Chambers won’t be back until the summer because Arsenal can’t or won’t repay Fulham’s loan fee

Buddy, can you spare me a number 5?

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Loan deals come with certain conditions attached to them. In the light of Arsenal's centre back crisis, many have rightly wondered why the club do not recall Calum Chambers back from Fulham. The reason Arsenal either cannot or do not want to, is apparently because that would involve paying a fee to Fulham for ending Chambers' season-long loan early.

Such a situation would not have been an issue when George Graham was the manager, and here’s why, in a story, which dates back to February 1986...

In early 1986, Don Howe's Arsenal were a team whose results never quite matched the sum of their parts. The League Cup offered their best hope of a trophy. They'd reached the quarter-final and drawn 1-1 at Aston Villa. The replay was at Highbury on February 4. But they had a centre back problem. The young Martin Keown had become David O'Leary's regular partner for the past six weeks - but he was cup-tied because he'd played in the competition earlier while on loan to Brighton. 

Keown had been on loan to Brighton the previous season and spent a brief spell with them in 1985/6. On Tuesday, October 29, 1985, he'd lined up at right back for Brighton in a 4-0 defeat at Liverpool in the third round.

Tony Adams, the other regular centre back option, was injured. So Arsenal had to turn to Tommy Caton to fill in. They'd got away with it in the second half at Villa, when debut-making goalkeeper Rhys Wilmot made some flying saves. But Caton was on a sharp downhill spiral.

Caton played and was all over the place. Villa won 2-1. Arsenal's season was over. So was Howe's time as manager. Despite David Dein's desperate pursuit of Terry Venables, George became Arsenal boss. One of the first things he did was sit down with Ken Friar to discuss rules for future loans.

They decided three things:
1) No Arsenal loanee could ever play against his parent club (now standard practice)
2) No Arsenal loanee would ever be allowed to play for his 'host' club in any cup competition
3) All Arsenal loanees were subject to 24-hour recall if AFC faced a crisis because of injuries and/or suspensions.

It seems obvious that neither Ivan Gazidis, nor the current Vinai-Raul administration - still recognise these conditions, although the first is now in the Premier League rules anyway.

I suppose the difference with the Fulham situation was that, back in the 1980s, there was no loan fee for players. So although it seems Arsenal can call back Chambers, it is going to cost them to do so, by refunding a portion of Fulham’s loan fee.

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  1. A Cornish Gooner

    Jan 12, 2019, 23:18 #112892

    Hello Marky, CORNISH. Belated Happy New Year to you both, and all Gooners. Just to let you know I’m alive and well and still living in Cornwall, now fully recovered from festive over-indulgence. After the ‘September Crackdown’ on The Gooner, I felt it was time to move on, and try and forget about all the ‘Troubles’ we went through for so many years. Just writing this post has brought back awful memories of ‘The Pain’ we endured every day. I can only speak for myself but I wouldn’t be surprised if Exeter felt the same. I miss his posts with his regular besting of ‘Voldemort’. I was tempted to revisit some of the old exchanges, but most of it is now ‘not found on this server’. I have discovered today though that Voldemort is alive and still park running. On the football side the Arsenal v Spurs 4-2 was one of the most enjoyable games I’ve watched for years. I thought at the time that it doesn’t get any better than that. And it hasn’t. Strangely it’s when things start going badly for Arsenal that I’m more drawn to The Gooner pages. That’s why I’m on here today, after another very disappointing performance. There could be a few more ‘disgruntles’ on here later. As for our Arsenal ‘big wig’; we could have done a lot better, but we could have done worse. Oyston at Blackpool e.g. or closer to home for me, what happened to Truro City. Finally, could some of the missing posters have been banned e.g. Exeter, jj? Keep up the good work mbg.


    Jan 11, 2019, 19:47 #112880

    Hi again Marky! "Little public enthusiasm" seems to be a KSE trademark - big game hunting being the exception ( I note his mate The Donald is considering relaxing the rules on the importation of "trophies"). They don't call him Silent Stan for nothing. I would like to think that my Cornish Brethren are not over-indulging in our excellent local ales & grub but instead hatching a cunning plan for his removal - by fair means or foul!

  3. peter wain

    Jan 11, 2019, 13:06 #112877

    Unbelievable if true We cannot even afford a load fee!!! Kroenke go now and let's us get in some one who will invest in the club.

  4. markymark

    Jan 11, 2019, 13:02 #112876

    Cornish - no need to apologise to me , your points are always spot on! I wonder where your West Country Brethren have gone ? Both of them were regular posters. Let’s hope one of the Kronkes starts to put in some effort whist there here. It’s the lack of vision. Just seems odd to have a huge holding with such little public enthusiasm from them


    Jan 10, 2019, 20:25 #112874

    Marky, sorry - I wasn't intending for a minute that Stanley was looking to property develop. My point is that he & Oyston are, to me, cut from the same cloth. It is always money & deals with Stan & whilst I am no fan of chequebook team building, Dick needs help NOW if he is to make a serious challenge for Top 4 as he has apparently been tasked, since he has been left a complete shit show by that old French guy. To tolerate Wiggy is to accept mediocrity. There are zero positives in his "sports" ownership history to make a case for him as the suitable owner of a once great club. If the season goes tits up then I will certainly not be calling for "Emery out" but it should start that guerrilla campaign to which you refer. We certainly don't need a re-run of the bitter AKB/WOB battles! Cheers!

  6. markymark

    Jan 10, 2019, 20:00 #112873

    Cornish - I get Kronke is a bit useless but these tales of using Arsenal as a property development or moving Arsenal as one guy suggested are wide of the mark. Arsenal being in a reasonably affluent part of London ( yes I know this will create argument ) is greater than the sum of its parts. He will be very aware of the numbers and will keep it running to maximise its asset value . That in itself keeps some semblance of a competitive club. Blackpool in comparison is all about development deals. To be fair, the Hillwoods almost tried to pull off a stunt in the late 70’s I believe when they looked at a joint proposal for Alexandra Palace with Spurs. Think what a disaster that would have been. Another issue that is raised is the LA Rams . Please note they are worth $2.9bn up from $1.6bn. We do not need to feed them they are worth more than us. The best we can achieve is to get Stan to concentrate more on Arsenal or at least get Josh involved. The other choice is s long guerilla campaign. The first issue though is to get rid of £500k per week via Ozil and Mitty. Get rid of that in the summer and we can then see what Unai can do. The £500k per week is Ivan and Arsène’s fault


    Jan 10, 2019, 19:25 #112872

    Absolutely sickening to read today what many of us had already feared - we truly have the owner from hell, an American Owen Oyston! A once proud club, Blackpool, now being manoeuvred into bankruptcy in order to exploit the value of it's land for property developers. Make no mistake, neither has The Wigster any intention of investing any of his billions in our Club - a Club with a proud history & tradition, known throughout the world with it's home in one of the world's richest cities & now becoming a laughing stock. I hope Dick is playing politics here - otherwise I cannot see him sticking around for long in this farcical situation. Sam Allerdyce is what AFC richly deserves.

  8. markymark

    Jan 10, 2019, 17:51 #112870

    Mad Max - I get what you’re saying and my personal view is over the long term ( 2 managerial failings ) Kronke may tire of us. But...... my reading of it is that a deal is for Saurez on loan which will become permanent in next transfer window. Most of what I’m hearing is that there may be a reasonable budget in the summer but very limited this window. Possibly a free signing might also get picked up.

  9. mad max

    Jan 10, 2019, 17:32 #112868

    just heard the news we wont be spending any money in the January window, absolutely sick and tired of what's happened to our club. the time has come for fans to revolt and begin the campaign to rid the club of stan Kroenke, we got rid of wenger eventually but this is far more serious ,we are no longer a big club how did it ever come to this?, we we're led to believe by leaving highbury we would be able to compete with barca and real madrid we cant even compete with Leicester and the likes, west ham spent over 100 million in the summer, we are paying the high prices in world football to watch an average premier league team. I feel sorry for unai emery who clearly wants to bring in quality players like banega and suarez but his hands are tied, meanwhile the snood wearing ozil picks and chooses when he wants to play and he's trousering £350 grand a week what a sorry state of affairs, it's time to get mobile and vocal KROENKE OUT NOW.

  10. markymark

    Jan 9, 2019, 17:44 #112864

    Old Man - previously there was lots of aggressive banter on here ( I’m guilty ) you can now see it on Le Grove. I was informed by a few posters that they were sick and tired of the banter and wanted sanity to prevail so they could post in a happy atmosphere . To a man every one of those have disappeared ? Perhaps it’s the calmness and sanity they now can’t abide. I would add our comments are only part of the mix . They do not reflect the actual hits to the site. I expect the media site that has really been hit is Arsenal Fan TV that really emerged from the fan split .

  11. The Man From UNCLE

    Jan 9, 2019, 13:08 #112863

    Gonna take more than Chambers coming back to make a difference I'm afraid.

  12. John F

    Jan 9, 2019, 08:51 #112862

    I have had a few issues posting when it just wouldn't send.It might be that others have encountered similar issues and given up.Of course it could be a John F crap filter ,my wife got one for Christmas .

  13. Bard

    Jan 9, 2019, 01:02 #112861

    Mbg, I get where you are coming from but the game has changed and not for the better in my view. As Chris Waddle has said stated its more like basketball, you score we score. What would Franco Baresi be worth in today's game, £200m ? The poverty of the defending means that the attackers always look good, when in reality they are bang average. The irony of it all is that if you had a rock solid defence you'd be top 4 every season.

  14. mbg

    Jan 9, 2019, 00:16 #112860

    More of the old ways/traditions wiped out of history, someone mentioned the George Graham way on here the other day, and indeed Unai Emery has hinted at it himself, we/Emery could do a hell of a lot worse than revert back to it, where rules, disipline, defending goes anyway.

  15. Don Howe

    Jan 8, 2019, 21:12 #112859

    The point about Chambers is that he isn’t very good. We need players who can defend. As to George Graham and Ken Friar knowing the right way to sit on a lavatory, no surprises there either. Allow a moron to rule unchecked for 20 years and you lose your soul as a club. We are very lucky to have Emery,.

  16. Bard

    Jan 8, 2019, 20:21 #112858

    A lot of the previous posters left when Wenger was sacked, I guess job done. I like the new format and there are many more articles to comment on. By far and away the best blog about Arsenal. Keep the faith Old Man


    Jan 8, 2019, 19:32 #112857

    OM: Can't agree about the changes - imo Kevin & the team work tirelessly to make the Online Gooner a leading blog & there are now almost daily updates. I agree that, for whatever reason, many of the regular commentators seem to have disappeared which must be a disappointment to Kevin in particular. To me it is a frustration because most of the competing Arsenal sites, with the honourable exception of Arseblog, have rapidly descended into slagging off Dick & the new Team who have the challenging task for rebuilding our Club after 10 years of complacency & neglect. So I think the remedy to make the OG great again is in our own hands chum!

  18. Old Man

    Jan 8, 2019, 17:41 #112855

    What has happened to this site??!! I have not been on here for months and it has changed for the worse! The layout, font design etc awful! Go back to the old days! No wonder nobody contributes any more!?