To My Fellow Arsenal Supporters: Don’t Fall For Their Tricks

Since Arsenal Station’s return from summer hiatus, I have tried to avoid commenting on the whole Cesc/Barca soap opera that developed both before and all through the World Cup. However, I can no longer remain silent on this farcical affair. It is clear that there is much more to Barcelona’s actions, intentions, and motivations than simply acquiring Cesc as a player, and that is what I’d like to discuss. I’d like to beg my readers’ forgiveness ahead of time for the length of this post but it has been building up all summer and I’d rather just spew it now than let it drag on and on. Anyway, here we go…

I don’t think many, except delusional Barca fans, would deny that what has been going on since June is a systematic media campaign by Barcelona involving both their front office and players. It is a media campaign that would make any P.R. firm on Madison Avenue proud. To me, it seems that Barcelona has three objectives in mind:

1) They are trying to turn Arsenal supporters against Cesc.

2) They are trying to get Cesc to hand in a transfer request and thereby get him for far less than he’s worth.

3) The new regime is trying to placate their own supporters.

Don’t let #1 happen. Don’t let the machinations of a club with no integrity or self-respect turn us against our captain, the player they more than willingly let go and whom we have been supporting unfailingly since he was 16 years old. Now, I realize that Cesc has not come out in the media to make his usual statements, or at least not for some time. One can only imagine how confusing this all must be to Cesc himself.

Like everyone else, I wish he had just stated his desire to remain at the club right off the bat. That didn’t happen. And no one can fault him for considering his options. However, his delay now appears to be the prudent thing to have done as the situation at Barcelona has become clearer in the past few weeks.

Both Barcelona’s management and players know the supporter’s attachment to Cesc and his attachment to us. It is a special relationship borne by supporting a young player and watching that support pay off as he turns into one of the world’s best players. This is evidenced by recent quotes from Iniesta. A key to getting Cesc to leave Arsenal without consideration is to destroy the relationship between the player and supporters.

On one side, there is the club and fans who have been nothing but loyal and honest with him. On the other side, is his boyhood club, to which he’d eventually like to return, whose players are constantly saying how much they want him, but the real noise from the club is that they “won’t go crazy” to sign him. And, now, to further complicate matters for Cesc, the club’s very bleak financial situation has come to light.

Back when the shirt didn't have to be forced on him.

Apparently, the Barca players want Cesc more than the club does. If I was Cesc, I would be insulted at Barcelona’s pitiful valuation of him, especially considering they spent more than that on David Villa despite having already spent even more than that to bring in Ibrahimovic the previous summer. What does all this mean?

It means they are hoping for #2. The media campaign is also aimed at getting Cesc to turn in a transfer request so the club would be forced to sell him for whatever Barcelona offers. There is no doubt that many in Spain are dumbfounded that he has not done this yet.

Luckily for us, however, Cesc seems to have stalled when it comes to this option. I imagine that Wenger told Cesc that it is one thing to move from the club, but it is another thing to leave in a manner which means the club, which turned him into the footballer he is today, is not fully compensated. It appears that Cesc wants to move but he does not want Arsenal to get shortchanged in the process.

More funnily, Barcelona claims that “Arsenal won’t negotiate.” But who can blame them? Here we have a club that has not yet finished paying for previous transfers from Arsenal and whose financial woes are all over the papers and internet. The main fact that dominates this entire campaign by Barcelona for Cesc is this:

Barcelona neither need nor are able to afford Cesc Fabregas.

That is it. That is what it comes down to. Obviously, the World Cup had given Cesc a bit of pause as he sat on the bench behind Barca’s midfield. Then, as soon as the World Cup is over, it is revealed that Barcelona lost £64m last season, are carrying a debt bigger than Arsenal, and were forced to take a loan of €155m just to pay their players and staff last month. (See Tony Atwood’s fantastic post on Barcelona, and other club’s, precarious situation).

Transfer fees are not paid up front, but over a period of time in installments, usually. With Barcelona already in the red, and them continuing to sign big-money transfers on big-money wages, their financial situation is not likely to improve any time soon without some kind of fire sale. Why wouldn’t Arsenal be wary of making a big-money transfer with a club who doesn’t look likely to be able to pay it?

Barcelona is not some footballing monolith, as they would have the world believe. It wasn’t very long ago when Barcelona had gone twice as long without a trophy as Arsenal have now. And that was when the club wasn’t in the precarious financial state they now find themselves in and which could cause them to repeat such a run. Because no matter all the talk about Barca’s youth system, they have always spent big money bringing in big players.

And all this above is only focusing on the media campaign and not the questionable legality of Barca’s behind-the-scenes tapping-up. Multiple sources have confirmed that Barcelona has contacted Cesc without Arsenal’s approval. That much is obvious. That FIFA knows something is wrong was evidenced last week when carried a story with quotes about Cesc from Barcelona players only to pull it from the website a few hours later when their error (complicity?) was pointed out to them.

The most disappointing part of the whole thing is that after last summer, Cesc came back as captain with a seemingly renewed sense of dedication to the club and the cause. However, quite justifiably, the disappointing tie with Barcelona and subsequent finish to the league season, likely caused a bit of reflection. Then comes the Barcelona media barrage and probably non-stop “harassment” during the World Cup only to further exacerbate the situation.

Also, don’t let the Barcelona management fool you, the new regime knew exactly where the club was financially when they took over. It doesn’t take financial geniuses to see the club is spending far more than it makes. Certainly, they hoped their financial situation would remain hidden so as not to reveal their motives for making Cesc hand in a transfer request.

Barca completely expected to end this media campaign with the upper hand. Instead, they have insulted and alienated Arsenal, shown their true character and undervaluation of the player, and also had their financial difficulties made public partly as a result. Their entire plan has backfired and their final hope rests on turning us, the supporters, against the player in order to make it easier for him to force the club to let him go on the cheap.

Nevertheless, if Cesc really was determined to go to Barcelona this summer, he could have handed in the transfer request or told Arsene to make the deal. This does not appear to be the case and so, just as we urge the club not to be swayed or affected by the ramblings of the self-important Catalonians, neither should we, the supporters. It is, after all, like Arsene said, “just noise.”

58 Responses

  1. nice summary. i have been attempting to argue many similar points during the summer, with little luck. most that i speak with feel that cesc’s silence on the matter means he really wants to leave. i completely disagree with that premise and actually think he continues to struggle with the decision. i do suspect that if there were no external factors to consider (transfer fee, public perception, etc), he would prefer a transfer to barcelona – but only under terms that are acceptable to all parties. that sounds very similar to the basis of your article. thanks again for articulating this in a more concise and coherent fashion than i can do.

  2. best piece ive read all summer,,,,their is just 1 thing that is in annoying me,,,,wenger said cesc needs rest,,for god sake he played just about 90min of spains whole world cup and was sitting at home since the game against those bastards,,,he doesnt need rest he needs games and i think anfield is just the place for cesc to drive us forward once again,not long to go now,,weve got cesc fabregas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Don’t forget though mate, it’s not just playing time, it’s training, travelling, I do think players time to rest, holiday etc, so they are fully fresh to last for the full duration of next season.

    • I agree with you, irish gooner. Fabregas was most of the time being benched during the WC. Just how about it that he was “needing rest”?! Sometimes the statements coming from AWenger have to be taken not on the surface!

  3. Absolutely spot on!

    Thank-you for speaking my mind, especially with the “turning the fans against Cesc” which unfortunately seems to be working all too well. And @ Irish Gooner; I too have been concerned with the “Cesc needs rest” line. Does he my Arsenal!

  4. He hates it at arsenal, dont be sup prized if he dont put in a transfer request

  5. Good piece, but don’t forget the part that is still being played by the spud media in England. They have gone out of their way to report the ‘facts’ with a clear Barca slant.

    • True dat John!

      The daily spud (Mirror) and Mail are oh soooo quick to rehash all the catalan media propoganda aint they?


    • After the way the whole soap opera has played out in England, I can’t say I’m surprised. It is the same media that then calls Arsenal supporters as “paranoid” when we suggest that there is an obvious bias against the club by the media. The Leo Spall article in that rag The Mail about Eduardo is a perfect example. The Eduardo-Celtic incident an even better example. But none rival the treatment of Arsenal following the injuries of Eduardo and Ramsey.

      I also saw a piece by Martin Lipton the other day where he rated the “top clubs” in England on things like money, stadium, etc…. One of his categories was “Fan Loyalty” and he ranked us last behind United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Spurs, and City. Arsenal are the most blogged about sports team in the world with a worldwide fanbase of millions despite not having won anything for some time. Before the Arabs took over, City averaged almost 10,000 empty seats per match…

      • The condemnation of Eduardo, after the celtic game was pathetic. The constant repeating of his “dive” as if no others have ever “won” a penalty was disgusting and almost as bad as the aftermath of his horrendous injury.

        martin Lipton rating Gooners as worst for loyalty is hardly surprising given the fact he is a spud! ManU fans aint buying up the season tickets in the amounts of previous seasons, the chavs regularly play to a half empty stadium and the spuds are notoriously fickle. Wait till they are calling for dodgy Arry’s ‘ead some time this season.

        • The kicker was when Rooney then did the EXACT same thing to us a few weeks later and was praised. NO ONE can tell me that there is not a real bias in much of the English media against Arsenal, Arsene, and the players.

          • Then there’s Gerard’s constant diving that gets conveniently overlooked too!

            I bet the majority of the English media are gutted Cesc hasnt gone to barca, i bet they are livid! They probably have already written all their hand wringing fake sincere pieces about how Arsenal cant compete, are a selling club and are soon for the dust bin of footballing history….

            Boo Hoo!

  6. The fans “turning on Cesc” is an entirely media driven nonsense. Expect to see the usual halfwits and hypocrites of the Murdoch empire and Talkshite radio completely ignoring the truth and talking about how fans booed/were derogatory about Cesc during the Emirates Cup. It will be self serving lies from talentless morons whose acquaintance with the truth is only ever tangential at best. Still they won’t let the truth get in the way of sellng their shite.
    Arsenal fans are now used to the media lies and conspiracy. They won’t break us.

  7. And the moron spud supporters like aicher, who are totally incapable of stringing a sentence together.

  8. I propose that Arsenal fans World wide post letters once a week for the next four weeks to UEFA & FIFA complaining about Barcelona FC’s ‘tapping up’ of Cesc Fabregas. Also post a letter just once to Arsenal FC requesting that they formally complain to UEFA & FIFA. I have drawn up 3 template letters that I will email to willing participants. All you need to do is type in your own Name & Address before printing off & posting. Momentum will be boosted by you forwarding the email to every one of your Arsenal FC fan family & friends, encouraging them to participate.
    The aim of repetitive letters is to create an Admin headache for UEFA & FIFA with thousands of letters received from all over the world & display the strength of feeling from Arsenal FC fans. The purpose of the single letter to Arsenal FC is again to display the strength of feeling from us fans.
    My email address for this campaign from where I will email you the letter templates is ……..

  9. Good post. Agree on all points. F Barca and their underhanded tactics. Disgraceful lot.

    Back to bed now Aicher.

  10. Aicher,
    Let me make an introduction for you. Aicher, this is a grammatically correct sentence. Grammatically correct sentence, meet Aicher.
    There. I hope you hit it off despite the fact you’ve clearly never met before.

  11. Good piece of writing there mate.

    I agree with you. I feel cesc was probably tapped up from when he got the injury and went back to Spain to recuperate.

    Barca are shameless and classless and potless!

    I always felt Cesc would stay, at least for one more season and his silence, although not ideal, is a far better option than him bleating to the media about how he wants to go.

    Barca have treated him shabbily as they have done to the club and their attempts to try and turn us Gooners against him is vile, but not surprising given their ntrack record.

    As for Cesc needing rest, that is understandable, just because he didnt start games, he would have needed to be ready to play, therrefore, training every day like the rest of the squad.

    But we wont need him to beat the scousers anyways!

  12. Good article. Nice to see the fight back against the catalan tap up merchants and the media is starting to gather pace. Daily reminders of how SKINT barca are will not come from The Mighty Arsenal, the Club is too classy for that, but bottom line is barca are bankrupt and so is their country. OOOH TO BE A GOONER EIE.I aint as classy as The Mighty Arsenal;so I will do the daily reminders.

  13. Great article bud,has anyone read the bullshit article about cesc04 on the website legendaire,what a wanker

    • I can’t say that I “read” it because there was nothing to read besides a hit-seeking title and a bullshit rumor based on nothing.

      “NOTE: For all those who ask of my source, wait a day or two before the press report as much.”

      Fucking tool.

      • Completely right. His “source” was every Catalan paper, whose source is backhanders from Barca-loan-a so that they’ll contribute to the tapping-up/unsettling Cesc parade.

        I’ve seen a number of hit-whoring headlines from Legendaire before, it’s a rag that le Grove would approve of.

        • Legendaire is like the love-spawn of Le Grove and Arsenal Action (when Sinbad is writing it). He actually had one of the top 20 posts on all of WordPress with that garbage.

  14. A fantastic article!
    You have brilliantly highlighted the focus of that club and make it so easy to read!

    Fair play ArsenalStation!

    • Thank you very much, Matt. I really appreciate that. Obviously I don’t do this for money and its the chance to engage in a dialogue with the readers as well as comments like yours that make it worth the effort.

  15. **(when I say Barcelona, I mean the city, his family not the epitomy of classlessness that is Barcelona FC )**

    Excellent piece but I believe Cesc’s head was turned when he got injured in the 1st leg against Barca. He then spent the rest of the season at home (with his family in Barcelona) and that’s where that Man Utd ‘REJECT’ Pique got his little classless rat hole yapping in Cesc’s ear. The months he spent at home made him realise he missed spending time with his family (as we all do when we go home after prolonged time away).

    I don’t think he wants to leave us as much as he likes the “idea” of returning to Barcelona and everything that incorporates.

    Should we sell him? If he wants to leave then Yes but only at the right price which given he has 5 years left on his contract, is 23 and Captain of our club is substantially more than the derisory offer those Muppets offered and are willing to pay.

    You have to wonder how ‘they’ tricked a great cause like UNICEF into letting them tarnish their image by associating themselves with ‘them’
    Seems Barcelona have an ability to pull the wool over more than just fans and journalists eyes.

    “Menos que un club”

  16. I have no doubt Legendaire is right but to make out he’s pulled off some sort of ‘scoop’ makes him look stupid.
    Cesc will almost certainly leave – it’s seems obvious to me that he has been promised a move in one years time, with all the financial benefits like ‘loyalty bonuses’ (what a joke) to stop him handing in a transfer request now. He has no doubt agreed to this because it benefits him financially. It’s identical situation to the Ronaldo saga. When Barca have to stump up the cash next summer, like Real Madrid did, they will.
    Cesc’s ambition far outweighs Wengers. Only a great season might & it’s a longshot, but it might make him change his mind.
    However without a GK who can catch a ball and a defence as thin on the ground as any in the EPL that great season is no doubt a pipe dream.
    Just what is Wenger playing at???

    • It seems obvious to you? Based on what exactly?

      You have nothing to go on, other than your opinion. In other words; NOTHING!

      Stop talking like you are acquainted with the situation. You have read some tabloid headlines, thats it. I have seen the stories about a deal being dome for next season (on tribalfootball, or some other crap site like that)

      You are chatting shit, thats just my opinion.

    • You have no doubt Legendaire is right? Based on what? Their long-standing history of factual reporting? Or maybe you just believe anything you see in print?

      Barca don’t have the cash to “Stump up”, and they will likely have less next summer. That’s not an opinion, it’s based on financial facts. Additionally, there is absolutely no evidence that Barca has anything agreed with Cesc such as a pre-sale agreement or whatever. It comes down to a choice you make as an Arsenal supporter: You believe in Arsenal or you believe what Barca and the Anti-Arsenal Arsenal blogs feed you. I choose the former. It’s now that we need to cheer Cesc more than ever. Don’t let him down.

      • Motherfucking spot on! 😉

        Cesc has never said he wanted to leave. Though everyone claims that he told Wenger so. But no one knows what Cesc said to Arsene or vice versa but them two. Anyone who says that is merely spouting an opinion and nothing based on fact.

  17. One other point which I have not seen mentioned. Of all the teams in the Champs League- Barca know that the improving Arsenal are the biggest threat over the next few years and they think particularly so with Cesc at the helm. I expect they believe a Cescless Arsenal would be easier to cope with- especially if the talisman was in their team. I wonder if Cesc realises this is the big factor behind the ploy. If he does- his reaction could be more interesting than we think!

  18. Very well thought points, succinctly put.

    I do fear however a small contingent of Arsenal fans who will direct their frustrations concerning the lack of silverware by deriding and going after Cesc. It won’t really be surprising given that there is a group of buffoons that are going to dress up in black garb and insult the greatest manager we have had. Idiots.

  19. Oh give it a rest jaygooner. You write the same shite on all the blogs. ‘The Mighty Arsenal’ followed by ‘Oh to be a gooner’. Shut the fcuk up mate.

  20. Wenger told fab he can leave next season!! When he leaves!!! If he really wanted cesc to stay he would of bought loads of top players and made cesc happy!! Make he’s stay at arsenal woth it!! He aint won ANYTHING!!! And he’s been here since 16!!! I’d leave as well fab aint like the wengwr knows best brigade!! He’s more streetwise so he can spot a trickster that can sell a dream!! Sell potential!! then blame the fans!! For his mistakes that ALL fans could see, including nearly all the pundits, all our legends!! Except for this stupid brigade!!

    • “… blame the fans”? I can’t think of any moment in Wenger’s 13+ years when he has ever done that.

      You jerk.

      • Mystic – “… blame the fans”? I can’t think of any moment in Wenger’s 13+ years when he has ever done that.
        That’s odd – I can’ t think of any moment when Wenger’s blamed HIMSELF, for that matter !
        ” In Arsene we rust “.

    • How’s this hnic, why don’t you f*ck off to BarceLoan-a now and beat the rush “When he leaves!!” You won’t be missed. Reactionary moron.

  21. To be honest my 2nd team has always been Barca and when over there years back I bought a shirt. What really p*sses me off at the moment is that the more the sh*t flows through the sewe of Catalonia the less I think I will ever wear their shirt again.

    Forget about the disgraceful antics of Barca , the disrespect steming from Uefa / Fifa. The desperation & media compliance to see Cesc marginalised by the Arsenal fans and to engineer a move to the camp nou is an extraordinary biased stance that forments a smell of corruption within the game.

  22. Manure can rest players because they are up against one of the promoted sides,we simply cant we are at ANFIELD for fucks sake,Wenger is really pissing me of ,if we go there without Cesc,Van Perise etc we are gonna get a hammering.

    • Wenger said they MIGHT NOT be ready. They have about 10 dats to be up for the game and dependent on their fitness levels when they return, they could still feature, so, stop going all mental.

      • True. They will be back on August 5 and it is possible they could be ready. Wenger said it depends on if they kept up fitness during their holiday. That seems unlikely.

  23. […] on my travels to day i came across THIS and i have to say its a very nice rational piece on Cesc and it what i imagine how a level headed […]

  24. I’m sorry but I’ve had enough of the entire saga. I’ve always loved the bloke since I saw him make his debut as a sub in a carling cup game against Rotherham (I think).
    His silence while all his Barca pals have continuously disrespected our club speaks volumes to me. He hasn’t pledged his future to us at all which tells me he wants to go, but doesn’t want to upset things in case he has to stay because we won’t sell. I’m disgusted with Barca and their players, but if it’s not them it’s Real Madrid poaching our players. I don’t want him to stay unless he truly wants to. If he really wants to go then sell him and let’s support the players who want to play for our club.

    • ‘Pledging his future’ means nothing today. Players profess their love and kiss the badge and then suddenly are off. Actually, I think Cesc has handled the situation admirably, basically by not responding he has not even dignified Barcelonas advances. He even handled the Barca shirt incident with class. Everyone just needs to calm down. He plays for us. Period. Now all us supporters must do our job and really create an intimidating atmosphere at the Emirates. Our boys deserve that.

  25. […] To My Fellow Arsenal Supporters: Don’t Fall For Their Tricks Since Arsenal Station’s return from summer hiatus, I have tried to avoid commenting on the whole Cesc/Barca soap […] […]

  26. I like it….uh uh I like it!!!

  27. Excellent,articulate and bloody well said.

  28. I just want to point out that it is the spanish media that created this story as much as it was Barcelona. They were the ones constantly asking EVERY player about Cesc in EVERY interview during and after the World Cup.

    I think the reason the spanish media have made this such a big story comes down to the whole Premier League/La Liga rivalry. Spanish journalists like Balague have an inferiority complex about their league and the way they reported the Ronaldo and Cesc stories shows this. For them it was about La Liga getting the best players from the English League.

    When you add the fact that Cesc is catalan/spanish this makes it about the pride of Barcelona and spanish football. All the articles have been about the idea that he wants to go. A top premier league team’s best player wants to play in Spain. This affirms the superiority of La Liga and so makes a good read for spanish fans.

    The English media don’t really care, they just like a good transfer saga, especially when there’s nothing to write about. Luckily for them it was handed on a plate by the Spanish football media.

    With any luck, now they have won a World Cup they will stop feeling so insecure. Maybe they’ll even admit that England has by far the more interesting and stronger league.

    • Lady Arse, your point is well taken and I certainly do not believe the Spanish media has been guilt-free in this whole saga. But I think that also Barcelona and its players have taken advantage of the easily-anticipated behavior of the Spanish press.

      I also think you are spot on about the story carrying undertones of Spanish footballing superiority. Even more media weight is put on Barca (and Madrid) because they are the only two teams in the league capable of winning.

  29. “I know is that within our team we have a great hunger for success,We have great solidarity and team spirit. We are a team who has grown up together and wants to achieve things. We have not won anything yet together and that makes us hungry for success.” January 7, 2010
    Could have been just as valid three years ago.Only thing different is that he left out the “I believe” bit.
    “In Arsene we rust”.

  30. Spot on. This is how Spanish tactics always work. They will not confront anyone direct but will ensure their demands are passed on thru third parties. They will repeat it so much that everyone ends up beleiving the issues are ‘fait acomplit’. When observes closely this whole drama did not appear to start from Barca themselves. It came from the Spanish newsmedia,friends, family and even nonBarca players. Then came the British media repeating Spanish newspapers(has anyone checked who are the shareholders of some UK papers?)Overall a well orchestrated campaign and I know! F.Morro. Gibraltar

  31. thanks nice..

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