On this day in 1998 David Platt was released from his Arsenal contract. Twenty years on, as you will see below he became a consultant for U.S. Città di Palermo of Italy’s Serie B.
Looking at the anniversaries for this day I thought I’d see what happened to that club and perhaps what happened to Platt. It turned out to be quite a story for the club, although I don’t know how long Platt stayed there, or what he did next – or if he is still there.
As Platt arrived at Palermo in 2018, they were in Serie B but in financial difficulty, and in November 2018, the London investment group Sport Capital Group Investments Ltd. took over the club with Clive Richardson, head of the new group, being named as new club chairman.
Richardson and another Englishman resigned from the board on 4 February 2019, claiming that the exact financial situation at the club had not been revealed when they bought it.
Two men who had been directors previously, bought the club, but then sold it in on in May to Sporting Network S.r.l., who invested €5 million in the club. Palmero finished third in the league, but financial irregularities were discovered. They were relegated, they appealed, they were re-instated, but then more irregularities were found after more revelations, and they were kicked out of the professional leagues (Serie A, B and C).
A new club was set up and admitted to the non-professional Serie D for 2019/20 which they won (the league being abandoned at the outbreak of coronavirus and existing positions confirmed as final positions) meaning the club have now been promoted to Serie C.
And where was David Platt in all this? I don’t know, but this seems to be the type of tale we hear increasingly across Europe – and indeed this season in England with Bury.
Here are the anniversaries.
7 July 1917: Islington’s Baby Week concluded. These “Weeks” were held across the country to encourage mothers to work harder to protect the health of their children despite the hardships of wartime, amidst a growing concern about the rise in infant mortality in the capital from malnutrition and the continuing measles epidemic. Arsenal’s owner Henry Norris, was at the forefront of promoting them in London.
7 July 1921: Joe Wade born in Shoreditch. He joined Arsenal as an amateur in 1944 – while Britain was still at war and he was serving in the RAF. He played at left back
and playing mostly reserve football for Arsenal
7 July 1975. Charlie George joined Derby County in a £99,000 deal (although the date is quoted in some sources as 2 July). He played 106 league games for Derby
– his only long term assignment after leaving Arsenal.
7 July 1997: Paul Merson moved to Middlesbrough for £5m. He stayed for just one season and played 48 games, before moving on to Aston Villa where he played 101 games. After that he played for Portsmouth and Walsall before dropping out of the league to become notorious as an anti-Wenger pundit.
7 July 1998: Following the arrival of Arsene Wenger, David Platt was released from his Arsenal contract one year early. He moved to Nottingham Forest but only played five games before retiring. In 2018, he was appointed as a club consultant for U.S. Città di Palermo of Italy’s Serie B following the club takeover by an English group
7 July 1999: Laurie Scott died. In 1951 he moved to Crystal Palace as player-manager but after Palace had to apply for re-election in 1954 he moved on to Hendon and later Hitchin Town.
7 July 1999: Jason Crowe moved to Portsmouth on a free transfer. In a career lasting to 2013 he played over 400 league games, with clubs including Palace, Brentford, Grimsby, Northampton, Leeds, Leyton Orient, and finally Corby Town.
7 July 2010: Laurent Koscielny completed his move to Arsenal from Lorient for whom he had played 35 games, for £8.45 million. Arsene Wenger stated in 2015 that he felt this was his best value transfer of the past ten years. On 6 August 2019, Koscielny signed for French Ligue 1 club Bordeaux, in a deal rumoured to be worth £4,600,000 and played 25 games in the 2019/20 season.
Among the series are
Henry Norris at the Arsenal: There is a full index to the series here.
Arsenal in the 1930s: The most comprehensive series on the decade ever
Arsenal in the 1970s: Every match and every intrigue reviewed in detail.