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What Mr Usmanov can do with his money – an open letter to the Arsenal shareholder

Dear Mr Usmanov,

You will appreciate that there are many Arsenal supporters who are nervous at what they see as your desire to increase your shareholding in Arsenal.

There are also, as you will know, a number who are concerned about the stories that relate to your past.

And there are others who are concerned at what has happened to Manchester United and Liverpool, once they have had their club taken over by people that they perceive to be outsiders. No one likes the buy outs that leave the club drowning in its own debt.

In debating these points on the UNTOLD ARSENAL blog two readers have contributed ideas that seem to me to have considerable merit. They are ideas which, if put into practice, would not only benefit Arsenal, but would also show to supporters that you are willing to take all possible steps to help the club. In short, everyone would win.

I must stress, neither of these ideas are mine – they come from supporters keen to make a contribution to the debate, and to help matters along. But I am very happy to pass them on to you.

The first idea involves the Highbury apartments. As we all know, although some of these have sold, the financial downturn has affected sales, and thus Arsenal has received less money by now, than had been hoped. If you were to use part of your fortune to buy up the un-sold flats, that would undoubtedly generate a long-term profit for you, and bring a significant benefit to Arsenal. It would also reveal quite clearly to many supporters that you should be seen as one who has Arsenal’s interests at heart.

The second idea is more complex, but also has considerable merit.

Each year we send out players on loan. Last season we had 14 on loan at one time – quite possibly an all time record for a single club. Finding clubs for these players and ensuring that they are getting games and not just warming the bench is tough.

But just think how wonderful life would be if there were a club or two that worked in liaison with Arsenal, and which took their players who need games, and which could be relied on to play them regularly. A team in the English third tier or Scottish second tier perhaps. Or maybe two teams so everyone is accommodated.

Not only would Arsenal then be assured of the fact that their loanees are getting regular games, the club or clubs involved would benefit from the extra support that they would get. Many Arsenal fans cannot get to games because they live in the wrong part of the country or are not members at the right level. But they would certainly go and watch the Arsenal feeder clubs.

Of course there are technical difficulties. There are rules about not being in control of two clubs at once in the same country, and there are rules about “feeder clubs”. But to the best of my knowledge there is nothing to say that a non-dominant shareholder in one club can’t be a dominant shareholder in another club, and then seek to reach an agreement over loans.

As I say, it is not 100% straightforward but it is possible. And just imagine the interest there would be if you took over any one of the many clubs currently up for sale. Southampton is a good example of such a club. Darlington is another – and even if those two have got themselves sorted of late, there are many other clubs. Indeed, the Notts County trust members have just GIVEN their shares to a new owner – which shows how desperate things are in the lower leagues.

So, there we have it. Two ideas, both of which would convince many Arsenal supporters exactly where your heart is, and one of which would actually make a considerable amount of money.

I do hope you like the ideas and might consider taking them up.

Tony Attwood
Untold Arsenal.

17 comments to What Mr Usmanov can do with his money – an open letter to the Arsenal shareholder

  • IndianGooner

    I sign my name on the letter as well.

    There is no better way for an Arsenal supporter to support the club by buying the flats which would help in reducing the debt and helping the club move forward. If I was in Usmanov’s place, I would have bought the flats myself. If the Highbury Square project becomes a success, I would be celebrating like we won the CL. This is the dream of the Arsenal board and many supporters.

    Regarding buying a feeder club, it would be better to buy a club in Holland or Spain or other European countries as this would help the youngsters in learning lot more than they would have done in the lower leagues in England/Scotland.

  • IndianGooner

    Sorry to go off topic but I couldnt stop myself writing this after I read the interview with Gazidis on Arseblog. He seems to be the right man for Arsenal. His last statement said everything: “We’re all absolutely committed to that cause.”

  • walter

    I agree with the ideas Tony.
    Buying the flats would help Arsenal in the whole and would benefit the team as money comes available without it coming from outside in a direct way. Mr. Usmanov can rent the flats and make money from that and when the prices are restored he cann sell the flats with profit.
    On the second option, if he would buy a club outside the UK I could suggest one in Belgium: Berchem Sport. Must admit it is the club wich I went to when I was a young boy (ages ago). It once was a first division club but since then has sunked to the 4th division and waiting for the right guy to come along with the needed money. A few years ago they had een adventure with some guy from Azerbeidjas untill he got arrested.
    But you can feel free to bring them back with some Arsenal youngsters. 😉

  • Eskaia

    Absolutely perfect as usual, Tony. Also, very nice ideas to the two gentlemen who proposed those plans for Mr. Usmanov here, very original and forward thinking. This blog is now the highlight of my morning.

  • LRV

    Brilliant Tony, as usual. It will be very heard for me to miss this blog now. Top marks.

    There you have it, Mr Usmanov. You see, Arsenal fans are seriously willing to accomodate you; just show us that you love Arsenal as much as we do by taking either of the options above. To get round whatever complications might be here, Some comments have even suggested that you buy a feeder club in Europe.

    You do either, and your name will be written along with the legends.

  • mingus

    Love a) the sale of flats idea. But…
    b) If I was a fan of one of these clubs seeking a takeover, I’m not absolutely sure how much I would like to be now supporting a rather rootless, transient entity that is used as a finishing school for our-up-and comings. It would be good to get an opinion from a Notts County fan for example.

  • j

    pathetic idea. hw can u guranti all the money from highbury flates gona come straight to wenger for the team and those greedy stingy board members wont nik it on the way and why usmanov wud spend his money buying those flats jst to cheer up som disapointed fans hes a business man after all a deserves a fair share of power what these current board members brought us(departure of) hleb,flamini,henry,vieira etc and usmanov in such a short time brought us arshavin who made a big impact on us afta liverpool tally also in a very short time .. sorry mate bad idea

  • CountryBoy

    I know i havent been in the news much but what happened to Mr Usmanov’s rights issue idea. From the tone of this article it seems to me its been jettisoned and i’d like to know why. i just hope its not because of “his past”. If its that i’d really be disapponted. Afterall everybody on the present board of Arsenal are saints.

  • TheSKAGooner

    Absolutely right, Tony. Any way you can wedge yourself into the next Board meeting and knock some sense into the members? Maybe you know someone at MI5 who can pipe in subliminal messages over the intercom while they’re chatting about what to have for brunch? “Usmanov…buy Highbury. Be a REAL Gooner” 🙂

  • Country Boy – the last I heard was that the board had gone away to consider the matter further – which is right and proper. This is a plc and matters must always be given the fullest consideration.

    The SkaGooner, I am an avid viewer of Spooks and on that basis expect my application for a position to be accepted any day now. And I suspect you have been reading some of the marketing of my own company – we often boast that the advertising we write has subliminal messages inside it.

    J – the point of the apartment scheme is that Mr Usmanov will make a profit from it. The club scheme (ie Southampton etc) is one where there is little chance of profit unless he could build the club and sell it on. But the price of the apartments will rise in 2 years and he’ll make money, and put money into the club.

    Tony

  • shotta-gunna

    Good luck with your recommendations Tony but I am having grave doubts that this will pass anywhere near the desk of Mr Fat Beady Eye.

  • LRV

    j – point of correction; Usmanov DID NOT bring Arshavin. Arsenal bought Arshavin not with Usmanov money. So please sir, check your facts before making such statements here. We are not, and do not wish to become, one of the ‘factually-inexact, extemporaneously-prevaricating, rumour-mongering bloggers’ on this blogsite.

    Secondly, when players want to move on or when their moving on is better for the stability of the team, then they usually are allowed to go. But thank you for your comments all the same.

    I am sorry Tony, I just had to reply.

  • j

    tony it isnt the matter of profit or goonership its a matter of power mate he wants a position in the boardroom if hes ready to invest his own money i think we should suport to get him a chance and may be js may be i think hes in for his old rivalry with roman abrahamovich. as a gooner what matters the most to me is my club wins and continues to play the beautiful football that i’ve grown up watching and we cant do that with bunch of underachievers we need stars and for that we need money afterall everybody sport arsenal football club nt arsenal board members. i cant waite to wear my arsenal shirt the day they become champions again.

  • walter

    I’m a fan + 30 years now and I’ve always been proud to wear my Arsenal shirt, in the years we’ve became champions but even more in the other years.
    When I was in Spain a few years ago an old London Gooner talked to us (we were wearing the Arsenal shirt). He said that he had known some bad years en some very bad years but that we just had to keep the faith and believe in our club and that we would be succesfull again in the near future.
    I also have known 7 years without any trophy along the road and it ain’t funny and nice but now we are going to make it to the top again.
    And for those fans who can’t wait and who want to win trophys every season: this just isn’t possible. Even MU didn’t win anything in years in the not so far away history.
    Look at Barcelona, they sold there best player and suddenly succes was there. They build a team like Arsenal is building a team with mostly youth players, so it really can be done.
    Victory will be even sweeter than if we would have bought like Real Madrid have done.

  • LRV

    Walter, Well said. God bless you mate.

  • steww

    Brilliant ideas Tony, I too am unsure how the news would be greeted in Southampton or Nottingham but it has to be better than going bust. I am praying it’s Southampton as it’s closer for me to drive to. The only problem is that the current Arsenal loanees would rapidly be promoted to the premiership thus creating a conflict of interest.

  • Marc

    If we were to buy an English club as a “B” team the obvious club is Charlton. They are losing serious money and are dropping down the leagues. The fact that they are not a million miles from Arsenal would also encourage fans to visit.