Let me just buy my own hotel!


Let’s do a few Friday bits. In a week dominated by the finances of one big club, David Ornstein reports in The Athletic (£) that the Premier League failed to close a loophole which allows clubs to sell assets in their portfolio to offset losses/financial fair play breaches.

This was in focus because the owners of Chelsea sold two hotels they already owned to themselves which, the report says, ‘was enough to turn a £166.4million loss in 2022-23 into a £89.9million deficit for the club.’

I mean, there’s no sane world where that kind of thing should be allowed, but only 11 of the 20 Premier League clubs voted for it, with some suggestion the wording was too vague for more to commit. Perhaps it has something to do with reports that Chelsea, Newcastle, Aston Villa, Everton, Nottingham Forest and Leicester are all scrambling to sell players before June 30th to avoid possible breaches of PSR (Profit and Sustainability Rules).

But why sell a player when you can take something you already own and sell that instead? Newcastle can sell the naming rights to Aleksandr Isak to the Saudi PIF, and next season he can have Aramco 9 on the back of his shirt!

“Boy, that Aramco, he’s a great player!”

“I preferred his earlier work at Real Sociedad.”

A new league-wide financial system will be on trial next season, according to a Premier League statement. We’ll have to wait and see how it works, and when it doesn’t, Todd Boehly will sponsor his own arsehole via an exclusive #content agreement with Chelsea’s very own in-house pornography website. I’m assuming that’s something that’s in their portfolio. And if it isn’t, it will be.

Also in the Premier League, after Wolves motion to scrap VAR, a vote took place and it was defeated 19-1, but have pledged to …  ‘improve the performance of the technology for the benefit of the game and supporters’. First and foremost will be the introduction of semi-automated offside, a technology that already long exists, but which will only be brought in October. I suppose this is a welcome development, but it feels very PGMOL that a substantial change to the way games are officiated will be brought in during the season rather than at the start.

I look forward to the articles from PGMOL Pete on ESPN explaining how a key moment in a game in September would have been 100% different if it had happened after the new technology was introduced. I’d put some money on us being involved, Wolves will have their concerns about it happening to them, but if there is a God, it’ll be in a Manchester United game where Garnacho is marginally on or offside, I don’t care which, and Erik ten Hag’s beard falls out with rage as he goes on and on and on about it until the end of time.

There will reportedly be ‘better communication’ for fans inside the stadiums with the league ‘hoping’ that replays can be shown. Which is a bit strange. They can show replays of whatever they want, and it’s farcical that fans who pay good money for tickets are left scratching their heads while a worldwide TV audience can see exactly what’s going on and how long it’s taking to come to a decision. There ought to be more than hope.

They have also committed to maintaining the Howard Webb TV show thing, which is the last thing any of us need. You might be for VAR, you might be against VAR, you might be somewhere in the middle, but surely the one thing all right-minded football fans can agree on is that we don’t need any more Howard Webb on our tellies – especially when that also means inflicting more Michael Owen on us at the same time. Come on, the world is a difficult enough place without that.

There’s not a lot happening in the Arsenal world, although I saw a Tweet saying Arsenal would like to sell Reiss Nelson and ‘would’ accept £25m if it was on offer. Yep, that’s where we are folks, so I’ll leave it there for now. There’s a brand new Arsecast for you below, chatting transfers in and out, midfield, and lots more with Charles Watts.



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