Today’s quick post is the first of a three part series by Akash (@gooner_optimist)
Alright, so I finally get the honour to write for Positively Arsenal. As my first series of posts here, I felt it would be rather insightful, if I could discuss something that has troubled me lately.
There has been a huge divide within the Arsenal fan base, regarding who should run the club. There is one group (albeit a small one) that is ok with Silent Stan Kroenke (begrudgingly so), and there is the other group (one that is fast growing) that swears by the name of Alisher Usmanov. I would like to clarify that those of us who are “ OK” with Stan are not Pro Stan but would rather have the lesser of the two evils (Stan) at the helm. You’ll see what I mean by this as this series of posts goes along. For this post however, I would like to get people thinking first.
I have always wondered, if those who are pro Usmanov actually have a clue about who they are vouching for? What is his background? What is his motive? I just feel that many don’t this might be the right time and place for me to just share what I have read and researched about him over the past year or two.
To start with, why is one section of the support vouching for Usmanov? Is it because of his alleged claims offering massive investment into the club? His alleged love for the club? Or is it the lack of patience and desire for instant gratification? Or is it down to the well-timed PR statements that echo the words that fans want to hear but come around only when the chips are down?
My question is have people ever wondered why is it that the board is not willing to accept him into the executive committee of the club? Or if Usmanov is indeed passionate about the club and willing to be a generous benefactor, as he claims, why can’t he just invest in the club as he is, rather than demanding a place on the board and access to confidential financial details of the club?
To answer this, I would like to dig deep into the Arsenal history, back to the day, when Sir Henry Norris the then chairman of the club, placed an ad in the Athletic News, seeking a suitable candidate for the Arsenal top job in 1925. What is interesting is the content of the ad placed, which read like this.
“Arsenal Football Club is open to receive applications for the position of TEAM MANAGER. He must be experienced and possess the highest qualifications for the post, both as to ability and personal character. Gentlemen whose sole ability to build up a good side depends on the payment of heavy and exorbitant transfer fees need not apply “
If you take a closer look at this ad, you can see the similarities in which the club is run today, just like it was back in 1925. Then and now, the club has never encouraged the idea of over spending and wanted a team to be built within its own resources and developed to be successful instead of bought.
Does that answer the question of why even Silent Stan is preferable to Usmanov? No. If anything that doesn’t even tell you how either one got to be aligned with our great club. For that I would like to fast forward history and side track to David Dein, a man who did a lot for us and for many years was Arsene’s right hand man, but in the end was ousted due to massive differences with the board. This however, will continue in my next post as there is a lot that can be said on that topic.