Arsenal

News, commentary, tickets, pre and post match reaction alongside opinion about Arsenal FC.

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International Champions Cup Cancelled

This summer’s International Champions Cup was supposed to include an El Clasico match between La Liga rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona. But unfortunately, due to the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak in the United States, not aonluy this event, but all international soccer games in USA in 2020 have been cancelled.

Without the lucrative preseason tournament, Real Madrid and Barcelona are expected up lose around €15M in revenue. That is a huge hit for clubs that are all facing the financial implications of the Coronavirus which has halted football across Europe, forcing clubs to lay off non-playing staff and asking players to take hefty pay cuts. Barcelona players for example, took a 70% pay cut.

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Philippe Coutinho Wants To Return To Premier League Says Agent

Philippe Coutinho “would love a return to the Premier League” one day, but his agent insists everything remains a possibility when it comes to the future of the Brazil midfielder.

Coutinho is currently on loan at Bayern Munich from Barcelona, although the German club are not expected to make the deal permanent despite him contributing nine goals in 32 matches prior to the suspension of the Bundesliga due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The 27-year-old is relaxed about his future and has already attracted interest from the Premier League as his loan nears its end, with Chelsea, Everton and Arsenal among the clubs interested in the former Liverpool star.

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Sports Lawyer Throws Cold Water On FIFA Plan

A leading sports lawyer says out-of-contract players in England can ignore FIFA proposals and leave their clubs at the end of June, even if the season has not resumed.

Nick De Marco QC, who has represented sports governing bodies, players, clubs and agents since 2002, says players will be entitled to “walk away” from clubs if their contracts expire on June 30.

Earlier this week, FIFA proposed that contracts are “extended until such time that the season does actually end”, and asked for the same principle to be applied to contracts due to begin when the new season starts.

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Premier League Face 1B Loss If Season Does Not Restart

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Premier League chief executive Richard Masters warned of a potential £1billion loss due the coronavirus pandemic if the season is not resumed.

“We face a £1billion loss, at least, if we fail to complete season 2019-20, and further losses going forward if the seriousness of the pandemic deepens and extends into the future.”

Masters argued it was the right of Premier League clubs, such as Tottenham, Newcastle, Norwich and Bournemouth, to utilize furloughing in the circumstances, having seen Liverpool reverse their decision following widespread criticism.

Masters added:

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FIFA About To Get Sued As They Unilaterally Extend Player Contracts

FIFA have announced contracts will be extended and transfer windows shift in line with the changing fixture list after the COVID-19 crisis. A decison that is sure to be met with lawsuits as FIFA does not have the power to unilaterally extend player contracts.

Nobody knows when the current season will resume, or even if it will resume, so FIFA have taken the step of guaranteeing some elements that were up for debate.

Specifically, that allows player contracts to be extended beyond June 30 to the natural end of the season, and moves the transfer windows to an appropriate time for the clubs and players in this new reality.

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Premier League On Indefinite Hiatus

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The Premier League has announced that the 2019-20 season ‘will only return when it is safe and appropriate to do so’.

The English top flight had initially hoped to resume on April 30 at the earliest, but that is no longer realistic due to the coronavirus pandemic not yet peaking in the UK.

This afternoon, it announced in a statement that the campaign had been placed on hiatus until ‘it is safe and appropriate’ to start up again.

It was acknowledged that the Premier League will not resume at the beginning of May – and that the 2019/20 season will only return when it is safe and appropriate to do so.

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Premier League Making Decisions Based On Money Not Logic

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In as selfish a move as an organization has made in recent times, the Premier League is willing to risk the health of their players, staff and fans in a attempt to avoid TV contract rebates of up to £762 MILLION.

The Premier League are reportedly working on aa plan to restart the season behind closed doors on the first weekend of May with a scheduled finish date of Sunday July 12.

The proposals, which will be discussed in detail on a conference call of the 20 clubs on Friday, would need to be approved by the Government, public health bodies and the PFA.

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Liverpool Has Most Valuable Squad In Europe

Liverpool World Champions

The research group CIES Football Observatory have just released its most valuable squads in the transfer market from Europe’s top-five leagues, and it is the current European and World Champions who now sit top the pile.

The Liverpool squad is now worth a whopping €1.4 billion (£1.27 billion), which puts them ahead of every other club on the continent. Second is Premier League rival Manchester City at €1.36b.

Spanish giants Barcelona (€1.17b) and Real Madrid (€1.1b) are third and fourth respectively, with Chelsea shockingly in fifth place (€1.08b) despite having been banned from signing players in last summer’s transfer window.

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Arsenal Manager Tests Positive For Coronavirus

Arteta Arsenal

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has tested positive for coronavirus and the club’s game against Brighton on Saturday has been postponed.

The Gunners have closed their training ground and club staff who had recent contact with Arteta will now self-isolate. The Premier League will hold “an emergency club meeting” on Friday to discuss future fixtures.

“This is really disappointing,” said Arteta. “I took the test after feeling poorly. I will be at work as soon as I’m allowed.”

Arsenal expects a “significant number of people” will self-isolate, including the “full first-team squad”.

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Arsenal Need To Sell Before They Buy

Arsenal Emirates Stadium

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta admits difficult decisions will have to be made this summer in the transfer market.

The north London club saw their best route back to the Champions League closed on Thursday night when they exited the Europa League after a shock defeat to Olympiacos.

And then just 24 hours later Arsenal announced a loss after tax for 2018-19 of £27.1 million. It was the club’s first overall loss since 2002.

“Our player trading profit for this financial year was limited and this combined with a second consecutive season of Europa League football,” commented chairman Sir Chips Keswick.