Arsenal’s reasons to be cheerful 4: The board

Remember all that hype about Arsenal being sold to the Russians.  About Dein upsetting everything.  About Usmanov getting 25% of the club and then doing… well, what exactly?

One of the great things about British football journalists is that they make stuff up.  Like saying that when Usmanov has 25% of Arsenal, he owns Arsenal.  It’s nonsense.  At 25% he gets a couple of rights about calling meetings, but nothing of any importance.  He can’t buy out other people – in fact he can’t do that at any stage unless they want to sell.

So he sits there and does his thing, and by and large Arsenal get on with it.  There’s complete agreement that Wenger should stay, that Wenger should have control, and that Wenger can do what he likes.   There’s a continuance of development of the link with Colorado Arsenal.  There’s agreement on the selling of the unwanted assets, such as Highbury and the property around the Emirates.

Now let’s look around elsewhere.   Manchester Utd has no disagreement in the boardroom because the board is family.  But not everyone likes the board, and everyone knows that one day there just won’t be enough money to pay for those massive loans which currently soak up the total profit.

Chelsea: the board is the puppet of the owner   On the day the owner decides he’s had it, off he goes.  If he wants a new manager he decides.  If he wants a new colour kit, so be it.  It is a one man show, and that can be good, as long as the man has the interest of the club at heart.  It’s no good when he decides that he can’t live with The Special One (who even if you hated him was and is a good manager, and good entertainment) so he brings in The Boring One.

Liverpool.  Oh well, what to say?   Is there anyone there who actually likes anyone else?  Is there anyone who doesn’t rush out of a board meeting and leak it to the press?  Is there anyone who hasn’t at some stage interviewed six candidates for the manager’s job?  With that club you couldn’t make it up.  Total chaos, and a debt that is running out of control.

Tottenham.  For the moment, a spot of peace and quiet.  But never forget the way they handled the departure of Martin Jol.  A club that can behave in that way once, is certainly ready to do it again.  Watch the money though.  Every transfer window they spend another £30 million.  Does it go on for ever?

Coming up in part 5 – the media, part 6 – the injuries, part 7 – the ground, part 8 – why Wenger won’t spend billions.

  • Arsenal’s reasons to be cheerful 3: the players
  • Arsenal’s reasons to be cheerful part 2: The money
  • Arsenal’s reasons to be cheerful (part 1)