41 Comments

Silent Stan.

I am confused, it’s not that hard to be when discussing religion or politics, but when it comes down to football and especially Arsenal Football Club I usually do well. I struggle with the nitty-gritty of finance, but overall I think I have a good balanced view of the club and how it is run.

So what am I confused about?

 I am confused about fans’ attitude to ‘Silent Stan’, a man who has spent a fair bit of money on buying shares in the club and in the grand scheme of things has had little influence on the running of the team.  As far as I can see, he has not interfered with the way Wenger runs the squad, unlike a certain ‘Russian’ down the road he has not demanded this or that be done like the said ‘Russian’ wants. He has let Arsenal Football Club run itself and surely that is what we want, an owner who takes a back seat, one who is there if push comes to shove.

Reading Twitter and a few blogs and forums you would have thought he was Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot and Simon Cowell rolled into one. Killing the club slowly and taking all the money out of the club. Apart from taking a wage that he is fully entitled to has he taken any other cash from the coffers?

What exactly has he done wrong for Arsenal?

I hear many quotes saying it’s his fault that Arsenal are in the doldrums, but why?

Has he not backed Wenger in the transfer market?

Yes Arsenal have had to buy to sell, but is that more a condition of regaining financial clarity after the move to the new ground, is he being blamed for Arsenal being broke when they moved ?

Has not his silent influence of the Arsenal marketing department been seen to work over the past six months? Two new shirt deals and a couple of other sponsorship deals and rumors of more to come. Arsenal are looking at having a marketing strategy and a wage strategy like the one at Old Trafford to help reduce the wage bill by using sponsorships in this area.

Has he not listened to fan groups who have rightly or wrongly questioned him, the board and other members of the backroom staff’s leaderships with ticketing, etc.?

The biggest bugbear I can see with fans’ attitude towards ‘Silent Stan’ is that he has not done an Abramovich. He has not come in and gone there you go have one billion pounds spend it how you like (or as ‘I like’ as it’s turned out).

Day after day I read how Arsenal are not like Bayern Munich and how Stan’s teams in American sport are not doing well. American sports clubs are run differently so it holds no comparison to English football and as for the German model, it would need a change in the set-up of the EPL for it to take effect here, which is not going to happen.

 Stan probably does see Arsenal just as an investment and not a love or passion thing, but can that not be a good thing?

In a league with teams backed by unlimited funds, is running a club with sound business practices not a good idea? Should not all clubs be self-sustaining to a point using TV money, Sponsorship deals, ticket money and the selling of players to fund the clubs?

Running football clubs is not as obviously easy as some make out, look at QPR, Blackburn and Aston Villa, three clubs all run differently, but all struggling. To me that shows that how you run a club is specific to your club.

Arsenal have in my mind,since the late nineties,set out on a path that Stan has bought into and is continuing with.

It is not reliant on one man’s wealth.

It has up to this point been reliant on one man’s managerial skill, but looking to the future, the club, Wenger and Stan are trying to make it so that when one or both leave the club we will be in a strong financial position to help it survive in the world of football that we now live in.

Stan may very well leave a richer man, but if his silent running of the club allows Arsenal Football Club to be competing in this highly competitive market than is that not a good thing?

 

@Swales1968

Stephen has agreed to write for us.He was “tapped up” in other words.

I would like to add that yesterday,Gary Neville said

the best thing about the Glazers,is that they don’t interfere with the running of the club”

How odd , that seems to be exactly what many of our fans don’t want from someone who is not an owner,just a majority shareholder.

41 comments on “Silent Stan.

  1. Spot on, well argued and well written. People just want to moan. Even when they have no facts and no idea what role their target fulfils at the club. Stan, like Ivan is just a name to them and because they think we are failing, despite competing yet again at the pinnacle of English football, they put the boot in.

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  2. What i find most amusing is that Kroenke gets blamed for Arsenal not winning anything for eight years when he only been around for about two years?

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  3. Very good….and I agree with Steww

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  4. Thanks, Stephen. Good article.
    I’m not even sure that Stan does take a salary. I don’t think he does. There were one-off costs incurred by the club due to the change of shareholder but I don’t think those went into SK’s pocket.

    And…
    ““the best thing about the Glazers,is that they don’t interfere with the running of the club”

    How odd , that seems to be exactly what many of our fans don’t want from someone who is not an owner, just a majority shareholder.”
    I made this very point just yesterday! It’s wrongly focussed anger about the fact that we haven’t won trophies for several years and that we are not able to battle much richer clubs financially. This willl upset some, but I strongly believe that not only do we have the best manager in English football, we also have the best administration.

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  5. Thanks for the replies

    It is also notable how quiet the owners of Chelsea and Manchester City are but it’s only Stan that gets the nickname ‘silent’.

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  6. Very good Stephen – If we had an owner who had sucked hundreds of millions of dollars out of the club, as the giant vampire squid Glazerius Malcimus has done to the club in the North West over the past few years, then the abuse might have some vague factual foundation.

    As it is he is a businessman and AFC are one of his investments, in fact a very large investment even for wealthy man. The notion that he is not interested or does not care is utterly fucking ludicrous, almost as daft as the idea that Stan is somehow going to start banging his fist on Arsene’s desk to conjure up trophies.

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  7. Good stuff Stephen.

    On the whole, I have to agree, Though I do have natural misgivings about Stan (I think it’s the combination of wealthy Republican mogul + the syrup and ‘tache combo. Yes that’s probably it), the “hands off” approach to the day to day running of the club is one I’m much more comfortable with. And as Steww says, Most of the abuse directed at Stan and Ivan the terrible is born of ignorance, convenient targets for the clubs lack of shiny baubles (diddums) in recent seasons.

    We could even end up finishing 3rd this season, that’s still a distinct possibility, and after such a traumatic summer, that would be quite some achievement.

    In Arsene I trust (ooh that’ll piss a few of ’em off. Hopefully).

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  8. I think giving Stan credit for not doing what the Glazers or Roman do or did is a little wide of the mark, its a relief he hasn’t taken money out of our club,yet-but as you said yourself- all we are to him is ‘pure investment’- Sorry, I don’t trust him (or the Bond villain Usmanov ) I trust Arsene Wenger.

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  9. What Lord Mel of Arsenal.com said. I agree.

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  10. i dont care who the owner is as long as he stays silent and lets Arsene get on with whatever he has in mind.

    Arsene is the one who provides the sense of security. Nobody else.

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  11. His takeover coincided with the departure of FabNasVan in most people minds. I think this would have happened with or without him, but some people often don’t think further then that. Rather then explain or understand a complex situation they will look for a simple actor doing all the wrong.
    I don’t see what he did wrong since his arrival, he didn’t change anything if I’m not mistaken, which I respect and even agree with.

    Anyway, good post 🙂

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  12. I forgot to say, well written Stephen, welcome to PA!

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  13. Nice work Steve. It’s easy to spout off about Stan, Ivan etc when let’s face it 99.9% of fans have absolutely no idea at all what these chaps do on a day to day basis. The original sponsorship deals can look poor on paper but that was because we needed the money up-front to pay down as much of the stadium debt as quickly as possible. This obviosuly meant that the overall package would be less than a deal paid over 5 years lets say. However (and i’m just guessing as I dont know for a fact) If you take into account the interest saved by paying down our loan as quickly as we have done would probably mean that in real terms the packages have actually been significantly higher than the headline values suggest. The deals we are negotiating now under normal financial operations are starting to look far more fruity and at a level that you would expect from a world brand such as Arsenal Football Club. This summer should be fairly interesting from a player investment perspective and I am quite happy to see AW with the responsibilty of spending this money having seen the club through what can best be described as a severe austerity peiod. COYG.

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  14. Stephen – Your piece reminds me so much of last year’s rantings elsewhere by a former colleague of many of us. After the Van Paymore debacle, he was flaming in self-righteousness demanding ownership change, management change, coaching change, etc. Many of us argued that it was psuedo-radical rhetoric, that our difficulties were temporary in nature that we would be transitioning to a new team with a new way of playing. 8 months later we have an outside chance of coming 3rd and a range of off-field financial and marketing achievements which put us in a stronger position for the future. Who would have thunk that!

    That doesn’t mean we we sit on our duffs complacently. Stan is a billionaire businessman and his economic interests are different from us. But we have a shared support for the football club. We in our small way must continue to demand the best for the club so we can compete for trophies despite the irrational spending of clubs with outside money.

    But let us focus on our next two cup finals. We need to stuff Wigan tomorrow.

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  15. A nice piece, and to remind some that Alisher Usmanov is not The “other ” majority shareholder. He owns 50% of Red & white holdings with the even more “silent” Farhad Moshiri. But they do a good job at hammering the “silent stan” bit into our heads via the media.
    Usmanov has been a busy bee of late purchasing many a communications company?
    There you may find your answers?

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  16. A point that I didn’t put in and perhaps should of was ‘what did Dein think Stan would of done differently’?

    If the story’s are true of DD going behind the boards back to bring in SK then what would he of done. Would he of put money in to the club? I can not see that he would of changed anything a strange deal the DD tried to broker.

    And thanks again for the comments

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  17. I have to agree with Mel. I accept he has done nothing wrong as far as the club is concerned, but he is a businessman, not even apparently interested in football. So if/when the club’s value approaches what would be a substantial return on investment, it wouldn’t necessarily matter who he sold to, “it’s not personal, just business”.
    If he is not taking money out of the club as suggested. Would it not seem like he is fattening it up for the market?

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  18. Its the “but he is a businessman” line I puzzle over Michael – particularly the “but” bit

    Aren’t they all businessmen ? Because if you are gong think tens of million, or in Stan’s case hundreds of millions, of your cash into so unpredictable an investment as a football club then you would have to be a businessman, or a lunatic, or not keen to end up hanging in your bathroom.

    He might be silent but he is no lunatic ( or Russian)

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  19. I dont want a businessman running the club who does not want to turn a profit.The more the value of the club goes up .The bigger and stronger we must be.Whoever the owner is.

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  20. Anicoll5
    My “but he is a businessman”, just stresses that he is not interested in football, added to which he is at the moment taking nothing out. Where is the return on his investment? If he had a passion for the game, it might suggest longevity in his ownership, no problem.
    Would you be happy if he sold to the Usbek in a couple of years?
    I’m probably old fashioned, I don’t like change for the sake of change, only for the better.

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  21. To be honest Michael I could not give two hoots if Stan sells to the Uzbek tomorrow, or in two years, or drops dead tomorrow, any more than I was interested in any Arsenal owner of the past 50 years and their wealth creation plans, or their state of health.

    Its an investment to them, and I don’t want any of them feigning some “passion” for something they know nothing about. Keep your f****** nose out would be my advice to them and take your profit when it arrives, as it surely will.

    They are not in this for the same thing as we are, I know this, never will be, none of them.

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  22. anicoll5, yours is probably the best way of looking at it. Perhaps I worry too much.

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  23. I for one am very happy about KRONKES majority control and with his trust of Ivan and AW running of the club. He is in it for the long haul and won’t mess around with the current model the club is operating on which is more than I can say about alisher and farhad.

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  24. Why can’t someone be a businessman AND a sports fan?
    How do we know that Stan is “not interested” in football?
    The only person “feigning passion” is Fat.

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  25. And as far as STANS other sports franchises in the USA, one made the playoffs in the NBA and the other was mostly dismanteld after they won the Superbowl. Even the coach was sold to KC chiefs. A great new manager is brought in and the rebuilding has started. He has only been in full ownership mode with the RAMS for two to three years . He has started the club on the right road and im certain they will be a force to reckon with soon enough. The disappointment of many of our fans stems from the desire to change our current model with injection of funds left and right. In other words move more towards buying your achivements and goals than working and building towards them. Therefore to them STAN is a total disappointment and they want him out and they really don’t care who the next owner will be as long as he comes with bags full of cash to buy the players they think will deliver our next trophy. Nausiating to think about. Who wants to be the next shitty, chelski, manure , Tottenham, Liverpool or even Newcastle .

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  26. STEPHEN
    nice subject and write up sir.

    I ARSENE , STAN AND THE BOARD I TRUST……
    hehehe, let the cat out amongst pigeons.

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  27. Great stuff, Stephen. The point that seems to go amiss to those who have an issue with SK is that he is doing exactly what he said. I don’t see the reason to blast him, at all, the man was upfront from jump street.

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  28. Pertinent comments from FunGun and G’kam. 1. we cannot say that the man is not passionate and 2. the supporters are vex because the man did not splash the cash.

    I rather like the silent, hands off approach. I can’t stand owners who think they are managers. It such a mockery. Chelsea have had so many managers, how on earth is that good for the team.

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  29. Better Silent-Stan than spouting bollocks like Usmanov. Who wants a patronizing, interfering owner? Leave the footballing to Arsene and the business side to Ivan. Unlike most businesses, there are 2 million fans watching their every move to ensure they are acting in the best interest of the club. So long as everybody does their job, including us supporters, AFC will be ok.

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  30. i have a slightly different view of this ownership issue.
    if i see a company that its share holders want to sell their shares and i put my money to buy for what ever reason. what is wrong if i make some profit or get something back on my investment.
    it is not as if other clubs are run better than arsenal. i want to see that fan who will put his money in a bussiness and not expect to get anything in return. these are the same fans who complain of having to pay 6% more to watch their darling team play. yet they expect kronke to put his millions in their club and not plan how to run the club profitably. i call that hypocricy. what is even strange is that kronke has not taken anything from the club. i wonder what they will do when he starts doing that.
    good evening all.

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  31. Top post and many many top top comments. I too agree with HRH Mel from TheRoyalArsenal.com.
    The mere consideration of what goes on or went on inside the love triangle betwixt DD, Mr. Wal-Mart and the blubbering Jabba is a scary place to be and I’d rather go there.

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  32. The judicious editing by those who are obsessed with spending some moolah has meant that there has been very little mention of the melodrama surrounding the handover but I have noticed some more comments of late here and there highlighting this slightly important part of the story. Of course, it’s all Arsene’s fault. Whatever ‘it’ is.

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  33. Argh
    < 'rather not go there'

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  34. Great post today as underlined by the many great comments, as many have already said the present model seams to working and as in many businesses because its not wholly transparent it is difficult to make definitive analysis. The loud Russian seems to be hovering like a vulture and if he is allowed to feed he may well take his pound of flesh

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  35. great piece, filled with stuff that needs saying.. It’s back to the modern fan needing a scapegoat of some kind and now that Ramsey is showing his true colours they’ll immediately turn back on Stan..
    Over here in Ireland Johnny Giles can’t say a sentence on TV or radio, without mentioning how vitally important it is to have a board that doesn’t interfere, that trusts their manager, and his beliefs and vision, and just back it..Cos otherwise a manager has a vision of how he sees the team and the club but if the board buy the players they want for example then force the manager to try to fit them into his vision it just doesn’t work, and thats why the likes of Fergie,Wenger and Moyes have lasted so long, as they have boards that let them be..
    On top of that am i wrong in saying that they told us 7 or 8 years ago that things would change for 7 or 8 years, that we had to get a lump of the stadiums payments sorted b4 we could move forward, i may be wrong but i’m pretty sure they did tell us.. so its not like theyve pulled the wool over our eyes..

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  36. given the boot again. Poor poor ROBERTO.
    ( smiley face )

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  37. From what I have read,
    Danny Fiszman sold his shares to Stan on his deathbed, instead of Dean and the Jabba.

    He must have know Dean and the Hutt would be poison to the club if they gained majority ownership, hence Danny deciding to break up the balance of power with the share spilt. I will 100% trust Fiszman’s judgement on his stewardship of the Arsenal legacy.

    The fatbastard is an odious cunt, Stan is a lesser cunt, so he will do for now. And none of us can shift him out ANYWAY.

    AorB; guess whose cronies on the web are introducing the meme about releasing dividends to shareholders? not Stan – he doesn’t need them. ~Alisher does need some dividend from his futile investment in 29.99999% of the shares, and guess what?
    Low and behold a bunch of muppets on blogs who don’t even know what share dividends are spouting on about it like they are directors of the Bank of England.

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  38. So ¢ity have sacked a manager who has won the league and FA cup in the last 3 years.

    Guess what outlook the WOB’s will take on that?

    The guy was a consumate twat and if he couldn’t get a better team spirit out of that bunch of spoiled brats he had to go. Bought British players for top £££ and he didn’t even pick them for the squad, let alone the first 11. Inflating the price for everyone else.
    Classless. Him and is former bosses.

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  39. Thanks for the comments, I think the whole problem is not knowing what Usmaniov will do or wants to do. It’s much like Wenger going or staying we just don’t know what will happen with the club or team. Manchester United have gone for a soft easy option with Moyes a manager that Fergie can control/train from the boardroom, they have I suppose gone for stability. If Wenger left or Usmaniov took over would Arsenal have stability?

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  40. Man City is not good enough to win championships on cruise control like Chelsea used to. This is very much Mancini’s squad and whomever comes in (Mourinho) will have to drop a few hundred million pounds on new players. The good news is Arsene thrives in this environment. I am certain he’ll buy a few incredible players while everyone focuses on Bale, Falcao, Neymar and every other bit of over-hyped rubbish in the football world going to City.

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  41. To all those saying about Stan not knowing about Arsenal etc just found this quote from 2011

    “I have always been aware of Arsenal,” he says. “I would say it was about 10 or 12 years ago that I really started following Arsenal. I followed very closely the season when Arsenal went unbeaten. It was unbelievable. I went over to see several games when ­Thierry Henry was still there.”

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