Are Arsenal Being Hypocritical Regarding Sokratis and Ozil? by Dan Smith
So, Arsenal have told a player he doesn’t fit into their plans but selling him might be an issue due to his salary. Guess what? I’m not referring to Mesut Ozil.
Sokratis hasn’t started a game post lockdown, which makes his 90,000 pounds a week pay costly. For a few years now the club has been paying Champions League wages to a Europa League squad.
The defender has every right to question how he gets frozen out over the likes of Luiz and Kolasinac, but it’s a case of him simply not fitting into Arteta’s ethos. He’s the kind of defender more suited to defending a lead in the final 10 minutes, getting his head to things, blocking shots, etc. Yet he’s not a fit for a team in possession, he’s not great on the ball and gets his feet muddled up.
The Greek international has to choose between what matters to him more, his bank balance or first team football? While there’s zero guarantee when anyone will be receiving match day revenue more players will be trapped in this kind of situation, holding on to a big contract that they won’t receive elsewhere.
Sokratis could insist on running down his deal but that would mean only the odd cup tie. The 32 year-old and his agent are a step ahead asking for his contract to be cancelled. Having spoken with Napoli, they are honest enough that the majority of suitors wouldn’t be in a position where they could offer both his current income as well as a transfer fee due to his age.
Arsenal, while happy to reduce their wage bill, would of course ideally would want some kind of compensation and they themselves have to make a decision. Having again allowed a player to run down his deal into its final year we don’t really hold many cards in this situation.
Our choices seem to be, rip up the contract and save wages, or not sell unless we receive a fee, forcing someone to stay who your manager has made clear he doesn’t fancy. It’s the equivalent of cutting your nose off to spite your face – for what? A couple of million.
The likes of Roma (also linked) will be well aware of that and in many ways, it now becomes a game of bluff. The buyer feeling that the seller will sell on the cheap, the seller pretending they won’t negotiate unless they get a realistic offer. Yet we sacked 55 staff to save that amount so don’t put anything past the current regime in terms of making Stan Kroenke money.
Imagine being made redundant by your employer then hearing they can afford to reject someone giving them permission to not have to honour an agreement to carry on paying him 90,000 pound a week? Trust me, none of our non-playing staff were earning close to that.
If I was one of those people sacked, I be wondering which one is it? On one hand you’re so poor you cut jobs, but yet rich enough to turn down a chance to save 90 grand a week! It’s contradictory, It’s hypocritical and it’s double standards.
If you’re reading this and your first thought is why should we release a player? The player should honour his contract. He’s an asset and no business gives an asset away for nothing? Then you too are being contradictory.
Arsenal want Ozil’s representatives to make the exact same offer that Sokratis has. If you believe reports, the German has rejected having his contract torn up. Sections of our fanbase have labelled him ‘greedy’, ‘a thief’, etc, for not walking away from 350 000 pound a week. Yet when someone very kindly says don’t worry about giving me the 90-000 pound a week I legally am entitled to, why haven’t we bitten off his hands?
Why do some gooners lambast Ozil for taking home so much money at a time when other departments of the club are cutting jobs, yet turn the other cheek when Arsenal themselves are choosing not to accept a recommendation from Sokratis? The exact same suggestion Ozil is criticised for not going along with. 90,000 a week saves you a lot of cash.
Not many companies who have to ask some workers to take a pay cut and others a redundancy package then reject a chance to save 90,000 grand a week on a resource they don’t even use.
These are all rhetorical questions of course. I know the answer but just want some supporters to open their eyes.
Is Ozil greedy? Yes
But so are Arsenal.
Will Ozil do everything lawfully to maximise how much money he can make for him and his family? Yes
But will Arsenal equally do the same to maximise how much money they make and save for their owner? Yes
Does any player need 350 000 pound a week, is that excessive? Of course
Does a Billionaire Owner really need to save 2 million a year by making people unemployed? Of course not
Could Ozil write off his last year of pay, go and play elsewhere and still earn a decent living where he is more than comfortable? 100 percent
Yet, could Arsenal release Sokratis and help him get a move and still make millions? 100 percent
Is Ozil being loyal to the ‘Arsenal Family’. No, he’s prioritising his own family
Are Arsenal loyal to players? No. If Auba broke his leg and couldn’t play for two years, do you think we would still offer him a pay rise?
Will some question Ozil, yet not query why Arsenal shirts now start from 60 pounds? Yes
I understand why we have not simply made Sokratis a free agent just because we don’t want him. He’s still an investment, someone you will fight to make as much money on as possible. If that wasn’t the case, we wouldn’t have transfers at all.
Football is a business. Take the emotion out of it, the Premiership is one of the UK’s biggest brands. Yet you can’t have it both ways. Arsenal FC led by the Kroenke family will do everything they can to make as much money as possible even if it upsets many. To them, the juice is worth the squeeze. So that stance has to be the same regarding players.
Did Arsenal think of their scouts, receptionists, security, stewards, catering, etc when they made them unemployed? What about their families? Their Children?
Did Arsenal think or care that this is the worst time to be laying people off? No, they were ruthless as most empires are.
So, when someone is doing it to them, it’s a lot of things…. but it’s not poor old Arsenal…