that we lag badly in the commercial / corporate sponsorship stakes and others continue to pull away from us. Adidas and Emirates provide about two thirds of commercial income. 

Despite the annexation of Highbury House by Gazidis and his team a few years ago we do seem to trail our closest competitors in raising marketing revenue. Are there signs that this may be changing for the better?

Not that I can see! The dubious and distasteful alliances with Rwanda and Socios have not been good signs of the “marketing” vision of the Club! But the football performance of the last 5/10 years has not warranted top level strategic partnerships. Hopefully the new era we hope to be entering in terms of competing and winning helps better deals flow. The catering and concession relationship at the ground with Delaware has many years to run so there is little chance of any improvement and uplift from this source of partnership income. 

We have achieved a very significant reduction in the wage bill with the removal of some of the higher paid (and underperforming) players. This wilil inevitably be offset by the new contracts that we have awarded to some of our most important younger players. Are you confident that we are in a healthier position in terms of revenue to expenditure than we were when Arteta took the helm? 

Most definitely. I don’t want to say it’s all about a “4th place trophy” but when you hear Klopp describe CL qualification as “imperative” you get what this means to wage paying = squad quality ability.

Might the club be able to make the development and sale of young talent a significant line item in the accounts, following the Chelsea academy model or even the Man City warehouse model that lets them sell first teamers (e.g., Zinchenko, Sterling, Jesús) lucratively as they have replacements coming along behind. Someone at one of the data analytics firms was saying recently that more of the data analysis work at the big clubs is now directed towards recruitment than first-team performance, not just to acquire tomorrow’s stars before they become stars and so can be bought for pre-star prices, but also to create a monetisable stream of youngsters to provide recurring income. Arteta has mused in the past about having ‘a squad that can sustainably be financed by itself’, which suggests those conversations have been held internally.

Arsenal currently have 28 players out on loan so maybe this is the case. Will Balogun be the first test case of a player we get under a decent term of contract, see them develop elsewhere, and then if no clear path to the first team emerges, sell them on? The Brighton model might be different as they can give young players decent Prem experience and then sell them for top fees as “Prem ready”. Arsenal trying that with Fabio Vieria appears less easy.

 And might we develop the knack of selling players for higher amounts than we have hitherto? We had lively debates last summer on the blog about the practice of selling players for peppercorn fees or virtually giving them away. Is this an area that we could improve or have football economics radically changed? 

We definitely need to improve. I mentioned Iwobi but that was more a result of the functional madness at Everton from an owner who not so long ago was “joint owner” of a 29.9% stake in Arsenal. And his co-owner is now a Sanctioned Individual following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

In this, what seems like a surreal situation, we have seen the perception of the Kroenkes alter radically as far as most supporters are concerned. Was the ESL debacle a watershed moment in their ownership or have they just become more ‘savvy’ in their understanding of how football is run?

Don’t forget that two years on, Arsenal are still members / shareholders of the ESL. The “closed” nature of all major US sports means there is no sporting jeopardy or relegation as we call it! The US investors / owners across the board hate this and we fully expect more moves to pull up the drawbridge, ring fence revenues, keep more for the Big Boys, as this is their way. Arsenal is a financial investment for KSE, nothing more, nothing less. 

What do you think the future (next three years) might hold for Arsenal?  Do you envisage a change in ownership? If KSE remain in charge might they adopt a multi-ownership model embraced by other clubs and would you see any changes at the Emirates in terms of capacity? 

You have seen that Josh was recently appointed as co-chair with his father so the power transition might be happening. Josh was born on cup final day in 1980 and his father will be 74 this October. KSE / Stan K has traditionally not been a “seller of assets”, more an acquirer but I am sure they are looking closely at what MUFC might fetch, despite the billion or more of stadium / facilities spend that is needed at that Club. There were initially hopes about how the KSE ownership of the Colorado Rapids in the MLS might positively impact on Arsenal but again there are no signs of this multi-club model being adopted at Arsenal. As for stadium expansion at Arsenal – I just can’t see it for many reasons.

Nigel, we are enormously grateful for your insights. Can I close by asking you as an Arsenal fan what has this season meant to you and whatever happens at this season’s end are you excited for the future?

Having attended my first Arsenal match at Highbury in 1974 I have been lucky enough to have experienced some fantastic times over the last almost 50 years. I am now excited to be sharing this new dawn with my two sons who were too young to know much about the golden decade of Wenger. They have seen the years of high-class mediocrity and many 4th place trophies that led to the toxicity and eventual and inevitable forced removal of Wenger. The atmosphere this season has been brilliant and with such a young squad and a focused intense Arteta, I am really hopeful this upward trajectory leads to something more lasting. Football is precarious and fortunes can turn quickly but hopefully many of the essential on and off field building blocks are being slotted together to create something really special.

52 Drinks to “An Interview with Nigel Phillips, AST Treasurer”

  1. 1
    Ollie says:

    Good point about the scrum in the previous drinks, baff. (and I’ll read this article when I have a little more time, must get busy :-)).

  2. 2
    TTG says:

    Can I extend grateful thanks to Ned for helping me in framing the questions for Nigel. There is so much stuff to digest understanding the environment in which we are operating but my sense is we are too enthralled by events on the field to delve too much into what is happening off it. But the AST do good work in protecting the interests of the fans and being a challenging voice when the management deviates from the best interests of club and fans .

  3. 3
    Countryman100 says:

    An excellent piece and written in a very approachable style with not too much accountancy. I’ve been a member of the AST for years and think they do very good work. Their recent youtube Q&A on ticketing, with the Arsenal ticketing staff, was excellent.

    Thanks for the idea TTG!

  4. 4
    bt8 says:

    Thanks TTG for a readable and insightful discussion. I do say discussion rather than interview because the questions seem no less informed than the answers. I could be wrong of course.

  5. 5
    bt8 says:

    Malaga, the club that gave us Santi and Nacho, on the verge of slipping into the 3era division


    As the article says, a cautionary tale for the big spenders.

  6. 6
    Trev says:

    TTG, Ned, Nigel,
    Many thanks for all the time and effort that has clearly gone into that piece.
    I could be easily put off a piece on this topic, important as it is – it’s not my world and I’m easily lost in the jargon. However, the whole article was interesting and easily digestible. Quite the feat – thanks again !

  7. 7
    North Bank Ned says:

    TTG: Thanks for the h/t @2, but as others say it is an accessible and illuminating interview which is down to you. I have to say I am not encouraged by Nigel Phillips’s gloomy outlook for the club increasing its commercial and sponsorship revenue. It looks like winning the CL is our financial plan A.

  8. 8
    OsakaMatt says:

    Thanks TTG, it was an interesting perspective and a nice piece for the blog👍

    One question if you happen to know….. how can we still owe bond holders money
    After all these years? It was a long time ago and I can’t remember how it all worked.

  9. 9
    North Bank Ned says:

    OM@8: Those bonds don’t mature until 2143.

  10. 10
    TTG says:

    Thankyou , although I thought they matured more around quarter to ten 😃. I am one of those bond holders and what value I’ve had from it. During the peak Wenger years we watched the best football on the planet for a few hundred quid a season .Yet tye outcry when David Dein introduced them was colossal . A sign of the times . I bought mine because it was a way to get a season ticket ( for two years before the North Bank Stand I sat in the West Lower ) and with the Taylor Report and Arsenal’s then success I realised places at Highbury would be at a premium.
    What sort of capacity could we generate now ? I’m fairly certain that we could sell 100,000 tickets every week. See how many disappointed Red members there are

  11. 11
    ClockEndRider says:

    TTG, Ned, Nigel,
    Thanks very much for an interesting piece. While it’s secondary to the game itself in the eyes of the fans, try to running a complex business without finance! On the commercial revenues, that has been a problem at Arsenal for donkeys years. Unfortunately it was one if the areas which was left out to dry by David Dean, for all the good work he did, not least as TTG points out in the bonds in the early 90’s, unpopular as they were.
    The biggest boost to revenues clearly comes from taking part in the CL, a fact which Wenger understood well, even if he was pilloried fio it – “4th place trophy” and all that – by the halfwits in the media and the terraces. Once that money returns, we’ll be in a better position to drive increased commercial revenues through other sponsorships. It’s that way round I’m afraid – on field success begets increased revenues – unless you have an inverted model like the Oilers and Chavs.

  12. 12
    OsakaMatt says:

    Thanks Ned. Now I remember! Fortunately, I didn’t have the grand or so in cash to spare at the time (I’d just bought my first house)…. And then I left the country so would have got almost no value out of it

  13. 13
    TTG says:

    The fanzine movement took against Dein big time over the bond . He was very defensive about them ( especially ‘ An Imperfect Match’) and when I first met him and he found I wrote for the Gooner he was a little uncomfortable.
    At that time with the old patrician board ( ‘ Thankyou for your interest in our affairs ‘) there was a degree of mutual distrust but the Bond project and the subsequent rehousing at our new home ) were generally positive exercises . Dein was at both the sessions where I chose my seat .
    The original fanzines saw themselves as the mouthpiece for largely-ignored supporters but overdid the suspicion about the motives of the management , particularly at Highbury.
    But as CER says in this day and age you will not clinch big commercial deals without the highest level exposure and that means playing in the Champions League .
    Peter Wood hears from the States that Apple are likely to make a huge play for the Premier League TV rights and this could be transformational in terms of the style of marketing and the way in which teams will be able to develop individual rights .

  14. 14
    North Bank Ned says:

    Apple has been slowly building its portfolio of sports rights for Apple TV+ and rumoured before to be interested in buying streaming rights for UK football to augment its MLS rights, for which it paid $2.5 billion for a 10-year deal. It started showing MLS games last month.

    Last week, Bloomberg News reported that the company was considering bidding for Premiership and Football League rights in the UK in the next round. For the EFL, that would be for the 2023-24 season, and for the PL, from the season after (2024-25) once its current three-year $6.3 billion deal for UK domestic rights with Sky, BT Sport and Amazon expires. Many of the PL’s international rights deals, which are territory by territory, expire at the same time, although not NBC’s deal for the US market, which runs until 2027-28.


  15. 15
    OsakaMatt says:

    AW inducted into the PL Hall of Fame so congrats to him as he seemed to be pleased about it. They invited some other bloke too.

  16. 16
    Countryman100 says:

    Ned@14. Another bloody subscription to shell out for!

  17. 17
    TTG says:

    That was the story Peter referenced . It would suggest they will ultimately blow Sky out of the water and you will be able to watch all the footie for a reasonable cost and Ted Lasso for free !

    Meanwhile this is a nice summing up of events at the Toilet Bowl
    In the past three and a half years, Spurs have sacked Pochettino, hired and fired Jose Mourinho, appointed Ryan Mason as interim, hired and fired Nuno Espirito Santo and now hired and fired Conte. They hired a man convicted of false accounting as Director of Football, another convicted of match-fixing, Stellini, and have appointed Stellini on an interim basis to manage the team while someone, not Paratici, looks for a long-term successor. And they’ve won…nuffink
    I’m told Daniel Levy is a very good club chairman

  18. 18
    North Bank Ned says:

    C100@16: Apple is having to struggle by with $99 billion a year in post-tax profit, so your sub will matter to it. 🙂

  19. 19
    OsakaMatt says:

    I honestly don’t know how anyone gets by with less than $100 billion a year these days

  20. 20
    ClockEndRider says:

    Be fair, OM, superyachts don’t buy themselves you know!

  21. 21
    North Bank Ned says:

    TTG@17: The next cycle of UK rights might be one or two too soon for that. My guess is that the PL will continue to split its games shown in the UK (the 380 minus the 180 or so that fall within the Saturday afternoon blackout) between multiple rights holders, using something like the system of dividing the available games into seven packages based on kick-off times with no one bidder allowed to win all seven. Of course, the reason that condition was introduced, EU law, is no longer a constraint in the UK and pre-Covid the PL had been thinking of scrapping it in favour of a private sale to a single broadcaster as it felt it could make more money that way.

    However, the media landscape has changed massively since then. The PL will be looking at a future, not of broadcasting but of live streaming, which will be a world in which it no longer needs broadcasting partners for distribution as it once did. In that world, rights owners can distribute directly, capturing all the revenue (advertising, subscription), adding ancillaries such as a cut of in-game merchandising and betting, and reaching new digital global audiences. UEFA has started down that road, exclusively live-streaming its events, and the PL will have/does have the same in mind for games.

    Leagues will be media businesses, with partners that are global technology and marketing companies, not broadcasters. We are far from there yet for live games, although not for non-live/non-game content, more and more of which is being created and distributed directly by rights owners (and not just in football; the NBA is a leader in this). However, the audience isn’t ready to watch all live PL games via a PL app, and the infrastructure needs to be far more robust.

    Thus, it would be a massive gamble for the PL to turn over live game rights in the next cycle exclusively to a live streamer like Apple, even if it could secure an enormous premium for the monopoly. It is also not in its long-term strategic interest.

    The transition phase will likely be a decreasing number of games broadcast and live-streamed in parallel by legacy broadcasters and an increasing number being exclusively lived-streamed by non-broadcasters such as Apple, Amazon and the PL itself dipping its toe in the waters, with the aim eventually of doing it all itself.

  22. 22
    TTG says:

    Very interesting note . It’s interesting to consider this when we are in a situation where getting match tickets is massively difficult and we could probably sell 200,000 tickets for home games .
    We also have 3pm kick offs with fans desperately seeking a stream to watch live as they aren’t being broadcast . Not sure if this would be allowed for Man U or Liverpool games in a title run-in but the ability for clubs to stream their own games could be very lucrative and meet a real supporter need
    Apple always surprise me with the audacity of their moves but as you say a complete takeover seems unlikely
    I hope Sky don’t completely lose the tv rights because I love Gary Neville . One part of this sentence is untrue !

  23. 23
    Bathgooner says:

    A very interesting dialogue, TTG, with a tinge of cautious optimism for the future of the Arsenal.

    However, the subsequent discussion in the drinks of the future deals for broadcasting/streaming/transmission of games does emphasise the extent to which the money men have taken over the game from the football men and, accepting CER’s observation that one has to generate wealth to sustain any business activity (a few political parties could take note), I do feel that, notwithstanding the youthful promise of our talented team, the soul may be leeching from the game.

  24. 24
    TTG says:

    As I write my friend’s brother-in-law is desperately trying to find a new owner for London Irish which he has owned for years . He is by normal standards a very wealthy man ( think C100) but he is reeling from the huge costs associated with running a professional rugby team. It consumes his every waking moment .
    Now think football and the mutiplication of costs and prices and the scale of a game that is increasingly ( and enjoyably) going global . Money dominates all our considerations . How to cover costs and how to maximise income . When ridiculously wealthy nation states join the party and multi-billionaires like Jim Ratcliff are felt to be too poor to own teams then it is inevitable that something of the game’s character seeps away . Jumpers for goalposts no more – Oil wells more likely .

  25. 25
    North Bank Ned says:

    TTG@22: Whether clubs singularly or leagues collectively should control the rights to games is a huge point of division. In the early days of the PL it made sense for the league to sell the rights to Sky collectively; one for all and all for one at that point in the rebellion, and that is how Murdoch wanted it for simplicity’s sake when he was bankrolling the PL clubs breaking away from the FL though the Sky broadcasting deal.

    The biggest clubs are greedy (Bath might say soulless) and will reckon they now have the brands to make more than they get from the collective sale, which is still weighted in their favour. In the 2021-22 season, champions City got a £153 million payout and last-placed Norwich got £101 million.

    Yet, in these populist political times, all the pressure seems to be on pushing money from the PL down the pyramid. I can’t see OfSoc, or whatever the regulator for football gets called, or the Minister of Jumpers for Goalposts sanctioning an even greater consolidation of wealth among the elite clubs.

    The 3.00 pm kick-off blackout is the consequence of a UEFA rule. Even if clubs or the PL went full streaming, unless UEFA got rid of blackouts, it still wouldn’t make games available in real-time to those without tickets to the ground.

  26. 26
    Gooner_KS says:

    Ladies are through to semis, well done

  27. 27
    Goonersince54 says:

    7 words don’t do the Ladies justice.
    A magnificent performance in front of a record crowd in England for a CL game, against one of the powerhouses of German Ladies football.
    Losing one of our key players in Kim Little after only 12 minutes, we completely outplayed them and deservedly reached the semi finals for the first time in 10 yrs.
    All this achieved without 2 of the major heartbeats of the team in Beth Mead and Viv Miadema who are both out with long term knee injuries.
    Another mountain to climb against Barcelona in the semi final, but on our performance
    tonight, the belief will be sky high.

  28. 28
    Ollie says:

    It’s ‘only’ PSG or Wolfsburg in the semifinal , ‘54.
    Ned, I am a little surprised with this ‘UEFA’ rule, as other countries don’t seem affected by it as far as I know?

  29. 29
    Goonersince54 says:

    My mistake
    I got so excited i mixed up the semi opponents.
    Wolfsburg 1 nil up from first leg, or PSG.

  30. 30
    Gooner_KS says:

    @27 G54, you are right, just wanted to share the great news, been a super busy day for me, still working, quarter past midnight 🙁

  31. 31
    TTG says:

    We are currently without Mead and Miedema, arguably our best attacking players save for Kim Little who looks nastily injured . Our left back Steph Catley is out injured and Katie McCabe who replaced her left the ground on crutches . They have a game with Manchester City on Sunday
    The penalties of success

  32. 32
    OsakaMatt says:

    Congrats to the Arsenal Women indeed! Great effort considering all the injuries and a cracking goal I saw on telly from Maanum.

  33. 33
    OsakaMatt says:

    Time to find out if there’s any bill from the international games……
    Though of course MA does the actual injury update one hour before kick off these days 😃

  34. 34
    North Bank Ned says:

    Ollie@28: see UEFA Article 48.2, implementing regulation Article 3, which governs TV blackouts.

    Each member association may decide on two and a half hours on a Saturday or a
    Sunday during which any Transmission of football may be prohibited within the
    the territory of the relevant member association.

    The French, Italian, German and Spanish leagues choose not observe it, and there has been a European Court of Justice opinion that blackouts do not affect attendance at lower league games, thus, the justification for blackouts has become moot.

    However, the English and Scottish (but not Northern Ireland) leagues still keep blackouts. Brexit means Brexit. 🙂 But I will agree that they could abandon them if they wanted to.


  35. 35
    Las says:

    TTG, Ned, and Nigel thank you!
    A fascinating read, it is always enjoyable looking behind the scenes. Although it is hard to take Arsenal was left behind not just on but off the pitch.

  36. 36
    Las says:

    I just watched the highlight of the last night’s ladies’ game Arsenal vs Bayern in the CL. The girls were awesome. We were in total control and we easily could have won by a far bigger margin. Well done Ladies.

  37. 37
    North Bank Ned says:

    Tony Adams and Sol Cambell are among 15 player candidates for induction into the PL’s Hall of Fame. It is a fan vote. You can vote here for up to three nominees:


  38. 38
    TTG says:

    My friend took his young son to the game last night. They loved the occasion but he pointed out that nine Club level staff stood unemployed while the plebs catering saw huge queues which led to people missing the start of the second half .
    And they got absolutely soaked because the roof leaked ! There’s a lot of upkeep with a modern stadium . But at least we have men and women’s teams that grace it and behind the scenes I sense we know what we are doing much better than some other teams in North London . No names

  39. 39
    Ollie says:

    Cheers, Ned @34. Much clearer now.

  40. 40
    Ollie says:

    And thanks for the HoF link. I have voted for John Terry, Rio Ferdinand and Cashley….no. Had to debate who to vote as third. Went for Yaya Touré in the end.

  41. 41
    OsakaMatt says:

    Thanks Ned @37

  42. 42
    OsakaMatt says:

    Went for Cech as the third one. He’ll always be Chelski but I found him more palatable than Cashley though of course Cashley was much better for us than Cech ever was.
    Defoe, Carrick and Neville are really HoF candidates??

  43. 43
    Ollie says:

    Yeah, Matt, I was very close to going for Cech too, because he was with us after them, but in the end, I went for the one not related in any way to any historical or local rival (Man City don’t count).

  44. 44
    Ollie says:

    One of the deciding factors was also that Cech went back there……

  45. 45
    OsakaMatt says:

    Yes, there was that I thought too Ollie but he was fairly open about it.
    Now that I think of it though I wonder why David Seaman isn’t on the list.

  46. 46
    OsakaMatt says:

    No William at training today so not yet it seems. Another chance for Rob then….
    But TP and KT in training so it seems they are both good to go,

  47. 47
    scruzgooner says:

    ttg, and nigel and ned, well done. it’s just over my head some of the particulars of how a business like this runs (not least because accounting terms are slightly different in the colonies, i think). i think the idea that we make more money via champs league, then we get better deals has always been in place; i can only imagine our sponsers over the last few years have felt hard done by. hopefully we’ll see that change back sooner rather than later, with another extended run in the cl bringing in a second team of top top players creating an upwards cycle that will hopefully be self-sustaining. see tim stillman’s “peeling the onion” article over on arseblog: https://arseblog.com/2023/03/peeling-the-onion/

  48. 48
    bathgooner says:

    I too voted for YaYa Toure alongside the two obvious stoppers.

  49. 49
    Las says:

    Tony and Campbell were the obvious choices but the third one? It was tough. In the end, I went for Yaya. I liked him even in blue.

  50. 50
    Las says:

    It was an easy one 🙂

  51. 51
    Ollie says:

    Las, the vote for the Third Man…or the half-ton? Well in!

  52. 52
    scruzgooner says: