Untold Arsenal: Arsenal News
And as today marks the 100th anniversary of the last day of Arsenal’s turbulent season when Norris first mentioned taking us over, today’s Sponsor is: Making the Arsenal
At Arsenal there is an issue for some supporters (the black propaganda revisionists and catatrophists). They want us to follow the Charlton Athletic route to success by kicking out the most manager in the club’s history, and bringing in, well who knows. Charlton you will remember were taken over by Alan Curbishley who amazingly made the little club a solid EPL side. The fans then started the story that he had “taken us as far as he could” and it was “time for someone else to take us to the next level.”
Eventually Curbishley left and the club returned to the third division.
This movement annoys me and frustrates me, but when I go for a moment’s perspective I have to admit that when it comes to crises we are just beginners.
For real chaos the past masters, present masters and future masters are Manchester U.
There, as we know, the supporters love the manager, but hate the owners. True, one group went off and formed a rival team, which has done ok and is just about to get its own stadium right by where the club started. But that’s not it.
Another group have different coloured scarves, but rather spoil the effect by still wearing replica shirts with the club’s sponsor (who keep the current mob in place) emblazoned on the front. And that’s not it either.
But there are two other groups who do need to be taken a little more seriously. One mob want to force the owners out by making the finances of the club even worse than now, and the the other want to buy the owners out.
And both have got problems.
Making the finances of Manchester even worse than they already are might seem a bit tough – they are £750m or so in debt after all. And there is the thought that much more debt could actually mean serious trouble for a company that has run out of people who will give them money.
But United Supporters for Change are going to do this, and they have published a list of 400 firms that pay for hospitality facilities at Very Old Trafford, and are asking them not to do it any more.
As a starter the Manchester office of the also bankrupt AIG company that sponsor Manchester U shirts has been attacked. and apparently Nike stores in Mudchester are having a difficult time what with guerrillas who can’t be separated from the more common gorillas who inhabit the streets of Manchester.
As with most of the very big clubs executive boxes and hospitality suites make up about half of the match-day revenue so it is a good group to have a bash at if you want to wreck your club even more than it is, in the financial sense.
Then there is the rather amusing Red Knights – not to be confused with the Baron Knights, a popular singing combo of the 1960s.
Red Knights reckon Manchester Untidy is worth £800m. Forbes magazine valued it at £1.19bn which is a bit over the top – but what do I know?
And that’s where the story stands until we all realised that top dog in the Knights is Jim O’Neill, chief economist of investment bank Goldman Sachs. And that might not be a Good Thing.
The idea is that 50 people will drop in £10m each to buy Untidy and the rest will be made up with “securities”. Then they reckon they can keep the existing bond issue to reach the £1.25bn they feel they need all told. Which means that they take over, the Glazers go, but nothing much changes because that wretched bond still has to be paid off in a few years time.
With Red Football Joint Venture Ltd having accounts showing debts of £716m and a profit of £6.4m in 2009 (from Ronaldo) it don’t look too clever.
It all looks (maybe just to me) like another of those exercises that big bankers do, out of which they make a fortune and (in the words of the Who) we meet the new boss who is the same as the old boss.
In fact I couldn’t make sense until I read that the Financial Services Authority has finished a preliminary investigation into Goldman Sachs (where the Red Knights have their base) after the Security and Exchange Commission charged GS and one of its dogs with a £650m fraud case. Just the sort of money you need to buy Unitedy.
Now the investigation does not have anything to do with Mad U, but it shows that the world of bank corruption is still worthy of a poke in the eye (if you get my drift).
A French dude call Tourre was based in New York at the time a deal known as “the Abacus transaction” was brokered by Goldman to help hedge fund manager John Paulson place a big bet in 2007 that the subprime mortgage market would collapse. (I know, but I am not making this up, honest).
Royal Bank of Scotland, 84% owned by us poor sods the UK taxpayers, lost $800m because it had insured the arrangement through a credit default swap.
Goldman Sachs is expected to pay $5bn in bonuses this year.
So, would you have your football club rescued by those involved with this firm?
Frying pans and fires come to mind. And somehow I fear it could all end in tears (but not enough to put out the fire).
There’s not much that might make me turn away from my beloved Arsenal but a Goldman Sachs takeover probably would.
Some of the other bits…
How missing your centre back pairing really hinders the attack
Is Wenger the nutty professor, or are lots of the fans utterly bonkers?
This team will have its day. There is something very special about to happen
What else is happening in this mad world of foot and ball?
Confused? Try “Making the Arsenal”