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Untold Media: Media sets a new standard in failure, earns a pathetic “-F” on UM’s January transfer window quiz – Part 2

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By Anne

Part one of this article can be found here

From here, we’ll move on to consider:

Possible “shady” motives

 

1) Agents attempting to sell players

In my previous UM report, I highlighted:

“certain comments made by Arsène Wenger from time to time regarding transfer rumours about Arsenal. For example:

The following exchange took place between Arsène and a journalist during the Pre-Leeds press conference:

“Q: I know you’ve said in the past you’re not the biggest fan of the January transfer window.

Arsène: No. I’m still not.

Q: Might it be different this year? I mean, you’ve been linked with a couple of players….

Arsène: Well, every agent who wants to sell his player links himself with Arsenal, most of the time. But at the moment we are not on any concrete case apart from Thierry Henry.”

If the opinion Arsène expressed about agents during this exchange is correct, we can thus conclude that a large number of the transfer reports listed in the quiz were leaked by agents attempting to “sell their players.” But what does that mean, exactly?

 

Transfers from one club to another would certainly be included in the above statement. One of the more innocent motives that would fall into this category might concern a young player whose agent is simply attempting to generate some hype or publicity about that player, and get his name out. Or perhaps a player is looking for a transfer, and his agent is attempting to generate hype around him for that purpose.

For example, at the time when Nicklas Bendtner was looking for a transfer away from Arsenal, a huge number of transfer reports came out linking Bendtner with every major club in Europe, essentially. I personally suspect that Bendtner’s agent was leaking these reports in an attempt to promote Bendtner and make him more marketable. In general, I see nothing truly nefarious about agents leaking transfer rumours for these reasons.

 

However, transfers are not the only player sales that occur in football, although the other types of sales are much more secretive and shadowy, and often of questionable legality.

In my money laundering series, I haven’t gotten around to the issue of 3rd party ownership of players just yet, but it is an issue that I believe factors heavily into this type of transfer reporting.

 

While the specifics of how these third party transactions occur are somewhat shadowy, given the questionable legality of many such transactions, it does seem to be fact that many “sales” of players occur that have no relationship whatsoever to an actual transfer between clubs.

For example, parties will trade in things like the “playing rights” of a particular player, or his “image rights.” These types of third party transactions involving ownership rights to players occur year round, irrespective of whether or not the transfer window is open or approaching. It is thus possible that, particularly with regard to transfer rumours that are published when no transfer window is near, some of these transfer reports leaked by agents relate to player “sales” other than transfers, and such sales may or may not be legal.

 

The market for third party ownership rights to players is particularly strong in South America, and I would thus look for this motive to be in play with regard to transfer rumours about players from those countries. For an example from the quiz, I would look closely at:

“Arsenal is preparing a £23m January offer for Porto’s Hulk.”

Note the following excerpt from the article itself:

“It was reported that Arsenal were in the hunt for Hulk and were preparing a £23m January offer for the Brazil international…

A swap deal however will have certain issues as the player is currently also owned by a third party. Although Porto do own 85% of the prolific goalscorer it would be somewhat of a complicated deal to offer cash and a player for someone who is owned by numerous parties.”

 

2) Attempts to influence the gambling markets

On transfer deadline day, Sky Sports carried live reports throughout the day of all of the latest breaking transfer news and rumours. At the same time, Skybet (which I refuse to link to) was also “live,” offering “live betting” on whether or not said transfers were going to occur.

I personally know very little about how the gambling markets in player transfers operate, because it’s an issue that I haven’t had time to research yet. However, the above scenario nonetheless seems to suggest a certain conflict of interest, does it not? Specifically, if Sky has a financial interest in causing the public to place bets on certain transfers, does it not seem that this might influence their reporting about those same transfers?

This incestuous relationship that exists between the media and gambling interests is a highly significant issue, and most certainly needs to be investigated further. However, for the time being, let’s just say that some media reporting about transfer rumours is likely influenced by the gambling markets in player transfers.

 

3) Destablilization of a club and/or team

On the subject of the potential use of transfer rumours to destabilize a club, we will once again turn to certain comments made by Arsène Wenger. Specifically, prior to the Norwich match, Arsène expressed the following opinion about Blackpool in an interview with Arsenal player:

Arsène: “We have seen last year Blackpool, who in the end was unfortunate because they had, I think…players who were unsettled by other clubs, but as long as they were stable psychologically they could win everywhere.”

If we take Arsène’s words as true, this would indicate that transfer rumours can, in fact, be used to destabilize a club by unsettling certain players. As such, it is certainly possible that transfer rumours (particularly those concerning key players) might have been leaked for the sole purpose of destabilizing Arsenal. Untold Media has previously expressed concern about this issue with regard to transfer speculation about the future of Robin Van Persie.

With regard to the rumours included in the quiz, I would suspect this motive in the reports about RVP, Theo Walcott, and Alex Song. The names of these players often come up in news reports parroting the “exodus from Arsenal” if Arsenal doesn’t “splash big cash” talking point, as players who are going to leave if Arsenal doesn’t spend as directed. Because of that, I would personally expect these particular reports to be linked to that campaign.

 

Overall, there are many possible motives to leak or publish false transfer rumours. And unsurprisingly, this large number of motives leads to an equally large number of false transfer reports. Some of these reports are likely intended to further legitimate business dealings, whereas others are likely linked to much more nefarious goings on. With regard to UM’s transfer quiz specifically, I would posit that all of the above factors likely played a role in the decision to report some of the rumours on the list.

 

Out of all of these rumours, I find the “exodus from Arsenal” rumours to be the most threatening to Arsenal. These reports are also linked to the transfer market on another level, in the sense that the motive for these likely efforts to destabilize the club seems to be to coerce Arsenal to spend additional money in the transfer market. And the question that brings to my mind is, once again, WHY? Why would someone go to such effort, and care so much, about where and how Arsenal spends its money?

 

That, I believe, is the most important transfer market-related issue facing Arsenal at the current moment, and it is on that issue that we will primarily focus as we continue our examination of the operations of the global transfer market.

129 comments to Untold Media: Media sets a new standard in failure, earns a pathetic “-F” on UM’s January transfer window quiz – Part 2

  • Anne

    I guess an article about shady transfer dealings is the ideal place to bring up the subject of Redknapp’s “acquittal.” Any opinions on how he pulled it off? The media seems to have known all along….

  • Shard

    Anne,

    He isn’t known as the wheeler dealer for nothing 🙂

  • Stevie E

    Just heard a great quote about how ‘arry can now continue being a successful manager… He’s won the FA Cup. THAT’S IT! He gets treated like the second coming and has won ONE trophy, whereas AW has won a multitude of prizes and get treated like dirt. Football in this country is a disgrace. I have stopped watching all gets except Arsenal and have pretty much stopped reading any press/blog with the exception of Untold (every day, at least 3 hits a day). I also no longer feel the need to comment as any new commenter here invariably spews out the same “read it in the paper, must be true” bollocks and I can’t be bothered to try to argue. This is a fantastic site, trying to achieve something more than just getting hits for sensational headlines with a copy paste story. Please keep up the good work.

  • Odhis KenyanGunner

    @Anne. Surely its inconceivable for Saint Harry of Scum to even think of evading tax. Hes infallible, is Harry. Honesty runs in his blood stream. If you doubt it you can ask Jamie. Little wonder then that he never ever complain about a referee!

  • Anne

    @Stevie E:

    If the kind of people who worship Harry Redknapp in the press ever choose to treat me like dirt, I’ll consider it a great compliment.

  • Anne

    @Odhis:

    Forget about evading tax… I suppose the one positive aspect of this acquittal is that I’ll now be free to write up Harry’s little Portsmouth “adventure” as a case study for my money laundering series.

  • Rhys Jaggar

    The issue about third party ownership is usually that the ‘owner’ takes a cut of each transfer deal. It is therefore hugely in their interests to move their player on as often as possible.

    Do a study of Tevez and you’ll see the implications of that……

  • Rhys Jaggar

    ‘FOOTBALL
    BBC Sport’s Frank Keogh on Twitter: “Maybe Harry Redknapp and Fabio Capello could do job swap? Redknapp odds-on with bookies to be next England boss. As short as 1/3 (was 2/1).”‘

    One possible motive for Redknapp’s trial???

    Not saying it was, but you can see how money could be made on it…….

  • Anne

    @Rhys:

    If Redknapp is the ideal case study for money laundering, Tevez is the ideal case study for third party ownership

  • Anne

    Regarding my “letter from a ‘gooner'” link above, it looks like they’ve gone all out and flooded the comments section as well…

    If anyone wants to see a good tactical case study, go take a look. And if you pay close attention, you’ll even notice the name of the tactic. Really, the fact that he’s familiar enough with the tactic to drop the name is a dead giveaway 🙂

  • Arvind

    @Anne: You clicked a ‘Le Groan’ link?????? :shocked ;)[:wink]

    And there’s a smiley above which might not appear. There is some filtering that’s being done on user input, I think.

    After the Hansie Cronje cricket scandal back in the 90’s .. nothing shocks me about sport. It is a business..hence there mostly is corruption…nothing else.

  • Anne

    @Arvind:

    I was wondering when someone was going to make fun of me about that link 🙂 But I did think it was relevant 🙂

  • meditation

    maybe the reason why park isnt getting any games. He may have just turned up.

  • Flavour

    Actually I have been reading past history of Arsenal and one thing that really got me close to supporting the club was the Arsène Wenger era how we improve on players without breaking the bank. This morning on another blog I just said that papers not in support of Arsenal will publish stories to shake our foundations. The agenda has been to make Arsenal bankrupt and go into administration so they can prove that running a self sustaining model is a joke but so far we have be able to be contenders even when we spend less than Liverpool, Spurs and Newcastle.

    Our consistency for the last 15 years qualifying for the Champions league answer the question that spending is not a guarantee. So I still wonder why the media and some delude mercenaries who claim to be Arsenal fan are crying out for more spending even when it is glaring that Manchester City’s spending only put them in the front just this first half but now you can see how empty they are. I still don’t think they will win the league. If they do then they bought the league.

    This article just summarises and enlightened me more on what I always know. The most preposterous news is the one about Eden or Sturridge. Everyday there is one news intended to destabilize Arsenal and his fans. Apart from the poor officiating we have seen against our darling club, we have seen the artillery of attacks by the media on our most worthy and priceless manager Arsène Wenger.

    I love this verse from the Bible “strike the shepherd and the sheep will scatter.” See they’ve got plans but it is up to every one of us to step up and support Arsenal no matter what or we succumb to these bullies and allow them to use us to destroy our own club. Watch out, soon they will start publishing that Arsenal fans are the worst in the league. I have seen that coming as they have succeeded in planting that evil seed.

  • C4

    Arry escapes!
    Guess that makes him Arry ‘Oudini now, eh?
    A wheeler dealer who can get out of a tight squeeze.

  • DaVinci

    There is also another angle of looking at this – how the manager’s influence the value of a particular player. Remember when SAF said “The first half we were battered, and we couldn’t handle Charlie Adam, his corner kicks are worth £10m”! This was after Manchester United came from behind to beat Blackpool 3-2 at Bloomfield Road. Although Liverpool would later sign Charlie Adam on a deal understood to be worth £7.5m, the comments from SAF certainly set the stage for the negotiations for any potential buying club. In this case, SAF was used by the player’s agents to give ‘legitimacy’ to the transfer price of Charlie Adam. In this scenario, a manager comments and even puts a price tag on a player who is not at his club, and who he does not represent in any way. Funny thing is that the manager gets away with it (tapping), and the comments trigger rival clubs into ‘panic’ buying the player as a hot asset in the market.

  • Gord

    WRT how Arry got off, my guess is that people were wondering what the big deal was. It looked like a rather small amount of money to be going to such efforts for. The dismissal of charges being punishment to the prosecutors office for wasting the resources of the government for such a petty amount of money. It’s possible there were many accounts set up, some easy to find with insubstantial amounts of money in them, and others harder to find with more money involved. As the prosecutor either didn’t look for other accounts, or couldn’t find them, the case turned into a matter of petty cash.

  • DC

    Nice follow-up pieces.
    But let’s get back to the core purpose of all of these analyses, discussions and investigations.
    We know that Association football is a dirty sport as it is international and revolves around alot of unregulated money that is very difficult to account for! ‘arry’s court case further clarifies that!
    The highly important question that all Arsenal fans should now be asking is (especially since Kroenke, Usmanov and the like have become involved at the higher echelons of our beloved Arsenal FC) “has the dirt now deeply entered the inner foundations of Arsenal FC?” I for one fear that it already has and I only foresee it becoming more ingrained! It is inevitable that the fans and grass-root employees will be the ones that suffer and those sitting in the haloed seats and boxes will continue to pillage from the loyalty of the majority! Unfortunately, our turnover and market valuation is not as vast as ManU and if Kroenke emulates his countrymen, then we will be well and truly screwed by the debt burden! We should all be very afraid!

  • DC

    @Gord,
    I agree, the money was just too small for it to be a significant collar! HMRC were kind of naive to expect anything to come of this prosecution. They should have investigated all of ‘arry’s and Mandaric’s financial histories beyond that relatively 300,000 before progressing with their case! Maybe then more could have been exposed about football’s dirty underbelly!

  • DC

    *relatively small 300,000*

  • AFCThink'N'Thin

    I think the (business) world as a whole survives off of creating a “spend, spend, spend” attitude. They want consumers to max out their credit cards and live beyond their means. Look at the way the banks sold countless mortgages to people who didn’t earn enough to repay them.

    So they turn good to evil and evil into good, ridiculing sensible practices such as those at Arsenal. They need the mindless sheep to go after their dreams regardless of the consequences because they want our money. “There’s money in the bank, spend it.” Who cares about that rainy day when an unforeseen event (FFP?) leaves you short.

    kinda off topic but not really: I recently quit my internet provider since they absolutely p’d me off by constantly phoning me up trying to get me to purchase extra packages. They make out they’re offering you a good deal because you’re a “valued customer” but all they want is more money from you. Makes me sick. If I’m such a valued customer, why do new subscribers get better packages for less money!?!?

  • Anne

    @Flavour:

    Well said.

  • Anne

    @DaVinci:

    That’s an interesting angle that I hadn’t thought of before. Thank you.

  • Anne

    @Gord:

    They certainly didn’t go after him nearly to the extent that they could have.

  • Anne

    @DC:

    If you go back and look at my earlier links, you’ll be able to figure out my opinion on one of those issues. As for Kroenke, I’m feeling ok with him right now.

    The Glazers were able to do what they did to ManU because of the way the takeover was structured. Basically, when they purchased the club, the deal was written to allow them buy ManU with ManU’s money.

    Kroenke, on the other hand, is a shareholder, not an owner. And I’m not seeing any ways that he could siphon money out of Arsenal like that based on the level of authority that he has.

  • Anne

    @AFC:

    Those are good general observations. However, I do think that these calls for Arsenal to spend might be a bit more targeted and specifically motivated.

  • critic

    Nice whole idea and articles anne.

  • bjtgooner

    Anne these two articles are, as I have come to expect, very well thought out and written.

    Regarding the media being totally inaccurate when “reporting” on Arsenal’s transfer activity there is the factor that Wenger is rightly extremely secretive about contacts. This does not give the media the right to make up stories and, if Wenger was less secretive the media would probably make up just as many stories anyway.

    At times it certainly has looked as if the media have had a collective strategy to undermine Wenger and/or the club and destabilise the players. This was obvious last summer when the media behaved in a particulary disgusting manner. It is strange that during such times the AAA/BBB sites like Le Gripe pitch in to swell the media fervour.

  • DC

    @Anne,
    I sincerely hope that you are correct about Kroenke et al. but unfortunately I don’t trust anyone who wants to make fundamental financial decisions regarding our club and yet does not have a long tradition of loyalty, service or genuine commitment to Arsenal FC.

  • DC

    What’s more, the resignation of Capello meant that Redknapp could not be found guilty with him being lined up to take over the top job in English sport! What a footballing joke this country is becoming! Well done media hacks!

  • DC

    I bet the Spuds fans must be s**ting themselves! LOL!

  • DC

    “every cloud……”!

  • nicky

    Right from the 1930’s, when the “media”, its power and
    influence was spawned and realised, anything to do with Arsenal FC was NEWS.
    The Club cleverly encouraged it and if there was no publicity, they made it.
    As the years have gone by, the media has rejoiced and gloated on the triumphs and disasters of Arsenal in equal measure. The Club, above all others, has provided sports scribes with the wherewithal to record a host of stories, some true, others works of fiction but ALL news about Arsenal.
    The fact that the Club is based in London, the media centre of the country, is clearly an advantage, but its history and
    tradition is such that any story about the business of running
    Arsenal FC will be news for the sports pages, radio or television.
    This situation, IMO, will never change and why should it?
    A perpetual source of news is not to be easily ignored by those whose business it is to use it. All it needs is for all true Gooners to try to separate the wheat from the chaff when absorbing all that the media sends their way.

  • Rhys Jaggar

    Stevie E

    You can think what you want about Harry Redknapp, it’s a free country, but I doubt even Arsene Wenger would win trophies managing Southampton, Portsmouth and Bournemouth. Even West Ham at Upton Park. Harry didn’t do a bad job blooding a lot of the senior England players now (Ferdinand, Lampard, Joe Cole, Jermain Defoe), he gave Walcott and Bale a chance at Southampton and wheeled and dealed his way to the FA Cup at Portsmouth in ways we’ll no doubt read about in these columns in the days ahead……

    Harry Redknapp’s test has been at Spurs and so far he’s done a pretty good job – bottom of the league to the champions league quarter finals and this year a clear 3rd in the League. That’s pretty good performance with Utd and City being as powerful as they are. He’s managed Luka Modric’s ego, saw the need to bring in Scott Parker and did one of the deals of the century to get van der Vaart. He’s blooded Kyle Walker to international recognition and has a team playing very, very good football. He’s not done a bad job, to be honest…….

    If Arsene Wenger wants the job, I’m sure he can let the FA know through third parties. Then they can make their own minds up……

    In my humble opinion, the best performing managers in the EPL right now are Brendan Rodgers, Paul Lambert and Harry Redknapp. With Alan Pardew a close fourth.

    That’s not saying Mancini, Ferguson, Wenger aren’t doing pretty well too.

    But it’s saying that the others are punching well above their weight……..

    Of course, if the FA want a root and branch overhaul of the whole English system, Arsene Wenger might be the man to do it.

    But if England manager is just manager of senior team, then motivation and group bonding is key.

  • walter

    With the amount of money spend by Redknapp at those teams it is a disgrace that he only one 1 FA cup in his career and for the rest virtually bankrupted them all.

  • bjtgooner

    @Walter

    I agree about Redknapp’s spending, but are we not seeing a massive media spin in his favour? Further, thanks to Redknapp, are Spurs now starting to run out of cash?

  • Jerry

    With all the transfer stories, I think it’s a mix of the paper needs to sell and agents trying to get their players names out. From the paper’s side, anything with Arsenal’s name will get some attention with the club being based in London. From the agent’s point of view, Arsenal has one of the best scouting around and if they’re interested, the player must be really good a.k.a. cost a lot more money to get.

    In regards to Kroenke vs Usmanov, I honestly don’t think it makes too much of a difference. The Board is what runs the club and honestly I don’t like them. Sometimes I feel they throw Arsene under the bus so to speak and I think a change needs to be made there if anything. Also, their negotiating skills seem to be poor (i.e. see the Cesc sale)

    Good news for Arsenal today though, no transfer maybe a blessing in disguise, Gervinho finding his scoring boots for Ivory Coast today! Had a really good first touch on the ball too! His goal is around the 2 min mark:

    http://football-talk.co.uk/59380/video-gervinho-solo-effort-sends-ivory-coast-in-to-final-of-acon/

  • Jerry

    @Rhys, Arsene has won trophies with every club he has been – Monaco (France), Nagoya Grampus(Japan), and Arsenal. Arsene is the one person capable of winning a cup with any team.

  • Stuart

    With reference to point 3, destabilisation. I fully agree and have thought along these lines for quite some time. If an agent doesn’t get what they want then they seem to go out of their way by fabricating these interested parties and leaking them via the papers in a seemingly childish dummy spat out tantrum.

  • Kentetsu

    Before answering a question WHY people might want Arsenal to spend money, first look into what happens if Arsenal DO spend money.

    – Arsenal will have (arguably) better players, will become more competitive and has a better chance of winning trophies. Actually, none of these is guaranteed and the media is not painting an image as if they want Arsenal to be successful.

    – The club is less likely to make a profit and could get into the red if money is spend too freely. A company making losses year on year is susceptible to control by an external party “helping them out”, whereas a company that is self-sufficient is not.

    – More money will move around and big money flows are good for banks. Other than banks, I do not think there is one party that will profit from every player transfer of every club in the EPL.

    Other than this, it is also necessary to look into what happens if Arsenal do NOT spend big money. In particular, what makes Arsenal stand out from all the other EPL clubs. The only thing I can come up with right now is that Arsenal proves that clubs can be self-sufficient and still do well in the league. In particular if we manage to start winning some tropies again this would undermine the prevailing business model where spending beyond your means is the norm.

    Apart from the money issue, I think the main reason for the vast amount of transfer gossip is agents trying to sell their players. They leak a story, while reporters don’t feel obligated to actually verify a story any more – with the internet the amount of news articles has exploded, so inaccurate reports don’t stand out. It’s very easy to get your player mentioned, in particular if you connect him with a club like Arsenal.
    I don’t think this generally is much of a problem, although it may have led Samba to go on strike, thinking Blackburn blocked a move to Arsenal or elsewhere. Whether Arsenal were genuinely interested is difficult to find out, but hey, as long as he’s employed and payed (handsomely) by Blackburn, he should honour his contract.

  • Kentetsu

    Wasted some precious time last night reading the letter from a concerned gooner and the article on le grove. The latter’s article should be called “le grove spins the truth to suit their own agenda again”. It’s to easy to refute what they’re saying.
    Take this for example: first they blame Wenger for overpaying for Koscielny; we should have signed him when he was still playing in the amateur league. Next, Wenger gets castigated for signing up Eisfeld as he is unproven, conveniently ignoring the fact that Oxlade-Chamberlain delivered as soon as he arrived at Arsenal, despite his young age and only having played a handful of games so far.

  • Anne

    @Critic:

    Thanks 🙂

  • Anne

    @bjtgooner:

    Thanks to you as well. For the most part, transfer rumour reports don’t bother me that much so long as I don’t have to read them. But it is kind of interesting to think about the different motives behind something that is so commonplace that we usually don’t think about it.

  • Anne

    Going back to my Letter From a Concerned “Gooner” posts, just checked their comments again, and apparently we have some Untold readers over there! I’ll re-post their comments below and reply.

  • Anne

    1st comment from Letter From a Concerned “Gooner”:

    LJB says:
    February 9, 2012 at 5:04 am

    Eka great article.Do you know that “Untold Arsenal” are painting this article as part of a media conspiracy against the club.Heaven forbid that people might deviate from their happy clappy everything is super at Arsenal opinion.Peasants can’t think for themselves you know!!I prefer a multiownership model,but as the greedy former shareholders sold out i would prefer the man that actually lives in the UK and gos to games to be in control.Step forward mr Usmanov.I cannot wait for the day those accounts show a loss so those with a holier than thou attitude like Wenger(the adulterer)and Gazidis(the slimebag) actually concentrate on the mess on the pitch instead of patting each other on the back.

  • Anne

    @LJB:

    I’m sure that Mr. Usmanov as well “cannot wait for the day those accounts show a loss.” I can see the attraction 🙂

  • Anne

    2nd comment from Letter From a Concerned “Gooner”:

    EKA says:
    February 9, 2012 at 5:38 am

    LJB
    Thank you for your thoughts. I agree with you.

    “Do you know that “Untold Arsenal” are painting this article as part of a media conspiracy against the club”

    Haha, I saw that. I wrote this, lets see if they post my comment:
    Anne
    Can you explain your attack? I have no hidden agenda and I also wrote that we should support the team, the players and the manager. I love Arsenal and would never do anything with purpose to harm Arsenal, but know I fear for our long-term future and I think I have every right to express my concerns about Kroenke. A lot of people do support this and you have no right to tell them that their feelings are wrong. Maybe we should all ask, who are you and what are your agenda? Btw is this an american site?

    Again,thank you for your comments and sorry for the bad English.

  • Anne

    @EKA:

    As you can see, I posted your comment. However, I do have to wonder whether you posted it, because I don’t see it anywhere.

  • Anne

    And we have a follow up from EKA:

    EKA says:
    February 9, 2012 at 8:48 am

    I tried to comment Untold Arsenals comments about this article but they removed my comment after a while and instead post a pro-Kroenke message where Anne “feels ok” with Kroenke. Wow, and she accuses me. I wonder what her agenda is.

  • EKA’s comment is still held in moderation – he has posted under 2 different identities ‘EKA’ and ‘Untold Story’ with two seperate email adresses. I haven’t clicked approve as I read his article and, although I do not trust Kroenke I find his overtly pro-Usmanov stance deeply disturbing i.e. starting his ‘argument’ on why Usmanov is ace:

    “We know that Usmanov don’t want to own Arsenal primary to make more money.”

    We all know that do we… how exactly do we all know this?

    But it goes on:

    “At Forbes list with the richest people in the world Usmanov is 35th with $17.7 Billion and Kroenke is 440th with $2.6 Billion – the same amount as Glazers but less then Steven Spielberg.”

    Jolly good… I’m not quite sure what that is supposed to tell us other than he’s clearly a ruthless greedy bastard?

    Anyhoo – I don’t want to make this the point of argument in the comments section and give it further publicity. Anne – I will send you his message and email address and you can reply privately as it was addressed to you.

  • Charlie

    DogFace why would a man who has a personal fortune of $18 billion use a club worth $700m to make money ? Just as Abramovich doesn’t see any point in making money out of Chelsea there would be no point in Usmanov using Arsenal to make money. There are many more profitable ways for a man such as him to make profit from $700m. His motivation has to be for pleasure which means that he will spend money. I expect the conspiracy theorists on this site to be out in force talking about money laundering but I really don’t think money-laundering is a major problem in Russia. Kroenke, on the other hand, is worth less than $3 billion and he really needs to make money out of Arsenal which means not spending money on players unless you can sell them for more. The current board have no ambition. Peter Dead-Wood doesn’t care whether we come in the top four and Ivan The Terrible thinks that Man City should be jealous of us while they sit top of the league. The guys simply don’t care about success for Arsenal FC, only about profits. One final question, this site supports Arsene and Arsene is starting to show dissent against the board so which side will you take if this turns ugly ?

  • Charlie

    Incidentally DogFace would you call anyone with money a ruthless greedy bastard or just those from Russia. If it’s the latter that would make you a racist. Kroenke can’t possibly be a ruthless greedy bastard because he’s American, hang on isn’t American known to be home to more ruthless greedy bastards than any country on Earth ? Can’t believe you’re a respected contributor to this site with such statements.

  • Charlie,
    You seem to have no understanding of what it is to be an Oligarch in modern Russia. These men need assets outside of Russia in case the Russian government changes it’s mood or personnel. Look at what has happened to our own Boris Berezovsky, formerly a multi-billionaire, now reduced to suing his old business partner, Roman Abramovich.
    Usmanov has incredible wealth on paper but if somehow he annoys Putin, he’ll be selling those shares to Kroenke faster than you can say ‘Спасибо товарищу.’

  • Charlie – I have already stated that I do not trust Kroneke. I do not care where he or Usmanov were born – to suggest that the motives for my lack of trust might be ‘racist’ are quite frankly a reflection of your weak mind.

    I’m interested though as you seem to be taking this all very personally, do you regard Alisher Usmanov to be a Fit and Proper Person – if so why?

  • Charlie

    There was a generalisation there about Russian businessmen which I pounced on perhaps unfairly because I know it was meant in jest. Usmanov is certainly no worse than a board who insist on 20m profit every season and have been quoted saying things that clearly show no ambition for the club. Personally I do not care how he made his money, to some extent, that’s just me. I’m not writing his biography so I don’t know his history and I am pretty sure that you don’t either because i’m sure he kept it well hidden. If I supported Cheslea I wouldn’t care how Abramovich made his money and if I was a Spuds fan I wouldn’t care if Harry paid his taxes. I only care what is best for Arsenal FC and it is not the three running the club now who would see us in mid-table if Arsene Wenger hadn’t performed miracles over the last 10 years. If a billionaire wants to get pleasure by spending his money on players for Arsenal and seeing the team win, which I believe to be the case, that would be a welcome change in my opinion.

  • You’re right – of course, he ‘may’ spend money but like Abramovich this money will be accounted for in a company and still ‘owed’… although if the FFP rules are enforced then I’m not certain that he could even do that.

    Owning a football club is something of a ticket to respectability and perhaps reveals something of Usmanov’s political ambitions on the world stage.

    Owning a football club would also give you a distinct edge in the Asian black markets – if you were into that sort of thing.

    You can find a little on his history here: http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/category/usmanov/

  • Charlie

    Quick question, if Usmanov would be so bad for Arsenal why did the one ex board member who clearly does love the club, David Dein, resign over Usmanov being shut out ? I can assure you that David Dein knows a lot more than any of you about what happens behind the closed doors of the boardroom. Arsene trusted and believed in Dein, to fault his judgement is also to fault the judgement of Arsene.

  • Charlie – I do not trust David Dein and I also do not agree with your statement [above]… nor do I hold your judge of character in any esteem whatsoever.

  • Charlie

    We are agreed on one thing. It’d be better if the current board were happy with breaking even in order to get in one or two star players and properly challenge for trophies. Playing for profit will get them nowhere and if Arsene leaves to manage France they’ll see exactly what would’ve happenned if he hadn’t been there. We’ll all see it unfortunately.

  • Yes… that may be the case – but isn’t that what being a supporter of a club is all about – take the rough with the smooth and keep singing and all that?

  • WalterBroeckx

    Charlie,
    and what would we/Arsenal/you do when this billionaire suddenly dies/gets bored/steps down?

    If Kroenke would die/get bored/stepped down he could sell the club as a club that has been runned in a decent way with not much debt (apart from the stadium). What would happen if usmanov spent £1B pound, then gets bored and wants his money back?

    We then could act like Portsmouth/Leeds/……

    I think on Untold we have made it clear in the past that we would have loved the old status quo to remain intact for as long as it could.

    It wasn’t to be, but I can’t find any indications that Kroenke is out to destroy Arsenal.

    The (not liked by you) sustainable business model has been the key for Arsenal since a long period (even before Kroenke) and this is to be sure that we can enjoy Arsenal for many years to come at the highest possible level.

    I think you and whoever that “worried fan” might be is afraid of the fact that if we would win things again Usmanov will have not chance of becoming the nr. 1 at Arsenal.

  • Charlie

    DogFace do you trust anyone ? For those who read this site regularly you would get the impression that the whole world is corrupt. Besides, name me a successful football club that does have trustworthy ownership ?

  • Charlie

    Walter the sustainable business model is only sustainable while Arsene is performaing miracles and keeping the club in the top four. It is about to come crashing down around them because Arsene is getting sick of the lack of ambition from those above him. Have you noticed how he always denies links to other jobs, until now !

  • Hmmm… I hate to say it (and I really do) but FC United of Manchester maybe? And no – my default position is not one of trust.

  • Charlie

    One final thing because it’s getting late here in China and time that I wasn’t on my computer. The sustainable business model hasn’t provided the one thing that really matters, trophies. Do we really care about the profits of Arsenal PLC ?

  • Shard

    Charlie

    Why do you distrust the board so much? Do you think they are out to destroy Arsenal? They are only filling their pockets? How so? They do not draw dividends. Their policies did increase share price and they turned a heavy profit when they sold to Kroenke. But they could have sold to Usmanov at a higher rate. They didn’t. Unlike Dein. And if Arsene Wenger felt so strongly about Dein’s departure, or even about our model, he would have resigned, and would definitely not have defended our model with the vim that he did at the AGM. So spare us the Arsene will leave fear because the board are driving him away. We’ll see. Either way. That is no argument for bringing in Usmanov.

  • Trophies quickly become memories it seems…

  • Charlie

    Ok, one final final thought. I know the big fear is that Usmanov would fall out of favour in Russia, lose his wealth and sell the club. Why is selling the club a disaster ? As always it depends who buys it. As for the club being unsustainable well yes you might have a wage bill of 200m quid a year like Man City and only have income of 100m when the Russian is assasinated (we’re getting a little far-fetched). You might need to sell some key players to get the wage bill down and make some money…..hang on that’s what happens every summer anyway and that definitely what happenned last summer.

  • Shard

    Until the stadium debt is payed off and the new shirt deal is signed..

  • Charlie

    DogFace those trophies came when spending on players was not so restricted. You can tie Arsenes’ success to the net amount that he had to spend each year. Arsene Wenger would be winning trophies with the same regularity if he wasn’t spending less net on transfers than any other manager in the year for the last 10 years.

  • Charlie

    sorry *in the league, not *in the year.

  • Shard

    oh and if Usmanov just wants the club to do well with his money..why does he need to buy the 67% stake that Kroenke owns..Just pay Arsenal £1 billion with the proviso that Arsene Wenger decided what happens to that money, and make a show of it and he still gets the same plaudits and still gets to have his fun.

  • Winning or buying?

  • Charlie

    If the board sanctions a single transfer over 20m for someone like Eden Hazard or Neymar who are both keenly convetted by Arsene I will hold my hands up and say I was wrong.

  • Shard

    Who says they are keenly coveted by Arsene? He was asked a direct question about Hazard and he answered by talking about his skills.Arsene also said that it is a manager’s job to also gauge whether the money demanded for a player is worth it. Maybe Arsene doesn’t think they are worth 20-30 million

  • Tasos

    @Charlie

    “Ivan The Terrible thinks that Man City should be jealous of us while they sit top of the league”.

    What Ivan Gazidis actually said was “We’re in three competitions this year. You know, Manchester City would love to be in three competitions. They’re not”.

    Don’t get Me wrong, I’m enjoying this debate but stick to factual quotes.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Charlie,
    correct me if I’m wrong but wasn’t it Usmanov a few years ago who was the only person on the AGM that asked to pay a dividend to the shareholders?

    And paying a dividend to the shareholders=drawing money out of the club.

  • Charlie

    Shard here’s a quote about Neymar
    ‘If I had the money today, I’d put it on Neymar,’ said Wenger.

    Read more: http://www.metro.co.uk/sport/football/883996-neymar-interest-confirmed-by-arsenal-boss-arsene-wenger#ixzz1lta2Xsbr

    “I like Eden Hazard a lot and for many reasons,” he said, before helpfully going on to list those reasons. “His creative ability, his talent for unbalancing opponents, his vision of the game, and his consummate skill in making the final pass. Hazard has what it takes to play for a top-level club and Arsenal are a top-level club.”

    If that’s not a manager covetting players then Barcelona never suggested any interest in Cesc and i’m a monkeys’ uncle.

  • Charlie

    @Tasos. Arsenal are not in 3 competitions, the most important one is gone. I guarantee that nobody at Man City would swap places, it was a ridiculous statement by a deluded man. Arsenal are in the last 16 of two cup competitions, by no means favourites to win either and only have a chance in the FA Cup. Man City are favourites to win the Premier League.

  • Charlie

    Walter they may not want dividends but we have no idea what their wages are because they are hidden amongst a squad of 70 players on wages between perhaps 3000 quid a week and 100000 quid a week.

  • Tasos

    @Charlie

    Once again you misquote the man.

    He did not say “swap positions”, merely that they (Man City) would love to still be in the three competitions at this stage, as I’m sure Man Utd would also be.

    I fail to find anything wrong with such a statement.

  • Jerry

    @Shard, I believe when Dein did resign, there were reports that Arsene offered to resign as well in loyalty to Dein, since Dein is the one who fought with the board to bring Arsene to Arsenal (twice, the year before he was hired)!

    The owners do not make a difference frankly, it’s up to the board who does all the negotiating. For the self-sustaining model to work, the Board needs to work properly and do their job so the club can make a profit! For example, Fabregas sold for I believe the same price as or less than Andy Carroll! Are you kidding me? The board needs to get their act together, not Arsene or the competing owners.

    If Kroenke as the owner wants to run it as a business, that’s fine and is what should be done, but all successful business get the right employees to work and manage it, and fire/get rid of those that don’t!

  • Shard

    any chance you could find those ‘reports’ Jerry?

    What I found are these quotes from Arsene after Dein resigned.

    “I will complete my contract so I am going to stay here until 2008. I will continue to give my best as I always have.

    “If this had not happened, people would not be asking me these questions about my contract. I committed to that.”
    “We have lost a man of class, intelligence and competence who made a great contribution to this club.

    “It is a disappointment and a big loss. David always at heart had the best interest of the club.

    “Even if I am very sad it is important to keep the best interest of the club in mind.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/a/arsenal/6574129.stm

  • Shard

    And as we know..Arsene signed another contract after that. Dein might be Arsene’s friend. They may have shared a good working relationship. But if you say Arsene doesn’t believe in what Arsenal are doing, I would have to think you are wrong because all the evidence seems to be to the contrary.

  • Shard

    Charlie.. in the end..Neymar will go to only one club. The rest can have all the money but they won’t get him. What good does their money do them in getting the player then? Really..How you read a criticism of Arsenal’s transfer policy from that stupid article, I don’t know. It’s a less than serious question and Wenger played along.. So he’d like Neymar. I’m sure he’d also like Messi and Xavi and Ronaldo and a world XI of the greatest talent. Let’s go get them, once Usmanov sends Arsenal a cheque. After all, he just wants to see Arsenal succeed and at the most be able to boast about it. So why does he need anything else? Write Arsene a cheque and publicly state you are willing to finance any purchases Arsenal makes and their wages. If Arsenal say no to that, we can ask them why?

  • Jerry

    @Shard, I never said Arsene didn’t believe in what Arsenal are doing since Arsene has built Arsenal as a self sustaining model which I support as well and is one of the reasons I support the club as opposed to the other money rich clubs. Here’s a quote from Dein in regards to Wenger then:

    “When I left in April I think his future was very much in the balance, in fact he said to me at the time he wasn’t sure he wanted to stay on,” Dein said.

    “I think it was important he stayed on for the future of the club with all the players he is bringing through, his eye for talent.

    “It was a very, very major decision for him to stay on. Certainly I wanted him to stay on. My love for the club is undiminished, irrespective of events that have happened and I know Arsene is right for the club.”

    http://www.metro.co.uk/sport/football/65305-dein-wenger-considered-quitting#ixzz1luX3Iasr

    It was more than just a good working relationship though, Dein tried bringing Wenger when Graham was dismissed but got overruled in 1995. Then he was finally able to get support in 1996 when Rioch was dismissed. Arsene truly loves the blub that’s why he stayed on, even with a board that didn’t approve of him in the beginning!

    Dein is the one who brought Kroenke on board, which the Board did have a problem with and was one of the reasons for Dein’s ouster.

    Hill-Wood’s comments:

    “Call me old-fashioned but we don’t need Kroenke’s money and we don’t want his sort. Our objective is to keep Arsenal English, albeit with a lot of foreign players. I don’t know for certain if Kroenke will mount a hostile takeover for our club but we shall resist it with all our might.

    We are all being seduced that the Americans will ride into town with pots of cash for new players. It simply isn’t the case. They only see an opportunity to make money. They know absolutely nothing about our football and we don’t want these types involved.”

    http://soccerlens.com/arsenal-vs-dein-kroenke-can-get-30-what-are-the-boards-plans-for-arsenal/1443/

    Now the same board is singing Kroenke’s praises.

    And I don’t think Arsene does agree completely with the current board.

    Hill-wood on Champions league: “”We are hanging on in there, no more,” he told the Daily Star of the club’s current position. “From a financial point of view, not qualifying for the Champions League is quite a blow.

    “We have been planning for not qualifying every year, so it’s not a disaster, but it would be nice if we could.”

    http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story/_/id/1009893/arsenal%27s-hill-wood-plays-down-impact-of-failure?cc=5901

    Arsene Wenger on Champions league:
    “”For me it would be [a disaster]”, he said. “Because I want to play with the best.”We want to be in there, in the top four, and to play in the Champions League, and anything else would not be good enough.”

    http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story/_/id/1010942/arsene-wenger:-not-reaching-ucl-a-%27disaster%27?cc=5901

    Every now and then Arsene will say a comment like that, that contrasts the current board slightly.

  • Jerry

    Arsene is not getting the support he needs, due to the Board, not Kroenke or any other owner. Hill-Wood’s comments on Arsene’s summer transfers:

    ‘We have brought some new players in and although I don’t know that much about many of them I think, generally speaking, they are going to improve the squad,’ Hill-Wood told the Daily Star.

    http://www.metro.co.uk/sport/football/874725-arsenals-peter-hill-wood-i-back-arsene-but-dont-know-his-signings#ixzz1luelQm8b

    That’s ridiculous if the chairman doesn’t know those players: Arteta was in the Premier league already, Benayoun also as well as the Israeli team captain, Mertesacker a German International.

    Most of the chairman’s comments are about making a profit, where as Arsene Wenger’s is appropriately about winning. Wenger is doing his job to the best of his ability, I don’t think the Board is though. We’re not going to make good profits by selling players like Fabregas at a home price discount. Hopefully the new shirt deal will help if the board can actually negotiate properly.

  • Jerry

    @Shard, the comment at 7:07 is after a comment i made at 6:58 pm which was long, is why I think it’s awaiting moderation?

  • Anne

    @Charlie:

    “I expect the conspiracy theorists on this site to be out in force talking about money laundering but I really don’t think money-laundering is a major problem in Russia.”

    So, if I were to suggest that the Russian mafia regularly engages in money laundering, that would make me a “conspiracy theorist?” 🙂

  • Anne

    @DogFace:

    “Winning or buying?”

    Touche.

  • Anne

    This conversation has become a bit redundant. However, it does inspire me to ask, once again, the question I posed at the end of my article:

    “WHY? Why would someone go to such effort, and care so much, about where and how Arsenal spends its money?”

    Only concern for the good of the club, right?

  • Anne

    Am noticing a slight change of tack, though. From targeting Arsene to targeting the board and management.

    How long before anyone who doesn’t like Usmanov becomes known as the “Kroenke Knows Brigade” (KKB). Or how about the “Kroenke is Great Brigade” (KGB)?

  • Anne

    @Kentetsu:

    I don’t know if you’re still checking this, but I had meant to tell you how much I enjoyed your comments above. Very interesting and well thought out.

  • Anne

    On the subject of Neymar:

    Let’s take a quick look at all of the varies third parties who own him:

    “Santos own at most just 55% of Neymar’s playing rights. The DIS investment group purchased a 40% stake in the player’s future transfer fees in 2009, and the Terceira Estrela consortium bought up another 5% last November. And none of that takes into consideration the interest Neymar’s family still retains, and transfer-mongering agent Walter Ribeiro is due his piece of the pie as well.

    In any case, we know there are at least five parties with something to gain from a big-money transfer, not to mention Neymar himself…Two of those parties are investment firms who make it their business to turn a substantial profit on their outlays.”

    This would be quite a complicated transfer indeed, with quite a few interested stakeholders. Would it be in Arsenal’s best interest to involve themselves in such a complicated transfer? Or would it be in the best interest of one or more other parties?

  • Jerry

    @Anne, I personally didn’t like the current Board because some of the comments I feel they don’t support Arsene enough like some of the quotes above and the Cesc sale. I agree Cesc had to be sold, but at a better price considering his age and amount of years left on his contract (especially when you consider the Carroll sale at the time). For us to be a self-sustaining model, we have to maximize profits where we can so we can get adequate replacements to have a strong team while maintaining profits.

    As good as Neymar is, I wouldn’t break the bank considering all the different third parties, plus I don’t think it’s worth going bankrupt for 1 player! It’s better to get players who still have something to prove, because they’ll play harder for the team like most of our current squad players.

  • Damien Luu

    @Jerry: “We are all being seduced that the Americans will ride into town with pots of cash for new players.” – Never have I. And tell you the truth, I never want ANYONE, Americans or Russians or Arabians, throw their money in to Arsenal just because they have too much money and don’t know how to ‘entertain’ with it (they can always send it to me for that matter), make Arsenal spending like other idiots, and end with ridiculously huge payrolls. It IS sick. The way Man C and the others trying to buy trophies makes me sick, even if they success.

    “The Arsenal way” – the sustainable model as you called it, in my opinion, is the only RIGHT way to do business, and I want to see Arsenal successing with that model, to prove to the stupid football world that IS the only right and healthy way to do business. And I am sure that is what Arsene Wenger and Kroenke and the Board want, too.

    About “the Cesc sale”: It is AW’s decision to let him go because he wanted to go to Barca. As AW said, that was a “special situation” where the price could be “very much higher” but it wasn’t because “the player didn’t want to go anywhere else.” The Board had nothing to do with that.

  • Charlie

    Hey Jerry i’d agree with Shard that IF Neymar leaves he’ll go to Barcelona but he has said that he wants to stay at Santos. Despite all that the kid scored his 100th league goal on his 20th birthday recently and if Arsene puts him top of his wish list he must be pretty good. It is quite likely that he would be a contender for World Player of The Year if he played in Europe along with Ronaldo and Messi. If you can get one of the worlds’ best players with the money that you got from selling Cesc and Nasri then any ambitious team would do exactly that. In reality he probably isn’t interested but I am very confident that this board would not sanction his purchase even if he was interested in coming to Arsenal. As for the self-sustaining financial model balls to it if it leaves the trophy cabinet empty for the next 10 years as I suspect it will. Your team is even in contention for trophies or not, this team is not because too little money has been spent, too many good players have been sold and too many of the alleged bargains turned out to be duds. Did you all notice how nobody would buy Bendtner or Denilson in the summer because their wages are well above what they are worth ? The same will probably go for Squillaci, Chamakh, Park and Diaby this coming summer. Arshavin will be bought by a Russian team because he’s still a hero over there. The problem here is that even with a man of Arsenes’ intelligence at the helm you take a big risk if you try to buy players on the cheap every single time. The Ox has been great BUT he wasn’t cheap, the exception that proves the rule.

  • Charlie

    Shard we could go round and round over those Gazidis comments but by saying “Man City wish they were in three competitions” he missed two important facts out. Firstly that Arsenal aren’t in three competitions, Arsenal are in two. Secondly any team would rather be in Man Citys’ position than Arsenals’ and he was clearly implying the contrary.

  • Charlie

    Regarding the self-sustaining financial model give it a year to see whether the Financial Fair Play Regulation make any difference to anything and see whether Arsese stays, if not to both I think it’s time to give up. Only Arsene Wenger can keep this club in the top four with so little to spend and challenging for trophies will only be possible if the playing field is levelled out by the new reg’s. I personally think a negative result in either case will see the club nestled in mid-table for a long time.

  • WalterBroeckx

    I think it will take at least another 2 or 3 years before we could say that the FFPR will have a real effect or not. At first I thought it would but then the brought in a Belgian no-good and looking at how he (mis)managed my country the fear is there that he will mismanage the FFPR also.

    But still the rules are there and we can only wait and see how it will have its influence on football in the next years.

  • Anne

    @Charlie:

    So, what’s up with this all this new-found Arsene Wenger love amongst Usmanov-supporting twats like yourself? I mean, seriously…You’ve been fawning on Wenger the whole time you’ve been in this comments section. It’s not like you…

    By the way, the reason I’m calling you a twat is because I already know what you’re up to. I’m just wondering if you’ll be honest about it.

  • Anne

    @Charlie:

    Of course, if you don’t want to answer my question, you could always just leave quietly and take your destabilization campaign with you.

  • Jerry

    @Damien Luu, I wasn’t saying for an American to take over Arsenal and get rid of the self-sustaining model. I was taking those quotes to show how the Board flip flops and completely changed tune. Those comments by Hill-wood were in regard to Kroenke, who 3-4 years later, they all sold their shares to for a profit! And they ousted Dein for bringing Kroenke in at the time also! The Board I feel can’t truly be trusted and do not support Wenger enough (I’m not saying financially, but more I think in the press). Their statements contradict Wenger on a few occasions

  • Jerry

    @Charlie, the price of the players shouldn’t matter, it’s the quality of the player that matters. Arsenal didn’t break the bank for players like Wilshere (Academy), Ox, RVP, Verminator, Koscielny, Sagna, Arteta, Gervinho, Song, Theo, Szczesny, Ramsey, etc who must Gooners wouldn’t give up for anything!

    Quality doesn’t always equal high transfer fees

  • bjtgooner

    @Charlie

    I find it hard to decide if you are a Troll, an agitator or both. Certainly you are a waste of time.

  • Anne

    @bjtgooner:

    He came here from that Letter From a “Gooner” article. I think this comment he left over there pretty much sums up what he’s about:

    “It is possible to make owners feel so unwanted that they sell up and move on. Please support the team while they play but at the next televised game protest against the ownership. Make Stan, Ivan etc’ feel thoroughly unwanted as you would anyone who is destroying something that you love. I have never changed my stance on this, kick out the yank and bring in the Russian.”

  • Anne

    @Damien Luu:

    I agree with you about the self-sustaining model.

  • Anne

    @Jerry:

    I was under the impression that it was Danny Fiszman who brought in Kroenke. When Kroenke first bought into Arsenal, he purchased both the ITV shares and 1% of Fiszman’s shares.

  • Tasos

    Moneybags Man City are worthy favourites to win the EPL this season, just as they were worthy fav’s to win the FA cup before Man Utd knocked them out, just as they were odds-on fav’s to win the Carling cup before Liverpool disposed of them and just as were odds-on fav’s to qualify for the knock-out stages of the ECL. For a club that has spent £500m+ on transfers in recent seasons, winning the EPL should now be viewed as a minimum requirement for them this season.

    Meanwhile the other moneybags club Chelsea look a long way off repeating their championship winning feats of recent times. FFP appears to be having an effect on the transfer policy of Chelsea’s billionaire owner Roman Abramovich.

    Here’s an article from the excellent Swiss Ramble website;

    http://swissramble.blogspot.com/

  • Anne

    @Tasos:

    Thanks for the link. There’s a lot of interesting information that can be read from those numbers.

  • bjtgooner

    @Anne

    Thanks for your comment and also for the quote the “Letter from a ‘Gooner’ article”. The sentiment in that quote seems to be in accord with elements of the AAA/BBB and wider anti Arsenal media. I wonder has Charlie got over excited and prematurely exposed the game plan of some of those who want to get rid of Wenger?

  • Jerry

    @Anne

    Here’s a couple links to Dein/Kroenke relationship. Dein supported a Kroenke takeover or at the minimum membership to the Board whereas the Current Board were against it and pledged to hold onto their shares for 1 year and ousted Dein.

    Dein negotiated with Kroenke first for his shares, but didn’t do it in the end because he couldn’t get assurances that he would be put back as chair.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/2311908/Dein-talks-to-Kroenke-over-sale-of-shares.html

    http://www.metro.co.uk/sport/football/46215-hill-wood-hits-out-at-kroenke

  • Anne

    @Jerry:

    I’m quite confident that those news reports are inaccurate. As to who was meeting with whom, and when, it’s all speculation from unnamed “sources.” And there is not a shred of evidence to support this idea that Dein was ousted from the board because he supported a Kroenke takeover. I’ve looked into this quite in depth.

  • Anne

    @Jerry:

    As for the Peter Hill-Wood comments, he apparently did make statements of that nature at one point. However, not much context has been provided, and he has never said anything of the sort on any other occasion. I don’t buy those statements as an accurate reflection of the position of the Arsenal board at the time where Kroenke is concerned.

    Particularly considering that Danny Fiszman was selling Kroenke some of his own Arsenal shares during the same time period.

  • Anne

    And this isn’t saying that I love Kroenke or anything. It’s just the facts as I see them.

  • Jerry

    @Anne, I’m sorry but got to disagree. All the links online when you search show that Dein was the one that supported Kroenke initially and pushed Kroenke to buy the ITV shares in 2007. Fiszman only sold Kroenke shares in 2009.

    Timeline of Kroenke shares:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/arsenal/8442560/Arsenal-takeover-timeline-of-Stan-Kroenkes-time-as-club-shareholder.html

    Here’s another link, 3rd paragraph, it mentions it again:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/8451701/Danny-Fiszman.html

    Arguing about it doesn’t really help, but I was just showing the Board’s initial hesitation and how different they became in support of Kroenke in 2008 to 2009. If you have any links that support a different view, I’m willing to look at them also, but all evidence shows the Board’s initial hesitation/animosity toward Kroenke.

  • Jerry

    @Anne, I responded at 1:48 am (awaiting moderation). Just wanted to be clear I’m not supporting either Kroenke or Usmanov, since I don’t feel who the owner is really matters. I feel the Board is what needs to be strong for the self-sustaining model to work and be successful on and off the pitch.

  • Anne

    @Jerry:

    Ok, looking for your response. If you want to give me a general summary I’ll go ahead and respond 🙂

  • Jerry

    @Anne, basically I showed a timeline of Kroenke’s share increase in Arsenal:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/arsenal/8442560/Arsenal-takeover-timeline-of-Stan-Kroenkes-time-as-club-shareholder.html

    It shows in timeline the Arsenal ownership struggle since 2007.

    Kroenke bought the ITV shares in 2007, Fiszman only sold Kroenke 5000 shares in 2009 after the Board’s lockdown of shares for 1 year until 2009 to prevent the takeover from either owner. It shows the Board’s initial skepticism/hostility toward a takeover which they welcomed a couple years later. Sorry getting late in the US, can’t remember what else I wrote then!

  • Jerry

    He did buy some 791 shares from Fizman also i think a couple weeks after the ITV takeover (Fiszman cashed in on a few shares as well)

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/2310895/Kroenke-takes-Arsenal-shareholding-over-11-per-cent.html

  • Anne

    @Jerry:

    Why does the timeline in your first article omit the shares that Kroenke purchased from Fiszman in 2007? In fact, that timeline leaves a complete blank as to how Kroenke went from 9.9 on 5 April to 12.19 twenty days later.

  • Anne

    Although I suppose some of those were the Fiszman shares. By the way, I’m not trying to turn you into my research lackey. I enjoy analyzing things, but that doesn’t mean that you have to humor me 🙂 Most of this is irrelevant now anyway.

  • Jerry

    yeah, not sure why the timeline link didn’t have it, maybe because it was only around 1% they figured no one would care where it came from! the link in my 359 AM message mentioned that Kroenke got another 791 shares (most from Fiszman they believe) at a nice profit of 5,975 a share so at least it’s mentioned somewhere!

    It’s surprising to me how the Board did a complete 360 in regards to Kroenke taking over. I’m sure them getting their profits and keeping their positions played a part into it. Now only if they can negotiate better!

  • Anne

    @Jerry:

    Not sure I agree with you about the board, but I guess I can agree to disagree.

  • Anne

    @meditation:

    There are a lot of implications to that comment, but I’m not sure you’re wrong 🙂

  • Shard

    Is anyone still on this thread?

    This is a new phenomenon indeed. Not only are we seeing the ‘righteous ire’ being directed towards the board while loving Wenger (and thereby creating the impression of discord rather than healthy debate) we are seeing a new level of misinformation (either deliberate or unintentional)

    Dein is a fabulous self promoter and the fact that he is Arsene;s friend (which I did also mention apart from their working relationship) is neither here nor there. As we have been often reminded, Arsenal is not Arsene FC, and Wenger himself is the first one to say that.

    Whether Dein brought Kroenke into Arsenal or Fiszman did, whether the board reversed stance, it matters not one jot. The main thing is that the self sustaining model remains. That is all that PHW was defending (apart from wanting Arsenal to not be taken over in a hostile manner) Nothing in that statement is duplicitous. Arsenal do not appreciate a hostile takeover with promises of bagfuls of money. I have never heard any official Kroenke spokesman say that (and so it can be argued PHW was mistaken in saying what he did). What I have heard is USmanov and his people make such statements about bags of money. And I ask again, if Usmanov is not buying Arsenal shares to make money, then why is he? If he’s just a fan and wants Arsenal to do well and thinks money is the way that will happen, why does he not just give Arsenal the funds? Why does he want ownership over Arsenal?

    To the people saying Arsenal board draw wages. You expect them to work for free? I’m sure they are paid very well. But I would be very surprised if it is as much in the past 7 years as £75m which Dein made by selling his shares. And the board in that time have overseen the transition to the stadium (which Dein never wanted) on a tight budget, and Arsenal have been denied at least 1, and quite possibly 2 league titles in that time by referees. I’m sure that’s a coincidence right? But anyway, trophy or no trophy, why does USmanov deserve any more trust than the board? Because he’s rich? But aren’t we supposed to just hate the board because they are rich? Usmanov didn’t make his money off Arsenal though..Is that why we should give him a chance to do that?

    None of that means that Kroenke is great. He might well not be. But the fact is that faced with a choice between these two men, the board sided with the American. Considering that they have been in charge of the club since the days before our so called trophy drought occurred, that they managed to build a stadium while other teams have struggled just with the concept, and that we have been competitive (despite what anyone says about x number of years), and not to mention that Arsene Wenger (who is back being flavour of the month with the mob) works for them, my default position is to trust the board over Usmanov, because all he has to show is his supposed worth and promises, which might be as empty as his actual bank account (not that it matters)