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Usmanov and Kronke: what the deal will make for each of them

By Tony Attwood

There is, among the big share-holders at Arsenal FC, a lock down agreement.  This means that those who have signed the agreement (including Mr Kronke) have agreed not to sell their shares before October 2012.

But what happens after that?  It is worth asking now, because if there is a move to be made in October 2012 it will be prepared for now.

One thing to note is that the recent problems with the Plus Markets stock exchange that Anne wrote about this week, don’t make things easier.  Any moves made in that area might give us a clue as to what is going on. But meanwhile…

Several options are possible.

1.  A new lock down agreement

2.  No agreement and maybe a little bit of minor trading but nothing more

3.  Mr Usmanov takes his holding to 30%  (he currently holds 29.6% – 18,467 or thereabouts with 199 more or so needed to take him over the limit (source: angry of islington, website)

Points 1 and 2 would of course cause little comment and nothing will change.  But what would happen if option 3 took place?

Mr Usmanov is currently paying £14,000 a share – which is rather a lot more than the £11,750 a share that Stan Kroenke paid.  (The Rangers holding in Arsenal that Mr Usmanov bought was I believe bought at a different rate because of the unusual circumstances.  There is an article on the Arsenal History blog about this transfer).

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Anyway, if Mr Usmanov gets 30% then what…

Well, he has to bid for the rest at the current going rate – which is £14,000 a share.  Of course there is no doubt that Mr Usmanov has the money.  It would be 44287 x £10,000 or £332,870,000.  But that of course is only if everyone took up the offer.  Some might, some might not.  The question is what would Mr Kronke do?

If Mr Kronke sold he would make £2250 per share, or something approaching £90m.  £90m for coming in, buying, doing a rather amusing speech at the AGM (and that is not sarcasm, I thought the long, long, long pause at the start was one of the funniest things I have ever heard at an AGM in my life – I wish I had done something like that in one of the 30 or so AGMs I have chaired), and attending some meetings.

That figure would then give Mr Usmanov control, and by my calculations, over 90% of the company, in which case he would buy up the rest of the company, and everyone including AST members and Fanshare members would have to sell.  So those of us in either organisation would get a lot of dosh too.  (To be clear, at this level one has to sell – as I understand the FSA rules – and if you have never seen them, they are complex and then some).

Mr Usmanov would be down about £400m by the end.  Can he afford it? Yes because his net worth is £12,3 billion – so even the $100m yacht he just bought doesn’t actually make a dent.  He would have some money for transfers too.

But now, supposing it goes the other way.  Mr Kronke said at the AGM that we should get used to seeing him around because he is in for the long haul.   So he doesn’t sell.  Mr Usmanov still gets his 30% and still has to make the offer at £10k a share.  A lot of people are going to get a fair old profit if they want to sell, (including AST if they want to deal) but Mr Usmanov ends up without having control of the company.

30% is one of the many magical thresholds that apply in plcs – but exactly how it applies and what the exceptions are bemuse me.  I know there are people who say “at 30% holding one is entitled to a seat on the board” etc etc, but the FSA rules are so convoluted that I am not sure.  If you know, and can quote the actual FSA rule number and tell me where the hell to find it, please do.  Otherwise I am going to have to ask my firm’s accountants, and that is going to cost.

Anyway, it is possible that at 30% Mr Usmanov will have  a seat on the board.  But so what?  Yes he will then have access to all the restricted-access financial documents, but …  He can make proposals, he can vote as he wishes, but Mr Kronke’s votes will always hold sway.  And I am sure it is possible to get rid of a 30%+ shareholder even if they don’t want to go, because I have seen it done.  A director who breaks confidentiality rules, or who directly contravenes a vote by the board (as I believe Mr Dein did when he left the board at Arsenal – although of course I wans not there so can’t be sure) can be removed.

So the 30% in terms of a seat on the board, even if it is what the FSA rules say, is not that valuable, apart from making waves.

Which means Mr Usmanov is only likely to go beyond 30% if he wants to buy the rest of the shares and thinks he can convince Mr Kronke to sell.  Otherwise he might sit tight.

Either way, I think it makes Fanshare rather a neat investment.

 

104 comments to Usmanov and Kronke: what the deal will make for each of them

  • Rufusstan

    Interesting article, I had forgotten about the Lockdown agreement with most of the signatories having sold their shares. If its seeming purpose (not sell to Usmanov) has been achieved i guess it could just lapse without any consequences.

    By the way, you need to check the numbers, you switch from £14k to £10k a share (Kroenke certainly wont sell for that) which makes the calculations wrong –> Usmanov needs to shell out around £620 mil if he buys out the majority stake. Still a drop in the ocean for him, but a little more significant.

    As to what happens. I really dont think Kreonke is in this for a short term profit, people have regularly referenced his never selling a stake in a sports investment. We may just have to get used to a strained atmosphere for a while in the boardroom– perhaps we build some kind of wall across the middle of the table 🙂

  • Jacobite Gunner

    Good Morning Tony,

    The Daily Star on sunday suggest that 300 members of the AST are meeting Ivan Gazidis this Wednesday. Do you know if this is true and if it is, is anyone closely linked to Arsenal Untold going to the meeting?

    the article suggest a grilling (but this is coming from a paper, so i’m not sure what to think)

  • Mandy Dodd

    Have a strong gut feeling Kronke will sell

  • TheSKAGooner

    I really wish they’d figure out a way to get the Fanshare available to overseas supporters. I’ve asked Tim Payton about this a couple times, but he’s informed me there’s currently no way to do it. Sad. 🙁

  • insiderght

    @Jacobite – the meeting will have 100 AST members plus another 200 from other supporters otganisations (eg AISA).

  • arsenal-steve

    Sadly at this momement of time Arsenal have become a grey and boring club. The luminous days of David Dein are gone and the ‘suits, Kroenke and Gazidis have made our beloved club a place that the best players do NOT want to come to. All the excitement factors that drew our club to be THE place to watch football have been eroded. A myth has begun to ‘CON’ the followers of this club, and it is one that astonishes me. The myth is that Abramovich and Sheik Mansoor are somehow ‘villains’ and soon they will fall. In reality they have invested charitably in their clubs, given their fans some joy. Another myth is that they will drop their clubs and then ‘honest’ Arsenal will bring moral football back. Of course this is complete nonsense. Our beloved Arsenal are a ‘Business is Business’ club. A profitable enterprise. Kroenke as this article shows has a great cash cow in his hands and has no intention of reinvesting. If anything HE is the one who will drop the club and profit. Our club is as moral as Idi Amin. The fans are being cheated of what is not impossible to obtain…joy and glory. While Abramovich and Mansoor give money to their clubs, the results are joy to the fans. Usmanov who wants to do the same is held back from the board and not listened to, yet he owns nearly 30% if the club. How moral is that. Of course you will hear the words from Gazidis and Kroenke “Business is Business”, as if in business their is an alternative morality. Well their isn’t and we the fans are being let down by those who crave control and are devoid of imagination and reinvestment in players. The fire has gone out here at our beloved Arsenal, and the lights are switched off. Lies keep up the myths. The desire to dazzle with football has gone. Players no longer want to come here. Even Jan Vertonghen would rather go to a Non-Champions League Tottenham….that tells the story.

  • Scott

    That’s your opinion Steve,and you are entitled to be wrong.

  • @grumpybutcuddly

    I am not sure if the 30% rule is the articles of association of each company rather than corporate regulatory rules and regards the lockdown was a new one put in place after Fizmann sold to Kronke because I thought that (the lockdown) had ended ? .. Either way I don’t see a single positive thing Kronke brings to Arsenal he has no passion for the club, never goes to the games & never invests any money he just collects sports franchises like some people collect stamps his ideas for global branding are pie in the sky … I don’t think he is that clever either just being rich doesn’t make you clever. An Usmanov / Dein ticket is the best way to bring success back to the club and surely that’s what fans want

  • Rhyle

    Jacobite – the AST have got the hump ‘cos they only got half of the 300 strong allocation…other supporters groups have been invited as well. Which is only right.

  • WalterBroeckx

    In Steve’s world there is no such thing as the FFP rules

  • arsenal-steve

    Scott..you have managed to say absolutely nothing and have put nothing up for debate. Try actually saying something.

  • arsenal-steve

    WalterBroeckx

    The FFP rules do not state you cannot be innovative, and they do not state that you cannot buy three players to make this team better. There is, FACTUALLY, money to reinvest in players. You are the typical person who puts words into others mouths, which have not be said in the first place. Read the article again and show a little intelligence.

  • Jacobite Gunner

    Yep, cheers all. jus a lookie at the AST site, I wonder what they expect Gazidis to tellthem, you know, “This is Arsenal’s entire transfer strat” etc, thereby revealing to other clubs their plans…

  • Pad gooner

    Arsenal-Steve, I don’t think there are Top 3 PL clubs lining after Jan Vertonghen except Spuds. We bought “Per” and there is no place for Jan except if he wishes to play as the 4th option sitting in the bench, waiting for his chance.

    This news is going around just to keep spuds fans on the toes, so that they would believe that their team had indeed snatched a signing away from arsenal. Its just a story with no substance!

  • WalterBroeckx

    Steven,

    Please tell me who we should buy and what do they cost us in transfer fee, wages and how it will affect the rest of the team and their wages demands Steve.
    Can we do like Chelsea? £70M for two players (and we need another one like this as you say we need 3 of them) so that would be £100M on transfer alone (conservative estimation). and then we haven’t paid them their wages.
    How much? £200.000 a week? or £10M a year for each player. Let us even take it to a lower level a bit and assume that it would cost us another £20M for those 3 extra players each year. (less than £7M per player per year)

    That would mean that for the next 12 months we will have to pay £120M. I’m sorry but I don’t think Arsenal can do such a thing. The only ones who can afford such a thing are MC and Chelsea. And in fact they cannot afford it because they don’t have such money. The only reason they can afford this is because of their owner paying for it.

    Now you can dream about Usmanov doing the same at Arsenal. But do you still remember that the only person in the last years who wanted profit paid to the shareholders and who asked for this was …Usmanov.

    Of course standing on the outside he can talk about spending £XXXM of money on new players as he knows he will not have to live up to what he promises.

    It would be the same for me to start a political party and promise every citizen of my country a guaranteed income of 10.000 euro a month. I know I will not get elected so I could even promise 100.0000 a month… Some people will believe me of course and even vote for me. But most people will shake their head and say: will he really do it? Or is he just trying to make himself the most popular boy for the voters (fans)?

  • vinod.p.k

    Is their any possibility of club getting permission for fresh public issue and getting democrised again?. If arsenal becomes a one man club, who ever it may be, it is sad. We don’t want our club to be another Chelsea or City. We want the club to be run by collective decisions taken by wise men consisting of stake holder’s representatves and technical experts

  • arsenal-steve

    Hi Pad
    I would like to think you are right but I doubt it. The probability is we will hear in a week or so that Vertonhen, who is a very good player, has signed for Spurs. The Arsenal ‘glow’ is dimming because of the greyness Kroenke brings to our club. I would rather see David Dein/Usmanov back than a club collector like Kroenke. The sparkle of Arsenal is dulling, and I am a true supporter who has actively watched this team for 54 years, since the Arsenal v Man Utd game of 1958, so I am saying this because I see this happening to my beloved club.

  • daze_stormy

    It is in the Premier League rules that any shareholder with a 30% stake in a Prem club should be offered a seat on the relevant Board of Directors.

    Once on the Board, Usmanov (or who ever) would be privy to all the confidential information/projections/forecasts etc of the company, which are not available to the smaller shareholders or the general public.

    In practise, as Kroenke and Usmanov would have almost 90% of the shares, it is to be hoped they would eventually come to a concordat as to what is in the best interests of the club, which includes the fans too.

    At the very least it opens up to the light of day Kroenke’s intentions/aims for the club to the perusal of another independent person, and that is a healthy position.

    They are both businessmen, and not fans like us, so I am happy they would be keeping a keen eye on each other to make sure each is keeping the other honest.

  • daze_stormy

    WalterB,

    Spot on.

  • arsenal-steve

    WalterBroeckx

    Different fans will have a different take on the players we could buy, so I will choose three just as an example. They may in reality not want to come here so I just use them as an example. Perhaps Marvin Martin, Etienne Capoue and Giroud. How much do you reckon? 30 million. Either sell or pay off the contracts on some of the our poorer ex players. It seems that some of them are sellable. Arshavin, Vela, Lansbury, Bendtner, Djourou all have some value. Others like Squillaci, Park, pay off. I am sure that taking players off the books, whether by selling or terminating, will free enough money to pay something towards the contracts of new players. It’s not that difficult because we have done this before. Other clubs do it…Newcastle. Buying players is not some evil conspiracy, it is a way of challenging for honours. There is NOTHING wrong with it.

  • Shard

    @daze_stormy

    Or forming a cabal in which both share their dishonesty, or at loggerheads where both try and outdo each other.. I think the chances of that happening are far more than both keeping each other honest. Both of them are in it for money, neither to throw their money away. Their means of making money I think might differ. Kroenke’s ‘style’ I think is preferable. that said. I don’t trust him either.

  • robl

    @Arsenal-Steve, I do not disagree with everything you say, however I have to take issue with the point you make about the post Dein world – the Dein name has been involved in moving on quite a few of our players in this time, and in addition he supports Usmanov who has publicly pushed for dividends – actually taking money out of our club. Also the 3 players you mention have no premier league pedigree so may take a year to bed in ala Henry and Pires – and we don’t seem to accept that any more.

  • arsenal-steve

    Hi robl
    I have seen some strange things happen at this club recently. In my 54 years enthusastically supporting this club I have never complained. Loved the football we played and that includes the double team of the seventies (I was behind the goal at Tottenham when ray Kennedy scored his header..seems like yesterday). But last season when we had already lost the league, before we had a transfer frenzy at the last minutes of the Window, shocked me. It seemed to me sheer negligence in allowing that to happen. So we had a lost year. We must never let that happen again…lose a year. We have done very little to catch up on that lost year and now are bereft of the quality of players we have been used to. Our football leaves a lot to be desired. We are, though, only a few players away from a good team. It seems to me that the eyes of Kroenke/Gazidis are focussed on ‘Business Models’ that are a part of their grey psychology. The ‘charisma’ of Arsenal is dimming through these guys. There are two major aspects to football, the financial and the psychological. It is the psychological that livens the spirit of a club. The magical numinous qualities of this club are dimmed by Kroenke/Gazidis.

  • Tony K

    I really agree completely with everything that Arsenal Steve is saying and how anyone can even begin to defend Kroneke is completely beyond me. He has no LOVE for Arsenal, he never attends games. He probably doesn’t even know half the names of the first team squad or the name of the tea lady. Those are basic things that a true owner would take time out to do in his business. Also the marketing team at Arsenal is abysmal, the long term contracts we are tied into should have already been broken and replaced by far more lucrative agreements, which it would be easily obtainable if they would demonstrate some ambition with the playing squad.
    One other thing Walter your reply to Arsenal Steve about player aquisitions are simple scare mongering to make Arsenal fans feel that as the 6 th richest and the most well run club in the world we could not afford to buy Demba Ba on a free last year or Yohan Caybae for 3.6 million, or Papiss Cisse in January for around 10 million. There are quality players available and no one and I mean no one knows who they are better than Arsene. However if you repeatedly tie his hands behind his back and then let him take all the flack from the supporters then what kind of owner are you. TWO WORDS: USELESS COWARD. Kroneke has to go and it is as simple as that. He is messing with a proper English institution, which admittedly now belongs to millions of true fans all over the world, however he is not a fan and the FFP which you go on about all the time don’t have to be broken by us for us to be competitive for the tital next year.

    Do you think RvP actually wants to leave Arsenal, of course he doesn’t but deep down he knows that within the Arsenal hierarchy there is NO AMBITION, just a money grabbing owner who is bleeding the club dry just like the owners at ManU, Aston Villa, Sunderland and the jury is still out on the owners at Liverpool[For the record I actually think that of all the American owners that Liverpool have actually got the best ones as if you look at what they did with the Red Sox then you can see they clearly have a record of taking a non-performing franchise investing wisely in it and turning it into basically one of the most successful. These owners all have one thing in common there are American and have brought DOWN the overall standard of the PL for the last three of four years. Ironically its the money of Abramovich and Mansoor that has maintained the prestige of the PL [I don’t agree with their spending on wages of transfer fees BTW] but nonetheless the more tradition clubs like Arsenal or MAnU simply have owners who are only interested in bleeding the clubs dry.

    If you look at Kroneke’s record for all his franchises his record is simply dire. He is bringing that brand of blandness to Arsenal and if it were not for Arsene who by the way is a true Arsenal legend and absolutely bleeds Arsenal then we would be right up shit creek without a paddle at best coming 6th or 7th. Quite how we came 3rd last year with that squad only Arsene could have accomplished that. One Word GENIUS.

    In short Kroneke either has to invest in the playing squad, improve our worldwide marketing income and therefore advance the brand or simply get the f..k out.

  • Thundertinygooner

    I don’t usually comment on this site because I find the tone a little too complacent but nevertheless respect he love and respect the creators have for he club.
    I do feel I must defend Arsenal- Steve in that his points about Kroenke are absolutely right. The bumbling Peter Hill- Wood and his cronies were absolutely against him until they saw him as a more preferable alternative to Usmanov ,who must frighten the life out of them.
    I detest Kroenke’s detachment from the club.Arsenal is purely an investment for him whereas it is a large part of many supporters’ lives. Kroenke attends hardly any games as Arsenal is just part of a portfolio with no emotional attachment. In fact I understand it is a rarity to find a Board member at an away game since Danny Fiszman died. Not something you could level at David Dein who remains a huge supporter of the club( and yes I do know he introduced Kroenke). He did so because he feared our inability to win trophies without serious investment.Having realised that Kroenke would ally with the Board against him his alliance with Usmanov introduced a very discordant element into the gentlemens club that is the Arsenal Boardoom.
    In all this the person I feel hugely sorry for is Wenger. He cops huge flak from supporters for not being ambitious enough when he works for a Board that are tying his hands in the Market but expecting him to defend them in public- and he does this with unswerving commitment.
    Last summer was a complete disaster that nearly derailed our club and ensured we were out of the title race by the end of August. Fans are terrified of another repeat hence the vitriol.
    I hope and pray that we see scenario 3. While Kroenke holds the purse strings at our club we have little chance of sustained success- something I will attempt to say to Ivan Gazidis on Wednesday!

  • Thanks for referencing my site with regard to the number of shares Usmanov has – though he’s got some more since the figure you quote. However, please note:
    – getting to 30% will NOT entitle Usmanov to a seat on the Board
    – getting to 30% will NOT mean that Usmanov has to make a bid for all the rest of the shares, the takeover panel would undoubtedly waive that as there is already a majority shareholder
    – there is no lockdown agreement any more; those involved in it have sold their shares to Kroenke, and anyway it wasn’t legally enforceable
    – if Kroenke wants to sell to Usmanov he can do that any time he wants and ant any price they agree between them; there won’t be a price set by any outside party

    All this (and more) is on various posts on my blog, angryofislington.com

    Thanks.

  • Usmanov is a fan. By the way Arsenal do not need to spend as much as Man city and Chelsea. Man utd more than match these two clubs in terms of success. Spurs gave them a run for their money without spending as much. What Arsenal need to do is to show more ambition and the desire to win the title. Surely they can afford to spend more than Tottenham, Newcstle and Fulham. It was refreshing to hear the new Liverpool manager talking about winning the title. If he can believe so will his players.I am afraid Kroenke has no ambition at all and this is transmitted to everybody in the club including players and some fans.

  • Steve – I think it’s more of a case of “the devil you know” – I don’t trust billionaires myself and it is worth bearing in mind that the charitable chap Abramovich is still owed close to 800 million via the holding company Fordstam Ltd… should Abramovich drop dead his estate could give Chelsea short notice to repay it.

    Abramovich’s owership of Chelsea is complex, worthy of a post in its own right especially as he is looking to move the ground and take ownership of stamford bridge proper from the CPO (of which John Terry is the president).

    One might worry, if they were a Chelsea fan, that the new stadium debt will be loaded onto the club (exclusive of FFP) and the old ground redeveloped through Fordstam and sold to repay Abramovich’s loan – this money would be then be ‘clean’ and out of Russia.

    That may be a worry… it may not – Chelsea could still survive it.

  • Stuart

    @ Tony K and all,

    I also agree that Kroenke should go if he is unable to improve the club on the whole however I do not see Usmanov as the answer either. Without a better option at present, I’d rather stick with the lesser of two evils in Kroenke.

  • Shard

    Tony K

    ” He probably doesn’t even know half the names of the first team squad or the name of the tea lady. Those are basic things that a true owner would take time out to do in his business.”

    Not necessarily. What is a ‘true owner’ according to you? Someone like Mike Ashley? Roman Abramovich? Each owner, each person involved at any club has a different style. Kroenke isn’t a bad owner just because he doesn’t turn up at matches.

    ” Also the marketing team at Arsenal is abysmal, the long term contracts we are tied into should have already been broken and replaced by far more lucrative agreements,”

    This is one of those things that really confuses me. It assumes that Emirates would be willing to let us buy or way out of the deal. Also, it doesn’t take into account the message that sends out to current and potential sponsors. I’m happy we chose to ride the wave and not simply bail out on a commitment we made. When Arsene was asked about what sets this club apart and makes it so special to so many ex players, one o the things he said was that at this club if you agree a deal, you don’t need to sign a contract. In the sense that we stay true to our word. those are not disadvantages, but advantages, just over the long term.

    “If you look at Kroneke’s record for all his franchises his record is simply dire.”

    this also is quite untrue. The St Louis Rams were almost always dire. The Nuggets have without question improved quite a fair bit. I don’t know about the Avalanche but I think they won the Stanley Cup under Kroenke’s ownership. The Rapids won the MLS cup. Kroenke’s ownershp for his sports teams may not be spectacular, but it certainly isn’t dire.

    Also, the marketing team a few years ago said they had a 5 year plan in place to increase commercial income. W’ve seen tours take place, we’ve seen a few new commercial tie ups announced (Carlsberg as the beer at the stadium, the Guinness Malta in Nigeria, indesit) and some deals like with Citroen renewed (no doubt at improved terms)So it’s not all bad.

    I have no special love for Kroenke, and I do not trust him either. But as far as his record is concerned, and the current going ons at Arsenal in terms of the commercial aspect, I’m fairly encouraged.

  • Arsenal1Again

    Interesting comparative Walter. Usmanov could very well be saying what the fans want to hear just like a politician might do with voters. I must remember this when next pontificating down the local pub like the bore I sometimes am.

    I want to clear something up about Chelsea. The owner has only loaned them the money. The club is something like 500Million+ in debt to Abramovich. Although it’s not entirely realistic for him to just dump the club and cash in, should anything fatal happen to him, I rather doubt his wife will be interested in keeping it. The instability in Russia also means that Abramovich could become bankrupt, especially with his political connections. It’s just so very wrong to class Chelsea as having the same standing as that of Man City. No other football club in the world comes close to having the buying power of the Manchester Club. Soon it will set about destroying Man Utd because this is what the fans want, and the best way to do this will be to stop United being able to compete. United can’t replace the aging defence or bolster their attack. They shore it up the best they can each season while City have the clout to over-haul the entire team every Summer, no other club in the world can hope to match this vulgarity.

    Though Usmanov and Kroenke are both business men and not real fans like us, the Russian at least has a good idea about what we fans expect and want. Usmanov will have had the same desires regarding football teams in Russia, something Kroenke with his baseball, hockey, American rules Football and what they call soccerball can’t relate too. I think Usmanov would occasionally provide the means to buy a big player, but I think it would represent debt like it does at Chelsea.

    I’m confident that Usmanov doesn’t need to be on the board to have access to the financial records after hitting the 30% mark. This also goes for the voting, so he will not be under threat by the confidentiality agreements that bind board members.

  • robl

    I defend Stan as an owner who takes nothing out and wants the club to be around for the long term, so won’t take risks. Can the same be said for the Risdales, Venkys, Gaydemarks, Shinawatras, Glaziers, Yeoungs, Hicks & Gillet’s, even the early days meddling of Ashley.

    So what if he’s not passionate, at least he’s not interferring with mates or directors of football, or gambling with the future on a few risks.

    When the stadium is largely paid off, and FFP comes in or is abandoned, lets judge on the facts that are left at that time.

    There is way too much uncertainty at the moment, and I for one am happy to ride it out and see what shape the world of football adopts.

    Regarding investing in new players now, how many Serie A stars are going to be going for a song before the summer is out?

  • Rhyle

    Stan’s had 13 months as majority shareholder, hardly enough time to make his mark on the club. He also inherited a strategy (whether he backs in the long term is another matter) which doesn’t allow the heavy spending demonstrated by the likes of MC, Chelsea, et.

    I’m all for giving him time to prove himself as man at the front. Just wished a few more hands-on statements of intent would be made.

    As for Usmanov? Yeah…he’s a very, very rich man. I just can’t back him on moral grounds. A man of questionable origins with a murky past…but, as he shows with his quashed conviction, winners write their own history…

  • Arsenal1Again

    Oh I forgot to mention that it doesn’t matter what any amount of fans think Kroenke should do – he has absolute power and he’s unstoppable. He can do what the Glazer’s did at United if he wanted. Though the American has said he won’t do this, I do fear that the whining of some fans could steer him into directions he doesn’t at this time wnat to go. If the fans force the man to not care about them or the club, he could do a Glazer out of spite. He’s already said he’s in for the long haul so expect a continuance for years to come. Moaning will never change our circumstances for the good, but it can seriously change them for the worse – and Usmanov can’t do diddly to prevent it.

  • Rhyle

    Shard is almost spot on with his analysis of KSE’s sports franchises in the US. I do follow hockey, football and basketball out there (mainly hockey – my team’s the Devils and they’re 2-0 down in the Stanley Cup finals. Balls.). KSE have had an immediate impact on the success of their franchises – Rams won a Super Bowl, Avs won a Stanley Cup…both on the back of immediate investment in the playing staff in terms of a marquee signing (not that I advocate this for the Arsenal, it’s just what happened…), for example Alan Iverson for the Nuggets…the success then wained.

    However, since picking up complete control of the Rams last year a significant rebuilding program has started with the onus on making them more competitive, both on the field and commercially. Starting with a rebuild of the stadium. Which KSE are expecting St. Louis’ local government to pay for…Why didn’t we try that with Islington Council?! Lol…I kid, I kid…

    Basically…he’s brought success in the short term to his clubs but his long term success has been hit and miss…

  • Rhyle

    Arsenal1Again…he’s not quite to the point of the Glazers as Usmanov still has a significant stake in the club and there’s another 9% of the club in the hands of smaller shareholders. As Tony states above, if he gets to 90% he can do what he likes…

    Usmanov will get to 30%…he’s not far off of it now, it’s inevitable…at which time he gets access to the full books and can make life very hard for KSE.

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    Just a slight correction, Usmanov has assets worth over £10 billion, how much cash he has is an entirely different matter. He ‘might’ have enough cash to complete a purchase of the club at £14k a share but I’d doubt it. Asset-billionaires prefer to borrow money using their assets as security, that way they have the option of liquidating them if other sources can’t cover the payments. The questions I would ask would be which bank can actually stump up the cash and what risk rating does his security come with?

  • bob

    Tony K,
    With a question at the end, I generally agree with this: “Arsenal fans feel that as the 6 th richest and the most well run club in the world we could not afford to buy Demba Ba on a free last year or Yohan Caybae for 3.6 million, or Papiss Cisse in January for around 10 million. There are quality players available and no one and I mean no one knows who they are better than Arsene. However if you repeatedly tie his hands behind his back and then let him take all the flack from the supporters then what kind of owner are you.” I would also extend it to not having brought in defensive cover in the January window two seasons ago when we were being kicked/ground/reffed to bits, whilst competing on four fronts before the collapse. All this said, I think one of Arsene’s seedings – the youth policy (hardly spoken of lately) – is arguably on the verge of budding. Do you see no one from that effort about to make an actual, value-added, first side (or from the bench) difference? Without taking that into account, I find your argument (again, much of which I agree with, nonetheless) lacking in that respect.

  • Rhyle

    WP…with his assets being cash rich companies in the main, I don’t think he’d struggle raising the capital needed to buy, even in current credit environment. As a “paper” billionaire (they all are), he’s a pretty decent credit risk!!

    It’s unlikely any one bank would finance the whole of the deal – AU would need to stump up some of his own cash and he’d likely to go to a variety of investment banks to finance any move he may make.

    You’re also right about the rich borrowing money rather than spending their own. As most companies also do, it makes sense to run slightly in the red…i.e…using credit facilities at a cost of x%, while arbitraging their liabilities by getting cash invested and at work making…for example x+1%. Simple maths and makes complete sense doesn’t it! Surprise surprise that rich people like making more money!

  • GB

    Arsenal Steve is spot on with his comments regarding the two American businessmen who are running AFC now days.
    They are just boring gray men with no idea about what English football is all about.
    Anyone who still believes in the FFP coming to our rescue shortly , like the US cavalry to that of a wagon train surrounded by hostile Apaches , must also believe there are fairies living at the bottom of their garden.

  • Gerry Lennon

    I think I am with Dogface on this one. To want to have an owner do more for a club is dangerous ground … they want to pick the players coming in, tell managers who will play, sack managers, annually, if they disagree?? … That is the worst case scenario. Kroenke is at the other end. He has left the people who know the club, know football, to run the club. It is Arsene Wenger who attracts players here, alongside for what the club stands for, and the opportunities to play, with regards to younger players. Do you reckon Lukaku is having second thoughts about who he signed for? The money men only attract players for the money.
    I think AW expects a little more. An example might be Vertonghen now he has nailed himself to Spurs, and will only come to us if they cannot afford him. To be fair to him he probably would get more playing time if King retires in his preffered position? However, if he was a cheaper version of M’vila, playing as DM, he could do us nicely. However, from what little has been reported(accurately), M’vila would seriously consider playing for AW. If his price were negociated down a little, I think I could guess who AW would sign? Kroenke is irrelevant, and it is only wishful thinking to think he is there to finance the club in a direct way. Keeping stability is a better option?

  • bob

    Rhyle,
    That “murky” past of Usmanov that you cite (your “moral grounds”) is not a given. It was forcefully, and perhaps effectively challenged hereabouts last year, but I forget by whom for the moment. I think it’s not factual to cite this “murky” past; and, as I recall, there was another man in Russia/Soviet Union by that name that was confused with him. Perhaps someone else remembers who made those arguments, but let’s not further muddy the already murky waters.

  • robl

    @ Tony k if FFP does come in then PSG, Malaga, City, Chelsea, Barca, Real, Inter et al will have to have a fire sale of players to be eligible for Champions league.

    This would drive down the value of Players massively, and wage demands, as a result of over supply in the market.

    Will FFP happen? Who knows, however I don’t want to mortgage my clubs future over that gamble.

    incidently, Demba Ba failed his medical at Stoke and was considered too much of a risk by them as they thought he could breakdown at any point. Also Cisse and Cabaye have well reported [alleged] release clauses for low amounts which is probably why they were so cheap to begin with, as NUFC was just a shop window.

  • robl

    @ Bob, have you forgotten what life was like under communism? All businesses and properties were state owned, and nothing happened without the right connections, so for the meteoric rise of certain soviet businessmen in such a short time means that either they are extrordinarily brilliant and well connected or…..

  • bob

    robl,
    The one massive problem that comes with your advice to wait until the end of the transfer window to buy whomever from Serie A for-a-song is that we would thereby lose the precious time that is necessary for a squad to gel. Especially when we have a slate of (imo) the marketing departments’ STUPID long-distance “summer tour” which, mark my words, will take their toll on the physical well being of the squad – (a good reason for which Arsene had the lads train in Austria in prior seasons). When they trotted Arsene out to front for their excited announcement of the tour (and Arsene stood by and said nothing), my heart sunk. That type of business – that does not respect the player and team’s preparation – is a bone-headed initiative that looks like “it’s extending the brand,” but it’s short-termism. The best way to extend the brand is to produce a winner on the pitch; so put the marketing budget into that and it will pay off in far better ways than these far-flung pre-season, team-sapping tours. I’m sure Arsene would vote against it, if that vote counted against the suits. Yet another way that the business end takes the life out of the football end.

  • WalterBroeckx

    So Arsenal Steve, you just said if I understand you correct that the players we buy don’t need to be that expensive. Are you advocating we buy a few unknown Wenger buys?

    And where did I ever said that I am against us buying players? I’m not. I only don’t want the future of our club to be risked on one pair of legs that cost 40M and as we know because of the lack of protection from the refs can be broken in a split second.

  • WalterBroeckx

    And you did nicely avoided me talking about Usmanov as wanting dividends (or missed you talking about it) and about Usmanov being a clever politician promising a lot and delivering nothing once elected. (maybe I am a bit over sensitive on this because that is the only politicians I know in my country 😉 )

  • Rhyle

    Bob…you’re right, I can’t be 100% sure but people like Craig Murray (former ambassador to Uzbekistan) speak highly of him…ahem…and I’d rather err on the side of caution. His business practices have been regularly questioned in the press…enough to raise serious doubts in my mind…

    He did have his conviction quashed by the Uzbek Supreme Court…however, with the Uzbek government’s human rights record it’s hardly an endorsement.

    Again…I may be a man of strong convictions (lol!) but I like to think that erring on the side of caution prevents me not from making mistakes totally but from making costly ones…

  • bob

    Rhyle,
    Specifically which players did Stan bring in at Colorado Avalanche and St. Louis Rams that were difference-makers who helped move the teams toward Championships. Were these really purchased under his ownership; or did he not inherit those teams at the time of his purchase? This is an honest question. I don’t think Stan’s record is as clear-cut as you may think. Yes, these were championship teams, but weren’t they largely that even when/before Stan entered their pictures as an owner/co-owner?

  • bob

    robl,
    for the record, your bizness petrocrats became zillionaires with the fire-sale of state assets that was engineered under Yeltsin, during and after the breakup of the soviet thingy. whatever usmanov was before and after that, I don’t know nor pretend to know.

  • Shard

    bob

    I have to disagree on the pre season tours. I was ok with us not doing it for years and yeah, I’m pretty sure Arsene isn’t happy about it. he even said that on the physical side of things they have a detrimental effect on the squad. He said this in a press conference announcing this season’s tour! So I think it’s a safe bet to say he would much rather not take the team on tours. I also bet, he would much rather not have players playing in the Euros etc. Not everything can be ideal. Pre season tours are just that. An economic reality. It doesn’t have to bring in money directly. But it provides fans a closer sense of belonging if they see the players in the flesh. This could lead to a generation of Gooners in those countries with its own merchandising, and commercial benefits. And Arsene the football man may not be happy, but Arsene the economist I’m sure realises the value of that. So contrary to what you say, I think NOT going on tours is more short termist than going, because the REAL benefits of tours will only be realised in the years ahead.

  • @bob
    You obviously want Demba Ba, Yohan Caybae and Papiss Cisse at Arsenal. Arene Wenger presumably doesn’t. That is why, therefore, he didn’t buy them.

  • bob

    Shard,
    I can see your point in general terms. But for this specific year: the EPL/CL seasons have just ended; now come the Euros; next there’s the Olympics (and other international fare?); and then come these tours. Then the pre-season. Then the season. This is a gauntlet, to put it mildly. Given our injury legacy, I find this year’s adventures in South Africa, China, etc. to be far-flung and extremely risky. Hence, stupid and short-termist. Arsene’s visage during yes, that very press conference said it all (I alluded to it in my previous post). The economist in him was manifestly not shining through. My point is where is the athletes’ rest to come from? Rest. And what of the jet lag, if nothing else?

    This said, I think we need a strong launch as a way, if nothing else, to muzzle the miscreants in the media and the punditry; and, of course, the fanbase, all of whom will have their sharp knives out for a “here he goes again” start to the season (, another last-hurrah for the renewal of Rednose XX).

    Anyway, I am way more fearful for our health than I am against tours in general. Having a championship side – as some of the old, less than lucrative merchandising deals come to an end – will put us in far better stead than will Emirates showing the Emirates Airlines logo (in otherwise good future AFC markets) Shanghai and Nairobi. My main point becomes: tours yes, but not this year.

  • bob

    p.s. sorry, meant to say “susceptible fanbase”
    also: “in (otherwise good….)”

  • bob

    Big Al,
    We needed and, until Podolsky, needed more firepower so that it wasn’t all on RVP’s shoulders. Those guys could have helped. Do you doubt that? And my point is not reduced to them or no one. My point is that when many people were challenging “Ok, so who’s he supposed to go out and get, anyway” (as if there was no one out there available), the fact is that there were quality types like these 3 who could then have made a difference: by taking the load of RvP, giving RvP rest, ensuring against a not improbable injury to RvP, and adding necessary firepower that was not coming from the midfield, nor from Gervinho, nor Chamakh, etc. So, Big Al, that’s where I’m coming from. Purchasing Podolski is a sign of a need that we have had, did have in January, and it takes a good step, obviously, to amping up our firepower.

  • It is interesting looking at the comments about Kronke as a director. After Sir Henry Norris was removed from Arsenal in 1927, he continued to attend AGMs, as he retained all his shares in the club.

    His questions to the board generally caused uproar and tended to bring matters to a halt, as when he demanded of the grandfather of the current chairman, details of which directors had been at which meeting.

    The chairman refused to give any information on the subject sayinG< "I have the information but I am not going to reveal it." I am not sure many in the AGM got the joke but it would not have been lost on the Lt Colonel - it was exactly the answer he used to give at AGMs when he was asked questions he didn't fancy. The full story of the AGM was in one of my Arsenal Uncovered columns in the programme this past season, if you happen to read and retain them.

  • Shard

    bob

    I can’t disagree with that. The Euros do make it harder, and the Olympics are just silly. You can be sure we’ll have some injuries in the off season and pre season. Good point. However, since we are going on tour. It’s best to back it.(Or grin and bear it I guess) Maybe the board intend to sanction bringing in some more players to give us the extra depth we’ll need to cope with it? Who knows. The fans in Nigeria and in China will surely have a good time though and for them it’ll be worth it I guess.

    This year will be tough on the players, but at least it’ll be so for most other teams too. (Small consolation)

  • robl

    @ Bob, and with what fortunes that they couldn’t amass under communism did they buy these knocked down state assets and why were they the chosen ones to get them? Still waiting for an Usmanov supporter to address the dividend question.

    @ everyone else, why the crap does it matter if the business brains are grey suits as long as they are effective grey suits that aren’t shafting us? Some of the most effective and successful MDs and CEOs I’ve met have been disapointingly uninteresting.

  • Rhyle

    I know the Avs brought in Ray Bourque, Chris Drury and Alex Tanguay in the 99/00 season…a year before they won the Stanley Cup…and that was the season that KSE bought them Avs and Nuggets. Not 100% if he was driving recruitment at that time but my understanding is that he and his team definitely had input during negotiations…that’s from articles in mags/online and talking with other fans…

    Tanguay was particularly important in their run to the Stanley Cup.

    I remember it well…they beat my team, the New Jersey Devils in the Stanley cup finals… 🙁

  • Rhyle

    The big spend in their actual Stanley Cup winning season was bringing in Rob Blake…an all-star quality player…before the play-offs, as well as Steven Reinprecht. Looked that one up, though, to be fair…lol…

  • bob

    Cheers, Rhyle, I appreciate the research on Stan’s holdings. I really hope you’re right on Stan’s having the seeming track record with the Avalanche as it would show ambition (at least in the past) for winning big. Did the team decline after that? and was it precipitous? Either one on Stan’s watch? Just trying to get more of a sense of his modus operandi. What year did the AVs become champs?

    Also, if/when you can, for AFC reasons, I’d also be interested in your takes on Stan’s other two teams:
    Did he similarly impact the St. Louis Rams (US/NFL football), or just jump aboard? Did he bring in Kurt Warner (star QB)? Didn’t they soon go into decline under Stan?

    As for Denver Nuggets (NBA basketball), did he sign off on Carmelo Anthony (star forward)? And except for that one year making the playoffs, weren’t they pretty much middle of the pack, except for Melo?

  • SouthernGunner

    When ever there’s talk about Arsenal being owned by one of these flash oligarchs, that Bruno Mars song always played in my head! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8aRor905cCw)

    As long as the club is in good, stable, financial health, why on earth would anyone want to risk being taken over by one individual? Everyone goes on about Chelsea and Man City, but there are lots of other clubs who have very rich owners that don’t do as well as the Arsenal year in, year out. Take Liverpool and Newcastle as just two examples, they both have rich owners, but you never hear the AAA going on about why we’re not spending the same amount of money on the same players as them.

    People don;t realise that as billionaire owned clubs go, Chelsea & City are the exception, not the norm. Money doesn’t equal success. In fact, in most cases, there’s evidence that it can be the beginning of a downward spiral that threatens your clubs very existance (Leeds United ring any bells?).

    Thats why so many clubs are in debt, not jut in the UK, but in Spain too. The sugar daddy business model simply cannot work, sooner or later your club will face extinction. Whats the point in having a few trophies with no club/stadium to put them in?

    Chelsea were reportedly within hour of being totally liquidated, before their owner bought the club at the last minute for around £100 million. Fast forward a decade, they’ve spent 10x’s that amount on transfers and wages/compensation alone, so presumably would face a lot of problems should anything happen to the owner.

    Another thing that is hardly mentioned is that any trophy won following this model, hasn’t been won on a level playing field. It’s like fielding an under 10’s team against adults. You’ll win, but it’s no real victory.

    Sometimes trophies are won by the best team of that season. But what’s been happening more and more in recent years is silverware ending up somewhere by default because they have to. Regardless of how rubbish a team has done, they can end up with the title simply because it has to go somewhere after 38 games.

    Trophies are good, they’re what clubs and supporters want to see their players lift every year. But not at the expense of jeapordising your club and history. Steven Gerrard once said that the medels he win’s with his club Liverpool are worth more to him than had he won dozens elsewhere. Just goes to show that love for your club makes any success worth more, and not just take them for granted, treating winners medals like a stamp or coin collection.

  • Rhyle

    Yes…they’ve seen the second best goaltender in the history of the game (Patrick Roy) as well as one of the best forwards (Joe Sakic) retire in the next few years after 2001 and have rarely threatened to hit heights again…though there’s a restructuring process on the team that’s been 5 years it’s a long way from bearing fruit.

    With the Rams, he didn’t bring in Warner, who I think had been a reserve QB for 3 or 4 years beforehand…it’s also important to recognise that KSE only took over the Rams wholesale last year, with there being joint ownership until then. Yes…they did go into decline but Stan K has been driving change at the club both on and off the field for a few years…there’s more than a hint of the Arsenal about it, actually, with the Rams investing heavily in a young team and driving forward plans for a stadium…

    With the Nuggets…They’re a consistent team of also-rans. Good but never great. Regularly win their conference and qualify for the play-offs (more often than not going out in the 1st round) but never going to bring home the big one…he definitely signed off on Carmelo Anthony (think he joined in 2003), but his big balls-out spend was bringing in Allen Iverson in 2006…didn’t really work out as he’s a bit of a “character” and he left them in 2008. The team’s been in serious transition since losing Anthony in 2011.

  • Shard

    The Nuggets are now a perennial playoff team. Somewhat of a resurgence for them since the mid nineties where they were really nobodies.. They very rarely make it past the first round of playoffs though. I thought the Nuggets trade dealings have been pretty good actually. I don’t know what New York was thinking when they gave up virtually half their team in exchange for essentially Carmelo Anthony (Kind of like the whole Cesc to Barca saga that was)and some Add on Nuggets..heh.. Denver made the best of a bad situation and I think their focus on team ethic is similar to how Arsenal are. And in George Karl, they have an astute, aesthetically oriented manager/coach. I like how the Nuggets play basketball, and I hope they will be able to push that extra step to get to the finals in the near future. However, I wouldn’t compare player acquisitions in basketball with football. It’s a completely different ball game (unintentional pun)

  • Shard

    Rhyle

    That Iverson trade was a pretty bad move in my opinion. Just goes to show, the star player doesn’t always work out. It certainly didn’t work for Detroit later did it? Letting Billups go for him? But anyway.. bob..To answer your question, I think Kroenke’s involvement in his sports teams is basically how you see it at Arsenal. He doesn’t disturb the applecart too much, and goes more for the slow approach in gradually building a team up. Would you agree with that Rhyle?

    Luckily for us, that is in my opinion exactly what Arsenal needs. To keep building on what we have, rather than just throw everything out and starting over.

  • I’m with Rhyle on the murky past – it was challenged but I asked for backup sources for it… these never came.

  • Rhyle

    Pretty much…he’s got a track record of putting his money where his mouth is with regards to marquee signings and driving success in the short term…however there often seems to be a bit of a sophomore slump followed by a period of transition. His time involved with us seems to be colouring a lot of his activity. I think, on face value, with taught him more than he’s brought to us!

    It’s always difficult to compare US sport to football as they’re monopolised by the leagues themselves rather than the teams, and capex limits on wage bills / acquisitions that are in place in the US don’t apply here.

  • Rhyle

    And…Shard…Iverson is the NBA equivalent of Paul Gascoigne…all the talent in the world but a tendency to do the crazy, moronic stuff and drink himself into oblivion…

    A drinker and degenerate gambler…the funny thing I think one of the MLS sides signed him as a player in spite of him having never played the game? I may have dreamt that, though…lol…

  • Mahdain

    im with you too Dogface..i just dont understand why Craig Murray would make the kind of allegations he made if there wasnt one ounce of truth in them..perhaps not all what he said was true but still i bet there is definitely some dark blot on his history..some of the things i found when i was researching on him really made very wary of him being anywhere near our club

  • Scott

    Still very little on Arsenal…the guys a freak lol.

  • bob

    DogFace,
    Do you recall who made that challenge? I remember it being convoluted and detailed and very self-assured about a case of mistaken identity.

  • Shard

    bob

    I think it was Notoverthehill who said those things.

  • bob

    Shard,
    Yeah, I think you’re right. I remember his being very passionate in defense.

  • Notoverthehill

    Dogface, ask Tony! I can give chapter, verse and copies of the the Russian publications that have had to apologise.

    You quoted a congenital liar as a source. Want a reference to the Daily Mail abject surrender? That publication even sent a woman detective to ferret out the “lies”!

  • Domhuaille MacMathghamhna

    While every poster is all over the map and way off topic for the most part…I want to comment on pre-season games that AW supposedly dislikes:

    1)He uses them to blood potential youth and reserve players in with regular first team members and new arrivals,in order to see who may help as squad players in the new season. The traveling together also helps build team chemistry.
    2)He will probably sit out most of his first team players throughout the tour or at least rotate them to ensure they don’t get burnt out like Wilshere did last year….he has learned his lesson there.
    3)Increasing Arsenal’s brand worldwide is very important for the BOD since the new sponsorship agreements need to be signed by 2014. Doing these tours increases our visibility in Asia and Africa significantly and expect to see Jenkinson, Santos, Ryo, Ramsey, Podolski, Coquelin, Frimpong, Lansbury, Chamakh and Park play a lot (if the latter two aren’t sold beforehand).
    4)When the Euros are over and Holland has won(my prediction)then we will see a few more signings and they will immediately come in to play in the pre-season. Maybe Benayoun will be officially signed as well, that is my sincere hope anyway.

  • Rhyle

    Scott…this thread is about the ownership of the club. My posts have been about KSE and how they run the franchises they hold in the US. Relevant to the discussion.

    Not surprised I had to explain it to you, though…

  • Scott

    Typical arrogant comment,hey Ryle.
    Back to Le Grove with you where you no doubt fit right in.
    Talking about Yank sports…who gives a crap??

  • Scott

    Americans,the only people in the world to hold a world series where nobody else’s invited lol…..bloody farce.

  • Scott

    Americans,the only people in the world to hold a world series where nobody else’s invited lol…..bloody farce.

  • Scott

    I just read a great article.
    It tells us how Arsenal DEFENDER,Alex Oxlaide Chamberlian………..need I go on??
    How do these guys get a gig,seriously??

  • Rhyle

    Scott…another dig at me…awesome!…all the chat about American sports is in answer to questions asked by your pals here…Shard and bob, for example…who were keen to see how Kroenke ran his American franchises and whether he’d had only a short term impact and invested in the squad early on only to see it taper off. I wouldn’t expect you to have read through all of them and recognised that…it doesn’t seem to be your style…but try not to have an unprovoked pop at me…you’ll embarrass yourself…which is brilliant, ‘cos it saves me having to do it.

    As for your comment on the World Series…it’s named after a newspaper called The World which sponsored it in the 1920’s…you should try opening your mind to other things and reading about them, especially if you’re going to try and use it as a reason to have a dig…hahahaha…arrogant or ignorant? I know which one I’d rather be…and even there I don’t see how showing your idiotic dig at me up was being arrogant…

  • WalterBroeckx

    the other Rhyse, Dark Prince, ….names change but it all stays the same

    Rhyle,
    Where did you expect us to finish in august last year after losing Cesc and Nasri?

  • Greg

    Rhyle… don’t listen to this Scott person. But on the World Series thing, I’m afraid you’re mistaken:

    http://www.snopes.com/business/names/worldseries.asp

  • Rhyle

    I was still hopeful of at least fourth, thought we’d be competing with Spurs and Liverpool for it rather than Newcastle and was surprised by the implosions of both of them and Chelsea last year…

    Wasn’t overly concerned by losing Nasri…great player but ultimately replaceable…but Cesc cut to the bone, although I’d seen performances from Ramsey (best player on the pitch when we beat Man Utd at home 1-0 the season before) which made me hope he’d step up, he never did…

    What I did take exception to was the sluggish (to say the least) manner we dealt with transfers over last summer. Why did we wait until the last day of the transfer window? If we needed new players why didn’t we move earlier? Although it’s hard to say if it would have changed the result at OT I’d like to think it would’ve changed the scoreline and possibly the results at St James’s Park and Liverpool at the Emirates (we were by far the better side until Meireles came on…he and Suarez changed the game for them).

  • Scott

    No listening involved Greg,it’s reading lol

  • Rhyle

    Fair play, Greg…a decent read, fat bloke down the pub told me the tale…and as we all know, everything fat bloke says must be true. Don’t think I’m alone in my ignorance on that one…don’t think Scott could even pretend to know the urban legend thing otherwise he’d have surely been the first to jump all over me…lol…

    Love me some snopes.com, by the way…

  • Notoverthehill

    Rhyle, I like the cut of your jib!

    Arsenal v Liverpool, please check your facts! An Arsenal player was sent off and then the Liverpool manager acted.

    Similar to Peter Wood (Pedro of Le Grove, a good article and then the snide comment(s) about Mr Wenger, the Arsenal Board of Directors and of course, Eton!

    Peter Wood put his c.v. on the Internet, it does not impress me.

  • Shard

    The simple reason for delaying transfers is..money.. Being careful about finances means we cannot buy till we sell/don’t sell. Cesc left pretty late because Barca kept dicking around over the price, because they knew Cesc was basically, not going to play for us again. How did they know this? Because Cesc was tapped up and was agitating for a move. Cesc screwed us over big time, and he should stop referring to himself as an Arsenal fan or even caring about us.

    Once that transfer was decided, ManCity took time to offer a value we were prepared to sell at. Nasri played against Liverpool and played poorly. He might have had a good dribble and run once, but he was dispossessed 8 times! He threw that game away (and you can argue playing him was a mistake- equally not playing him might have been one too) Only after it was certain that Nasro was leaving, and we knew for how much, could we bring in other players.

    Now, this theory (taken as fact by many) is often bandied about that Wenger PANICKED after the 8-2 defeat. I don’t agree. I mean he was obviously hurt by it. But there is no way we were going into the season with the squad we had at the time. No chance. To think otherwise is to think Wenger is a complete fool, and I know many think this, but his track record, trophies or no, completely goes against that. The deals might have been done cutting it too fine, but there was always someone going to be coming in and I’m sure Wenger had already identified most of whom we got.

    But, for this season, you can argue we’re going through the same thing. If we have similar sagas with Robin and Theo , and maybe Song, we’re back where we were last summer. That is something the club should do everything they can to avoid. However, our options are limited. We cannot afford to lose Theo and Song on a free. We cannot afford to sit players who don’t want to play for us anymore in the reserves. Player power is everything, combined with blatant tapping up and oil money filthy lucre, Arsenal’s options are limited. Sure, we’d all like the club took a stand and said to our players, this is your deadline, but what if they don’t listen and the clubs you are wanting to sell to are unwilling to play ball? Until right at the end? You take a financial hit. But how much?

    I’d be surprised to see players which other clubs are interested in as well coming to Arsenal, at least early in the window. We might get some unknowns, or some young players, but I suspect our major transfers will be done late. I just hope, none of those are outgoing transfers.

  • Rhyle

    Notverthehill…I’m a ST holder and was at the game and can tell you…even with 10 men we were better than Liverpool. Raul Mereiles came on and ran the midfield – if we’d bought Arteta / Benny before the game I think we’d have clearly beaten them. It’s an opinion, fella…hence me using the word “possibly”…and not one you should feel you should agree with! You’ve got your opinion, I’ve got mine. That’s exactly how it should be…so “checking facts” is a little absurd, no? We lost 2-0. Mereiles and Suarez were involved in both goals (yes, the first was an unfortunate OG but it was brought about by pressure from Mereiles…his square ball to Suarez being cleared by Miquel bounced off of Lansbury or Ramsey, I think…). THEY are the facts. The rest is just opinion.

    “Mr. Wenger” as you politely put it puts himself forward for criticism…he’s in a public position as manager of the club I love. I’m not being disloyal to Arsenal by not believing Wenger can take us forward anymore…I’m also not above criticising the Prime Minister but I love my country…it doesn’t make me unpatriotic…lol…

    As for Pedro…what has he got to do with me? Yes, I enjoy his posts as they’re more along my lines of thinking – which is not to say I endorse the more extreme anti-Wenger “lose so he’ll be sacked” style pov eschewed by some of the commenters over there…I try to back up my stance with a half-decent argument at the very least.

    By the by, I’ve said nothing but give Kroenke a chance at the head of the table. It’s purely Wenger I think should be moved on.

  • Rhyle

    I’m don’t believe he panicked either, Shard. I just think he should have acted sooner. I think it’s hard to argue with that bearing in mind the results before and after the purchases. If he liked these players why didn’t he move for them sooner?

    I don’t think Wenger a fool, he’s our second greatest manager of all time, and the only reason I cite Chapman as better is because of his contributions to the game overall…an incredible man…

    I just don’t believe Wenger can take us forward from here – and 7 seasons of declining standards (IN MY OPINION) is what I base that on. I honestly believe we could be doing better – without going out and spending fortunes – but Wenger’s attitude of “I don’t want to ruin Denilson’s development” as one example(his patience with Diaby…Bendtner…among other youngsters who never made it at the club are other examples) when Denilson rarely showed the talent to justify being a first choice MF…well, it led to us compromising our recruitment policy and diluting the quality in the first XI as players left (something I can never and will never fully blame on Wenger – that’s the players choice – except to say that the backwards steps we’ve made over the few years have probably contributed to their desire to leave – note Nasri “wanting to win things”. He did.). His change of tactic on the last day of the transfer window last season almost recognises that fact – buying experience and proven talent. There’s got to be a balance of young v proven – something we’ve struggled with for years…

    I want us to deal early and buy seasoned pro’s. As someone else has pointed out – there are many talented players coming up through the ranks but how they deal with top level football is too much of an unknown to fully roll the dice on. We need to complement them with quality seasoned pro’s.

  • Shard

    If Nasri wanted to win things, he might have actually played in the last few months of the previous season. Players wanting to ‘win things’ and this seeking a move is mostly hogwash. Players play for money. They are professionals. It’s their job. Very rarely will you have players agitating for a move where the take a pay cut.

    I’m not tryingto change your stance, and your not going to change mine. But you might consider whether Wenger’s reliance on youth and his patience with them was the cause of not spending in the transfer market, or the effect. I reckon we couldn’t afford to pay big transfer fees and superstar wages at that point. Especially with the wages constantly going up. But aahh..what about the reported 60k a week for Diaby you say. We should be paying the likes of him less and spending that money to better reward better players. Fair enough. But that’s why we lost Flamini. Not tying him up to a contract for high wages before he’d earned it. That’s why we might lose Van Persie. It is a double edged sword where you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

    Can we all accept that with the stadium debt, money was in short supply? If so, then it goes a long way to explain the so called project youth. Sure. It wasn’t the only way to go. But to pretend that the other way would have been better and not had some potentially tough pitfalls is frankly to talk crap, and that too with the benefit of hindsight. Also..Our standards of football were just fine in 2007-08. We were the best team in the country, and I’m going to say also, we could have won the title in 2011 (yes I know we finished 4th) though it would have been close with Chelsea (not ManU) You might ask what the standards of referees were/are. It isn’t something irrelevant or unrelated. It directly impacts Arsenal (and other teams) and as such is a valid factor to consider.

  • bob

    Rhyle,
    On your Nasri’s “wanted to win things, he did”, there’s also a factor in play that you, like many, ignore or don’t know: the long-standing grudge held by his uber-agent against Arsene and Boro Primorac from his days at Marseilles. Marseilles was relegated for corruption, this man and the Marseille major domo were banned from football for two years. And this head-turning, as Arsene publicly labeled it, had a massive revenge-factor laced through it. It was not fully expected; and what was expectable for much of the window was that Nasri might be re-signed. This too is part of the picture and your Arsene-Out position fails to take it into account. And it also fails to account for the Dein the Lesser factor – that would be Darren, the other uber agent – which has been making a meal (in fact a banquet) off the mega transfer/departure of once current and former Arsenal mega-talent (Henry, Adebayor, x-Cesc) to the zillionaire sides only – chumpions Farca and Shitty -; AND who, you might wish to note is RVP’s shadow-PM in the team of advisor-agents around him. (I’ve covered this a week or so ago hereabouts.) But, for all that, you and others of want Arsene Out manage only to use these departures to slate him for the debacle, hugely or less hugely. And, wishing him out, you never manage to say much about the massive Arsene-Out media campaign of at least 3 months duration last fall; which was an especially shameful chapter – among the many – in UK media history. I wouldn’t wish those smears – photos and articles across all media – on my worst enemy. And your LeGrovel was salivating over the prospect. Did you pause or write anything about that attempted coup at the time? Or was it just fine thank you because getting rid of Arsene Wenger was your goal? and by any means necessary? Did you pile on; or were you the measured voice amongst the Huns? Where were you on that wee matter – then? and now? To me, it is not just football – but a definition of ethics and character. To then distill all the above into a “Nasri wanted to win things, he did” so-called argument is where we – you and your Pedro and I are (still) at war.

  • bob

    p.s. and I completely agree with Shard – you and your Pedro take no position on the chronic refshite that has been a constant and major part of the mix; not the sole part (so none of that sophistry), but a major part and documenting here for two seasons running. That’s another massive, inextricable dimension that can easily be pooh-poohed which, in its turn, is a badge of ignorance (first issued in 2004 by the Enabler-in-Chief, Micky R, at the urine-soiled turf at Old Toilet).

  • bob

    p.p.s I also think that Dein the Lesser may be an agent-advisor to Alex Song. I have to check back on this, but that’s my admittedly imperfect recollection, but I’d wager it. Hopefully I and others can double check this. That man is a destructive force in the all’s fair wild west of anything goes to the highest bidder savagery that is perfumed as “the transfer window.”

  • Scott

    Agents…..second lowest form of life in football.
    Le Grovers…..they win that one hands down.

  • rusty

    I have to say, as a native of Denver, I’ve enjoyed the debate about the Avalanche and Nuggets. Stan Kroenke is not an owner who seeks to micromanage the day-to-day decisions of his teams (and rarely grants interviews to the US press), but he has not shied from paying for top-quality coaches, training staff, scouting, facilities, and the like.

    I think he’s an owner very well-suited for Arsenal’s financial model — he won’t siphon money out of the club with dividends, nor will he allow the wages-to-turnover ratio to get into dangerous territory.

  • Wooby

    @Bob, just want to chime re: pre-season tours. I am not a big fan of the squad traveling long distances but I think it is not so much a way for the club to make money but an attempt to tilt the FA and PGMOL in our direction a little bit. ManUre has been making these tours and is treated as the top club in the BPL, particularly b/c they are seen as driving up the value of the TV contracts. I think we have no choice. If we do not participate in these tours, we will continue to be seen as “not contributing to the cause” and risk then having no penalties called, home or away. 😉

  • bob

    Wooby,
    I take your point… Who knows what (if anything) will tilt the Suits toward AFC and whether it’s worth it to play it so safe that we’re worn down by the time the real season starts. In any case, I think we’re usually damned if we do by them and damned if we don’t by them. Which is why I love AFC/Arsene and embrace our no penalties called way of life. (Good one, there, wooby!)

  • Johan

    Things could have been different if Kroneke had have got control of th Dodgers with his consortium as that would have cost 1.5 – 2 billion dollars.

    The one thing I would be concerned about is the fact that as owner of ST Loius Rams he oked the moving of the biggest game of the year (in only 8 home games) to London.

  • Damien Luu

    @Rhyle: We have talked much about the “should sell sooner, should buy sooner last summer” thing. Basically it was the way it was because this is not the FM video game that you (and I) play (and be champion) every single day. Obviously AW didn’t want to do business that late, as he said that himself and took action much sooner this year. He had to do that because of the circumstances. Simply as that.

    @Bob: I agree with you about our pre-season tour to China this summer. And not because I hate China. I was happy seeing our team went to Asia last year, even they didn’t visit my country, but this year I am worried. That surely will not be good for our preparation. Marketing is important but the preparation for next season is much more important, especially with the Euro and all of its problems.

    About the owners, I don’t really know much about them so I will keep my mouth shut, but I just hope the Club will stick to our self-sustaining model. Do not follow the “hustler” way of the others because it is wrong, Wrong, WRONG!

  • andy bishop

    Since Kroenke took over the share price has gone from 11500 to over 15000 per share due also to Usmanov trying to buy a seat on the board and the fact we have a good business model. Competition for shares in a good business drives the price up. Who makes money out of this? and when is the best time for these guys to cash in?. No fan knows their true intentions. Dein and Wenger have proven they want to win things for the club. Dein wanted Kroenke onboard. Fisman, Hill Wood and others on the board did not like the power this would eventually give to Dein..who would have delivered trophies. Who is this Kroenke? we dont want his type on the board…remember. Out went Dein for the board to realise they had no alternative but to go with Kroenke (alternative being Usmanov and Dein). I agree with arsenal-steve..Usmanov would not destroy the current business model but may bring more ambition. Ask any Chelsea fan if they think Abrahmovic worts and all has been bad for Chelsea.

  • @andy bishop: “Ask any Chelsea fan if they think Abrahmovic worts and all has been bad for Chelsea.”

    Can we ask them in 10 years time and then make our minds up?

  • andy bishop

    Absolutely correct and we will ask all gooners the same about Kroenke

  • Ha, yes – unfortunately we are lumbered with him at the moment and none of us know his intentions and/or exit strategy.