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Arsenal v Everton: Usmanov bids, Ian Wright backs boycott, why only absenteeism works.

By Bulldog Drummond

In what the media would have called a “long-winded rant” if it came from anyone else,  Ian Wright finally came out and backed the notion of a boycott of Arsenal matches by those who don’t like the current regime, rather than protests in the ground.

“Something has to change, whether it is the manager Arsene Wenger or whether it is the board upstairs,” he said before warning that the current anti-Wengerian protests by a minority of fans is seriously damaging the club in terms of next season.

“Where are they going to sign players from?” he asked.  “Who is going to want to come to Arsenal instead of anywhere else in London? At the moment, they are not an attractive proposition…. we are going to start missing out on the kind of players that are going to be available and want to play in the Premier League.   Top players may want to leave.”

Although he argued the issue from a different perspective Wright ended up at exactly the position of Untold: that those who don’t like what is going on should stay away from games as they did in the Sunderland match, rather than attend and protest.

The view expressed on Untold has been that those who attend games and then protest inside and outside the ground are harming the club, while not buying tickets or refusing to attend games even with a season ticket sends a much more powerful message to the club.  However I suspect that many of those who absented themselves from the mid-week game will be back, waving placards, and generally drawing attention to themselves, rather than Arsenal’s situation.

Wright, who claimed to have insight into the mindset of players, made it clear that the current situation is going to make matters worse for Arsenal next season.

Meanwhile on the bid front Alisher Usmanov (whom the BBC wonderfully described as a “metal magnate” – I wonder who thought that up) has, according to the Financial Times,  made a $1.3bn (£1bn) bid for control of Arsenal.  It seems that the bid by the multi-billionaire who was born in Uzbeckistan, has what some might describe as “a colourful background” and who now lives as a tax exile in Switzerland, was turned down.   The bid values Arsenal at $2bn.

Kroenke has let it be known that he does not want to sell and that the ownership is for his family for generations to come.  In such a situation banner waving inside and outside the stadium, and engagement in occasional bouts of fighting is unlikely to persuade the Kroenke family that anything needs to be changed since he doesn’t attend games. A half empty stadium could since it would affect his pocket and generates much more publicity.

Of course that would depend on two things.  One is whether, as they have claimed on occasion, the anti-Wengerians do have the support of the majority of the fans who attend matches.  The other is whether being in the limelight themselves is more important for the anti-Wengerians than actually getting the manager removed.   I suspect this weekend will give us a clear indication.  If those who were absent mid-week now return that will be a clear indication that the result of their protests is far less important than feeding the already converted anti-Arsenal media and being on stage themselves.

However Mr Usmanov did not however seek to endear himself to the anti-arsenal-Arsenal movement by saying, “I do not think that the coach alone is to be blamed for what is happening,” in a statement last month.  Some continuity is needed. This includes the need to prepare a successor for Wenger but in a very respectful way. I can suggest that Wenger himself can prepare a successor.”

In an ironic twist, giving this weekend’s opposition, Usmanov originally linked up with Farhad Moshiri who is now the majority shareholder in Everton.  Moshiri sold his shares to Usmanov when he took over Everton.  Everton, who perennially finish outside all the Euro positions, and now trying to build a new stadium with local council financial support.

Meanwhile, back with the protests, I think most agree the protest in the game against Sunderland was stunningly effective.  Every newspaper, TV station and radio station with an interest in the Premier League, and many who have no such interest, covered the situation, all the bloggettas and the mainstream media showing pictures of empty seats at the Ems.  And this time they didn’t have to use the old Daily Telegraph con trick of showing people in the Ems at a match in which Arsenal was not even involved in.

So mass coverage for the campaign, and endless write ups about Arsenal supporters wanting Mr Wenger out.  SUCCESS!!!  Better still, not one of the reports I saw or heard mentioned that the reduction in numbers might have been in part because it was chucking it down with rain off and on through the evening, the opposition were unattractive and it was live on TV.  Not one. More success!!!  Of course I don’t see all the media (the local newsagent doesn’t stock the Morning Star), but that sort of news manipulation can’t be bought.  It was brilliant.

Thus we had it.  Total coverage, lots of pictures, and a complete Wenger Out dominance of the reportage of the match.  Whereas many previous reports of the anti-Wengerian campaign have been denounced in the media (particularly those including aeroplanes or violence) this one got the media’s wholehearted supported

Which must mean to anyone seriously interested in getting Mr Wenger out, “do it again”.

Of course, since I am not a member of any of the anti-Wengerian groups, and don’t support them, I don’t know what anyone plans to do, but I hear that the aaa and their friends in the media are in fact not looking for a repeat.  Instead it will be back to a march around the block, pushing people out of the way as they try to get into the ground, and banners, plus slagging off the manager afterwards.

Which again raises the question why are they following the route that is far less likely to bring success?

More later.  And we might even get to the game at some point.

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35 comments to Arsenal v Everton: Usmanov bids, Ian Wright backs boycott, why only absenteeism works.

  • ClockEndRider

    I can’t help thinking all this stuff about players not wanting to come to Arsenal given lack of CL and instability at managerial level is just so much nonsense. I think you’ll find players will almost to a man go wherever the financial deal they can get is best. Pogba didn’t have a problem going to CL -less Man Ure this year for example. All the rest is simply pr and positioning by players agents.

  • Alexanderhenry

    Kroenke is the worst thing that’s ever happened to arsenal football club.

    I sincerely hope Usmanov manages to prise it from his grasping, penny-pinching fingers.

    http://m.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/39981954

  • Chris

    It really is weird. For years, 4th place was not a trophy.
    Now that for the first time in 21 year we may (games have yet to be played…) not get it, it becomes this HUGE deal, this CATASTROPHIC failure, this DEVASTATING end of the season.

    So what is it in the end ?!?!

    The thing is there has always been a toxic reporting by some of the press since AW came along.
    And like lemmings, people have joined the bandwagon, just too happy to have their couple of minutes in the limelight and thinking their ‘quest’ is worth so much more than serious problems this world is witnessing.

    It gets me to a point where I wish that after AW some galactic coach like the one officiating at MU for example is hired, just so that in the end they can cry their hearths out thinking of the AW years.

    And then yet maybe they wont…after all millions are badly hurt by Trumps decisions (and decisions to come) yet they still think he is the greatest). Go figure.

    Yet in the end – and I don’t have stats to prove this – following AFC under AW for decades has left me more often happy after the game than not. And not only happy at the result, but happy at how it was got.

    There is one thing I do wonder : why there is no chant making fun of the aaa like there are some making fun of Spurs or other teams…..

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    To be truthful and to be kindid, Arsenal need a passionate investor like Usmanov who is passionate to see that Arsenal win titles on a regular basis to take control of Arsenal and moves it forward to a bigger level like Abram Abremovich took over Chelsea and has been moving it to the next level. And also like the Abu Dabi Sheik oil magnate family took over Man City and have been trying to move it forward to the next level with relative success so far achieved.

    For God’s sake, Stan Kroenke cannot continue to hold Arsenal to ransom by keeping it stagnant titles winning wise for his financial gains benefit and for his long time ambition for his family to inherit Arsenal for live solely on financial gains while Arsenal remain a mediocre club side playing football for show and entertainment instead of to be winning most titles on regular basis.

    By the way, has Arsenal been listed on the London and New York Stock Exchanges to know the actual price Arsenal is worth in the market? The silent Kroenke MUST come out from his silence to name his price of how much he wants for his controlling Shares in Arsenal Stocks so that Usmanov will pay him if his asking price is reasonable and based on the current value of Arsenal at the Stock Exchange. But if he refused to speak by keeping silent, let Usmanov take him to Fifa or CAS for his refusal and stubbornness to sell Arsenal to an Arsenal colleague shareholder who wants buy Arsenal and move it forward to the next level for adjudication.

  • Knobby

    Not only is fourth place not a trophy, nor is the Europa League.. that is now a qualifier for the CL.
    There is some logic somewhere there.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    If it was left to me , I’d send the lot of them back to school for reprogramming and to relearn on what it truly means to be a fan . Apparently it had worked wonders for millions of hormonal and habitual complainers.
    Go on , give it a chance ….
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LgeFdcnvugs

  • Henry

    Will Arsenal be willing to pay top players what they want if the club is out of Champions League like Manchester United and Chelsea?

  • bjtgooner

    Do we really want someone with Usmanov’s “colourful background” owning the club – I don’t think so. If any thinks differently, they might be advised to do some digging on the subject.

    As for the BBC – that once fine organisation has progressively deteriorated to the garbage level of the most inept media outlets.

  • para

    Arsenal will change anyhow, it has to. In the end it is a football club and want to win top trophies.

    Brickfields Gunners
    Shame on you wanting to reinforce their programming, should they not be de-programmed by being taught knowledge rather than just learning parrot fashion? 🙂

  • Leon

    We must be in a bad place when we “chose” between the bad cop-bad cop of football club ownership. The Financial Times suggests this may be a stalking horse action for “other bidders” who’d also like to buy the club. Arseblog claims to know this (and he’s close to a journalist who is close to the club) and says there are “interested parties” so there may be other developments yet.
    This dull football free summer may become interesting after all.

  • blacksheep

    No Samuel, we don’t need someone with ‘passion’ running a multi-million pound business, we need someone who is good at business, and football business. The passion we need to see is on the pitch and in the stands.

    As for Usmanov he seems to be exactly the sort of person WE DON’T NEED at Arsenal. Where’s his love of the club if he’s flirting with Everton? He just wants a football fiefdom where he can play with the huge excess of money he has.

    I’d like to see a massive windfall tax on all these oligarchs and sheiks that own assets in the UK. Squeeze them till the pips squeak and fund the NHS and social care with the money we extract from them. If that means they F*** off back to Russia or the Middle East then good riddance!

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ para -20/05/2017 at 11:12 am – The problem with deprogramming is that sometime warped logic may fill, those empty spaces .I mean who here would not like a delicious snack prepared by their wives and served by well endowed hookers ?
    Or that bit about shutting the f*ck up ?
    And the foot massages ?
    Well I could go on and on ….

  • insideright

    Given the constraints of Financial Fair Play how on earth can any owner dramatically change a club’s ability to compete at the top end of the market anyway? Except, of course, by cheating the system via artificially inflated sponsorship deals which are morally and financially ruinous for football due to the inflation that they create within the game.
    The fact is that the owners handbook (Soccernomics) puts Arsenals level of expectation at fourth place because we have the fourth highest wage bill. Players that are ‘worth’ higher salaries tend to go to clubs that are willing to pay the absolute top end of transfer fees and that is always a huge risk and very rarely justifiable on a return on investment basis. No sane owner goes down that route because ‘living the dream’ pretty much always ends in ‘experiencing the nightmare’.
    Against a realistic level of expectation Wenger has always delivered or, more often, over-delivered.
    If people want to protest against the non-delivery of some wildly uninformed level of expectation by not renewing their season tickets then not much is going to stop them. But that will only have an impact if those seats subsequently go unsold. Given that the stadium loans will be paid out of cash reserves then the only thing to be hit is the managers playing budget. Where do ‘protesters’ see the logic in that?

  • Gwin

    @ black sheep. Word! You said it all and I need not add more.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    To think of it, I’ve nothing personal against Usmanov owning Arsenal. If there by any issue to the contrary, I believe the FA is there to block him. So, let’s not be against Usmanov or even Dangote owning Arsenal if they bid to own it on prejudice ground. But think positively on how Arsenal can move forward to the next levels of winning the PL title again after winning it last in 13 seasons and for the first time in Arsenal history, win the CL and for Le Prof personally, wins the League Cup for the first time.

    If Korenke relents in his stubbornness to sell his majority Share holding in Arsenal Stocks and leads to Usmanov succeeded in owning Arsenal before the commencement of next season, his passion to see Arsenal win titles occasionally if not regularly could make him to invest his personal money in Arsenal for top top players recruitment which Stan Korenke will never do but only approves the spending of some money out of what Arsenal generates on players recruitment. Whereas, Usmanov could give Le Prof a cheque of £300m for 3-4 top top quality players recruitment for next season’s campaign. I think Usmanov will keep Le Prof as his Arsenal manager if he buys Arsenal now because he’s said he likes him.

    By the way, what do we think has been responsible for holding back Le Prof’s from delivering the PL title to Arsenal again for 13 seasons? And why has he not ever won the CL for Arsenal too? It’s because Arsenal haven’t got the requisite top top players like Chelsea have been having in the last 5 years and Man City or Ma Utd too have been having in the last 5-6 years to mount a credible challenge on the title and on the CL..

    Give Le Prof all the top top players in the current Chelsea first team squad and Harry Kane as Spurs who Arsenal let go in error in his youth, and give him also Dele Alli at Spurs and see if he will not win the Pl title next season if he add these top quality players from these 2 clubs with Sanchez, Ozil, Mustasfi and some few ones he currently has at Arsenal. He’ll certainly wins the title next season and wins it again and again in 5 years – 3 times.

    Also, give him all the top top players at Real Madrid and Barcelona and if he adds them to the few top top quality ones he currently has available at Arsenal and see if he’ll not win the CL. He would of course wins it and wins it again and again 2-3 times in 5 seasons.

    To win the PL title and the CL in this modern passionate must win era which is highly dependent on spending big in the transfer market occasionally or regularly to reinforced the squard, save to win it by accident like Leicester did last season. Arsenal may not win the PL and the CL titles soon as is being demanded they do by the Gooners who want to see their darling club wins these 2 titles in particular soon.

  • Norman14

    The ownership of this football club is a mess! The small hole, that appeared with the move to The Emirates, has grown to gigantic proportions. This is because the measure of success by the owner and board, is not consistent with the expectations of the fans (paying customers).

    We are NOW stuck with a dictator of an owner; the 2nd largest share holder doesn’t have a place on the Board. That may be Kroenke’s preference, but it smacks the faces of the hundreds of thousands of people who support Arsenal Football Club globally.

    Mr Usmanov is not the nicest guy on the planet, but then neither is Stan Kroenke. However, the question that should be asked of the supporters is this – Would you rather have an absent, silent owner who is happy with mediocrity – or a “declared” supporter of the football club, a fellow fan, who claims he wants the club to be a success?

    This morning, it is reported by Sky, that Kroenke has said that he “intends to stay at Arsenal for a very long time”. I for one, found that a very “upsetting” statement. Not because he is staying, but because he didn’t take the opportunity to offer a place on the Board to the ONE man, who has said he will invest if afforded that honour. Where is Kroenke’s commitment, other than to his own pockets? Where is Kroenke’s commitment to the fans? Where is Kroenke’s commitment to Arsenal the FOOTBALL club?

    This situation is not now going to go away. People, are going to take sides. People are going to DEMAND change. People are going to seek COMMITMENT from owners and potential owners. Currently, the owner and the board show no commitment to the supporters. That could be very dangerous indeed – look at the situations at Blackpool and Coventry!

    Alisher Usmanov is a smart cookie – he knows just when to drop his little snippets into the spotlight. Maybe this time, he’ll keep the pressure on. Alternatively, if he comes to the realisation that he is NEVER going to get control of Arsenal Football Club, he might decide to sell his shares and take his money. Maybe to Everton. EVERTON!

    Unfortunately, there is only one person who can afford to buy those shares – and that is Stan Kroenke.

    How horrific could that prove to be?

  • Brickfields Gunners

    If Usmanov is really serious in buying the club and moving us forward , please encourage him to ‘SPEND MORE F*CKING MONEY !’. That ought to work , after all we are told by our experts on here that Stan is in only for the money .Try and test his resolve and greed.

    Usmanov could always do a ‘Glazer’ by then hocking the club to some bank or interested parties , and plough back all that money into the club to buy WC players .Am sure that the fans would love him and build a monument outside that Ems that all could worship and give thanks.

    What ? Repayments ? He’ll know what to do , after all he is a shrewd businessman. And he loves the Arsenal . A fool proof and cannot fail plan.

  • Josif

    We all have guilty pleasures. Mine is imagining Mike Dean eating his whistle before making a decision to screw us up because he saw the look on Usmanov’s giant head.

    (Watching “Arrow”, 5th season. Oliver Queen has been forced to forge an alliance with villains to beat the greater evil and save his friends. Any resemblence to Arsene lining up with Usmanov to beat Riley & Abramovich & others is purely intentional.)

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    @blacksheep.
    My respect for your opinion. On the tax issue, if it’s justified, I believe they’ll pay. Okay, you don’t want to see Usmanov to own Arsenal or his like who could move Arsenal to the next level to be winning titles regularly. But apparently, you’ve appeared to preferred Stan Kroenke or his like to continue owing Arsenal but Arsenal may continue to be stagnant in not winning the PL title again and the CL for seasons. Is that what we should all like and continue to live by it?

  • Nitram

    Ian wright 19/05/2017

    “Who is going to want to come to Arsenal instead of anywhere else in London? At the moment, they are not an attractive proposition…. we are going to start missing out on the kind of players that are going to be available and want to play in the Premier League. Top players may want to leave.”

    Ian Wright 4/03/2017

    “Arsenal legend Ian Wright urges Alexis Sanchez to quit Gunners after being axed for Liverpool clash. Former striker slams Arsene Wenger for leaving out the Chilean star at Anfield”

    By Mike McGrath

    4th March 2017, 9:30 pm

    Ian Wright is a treacherous hypocrite.

    It says it all that the likes of the Scum and Talkshite lap up his every word.

    Over the years he has encouraged the likes of Henry, Vieira, and many others to leave Arsenal, then he has the f***ing audacity to say something like that.

    I detest the man with a passion.

  • Rodelero

    It’s quite depressing to see so many people being supportive of Usmanov becoming the club’s owner. The man is repugnant and seems to have as shady a history as Abramovic. There are some things more important than success on the pitch and in the trophy cabinet. Allowing yet another of Britain’s great sporting establishments to be bought by someone that quite clearly shouldn’t pass the ‘fit and proper’ test should give everyone pause.

    If it happens it happens, but I suspect the way I feel about this club will be changed forever should he take over.

  • Stefan Blue

    Get your facts right ! Everton do not seek local council financial support nor require it

  • Norman14

    Rodelero

    I’m assuming you think Kroenke is squeaky clean?

    Ask his tenants!

    BTW, I’m not 100% in the Usmanov camp. It’s a strange situation to be in as supporters. It’s a bit like asking Toon fans if they would like Mike Ashley to sell out to Sir Philip Green.

    It looks as if there are other suitors in the pipeline – but these have to be drawn out and vetted too. They could be even worse people that Kroenke and Usmanov.

  • Nitram

    Rodelero

    The problem is there are many many people who are prepared to sell there sole to the Devil for mere trinkets.

    As you say, if it happens it happens. I will support Arsenal, whatever, because despite what people may think of me due to my admiration of Wenger and desire to see him remain at Arsenal for as long as he likes, it is Arsenal I support, and have done since the 60’s, and will do until the day I die, whoever owns the Club, runs the team, or pulls the pints.

    But like you, I am sure it will change how I feel about them.

    Quite the opposite to the AAA’s I am actually deeply proud of what our club has done these last 10/15 years.

    I truly believe my mum could of won the league with the amount of money that’s been spent on the Man City and Chelsea squads.

    Lets say Usmanov comes in and does a Roman and spends a Quarter of a Billion on the squad over the next 3 years and we win the league, even the CL.

    Great. That’s it great.

    It’s nothing ‘special’. So we should, if we spend that sort of money.

    Will I enjoy it? Well, yes of course. I will still be a fan and as a fan I love to win things.

    But will I cry with pride, passion and sheer joy? No?

    Because as per City and Chelsea, all we did was BUY the bloody things.

    But alas it seems it is that that a lot of people want, and that’s up to them, but it is NOT what I want.

  • Menace

    There was no protest in the Sunderland game. The empty seats are expected mid week when the opposition are already damned to the Championship. Using an obvious probability as a protest is a joke. The media know that bad weather will reduce attendance at any event. It pissed down & that was partly reason for supporters not attending.

    Arsenal supporters also commute long distances & evening matches are a bind. They have to leave early to catch the last trains to the coast or to the West. Some matches are not worth staying over in hotels.

    I dare these stupid protesters to stay out of Wembley till the 20th minute to protest 4th place for 20 years. It will prove a point.

  • Nitram

    Menace

    And it was on TV don’t forget.

    In fact, the perfect storm for low turnout.

  • Chris

    Guys,

    there is one thing I do not get.
    Arsenal is a british company.
    As far as I know it’s shares are not publicly traded, they are privately owned.
    Who are all of us, thinking we may dictate the majority owner what he can do with his shares which he, as far as I know, has bought legally and is owning legally.
    Or should we have the parliament enact a law stating that the rule of law does not apply to Arsenal and that thus the owner may be forced to sell ?!?!

    I mean, if you do not agree with the policy of a company, or dislike a product on the market, nobody forces you to buy said product : you go to the competition.
    And talking about competition, just next doors from the Emirates there is a brand new top-notch modern shining stadium being built. And it will have better capacity than the Emirates, will show other sports than football, is square in the good old british tradition. Why don’t you get a card there ?

    As for those too far away, well just switch channels, you’ll watch Spurs, Reds, Red Devils or whatever you want. All clubs where you won’t have such a usless owner, useless coach and useless players.

  • Rosicky@Arsenal

    Nitram/proudkev

    Well said

  • MikeT

    Norman 14

    I read with a great deal of interest your thought regarding Usmanov

    There is belief amongst certain Everton supporters that Usmanov will indeed ship up at Everton . The timing of his offer to Kronke coming just after him becoming a major sponsor at Everton is strange and creates a dilema if he indeed did become the majority shareholder at Arsenal

    It would be a clever move to offer way over the odds to Kronke for his shares for if Kronke doesn’t sell it will determine the value of his own shareholding. I personally can’t see Kronke selling but Usmanov selling seems far more likely as he is getting nothing from his investment at Arsenal and having several hundred million tied up in something his is not allowed to have any input of influence in must be frustrating in the extreme.

  • Knobby

    We used to have more class than other clubs, sadly this seems to be slowly eroded.
    When the Hill-Woods and the Bracewells owned the club we had tradition, history. Now we are just like the others. Usmanov may be the final nail.

  • Bobome

    Should Kroenke choose to sell his shares in AFC to Usmanov the Club should expect very many changes subtle and damn right blatant and all not too pleasant. Winning trophies again as a result of Usmanov’s ownership will be one side of the equation. The existing culture in the Club will be eroded and replaced by those of the new top dog. AFC as we know it today will no longer be AFC come 2 to 5 years of a Usmanov takeover. Then the cry to have “…our Arsenal back…” will then assume its true meaning.

  • Menace

    Usmanov will not get Arsenal because Stan is the Man.

    Dein sold his shares to Usmanov & most of the others sold to Kronke. They both bought as many as they could (it is traded in a different market to the LSE). Piers the Organ has a couple just so that he can claim to be a fan.

  • The local council is guaranteeing the Everton borrowing in order to give Everton a lower interest rate. In each case this has happened in the past the local council has ended up footing part of the bill.

  • Polo

    In my opinion, fans who are considering taking sides in the ownership power struggle needs to think hard and ensure they are fully inform before they get all hysterical and start a movement. It’s ok to protest and go hysterical in wanting a manager out as managers have low impact on the financial health of the club. However, owners are different, sooner or later they will want to see a return on their investment, they will spend when times are good but once they start making significant financial losses, they will stop financing the club and will leave it in limbo until they find a buyer who will pay the requested price. A manager can’t destroy a club but a wrong owner can.

  • hesbee

    I’ve often been taken aback by the word ‘mediocrity’. It’s so commonly used by the WOBs. I bet most of them dont know the meaning of the word.

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