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Half-time at Arsenal

Robert Peston | 17:00 UK time, Wednesday, 23 May 2007

arsenal.jpgI have in the past made the appropriate conflict-of-interest disclosure: I am a lifelong Arsenal supporter. But what follows, I hope, will not be tainted by the emotional investment I’ve made in the club over many years.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been talking to Arsenal investors, former investors and executives to obtain a sense of what’s likely to happen at the historic club in the aftermath of the US billionaire Stan Kroenke buying a 12.2 per cent stake and David Dein resigning from the board.

Here is what I’ve learned:

1) According to sources at ITV, David Dein was intimately involved in ITV’s sale for £42m of a 9.99 per cent stake in Arsenal to Kroenke.

2) The same sources say that at one stage that deal was conditional on Dein also selling his 14.4 per cent holding to Kroenke, though that condition was ultimately dropped.

3) It’s unclear whether Dein’s role in the ITV sale prompted the “irreconcilable differences” between him and fellow Arsenal directors which led him to leave the Arsenal board in April.

4) The close relationship between Dein and fellow Arsenal director, Danny Fiszman, ended some while ago, before the recent turbulence – but the cause of the original estrangement is a mystery.

5) The widely held belief that the development of Arsenal’s new stadium has put it into a financial straitjacket appears to be wrong – following a £260m refinancing of the stadium-related debt last July, which significantly reduced interest costs, net cash-flows have been enhanced and the club’s financial muscle is now probably greater than it’s ever been (or at least since the glory days of the 1930s, when star players worked for peanuts rather than gold bricks).

6) Annual turnover is running at around £170m excluding property sales, £200m including a contribution from the residential development at the redundant Highbury stadium, and a bit more if catering sales are imputed from profits shared with outside catering firms – which represents a tripling of turnover over seven years and means the club is narrowing the gap with Manchester United.

7) Arsenal’s expenditure on players (transfers and wages) is approximately 91 per cent of Manchester United’s.

8) However the Arsenal board does not believe that even a top-flight club can combine on-the-field success over the long term with a highly-leveraged financial structure of the sort the Glazers put in place at Manchester United or even with the payment of dividends to shareholders.

9) Or to put it another way, the Arsenal board view the club almost as a mutual or a co-op, and they feel their primary responsibility is to pass it to the next generation of directors, shareholders and supporters in robust shape – and it is an article of faith for the board that net cash flows should always be positive in any given year, unless the club is making an investment that will significantly increase long-term cash flows.

10) That explains their wariness about selling out to Kroenke.

11) The absence of a dividend on the shares for many years, and the refusal of the directors to contemplate paying a dividend, means that it would be irrational for Dein to retain his 14.4 per cent stake – how can he simply sit on an asset worth perhaps £90m which is yielding zilch for him (and, note too, that he is no longer drawing salary or bonus from Arsenal which in 2006 was £500,000)?

What do I make of all this? First that Dein will probably sell his stake sooner rather than later. Second if Kroenke is genuinely committed to buying Arsenal, he will find it immensely difficult, since the board control roughly half the stock and seem committed to their way of doing things.

wenger.jpgBut then there is a Wenger factor. Everyone I’ve spoken to says that the sine qua non of future footballing and financial success is that the Arsenal manager stays at the club. Which is why there is widespread anxiety that his contract ends at the end of the next season.

It’s probably not sinister that he hasn’t signed a new contract yet. Arsenal’s directors are confident that they are providing him with the wherewithal to do the job and that his decision to stay or go will ultimately depend on how his team perform for him next season. Which isn’t altogether reassuring…

Comments   Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 05:41 PM on 23 May 2007,
  • teddy k wrote:

I share your inability to be completely inpartial on this one, but think point 9 and 11 are key. Why anyone will invest in a football club for a financial return is beyond reason? Additionally, unless a potential investor just wants a trophy asset (Roman A?) it beggers belief as to why there should be a change of ownership. As a fan (and clearly not with a vote that counts on the board), I would urge them to hold fast.

  • 2.
  • At 05:47 PM on 23 May 2007,
  • miyake wrote:

Not sure that Wenger can really be a sine qua non - after all he is in his late fifties so presumably there are medium term plans for his replacement. Wenger is exceptional but he is top 10 maybe in the game right now, not number 1 - his trophy record indicates that. I find it hard to believe that should he go that Arsenal could not find a replacement of similar stature given their reuptation, potential & the salary on offer.

Clubs should never have been allowed to take on debt.

They should be run as a mutual and not for private profit.

The ability to buy clubs with masses of debt is akin to the private equity deals being seen.

High risks with individuals gambling hundred(s) of years of heritage for their own private gain with somebody elses money.

UEFA should rule that clubs with debt cannot compete in European competitions.

Debt only turns into wage inflation.

Honestly, how many clubs make a significant long-term profit?

  • 4.
  • At 06:58 PM on 23 May 2007,
  • Shyam wrote:

Share your concerns too. The thing is that we need to address all this sooner rather than later as Arsenal is now a brand, not just a football club. A takeover is inevitable and it is really a case of when rather than if. So, doing it sooner would make more sense.

Hopefully Wenger will stay for 3-5 more years.. just for the sake of those who seem to be signing these 'long term' contracts - and of course the fans!

  • 5.
  • At 07:00 PM on 23 May 2007,
  • Steve M wrote:

Why are foreign investors lining up to buy (well supported) English clubs?
'Current' financial returns are minimal for what are large investments.
Individual clubs 'will' negotiate their own TV contracts in the future, the resulting revenue will dwarf the current Sky deals. That's what the Americans are after.
If a club can 'guarantee' to retain a world wide fan base and a top four status in the premiership, without the short term financial injection the Americans offer, they will then be able to hang on to 'their' TV money and not watch it being turned into dollars!

  • 6.
  • At 07:27 PM on 23 May 2007,
  • Richardr wrote:

The reason for the debt at Arsenal is the building of the new stadium. If clubs were not allowed to borrow money - who would pay for the new stadia we have?

  • 7.
  • At 07:41 PM on 23 May 2007,
  • naco panah wrote:

Miyake
To suggest that Wenger is simply top ten and nothing special is to flaunt your ignorance.Not many managers hold as much sway as she does and none has has as much influence on a footballing institution as he has had.To judge him solely on his trophy haul, which one should mention is very impressive, and neglect his impact on the fortunes, stature and style of Arsenal is not smart.I struggle to name any manager who has won almost an average of 1 trophy per season for ten years working at a very restricted budget as had done, well perhaps outside Ferguson. I am sorry you do not seem to know world football.

  • 8.
  • At 08:08 PM on 23 May 2007,
  • Mark wrote:

This all makes sense. I'd rather see Arsenal spend less in the short than get into fresh debt that coul dbe with us for ever. When you look at the debt Man Utd have taken on for little gain then the 260 million for new stadium looks like the bargain of the century. The sale of corporate seats has meant that it easily pays its way and it is financed by low interest bonds rather than Utd's high interest overdraft.

  • 9.
  • At 10:21 PM on 23 May 2007,
  • Richard Harrison wrote:

I wouldn't say that UEFA should stop clubs playing with debt, That would stop us as well!

I'm with the board on this. The stadium is making the money to repay the loans and then some. (my season ticket renewal is due next week, £885 for the cheapest seat in the house!) With all the money from the new tv deal about to hit. Why would they want to sell now after all the work of the stadium even if they don't take a divi?

As for Arsene, I'm not worried at the moment. He honours his contracts and never signs a new one over a year before the new one is about run out. Anyway, this team is still growing together. Like the board, why leave after all the hard work is done?

ps, well done Robert, a far better analyis of the situation then Mr Bhose managed on the sports desk.

  • 10.
  • At 10:21 PM on 23 May 2007,
  • Rhys Jaggar wrote:

1. I don't see why a 3-5% dividend for football clubs isn't appropriate.

2. I don't see why performance related pay for soccer stars isn't appropriate:

a. Basic = assumption of finishing 17th in Premiership.
b. Bonus based on improved league performance.
c. Bonus based on performance in FA Cup and Champions League.

3. I don't see why Arsenal can't be run as a plc. Why should players on top money not be dependent on performance, after all?

4. Wenger since 1997 has arguably performed as well as Ferguson. Lack of income until this season, need to sell on top players (Anelka, Petit, Overmars, Vieira etc). Is that merely 'top 10'? If you look at Ferguson 1986 - 1997, you'll see Wenger has done a better job.

5. Shareholder decisions are their own.

  • 11.
  • At 10:27 PM on 23 May 2007,
  • Chris Fisher wrote:

I don't doubt that Mr Kroenke's motives are anything other than primarily financial; it seems that US investors are waking up to the renewed potential of 'soccer' as a spectator sport in their own market and see the aquisition of top european clubs as a first step. However, your article suggests that you have not spoken to him nor to David Dein.

There can be no denying that Arsenal has been a well managed club for a number years, but it is far from being a mutual or a co-op. Those running the club may not take much by way of dividends, but they will eventually make a huge profit - the fans will have little or no say in this or over who future owners might be. I know of no plans by the arsenal board to eventually pass the club into the hands of its fans, rather their shares will be kept in the family or sold off to the highest bidder when it suits them - I'd suggest that the board's main reason for wanting to keep Mr Kroenke at bay is that the time does not yet suit them to sell, because they can expect the club to appreciate substantially in the next few years. If David Dein can afford to, then he would be wise to hang on to as many of his shares as possible.

  • 12.
  • At 10:31 PM on 23 May 2007,
  • Colin wrote:

Dein should sell his stake to the Supporter's Club. I am sure that they have enough members to raise the necessary funds.

That way club ownership can still remain as a mutual and we do not end up with another club being taken over by a foreigner (like so many of our companies!!).

Also Dein will be shown not to have sold out. He has been a passionate supporter of the club for a long time now, what better way to show it than to sell his shares to the supporters.

  • 13.
  • At 10:45 PM on 23 May 2007,
  • Paul S wrote:

Good comments. As as a fan also I welcome the current boards wish to always reinvest profits in the club. However the shareholders have been well rewarded with the massive increase in the share value. Certainly I can't see anyone wishing to take the club over carrying on with the same business model especially if they are seeking a return on their investment. I would put Stan Kroenke in this bracket.

I believe the new Sky deal plus the current strength of the Premier League makes it very attractive to invest in clubs with strong positive cashflows. However, many of the clubs are run by business people who are fans rather than investors and are often prepared not to see an immediate return. I wait to see the long term prognosis for Man United & Liverpool as owned by investors and Chelsea as owned by a fan.

As for my beloved Arsenal, I hope the current board sticks to their guns and holds tight. I think they should only consider a takeover from a wealthy fan rather than an investor.

  • 14.
  • At 11:05 PM on 23 May 2007,
  • Abdul wrote:


WHAT IS WRONG WITH PETER HILL WOOD IF HE HASNT GOT THE RIGHT FINANCIAL WHY HE DOESNT SELL ARSENAL AND WE CAN GET KROENKE AND BRING US THE BEST PLAYERS LOOK AT UNITED CHELSEA AND LIVERPOOL ARE FOLLOWING THEM I REALLY BELEIVE IF ARSENAL DONT SELL THE CLUB WITHIN NEXT COUPLE MONTHS THEY WONT FINISH TOP FOUR WHY BECAUSE WE HAVENT GOT THE QUALITY THE EXPERIENCE ATLEAST WE NEED TO PLAYERS ONE CENTRE FORWARD AND MIDFIELDER THAT COULD HELP US IF NOT THEN LETS PLAY FOR THE UEFA CUP AND WE CAN WIN IT ITS SO EASY TO WIN IT AND LET SMALL TEAMS DESTROY US AND MY BLAME WILL GO TO CHAIRMAN NON OF THE SQUAD OR THE REST OF THE BOARD PETER WILL HOOD IS ALWAYS TAKING TO WRONG DECISIONS I WOULD LIKE SOMEONE FROM ARSENAL TO COME FORWARD AND SAY PLEASE SELL THIS CLUB THAT COULD HELP US OTHERWISE ARSENE WENGER THIERRY HENRY WILLIAM GALLAS CESC FABREGAS HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO GO BECAUSE OF MR HILL WOOD AND IM SURE 100 PERCENT IF KROENKE GETS THIS CLUB DAVID DEIN WILL BE BACK THAT IS GUARENTEED PLUS IM A SEASON TICKET HOLDER PAY ALMOST 4 GRAND A SEASON WHY DO I HAVE TO WASTE MY MONEY BECAUSE OF ONE PERSON OUT OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE I WOULD APPRECIATE IF KREONKE TAKES THIS CLUB BY END OF JULY...

  • 15.
  • At 11:10 PM on 23 May 2007,
  • Femi ArsenalFan_SHolder wrote:

I agree with your detailed analysis above. One general point on the probable course of action Mr. David Dein (DD) may pursue re point 11 (probable because no one can be absolutely certain) is that human beings sometimes do the irrational. You indicated it would be irrational for DD to retain his 14.4% holding. It is likely he would do anything to get even as a result of the way he was "treated". Only time will tell.

My second point is in relation to Mr. Arsene Wenger (AW).

The Arsenal Club has been in existence one way or the other for over 100 years. The Club has survived the lows and highs or life.

Whilst i would like to see AW providing his managerial services well into the future, there will come a time when he would have contributed as much as he could, and will move on.

There will inevitably be life after AW (his name will no doubt be included in the list of those who transformed the Club).

Again, all will be revealed in time.

Let us all be patient, and let us all act in the best of interest of and for the Club.

Thanks.

  • 16.
  • At 11:16 PM on 23 May 2007,
  • L'poolLil' wrote:

Spot on, Carl Duncker! I am a Liverpool fan and this club is being handed over to 2 corporate giants who have no football background, and therefore no real love for the game, only for the profits their investments will gain. At least it has been local money pumped into clubs in the past. 'Years of heritage for private gain' sums up the sport. Beware corrupt carpetbaggers and greedy capital investors.

  • 17.
  • At 11:38 PM on 23 May 2007,
  • Paul wrote:

I sincerely hope the board do not sell up to an outsider who will heavily gear the club, get out of it what he wants, and then pull out again after a few years. The Arsenal board seem to have the correct philosophy, and long may it continue.

  • 18.
  • At 11:59 PM on 23 May 2007,
  • Pete wrote:

I think you underestimate both Wenger's power and the high regard in which everyone at the club holds him. 2 trophyless seasons isn't good, but his plan is 4 the long term, and if he isn't there after next season it remains to be seen which players will stay. Fabregas, Henry & v.Persie love the manager as much as the club itself.
I think the key issue is who Dein sells up to. As a fan I'd like to see existing members of the board by a substantial share rather than Kroenke, but I fear Dein will return as the American's spokesperson after selling up to him.

  • 19.
  • At 02:12 AM on 24 May 2007,
  • Phil Bradley wrote:

To imply that Wenger scrapes into the top 10 of managers gives him no credit for achieving an impressive degree of success without having the vast financial backing that other managers have had.

Without Wenger Arsenal's superb new stadium and vastly increased turnover would not have happened.

With the increased stadium revenues and the sale proceeds from the Highbury Square development coming through, increased turnover will soon also be accompanied by significantly increased profits.

Arsene will soon reap the benefits of his prudence.

  • 20.
  • At 02:23 AM on 24 May 2007,
  • Eric in LA wrote:

I say this both as an American and an Arsenal supporter - I think the fear of outside ownership is overblown. If Manchester United has suffered some negative effect from either the American ownership or the debt, someone needs to point it out to me. They continue to win, continue to buy big players, and the ownership has not gotten involved in any football operations.

I do agree that it is far more important that Wegner stays than whoever owns the club. However, if Kroenke buys Arsenal, I don't think it will be a vanity purchase. He seems low profile and media shy. I think the safest bet is that he will work hard at marketing the Arsenal brand overseas and in the US, enjoy the benfits of ever-increasing TV contracts, and let the footbal operations run itself. If that is the case, what difference will the ownership really make to the fans?

  • 21.
  • At 03:37 AM on 24 May 2007,
  • ahmedadenmohamed wrote:

i would like wenger to stay the club.

  • 22.
  • At 03:48 AM on 24 May 2007,
  • ahmedadenmohamed wrote:

to me arsenal is anice team and i like arsenal very much. but let arsenal wenger stay and henry too. and only problem arsenal have is they are looking for champion leagle and missing the premier leagle and also the f.a cup

  • 23.
  • At 03:57 AM on 24 May 2007,
  • Dave wrote:

Wenger is the best man for the job regardless of how you feel about him as a manager. His trophy case may not be as full as other managers; however, his ability to get top class talent for next to nothing makes him the best businessman in the managing field.

Think of how much money he loses on players that are busts compared to how much money is earned in the transfer market. He is tops bar none in that category.

  • 24.
  • At 07:17 AM on 24 May 2007,
  • Mr Do! wrote:

I think all this takeover talk is masking the real issues at the club - winning silverware. After all, that's what every team in the Football League is out to do. Football romance died out in 1992, its all about money and winning now.

Who cares who owns our great club now? It will inevitably be sold just like Highbury. Whether a yank businessman or a bunch of pompous prats own Arsenal means nothing to me, winning does, otherwise we may as well take up cooking and never lose.

Only get a sour taste sometimes.

  • 25.
  • At 08:43 AM on 24 May 2007,
  • Stephen Reimer wrote:

I do think the board are right to shun yet another American predator. He isn't super rich like RA but is looking to make money which the current board said they will invest in the club. I don't think that it is 'sticking ones head in the sand' on this issue because if you look at the Utd model they don't spend as heavily as they did in the past in fact Ferguson thanked the Glazers for allowing him to spend £11m on Vidic and Evra when in the past these size of deals would have been considered small change. Much as Hill-Wood is a stuffy old fashioned chairman he is right to hold on to the club.

  • 26.
  • At 08:57 AM on 24 May 2007,
  • Vincent wrote:

I've taken time to read through most of the comments. A proverb in my home sums up this: The display of a masquerade speaks for the people that present it. If Arsenal come back strong WINNING, then all the Deins, the Kroenkes, the Wengers, the Henrys and even the ordinary fans like myself will be better of. Analyses, boardroom intricacies, etc are all part of the game but RESULTS speaks volume on performance and this is what we want - results.

Vincent

  • 27.
  • At 09:07 AM on 24 May 2007,
  • Paul wrote:

In response to Eric #20

The issue is not about 'outside' or new ownership.

The real issue is HOW the ownership is transferred and the impact it has on the club.

The fashionable "Glazer" model is for the new investor to buy the shares by taking out loans, transfering them into the club's name and in effect getting the club to buy the shares for him.

In other words all the money generated by the club that would otherwise be directed into reinvestment (i.e. buying new players and paying their wages) is now drained out of the club to pay the new owners shares WITH NO BENEFIT TO THE CLUB ITSELF.

This is the real issue.

If ManU had not been taken over by Glazer they would be in an incredibly strong position now. In fact I think with the increased TV revenues they would be almst unstoppable now with their massive fanbase and revenues.

It is thanks to Glazer that ManU's net transfer spend since the takover is practically zero (I saw a figure of £1.5m net quoted a few months ago). He is no Abramovich sugardaddy who needs a trophy-asset. He is in it for the hard dollars.

Kroenke has not made his plans public but it is reasonably safe to assume that his favoured model will be more "Glazer" than "Abramovich". And that can only be bad for Arsenal.

I support the board and hope they do not sell out.

  • 28.
  • At 09:14 AM on 24 May 2007,
  • Irfan wrote:

we should get new owners so we can get better plaers and win.

  • 29.
  • At 09:15 AM on 24 May 2007,
  • Yazan wrote:

Im definitely with the board , Dein was amazing to the club but selling the club for an investor who only look for profit wont bring any good , it might bring a couple of fast trophies but at the end of the day the investor will want a return on his investment, I wont scarify the long term for the short. Oh and by far Wenger is the best manager in the world.

  • 30.
  • At 09:20 AM on 24 May 2007,
  • Irfan wrote:

we should get new owners so we can get better plaers and win.

  • 31.
  • At 09:20 AM on 24 May 2007,
  • Rich wrote:

Abdul

You didn't get the original blog at all did you?


Eric in LA

You are basing your judgement of Glazer's ownership of United on a very short timeframe. It hasn't been the catalyst for this season's revival - this would in all likelihood have happened anyway given that they haven't received any notable new transfer funds to date. Their revival has been down to good old-fashioned football management skills. They have, however, received a mountain of debt which is exactly what would happen to Arsenal if Kroenke took over. In other words, long term the fans will buy MUFC for Glazer and the fans would buy Arsenal for Kroenke. Not the kind of future I want for my club.

For those who say Arsenal MUST catch up with Man Utd, Chelsea & Liverpool yes, there may be as hort term injection of transfer cash to sweeten the deal but long term there is only one way the money goes - out of the club & into the new owner's pocket.

  • 32.
  • At 09:26 AM on 24 May 2007,
  • ozz wrote:

Great review. Any real fan of the club knows that this is very much the case. Kudos.

If my darling club Arsenal is cash- strapped, and they are shopping for sponsors, then Kroenke & co can come in. But if they are finacially bouyant and independent then, let the club management and coach Arsene Wenger concentrate on strengthening the team. For two seasons running, we could not win a trophy. Very sad. Now, Wenger should go for seasoned defenders and rugged midfielders. Our finishing in front of goal gives me a lot of concern. Since the departure of Patrick Viera, Arsenal is yet to buy a better replacement. Ebue and Toure are doing well in the defence. We need additional rugged support for them, and not the likes of Senderos and Gallas who sometimes lose concentration, concede infringement at the vital area, and allow cheap goals. Jens Lehman should be more purposeful and calculative. I pray Henry comes back with van Persie and the full squad bubbles with no injury concerns for the upcoming season. Young players should be used where necessary and not during big time matches, as only tested and experienced players should be fielded in this regard. If Arsenal and Arsene takes heed to my advice, I do not see why any contested trophy should elude us.
Long live the Gunners! And well done Arsene Wenger, Players and Managing board of Arsenal!

  • 34.
  • At 09:37 AM on 24 May 2007,
  • Joseph wrote:

I feel financially it would be rational for David Dein to sell his shares, even is it is to Stan Kreonke. The only thing i'm afraid of is that Arsenal might not retain its custom, tradition and values if there is a take-over. I mean look at Chelsea today, they are a good reason why the Arsenal board would try to resist the take-over. On the other hand, the take over would be good. I believe it would provide Arsenal with the financial muscle similar to that of the top four or even greater. Well the only way this can succeed is if Stan leaves the decision making to the directors and who ever is in charged and just sit back and watch his money come in. In that way friction between them would be avoided.

  • 35.
  • At 09:46 AM on 24 May 2007,
  • Gooner Thomas wrote:

I think it is time to face the truth and for the Arsenal board and also Mr Wenger to "bite the bullet" and buy some quality talent, preferably English. We have a very good team, but require a top notch defensive midfielder & a winger that scores goals, as opposed to Hleb who runs around in circles like a demented puppy!! If we dont add some quality & experience to the team this summer, then i dread to think what Cesc & Thierry will think & do.

We have some great youngsters at the club, but losing Campbell, Pires & Bergkamp last season really hurt the squad, whatever Arsene says to the contrary. Im not 100% sure about ALL of our youngsters, but some will definitely make the grade, Bendtner, Walcott, Clichy, Djourou, to name a few.

So come on Arsene, get us a top notch couple of players & lets start preparing some space in the trophy cabinet!!!

Gooner forever.


Ambromovich might have brought a short-term financially driven success to Chelsea, but he has also shown the dangers of one person having total power and ownership.

Players, managers, directors all come and go - the importance is that the club remains. Having seen HIS players Ballack & Shevchenko (never on Jose's list) falter and HIS investment in the South Londoners stutter this season, Ambrovich might be concluding that maybe enough is enough & Russian football offers more prospects. When he does go Chelsea and English football will understand their errors in courting overseas ownership, but by then it will be too late.

If Kroenke is serious in his intent to be involved WITH Arsenal then, assuming Dein sells his shares to him making the American the 2nd largest sherholder, by all means the club should offer him a seat on the board. But this should be conditional on him COMPLETELY ruling out any suggestion of a take-over.

  • 37.
  • At 10:04 AM on 24 May 2007,
  • Femi ArsenalFan_SHolder wrote:

Mr Do!

It does matter who owns the club.

And, to state that ".... a bunch of pompus prats own Arsenal means nothing ....." (as much as it is a matter of personal opinion) I cant see how " a bunch of pompus prats will lead to winning....

My thoughts.

  • 38.
  • At 10:20 AM on 24 May 2007,
  • chris mac wrote:

well played lads im in chingford

  • 39.
  • At 10:22 AM on 24 May 2007,
  • Tim Sanders wrote:

I find all this anxious hand-wringing immensely depressing. So here we go (with apologies to Billy S):

A Gooner's Lament

Our season now is ended. These our trophies,
As I foretold you, all went elsewhere, and
Are melted into air, into thin air;
And, like the goalless fabric of this vision,
The crowd-filled terraces, the gorgeous Emirates,
The solemn Wenger, the Great Game itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,
And, like this insubstantial premiership faded,
Leave not a point behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our final ref
Has whistled us to sleep.

  • 40.
  • At 10:24 AM on 24 May 2007,
  • mjc wrote:

Do any true Arsenal fans want to see our historic clubs compared to Weetabix, as one of Liverpool's new owners did this week.

How would any of us enjoy supporting ASDA-nal ?

  • 41.
  • At 10:29 AM on 24 May 2007,
  • Kartikeya Saboo wrote:

from a purely "get the best deal" perspective, i think any club should go on the block after they have negotiated their own TV deals. The cashflow projections immediately look better, and the valuation goes up as a result.

however, as an Arsenal fan, and someone who has been dealing with private equity players for some time, the deal does not add up, especially with the real estate work we have done already (stadium, and upcoming highbury apartments). the debt for that has been raised, a good refinance deal has been put through, and the future projections look fine i guess (i don't have access to these, i am basing the comment on the understanding of information available in the public domain). SO DON'T DO THE DEAL.

Arsene staying? that would be the most critical thing. and Mr. Dol needs to realize that he has been spoiled silly with the silverware chocolates that AW has been handing out for the last decade. He might do well to wait for Arsene to get his new kitchen utensils together and working in harmony.

Man U just won after 3 years. hold your horses for the love of peace, and don't be fairweather fans.

  • 42.
  • At 10:32 AM on 24 May 2007,
  • Ambrose wrote:

The most important part of this for success on the field, is the ensure Arsene Wenger stays at the club, and after he decides he is out of management, he moves onto the board.

  • 43.
  • At 10:38 AM on 24 May 2007,
  • Henry the First wrote:

Well well well. Mr Do! as I live & breathe.

I'm not that fussed who owns the club. I am bothered by their intentions though & I see US-style "franchise" investment as bleeding money from the club. The current owners don't look to make a year-in, year-out profit on their personal investment. A new owner will. Where does that money come from? Yep, you got it.......

  • 44.
  • At 10:48 AM on 24 May 2007,
  • DV, Lagos wrote:

Though Arsenal's success over the next few years largely depends on whether Wenger will stay beyond 2008, I believe much of the foundation will be what happens this summer. We need to do a couple of major deals deals in the transfer market not only to strengthen the existing squad, but also to re-assure fans and investors alike that we mean business and have long-term plans for the Great club.

  • 45.
  • At 11:04 AM on 24 May 2007,
  • Tone wrote:

miyake wrote:

"...Wenger...is in his late fifties so presumably there are medium term plans for his replacement. Wenger is exceptional but he is top 10 maybe in the game right now, not number 1 - his trophy record indicates that."

miyake, Wenger's age has nothing to do with it - look at Fergie - he won't go anytime soon. Also, you cannot judge a manager by his trophy record, least of all in the last 3 years alone. Do you think that the best manager in the world could take a non-league team and march them up to the top of the Premiership and onto European glory? You have to look at what the manager does with the resources available. Wenger has produced more from what he was given than any other manager in recent history of English football.

  • 46.
  • At 11:16 AM on 24 May 2007,
  • James wrote:

I Remember everyone questioning the signing of arsene wenger as Arsenal manager and how it was wrong and a stupid gamble. I remember the newspaper comments about Arsene Who? 10 Years Later know one questions it. Change is inevitable in all walks of life but more so in football. If you watch clips of games 10 years ago things look different, 20 years things look even more different and so on. The one thing that remains is 22 players, a ball and thousands of fans who carry on their teams traditions and legends, songs and heroes and that will never change no matter where the club plays or who it is under.

  • 47.
  • At 11:23 AM on 24 May 2007,
  • Phil wrote:

It is clearly not in the best interests of Arsenals future to have a leveraged 'buy out',with a new owner buying the club with our money(future income).
What is inevitable, is that when the new TV deal ends, the top 4 clubs will either individually or collectively negotiate their own TV deals. This will result in a huge rise in their income, with a consequent reduction in the incomes of the remaining Premiership clubs. It could be argued that the top 4 are already subsidising the others within the existing deal.
When this occurs, our top 4 will financially out-muscle all other clubs in the world.This will of course also result in a substancial leap in the profits and share price. You never know, they might start paying dividends.

  • 48.
  • At 11:37 AM on 24 May 2007,
  • Mulenga Derrick wrote:

Please Arsene and Arsnal can you give us a striker like Etoo. Look at the chances we had last year. We could have won the league easily. We are in the now and we want the success now.

  • 49.
  • At 11:38 AM on 24 May 2007,
  • Tagyal wrote:

Take Over or No Take Over. The philosophy of Arsenal will remain the same. Buy young players or unheard-of-players and turn them into Superstars to continue to carry Arsenal forward or simply sell them for a good profit. In my opinion, the most important person in the triangle is Arsene. If he's not affected in any way and left alone to do what he knows to do, Arsenal will continue. The man is on a mission. He said they will deliver and I believe they will deliver.

The other equally significant impact will be the return of Dein. I somehow believe that even if there is no American take over, I honestly believe that Dein will return.

  • 50.
  • At 11:41 AM on 24 May 2007,
  • ashley wrote:

arsenal are a great team as they are keep henry and the way they play will be great.
there spirit will be high and they will focus more with their captain.

  • 51.
  • At 11:42 AM on 24 May 2007,
  • Dean Surgenor wrote:

I THINK ARSENAL HAVE TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE AMERICAN AND START BUYING SOME PLAYERS AS THEY NEED SOME FRESH BLOOD IN THE TEAM BEFORE HENRY AND SOME OTHER PLAYERS LEAVE THE CLUB !!!!!!!!!!!!

  • 52.
  • At 11:45 AM on 24 May 2007,
  • harvey wrote:

arsenal are an alright team but if they lose henry they will be crap . i dont think arsenal have the skill to win the league unlike west ham. WEST HAM TILL I DIE!

  • 53.
  • At 11:45 AM on 24 May 2007,
  • Stephen Jenkins wrote:

Although rich American, or any, outside investors may look good in the short-term, I'm not sure that they are really what Arsenal needs to compete.

Why are Kroenke, The Glazers, and Co., all suddenly football fans? Clearly it is just another investment for them. They own clubs in the NFL and NHL; all playing "sports" that nobody outside America is the least bit interested in, and yet they make a lot of money. They must look at football and think: "Look at the cash that I am making for myself out of a game that nobody in the rest of the world cares about. I'm sure that I can apply my marking and business knowledge to a sport that everbody in the rest of the world is interested in, and therfore make myself even more cash."

These guys are not charities, they ultimately want to take a profit out of the clubs that they buy. Now, will this leave enough for Arsenal to stay competitive? I don't think that we can be sure, but I also don't see that they really are providing anything that we can't do without them.

  • 54.
  • At 11:57 AM on 24 May 2007,
  • Wablo D wrote:

first of all i would like to give kudos to Arsene Wenger for making and bringing Arsenal to its status today,
but i one thing i would like the board to grant Arsene Wenger is to buy one or two experienced players to add to te existing squad. i dont care who buys Arsenal today, what the graeat fans in AFRICA wants is for Arsenal to start winning again and again so that the graet name of Arsenal will not go down. without any troghies this coming seasons no one will reckon with Arsenal again
thanks

  • 55.
  • At 11:58 AM on 24 May 2007,
  • lc wrote:

I think AW will not only honour his current contract, but will sign a new contract to take the club I believe he loves to the next level.
His vision has almost saved Arsenal from a take over, as he has invested on young talents who will save the club from heavy spending on stars.
A take over is not appropriate at the moment; as I don't think we are that far from United and Chelsea. We only need to mix a bit the team composure by bringing in some first team English players to strenghten the fighting spirit of the squad; plus a different type of strikers. Of course the financial windfall must reflect on the pitch as well, in order to avoid to lose our reputation, as one the best team in England while playing some fantastic football.
I am sure next season, Arsenal will be must a stronger team.

  • 56.
  • At 12:11 PM on 24 May 2007,
  • Rhys Jaggar wrote:

It is currently true that combining sporting success with payment of dividends is challenging.

This is due to the structures of UK football and the huge risks of either not qualifying for the Champions League (for Arsenal) or dropping out of the Premiership (e.g. for Charlton).

In the US, there are salary caps, there is no relegation and the 'draft' system makes US sports effectively like a handicap horse race.

Under such circumstances, it is possible for all clubs to make a profit.

It should be possible for a club like Arsenal, professionally managed, to separate out football business and stadium usage (e.g. for conferences, dinners etc etc) and pay the dividends out of non-footballing events, if they are profitable.

I also don't see any problem with a 3 - 5% dividend each year, provided that a return of 10 - 15% was achievable. Well-run and successful football clubs achieve that.

Whether players will accept salaries linked to revenues is moot currently. However, linking basic salaries to revenues due to the Premiership, with other salary associated with European revenues and still further revenues linked to commercial income, should make that possible. That could only be done with a set of rules imposed by Governing bodies, however.

The key question with football shares is when they are in growth phase and when they transform into yield stocks.

The cusp of that transition may be coming in the not too distant future.

  • 57.
  • At 12:16 PM on 24 May 2007,
  • walex john wrote:

hello sir i am asenal fans from nigeria in west africa . we need a sharp srikers. thanks................

  • 58.
  • At 12:17 PM on 24 May 2007,
  • Charlesdb wrote:

I am convinced that DD, as a Director, only had the best intentions for Arsenal. He has been the architect of their success since the late 1980's. He's also brought a lot of prestige to AFC, through his networking. His hiring of AW was a masterstroke. I am sorry he has gone and also believe that AW will leave at the end of his contract. Remember he has been quoted as saying that he would stay at the club as long as DD was there. My nightmare scenario is that Wenger leaves and Hill Wood goes back to the Arsenal tradition and signs up the unproven Tony Adams as Manager. My view is that if DD felt that new ownership was needed to boost Arsenal's financial muscle, the Board should have acquiesced.

  • 59.
  • At 12:19 PM on 24 May 2007,
  • Remi wrote:

I have not being an arsenal for long niether have i earned a dime from it, but i love the club with all of my heart.. i is almost like babe, and also a father to me.
i will love to see the clubs win all there is to win year in year out but at what price.. at the price of it losing its identity? no, i the price of it losing it place as the only english club never to have being relegated from the top flight? (leeds).. no.. why do most fottballer becaome managers? becase they understand the passion, the love and pleasure derived from the watching a good game.. (morinho).
why should then a man who thinks 'soccer' is all about the dollars? does he understan what i go through when arsenal lost to Man utd.. last season.. did he feel my tears.. no.. did he feel the pride i felt when we beat man utd at the old trafford this season.. no.. he knows nothing about football. it isnt just a game, it isnt sport, it isnt just a club.. it is a way of life.. people have died for it and it is not for the dollars but for the passion...

  • 60.
  • At 12:22 PM on 24 May 2007,
  • Goonerinexileinyorkshire wrote:

I believe the board are right to hang fire on any potential take-over.
Arsenal have always been very conservative in terms of spending money and the Hill-Woods have always regarded themselves as caretakers/guardians of Arsenal FC.
With additional revenue streams from the new stadium far outstripping the annual interest repayments the club is in a strong position to face the future.
The Americans at Utd/Villa/Liverpool are not in it for the love of the game but for sound long term financial benefits - the only sugar daddy is RA and even Chelsea are now beginning to operate in the real world!
If we can continue to support AW in the transfer market and continue to produce attractive/winning football i see no reason to change ownership.

OH for all the "Arsenal supporters" who hadnt heard of the club before 1997 - you dont win trophies every year - we once went 18 years between winning the title and unfortunately i am old enough to remember that!

  • 61.
  • At 12:24 PM on 24 May 2007,
  • Dean Franklin wrote:

I feel people are neglecting the Stan Kroenke - David Dein relationship. I think that Mr Kroenke WILL take over Arsenal completely an then re-install Mr Dein as Chairman every Arsenal fan know's how much he loves the club. Then this will also resolve the future of Arsene Wenger because Dein will tell Kroenke how he's a genius just like he told the rest of the board in 1996.

As for Wenger only being top ten, well thats just rubbish. Liverpool, Newcastle and even Tottenham have spent ALOT more money than Arsenal in the last ten years.

Also on the future for of Thierry Henry, Wenger paid £11million for him and has got 230 odd goals out of him. I hear that if he does leave it will be for no less than £15million. Thats a £4million profit on a 29yr old who;s best is clearly past him and no doubt Wenger will have a replacement lined-up already.

The future is bright for Arsenal!

  • 62.
  • At 12:28 PM on 24 May 2007,
  • Wale Motajo wrote:

If I could afford it I'd buy into Arsenal right away, so I understand where Kroenke is coming from. I'm not European but thanks to satellite tv I watch European football at the click of a button. I've become as much a fan of Arsenal as of Wenger. His ability to stay in the top-flight on shoestring budgets- sometimes frustrating for the fact that it is not absolutely necessary- is endearing. Sure he's not indispensable but Arsenal's transformation under Wenger has been truly phenomenal; it will be quite traumatic for millions the world over if he were to leave. Surely there's a way to resolve this without disturbing on-field performance? Am hoping for a more fulfilling next season.

  • 63.
  • At 12:58 PM on 24 May 2007,
  • Matt Davies wrote:

People posting here seem to have very short memories. Last year we only just got fourth place. This year we got fourth, we beat the champions twice, lost to the FA cup winners in a final (no shame in that with the team we put out!) Surley that represents a better season than last year? Lets not forget the injury crisis we had this year as well! It seems to me that the real problem this year was losing to teams that we should beat comfotably. West Ham, Charlton, Sheffield Utd, Man City. If we win those games we will be up in the mix come the end of the year. And one last comment, to those saying we need to catch up with Liverpool, we beat finished behind them on goal difference, that was all. Lets get some focus here, many fans of other teams would love to finish fourth!

  • 64.
  • At 12:59 PM on 24 May 2007,
  • Skooner wrote:

I recently read an article which was a bit of an eye opener. When Dein left the 3 remaining major shareholders announced they will not be selling their shares for a minimum of 12 months. When I first heard this I thought it was aimed at providing stability to the situation.

However, I have since heard through this article at least one may have another reason for this. Fiszman is currently going through a process which means he will become a non UK tax payer. In 12 months time, he will have achieved that status. This means he will make a whole load more cash if he sells in 12 months due to loop holes in the tax system.

Of course this could just be coincidence but it certainly seems suspicious to me.

I'd rather the club stayed in the hands of supporters (preferably very rich ones!) but a takeover is looking more and more inevitable. Given this, I now want it to happen as quickly as possible. In the recent years of big takeovers, teams have never been successful when there has been unrest in other areas of the club.

Hill-Woods idea of keeping it in the family is admirable but sometimes a change is necessary for the long term and maybe now is the time for that change. The other option is to actively seek new english investors.

Well written Robert, thanks for the overview.

It is impossible for a lifelong gooner not to write such an article without being tainted by the emotional investment placed into the club over years. With talk of 'glory days' and our 'historic club', I think that is self evident!

Good comments too.

With regards to Kroenke, he has not made any intentions clear, and until he does - publicly, there is no reason why us Arsenal supporters should feel anything but sceptical.

AW and David Dein have both invested hugely into Arsenal's future with the purchase of the Emirates Stadium and players, with interest predominantly in our club rather than their pockets.

Lest we forget.

  • 66.
  • At 01:03 PM on 24 May 2007,
  • 'Femi Akinlabi wrote:

You have made a very good analysis of the situation.
Arsenal has got tradition which we all want to hold on to. However, the only thing that is constant is change and time is changing so we have to change with time.
There is no point stacking up money for the future when you are in dare need at present. There is the need for cash injection into the Club and the time to do it is NOW.
Money is the name of the game now. We can not afford a situation where we compete with clubs spending £20m on a striker while we parade players of £5m pedigre. The Arsenal of today is (or should be) different from the Arsenal of the '30s. We should be UP there challenging for all the titles there is in the land. We should be winning and not just part-taking. While adults can rationalise what is going on, the kids who are also fervent supporters of the team cry each time the team loses.
Let the CASH flows so the club can fly high again.

  • 67.
  • At 01:28 PM on 24 May 2007,
  • Stroller wrote:

If I were PHW, MF or any of the other 'remaining' boardmembers, I'd be structuring a deal for AW which included a largeish chunk of shares linked to his continued presence at the Club.
Shame he can't grab some of DD's shares. Despite the wailings of the red-tops, I suspect AW is bright and economically savvy enough to realise how his friend DD's actions were not in the long-term interests of the Club either on the pitch of off it.

  • 68.
  • At 01:34 PM on 24 May 2007,
  • Chris B..s.tickt.hldr wrote:

Hmmmmm, read all this with interest...here are my thoughts..

1. Wenger has done a fantastic job . If the premiership was a financially handicapped horse race he would have won it every season he was here. He has transformed our club and retained it's soul , his legacy will live on in history

2. My first game was 27.12.69 and I've been going ever since . I was here before Wenger , Henry and all . I and/or my sons and grandchildren will be here after they have gone.

3. Nothing is for ever . The yanks interest in the premiership is based on money . When it no longer stacks up on their balance sheets they will leave as quickly as they arrived . In the interim they will probably have taken billions from the game that we love and they will leave a massive mess behind them in the clubs they desert

4. David Dein was a football visionary , we have a lot to thank him for . Maybe at his age his vision of the future was for his lifetime rather than the club's lifetime...long after h e and usare gone we owe a duty to leave a legacy for our children and our grandchildren.

5.To the fans that just want to sell to Kroenke and sign some world class players next season
........we have a club that is unique , it has a soul , it is run on a sound financial footing by a board that puts the clubs first and its ego's second
.......one season is one season , if you want instant gratification next season I suggest the following......don't just support Arsenal and their plan for our long term security , simply buy a Man U Chelsea and Liverpool shirt , support all top 4 clubs and put whichever shirt is appropriate on at the end of the season ..... you can always come back and join us next time we win something.....and we will !!

Regarding Rhys Jaggar's point about players getting performance related pay, I'd like to say I agree in essence, but not in other ways.

Bribery and corruption would be far easier to manipulate if this were implemented (go on son, play badly in these 3 games and we'll give you £x...)

However, I do think that herin lies the crux of the state of football. Over inflated player wages. I used to prattle on, years ago, about UEFA bringing in a wage cap before the beautiful game died a corporate death, of which it has. Obviously this is now impossible to implement because of human rights.

But what about putting a wage structure in place akin to that of rugby league? A club is allocated a set budget per season, if they overspend, they are then fined double that amount (I think this is correct) and the fines are then distributed throughout the lower leagues.

For anyone wondering, I'm an Arsenal supporter, and still go to at least 15/20 home and away games per season. But I agree with what the board are doing, and maintaining the strong sense of history and more importantly, not wanting to sell out.

  • 70.
  • At 01:58 PM on 24 May 2007,
  • Henry Jones wrote:

I like the way AFC was run in the past It pains me to see football in genaral sell out to greed . Football is a simple game Taken over by accountants who every season do more
damage to the game . Arsene Has lost the plot on the field . He didn`t replace the heart of the team ie the back four and Seaman with Brithish players . We have been goals being given away cheaply
ever since even in the good seasons .
He has let lots ofd young British
players to leave Pennant , Bentley
Sidwell and Stokes to name a few and replaced them with inferior foriegn Players I sorry if this upsets all those blinkered supporters ! but it needs to be said .

  • 71.
  • At 02:23 PM on 24 May 2007,
  • Clerkenwell Gooner wrote:

I doubt Wenger is going anywhere at this stage of his career.

This is potentially going to be the best side he has ever built - and he has built a few good ones in his time.

World-class players like Fabregas and van Persie will stay just because he is there. He knows how to inspire loyalty eg George Weah, plus a lot of players followed him from his former club in France to Highbury such as Petit, Pat V, Henry.

Dein was apparently booted out for trying to tap up one of the other shareholders to sell out to Wal-Mart Stan with him.

There are apparently issues about capital gains tax for Danny Fiszman, who is now resident in Switzerland, which is why the board issued a statement about individual board members not selling shares for a year.

Apparently Fiszman could sell next year and avoid CGT, but since Dein's departure Fisz has made a very strong statement to the effect that the club would not be a good buy for Kroenke unless Stan could take £40m-£50m a year out of it in profit - which does not accord with the board's plans for the long term.

If the kids like Bendtner, Walcott can come good this year, and if RvP can make it through a season without breaking his foot, I think things could turn around trophy-wise.

Here's hoping.

  • 72.
  • At 03:31 PM on 24 May 2007,
  • Kampala_Gunner wrote:

In my opinion any opportunity to raise more funds for sustaining Arsenal to greater heights cannot be ignored!!
Its like a giant economic wave that is sweeping across soccer in England,the storm looks unstopabble at the moment.
The interest from Stan Kroenke is not a coincidence.Its upon the current owners of the Arsenal to give him a platform to explain his 'vision' otherwise in years to come we will stop to ask ourselves wheather the current board were heroes to hold onto their shares or were traitors and selfish individuals who never read the signs and winds of change.

As for the manager AW moving on,i think he wishes to stay to continue building the team,he is a man who loves the game and to bring up younger players and he wont run away because one or two individuals have left the Arsenal.He loves to see his finished articles in the years to come.I strongly believe AW is still at Arsenal for another 'so many years'.

And my wishes for the squad in 2007/2008 season is to have at least a new central defender(28+ yrs,experience and ability ),a scoring midfielder and some genuine quality on the wings so we can maximise the width at the Emirates Stad(Morten Gamst of Blackburn is my choice fits the bill coz he can score from Mid,has EPL experince and has one hell of a shot,a LEFT SHOT PEOPLE!!).Its reassuring to see that while we have not taken the majority of our scoring opportunities,a team like chelsea did not score more goals than us in the premeirship!! I wish the manager focuses more on getting the midfield to contribute to more goals.The current defence is not too bad,if we can learn to score early in the game defending will be a lot easier.We dont need to commit Kolo Toure or Gallas to score the equalising goals all the time,which exposes our defence!!
My prediction for the new season
2nd in EPL,winners of both domestic cups and 1/4 finals CL.Adebayor and Van Persie to be the main goal threat,"Clichy to Real Madrid chorus",Hleb and Rosicsky to disappoint.

  • 73.
  • At 03:55 PM on 24 May 2007,
  • edward vale wrote:

Club supporters always talk as though their club has some divine right to success. But of course, we are drawn in to football for the very reason that success is elusive. How many of us fans [and why this club, not say QPR - only a co-incidence of birth/location/mates etc] grew up suporting a team that won nothing at all for years and years. 1989 was the start of an era but I certainly don't want a top 4 place if it means Arsenal just become a rich man's plaything.
Also, an earlier post said it's "now" a brand; well it always has been, that's why we get to hear of it and are drawn in. But in the past, no-one thought to sell us branded products!
Finally,since I've implied the club's the thing - well don't tell me that should Arsene die tomorrow, the club would collapse! Ridiculous! There may not be many like him, but the club would have a good choice of top candidates. Take Benitez; a sound choice for Liverpool, yet a relative unknown [to us English] until his appointment, like Arsene was to us.There will be hard choices to make, but just think - if 10 clubs spend £75m of US/Russian cash each year on players, do all 10 get in to the Champions League? Quite. If 20 clubs spend the same, 3 will still go down.

  • 74.
  • At 03:55 PM on 24 May 2007,
  • Mad-Gunners-Fan wrote:

I think foreign investors could turn out to be a good idea because we need to spend big to challenge with the likes of man utd and chelsea. Our team is not strong enough, especially the midfield because there is nobody strong in there. Hleb, Rosicky, Fabregas and Denilson. That could end up being the midfield next season and they just aren't physically strong enough, which is why, we should sign somebody like Appiah or Papa Diop someone who can sort of replace vieria. We also need an out-and-out winger but i don't really know who!

  • 75.
  • At 04:04 PM on 24 May 2007,
  • Clerkenwell Gooner wrote:

Wenger is an old school economics graduate who believes in balancing the books.

The idea of plunging the club he loves into debt - like the Glazers have done to Man Utd - or riding on a wave of cash from a Russian criminal - like Chelsea - goes against absolutely everything he stands for. And he already tangled with the crims once in his career, in the south of France during the OM scandal. He has no time for it.

Plus there's no such thing as a free lunch. The idea that overseas billionaries turn up in philanthropic mode to lend a hand to ailing British clubs is fanciful.

Clubs unless they are run by people who know something about the history, traditions, are simply cash cows, assets to be milked - through higher prices, higher "productivity" whatever.

Hill-Wood et al. may appear to be dinosaurs, but their hearts are in the right place, and their plans to date - issuing bonds, developing Highbury, building the Emirates to increase match-day revenues - appear to be working.

This season has been uncharacteristic, with injuries to the two main strikers. Any team would have suffered with that (and won 4th place in the Premiership).

But there's certainly enough "quality" to give the ageing Man U team and the tetchy multimillionaries of Chelski a run for their money next season. And how many times did we beat Liverpool?

Once the injuries are overcome, the team will function at the Hamburg 3-1, Blackburn 6-2 level, believe me.

  • 76.
  • At 04:05 PM on 24 May 2007,
  • guy wrote:

and why should anyone care?

  • 77.
  • At 04:18 PM on 24 May 2007,
  • Taylor Ola wrote:

All i would like to add is the board should not sell out.We have managed this team with almost absolute zero financial base.Wenger has done a good job.The real problem now is Dein leaving the club.If he had not left,there will be little or no comment about the takeover.The board needs to add a little more to the transfer market,sell unproductive players without bias,make more money from selling youth players,wenger needs to stay,Dein should return to his beloved club as he has always been with the club without Kroenke,expand the marketablity of AFC abroad,the fans should remain loyal and see themselves lucky because Westham,Newcastle all have fans and have not left because of trophy less period.Long live Arsenal Football Club.

  • 78.
  • At 04:43 PM on 24 May 2007,
  • Anonymous wrote:

i am a lifetime Arsenal supporter what i belive to fight for top we need 2 buy some experience players around center not only to think bout who will next arsenal owner so far arsenalwanger going well i wish next season things will be ok not only to fight for fourt possion.

  • 79.
  • At 04:47 PM on 24 May 2007,
  • augustine fan wrote:

I'm not against any takeover, whether it's British or foreign. The only criteria that a take over makes sense is 1) An Equity, rather than debt financing for the takeover 2) The new owner shares the same passion and direction for the Arsenal Football club.

The takeover at Chelsea is a dream - a passionate football fan who pours his own money to wipe out the club's debt and invest heavily into the club in pursuit of honors. While Chelsea has been despised as a result for "buying success", it's much better than the situation at Manchester United where the purchase of the club has been financed mainly by debt issued against the club assets. How can anyone not see that the interest repayment of nearly 60m a year not hamper future success of the club?

Some people are blinded by the fact that Manchester United still won the premiership despite its financial situation, so let me point out that United's success this season is due to the resurgence of Scholes/Giggs and the maturity of Ronaldo/Rooney. These are the "old boys" of United that were purchased/develped before Glazer's arrival and it just so happens it came to fruition this season.

If Kroneke takes over Arsenal, it will very likely be financed by debt, rather than outright cash purchases. He can simply offload his debt (incurred from borrowing money to buy the club) to the clubs account (Glazer style) and minimize risk to his personal loss in the event he wants to walk away from it all.

My Second point, is that the current Arsenal board (and Wenger) is doing a great job. I completely agree with their way of running the club unlike other big clubs that splash millions of pounds on over-rated players. I would hate to see the new owner change that philosophy and start putting Arsenal in the bidding wars.

If Arsenal start paying over the odds for players like Chelsea, Man Utd, Madrid, Milan, then we'd be accused of "buying success" as well, which would make Arsenal lose its appeal. There's a uniqueness to the way Arsenal does things, and I hope it stays that way.

  • 80.
  • At 04:52 PM on 24 May 2007,
  • Taylor Ola wrote:

All i would like to add is the board should not sell out.We have managed this team with almost absolute zero financial base.Wenger has done a good job.The real problem now is Dein leaving the club.If he had not left,there will be little or no comment about the takeover.The board needs to add a little more to the transfer market,sell unproductive players without bias,make more money from selling youth players,wenger needs to stay,Dein should return to his beloved club as he has always been with the club without Kroenke,expand the marketablity of AFC abroad,the fans should remain loyal and see themselves lucky because Westham,Newcastle all have fans and have not left because of trophy less period.I live in U.S,sleep arsenal,dreams arsenal and wouldnt mind trophyless season as long as arsenal still exist.Long live Arsenal Football Club.

  • 81.
  • At 05:10 PM on 24 May 2007,
  • Mr Do! wrote:

Femi ArsenalFan_SHolder

Of course it matters who owns the club and I said both are insignificant, its winning that matters. Surely BOTH parties want to win otherwise they stand to lose capital, prestige or scones to go with their afternoon tea.

Kartikeya Saboo

Spoiled silly? You're having a larf mate. I've supported Arsenal for 4 decades now and been through the bad times. In regards to Wenger, HE was spoiled silly by bringing in PROVEN talent that led to our domination during the period you speak of.

Yes, Wengers PROVEN main protagonists that led us to glory, not squad players I'm talking about Vieira, Henry and Pires who were all bought when they were in their 20's and solid winners. End of story. The youth is great for their age but thats it.

Youth doesn't guarantee silverware and neither do proven players by they sure go a longer way to achieving that particular goal. Ask Man Utd and Chelsea fans.

I'm sick of being only a "nice, young, promising team". We should have a mixture of both. Again, look at the top two.

  • 82.
  • At 05:10 PM on 24 May 2007,
  • cee 4rm naija wrote:

spot on matt.has anyone thought of what would have happened if ronaldo,drggba,or gerard were injured 4 most of the season.arsenal is more than caapable of winnig any one ,or all of the major titles next season.just look at our records against the top 3 teams this season without our top goal scorers "igwe" henry $ van persie.we don't need to be thrown into more debt by any yankee hustler.gunners 4 life

  • 83.
  • At 05:26 PM on 24 May 2007,
  • Mr Do! wrote:

Henry the First!

You are right about a new owners possible intentions but honestly who cares if they want to make a profit so long as they bring us the desired silverware? Hill-Wood and his cronies would love a profit too.

A new owner will have to bring money in before he syphons any out. We need it to compete with the top two 'franchises' or else we can stay 20 points off the pace indefinitely. Some delusional people here seem to think that the youth team we're fielding currently is going to guarantee silverware!

IMO bleeding money from the club is fine as long as they bleed silverware back in.

  • 84.
  • At 05:43 PM on 24 May 2007,
  • Clerkenwell Gooner wrote:

Denilson is going to be a great player, don't underestimate him. Him and Fabregas clearly like playing together. And anyone who Cesc likes playing with will stay.

  • 85.
  • At 06:03 PM on 24 May 2007,
  • Lucky Ugboko wrote:

I find it hard to reason why an investor will make such huge financial outlay and yet expect nothing in return.I think we should have a paradym shift in the way we access investment in modern football. The game has outgrown been played for pleasure or charity solitarily.Modern football belong to the modern showbiz requiring huge investment with similar proportion of return from the investment expected by the investors. As the players are demanding higher wages what stops the investor from desiring higher returns and the fans better performances.
Please lets all wake-up, FOOTBALL, WHETHER WE BELIEVE IT OR NOT, IS NOW BIG BUSINESS!!!

  • 86.
  • At 07:05 PM on 24 May 2007,
  • Josh wrote:

All i've watched is Arsene Wenger football at Arsenal, and truly if any Arsenal "fan" puts him in a mere top ten manger position, they can drop their name as a fan. Not only does Mr.Wenger have the eye for talent like no one else, for example he was the one who acquired the greatest striker in the world, as we all know, Thierry Henry. But he has a more then "mediocre" backround here at Arsenal. His famed average of one trophy a year is something to be damn proud of, not ashamed. I dont see Jose Mourinho going a full season un-defeted.

As for the take over talks, im split down the middle. As much as i agree with the current chairman, i would also love to see how the American billionaire spends his money. In the past, takeovers in the premier league have gone to good, as you can see in Chelsea and Manchester United. The Red Devils were taken over by an American, and despite the on-going criticism aobut his family, Man-U pulled together, bought huge name players, and have now done great things. With no fight from the owner, as we have seen with Roman Abromavich and Chelsea.

Over all, I just wish to see Wenger stay for as long as possible. Whatever choice makes that happen, be it a takeover or not, I will side with that course of action.

I also would'nt mind seeing a couple new players for next season, say Kaka or Gianluigi Buffon.

  • 87.
  • At 07:39 PM on 24 May 2007,
  • Henry the First wrote:

Hey Do!

"IMO bleeding money from the club is fine as long as they bleed silverware back in" - fair point, & don't get me wrong - I'd like some silverware too.

My worry is that for how long can money be bled from the club before there's not enough left. Does this style of ownership trade long-term security for a couple of short-term triumphs? (Triumphs btw which are by no means guaranteed - look at Chelsea, 500 million quid and counting & still we've progresed further than them in the Champions League).

So, is Peston's blog the new 606?

hi i`àm an arsenal fans please we need a players to win achampions league,arsenal with out henry is nothing thanx

  • 89.
  • At 08:54 PM on 24 May 2007,
  • blackbeard wrote:

I have read most of the comments made regarding the future of Arsenal, and as a die-hard fan, it saddens me that the face of the premiership is going to change forever with the obscene amount of money being pumped in. Whether we like it or not, Arsenal will eventually be sold, and AW will leave (who ever thought DD would leave?). For the long-term future of the club, I hope 2 things happen; 1. Either Arsenal is bought by a true fan, or SK and the board work out a mutual partnership, and 2. AW's legacy lives on. We can't overstate what he's done for the club. Other teams may beat us, but everyone admires our football, even women!!, and other teams are beginning to copy our style of play (MU included).
Any other team been to tea with the Queen lately?

  • 90.
  • At 09:09 PM on 24 May 2007,
  • Mark Hansen wrote:

I've read a few of the notes above and one thing seems clear. The people who want the board to sell to Kroenke don't mind him getting the club into debt for short term success.

I have two words for these individuals......
LEEDS UNITED!!!!!

You can't throw money at a club in the hope of success in the short term, as over time this doesn't work.

The board have kept their wits about them over the years. When there was great swathes of cash flying around the game, Arsenal kept their cool. In italy, they struggle to fill their stadiums come matchday, and before Abromavich arrived and injecgted his money into the game, some big clubs looked like going to the wall....except Arsenal, because we don't throw money around in the hope of short term gains.

The board have made correct decision after correct decision for more than a decade. Have paitence, it's a virtue after all.

  • 91.
  • At 11:47 PM on 24 May 2007,
  • Gehan wrote:

I'm not sure either if Wenger can really be a sine qua non. He is now starting to show signs of being a decent manager but not a great manager. 9 seasons and only 1 CL final but Rafa,Special one & Ferge along with a host of other have won in europe.

What I really like to hear is how Hill-Wood & his cronies plan to take Arsenal forward to compete with the likes of Chelski, Man U, L'pool, Barca, Real & AC & even Spurs.

We are fast becoming a mid table team & I suspect if we will manage to be the 4th best team in EPL next season!

Why not move Wenger now & get Gus Hiddink now & back him in the market as Hill-wood keeps saying we got money to spend?

If TH leaves with Wenger fine.. when Ian Wright left Henry came & took the crown so who's to say Klaas Jan Huntelaar cannot do the same for us?

What do you all think?


  • 92.
  • At 12:06 AM on 25 May 2007,
  • Gehan wrote:

I don't agree with the 2nd point Augustine raised. We have to spend big money to get great players & to win silverware. We have the youth but they will not win much for us.

Do you think in 5-10 years time people will remember us going 49 games unbeaten or winning 6 something ar Anfield? or fielding a youth team in the Carling cup?? NO.

But after all those years people still remember the 5 European cups L'pool won & Man U's great night with Bayern & more recently how Barca won it.

Silverware is what counts? At the end of the day what have we achieved? 4 best team in the EPL.

Terry, Cech & other got injured but Chelski still managed to be 2nd! Why?? Like someone said you will NEVER WIN ANYTHING WITH KIDS!!!

It all depends on how successful you want to be...4th or 1st! I think the Arsenal board & wenger seem to be happy with the former!

  • 93.
  • At 01:33 AM on 25 May 2007,
  • andrew wrote:

enough with money talks what we need is passionate people running arsenal....owners, managers, players and fans.

  • 94.
  • At 07:43 AM on 25 May 2007,
  • Shaz wrote:

It is clear that if you do not need foreign ownership, then do not sell out. The maths are fairly simple. Investors such as Glazer and Hicks/Gillette will: a) service loans using the club's money and b) want a profit on top of that. Thus, there is a huge opportunity cost for a well run club being taken over in this way. This opportunity cost was lower for Liverpool (mismanaged club which will eventually manifest itself) versus Man Utd, where the cost was huge. There was no need for Man U to be taken over.

For Arsenal, the opportunity cost of seeling out to investors such as Kroenke would be huge. There is no need, and those fans that think more money would be avaliable under Kroekne than the current board are grossly mistaken. The only scenario where a takeover could be justified from my perspective is if it could be proved that the clubs revnue streams could be incrementally improved from current levels to service the debt taken on by Kroekne and provide him with an adequate return. I do not beleive this is the case. Arsenal fans everywhere should be baking the board wholeheartedly on this one. They do not take a dividend and have resisted the allure of a listing -- unlike Man Utd who cashed in, for example.

  • 95.
  • At 09:00 AM on 25 May 2007,
  • Gareth wrote:

The key to a stable future, takeover or no takeover is Wenger. He is keeping the club at the top level, in world football with by far the smallest budget of all the biggest clubs. No manager in the world can pick young talent so well and so often and turn them into world class players. For the people saying that Arsenal could cope and replace wenger if the board did not do there up most to keep him then you are all crazy. Who would find the replacment for a start David Dein did it before, the board as it is now could never find a good enough replacement they all know business not football. If wenger left arsenal the football club and arsenal the business would collapse the best players would leave and no top ones would join. At least the board would be safe, who would want to buy arsenal then.

  • 96.
  • At 10:04 AM on 25 May 2007,
  • otuonet wrote:

i love Asenal and think Asenal, i want the board of directors to change their stand and faced up the reallities on ground.Asenal play good football and we the fans can not affort to wait another season to see our darling club win a silver ware next season.
OTUONET,
LAGOS NIGERIA

  • 97.
  • At 10:08 AM on 25 May 2007,
  • Moomba Bristol wrote:

Arsene Wenger should continue as Arsenal Manager even after 2008. He should just get a striker who can shoot outside the box. Long Live Arsenal and Arsene

  • 98.
  • At 10:19 AM on 25 May 2007,
  • Steve wrote:

You show your bias to Arsenal clearly by publishing this article.

  • 99.
  • At 10:35 AM on 25 May 2007,
  • Charles wrote:

Well analysed. I cannot say more. I would rather have my dearest Club Arsenal going without throphies for a couple of years than spend beyond its means and end up like Leeds United.
Some fans may not agree with me but what sense will it make for a team like Arsenal to borrowing funds that may criple the club as a "going concern" in return for an "Open Bus Parade"? Not only will the club suffer but alot of people will lose there jobs.
I do not know the motives of all these foreigners buying up big English Clubs, it's kind of iffy to me. Afterall you do not see them buying Championship or Division 1 Clubs. These are the clubs that can do with a serious foreign cash injection.
Two things the Board MUST do are:
1. Hold on to there shares as long as forever if possible, and fight of any takeover bid from these foreign vultures.
2. Try everything within their means to get Wenger to extend his contract.

  • 100.
  • At 10:36 AM on 25 May 2007,
  • otuonet wrote:

i love Asenal and think Asenal, i want the board of directors to change their stand and faced up the reallities on ground.Asenal play good football and we the fans can not affort to wait another season to see our darling club win a silver ware next season.
OTUONET,
LAGOS NIGERIA

  • 101.
  • At 10:43 AM on 25 May 2007,
  • Richardr wrote:

The final point - that Dein is sitting on an asset worth £90m yielding nothing, and he has also lost his salary of £0.5m, doesn't mean he will necessarily sell all of his shares.

If he were to sell just 0.08% of the club's shares per year, he would receive his £0.5m at the current price.

Anyone holding a significant stake would be silly to sell out now when there is the prospect of a takeover in the medium term, and a premium to sell at that time. With the board holding just under half the shares, 14.4% could be an important lever if there is a hostile bid - and will be worth a lot more then. Not only a premium, but leverage to get his old job back.

  • 102.
  • At 11:25 AM on 25 May 2007,
  • Moses F. Jusu wrote:

The Signing of French Striker Ribery will be great help for Aresenal Midfield.And Arsenal could drop Baptista to get Nicklas Bendtner,but looks better for Arsenal to keep Fabregas to keep the midfield more secure.

  • 103.
  • At 11:27 AM on 25 May 2007,
  • Charles wrote:

Spending big on the tranfer market is not guarantee for sucess. Arsenal has never been a club that spends rediculuos amount of money for player that may not even worth it.
Viera, Henry and Pires combined did not cost Arsenal what Man U paid for Rooney or Chelsea paid for Shevchenko or Drogba. Liverpool with their foreign owner will not go and spend £30million on one player,so why do we think that foreign takeover automatically means splashing cash? What happens when all the cash has been spent and the club didn't win any throphy in 2 seasons?
Chelsea out spent the rest of the top 4 clubs by miles and still have FA cup and Legue cup to show for it. Is FA cup and Legue Cup = £60million?
Man U won the the legue not because they spent big but because they have good young hungry players with a top notch manager and very few injury list.

  • 104.
  • At 11:31 AM on 25 May 2007,
  • Paul N wrote:

The original article essentially confirms what I understood to be the situation regarding the ownership, (present & future) of Arsenal F.C.

My opinion is that the best option for the club is to stay in the hands of the Hill-Wood family and their colleagues for the foreseable future.

As for the cash situation. There is cash there. There was last summer and there will be this summer. Remember that by his own admission the Arsenal board have never said "No" when Wenger has asked for money.

It is Arsene's decision that we don't spend £15million plus on players. His highest priced purchase is actually still Sylvian Wiltord at a fee which eventually rose to £12.75million.

It is Arsene who passionately believes that you should build a club, build a team and live within your means. Is it frustrating occasionally that we don't see any huge big name signings, but at the same time it is hard to argue with either Wenger's style or success.

So then we come to the question of his future. I don't honestly believe that Arsene would have worked to sort out the new long term deals for Hoyte, Eboue, Adebayor, Fabregas and Bendtner over the past 6 months to then leave in a years time.

However, if Arsene did announce it was his intention to go then every single big club in Europe would want to take him. That should tell us something. The guy is special. The way he has transformed every aspect of our club is special. We were not a European super power 10 years ago... but even without a European Cup to our name, we are now.

The club must do its best to retain Arsene, two years without a trophy...?!? That is no disaster, losing the traditions and the soul of the football club, or the man who made us great again. THAT would be a disaster....

In Arsene and in the board we trust. They have never let us down so far......

  • 105.
  • At 11:39 AM on 25 May 2007,
  • mike o sullivan wrote:

thank you for a well balanced article.As a lifelong arsenal fan I dont think we need to fall for the charms of yet another foriegn investor,we do not need debt,splashing out wasteful millions on dubious talent has never been our way,as for Arsne we need him to stay I think he will.Roll on next season!

  • 106.
  • At 11:44 AM on 25 May 2007,
  • benjy wrote:


i think people are underestimating arsene but the fact is that he works with a club that its top men restricts the use of huge money to buy players. arsenal board will never release 30m pounds to buy just a single player as other teams in england are doing, and with the little money he is given he is able to build young and talented boys to match boot for boot those paid 90,00 pouds a week.at least he has won trophies and we shd give him credit for that.arsene is a hero in english football and whoever disputes that doesn't know world football. MORE GREASE TO YOUR ELBOW.GOD BLESS ARSENE, GOD BLESS ARSENAL. WILL FOREVER LOVE ARSENAL. GUNNERS, WE WILL CONTINUE TO GUN DOWN THE BIG TEAMS WITH OUR LITTLE SPENDING.

  • 107.
  • At 11:53 AM on 25 May 2007,
  • Tim Windle wrote:

RE: Half time @ Arsenal.

Very intresting artical but one point that was missed is that Fizzman has just moved to Switsaland (Think) so if he was to sell his shares now he would be taxed (UK) on them but after a year he wont as he has been out of the country for longer than a 12month period. Hill-Wood has been on record saying that he is not intrested in selling but any thing could change in a year (coinsadence)? Think about this If Dein did leave because he Help the Kronke buy the shares of ITV fair enough.. Dein then sells his shares to Kronke this could trigger a take over bid Kronke who buys the club and then brings in Dein to run it for Him!

  • 108.
  • At 01:18 PM on 25 May 2007,
  • ijaiya minkail wrote:

i am died hard gunners fan ,what we are proud of is the good football the club plays,please all posible best must be put in place to keep wenger in the club,it will be very deverstating if he (wenger)leaves, the team is a family which should remain so .thanks ..........GUNNERS 4 EVER.

  • 109.
  • At 02:21 PM on 25 May 2007,
  • Scott wrote:

Re: point 11 - aren't you failing to take account of the capital growth in the value of Dein's stake? Surely, if Arsenal continue to grow at an acceptable rate, he would be advised to keep his stake, and the lack of dividend effectively keeps those funds within the club, and adds to the value of shares.

  • 110.
  • At 03:13 PM on 25 May 2007,
  • Chris K wrote:

The potential for a club such as Arsenal and/or Man Utd now being sold to a private equity group is high. Personally I believe that a large conglomorate such as General Electric may make a move for one of these clubs. They have lots of cash to spare currently, a purchase would give GE a global marketing platform while making a fairly sound long term investment.

  • 111.
  • At 04:44 PM on 25 May 2007,
  • Ron Thomas wrote:

People should realise that a takeover does not automtically equate to vast wealth flooding cash into the Club.Its often the opposite effect. This American will want profit and not to want to spend a packet to buy in and then some more on top.

He see's Arsenal as a Club that needs no expenditure on its infrastructure with its Stadium and young team in place and wants to sit and watch it grow greater.

After all of the planning to get to this stage, to throw the Club to the status of a PLC wd be foolish and to soon.

As to the Wenger issue, i fail to see his staying as a factor to our longer term future. He's 57 and we should be thinking already of his successor, with him moving 'upstairs' perhaps. We could attract the top Managers in the game when Arsene calls it a day. In the circ's, he should now be pressed on the contract issue, so we can plan ahead. Hes kept us waitng before, but we were relatively stable then, now we seemingly aren't. How's it be Mr Wenger? If you are going in 08, speak up please!

  • 112.
  • At 05:14 PM on 25 May 2007,
  • frio wrote:

Miyake,

I do not think that wenger has won enough trophies to put him in first ten, judging by that criteria.
But, if wenger is the job market with whoever is number one in your trophies list, I 'm almost certain, any club would prefer wenger.
If you know, and follow football well enough, you would understand the value(commercial, technical and otherwise) of wenger.
I think it is easy to win a football match, if how you win is not important.
What is difficult, is winning with style.
I don't know of any club in the world that is so reliant on their manager as arsenal is on wenger. Man U, Chelsea, Bercelona, Real Madrid aren't.

  • 113.
  • At 05:40 PM on 25 May 2007,
  • Hmmmm wrote:

More to this story than you know. There were personal and financial reason behind Dein's moves.

Someone will come in and buy a blocking percentage of shares in order to prevent Kronke.

  • 114.
  • At 06:25 PM on 25 May 2007,
  • Kwame Adu-gyamfi wrote:

I think it is a good idea at the time that the team needs funds to recruit experience players to beef-up the current tallented youngsters.

Again, if Wenger want to do well and stay, then he needs to buy experience players to enable us win the premieship and UEFA titles next season. We need players like Stephen Appiah and other strong players in the midfield.

  • 115.
  • At 06:49 PM on 25 May 2007,
  • dave wrote:

reading the article was pretty good.

I think you hit on many valid points.
But I think dein is their for the money, reason, he help kroenky buy itv shares and a few shares from other people and then sat on his, his plan work perfectly share price rose to record high, the club will now be sold for any less that £700 million, almost double the valuation just year to eighteen months ago. He good businessman, but he put that before supporting arsenal in this situation.

The club will not be sold until the debt is completely paid for and the shortly after a new tv deal sign, meaning a good five may be eight years.

In a ideal situation they donate 10% to 20% to a fan based organization, As I doubt any supporter club could raise the tens of millions needed to buy themselves.

then sale the rest.

I will also bet that Arsenal final price will be higher than Manchester unites cost the Glaziers.


As for the debt, uefa/fifa should put rules in placed to prevent any owners of dumbing debt onto a club.

With a couple of clauses, one to redevelopment stadium or training grounds. And un exceptional circumstances to buy new players or to pay players as temporary measure only. These should be looked at by an independent accountant before club being allowed to proceed to borrow the money.

  • 116.
  • At 06:57 PM on 25 May 2007,
  • Clerkenwell Gooner wrote:

Like someone said you will NEVER WIN ANYTHING WITH KIDS!!!

I think you'll find this was Alan Hansen talking about the extremely youthful Man U that went on to win the European Cup - he was wrong, way wrong.

Arsenal's kids are as capable of the old Man U of winning big, and they will, they will.

  • 117.
  • At 07:02 PM on 25 May 2007,
  • Clerkenwell Gooner wrote:

Like someone said you will NEVER WIN ANYTHING WITH KIDS!!!

I think you'll find this was Alan Hansen talking about the extremely youthful Man U that went on to win the European Cup - he was wrong.

Arsenal's kids are as capable of the old Man U of winning big, and they will, they will.

  • 118.
  • At 07:11 PM on 25 May 2007,
  • victor .p. otabor wrote:

The key for Arsenal's success next session is a fully fit "IGWE!!" Henry, Van Persie, one additional quality striker, a very good back-up for Kole Toure, a strong left full back and right and maybe a support midfielder cum attacker!!
I say, a big thank you to Arsen Wenger for the revolution@Arsenal and hope he will be able to win something big(Premiership/Champions League?) next session to compensate for the beautiful game he has brought to the club.

  • 119.
  • At 11:30 PM on 25 May 2007,
  • Simon W wrote:

Some really good points raised but let me throw this into the Frey, as a corporate investor these men in nice suits and ties get in there 3 series and make it down to ashburton grove game after game ushered through to park there motor's in a cosy car park at this new stadium up a luxurious staircase's to the prawn sarnies where they mingle with other likewise business people chatting everything but arsenal and then make a half hearted attempt at watching wenger's team win a football match, all because these corporate investors see the loyalty of the fans which makes it a safe bet but also provides a networking hub for pedalling their new brand to overpaid lackey foot solders and new media types.

Long after the real fans have gone they finish there networking and trundle back whilst we carry on the debate which dictates our night on if Adebayor will ever really be a top 20 goal a season striker or does Henry destabilize this young team!.

I hope for one we never sell to anyone and just do it the "arsenal way" a way which ok isn't quick but if you take a long term view on it keeps the club semi-real unlike Manure or the Scousers which now have uncertain futures with people that will always put themselves before the clubs they have brought into.

These people will know nothing of that feeling you got the first time you walked up those steps on the old North Bank to look over Highbury, it made the hair on the back of your neck stand on end, I ask myself would they ever feel that?

Do what's right Mr Dein sell to the supporters club and get you cash that way, you are a Mold Breaker, do it again and show us it really is about what's in your heart.

  • 120.
  • At 11:47 PM on 25 May 2007,
  • Chris Reynolds wrote:

Robert's assessment seems pretty accurate and feasible to me, but I think there is one other possibility and that is that following his dispute with other members of the board, for whatever reason, David Dein has now gone off to become more influential at the England set-up. This could have good or bad consequences for Arsenal depending upon where he disposes of his shares, and/or if he tries to take Arsene into the England job. This is what concerns me most for Arsenal. However this scenario does mean that he won't necessarily be coming back, with or without the American, with a hostile bid.

In my view the club, and Arsene in particular, have given us something more than trophies, they have given us a class of football to be truly proud of, and heroes that we might never have dreamed of. I value these things as much as the trophies, and that's why I'd have preferred to see Vieira and Pires stay longer, and wouldn't want to see Henry play anywhere else in the world. These are difficult times in English football. We could have spent a fortune over the last 3 years and still not be able to comete with the finacial muscle of chelsea or man utd. If we were going to re-build, the last few years was probably a good time. But there are still only 3 domestic trophies to win and 2 very rich clubs in the Premiership. We could sell out to the American and still not win anything. Personally I'd rather settle for some continuity at the club and enjoy watching the great players we have, in the style they play - and be proud of it. If we win some trophies, that'll be a bonus, but I wouldn't want to risk what we have, just to gamble on winning more.

  • 121.
  • At 02:44 AM on 26 May 2007,
  • Christian wrote:

I think Arsenal have missed the likes of Van Persie and Henry considerably. Baptista could not keep up with the pace of the Eglish game and was clearly unsettled at Arsenal. Also i think that Arsenal have lack the final push which is the scoring of goal they have to try and take more changes e.g long shots rather then loking for the perfect pass hwich may never ome during the 90 mins. hopefully we will sign some top class players now. ARSENAL TO WIN THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE 07/08!

  • 122.
  • At 07:29 AM on 26 May 2007,
  • butera james wrote:

any way i appriciate wenger and his board but the team needs new blood this season. and strong ones with experience so try to make fans happy else its amazing club

Don't overlook Dein's commitment to Arsenal and Wenger.

I think Dein may be back in the mix with a Kroenke takeover and Wenger will support it.

Dein has Arsenal blood running through his veins and wouldn't have been making proposals without the best interest of Arsenal in mind. Backed by Wenger, I can see Dein as the face of the new Kroenke Arsenal, supported by Arsene.

  • 124.
  • At 08:24 AM on 26 May 2007,
  • Gehan wrote:

All of the above commets suggest to me that Arsenal want ot be too reliant on Mr.Wenger just like the team is on TH. I don't want to go each saturday to sit and watch some 'Great' kids battling it out with mid table teams. We struggled aganist Bolton but Man U go and wack them 4-0?

I like to see as a fan Arsenal still up there at the business end of the season. How hard was it for you all to watch other teams having great european nights? For me it was prettyy hard cos i care for the club. Wenger said this season (& last season) was a failure so Mr. Wenger with all your wealth of knowledge & expertise what are you going to do about it? Has he told us?

Also guys tell me what is our plan B if Wenger decide to leave? Surely at some stage he has to leave or would want to leave but then what? We seem to be too fixatd on trying to keep hold og him!

Someone said no other club in the world is so reliant on their manager as Arsenal... spot on we are not a good team like AC, Barca, Man U, Chelski and not even Spurs!

Finally I think someone like Gus Hiddink is good as AW in all departments plus in Europe.

AW has done wonder during his time at Arsenal with a limited budget but the board now needs to step up a gear to compete with the big fish... not EPL but in Europe & also look to the future?

  • 125.
  • At 12:04 PM on 26 May 2007,
  • Garrisongooner wrote:

Most of the comments I have read revolve around whether outside investment (a la Glazers) is a good thing or not and whether Mr Wenger is irreplaceable if Arsenal are to continue to be considered within the Premiership and European elite.

On the second point first, I would like to think that with the club's cuurent resources - compared to when AW came - we are infinitely better placed to get a top drawer manager that can combine style with results.

On the first point, I believe that there is unquestionable evidence to prove that allowing outsiders to buy through a highly leveraged acquisition, is too dangerous to contemplate. I am not saying that it can't work successfully for the benefit of all concerned - what I am saying is that it can fail and do we want to take that risk. Yes the Glazers exploits have not come unstuck and they might not, but taking on a lot of debt MIGHT cause calamity and the end of a club. The evidence? (Not the same circumstances, but close enough). Leeds United.

  • 126.
  • At 12:50 PM on 26 May 2007,
  • Garrisongooner wrote:

If Tim Windle (item 107) is right about Mr Fizman (sp?) having just moved to Switzerland and that after 12 months his sale of shares will enjoy much more favourable tax treatment, then link that to the announcement made when Mr Dein resigned that all directors gave an irrevocable undertaking not to sell their shares in the next 12 months (to give the club some stability!) and remembering that Mr Wonder (pronounced Wenger) has to decide about renewal of his contract at the same time, this story has a long way to run yet.

There seem to be three business models. 1) Mr Abromovitch - don't expect any replicas 2) The Glazers, gear the club with debt 3) Mr Hill-Wood, follow the family tradition that coincides with Mr Wenger's statement where he is on record as saying that he supports the philosophy that the club should be self-financing. Without (unnecessary)debt, there will be a much higher proportion of revenues available for the playing side. But will that be enough. If not, do we risk boom or bust?

  • 127.
  • At 03:22 PM on 26 May 2007,
  • morriskoon wrote:

I think Wenger cannot not be the sinquanon to a future Arsenal. While she's deloping her financial strenght let all remember that we want trophies and remarkable wins.

  • 128.
  • At 08:10 PM on 26 May 2007,
  • Tony wrote:

I am not an Arsenel fan, and in reality no longer a big football fan either, but I would like to make a few comments:
Premier league football is probably the biggest watched global sport. Everywhere I travel from the eastern med to the far east shows games practically non stop. This is not a tribute to the quality of the game but to the people who market it. My wife is not from the UK although she has an MBA from here and it never ceass to amaze her how the UK can 'sell' itself. It is people like Dein who have created this phenomena.
Wenger is not Arsenel. There are many people who could slide into his shoes. Look at Celtic when Martin O'Neil left, look at Liverpool after the Shankley and Paisley reigns, life goes on. Who would have imageined Roy Keane would have been as successful as he has been.
Arsenel will survive because people will always pay to watch them - they will always sell out.
They wont get relegated even if I manage them because they have too many people who will watch them to generate enought income to pull them out from whatever position they find themselves.

But most of all I just cant get my head around why people are willing to pay SO much money to watch these people so they can talk about it in their local for till the next game.

  • 129.
  • At 11:23 PM on 26 May 2007,
  • sizzler944 wrote:

David Dein needs cash and getting a good price now from a private investor who will end up caning the club for money by putting in some fancy financial structure that most won't understand but will end up stripping the worth from the club leading to it's demise. It's just another private equity rip.
Man U and Liverpool will end up like leeds. Grounds sold and rented back, capital in the back pocket from huge loans on the back of expected TV deals.
Hill-Wood and the board know this.
Remember being able to watch all England games on the BBC. That was before Dein.

  • 130.
  • At 05:25 AM on 27 May 2007,
  • Joe wrote:

I really dont't find the Henry transfer rumous at all alrming beause its been said so many times.
I have heard we are interested in bidding for Samuel E'tto which would be great but he may not be as good as he seems in England because he will have to get used to playing in the style that we do.

  • 131.
  • At 07:05 AM on 27 May 2007,
  • donald wrote:

OK, here is the skinny on a number of issues. Dein wanted Arsenal to share Wembley, not build themselves. This was to help him build his position at both Arsenal and the FA at the time. This brought conflict to the Arsenal board. Fiszman's relationship with him started to get strained by this and his FA power building activities. When he got kicked out of the FA, and the stadium build was seen by all as a massive success, he saw his power waining dramaticly. How to get it back... Kroenke.. He got him the ITV shares, offered his own, and said he could get him a majority of other shareholders, quid quo pro, Dein would be CEO of Arsenal, and absolute power on the new board with his new buddy. Between them they had over 25% of the outstanding, and needed only one other director Fiszman to come over to win. Danny saw it otherwise... Not that he was unwilling to sell, but with the other shareholders not selling, he was now, and still is the power broker. The deal is now getting a bit expensive for Kroenke. Dein, not only not able to deliver the board, but booted out is not loved by anyone anymore, Kroenke and Dein overplayed their hand too early. Dein will probably go and focus on another club, Kroenke may be able to negotiate a higher price or not, and the Arsenal boad are sitting on a valuable asset, that has increased in value due to an ill timed and ill executed takeover bid. Good on them, the interesting thing now is Kroenke's next move. Is it a buy or a sell.

  • 132.
  • At 11:52 AM on 27 May 2007,
  • deega wrote:

okay i really like how vanpersi and adebayor how they play.i really want to came and watch the gonners play.

  • 133.
  • At 12:08 PM on 27 May 2007,
  • asnad wrote:

arsenal have a young team. they are very godd. they just need to get few players and they will be good and hopefully we will be able to compete with all the big teams next season we will win a cup. i think we need to get a good goalscoring forward. bentradner, henry , adebayour , van persie and we nedd one more forward goal scorer and we will have a good team . we do not usually take our chances but a good forward will sort it out . we will be back next season stronger. come on ARSENAL

  • 134.
  • At 04:18 PM on 27 May 2007,
  • mire wrote:

arsenal is not strong we need new players and money

  • 135.
  • At 05:36 PM on 27 May 2007,
  • Mr Do! wrote:

Henry the first!

I agree with you about the security concerns but all I can say is that any businessman (American or otherwise) does not want his company to fail. I know that sounds simple but these billionaires are exactly that for a reason - they are good at what they do. I'm sure Dein would have done his research and if his track record is anything to go by, we can at least trust his opinion on Kroenke.

I guess there's plenty of speculative answers and no one can be 100% sure in the end. All we can do is recall recent history and see that the top two have not guaranteed trophies but certainly put themselves in the mix. Sorry to who naively mentioned Leeds and compared them to Arsenal's situation but Leeds spent money, got in debt AND got relegated. This does not compare To Arsenal.

Alas the fact is, we're woefully off the pace. I expect an improvement next season but sadly not a 20 point or so improvement needed to mount a challenge.

Again speculation, but seeing as were all throwing in our two bobs worth here's mine. I expect Dein to sell the remainder of his stake to Kroenke and for Kroenke to purchase even more off the current shareholders to mount a hostile takeover, sooner rather than later. There I said it.


And yes I believe Preston's blog is the new premium 'elite' 606? You see there's a select few who's views are apparently superior to others. Us plebs are relegated to answering their learned blogs and views, Marx and Engel's would be proud ;-)

  • 136.
  • At 08:29 PM on 27 May 2007,
  • David wrote:

Arsenal need a board who are interested in keeping the club viable for future generations. Without the contribution of Arsene in building a team on sound financial principles Arsenal would not have enjoyed the success that required a bigger stadium to meet the demand (is the Emirates big enough?). As a lifelong fan I would rather the club kept its soul than sells out to the highest bidder. Winning trophies every season just because you have the biggest cheque book is not a satisfactory way to win. Man U are just as reliant on Fergie as Arsenal are on Arsene.

George Graham managed to win both domestic cups in the same season with Arsenal years before Chelski, without spending a fortune and playing a very similar style of football to Chelski (but with a bit more flare!). Money does not guarantee success and I prefer to watch exciting football to dour one nil victories every week.

Keep profit out of sport.

  • 137.
  • At 06:12 PM on 28 May 2007,
  • RednWhiteHeart wrote:

I have found the recent speculation over a possible takeover at Arsenal and David Dean's departure from the club very distressing. The media as always have a vested interest in making the situation sound as grave as possible and it's immensly disappointing that some Arsenal fans have fallen for it.

Many have interpretted Arsenal's minimal transfer activity as proof that the club is cash strapped and in need of a huge cash injection. That is simply not the case - the money has always been there if Wenger wants to use it, so far he hasn't.

Wenger is a manager who will not tolerate anything less than complete control over the club's transfers and if he felt the board were not backing him he would have left a long time ago. Wenger doesn't see the point in spending vasts sums of money on players just to make the fans feel better and quite right he is too.

Fans invest a huge amount in their club both financially and the emotionally. Even players both past and present are not immune from thinking that a player's transfer value is the same as their ability on the pitch. The prospect of hugely expensive big name signings can seem quite comforting but at the end of the day it does not guarantee success.

Those in favour of a takeover should bear in mind the simple fact that selling out to a billionaire is an admission that the the club as an organisation of playing staff, coaching staff, board of directors, and fans has been a failure.

Before Ambramovitch bought Chelsea they were going nowhere fast. Up to their eyeballs in debt and one week away from going into administration with no chance of paying up. When Benitez arrived at Liverpool his policy was spend, spend, spend and in just a couple of season's he'd managed to decimate the "deposit" that had taken Houllier years to save for their new stadium. But for years Liverpool had the "For Sale" sign up as they had no way to significiantly increase their cash flows - remember those trips to the far east for an audiance with the then Thai Prime Minister billionaire Thaksin Shinawatra ?

Does that sound like the situation Arsenal are in today ? No - Man Utd weren't in that situation either but because they were a plc they were unable to resist Glazer's takeover and the debt that it brought. The bottom line is that Arsenal don't need a takeover because we are a well run club that has learned to live within it's means. The strength of our youth set-up means that when Wenger looks at the transfer market he doesn't have to think "oh bloody hell we must sign so and so at all costs". Thanks to the new stadium our financial resourses will sky rocket in the next few years anyway. Even if a takeover did hand Wenger a £400 million transfer budget he wouldn't spend it.

For me the worst part is that this misconception that Arsenal are in need of a takeover has led some people to support Stan Kroenke's attempts to buy the club. Anyone who can add up should have figured out that Stan Kroenke's personal paper fortune of approximately £1 billion is not enough to buy all the shares in Arsenal FC and invest in the playing staff. Kroenke will have to borrow heavily from investment banks and is anyone naive enough to think he will repay that debt out of his own fortune ? No - he will transfer the debt to the club so that the fans will pay to buy the club for him just like Glazer has done with Man Utd. That is why the board are right to resist Kroenke because it would put the club into massive debt.

Some might say that it hasn't hurt Man Utd that much because they've just won the league. Firstly, the Glazer's agreement with the banks gives Utd two year slack from when the repayments really bite which ends this year. Secondly, noone can say that Utd's transfer expenditure has been boosted by the takeover. At best it's the same as it was pre-takeover, at worst they've had to sell players before they could buy. Thirdly, there are rumours circulating that not all is well with the Glazer's business model because Utd have not met the turnover targets needed to make the plan work in the long run and that the Glazer's may be forced to sell to God knows who.

It seems to me that this kind of takeover model relies on the club becomming so successfull both on and off the pitch that the debt becomes irrelevant. The problem for anyone copying this takeover model is that there is only room for one club to be that successfull - whichever club loses out risks losing everything and ending up in a situation like Leeds Utd. That kind of risk is not worth taking in exchange for some vague promises of increased investment in the team and greater marketing exposure in the US.

Noone knows what the irreconsilable differences were for David Dean's split with the board. I have as much respect as anyone for what David Dean has done for us and I acknowledge that he was instrumental in bring Arsene Wenger to the club. But for the reasons above, I fully support the board in resisting Stan Kroenke and if it is true that Dean is helping Kroenke prepare a hostile bid for the club then he is no friend of mine.

If the ownership of the club is to change then it should go to it's rightful owners - the fans. By that I am proposing an ownership model like that of Real Madrid or Barcelona where each fan buys a club membership which enables them to vote in one member one vote elections every 4 or 5 years to determine who runs the club. This would give the fans greater say in how the club is run and would protect the club against any parties or individuals that don't have the club's best interest's at heart.

There I've said my peace.

  • 138.
  • At 07:57 PM on 28 May 2007,
  • lewis wrote:

more money, especialy foreign money will not buy us better players. look at chelski, like watching paint dry. i c the ruski is now getting bored with his plaything as predicted many moons ago & has decided to not to pump his millions into his bankrupt club anymore. watch the rats start to leave.its a shame david dein has had to leave because of his american dream but i think the club has to keep its heritage & not sell its soul to people that may have other motives for the club. how soon before we have another leeds at the hands of a foriegn egomaniac? once arsene has tweeked the squad a little in the summer we will be challenging 4 the title u will see.

  • 139.
  • At 08:47 PM on 28 May 2007,
  • hus wrote:

Quick correction about Chelsea... Abramovich has not paid off their debts, he is just payign teh interest. If he left tomorrow Chelsea would go the way of Leeds.

  • 140.
  • At 11:35 PM on 28 May 2007,
  • Garrisongooner wrote:

There are those who say that Leeds United cannot be compared to Arsenal as they (Leeds) got relegated. As a life long gooner I hope you're right but Leeds problems started with their debts. If Mr Kroenke or anyone else buys the club highly geared, reducing the amount available to spend on players, potentially resulting in poorer results, smaller crowds, no Champions League, a vicious circle is not impossible.

The prudence of the current board is to be supported. Let us all hope Mr Wenger also maintains that view and gets us back closer to the top two, if not among them. If the team can achieve that and keep playing that really attractive stuff, the crowds will stick with it. Come on you Gunners.

  • 141.
  • At 12:08 PM on 29 May 2007,
  • musa wrote:


I am natural born fan of the gunners.I wanta situation where my club will clinch if possible all the available trophies in England and Europe next season.Pls take away all the pain in my hearth by signing super class players this season.The younger ones have thier time coming in future.We need silver wares next season,so,we need to spend big.Arsene pls help us out.

  • 142.
  • At 04:44 PM on 29 May 2007,
  • Vik wrote:

Speaking as a gooner and a strategist I am a little underwhelmed by your analysis.

Although I cannot fault most of the logic I think you have failed to take into account any future development of the market.

The cost of content is growing exponentially. When web sites are now worth 2 billion or more with user produced content, how much do you think football content will be worth on the internet alone?

I am not surprised that present shareholders are incapable of understanding the concept of convergent media - look at their ages and CVs. How many of them have any idea of what the G14 are planning. Did they ever attend a UEFA meeting? It was all Dein as highlighted by many sports journos.

American investors always do their due diligence. Frankly your description of the vision of the present directors worry me.

I hope there is a quick handover for our sake.

  • 143.
  • At 05:10 PM on 29 May 2007,
  • Vik wrote:

plus how does the comment,
'we can create money' from arsene wenger not translate into the fact we do NOT have money.

arsene wenger has generated the wealth danny fiszman enjoys. (not psion for sure!). he should not have to create money. thats what the extra income streams from the stadium was for.

  • 144.
  • At 05:30 PM on 29 May 2007,
  • DD wrote:

Sorry Vik you are clouding the biggest point when you say you are speaking as a 'strategist' - in doing so you aren't speaking from the heart and that is what being a fan is all about

  • 145.
  • At 06:32 PM on 29 May 2007,
  • Charles wrote:

This report from America's National Public Radio may be of interest:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=10451428

Its premise is that Americans are buying football clubs now because they're expecting salary caps to be instituted at some point -- at which time the clubs will become much more profitable than they are now.

Am wondering if we really do see salary caps in the future of the Premiership?

  • 146.
  • At 10:24 PM on 29 May 2007,
  • AdamVK from NYC wrote:

Wenger is class and style. I hope he stays, and believe he will.

To me, signing Ribery is key. If Wenger can make that happen -- and Arsenal are not injury plagued to the extent they were this year -- the top Premier League spot is more than plausible.

Add E'to and an intimidating defender into the squad and it's raining silver at the Emirates.

  • 147.
  • At 12:10 AM on 30 May 2007,
  • Mike Stubbs wrote:

The team we have is very young but also very strong, granted we need to add some experience in midfield and attack, but we were missing Van Persie and Henry for most of the season, would Man Utd have won the prem if they had had their too main play makers and goal scorers injured all season (Rooney, Ronaldo) probably not, both Henry and Van Persie will be back next season and the youngsters will be better for the experience of not playing with Henry and relying on him to dig us out of holes. Wenger has said he will sign two quality players in the summer and with his eys for a player why should we doubt him. As for the financial situation the board should not sell out to anyone, we are the only club in the top four with english owners and we should hold onto that, and with the comments above the stadium and the infrastructure that are in place is holding us in good stead for the future, which is where we must look to, in 2 years we wont need to buy the best players because they will already be at the club in the shape of Fabregas, Van Persie, Denilson and Clichy. Everyone that has watched this team play together can see that they are on the verge of becoming an awesome force.

  • 148.
  • At 10:25 AM on 30 May 2007,
  • James wrote:

Here is my two pence;

Arsenal DO NOT need a takeover. There, i'll get it out of the way straight away. The recent takeovers at Liverpool, ManUre, Chelski etc are all similar in some ways but oh so different in others. Let me explain;

Liverpool; desperately need investment to fund a new stadium, and rebuild the squad.
Chelski; were Premiership nearly-rans before RA, so needed investment to challenge at the top.
ManUre; didnt need investment, were already the world's richest club (spending £30m on Rio & Rooney already)

Arsenal are similar to manUre in their status; the stadium is built, is being paid for, and there is, and will be alot more eventually, money there for player investment. They do not need a quick injection of foreign capital to ultimately result in us fans servicing their loans by paying for our season tickets. This was different in the cases of Chelski, Liverpool, Villa, soon to be Man City etc; they all need investment. Arsenal & united's was built on success the previous years, something these other clubs did not have. This is part of the reason why i sympathise with United fans who despise the takeover, as money that should be going to pay for players is now going to service Glazer's astronomical loan payments. This is different to Chelski, as RA obviously has no worries with regards loans and is really just looking for the glory of winning.

My ideal scenario would be to have Dein acting as he did before; dealing with transfers, being the political 'face' of AFC. It would also be good to have Kroenke on the Board to give his views & expertise on not only the US but world maret with regards marketing and PR etc to extend the AFC brand, as it seems that the current board are a little lacking in their vision in this respect.

  • 149.
  • At 01:35 PM on 30 May 2007,
  • Leon K wrote:

If you banned all clubs in debt from entering european competitions then there would be no european football would there ?
What Arsenal did was to speculate to accumulate i.e. enter a debt to make the company more profitable in the future. All companies outside of football do it, its called growth !

  • 150.
  • At 02:44 PM on 30 May 2007,
  • bihonegn wrote:


Arsenal football club is very nice team for my context the coming year
has the winner for fa cup or preming
lauge

this is my comment
mr bihonegn for Ethiopia

  • 151.
  • At 12:28 AM on 31 May 2007,
  • chris robinson wrote:

im sorry but if arsenal want to keep with the times we need this american to help us to challenge for trophies and not sit back and watch others to develop. we need to start now and not later otherwise we will loose future fans to richer winning teams

  • 152.
  • At 01:06 AM on 31 May 2007,
  • ajegena richard wrote:

Please,I think Baptista should be givin a grace of another season. Am very sure he will show his true style of football if given another chance. Finally I think the present crop of Arsenal young team,Arsenal can win the league come next season(2007-2008) by the special grace of God.

You are missing the intention of Kroenke. Unlike other Americans that have bought into EPL, he has a stake in boosting value of the sport in America and owns the Colorado Rapids of the MLS. They changed their color scheme to announce their partnership with Arsenal.

America is the sleeping giant in the sport and the numbers of American youth playing the beautiful game are increasing at a rate not seen in the past. In the Kansas City metro area we have over 95,000 youth playing the game and many youth priemere teams. I have heard that Kroenke sees Arsenal's way of developing talent superior to any in the world. He wants to inject money into Arsenal and learn how to create an American version of the club. The other American's don't know hang about football and I agree, they are suspect. As an American, Kroenke makes more sense than anyone else out there.

I completely agree that Wenger is the key to the next few years, but if we don't get more scoring quality, I fear we could lose Cesc and Henry, then the club is very average.

The value of a club like Arsenal to Kroenke is the brand, not the profit, and the only way you get value of the brand is to make it better (Silverware, and Championships). The game has changed and I see EPL looking very much like American baseball where only those willing to spend will thrive; unless there is a salary cap (does anyone think that will happen)?

  • 154.
  • At 11:28 AM on 31 May 2007,
  • Komba Jumu-Freetwn S/Leone -Arsenal Fan wrote:

Is Arsenal not going to buy any player for this season as all other teams are on the move ?

  • 155.
  • At 12:51 PM on 31 May 2007,
  • Ajanaku dipo wrote:

we need a goal keeper

  • 156.
  • At 12:56 PM on 31 May 2007,
  • Moomba Bristol (Chawama Lusaka) wrote:

Article 116. You can never win anything with kids?I don't understand you. Can you doubt Fabregas' potential, Emmanuel Eboue, Denilson and others. You saw how Denilson and Fabregas succesfully held the midfield again'st Chelsea. All that our club needs is to get another good striker and score goals that will make the club win anything in this world.

  • 157.
  • At 02:08 PM on 31 May 2007,
  • H. Maxwell Powson wrote:

Let Arsenal accept the offer of 17m pounds + Samuel Eto for Henry.
Henry has done a lot for Arsenal and it is time for him to move on.

  • 158.
  • At 06:31 PM on 31 May 2007,
  • Hutts wrote:

You all talk rubbish! The fact is that arsenal have the best team in the premiership by far in terms of strength in depth! CBs: Djourou, Senderos, Toure, Gallas!

Midield: Fabregas, Diaby, Denilson, Gilberto, Flamini! COME ON!

Strikers: Henry, V persie, Adebayor, Walcott, Bendtner
and VELA!

We need one attacking midfielder who will score goals, grab team's defence's by the scruff of their neck and go at them!

Im a season ticket holder and EVERY match we murder teams! We should have been the team playing L'Pool in the CL quarters NOT PSV, to name but one example!

Keep the faith fellow supporters...kroenke wont get in at Arsenal, not least because the Stadium generates 2m income a match!

Wenger knows what hes doing...i agree that the loss of Bobby Pires was a big one, but Bergsy and Sol were inevitable...both great servants but its been OK!

Itll be OK guys...next season...thats the season where our dominance will come to the forefront of European football!

It would be nice to see the likes of Merida given a chance next season...but we'll seee...

  • 159.
  • At 12:10 PM on 01 Jun 2007,
  • clive wrote:

we should all rember the club will carry on wheather players come or go but arsen wenger has changed the way the english game is played and the board players & supporters should support him and try to get him to sign a new contract becase with him the club will continue to grow and be a mager force in english+europen football

  • 160.
  • At 12:15 PM on 01 Jun 2007,
  • Jai Chandran wrote:

I agree with article 157, Henry is a great player and was undoubtably the king of highbury... ...but were are at the emirates now. 17million + Eto is a very good deal. Eto has already proven himself as a world class finisher and 17 million is enough to sign another top quality player maybe a gd all fashioned winger to replace pires and ljungberg. I would go for Gamst Pedersen from Blackburn or possibly Jesus Navas from Sevilla.

  • 161.
  • At 01:36 PM on 01 Jun 2007,
  • Loren Dunlop wrote:

I believe the board should hold firm. good investment this summer - the likes of ribery, babel, and sort out our front line - whether or not that includes henry - will make us a great force. we already are, last summer was a tough one for alot of our squad. henry can rest and recouperate, and the boys can rejoin for pre season training, build their relationships further, and attack the new campaign with energy. we beat united twice last season, so we can beat everyone else. we can therefore win the league.

selling up and splashing 70 mil on stars and their subsequent wages is not the way to build a great team. who knows, maybe the billionaires will sell on in a few years and the clubs will be in too much debt to continue investing in the transfer market, spending less than wee do now, and here we would be relying on our own income to invest in the club, self sufficient. won;t the debt of the stadium be cleared by 2025? whats 18 years in the life of a club! fergie's been at united longer!

eventually the ownership of arsenal will change hands, but lets hold tight to the bumper new tv deals, have faith in an all time great mananger, and hope that when the day comes it falls into the hands of a fan.

  • 162.
  • At 03:06 PM on 01 Jun 2007,
  • Loren Dunlop wrote:

153: i don;t want to jump on the bandwaggon labelling kroenke as an eveil influence. i simply would like the club to remain under its current ownership and invest in the team and wait for the big money tv deal to come thru. simply because i don't trust the lattest influx of american investment and its intentions.

i know nothing of kroenke and his past, plans for the sport in the states, and have nothing against him personally. my point is the security and ownership of the club in general, rather than avoiding kroenke in general. its not for me to cast doubt on his charachter or intentions. if what you say about him is true he may turn out to be a aorthy owner, but for now i'd like to hold off for at least one/two more seasons and develop the club our way.

  • 163.
  • At 04:19 PM on 01 Jun 2007,
  • ian wrote:

I an an Arsenal fan but not an anorak on detail, but do recall a fact which has not been mentioned in the various analyses presented above. Danny Fitzman, held out to be one of the staunch old guard protecting the club against crass American financial/sports imperialism, sold just enough shares a couple of months ago to take his shareholding below 25%. This means he cannot veto a change to a change to the company memoranda and articles of association - at the magic 25% or over a shareholder can exercise a veto. Why is this significant? Well, it means Mr. Fitzman can say, when the big move comes from Kroenke, that he was totally against it but because he has no veto against the changes (which would be required in a takeover)to the constitution of the club - he has just had to go along with it.
I think I'm right on this but i stand to be corrected by a corporate lawyer(of which there are not a few in the corporate boxes each week i'm sure!)
Danny has cleared the way, and there is more than just a whiff of sulphur in that board room.

  • 164.
  • At 04:24 PM on 01 Jun 2007,
  • Philip L wrote:

Some of the points made by RP and others are very interesting and correct but there are a few key points not so far mentioned.

1. Hill-Wood, is a fool. Just look at his comments about Kroenke when Dein left. You do not insult a major shareholder and business partner in public.

2. Aresenal has been driven forward in recent years by Dein & Wenger, with the help of Fiszman. The relationship between Dein & Fizsman broke down over Edelman, a friend of Fizsman, who is going to bring the club to its knees with his incompetence & tightfistedness in the way he did BHS before it was sold off to Philip Green for a song.

3. Despite what RP says about Arsenal’s finances Wenger is not being allowed to spend any money. Yes we have some great young players but whilst MU, the best team last season by far, have moved forward with 3 great signings we are standing still. We hung on to 4th place last season, have players that are not of the standard of those they replace (e.g. Bergkamp, Pires, Viera etc.) and with others around us spending and improving next season we will struggle to get back in to the Champions League. And then you will see how quickly it can all fall apart. Wenger, Henry & co leaving and an inability to make payments on the Emirates Stadium.

4. The reason the Yanks are buying in to the Premiership is to be able to position themselves with the best brands as soccer takes off in the World’s biggest market, the USA. There is no evidence that the new owners of MU, Liverpool & AV are holding back on transfer funds. The contrary appears to be the case. They know from the NFL you have to buy the best players to make your brand / product the best and reap the rewards / profits. I believe Dein recognised this and as he has in the past had the vision to take Arsenal in to the future.

5. The Board does nothing for Arsenal. They have shares (except Hill-Wood!) that have increased in value by thousands of per cent, they do not put money in to the club and enjoy free first class travel, accommodation, seating etc. at every game. No wonder they don’t want to sell.

6. One word on Wenger. His trophy record is not as good as some but look where we were when he arrived. He has transformed the club, brought so much not just to Arsenal but all the Premiership clubs who have copied most of what he has originated. Look at MU’s play this season. All about movement and pace. Where have we seen that? He is a true genius and as with other geniuses you don’t not really appreciate them until after they leave.

The conclusion, which is why I believe Dein wanted to bring in Kroenke, can only be that to move forward, win trophies and match the other top clubs in Europe we need resources that the new stadium will not be sufficient to provide. Probably if it all falls apart the Board will be forced in to a fire sale and then we will get Mr Kroenke or similar but we will have to suffer considerable heartache before we get there.

  • 165.
  • At 11:26 AM on 02 Jun 2007,
  • Moomba Bristol (Chawama Lusaka) wrote:

Article 158 I have a job for you as a coach for my primary school team. Arsenal is too complex for you to understand. Let Wenger do something that will bring us goals, finish.

  • 166.
  • At 11:37 PM on 02 Jun 2007,
  • Teddy Krooman wrote:

To be honest I don't think the Arsenal manager will leave Arsenal at all. I also think that David Dein will be back at Arsenal once the American has taken over the club. I think there will be lot's of money available and Arsenal will win the league.
Kind regards
Teddy

  • 167.
  • At 07:01 PM on 03 Jun 2007,
  • ian newby wrote:

what ever happens on the business side AW has one goal and that is to win the european cup and hopefully his dream will come true next season

  • 168.
  • At 10:52 PM on 03 Jun 2007,
  • niraj wrote:

i thnk arsene wenger should develope his young squad that he has. then he MUST battle for the premiership and the chapions leauge and last but not leasty GOOD LUCK wenger do us proud!!!!!!

  • 169.
  • At 09:03 AM on 04 Jun 2007,
  • nurul wrote:

I think the take over should happen so we will be able to pay off our debts and we will have more money to spend which means more players to the club and make th e club better. arsene wenger should leave because he dont know how to make sighnings he should be sacked

  • 170.
  • At 04:56 PM on 04 Jun 2007,
  • syd wrote:

i think its good because we would have alot of money to spend on lots of good players

  • 171.
  • At 05:55 PM on 04 Jun 2007,
  • Santos wrote:

I'm sure all Arsenal fans will agree with me right now. Things have been so frustrating. Every fan wants thier team to win and every club wants thier players to perform. We've learnt from the likes of Chelsea that perhaps it does take money (with relevant manager expertese) to win trophies. So as a fan we're partly jealous of the success our rival fans whom celebrate success over the fact there were available funds to purchase top flight players. I love Arsenal to death, but live for football as a whole. I acknoledge good play no matter the player or team. To me Arsene Wenger is still the way forward tactically, however lets not leave out the fact that most times it takes a world class player to put that ball into the net. World class = big money if Arsene hasn't got his hands on him as a youngster. Whoever wants to buy in should do so. The mean and hungry get 1st place while nice managers and nice teams sometimes don't even get a place. Up Arsenal !! Up Arsene.

  • 172.
  • At 12:47 AM on 05 Jun 2007,
  • daniel costello wrote:

henry will stay.wenger should buy berbatov,torres and tevez.

  • 173.
  • At 10:16 AM on 05 Jun 2007,
  • Moomba Bristol (Chawama Lusaka) wrote:

Arsenal is my darling club. Comments like Wenger must be sacked make me sick because they come from people who are ungrateful. Why should they forget the past successes. All those who are calling for Henry's exit are masqueradors, I don't think they are genuine Gunners. Arsene we have faith in you coz you have always delivered all these years.

  • 174.
  • At 10:37 AM on 05 Jun 2007,
  • Alistair Groves wrote:

Why are some Arsenal fans such a bunch of pessimistic moaners?
There are a couple of points I'd like to make.
1. The top ten or best manager in the world doesn't exist, it’s simply too subjective. But looking just at Arsenal, the impact that he has had on the club is outstanding and there will one day be a statue of him outside the stadium. That said, he is not irreplaceable and we will not "do a Leeds" if he leaves.
2. What have Manchester United lost by being bought by the Glazers? Nothing. But what have they gained and what does Arsenal stand to gain by being bought by Kroenke? Not much as far as I can see.
3. Season(s) of transition and the lack of recent success. There are four big clubs and two of them (or at least up until very recently) have far more financial muscle. We can't win everything or for that matter something every season. Look at Liverpool, they haven't won the premiership (or first division) for over 15 years, but they remain a big club and have had non domestic success (which I for one wouldn't mind a slice of).
4. We can't stop people like Abramovich from buying clubs and wasting their money in anyway they want, but at least between him, Kenyon and Mourinho we have our pantomime baddie we can all moan about.
5. With regards to moaning Arsenal (and to be fair other teams) fans. In the interests of seeing Wembley (as well as some football), I went to the league 2 playoff between Bristol Rovers and Shrewsbury town. I was astounded, especially having sat in the Emirates about 10 times this season, as to how enthusiastic these two sets of fans were, 3 divisions below us. We are one of the most of famous and recently successful football teams in the world, and play some of the most attractive football too, so just enjoy it. Or go and see some league 2 matches and see how real fans support a team.

  • 175.
  • At 01:03 PM on 05 Jun 2007,
  • Henry Musisi wrote:

Arsene Wengers patience with a young team which does not seem to be as close as it was in May 2006 to taking the ultimate prize in club football - The Champions League- seems to be in line with the philosophy of club shareholders who invest their millions in a club for no return at all at the end of the year. That is why I believe Wenger will renew his contract with Arsenal because his philosophy would be hard to sell to most clubs in the "Top Ten" whose eyes are so firmly fixed on silverware and more silverware Now and not Tomorrow! Arsenals vitual "silence" in the trading season even as clubs that fared better in their domestic leagues and the CL are snapping up real "Gems" in player personnel and therefore becoming even stronger than they were last season, only points to the fact that the club is resigned to the fact that the pace of the big guns is too fast for it to keep up with!

But as long as the club can make third or fourth place in the league, and also make it to the group stages of the Cl, then it would be guaranteed to be "in the green" in that years trading, and since no dividends are expected, then any level of profit will do!

  • 176.
  • At 01:19 PM on 05 Jun 2007,
  • Adeogun idris wrote:

I think our club is moving towards the right direction, we dont necessarily have to sell to be a top contender!Even the so-called big spender, you know who i mean MR. A is even having a re-think on how he spends his. Mr. Wenger will not be so foolish enough to let go of the beautiful job he has done at Arsenal when it is time to start reaping from the time he spend grooming those lad!

  • 177.
  • At 01:47 PM on 05 Jun 2007,
  • shorty wrote:

i agree henry will stay and wenger should consider buying berbatov,torres and tevez.

  • 178.
  • At 02:17 PM on 05 Jun 2007,
  • Roger, de gunner wrote:

I would think the decision to sell the club to a multi-millionair would have its advantages and distatvantages, the key aspect to this is money. And without it no club would be close to being in the top 4, the new contracts with tv deals has made it so much appealing for any one willing to take a risk and buy into a club, just look at the money will be generated for coca cola championship teams when they arrive in the premier leguage, a whopping 60 million, so if i was a multi millionair i would buy a coca cola championship team, at 3-60 million and reape the reward when promoted. But to the overall situation i got one thing to say, we dont need any more injuries, at one point 8 players from full squad where injured, so either we need better reserves or buy new players.

  • 179.
  • At 05:55 PM on 05 Jun 2007,
  • salusworth Staunch-Gunner wrote:

i think Kroenke should be given a chance, i really believe in the team we have but its high time things get changed. New players, Excellent manegement. Hill Wood, its time to do some thinkin.

  • 180.
  • At 06:11 PM on 05 Jun 2007,
  • Matt Carter wrote:

A few points
I think if Henry had been at the top of his game (and fully engaged) all last season and scored 25+ goals we would have won the league. The stupid 1-0 loses, away, to second rate teams would have been reversed and an easy 21 points could have been ours.
If Wenger can get Henry fit and fully engaged and capable of working with less than world class colleagues we should leave as things are, buy no one and Trophies next season should put this debate to bed.
If Henry can not perform without support from Viera, Bergkamp etc etc we should cut our losses, sell him and create a new era with Torres or Eto. Maybe then Wenger would not be as indispensible as many of us feel today, certainly his lack of impact during the game has worried me for many years.
article 153 interests me the most and if its true then welcome with open arms but please not a new structure that takes us back to George Graham era of win at all costs. I'd still rather win nothing rather than watch Chelski football. But Ferguson has proved you can be attractive to watch and be successful, even against the financial might of Chelsea.

  • 181.
  • At 07:42 PM on 05 Jun 2007,
  • Mike Rutherford wrote:

I find it difficult to understand why fans are so critical of the Arsenal Board. While I recognise there are and will always be issues, over the last ten years they have delivered the best manager in the Premiership, a bucket load of trophies and a wonderful new stadium.

As a supporter for nearly 50 years, I am proud that Arsenal plays the most consistent quality football, week in week out, bar none and want to thank Arsene for the extraordinary job he has done.

Similarly to criticise Peter Hill Wood or any of the Board for consistency, loyalty and commitment to Arsenal, is misguided.

  • 182.
  • At 08:09 PM on 05 Jun 2007,
  • Chris Buffery wrote:

WOW I REALLY HOPE ARSENAL GET BOUGHT OUT JUST THINK OFF ALL THAT MONEY IN THE SUMMER AND XMAS YOU WOULD BE STUPID TO IGNORE SOMETHING LIKE THAT AN ARSENAL KNOW IT MAKES PERFECT SENSE SO JUST GO FOR IT :)

  • 183.
  • At 01:34 PM on 06 Jun 2007,
  • Chris Cummins wrote:

In my opinion i dont think arsenal should sell out,we should respect the traditional values of the game and chelsea has proven money doesnt make success,they did come second this season but with all the investment and world class players they should have won the league hands down.there is talk if wenger leaves a lot of our great players such as henry,fabregas and van persie will leave with him,but i cant see wenger leaving us especially before his contract runs out.

  • 184.
  • At 06:57 PM on 06 Jun 2007,
  • Edmund Gee wrote:

I concur with Mike Rutherford (181)in this long-running debate. It should also be pointed out that Arsenal's largest shareholder, Danny Fiszman, refreshingly prefers to keep a low profile and use his influence behind the scenes. This doesn't mean that the club's best interests are not being actively pursued. After all he was more responsible than anyone for the successful move to the Emirates (a concept which I understand Mr Dein actually opposed). The club has been planning for today's environment for a long time and the young team being assembled by Arsene Wenger should be backed to succeed, which I believe it will do very soon. Clearly with four 'top' teams only one can win the Premiership each year. Three will be disappointed regardless of who owns them. The other competitions, being knock-out, will always involve an element of luck and so the 'best' side will not always win them. Examples are legion. Logically I feel that supporters should demonstrate some patience, trust Arsene (his record is second to none as we know), trust the board (at least for now), and anticipate a much closer 2007/8 premiership.

arsenal are playin really well but portsmouth r so much better l0ol

  • 186.
  • At 10:47 AM on 07 Jun 2007,
  • Moomba Bristol (Chawama Lusaka) wrote:

My greatest desire in life is to watch Arsenal play at Emirates Stadium. I live in Zambia and have since started fundraising for the trip to England in December 2007. Henry don't go not until I have watched you at the stadium in December. I am a very big Arsenal fan.(bristolmoomba@yahoo.com)

  • 187.
  • At 11:46 AM on 07 Jun 2007,
  • Wambuzi Alfred wrote:

I think Arsenal is good in all the departments. However, what wenger needs to do is to get cover for the striking line up. The problem was revealed when both van persie & henry were injured last season. Much as the team was creating countless chances, there was no body to put the ball behind the net. We need two first class strikers in addition to those we already have. Then we shall sit and enjoy our sexy football + goals. Please AW, think about it.

  • 188.
  • At 08:26 PM on 07 Jun 2007,
  • Chris Amukamara wrote:

I can understand the fear of some people but if you really care for the progress of the club then selling out is the right thing to do. Look at Man U and Chelsea. Liverpool and others are on it. It is a challenge to the owners when the club is underperforming particularly when it relates finance like now. Arsenal need experienced reinforcement and I am not seeing that happening, may be it will take more for the directors to realize that. Arsenal need money, Wenger need to buy otherwise we may not even qualify for champions. Love the club first then money.

  • 189.
  • At 08:26 PM on 07 Jun 2007,
  • Greg wrote:

Heny's recent interview with Soccernet has given an indication that all is not well in the Arsenal camp. If the players are feeling uneasy about the recent events at the club, then you know you have a problem.

The next year will be a critical one for Arsenal FC. At this point, I have no confidence in predicting whether the end result will prove good or bad. One thing is clear, though - there's been little activity on the transfer front so far. We might be seeing the first negative results of Dein's departure.

As far as selling out to an investor from outside of the Arsenal camp, whether that investor is American or not, surely it is the quality of the person that matters, not what country his money comes from. In Kroenke's case the easiest way to figure that out is to look at what he's done for the sports franchises he's snapped up in America. So far, the effects of his ownership has either been positive or neutral. That alone should allay many of the fears of us Arsenal supporters.

I would take issue with the last point of this article by Robert Peston. Dividends or no dividends, if the value of one's shares continue to skyrocket, as they have in Arsenal's case, who cares about a quarterly or yearly payout. If memory serves, Dein paid around £250,000 for his shares about 20 years ago. They are now worth around £90 million. Not too shabby an increase on investment, I'd say.

Vancouver, Canada

  • 190.
  • At 12:52 AM on 08 Jun 2007,
  • Dani wrote:

Thank you all of you for the overally very clear analysis of the status quo. To me it sounds like Arsen will stay, and the Club will thrive as ever beacuse just like you lucky local fans, I have yet to see him coach the Gunners in Emirates one day!
I think we will be nostalgic for Highbury though!
I loved the poem,
thank you Tim.

  • 191.
  • At 11:54 AM on 08 Jun 2007,
  • Aremu Olusegun wrote:

Arsenal is giving me alot of concern and nightmares and i must confess that its really hard for me walking along with my friends cos the keep saying Arsenal cannot contest for any tropghy in the next 4 years cos we dont have the boys to compete with Chelsea, Man U and Liverpool..
Now the transfer market is on and we are not really participating and instead we are thinking of selling,,,

Please let Wenger go and give us a trophy hungry manager, cos i thionk that will be the only solution to our plight...

  • 192.
  • At 02:22 PM on 08 Jun 2007,
  • Daniel Timm wrote:

I am worried that Arsenal are going down a spiral decline, for the first time as a supporter I am actually looking a bit pecemistic, even when Arsenal finished 12th in '95' well I think it was 95, I still felt optimistic about the next season, the way I see it, the top 4 are not going to stay the top 4 forever, and Arsenal seem by far the most likely to drop, to Newcastle or Tottenham (dare I say it)

We have bad media, bad board staff, an uncertain manager, uncertain players, david deins departure, and bad league standings.

Someone put in an earlier post Chelsea have achievied nothing well, they have achieved 6 trophies in three years, and their money power aswel as a growing trend of other clubs has pushed Arsenal from invinsible to an impossible situation.

How are Arsenal going to attract top class players with all that's going on in the club, Ribery at one point looked as if he was interested but really I think he had a wake up call with all that's happening and may be about to happen with Arsenal.

What on earth is happening to our club, it seems that there is no communication at all, where as David dein would be reashiring us as to what is going on, I dont think the manager even knows what's going on, it seems like no-ones in charge, the players seem to have more knowledge than anyones aware of (which is not a good thing because 1) someone should be in charge 2)players need to know their place and what is required of them.

If anyone's in charge which cowboy?

Dan

  • 193.
  • At 08:41 PM on 08 Jun 2007,
  • kolawole wrote:

it is so sad that such thing is happening in this great club of urs and i believe that we will overcome such!i am dissapointed that henry has been talking about his been an arsenal player for now,how could he,it is this club that made him and the players look up to him and with his comment,fabregas has said his future is no longer certain,well one thing i know is that we have great players and all we need is just a good striker and if henry finally leaves,we can always get a better striker.
The future remains bright for the Gunners.

  • 194.
  • At 04:29 AM on 09 Jun 2007,
  • Nicholas wrote:

Arsenal is the best and remains the best to me..

players in Arsenal to me are down paid and their salary should be looked into..

I think big players should be bought to beef up the team..

As what is on MU's team shirt which reads AIG and stands for Arsenal Is Great...

  • 195.
  • At 09:29 AM on 09 Jun 2007,
  • Phil Saunders wrote:


Ive been an Arsenal supporter since I was a kid. Ive seen us when we were rubbish, average and great. In that time we have had some great managers. In recen years we have had two great managers Arsene and George. George built us up to compete and Arsene took that base and made us great. But we have never been, in all that time, big hitters in the transfer market with the money. We always sell big and buy small. George and Arsene (and Bruce Rioch) were good at this.
If the ownership of Arsenal goes to one man and his cirporate desire this great club of ours will die. Matbe not today, maybe not even tomorrow but it will die. It will die because when it doesnt do what the corporate man wants it will be sold, and sold to someone for its assets. I dont want to celebrate 150 years of Arsenal at a meeting for a club that doesnt have a ground any more and competes with Leeds, Bristol Rovers and Crewe. Do you?

We have a great squad (whether Thierry stays or goes), we have a great club (whether Arsene stays or goes) and we have a great future (even if every frenchamn at the club leaves). We are THE Arsenal!!

  • 196.
  • At 02:08 PM on 09 Jun 2007,
  • Ali Nuhu wrote:

I am a Gunner, takeover and shares issues are all responsibilities of the board of directors, so please allowed AW to do his job and support him with funds to buy experience players,all what we need is tropies. (Ali Nuhu from Kano, Nigeria)

  • 197.
  • At 02:50 PM on 09 Jun 2007,
  • Dan wrote:

I think everyone is missing the real problem.
It has been 4-5 seasons since Wenger was last given any money to spend, not £4m here and there on 19 year old players, this is not going to win us trophies.
The current board are not true Arsenal men, unlike Dein who turned up at every youth, under 19,18,17,16 matche come rain or shine.
Hill-Wood is pompous and stuck in the 1940's, I will never forget him publicly responding to Vieira transfer talk (3 seasons before Vieira went) by saying "He can go we are better off without him", ask yourself what kind of man let along someone in his position says something like that if they have a true love for the club?

I am truly worried about the current state of the club, Thierry committed to a 5yr deal last summer and Fabregas 7yrs, what have the board done to show them the same commitment?
If Thierry, Cesc or Wenger left tomorrow, I would seriously want every member of our board held to account and sacked, but this is not going to happen and the only way out is a takeover.

  • 198.
  • At 09:55 PM on 09 Jun 2007,
  • clive wrote:

I THINK THAT ALL THE PAPER GOSSIP IS CONFUSING SUPPORTERS AND PLAYERS AND SO THE CLUB CAN MOVE FORWARD THE BOARD SHOULD SIT DOWN WITH ARSEN WENGER AND THE PLAYERS AND LET THEM KNOW WHAT THERE PLANS ARE FOR THE FUTURE SO THAT THEY CAN COME OUT AND SAY 1ST TO THE SUPPORTERS WHO CHEER THEM ON EACH WEEK IF THEY ARE STAYING TO TAKE US TO THE NEXT LEVEL OR LEAVE AT THE END OF THE DAY ITS THE SUPPORTERS THAT HAVE HELPED THEM GET THE LIFE STYLE THEY ENJOY THE FANS ARE THE EXTRA PLAYER ON THE PITCH EACH GAME A TRUE ARSENAL FAN WILL STAND WITH THE CLUB THROUGH THICK AND THIN JUST GIVE US THE RESPECT WE DESERVE

  • 199.
  • At 09:28 AM on 10 Jun 2007,
  • Vernon wrote:

If you read all the press notes of late about Arsenal and Henry you may be forced to think there is some "hidden conspiracy" that people want to see Arsenal collapse as a club and see us loose Henry. This is what I think:

a) Henry will not go. A few questions were asked of Henry and he answered them sincerely and the media made it out to look that he is planning to leave. What people fail to remember is that he loves London, his family is settled here and in such decisions the missus plays an important part. He also has the opportunity of ending his career in Arsenal as a legend whereas if he goes elsewhere that may not happen. If you have followed Henry's interviews over the years these two points are close to his heart when he takes a decision.

b) To sellout or not to sellout. It will be hard for the majority shareholders to hold out against Kroenke's advances. In the end they will sell out or be forced out and David Dein will be back to run Arsenal and take us forward. So this year is extremely crucial and be prepared for a bumpy ride, after which things will settle down. If the board hold out and win the battle (highly unlikely) then we are in trouble. David Dein and Co will not take this easily and create trouble.

c) Arsene Wenger will stay. Where can he go today? The best manager in the world... forget the silverware. You will not find a manager more astute in business and technically proficient like him. He has made stars out of unknown names and all that on a very tight budget. So for me I will always trust his judgement. He knows best and in Arsene we trust. He will start planning a retirement in the next 3-4 years or moving into a higher role in the Arsenal Management. So this year you might find the introduction of a certain SOMEONE who will take over the reins from him once he moves out of the management role.

d) For those worried about us not participating in the transfer market, you should be used to that now. Arsenal first sells, then uses that money collected to buy players that fit into our system and then will buy one big name. The same will happen this year. We will still play beautiful football and this year with Henry, Van Persie fresh and a brand new striker in Torres, not to mention Adebayor, we will FINISH. I have a feeling Adebayor will do well this year and he had a year now in the league. Towards the end of this season you could see his confidence and power coming back. We all seen how Drogba performed last season and this season he was on fire.

So all you Arsenal faithful, don't get flustered with what the media reports. I think this report by Robert is one of the best and most accurate reports of the situation, unlike the crap in the newspapers. Keep the faith and the ARSENAL will be the team to beat in the new season.

  • 200.
  • At 11:41 AM on 10 Jun 2007,
  • arsenal fc wrote:

helo, i am thierry henry
and i want all you arsenal fans to know thati am going to stay at this club. I am not going to barca or milan so you can tell all the newspapers.

  • 201.
  • At 09:00 PM on 10 Jun 2007,
  • Greg wrote:

Vernon, a reply,

We don't really know what Dein's role will be, if any, after a Kroenke takeover. Neither do we know whether Wenger will be able to, or has the inclination to, recruit a new man who will eventually move into Wenger's current role once he moves on (upstairs?). Wenger has proved to be one of the great managers of his generation, but few managers (or people) are perfect. The omission of providing for a successor might be his blind spot. We just don't know.

Yes, your scenario for the playing out of events over the coming year - Kroenke takeover, Dein's return, Wenger staying, the hiring of an eventual successor - looks comforting and something to look forward to. We don't know that, though, do we? We don't know whether the current board staying on and not selling out won't be the best for the club in the long run. After all, so far they've managed to do okay by the club, especially given Arsenal's financial clout as compared to Man Utd's.

It will be interesting to see what happens. As an Arsenal supporter I wish only good things for the club. However, as far as being either for or against one side or the other - the board or Kroenke - at this point I am quite neutral. To some extent, all of these people are in it for the money. Even Dein. It is disingenuous to think otherwise.

  • 202.
  • At 12:33 PM on 11 Jun 2007,
  • Anonymous wrote:

all the team and manger's need to foucs for the next season...we all need to help them

  • 203.
  • At 01:01 PM on 11 Jun 2007,
  • mutto emma wrote:

Arsenal is such a beatutiful club with a tantalishing skill and players.What it needs now is to develop a strstegy of wining than preparing youngstars for next seasons. Lets start winning this coming season.Management should pump money and we get other quality players to morale our existing players.Wenger should remain and Henry should mature from his star status and look upon his teammates.
mutto, uganda.

  • 204.
  • At 02:01 PM on 11 Jun 2007,
  • dan wrote:

arsenal need 2 b sold as we have the best manager in the world. but wat is the point if we dnt have the best players. arsena wenger has dun the best job he can with the limited buget and i fink if stan k takes over then we can rule the worl, we have the best young players but we also need the experience to booste our standing in the league becuz 4th in 2years is good seen as the teams that have finished above us have billionaires running them nd have spent hundreds of millions on players

  • 205.
  • At 06:34 PM on 11 Jun 2007,
  • Stephen wrote:

I believe we should not sell out. Why take on more debt. We still owe for the new stadium. Why let Stan K go out and have investors buy the arsenal which will cost them about 500 million pounds. That mean about $1 billion dollars. That is a lot of debt. Especially with the dollar as weak as it is.

The most important thing to do right now is make sure Arsenal keep Wenger. If Wenger goes, so does half of the team. I believe that Wenger can cope without Dein. Actually I would like to see Wenger move into Dein's position and have Wenger pick the new Arsenal manager.

  • 206.
  • At 07:28 PM on 11 Jun 2007,
  • George Eleftheriou wrote:

I have been away since 22May and this s the first chance I have had to read some excelelnt comments.
Last year everyone was talking about Arsenals debt as a result of the move to The Emirates. Arsenals debt and interst payments are minute compareted to United. Liverpool already have a three figure debt before they even move to a new stadium. Chelski's mamoth operating debt is guaranteed by AR. Time will prove that Arsenal's income will provide finance for the best players.

  • 207.
  • At 10:55 AM on 12 Jun 2007,
  • Rob Pickering wrote:

I know who is going to buy Arsenal and its Middle Eastern!

  • 208.
  • At 02:27 PM on 12 Jun 2007,
  • Daniel Timm wrote:

Actually I've been thinking, we have been in two finals in the past two years, so I think it will get better. I think that maybe a lot of this presure by the media is a ploy tactic, to stir up confusion so that not even the board can answer, so then when they (the media) say "'bang!' off they are going", it seems like the only words that give some direction, I think in times of adversity someone needs to step in who knows what they are doing, Arsene is the man, but I think he needs to say more than he is staying next season, he needs to be the guiding voice that pulls players and fans onto a new level.
It's good to remember how fantastic it is that we have fans all over the world, and I thank you for your support, and all negative Arsenal media, are just Manchester United, Tottenham and Chelsea fans in disguise!!!!!!

  • 209.
  • At 03:03 PM on 12 Jun 2007,
  • ONUOHA wrote:

LET DO EVERYTHING TO KEEP WENGER. LOOKING AT WHAT HE HAS ACHIEVED FOR THE CLUB FOR THE CLUB, HE NEED NOT BE TREATED AS A JUNK. LET PROVIDE HIM MONEY TO BUY ESTABLISHED PLAYERS WHO CAN WORK OUR PLAYERS. I THIS WILL NOT ONLY MAKE HIM STAY BUT WILL YIELD RESULT FOR THE CLUB.

  • 210.
  • At 09:40 AM on 13 Jun 2007,
  • Scott wrote:

First off as a lifelong gooner I would just like to say Wenger is the best thing to happen to this club since we signed Bergkamp. The players he has brought to our great club and the number of diamonds he has uncovered is second to none. The fact that from the first team all the way down to the academy side and the All conquering ladies play the same style of exciting, attacking fast paced football is a sign of how much influence Wenger wields at our club. Our problem with scoring goals would not have been an issue had Henry, Van Persie had injury free seasons. We have a stronger attack this season with Bendtner replacing Baptista and Rosicky and Walcott both having a full season under their belts. So lets not worry too much.

As far as David Dein is concerned, he has shown over the years that he is totally commited to Arsenal and I think that he would not let Arsenal fall into the hands of just anybody. Dein is probably the only one who actually knows what Kroenke is planning and also lets not forget who helped get the players that Wenger wanted. I think Kroenke will gain control of Arsenal and that will herald the return of Dein and then the club can continue to move forward towards our rightful place as the number one club in Europe.

  • 211.
  • At 03:13 PM on 13 Jun 2007,
  • ojulape busayo wrote:

Wenger is one of the best coaches ever,the board should put their house in order and tie him to a long time deal.his continuity will not only be benefitial on the field,but also on in the financial aspect.things should be properly done,all rumours should be laid to rest and the management should begin to focus on the next season.good and effective player shold be bought and eperience shold be brought in.i respect wenger's vision for a youthful team,but he needs to blent that with experience.i hope he is reading this,there are lots of arsenal fans in afrca,specifically,Nigeria, il ove arsenal nad will never leave,no matter what.watch out for the next season..........GUNNERS FOR LIVE

  • 212.
  • At 10:17 PM on 13 Jun 2007,
  • Oakey wrote:

I am a Gunner. Takeover and shares issues are the responsibilities of the board of directors, but either way, we need a few more experienced and established talented players. I really hope Henry and Wenger stay. I don't think enough was done in the transfer market at the end of last season after Henry confirmed he was staying. And now with Dein gone and all the uncertainty that has ensued, I think Wenger and Henry should keep their options open, until the board agrees on a substantial amount of money for Wenger in the transfer market. In other words I think the board should get their act together quickly, so that the whole club can get on with the business of preparing for a successful season as soon as possible.

  • 213.
  • At 09:12 AM on 14 Jun 2007,
  • Hassan Sesay wrote:

I'm an asernal fan writing from Sierra Leone,i think asernal should sell the club so that there will be enough money to buy quality players as compared to Man.U,Chealsea and other big clubs in England as well as Europe.I will like Wenger to buy Trezeguet to support Henry,Adebayor and Van persie upfront also i will like Wenger to buy winger.

  • 214.
  • At 04:55 PM on 14 Jun 2007,
  • jafaar wrote:

wenger, we need new and experienced players pls

  • 215.
  • At 06:36 PM on 14 Jun 2007,
  • AdamVK from NYC wrote:

Everyday Chelsea, ManU and Liverpool are adding on top class players. What about Arsenal? I know Wenger is a master at what he does, but this is getting to be ridiculous. We need to sign some top class players if we hope to be tops in the prem. Trezeguet is needed.

  • 216.
  • At 07:50 PM on 14 Jun 2007,
  • SH wrote:

The board should remain confident that those of us who care about Arsenal Football Club will remain loyal fans, and we appreciate their efforts to make Arsenal a great club. Fans might often be frustrated at fruitless seasons, or lack of bold spending in the transfer market, but they should realise that since the mid-90's we have not left the top 4 - and most of that time was spent in the top 2.

I'm sad to see that so many "fans" want to sell the club in the misguided view that this will be beneficial. It won't be. We have the ability to win things now. We have the spending power to buy who and what we want - but the club wisely refuses to buy over priced players. Look at the big money mistakes Man Utd, Chelsea and Liverpool have all made over the past few years.

We are in a sound financial situation, and we have a fantastic new stadium. The future is bright, you just have to open your eyes and your heart, and have faith in the club.

  • 217.
  • At 09:42 AM on 15 Jun 2007,
  • Hassan Sesay wrote:

I AM AN ASERNAL FAN WRITING FROM FREETOWN SIERRA LEONE.I WILL LIKE WENGER TO BUY FERNANDO TORES,TREZEGUET,CASRI OR ANY OTHER CREATIVE STRICKER AND BUY MIDFIELDER LIKE YAYA TOURE,MAKOUN AND ANY OTHER MATURED MIDFIELDER AND ALSO ONE LEFT BACK LIKE ABIDAL.THANKS.

  • 218.
  • At 02:44 PM on 15 Jun 2007,
  • Aldo wrote:

The board wont sell if they think any new owners will take us down a bad route, I’m open to the takeover but I would prefer to leave things as it is. I Think we have a very good team and are a couple of players away from winning the Prem (plus other titles), I would like to see Wenger try and get James Milner (young, talented and loads of potential) and possibly Owen for the proven goal scorer, although this will hold back Bendter and Walcot but you know Wenger will find the answer. Have faith in Arsene, he will bring us back to the top where we belong

  • 219.
  • At 04:18 PM on 15 Jun 2007,
  • John Eire wrote:

Please do not sell our soul.Long live the Arsenal tradition.For me it is a privilege to support a club that is so unique,steeped in grand history.There is an unexplainable magic about supporting our club and any of you hardcore fans will know what im talking about.I think this could fast change if the Yank were to take over.

As for Arsene,the man is a genius.To all those short sighted Arsenal fans give it a rest.If you look at the resources that Wenger has had, it is a major achievement that the club has managed to become one of the largest in European football.We are spoiled as Arsenal fans.The new stadium is magnificent and the brand of football we play is, in my biased opinion, the best in Europe.All of the above were Wengers visions when he took over in 1996 and amazingly he achieved all these in 10 years.Lets just hope he signs a new contract next year,and sees the whole project through to its completion.

Please feel free to respond to my post.

  • 220.
  • At 04:40 PM on 15 Jun 2007,
  • Bill Johnson wrote:

I am not worried about the financial condition of Arsenal. I believe the stadium was something that had to be done considering Highbury condition. Players and managers will come and go as they have in the past. I am a Wenger fan because of his style of play but who is to say someone else could not take the club higher. I think the board is going to make sure that the club has a bright future ahead.

  • 221.
  • At 04:48 PM on 16 Jun 2007,
  • Berhanu Tefera wrote:

we need the tropy badly
so wenger should bring new players
to Emirats and change some style in order to get what we need.I belive you can do it, Wenger

  • 222.
  • At 12:15 AM on 17 Jun 2007,
  • Ralph Viveiros wrote:

I'm not sure I'm opposed to the selling of Arsenal, the club no matter what figures are quoted needs cash - IF we don't start competing with the likes of Man U & co we soon may never be able to again ..well for a long while anyway.

Kroenke seems to be a fair bit ( using Forbes as reference has Glazers at 605 richest and Kroenke at 55)I cant see Kronenke buying Arsenal in the same kind of deal as Man U went, also as said before I cant see Dien (who has been the driving force behind Arsenal for many years) doing something he think would be bad for the club.

As to AW only scrapping into the top 10 managers ..thats laughable he is without a doubt the very best manager in the world and the one asset we can not afford to lose.

  • 223.
  • At 01:15 AM on 17 Jun 2007,
  • aaron wrote:

its a confuzing subject to talk about.I Dont know wether kroenke buying arsenal will destroy us or move us forward like it did chelsea.I honestly think Arsene Wenger needs to start buying world-class players for us to challenge next season.I hope David Dein comes back and rejoins wenger again.Its disrupting the whole complexion of Arsenal without David Dean, players are getting worried,wenger is getting worried and im sure every arsenal fan is getting as worried as me.

  • 224.
  • At 12:50 PM on 18 Jun 2007,
  • rick wrote:

arsene is amazin

  • 225.
  • At 02:00 PM on 18 Jun 2007,
  • Jon wrote:

Guys

1. Wenger has never bought big - he doesn't like to. Regardless of who owns the club he will continue to follow the theory that a 'hungry youngster' is always better deployed.
2. If Dein loved Arsenal as you all say he wouldn't have done what he did. Reading between the lines as we all have his 'Kroenke file' would not only have netted him big money but according to your reports control as well - win win for him.
I think he only cares for himself and disguises the fact that without Arsenal he would have nothing - hence his loyalty to the club - where is that now, nowhere! - his son is a football agent and no doubt is using all his links to unsettle players - Henry being one.
3. If Wenger leaves which I doubt, he will be replaced with a world class manager - we not only expect that but want to retain the best players as do the board.
4. Last year we couldn't compete -our strikers were out. Count the chances we missed. With a fit Henry and Van Persie we would have been there or thereabouts. When we beat ManUtd we were3 points behind them and then lost the players.
5. Stop moaning we play the best and at some point this will translate into results. We have the best stadium in the country, one if not the best manager, best youngsters and the best future without selling up.
5 Money cant buy you everything - ask Chelsea!
up the Gunners
jon

  • 226.
  • At 03:42 PM on 18 Jun 2007,
  • Denis wrote:

A very nice article. My opinion is that Arsenal is the best football club in the world because of its history and Arsene Wenger has coached and cajoled it to play the most beautiful football in the world.

His undefeated season was incredible and trophies pale into insignificance when the ball is passed across the grass the way Arsenal play. Dein has been a catalyst for a lot of the change but sadly got mesmerised by Kronke and rightly (in my opinion) was allowed to go. I am sure the board will consider his reappointment if he can recover his credibility.

In life forgiveness is a strength of the humble and is repaid by a quiet glory that is immeasurable.

Arsene Wenger will stay at Arsenal as long as he has an ambition to fulfil. At the moment it is to see his youngsters win the Champions League, Premier League and FA cup. It is only Arsenal that can do it playing the game in the beautiful way and undefeated – the Ladies have proved it.

  • 227.
  • At 10:57 AM on 19 Jun 2007,
  • name wrote:

come on arsenal:)i hope he will stay

  • 228.
  • At 06:25 PM on 19 Jun 2007,
  • G.Ahmed wrote:

first of all we all know that arsenal are hungery for experience players likes a good strike like eto,owen a good defender like curtis devis and good central midfielder likes f guti or kaka. secondly we need a good invester like american tycoon because we alreadt have a good manager who's always now what kind ao player he needs and he need a big budget to buy a players like those i wrote at the top of my coment don't gerget we all need to win a trophes and u can't win without money please arsenal board sell the club to mr kroneker or what so ever we have a beautiful stadium a good player and perfect manager and wonderfull fans so we only need a ecxelent leader so please make wright decetion for the club

  • 229.
  • At 11:08 AM on 20 Jun 2007,
  • katanda wrote:

Thing is.. It will be to stupid for current owners to sell out now after the lean seasons we had because of building the stadium.Dont you think its time they reap..another key to this is keeping Wenger
I think if they are to sell they should wait a little longer because i believe we have already turned a corner in club rebuilding and all will be well soon.I don't see Wenger buying big this season, he will believe he has enough players, albeit young, that have been exposed to the bigger stage of the game. And really if one is to look at the previous season,we were at 4th place not necessarily we played poorly, but we didn't put away as many chances as we should have. Remember when thierry joined how many chances he missed just to score a single goal....patience. Besides that we lost too many players to injuries and hence noone to replace the henrys and the van Persies
Ask any coach they would tell you that any team that creates chances shows potential and with a little bit of luck things will start working.the players we have are indeed incredible!I will be had pressed to name anyone that is supposed to leave from the current squad to another team

  • 230.
  • At 11:11 AM on 20 Jun 2007,
  • vincent wrote:

Basically I’m not that much interested about who's going to take over, as long as wenger stays am happy. What I will say is if arsenal can sell Reyes for like 10million or more to real Madrid then that would be enough for as to buy SWP from Chelsea. About Samuel ETO well I hop we end up buying him because I don’t no which other striker we can go for. Arsenal at least needs two big signing this summer. Am ok with these young players but truly we need some experience players, wenger would stay but we need to sign some big players this year, considering how many clubs are spending to compete in the premiership, it not even about how much they are spending they are strengthening there clubs and we need to strengthen.

  • 231.
  • At 01:50 PM on 20 Jun 2007,
  • John in Highbury wrote:

Arsene is the greatest manager around and will continue to be at Arsenal.

DD should sell his shares to the supporters - whos with me? He's made more than enough from this club, 10 times what he needs in a lifetime, sell the shares to us and sleep easy.

The board need to help find a DD replacement and fast to help AW source and buy his new players - but we dont need big names, remeber Henry wasnt a big name before he joined us.

Fizeman needs to get lost, along with all the other board members who's interests are in their pockets rather than with the club.

We dont need Americans or any foreign investment in our clubs - stick to basketball or whatever.

Arsenal will survive, give the shares back to the supporters and let us have more of a say.

Adebayor - stop trying to be Henry and just score you muppet. Clichy is already better than Cole ever was. Walcott, Djourou, RvP, Cesc, Toure - its the most exciting and talented team around. Henry, just go if you want and we'll have Eto - the rest of the team plays better without you most of the time!

Fans - unfortunately most of you are corporate idiots or fair weather supporters. Next season, try to get there on time, cheer your team win or loose until they are off the pitch and go to every game. Its embarrassing seeing half the stadium leave before the end not clapping the team off teh field - I dont care where you live and how bad the transport is - this is your team and they need to feel the support. Too many birds, kids, families, corporates, fair weathers.

Long live Arsenal! There are by far the best team the world has ever seen.

  • 232.
  • At 04:25 PM on 20 Jun 2007,
  • AdamVK from NYC wrote:

On the subject of Arsenal signing top-class players, Patrick Vierra says:

"Thierry wants Arsenal to show that they want to stay at the top of English and European football."

So do I.

The board needs to make nice with Dein (and possibly bring him back), have a good working relationship with Kronke, and sign a few big names. Doing this will keep Wenger, Henry, Fabregas etc. happy and ready to play all out.

  • 233.
  • At 10:53 AM on 21 Jun 2007,
  • aremu olusegun naija wrote:

I Think the way forward is for Arsenal to sack Wenger and get a trophy hungry boss who can talk the boardinto releasing fund for high level players who can get us trophies,,..i see Henry moving out

  • 234.
  • At 11:48 AM on 21 Jun 2007,
  • ogedengbe lanrewaju wrote:

i am truly an arsenal fan for life but i want to know wats going on with transfers as arsenal are not buying players and i'll like the board to knw that wenger shouldn't be allowed to go cos he's a manager of good quality who can make things work.so pls work with him in order to acheive great things for this great club. GUNNERS 4 LIFE.
LANREWAJU

  • 235.
  • At 03:46 PM on 21 Jun 2007,
  • Yemaneberhan Lemma wrote:

I wish Arsenal got a better spirit to win the next season Premier ship and Champions league title with Henry and Wenger.

  • 236.
  • At 12:25 AM on 22 Jun 2007,
  • Sean B wrote:

Well the first thing id like to say is that i agree that the main thing is for the board to stick to their guns and not sell to the american Kroenke, for the reason being that the current management and board at Arsenal are money wise, in a couple of years they will be one of the mega rich clubs in the world, a fast growing fan base a new stadium, as for trophies im sure they will come soon, the young guns have done will and are certainly the key for Arsenal's future. On the other hand i think that it should be the main priority for the Arsenal board, fans and players to get David Dein back, he along with Wenger are the reason to why players are happy and do well. Arsenal without dein is like a door without a knob, if there is one good thing that would come out of a takeover it would be the return of dein. on a different topic, id like to say that although there has been 2 trophyless seasons, many people forget that last year we got to the champions league final (further then we've ever been) although we didnt win we still made an achievement. i dont care what anyone says i will always be proud of Arsenal. There have been reasons to why this season were not as good but these are not excuses! please if the arsenal board see this message be smart and do what u can to get david dein back!

  • 237.
  • At 01:15 AM on 22 Jun 2007,
  • Daniel Timm wrote:

we're all are just going to have to wait and see what happens, there's talk every week about who they might buy, I trust Wenger will make a better decision than me, and the majority of everyone here.

  • 238.
  • At 08:53 AM on 22 Jun 2007,
  • Joe wrote:

You all seem to forget one thing - English football and clubs are no longer ENGLISH per se but GLOBAL Brands.

Even the fan base is wider than its ever been. Arsenal fans are spread all across the globe and investors may come from across the globe - yes, even the USA!

The big picture is to build a globally great team and if it will take an American investment, so be it!

The English have built a great game and I commend you all who are English men and women that have contributed to it. We have a richer game because of your dedication to excellence and hard work.

I also thank you for sharing and nurturing your passion for the game in us as well.

Through it all please never lose sight of the fact that you have consequently made us stakeholders in Arsenal and all other great English clubs.

So stop thinking Arsenal is still an English Club, its a global brand! Its got some of the best talent from across the globe as well!

  • 239.
  • At 09:40 AM on 22 Jun 2007,
  • Matty Carter wrote:

I Think The Arsenal Board Should Welcome A Takeover!

It Will Mean Bigger Transfer Funds And Building Up Arsenal Football Club Reputation In The U.S. With More Money The Potential Of Big Spending On Huge Stars Throughout Europe. With The Threat Of Thierry Henry Leaving Is A Major Dissappointment.

Come On Kronke Buy The Club

We Want Trophies!!

  • 240.
  • At 12:30 PM on 22 Jun 2007,
  • ade wrote:

I Think The Arsenal Board Should Welcome A Takeover!

It Will Mean Bigger Transfer Funds And Building Up Arsenal Football Club. We have been too quite this summer NO 'BUYS NO SINGINGS' What is happening to our great club?
PLEASE do not let this club fall to the pit.

Come On Kronke Buy The Club

We NEED Trophies!!

  • 241.
  • At 12:31 PM on 22 Jun 2007,
  • KenyanGoon wrote:

I dunno if this blog is expired but it's heartening to see all these sober contributions from fans with the soul of the club.
Stan K in my opinion is a businessman who respects values and traditions. After acquiring all his colorado franchises he made a vow to keep them all in the city and honoured the promise. He's a reserved person who lets employees do their work and gives much the required support. Look at how the fortunes of Denver Nuggets has changed in recent yrs! He promised a soccer only stadium for the Rapids and now they have a shiny 18k seater.
If we were to go the godfather way, may be Kroenke isn't as bad afterall.

But in my honest opinion, i feel that we don't need to sell. Dein may have grown weary after all the energy the last 10 yrs of building a superior brand. There's a saying 'Most battles are lost at the point of victory' which typifies DD. He thot it's time to cash the chips and reap from the many years of toil.
The emirates brings in 2m + every other week, playin the most entertaining f/ball raises the value of our tv rights, the boys are becoming men and things can only look up. In 2yrs Fabregas can be captain supreme, toure a rock, van p a killer, clichy the cole who never became, etc.

I luv this club, you should see me monday mornings after we lose at the wknd. AW we salute you, TH will stay, the lad is too emotional to move away from the love he gets at the emirates.

To all you Gooners, KEEP THE FAITH!

  • 242.
  • At 01:05 PM on 22 Jun 2007,
  • Daniel wrote:

Hi Joe (message 238,
I think you have made a very good point there, about Arsenal being a global brand, I think your right that we should stop thinking it's an English club, it dosen't matter who invests in the club as long as it's succesful, and I think your right we would become a big club in the US, like we already are in Europe, Africa and Asia, I think it's important we get the best players from around the world, therefor we need to increase our global status. I'm sure this is what David Dein had in mind because he is an Arsenal fan, someone in here said 'if he's so good why did he leave' well I'd say that I think he was forced out.

Hopefully this is what the owners of Arsenal have now realised, about it's global status.

Dan

  • 243.
  • At 03:09 PM on 22 Jun 2007,
  • GoonerAl wrote:

I was getting depressed with the whole discussion until I read KenyanGoon's words.

Hit the spot, that's exactly how I feel.

Now let's watch it all come true

  • 244.
  • At 04:21 PM on 22 Jun 2007,
  • stanleu ufo wrote:

GUNNERS I HAIL THEE.
AS FAR AS I'M CONCERNED THE BEST THING TO DO IS TO BRING BACK MR DEIN AND THEN THEIR WILL BE THE POSSIBILITY OF ARSENAL RETAINING HENRY AND THE GREAT WENGER.
ARSENAL SHOULD TAKE THINGS SERIOUSLY ELSE OUR CLUB WILL NOT BE AMONG THE TOP CONTENDERS NEXT SEASON.


OSCAR STANLEY UFO WRITES 4RM NAIJA I ALSO HAIL ESCAPEE MY FELLOW GUNNER HERE.

  • 245.
  • At 04:36 PM on 22 Jun 2007,
  • Simon wrote:

As some posts have mentioned I truely believe the route forward hinges entirely on Wenger.

Many posts argue (with some justification) that when our current young squad matures the assetts of the club will increase - but I believe this will only happen if Wenger stays.

I do not believe that another Manager, however accomplished, could come in and keep Arsenal in the top set of the prem. league, without the the financial boost that a sale would provide.

If Wenger doesn't stay, I believe we have no choice but to sell, and use that money to boost the team with some proven experienced players (nobody can create stars as good as Wenger), and to help us endure a brief period as a new manager gets to grips with the team.

We only have an option if Wenger stays, his financial prowess is that powerful!

  • 246.
  • At 05:38 PM on 22 Jun 2007,
  • Lee. wrote:

I have read some of the later quotes on this page & they seem to agree with my outlook on the club but I would also like to give some I don't think has been already said.

DD must come back to steady the ship he is a major loss to the future of our club.
"why" other then DD the board to date is mostly on the wrong side of retirement age, & you only have to look @ other clubs that have tried to function with this age group in the passed.
Don't get me wrong this current board has all my respect with the values they have installed & hopefully always will, but we all have our time & the trick is knowing when to move aside.
Stan Kroneke seems to work his businesses in a very professional manor & he also has the sports background the board should be looking for. this I believe was what DD looked into carefully before he brought him into the fold, the man's got “The Arsenal” in his blood after all.
So my belief is he should be taken in the fold offer him enough shares to keep him interested but not enough so he can run things short term, on the proviso we can use his money in the interim to fund one or two big singings until we become solvent again in 2009 I think this should be.
This way we have a major money player & the board can see how he shapes-up over the next couple of years. If he don’t except the terms we don’t need him……

  • 247.
  • At 05:46 PM on 22 Jun 2007,
  • Brian Kain wrote:

Very interesting article and some very valid responses. Arsenal has always been a progressive club and short term gains has never been the Arsenal way. I first went to Highbury in 1953 and have never seen such attractive football as that produced by AW's teams. I sincerely hope he signs for another 4 or 5 years and maybe grooms a successor. Having invested in youth, I believe he will stay and reap the benefits.

  • 248.
  • At 09:53 PM on 22 Jun 2007,
  • Christopher wrote:

I think Arsenal need to sign players because we are loosing alot of players and aren't buying the perfect amount of players. If Arsene wants a good team fit to win the Premeirship this season he must buy players that play best in the positition that he needs.

  • 249.
  • At 10:29 PM on 22 Jun 2007,
  • Theoddgoal wrote:

Well, the bad news is Henry is leaving, or so current reports lead us to believe.

The good news is Wenger, so far, is not.

All things change. Better that Henry leave now than in a year or two when his selling price would have been lower. Sounds like he's been seriously thinking about it since the 2006 CL final. Hmmm...wasn't that before the Dein/Arsenal board bust-up?

We didn't see too much of him last season, yet Arsenal still managed to play well and win big games (it was the little games they had a problem with).

Wenger's recent statement about seeing out his contract will see him at Arsenal for at least the coming season. Hopefully, the boardroom problems and the takeover issue will all be positively resolved by then.

Henry's departure is certainly a negative in the short term but Wenger has been in similar situations before and still managed to come up smelling like roses. Obviously a top class striker is now needed to fill the void, but with Bendtner, Adebeyor, and Walcott, Arsenal will still be one of the top sides in the Prem next season.

  • 250.
  • At 01:50 PM on 12 Jul 2007,
  • ALHAJI ABU KOMEH wrote:

I AM A DIE-HEARTED FAN OF ARSENAL AND VERY UNHAPPY WITH THE DEPATURE OF THE MOST POTENT GUNMAN OF ALL TIMES-HENRY.THAT NOTWITHSTANDING,THE ARSENAL BOARD NEEDS TO PUT ITS HUGE DEBT BEHIND, AND SHOW ITS COMMITTMENT TO FORTIFY THE TEAM WITH PERFECT SIGNINGS.WITH THE DEPATURE OF FREDDIE AROUND THE CORNER,I SUGGEST WENGER SHOULD GO AFTER RODRIQUEZ A GOOD LEFT WINGER OF THE URUGUAYAN NATIONAL TEAM.HIS PERFORMANCE AT THIS YEAR'S COPA AMERICA IS OUTSTANDING.ATTEMPTS SHOULD ALSO BE MADE TO BRING DANIEL CARVALHO OF CSKA MOSCOW IF THE HUNT FOR RODRIQUEZ FAILS.

  • 251.
  • At 12:37 PM on 22 Jul 2007,
  • Dan wrote:

David Dein left, Thierry Henry has left and yes it's dissapointing, but remember:
1. Everyone said we would never replace Ian Wright, and along came TH.
2. Who thought we would replace Vieira? and Cesc came along.

We always have and always will have the press on our backs stirring up the so called major crisis at the club, and not once has AW said he has thought of leaving 3 yrs ago he was manager for 4 months without a contract at Arsenal.

It's critical that we hold onto a stable balance of the club (look at Chelski+Man U) both spend millions but at anytime the owners walk out they are left high and dry, they have no stability.

If TH wants to jump ship and make up a lame excuse of DD leaving then let him, how many ex players have succeeded? He will be replaced and Arsenal will show everyone that we are not in any crisis.

Remember the words Arsene Who?.......I think it's another one where Arsenal defied everyone.

I truly believe yet again Arsenal will stand and deliver, roll on the new season.
IN ARSENE WE BELIEVE

  • 252.
  • At 02:31 AM on 29 Jul 2007,
  • Ben wrote:

I think that running a football club as a mutual or cooperative is a great idea - and Mr Peston's article suggests that that is the way the current board runs the Arsenal.

We should be very grateful for the benevolant, philanthropic way in which the current owners of Arsenal behave. Yes, we pay at least a thousand pounds a season for a season ticket; but in the same time period a big shareholder in Arsenal Ltd loses hundreds of thousands of pounds in missed opportunities to invest money which is currently bound up in Arsenal.

We should be grateful, but we should also be realistic: Peter Hill Wood and Danny Fitzman et al are principled, fair people, but they are not martyrs. They should not be expected to own the incredible resource that is The Arsenal, and run it for the benefit of everybody but themselves.

Therefore we need to prepare ourselves for the future. Arsenal fans need to think about how they can take ownership of the club by buying it, share by share, from the incumbent owners, as and when they are ready to sell.

This work is under way, through mechanisms such as the Arsenal Supporters Trust. But it will be very difficult. As an illustration, imagine the crowd inside the Emirates Stadium: to buy Arsenal at a realistic valuation - say £1bn - every adult in the stadium would have to chip in an average of £15,000. Could this be done?

  • 253.
  • At 09:37 AM on 14 Mar 2008,
  • Emmanuel Essien wrote:

first i would like to say im a Nigerian and if you could see the arsenal followers down here you would be amazed cos its like a fever...wether you like it or not there is just something good about wenger and its taking shape gradually..this season something great will happen in football that will shake the EPL...this club has finally come of age...

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