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Arsenal Ownership Series – Part 2 – How did we get here?

A continuation of the 3 part ownership series by @Gooner_optimist. Some of you might already be well versed in the knowledge of what transpired to bring us to the current situation, and if you do, feel free to skip this piece.

Continuing on from my first post about Arsenal’s Ownership, let’s jump straight into what were the reasons for David Dein’s fallout with the rest of the board? There are several theories but as I understand it, it is down to two main differences. First, it is well known that he preferred that the club move to the Wembley and lease it out instead of building a new stadium, something that was opposed by the rest of the board, especially Danny Fiszman. Second, he saw Abramovich changing the equation at Chelsea and sought to adopt a similar external investor approach by introducing Stan Kroenke to the board.  However the board at the time refused this move due to their wariness at the time toward American investors after seeing the goings on at United and Liverpool with the same (“We don’t need his sort”).

Dein and Fiszman

These differences and more led to his ousting and while there are many positives and a few criticisms of David Dein we will not get into them here lest this debate turn into a “bring Dein back” one that features frequently in Arsenal discussions these days. His mention in this blog ends with his ousting from the board in 2007, when he sold his shares in Arsenal to Alisher Usmanov for a nice little sum of £75 million. Interestingly  you could conclude that this current tussle between two owners that we see right now is partly down to Dein himself creating it.

While the fallout between Dein and the rest of the board was continuing, Kroenke was picking up a few shares of his own by purchasing the 9.9% holding that was with ITV subsidiary, Granada, and slowly building up his shareholding. Fast forward in history again to 2011, a time when Danny Fiszman, a man who was Arsenal through and through, was suffering from throat cancer and his failing health meant that his shares in Arsenal needed to be sold. By this time, both Kroenke and Usmanov had managed to pick up shares over time to get very close to the 30% mark, the achievement of which would mean they were obliged make a takeover bid for all shares.

The decision of who to sell shares to, in my opinion, was partly down to the board warming up to Kroenke in time. I believe he was the one who most convinced the board that he would let the club continue in line with its historical principles, especially that of being self sustaining. These defined the long term plan of the club as well at the time as the goal was to achieve success the hard way, using our own resources instead of relying on an external benefactor. On the other hand, there is also a chance that the sale might have been governed to an extent by the aftermath of the fallout with Dein and to keep the one he sold to (and had strong links with) at arm’s length.

Thus it came to pass that Fiszman sold his 16% of shares in Arsenal to Kroenke, 2 days before his death, and Kroenke launched his takeover bid as he was required to upon crossing the 30% threshold. Usmanov, as the other largest shareholder was entitled to provide a counter offer to Kroenke’s and allegedly placed an offer that was higher than Stan’s. For a board that often gets accused of chasing profits, an important question needs to be asked here, why didn’t they go for the bigger money offer? Why did absolutely NO ONE sell to Usmanov? Why instead did Stan become the majority owner with over 60% stake in the club by adding shares from Fiszman, Lady Nina Bracewell and Peter Hill-Wood etc?

Another thing is that the board is questioned about is how much (or how little) they care for the club and its long term future. On one hand, this is rather odd when you consider that the likes of Peter Hill-Wood and Ken Friar have been on the board for many years, whether it’s the successful Graham years or the even more successful Wenger ones. They were also the deciding factor in giving us our amazing stadium, the revenue from which, helps keep us competitive. To accuse them of suddenly not caring or not having the club’s best interests at heart after all these years might be a bit harsh.

Hillwood Arsene

This leads me to the last point regarding why they might not have sold to Usmanov, and that’s a simple one, that someone like him shouldn’t be anywhere near our club which prides itself on its integrity and class. Why you ask? I’ll save that for the next and final post in this series that will form my main argument about why we need to keep Usmanov far away from our club.

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70 comments on “Arsenal Ownership Series – Part 2 – How did we get here?

  1. Ahaha, Adebayor fails from 5 yards out with the keeper liying on the ground and the ball in the air and in return, West Ham take the lead. Oh Adebayor.

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  2. Paul-N February 25, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    a cunt who bans you the momment you put him on a corner unable to face logic and reality….

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  3. I see West ham getting a 3rd on a counter.

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  4. Hunter, I believe he is a spud to be honest.

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  5. yep paul..nothing satisfies him ..lol.. always always something to moan about…and the abuse on wenger..only a spud would reserve such hate for us to be honest

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  6. arsene has turned them all into psychos …16 years is a lot of victories……pires henry sol cesc bacary robin lol i feel sorry for them…then last year they were noisy and look what happened..fantastic.

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  7. seriously!?

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  8. I agree Hunter, too much success for them to handle.

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  9. Bloody Bale. The day he leaves Sp*rs can’t come soon enough.

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  10. West Ham lost it, they got into this running up and down game instead of holding the ball and controlling the game. They should have gotten a draw at the very least.

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  11. We would do that sometime’s. Keep pushing for another goal and get punched in the gut. I don’t know who it was but their was West Ham player with only the goalie to beat and he couldn’t score.

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  12. Damn! I knew we couldn’t rely on those hammers!

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  13. Hammers just broke my heart. I was just getting ready to start baiting the Spuds. Sunday will be astern battle.

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  14. hey sam..mou is leaving madrid…send your cv to valdano…. 🙂

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  15. Yep Shotta, we are going to have to do it ourselves. Sunday is going to be huge and not for the faint hearted!

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  16. nevermind shotta we will take care of business. they are on a high now and next week they will come down to earth

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  17. @ shottagunna February 25, 2013 at 3:46 pm
    I think they are certain to play. Theo will have to support Jenks, as well.

    Damn. Is it only Tuesday?

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  18. Darn, I wanted Spuds to drop points. Oh well, we’ll have to beat them and wait until they stumble out of the top four.

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  19. Hahaha
    From what I heard of Alisher prison and lawyers will be the least of your worries. . Any truth to Gareth being a gooner?? Waste ham almost pulled it off. Paul it was Cole that missed the one on one with Lori’s. Any who where hammers failed we will triumph. It is shaping up to be a cracker. BRING IT ON… GAINS one more Jonny colon. Plz
    Or c. Cruz. The queen o salsa.

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  20. […] Arsenal’s ownership by Akash (@Gooner_optimist). If you missed them, do take a look at Part 1 and Part 2 as they both lead up to this […]

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