69 Comments

Wrighty Is So Wrong About Arsenal

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Every year, since Stan Kroenke became owner, whenever the club is going through a difficult patch, after the finger-pointing at Arsene, Ivan and the tea-lady, the pitchforks are finally targeted at the owner. It is so repetitious it has almost become a ritual. I am convinced the practitioners have absolutely no idea why they do it, and, like all mindless behaviour, cannot conceive of its utter pointlessness.

This year’s high priest of these rites was the legendary Ian Wright.  Shortly after Arsenal laboured to defeat Middlesbrough, which featured the once retro but now fashionable three at the back system, he went straight for Stan’s jugular with the following tweet:

“Arsenal joining this list of world beating teams 😡. Great investment’s though Mr kroenke. 👌” Ian Wright (@IanWright0 ) April 16, 2017

Apparently Wrighty is one of the many Arsenal fans who are heavily into wilful self-delusion. How else can one explain their blatant forgetfulness about the history of Kroenke’s rise to becoming the majority-owner of the club.

Let me reveal a long-hidden secret to Ian and his pals.  It was because of the great 10-year run of Arsenal under Arsene Wenger, from 1996 onwards (collecting three EPL titles and four FA cups), when the value of the club had exploded, that the traditional English owners decided it was full-time to cash-out. Apparently they were not sanguine about an uncertain future paying for a brand new stadium. They were selling, Kroenke was buying. They disinvested, he saw a “great investment”.

Kroenke’s holdings in the club began with an initial 9.9% bought from ITV plc in April 2007. Sometime in 2008 he increased his stake in the club to 20.5% following a purchase of shares from fellow director Danny Fiszman. In May 2009, Arsenal announced Kroenke had bought a further 4,839 shares from the Carr family which made him the largest shareholder of the company with 28.3%. By November this increased to the maximum 29.9% limit.

Things really got interesting in 2009. Among the non-directors owning a large slice of shares was former vice chairman David Dein, who is today treated in some quarters as a legendary big-spending owner and director. Dein and others sold their shares to Red and White Holdings, co-owned by Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov and London-based financier Farhad Moshiri, who made a rival bid to become majority owner of the club. As of September 2011 they owned 18,204 shares (29.25%) of the club.

Based on the bits and pieces that made it to the public domain, the future ownership of the club was decided by director Danny Fiszman who convinced Kroenke not to purchase more than 29.9% of the club until at least September 2009, while the rest of the board agreed not to consider a sale of their shares to “non-permitted persons” until at least April 2009, and had first option on each other’s shares until October 2012. When the lockdown ended, in April 2011, Kroenke extended his ownership of the club by purchasing the shareholdings of Nina Bracewell-Smith (15.9%), and Danny Fiszman (16.11%) and other directors of the Arsenal board, taking his shareholding to 66.64%. It is undeniable that Danny Fiszman’s (who, by the way, was the driving force in building the new stadium) deathbed decision to sell his remaining stake to Kroenke was critical to his majority ownership.

It is important to understand that majority ownership means Kroenke calls the shots in making the financial, managerial and strategic decisions that affect the club. This has meant, as minority shareholders, Red and White Holdings have no say in the key decisions as they have no representation on the board. In truth they have no greater privileges than that of a common shareholder, albeit one with a significant holding.

I wonder if Wrighty and those of similar ilk understand the importance of the choice made by Danny Fiszman, who bled red-and white up to his final breath. Rather than adopting former chairman Peter Hill-Wood’s bombastic declaration that “…we don’t need his money and we don’t want his sort…,” the late diamond trader, after scrutinizing Kroenke’s ownership of his many other sports franchises felt he would continue Arsenal’s tradition of being a ‘self-sufficient’ club.

Peter Hill-Wood and Fiszman were not naive and stupid:

“…Americans are buying up chunks of the Premiership football clubs and not because of their love of football but because they see an opportunity to make money…”

Hill-Wood concluded:

“…Stan Kroenke is involved in sport and we have had constructive meetings with him,”

“We have never been in better shape financially and do not want anybody to buy the club, but if Kroenke wanted to buy it he would understand it and how to maintain the standards.”

Apparently these standards are what drives Wrighty and company crazy. What makes them so mad? This is where the annual blame-game as a ritual makes absolutely no sense.

In the first place, unlike the Glazers at United, the American did not leverage his share ownership by using it as collateral to finance his buy-out of Arsenal. The Glazers went further, they then lashed the debt onto the books of United making the club responsible for making the principal and interest payments. Initially the total debt was around £660 million. This was the first time United had debt since 1931. The interest rates on the debt amounted to around £62 million a year. That by the way is the nearly one-third their annual payroll. Should United’s current revenue stream, reportedly over £500 million per year, begin to slow down, as in real-life, it is the wage-bill that will be cut to facilitate the interest payments.

The Glazers it seems have no limits to putting the burden of their ownership on United. In 2016 it was revealed the club must pay £15 million in dividends annually to the six Glazer siblings for the privilege of their buying out the club with borrowed money.  It was further revealed that the said same siblings had borrowed a total of £10m from the club and been paid £10m in “management and administration fees”.

Compare and contrast with “Silent” Stan. He bought Arsenal with externally generated funds placing no additional debt burden on the club. How easily Ian and his friends forget that until 2014, Arsenal was struggling with repaying the obligations incurred to finance the new stadium. The club had locked itself into long-term naming and sponsorship deals which guaranteed a steady cash flow acceptable to the lenders who loaned them the money. But it didn’t leave a lot available for making transfers and paying wages comparable to Arsenal’s big-3 rivals (United, Chelsea and City). Not only did Kroenke not do a leverage buy-out, he has taken no dividends from the club, which is his inherent right as a shareholder. In fact the only direct payments that have been made by the club to a Kroenke entity is £3 million to Kroenke Sports and Entertainment LLC,  in 2013-14 and 2014-15 (not taken since) for services rendered to the club. This is a piddling amount compared to the payments United must make to the Glazer children.

It is well known that what really aggravates Wrighty and others is the refusal by the billionaire majority owner of the club, to reach into his personal checkbook and spunk up the mega bucks necessary to help buy the best players available worldwide who could presumably guarantee the club to win every major trophy available. Wrighty’s tweet reeks with sarcasm and snark when he tweets “Arsenal joining this list of world beating teams.” Not.

Apparently these critics of Kroenke believe that making these “investments” will guarantee Arsenal league titles. Haven’t we learnt anything from the last ten years? Unlike a one-horse league enjoyed by Bayern and PSG or the Real Madrid-Barcelona duopoly in Spain, there is no evidence that spending massively on transfers and wages will guarantee first place in the Premier league. Examples abound. In the last four-years of the post Ferguson era United has spent about £400 million on transfers and have failed to make the top-4 in two of those years much less win a title. Roman Abramovich has spent about £1 billion on transfers and wages and last season finished 10th. City has spent an equivalent amount yet only has 2 titles in 10-years to show for their investment.

On a longer time horizon, relying on a sugar-daddy owner is economically and commercially unsustainable. Look no further than the recent example of A. C. Milan. For over 30 years they had the ultimate beneficent owner in Silvia Berlusconi. Under him they became one of Europe’s pre-eminent clubs, winning eight league titles, one Italian Cup, seven Super Cups as well as five Champions League trophies and five UEFA Super Cups. But due to Milan’s growing debt and Berlusconi’s falling financial fortunes, the club were forced to sell some of its best players year after year without significant reinvestment, leaving them floundering. In a span of just two years, Milan lost world class players like Andrea Pirlo, Clarence Seedorf, Alessandro Nesta, Pippo Inzaghi, Gennaro Gattuso, Mark Van Bommel and Gianluca Zambrotta, who were then followed by Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva.

Due to their cascading financial failure, both AC and Inter have fallen into the hands of Chinese owners. Nothing is wrong with the Chinese per se. Like any businessman they are in it to make money. But to the chagrin of some Italians, they are running both clubs as extensions of their businesses on the mainland. They recently forced both clubs to play their derby game at 12:00 noon on a Saturday, a tv-friendly time for their Chinese audience. To add insult to injury, in the case of AC there is little chance the new owners can afford to spend big on new players required to return them to former glory. They incurred significant “debt” (remember that word Wrighty) to finance its £628m takeover and their lenders reportedly have little appetite to extend new money to buy expensive players who also come with very large wages.

Meanwhile, the Rossoneri  have now gone three years without European football, their longest abstinence from the continental stage in the past three decades — currently lead Inter by two points but are still two points behind fifth-placed Atalanta and an assured place in the Europa League.

Remember Milan was the biggest club in the world during  Wrighty’s era as a footballer. One wonders if their experience will give pause to him and others who are so quick to blame Stan Kroenke for leaving Arsenal to do what it needs to do; generate its own resources and pay its own way.

Sadly, I think not. Most football fans have the memory of a goldfish. They have been seduced by the corrupt mainstream media into believing the false narrative that success can be bought and not achieved by hard work over time. They want titles and they want it now. Like Wighty and his twitter followers, the experience of AC Milan is quickly cast down a memory hole and big spenders like United, Chelsea and City held up as the gold standard.

Who thinks I am being too pessimistic?

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69 comments on “Wrighty Is So Wrong About Arsenal

  1. If Wrighty was crying for the fans of Leyton Orient, Leeds, every third club in the football league as they suffer under the kind of owners so beloved by Scudamore it might be possible to give his words on owners some credibility.

    But like the rest if the 24/7 football media he says sweet FA about many of the vampires sucking the money and life out of grassroots and league football.

    Shotta. It is a F.A.C.T. that none of the various blaggers including the supreme Swiss hole blagger have ever commented upon the modern Arsenal Stadium Mystery, the deathbed haggle and handover between Fizzywotsit and The Krunk. And all speculative papers ssigned theirin. You all rememeber, the one time AW actually came close to quitting. Nevermind all the intense noise surrounding these failed wob campaigns nad their 300 spartan ‘activists’/failed hostile corporate takeover efforts (please refer to the ‘AST’ not so nice but dim self declared expert in PR writing for our former chancellor upon behalf of a bankrupt newspaper)…there’s only so long the same old people can avoid commenting on that story before all their credibility evaporates (that’d cover 99% of commentators and blaggers upon The Arsenal), and that time passed some time ago now.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Very well articulated Shotta. I share misgivings about Ian Wright. A man that sounds plausible and articulate but fails to see the big picture, like a lot of others who believe that there are simple routes to success in football. I still believe there is a huge correlation between money and success, but it is true that stupidity can intervene, as in the case of AC Milan and Manchester United.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Masterful tour de force of club financing Shotta and I formally propose we lock it up and republish every year around the 1st May. As you say, the (non) debate spins around every year around about now – perhaps we should immediately refer to it as The May Post.

    The anti-Kronke sentiment kicked off almost as soon as the ink was dried on the purchase of his controlling share. I’ve always defended him, largely for the reasons you cover above. He may not be perfect. He may indeed be silent. But that is very much how I like my owners – the football is about the football, for me, not the ego of the owner.

    Sometimes I do indeed wonder how much more quickly the value of his investment might grow with a sub of £50m here and there but it is evident that he is likely to be in this for the extreme long-haul. Look at Italy, look at Leeds, look at Manure, Coventry, Portsmouth – look where ever you wish for plenty of warnings from the past as to what can happen in the future if an over-spending sheik or oligarch gets his or her sums wrong.

    To truly belong to the upper echelon of ‘big’ clubs, one has to be prepared to spend upwards of £1 billion every couple of years or so in order to remain in that strata. Common sense will tell you that ultimately that £1 billion won’t always be forthcoming.

    The value of Arsene Wenger to Arsenal is that he takes us to the very brink of the kind of success the ‘big’ boys enjoy – and from time-to-time takes us over that line.

    Had Financial Fair Play panned out as intended, I’ve no doubt we would have been firmly on top by now.

    Arsene will take us there, given the chance.

    And that is the value of what Kronke brings to Arsenal – the time and space for Arsene to do just that.

    The likes of Jose, Klopp, Pep are all being exposed by the rigours of the Premiership and just this morning Chelsea’s Conte is reported to have said you can not simply purchase success.

    In my mind, Arsene’s ‘stock’ has never been higher.

    If I could buy shares in Wenger PLC, trust me, I would.

    Thanks for a great read Shotta.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. Wrighty is not only, smart and articulate, he knows exactly how transfers work and how agents operate in football.

    Therefore he must completely comprehend the long standing posture of AFC regarding agents which pre-dates AW’s arrival at the club. At least better then any of us!

    Aye. There’s the rub.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. My personal favourite of all the pieces you’ve written so far Shotts. Cheers!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I’ve always felt Wrighty would benefit if he had an actual ‘job’ rather than having to be a pop-up personality to earn a living since his retirement. He is a very likeable chap but, like the vaaaast majority of footballers, does not appear to have much of an idea how the world of money and power works outside the gilded world of professional football.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Muppet, there is a proven 85% correlation between spending and success, so if we accept that fact, we have to accept they to just buy success we would have to not only match the spending of City, United and Chelsea, but exceed it for a period of several years.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Or more importantly Andy, from within football?

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Excellent work shotta!

    I cannot stand Wright and his pandering. For someone so accomplished on his own, he lacks dignity. He acts like those losers whose existence the world wouldn’t know about but for youtube and that fat bastard with a camera at Arsenal games.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. since when has wrighty been right about arsenal or arsene? even when his head is clear, he doesnt get his analysis or predictions right let alone when his head is compromised with hated, envy and pure jealosy. the truth is, he doesnt like arsene hence hates seeing arsenal succeed under wenger. the only reason is because arsene didnt waste the club’s money on his ‘son’ who earn millions sitting on chelsea bench.

    Liked by 4 people

  11. George,

    I don’t have a problem with spending money – none of us do. We all buy into the model of the emirates and commercial deals + TV money. It’s when the money is derived from sources outside of the football – that includes leveraged debt, equity etc. That’s what I was getting at.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. To expand on that point, and the earlier point, a lot of people see that things are very wrong with the structure because we are not winning major trophies. Actually, you have to look again at what you have pointed out – an 85% correlation of money to success, and ask yourselves – how many clubs that are winning things are not actually doing it because of a plain economic vanilla model – quite a few – and because of that – it doesn’t mean that our model is flawed – it just means that the latter could be corrupt.

    Liked by 4 people

  13. Not me Shotta, not me! Thanks for this erudite peice.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Excellent piece.

    I’d say success can be bought, clearly, but it’s not so much about the amount you spend as the amount relative to rivals. For PSG or Bayern dominance, you need to greatly outspend your closest rival, and keep on outspending them.

    Aside from Scotland and Germany, even that doesn’t guarantee the league every single year- PSG may well miss out this year- but it makes you overwhelming favourites, and if you miss out, but continue to outspend your rivals hugely, you should be back at the top next year and can never experience a big fall. That’s domestically.

    A similar thing applies in Europe, but is greatly complicated by the size and strength of the big three- Bayern, Real and Barca. Outspending them massively over a number of years might be possible, but there are serious constraints on it due to the number of the very best players who are at those mega clubs and pretty damn hard to extricate from there

    The premier league, meanwhile, is pretty much unique: it’s questionable whether it would even be possible for one team to massively outspend everyone else presently for a concerted period.

    City could probably do it, but a mixture of the great wealth of rivals; the wealth of even the smaller top flight clubs meaning they’ll extract big fees for their players (meaning you can sign any one of them, but can’t hoover them up Bayern style), pride and the simple fact they can’t have anyone they want (i.e the few players who come with a near guarantee of massive success, are in no rush to leave Barca, Real, Bayern,etc) has, so far, stopped that from happening.

    Our probability of success would surely be much greater if we could equal the spending of City or anyone else in the league and world, and the only way that can happen is with a change of ownership and our very own free-spending multi-billionaire (is that a saying?), so the Wright’s of the world are sort of right, even if their workings out tend to be incorrect or non-existent.

    The question is, should we cry and wail over not having the right sort of billionaire?

    You can if you want, I suppose, but it’s pretty ignoble stuff, and childish. It also involves signing up to a fairly bleak and pernicious world-view, where money, simple money, earned it doesn’t matter how, is more than equal, over time, to any amount of good, honest, hard work or brilliance.

    It would entail us making life yet harder for anyone who doesn’t have themselves a billionaire daddy (or Utd’s mad commercial success), as our life was made harder, and saying , ‘ha. Not our problem any more. Fuck you peasants (‘oh, but it’s not about money anyway. What a manager we have/are about to have; what great work signing these players’)’

    All of it coming with lashings of hypocrisy and denial. It might be fun to crow about awesome spending power when the occasion suits but more often than not everyone concerned will want to ascribe any success to other factors.

    I can only guess how I’d react if we had ourselves a free-spending multi-billionaire, and I’m not at all sure I wouldn’t end up living comfortably with it; but while we don’t have one and with all the more decent parts of my brain (which aren’t always in control when watching football) I don’t think it’s something to cry over.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. Jeez who r u people?f****k me!r u members of the board lol?the one thing u all conveneiently omit is of all said clubs I.e the chavs,Oilers,manure a c Milan etc.have ALL won trophies.lots.major ones.yes they may have slack periods.but sooner or later the investment pays off.where are we?permanent under achievers.but with fans like you I despair.THINK BIG .stop being small minded accountants….

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Uwot, you have shit for brains.
    Who the fuck let that single cell pond life in?

    Liked by 1 person


  17. OT:

    hate the Manchester Grunt
    love david squires’ cartoons, i think many of us here could happily sit and have a chinwag with Mr.Squries over a cuppa/drinkl etc.:

    https://www.theguardian.com/football/ng-interactive/2017/apr/25/david-squires-on-arsenal-and-chelsea-reaching-the-fa-cup-final

    Liked by 3 people

  18. Uwot

    You want a billionaire sugar daddy, and why not, that’s reasonable enough, but don’t go confusing that with anything else.

    I’d really like to win the lottery but there’s no big thought, big ambition, etc in that. I’d just like to win the lottery and there’s little more to say about it. Wouldn’t involve any merit on my part if it happened.

    Likewise, I can’t see too much any fan craving the lottery win of a billionaire sugar daddy can really say, aside from wanting one and not being happy without one.

    I guess it’s not a satisfying thing to repeat constantly and doesn’t sound all that ambitious or big-minded, but it’s your truth so stick with it.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Uwot is typical of the goldfish like brains among many in the fanbase. That is why I am so pessimistic if they will ever learn the lesson of Milan, Leeds, Aston Villa, Nottingham Forest etc who have all gone to the wall. Some of us would prefer to have a club to support in the next 20-30 years and not have to visit a tombstone to hubris and recklessness.

    The good thing about PA is we don’t usually allow these juveniles and internet trolls inside the house to distract us from serious discussion of serious issues.

    Liked by 3 people

  20. Look no further than the recent example of A. C. Milan. For over 30 years they had the ultimate beneficent owner in Silvia Berlusconi. Under him they became one of Europe’s pre-eminent clubs, winning eight league titles, one Italian Cup, seven Super Cups as well as five Champions League trophies and five UEFA Super Cups…

    I’d take Chinese ownership and noon kick-off against Spurs for that haul.

    Like

  21. Of course you would Jimmy, because you don’t give a fuck what happens to the club as long as you can bask in temporary reflected glory.

    Liked by 5 people

  22. Lets just get this in order shall we.

    AC Milan were a huge Italian football cub when Silvio Berlusconi was pimping his grandma out to GIs, as were Juve with the Agnellis and Inter under the Moratti family. Long before Silvio came along they won European trophies and domestic trophies.

    “ultimate beneficent owner” my bell end.

    Liked by 4 people

  23. Andrew Nic: Why are you bursting my bubble? Silvio is the Man. Lol.

    Liked by 3 people

  24. No decent in the ranks lads. Stiff upper lip.

    Liked by 2 people

  25. The only genuinely beneficent owner I ever came across was Jack Walker – made his fortune, bought his hometown/boyhood club and poured in millions and transformed them from Division Two strugglers to league champions. Before Jack they were nothing, (at least in the 20th century) – after Jack they reverted to being nothing again.

    Now that is a SUGAR DADDY

    Liked by 5 people

  26. Excellent read, as ever. I must confess, I have had my doubts over the clubs ownership, wondering if we have been a vehicle for other investments…but even if we are…so what, on the evidence of last year, there is money available should wenger need it. There is also a lot of spending behind the scenes…the Academy, sports science facilities, and i am sure other things…all good.
    Stan is just an investor, good , bad or indifferent, but it seems his son is pretty active at the club…should you believe Wrighties mates in the WOB/media, he and Ivan are putting pressure on the manager to change a few things…cant have it both ways Ian W.
    Basically, many of them are upset as they perceive the manager is unsackable/unaccountable under this ownership. Doubt if that is true, I am far from sure Wenger is staying anyway, but have yet to find a good reason for the club to rid themselves of our greatest manager (sorry Mr Chapman)

    Liked by 3 people

  27. What I love to hear is that old chestnut, trotted out regularly, about having “real football people” or “a real football man” running and/or on the board of the club.

    It may be that somewhere, extremely well hidden, there is a “football man” who has the skills and the experience to run a £1 billion business. The difficulty is, even if such a person existed, the club already have someone who knows loads about football. His name is Arsene Wenger.

    If I were Wrighty, Smudger, Merse and Tony I would not waste toooo much time waiting for Stan’s call.

    Liked by 4 people

  28. I think Roman does a fairly sweet job of Daddying given he had to pay 90 million just to clear Old Farmer Bates debts off before he started.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Cheap price to improve his prospects of avoiding a prison camp within the Arctic Circle.

    Liked by 3 people

  30. Team news: Is the Ox OK after Wembley?

    Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain left Wembley on crutches at the weekend, but there’s no cause for alarm.

    Arsène Wenger had reassuring words on the Ox’s fitness when he gave the latest update ahead of our Premier League game against Leicester City:

    on the team news…
    It’s basically unknown territory at the moment because yesterday [Monday] the players were on recovery. We will have a medical check today [Tuesday] for everybody and see who is available and who is not. Overall, we have nobody really injured after the game.

    on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain leaving the stadium on crutches…
    It was more precautionary, it was not for a bad injury. We will test him today. It’s a foot injury but it’s a kick.

    on if there’s an update on his future…
    No.

    on whether he knows when he will announce it…
    No.

    on whether his future depends on what happens in the rest of this season…
    No. It’s a triple no.

    on Marseille trying to sign Giroud…
    I have had no approach from Marseille, and we want to keep Olivier Giroud at the club.

    on whether he’s looking at transfer targets for next season…
    Yes, of course.

    on whether that is a clue about his own future…
    No. I work until the last day of the season for the present and the future and the transfer targets are the future of the club and of course, it’s very important.

    on transfer targets also being his future as well as the club’s future…
    Well, that’s a bit secondary. What is important is the future of the club. Well tried.

    on whether he regrets not signing Jamie Vardy…
    Transfers, successful or not successful, are part of it. You accept you are in a job where you have to accept the decisions of the players and he made that decision, that I respect completely. After, you move forward and you look at something else.

    on if the club could have done more to convince Vardy…
    No. Honestly, no. I believe that we have done what we wanted to do.

    on if the boss wanted to make him main striker…
    It was one of the strikers we had [in our mind] but when you come to a big club you cannot guarantee that to anybody.

    Read more at http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/20170425/wenger-on-transfers-vardy-giroud#CqTaOjKEfWq57XDd.99

    Read more at http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/20170425/team-news-is-the-ox-ok-after-wembley-#Dof0Y5i3h8PBA4Rx.99

    Liked by 2 people

  31. Mandy

    Let’s say it’s true Stan’s boy is active and wants ‘change’, any guesses what he could have in mind?

    We’ve got to assume he doesn’t deal in wooly notions of modernise this or that, and has all the facts to hand, particularly the financial ones, so unless there’s (a) truth in the big one-off warchest Wenger refuses to spend (surely not), or (b) always ‘some’ money available which Wenger doesn’t completely use up, and which young Kroenke believes he should, we’re talking about relatively small proposals.

    A new director of football maybe, a shiny new big name (Gallic?) assistant whose name doesn’t rhyme well with much in English…new training or medical approach? These are relatively small things next to big money matters, and it’s hard to believe someone on the inside wouldn’t be well aware of that.

    I think many of us feel that a new competent top level manager who was given 100-200 million, or double what Wenger has, to spend every year would quite likely do well and stand a slightly better chance of landing the biggest prize than Wenger spending at his current rate (which has recently jumped from very little to up to 100 mill) but that’s always been a redundant and unfair comparison to make.

    Some of course might claim Wenger is reluctant to spend cash available which the club would be happy for him to spend, but that always sounded like nonsense to me.

    The man clearly hurts badly with every dropped point and has never demonstrated an unwillingness to spend the club’s own money : why on earth would he not do whatever it takes, within the stated boundaries, to reduce his chance of pain and increase his chance of success/happiness?

    Anyway, the talk of Stan’s lad may be no more true than Wilshere considering China (though I can’t rule out a daft agent saying he’s interested to try get a better deal). It’s probably a bit more likely than Ramsey moving to Everton, as Stan Collymore proposes, but then most things are.

    It seems a lot is going on behind the scenes, and we’ll find out some of it, or at least the results of it, in a few months now.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. anicoll

    I think Chelsea, City and PSG’s father figures are pretty damn sugary.

    No one could think, surely, their recent histories would much resemble what they are had there mega money not poured in.

    Walker picked up a club who were further back, admittedly, but the transformation was no more extreme in the longer run.

    Like

  33. Just a few things on the ownership and the way Arsenal is run

    I always find it a bit odd that so many of the fans who bemoan Kroenke not dipping into his own money and giving it to Arsenal are the very people who like to trot out “we want our Arsenal back”, you know the Arsenal where the shareholders did not dip into their own money and give it to Arsenal to use. I also find it rather odd that just cos Stan has the most shares it fall to him to foot the bill, why do these people, including the loudmouth AST, not propose that each shareholder give Arsenal x amount per share owned, to use on improving the team, surely it has nothing to do with not being willing to put their money where their mouth is. Why should Stan spend his money on Arsenal.

    Now on the ownership and how Stan got the Fiszman shares and of course that Hill-wood “his sort” comment.
    The we don’t want his sort comment is oft trotted out by those that big up David Dein like he is some sort of God, and who never miss a chance to have a go at not only Kroenke, but Gazidis, Wenger, our players and anything Arsenal. Of course no context or reference to the situation that led to the comment in the first place is ever entertained, to do so would totally scupper their argument, and even those numbskulls are not that dumb, no they just trot it out and hope it is let pass.

    As we are not like that here at PA, lets add some context.
    It all comes down to the sainted David Dein. It was DD that persuaded Kroenke to buy the ITV Arsenal shares, nothing wrong there, bringing a very rich businessman to the brink of 10% of AFC shares. The Board had no problem with it at all. Then as stated in the article above, Stan bought some shares off Fiszman, and that is where the problems started. You see Danny did not know it was Stan that was buying his shares, he only knew it was a “friend” of DD that wanted the shares, dear old David had brokered the deal, but had omitted the detail that the shares were for Stan. Now Danny and the rest of the Board trusted David, and that is where the “we don’t want his sort” comment comes from. The board very simply put thought that Stan had hoodwinked David into this underhand move, Dein in their minds was beyond reproach. The Arsenal board in fact broke off contact with Stan, he was the bad boy, leading David astray.

    All well and good, we still had a united board, but Stan was declaring his innocence in the matter and then bombshell of all bombshells, Lady Nina revealed to the board that Dein was trying to persuade her to sell here shares to Stan, and that Dein wanted it done without telling the board. Dein was looking to take control of the club, albeit on the back of a tie up of his shares combined with Stan having lady ninas along with his 10%. That was when it all changed between the board, especially Fiszman, Dein, and Kroenke.

    Dein was dismissed when his powergrab was uncovered, the board still did not fully trust Stan and were unsure of his part in it, but he broke off relations with Dein, and assured the board that he did not know Dein was doing this behind their backs. He thought it was known to them and that all things were above board. The relationship between Fiszman and Dein was utterly broken. This had been the final straw. Fiszman was the one who marched Dein out of the club. And it might go some way towards explaining why when it was clear he was dying, that a deal was done with KSE and not the Dein friendly R&W.

    Now the financial restrictions and those stadium deals
    Keith Edelman was the man who brokered the Emirates deals, and other deals to help finance the new stadium. He assured the club that they were the best deals that could be got at the time, but when the board, with the advice of KSE, decided that in fact the deals were not nearly as good as Edelman had led them to believe he was paid off and left the club. He went to Liverpool, to help them finance their new stadium, and as far as I know, they have let him go too when they did not get the finances needed for their new stadium.

    Now for Ian Wright and his stupid comments.
    The IW comment that Wenger probably has not met Kroenke twice, shows him up for the ill-informed rent a comment media hack that he is. Really let that comment sink in, “Wenger probably has not met Kroenke twice”, that is wenger who attends board meetings, wenger who attends the agm, wenger who says he has good relationship with stan,
    now lets also not forget that its only a few weeks ago that Ian Wright was creating sensational headlines about “I met Wenger last night, and I think he is leaving this summer”.
    Lets also not forget that IW mouthed off about wanting his son Shaun to join the Gooners from Man City, and AFC were interested, but as soon as Chelsea dangled a massive wage packet in front of the lad, Ian changed tune, and then when that transfer failed the lad, Ian got very upset at Arsenal for not cleaning up his mess and rescuing the lad.
    Well Ian Wright will always remain one of my all time favorite Arsenal players, but other than that, he can go fuck himself. He is just another playing legend, who is anything but a club legend.

    Liked by 5 people

  34. If a club is dependent on a Sugar Daddy, are reliant how long he can remain sweet himself . As brilliantly explained by Shotta many clubs have been dropped because ‘Daddy’ no longer access to the ‘Kane’ or ‘Beat’ hoping to land softly like City did. Arsenal have been developed so well they would be a very shiny object and would be gleefuly picked up by one of the 1%ers becuse of history,assets and location.
    But is that really want the club you love to be ? A Trinket

    Liked by 4 people

  35. BigSport‏Verified account @BigSportGB 6h6 hours ago

    Money spent since Premier League began:

    Chelsea: £1.25b
    Man City: £1.21b
    Man Utd: £1.01b
    Liverpool: £917m
    Spurs: £727m
    Arsenal: £640m

    Liked by 3 people

  36. Lucas Perez back in full training

    Liked by 2 people

  37. I would also like to put in a bit of context;

    Edelman was brought into tackle the move the the Emirates and his skills were in finance and property. It was Edelman who negotiated with the syndicate of banks to fund the original £380 million project. No private funding of any sports stadium of that scale had ever taken place in the UK. The whole new build project then the redevelopment of the old ground and adjacent regeneration was incredibly complex. While everyone looks back on the move to Ashburton Grove as a ‘given’ it was far from certain in the early 2000s. Even among board members some were for it, other agin.

    As you rightly say Eddy Liverpool and Everton have been talking about building new stadia for 10+ years and no new stadium has been built. If one looks up the road the “brilliant” businessman Daniel Levy has spent since 2001 on the new WHL and is still 1-2 years away from completion.

    So I’d say Edelman was absolutely pivotal as far as the move to the Emirates goes.

    As for the Emirates sponsorship with the benefit of hindsight the claim is made that it was undervalued. That may be so. We could have held out for more, although Emirates may have moved elsewhere. At the time however the sponsorship was ready cash, from an entirely solid long term source, and one of if not the biggest at the time, signed by an EPL club. Presumably if we had been seriously shortchanged by Emirates in the original deal we would not have extended he deal in 2012.

    Liked by 4 people

  38. Thanks Eddy for filling in the blanks concerning that naked power grab by David Dein. It is only 7-8 years ago and yet memories are beginning to fade. Part of the problem is that most of this drama was played out in an atmosphere of lies and obfuscations. Those of us who were at ACLF at the time can remember there were various posters who were surrogates of Dein and Usmanov doing their best to spread lies and confusion. Over time the truth revealed itself. The anti-Kroenke mob have never let go of the bitterness of being defeated; the AST’s Tim Payton comes to mind. Despite the intrigue, Wrighty has no excuse. He knows what went down. But then as Eddy opine he was in it for the money. That is why I would never trust a pro to defend the club. Unlike you and me they support the club as long as they are paid. Most of us sply have a love affair with the club. Our support comes for free.

    Liked by 4 people

  39. What’s with all this damn information and logical reasoning, fellas?

    Are we football people or facts people?!

    Obstacles-to-glory accountants, or ambitious and maybe even heroic supporters?

    Liked by 5 people

  40. I cannot let Team off without providing the full glory of the football rattle;

    Liked by 2 people

  41. yes anicol, Edleman was key man in the stadium move, and the club was so cash strapped by it that at one point – the invincibles season I think – Arsenal came within one month of defaulting on the players wages. As I said, the letting go of Edelman was indeed a hindsight move, and was on the advice of KSE, who felt a better deal could have been had, eve if that was only on some of the conditions of the deal. Of course the letting go of Edelman could have had as much to do with Stan wanting his own men in place as anything else.

    Shotta, David Dein was always a brilliant self promotionist, and liked to put himself forward as Mr Arsenal, but its my information that Danny Fiszman was the real Mr Arsenal. He wanted no limelight, he did not seek power, unlike Dein he had no eyes on being Chairman, and was always looking to do his work in the background. He hated doing interviews, especially in front of the cameras, if you like he was the complete opposite to Dein, who was very media friendly and media savvy. I’m also told that he was bitterly disappointed by Dein’s actions, and the effect it had on their friendship, and despite some thawing of the ice between him and DD shortly before his death, their relationship was never going to be fully repaired, such was the sense of betrayal Fiszman felt.

    Liked by 4 people

  42. Timing is all, or so Shakespeare tells us from the past.

    The Man Utd and Chelsea owners were the first to inject cash into football, and altho they did so via different financial models, they quickly changed the relativity of the game, in an almost Einstein like way. [S = fm²] translated (perhaps) as Success = frequency * money squared? lol

    The arrival of Citeh and PSG among others with equally ‘modern’, and totally unsustainable ideas of hurling money into football clubs for agendas having little to do with the original concept of providing football competition and enjoyment for the communities that bred them.

    [It has to be remembered that many years before the advent of the Glazers and Abramovich, some clubs, such as Leeds United and Glasgow Rangers, in a desperate and failed attempt to win trophies, disastrously gambled years of their future season ticket money as collateral against loans to provide funds to buy ‘quality’ players] but that is another sad story.

    Anyhoo, seeing the way things were going, UEFA eventually introduced FFP [do you remember that? Financial Fair Play?]to make a level financial playing field so that clubs would compete equally against each other based on money generated by the clubs in a sustainable way — like Arsenal have always done.

    Sustainable — now that is a nice clean, sober word which lies at the heart of FFP – measuring the calculation of a club’s viability based on ‘profitability and sustainability’, which boiled down in essence to limitations on the losses the clubs were permitted to incur over a given period – currently 3 years – with adjustments for the amount of salary payments allowed dependent on turnover, and so on.

    So, what happened to this level financial playing field? you may or may not ask.
    It is still there — simmering in the background — but it seems it hit some unexpected turbulence when club’s like Citeh transgressed, and simply had their wrists slapped, and happily paid any fines levied – and threatened to invoke EU Judicial rules to stop the big bad UEFA authorities if they took matters to far.

    That brings us back to Mr Wright and others who say get out the cheque book and throw money at the ‘transfer problem’. Well, UEFA’s FFP might be a sickly child, but the days of Manure and Chelsea owners throwing cash around are long gone, and any club now thinking of copying that are too late. Club’s must generate money to operate from their own sustainable resources, including sponsorship, season ticket sales, and competition awards for winning or finishing in high positions.

    Even if he wanted to toss the odd £1bn at Arsenal to buy the best players, Mr Kroenke could not do so without falling foul of the authorities — and therefore the catch 22 comes into play — the most successful clubs will have greater sponsorship deals and competition earnings, and that will help them to buy the best players every other club wants, and without which it becomes nigh on impossible to win the said trophies, so those who are at the very top of the tree are relentlessly pulling away into the distance from the next tier of hopeful clubs trying to please their fans by winning La Liga, the Premiership, the Champions League and so on.

    Their is a sameness to the names of the clubs winning the major competitions — which means FFP is failing, if it hasn’t totally failed already to achieve equality in football, with only the odd blip when some club like Leicester win against all the odds.

    [Just musings, in a lazy moment, about the bigger picture that often gets overlooked] lol

    Liked by 3 people

  43. I don’t think FFP was ever devised to provide a level playing field for clubs to compete Henry, for reasons you go into. If you were seriously trying to create a level playing field you would have a very different model to FFP. It was devised to stop clubs going bust and, in that intent, it has been largely successful.

    Liked by 5 people

  44. Eddy,

    You make a fair point re Danny Fiszman and David Dein put these things are far more complex than appears to the casual observer.

    An alternative tale was that rather cheekily, it was alleged, Dein frequently asked Hill-Wood to sell him his shares, and was told there was no money in them, but eventually he (P H-W) agreed to sell the families shareholding in Arsenal to Dein for a nominal (paltry) £250,000.

    Dein had previously been instrumental in getting his friend Fiszman involved with Arsenal and sold him all his shares, except for about 14.5% which he retained before he upset the apple cart by selling this balance to Red and White Holdings [the Usmanov vehicle]. [End of the Fiszman/Dein friendship.]

    Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Bracewell-Smith, the Carr family and Fiszman eventually sold all their shares to KSE (Kroenke’s) investment company, which had already snaffled the 9.9% stake ITV had in the Gunners.

    The above timeline was somewhat protracted, and the reported relationships of the individuals concerned were very complex – and I do not claim this view has been written with exemplary exactitude!!! lol

    Like

  45. on the ownership and make up of the arsenal board, I have felt that Usmanov missed a golden chance, that is if he really wanted to at all, curry favor with the Arsenal board when the club was struggling with the sales of the highbury apartments, Usmanov could have stepped in and bought it up, and eased the financial troubles at the club, but he sat back, and preferred to mouth off in the media about wanting to invest money in the team. Of course his offer to underwrite a share issue, could be easily seen as his way to increase his share % at a time when very few shares were available, and his rhetoric was quickly seen through by anyone not easily fooled.

    Liked by 2 people

  46. anicol, FFP was also designed to stop player wages and agent fees going through the roof, as there is no greater way for money going out of the game than in the massive wages and agent fees. Transfer fees where actually seen as a very good thing, as it often bailed out a club, transfer fees is money staying in the game, one club to another, which often sees the second club then spend some if not all of it, and in so doing the money goes to club after club, but wages going up and up and up is dead money. In fact FFP was seen as a way of countering the Bosman ruling, no transfer fee, bigger player wage/signing on fee, all seen as dead money.

    But agents and the players unions are very powerful, and it was in their interests to see FFP fail.

    Liked by 3 people

  47. Emirates FA Cup final details confirmed

    We have received confirmation of the match details for our Emirates FA Cup final against Chelsea on May 27.

    The Emirates FA Cup final will be played at Wembley Stadium as under:

    Arsenal v Chelsea
    Saturday, May 27
    Kick-off: 5.30pm
    Live on: BBC One and BT Sport 2

    Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to http://www.arsenal.com as the source

    Read more at http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/20170425/emirates-fa-cup-final-details-confirmed#LS8gTVIwCdheQXh3.99

    Like

  48. Anicoll,

    It was, of course, stupid of me to become involved in any financial discussion — I will never learn.
    [Well, I do try – so hopefully this will be my last comment on it.]

    UEFA spelt out the reasons for FFP, but were circumspect in how they worded the regulations:-

    1) ‘Financial fair play is about improving the overall financial health of European club football.’

    (However, one key clause signalled that their concern was non-sustainable money was being injected into clubs, and the only way clubs without wealthy owners could compete was to do what Leeds United and others had previously done in a different era.)

    5) Are owners allowed to inject money into their club as they like or through sponsorship?

    Answer: If a club’s owner ‘injects money’ into the club through a sponsorship deal with a company to which he is related, then UEFA’s competent bodies will investigate and, if necessary, adapt the calculations of the break-even result for the sponsorship revenues to the level which is appropriate (‘fair value’) according to market prices.

    Under the updated regulations, any entity that, alone or in aggregate together with other entities which are linked to ‘the same owner or government’, represent more than 30% of the club’s total revenues is automatically considered a related party.

    (Again, in the above, UEFA was trying to cut off those club’s who were injecting money into the club by way of ‘dodgy’ over-valued sponsorships funds – as happened with Citeh and PSG, from memory)

    But what do I know? Eff all, it seems. lol

    Liked by 1 person

  49. Thanks to Shotta for kicking off this discussion with a finely researched piece, and to the rest of you for your very informative comments. I know so little on this topic, and I’ve learned much today.

    As far as Silent Stan goes, he is as you know hated in America for a host of things: moving the Rams to LA, buying a giant ranch in Texas, and most recently, contributing to Trump’s inauguration fund. I’ve spent the last week or so correcting the record on that last one to try and help people understand that contributing to a Presidential inauguration fund is not the same thing as contributing to a campaign, and doesn’t necessarily mean one supported the candidate. I figure if you’re going to hate someone, you might as well have your facts straight as to why.

    As an American, I have of course gotten used to sports as a business long ago. It’s the only model I’ve ever known.

    Liked by 4 people

  50. Yup.

    Thanks to all for helping to clear up the chronology of the modern Arsenal Stadium Mystery, & why it was that the gaffer considered leaving at that time (piggy in the middle? No thanks! But, well, he held his ground for ‘the club he loves’).

    Liked by 2 people

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