Amy, Amy, Amy. Whatever will we do with you?
Fellow Gooners, over the last couple of days, I kept seeing this article being retweeted and referred to. Lots of people, including Tim Payton of the AST no less, were saying how once again Amy Lawrence of the Guardian had nailed it. She had laid out the problems at Arsenal. What struck me as odd was that I had already read it, and concluded that she was full of shit because she clearly didn’t understand the most fundamental issue relating to ownership at the club. So here it is: her article combined with my responses.
Arsenal will not make any progress while they are so dysfunctional
By Amy Lawrence of The Guardian.
See the Original Article here.
“Arsenal’s billionaire owners, Stan Kroenke and Alisher Usmanov, will not talk to each other. This is no way to run a business
The open letter sent by the Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov has taken Arsenal into very destructive territory. Photograph: Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters
When Stan Kroenke made one of his rare trips to London to drop in on his soccer franchise last season, the closest he got to witnessing discontent about the way the club is being run was a few pointed heckles at the AGM. This being Arsenal, the tone was more courteously indignant than outright insulting. But when he travelled back to the USA, he would have at least been aware that there was a section of the fanbase that was no longer buying into the “self-sustaining” concept.
Me: OK. So far… just some blah, blah, blah.
There is a marked difference between some of the small shareholders applauding awkward questions and a rival major investor lobbing over a hand grenade. The open letter sent this week from Alisher Usmanov, who owns a shade under 30 per cent of the club, has taken Arsenal into very destructive territory. The twain have not been minded to meet before. Now a wholly uncivil war has broken out.
Me: OK. Now you actually said something. But there is NOT a civil war yet, just the rhetoric. To have a war, you would need an army. We are that army. There is only a war if we, the fans, fight it for R&W.
What a peculiar situation. Arsenal are owned by two billionaires, neither of whom bankroll the club at all. Kroenke and Usmanov share a business interest and yet they will not talk. Both need Arsenal to flourish to make the best out of their investment but they are at loggerheads about how to do so. You don’t need to be Baron Sugar to realise that this is no way to run a successful business.
Me: Amy, firstly, well run businesses do not generally get bank-rolled by their owners. You must have confused us with poorly run football clubs. Yes, they do get bank-rolled by their owners.
Secondly, Arsenal is not owned by 2 billionaires. It is owned by 1 billionaire, Stan Kroenke. He owns 65% of the company. Anyone owning less than 50% of the company, (I am talking to you, Alisher) is entitled to zero, that’s right, zero say. You have no power.
Now, I know it’s politically and technically correct to talk about shareholders, small and large, as being owners of a company. I am 1 of the owners of IBM for example. The AST, or rather Fanshare, is one of the owners of Arsenal.
But a shareholder is an owner in the same sense that I once told my 7 yr old daughter that she could help her mummy and daddy pick out their new house. It feels nice.
Your second mistake, Amy, is that you said they both need Arsenal to flourish. Again, as many have noted, 1 of them needs Arsenal to stumble and fall, to help his civil war. Alisher wants to own the whole thing.
Exhibit A, van Persie lobs his hand grenade against the club and within 24 hours R&W lob in their hand grenade. So transparent that NOT EVEN THE MEDIA was fooled, not even the supporters. But it hasn’t stopped many fans saying, “well it was reprehensible what R&W did, but he does make some excellent points.” Hmmm, does he, indeed?
And seeing as you bring up Baron Sugar, he would be able to tell you that Usmanov is not involved in running the company. Baron Sugar would also tell Usmanov to get lost because Baron Sugar knows an enemy when he sees one.
And finally, regarding the statement that they never talk. Undoubtedly, their people have talked to their people. Apparently, Stan doesn’t trust Alisher and/or doesn’t want his advice. And therefore is not interested into entering into a Kabuki dance which Usmanov will then PR-spin to his advantage.
It is hard to see how Arsenal can ever make serious progress while they are so dysfunctional from an ownership point of view. The statement by Usmanov’s Red and White was blatantly designed to stir up public feeling and garner support for change.
Me: Incorrect, Amy. Arsenal’s future progress is all about increasing revenues off the field through commercial success and has nothing to do with R&W squabbles, unless the fans do Usmanov’s bidding for him, and take their protests “to the terraces and the media.”
These days, as far as the Arsenal fans are concerned, you either back Kroenke and the status quo, or feel if you can’t beat the oligarchs you had better join them. Regardless of any sides, what is undeniable is that one of the key parties will not even entertain sitting down with the other. Reading between the lines, that seems to irk Red and White more than any of the criticism about how to help Arsenal to challenge for trophies. The ownership struggle would certainly be a less divisive issue if Kroenke at least sat round a table with Usmanov before dismissing his ideas out of hand. In most hostile situations there is some form of an exchange of views to work towards the greater good. But not here.
Me: This is Alisher Usmanov, not Shirley Temple. Alisher would revel in a big “Summit between the billionaire owners” which would raise every fans excitement level to orgasm with rumours that a 100 million pound cash injection was in the offing. And then Usmanov would love even more the destructive anger fueled by the disappointment of the outraged fans that Stan Kroenke was now the only obstacle in the way of this cash gift, or as we call it, “an equity injection,” or as it still is, 100 million in borrowed* cash. Nominally, the purpose would be to spend 100 M on the squad. Sounds kind of Oil Money-ish to me. What about you? Start as you mean to go on, eh?! If you can’t beat the Oligarchs, become one. Credit Card Economics vs Sustainability.
Or, as I am sure Stan would suggest, we could wait till we actually start earning more money in 2014 through greatly enhanced commercial deals. You see, the one advantage of being slow to improve those commercial deals is that we are like a player who runs down his contract. We are a free agent. The page is clean. We come to the market for a new kit deal and can point to the MUFC deal and say, we want one close to that. Or the LFC deal and say we want a deal better than that.
People used to worry that Stan was like other American owners such as the Hicks, Gillette, Glazer types. In for quick short-term gain, achieved by raping the club to pay for the original purchase.
Now the fans complain that he is too long-term for them. Well, the good news is they were right the second time.
There are currently two clearly defined, opposing camps – something reflected in arguments among supporters. Few teams win without people pulling in roughly the same direction. This unhealthy situation only increases the pressure on Arsène Wenger and the players to perform well. The minute they don’t, the daggers will be drawn.
Me: I think you can say the same at any club anywhere. Managers have about 5 minutes of grace when results go belly up. Arsene has handled that better than any in his 16 years at the club. Trust me, if City under-perform next year, Mancini will be under tremendous pressure. The good news is that Stan, Ivan and Arsene appear to be pulling in exactly the same direction. Alisher is surplus to requirements. So by your own metric, Arsenal should be OK.
While Wenger has always resisted the temptation to discuss the effects of the ownership schism, and players rarely get too involved in club business unless they are seeking to engineer a transfer, there is no question that Arsenal are struggling to compete within their current strictures.
Me: Is Arsenal struggling to win and compete because Alisher needs his tummy rubbed or because the oil-money clubs have corrupted the pay scales and transfer market by buying up the top talent to the point where they then send it out on loan to our competitors (Adebayor) heavily discounted, while at the same time bidding up the costs of the players we retain by inflating the market, even in a recession?!!
The board has a very different atmosphere to the old days, when the monthly meetings at Highbury saw a group of directors who were all lifelong fanatics discuss everything with the aim of trying to pass any motion unanimously. The current board feels less democratic in that most of the old school directors no longer wield any real power, having sold out to Kroenke. In the office buildings around the Emirates Stadium, the place is increasingly run like a big American corporation.
Me: Amy, I’m confused, now. I thought the club was in shambles?! Now, our problem is that we are starting to run like an American corporation? And the problem with that would be…? We might end up efficient? We might sort out our marketing and commercial act? We might become expert in worldwide brand development? You can accuse Americans of many things but you can also accuse them of being quite good at all of that.
I notice that you notice, Amy, that the club is getting less democratic. Given your concern about a power struggle between billionaires, that’s good, then isn’t it? For clarity: Stan is the boss; Ivan handles all the business for him and Arsene owns everything football for the club; and Alisher has a certificate that says he owns some shares.
Arsenal’s intention is to sit tight and hope the debate fuelled by Red and White blows over. Airing dirty laundry in public has never been their style. Besides, the board are steadfast about their commitment to self-sustainability. A club spokesman happily points out that they are in their 15th season in the Champions League and are not afraid to spend on transfers, having laid out £75m over the last financial year, and £20m so far this summer, with the promise of more to come. That is all well and good, until the words “Manchester” and “City” come into the equation.
Me: Well, Amy, re-read all of that last paragraph to yourself again, and we might end up agreeing with each other. What the club is doing is “well and good” until you mention City (or Chelsea). Correct!
It has never been harder to convince supporters paying for expensive tickets that self-sustainability can be competitive in a market dominated by benefactors. It has never been harder to convince players, either.
But the one person who needs no convincing about its merits is Kroenke. His approach to his sports franchises is to slowly sweat out his investments. Red and White may not be alone in thinking it is time for Stan to put up or sell up. Unfortunately for anyone who agitates for change, he appears to want nothing more than to do nothing.
Or to put it another way, Amy, Stan is in it for the very, very, very long haul, it seems. He sees no reason to borrow money to give the squad a cash gift when it is not sustainable. Stan, unlike almost every other purchaser of a major Premier League team (Oligarchs excluded) has not taken a penny out of the club. Conversely, he has no desire to borrow money to give his own business a cash gift, unless he is convinced that it is heading for trouble. And last time I checked, all the supporters were pretty optimistic this summer, in advanced of the 2 recently lobbed hand-grenades.
Silent Stan – Boringly dependable.
Now, can anyone tell me where is the horse Alisher Usmanov rode in on?
Note: I know many think that Stan should be putting money into the business. I’m not so sure, but let’s leave that for another post. Remember, there are no perfect owners. But there are a couple of very good ones. We might just be lucky enough to have one. Danny Fiszman selected Kroenke for a reason and avoided Usmanov like the plague for a reason.
* I use the term “borrowed cash” as we don’t yet know where those in favor of this cash gift believe the source of this money will be. Where would Stan borrow 65% of this amount from? Or what should he sell to fund it? Are we in effect demanding that he sells shares in another sports team to fund ours. We would be OK with that the other way round? The recommendation has been made to KSE to do an equity injection. Stan has turned it down. To demand an equity injection without understanding the consequences for the owner may be foolhardy for everyone.
Mate your a total idiot. Kroenke is ruining AFC. We need Usmanov to take our club forward. How do you know Kroenke hasn’t taken a penny from the club? Where’s the money from the sales of Cesc, Nasri & Clichy? How do you know Kroenke never took out a loan over the club to buy his shares? And you really think Usmanov is bothered about £100mil when he’s worth 18billion? He spent £350mil on a yatch and private jet so i doubt he’ll be bothered about £100mil being spent on players. You the problem with you is that your not a true supporter, your happy to see AFC become a feeder club and you’d be more than happy when AFC become a mid table club, that’s why you’d be better of supporting Tottenham.
Mate, based on that opinion, why don’t you just swap your Arsenal shirt for a combo shirt of City sewn inside a Chelsea shirt. Then, depending on which Oligarch club is winning the league, you can turn it inside out.
Oh, and by the way, your mother is a whore.
PS: This is the 1st time I’ve received an abusive comment. It was kinda cool. Thanks.
Completely agree. Our club is not the sort of club that needs to validate itself by buying titles. Chelski & $ity were desperate for this but we aren’t. I’m forever grateful for Mr Wenger to be teaching us all the virtues of how football should be managed on and off the pitch. Class like this is priceless.
Hmmm, Frankly sir. Am really shot of word and am convince abite. But not until a trophy is brought to the Emirate cabinet before I can give a tombs up to Le’ Boss, Gazidis and Mr. Kreonke. They should send some cash.
Liverpool won the Carling Cup. Missed CL football. I m sure when the Henry bought Liverpool and spent £120million on players, it was in mind of finishing in the top 4, and not winning £100,000 for the Carling Cup, hence Dalglish was sacked. So would you rather win the FA Cup or Carling Cup and forsake Champions league football, a loss of revenue, possible more players wanting to leave, and more difficult to attract players?
Had some the same thoughts while reading Amy’s article. Like so many of the others throwing up their hands and yelling “crisis” at the top of their lungs, she seems to misunderstand the current situation.
I must commend you also on your ability to rationally point out the gaping holes in the Amy’s analysis. I’m afraid I get about two sentences into the latest tabloid/blog article saying “Wenger’s taken the team as far as he can” or “the club’s financial model needs to change”–since when did balancing the books become a “financial model”?!?–and my head hurts.
A good example of this frustation was just this morning when Twitter went crazy following LeGroan’s usual moan/conspiracy theory. Some how Kroenke’s incorporating companies in Delaware got turned into him stashing Nazi gold in Switzerland! WTF are people thinking?!
A cursory knowledge of business/finance–or ability to use Wiki–would reveal that Delaware is the jurisdiction where the most US corporations incorporate . Exact figures put the number at half a million and a full 50% of US publicly traded companies and 60% of Fortune 500 companies have. The reason so many companies choose to do so is less about secrecy–as so many blindly suggest–but because they have lenient tax laws and an efficient Court of Chancery with a well developed case law making business more predictable.
Great work. Keep it up.
Under the leadership of Kroenke and his son, their teams consistently make the playoffs. Furthermore the teams have combined for the following championships:
In other words you’re right, he may be boring but he’s a pretty good owner.
Great comments, mate
Regarding the negative comments to the article…I think a lot of people have firmly made up their mind before they opened the page to read your piece, in other words…Kroenke=Evil and Usmanov=God. Basically, no amount of reasoning will change their mind. Football fans can be as dogmatic as some of the most zealous religious followers. So I would’nt worry. I agree with what you have said, and have been a believer in the model and still do. It feels good to support a team who do things the right way. Rome was not built in a day. I m very positive about the coming season with or without RVP. The media are getting stuck into Arsenal. Thats the way I like it. They were way too positive towards us for a while there. We are more dangerous when we are doubted and everyone is slagging us off. Case in point, check out the news article headlines from last August/September. I think it brings the large part of the Gooner fans together and the players tighter together with a mentality of “us versus the rest”. So I hope the media keep it up, especially when it is misguided.
I got bored halfway through. You say it’s a debate but instead all you do is nitpick at some fairly reasonable points & sneer like a stroppy teenager with a patronising & condescending tone that nobody in thier right mind could take seriously. Dismissing someone’s point in this way does not a debate make. Terrible, terrible blog. Try again or just don’t bother.
Cheers. Thanks mate.
talk about patronising and condescending – idiot.
Brilliant blog once again by the way.
1) Redman: You are absolutely correct.
2) Whoever writes this blog:
– Are you a shareholder in any company? I would like to know. If yes, would you like it if the owner doesn’t talk to you and/or refuses to take any points you put on board?
– I realize that Kroenke is the lesser of two evils here. But you simply cannot deny that he is refusing to show any sort of leadership our club desperately needs now. He is simply an investor who is least bothered about what goes on with our club as long as his share value goes up. We have absolutely no idea whether he is in touch with the CEO or not regarding club issues.
– I don’t want Usmanov anywhere near the club. Blame the beloved board that some people defend for selling out to people like him. Greed has corrupted them to an extent.
– You seem to be so anti-AST. Why? They have been doing a great job in at least demanding a few real answers from the club while all you do is speculate here.
– Stop over-defending the club and it’s decisions. I find your argument regarding the rights issue ridiculous (I had a look on twitter too). Do you have any idea the amount of money fans are paying to watch Arsenal at the Emirates? A rights issue would have kept the ticket prices at reasonable levels. It’s a decision that serves Kroenke/the board’s purpose (more money) & not the club’s.
– Let’s not fool ourselves here. They only reason Stan doesn’t want a rights issue is his holdings/value will come down. He doesn’t give a damn about what happens to us. Besides, rights issue might give some shares to the fans, what’s wrong with that? I believe my club should be run by fans. Not some businessman sitting 5000 miles away or some fat Uzbek with a shady past.
– Defending the club is fine. But some perspective is required here, please. Stan is not one of the best things that has happened to the club nor is Usmanov. Call a spade, a spade. End of.
You are contradictory, mate. You want Usmanov nowhere near your club and recognize that Kroenke is the “lesser of 2 evils.” In fact, it may turn out that he’s not at all evil, just boring. And then you say you want Usmanov on the board or to have his views taken note of. You owe Kroenke a big thanks for keeping Usmanov well away from the levers of power, fella! And that was a choice made by Danny Fiszman, having considered the safest hands to place the club in. Time will tell whether Stan is good or not. Too early to say. Being quiet and letting Arsene and Ivan speak and do their thing is not the worst thing I can imagine.
Everybody knew the rules on ownership. This is Arsenal, not IBM. The person who has 51% of the shares is 100% the boss. Usmanov is just an investor. It is only Kroenke’s concern whether he is afraid of alienating a major shareholder. Apparently, Stan couldn’t give a rats ass! God bless him. He doesn’t need him and I suspect doesn’t want him as an investor.
Am I anti-AST? Great question! No, I am pro-AST. And that is NOT a trick answer. Every good club should have a number of good supporters groups. However, seeing as the AST believes they should criticize the club they support constantly in every aspect: operational, performance, leadership, etc. then they should be fine about receiving similar criticism where warranted. They profess to love the club, and I believe they do, but they criticize the shit out of it. So…they should be fine with fair criticism of their own performance.
Join me and my splinter group: “THE JUDEAN PEOPLE’S POPULAR FRONT OF THE AST.”
I would also say that Arsenal are perhaps a season to two in the business model sense, and perhaps also football (the two are related) to Bayern Munich.
Below is quotes from BM’s Chairman…You could swap the words Allianz Arena for Emirates, and Bayern Munich for Arsenal,
“Our 340 million euro stadium, Allianz Arena, is completely privately financed by our club,” Rummenigge says. “The big advance today of Bayern Munich is that our infrastructure is strong, not just our team. We invested 25 million euros here [in the team’s training facility].”
“From the very beginning, we said if we follow the Italian way or the English way we will always lose, because we don’t have that kind of money available. We have no sheik [like Manchester City], no Mr. Berlusconi [like Milan]. We have a completely different situation in Germany and have to find out the best way. That was a wise concept to follow, and today we are a safe club … Bayern could be the model of the future for many other clubs.”
• Bayern’s stability includes a balance between smart youth development and targeted buys in the transfer market. As Rummenigge explains it, in the 1990s he and Hoeness wanted to learn how other sports teams did things in different areas. So they hit the road. They visited Ajax to see how its youth academy worked. They visited Manchester United to learn more about merchandising. And they visited the U.S., where they attended the Super Bowl and learned firsthand more about how the Chicago Bulls leveraged the success of Michael Jordan. Then they took those lessons back to Germany.
Now “we are very strong in our youth department with [academy-produced] players like Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Holger Badstuber, Thomas Müller and Diego Contento,” Rummenigge says. “They didn’t cost a penny in transfer fees. We always want to have a strong youth department, because supporters love when players from Bavaria are playing for Bayern Munich. They also love players you can buy, like Franck Ribéry and Arjen Robben, but you have to find opportunities. We probably never could spend 95 million euros like Real Madrid spent in the case of Cristiano Ronaldo. However, we can spend 24 million like we did for Robben.”
That is one hell of a Comment/Reply. Thanks mate. Great work.
I hope you’re following on Twitter!
Kroenke OUT Usmanov IN —
In reply to your comments.
All financial data is detailed in the Financial reports. AFC is building up its cash reserves hence why our net debt keeps on falling year on year. SK has only taken a modest salary of about £25,000 I think last year. Hardly anything is it when many players take home £60,000 A WEEK!!!!
The loan note taken up by SK is unsecured. This means that the loan is not asset backed. Futhermore, only 36% of his shares in AFC was bought with a loan and the rest by cash.
P.S. Great blog.
Yeah, what he said. You go, girl!!
Do me a favour and keep checking my blogs to help me rebutt, haha. Facts can be quite helpful and you seem to have some!
I hope you’re following on Twitter. Am I following you?
Could not agree with you more . Amy generally writes Good articles . But this one I felt it was way off the mark . “Civil War” You got to be kidding me !!
Too many fans got swept along in the immediacy of modern life, everything now, why should I wait or build, just borrow and buy it. This is why the UK is in the shit it is now, people borrowing money to live a life with crap they bought on credit they can’t afford, rather than work for it. In football Oligarch/oil money clubs provide satiation for this. Spend spend , companies which minus their benefactor’s money are insolvent.
The media love City+Chelsea, it gives lazy journalists instant, semi erection, copy (for them) to write. Scandal, illicit approaches, loadsa money , look at our wad. Money equals success splash the cash.
This fits with the moronic satiation of the masses to fix all immediately with the ultimate quick fix – borrowed money, rather than actually work for it. Teams not just buying other teams best players for obscene prices with immoral wages ,but loaning out stars to teams who can’t afford it to fix the league.
Adebayor’s loan the perfect example – strengthen spurs who take points of city’s rivals but Ade can’t play v spurs who City wallop twice.
Red And White have no interest in fans at all, just money, and perhaps buying a badge of respectability for certain people with extreme dodgyness floating in the background.
AFC’s current board must answer the charge of mismanaging the business. Failure to address quickly enough the charge of our rivals in commercial revenue. Sat abiding by 1890 business etiquette that everyone else ignores it including potential sponsors.
Whilst they play Victorian gentlemen, being honourable and not renegotiating deals, they also fleece the fans by increasing season ticket prices to make up for our commercial revenue shortfalls.
Honourable chappies making a profit and making the plebs pay for it .
The Boards failure to manage the manager, yes AW worked miracles however he has signed contracts at high wages with players who aren’t worth them.
He has looked extremely unhealthily obsessed at times brooking no other way, never has the board challenged his view or had words, rather just let AW continue as long as they make money.
Yes we have project youth but how much actually has this cost player by player?
For every kid we sign at 8 and progress through to 18, how much is the total of their medical bills, lodgings, payments to parents, wages etc etc ?
How many of these kids we buy in , what is the failure rate, it must be very high- so far the only real product which we grew is Ashley Cole +Jack Wilshere.
How many of these kids cost us 4-5 million over a decade then leave on a free or are sold for a pittance leaving AFC with an overall loss on the player.
I wouldn’t mind betting we only broke even on selling Cashley if we took all costs over his time with AFC in to account.
How many JET’s Eastmond’s sat without hardly 10mins for the 1st team earning 20k plus a week are there ?
Why do we persist in recruiting and paying large sums for kids who can’t get work permits for the UK who sit on loan in Spain, never get here or play for us ?
Wellington Botelho and more come to mind, all this comes out of our wages.
We have the 4th largest wage bill in premiership if we remove the deadwood, the never going to make its (there are lots) and the permanently injured, and refocus wages on 1st team squad we will be able to retain our best players+compete in the market.
Upping our revenue asap not in 2014 again provides more revenue, Actually properly marketing our brand, would increase revenue and currrently AFC are appalling at it ,
For instance as a marketing person of 25 years experience, I want to know why we do zero marketing in Poland, when both the Polish national keepers play for Arsenal, this is especially worse given 1.5million Poles living in the UK.
Why in Nike shops there is no AFC merchandise in Poland. Why aren’t Nike having their balls busted over this.
Why is there no International fans membership deal, if we have 6 million fans abroad, if 600,000 paid $50 to join that’s $30million a year, never mind the opportunities that data presents to the marketing department.
Finding sponsors +partners in the most crucial or well supported territories
Despite the board’s mismanagement of the past the future ,if a bold plan is instigated with a change of business culture ,is bright.
Business culture needs to change as the market has changed, no more can we act as Gents in the 1880’s whilst others seek to remove our assets and weaken our club and act without emotion or guilt sacking sponsors to increase their revenue.
Players also need bringing in to reality, they need to see how much they earn compared to fans, and to the premiership average not the unreal fantasy of the soul less mercenaries at City.
They need to be aware of the state of the UK economy and what fans face everyday, ie how to pay the electric bill, not where their next 50k is coming from.
The club must insist on some traditions, yes the AFC suit must return, don’t travel in it, but get out of the coach in it ,or the plane. No stupid headphones, always understand what and who you represent and why. Make time for fans, interact with them , understand without us you are nobody.
Players need grounding just because Tevez+Aguerro get 200k a week doesnt meant Walcott is worth 100k or Diaby 60k.
Those players for whom immense riches , outlandish lifestyle is more important than playing for the shirt, sell them , fuck them off. I don’t want to stand in a pub garden with my 2 pints which is all I can afford, cheering millionaires who didn’t try hard enough but got a draw driving off in a car which uses more than a weeks dole money a day in petrol.
City Chelsea+PSG have perverted the game, transfer fees, and level of wages.Some many point to the recent Sky deal , however in the current economy whether Sky retain the level of subscribers they forecast when making that offer is another huge issue.
Fans need to see Chelsea and City aren’t the norm, neither is their spending.
Instant gratification isn’t worth jeopardising 125yrs of tradition, it isn’t worth handing our club to someone who has so much money its no more than a toy.
Someone whose only plan is a sneaky way for him to seize control, the rights issue is a red herring, its not about paying the debts off, its a way to get shares on the exchange he will buy all of to take control.
Last year the team had some of the most unbelievably nightmarish results, a horrendous start. The 8-2 debacle, Blackburn losing to the vermin at the swamp etc. Yet we finished 3rd.
Man utd their worst in 25years threw away the league after we threw them a lifeline and beat City.
So if we learn to defend as a team properly , buy a DM, backup keeper or one to challenge for no 1 , replace Mr Wanna Away asap, we can improve on 3rd.
If the Club change the board, bring in those with passion+hunger innovation and a wish to succeed, change their outdated culture+move forward with a real plan , success can be achieved.
This can be done by Increasing commercial revenue, membership revenue from abroad, and focusing the wage and transfer budget correctly. Returning the manager to football only duties, with Gazidis doing contracts+wages, receiving a list of who to buy/sell, and guidelines on wages. Ensuring all employees no matter who understand they are all under scrutiny and control of the board.
All necessary to ensure we have cash to spend on top quality players and wages.
What is Red and White’s plan ? Apart from taking over, they haven’t told any fans or supporters groups their intentions ?
Whilst we would all love a situation without Kroenke or Usmanov, reality is we are stuck with Kroenke unless he sells.
We have no idea what Usmanov offers, only “clearing debts by share issue” which sounds tantalising except for the fact who will own the club afterwards ?
Will they invest any money ? No one knows .
As a 5th generation Arsenal fan bringing up the 6th generation, born out of a North London family with a relative who worked in the Woolwich Arsenal, I don’t want an intrinsic part of our family life jeopardised in the hands of someone who won’t even tell us his plans if he takes over.
We went 17 years before we won the league in 71, we have punched above our weight for 14yrs. We built the new stadium, every club who has done this, has suffered. We suffered in the top 4 and champions league.
The press fuel the Anti AFC +board lobby and are anti Wenger, they view AFC as foreign, fancy dans who play in London. A team who stand against their arrogant idiocy of fantasy that Stoke epitomise the essence of football.
Kick Hoof Rush Foul Hoick anything but skill pass and move
The same wankers who wrote “Capello spoilt OUR world cup” the same idiots who think that Downing Caroll Henderson were worth of an England or Liverpool shirt. The same fuckwits who said Charlie Adams was the signing of the season before kick off last year.
The same morons who said Spain are boring, before Spain gave Italy 11 new arseholes in 45 minutes.
Be patient support the club you know, cherish it now and the pleasures it brought you, the heartbreak we lived through with it, and don’t hand it lightly to someone we don’t know anything about. We waited 17years once before, we can if we have to , to do it again, but I don’t think it will take that long .
Challenge the current management and owners, demand more and better performance on the pitch off the pitch, and support the team always in matches.
For those who want to leave let them drift away , let them ask Overmars, Petits, Hleb Flamini what happens when you leave, let them look at Dixon, Keown, Adams, Seaman, Winterburn and Dennis and Henry who are legends when they aren’t.
What was the point of us standing toe to toe fighting for our teams colours manor and honour with anyone challenging it or trying to take it , if we hand it to some rich obsequious odious individual whose won’t even say what his plans are.
Up the Arsenal
Great comment and I agree with everything you said. The media love-in for oil-funded, debt-ridden clubs is beyond ridiculous…Success will come once we keep working hard on the field, and when it does, it will be unbelievably sweet
Superb point-by-point rebuttal.
And just because Amy is a gooner doesn’t mean she is right.
Have to admit I’m surprised by the ultimate conclusion to this article-apparently you’ve taken a position to back Kroenke as the right man to take us forward. I don’t support either Kroenke nor Usmanov but I find it funny that you support a man well known for owning mediocre sports teams who win almost no trophies and whose teams are not in any way feared or respected as credible challengers in their respective leagues.
Nice blog, I always thought Amy chatted shit from listening to her on arseblog!
I guess we’re approaching one of those event horizons that happened in La Liga a while ago: a siuation where there are 2 massive teams who take turns in sharing the spoils, season after season. Perhaps a third club, with a fresh injection of cash to burn, will eventually claw its way into contention – but 80% of the rest of the top division will have to sit back and watch as the pigs guzzle at the trough. The BPL is headed that way. Or seems to be…
Will FIFA Fair Play solve any of this? I doubt it. They can barely get their heads around introducing technology to the sport, and literally leveling the playing field by removing the human error factor, which has resulted in relegation and lost revenue for many a club mortally wounded by a gravely incorrect decision.
There will always be loopholes for the rich and powerful to squeeze through. Whether it’s backroom deals, shady sponsorships or suchlike.
Essentially, we are experiencing a sort of ‘doping’ – where athletes (read: clubs) are benefitting from technology not available to all the sports’ participants. Soon the ‘dope’ will be cash, delivered in brown paper bags, and injected quietly in some back room somewhere.
Look at Formula 1. Until they introduced stricter rules, it was the big money team taking the spoils. Great drivers had no opportunities to enter the record books and get the recognition they deserved. The Marion Barrys and Lance Armstrongs of this world sucked up the fame and recognition at the expense of the true winners.
It’s the Karl Rove ploy: lie in prime time and retract during the morning soaps…
By the way – the NFL and MLB are entriely different kettles of fish. There is a major levelling of playing fields by the governing bodies of those sports, and the rules regarding spending and transfer. Hence there is truly a chance for the team who finished last in the league one season winning it the next. Apples and oranges…
Anyway, I digress.
We’re heading rapidly toward a time when the shine of medals will be permanently tarnished by the stinking slime of big money.
When that happens, Footballer of the Year will quite rightly be hailed as worth a dozen worthless pieces of silver. And potential Judases will think a little harder before setting off down the Yellow Brick Road.
Tribute Jordan Brand 30 years of glorious history, Air Jordan 14 Low “Laney” will officially debut.
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