Smoke & Mirrors Cloud Arsenal Takeover

The world of Arsenal continues to fill the back pages, until the end of the Abramovich revolution following Chelsea’s exit from the Champions League or United cracking under the pressure following their exit from the Champions League.

Stan Kroenke found himself having a mixed reception yesterday. The AST meeting continued to rightly pursue the path of plurality of ownership but somehow this was contrived to be spun by others as popular support for Red & White Holdings.

Some of this is explained by many still associating David Dein with Red & White despite the fact that they fell out some time ago. Dein retains an almost deific status with some, villified by others for selling his shares to Red & White Holdings.

Bizarrely – and without even trying – Usmanov found himself popular amongst some Arsenal fans. The foundation of this is his apparent refusal to sell his shares to KSE despite no official announcement yet.

There was an apparent offer some time ago from Red & White to ‘donate’ some shares to the Arsenal Fanshare Scheme – a worthwhile pursuit in the ownership of Arsenal – provided that KSE matched them. Kroenke declined to accept which means he is the bad guy. We don’t know the details of this offer nor KSE’s reason for declining.

These two things, it seems, are being construed as Red & White Holdings commitment to plural ownership of Arsenal without factoring in reports of the Uzbek’s stung pride.

Yesterday it emerged that two bids for Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith’s shares were rejected as she was committed to the deal with KSE. Had she changed her mind, Red & White would have been required to make a bid for Arsenal Holdings as well. In short, Usmanov wants to own the club as much – perhaps more – than Kroenke does. This small fact seems to have been lost in the smoke and mirrors.

A real commitment to supporters of the club would be a permanent seat on the Board, a real opportunity to make a genuine contribution to the future of Arsenal Football Club. Even with the necessary caveats, surely this is as desireable as owning the shares?

The PR battle is going to decide the hearts and minds in this takeover. A massive step is being taken by KSE with a slew of stories in the past twenty four hours concerning transfer budgets. Of course, a takeover means that more money is being pumped into club.

This is Arsenal though, we don’t go in for such common touches. We have a takeover where the new owner is not pouring millions into the club. Quite simply because he does not need to shore up the finances, the key difference between Arsenal and other clubs whose ownership has changed.

It has not stopped the stories of how Arsène is going to have a transfer war chest this summer and be told to spend it. The value of this ‘fighting fund’? £40m, a very close relative of the £35m available last summer.

In all of this, football seems to be forgotten. It might not be such a bad thing in that it allows the players to get on with their pursuit of Manchester United in relative peace and quiet. Harmony was in short supply at half-time on Sunday if reports are to be believed.

Cesc had apparently given Abou Diaby a piece of his mind following his needless booking just before the interval. He was then joined by Robin van Persie, who being Dutch offered his opinion on the matter.

Such incidents are portrayed negatively in the media. They are in fact, quite the opposite. A willingness by the senior members of the squad to bring others into line is a sign of accepting the responsibility of their position. It also puts a nail in the coffin of the lie that the players are too nice, unwilling to rock the boat.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on April 12, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 189 Comments.

  1. Very interesting post – thank you.

    And interesting times, wouldn’t you say …? Any theories on why now and not, say, two years back or next year?

  2. Silent Stan runs his other sporting interests very well. If somebody is going to take over our club I would rather it be him. Red & White holdings have been very cloak and dagger, and we would have no idea how they would try and run the club.

    Stan will have learnt plenty about DD after he was rumbled the last time round and went running into Red & White holdings. I really can’t see him letting him back into the fold. And rightly so.

  3. Illness and availability of shares. There, that should do the trick. ArsenalAndrew

  4. He may know even more about DD than you think, goonerandy

  5. People, be aware that David Dein’s American wife is part of the Kroenke clan. Dein will be back soon 🙂

  6. How many times have we heard that we need “Leaders” and that our players are nice boys who are happy to pick up their “oversized” pay packets for winning nothing? Cesc and RvP yelling at Abou for getting a colossally stupid yellow card firmly torpedoes that notion.

    Of course, we can expect it to be portrayed negatively by the media. If they didn’t, it wouldn’t be Arsenal.

  7. Even a casual investigation of Usmanov as a person, would ensure that you wouldn’t trust him enough to allow him near something you love – like Arsenal. Or indeed, sugar-coated doughnuts, pies, or your sugar-coated children.

    I imagine (and that’s all I do), that those calling for Usmanov are primarily motivated by the money that he has proclaimed he is willing to inject into the club – with no consideration of much else. It follows, that these same people are probably those that want Wenger to leave the club immediately, and purchase Jose Mourinho and 10 new world-class (I hate that phrase, kill me now) players. Purchased for the small price of our club’s soul.

    The stupid will always flock to such ideas. That’s all they can do. That, and eat sugar-coated doughnuts.

  8. Frank – Hopefully so.

  9. morning
    £40 million warchest eh???
    lol..well we were supposed to have £40mil this year and the year before, and the year before, and the year before…(i think you see where im going with this)
    i believe the share thingy von greenback made was rejected by everyone on the board and not just our man stan..
    apparently a deal like this involves the shares being diluted so more become available but doesnt this also mean the share value drops??
    which would be understandable why the told him to go fuck well as the fact they didnt want him..
    as for diaby…
    indeed i caught a glimpse of both cesc and rvp giving him a rocket on the pitch immediately after he was booked..
    cesc was first to collar him and rvp had a word when he came back to help defend the free kick diaby gave away that lead to him skying the ball in frustation,..
    whether something happened in the tunnel or the dressing room is another matter, but the definately bollocked him on the pitch and seeing as though they are captain and vice captain im not to sure what the fuss is about..
    a player fucks up, he gets bollocked and its normally the figureheads in the team that do it
    nothing new there..

  10. Young Mr Grace interview in 2007….

    ‘He is confident that no large shareholder will sell out to Kroenke or Usmanov. “The notion that Danny Fiszman is a seller is really farcical. He doesn’t need the money. Nina [Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith, another major shareholder] is also rock solid. She likes the involvement and the tradition that lies behind the club.”‘

  11. Don’t get me wrong, I acknowledge that some of DD’s contributions to the club are significant. He is a big part of the clubs recent history.

    But the way he conducted himself trying to insitgate a takeover really cannot be ignored. If he what he was doing was in the best interests of the club he would not have been fired the way he was.

  12. and that frank was a load of crap..
    but we knew this…the board had visions to sell from the day they drew up the plans for the emirates and dein was made the fall guy..
    when a takeover happens everyone blames dein…

  13. And the RvP/Diaby thing is a nothing story. If players are getting pulled by other players for making stupid mistakes, all well and good. Letting players know about their responsibilities on the pitch is a healthy thing.

    That is one thing Jens will bring to the side as well. Hopefully that type of attitude is starting to rub off on the other players.

  14. I too like the notion of players being bollocked for stupidity.

    Trouble was, that preceded our worst spell of the match.

  15. The morals of some of supporters intrigue me. Uzbek ‘thug’ billionaire, no thank you very much. Mill owning and Diamond empire trustees, yes please old chap, especially when they live in Switzerland for tax purposes. Since the recession associations with banks is not a great idea. Oh and lets not forget the sponsorship of our stadium by a slave state. I dare say if you dig deep enough you can find something very interesting about SK too. Or maybe not.

  16. young mr grace lol
    he also said dein left his position due to difference of opinions over the emirates..
    dein didnt want to be burdened with the debt and wanted to move to wembley, or wanted an investor to pay for the emirates debt?
    either way phw said the wembley thing was one of the reasons dien left…
    but didnt dein leave after the emirates was built??

  17. I find it quite ironic that many on here bellow “support your team” if you dare question any of the players. Yet it is fully acceptbale to give support to a bloke who tried to sell the club out without involving any of the other directors. I would suggest that maybe “support your club” is a better mantra.

  18. The reason given for DDs departure and for Young Mr Grace never, ever speaking to him again, ever at all, was that he spoke to Stan Kroenke without speaking to the Board first.

  19. i really can’t stand John Cross, he acts like he’s got Arsenal’s best interest at heart but always writes negative articles about the club. Hate people like that, sneaky little fucker!

  20. Well that is rather deliberately clipped is it not, goonernady. Perhaps those that support the man that ‘sold out’ actually support the man who brought DF, SK, AU, AW and DB10 to the club? Same man.

  21. Is it me, because it seems to me some of the ex-Arsenal players are not the brightest tools in the shed? (Ian Wright and Paul Merson). Very silly article by the former in the sun.

  22. yeah frank the timing was wrong for the board..share price etc..

    but i picked up this little snippet from what phw said to his favorite rag and he was quoted as saying

    “Dein left the club four years ago over “irreconcilable differences” – the biggest one being his desire to see the Gunners move to Wembley, rather than build a new stadium.”

    make of that what you will but the truth is out there…somewhere..

    i was long against dein for what happened..but as the years have unfolded i saw through the board and i knew this day would come..
    they were lying all along so whats to say they didnt lie about dein??

  23. I have not met an Eton man yet, and I have met a few, who did not have the morals of a snake.

  24. who is an Etonian anyway? anyone care to explain, i am not steeped in old british traditions.

  25. Thanks Yogi. And just wanted to say thanks to everyone for teaching me about the backroom history and politics… Haven’t ever really paid much attention to be honest, but very interesting reading people’s different sides to it all. Cheers!

    From what I’ve read the last week or so, it seems there are very mixed opinions about Dein particularly. From my limited knowledge, I would definitely prefer Kroenke to take over than Usmanov. Don’t like the cut of his jib…

    Keep it coming though people, I’m learning loads!

  26. Colney…I notice its usually the english (based on observance) ones who think they can do Wenger’s job

  27. The reason that DD was ‘ousted’ is very complicated, but I would not be at all surprised if a row with DF was not at the heart of it. As for Young Mr Grace, the man who inherited his position as Chairman of the club, he pronounces on other people’s ‘morals’ rather freely, and I suspect he is somewhat economical with the truth.

  28. Frank – No, I don’t see that it is. As I mentioned, I do acknowledge what he did for he club. But that does not make his behaviour any more acceptbale.

    It is like a married couple who are happy for many years, until one of them cheats on he other.

    He brought those players to the club within his capacity at the club, and he did it well. But that does not excuse the conduct that saw him fired and removed from the board.

  29. It never ceases to amaze me how some journalists or publications properly make things up. With their article, The Sun have quite literally commissioned a piece which is full of absolutely no truths whatsoever. I hate using the phrase ‘lazy journalism’ but that’s what it is.

  30. observation*

  31. Frank – I don’t see his “ousting” as complicated at all. He tried to engineer and agressive takeover of the club with outisde agencies. He got found out and fired. Simple as that.

    I don’t doubt that much of the disagreements over the move to the Emirates (especially with Fizman) made it much easier to stomach for the board, but the main reason is clear. To be removed from the board it requires a majority vote, and that is what happened.

  32. colney

    Eton – the supposedly premier school in England. We call the ‘public’, you call them ‘private’. A disproportionately high number of its alumni end up in powerful positions (‘the old boys network’) in the ‘Establishment’. Junior members of the school are ‘fags’ of the senior members.

    I believe that the pillock who is Prime Minister of these Isles is an Old Etonian. Which says it all.


  33. The point that I am trying to make to you, goonerandy, is that the only commentator throughout this incredibly complex set of circumstances has been a man whose testimony is discredited and honesty doubtful.

  34. this is the thing thats bothrered me for a while frank
    most of the bodies on the board inherited their position…
    young mr grace, the lovely nina and her bracewell smiths, the carrs…
    all inherited..none knew a thing about how to run a modern day super club..
    danny and dein were running the show and then dien goes…danny falls ill..
    what direction was the club taking???
    we needed this takeover..we needed a man to start cracking the whip again and driving us forward and weve needed it a while now…

  35. I put it to you, goonerandy, that the ‘club’ that you support was put at infinitely greater risk by the actions of two members of the Board than by the then Vice-Chairman. They acted incredibly rashly.

  36. Frank – Which ones do you mean?

  37. “He was then joined by Robin van Persie, WHO BEING DUTCH offered his opinion on the matter.”

    Possibly the best line ever on ACLF.

    Maybe that’s our problem we lost Mad Jens but didn’t replace him. Now that he’s back they’ve realised a title winning side needs someone who is a bit nuts. Step forward Robin.

  38. Eton: poshest
    Harrow: most expensive

  39. Frank,
    I am with you on this one….
    I don’t know DD nor do I know the reasons behind his departure (and subsequently Lady Nina’s departure…) but am convinced it is more complex than portrayed in the media by “one side of the story”.

  40. There real reason why those two members of the Board got away with it is that AW decided to stay, if that had not happened then I suspect we would not have qualified for Europe. The building of the new stadium was an exemplary piece of project management by Ken Friar, but nevertheless plunged the club into debt. It is turning out to be a sustainable debt and we are all very greatful for that. Prior to the build though, no-one was sure, and the real spat between Board members was about whether the club should be loaded with debt. DD believed not. Others saw it differently.

    DDs view was that the club needed a benefactor. Remember that Abramovich had just arrived and everyone was grumbling about the unfair advantage his wealth would give the Chavs. Incidentally I don’t think that there is a halfpence of difference between Abramovich and Usmanov. But it is certainly ironic that the benefactor we ended up with is the one identified by DD in the first place.

  41. Sorry, goonerandy, I am referring to Young Mr Grace and our Diamond Empire inheritor, Mr Danny Fiszman.

  42. As far as I know it is fairly common knowledge that DD attempted to engineer a takeover behind the boards back. Regardless of other issues, for me that is enough to see him fired. It shows a complete lack of loyalty. His future actions of “selling out” to Red & White holdings does not really hold him in good light either does it?

  43. …and just how long do you think that our current Chairman, Young Mr ‘we don’t want his sort over here’ Grace has got with our new owner, do you think, goonerandy?

  44. YW

    Ah, thanks for the education there, i wasn’t taught that stuff in all my years in boarding school back in Ghana – (being a former British colony and all) 🙂

  45. Frank – Ah, right you are.

    I see what you are saying, but the notion that DD did not agree with the direction the club decided to take, so attempted to take matters into his own hands is not really beneficial to the club.

    You are right that it is ironic that Silent Stan is now where DD wanted him to be, only without DD in tow.

  46. But before you answer that. There is one last piece of the jigsaw which has always intrigued me. The elephant in the room, so to speak….

    Why did DF start to sell his shares before all of this happened?

  47. Funny how all the papers are up in arms about Arsenal being the last of the proper English clubs to “fall into foreign hands”, yet the same idiotic journalists are quick to point out when Arsene doesn’t field an English player.

  48. Frank – Heh, you might be right about that. They seem to have patched up their differences though, but who knows? It seems logical that Gazidis will begin to have a greater influence at the club though.

  49. Frank – I can only presume that DF is offloading his shares due to his ill health. It sounds crass, but “sorting his affairs out” if you were.

  50. I think the immediate effect of this deal would probably be felt on the commercial side of things. Am i right in assuming that our shirt and stadium deals were front loaded and hence are below par with the current market rate? I think that is where Kroenke will start, which should be a good thing if we can ear close to what United, Pool and City make in sponsorship deals per annum.

  51. As ever Yogi, you are a lone sane voice amongst a cacophony of nonsense! Great write up!

    The sudden beatification of Usmanov is just all a bit baffling!

  52. Sorry, goonerandy, but he started to sell his shares the year before DD was dumped out in the cold.

  53. Kroenke, Usmanoz, meh. I couldn’t care less. And if the AST think anything they say will make the slightest difference then they’re totally deluded, Kroenke giving them the time of day is pure PR.

    Much more interesting is Fabregas and Van Persie stepping up and bollocking players who do stupid things like Diaby did on Sunday. We need tons more of that if we are to turn our potential into trophies.

  54. I guess those who are proclaiming Usmanov to be a saint are interested in him handing over loads of cash, Albo. Presumably the ‘spend, spend, spend’ brigade. It may have been a relevant approach several years ago but it is not now.

  55. RvP and Cesc are the true leaders of the squad

  56. DF said, at the time, that he wanted to create a market in Arsenal shares.

    I never understood why, if that were the case, he sold just enough to lose his ‘blocking’ stake’.

    Of course, one only wants to create a market to sell something. At least I would think so.

  57. Frank – Ah, I have no idea about that. Still, the point with DD’d sacking stands though IMO.

    I also can’t understand those that want Usmanov anywhere near the club. At least SK has a solid record of owning sports clubs, and more importantly running them properly.

    I agree about RvP and Cesc as well. Maybe TV5 could also come into that mix?

  58. colney…
    our shirt and stadium sponsers are indeed crap..
    very crap..
    but what happened there was that when we first moved to the grove we needed all the cash we could get…
    so keith edelman who was then in charge of commercial side of things decideded that instead of ‘shopping’ around and trying to market the club for as much as possible he took the first deal that was offered..
    it gave the club much needed funds at the time but it was a crap deal and edelman was fired not long after for some strange reason….
    those commercail deals need to be sorted but one doesnt end until 2014 and the other doesnt end until 2017 i think so we are stuck with them unless stan and gazidis can come up with something…

  59. Frank, Cesc and Van Persie have always been leaders on the pitch by example. If they can get a bit more vocal with the players as well then that will be even better for us.

  60. JJ
    just heard a rumor Kronke might buy out the shirt deal from Emirates and renegotiate a newer deal. Let’s just hope it’s not wal-mart lol.

  61. JJ
    Earlier you raised the point of a possible share issue (an idea that was raised by Red & White allegedly). Just to clarify, basically it means injecting cash in the Club against new shares issued. It will only dilute the shareholding (ie. reduce their % ownership) of those who decide not to participate and inject the necessary cash.
    I always thought the idea of getting rid of most of the debt by injecting some cash was quite healthy and in the best interest of the Club. Obviously some people among the Board did not like the idea.

  62. we dont want usmanov
    sugar daddys are great for those who want instant success and such over night but its not ‘football’
    football is a sport and sports about winning but theres no joy in winning by cheating..
    thats all chelsea have been doing they have been cheating…spending money that isnt yours in football is the equivilant of taking steriods in running..
    of course your going to win but wheres the joy in winning by cheating??
    those trophies are tarnished..
    not only that but sugar daddys only bring short term success…it may be fun for the next 10-15 years watching your team buy everyone who scores a goal and paying them silly amounts a week but where does that leave you when the sugar daddy gets bored or old or dead???
    your club is no more…gone..
    not only that, but these fair play rules are really going to fuck up any sugar daddys plans
    for the last few years wenger has been racing his renault clio against ferraris and porsches and although hes been getting whooped by the ferraris hes been beating the porsches….
    in the nxt few years if everything goes to plan everyone will have to drive a clio…
    who do we thinks going to win???
    we are going in the right direction we are doing the right thing we done need to invest 100mil every season what we need to do is stick to the model and get someone in cracking the whip and running the business side of things again…
    if we generate our own 100mil then fair enough spend it but we dont need handouts….

  63. Bust-ups in a team are essential. As long as they occur in the privacy of the changing room. Also good point about the takeover dominating what is being written about us. Can only be a good thing.

    I get the sense that the board didn’t want wither of the two big players to take over the club, but that they will accept Kroenke as the lesser of two evils. At least he knows a thing or two about owning a team, and from what I’ve heard doesn’t interfere too much. I don’t think much will change with the day to day running of the club, thankfully.

  64. 1 loose cannon

    JonJon- . The sponsorship was a fantastic deal at the time it was made. it was the best around then. Of course sponsorship deals have rocketed since but when you sign a deal you can’t come back few years later and say I want more money. Its a contract . . Emirates paid 100 millions cash upfront and that was unheard of. once the deal expires then Arsenal can demand any money they want.

    There seem to be 2 camps regarding Kroenke. some unhappy with the fact that things will remain the same and he will not pump his own money for transfers. Some don’t really care who is in charge as long as they spend big. I thought the whole point of moving to a new stadium so that the club can sustain itself without a cash cow like Abramovich or the rich Arabs. With the financial restrictions from Eufa the rich owners will not be able to pump too much money anyway. The Good thing with Kroenke, he is not borrowing money to buy the club .

  65. tokala
    thanks for that..
    i guess the board just didnt want any of his ideas..

    colney lol…
    chelsea did the same thing i think they had a crap deal and the just bought out the contract and doubled their money with another…

  66. Colney

    Arsenal have been ‘in foreign hands’ for a few years now.


  67. Frank

    We have no knowledge when DF was diagnosed with cancer. He may have been ill for a number of years before it became ‘public’ knowledge. If of course, there is other information to shed more light on that, feel free to share.


  68. Diaby made the first goal. Can we not dwell on his needless booking and give him some credit.

  69. 1lc
    100mill was good for the stadium but when you consider that it was a deal for over 10 years it worked out as fuck all yearly compared to everyone else in the top four
    edelman just saw the 100mil,the stadium and put 2+2 and got 5…
    we got screwed…
    utd and chelsea are up in the 40-50mil PER year bracket..
    we get something like 10
    which is shit…

  70. Markus – I don’t think anybody is not giving him credit. He had a very good game. Some of the players took him to task about getting a silly yellow card, nothing wrong with that.

  71. The thing with the sponsorship deal (as I understand it) was that it was all paid upfront. Sure, it was not as big as some other deals but they are staggered payments. We needed the cash at the time, and Emirates were prepared to give it to us all at once. Horses for courses.

  72. 1 loose cannon, both your camps seem to be interested in transfers. There is a third camp which I am firmly plonked in at the moment. I don’t see how we need any more players. I can’t see who among our starting 11 (or say our first choice 15/20 or so players) needs to be replaced. And no decent player wants to come and be a squad player.

  73. The only thing a new owner can do for me as a fan is pay off our debt and buy out the naming rights to the Grove.

  74. It is worth remembering that the only time AW has mentioned being even slightly unsettled at Arsenal was not when Real Mad were begging him to take a job, for a long time. Nope, it was when DD ‘left’ the club.

    I don’t have the exact quote, it was not so severe. He did not say he was willing to break a contract. In short, he was not happy.

  75. I can see that being seriously ill and having no-one with an interest in the club to pass shares onto would cause DF to sell, as he is now about to do, YW. Selling small packages of shares five years ago though to drop below the ‘controlling’ percentage, I suspect has an alternative explanation.

  76. I agree with Markus

  77. You can always improve the side. A couple of new faces every year is a good thing; it freshens the squad up and also ensures that players who regularly feature in the starting 11 do not become complacent.

  78. Finsbury – I remember that as well. Arsene is good friends with DD, and had a good working relationship with him. It was still right of the board to fire him though.

  79. All this glee from fas over a bust-up between players is making my tummy turn! Who was there to berate Cesc and RVP when we lost to Barca? Diaby had a fantastic game against Blackpool and was involved in the first and second goal. Nuff said.

    BTW that yellow was a joke, only given to Arsenal players.

  80. The sponsorship deals were made due to the need for cash upfront for the stadium construction. Most people probably realized this meant giving away potential upsides in the mid-term future and therefore limiting our relative (to others) financial power over such period. This was a strategic choice…maybe one of the reasons why DD was allegedly not convinced by the Emirates plan ?

  81. whatever anyone thinks about the sponserships the guy who made the deal was fired in the end so make of that what you will but in my opinion we got screwed…

  82. goonerandy,
    I did not mention on whether it was right or wrong to hire or fire DD.
    But thanks for your opinion.

    Arsenal added more then a ‘couple’ of new faces to their squad this season.
    I guess some experts have been to busy to pay attention to such things.
    Ah well. We can but try.

  83. wenger was reported to have told dein he was ready to hand in his resignation after dein was fired…
    dien told him no…

  84. I don’t get this ‘going behind the Board’s back business’. Seems petulant and unprofessional of the Board to eject a major asset at a time when you probably need him most. If DF was indicating that he wanted out then it was right to find buyers for any available shares, whether other Board members knew who DD was talking to is irrelevant, he could hardly have sold their shares behind their backs could he? The guy was out there networking like crazy on behalf of the club for years and years. What did they expect him to do? No. I don’t buy it. Never have. This was just a personal spat and their actions were unforgivable. The supporters would have been better supporting DD than swallowing the nonsense coming out of the Board. We could have been here four years ago.

  85. Finsbury – No, I know you didn’t mate. You are right as well that many tend to ignore he signings we do make (probably as they are not “marque” signings I would imagine). We add a few every year.

    Frank – As far as I understand (I may be wrong of course), DD tried to engineer a hostile takeover of the club. To me, that sounds like going behind the clubs back. And they sacked him for it.

  86. Agree with Maria. Who bollocked VP when he took that stupid 1st yellow at Camp Nou? Who berated Cesc when he did his stupid back heel that led to their 1st goal. If I was Diaby that would be what I was thinking when being told off by those two. Glass houses, stones and all that… Especially considering he actually played well overall in that match.

  87. frank
    all this time ive been banging on about the board on here and their lies and youve sat back and let me take a pounding for it 😉
    how could you..
    i dont feel like we know eachother anymore..i feel like weve drifted apart.. 😉

    only jesting fella..i knew you knew…

  88. gooner andy
    but the board were always going to sell anyway
    dein didnt agree with the 5 year and then sold off plan..
    he didnt want to be burdened with the debt so he found the board a buyer straight away…he sped up the process and he got booted out..
    now he may have been wrong but so was the board to begin with dein just tried to stop us from being in debt for the next 100 years
    we were going to get sold anyway…the board just wanted the credit for the stadium and the increased share value it would have…
    he thought about arsenal and they thought about themselves

  89. JonJon – That is fair enough. What the board was planning to do in the future is speculation though. Glad you agree that he was in the wrong though; for me, if he fundementally did not agree with he boards’s direction, he could have stood down and then sold his shares.

  90. Very possibly Frank.

    Of the current board, my suspicion is that DF is the only one who will retain any credibility in the longer term, with Arsenal fans. The remainder, well, they trod the same path as DD but having achieved considerably less for the club.


  91. You clearly are not in touch with the comments history of this site, JonJon. We have done this endless times.

  92. My final point is that this guy has managed to achieve his original plan, despite the rest of Board and despite being kicked out of the club. He takes on anyone whether they be English upper classes, Americans, Russians. He is a real thorn in the side of many EPL clubs and yet is able to corale the best in Europe. Pretty impressive fellow to have a round I would say.

  93. Frank

    The football establishment thinks otherwise.


  94. well after the trashing of city last night,arsenal and their suppose to be crap defence are second best defence in the EPL behind the chav but in front of Oil city and manure. we clearly need to sign some more cb

  95. Frank – he has not quite achieved his original plan though has he? He is on the outside, which I would wager was not part of his scheme.

    To you he is a bloke who take’s on the establishment, and a scape goat, victim to inernal dispute. To me he is a bloke who was great for the club, then after disagreeing with the boards vision for the clubs future, tried to engineer a hostile takeover to enforce his own vision. Got found out, fired, and then sold his shares to some dodgy Ukrainian.

  96. Yep I agree, YW. They don’t like people who get things done. The North West contingent were shitting themselves at the thought of DD in the FA. Bernstein arrived in the lobby of FA Towers wearing his slippers and wondering why he couldn’t just stay at home eating pies and fiddling with his pigeons.

  97. We will have to agree to disagree I am afraid.

  98. Ah well we will have to see, won’t we, goonerandy? In the mean time if being on the outside means sitting in an Arsenal box every week, having dinner with AW (and probably Stan Kroenke), with independent means, it is probably a fine place to be.

  99. Indeed we will

  100. If I was Stan Kreonke and I had to chart a path to unparalleled success with a fabulous club I had just acquired and I had the choice between Young Mr Grace and DD, I know which I would chose! In actual fact of course he does not have to make that choice and may well choose neither. But between the two it is no contest.

  101. Very true. Can’t say I would turn down his (probable) lifestyle.

    Either way, if current developments are good for the club I am all for it. I don’t suppose we really really know the full impact for many years though.

  102. Frank – I don’t disagree with that. DD is obvisouly the more “canny” operator. I wonder how SK’s relationship is with him though? The bridges may have been well and truely burned in that respect though. Once DD realised that SK was not intersted in working with him anymore, he sold his shares to SK’s (now) main rival.

  103. …or DD created a standoff and SK had time to sort his business dealings out until he was ready.

  104. Heh, conspericy theories abound.

  105. lordgunner, second best defence in the league for a team who plays as openly as us is fantastic going and is a great reflection on our defenders. They must be utterly confused sitting at home listening to ballbag pundits spout their “Arsenal still need a tough CB and a quality ‘keeper” shite.

  106. well theres a reason why wenger stayed when he told dein he would resign and that reason was dein so i think hes coming back..
    wenger just held the fort and carried the can for those bastards whilest they all battled it out and left the club in auto pilot..
    knowing that one day his brother in arms would return..
    thats my story anyway and im sticking to it.. 😉

  107. i think the good times are set to return
    this clubs had the same owners for years i think its natural ppl are concerned..its like being married for 30 years and its become stale and crusty and you know its over but your scared of a new realtionship cos youve become used to what youve got..
    its the end of an era but that era was made up of ppl who had inherited what they had and didnt know how to push the club forward..
    we should never be afraid of change…
    whats the point in having a fandabbydozy stadium and being respected as a top 5 european club and not using it to our advantage commercailly?
    those dinosaurs took us as far as they could and ran out of steam…
    weve gotta move with the times and i think/i hope stans the man..
    the arsenal will spread its wings and fly and with all this shite sorted out we can put the last few years behind us and finally concentrate on the future..
    on and off the pitch..
    this debacle has held us bad…

  108. JJ

    You’ve been reading too many Jeffrey Archer novels.


  109. The truth is that I have believed for some time now that Usmanov does not exist. He is in fact DD in a fat suit and he and SK have duped the Board.

  110. That is why you never see photographs or footage of them together.

  111. Heh, JJ is reading to much J Archer books, whilst Frank is engrossed in an Agatha Christie novel.

  112. Agatha Christie? Shakespeare surely

  113. Dante for the doomers

  114. Mario Puzo fan myself.

  115. whos jeffry archer?? lol
    i know agatha the bedroom with the candlestick and all that jazz
    and shakespeares the man..never understood him, and never really got it but found it entertaining.. english lit was the only class i stayed awake in.. oh and history when we talked about war.. oh and p.e. when we played football or watched the girls play hockey

  116. There was a time that Poliziano would take it from here. Other fish to fry.

  117. Were saved.

  118. Speaking of which, where the hell is Poliziano? Been a long time.

    Pz come back!! Some humor would do us good for the title run in!!

    These board room shuffle, has taken the highlight of the weekend. Something, from which I’ve got strong belief that we will win the EPL this season. Cesc’s performance was nothing short of perfect. Right time to hit the form. Theo back too. RVP has always been there. Exciting times. United will drop points, of that I have no doubt. Sunday will be a big test. I think we will win by a goal.

  119. I will take that goal and raise you. Two goals.

  120. We should sell the club towards the end of every season. Seems to galvanize support.

  121. ‘Well done. Good half, Abou. Great goal. Pity about the yellow. Want a cup of tea, old chap’ blazed Robin Van Persie in the dressing room at half time.
    ‘Thanks, Robin, great ball in, perfect weight, all I had to do was slot it in. Sorry about the yellow’ raged Abou Diaby in response’ Oh and thanks for the tea’.

  122. Two goals? Will depend if Nasri shows up. Fingers crossed. He can be very decisive.

  123. I’m looking at Theo, Abou and RvP combinations at pace, with Cesc pulling strings and Samir scaring the wits out of them.

  124. I am sure about the rest playing at their best, but not Samir. He’s been a bit quite of late. But then again, he can’t stay quite for long can he? Nevertheless we have too many players who can pull weight when one is out of form.

    Eboue and Theo on the right wing? Too deadly in my opinion, we should see them both more often.

  125. Do you reckon that the doomers get scared when all our main players are fit and firing on the pitch?

    “Oh my God! Arsene the **** is introducing Theo. No way we going to lose now. Damnit, need to change the post for tomorrow. I’ll let Pedr* do tomorrow’s post”.

    What happens when they’ve been cursing a player(our), the whole 50-60 minutes, and he scores the vital goal that leads to a win? Or a fantastic tackle that saves us from conceding one. Or a keeper, that saves a penalty? I doubt they feel any regret for their cursing, or the need to review their views.

  126. Interesting times in the next couple years for the club. The only thing that has been said today on the blog that we know is true is that we will not know how this will all work out for at least a couple of years.

    Next 5 games may be our toughest run of the season. Liverpool looked strong yesterday. Spuds will be desperate to move into the top 4 so the game at WHL will be a war. Red Manc’s always tough especially since they will almost certainly still be ahead of us and can park the bus and wait for a counter attack or play for a draw which they do very well. Bolton and Stoke away will also be very tough games. Time to prove the naysayers wrong.

  127. why didnt cesc tell Diaby before the booking??? Lehman had just wound Diaby up….as he shouted at him after a corner. Diaby went away….shaking his head with anger and the what happened???? Diaby got booked. Cesc shouldve realised this and told diaby to focus on the match and make a difference. Clam him down before the booking…not after!!!!

  128. Certainly no point being captain if you are not telepathic. Got to be telepathic. Essential I would say, v. You a lizard?

  129. Frank @ 2:46 pm – LMAO

  130. Well Ateeb, some are indeed hoping that we drop out of the top 4. Talk about cutting off the nose to spite the face..

    Bill, re Liverpool;
    I have no doubts that if we play anywhere close to our potential, we’ll have too much for the scousers. But their attack worries me. The combination of Caroll and Suarez will cause us problems. We really have to cut out supply to those two which means high energy pressing and a switch on midfield and defence. Kos is great at anticipating and intercepting passes on the ground, but we may have problems with high balls to Caroll. If only JD could be fit in time.
    Most importantly we have GOT to take our chances on the other side of the pitch.

  131. The scousers have been doing well against the other big clubs, so they’ll be well up for this. For a while, I entertained the theory that they might give us an easy pass in order to prevent the mancs picking up a 19th title, but one would imagine that most non-arsenal people (plus some arsenal fans even) aren’t giving us a chance anymore.

  132. Limestonegunner

    Well, Henristic, if we really do imagine Liverpool willing to do favours to prevent the Mancs eclipsing their title haul, we should know the result of their game before ours, right? So if they drop points, perhaps the scousers will think about it!

    I am more concerned about the fact that Tevez will be out for City’s FA cup semi-final with them. It would not be good if they were still on for a triple when we meet them. Still, I give us a good shot in that game if our full squad is fit and firing. Bill is right, though, that it might be better if they felt a win was necessary.

  133. The team plays different with RVP up front and with Cesc back Nasri doesnt see as much as the ball. He to me was very lively against United in the FA Cup (1 of the few) and did well at times on Sunday.
    Great player, I have no problem with what I am seeing from the young man, always plays hard.

  134. Henristic:

    Carroll and Suarez can certainly create problems and Kuyt has been in top goal poaching form. The new signings along with Kenny D have brought a lot of “feel good” to the scousers so I expect they will be up for this. If they shore up their defense a little this summer they will be back to top 4. Your crystal ball may be better then mine but I have given up trying to predict how these games will go. Depends on which Arsenal team shows up. If we play well we will win.

  135. Limestonegunner

    What am I saying? Forgot the FA cup is this Saturday. It was clutching at straws anyway–no way Liverpool wouldn’t want to salvage some pride this season by playing well at the Emirates. Besides, if we play well, I think we can handle Carroll and the “Biter”, as we have been pretty strong in defending.

    I’d like to see Theo start in place of Arshavin or Nasri. He looked very lively.

  136. YW,

    I ‘almost’ hate to say it but, I hope AST are one of the first casualties of the takeover. The timing of their statement of discontent could not have said more about the impact that these elect few could have on the future of our club while supposedly speaking on our (supporters’) behalf.

    I agree that the loss of these shareholders as a special voice need not affect the cherished plurality of ownership – if that model is found to be essential to the well being of the club. I am also not certain that that is necessarily the case. Board composition/membership and election might be a far more important issue and there are various routes that could be considered outside the box (in which I suppose many of the AST members take their view).

    ‘Interesting times’ indeed and, hopefully, not in the sense of the Chinese curse. I remain optimistic. On to all things most relevant..

    Liverpool looked good last night – even given for any deficiencies in the performance of Citeh. I’m anxious for the weekend but, again, optimistic.


  137. Arsenal Supporters’ Trust votes not to sell its shares to Stan Kroenke and campaign for supporter ownership

  138. Frank and GoonerAndy: Thankyou for the most interesting discussion about the events relating to the Arsenal management. David Dein was indeed a very clever fellow. I recall, though, when DD had an interest in running the show with the Football Association, there was a reaction among the Leagues’ Managers to Arsenal having one too many of their own people in controlling places. In spite of his obvious abilities, DD was missing something. Maybe it was his over-weening ambition.

  139. Yes, a sort of pompadoured Macbeth.

    “Out! Out damned pomade! Out damnd residual Just For Men!”

  140. Yes the reaction to David Dein was lead principally by Simon Jordan because Arsenal had too much influence. Intriguingly David Gill from the Mancs took over and we all know that that club has no real influence over the game in this country. So that is OK then.

  141. Fucking shafted. I’m tellin ya.

  142. Never trust a man who dyes his hair blond, and certainly do not bend over in the shower if he is in the vicinity.

  143. Or indeed pomades his hair..

  144. pompously pomades his pompadour as it were

  145. However you slice it, the club is moving forward and the fans should too.

  146. My favorite Jeffrey Archer book is “Honour Among Thieves”.

  147. Looking forward to sunday’s game, someone needs to tell Kenny Dalglish that if he has any ambitions of stopping United from winning #19, his team should roll over on sunday.

  148. Always had a sneaking suspicion that LG was funded by Usmanov. Undermining the existing order…

  149. Frank: Absolutely no influence in the game whatsoever not.

  150. Borges Spinelli

    ‘Tis my opinion that Stan Kroenke’s perspective ownership of Arsenal would herald a new wave of optimism for our club, going forward in the modern game. With his vast experience of running a number of sport teams in the US, I doubt that he will suddenly alter his philosophy of permitting those employed to run the day-to-day affairs from performing their roles.

    On the other hand, the Uzbek-Russian oligarch strikes me very much as a character of similarly questionable ilk to Chelsea’s infamous Russian owner with a proclivity to involve himself in team matters and undermine coaches. In the short-term Usmanov’s presence might yield positive rewards and satiate glory-hunters; his long-term impact, could result in the dismantling of all that we’ve built, over the course of 15 very fruitful years. That to me, is a heavy price which I’m unwilling to pay for success.

    In the words of a wise writer: “Temptation is the fire that brings up the scum of the heart.” Arsenal Football Club is not a toy and neither should it ever be treated as one.

  151. Just my opinion/thoughts:

    Kroenke: Won’t be a sugar daddy. Will run the team off whatever profits the club makes. Will not inject his own money into transfers, etc. At the most, might encourage Wenger to not balk at spending that extra million or 2 on a player he is interested in. Most likely business as usual, with worst case being he starts taking dividends and cuts into profits.

    Usmanov: Would probably just be Abramovich Mark II. Loads of cash, throws his weight around in the running of the club, players, eventually the manager. Puts the ‘money in’ back onto the club (I think that is how it’s done at Chelsea.. the club owes Abramovich the money back at some point, probably way over simplified since it’s his club).

    Buyout looked inevitable… Fiszman’s illness and Lady B wanting to finally cash out meant they had to make a choice and chose Silent Stan.

    We’ll see how it all plays out.

  152. Delia---Block 112

    As I see things , there are likely to be few changes on the playing side , with a continuation of the present policy of youth and a few fresh faces each summer. I very much doubt there will be a pot of gold for AW to spend . The changes in personnel already identified by Arsene will go ahead as planned.
    What will change, are more aggressive (American) style commercial activities , sponserships, tours & the like. These changes will undoubtedly have an impact on us the paying customers. Things will never be the same again and I for one am not sure that it is a step in the right direction. Arsenal is an institution, different from the rest .I would prefer it to stay that way.
    Back to the football, Carroll appears to have found his form just in time to haunt us for a second time at the Emirates this season!
    As always COYRs

  153. great discussion on here today. And YW a fantastic post!

    As an American sports fan I can say that Stan has got a lot going for him. He keeps his head down, very much unlike Jerry Jones, the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys’ owner who is known to stroll the sidelines during games offering “advice”. His teams are also astutely run. There’s no option in American sport for a “sugar daddy” as most sports leagueshave intricate revenue sharing laws, but his teams make smart moves. His NBA team, the Denver Nuggets, had one of the stars in the league in Carmelo Anthony, who was quite the prima dona, and out of contract at the end of the year. They traded him for a bunch of solid players, draft picks, etc and have a record of around 20-7 since his departure. Not bad.

    So make no mistake, despite the moustache, this is not an American cowboy riding into N5 ready to cause a ruckus. Yes, he’s been on the Arsenal board for a few years, but I still would not expect him to come in and be one of those “ugly Americans” you Euros are so constantly on about.

  154. Borges Spinelli

    LOL! Frank, buddy, go easy on the “sponsorship of our stadium by a slave state.” part.

    I myself have benefited from said region’s generosity. Hence my refusal to bite the hand from whence I once fed. ;o)

  155. Hmmm. I think Cesc needs to focus on his own game. Diaby was playing superbly. Turned the game around when he won back the ball and started that attack. Scored a fine goal and dominated the opposition. But hey – it’s all supposition and rumour so we cannot believe a word of it.

  156. I agree with Steww, Cesc needs to raise his own game. Not that he played badly because he was involved in at least 2 of the 3 goals we scored, but I think he’s playing at %60 of his level. Maybe he’s still injured or was told not to over do it.

  157. I disagree with both of you. Cesc had his best game for months, and frankly was the best player on the pitch, he created some really good scoring chances. To me he’s getting back to his best.

    And secondly, I see no harm when the senior players like Cesc and RVP, give a bollocking to a player, who deserves it. And yes, Diaby deserved it, because that was a stupid thing to do. Remember New Castle? Seemed like he didn’t learn from that incident.

  158. Jack has said that Lehmann was like an Assistant Manager on the pitch. May be the youngsters do need authoritative figures to settle them down.

  159. Alright folks,

    Let’s all hope Chelski do ManUre tonight and build up the required confidence to repeat the exercise when the two meet again in the EPL!

    Necessity makes for strange bed-fellows!

    A gooner whore

  160. “Remember New Castle? Seemed like he didn’t learn from that incident.”

    Yes, that was extra stupid 🙂

    I still think Cesc is not playing at %110 like he used to Ateeb, but he may be still taking it easy coming back from injury.

  161. Very good post Yogi. very interesting read. And just as interesting is the Dein debate, for want of a better word.

    I find Dein a rather fascinating character to be honest. He clearly loves Arsenal and also has a good nose for the main chance. People often forget that it was he who brought Fiszman on board in the beginning and it was Dein who sold a majority of his own shares to Fiszman to make Fiszman biggest shareholder. And eventually they fell out. Kroenke is reported to have said that Dein misrepresented the state and mindset of the Arsenal board to him when he bought his Granada shares. I think that David Dein is a guy that can make things happen without a doubt but he is also a rather good self publicist and a lot of Arsenal fans have fallen for the hype IMHO.

    The truth is that Dein didn’t believe that Arsenal could stay competitive if we built a stadium. He has said as much and every single action he has taken since then has shown him to be true to his word…and the most troubling truth is that he didn’t much care where or how the money came into the club… he just wanted more money invested in Arsenal. Some people find this admirable and that is their right but TBH there’s more to the game of football than just winning.

    How you win is absolutely important too… and ultimately that is what Wenger’s Arsenal has always been about. I somehow doubt very seriously that Wenger would want to work with Usmanov… I have no evidence from Wenger’s own words but given what Wenger had to endure at Monaco from Tapie’s Marseilles and given that Usmanov is closer to a Tapie-type character than even Abrahamovic or anyone else in English football, I just can’t see it. And give what we know of Wenger’s rigorous intellect and his almost old fashioned moral code… I just can’t see him working with Usmanov. But Dein had no qualms about selling Usmanov his shares. Reflect on that… I very much doubt that Wenger and Dein are the peas in a pod that some claim. And to be brutally honest there’s every chance that his return may be a disaster.

    Having said all that I still have to give a huge amount of Gooner respect to the man who revived Arsenal… I just don’t believe that his return would be the heaven of some fans dreams.

  162. I really wish there was a circumstance where both teams get kicked out. It doesn’t matter though, either team will have to meet FIFA’s darling whore (barca) and end up getting kicked out any way.

  163. Steww

    Think the concern was the stupidity of the booking. Entirely unnecessary.

    Cesc is coming back, needed a game to get his head right. Now he and Jack can enjoy the space between the Liverpool midfield and defence.


  164. From the text commentary I’m reading, it sounds like Chelfski are on the ropes?

  165. Not only was the yellow card unecessary but it changed the game as Mr. Bob said earlier. It gave blackpool a boost at end of the first half and that continued into the second.

    I am glad they dealt with him accordingly. I also wouldnt out that in the same lane as RVP’s yellow against Barca. The ref was not protecting our players and being choked and all that, I can see why he got frustrated.

    United play these little crosses across the box and Chico is always there to tap it in. I dont see anything spectacular about him skill wise but he is always in the right place.

  166. This chicharito fellow is tough as a deer tick… can’t get rid of him

  167. I see many are setting great store by Kroenke’s promise that he won’t finance the purchase through an LBO.

    That’s all fine and dandy, but I recall the two Americans who bought Liverpool making the same promise.

    As wealthy as some of these chops might be, most of them don’t have several hundred million pounds hanging around in the safe in their study at home. Most of their worth will be tied up in assets.

    Kroenke’s previous share purchases from DK seem to have been paid for over a period of time rather than cash up front.

    I suspect there will be a similar arrangement in place for the latest purchases from DK and LNBS et al.

    I also suspect Kroenke doesn’t want AU to take him up on his offer, nor many of the others at this point so that he doesn’t have to find the ready cash to pay for them right now.

    Interestingly enough, Wenger and Dein disagreed on two major points, firstly the need for a “sugardaddy”, and secondly, building the new stadium.

    One thing Jon Jon has been right about was that the board were always preparing for a sale.

    Not taking dividends, paying down debt, building the asset base, all classic signs of “fattening” the calf (raising the share price) in preparation for sale.

    The reason the board will have been pissed off with Dein is that he was trying to outmaneuver them and sell the club before they had maximized their value.

    That said I think their hand has been prematurely forced through DF’s illness.

    I think there are going to be a number of people becoming disappointed and disillusioned over the next year or so.

    Firstly, I doubt Kroenke has any intention of plowing any extra cash in.

    He will bide his time and take advantage of the upcoming sponsorship renewals, and possibly look at supporting moves to split up the collective bargaining on the next TV deal, but I would be very surprised if he pumped any additional money in, so very little is likely to change on Wenger’s policies.

    Yes, I suspect PHW will retire in the next year or two, but secondly, I’d be even more surprised if Dein were invited back.

    Yes, he did a few good things for the club, and some that were not.

    In some minds he seems to have been elevated to some mythical savior on a white charger, which he certainly is not.

    He was, and is, nowhere near as good as he is being made out to be in some sectors.

    Personally I think he’s more than a little dodgy.

    Quite frankly he always struck me as a sleezeball, and I certainly never could fathom why Wenger was be friendly with someone of that ilk, nor would I be keen on having him back at the club.

  168. Torres, the biggest flap of the season. Actually subbed at the half!

  169. or flop

  170. “I dont see anything spectacular about him skill wise but he is always in the right place.”

    Being in the right place is a skill Paul 🙂

    I just don’t like the guy because he plays for the Manures

  171. Its effective is what it is G4E.

  172. Limestonegunner

    Borges, I thought Frank’s observation on the impure sources of wealth was an important reminder, and “slave state” might be dramatic, but the labor situation and denial of rights in the Gulf is truly an appalling example of neo-liberal globalization shaping an oiligarchic nation-state and conservative, tribal society. Yikes!

  173. I hate to say this but i hope barca humiliate manure.

  174. Fucking mancs, why do they seem to just get stronger at the ‘right’ time every bloody season! Must be drugs or something. Fucking Alex Ferguson.

  175. ManU certainly look formidable…hope their form dips…if not, we will have our work cut out against them in the match at the Emirates

  176. If this was Arsenal, the pundits would say that Chelfski was abysmal…not that Arsenal was formidable.

  177. Bradys right foot

    The mancs played well but Chelsea made them look good. Chelsea didn’t press the ball very well at all Rooney was allowed to drop off all night and pick up the ball under no pressure. Hope they see the match at OT as a chance for revenge.

  178. Mike

    KSE has loan notes with DF but this is not unusual, they’ve done it before. LNBS is being paid cash.

    KSE’s bid document will posted in the next 28 days so more will be known about his intentions. I have no doubt that no cash will be passed through the Arsenal books for the spending spree that many want.


  179. Yogi @10:22:

    “I have no doubt that no cash will be passed through the Arsenal books for the spending spree that many want.”

    Don’t be sure a doomer. You always told us that we should at least have some hope.

  180. We cant rely on the chavs getting a point off united as it stands. They have nothing to threaten the manc twats. Our best hope is the Toon and Everton if you ask me.

    The chavs are nuffin, a spent force and soon to be a mid table entitiy. Evenh though the have spent gazillions. Now where are all those gullible tabloid reading fuckers demanding we need to spend to win? Not saying we should not buynew players, but it is not a fucking guarantee now is it?

  181. Dexter:

    No one saying we can or should go out and spend a gazillion dollars. Chav’s may be struggling now but hard to ignore 3 PL titles in 6 years along with a bunch of FA and Carling Cups.

    We spend as much money as any team in the league to build the Invincibles and it worked quite well. Based on what happened after 04 the group that went unbeaten very close to being on their last legs. We could have given up those glory years and built for the future early in the decade and may be we would not be trophy-free for the last 6 years but may be we would have anyway. Myself I would not have given up those glory years for any amount of future potential greatness.

  182. Don’t sleep on blackpool winning arsenal the league on the last day of the season!

  183. colney | April 12, 2011 at 10:02 am | JJ
    “just heard a rumor Kronke might buy out the shirt deal from Emirates and renegotiate a newer deal. Let’s just hope it’s not wal-mart lol.”

    No, no,no – please don’t let him rename the stadium “Sam’s Club”

    And where is Poliziano these days? Hope he’s not embroiled in the Berlusconi fiasco..

  184. “We spend as much money as any team in the league to build the Invincibles and it worked quite well. Based on what happened after 04 the group that went unbeaten very close to being on their last legs. We could have given up those glory years and built for the future early in the decade and may be we would not be trophy-free for the last 6 years but may be we would have anyway. Myself I would not have given up those glory years for any amount of future potential greatness.”

    lol Bill, I wonder how many more ways you can make the argument that “spending isn’t all that bad”. I’m surprised that that Nasir-Jones fella hasn’t retorted with his usual insults yet. You’re lucky Shotta isn’t feeling too well 😉

  185. Actually MD, I can reveal that the new sponsor will be ‘consolsbob’s Plymouth Pasties- food for the soul’.

    I had to move quickly, you see, after you posted the link to that pirate outfit from Virginia’s attempt to steal our money

  186. This sweet and tender hooligan’s started something that I couldn’t finish but it’s today’s post nonetheless

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