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Arsenal Ownership Series – Part 3 – The Conclusion

This is the final post and conclusion to a series of posts on 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 post.

To answer the MAIN question that I’ve been coming to in my series of posts, why not Usmanov? Why is the board so against his appointment to the executive board and takeover of the club?

At the moment, Usmanov has portrayed himself as some kind of savior to the Arsenal fans with his well or ill timed (depending on your view) public statements questioning the board’s ambition and stating what fans want to hear about “winning” “best players” “trophies”. He portrays himself as the hero, the one who is making the fans widely believe that he alone can put us on an equal platform along with Chelsea and man city.

A superficial view of these statements would make it seem like he’s just another well -wisher who only wants what we want and without explicitly stating it, promises to give it. But these also make me wary of him as these promises come from a position where he doesn’t have to keep them. It seems like a long winded political manifesto that gets someone elected but never really gets executed. Before I say anything further about that though, who exactly is Alisher Usmanov?  What is his back ground?

For that I would like to dig deep into his history and the link I provide here has VITAL information on the Oligarch.. But to just put it in brief, the article exposes the murky history including doing time for non-political reasons (though he claims otherwise and managed to get his record expunged with the aid of friendly leadership). The article also exposes his strong connections with certain unsavoury types. Now we haven’t declared anything outright here because for one we can’t really compete with his fancy PR and legal team who have a reputation of going after any site daring to say anything against him which to this author just lends more credence to the veracity of such claims. His PR team has even allegedly gone to the extent of having his Wikipedia entry modified to remove information about his murky past and freedom of speech related issues and replace it with his philanthropic deeds. But even the Times, who uncovered this change haven’t been spared considering their web article on this is “subject of a legal complaint”. You can access a clipping of it here though on @AngryofN5’s blog. Noble indeed.

Now is this the kind of person you would want to run your club?  Well you can counter me by telling that his personal life is of no concern and we shouldn’t really bother about that, when he is more than willing to invest in the club. Well here is the twist in the tale. This man who claims that he wants to take Arsenal to the next level clearly has cast doubts in my mind about his intentions.

One of the fears often expressed by most that are against the board is that they’re taking a share of the profits. Oddly enough, there is evidence to the contrary in several regards. Usmanov was the first and last person to demand that the shareholders take dividends from the profits generated, so basically a share of profits go to the shareholders instead of being directly invested back into the club like it does now (though Kroenke hasn’t committed verbally regarding how long this would continue). This proposal was shot down by the board at the time and before we can throw accusations about the current board taking in the profits, we can be assured that the profits generated by the club are invested directly back into the club. The club’s annual accounts (that are audited multiple times) clearly indicate that the board doesn’t take a penny out of the profits (beyond a nominal salary for being on the board)

Now my question is why is it that a man who claims to have so much desire to take Arsenal to the next level claiming to invest from his own pocket, request that board take dividends from profits generated? If his intentions are ONLY to help take the club to the next level, why is he looking to make money out of it? Also, if he really was so well meaning, as a shareholder with nearly 30% in the club why does he not already start keeping his promises of offering the investment he promises?

From the above points I’ve pretty much made it clear that on sheer appearance and PR work Usmanov may look like the savior to cure all our ills, but on the long run, this guy will take Arsenal to the cleaners. It’s pretty obvious with how the board is steering clear of his way (and has done so for a while now). And I would never want a person with such murky history to ever take over my beloved club. And despite the above points, if there are still doubts lingering over the credibility of the information then I direct you to the following links. One is a site owned by CRAIG MURRAY, a former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan who personally took up Usmanov’s case and came up with the information .  and another link that shows what exactly did usmanov do and why he needs to be feared over taking over our club.

With this I think I have managed to burst a few if not all myths surrounding  Usmanov. It has never been my motive, to take personal digs at the Uzbek. But after doing a comprehensive research on the billionaire who looks like the savior on the short run, but could be our slide to doom and gloom, I would never want to see this man running the affairs of the grandest and most English of all clubs.



Thanks for the guest post @Gooner_Optimist and I’m sure this might help open eyes of several people who were unaware of all this. I (@positivegunner) would also like to add this that as unpopular as Kroenke is, he is definitely preferable as an owner at the moment, if for nothing else but to keep away a man who clearly is against every principle and virtue that the club has ever stood for, especially that of integrity and class.

Stan might not seem even half decent for us at present and some people even despise the man, but what exactly has he himself changed in the way the club is run? If you look back at history, he is continuing a plan set in motion from a time even before he was involved with the club by people like Ken Friar, Peter Hill-Wood and Danny Fiszman and he hasn’t really altered that one bit. Now if people were expecting a billionaire owner to come in and pump money into the club, they can justifiably be disappointed, however, would the same disappointment and anger exist if this policy was continued under the old board with no majority owner? If Fiszman’s health hadn’t taken a downturn for the worse, forcing such a sale, and if the old board had continued these past two years with the same policy, would the complaints be as bad as they are now against “the Yank”? Would accusations of owning shares just to profit from them be made if the old board, the one that has been around for many successful seasons, stuck by the club’s self sustaining principles? Kroenke’s owned us for two years and it does seem like we’re stagnating under him but how much of the current situation is down to him? Did the two captains force their way out and force us into a rebuild because of him? Or did the ticket prices go up in the last 2 years that he’s actually owned us? Or was he in charge of the old commercial deals that hampered us until now?

He is definitely an easy target to go after but not all ills are his fault when the club is sticking to traditions of trying to achieve success while being self-sustaining that were established before his time here. It might seem like we’re swimming against the tide and it might seem easier to abandon it all for instant success that we’ve all craved for so long but I personally see this easy way out as less ambitious than trying to achieve greatness through sweat rather than oil. As clichéd as it is, the saying “it’s always darkest before the dawn” holds true. The next two years are going to see a dramatic change in our commercial income and this coincides with the introduction of Financial Fair Play Measures. This gives us spending power we have lacked and helps level the playing field to an extent thus ensuring that we will be able to genuinely compete without needing an external benefactor. If anything, Kroenke, Usmanov or the new consortium allegedly interested in buying us for a huge sum knows this well and they know that they won’t have to put in a penny. It has been a long, tiring, painful journey and there were bound to be hiccups along the way but should we really give up now after working so hard against the odds for the past decade?

Don’t-give-up-e1349045134143

43 comments on “Arsenal Ownership Series – Part 3 – The Conclusion

  1. I think we would be too harsh to judge a man on the strength of his former convictions. Ex offenders should be encouraged to fully integrate int the community and lead useful and productive lives, thereby making restitution for wickedness past.

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  2. well written whatever usmanov’s motivations are , the fans should know better and not act like gloryseekers. which only goes to show that even in arsenal fans ranks there are many thick people who dont really know what they support or why….that saddens me cause i felt that with wenger, arsenal fans would appreciate the eye opening experience and the all round imrpovement at the club since the day he arrived. gloryseekers…we have them too…

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  3. Excellent series. Wrong to blame the yank for policies enshrined in Arsenal DNA for generations. He’s only been here for 2 of the 8 trophyless years. And yes, it is “darkest just before the dawn”. Gooners should keep the faith.

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  4. Somewhat conservative in your opinions regarding our little arms dealer,

    http://blog.emiratesstadium.info/archives/21797

    What gets me with this type of individual is their direct links back to politicians or sovereign Royals. Both the arms industry and the petrochemical industry are well represented within English football.

    As shady as Usmanov is he is still only 50% owner in his company (red & white holdings) with the even more “silent Fahad Moshiri” owning the other 50%.

    What Usmanov highlights for me is the Kremlins long reach (you may well laugh) he is a government man.

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  5. Well done optimist (and positivelyarsenal, who I assume is pg?)

    I would like to stress that we’re not choosing between supporting 1) self-sustaining independence for the club and 2) the club relying on a sugar daddy. Option 2 is not on the table – Usmanov, as optimist says, wants to make money out of the club, not sink money into it. He has had the chance to say explicitly that he wants to put money in and he would not, not even to the extent of suggesting he would make an initial injection of huge funds and hoping that the club will be self-sustaining subsequently, like the Mansours (don’t laugh). So he is not interested in giving Arsenal anything. There is huge commercial potential in Arsenal (a theme on which ZP expounded recently in relation to Africa). With our infrastructure already in place, both physical and in terms of personnel, downward pressure on wages as a result of PL and Europe-wide FFP regulations (I know, I know, but let’s give it a chance), debt payments which are relatively small and manageable, that new commercial income would leave us minted. I believe that is what the Uzbek has his eye on.

    I know what the allegations are against Usmanov, and if true, they are good reasons not to want him on the premises, let alone on the board. In fact the destablising PR/propaganda salvoes he keeps aiming at the club are reason enough for me to shun him. Even if the allegations are not true, I don’t want him connected to the club. The telling difference between the two billionaires is that Kronke is honest with us – we know he believes in the self-sustaining model and won’t be putting money into the football club, that his shareholding was not purchased by leveraging on the club, that he is in it for the long term profit on his shares, that he is keen to develop the commercial potential of the brand and that he has not ruled out ever taking a dividend. We may not like all of those stances, but at least he has been straight with us. Usmanov has promised bread and circuses.

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  6. FunGunner .
    No that is Adi.
    I am not smart enough to have written that.

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  7. And by the way…my bete noire…
    Some fans confuse overspending/getting into unsustainable debt with having huge spending power. Chelsea, Man City and PSG have spent lavishly, but they are not in debt, except to their owners, who I believe have turned their debt into equity in the club. That would not be our situation. There is no-one who would back us to spend £100-£150 million a year for 2-3 seasons (which is what it would take to go the Chelsea/Man City route) or bail us out if it didn’t work out. We would be stuffed, basically.
    No doubt someone reading this will pipe up that there is a middle way – spend a bit more. To which the answer is, of course we can spend a bit more, but on what? Silly to pay a bit more for the same level or number of players. Why not save up that £10 million for a couple of years and throw it at a really special player or use it to tip the balance with his club?

    Also, spending £10 million more compared to the £100 million spent by another club will not bring us 10% closer to the title or a trophy. It’s how you spend that matters. Look at Swansea and Liverpool, if you’re sick of looking at us. The reason the sugar daddy clubs can get most of the best players when they want them is because they can blow other bidders out of the water in transfer fees and wages etc, not because they spend a certain magic amount per season, or they spend more than us. If half a dozen clubs in the league could afford a £100 million budget, then clubs would have to double or treble that to get a significant advantage over the other clubs.

    This is not directed at anyone posting above, just something I had to get off my chest!

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  8. Ok, pg, thanks.

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  9. that hideous fat creature needs arsenal more than we need him …….our fans shouldnt forget that.

    NO PASARAN

    p.s and stan is acting perfectly so far with regards his war with usmanov. there is nothing more frustrating than being ignored…..especially when you also have a 30% stake ..ahahahahah. for stan he simply does not exist…

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  10. eh ok and right were i thought the day could not get any funnier i see that the sperm has taken up the role of sub-editor pmsl..ahahah

    ” oh dont get me wrong i support him…BUT…..whose fault is it huh …???? ”

    ” negligence i say…negligence…he ripped us off..he lied to us…he aint fit to coach anymore…wheres the passion ? ”

    thats schizophrenia all right. 🙂

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  11. Its not about who we want in ,its about who we want out.
    Its not about what is good for the club ,its about what is good for me.
    Bollocks

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  12. Afternoon all.

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  13. That’s a bit of pucker journalism that is up there. I, like George said of himself, couldn’t even hope to get close to writing a piece like that.

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  14. Who we want in

    Who we want out

    But most of all who we want to shake it all about

    GeeeeerveeeeenyyyyyooooooooH oh ho ho
    GeeeeerveeeeenyyyyyooooooooH oh ho ho

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  15. @ anicoll^
    ha ha

    ***
    NextGen (U19 kids) against Meelan away at 2pm – so send out the good vibes, people.

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  16. Good piece. Arsenal, Liverpool Man Utd can say that no man is bigger than the club. City and Chelski can’t. We don’t want to be like them. And especially if that person is someone like Usmanov. You cannot accept their money without accepting what they stand for. They may buy you silver but you pay with your soul and pride. So it’s a matter of what you value the most.

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  17. Live stream of the NextGen game here K/O 14.00 GMT

    http://www.nextgenseries.com/

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  18. Superb write up, and fearless too, I’ll still have George’s bowling bag and gold teeth if the men in black suits take him though.

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  19. 0-0 at half time v Inter Milan.

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  20. I see some of you vultures can’t even wait until george is dragged off into the Bentley with fake number plates and blacked-out windows before you start calling dibs on his stuff… (Can I have the meerkat toy, btw?)

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  21. Bagsy George’s gimp suit!

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  22. From arsenal live Twitter:

    “Full time: Inter MIlan 0-1 Arsenal. Terry Burton’s team have qualified for the quarter-finals of the NextGen Series!”

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  23. They are replaying it here.

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  24. Excellent stuff today, Adi and positivegunner! Thanks!

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  25. That was some goal from NY

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  26. Good stuff here again today.

    thanks for that link earlier dups for the next gen. managed to catch last twenty minutes. Heck, some pitch/conditions they played on/in. Ideal sliding tackle weather that… sliding tackles still allowed?

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  27. Steve, you can watch the whole game on the above post, if you want.

    Steww, yes that was a top class goal. That kid takes responsibility.

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  28. I don’t think I have even quoted ‘arry before but I thought this was pretty funny.

    “If you lip read Fergie he shouts “Arbeloa could have broken Nani’s foot”

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  29. Ok, where the heck y’all at?

    I think the time off prior to the second leg came just in time. I believe the players needed a break from what has happened recently.

    I hope Gibbs will be back. If does come back I believe Podolski is sure to start on the left along with OG upfront and Theo on the right. Pure worries for BM.

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  30. Heh Steve_I, are “sliding tackles still allowed?”

    A friend said as we were watching a game live towards the end of last season:
    “Rosicky has re-invented the art of slide tackling!”

    I was tempted to give him a clip round the ear but I managed to restrain myself. “Reinvent”?, what was he talking about! The TR7 could always slide in and never lost anything but about 2 and a half years of his career*. Coquelin, he likes a slide too.

    * It was a bit of a problem when he was brought in at the time when funds were seriously scarce to be one of those post ’06 “leaders” (along with eduardo, sagna etc…) but hey, we have been told by those ITK that Arsene doesn’t like to spend the cash and that he can’t buy good players anymore. Like Rosicky, like Carzola.

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  31. Paul,
    Gibbs was scheduled to be back for the Away leg. Don’t know if he’s still on track for that game. I’m off home and then I think I’ll watch a bit of that u21 game, thanks for the link!

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  32. Thanks Finsbury. Laters!

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  33. @ Paul-N
    I’m still working (little break at the mo) but now I have that clip to look forward to, the evening will fly by. Thanks.

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  34. Finsbury and FunGun, it was actually from the link that dups put up. I went on the youtube page and realised that you could watch it again. Pretty kool!

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  35. In that case, thanks to dups as well.

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  36. I’m watching the game thanks to the link you put up Paul. Really terrible conditions. I’m surprised the game went ahead. It was obviously hard for the boys to keep the ball on the ground and play their usual passing game, so they did well to get a result.

    Well done on part 3 of the article gooner_optimist and Adi. Promises are easy to make but hard to keep.

    I don’t know if you were being tongue-in-cheek with your first comment Anicoll, but rehabilitation starts with acknowledgement and acceptance of your former wrong doing. Using money and strong arm tactics to wipe away your misdeeds smacks of deceit and willingness to employ underhand means to achieve your ends.

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  37. The boy with the legs of chocolate is not going to win the champions league this year, yeah, yeah!

    Thanks for the link Pauly. That narrator speaks Italian fast as heck and has a speech impediment, but he’s still miles better than Stewart Robson.

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  38. Manchester City, Real Madrid and Chelsea have but a few league titles and a couple Champions League trophies to show for the billions of euros they’ve spent. I don’t see how anyone can defend the spend big, spend fast method and not be laughed out of the room.

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  39. Where is Frank?

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  40. Cartoon at the end very telling.
    We should deviate from the sweat road to the oil road after going through all the hard times. Turns around to dig them diamonds
    Out of the mine..

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  41. Brilliant piece of writing. fans wanting Usmanov in cannot see beyond his devious plan to strip money from the club. That is why everyone is showing interest in our buisness model its appealing in this world of financial failings. We have fought hard and long and suffered trophyless years but we are now on the thresh hold of reaping what we sowed.from this year we march on we will become the force of old

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