Usual Arsenal Sunday: Usmanov Cheap Chatter With Media Mad As Hatters
From the tick, tick, tick of your time’s up
If there is a scenario which needs negativity, The Heil is your media outlet. Down on your luck? Don’t worry, they will look smugly upon your misfortune. Worried about your job? Let them gleefully heap misery in your direction. Look at what they have concocted for Arsène this weekend.
Friday saw him told to flash the cash, Saturday The Heil became a mouthpiece for curmudgeonly Catalans before this morning Arsène became the footballing equivalent of Nero, dithering whilst his Rome burned. A Funky Weekend indeed for the manager.
It will no doubt be topped off tomorrow with a firm warning that Arsenal’s 28% shareholder supports the manager but would sack him if he did not win a trophy this season, all under the cosy headline of “I don’t want to be on the board of a trophyless club“. Which is probably just as well since no-one has invited Usmanov onto the Board.
To the yes, yes, yes of I’ll sell
Having endured a fortnight of stories about Cesc and Nasri, Gael Clichy‘s departure appeared to move a step closer. If there was a bid from Liverpool, Arsenal have not responded publicly but swatted away it has been. Or so we presume. “A source close to the player” has emerged to tell the press that the signing of a new contract in this case is “highly unlikely”. The ubiquitous source, how much we like them when they are positive for the club, despising their existence on departures.
Samir Nasri will ‘do one’ if he doesn’t get £150k per week wages. Amazing how his wages creep up and his value drop in a similar ratio. Lo and behold, Daily Heil hack Bob Cass has found a new home for him, Bayern Munich realising that a Nasri is probably better value than a Bendtner. Not that the Dane cares, he is off to Internazionale. Or Besiktas. Or the end of our street.
But The Mirror reckon he’ll stay.
From the drip drip drip of the teardrops
Alisher Usmanov failed to get the requisite publicity recently with a Sunday Times piece; this time he has gone for the more populist News of the World for his advertorial. Ahead of the Q&A Session with Ivan Gazidis, the PR battle began in earnest.
Despite jettisoning the ties of Takeover Panel rules, KSE remains silent. The presumption is that they believe silence to be golden. Frankie Valli is the only one who really got that one right, Stanley, you are on the back foot. Maybe that will change on Monday but expectations are not high.
The interview is perfect, pitched at the dissension – perceived and real – surrounding Arsenal. A quick win in this climate is to say the right things and promise nothing. Usmanov does that. His policies tap the populist vein, once more Arsenal’s PR lets them down. Even then, there are some glaring omissions and contradictions.
Firstly, there is no recognition that the stadium he has occasionally deigned to visit had to be built ‘normally’. That does not fit with his view that the board have “have seemed happy to sanction second, third and fourth as being acceptable, whilst at the same time they were planning to sell their shares“. No Sugar Daddy emerged at that time money was needed, sponsors signing long-term deals on unfavourable terms to the club. Bad as they were, it was a necessity at the time.
Secondly, he eulogises David Dein, forgetting that he has dropped the former Vice-Chairman. How would Usmanov support Arsène? We don’t know, left to assume that he would bring in the required person. But whom? Surely not Dein, a man who loves the club so much that his son agitates for players to leave under the guise of being their agent? Can father and son separate business and family? Or would Arsenal become Dein & Son?
Invest in players, Arsène, keep Cesc and Nasri! Invest? How is this to be funded? Usmanov supports the self-sustaining model but only in a debt-free club. A comment deliberately charged toward KSE and their unwillingness to confirm how Arsenal was bought, as much as saying, “I am rich, I will clear the debt” by increasing the share capital or by a director’s loan? Only the former truly clears the debt.
And self-sustainability is the only way forward under the FFP Regulations of Uefa. The investment required by the owners just decreased.
Concerned about ticket prices? So is Alisher. Noticed that the commercial revenues are poor? So has his PR man. Watched The Apprentice? So has his PR man. They do not change one thing; Alisher Usmanov is in this for himself. A by-product of his gain would be Arsenal’s success on the field but the only one who gains a seat on the board is the Uzbek. The only one. Not the supporters.
He is a slick politician. All the right words but when you want substance, all that is found is a vacuum.
To the chink chink chink of the cash
Gervinho has apparently signed for Arsenal. Or Manchester City, if you believe the French media. Whilst 5Live think it might be finalised over the weekend. Being Arsenal, we’ve only paid £12m for all three of the Ivorian. Eden Hazard is Barcelona’s Plan B so won’t be coming with him.
At the same time, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has signed. Except he hasn’t and even if he has, we won’t know about it until July 1st. Because he is on holiday. Leighton Baines, Gary Cahill and Christopher Samba are all joining this week as well.
Except who to believe, who to believe? No-one until it is officially announced.Probably by the selling clubs because we know Arsenal will react two weeks after everyone else. Nothing like whipping up some excitement, eh Ivan.
To the end end end of the friendships
Cesc’s holiday in Barcelona is going down a storm in Catalunya. It has gone from being an annual trip to see his family, to overseeing contract negotiations between the two clubs. Not that it will take much effort, even Peter Whimsey would find it hard to screw these negotiations up,
“No, Senor Rosell, €40m is not enough. £50m or more. No, we don’t want Tigger or Bojan. What’s the property market like around your way? I’ve always fancied a Spanish Villa. No, I didn’t mention your star forward but since you did…No? Well this is all getting rather messy. Don’t interrupt, I didn’t say we wanted Messi but now you mention it…No to that as well? Frankly Rosell, I’m going to have to give you a pep talk about your behaviour… No, I’m not after your manager, not this summer anyway.
Look why don’t you come back next year when you’ve stopped living a champagne lifestyle on a beer income.”
“Corruption” – Iggy Pop
Posted on June 12, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip. Bookmark the permalink. 289 Comments.