Everyone is aware that the way Arsenal chose to structure their wages, paying what were essentially advances on projected future performance to young players such as Nicklas Bendtner, Denilson and Abou Diaby, hasn't exactly worked out so far. Equally frustrating are relatively large wage packets being paid to players on the fringes of the first team for anticipated performance-related reasons, such as Marouane Chamakh, Sebastien Squillaci, and Park Chu Young*. The club has so far struggled to transfer any of these players out due to wages which, frankly, outstrip the players' values at this point; this is no secret. Arsenal have, however, only tried conventional means to shift these wage obligations off of the books and knock loose some funds to bring in new talent, means such as "negotiations" with "other clubs". The results haven't been spectacular; Arsenal secured a loan to Sao Paulo for Denilson which helps a lot, but the others remain. While they have provided value in the past, the time has come when it no longer seems feasible for them to stay on.
*Park Chu Young, apparently, even scored a goal for the club in the Carling Cup, although record of its existence seems strangely to have disappeared from official record, replaced by a black box bearing the inscription "I.O.U." In fact, the man himself is rumored to have been animatronic and not, in fact, flesh and blood; these reports remain unconfirmed at this time.
What is written below comprises some humble proposals towards solutions to Arsenal's wage logjam. Follow us...beyond the jump!
I. Work study
If Arsenal are going to pay fringe players, it is time that they function as more than benchwarmers. American universities employ students on a circumscribed-by-law, limited basis as part of a financial aid package, and Arsenal might consider the same; Chamakh's height, for instance, makes him a suitable candidate to easily replace books on high shelves in the Aresnal media library. Bendtner could double as Arsene Wenger's chauffeur. This seems plausible.
However, not in the way you'd think. Rather than disguising the fringe players, to which they would surely object, the club could simply disguise the entire London Colney complex as a chocolate factory instead. Upon arrival for training in the morning, the fringe players would simply be told that there had never been an Arsenal football club, that it must have been a dream, and that, in fact, they had been chocolatiers the whole time. In the ensuing confusion, they would most likely choose to leave the nation on a permanent basis for fear that the entire UK had gone stark freaking bonkers, and Revenue would simply forget they ever existed once some papers went mysteriously "missing" inside a batch of crème-de-menthe truffles. No matter that one of the fellows inspecting the brown candy wrappers looked suspiciously like Wojciech Sczcesny wearing a hairnet and moustache; the N5 Chocolate and Confection Works had simply existed there since 1886, anyone could tell you.
III. Faked alien abduction/skirmish
Now, I know, perhaps I've just been watching too many videos of X-Com videogames on youtube, but if Orson Welles could convince an entire nation of folks that the world was, in fact, being invaded by extraterrestrial forces, it should be fairly simple to convince the UK press that gray men from the beyond had, in fact, landed on the pitch at the training ground (use landscaping equipment to convincingly tamp down portions of the turf in the "landing zone"), briefly struggled with the security staff at the complex (drop a taser and a two-way radio near the cold baths), before making off with the fringe players who were watching video of last year's match against Bolton Wanderers in the meeting room (torn no. 18 training top, three dark brown hairs with hair gel in a hat under a chair, pile of ash and strange ionic residue near Park's locker). Questions would only come from the Area 51-type conspiracy theorists, people who read too many comic books, and History Channel viewers (some of these traits might even be conveniently found combined in the same person!) If this seems impractical, it's only because most people aren't aware that there are actually alien abduction clauses in every Premier League player contract.**
**There almost certainly aren't.
If Arsenal find themselves struggling to bring in fresh talent in needed positions due to fringe players on large contracts, it's only because they haven't gotten creative yet. If City can simply pay every player four times what the market should theoretically bear, it's time to use some fiduciary judo. Agreed?