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August 2021

Red and White are planning a hostile takeover using non-dividend equity. Beware!


Publication on July 20th: Woolwich Arsenal, the club that changed football. The book that re-writes the Arsenal story.


By Shard

This article is in two parts.  This first part relates to the Red and White Open Letter, which is available here

Part two which will be published shortly relates to the issue of shares


The Usmanov letter raises two points straight off.

1. Gazidis is giving the impression that R&W might cause conflict.

2. Gazidis approached Megafon for sponsorship, of which Usmanov is 50% owner.

It then goes on to say that R&W have invested £200m in the equity of the club. But more important than the investment (they say) is their feelings for the club, and their claim that they would never do anything to destabilise it.

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The bit about them being fans can be ignored. They are plainly not, and their claims in that regard are foolish. The bit about  point 1 and R&W never looking to cause conflict can be taken together, and debunked, because they are causing conflict just by publishing this letter.

They also talk about Usmanov never seeking a board seat, and him not holding one in any of the companies that he invests in. Therefore the accusation is that Arsenal are falsely implying that Usmanov wants a board seat.

As far as I am aware, Arsenal never made that insinuation. When Gazidis said Arsenal will not be changing the structure of the board was in response to a question asked of him. While his meaning was plain, it was plain only because we all know it to be true that Usmanov and the current board do not share the same vision of the way forwards for the club.  In short, Gazidis never said Usmanov wants a board seat.

R&W also say they have maintained a strict policy of non-interference in the running of the club, and have supported the management through their voting rights.

Fair enough. Except, they clearly are not in support of the board, and they intend to arm twist the board’s running of the club through the use of press releases such as these, aimed at inciting fans to change the club’s behaviour. That doesn’t seem like a policy of non-interference to me.

They further accuse the board of having conflict amongst themselves, citing the names of Dein, and Bracewell-Smith etc who were removed from the board.

In fact, when Gazidis said there will be no move to give R&W a seat on the board, he himself referred to these upheavals and said that we are now a board pulling together in the same direction, and any change would affect that adversely.

They also refer to a lockdown agreement, though I do not understand what their point with that is. They acknowledge it was done initially to keep Kroenke out, and then to keep them out. How is that something which should be seen as bad, I don’t know. Maybe someone can explain this to me.

They now come back to the “financial model, the lack of investment and the Club’s future strategic direction” they had referred to earlier. To break it down as best as I can R&W essentially are accusing the board of deliberately moving to increase the share price so that they could sell their stake for massive profits. They criticise building the stadium with long term debt, and instead say it should have been done through a mixture of debt and non-dividend equity.

Non-dividend equity is interesting, for it is the type of financing that the owners of Manchester United are looking at in their latest refinancing of the club.  In essence it tries to sell people shares in the business, but says, “you can’t get a dividend”.  So the money just sits there, until someone else wants to come along and buy your share.

In a way it is a bit like buying a house.  You have your house and it doesn’t make you any money while you live in it.  Any profit comes when you sell.

The non-dividend equity is a legal version of a Ponzi scheme (which is illegal) which uses investors’ own money or money paid by subsequent investors, rather than from profit earned by the individual or organization running the operation. The Ponzi requires an ever-increasing flow of money from new investors to keep the scheme going.  The Glazer and Usmanov favoured non-dividend equity scheme requires that new investors are around to buy the shares at higher prices.  (If they are not, and everyone sees they are not, the scheme collapses just like a Ponzi.

But as I was saying, they are accusing the club’s directors of manipulating share prices to personally enrich themselves. The criticism also lies in the fact that they did so ‘whilst avoiding dilution of their equity’. As I understand it, the share price shot up not with the stadium itself, nor when it was financed, but when you had first Kroenke, and then Usmanov, pay higher sums for Arsenal shares than in the past. Did the board envisage investors coming in? Perhaps. But maybe that’s also why they did not have a rights issue earlier, so as to prevent somebody gobbling up shares and initiating a hostile takeover. You might say they were guarding against the likes of Usmanov (and to a lesser extent, Kroenke), before Usmanov even appeared on the scene.

Usmanov’s problem with the lack of a rights issue is clear. He criticises the board for not diluting their equity because he intends to buy that equity, and gain a larger foothold towards owning Arsenal. The reason he needs to do this, is because the board, whom he accuses of enriching themselves (which they did) as their main consideration in terms of picking their policies, actually chose to sell their shares to Kroenke at a price lower than what Usmanov was offering.  Thus I conclude that this talk of selling out and pointing fingers at the board is at best a half truth, and his only problem being they didn’t sell out to him.

R&W continually talk about the fans as being on their side, or themselves expressing fans’ concerns. This is easy to do as all fans will have some concerns about say, lack of trophies, losing players against our wishes etc. Nobody can be happy at this. But, they suggest the problem lies in the financial model of the club (this may or may not be true, and certainly can be debated to what extent this is the case) But the fact remains, that they use those concerns to push forward their agenda. That is their right. But just because we have the concerns they echo, doesn’t mean they are correct in what they imply, nor what they suggest.

Some examples of them putting themselves on a similar footing as fans are “The real conflict seems to be between the supporters’ expectations and your vision for the club”, “pursue a policy of increasing ticket prices and squeezing the fans”, “we own almost 30% of the club or to put it another way almost 1 in every 3 seats in the stadium”. The last bit is a cheap, but stupid attempt to put themselves on the level of fans. As is talk of ‘squeezing the fans’,  for which they blame the ‘so-called policy of self financing’.

So what is the solution to this policy that R&W offer? They again suggest a rights issue to raise some funds, and apart from random talk of how we lose our best players  etc (which I brush past because it is not policy that they are talking about) , they state their vision as ” A debt free club, with a big enough war chest to buy top players who can hit the ground running and who can complement the Club’s long tradition of developing young players and homegrown talent.” This is followed by talk of trophies etc, which again I say, is not important to the issue. They do however say, “We also believe in the transparency that a stock market listing brings, so are committed to the Club remaining listed on the stock exchange and to greater fan involvement both through share ownership and also Board representation for the fans”.

As regards the vision of the club whereby the club is debt free and being able to buy top players etc, it is entirely the vision that the current board sell us. The thing is, R&W offer no details on HOW they intend to pull of this dream. We know how the current board intend to, and what they have been doing for it. The stadium move, the long term deals, the paying off the loans, signing new, and in a few years, improved commercial deals to improve commercial income.

R&W claim that they want the same thing this board does, but offer no insight on how they plan to do this. They mention that trophies “increase the value of the players, the value of the brand, attract the best sponsors and maximise the value of our commercial contracts..”, but do not mention how they intend to get the club trophies. Nor do they expressly say they will reduce ticket prices (which even if they said would be meaningless). Basically, they are quick to allege improper conduct by the Board, point out problems the current Arsenal have, echo some concerns that fans’ will have, but offer no solutions of their own beyond having the Board undertake a rights issue. Their only concession to fans in their plan is a commitment to staying on the stock market (while also saying they’ll keep buying shares), and that they’ll have fans on the board. Who these fans might be, is anybody’s guess, and even if these fans are independent in their assessment, I doubt it is anything other than a symbolic appointment (if and when it happens).

So, beyond all the double speak, the talk about concerns over the current functioning, the R&W letter doesn’t really offer solutions except in relation to the one which helps them in their goal of taking over.  It is just a reiteration of certain concerns and problems Arsenal face at the moment. Of itself, that is fine, but the intent is quite clearly to present a poor state of affairs, and present themselves as the solution without really having to offer any.

Their accusation regarding the board policies, I have talked about. The ones regarding Gazidis suggesting Usmanov wants a board seat, or that R&W are the ‘enemy’ also I think I have cleared. The remaining ones are about Gazidis contacting Megafon (which personally, I don’t see the problem with, since R&W themselves say Usmanov isn’t on the board on any of the companies he has a stake in), and the one about Kroenke’s bank loan (which is a personal loan, not an LBO as far as I know). I don’t mind the demand for the details of that transaction to be known to us, but I do find the insinuation of wrongdoing, a little low. It is mudslinging, designed to put doubt in the fans’ mind and thereby, in contrast make us view Usmanov and R&W favourably. Thus that much is self serving, and is not out of any love or care for Arsenal’s interest.

The merits and demerits of a Rights Issue should be discussed. That is the only concrete proposal given by R&W, and we should see what it means for Arsenal.

In part 2 we shall look further at what Mr Usmanov is planning.


The Billionaire Files:

201 comments to Red and White are planning a hostile takeover using non-dividend equity. Beware!

  • mad_gooner

    lol guess this post has been sponsored by gazidis and co… goood fr u fella 🙂

  • LB

    Very well written, thanks. Frankly, it is hard to take R&W seriously, but perhaps that’s because I’m an investment banker. They talk vodoo economics. They suggest that the current shareholders should have a rights issue and dilute themselves even though the club is not in financial distress. That;s stupid. Kroenke would be idiotic to agree to that.Most of their noises are opportunistic. They wait for something bad to happen, e.g. a bad start to the league or RVP saying he’s leaving, to shout from the rooftop and remind everyone how noble they are. When the team wins, they are nowhere to be seen. Anyone who takes them seriously needs their mind read for design faults.

  • Maverick

    This doesn’t sound good at all, what are the implications if they can manage to do this and they succeed? I worry about this because i dont want Usmanov in charge of Arsenal i pride myself being an Arsenal supporter because we do things the right way, i dislike Usmanov and his cronies he is a very dishonest crimal……….it makes me shudder what is going to happen to Arsenal if he gets in charge of Arsenal. If he gets in charge i am damn sure he will be like Abramovich that no manager will have control of the team and transfers etc, He will buy for the manager and tell the manager who to play etc it will cause so much instability i really DO NOT want him involved. In a oouple of years we will be able to compete because of new shirt deals etc i do not think we need usmanov to step in now and act the hero after all the hard work has been done……..the guy seems like a sly devious A$$hole!!

  • Matt

    All well and good saying how bad Usmanov is which he may be.The questions that really need answering are what is Kroenke doing with the club? Why does the board and Wenger continually lie to us? Why are we paying the highest ticket prices in Europe? Why do we keep going with our current plan when is has patently failed and will continue to fail?

  • insideright

    Good considered pice Shard.
    It does seem strange that anyone should criticise the workings of any organisation having seen the share value that they hold in that organisation treble in value since they first invested in it. It’s also somewhat peculiar to blame Kroenke for a policy of ‘starving the manager of funds’ when Kroenke staed specifically when he took over that he liked the way the Club was run (having sat on the Board for two years already) and was not going to change anything. In other words the policies being criticised are those that have bveen in place, with the Managers full approval, for years. In fact they are largely unchanged in decades.
    I think he may be trying to make a nuisance of himself so that Kroenke buys his shares off him in oreder to shut him up. He can’t get a R&W rep on the Board so he might as well cash in his chips.

  • Bergkamp63

    I have read some self contradictory rubbish before in my time but this is up there with the best.

    “As regards the vision of the club whereby the club is debt free and being able to buy top players etc, it is entirely the vision that the current board sell us.” BUT DON’T DELIVER !!

  • Roguestriker

    What a load of waffle. Yeah, the board are pulling in the same direction alright. the problem is they don’t have a clear idea where they want to go and are desperately hoping FFP comes to the rescue. then at the end of it, when Arsenal FC are debt free and fattened up like some juicy calf it will be sold to the highest bidder anyway! Thats the reality, whether its silent useless Stan or the russian. Meanwhile the main objective of the club (ie. Winning silverware) is relegated to a footnote in the business plan.

  • kiety

    i think this conflict is good it raises awareness and the need to be more transparent club policy.
    i am for R&W as i do not see kroenke taking charge and bringing success to the club.

  • sebjob

    thank you for bringing in another well weighed perspective

  • Jed

    R&W can’t do anything because Kroenke isn’t going to sell. No need to worry about it.

    Neither of our billionaires is perfect. Usmanov has his faults but at least he’d put money in. Kroenke is happy for us to make 4th each year, not a prospect that excites me.

  • Papo Cito

    Excellent defence of Kroenke….his PR department could not have done it better. But you failed to address the crux of Usmanov’s complaint, that Arsenal’s current financial model, which Kroenke and the Board loves so much, fails to take account of current footballing culture and really is anachronistic (FFP rules will not rescue Arsenal). The model has failed to ensure that we secure titles or that we keep our top quality players…so tell me, what’s the point of a fiscally sound policy if it fails to produce a winning team or attract and keep quality players….after all, Arsenal is not a finance company…it’s a football club

  • jer

    Somebody on arsenal arsenal suggested that money raised from a rights issue could only be used to improve things like the stadium or infrastructure. It cannot be used to buy players.

  • Kizito

    Now who is to believe who isn’t, its all confusing to some fans like us who are miles away (Uganda), you would wonder why 20hrs before Van persie’s letter is aired, the manager comes on air to assure every one as he would do whatever it takes to keep his talisman, then 24hrs after Rvp letter, comes the Usmanov letter, then some one comes up to tell you Van persie’s letter wasn’t authored by him, or that even the website through witch it was passed was’t official.

    And then Persie’s u-turn!


  • Yiannis

    So Kroenke is more a fan of Arsenal than Usmanov. And please clarify how you substantiate this. Thank you

  • john

    Usmanov all the way. This is the direction football is heading and we either keep up or get left behind. Our club is run by morns who care only for themselves and profits. It used to be a football club and now it is just another business. I want to see trophies and the only way to make this happen, in the current trend, is to spend and to spend big. Not sell and pocket the cash which seems to be happening at the moment. I welcome change cause for the last 7 years our model has done nothing than see us drop from the very top and, as a fan, that is not what I want to see. This summary is a joke and you clearly cannot see what is right in front of your eyes!!!

  • Dino Abby

    This article would be brilliant if AFC is to be viewed purely from the perspective of a business investment without regard to it being a football club with millions of fans wanting AFC to maintain its image as one of the elite club in the EPL. Furthermore, with the statement from Peter Hill Wood that “It’s not as if Arsenal is relegated..” to prove his point that the club is doing well currently.

    I’ll not speculate Usmanov’s intention in trying to be more involved in determining the direction of AFC whether devilish or a bona fide concern but one thing for sure is that I’m not happy with Kroenke. CERTAINLY NOT! Consider these few facts:
    1) He never came to watch our games (except once) that shows his indifference towards
    football let alone portraying his love for the club.
    2) Allowing AFC to be a selling club for the past few years.
    3) Replacing out going stars with younger or average quality players. Only the brilliance
    of Wenger saved the club from falling to mid table.

    Some people are assuming that Usmanov will turn the club like that of MCity or Chelsea but I’m sure a few more millions to ensure the club could bring in one or two real excellent quality players to boost Wenger’s squad will not tantamount to running the club to the ground. In conclusion, as an ardent fan, I am certainly supportive for Usmanov to be more involved in the running of the club and be given a seat on the Board. Kroenke is treating AFC purely as a business investment to reap profit but it’ll bleed me to see AFC as a mid table well run club, if it’s not relegated in the next few years.

  • Shard


    I never said that. Kroenke doesn’t claim to be a fan anyway. Making him more honest in my view. In any case, having a fan as an owner isn’t quite as wonderful a thing as is made out. A fan can take stupid decisions just as much as someone who isn’t. Besides, a fan can have his judgement clouded by emotions.

  • Scravaldio

    Are you all aware that Kroneke had to borrow all of the money he used to buy his AFC shares from Deutch bank? That AFC have the worse commercial performance of any of the big six? R&W are suggesting a short term investment increase our chances of winning trophies because currently we loose our best players because we haven’t shown enough ambition in a lot of areas of the club. Anyone who thinks we have shown enough ambition really needs there head checked. All the players who have left in the last seven seasons can’t all be wrong? The issue is that football has changed, Arsenal used to be at the top looking down and out bidding and out paying there rivals in exactly the same way Chelski and Man city but just on a smaller scale. Now we are at the sharp end we are suddenly throwing our toys out the pram and hoping that Fifa of all people can save us. FIfa really? So we can continue to protect Peter Hill wood who just happens to have vested interests with competitors of Usmanov in russia and Kroneke who has never invested a penny more than his sharholdings in any of his sports franchises. Or we could actually start to compete for the very best players by selling the club to an investor who can actually afford it. Kroneke is a master opportunist who has no intention of taking his ‘soccer’ club anywhere except to a large share sale profit whenever he thinks it has reached its limit or his position becomes untenable. Pretty much the only profit we make is from player sales and this simply can’t continue. Did you know that 80% of names put on the back of 2011/2012 shirts was RVP? Marque players are exaclty that, and until Kroneke is bought out we won’t see another one. Soon a staement like europa league is as good as a trophy will come out and the last doubters will see that the current board do find mediocrity good enough and will continue to blame Wenger which is the biggest crime in my book. Wenger is the only one holding it together and even he came out and said that he wondered why usmanov was not on the board. That is as clear as he can be while employed by Kroneke that actually he needs more money. We cannot continue to think that we can underinvest while our competitors invest massivly and still achieve success. That is the biggest arogance of all.

  • Shard

    Dino Abby
    Weren’t we supposed to be relegated this year though? Peter Hill-Wood is one of those rare beings in high places that do not/cannot indulge in what is known as ‘spin’. He speaks his mind straight off. You can read it like him saying his ambition is to not be relegated, or you can read it like the uproar would make you think we had been relegated. Quite obviously he means the latter.

  • Shard

    Define ambition Scravaldio..

    That’s besides the point though. I just pointed out that the R&W letter is much fluff, with very little substance. All talk of ambition/trophies etc, is designed to get the fans to do just what you are doing. Worry about everything being wrong/going wrong at Arsenal, and in contrast view Usmanov and co. favourably. Even though they haven’t offered anything substantial.

  • geez

    I dislike an Arsenal owner to have no real interest in the club other than another item on his financial portfolio.

    I do like the idea of an Arsenal owner attending the games, speaking his mind, prepared to put his money where his mouth is and actually look as if he really has the club at heart.

    I vote Usmanov over Kroenke any day.

    New board as well please.

  • Shard


    I agree. R&W can’t change the situation on their own. That is precisely why they are trying to drum up fans’ ire, so as to get them to change status quo, and pave the way for them to come in instead.

  • Gooner

    Guys, are you americans?
    Usmanov visits our matches.
    Kroenke never does.
    Usmanov inderstands the game.
    Kroenke does not.
    Usmanov is ready to invest!
    Kroenke is not!
    Usmanov has that money!
    Kroenke? No.
    Go on yourself, morons.

  • Spanish Bill

    What an unbalanced diatribe.
    So you don’t want Usmanov or his money to help revitalise the fortunes of a club whose self-funding business model is (in my opinion and that of manu other Arsenal fans) delusional, unambitious and holding us back. Fine.
    But describing non-dividend equity as a Ponzi scheme? You’re making yourself look foolish. So tell me: when was the last time Arsenal paid a dividend? Oh they NEVER have, so as such the current equity of Arsenal is already of the non-dividend kind. So by your reckoning Arsenal is a Ponzi scheme. Except it isn’t because the shareholders stay for the long term, which is what Usmanov says he wants to do.
    The fact of the matter is that one of the early criticisms of Usmanov and his kind is that they would slowly milk any club the bought by paying themselves a fat annual dividend.
    So now the focus is on non-dividend equity, you try to twist it around. Expanding the equity of the club would put capital in the club at the shareholders’ risk and push the club to compete more aggressively.
    Tell me why milking us with the highest ticket prices in the land and targeting no more than a CL place is a business model worth fighting for?
    Who are you? Peter Hill-Wood’s love child?

  • Shard


    I do challenge the contention that Usmanov will put money in. What makes you think so?

  • kevin`

    am sorry my dear but you are a messanger for te arsenal board and gazidis. what ever we can do to pick a trophy even if it means vodoo is welcomed, so if usmanov wants to bring a chunk of his money to make that a reality we aelcome it, those thinking that a financial structure of sustainability is the doctine are like subsistent famers with too many children, they are like indigens of the amazon running naked while you who wrote this piece and your supporters dress up in tuxedos. Everyone including Barca,Madrid who there economy is in tartars have and are investing big. pls a question since when did chealse have a say in london and in the direction of where the EPL goes, when the money flowed, Man city when the money flowed, then wenger was sucessful with his cheap buys becos intrest in football was not this high. Man we here in africa shy away from public places for fear of humiliation. we want to be reckless for once and take all the risk,we want to spend alittle and have joy doing so how long are we going to be on this earth is it when my children come,grow up and start supporting other clubs, and taunt me that we dont win any thing that we will spend money? USMANOV IS OUR CHOICE PERIOD.

  • Shard


    They can only take over if Kroenke sells. He can sell either because he’s a businessman and wants to make a profit. Or, he can be forced out if the perception gets strong enough that he is destroying Arsenal. That perception is what R&W are trying to create. And, it’s also worth keeping in mind that it is not just R&W, but the media which propagate that mindset, and the referees’ actions contribute to it too. Could it be all part of a plan..Well… You decide. 🙂

  • bob kelly

    The truth is the directors in place when we moved from Highbury have made millions from the club selling out to Kroenke and Usmanov and have now gone except for Hill-Wood. The policy of non investment in players is continuing along with ever increasing ticket prices. Equally we only got into the CL because Chelsea players spent half the season trying to get rid of their manager and Spurs imploded from Feb onwards. Again this season there will be minimal investment, best player leaving and overpaid dross remaining. With the current board I cannot see us winning anything in the foreseeable future

  • Scravaldio

    Thanks for the reply, well I mean that we need ambition in the sense of competing for the very best players. Mata and Hazard should be Arsenal players by now and the fact that there not is a serious concern as our ability to compete on the pitch is dropping fast. The only reason we are playing CL this season is because Liverpool, Chelsea and the spuds all choked. You think thats going to happen again? The point is that every club including Man u, liverpool and Spurs are investing heavily and if we continue to arrgantly think that we will be able to compete then we will fall flat on our faces. Mata and hazard equal ambition and park and chamak do not.

  • Goona Gal

    @ Shard, *clap, clap* bravo! I applaud you.

  • RobL

    Great article, I just wish the detractors would put as much effort into their replies.

    So what, £100M rights issue? City would be laughing their socks off – they can spend Billions. We just end up having to pay all our other quality players higher wages to match the unnamed superstar we bought with it, that everyone else jsut let us.

    Stock Market listing? great idea as money flows out as dividends.

    R&W are just trying to drive Stan out to get their own way.

    Off topic, has anyone seen Brazil’s Olympic squad????

  • Goona Gal

    In fact I doff my hat to you. Which kind I hear you say? Well, it’s a recently discarded red velvety number, with doctor who like qualities…

  • Goona Gal

    In fact I doff my hat to you. Which kind I hear you say? Well, it’s a recently discarded red velvety number, with doctor who like qualities…

  • Goona Gal

    In fact I doff my hat to you. Which kind I hear you say? Well, it’s a recently discarded red velvety number, with doctor who like qualities…

  • Shard

    Goona Gal,

    The blog version of Ian Wright. So good you had to say it thrice 🙂

  • Goona Gal

    Thrice apparently??? There is definitely a glitch in the software.

  • Goona Gal

    ..yeah Shard, Wrighty when he played for Arsenal, not his reincarnation as a crap pundit/ journalist!

  • tomstoned

    Shard !

    i have no idea on how you see the current situation of Our Beloved Arsenal,besides the fact that this blog does little more than work as a instrument for Kroenke & Co.when i personally read your posts im more afraid for Our Beloved Arsenal than any takover,it is in my humble opinion people like you Sir,who in many ways tells Gooners worldwide what is wrong,no evolvement,and more than satisfied seing The Arsenal being poorly run and kept at status que,a few questions if i may..
    1.since Kroenke took over(07)who has benefitted,certainly not The club itself…give me the amounts our board got payed ?im sure you know the correct sums.
    2 since kreonke’s arrival have The Arsenal in your opinion moved forward. you feel that in football as all other sports clubs the Team itself should be the most important.
    4.Please explain to the readers of this blog how Kroenke runs his american sport franchise ;?

    im gutted Sir that we have Gooners like you in our midst who blatently deny to look forward..and maybe the worst part Sir is your constant disregard of opinions other than your own..

    Best Regard Tom a Norwegian Gooner since 71….

  • Goona Gal

    I think this is a well written, well thought out article, that more or less tells it like how I observed the current situation too! Excellent.

    I hope that it won’t fly over too many heads.

  • El Tel

    I’m not favouring one over the other(Kroenke or Usmanov)as to be honest we the general public do not have access to enough details on either of their plans.

    What I would say is that to those who favour Usmanov his letter last week was very well received as it showed that he wants to get more involved in the club and try and free up more funds for players whilst not bank rolling the club like at Chelsea and Man City, great idea in theory. On the flip side to those who are anti Usmanov (as the Author of this article seems to be) he is being manipulative and shady by not providing details of his master plan.

    My understanding (I’m no expert) is that when setting up a rights issue the shares are diluted which effectively means there are more shares available to buy but at a lower price. These shares are offered to the existing share holders who can take the option or agree to sell them to other shareholders. An option can be agreed between Kroenke and Usmanov as part of the rights issue agreement for these unwanted shares to be divided in the same % split as they currently have (60%/29.9%) so ultimately Usmanov would not have the ability to increase his stake , this does not seem to me to be underhanded as seems to suggested. There are lots of other permutationsto consider when setting up a rights issue as I understand it but again I am certainly no expert

    As I understand it the idea is to generate more money from the sale of these shares which you would then be used to buy players, hopefully make a better team and give a better opportunity of us winning trophies (I don’t think Usmanov is suggesting he can guarantee trophies, that would be plain stupid). You would then hope that when Gazidis is negotiating new partnership / sponsorship agreements in a few years he will be in a better position to do so, which will make us more money to pay off the stadiium and make further additions to the playing staff. Again, all great in theory.

    I’m not saying this is right or wrong and as I said at the start I don’t favour one billionaire over another but what I can’t stand is Arsenal losing their best players year after year and not being in a position to replace them.

    The existing board have done little wrong in my opinion and the self sustaining business model was a brilliant idea until Abramovich and the Sheikhs got involved in football and moved the goal posts, all I know is that something needs to change and quick to help Wenger do his job properly and without having one hand tied behind his back.

    Let’s just hope that between them they can get the club we love back on track but let’s not write anything off until we know all of the facts from both of them

  • chrisbarton

    Personally I’d love R&W in, funny how the teams with sugar daddy’s are currently the most successful across Europe, even D Leavey (and his backing) are bringing relative success at spuds.

    FFP will have little effect and as we stand we will get left behind if we already haven’t? Its true the game has changed and we need to change with it imo.

  • Jerry

    I am not an investment banker but i am a fan whose bragging right has been taken away from him for the past 8years. I dont smile to the bank at the end of the fiscal year but if i ask for a little ambition i dont think i am asking for too much. Whatever is needed to win a trophy is okay by me

  • Goona Gal

    I would support a buy of R&W holdings for £300m on their initial £200m investment by Fanshare.

    I think Aston Villa fans were ignored when they got McLeish. I think Blackburn are still being ignored!

    Is there room for improvement at Arsenal? Absolutely. Are we being ignored, nah I don’t think so.

  • Matt Clarke

    Yup, I feel for sure that you are on to something concrete with this.

    It was, to my mind, a bad day when R&WH got involved with AFC.

    I also see a connection between the RVP and R&WH letters that is more than a simple matter of timing or opportunism on the part of R&WH – more like careful planning.

  • 712004

    i dont agree at all. i run a very large business and support arsenal home and away. i am so frustrated with arsenal, i walked away from the hawthorns knowing we wont be that lucky again, i was laughing at the spurs all the way home and at the west brom keeper (ex spurs player), kroenke is our worst nightmare and its been getting worse every year for the last 7 years.
    my view is that usmanovs letter was fantastic, a beacon of light, the only beacon, every sentence of it and thank fuck for it. right now we have a total and utter disaster, fizman out of spite of dein has totally ruined everything, the invincibles and CL finalists in paris turned into what we have now, kroenke is the worst thing to happen to arsenal maybe in its 125 year history, he says nothing, does nothing, has zero vision and is simply waiting for the tv rights to match the us tv rights, his st louis rams are the WORST team in the NFL but the tv rights of the NFL are 30 billion! thats what his vision is, nothing more. usmanov on the other hand wants to invest in the club, how do i know? i do. i hate what abramovich and now city & psg are doing but if we continue with kroenke then forget about our issues with them we could well become aston villa, the season ticket queue has evaporated, the heady days have gone, do you want 20 years of kroenke doing nothing and us slowly becoming a nothing club? or usmanov as that is the only other choice, who i accept its right to question him and his motives and may not be what we want but he may and as i said i know he is, what then? what will you be saying, keep a more open mind and tell you what i will too and lets see what kroenke does and where arsenal finish in may, if they do well and win a trophy then i will be far more happy but every sign from hleb to cesc to nasri to now van persie tells its own story

  • Mandy Dodd

    An interesting and disturbing read. I dont doubt a word of what you say here and look forward to the next installment.
    Strange they seem in such a hurry to get stan and co out,or are they just paving the way? If Ffp is properly enforced, I would imagine the value of the club would go through the roof, so maybe they believe both believe Ffp will happen, so this would surely stop usmanov and co ploughing money in anyway, making things no better financially.
    But if, as I suspect usmanov has contempt for Ffp and is convinced it will never happen, surely he would be better to wait until his prophesies of doom are fulfilled, we are a mid table club who cannot attract players or compete, then he would be able to come in unopposed and get us on the cheap.
    If there is a face saving fudge over ffp! Who knows what will happen, maybe stan will have to review things. Maybe, none of this has anything to do with ffp at all.
    So many issues to be answered these days!

  • Mandy Dodd

    Just looking around the blogs, so much doom. Things could be worse, we could have AVB as manager!

  • Spanish Bill

    It’s an hour since I posted a comment and still you haven’t posted it. Speaks volumes.

  • Confused

    Could someone explain the point of Kroenke in regards to Arsenal and what benefits (if any ?) he provides to us ? in the style of Monty Python – what has Kroenke ever done for us ?

  • mark

    I’m sure some of these people that want are club to continue along the same path are spurs supporters, the club just simply can’t challenge its simple and your blind to it…if your happy scrapping for champions league spot season after season so be it…I’m not…

  • WalterBroeckx

    Spanish Bill,
    it most of all speaks volume that we have a life outside this blog also.

    Now of course if Arsenal and Kroenke would pay us as some suggest we would have nothing else to do but sit and wait for each comment to pass by and approve it immediately.

  • Goona

    Those that are against Usmanov are not true Gooners. These people appear to want the club to go on and on from year to year winning zero, losing our best players, and couldn’t care less if we win nowt as long as the club stays afloat and keeps making money while the true fans remain really frustated and those very fans will be even more so when comes the season we don’t even obtain 4th place and losing even more top players.
    The only way to prevent this from happening, and for ensuring the future of our great club, is for true Gooners to welcome Messrs Asmanov & Dein and if necessary Pep Gard..

  • WalterBroeckx

    And for all the Usmanov lovers one question: do you really know what he will do if he would become the person in charge????
    Apart from promises what certainty do you have that he will invest around £1billion (what it should cost now to buy the PL title these days) of HIS OWN MONEY.

    Usmanov reminds me of a politician: promising a lot and give nothing, makes the idiots live in happiness is an idiom in my language.

    And if you don’t understand it I will explain: they promise heaven on earth before the elections and then forget all their promises once in power and go further with plundering the common people.

    So forgive me but I have seen too many politicians doing this in my half a century on this planet to believe promises. But maybe some of you are young and haven’t been deceived enough?

  • WalterBroeckx

    I would advise everyone to read the second reply from the start of the comments on page one again.

  • Matt Clarke

    Benefits of Stan?

    How about this: yeah he owns the club (someone has to) but he leaves the running to the men who do it best – AW et al.
    Compare to the Chelsea situation.

    And this: his other interests are sporting and media-based (undoubtedly with a bit of property thrown in). The way I see it, he will be happy with AFC prospering, as it feeds into and supports his other interests.

    In other words, he is a businessman.

    Could it be better? – Yeah sure it could.

    But it could be a whole lot worse. You Usmanovites – please, please enlighten yourselves as to the true nature of the man.

  • WalterBroeckx

    have any of the Usmanov fans heard the name:

    G L A S G O W R A N G E R S ???

    Do you want to risk such a thing?

    It will never happen? Too big to fall?

    Tell that to the Glasgow Rangers supporters I would say.

  • Shard

    Those people who like Arsenal only if they are winning are the oneswho aren;t gooners then.. I want Arsenal to not be at the mercy of anyone.. I don;t want Kroenke to outright own Arsenal either, and I certainly don;t want charity from anyone. Kroenke doesn;t pay us his money. That’s his right. Usmanov hasn’t paid us any money either. Why should we assume he will? Just because he’s not Kroenke? Who’s to say he’s like Abramovich and not Yeung, Chainrai, Tan, etc.. I’d rather not take the risk of finding out. And besides. Even if he’s like Abramovich, who knows what Chelsea will be like in another 10 years, or 20. It’s all relative. Good or bad? No such thing. But Usmanov is all mouth and no substance so far (and for a man that size, that’s saying something) He accuses Kroenke of being only in it for the money, and yet Usmanov’s billions can;t buy Kroenke out? Please.. Apparently making empty promises makes someone a saviour and messiah rolled into one. He lost out on the ownership battle. This is his attempt to try and turn his loss into a victory, and ARsenal is nothing more than a prize.

  • WalterBroeckx

    If Kroenke was only in for the money he just would sell his shares to Usmanov for £16.000 a share and collect his money. He would have made a profit of £6000 a share in that case.
    That would be a profit of 60%!!!!!!! It would have been been his best deal ever and he would never manage to repeat such a trick.

    So tell me again if he would be in it “just for the money”…what would he do? Yep, sell. But he doesn’t. So….

  • Shard

    Spanish Bill,
    Yes. I’ve been quaking in my boots about how to answer your oh so well reasoned reply. Maybe I was just waiting for orders on how to proceed from my paymaster Kroenke 🙂

  • Confused

    @Matt Clarke
    To clear up any confusion I am definitely not an “Usmanovite” as you put it. My preference would be a totally independent system, clear of both billiionaires.
    It was more as a counter balance to all the points which in putting down Usmanov, were talking Kroenke up.
    I stand by my point that Kroenke brings us no real benefit.

    Regarding your other points
    “his other interests are sporting and media-based (undoubtedly with a bit of property thrown in). The way I see it, he will be happy with AFC prospering, as it feeds into and supports his other interests.”
    Yup, it feeds and supports his other interests, brings us nothing

    “In other words, he is a businessman.”
    It suits his business, brings us nothing

    “Could it be better? – Yeah sure it could.
    But it could be a whole lot worse.”
    But no thanks to him, he brings us nothing

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    Not that I’m against investment from Mr Usmanov and I have nothing against him personally (until he is convicted by a court he must be deemed innocent of any charges made against him) BUT there is a very simple and easy way for a man of his estimated means to gain a seat on the board
    A simple cash donation of the value of our outstanding debts, plus any early repayment charges, not a loan or a share option, would make the boards position on him untenable. If he really is worth as much as he is reputed to then finding the money and spending it should not pose him any trouble whatsoever.
    So the question is, why not?

  • Goona

    We can argue and discuss all we like, but the question that remain’s is this: Do we want to keep going on in the same old way year after year from now on? People who are real supporters don’t, they want change.

    One supporter on this blog said people only love Arsenal when they’re winning, rubbish of course we’ll lose sometimes, but winning no trophies for 7 long years for a club like Arsenal is a very different matter altogether and that’s why it’s time for change.

  • Shard

    Kronke brings us vast experience in running profitable sports clubs. That is more than Usmanov brings us by the way. Kroenke is obviously in it for the money. But if he were in it JUST for the money, he would have sold out by now. Perhaps he still will. But, his record with his other sports teams suggests that he won’t sell. He hasn’t sold a single share in either.

    Regarding his sports teams being crap. It is a massive lack of understanding about US sports to say that. Regarding his NBA team. They were absolute tosh before he took over. Since then, they have seen massive improvement, and are now a perennial playoff team.
    The Rams have always been crap. They did win the Superbowl in 1999, or 2000 or something, but that was an anomaly in their record. They go under .500 (win less than half their games) in most seasons. Kroenke’s ownership of the Rams only started about 2 years ago I think. Yeah, you won;t see a massive jump up the table. Kroenke doesn;t work that way. Nor do US sports really.
    As for the Avalanche. SOmeone mentioned in a post about them winning the Stanley Cup (which I vaguely remember), but then going downill fast. But this was due to th NHL having a lockout, following which a new deal was negotiated with stricter wage caps etc. and the team (which were champions) havent recovered since then. Sound something like the FFP?

    Yeah. Maybe FFP won;t work. It isn’t about that. Spending within your means is just common sense.

  • This article is based on dishonesty and prejudice and nothing on the success of the club. The most telling part of the article is this “This is followed by talk of trophies etc which again I say is not important to the issue” Really?

  • Sandman

    First off, all the people making assumptions need to stop this non-sense. If you don’t know whats really going on then you should assume.

    Dein was busy winning trophies and hill-wood wanted to make $$. So hill-wood fired dein and so dein tried to buy up shares through Usmanov in order to get voting rights and first hill-wood. Hill-wood saw this and brought in the american and cut a deal. The american as we all know is not a football fan but he’s a fan of money and business that makes money. So hill-wood tells him that if he keeps him employed on his fat salary then he’ll use the club as a player generator running very stingy to create profits for his share position. American said sounds good to me so they back each other because without hill-wood the american can’t ensure his shares keep raising up. All this at the expense of the club and fans. If you’re a true gunner’s fan then you’re like Dein and on that side which was winning trophies when in charge and not the side of the money grubbing hill-wood who sacraficed the club for his own greed/employment.

  • Shard

    YEs Jonathon..Really.. A club’s future IS more important than that..

    Besides..i said that because it doesn’t talk about HOW those trophies are to come.. Trophies should come is very easy to say looking from the outside in.. The whole thing says nothing about what Usmanov would do different.

  • Andrei

    @WalterBroeckx “I would advise everyone to read the second reply from the start of the comments on page one again.”

    I took your advise and re-read the second reply and still don’t get what is so special about it apart from biased opinion and unsupported slant against RW. And if LB is indeed an investment banker he/she could probably help to refute a financial disinformation in the original article equating non-dividend equity to Ponzi schema. Or spend time analyzing what is the financial rationale for siding with Arsenal CEO and the board in the power struggle between two major stakeholders. Or perhaps explain what financial incentives Mr. Gazidis has to get Arsenal back to the winning ways. After all Mr. Gazidis is just a hired bureaucrat and unlike Mr. Kroenke or Mr. Usmanov doesn’t have any significant financial stake in Arsenal FC.

  • steveo

    either way its split down the middle 50 50 either way..personally we need as a fan to find out exectly what the kitty is the types of players go for and the reasons for them not joining i.e. Mata for example! only then will we know the truth behind it.

  • Alan

    This is a very one sided view on the subject. Surely, having already invested £200m in the club, Usmanov has the clubs best commercial interests at heart. He has a long history of building successful businesses and he has put across a number of compelling arguments in his open letter. Many of these have just been dismissed out of hand with unsubstantiated claims and arguments. Totally one sided argument. If you don’t like Usmanov that’s fair enough, but to sit there and say the current board are doing a good job…. that’s a little ridiculous. They are turning the club in to a laughing stock, failing to back up Wenger by signing the players he really wants and signing useless players to long term contracts on big money, meaning we can’t get rid of the dross (i.e. Bendtner, Denilson, Chamakh)when they finally realise just how bad they are. Yet only a few seasons ago the board were patting themselves on the back for “reinvesting in the current squad!” – whilst failing to invest in new players I may add. Well done. They managed to sell all our world class players and keep hold of the dross.

  • Shard


    Financial Incentive for Gazidis.. Keep his job??

  • Matt Clarke

    Sorry about the, er, confusion that I produced.
    I did not mean to imply that you were an ‘Usmanovite’ – it was as a result of lazy posting: not separating the two parts (the bit to you and the bit to others).

  • TROWFIES!! NOW! *whaah*

  • Matt Clarke

    I also think that it is important to make the point that anti-Usmanov sentiment is not de facto pro-Kroenke.

    Like you, I would be happier with a poor club owner; or, more likely a set of owners (the good old days).

  • Shard

    Usmanov hasnt invested anything in the club.. he’s spent money purchasing shares. Just like Kroenke. It’s easy to criticise the guy in charge. But why is the other guy going to be any better. My point is, there is nothing to suggest Usmanov is better.

    I never said anything in support of the board beyond refuting the allegations that Usmanov seems to raise. The rest of your statement is exhibiting no real sense of looking at the situation, of analysing what goes wrong and why, and oversimplifying our situation as keeping dross.. No point talking beyond that is there… actually I am tired of THIS discussion..

    Let me say it plainly to all. the point of the article is to look at R&W’s letter, and say that beyond the talk of Arsenal are in crisis, andthe board are all cheats (in not much more diplomatic language than that), the letter offers nothing of substance as to what R&W would do different. Does anyone dispute this. That is what I’d rather discuss..Not whether we’re going to the dogs or not..

  • rusty

    Honestly, if all of these so-called Arsenal fans are so intent on getting a Russian billionaire benefactor to underwrite the team, they should sign up for the Stamford Bridge season ticket list and leave us in peace. Outside money is already ruining football, and they want Arsenal to get mixed up in it too.

    Maybe the AAAs should start their own fan-run club, like AFC Wimbledon or United of Manchester, and then try to find a tycoon to sponsor it?

  • david fitch

    Thankyou for writting such a reasoned article for once i am starting to understand what is happing at the club and look forward to part 2.To often on blog’s you only get a line drawn in the sand and they take one side or the other, Iam not for or against one rich man or the other Iam for Arsenal football club and what’s best for the whole club not in the short term.This club has lasted for125years.What we have here is a power struggle when two dogs fight over a bone the only loser is the bone i do not want my club destroyed in the process just to feed some rich guy’s ego.

  • Confused

    @Matt Clarke
    I think we agree with each other – “bring back the good old days” !

  • Spanish Bill

    Look lets get one thing clear: your essential argument is a big fat fail. I dont deny you have legitimate concerns. Who is this Usmanov? Well who the hell is Kroenke? 7 years without a trophy and an overwhelming sense that we lack ambition. I’m 46 years old mate. Ive been through the bad times and the good times. Where we are currently is soul destroying. Whatever your starting point you have a duty to be open minded. Your article is deeply unbalanced, so unbalanced as to be propaganda. We are Tge Arsenal and we expect more.

  • WalterBroeckx

    One thing is for sure the R&W letter from those “loyal fans” have only caused more division amongst fans than ever before.

    The ranks from the fans were closing when we bought Podolski and Giroud as most fans were happy with that.

    The ranks from the fans were closing when RVP made his statement and most agreed that this was not the way for a captain to behave

    Then came those “loyal Arsenal fans who only want the best for the club” with their letter and suddenly the fanbase is rolling over the street and fighting each other (lucky only with words) and the fanbase is more divided than ever before.

    Yeah those R&W holdings sure know how to make the fans happy… sigh

    Don’t you realise that being so divided will have a negative impact on the team… all thanks to R&W holding and their letter….

  • Prasanna Veeraraghavan

    I believe Uzmanov will invest. Not because he wants the club to win trophies or championships but because he wants a place where he can park his funds and make it legitimate.

    Its a different school of thought whether I or any Arsenal fan would welcome that kind of investment though.

  • Prasanna Veeraraghavan

    I have read in many places that David Dein sold most of his shares which he bought around 300,000 GBP to GBP 75 million to Red & White. In reality I don’t know if the same money would have come to Dein. They would be valued that way but the cash really existed?

    I believe Shard would know about the Satyam scandal that rocked India. Overnight a firm that was believed to be healthy worth billions went pauper because the management was cooking up the books for a long time. The same process can happen at Arsenal if Red & White is around.

  • Shard

    Spanish Bill

    Au contraire.. I think I have shown that R&W’s letter is propaganda. All I have done is look at what the letter says, and dissect it. It doesn’t stand up to much scrutiny. I haven’t really made many points of my own, except as clarification, or as alternate theories to what R&W profess.

    Once again. I summerise.. R&W claim that the board, Gazidis and Kroenke in particluar, are unprofessional, hint at wrongdoing, and accuse them of being in it only for the money. All of which has other explanations as well, such that I’ve given.

    R&W also try and equate themselves with fans. They claim they share fans’ concerns, I say they prey on fans’ concerns. I say this because they don’t actually offer Arsenal anything of value. They don;t share a vision of how they aim to achieve a glorious future. They only look to discredit the current board. Hoping that by making the other guy look bad, they will look good. THAT is propaganda.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Spanish Bill, lets look at some fact about “those 7 years”

    1. last trophy 2005.
    2. till end 2007: 2 years no trophy when Dein is still the saviour
    3. From 2007-2011: 4 years no trophy when the shares are divided
    4. from 2011-2012: 1 year no trophy with Kroenke in charge

    Now tell me again what is your problem with Kroenke after ONE year in charge?

    Or do you find him responsible for the 2 years Dein was the man or for the 4 years he was a minority share holder?

    Because if so Usmanov is also responsible as a minority share holder

  • WalterBroeckx

    Not that I am a Kroenke fan in fact. But he hasn’t made false promises to me so I have no problem with him. In fact the only promise he made was that he would keep the club self sustaining. So the club is save for me and my children.

    Usmanov only makes promises so well I don’t trust him…

  • WalterBroeckx

    I’m not willing to risk my club to become another Glasgow Rangers, another Leeds, another Portsmouth, another Southampton, another … you get the message I think

    If you do in order to win a trophy fine, but I’m not wanting to take the risk. not that it matters what I think but the Glasgow rangers fans had maybe the most filled trophy cabinet in the world, now it is empty… To be sold.

    Maybe an idea when they sell all those pots for some fans who really want a trophy : buy one of the Rangers when they are to be sold to fill the big debt hole in order to pay off the ones that still should get some money from the Rangers

  • bjtgooner

    Shard this is a well thought out article and I look forward to part 2. I share your concern about R&W and in addition doubt the suitability of Usmanov to be in anyway involved with Arsenal – he does have a lot of unsavoury baggage in his past. I am very surprised that Dein introduced him to the club – it does not say much for Dein!

    It looks to me as if Usmanov is becoming increasingly impatient to take over the club – this can’t be for football reasons – he must see it as a financial advantage. The more impatient he becomes, the more he will “promise” and the more strange things will happen.

  • @Prasanna – it’s happening right now with Manchester United.

  • It’s funny that these fans whose souls are destroyed over these past 7 years of abject failure fail to mention the fact that WE BUILT A NEW FUCKING STADIUM.

    I can only assume that they would tear it all down for the sake of a few tin cups.

    Unbalanced? Much?

  • Shard


    yes. I agree. Which actually leads me to the question of anyone that knows. Who are the auditors at Arsenal? (or at ManU, Dogface)

  • Mahdain

    @dogface sad really..why does it matter if we sell our club`s soul to the devil himself as long as we get those shiny empty pieces of silver huh?
    great article shard but some of the comments really made me smh…really show how ignorant some of our fans are the questions for them
    1. how long has Kroenke been our MAJORITY shareholder? yes a majority shareholder and not an owner as he doesnt have 100% control of our club
    2.did Kroenke promise anything when he was buying our shares?
    3. have you all looked into Usmanov`s past and see what kind of a person you want to invite to our club? for what we all know he may use our club as a means of money laundering
    4. do you own businesses? why not try to spend more than you earn and seen how it goes?

  • Built new stadium and played champions league football every season while it was paid off makes us a ‘laughing stock’ apparently?

    Sack the board and bring in a billionaire to load us with debt!

  • Mahdain

    oh i forgot one… are you people actually naive enough to think Usmanov will just pump in his money with finding a way to get it back?

  • When I read some of these comments the voice of Forrest Gump narrates them in my head.

  • Mahdain

    *without finding a way

  • Goona Gal

    Interesting reading some of the comments on hear, out in force, but haven’t been really been too coherent, pretty vehemently in favour of the ‘devil they don’t know as one put it yesterday’!

    Shard I know you wanted to stimulate discussion, take heart, I am sure one will do more than regurgitate tired comments lacking real depth.

    I love the fact that they are doing this. It highlights just how important it was that an article like this is written and posted on a site like this one. Untold Arsenal have again proved their worth, especially during difficult periods like this

  • Goona Gal

    Goona (chat out of your arse) at 8.33pm – your back! please eloborate on your point. I am hear to learn/ laugh.

  • Oguntuase Amos

    No one must trust Usmanov. Chelsea was almost down and had it not being that they won the FA and the CL by default the club would have been in crisis as most of the players would have been summarily dismissed including the Coach. We don’t want that type of instability in Arsenal where the players will exert more influence than the coach, where players to be signed would be dictated by the owner and imposed on the coach, where the influential players would go on mutiny and decided to underperform so as to get the coach sacked and where coaches would be recruited and sacked at the whims and caprices of the owner. These are what Usmanov will bring to Arsenal. Don’t you see how no self respecting coach responded to Abramovic overtures and any one coming is for the money because he is sure of a benefit if unceremoniously sacked. Man City is not better, as you saw how powerless Macinni was in dealing with Tevez and the mad dog called Balotelli. The present Arsenal model is the best. Kroenke is a sound business man. Are the owners of Liverpool and Man U not Americans but with a difference. They cunningly put the clubs in debt a situation that Kroenke is trying to avoid. Please, all Usmanovic apologists should not allow Arsenal to be rendered unstable. Success is coming but it would be bad to die like Glasgow Rangers after a period of living beyond their means. The EPL this year will spring suprises. Clubs are wiser, money and big names will have little effect but determination and the will to succeed based on the concept that on the field it is eleven versus eleven would be the overriding factors as demonstrated by Wigan towards the end of last season.

  • Goona Gal

    @ Dogface, strangely I am visualising Angelos Epithemiou! Can’t do links right now unfortunately.

  • Mahdain

    You Usmanovites could use waking up and smelling the coffee..there is a reason why Usmanov is making so much noise now and so that i dont waste my time trying to explain it to you, ill just quote what positive gooner wrote on twitter

    “This summer and next are the last two where our more severe financial restrictions will be in effect. Especially with wages. This is when Usmanov can convince people that he’s most needed for AFC because all he wants is total control to turn us into his money making play thing.

    What he doesn’t tell you is this. Starting 2014, with the renegotiated deals in place. The below estimate (as I understand it) will be how much ADDITIONAL income we have every year compared to now.

    Increase in TV and Prize Money for PL/CL performance (~£30-40mil)
    Increase in value of existing shirt and kit deals (~30mil)
    Additional Sponsorship deals (~10-20mil)

    Add up these three and you’ll see that from the summer of 2014, we’ll have an additional 70-90mil pounds a year…and this is a conservative estimate as there are new commercial deals being negotiated all over the world and the value from additional deals might even be more.

    So imagine, 70-90mil extra a year. More for transfers and wages. Who would need Usmanov to spend money then? No one. That is why he’s making all his moves and announcements this summer and next. He is DESPERATE.”

  • Goona Gal

    Alan – you decided against, trying to clarify your mumbo jumbo yesterday and jumped on this one instead I take it. Calling out specific players again by name, like Denilson and Chamakh as dross, sad – very sad.

    How long you been a fan for again? I am guessing 40yrs +?

  • Goona Gal

    @ Mahdain, may they wake up and smell the paid for coffee?

  • Goona Gal

    Red and White holdings should give back the Rangers shares out of respect.

  • Mahdain

    @goona gal that wont help will it? you know it being paid coffee it sure may contain some certain elements lol

  • Andrei

    @Mahdain “… 3. have you all looked into Usmanov`s past and see what kind of a person you want to invite to our club? for what we all know he may use our club as a means of money laundering”

    Hmm… Can you elaborate why would Usmanov need to launder money? Unless you know something his current assets are as legitimate as Kroenke’s. And while we are on the topic to be fair have you looked into Kroenke’s past? Do you believe that he earned his billions in more proper or noble way? E.g. are you naive enough to believe that you can succeed in real estate development in the US without bribing … oops lobbying your way around? And what is your take on the recent Walmart dealings in Mexico?

  • Goona Gal

    @ Mahdain, indeed.

  • Goona Gal

    Usmanov, should make an offer to sponsor the shirts through a subsidiary to the tune of £50m a year, first team only, home shirts – #statementofintent!

  • Roguestriker

    I find it funny that Dein was ousted for talking to the very same man that the board have sold out to. Make no mistake they are all in it to make money. The only difference is one side want to do it by investing what a club of our size should be investing, while the other is happy to sit back and watch the fans pay through the nose for failure. Both sides could sell this club down the river. However I have great difficulty cosying up to an american who hardly ever watches the team, or an old fart of a chairman who snobbily dismisses others by reputation while having shady dealings of his own in the east. At least R&W and Dein understand that without success and silverware you will not attract the best sponsorship, players, and yes…further investment. It’s a balance, but one which seems to have escaped the current board.

  • WalterBroeckx

    As Spanish Bill couldn’t answer me the others who like Usmanov can have a go:

    Lets look at some facts about “those 7 years without trophies”

    1. last trophy 2005.
    2. till end season 2007: 2 years no trophy when Dein is still the big man
    3. From 2007-2011: 4 years no trophy when the shares are divided
    4. from 2011-2012: 1 year no trophy with Kroenke in charge

    Now tell me again what is your problem with Kroenke after ONE year in charge?

    Or do you find him responsible for the 2 years Dein was the man or for the 4 years he was a minority share holder?

    Because if so Usmanov is also responsible as a minority share holder

    Like I said in an article earlier on: I wish both would go away….

  • Goona Gal

    The Uzbek & London based Iranian go to games. So what, it’s attracts all sorts, including fans wanting to watch the match!

    I swear I have seen Dein Jr and Snr at the Emirates a few times last season for what ever reason too.

  • Goona Gal

    @ Roguestriker – jog on son! Arsenal never was a co op or charity ‘make no mistake’.

  • Goona Gal

    @ Roguestriker -Yep, let’s ‘ave it den!!!! Repeating what muppets have already said without intelligence addition is just pointless. I refer of course (in case you are confused to Alan and Goona ‘chat sh*t’ posts) to those that have gone before you. Keep up!!!!!!

  • WalterBroeckx

    I don’t know about the rest of my fellow moderators but I’m going to bed.

    As Kroenke has let us know that he will not pay extra hours any more after 23.00 I will call it a day and any new commenter will have to wait till tomorrow to see his comment come on line. 😉

  • Goona Gal

    @ Walter, I can’t wait for you Uzbek McDreamy saga Pt2! Will they won’t they…..good night don’t let the bed bugs bite!

  • Roguestriker

    1. last trophy 2005. (But got to the final of the CL in 2006 and beaten cos our keeper was sent off)
    2. till end season 2007: 2 years no trophy when Dein is still the big man (Because Abramvovich and Glazer investments start to reap dividends)
    3. From 2007-2011: 4 years no trophy when the shares are divided (Because Dein sacked in April 2007 and all focus switches to stadium build. Don’t forget Kroneke was invited onto board in 2008 ostensibly to take over Arsenal)
    4. from 2011-2012: 1 year no trophy with Kroenke in charge (Yes, that’s right. IN TOTAL CHARGE. ZERO TROPHIES. No sign of that changing anytime soon I’d wager).

  • Goona Gal

    p.s I am still waiting for my £9.00 in the post. Haven’t been able to afford a pie at the Emirates since the increases mate. I do my bit.

  • Goona Gal

    @ Roguestriker, your wasting your efforts on here. You should be applying to get a job at a red top newspaper!

  • Roguestriker

    Goona Gal, you need to pay attention rather than spitting out one liners. Try putting together a cogent paragraph for a change rather than the soundbites and you might be taken a little more seriously. I rubbished this one-sided argument very early in the thread so perhaps you’re the one who should be catching up.

  • Alan

    Gonna Gal – I haven’t posted on anything this week. Different Alan I guess. If you think its sad that I think some of the current squad aren’t up to scratch then that’s your opinion, I’m not gonna start trying to second guess or question your ‘fan status’. I am not a fan snob looking down on those who don’t agree with my own views. Everyone has a right to their own opinion, however well or ill informed it may be and they can express it however they wish. Maybe some people aren’t as educated or intelligent as you, and their thoughts come across as mumbo jumbo, or maybe they just find it hard to express their feelings and passions eloquently. Does that make them a less committed or unworthy fan?
    Contrary to the conclusion you may have jumped to, I don’t support R&W over the current board. Like others have said, nobody really knows what Usmanov wants from Arsenal and it could be that things would end up being bad, or the same, or better. I do think Arsenal should strive to be run debt free and should not be run like Chelsea or Man City.

  • Mandy Dodd

    And out of the woodwork they come………………

  • Roguestriker

    What, the one you obviously work for? No thanks.

  • E15Swiss

    People really need to get over Usmanov’s supposed past…he was cleared of all wrong doing, and in fact it was Abramovich that got his money in an unsavoury manner. Usmanov is in fact well-known for being one of the few billionaires from Easter Europe that actually made his fortune as fair and square as is possible.

    Stop using rubbish to discredit someone that isn’t true.

  • WalterBroeckx

    For those who think that we are getting paid for this: ask Usmanov to open his wallet 😉
    If we are driven by (Kroenke) his money, we might even be open for more money from Usmanov.. LOL

    I think the message should be clear: those who are pretending that we are getting paid: prove it or shut up.
    Or read this if you can get it

    Or go back to LG where they were good in telling such lies about us.

  • mjgooner

    Simple Question…..were you guys in favour of Kroenke to be brought on Board in the first place?

    If Yes, Why?

    If No, now that you vehemently support someone you never wanted on Board in the first place, whats to say you wont do the same if Usmanov eventually gets on the Board.

  • Goona Gal

    @ Roguestriker – do you do intelligent points in addition? I guess that’s what I mean!

  • Roguestriker

    Goona Gal, you mean like yours? Gosh, let me think.

  • Roguestriker

    Oh wait… You haven’t made any points!

  • Goona Gal

    @ Alan, and they say lightning doesn’t strike twice! My bad. You both denigrate players in order to attempt to seem smart. Instead of attempting to put some clothes on you argument. If you are appealing to the sad, spiteful, lowest common denominator of player hate in order to engreciate yourself and appear smart to other fans, then you have seriously failed on this site. I know that there are other ones more befitting of your nous, maybe you should check them out.

  • Goona Gal

    Nah, I thought better of chatting frafth, or worse still looking like a numpty by just typing the same crap over and over. I suggest you try it, you would do yourself no harm in the very least!

  • Goona Gal

    the last post for was for Roguestriker!! Alan feel free to jump on though and repeat what he says 2mins later.

  • WalterBroeckx

    we actually wanted the shares to be given to Untold but for some reason the board didn’t want to give them to us.

    I can only speak for myself but I only want the club to be safe for the future. Not Chelsea-City safe as the moment the owner turns his back they are the next Glasgow Rangers.
    Not Utd safe as they also have serious troubles.

    In that contect Kroenke is the least evil. All his sports franchises are “safe”.

    And why this is important to me? And I share this sentiment with lots of people by the way:
    I have the pleasure to come over to London a few times in the season to see Arsenal live. I usually go with some of my children. Grown up children to whom I have passed the lover for Arsenal. And in a few years time if I am lucky I hope that they will give me grand children. And hen in oh well let us say in some 10 years time I hope to come not just with my children but also with my grand children.

    And imagine me being very lucky and turning really old. Imagine me being 80 years old and being able to come with my son, my grandchildren and maybe even my grand-grandchildren….

    That is what I want if I am lucky enough to live that long. I could then tell them while flying over on the new Eurostar that flies on a magnetic field that I have know the period when the Emirates was build and I even have been to Highbury.

    Now imagine if I would have been a Glasgow Rangers supporter….

    So that is my fear for Usmanov. What guarantee can you or anyone else give me he will not use us as a plaything and when he gets bored he throws us away.

    Kroenke has not have the habit of throwing his sports teams away. I’m not a fan of him, but in that way he has convinced me that he is up till now a responsible person and owner for his sports teams.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Mj, can only speak for myself, but It is not about supporting kronke, or usmanov, just wenger and the team. Kronke and usmanov appear to be polar opposites in terms of financing the club, but the reality may be different. To be honest, I am a bit wary of both of them, but looking at track records, usmanov scares me more. Nothing about kronke suggests he will take the club down, usmanov is all promises but ultimately a completely unknown quantity. I would rather a true plural ownership, but it is not going to happen. To all the usmanovites i am fairly convinced you will eventually get your way in the end, we can all see what is being put into this battle, especially if FFP Proves fruitless. When that happens, we will either end up with a successful rich short term or even long term arsenal, more of the same or arsenal afc newco. You ready to take that gamble , it will eventually be coming your way.

  • WalterBroeckx

    F$ck unpaid overtime modus now…. 😉

    it’s the fault of 7amkickoff by the way 😉

  • Alan

    @ Goona Gal, I don’t post on sites to ingratiate myself or appear smart. I don’t require validation from anonymous Arsenal fans or feel the need to belittle others with juvenile wit. Just for you, since you seem blind to the obvious, here are some clothes for my argument. Chamakh earns a reported £65K a week, neither of us can really verify the truth of this but that’s what is widely reported in the media. Last season he scored 1 goal, he’s a striker. Worth the money? What do you think? Denilson earns a reported £50k a week. Wenger prefered Frimpong and Coquelin over Denilson last season. They probably earn less combined. I don’t hate these players. Nothing would please me more than seeing them being a success at Arsenal but as yet they’ve not stepped up to the mark. That’s just my opinion. A little off the point of the original blog but there you go.

  • Charlie

    YES. About time this is the best news i’ve heard all week. Get those bloodsucking leaches out and get Red and White in. I look forward to reading your article about what Usmanov is planning, as if you have a clue. It’ll be pure conjecture, or should we call it propoganda.

  • Roguestriker

    Why is it a foregone conclusion that Usmanov putting money into the team will lead to the destruction of Arsenal? The comparisons with Rangers and Leeds are laughable. One got caught not paying its tax while the other fell victim to an iffy financing deal. Sorry, no comparison.

  • Goona Gal

    Wow did somebody call the calvery? Charlie is here!!!

  • Goona Gal

    @ Adam, if that is just for me then you have finally landed an insulting blow!

  • Goona Gal

    @ Alan is that honest engine financial information straight from ‘arry’s dog?

  • Goona Gal

    @ Roguestriker, Shard did not make any foregone conclusions in his excellent post, as you rightly pointed out, neither did I. Read the post. Just throwing ideas out there, you don’t have to take my advice though.

  • Goona Gal

    @ Roguestriker, Leeds and Rangers no comparison, or you just don’t get it?

  • Goona Gal

    @ Roguestriker, Alan, Charlie. I look forward to reading your posts and conversation amongst yourselves. Misery loves company. Remember the Samaritans are 24hrs.

    Good Luck all the best.


  • Goona Gal

    @ Shard – I would just like to say, top post again. I hope more people read it.

  • Roguestriker

    ‘The real conflict seems to be between the supporters’ expectations and your vision for the club and at the heart of this is the policy of so-called self-financing. The self-financing model was created to suit the major shareholders at the time, all of whom subsequently sold their shares.’

    The self financing model also only works as long as Wenger is manager. That’s why the board were so keen to sell up while he was still in charge. Once he’s gone get ready for mid-table obscurity in addition to low investment, because we’ll still be slowly paying off the mortgage with Gazidis replacing Hill-Wood as chairman and more american city boys making sure Stan gets his annual dividend and access to the club’s cash reserves .

  • Roguestriker

    …Assuming, that is, there are still enough gullible fans around willing to pay exorbitant prices to watch dross.

  • Goona Gal

    @ Roguestriker, I sense a real prejudicial tone against the Americans, or like similar to John Terry’s attempt at sarcasm?

    Is the sky actually falling in round your neck of the woods? Bet you one of those that thought the best we would do last season was avoid relegation. Really you should be on cloud nine?

  • Goona Gal

    @ Roguestriker, when was the last time you went to a game then?

  • Andrei

    @Goona Gal “I sense a real prejudicial tone against the Americans, or like similar to John Terry’s attempt at sarcasm?”

    Then I guess a real prejudicial tone against Uzbeks (or one particular Uzbek) is also an attempt on sarcasm?

  • davesraves

    I can remember when soccer was two teams playing each other, and I’m not happy with Arsenal being a billionaires toy. Maybe somewhere in the future we’re (the fans) are gonna find a way to buy it back.

  • Goona Gal

    @ Andrei, yep just the one involved with R&W holdings at the mo. Sorry you will have to wait your turn another day. Don’t let that stop you from posting inane, strange comments on here from time to time though.

  • Goona Gal

    @ Shard, can I just say again, lest we lose sight of it. What an excellent article you have written.

  • fundi Mangungu

    this article is bullshit.yu cant expect to gag a person who have invested £200million not to express an opinion. u r not objective but overly critical. as fans we want trophies if theirs anybody who can push board to buy gd players. that’s our man. yu can’t just play with our intelligence by ur falsehoods.

  • Adam

    @Shard, I like the tone of the article but my understanding of a ponzi scheme must differ from yours?
    As for Usmanov, so many unanswered questions.
    The richest civil servent in Russian history.
    Too many wealthy well placed ex-communists out there.
    How on earth did he amass such a fortune in only 21 years?

  • Damien Luu

    Well, to be honest I expect no less from a ‘billionair’ who comes from a former communist country. We all know (or if you don’t know yet, you should know) that commies are propaganda masters. They manipulate the truth; they use mudslinging tactics; they promise anything and everything without any details about how they would do that, and of course they would never keep their promises; and they say all kind of shits to confuse (stupid) people.

    My former president said: “Don’t listen to what the commies say, but look at what they do.” It’s amazing that a few decades after that, there are still so many “naive” people believe in those shits.

  • Goonergerry

    The public statements about how much players at Arsenal are earning are likely to be exaggerated. The Director of Football at Fiorentina was quoted yesterday as stating that Chamackh earns 3m Euros per year (implying that his club could not afford to buy him for that reason.Yes he was almost certainly breaching our players privacy but, assuming he wasnt exaggerating, 3m Euros is approx 45,000 per week not 65,000.
    Maybe Arsenal are not over-paying fringe players half as much as has been speculated.

  • Shard

    Thanks for your kind comments Gooner Gal..

    Ok. I think most people are missing the point. Am I anti-Usmanov. Yes. But that is his own fault. The way he blunderbussed his way onto the scene threatening any blogs/news outlets who attempted to report on his past, is reason enough to be wary. Sure, he might not have done the things he’s accused of, but it certainly isn’t something which is easily brushed aside either. The argument is that he was jailed under a corrupt regime, and set free later. Indicating that justice can be bought. He argues that it was bought against him, but the logic there is that it can be bought in his favour as well. Who knows. In any case, my opposition to him isn’t based on the idea I don’t know where he got his money from. It is based on his actions so far.

    But again. This article was not anti-Usmanov in the sense that I just examined what he said. If analysing what he’s saying is being against him, well then you know that all he had was no substance, all fluff.

    I don’t agree that the board are just in it for money (they sold to Kroenke for less money than Usmanov offered), and I don;t agree that we’re bein mismanaged. But let’s say I do agree. What reason do I have to believe R&W would be any better? Just because someone is bad, doesn;t make the other guy good. Even most movie scripts have gone beyond simplistic notions of good and evil. In this case, R&W paint Kroenke as the bad guy. Ok.You agree. Fine.. But NO ONE has so far said why Usmanov will be better. Will he give us his money? How do you know this? Kroenke is robbing us blind, so lets give Usmanov a chance to do the same seems to be your logic.

    and Andrei, I agree no billionaire is going to be squeaky clean. And I get very uncomfortable when people just assume that Russia, or the former Soviet Union is inherently corrupt. I remember us agreeing over the Russian World Cup bid. But, you have to admit there is a difference between the worst you can accuse Kroenke of, and the worst that you can accuse Usmanov of. Usmanov is potentially far worse for Arsenal, than Kroenke.

    Someone asked if I was always in Kroenke’s favour. No. And I’m still not. I’d want him gone. But he was invited by the board, in my view, as a counter to Usmanov. I’m not naive enough to think the board LOVE Arsenal. But they have been involved for decades, even generations, which builds a bond closest you can get to love. They, quite obviously, were opposed to Usmanov. Despite him offering them more money. Doesn;t sit well with the theory of them just being money grabbing. If Kroenke were, Usmanov should just buy him out. Instead, he tries to divide the fans through this letter. And you all fall for it hook, line an sinker.

  • Stuart

    So many commentors claiming the current model has failed to deliver trophies to us and we should change to the reckless model offered by R&W Holdings because that is guaranteed to win us trophies.

    Wake up people, nothing is guaranteed in this life, especially the Premier League. On your reckoning with spending guaranteeing success, we should be behind Liverpool and Tottenham also.

    Bergkamp63 made this comment:-
    “I have read some self contradictory rubbish before in my time but this is up there with the best.”

    regarding this section of the article:-
    “As regards the vision of the club whereby the club is debt free and being able to buy top players etc, it is entirely the vision that the current board sell us.”

    And then adds:-

    How about we pay the stadium off first before reaping the benefits?

    This typifies the fans who rant on about the current model. You could lay money on it that this guy has several credit cards all maxed out and gets by, paying the minumum balance every month. Would you take advice on how to run your business from them? not me!

  • Charlie

    @Damien Luu. Haha, great we have J Edgar Hoover on here going on about the commies. My wife is Russian so does she also deserve your immediate distain ? That would make you a racist btw. I think you’ll find it’s the yank owners who have caused the most problems in the Premiership while the so called “commies” have treated their clubs very well.

  • Charlie

    @Shard the reason for the board not wanting to sell to Usmanov is that he is interested in the club. Stan spends most of his time in America so they go their money but kept the power. If Usmanov comes in they’re out on their ears. Usmanov does not agree with the way the club is being run. Is he in it to make money ? it wouldn’t make a whole lot of differnce to his wealth whether he made a profit or loss from Arsenal, in percentage terms it’s nothing to him. We won’t know for sure unless it happens but I think he wants to do it for fun, which is a good thing for us as fans because it’s no fun to be losing. You have to realise that Russians are far more generous with their money than Americans, might be a gross generalisation but trust me, it’s a cultural thing.

  • Shard

    We won’t know for sure unless it happens

    Exactly my point. We won;t know for sure until we wecome Usmanov into the club on a red carpet, at which point he could turn out to be all you hope he is, or he could just set about asset stripping us. WE DON’T KNOW.. and it’s a risk that any sane fan should think acceptable. The same risk lies with Kroenke as well, and I wouldn’t want him owning 100% of he stock either. Also in Kroenke’s case, we have a direct comparison in that he has purchased many other sports teams, and has been running them profitably for years. In any case, I see no reason to throw Kroenke out and invite Usmanov in. No guarantee he could be better, and a more than minute chance that it turns out much worse.
    Your theory of Kroenke not being interested and thereby the board retaining power is just bizarre. I mean you really think Kroenke has no interest in a major part of his business?

  • Charlie

    Another thing Damien, one of your presidents also said “But oftentimes I’m asked: Why? Why do you care what happens outside of America?” amongst many, many other things.

  • Shard

    Correction: it’s NOT a risk any sane fan should think acceptable

  • MikeSA

    Personally I don’t like the thought of a single owner of the club unless it’s me 🙂

    Otherwise, I’m actually pleased that we do have two rich men vaguely keeping each other honest.

    R&W are in the position of being able to make empty promises by virtue of the fact that they do not need to deliver on them at the moment.

    I do think they would very much like to take over before the new commercial deals are struck.

    I seriously doubt they would deliver on them as many of the believers in Santa on here drool over.

    As a matter of interest, what do the “football is not a business crowd” think the ManU model is?

    Unfortunately, given the sums involved, football is very definitely a business. The days of a rich local benefactor using the local club as a PR exercise are long gone (Blackburn Rovers under Sir Jack being the last high profile iteration of that model).

    Citeh are a global version of that model,but they are an exception, there are simply not that many rich people around who are either football fans or who need that type of PR.

    Coming back to the ManU model, they are Run as a self-sustaining model, it’s just the scale of their revenue that has deflected attention away from that.

    Not only are they run on a self-sustaining model, they also are run on a self-purchasing model!

    They are now entering a difficult period. They, even more than us with Wenger, are reliant on the brilliance of their manager.

    Quite frankly, anyone wanting anything other than a self-sustaining model for the club are too stupid to be allowed an opinion. Spending more than you earn or can pay back while still running as a viable entity is simply not an option for any business.

    What IS up for debate is the efficiency of the spend within the model.

    Gazidis has recently intimated that this is indeed being looked at, and is likely to change.

    Nevertheless, it will take time, as will all things, including paying off the stadium and seeing the fruits thereof.

    People who think 7 years is an eternity belong in the same category as those who think there is any intelligent alternative to the self-sustaining model.

    These things take time, there is no snap of the fingers that change a super-tanker’s course.

    The earlier post bemoaning that Kroenke hs been in charge for a WHOLE year and still not picked up a trophy is also either a wind up merchant or someone who is stealing oxygen from more worthy consumers thereof.

    I don’t particularly like either of them owning the club, but the best case IMO is that we maintain our current course, and have a powerful man on the fringes to shout the odds and prevent the incumbent from getting too comfortable.

  • Charlie

    Shard, how many matches did Kroenke attend last year ? He’s a silent partner, he’d get involved if the club looked like missing out on Europe but crucially he wants things to be run the way Peter-Hill-Wood wants them to be run and I for one don’t agree with that model. It is profitable, Stan has no reason to complain, taking Usmanov at face value he is willing to inject cash from his own pocket. I just don’t see Usmanov doing this for profit whereas US sport “franchises” are all run for profit.

  • bob

    It may be your hunch or your ethnicity, but trust you, how do you actually know any of this: that it’s about fun for Usmanov rather than wealth? and that it’s more about wealth for Stan rather than fun? I could say that Stan is beyond need, is husband to the daughter of Wal-Mart’s co-founder, and enjoys collecting teams. Perhaps what appears to be hands-off is better than the alternative? How do we know it’s hands off? Are you privy to the email streams and phone calls? And perhaps the promise of hands-on is a prelude to football-Stalinism? There’s no evidence of that either. So why trade in cultural Stereotypes when we don’t know and they’ve caused such terrible mayhem in the world. Trust me.

  • Charlie

    MikeSA, IT IS NOT SIMPLY A BUSINESS. Do you think Abramovich considers Chelsea to be a business ? It is a hobby which costs money and he does not expect to get that money back. Football is not simply a tool for generating profit, it is a passion and a joy to those involved in it and the reason for the success of Chelsea and City is that the owners are not limitted by any business model. So let’s assume that Usmanov, who really can’t see Arsenals’ profit or loss as impacting greatly on his $19 billion fortune, is in it for the fun. What about when he leaves you scream, who will pay the wages ? When he leaves he’ll sell the club, which will have received major investment, to someone that can afford it. Where’s the problem ?

  • Shard

    Profit is not a dirty word. It is essential for any business. And Arsenal is a business. kroenke is in it for the money. He has experience of this sort and it is his business. He has improved all the sports teams he’s bought into. It’s just not been the Chelsea type spurt in success. It requires building a team up. Arsenal don’t need that much of a boost anyway because we have solid foundations.

    Usmanov. His intentions are entirely unclear, ad my point is that this letter, is just intended to throw mud at the current board, hope it sticks, and then he appears cleaner as a result. Which is devious and makes me trust him even less. Promises mean nothing. Not Usmanov’s, not Kroenke’s. Only Usmaniv has made wild promises. Kroenke has let Arsenal proceed in a professional, self sustaining model. His coming to games is besides any point. What difference does it make to anything? I don’t go to games either.

  • Shard

    When he leaves he’ll sell the club, which will have received major investment, to someone that can afford it. Where’s the problem ?

    GOD!! And you wonder why people get exasperated. What the hell sort of logic is that Charlie? Someone with more money is always going to want to buy us. ON WHAT BASIS? 9 years at a club by some Russian oil and steel magnate? How do you know how it’ll turn out? NOBODY likes losing money. Hobbies are all fine and dandy, but beyond a point, if they get too expensive, you find some other passtime. Billionaires are not above that. They LOVE money. That’s how they become billionaires.

  • Goona

    ALAN: One can tell by your grown up points of views that you’re a true Gooner unlike some.
    I don’t always agree with the saying ” Better the devil you know than the one you don’t” well in this case after 7 long years i’d love to take a chance on the one I don’t know..
    Gooners forever!!!
    Great blog this one even if one agrees with the content or not.


  • Shard

    US sport “franchises” are all run for profit

    Exactly. And they are all owned by billionaires too. These billionaires operate in an environment where there is no relegation. Where they move teams across cities. You think they couldn’t do that here? If we all become billionaire owned clubs, they will eventually try and make it a closed league amongst themselves, because trying to outgun each other will not be of benefit to anyone. They will be throwing away their money, without any guarantee of the other not throwing even more. And that is just not sustainable. even for a billionaire. and THAT is assuming that they are even interested in the game, rather than the lack of regulation that allows them to launder their money.

  • Charlie

    Ok, no stereotypes, examples.

    Give me one example of an American club owner who has given more to a club than he has extracted and name me a single Russian or Arab owner who has sucked more money out of the club than they have given from their own pockets ?

    The evidence so far unanimously seems to swing in favour of Russians and Arabs and against Americans. Hicks, Gillet and the Glazers are the worst examples in the Premiership over the last few seasons, Abramovich and Sheikh Mahoud the best. Silent Stan would be more towards the Hicks, Gillet and Glazer camp than Abramovich and Mahoud.

    It’s circumstantial, it wouldn’t stand up in court I know but it’s a trend, you can’t deny that.

    You say cultural stereotypes are a bad thing and if they are used to define everyone based on the actions of the few they are but cultures are different and peoples’ behavior is effected by their surroundings. It is naiive to think that someone brought up in a Capitalist society will necessarily think of money in the same way as someone brought up in a Muslim or Communist society. Indeed integrating into a society requires you to acknowledge that cultures differ.

  • @mjgooner – you really are being divisive with that statement – nobody here ‘vehemently supports’ Kroneke. Why must you be either one side or the other – the world is not as simple as your reasoning.

  • Charlie

    Ok Shard. What will happen when Usmanov decides that he has had enough because this is the core of the problem ? What will happen when Abramovich has had enough of Chelsea ? Will he wake up one morning and think “I don’t want this any more, i’ll give it to some tramp on the street” no he’ll need to find a buyer and that buyer will be aware of the profitability or not of the club. Nobody will take from him a club that will lose them money. Either he covers the wages of players up to the end of their contracts or he sells to someone who can afford to keep it going in the same manner. Back to “billionaires like money” very punchy but Abramovich and Mahoud seem very keen to spend theirs without wanting it back and Roman is substantially less wealthy than Mr Usmanov.

  • bob

    Tovarich, you want to tell us that Soviet-born former red appartchiks like Yelstin and his lot didn’t make Meal$$$$ on the fire-sale that they made of the common property of Soviet/Russian society – of the commons of that society – once they booted out (wasn’t it shooted out the elected Duma?!) the former red appartchik opponents? It is way too simplistic for you to say that former capital C Communists have a different (more benign) attitude toward money than the others. Maybe they make more rapacious Capitalists? Some do. That’s one problem with your simplistic generalizations.

  • Goona

    The best point of view on this issue in my opinion was posted by GOONER yesterday at 6.49pm well well worth a read as it tells the real truth which nobody can deny..

  • bob

    p.s., Charlie: or is what you are saying that once they plunder, then they can afford to be generous, so no worries? What kind of morality is that?

  • @Charlie – you don’t think that the ongoing battles with the CPO, Fordstam and Abramovich’s desire to relocate Chelsea FC represent an ‘exit strategy’ of sorts for Abramovich?

    It might work something like this:

    Abramovich invests his money (from whatever source) into Chelsea FC via Chelsea LTD
    Chelsea LTD convert their debt into share capital (Abramovich takes plaudits for being so very nice)
    Chelsea LTD still owe Abramovich 800 million (or whatever)
    Chelsea LTD rename themselves FordsStam
    Fordstam needs the dissolution of the CPO (headed by John Terry) to develop stamford bridge
    Abramovich makes moves to relocate Chelsea to Battersea (now failed)
    A new stadia would/could load Chelsea FC with debt (like Arsenal have had to bear for a while)
    Stamford bridge would be re-developed – all profit made would go to…

    …Roman Abramovich – to pay off his personal loan and be clean, free and out of Russia.

    Could Chelsea survive this… no – not with their current wage structure, they would have to tighten their belts and be in the wilderness for a good long while – it depends on stadium naming rights, etc.

    Meanwhile – Roman can selll on the club for more profit -> Forstam -> Roman and kick back on his yacht.

    Job’s a goodun.

  • bob

    Also, Charlie: to further generalize in your style, the new rich (nouveau riche) are well known to be far more rapacious, self-aggrandizing and heartless than old money (traditional wealth). There are specific examples and exceptions on both sides of this stupid duality. Yet that’s what you are doing: making dualisms out of a world that is too complex for that. As Shard says, we don’t know.

  • Shard

    yeah. Abramovich and Mansour. The two poster children of throwing money away. Mansour’s motives I think are relatively simple to explain. No one had heard of Etihad, or thought of his nation as an investor friendly, big business promoting nation before this. As such, ManCity are an advertisement vehicle. The need for a certain type of adverrtising goes away after a point. But lets say they keep ManCity well full of money. And let’s say Abramovich does the same to Chelsea. Why should Usmanov be like them, and not like the owners of Birmingham, Cardiff, Rangers, Fiorentina (the old one), Portsmouth and I’m sure there are many examples. They all came into their clubs on the basis of loud promises, and proceeded to strip them of their assets. there are plenty ways Abramovich could be stripping Chelsea of its assets too. It has only been 9 years since billionaires first entered in this manner. 9 years is no way to predict a trend. Maybe billionaires are here to stay. I don;t think they will stay unless they can derive a profit from it somehow.

  • Goona

    MARK: Well said that’s what many Gooners like you and I are feeling.

  • Charlie

    @Dogface. There’s a contradiction here, isn’t the definition of a “sugar-daddy” someone who provides gifts, not loans. Let’s get this straight, which are Abramovich and Mahoud ? If they’re sugar-daddys they won’t be asking for the money back and if they’re not i’m sure i’m not the only one who’s confused. Also my point was that if the club is riddled with debt he won’t be able to sell it and you didn’t provide a solution to that. This is turning into an interesting debate though. Unfortunately I need to go.

  • DarthWenger

    Wow! Fantastic article and mirrors quite a few of my views.
    Just to add a couple of points –
    1) According to Arsenal’s last annual report, total interest expenses for the year were GBP 14.5m. So assuming Usmanov is the Knight in shining armour (that a lot of Arsenal fans are claiming he is) and he somehow pays off all our stadium debt, how much cash does it free up for the transfer market? GBP 14.5m. How many “world class” players will Arsenal be able to buy from that?
    2) According to the letter (and i could be wrong on this), R&W intend to raise GBP 100m for player transfers. As above, how many “world class” players will we be able to buy from that (including transfer fees + salaries) – some people estimate that the total cost of Hazard to Chelsea was upwards of GBP 70m over the duration of his contract. So in essence, the GBP 100m will allow us to buy 2 (maybe 3 if we negotiate well) “world class” players – will that be sufficient to win us a trophy. More important, what happens next year when the GBP 100m has run out? Will Usmanov invest more money or will we have to go back to our sustainable model? Is it even possible to go back to the sustainable model? I do not think it will be possible to go back to our sustainable model – the price of every player we try to buy will be significantly inflated simply because of the short term spending spree.

    P.S – notice that I used invested commas around world class players as I do not think the quality of the player can be determined by his transfer price

  • Stroller

    You make make some very good points about the nature of what R&W (Usmanov) is really putting on the table. By its nature a Rights Issue is a one-off activity to raise capital and is not something that can be regularly repeated to raise income. On the surface it looks like a easy way to raise money for expenditure on players, but if it is that simple why hasn’t it been done before and are not other clubs wanting cash not doing it all the time?

    For the issue to be successful all new shares have to be taken up by existing shareholders. There is no guarantee that this would happen so to cover such a situation somebody normally has to underwrite the issue and promise to buy up any outstanding shares. Has Usmanov said he would do this out of his own pocket?

  • Stuart

    @ Charlie
    In reference to:

    “What will happen when Abramovich has had enough of Chelsea ? Will he wake up one morning and think “I don’t want this any more, i’ll give it to some tramp on the street” no he’ll need to find a buyer and that buyer will be aware of the profitability or not of the club. Nobody will take from him a club that will lose them money. Either he covers the wages of players up to the end of their contracts or he sells to someone who can afford to keep it going in the same manner.”

    Or alternatively, he’ll think I’ve invested £x Million into this club and can’t find a buyer so I’ll sell each and every player to the highest bidder, sell the ground to a developer and take MY money!

  • Stuart

    @ Goona
    July 11, 2012 at 9:29 am

    What is wrong with a major shareholder or owner not attending games?

  • bob

    Shard, All,
    I may have missed this along the commentary, but can someone explain what and how much is the so-called “penalty” that Hill-Wood has cited as a prohibition against early repayment of the stadium debt?

  • Stuart

    I don’t speak in the know of the AFC situation here but my understanding of these deals is the penalty involved would be either the amount of interest remaining in the origional agreement or indeed if we have an offset arrangement where we can put money in saving with the same creditors and pay no interest on the that amount of loan, if we repay early, all the interest becomes payable. (ie £200 Million loan, £80 Million in the bank = interest only charged on the remaining £120 Million and the bank gets to play with our £80 Million and keep any profits)

    This may answer the question why AFC have large sums in reserve instead of just paying off the loan. It is better to have it sit there and we pay no interest than to pay it off early and have to make back payments on interest.

  • Gunner4Life

    This article is stupid and if ur an arsenal fan ur not practical! If u invested 200 million into a football club u would be happy about the current situation? He owns part of the club and if he is unhappy about the running of it he is allowed to voice his concerns! Also he has been an owner of shares for over 7 years now so as a fan and part owner he is allowed a voice. No gunners fan is happy about how we have gone from winning to nothing, to be honest Usamanov goes to most of the games and speaks to the media/fans when asked to, has Kroenke done that? Does any arsenal fan no of his intentions yet?

  • WalterBroeckx

    So Tony goes to every home game, is always willing to talk with supporters who recognise him, so Tony just splash that cash a bit and you could be Usmanov 😉

  • Shard


    How long has Usmanov been a fan? Was he there during the Highbury days? Did he have executive box seats then? Or has Arsenal moving up the money ladder made him discover that his box at Old Trafford was too far from his beloved team to be good enough?

    Usmanov is not a fan. He is a minority shareholder though, and yes, he’s perfectly entitled to his opinion. When did I say he isn’t?

  • @Charlie – Chelsea FC are ‘debt free’ but the company that owns them and their assets is not. The difference could be that, if Chelsea move stadium the money made through the re-development of Stamford Bridge would not be used to repay that debt [incurred through building a new stadium] but rather to repay the loan. Chelsea would still have a debt and an asset in the new stadium and hence viable for sale – there are knock-on earners too with land re-development around the new stadium site.

    I care less for the semantics of what a ‘sugar daddy’ is or is not to be honest as it’s not relevant to the reality of the situation.

  • Spanish Bill

    “As Spanish Bill couldn’t answer me the others who like Usmanov can have a go:”

    Actually I wasn’t looking until now.
    To both WalterX and Shard, let’s get back to the nitty gritty.
    Your article is pure propaganda, from the headline downwards. Admit it: this thing about non-dividend equity.
    You haven’t quite grasped it, have you?

  • MikeSA

    Sorry Charlie, professional football, thanks to the sums involved is without any doubt, business.

    There will always be anomalies, just as in other business avenues there are exceptions, but if you seriously think Abromovich has not leveraged his expenditure against the club in one manner or another I have a large steel structure for sale in Paris that I think you might be interested in………

    Most of his debt has been converted into equity in the holding company, so he’s going to get most if not all of his money back one way or another, either through a sale (in the unlikely event he finds another ego with pockets as deep as his own), or alternatively, if he can’t, he will asset strip and recover all that he can. Why do you think he wants total control of all the assets, including Stamford Bridge? Do you honestly think they need a bigger ground when they struggle to fill the current one?

    At the levels of finance involved, ANY owner will have to have a viable and sustainable business plan or they’re toast, Chelsea included, whether it takes one year or 30 years. That’s the problem we have here, too many people who fall for the sales pitch can’t think beyond heir own noses, never mind a few decades into the future.

    Several posters have already pointed out why the current majority shareholder would resist a share issue, but what few seem to realize, including AST is that it’s the small shareholders who will suffer the most.

    If you have a single share that is currently worth in the region of 14k pounds that you bought a while back at say 8k pounds, you’d be pretty chuffed, especially if that was a bit of a financial stretch. With a rights issue, say they offer 1 “new” share for every 5 shares you already own, that p!sses all over your battery because you will simply not be eligible to increase your shareholding. Even if you were able to buy an additional shareholding what if you couldn’t afford it?

    Effectively, whatever the issue, the share you had which was worth 14k, is now no longer worth that because the equity has been diluted. So now your 14k asset is now worth something less, say 10k for argument’s sake.

    Would you be happy that some chop effectively stole 4k off you because they wanted a bigger stake in the club? AST members are likely to be the worst affected by that.

    Honestly, some of the ignorance displayed by some of the “gimme, gimme, now” posters displays the failure of education on a world wide scale, it’s shocking.

  • bob

    Great job there! Really important for this basic insight to circulate so that people stop the madness of voting for what sounds in their interest whilst it’s designed to devalue, if not dispossess them in the end.

  • Bryan

    Personelly I’m not happy with any of them – the board have been the same for as long as I have supported Arsenal, they have never let any manager spend big compared to other clubs of our statue, even the Spuds down the road.
    Kroenke has been an utter waste of time, not even sure why he bothered & Usmanov may of been corrupt in his past,present or future life but one thing is for sure that there are a lot of points in his letter to the board that I totally agree with & I am sick & tired of seeing my beloved club not competing because sadly in todays football you have to spend money to be successful.
    I don’t want to ever see us be like Citeh or Chavski but I do want us to make big signings now & again especially when we lose big players. My theory is if you were not good enough to win anything when you had the big player, if he is sold you need to go out & get 2 big players.

  • Peter King Oloo

    I will be honest and direct, i want trophies for Arsenal, all that stuff about money and what is secondary to me, as long as Arsenal don’t follow portsmouth so i say get the dude who got more change in his back pocket than Roman Abramovic to lead us back to the times of plenty! Nuff said.

  • Cannon Man

    Firstly, I do not doubt for one second that a rights issue, with generated funds being made available to the manager, could increase the value of the club and subsequently benefit the ALL shareholders. Most accept that when relatively large funds are provided to the manager, he is more than capable of putting together a title challenging team. The stadium has impacted on our transfer budget, in relative terms, MASSIVELY. I don’t think anyone can deny that the manager has performed miracles in keeping us as competitive as we have been given our net spend – even the most anti-Wenger fan. HE is, primarily, the reason why the previous shareholders were able to capitalise on their holdings so handsomely. He is also the reason why Kroenke can sit back and wait for our revenues to increase in 2014/15, giving us a lot more to play with and bringing us much closer to Man U in terms of self-sustainability. This is what any sensible investor would do. To chastise him for doing so would be silly in my opinion. It’s not hard to see that we will be generating VAST sums in the not too distant future. I happen to believe that both Kroenke and Usmanov are both aware of the potential returns on their investment and that while one appears to have the collateral to make more funds available to the manager, the other does not. Complying with FFP would not be an issue for us even if extra funds came in the form of cash ‘donations’ – certainly not while Wenger is in charge. There is some laughable scaremongering being written with regard to the situations other clubs have found themselves in and how it could end up for us if this big bad scary billionaire gets a foothold and starts throwing his weight around (pardon the pun). I honestly don’t think our self-sustainability is jeopardised by the injection of cash for player transfers – which most would agree has been SERIOUSLY affected by the building of the stadium. Not when I look at the jump in revenues we’re soon to see, nor the seemingly ever increasing broadcasting revenues. Put simply, it’s a waste of time painting saints and sinners here. We really should be campaigning for a board that’s inclusive of all major shareholders and much more transparent with the fanbase. This party politics is doing us no favours. The comment about the bone being the loser in a fight between two dogs for its possession, is completely on the mark.

  • Chimaera

    @Charlie “Give me one example of an American club owner who has given more to a club than he has extracted and name me a single Russian or Arab owner who has sucked more money out of the club than they have given from their own pockets ?”

    Gaydamak at Portsmouth was one Russian who contributed heavily to their downfall.

    You can’t really generalise like that, since there are only about half a dozen Russian owners in the english leagues it’s not enough to make a sweeping statement that Usmanov will be the same.

  • Shard

    Cannon Man,

    What a Rights Issue will DEFINITELY do, is reduce the value of each share. Whether the share price goes up after that, who knows. The share markets are unpredictable anyway.

    Not painting saints and sinners. My point here is that it is R&W who are painting the board as sinners, and playing on people’s fears, while not really saying anything in terms of how to be better, or what they’ll bring to the table.

  • Richard

    Why not Usmanov takes his billions and buys Everton? Or better buy Tottenham?

  • GoingGoingGooner

    We are not final because we are infallible, but we are infallible only because we are final.
    -Robert Jackson

    I am not USAmerican but I find his comment about the US Supreme Court can be paraphrased for this situation. Mr. Kroenke, I am sure, has his faults, but he is the majority shareholder of Arsenal Football Club and short of breaking the law can do what he pleases. Mr. Usmanov has only the property rights that his shares bring him, which in this case is not much.

    Mr. Kroenke is not the solution because he is the best, he is the best because he is the solution.

    Mr. Usmanov you can pull a Rumplestiltskin and jump up and down but you are still not the solution.

  • Walter

    Spanish Bill,

    so no answer then to why Kroenke is responsible for 7 years with no “trawfie” (Copyright Dogface) while only 1 year in charge?