Rosicky Back In Team, RvP Back Home & The Old Boy Network Proves Useful
A breather in the Euro2012 schedule allows the media to turn its’ attention toward the transfer market very briefly and this morning, Hatem Ben Arfa is the lucky chap to get the flirtatious glances from the right side of north London. That Chelsea are also interested should in no way be construed as an agent or two feeding stories to the press in order to improve any offers received. No, sir, not in any way, shape or form, is that the case in this instance…
Robin van Persie meanwhile will be reporting back to pre-season training on 9th July just like everyone else. That has caught this morning’s Daily Heil by surprise but I am not quite sure why? He has a contract and it is well-known that the club want to hold him to that, even if he should decide not to sign an extension. And they read enough blogs to know what the fans think of it, as well reinforcing the view that the Dutchman should play out his final season if there are no suitable replacements.
The club will give anyone who plays in the latter stages of Euro2012 an extra weeks holiday before returning to pre-season training but let’s be honest, the prolonged involvement of England, France or Czech Republic beyond the middle of next week is not expected. Indeed, it will be hugely impressive if any of them survive their quarter-finals. Which just leaves Germany with Lukas Podolski and Per Mertesacker in their squad. Who would have thought that Germany would do well in a tournament?
In all likelihood, Tomas Rosicky will not make tonight’s match from the kick-off, at least. He has returned to training with the Czechs but they will surely want to take it slowly with their captain given his injury record. Even if they don’t, Arsenal will and it strikes me that Rosicky’s pre-season might be gentler than that of others if he has suffered any gah, tweak or knack during this tournament.
All of which points to a strong Arsenal squad making their tours to various parts of the world. Normally pre-season training is a welcome relief from two months of boredom. With an international tournament finishing just a week before, it is a seamless transition between the end of the last campaign and the beginning of the new. It also marks an intensifying of transfer gossip as media outlets seek to make up for the quiet spell. I wonder if anyone will be clamouring for his return?
Elsewhere, the Old Boy Network closed ranks on Alisher Usmanov yesterday. Premier League rules relieved him of the responsibility of signing off material financial transactions when he formally reaches the 30% shareholding threshold. Officially he is at around 29.5% but is believed to control other shares that take him closer to the golden figure. With a major shareholderin situ, the Premier League decided that he was in fact no more entitled to be given access to privileged information than a normal shareholder.
It is an inconvenience to Red & White at this moment in time. They may try to challenge the rule via legal channels but I am not sure whether it would be successful; it seems highly unlikely provided that Premier League regulations were met in implementing the change.
What does it mean for the club? Essentially, nothing. They would surely have resisted any attempt by Red and White to access the books which might have been messy. Too much was expected of having access to this information, too many people seemed to think it would allow Usmanov to bring information into the open. He could of course, have done that and in an instant, would have broken several company laws. That would not have happened nor would he have fed too much to the media since I am sure something would have been given specifically to him to test him in that respect.
He would have had leverage to make more extravagant claims about how he would invest in the club, how KSE are not and wow, look how much money they are making out of Arsenal.
I have never bought into him being offered a place on the board for the size of his shareholding. It is not logical on that basis alone. He is a successful businessman but so are KSE who have a touch more relevant experience. The whole premis of his involvement at that level has been about him investing cash. Talk is cheap and easy when you don’t have power; any politician will tell you that.
As it is, I do not think he will stop buying shares for the moment, nor unfortunately are he or Kroenke going to disappear from the club in the immediate future. Why should Red and White? After all, they have invested their money in the shares and all the while the club’s value rises, they profit through doing nothing. He ought to talk to PHW about that…