Posted on Sunday, 26th August 2012 by Rob Fisher
Alex Song’s recent departure to the mighty Barcelona has been widely seen by many as a large dose of good riddance to selfish rubbish. Yet the truth surely lies in the muddy waters somewhere in between the rebuttals of the Song camp and bullish ‘leakings’ of the Arsenal camp.
Neither side have covered themselves in glory over this.
What is surprising is that unlike previous departures from Arsenal, the club has never previously felt the need to ‘brief’ against an ex-player.
Yet here we have the deeply unsavoury spectacle of a club seemingly intent on putting the boot in to an ex-player. And the question has to be: why?
If we take what is coming out of the Song corner at face value, then it would seem that numerous requests were made to renegotiate Song’s contract. We are told that Song was committed to the club. We are told that even after Barca made a formal offer, there was still a desire to sit down and talk about a new contract. And we are also told that the formal response was a) that he still had three years to go (with the
suggestion of: why should we?) and b) it would happen after the transfer window closed (with the suggestion: when we have you over a barrel).
There is something very odd, then, about Song now belonging to the Catalan’s rather than to us, and the uncivil sniping that has resulted since the move was confirmed.
To those who say Song moved because of money, I just don’t buy it. £55-70k, once you take tax into considerations, isn’t that big a deal. And if my boss turns round and tells me he won’t talk to me over a new contract until my opportunity to leave has passed – then by anyone’s standard, that’s dirty tricks.
Song, just like Robin van Persie, had a stand-out season last year.
The request for a new contract was entirely reasonable in light of his performances and if an extra 15k-a-week means we tie him down for another fours years – that seems an absolute no-brainer. Yet he left.
And you can’t help but wonder whether the managements ‘little league’, penny-pinching mentality kicked in. Yet again, we lost another rising star in Arsenal’s firmament over money.
Neil Diamond knew a thing or two – ‘Song sung blue, Everybody knows one, Song sung blue, Every garden grows one’.
Even Arsenal. We grow them at The Emirates. But we don’t have the big
time mentality to keep them at The Emirates. And it’s us, the fans, who are left whistling the blues.
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