Reasons to be cheerful

By Ian Grant

Gunners are gloomy – maybe – but no more gloomy that other Premiership fans, at the thought of the Premiership title and domestic cups potentially becoming meaningless, as Abramovich plans to speculate to accumulate to potentially keep Chelsea there ad infinitum. For odds get the Coral offers on

In fact, there’s been positive news this week both short and long term, in some respects.

Ashburton Grove passed the final hurdle in the High Court, with no more obstacles ahead.

Arsenal are in discussions with the Royal of Bank of Scotland to convert the Ashburton debt into a 30-year bond.

Keith Edelman said Arsenal hoped to get £20m from fans through advance payments for seats at the new stadium, well ahead of its scheduled opening next year. This will be mainly from the 6,700 “club level” seats which sell for between £2,500 and £4,750 per season, which he said were currently oversubscribed, and from normal season tickets. This, it is thought will go partially towards transfers.

Campbell and Lauren both agreed two year extensions to their contracts. Freddie Ljungberg wants to sign another deal. Ashley Cole has pledged to stay.

And Arsenal, according to The Journal, are reportedly set to make a surprise swoop for Roma’s Greek Euro 2004 star Traianos Dellas, with a £1m offer for the ex-Sheffield United defender.

And there was a very perceptive article on Wenger and Ferguson written by Professor Mark Van Vugt at the Social Psychology Department at Kent University in the Daily Telegraph. It urges Wenger and Ferguson and Arsenal and Manchester United to form a coalition.

“It is a fact that in chimpanzee and human groupings, the second in rank picks fights to see how strong the alpha male is. Normally, the dominant individual will not respond, because he feels superior. It is only when he is under threat he responds.

“What Ferguson and Wenger are actually fighting over is the second rank. I’m sure they don’t realise it, but by increasing the conflict between themselves, the consequence is that Chelsea’s position is strengthened.

“My advice is this: if their aim is really to challenge for the league, they are employing the worst possible tactic and their strategy deflects them from being Premier League contenders. If they want to really challenge for the league my advice is to bury their conflict, form a great coalition of two clubs pursuing Chelsea and use combined tactical ingenuity by using the media to create conflict and dissent within Mourinho’s team.”

And the Premier League has formed a working party to look at, among other things – financial disparity between clubs.

The bigger the points gap between Chelsea and the rest, the more danger they are under from the regulators, be it the FA, Premier League or UEFA to reduce their £100m-£200m advantage over the majority of their “competitors”.