Edu and Joorabchian – Can Arsenal fans see a conflict of interest?

Conflict Of Interest? By Dan Smith

It’s safe to say that if Arsene Wenger was still in charge we wouldn’t have made some of the signings we have in the last couple of years. The Frenchmen refused to work closely with the likes of Kia Joorabchian. That’s not me saying he was right or wrong either way, but the greatest manager in our history was stubborn about using agents to find him players.

While his principles were noble you sometimes have to move with the times or be left behind.

Last summer, having done a similar job in Brazil, Edu was appointed Arsenal’s technical director. It was in Brazil that a professional relationship with Joorabchian grew into a friendship.

Our former midfielder doesn’t really have a boss to answer too. He’s trusted to do what he did so well with Corinthians. If he has certain networks he wants to utilise, then that’s his prerogative. It’s not like Stan Kroenke will be appraising who he sales and buys. I bet out our owner couldn’t name 10 members of the squad.

I don’t dispute that a former Invincible’s heart is in the right place. Yet the healthiest lifestyle is where you can keep things separate. Your work is your work, your mates are people you see in your spare time. So, by working so closely with someone you are close to, there can be a conflict of interest even if both parties don’t realise.

Edu knows that any transfer involves throwing a couple of million in the direction of an agent so it’s just as well you help out someone you know instead of a stranger?

Kia meanwhile can use his impressive list of clients and use his new connections in North London to get his clients a pay day as he will know what the criteria at the Emirates is. For example, what the budget is, what salary they are likely to pay, etc.

Last week he did an interview with Talksport describing the previous regime as: “Everyone else has made £80million, £60million, £50million transfers and people forget about the previous guy Sven. He made a bunch of, I don’t like to use the word, but c***-ups with players that he brought in at very large numbers.’

This follows on from a few months ago describing us as a ‘shambles’ behind the scenes but ‘WE’ are now building a proper structure. What did he mean by WE? To clarify, this man is not an employee of Arsenal FC, yet he feels he can publicly discuss business I assume our club would like to keep confidential.
He either thinks he’s more important than he is, or off the record he is a big part of our recruitment strategy?

Let’s be honest if he were the person responsible for say getting Coutinho to sign on the dotted line then fans wouldn’t be skeptical.

For 9 million we can loan a midfielder who will make us better, but yet again we lack the aggression or ambition to do it. If he were the man making the deal happen then everyone wins. Instead we are getting his misfits. We seem to be doing him a favour not the other way round.

Did we need him to point out who Willian is? Could he have given us any information on David Luiz that Arteta wouldn’t have known? Anyone who’s heard our manager speak will know he’s more than capable of negotiating with a talent.

The only deal we maybe wouldn’t have thought of ourselves is about giving Cedric a three-year contract and there’s a reason for that.

I’m not saying he influenced David Luiz getting an extension, but it does feel at the moment he’s done very well for his clients (and therefore his bank balance) but not his buddy Edu or Arsenal.

Is this conflict of interest helping Arsenal? I’m not so sure…

Dan Smith


  1. Trying to find some arguments in here. Seems to be a) he uses “we” when discussing Arsenal (just as all fans do), b) we don’t owe him for the signngs we made because they were obvious, and c) deals have benefitted him and his clients more than Arsenal.

    Luiz took a paycut for his last extension, Willian too (£100k-120k p/w, depending on which report you believe), Cedric is on £65k. Grand total in terms of transfer fees = £8m.

    The idea that Kia is determining transfer policy is based on spurious speculation. Too many fans believing too readily what they read in the media. Wait for evidence then cast judgement.

    1. Just cause it’s 8 million don’t mean you just waste it ?
      If that’s Arsenal stage , why ask for salary cuts and sack 55 staff
      You save 2 million to waste 8 ?.( Well not 8 I rate Willian)

      1. There you go Dan. You can debate whether the money was well spent or not, but to infer that this is due to an agent-led transfer policy is pure speculation by you (and many others).

        1. Never said it was factual
          Just a bit of a coincidence the moment Edu takes charge we end up with 3 players who’s are represented by Edu’ s friend
          My opinion

  2. I think the reason he said ‘WE’ is because he’s an arsenal fan, and I believe is Arteta doesn’t needs a player, then I don’t see us getting the player, Arteta wanted willian as he said he’s been watching him closely for months, he wanted Cedric too because he’s good to cover the RB and he came on a free transfer.

    1. Yes he is an Arsenal fan which you hope means to some level means he is seeing both sides of the situation. But his first responsibility is to his client because he is the one who pays him through negotiating contracts etc. which to me means there is a conflict of interest I did read that KJ has a huge network behind the scenes but I ’d rather Arsenal were more independent. It’s not a case of using or not using him but an entire recruitment strategy can’t be in the hands of an individual agent alone. What do I know about how this type of business works? To quote Paul Daniels – ‘not a lot’

      1. Yes, but I think Edu and Arteta first responsibility too is to get Arsenal back to where we belong, Kia isn’t the agent of Partey, or Gabriel, he might be using Arsenal to make other teams come for his agents, but one thing I know is Arteta and Edu should have the best interest of the club at heart, if Kia has a player that they think can move is forward in the right direction then I don’t see anything wrong in that, The technical team knows what they want and how they want to strengthen the team. Anything other than putting the clubs interest first in everything, then any guilty party should be shown the way out of the club

        1. As long as the tail is not wagging the dog, I have no problem with Edu having normal business relations with a number of agents.As long as Edu and Arteta are not influenced by the Agent in terms of their assessment of the player under review a problem does not arise.As to this transfer window, the lack of activity in unloading certain of our mediocre centre backs concerns me, because there is no point in bringing in yet another CB until there are spare seats at the table.Our priorities should be to bring in a quality DM and an athletic BtoB/AM but realistically the likes of Partey and Aouar are as a combination , are out with our price range.

  3. Arsenal needs to put the right people in the structure.Cos right now these funds need to be used well so Edu has to stamp the facts to these super agents.Liverpool has done this before without much money used.Arsenal must correct its model

    1. Liverpool & Man Utd have paid the most in agent fees over the last 3 years, so the PL champions also use these type of agents, most of the top players use a super agent, that’s just the way it is, I personally don’t agree with it, we also use Artur Canales who was Emery’s agent as well as Martenelli’s I believe so despite us Arsenal fans not liking this situation we are not alone as a club doing & using these type of agents, it’s just we are not used to it as a fab base, no Liverpool fans complained when VVD was signed & big agent fees were reported, so unfortunately if this is the way the club is going, if we want the best players we’re going to have to grin & bear it

        1. Dan stop moaning Cedric was free & back up RB he can also play LB, as for Luiz as much as he’s rubbish we lost Koscielny so had to find a replacement quick, not ideal but it is what it is, Edu’s agent by the way is Kia Joorabchian, my point was you have to pay an agent involved in any transfer these days, I get all the fans think we are being pushed towards certain players via their agent, but & a big BUT we can always of said NO, let’s get used to the fact this is the way it’s going now, LFC have paid more in agent fees than anyone else in the PL & they won it, do you see the connection, I doubt it man

          1. You just said it though
            We paid an agent to get us David Luis
            Liverpool paid an agent to get VVD?
            Do you see that ? I doubt it man lol.

  4. This morning we’re apparently ‘interested’ in Felipe Anderson!! No surprise that he’s Brazilian and Kia is his agent!
    We’ll be linked with every Brazilian (& Kia client) under the sun..

      1. Sue and Clemento, if the players Edu brings in are as good value as, and have the same potential as Martinelli, I don’t care whether they come from Brazil or Timbuktu. 🇧🇷🤔
        Some of us thought Felipe Anderson at West Ham was a great prospect the previous season; however last season his form fell away. He could be seen as a replacement for Danny Ceballos at CAM; however given he cost West Ham £36 million, he won’t come cheap. There are better options out there, IMO.

        1. Plus he’s always injured!! Plus we’d have a team full of wingers and CBs 😄
          If we have that sort of money to spend, I’d rather it was spent elsewhere!!
          I’m not knocking Brazilians, Ozzie, just highlighting how we’re linked with them!! The only one I’d draw the line at is bringing Ronaldo out of retirement haha!!

    1. But Felipe Anderson and David Luiz are represented by Giuliano Bertolucci, not by KIA Ceed?

      In fact, among our players only Willian is represented by KIA (according to Transfermarkt).

      So what’s the fuzz about KIA bringing loads of his clients to Arsenal..?

      1. The fuss is mate ….Your wrong
        David Luiz and Cedric are represented by Kia
        Can happily send you my resources
        Go listen to interview you hear out of his own mouth talk about Cedric and Lui z
        Ill have a debate mate but won’t have peeps trying to discredit someone’s work with lies

      2. I am also surprised by how kia is said to be agent for Cedric,liuz and Williams I initially thought it’s only Williams

  5. Kia Joorabchian basically works on behalf of his client players, as a consultant/contractor to football clubs.
    I worked as a consultant and contractor for small and large clients and if I discussed/criticized those organisations, their management, policies or their staff/employees to externals particularly media, I would be out on my ear. And rightly so.

  6. Wenger was right we should not depend on Agents, we should have out own ppl/network which does the job for club. We can safe a lot of money plus remember Agents get payed when they move their clients so they play major part in unsettling players and creating hostile environment between club and player. If we should have this capability to do this scouting job and not out source it. It’s not like a football club has to worry about 100 other things. Anything to do with football directly should always be kept in house rather then out sourcing.

  7. I don’t know about you guys but the transfers from last summer were some of the best I have seen as a post invincible fan. Which clubs made better signings than Pepe, Tierney and Martinelli? If we end up with Willian, Gabriel, Partey and Aouar, thats easily the best summer I’ve ever seen from us?

    According to the Lille president, Sanllehi was heavily involved in the Gabriel deal and left Arsenal on good terms despite what rumours say. The owners have backed Arteta to be a manager instead of a coach. This simply means one of Edu and Sanllehi are no longer needed. Wrighty also reckons that Venkatesham is Arsenal through and through with only good things to say about him. So imo, arsenal are looking much stronger with Arteta getting more power. United aren’t going to know what’s hit them when we take them down at their empty Old Trafford. Long live the Arteta. Long live the Guns.

    1. Finished 8th ?
      That means it wasn’t a great transfer window
      We replaced Ramsey wage with Ceballos – most of season he was poor
      We swapped Koscilney with David Luiz making our centrebacks worse
      Pepe most of season was poor
      We sold monreal not Kolasniac
      Again if you finish in your worst position in 25 years , that’s not a good window

      1. We finished 8th bacause Emery was in charge for half the season and ruined the team confidence,Arteta came in and instilled his beliefs but it take times ,I would quite happily bet we finish top 4this coming season and that is without any more signings .

        1. Not sure
          We lost 10 in prem , 5 were under Arteta as well as being knocked out of Europe by Olymiakos
          So while I take on board the confidence issue I don’t see with zero more signings how our defence will be better and we will be more creative in midfield
          Have you seen who Chelsea have brought ?

          1. Our defence is already better with saliba and mari now added. And we now have Williams to add to the mix

        2. Who got no support to get the players he wanted, had a horrendous run with injuries, had poor English communication skills and the team was still in eighth position when Emery was rightly sacked after the team had a run of poor results.
          Thus as far as league position no improvement, but don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story.

          1. You can try and persuade yourself all you want Ozzie ,but the truth is he nearly ruined our club and as now set us back 2-3 years .
            You keep saying he had no players he wanted ,do you honestly believe out of 12 players signed and he did t want one of them ?strange how you never support Arteta as much as you still do of Emery ,remember the way he constantly slagged off the team you are ment to support when he got the sack but here you are always jumping on anybody’s posts that might say the wrong thing about him .

          2. Dan, the Board and senior executive were ruining this Club before Emery arrived. His appointment and lack of support were symptoms of the disease that infected Arsenal, following the departure of David Dein and the shareholders selling their souls to Kroenke.

  8. WTF is he saying?
    Sven brought us Aubameyang, Leno, Torreira who Emery went ahead to ruin. He wanted Abdou Diallo while Raul and Emery said they wanted experience so he got Sokratis (Who is a good defender but even slower than the BFG was), He brought Litchsteiner since the board and Emery kept yapping about experience in interviews.
    WTF is Kia saying? So far he’s brought us two rejects and one aging Willian. The man should STFU, I still prefer the transfers Sven did over the embarrassment we’ve gotten from Kia and his Clients.

  9. If the new changes mean that Arteta has the final say on on ALL transfers, that is as it should be and a step in the right direction. All that is left is for the owner to back him financially NOW to sign the quality players he needs to get back into the big league where the club belongs. If MA can get us back into the CL it will be money well spent.

  10. I think people are overrating Sven just because he came with this great reputation. He had hits and misses, and you can’t just chalk up his misses to being everyone elses fault. He’s at Stuttgart right now, and no offense to them but if he was such a guru he wouldnt be there. Kia, is obviously a result of us trying to get more connects with superagents and I dont like it. I dont think this relationship with him has really benefited us. Arsenal need to focus on learning how to use scouting technology properly like other top clubs, and having guys that are savvy enough to navigate and negotiate in the market. Not rely on a couple of agents who are only trying to get big fees for themselves.

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