Remember Thomas Vermaelen? He was a pretty good defender for Arsenal for a while, then an injured defender for Arsenal for a while, then a pretty bad defender for Arsenal for a while. For some reason Barcelona bought him (for £15 million!) from us, and once Calum Chambers and Gabriel were brought in, honestly he was mostly forgotten. Part of that is because he didn't do anything at Barca that was memorable – he was injured all year, only making his debut in the final game of the La Liga season – but for the most part he was just another of those inexplicable Arsenal-to-Barcelona transfers that happen every couple years or so.
Except as the year drew to a close, another bit of the deal popped up. Barcelona made it deeper and deeper into the Champions League, and reports surfaced that there was a clause in the transfer that would give Arsenal an additional £2.9 million if they were to win the whole thing. They made the final. They beat Juventus. And Arsenal fans celebrated another little bit of financial #banter.
Well, there's a problem. Since Vermaelen was injured all damn season, he never played a second in the Champions League, and according to reports out of Spain (as confirmed by the Standard), that means Arsenal don't get the extra money, and we all have to take back all the laughing we already did about it. Sorry, but them's the rules.
Don't worry, though. We'll probably sell Mathieu Flamini to Barcelona for £7 million in July and we'll get to do this all over again.