Mr Usmanov makes a mistake, and gives us a chuckle

By Tony Attwood

Alisher Usmanov always says that his interest is in making Arsenal a competition winning club.  He also says that Thierry Henry has urged him to take over Arsenal – and on this I can’t give an opinion.  It would be nice to see a piece by Thierry in which he confirms this.  Mr Usmanov said, Thierry Henry is “pushing me to buy all of Arsenal’s shares, but I cannot predict the future.”  But as I will show later there is a little reason to doubt this – not of course that I am saying Mr U is not telling it to us straight.

But more to the point, Mr Usmanov interviewed in L’Equipe, reminds us of all the players Arsenal have sold in recent years: Robin van Persie, Cesc Fábregas, Samir Nasri, Alexandre Song, Gaël Clichy, Mathieu Flamini, Patrick Vieira, Thierry Henry.

Setting himself aside from the AAA, whose leaders have recently said that Mr Wenger should not be allowed to buy any more players at all, Mr Usmanov has said or Mr Wenger,”For me, he’s one of the best coaches in the world, but it’s not easy for him. I think he deserves that players are brought in at Arsenal when they’re needed.”Now let us think for a moment about that list.

For a start most of the players were sold at a huge profit, thus giving money to the club to buy new players, some of whose talents we now enjoy.

Secondly not all of those players we sold were worth the money that was paid for them. To take them in the order Mr Usmanov mentioned them:

Robin van Persie: at the moment we have half a season to evaluate his contribution to Man U.  Of course at this stage he is doing very well indeed – but let us not forget that only three years before his actual sale the AAA were urging his sale and calling him “glass ankles”.  Of course I don’t know the details of his contract but it is said to be a five year deal.  It will be interesting to see how well he does in the second half of that contract.  He cost us £2m or thereabouts.

Cesc Fábregas has not always found it easy to get into the team at Barcelona – from whom we bought him for about half a million but he is settling down now.  So just a profit and the chance to buy Cazorla

Samir Nasri again sold on at a profit was warned in his first season with Manchester City that he needed to sort himself out and play to his potential if he wanted to be in the team.

Alexandre Song was recently voted as one of the two worst transfers into Spain of last summer.  He has played eight times this season, I believe.  Since he was claimed by many of the AAA as being not fit to wear the shirt after a performance against Fulham, this presumably hasn’t come as much surprise.

Gaël Clichy was another player who we got for next to nothing.  He seems to have settled down well in Manchester.

Mathieu Flamini is a strange player for Mr Usmanov to mention.  He went on a free to Milan but failed to get in the team very often.  At the end of his contract, with Milan being unable to sell him, he was released for nothing.  Eventually with no one wanting him at all Flamini returned to the club on a much lower salary.

Patrick Vieira was a stunning player bought from Milan for £3.5 million.   He moved to Juventus and won the championship with them, before it was removed from the club and the club was relegated.  He quickly moved on.

Thierry Henry, as we have calculated on this site, cost Barcelona £250,000 a game, if one includes transfer fees and salary.  I am not sure many would say that genius and wonderful man that he is, he was worth that.

Now if Mr Usmanov were to be in power, presumably money would not be an issue so we can forget about all the players that made us a profit.  But we might reflect that some of them were in fact coming to the end of their careers, or were over achieving at Arsenal, when they were sold.

Of course I would have liked Patrick Vieira, Robin van Persie and Cesc Fábregas to stay, but against that I am not sure that we would have witnessed the fruition of Theo which has been good to watch – and which could keep us on the edge of our seats for some years to come.   Thierry, when he left, was not up to his past standard, and Patrick V only had a couple of years left in him at the highest level.

But the strangest thing is for Mr Usmanov to mention Flamini.  Not giving in to his crazy wage demands was one of the best bits of business Arsenal ever did – apart from the selling of Hleb to Barcelona for €17 million.  He played for them 19 times – thus making him the most expensive flop ever at over €1.5 million per game (including transfer fee and salary).  Still to be fair Mr U didn’t mention Hleb, so we can’t.

The fact that Mr U did however mention Flamini suggests that he and his advisers are perhaps not as well up on the world game as he might like to think.  Also if he really was discussing these matters with Thierry, surely Thierry would have pointed out that Flamini had one, and only one good season at Arsenal, and it was a long, long, downhill slide thereafter.

But  still, its a complex business this football lark.

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156 Replies to “Mr Usmanov makes a mistake, and gives us a chuckle”

  1. Why do you criticise Usmanov? At least the bloke wants glory. Us Gooners should be embracing him and wanting him in charge. Unfortunately we have too many supporters like you who are happy with mediocrity. True Arsenal fans should revolt and force the change. It’s bloggers like you who make us a laughing stock and sum up the lack of winning mentality at our once great club.

  2. Hleb to Barcelona for €17 million. He played for them 19 times – thus making him the most expensive flop ever at over €1.5 million per game (including transfer fee and salary). Still to be fair Mr U didn’t mention Hleb, so we can’t. —– that’s quite an unmention.

  3. Flamini is the only one you could criticise usmanov for here. This article is definitely clutching at straws with this. It’s this sort of arsenal fan mentality that is supporting a failing regime. I’m not saying we should spend beyond our means like others but usmanov is correct, investment is definitely required.

  4. Tony

    I like reading your posts. You think differently from me which makes for an interesting read.

    Up till the last couple of years I have been very happy with the timing of player sales (or, in Flamini’s case, non-extension) but recently we do seem to have lost the ability to dictate the timing. Most of us would agree I think that the side would be better with RvP, Cesc and Nasri in it.

    When it comes to Arsene and the views of “AAA” (funny), I reckon Usmanov would be a better owner for him than Kroenke. AW did well when we had big spending power (second to Man U) and not so well in the later years of austerity. So to my mind AW-AU would be a winning combination.

    On the other hand if we are stuck with Kroenke (I’m not a fan of his) then as a club we would probably be better off with a manager who can squeeze the last drop of performance out of the squad. David Moyes springs to mind.

  5. “I have been very happy with the timing of player sales but recently we do seem to have lost the ability to dictate the timing.”

    Take a look at player contract law and the changes in the last 5 to 10 years. Presently any player can unilaterally terminate his contract after 3 years irrespective of the length, or if 28 or over when signed/extended 2 years. This change coincided with the predatory spending of Mansour over the last 5 years or so is what has undermined our ability (and those of other clubs with fewer resources) to dictate the timing.

  6. Usmanov is certainly learning. This is the first time I can remember that an Usmanov statement has hit the press after an Arsenal victory rather than a loss. So better PR management from him this time. He’s still not saying much though.

  7. At least Mr Usmanov cares about winning which is more than I can say for Silent Stan who only cares about the bottom line. Not saying I want a Chelski or ManSh*tty model but it sure would be nice to have a controlling owner who truly loves the club.

  8. I’m sorry but this is a biased crap piece of writing. Get your head out of the sand. The business model we have now is a one way ticket to mediocrity. Everyone knows it. I mean look at RVP’s jabs about playing with champions. We are built to get into the top 4 and nothing else and you’re telling me you wouldn’t like an owner like Usmanov? Why not? He cares more about the club than the Anerican.

  9. As for Henry, he’s better of staying out of it. Although it isn’t tough to imagine the common connection he has with Usmanov playing a part in it.

  10. Stonroy

    How do you know Usmanov will be any different? He’s never actually said he’ll just put his money in and run Arsenal the way Abramovich or Mansour does. And if he is prepared to do that, he should make Kroenke an offer that he can’t refuse. After all, Kroenke is supposed to be in this for the money. So, if Usmanov is prepared to be a sugar daddy, maybe he should act like one?

    I doubt that is his plan though. In his last statement he basically declined to say that he would finance Arsenal’s purchase of the best players at the highest prices. Instead he made oblique references to FFP (without actually saying the name)

    IF you’re expecting another Abramovich in Usmanov, I think you’re going to be disappointed.

  11. Interesting Post, but — you are deliberately, or otherwise, skirting around the point, it seemed to me, that Usmanov was making.

    He could care less whether all or any of the aforementioned players was, or was not, a bargain for the clubs who bought them. And why should he?

    No the point at issue was that they were all distress sales by Arsenal.
    Not one of them was offered for sale by Wenger, and he seemed distraught that they did not repay his loyalty to them by staying at the Arsenal!

    At the crux of his comment, it appears Usmanov was saying AW should not be put in the position of having to appeal, unsuccessfully, to the better nature of these players, but to assuage their monetary demands and only let them go when he (Wenger) chose to do so.

    I am not a fan of Usmanov, any more than I am of any of these other bloated oligarchs, or state bodies, who are insidiously percolating through football, at the moment, but neither do I see any purpose or point in misstating the obvious message that Wenger should be empowered to spend on transfers or salaries, as he sees fit, for the benefit of the club, rather than being held as a hostage to fortune.

  12. If there’s anyone willing to take over from Kroenke, I’ll surely support simply because I’m very certain that Kroenke is here to suck the club dry. He has no passion for football let alone AFC and it has been very obvious for a while now that he’s only interested to make huge profit from the Club. There can be many articles written in an effort to defend Kroenke by casting doubt on Usmanov but until now I’m not impressed at all. Kroenke out – Usmanov in..

  13. Come on Tony, you can do better than this desperate effort to put down the man whose true intentions you know nothing about. Is it really a case of better the devil you know with Kroenke? It seems evident Stan the man has no intention of re-investing in Arsenal, and he doesn’t seem to show much of an interest in the club. In my opinion we’re not to far away from a dividends payout to line his own pockets with Arsenals money. Would this be Usmanovs intention? I don’t think it would be and I find Untolds line on the matter a tad childish. You seem intent on belittlling and insulting Usmanov without provication in the same way Hill-Wood did with Kroenke when he appeared on the scene. A more informed opinion peice would be nice.

  14. stonroy;

    FFS man how is running a club without going into administration a certain road to mediocrity? I hope we sign some players, jeeeez I am sick of sticking SSN on in the vain hope that the manager actually signs someone and not just make ever more cryptic comments at his pre and post match Press Cons!

    BUT to suggest we need another ‘model’ presumably like Oil City or the chavs is fucking ludicrous and a one way ticket to proper doomsville (not the world the average hack likes to make out we are currently in).

    The model that needs to cease in order to save the long term future of the game, never mind our club is this sick and twisted spend at all costs, unlimited inflated player player wages sugar daddy bullshite one.

    I was sick when RvP left, but he also made that stupid and fucking cowardly announcement on his hastily made website and alot of his decision had a lot to do with the £250 k a week too no doubt.

  15. I am no fan of Stan the oh so quiet man or the fat Uzbek by the way. I’d much rather some sort of shared ownership that existed before the Tangoed One sold his shares in his beloved club to Usmanov.

    Dein, like his offspring has a lot to answer for as well, IMO.

  16. Last one I promise.

    I think all the shite given out to Stan and the board might actually be missing the target here now. For years while we paid off the new ground, AW was well skint and he did a mgnificent job keeping us afloat, having to wheel and deal and sell off key players for big profits.

    NOW, even he says he has cash to burn, yet has not done that.

    So, is it Wenger or the board and Stan that refuse to open the purse strings?

    Honest question.

  17. @ Amos

    Yes, the world has changed in the last few years. People say that we could have acted two years before contract expiry to tie players down but realistically that only works if you are prepared to/can afford the wages. If not they are going to run their contracts down and take the money.

    @ Shard

    Usmanov is a lot richer than Abramovich, the chances are he will see AFC as a hobby rather than a business. He doesn’t need AFC to make money. When you have $20bn, sticking £100m into AFC’s coffers is not that much of a problem. It’s a very different mindset from Kroenke who doesn’t have anything like that much cash.

    Usmanov is making noises now for a reason. He’s building alliances, putting pressure on the yank and I would put a cheeky tenner on him making a bid at the end of the season. Will Kroenke accept? No idea but worth a punt!

  18. Issue dividing opinion it seams is, whether arsenal should get a sugar daddy(AU) or continue with business model(SK)

  19. @Sid

    For your own sanity as an Arsenal fan I’d advise you to steer well clear of MU TV sorry I mean SSN.

  20. Never understood the “wanting to win trophies” argument that some players cite as their reason to leave. Nasri, Clichy, Song, Cesc & RvP all played (and failed) together to win a single trophy for Arsenal. Yet they’re somehow good enough to win with other clubs. Find that strange. Maybe some of those players think they’re better than they actually are. Surely the failure to win silerware is down to the players performences, not the manager.

    Also, we could make an argument that we didn’t sell one or two of those players quickly enough. For all the money we received for Cesc & Henry, we’d have gotten much more for them had we sold them a season earlier. Both players were estimated to be subjet to £40-50 million pound bids each, if memory serves correctly.

  21. @ jed. Sounds good in theory that you should look to renew contracts early but as the protected period ends after 3 years or 2 over 28 then this means that you’d have to renew contracts after one season at best. Apply that to RVPs case and we would have been trying to resign him when many were insisting we should be selling him as a permacrock. Contract law has enabled predators to feed off us. It’s football that has to change for our fortunes to change.

  22. Why is it everything that is written on this site more or less always supportting the board and Wenger. Now I am not one of those fans that likes to say our manager is rubbish but I am not an idiot and am able to give criticism where its due and give praise where its due too.

    You mention about how selling Viera and Henry has meant that younger players get a chance to play where as if they had stayed the younger players wouldn’t have got as many chances to play which in one sense is true but is it not also true that keeping club legends such as Viera who was so such a legend that his last kick in an Arsenal shirt won us our last torphy and is it not then true that a player such as Veira who said many times he wanted to end his days at Arsenal could have helped the kids learn a thing or two, just like Henry could, like Kewon could, like Dixon could, like Adams could, like Winterburn could, does it not piss you off when you Viera representing Man City.

    But maybe Wenger and the board knew what they were doing when they sold all the players mentioned by Usmanov and I don’t have a probelm with selling any player really aslong as they are replaced by a good quality player like we used to do when we brought the likes of Lauren, Henry, Gilberto, Pires etc etc and when I say replace the player you sell I dont even mean with a big name player I wouldn’t even mind an unknown player who even takes half a season or a season to show their best but to waste money and time and waste valuable points on players such as Alumina, Djouro, Squid, Santos, Park, etc etc etc how many points have players like this cost not to mention wages and transfer fees and you talk about profits well I wonder where all that money has gone hey when we are crying out for a DM and a striker thats not mentioning a number of other positions where we could do with strenghting as our squad is waffer thin.

    But I would also like to turn your attention to one point that is really above all less in any sport and that is WINNING and it isn’t making profits. How many times have you heard a top quality player or for that matter any player say I want to move to another club because they have a great business model and their turnovers are massive let me guess NEVER. Players move to win, earn more, or because they have some sort of connection to a certain club, it is never ever because a club wins sod all but the 3rd/4th place trophy and make huges profits NEVER. So although you may be right in pointing out that Barcelona spent so much per game for Henry but if you ask anyone involed in that deal they will say he was part of one of the most sucessful teams they have ever had and he won the treble with them so the transfer was a sucess because he helped them win stuff. You see the difference between teams that win stuff and teams that regard 3rd/4th as a torphy is that winning comes before all else and when Man U win the league this year and RVP lifts that trophy no one will say that he was a waste of money because ultimatley thats all that mattersand thats what goes down in history everything is irrelevent and thats what Arsenal were like 8 years ago and thats what Arsene was like what changed?

    Lets stop making excuses for those in charge now and stop agreeing like sheep with them and demand answers now before its too late.

  23. If Arsenal sell their soul to Usmanov that will be it for me. It would be hard to avoid watching their games on TV – but the Season Ticket would go. A bereavement.

    And Alan’s assertion that we are close to a “dividends payout” is probably the most unsubstantiated statement I have read in a long while!

  24. What are u talking about??????? This is not question about who is worthy to stay or not. This is about why we are not able to keep the player. What is it??? A competition of who is right or wrong????? You can not deny that we lost our good player no matter how mouch money we got for them. This is not about that, This is about, where we are now?? and why we do not have any progress??? Usmanuv is right we lost our good player he does not talk about money we lost or earned, but did we have any progress with sales of our player??? I think u are completely out tun with this article. Try again and try harder.

  25. @Amos “It’s football that has to change for our fortunes to change”

    Essentially what you are saying is that Arsenal are doomed.

  26. I apologise for my rudeness but this is possibly the most desperate form of writing I have seen in a long while. Your points or over exaggerated and have little relevance or impact, if you don’t like Mr U just say you don’t like him, don’t try and apply for a job with Stan by spinning nothing into something, he already has a media relations guy, lol.

    @Sid: To all these people that say lets not look at the board, Wenger doesn’t wanna spend money, blah blah blah. The last time I checked, Wenger didnt own over 60% of the shares at Arsenal, his name is not on the property documents of the Emirates, he is an employee, and if an employee doesn’t perform to the liking of the employer, you give him his golden briefcase and say goodbye. The buck stops with the board and no1 else. If Wenger doesnt want to spend the money and yet we still fail then get a director of footy in, if Wenger doesn’t like it, then he can resign without his golden briefcase of a payoff. Lets use some level of intelligence before making remarks.

  27. Perhaps he mentioned flamini because he was the last arsenal midfielder who could tackle….

  28. And I think the penny has dropped with the board, Theo’s contract ends right when there is a major tournament. Do you think if RVPs contract ended in 2014 he would have pulled this crap with 1 year left to go, we would have just said okay, run out your contract, you’ll mostly be a sub or just reserves, ergo Huntelaar will bang in more goals than you and he’ll be Holland’s main striker at the Brazil world cup. I guarantee he would have signed.

  29. Doubt Thierry did say that stuff, but if he did, could explain why he is not currently in the employment of AFC!

  30. Alan, if the board award Stan a dividend, would they not have to award usmanov one as well? From what I read, not sure stan would be going out of his way to create such a situation?
    You are correct shard, why doesn’t usmanov make stan an offer he cannot refuse if he is so keen…..everyone has their price….

  31. “Usmanov is a lot richer than Abramovich, the chances are he will see AFC as a hobby rather than a business. He doesn’t need AFC to make money. When you have $20bn, sticking £100m into AFC’s coffers is not that much of a problem. ”

    I understand why people have this line of thinking but don’t agree. Successful business people tend to take their businesses and holdings seriously, regardless of size. None of us know anything about Usmanov’s exact intentions and business model(s) should he be successful in taking over Arsenal. However, I’ll be far more surprised if he treats it recklessly (implied) as a “hobby/plaything” as opposed to treating seriously as any other of his investments and holdings large or small. Extremely successful businesspeople at his level people don’t get successful by being stupid or reckless. Mansour is also far richer than Abramovich and also doesn’t need the money (like AU) but also but seems to be treating City as a far more sensible business investment as opposed to a “hobby” like RA. I think RA is just RA, and to assume that all super-rich owners or ownership groups will be like him or that they just want a hobby and won’t treat it as a serious business (beyond just “sticking £100m in the coffers” with no other plan) just because they are ridiculously rich, is just lazy thinking in my opinion.

    Also why do people lump and generalize Abramovic and Mansour as the same, their approaches are different. It’s just convenient stereotyping to think they’re the same “rich guys with a plaything as a football club”.. But City’s ownership group, plans, investments, long-term commitments, business model is nothing like Chelsea’s (City’s ownership is doing and planning some actual pretty impressive stuff for the long-term sustenance of its club, for brand growth and for the community, instead of falling for emotionally-driven caricatures do some research, they’re pretty impressive plans from a pure business point of view, far more stable than Chelsea’s (imo), even if one doesn’t support City’s model for AFC [I don’t]) .

    Also someone above said that people will be really disappointed in expecting Usmanov to be Abramovich. However, the vast majority of Gooners actually DO NOT WANT someone to act like Abromavich, but rather more and smarter investment (which doesn’t mean wanting 50 million pound players,) so I doubt they’ll be disappointed. Also from the things Usmanov has said (again we won’t know exactly how he runs things until when/if he take charge) the business strategies he has mused on are nothing like RA’s.

    Anyway I echo the call from someone above, a far more informed and investigative piece about AU from UA in relation to AFC would be helpful. It doesn’t matter if UA supports him or not (obviously they don’t) but it just seems this site is a little afraid of really digging deep and giving a fair and informed investigation into the pros and cons about a AU takeover. Rather every musing on him is tailored in a low-information way to appeal emotionally.

    Lastly, I’ll caution anyone about falling hook, line and sinker for everything that is written about these individuals with regards to their character. When you are that successful you will have enemies and have stepped on many toes on the way up, they will always have people/competitors looking to bring them down. Heck it wasn’t that long ago our Chairman didn’t want people of Kroenke’s “sort” to own the club.

  32. Is Usmanov saying anything new? He is in Arsenal for profit because the club is profitable. Has he ever told us that he rejected his dividends? If he is so magnanimous he ought to be financing so many football clubs in his home country in order to develop football. Why Arsenal? He is a liar, a name dropper and a poisonous serpent. He was behind the Black (devil) Scarf movement. He was the Architect of the banner at Brighton thinking the club would lose. His submission is to save face. Look at Chelsea, the club is at a cross road because of the idiosyncratic behaviour of a sugar daddy, a supposedly rich club without anything to safeguard the future other that the regular stipends from the big daddy. I am proud of Arsenal, we have a future and a sure hope to win things again. I prefer our meatless dishes than the poisonous buffets of Usmanov.

  33. Flamini was a loss when he went, one good season or not. Van Persie had one good season, and Nasri, and Adebayor. Hleb, Flamini and Cesc were a good unit when they clicked eventually, Eduardo was another cog in that unit and had just found his form too, we were top of the league in the second half of the season, really cruising, and then it went all tits up when Eduardo was injured by Taylor.

    Had Flamini stayed, so would have Hleb.

    I am pretty sure Usmanov will be talking about the unfilled voids created by leaving players and not for a minute talking about their monetary value. Players all the time play well for us and not so well when they leave. We’ve seen it happen with Shevchenko, Torres, Rebrov, Kaka and other players who left their teams too. None of it means they were crap at their teams and any drop of form at other clubs never diminishes the value they had to the teams they left. To be clear, valuable as in contribution and not monerary.

    It’s understandable you say much of what you do because you are indirectly a servant of the club Tony, with your books being endorsed by the club they have you on a leash and you are not able to say things freely. It has implications for you and your Arsenal sites and your book sales if Usmanov ever gains ownership of the club. Where Usmanov claims he is pushed by Thierry Henry, that is obviously lost in translation. We are talking about a Russian be translated to a French Newspaper and then having words structured in the Russian language interpreted and converted in to the most backwardly structured language I ever learnt, French. It guarantees wires being crossed and I bet he can prove Thierry speaks to him on the phone. If TH14 said sarcastically or jokingly to Usmanov that he should buy the club, the Russian will obviously take the words literally.

    After waiting years for players to gel, reach their potential and look only a few months away from being a winning team after a couple of additions – obviously the selling of those players EVERY SEASON makes the wait eternally worthless. It resigns us to always having a team that could’ve instead of the the team who would’ve. How many players were sold in the seasons directly prior to 2003-04? If the over 30 rule was gone and just half the invincibles were disallowed from leaving, no way would we have gone almost 8 seasons without winning things. With the accounting evident in this article focusing on how much the team accrued from sales, it exposes what your priorities are and shows just how joined at the hip you are with Wenger the economist. With Kroenke liking the model, with the manager perpetuating the model and Wengerites blindly approving of the model, it’s clear now why this site no longer has much time for untold stories about Arsenal and has signed up full time to combat all the fans who oppose the model. The model which equals 2 steps forward and then 5 steps back. I don’t want Usmanov owning the club. I want the Stadium fully paid for at a time where the fair play rules are in full force. This will be when you see how right all those fans were about the board, Wenger and Koenke because there will be no change. That’s when the 20 million annual payments for the stadium will be assigned to the coffers of an American who maybe watches one game a season and who will not be able to name half the first team. Kroenke is the lesser of two evils, I know this, but it does not stop people being the Devil’s advocate when they bat for his side because they have to for business reasons. Arsenal fans are fans of the club regardless of what shade you paint them. Does Arsenal Holdings pay for the upkeep of Untold Arsenal? Who owns the server where Untold Arsenal resides?

  34. I think Flamini was mentioned because of what he meant to Arsenal, not because of what he meant to AC Milan.

    Regarding Patrick Vieira, there are things that make me sad and two of them are seeing Dennis Bergkamp as assistant to Frank De Boer instead Arsene Wenger and Patrick Vieira being director of football in Manchester City. I believe we should had signed Vieira on one-year-contract when he left Inter and then hire him as coach or something in Arsenal. If we had his presence in 2010-11, I believe we wouldn’t suffer meltdown that sent us into Champions’ League play-offs. Just take a look at impact Thierry Henry made last year – he might not look like old himself in terms of quality on the pitch but he is a leader that makes rest of the team at least 20 percent better.

    Anyway, the real question is: if Usmanov is praising Wenger and would probably keep him as manager, what’s the problem with his initiative?

  35. We’re stuck between Stan who has turned AFC into Arsenal Football Corporation… And Mr U who won’t put his money where his mouth is. I feel both are not beneficial for the club.

  36. There is just reasons to disagree with Usmanov. Rather than look at the names, look at the import of his proposals which can NOT be faulted. Arsenal needs to buy stars, maybe not 11 stars like chelsea or man city will do, but some stars. This is clearly the way to go otherwise we will keep loosing to the lower teams and cannt cope with the top teams. The game has moved on with the arrival of Abrahmavic and the Arab owner of man city. If he is willing to invest in players, what is wrong with that?

  37. I would easily trade the money we got for V Persie for him back playing for us.

    I think the reasons why fans are having a go at Wenger is if we have to sell these players for whatever reason and are are making good profits on the sales then at the very least we should be investing all the transfer fee getting the best replacements for them.

    If V Persie had to leave then bring in Giroud and Ba from Newcastle???? every player in our squad is either being bought from the profits from a player they are replacing or a youth team product.

    I would really like if you could do a article about how the shareholders made a fortune selling their shares to Stan and the russian I’d guess they are the only shareholders of a football club to make a pot load of dough. Most loss money as its a labour of love.

    The reality is the club has gone backwards yes we have a new staduim but this should have be funded by the original shareholders who gain greatly when the revenue stream jumped …so did the share price. The reality is the staduim has been a anhcor around Wenger neck since the move we were better than Utd at one stage now we are light years behind them.

    One last point Tony and I do enjoy your site very much and your loyalty to the Gunners but in any financial comparison you never include the commerical benfits of sucess. Most clubs than have won trophies are making 50-70M a season more in commerical deals than Arsenal and this needs to be factored into any argument.

    Utd have invested continually but because they win lots of trophies they commerical revenues are enormous it really doesnt matter what they spend.

    I firmly believe Wenger has lost his bottle in the transfer market some of his signings the past few years have been shocking… Santos 6M pure crap, Squallci 3.5M see Santos, Chamakh free but not good enough, Arshivan 15M very bad siging no engine no team ethic bad attitdue dont cae what anyone says he has be a terrible signing us Arsenal and Park (abit like Beba deal at Utd to me).

    All on very decent money so much so we can’t get rid of them…. a wage system that doesnt reward the players who are giving 100% week in week out. Could you imagine being Robon or Theo looking for 100K a week knowing Squallci is on 50K disgracfully management.

    No point pinching the pennies and throwing it down the toilet with a stupid wage structure!!!!!

  38. “He was behind the Black (devil) Scarf movement. He was the Architect of the banner at Brighton thinking the club would lose. His submission is to save face.”
    Conclusive evidence of any of that?

    “Look at Chelsea, the club is at a cross road because of the idiosyncratic behaviour of a sugar daddy, a supposedly rich club without anything to safeguard the future other that the regular stipends from the big daddy.”

    Again, why do some people think every rich owner will be exactly like Abramovich? It’s so intellectually lazy to think that Usmanov = Abramovich. What about Mansour who is richer than RA and seems to be laying solid “safeguards” for Machester City’s and its communities future on and off the field, beyond just regular stipends? Or is it easier to assume every mega rich club owner seemlessly fits the Roman Abromavic charicature? (some CFC fans would argue that safeguards beyond just regular stipends are being put in place by the way, as their rising revenues, and in some cases decreasing costs and other investments may suggest).

    Specifically though, what crossroads are Chelsea at with regards to RA’s tenure? Looks like they’re having some on-field and managerial issues that all/most clubs go through at some time, not seeing any big picture crossroads beyond that to be honest, certainly no crossroads of arguments about RA staying or going.

  39. Interesting, given the topic, how many first-time posters there are on this post. Like moths to lightbulbs. Strange coincidence? I think not.

  40. This is a repetition of what i have said before, sorry, but some of us look at the matter as if this Usmanov guy is stupid!!!!!!! A lot of us talk about his ambition for the club. Is he for real or not? what he wants from this club? does he realy love the club or this is just his hobby??? or is this only another source of big income???? What differences does it make, no matter what his intention is he will left up this club again. A man who is billioner does know how to make money, even he over take the club for more money, he will not destroy his investment, or if it is his hobby then he want to win things which we are dreaming about with this board and manager and owner. guys like him like things with prestige and Arsenal is a prestigeful club. If we hang on this board and manager and fucking owner we will never se even a color of silverwar, and thats for sure. Now some fans are sitting and thinking about what his intetion is. believe me his intention is much better than this arsehole Stanly. GET RIDE OFF THEM ALL AND GET ARSENAL BACK TO THE WHERE IT BELONG.

  41. @ John…: “One last point Tony and I do enjoy your site very much and your loyalty to the Gunners but in any financial comparison you never include the commercial benefits of success. ”

    Excellent Point!

    Many Gooners seem to think that investment is reckless, that saving for a rainy day (by saving that means staying “sustainable” by selling your most valuable assets and burdening the fans to disproportionally contribute) while hoping that your rivals financially implode and an enforcement system which no-one really knows what it will do, is just great business!

    There revenue and profitability to be gained by prioritizing winning, and doing so by investing better in player staff. Winning results in many direct and indirect commercial benefits (in no particular order): 1) Prize money; 2) increased merchandize sales; 3) more gate (and TV) money (from more games from going deeper in competitions and playing more competitions); 4) player values increase (for any potential future sale); 5) attractiveness to sponsorship increases as do the rates we can get for them and the sheer number of deals; 6)global brand increases; 7) the club’s value and share value increases; etc etc etc.

    There is money to be made in winning or even being more competitive and at least prioritizing winning. Does that mean we’ll win every time or have a “divine right to win”? No it doesn’t, but no guarantee of winning is no reason not to seriously invest in trying to do so especially given the club’s wealth and following.

    Oh and no-one is asking for 40-million price tag players, and spending 50-60 million every transfer window, and no we won’t become Leeds or Portsmouth (there are virtually no similarities between their makeup/situations and ours) or any of the hyperbolic nonsense that is thrown around in these conversations.

  42. El Gringo, if you try to find a conspiracy behind every curtain you’ll surely find one.

  43. Tt, ashly, viera, cesc, mathiu, hleb, nasri, gael, kolo, they all win trouphy but we didnt 4 8yrs… Usmanov is right!!!

  44. @ Arsenal1Again..

    I think your post is really treading a fine line and slippery slope (and whatever else clichés I can think of :)).

    Look I somewhat disagree with UA’s seemingly blind devotion to all things this current AFC structure, but I wouldn’t question whether it’s motivated by other considerations or it is not genuine. They’re just like all of us, Gooners, we just disagree on how to achieve the same thing we all want, which is success for Arsenal Football Club.

    By inferring that there’s some kind of ulterior conspiratorial motive behind their opinions to me is just as bad as the other side who does the same to Gooners who questions the club’s current direction. Not to mention the UA guys are good hosts.

    Just saying…

  45. The business model which has been taken as signifier for Kroenke has (skilfully) been spun by Tom Fox & his cronies as self-sufficiency. In principle a great idea, a noble idea, the “right” idea…in reality byword for rising ticket prices footed by the fans. This wouldn’t be so infuriating if the money generated wasn’t squandered on waste such as Squillaci, Chamakh etc. and let’s not pretend they are exceptions – Almunia pulled a tidy wage for doing nothing for some time. Those “business” decisions were made by the “Lord Wenger”.

    I am no fan of Usmanov. I don’t trust him – as shallow as that sounds & as much as that perhaps proves one of his points. But I don’t trust Silent Stan either. Yes, streamline the expenses, thin the squad of the crap (but not at the expense of depth – something Arsene fails to accept), but I can’t help but feel like Stan is all about the profit margin.

    The biggest shame? Gooners turned against one another in such an extreme way. Why can’t we discuss & debate without crap like “Arsene knows best” vs the opposite? What the hell is AAA?! This is bollocks. We support the same club. And, sorry to day, but Wenger with all the smoke & mirrors, annual prick-tease statements about wanting new players, then not wanting new players, then getting “special quality” players (like Gervinho?!) does not help. The club I love is in a mess.

  46. The latest outburst from the fat Russian is rather interesting in its timing – after we have been subjected to months of false links to almost every possible player by media and agents. Has the accumulation of false links got to the fat man or, is he once again trying to use the opportunity to drum up support for a takeover – I suspect the latter.

    The fat man says he supports Wenger and implies that he would provide money for the players that Wenger deserves – rubbish – fatso would want a yes man. He is only claiming support for Wenger as he knows that to do otherwise would ruin his takeover chance.

    I am not sure of the circumstances in which the good name of Tierry Henry is being used by the Russian – did Tierry agree to support this statement or did he even know anything about it? We would need adequate clarification on this point. But I do not like Tierry’s name being dragged into a political statement.

    The selling of our players has been well covered above, the only additional point I would make is the Dein (the lesser) factor – he seemed to have had a strange crusade against Arsenal – almost as if someone in the background was in a position to take advantage of him weakening the squad.

    Coincidentally, we had had at times the most brutal and uncalled for media (and AAA) attack on the board, manager and team members – but always excluding the fat Russian – strange, given some of the published stories about his previous record – if the media really were straight about this they would surely attack the juiciest target – instead he is portrayed as the guy who would put money in to provide “better” players – his previous suggestion for a dividend conveniently forgotten for the time being.

    I don’t buy into the fat Russian posturing as a benefactor for Arsenal.

  47. @A.Stewart, I believe it was Gazprom investment holdings (the investment arm of gazprom) owned partly by Usmanov which purchased Sibneft from Abramovich, which now interestingly sponsors Chelsea, also Usmanov sits on the board of another football club (cannot remember which Russian club). Usmanov has a habit of profiting from those who fall out of favor with the Kremlin. Although i will admit that im unsure of his intentions with Arsenal, I know he keeps speaking of winding down his business interests to the point of pure maintenance of currently owned businesses.

    Does he view Arsenal as a semi retirement project, Im not sure but if he did get his hands on our club he will have to leave his other post first and I think he will use us as a advertisement vehicle for his many other companies. Pure guess work on my part though.

  48. I think this assumption that arsenal or AW don’t want to be competitive is simply false rhetoric. for a person who has been in this trade for 30 years winning trophies here & there, there is bound to follow some rough patches. this rough patches for AW has been very long. his history as a manager tells us this 8 year barrenness is nowhere to be seen (on the contrary, Arsenal have had such droughts under several managers). I don’t think he is oblivious to this trophy drought. I am presuming that the board has tied his hands thus he is forced to sign inferior players (park, squillachi, denilson, vela) or wait for players to develop from within (wilshere, ox, walcott, jenks) or buy a player from a distressed or relegated teams. I doubt the ambition of the board rather than of AW. Its clear what AW wants : wins, trophies, sustainability, but what the board really wants is anybody’s guess.
    onto ushmanov. he is trying to be a populist. by using henry he is kind of, sort of trying to prove his validity. he is trying to infer into the general fans mind that he is a sought after commodity by increasing his likeability by attaching a popular name to him. also his content seems only worthy of a place in talkSHITE and lazy news outlets.

  49. Odu, maybe they are trying to bring in a star, people far clever than me out there believe they are….but who knows, guess stars are not easy to get in jan, unless they are asking to leave their club…..and then their club have to let them….and then there is the price….and then there are the playes we have already who are surely worthy of their place

  50. Some people seem to think Usmanov just wants to make money out of Arsenal. What the hell do they think Kronke’s doing? He’s a business man who as far as we know hasn’t any great love of Arsenal. Kronke doesn’t buy clubs for fun, he buys them to make money. I don’t recall Kronke flying over every weekend to watch us play. So the club under his stewardship will probably stay at the same level, scraping by every season, relying on Wenger to be a modern magician who can push us up to fourth every season so we can collect our usual CL revenue.All very drab and dull but oh so safe.

    What will Usmanov do? Who knows although some seem to know already and portray an almost hysterical prejudice towards him by constantly referring to him in a pejorative manner.

    I’m suspicious of both of them. I’d love the club to be owned by a true Arsenal supporter, neither of which these characters appear to be.

  51. Kroenke is definitely the lesser of two evils in my mind although i do have to agree im not impressed with either.

    Rupert, the reason I bang on about Usmanov is that Im jealous of his money, If I had his money id give half of it to Kroenke just to get my hands on the Arsenal. Actually id probably give all of it.

    And if I couldn’t buy Arsenal id buy Man Utd and take them down to the conference and make them play in pink with fluffy white socks.

  52. Just a shame Danny fizman did not have any sons that wanted to take over what he was doing. Will pass on deins son.Can only be a bit wary of stan and usmanov, one does not seem to,care, the other is an unknown. But in fairness to stan, with all that money allegedly in the bank and a non check book manager, why would be be ploughing money into the club, whether he would if it were needed is another matter. But on the whole, American owners have a mixed record in the epl

  53. The more I read about the presence of Messrs Kroenke and Usmanov in relation to Arsenal Footbal Club, the more I wonder what their ultimate destiny will be.
    Ever since the American bought a controlling interest, he has maintained a silent status quo. He is on the Board but not Chairman, knows little about football and even less about the history of our great Club.
    The Russian is the next biggest shareholder, not on the Board and is a follower of football.
    To have these two obscenely wealthy men so closely connected to Arsenal FC, yet neither wielding even de facto power must be a unique situation in football governance in Britain.
    In my view, this state of affairs cannot continue indefinitely. Neither magnate has reached his present financial position by being subservient to another and sooner or later, IMO, one or other will buy out or bow out.
    When that day comes, it will be of paramount importance that Arsenal becomes the ultimate beneficiary.

  54. If anyone of you AKBS out there think Platini will enforce and regulate the FFR you will get a rude awakening.As always UEFA will be a spineless,cowardly organisation that upon noticing its golden egg falling apart will retract its claws.Big spending is the future whether we like it or not,capitalism cant be stopped !!!!

  55. Tony wat was d point of this article? To remind us dat all those players left and won great things? I recall how hleb and henry celebrated champ lge victory in ’09. U’d hav thought hleb scored the winning goal. Flamoney left for more money and his career went downhill, but his trophy cabinet and bank accountswent up. Sagna is envious of nasri and clichy. Fabregas won a trophy in his first official match for barca. Point is, I don’t think any of those players regret leaving arsenal much. We simply haven’t done better without them
    Rvp was here 8years, had only 1-2good seasons at the end, it kind of corroborates the AAA point, why did we waste 6yrs worth of resources? Wasn’t there a 25yr old ready made player who could hav hit the ground running?
    I understand when the players say they want to leave to win trophies, cos the most important factor is the manager, not the players. They want to work under an ambitious, proactive, non-senile manager. One who utilizes resources at his disposal to creat the best team possible, not one more interested in ‘his’ philosophy. The players hav a philosophy too.
    Finally untold, now we hear your praise of the “phenomenon” that is walcott. Classic untold, wait till wenger makes a decision then praise the genius in it. I remember myself and another poster urging you to take a position on the walcott matter weeks before he signed, so as to be spared your commentary with the advantage of hindsight, u conveniently dodged. Now he’s signed, he’s the best thing since sliced bread and wenger the lord of lords. If he didn’t, surely hed have been d rubbish dat he’s always been and lord wenger just couldn’t take it anymore. Anyway it pans out, d spin has to be “wenger is lord”

  56. Danish Gooner, I do not know anyone who thinks it will be enforced to the full, but it may prove a brake on what we have seen recently. If it does not work at all, a lot of clubs are going to go bust, and that would be even more unpalatable to platini and co than making an example of a big sugar daddy team should it be needed. But we all know it will end up as compromise on both sides. Another thing, as American sport recognises, the same teams winning year on year is a passion killer, so eufa need to get this right.

  57. Uk, Hleb has openly said he regretted leaving arsenal, flamini has come close, nasri has recently reportedly said he would consider coming back to arsenal….not that we will take him back, so spuds it will be…..Henry did come back, cesc is at pains to admit his love for our club….and rvp…..doing ok for now……

  58. Hey Attwood
    I bet

    This message was cut as it came from a fake email address. Strange that people who write abuse won’t even give an address so they can be identified. I wonder what this says about the personality of the writer.

  59. The lack of quality players in the squad has put us in a position where qualification for the Champions League is probably about a 30% probability at this moment in time. Failure to qualify means 30m of lost revenue I believe. Financial Fair Play comes in soon and by those rules Arsenal would have 30m less to spend each season. The squad starts at a disadvantage as shown by the fact that there are 5 teams ahead of them in the league. I think it would be fair to say that the tight purse policy at Arsenal is about to blow up in the faces of those responsible. Some sensible money spent to appropriately replace some key players would have prevented this but the peeny pinching has gone too far.

  60. @Mandy, just to reiterate my point the teams in the Champions League when Financial Fair Play starts have a major advantage over those who are not. It will not prevent the elite top four but the problem is that Arsenal will probably not be in the elite top four from this season on.

  61. Amyway, responding to the article are you suggesting that Arsenal were right to sell these players ? Most of them were key players at the time they were sold. The money earnt by selling them was spent on ineffective replacements and back to my previous argument by spending so little they have put the club in a position where they might be out of European competition for a long time. The money lost due to that will be more than the money earnt by selling these key players. A strategy which involved paying back the debt over a longer period but either spending big on replacing these players or paying them more to stay would have been much more likely to have led to success. It would also have meant that the income over the long-term would be higher because the team would not be falling back year after year to the point that we are at now.

  62. Lots of love by some for Usmanov. A man who we don’t know.
    But he was the man that wanted Arsenal to pay dividends to the shareholders. And that my lovers is taking money out of the club.

    “Kroenke is only in it for the money” we read from the Usmanov lovers. If this would be really the case it would take Usmanov one good offer and Kroenke could fill his pockets. Yet Usmanov doesn’t make that offer that Kroenke the money man couldn’t refuse. I really would like the Usmanov lovers to explain me why Usmanov doesn’t make that offer.

    On many occasions Usmanov has said that Wenger is the best manager around. So those who love Usmanov in the hope that he would get rid of Wenger might be disappointed. In fact it could well be that if Usmanov would take over he would give a new contract to Wenger and let him earn even more money.

    A while ago I have read an article in which it said that in Usmanov his office hangs a shield of the club he really loves most. And that wasn’t an Arsenal shield. According to that article it was a Manchester United shield. Well then I rather have an owner who knows fuck about football than a Manchester United supporting owner.

    Is Kroenke a better owner? I don’t know. But nowhere I have read Usmanov saying: I will bring those superstars to Arsenal that Wenger deserves. And he never explains how he is going to pay for them. So it all could be false promises.
    Kroenke didn’t make promises as he doesn’t say much. But he said that he would make sure that Arsenal is following the self sustaining way we are doing for some time now. And this means that Arsenal is safe. Now and in the future. This means that in some 20 years I can still come over to London to see my beloved club.

    Usmanov never said such a thing. He seems to use the correct words to make some of us dream of greater things but without telling how he will do it in reality.

    He should be rich enough to bring CR and Messi to the Emirates. But is there one soul out there who believes he would do such a thing? He just hints that things would be different with him in charge. But he never comes out with a concrete way of how he would make those changes, how he would pay for them and how it would work with FFP. The only things I read from him are promises.

    As they say in my language: tomorrow everyone gets a free shave. Meaning it’s easy to make promises when you don’t have to keep them.

    By the way if I would be as rich as Usmanov I would go to London today and buy all Kroenke his shares. And then I would bring Messi, Ronaldo, Cavani in for starters. Oh fuck forgot to hand in my Euro Millions

  63. @Adam, agree with your comment at 11.07. If only we were millionaires…….

    @Walter, the self-sustaining way seems to involve selling the best players to finance the purchase of inferior players and hopefully establish a youth system whereby we can sell those who come good after a few years. So expect Wilshire to be sold in a few years time. It seems we can never make a loss in the transfer window hence the sale of Song. No club will succeed with this policy as it can never build a strong team. Who’s behind this cockeyed idea? Wenger, Gazidis or Kronke?

    If other monies made by other Arsenal projects and ticket sales can help finance the purchase of players then all will be well and good.

    And crazy comments about us buying Ronaldo and Messi do not further any argument. Since when did Arsenal fans expect players of their calibre to come here? Even City and Chelsea can’t lure those players to their respective clubs.

    As I said before we don’t want some invisible American owning Arsenal or some dubious oligarch. A true Arsenal supporter would be the perfect solution. If only JK Rowling was a supporter or Nick Hornby could come up with some dreadful nonsense like Harry Potter and invest all the profits into the club.

  64. Rupert,

    First I think you take what happened the last years as how it will always be in the future. I’m not denying the past years but you have to look at it in the situation we found ourselves. At one point the whole housing project of Highbury was even in danger because of the sudden house crisis and economical crisis. Suddenly the flats didn’t sell as foreseen and I think we sold a lot of them cheaper than hoped. But that money helped to pay the new stadium.

    So in those circumstances we found ourselves in a weak position and I can understand the board to not take any risks at that moment in time and give contracts to players that we maybe couldn’t afford to pay. (Leeds scenario)

    But now that we are moving in to a new phase I don’t see why the events of the last season should happen again. Unless the players really want out themselves. If Messi goes to the Barcelona chairman and tells him he wants to go away there is no way they could stop him. Even Messi. If he really wants to go, he goes. The same story for any Arsenal player that wants out.

    I think the main difference is that I hold an optimistic view on things and see changes in the future and you think things will always be the same. A more fatalistic view on things. Well in a few years time we will know who is right and who is wrong.

    But agree with that last paragraph completely Rupert. I trade both Usmanov and Kroenke for a real supporter (possibly with brains and money 🙂 )

  65. Charlie,
    When a player moves, it’s very oftenly a decision made by both parties. Apart from Vieira who has admitted that he was surprised when Arsenal asked him to decide whether he wanted to join Juventus, is there any other player whom you can say that they were forced out at Arsenal? All the players we have sold, the club made an effort to retain them, but they refused. So why do we still cry over spilt milk? They went away, that’s it. In a few years time, they will look at their CVs and see all the trophies they won, but deep inside, many will realise that their effort in those trophy wins was almost negligible.
    Do you honestly believe if Nasri was not at Man C, they would not have won last season’s EPL? Hleb celebrated madly but how do you rate his contribution in the CL? Do you think these players are stupid, that they cannot honestly rate their contribution?
    There was a player called Lassana Diarra who went to Madrid, he won a few trophies, but if Arsenal brought him back now ( he’s still in his prime), would you pinch yourself? And yet many fans thought it was our loss that he went.
    The only players i’m sorry about leaving are A.Cole and Cesc. All the others, even the great Thiery Henry had become impertinent.
    Next Summer, Sagna will go (Im CONVINCED), and as a consistent performer for us, there will be fan lamentation. May be he will win a few French leagues, but i’m also convinced we have equeezed the best out of him.

  66. Walter,
    Your 9.24 am makes a very valid point….which should be digested by every Arsenal supporter who criticises the Club’s transfer policy.
    Any player of any club who wishes to leave will always be able to do so.
    The days when players were tied to their employers like slaves are long gone and the present climate of obscenely high wages and Bosman are with us for the foreseeable future.

  67. @Walter, have to base my beliefs upon what’s gone before. Yes there are now comments emanating from the club that seem to imply a different approach that should mean we’ll be able to retain our best players. I wait to see what will develop as I’m wary of any promises made.

    Of course players will go where they wish but I can’t imagine Messi wanting to leave a successful club like Barca. The best players are drawn to the most successful teams.

    And all Arsenal fans have been rewarded with superior brains of course. If we’re not all draped in copious wealth, well that’s because we know money is a distraction, albeit a necessary one, among the pleasures of life.

  68. @John W. interesting assumption about ex players. Do you honestly think Nasri could care less about his importance to City’s success? I think it more likely that he is happy to have a medal. I doubt he’s ruing the day he left Arsenal. Lots of players make negligible contributions to their team’s success but does it worry them if they have a cabinet full of medals?

  69. The sad thing is that, The Arsenal is not doing so well where it matters,On the pitch. We could argue all day and night as to who is the better man and where Arsenal would be if we had held on to some of the players we have let go, but to me that’s besides the point, i wouldn’t care a whiff if we sold every player who wanted to leave and we were able to compete for the title the next season! This unfortunately is not the case, Eight years and counting if we win nothing this season is a long time for any TOP club to go without winning anything, it almost an entire career for many football players. We should concentrate on how to get back to winning ways and fast, if we cannot afford the best players, then it makes sense to hold onto our better players. if we cant do either, then we must think outside the box and see what we can do to pull ourselves out of the hole, its madness to do the same things that have failed us before and expect different results. Any help should be welcome at this juncture.

  70. The whole point about our transfer policy is that it has to be self sustaining. In other words the incomings and outgoings have to ballance. In the main we pretty much manage that, but to do so it often means we have to sell players at a time when perhaps we would rather not. We do not have the luxury of keeping highly paid players on the books indefinitely. We have to ‘cash in’ on our assets. To ballance the books you simply cannot just let your senior players hang around into there twighlight years, picking up massive wages, with no chance of recouping any money. Of course it would be nice to keep the likes of Bobby, TH14, Vieira and the like around forever, but unless you have the luxury of being able to trade at the enormous loses of the likes of some Clubs it is just not possible.That is a fact of life in the ‘real World’ a World that at least 3 of our main competitors to not inhabit !!

  71. jeremy

    January 29, 2013 at 11:08 am

    The sad thing is that, The Arsenal is not doing so well where it matters,On the pitch. We could argue all day and night as to who is the better man and where Arsenal would be if we had held on to some of the players we have let go, but to me that’s besides the point, i wouldn’t care a whiff if we sold every player who wanted to leave and we were able to compete for the title the next season! This unfortunately is not the case, Eight years and counting if we win nothing this season is a long time for any TOP club to go without winning anything, it almost an entire career for many football players. We should concentrate on how to get back to winning ways and fast, if we cannot afford the best players, then it makes sense to hold onto our better players. if we cant do either, then we must think outside the box and see what we can do to pull ourselves out of the hole, its madness to do the same things that have failed us before and expect different results. Any help should be welcome at this juncture.

    Get real Jeremy. Go check some stats on how long the likes of Man Utd, Chelsea, Spurs, Liverpool, Everton etc. etc. have gone without a trophy in the past. I think you’ll find 8 years is a mere blink of the eye !!!

  72. Ridiculous, article. The man simply mentioned flamini because he was the most improved EPL player that season and was going to be an extremely useful squad member and he left for NOTHING. The fact that he didn’t do well at milan doesn’t stop it from being our loss. And it doesn’t mean he wouldn’t have done well here. I don’t know an arsenal player who wouldn’t have considered trading RVP for Torres 3 years back but you can’t even compare them now. Football isn’t math. The man has had his say, and he made some valid points in the process. I’m not for or against him but I’m totally against your patronizing air.

  73. @Jamburg. If you look back at those times when those teams didn’t win anything for 8 years I think you’ll find that they sacked a manager who wasn’t delivering or weren’t a particularly big team to start with. Anyway, forget that, it’s the future not the past that concerns me. We are entering an era when income will be everything and Arsenal are now looking like a team that won’t be in the Champions League. City spent big a few years ago knowing that they needed to be in the Champions League when the financial regulations came in. The future is not bright for Arsenal, the omens show a team that is falling out of the top 4 at the crucial time and that is down to poor management. Poor choices about how to spend the revenue which is not only the fault of Arsene but of Kroenke, Hill-Wood and Gazidis. Spurs will take that fourth spot, mark my words, and they will be difficult to shift with a better manager and 30m extra in funds every season.

  74. Will Usaminov coming in give the success that so many seem to be demanding. Will he be able to run a football club? does just having money show you can run a football club?

    Yes it seems if you have untold millions and more to throw at the club it does but look at the others look at Villa, Blackburn and QPR it guarantee’s you nothing.

    Will Mr U come in and throw his money around Chelsea & City style or will he go about it another way? who knows and that is the problem nobody really knows what he will do. Yes he says the right things but that’s what I would do. Fans moan about silent Stan but I would guess they would also very quickly moan if he was interfering every other week demanding this and that.

    In my humble opinion that counts for nothing in these matters I think Arsenal, Wenger and Stan K are playing the long game. Mr U is also playing the long game and hoping the long game played by the current Arsenal incumbents fails. He with a few well timed letters and interviews dropping big name ex players names in here and there is trying to destabilise the current board and it’s plans. It seems to me that a swath of fans are falling into his almost political machinations.

    The more I read and hear from Mr U the more I distrust his plans for Arsenal I feel he see’s Arsenal as a cash cow and a way to increase his business wealth. Yes I know SK is probably looking at it in a similar way but to me in more of a sport like way and one I hope will see Arsenal safe for the coming decades I just don’t get that feeling with Mr U

  75. @Charlie

    “Spurs will take that fourth spot, mark my words, and they will be difficult to shift with a better manager and 30m extra in funds every season”.

    Didn’t you predict the same last season?

    I think you also underestimate Arsenal’s chances for continual CL qualification this season, which is nearer 44% than 30% at this present moment.

  76. @Tasos. Sprus got 4 wins in their last 13 games last season and Arsenal still only came third by virtue of a terrible goalkeeping error by Fulop in the final match. If you want to rely on that happening every season fair enough, I don’t. If you get lucky and scrape CL qualification that should be a signal to spend big on improving the team. Then if you lose your best player the alarm bells should start ringing but no, they have to break even again. It’s a recipe for failure.

  77. You see many Usmanov backers claiming he loves the club and has been a lifelong supporter. This is something I don’t subscribe to. Where are the photos of him in his younger years wearing an Arsenal top? We see photos of players in Arsenal tops at primary school age, I just don’t get how people can believe he has been a lifelong fan. I can believe he is a football fan but the only reason I am able to comprehend that he wants Arsenal is for the money to be had. The guy is one of the richest people in the world, would he do anything if it didn’t make him money? I doubt it.

  78. @Charlie

    Not sure it was Arsenal’s fault Spurs won only 4 of their last 13 games but still I understand your point, although the League is played out over 38 games not 13.

    Man City “scrapped” the league title with virtually the last kick off the season but the record books will still show them as champions in future years.

  79. From this and previous statements the Usmanov position appears to be:

    1) He supports Wenger but not Kronke and the current Board
    2) He does not subscribe to the self-sustaining model
    3) Apart from buying shares he would not put his own money
    into the club, but would raise additional capital by
    an additional share flotation
    4) At some point he would expect a return on his share
    5) He would somehow not allow top players to leave (he’s
    never really expanded how, other to imply that we’d be so
    rich and succesful that nobody would ever want to.

    I’m not sure that this is an agenda that holds together. Of course some will say that anything is preferable to the current arrangement. But equally it could be the case of the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t.

  80. @Tasos. If there are three teams realistically competing for fourth (Spurs, Everton and Arsenal) then Arsenal are the worst placed out of those three which by simple statistics puts them below 33% likely to get it. I think 30% is generous.

  81. Just to end on a positive note because i’m making myself sad with all this doom-mongering I think Arsenal will progress well IF they can once again gain qualification for the Champions League. I think Usmanov would have provided a bit more freedom in the transfer market but not too much and that would’ve put the club in a better position than they now find themselves. Look at the transfer targets that got away because they were that little bit too pricey, Mata, Hazard, Cahill and Yaya Toure. Where might we have been with those players in the squad now ? I suspect that Usmanov might have made that possible.

  82. @Charlie

    Sorry but once Chelsea and/or Man City become involved in any transfer targets its end-off unless said targets have a desire to play for Arsenal/Arsene.

    Also My 44% chance of Arsenal once again obtaining CL league football via a top four finish is based on bookmaking terminology.

    Of course there is also a chance, a very slight chance that Arsenal could actually win the competition this season.

    Based purely on the fact that you have be in it to win it.

  83. This is sad. Arsenal fans endlessly arguing about the way our club is being run. Unfortunately, most of the posters forget a few things:
    – never, and I mean never, one of the big clubs won’t say that it’s out of money; so,you’ll always hear from AW and Arsenal board the same thing – we’ve got cash, we can buy anybody.
    – you’ll never hear AW saying something bad about an Arsenal player or the board. He’s always been loyal to his employers and his players. Even after some horrenduous display, the manager won’t bash a player in a press conference.
    If you accept what I’ve just written, then some of you should reconsider your assertion about AW or the board being fundamentally tight-fisted. I really doubt our coffers are full.
    About Usmanov now. People who seem to fancy him would like Arsenal to become a new ManC/Chelsky. Why would you want Usmanov otherwise? If the fans want the self-sustaining model, they already have it. So, the only reason why somebody would want Usmanov is the hope he’ll pour millions into the club.
    It also seems that some ppl believe he’s a genuine Arsenal fan. LOL. Do you really fall for the media spin? Of course he’d like ppl to believe that, because he wants the club. With his statements, he’s fueling the conflict already existing in the Arsenal fanbase and hopes that protests from supporters will force Kroenke to sell. Dirty tactics, obviously, but nevertheless efficient, it seems.
    AW now. Is he (still) good? I guess he is. Don’t forget, the old man kept Arsenal afloat (if 4th/3th place is afloat) without money since 2005. Yes, he sometimes made bad signings, like any other manager (read Alex Ferguson here), but he doesn’t look clueless to me. Remember, PSG would take him anytime, Real Madrid might want him too. We really don’t seem to appreciate what we already have.
    One thing about the big players who left the club. Do you really think that even one of them didn’t want to leave and Arsenal just told’em “Out of here”? Come on. They all left for huge wages compared to those paid by Arsenal, and they all went for clubs that seemed “bigger” than the Gunners (Gilberto Silva the only exception). This means only one thing – they wanted out. Maybe AW accepted 8-10 years without trophies, but young players thinking they’re better than they really were and older players who didn’t have many years to play couldn’t accept that. Especially when trophies came with a lot of money.
    What can be done now? Fire the manager and bring somebody else hoping that the “somebody else” (Moyes, Klopp, etc.) will do better. It’s a solution, but a very risky one, leaving aside that firing the best manager Arsenal ever had would be a disgrace.
    Sell to Usmanov and maybe he’ll bring the cash. At least the cash, because he can’t guarantee success. Not my way, not Arsenal’s way. I can’t respect a guy who uses dirty media tricks and tries to incite fans against the club he supposedly loves, instead of making a clear offer to Kroenke. And, btw, bringing Henry in this discussion (which should be only a business discussion between two tycoons) is quite disgraceful.
    Leave things as they are, let AW run his contract. This solution seems the most sensible one. AW has only one year left. It’s far from certain he’ll accept an extension. We don’t have any big player who might leave (Sagna is replaceable, don’t worry) and I can take one more year without trophies. But acting in a hurry in the middle of the season,asking for AW to get fired,protesting because Arsenal was only 3rd last season and sold a player who wanted to leave anyway, seems dumb and against our club’s best interests. I might’ve understood such a stance if Arsenal was in 10th position and 20 points away from 4th spot. But certainly not now.
    Quite a long post.

  84. @Stuart, now I know you’ve been searching for Man utd merchandise, naughty naughty.

    I got my boy an Arsenal jacket for Christmas, he still hasn’t worn it, gutted.

  85. “About Usmanov now. People who seem to fancy him would like Arsenal to become a new ManC/Chelsky. Why would you want Usmanov otherwise?”

    Only if you box everything into the absolutes of black or white would you generalize like that.

  86. @A. Stuart. If you had read what I wrote after the text you quoted (but it was a long post, I said it), you’d have noticed that I justified my assertion.
    But, why not, let’s see why somebody would fancy Usmanov at Arsenal, but not for his money. Looks? Unlikely, he’s not too sexy. Football experience? Not really. Change in the attitude of the club? Yeah, he wants us to compete, he’s ambitious. That sounds better. Ok, but we need MONEY to compete. So, he will give us some money, maybe. How much money? Let’s see. 20 million? Not enough for Cavani’s left boot. Maybe 30? Why not a 100, then?
    And this is how a great club like Arsenal, and unfortunately some of its fans become beggars. Please, Mr. Usmanov, buy us! Give us some money! Buy us a new toy! A Cavani one, or a…should I say it?….Falcao, yes a Falcao!
    Come on, in the end, if we want a change in ownership, we only want it hoping the new guy would bring the dosh. Beggars.
    And I can’t help myself to wonder: who’s greedier, Arsenal’s owner or Arsenal’s fans?

  87. None of what you wrote above equates to Gooners who would consider Usmanov wanting to become the new City/Chelsea. It just doesn’t. For me, the vast vast vast majority of gooners who would consider change and him don’t want that. Lastly none of us know exactly how Usmanov would run the club should he take over, but to date nothing he has suggested indicates that he would run it like Chelsea or City (who by the way adopt extremely different business model from each other), or sanction 40 and 50 million pound players as most gooners who support the current structure incorrectly state that other gooners want.

    Basically that’s just generalizations, convenient stereotyping and conjecture. Nothing more.

  88. Walter those are good comments in your eyes because you incorrectly believe or rather stereotype that’s actually what gooners who question the club’s current structure want.

  89. @A Stewart (sorry about “Stuart” that I used in the comment above), tell me,what exactly does the Usmanov party expect from him? Until now, all I see from him is uncertain promises. Something like “things will be better if I’m in charge”. He also implies he’s gonna pour money into the club. As a matter of fact, he said exactly that once.
    I didn’t see a business plan signed Usmanov, he didn’t say where the money will come from. If money will come from his pockets it’s Chelsky no.2. If he’s got a business plan, then it’s self sustaining model. As simply as that.

  90. And, btw, the so-called “business model” of Chelsea and MC makes me laugh. First, that’s not business. You don’t start a business by bankrupting your firm. Technically, their business model is something like: Dzeko, how much? 25 million? Ok, take 27. Wages? 200k per week. Good, take 210. And so on.
    In the end they spent around a billion, they have huge losses and won a title. Super business… The difference between those teams is that
    Mancini makes the transfers at MC and Abramovich at Chelsky. Obviously, Mancini buys better players. The funny thing is that R. Benitez was unhappy the other day that Chelsea didn’t “strengthen”. Unbelievable, the lunatic probably expected some 100 million to do a bit of shopping.

  91. Mandy, hleb has said so. I read the statement. He obviously had his best footballing years in arsenal, same with players like henry and viera. But make no mistake that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t jump at the chance to win the champ league if he had to do it again. I enjoyed the days I was a bachelor, doesn’t mean, if I could turn back the hands of time, I wouldn’t get married again.

  92. Stewart
    Re your comment about Usmanov turning / not turning us into a man city or Chelsea.

    “For me, the vast vast vast majority of gooners who would consider change and him don’t want that.”

    How is this arguement even valid? Have I missed something here and in fact the fans will be able to control Usmanov?

  93. I’m not necessarily an usmanov fan(he’s not my uncle, I know very little about him) but I find it really funny that anybody will expect him to give details of how he intends to carry out the things he says he will do, in press conferences. Even if he were in a presidential candidate, it would be really desperate to hold him to ransom for not doing that in a press conference. Walter, I’m disappointed.

  94. Come on, we want him to state his intentions because he’s the one who makes advances to us, the fans. And it’s funny because we make the current board responsible for not being honest and not telling us their plans, but we don’t ask the same thing to the man who wants to buy the club and says he’s gonna run it better. Isn’t it normal to ask how does he intend to do it?

  95. Well, as I said before, I don’t know Usmanov’s real intentions. He surely brings uncertainty.
    However, with Satan Kroenke we all know where we are heading.
    If someone still doesn’t have any clue, just look at Kroenke’s sports franchises in the US. Kroenke is all about mediocrity, more mediocrity and then ultra super mediocrity.
    With teams full to the brim with mediocrity, what does Kroenke have in his pockets? Profits. That sums up Kroenke’s investments.

  96. Satan Kroenke? God help us! Arsenal is the Devil’s team… An inefficient Satanic owner, only Arsenal could have achieved that. Probably that’s why RVP left, he couldn’t fight Evil anymore (not without Batman’s help)… So he went to the Red Devils…

  97. @Mandy Dodd

    There is no amount of news which can balance out the negative AAA energy.

    Which is a shame.

    What would be the best, is if all these twits would find some other club to “support”. But as they don’t support a club, who would want them?

  98. Usmanov would not be able to do much under the restrictions of FFFP. Arsenal have missed the boat. They could’ve done with his money 18 months ago when Arsene was buying Santos, Park and Gervinho or the year before when he was buying Chamakh, Koscielny and Squillachi. Those were clearly players who were compromises rather than the players that Arsene really wanted. That’s where the damage was done and those compromises are the reason that Arsenal are now struggling to stay in European competition. All we wanted from Usmanov was that little extra that would’ve allowed Arsene to pick up someone nearer to the top of his wanted list.

  99. @Off Topic

    Sort of related to my post above, is commentating on posts. Ars Technica has a policy about commenting on posts. Which might be a start, or not.

    Lots of people reading articles on Untold Arsenal run across opinions by people who either don’t care about Arsenal, or are trying to form a negative opinion of current Arsenal players, the current Arsenal manager, or Arsenal youth players trying to make their way into the current “first team”.

    What I have seen elsewhere (such as Ars Technica), is the ability to vote on comments.

    There is little on Ars Technica that I would vote upon. Consequently there seems to be little reason to register, and then have my registration stolen should Arse Technica be broken in to.

    Something similar is potentially possible at Untold Arsenal.

    But, if postings had tags for good comment, bad comment and AAA, it might be possible to keep the AAA at aminimum ( I don’t think people should be disallowed to post out of hand, but if the only purpose is AAA. maybe yes).

  100. @Gord. You are clearly a glass half full kind of guy but sorry, suggesting that only real fans see their club with rose tinted spectacles is idiotic. We are not all sheep and we do not blindly follow whatever the glorious leader of our club decides, we have opinions.

  101. @Charlie

    Thank you for replying so soon.

    I was not proposing limits to anyone. Just a counter. Plus or minus (except that only accepted email addresses could vote plus or minus, once per article).

    People who supported Arsenal would be readily apparent. People that seek to tear down Arsenal would also be readily apparent.

    And it would leave a middle ground.

    But people that are anti-Arsenal could usually get a -1 on the AAA side. People that are sometimes regarded as providing useful feedback, might not always get full marks, and might occassionally be tagged as AAA, would have scores near zero, or being negative, depending on how often they did so.

    But what I am suggesting has nothing to do with accepting or rejecting opinions. Those decisions can continue as they currently are. What they do provide, is guidance as to how to interpret any given opinion someone might provide. If 99% of the opinions someone might provide are interpretted as being negative by the bulk of UA readers, readers may not regard that opinion as even being worth reading.

    In terms of managing a professional football club, there is no reader of Untold Arsenal that knows more than Arsene Wenger about managing a professional club, or in particular Arsenal Football Club. If you happen to think you know more than Arsene Wenger, by all means provide proof.

    Nobody is expecting blind following. You are trying to convince many intelligent people, that your particular argument is better than someone who has been doing this professionally for many years. You need really good evidence to even allow for people to analyze whether you are correct or not. And you need data. Otherwise, there is nothing to analyze to even attempt to figure out if you have an argument or not.

  102. All this talk about negativity and positivity makes me laugh. There are two sides,
    1. Those who think our club is run as well as can be, some call them the akbs. @their extreme, they’l villify anyone with contrasting view, even members of the arsenal family eg usmanov,adams,graham,stewart robson,mclintock,piers morgan,rvp; to name a few who constantly taste their negativity.
    On the other hand are those who think with the status of the club and resources at its disposal, its poorly run. The ones Tony and walter call AAA. We know who bears the brunt of their negativity.
    So please akbs, stop being hypocritical and singing the negativity anthem.

  103. Uk,
    I think you have lost all credibility now.

    Calling RVP a member of the Arsenal family???????????? Tell me you were joking.

  104. The capitalist or the ex-socialist ?

    1) The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of the blessings. The inherent blessing of socialism is the equal sharing of misery. — Winston Churchill.
    You don’t say !

    Read all about it!

    2) If you don’t read the newspaper you are uninformed, if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed. Mark Twain.
    Everyone is a critic !

    The end is nigh ?

    3) A liberal is someone who feels a great debt to his fellow man, which debt he proposes to pay off with your money. — G. Gordon Liddy.
    Aren’t you glad that your money is still in your pocket ?

    What’s that ? The cart horse is dead ?

    4) I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle. — Winston Churchill
    Come on everybody all together now , ” He ain’t heavy , he’s my brother …”

    You have my vote , I think !

    5) A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul. — George Bernard Shaw

    Oh ,yes he can !

  105. @walter,
    I’m sorry but rvp’s contribution to arsenal last season, to me and a lot of gooners was 10x more than that of your darling wenger. And he left because the club refused to show real ambition, he stood up to the dictator, and that makes him a hero to many gooners. I salute the man that he is.

  106. @brickfields..I suggest please time your humor by posting it between negative comments, just like you did above. Although I don’t bother to read comments made irrationally, there are those moderaters forced to read all the comments. They could do with some laugh in-between.

  107. @ UK: u haven’t mentioned about this so-called ambition of his, when he could not put together 1 full season injury free, due to his glass ankles? why did he have to with 7 yrs, 1 good season, 30 yrs older and 230 grand a week salary to realise this ambition? oh, wait….he was planning this all the time while his bumb made love to the treatment table!
    and what were the other players doing when he was scoring? or did he have to defend, pass, score from these passes, intercept, take corners, head those crosses, make the……….is football a team game or am i missing something?

  108. A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself. A hero is someone right who doesn’t change. A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.

    UK your confusing the word hero with the word traitor.

  109. “The bottom line is that I want to win trophies with Arsenal, not with anybody else. I know you can win trophies in many countries and in many ways, but I want to do that in our way and in an Arsenal shirt.

    ‘I’m sure I could win things at another team in another country, but would it feel like our trophy, my trophy? I’m not sure it would. Anything we win here will come from the heart and that’s what I want. It’s my dream and I see no point in speaking about other teams when I have these dreams. I think other people know that about me; I’m just hungry to win with Arsenal and that’s it – Robin van Persie, February 2011

  110. @Tasos

    March 2011
    Agent-“Robin just had a call from sir Alex he wants you”
    RVP-“no I am happy here”
    Agent-“he’s offering £230k on a 5 year contract”
    RVP-“where do I sign”

  111. Hi Guys

    Sorry I have not gone through all the comments of this post but AU looks very cunning to me. Why cant he buy another club in England (if possible) or outside and give them lots of money to buy trophies.
    And if he is successful he can just show this to all the Arsenal fans and thus ask for more control of Arsenal. Would not that be a better way than making empty and vague promises.

  112. It wasn’t his fault while he was injured arsenal refused to show ambition.he afterall got injured playing for arsenal. His move was probably not motivated by money, else he’d hav gone to city. If you contest that, cry a river when he gets his hands on the pl title. Bottom line is, the man saw that even with the stronger squads we had in years past we weren’t able to win, realized that to do so we had to get good players, ready to hit the ground running,he’s a winner, he was ready to stay if the project was to compete(tasos), and as captain it was his responsibility to on behalf of the players tell the management that. Unfortunately, wen he did that, he realized, he was not only dealing with an unambitious, money-centerd management, but also with an egotistical manager, who put his personal glory above club achievement. Well, van-the man, isn’t a sissy, he doesn’t owe anybody, save the fans anything. He duly informed the fans that he could not suffer through such rubbish, and left with his head held high. Hate him all you want, but I’m certain his demeanour and the publicity probably put pressure on wenger to buy a player like cazorla. The guy is a “man”, he doesn’t kow-tow behind wenger.

  113. @UK

    RVP should’ve acknowledged his responsibility and accepted that part of the reason Arsenal have failed to win trophies during his tenure was also down his own performances.

    He had the opportunity to win something with Arsenal and ultimately failed. I think the bigger man would have also accepted that fact.

  114. And tasos, make no mistake, most of our other players want out, they know they just aren’t good enough to play for the clubs on their minds. As soon as they feel they are, and those big clubs come calling, they’re off. Ask fabregas(if fab’s boyhood club was osasuna, he’d only be pining to return when he’s 37, not when he’s at his peak), nasri, rvp,hleb, henry, overmars, etc. Nobody dreams about playing for a small club, or a selling club or a feeder club, not even if it were their boyhood club. They only use such clubs as stepping stones. Arsenal used to be a bigger club, we keep going in the direction we are and we will see it manifest. Ask ajax.

  115. Van Persie is a “man”. Why the “”? Does it mean you are hinting he isn’t a man?

    So in your universe uk, it’s wrong to respect our most succesful manager, who’s revolutionised Arsenal, overseen the move to a new club, given us some glorious football, let alone the budget he’s worked under, but it’s ok to hero worship a player who the same manager brought to the club and improved, and who pushed through a transfer to ManU? It must suck to be you.

  116. @UK

    “make no mistake, most of our other players want out”

    What’s the point in making unsubstantiated comments?

    It does nothing for the debate.

  117. I am surprised that Mr U has not come out and said

    “if I become president of Arsenal Football Club I WILL reduce ticket prices for the masses, I WILL make food affordable for all, when I become president I WILL make this once great club GREAT again Long live the revolution Long live Usmaniov”

  118. I have now read several times that VP and his people even asked for a payoff from the club citing that he never asked for a transfer. The latest on Darrenarsenal1 twitter. Apparently the clubs response was curt,sounds like it went legal, hence the club say very little about him, and VP just puts out the odd bitter little remark. None of this is of course proven, many facts over this episode are not really in public domain but the fact is, VP is not part of the Arsenal family and never will be, he is separated forever, like some of the more extreme of our fan base (and I am talking the haters, not the debaters), these fans can never come back without being exposed as the emotionally retarded glory hunters they are…and good riddence to them. VP took a last cash in, that is the sad truth – £240 kpw plus a 10 million bonus if he completes his deal. We could have kept him if we offered that, plus his other rediculous demands. TBH , though they are not as good as VP, I am quite happy with who we have, have a feeling they will give a greater return over they years.

  119. I just can’t see past RVP using the webster clause to get a move and the only reason we got the amount we did is that we used Man city as bait, My own opinion is that whoever he went to out of the Manchester clubs would now be top of the league.

    As people on here have implied, Wenger had the premier league crown up for sale summer gone. not bad for a “past it” manager. Even Ferguson stated that Wenger should have played poker. I reckon he played Mancini and Ferguson against each other.

  120. Steve, 🙂
    as long as he doesn’t promise better cappuccino or even promise that there will be enough cappuccino he will never win over Tony I think 😉

  121. “Re your comment about Usmanov turning / not turning us into a man city or Chelsea.

    “For me, the vast vast vast majority of gooners who would consider change and him don’t want that.”

    How is this arguement even valid? Have I missed something here and in fact the fans will be able to control Usmanov?

    You didn’t miss anything, you are simply making assumptions and making things up. Here I’ll explain how the argument is valid…:

    First of all you nor I know exactly what a Usmanov ownership of the club will result it. So there’s absolutely no factual basis for your argument that a) it will result in us becoming the new City/Chelsea (again their models are nothing alike by the way) or more importantly b) that’s what gooners who are willing to consider him for change, actually want. However you have already convinced yourself with absolutely nothing grounded in fact to support that Usmanov wants to pursue a Chelsea/City model, and that what fans who are considering a change, want.

    Further the vast majority of Gooners who question the club’s direction and policies don’t ever talk about wanting 40 million pound players and spending hundreds of millions in a transfer window. It’s simply a lie to infer or outright say that. An overwhelming amount of these Gooners have been long and loudly questioning the club’s seemingly inefficient use of resources (particularly the wage policy) and wanting that to rectified as the MAIN AVENUE FOR CHANGE. It doesn’t take a LSE or Harvard Business School genius to figure out that we have a self-imposed wage policy that underpays top stars and overpays young developing talent and squad players and in doing so, pretty much anyone can draw up a list of at least 10 to a dozen (if not much more when counting loanees and kids that have precious little chance of making the grade) that in fees, salary and supporting costs, tally millions upon millions of money with no or very little contribution. The same (or even less)money which could easily fund a few genuine superstars that could make a difference (and that earnings should be dependent more on worth and contribution as opposed to this artificially created borderline “socialist” [per AW] Wenger model). This line of thinking has a lot of credibility as many ex-gunners (of AW years) other ex-players and even the Club itself recently have highlighted and alluded to the need of addressing the wage problem. Tying this to Usmanov, he’s spoken about this wage issue and in comparison has given little indication that he wants to go out there and just buy lots of expensive 40million superstars as I presume you would think the “equivalent” Chelsea/City models are. So while again, no-one can say exactly what he would do once in charge, the point is he has spoken more to the issues that gooners who are considering change actually want, and not the stuff you have invented in your mind that they supposedly want. See the difference? Probably not.

    Additionally, other things gooners who want change talk about far more than what you think they want (to be City/Chelsea) are other seeming inefficiencies like spending a good few million on players like Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain and waiting for years (in the case of TW 6+) while they develop to actually come good, by the time which is all said and done, we’ve invested over 20 million if not more in these players instead of saying getting a readymade player for that price or even less who can give us a better chance of winning in the present (and thus reap commercial benefits). Just like the wage issue, the club has also lent credibility to this long held complaint by gooners questioning the club’s direction, when Wenger flat out admitted that it is “easier” to get a readymade player in and even more alarmingly admitting that it may cost us some game along the way (and apparently he is fine with that) by going the way of patiently (and expensively) developing these kids (by the way our playing staff has increased by a net of almost 40 since our last trophy, go figure). All while usually and continuously improving terms that don’t match contribution that could be otherwise redirected into enhancing the playing staff.

    Some other issues include things like relying on injury-prone players like Diaby. Who was injury-pone from his Auxerre days to come good! And in doing so eating up valuable wages and squad spot(s). Like the other two issues highlighted above, this issue was also lent credibility when Wenger flat out admitted this season that he was taking a “gamble” on him.

    Another issue is the full utilization of transfer funds. The club’s books show it’s profitable, player sales show that we reap a lot of money on transferring players out, and more importantly the Club itself via its Board, Executives and Manager repeatedly state that money is available to get in good players, yet it appears as though it is never or rarely fully utilized. Someone, somewhere is lying to the fans in some way it would seem.

    So to summarize, these and others are the actual issues most gooners who are considering change actually speak about, they don’t yearn to the next Chelsea or City, but rather year for a MORE EFFICIENT AND FULL UTILIZATION OF OUR AVAILABLE RESOURCES for playing staff matters. In other words Gooners who consider change don’t necessarily want us to have all billions artificially pumped in (I’m not naive to suggest a little more available funds, or paying down on the debt won’t be welcome) but overwhelmingly would rather we actually do things within our means but just in a smarter way, and we can absolutely afford top players and to pay them, if we weren’t wasting money with policies that are choices and not borne out of actual financial retractions.

    It’s almost as though we could tell you these things repeatedly and you guys just close your eyes, stick your fingers in your ear and go “la la la la I’m not listening, you just want to spend money like Chelsea and City”.

    Tying this all back to Usmanov, again nothing he’s said to date suggested that he will adopt either a City or Chelsea model, and he’s spoken more about the things that gooners considering change actually care about. Do I know for certain that he isn’t just saying what people want to hear and if/when he takes power he won’t become the next Roman Abramovich? Of course I don’t, but yet, neither do you, neither does Walter, neither does anyone. But in no-way does being open to the possibility of his ownership mean that I support and endorse a Chelsea ownership and purchasing model, it simply does not! Further because there is uncertainty about what he may bring, doesn’t necessarily scare me or other gooners, because frankly uncertainty is not a justification to continue with the policies that we find to be inefficient and wasteful. So therefore you whole premise of “Have I missed something here and in fact the fans will be able to control Usmanov?” is just invented nonsense, because first it assumes that you know exactly what Usmanov would do once it power you simply don’t! Secondly no, fans do not think they will be able to control anything, they do not know exactly what Usmanov would do, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t consider change (including him), does it come with risk? Sure it does. But absolutely none of that means and equates to wanting to be the new Chelsea or City, that’s just lazy stereotyping if not outright dishonesty.

    Lastly fans who want a change in policies, many of complaints which have to some degree gained credibility from the Club itself, are not Anti Arsenal. I believe we all want the same thing, which is success for Arsenal, we simply disagree on the policies to get us there, or in some case who should lead us there.

    Are you any less patriotic to your Country if you disagree with the policies of its current leadership? Of course you are not. Because the leadership is transient and is not the Country! I am no less a real supporter of my Country if I support another party other than the one which is currently in power, or support a change in various policies of the current government. Rahter I want change for the better based on my beliefs, I may ultimately be wrong or right but no less patriotic to my country. Further, does not spending 30 years in politics or government mean that you shouldn’t have an opinion on various issues surrounding how your country is run?

    Took a lot of time to write this, but somehow I wouldn’t be surprised if many here dismiss all of it and just go “lalalala” and find comfort in their stereotypes and caricatures that “forget all of what they say, they just want to be like City and Chelsea”.

  122. A. Stewart,
    this would be very nice but the problem is you seem to speak in the name of “lots of others”. This undermines most of what you say. Unless you are the official spokesman of those “lots of others” but I don’t see any indication of this.

    a quick look around the internet shows me that “lots of those others” want Usmanov just because he alludes to big name signings. And those things cost money. But he doesn’t explain how and where that money will come from.

    Of course you (and you alone) might be ready to take the risk. I’m not that ready to take any risks that might damage the ones or the club I love. And when I read Untold I see that there might be a few others not really wanting to take the risk.

    About not spending the money. I admit there are probably 300 players out there who will change clubs this transfer window. The real issue is : how many of those 300 would hit the ground running at Arsenal and make a major improvement on the player we have.

    And last summer we bought two great international players (Podolski and Cazorla) who turned out to be great buys. They have improved the team big. Cazorla was a more unknown player but he also turned out to be rather decent. I admit not as good as RVP was in his last season. But there are not many like him around these days. And remember it was RVP who wanted to go.

    With him (RVP) and the new boys I’m sure we would have been where United is now. I can’t prove it but it is crystal clear that with a Podolski on his left a Theo on his right and a Cazorla behind him he would probably score something of around 35-40 goals in a season. And we wouldn’t have suffered that much at the start when we had to fit the new boys in.

    People sometimes say: we are 2-3 players away from having a great team. I disagree. On 07/08/2012 we had a great team. But RVP destroyed the team. The same RVP that was named a member of the Arsenal family by some FFS.

    He and he alone destroyed what could have been the best Arsenal team in the last 8 years on 04/07/2012 when he released his statement.

    I tell you we were one player away from a great team. The one that went away because he wanted to go away.

    If there is anyone to blame and I blame him it is Mr. Liar Selfish RVP.

  123. A. Stewart

    So basically, is it fair the say that the summation of your long response above is that you are ok with our model, but want certain inefficiencies to be taken care of?

    Ok. What inefficiencies. Firstly, let’s address the wages to certain players, and the buying (or lack of) readymade players. Both to some extent, are borne of necessity, and to some extent of philosophy.

    Let’s say Walcott. Yes, we’ve invested a lot of money on him. But we can also expect some output as a result of that. Now it is ‘easier’ to buy a readymade player, but then taken in extremis, you are arguing for a Chelsea model. Developing a talent, and trusting in the player who hasn’t yet made a name for himself, is harder to spot, and harder to do. But it does offer long term benefits. Even if 10 players in the long run don’t prove good enough, the one that does, justifies it. If it weren’t profitable, both economically, and football-wise, why would every top club invest in an academy?

    If instead of buying Walcott, we’d bought a readymade player 8 years ago, he would have probably retired by now, needing us to replace with another ready made player, who would probably be close to retirement, or end of his contract too. For all the talk off 100k pounds that he is on, how much would a player, used to the English league, capable of fitting in Arsenal’s system, and who could score 20+ goals and provide 10 or so assists, have cost? I think, considering how focused the club is on financial stuff, they would have conducted these sorts of calculations on whether buying young players pays off.

    And the high wages for ‘deadwood’ is partly a relic of the stadium move (when we bought young and paid them on potential because that was the only way to ensure we could keep a team together), and partly of the ‘socialist’ philosophy of Wenger.

    This seems to be the biggest concern of many fans, and yes, it does seem weird. But it discounts the fact that Arsenal, and Arsene does make exceptions for players he feels are worth it. Henry got it, and RVP was offered it. The fact that he can get more elsewhere is neither here nor there. That will almost always be the case. Can we offer 200k? Should we? I think the difference is that we tend to get caught up on players, while Wenger actually focuses on the team. Lose Vieira? Let’s build around Cesc. Henry not doing so well. Let’s play with Adebayor up top. Adebayor’s a greedy ****? let’s put RVP up top. RVP backstabs us? Let’s fill the void with Podolski and Giroud, and let’s Cazorla to supply them.

    Oh, and there are some studies that suggest a team plays better if there is less disparity among its ranks in terms of wages. Mostly related to US sports, but still, that line of thinking exists and has some basis.

    So for the young players and overpaying certain players, the stadium move might have distorted that balance (necessity), but that doesn’t make the principle in itself deserving of being discarded (philosophy)

    Oh and Diaby being stuck with. On a sentimental level, can you deny that it’s wrong? Does efficiency have to dictate that there is no room for emotion? I wouldn’t agree. But, Scholes, Hargreaves, Fletcher are some players who’ve had long term injury issues but were stuck with by Ferguson. Most other clubs probably don’t provide many examples of it because most managers haven’t built and rebuilt multiple teams.

    But yes, using Diaby as a reason to not get us an otherwise able player that we may need, is wrong. We don’t know though, that this happened.

    As for using its full extent of transfer fees available. Yes. The club should. But what if the player wanted is more expensive than that? Do you buy someone less good and cheaper? I think most upset fans view that as inefficient use of funds too if the player doesn’t work out. Yes. There have been players on the move who would strengthen our squad. But would they have strengthened us enough to win the title? It’s a judgment call and a tough one at that.

    I think the club will spend its money, but that is down to Wenger feeling a player justifies the expense by bringing us enough to push us a level further. However, I don’t have proof of this. Then again, no one has any proof of why Arsenal would not be spending either. It is all hypothesising.

    Lastly, what makes you think Usmanov will solve any of the inefficiencies? And what effect will the process of solving said inefficiencies lead to? What issues will come up by doing so? Everything has a cost related to it (I don’t mean money-wise) and no system is perfect. The last bit is the ‘uncertaintly’ you refer to. And yes, while fear of the unknown is no reason not to take a plunge, not knowing and jumping in blindly isn’t the answer either. Especially when things are hardly desperate.

  124. Where I do agree with you A.Stewart, is that Usmanov will not run Arsenal the Chelsea way. Walter is also right however, that he has essentially projected himself as such (without ever saying so directly) to endear himself to some sections of the Arsenal support.

    So how will Usmanov run Arsenal? If his history is any kind of indication (not that it necessarily is) then Usmanov will be a pure investor. He’s made his money by buying up stock in a growing company, and then selling it once it reaches a threshold. His two recent stock buys were in Megafon and in Facebook (as an aside, both of those IPOs had some problems with regulatory authorities looking for foul play), and in this context, it puts into perspective his demand that the board pay out dividends.

    Arsenal are a growing brand, and a growing club. Usmanov getting in would represent something similar to his purchases in the stock market. He would either sell us off at some point (provided someone will be willing to buy us-and God knows what plans they will have for us), or he would run us the way Glazers run ManU, awarding themselves all th dividends and fees they need. Although he could expand us into the Russian market.

    Kroenke’s history (again no guarantee of anything) shows that he invests in sports businesses and stays in them. His detractors point to his sports teams being mediocre, but that has virtually no relation to Arsenal since Arsenal run on the club’s own funds, not Kroenke’s. He could however, also be looking to sell us on, or of having us as colateral against some other businesses, or indeed of eventually drawing dividends.

    I don’t see much difference between the two to be honest. Except one is already in place, and the other isn’t. And Kroenke’s history with sports teams is more encouraging than Usmanov’s business history, even though both see us as a business.

  125. We have a 23 year old goal keeper a 30 year old right back with a 21 year old back up. A 23 year old left back, 27 28 & 27 year old CB’s. 27 year old, 21 year old, 23 year old, 28 year old and a couple of 30 year olds in midfield. A strike force of 27, 26, 23, 20 & 25. Add to this the fringe players then if Wenger can get them to gel together, stay at the club and stay fit then Arsenal have the base of a strong team.

    It’s all to easy to look at the negatives at Arsenal and Mr U is thriving on this negativity and almost encouraging it for his own means. What has he actually said, yes he said quite a bit in his famous letter(well timed I might add) and his interview this week but when you read it again he says very little(he would make a great politician).

    No he wont go the Chelsea route so what route does that leave the one Arsenal are on with maybe a bit more cash spent, cash from where? from a share issue one that he would back with his money but then would expect more back.

    As I said in a previous post Arsenal are playing a long game which I at least think will pay off

  126. @tasos
    Rvp and all our players, especially djourou have time and again accepted responsibility for our failings, rvp more so. But wat makes rvp one of our favorites is that he not only accepted responsibilty in press conferences, he took responsibility on the pitch. Unfortunately football isnt an individual sport, so he took responsibility a step further and faced up to wenger, told him “coach, wake up,those monies and transfer windows are for a purpose you know”. The coach told him if he had his way, he’d”ban the transfer windows along with tackling. Van shook his head and went home, called kees vos, to tell SAF to send a cab to d airport, and that was it.
    Point is, RVP did what he could. If the management of the club would rather run things the way they do, then the best he could do was tell them his mind and be off. What makes him a bigger man than someone like fab, was, he told the boss as it is, no cloaking things under stuFf like homesickness etc. Afterall henry,hleb,overmars,sylvinho,song all left for barca, was that their home?

  127. @UK
    Yes that’s all well and good until we found out that RvP was in contact with MU long before he sent his letter. He organised the move he made his position at Arsenal impossible. He and his agent knew exactly what they were doing and it was also amazing that Mr U got a damming letter out at the same time.

  128. uk,

    Do you write fiction novels as a career? Or maybe you can morph into a fly-on-the-wall when needed?

  129. Wasn’t it Fergie himself who said a few weeks ago that they were having talks 4 months before he signed?He signed around 15 August. So that means they had talks in April. And his statement was 4th July.

    I think your hero and “Arsenal family member” called his taxi long before he told Wenger and Gazidis how he should run the club. He knew no manager or CEO would accept that from any player. I don’t even think they would accept such thing from CR at Madrid or from Messi at Barcelona.

    He knew that he blew up the bridge by doing this and as maybe Arsenal was willing to neglect this and act as if it didn’t happen he launched his statement to make sure that they would let him go.

  130. Don’t worry Walter. The hero Van Persie was only reaching out to the devil because he expected it would jolt the dictator Wenger into action and force him into the transfer market. He did not anticipate that the evil dictator would throw him in the midst of all the filthy lucre that the Devils were offering, instead of simply spending some money to improve the dictator’s army.

  131. Im sorry, rvp didnt make his stay @arsenal untenable, wenger did, just like he does for all our star players. A selling club is untenable for an ambitious star
    @walter, i was there just as u and tony and other akbs had been in rvp’s’mind, calculating his soon to be salary

  132. @walter
    It isnt only rvp that seems to be telling wenger what to do. Even akbs do at the stadia do. Its not anybody’s ‘fault. Wen u win nothing for 8years, you earn the priviledge of being told what to do

  133. And i thnk rooney also questioned his boss, however his boss (who is wenger’s boss when it comes to winning) behaved differently, and went on to win big things too

  134. @uk

    Think you will also find the names of Tevez and Ronaldo amongst that list if you dare research it in more detail.

  135. I think Rooney just said that he wanted to earn whatever he got after that. He didn’t tell Fergie how to run MU.

  136. @walter
    Rooney said to the press that he didnt think man utd were showing enuf ambition, and after they won the trophy said he was sorry he questioned the boss. I dont see how dat doesnt mean telling d’boss in some way how to run a club. And like i sed earlier, wenger has earned the right to be told wat to do after 7years of excuses

  137. @ Americangooner , 30 Jan at 10.11am – Have noted your suggestion ,and I have always endeavored to intersperse humour among the comments to lighten the mood here ,but some posters are so rabid and full of crap that I so often feel a need to shower again and again – I feel that sullied !
    That and the time difference – once I leave my desk at work I’ll only open the computer the next day .Hardly ever at home.I often miss the chance to be a smartass (or witty to many,I hope !)due to this .
    As for humouring the moderators , I usually leave some thing for Walter in his e-mail .The last one being the following .Just before reading this , please refrain from eating ,drinking or driving for your own safety .

    You ‘ve been warned !

    It was entertainment night at the senior citizens’ centre. After the community sing song led by Alice at the piano, It was time for the Star of the Show- Claude the Hypnotist!
    Claude explained that he was going to put the whole audience into a trance. “Yes, each and every one of you and all at the same time.” said Claude.
    The excited chatter dropped to silence as Claude carefully withdrew from his waistcoat pocket a beautiful antique gold pocket watch and chain.
    “I want you to keep your eyes on this watch” said Claude, holding the watch high for all to see. “It is a very special and valuable watch that has been in my family for six generations” Said Claude.
    He began to swing the watch gently back and forth while quietly chanting “Watch the watch — Watch the watch —-Watch the watch”
    The audience became mesmerised as the watch swayed back and forth. The lights twinkling as they were reflected from its gleaming surfaces. A hundred and fifty pairs of eyes followed the movements of the gently swaying watch.
    And then, Suddenly, The chain broke!!! The beautiful watch fell to the stage and burst apart on impact”

    “SHIT” said Claude.

    It took them three days to clean the Senior Citizens’ Center And Claude was never invited to entertain again!

    If only I can get Claude to do this at an AAA convention !
    Goodnight folks !

  138. L’Equipe retracts Usmanov’s quotes. Now claimed, they were misinterpreted. Henry DIDN’T say he wanted him to buy Arsenal. (Telegraph)

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