Date: 9th September 2007 at 7:03pm
Written by:

It goes on and on, doesn’t it. And it feels like i have been here sooooo many times before.

I refer, in my first sentence, to the continuing takeover shenanigans at Arsenal, and in my second, to the refusal of a story to just naff off and crawl under a rock (à la the Vieira to Madrid, Henry to Barça, Cesc to Madrid stories that we endured, ceaselessly, year upon year, that just wont go away, much like a fart in a spacesuit…).

I’m sure you’ll have read Simmo’s piece covering Double D’s hand in ‘convincing’ Arsene to stay on at the club. My thought pretty much echo Simmo’s here, in that I have enormous respect for what Dein brought to the club during his time at Arsenal, but that I am finding that respect rapidly being eaten away by what just sounds like poor attempts to sidle up to Gooners and get them onside. Frankly, David Dein’s press releases are embarrassing in the extreme. To David Dein I say – we know and remember what you did for the club (we as fans do not forget), you don’t need to remind us and then seemingly dress up current situations to make them look as if you are still a major player in the machinations and behind-closed-doors decisions at the club. Perhaps you are, maybe you are not. But to so blatantly introduce yourself into the equation of Arsene’s signing of a new contract is more than a little embarrassing.

But the point remains that Dein was removed from his position following the infamous Kroenke situation. And he made his position untenable with that. Much has gone on since then, a lot of water under the bridge. Including meetings between Silent Stan and the Arsenal board, and a supposed ‘cooling’ on Kroenke’s part towards an expansion of his current holdings in Arsenal.

And of course, there’s also now the selling Of Dein’s shares to Red and White Holdings, the company set up by London-based financier Farhad Moshiri and Alisher Usmanov, a man who, if the stories of his alleged past are true, makes Stan Kroenke look like Mother Theresa.

For those of you who read the piece by Craig Murray, posted on his personal website, you will know what i speak of. Those of you that didn’t, let’s just say that Craig Murray did not exactly paint mister Usmanov is a very pleasant light – Murray pulled no punches in what he said, so much so that Usmanov instructed his solicitors to have the story removed from Murray’s site, so alas it is no longer there. However, if you googled the name of the gentleman who Murray was referring to, along with ‘, potential Arsenal chairman, is a’, perhaps you will find transcripts of it somewhere else on the interweb.

I was out last night, and got talking to someone who was from Uzbekistan, the country where Craig Murray was British Ambassador, before returning to the UK. He had nothing but high esteem for Mr Murray, and it was his opinion that if Murray said those things about Usmanov, there could well be something in them. Murray spoke out about human rights abuses in Uzbekistan, much to the dislike of the Uzbek government, and the British government also, leading to his removal from his position in Uzbekistan. Mr Murray, it would seem, is a man of integrity, who has high morals. This person i was in conversation with certainly thought so.

And this is the man who could desire to own Arsenal FC. Frankly, i think we can do without this kind of ownership, thank you very much.

I would rather do without trophies, if they were to be achieved through tainted money. Look at what a hard time we have given the SW6 Moscow State Circus because of their owner. Arsenal, all throughout my life, has been more than just a football club, it has always been an institution, ‘The Bank Of England Club’, ‘The Arsenal’.

This is what makes me so proud to support Arsenal – they have a certain behaviour and dignity about them which makes you proud (aside from PHW’s ‘we don’t want his sort’ reference to Kroenke, which was a bit naughty, but meant with the right intentions of the club, i think). This emanates down from the very top of the club, right from the board, who have been Arsenal’s custodians for many years, to Arsene Wenger, a man of great integrity and honesty, down to the team, who play the game the right way. Sure, the board are not perfect, but they are certainly not devils.

The strange effect of the Dein-Usmanov event has been of a somewhat thawing towards Stan Kroenke, in a kind-of ‘well, he actually wouldn’t be that bad, compared to THAT guy!’ way. Suddenly, Silent Stan’s stock appears to have risen in the eyes of some Gooners (© who knows!?!).

But that doesn’t mean i would be pleased if Kroenke were to launch a full-scale takeover of Arsenal. I think we are doing fine as we are, thank you very much, with a manager who doesn’t need to spend £30m on a star player, he buys them for £250k and makes them into £30m players. We have a board who have overseen a successful transition to a fantastic new stadium, which now feels like home to the team, after a period at the start of last season where everything seemed a bit new to them and us, and a bit alien. And according to Keith Edelman, who has said that we do not need financial investment anyway, as soon-to-be-released financial figures will show just how much of a galvanising effect Ashburton Grove has had on the finances of Arsenal FC, one that, far from impeding our ability to invest in the team, will be shown to have greatly enhanced it. I await those figures with interest, I am sure you do too.

These figures may well prove to one and all that we are not in need of a filthy-rich über-owner, and that the club are more than capable of remaining competitive at the very top level of the game, both financially, and in terms of honours.

For those of you that haven’t seen it, do look at Arseblogger’s posting this sunday, where there is a link to an interesting story on the News Of The World site, about how the storm clouds might be gathering at Man Utd, where the Red devils may soon find themselves in quite a bit of financial bother under the Glazers, and their attempts to re-structure the debt they accrued in the takeover at Old Trafford.

ps. I am steering clear of the financial mire in this article, as in my previous attempts at commenting on the finer workings of financial dealings and their ramifications, i have shown myself to be something of an economical plum. I shall leave that to the more financially-astute minded among you to raise those exact figures and facts, as my meanderings on that side of things will do you nor I no good, most probably.

Hope you’ve all had a good weekend. Wingers over and out…


21 Replies to “Why Won’t It Just Die?”

  • Well said Wings. I had not been in favour of a take-over by Kroenke since I could not see the benefits he could bring, and this Usmanov guy seems a whole lot worse. I did read Murray’s blog on Usmanov and I was shocked that a man like that now owns 14% of the club. What in the world is Dein thinking? While I am grateful for what Dein has done for the club, it is in the past now. This media posturing from Dein is not going to stop anytime soon (much like the fart in a spacesuit :).

  • would rather do without trophies, if they were to be achieved through tainted money. Look at what a hard time we have given the SW6 Moscow State Circus because of their owner. Arsenal, all throughout my life, has been more than just a football club, it has always been an institution, ‘The Bank Of England Club’, ‘The Arsenal’. ——————- Coming home to roost now is it?

  • The difference is merlin, we are not hypcoritical about it, we are calling spades spades here. I fully agree with the article, I would consider any takeover if I thought the consortium could do a better job than the current board. But I don’t want a shady character like Usmanov and I don’t see how his motivations can be anything other than self serving. Dein didn’t want the stadium, but now it’s paying out he wants his hand in the till. Some of Wenger’s recent comments about not buying superstars, doing our business our way and protecting the heritage of the club are very telling. I feel for him, becasue now he’s being used by a man whose supposed to be his friend. He deserves better than that, our fans deserve better and football supporters everywhere deserve better than the current spate of human rights’ abusing, murderous thugs who are taking over our football clubs.

  • That doesn’t make it alright though does it? Abramovic and Usmanov are both deplorable characters. Frankly, this isn’t a matter of club loyalty, as a person they both disgust me and I don’t want either of them in the Premiership.

  • It makes him less bad. That means Abramovich isn’t the nicest person in the world (no worse than world leaders) .And Usmanov is…well…. satan’s little helper.

  • k, your point being? Didn’t LD say we don’t like Usmanov for a shareholder? Whether Usmanov’s 7000x worse than RA or 7x or better than RA, we don’t care. THey’re all thugs that we don’t want near our club.

  • In the end supporters can’t control the ownership of the club but they sure as hell can influence it. This is why articles like this which gives supporters the opportunity to express their feelings and influence and inform opinion can have an effect. If opinions harden against Dein and his mucky mates he will find it much harder to garner the support from others that could lead to the club falling into the hands of dirtymoney men and risk the loss of all the long term work that many people have put into building the club. At present the existing board hold enough cards to prevent a takeover. The more support they are given for the stance they have taken so far the more, I hope, they will be inclined to hold the line until, as it they will eventually, the sharks move off to feed somewhere else.

  • Louisa, my point is Abramovich isn’t like Usmanov. Therefore he can’t be compared to him. I thought my point was clear…

  • Winger you’re right – it just won’t die. But I’m very happy that many Gunners fans seem to have the logic and integrity to see what’s right/acceptable.

  • even being as poor as we supposedly are, we are stiing well in all competitions. i dont see a reason to change anything. i say no to any takeovers, lets just concentrate on running a successful club and business.

  • We don’t need filthy lucre when we have the brilliance of Arsene. I for one resent even being compared to chelski. As Gooners, we can’t stop people buying and selling shares (I mean, even bad guys can buy shares in good companies), but we can try to stop the club being handed over lock stock and barrel to a Russian crook! Owning shares does not equal being the sole owner of a club.

  • We have some of the best young players in world football and massive money coming in from t.v deals and a 60,000 stadium. Why on earth would the board need to sell at this time?? The Highbury development is well underway and the ‘re-mortgage’ payments are more than covered with natural income, so again I stress that we have no need to sell. I can see why we’d be subject to speculation because of the healthy position of the club and the potential to infiltrate the asian and far-east markets, but all of our ambitions can and will be fulfilled by the current board.

  • Dein’s move doesn’t make sense… as others have said, the board dont need to sell. DD obviously wants them to…. but, why the hell would he bring shady people like this along? Is he really serious about Usmanov? If he is, then his judgement smacks of desperation borne out of a bruised ego that must have his way at any cost. Maybe that’s not the real game here though. Maybe he thinks the current board will have to naturally move along or be forced to accept a bid soon. Is it possible that Dein is using Usmanov as a lever to try and make Kroenke seem an attractive alternative? Maybe DD has manipulated the press to say Kroenke has cooled on him, and its all a load of smoke. Either way, his plans speak volumes about him – and none of it’s any good.

  • Kroenke really isn’t that bad. I’m from St. Loius and he has a large stake in the St. Loius Rams (american football) and he is very hands off in his approach. I think that he just wants to sit back and make some money, that’s all. It’s obvious that the Prem has great value (only the major American sports generate more revenue, but not for long… except the NFL).

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