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Should Arsenal offer Usmanov a place on the board?
Yes - He is a major share holder 53%  53%  [ 19 ]
Yes - Providing his position ties in with the boards 11%  11%  [ 4 ]
No - Under no circumstances 36%  36%  [ 13 ]
Total votes : 36
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 Post subject: The club ownership debate
PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 12:46 pm 
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Wenger yes to foreign owner

http://www.newsoftheworld.co.uk/story_p ... ort1.shtml

ARSENE WENGER has made a dramatic U-turn over the foreign ownership of British football clubs as American Stan Kroenke fights for control of Arsenal.

The Gunners boss vehemently opposed foreign takeovers - but now appears ready to welcome Kroenke, saying "I am not against foreign ownership of clubs. How could I be?

"I am a foreign manager and there are many foreign players at Arsenal and in the Premiership. But it has to be done in the right way. If it happens at Arsenal it would not mean I'd quit the club."

Wenger was furious after the Arsenal board booted out his close pal, David Dein, this week for backing Kroenke's bid for the club.

Kroenke is now plotting a hostile £650 million takeover, and will hold emergency strategy talks with Dein this week to plot his next move.

Until now, he could have expected opposition from Wenger, who had previously stated foreign buys-outs were: "not necessarily good for the game".

When asked about the Gunners, he even insisted: "I don't know if it will ever happen to Arsenal — I hope not.

"Until now, one of the charms of English football has been that the fans purhcase and control clubs. I find it reassuring that my owners are English and fans of Arsenal."

But the Arsenal boss now seems to have undergone a substantial change of heart, as he revealed when Liverpool were being bought by Yanks Gordon Gillett and Tom Hicks.

Talking about that takeover, he indictated a willingness to accept an overseas owner, provided he didn't meddle in team affairs.

He said: "If it came to foreign ownership there could not be any interference on the playing side."

Dein was kicked off the Arsenal board on Wednesday after trying to persuade shareholder Lady Bracewell-Smith to back Kroenke's takeover bid.

She alerted other board members, who decided Dein was not acting in the best interests of the club.

It was Dein who championed Wenger, when managing Grampus Eight in Japan, to replace Bruce Rioch in 1997.

The success story since not only vindicated Dein's judgment but has strengthened the bond.

Quite apart from Wenger admitting that until the events of the past week he spoke to Dein " four or five times a day"….the two men and their wives have strong social links.

Their homes are close by in the opulent north London suburb of Totteridge where many transfer deals have been discussed and brought to fruition.

While Wenger has a good relationship with other members of the board his allegiance to Dein runs deep.

And sources close to Arsenal acknowledge it is impossible for Wenger to have been unaware of Dein's vision for the club's future.


Last edited by Corny on Mon Apr 23, 2007 1:18 pm, edited 7 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 12:49 pm 
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Why the Arsenal board must sell out gracefully
By Myles Palmer

http://www.arsenalnewsreview.co.uk/inde ... eturnid=42

The Arsenal board lack the energy and vision to take the club to the next level.

The biggest shareholder, Danny Fiszman, lives in a village on Lake Geneva and flies in for games. He could have bought ITV's 9.9 % but declined to do so. Instead, he sold his Hampstead house, flogged off 1% of his shares, and didn't attend last week's board meeting at which David Dein was kicked out of Arsenal.

Why did chairman Peter Hill-Wood say they will not consider selling for a year? There has to be a financial reason for him saying that. Is it because they will have raked in the profits from the apartments at Highbury Square by then? Or is it because Danny Fiszman has not yet qualified as a tax exile?

To understand the Upstairs, Downstairs attitude of the Arsenal aristocrats you have to know the real history of Arsenal rather than the sanitised official history

The cricket-loving City gentlemen who owned the club allowed Arsenal to stagnate for seventeen years, during which great players like Joe Baker and George Eastham never played in a side capable of winning honours.

They could have signed great players like Danny Blanchflower, Cliff Jones and Denis Law, who all wanted to play for Arsenal, but the board lacked the ambition to sign great players, so the club stagnated until Bertie Mee's home-produced heroes won the Fairs Cup in 1970.The board allowed the 1971 Double team to break up too quickly, they didn't build on Liam Brady, David O'Leary and Frank Stapleton by buying the experienced players that were needed, and they kept manager Terry Neill far too long because they enjoyed his blarney.

Then David Dein arrived in 1983 and filled the executive vacuum and came into conflict with cautious Ken Friar.

Since 1986, off the back of phenomenal work by David Dein, George Graham and Arsene Wenger, the club's directors have enjoyed 20 happy years with thirteen major trophies, four European finals, and an unbeaten season by the Invincibles in 2004.

They've enjoyed the glory and kudos of owning a team that has, in the last ten years, won games with style and transformed the Arsenal brand.

The current situation, with David Dein kicked off the board, is messy and dangerous.

The latest comments from Hill-Wood, who is 71 and has a long history of gaffes, suggest that he should not be Arsenal chairman.

You cannot announce a marketing partnership with Stan Kroenke's Colorado Rapids in February and then say in April that, "We don't want his sort over here."

The Arsenal board have made themsleves look far too high-handed and snobbish. They have a duty to their shareholders to listen to offers which will improve their business. You have to explore the offers of possible investors, as the Financial Times pointed out last Friday.

Last Wednesday, April 18, we read that Hill-Wood had said, of the board, " These people love Arsenal, they don't need the money and they have no interest in selling. The club has been run for the benefit of supporters, staff and players, and the shareholders would prefer to stay in control than sell out to some stranger without the years of support they have."

The tone of his comment was far too superior. He said, "They are independently wealthy and do not need the money. Having a few extra million pounds in the bank is of no interest to them. We're here for Arsenal Football Club, not to make a few bob. We would be horrified to see it go across the Atlantic."

Peter, can't you see it's not about that? It's not about whether they can afford not to sell. It's not about whether you or Danny or Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith could use a few extra million.

Its about making Arsenal into a better club with a winning team for the supporters, who are paying the highest ticket prices in world football.

The Premiership is a global business now and it's very competitive and Arsenal cannot afford to be held back any longer by the patrician fantasies of directors with double-barrelled names.

The last two AGMs have seen ten or eleven directors on the stage.The board needs to be streamlined. Lord Harris of Peckham, the carpet mogul, and Sir Chips Keswick. What do they do? What do they contribute? What do they know or care about football?

Every football club needs a good structure and an executive who is a driving force and make sure everyone else does their jobs. At Champions League level, as Lars-Christer Olsson points out in Amy Lawrence's Observer piece, you need a dynamic chief executive.
The Swede said, "It should be someone like David Gill or Peter Kenyon. Chief executives are the future for big clubs, especially when you have a strong coach. You have to have a chief executive who can handle that. A chief executive can't deal with a coach and the team in the same way that you deal with the staff of a normal company, especially with all the emotion involved, media coverage and pressure from the fans."

Basically, it's still Danny Fiszman's call, so my message to Danny is : Don't look for another buyer. Don't look for another benefactor who is more acceptable to the old guard and the old Etonians. Don't wait another year and see Arsenal slide into mid-table. Tell the board that it's time for all of them to bow out gracefully. Don't let this takeover get nasty, don't let it get ugly, don't let the media have a field day with the gossip and spite of a hostile takeover. If you all really care for the future of Arsenal FC, accept that this part of your life is over.

That should be Danny's message : move on, don't cling on. Leave with a bit of style, please. Sell your shares, take the money, say thanks to Dein, Graham and Wenger for making multi-millions for you and giving you such a good time, and move on. Highbury has gone, the twentieth century has gone. Hand the club over to people who know what do to do with it, people who can take it to the next level. Otherwise Arsenal could become the laughing stock of world football.

A front page story in the The Observer business section said that more Yank billionaires will buy Premiership clubs and that half will be American-owned by the end of 2007. The Arsenal fans I know have had season tickets for 30 years and they all favour a takeover. Their friends, lifelong fans and shareholders, all want a takeover, to a man. Everybody thinks the team needs investment and everybody thinks the current board should go.

In The Sunday Telegraph, under the headline Arsenal board 'self-interested', say shareholders, Mark Choueke reported that the Arsenal Supporters Trust had accused the board of acting irresponsibly in refusing to meet Stan Kroenke.

The AST has 350 members who own almost 2% of the club, while other small investors own 12%, and institutions, including Lansdowne Partners, own another 12%. Lansdowne, a hedge fund, has about 3%.

What the last two years have shown us that is that Malcolm Glazer lives in Florida and never sees Manchester United play. That doesn't matter. The club is about Sir Alex, the games, the battle for trophies, the flair of Ronaldo and Rooney competing for the same trophies that were won by Denis Law, George Best, Mark Hughes, Ryan Giggs, Roy Keane and other great players.

United's owner Malcolm Glazer is a geezer who wears a baseball cap but we never see Glazer and never think about him. MD David Gill goes over to Florida and tells him what Man United are doing and what they want to do. That's fine. It works. Arsenal should do the same. This is the twentieth first century and the world has changed and it doesn't matter who owns football clubs.

Frankly, a takeover is inevitable. Sir Bobby Robson wondered in The Mail on Sunday whether the Arsenal directors were just delaying the inevitable.

I'm sure the Maktoums would not touch a situation as acrimonious as this and Gooners do not want the club sold to a gangster of any nationality.

So it has to be a good American. And Stan Kroenke has proved he is a good American. So why make it messy and complicated ? Why make the sale of the club last fourteen ugly months? Why not go now and give the club a chance to be competitive in 2007-2008 ? Why not accept the inevitable and retire gracefully with seats in the directors' box for life ?


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 12:51 pm 
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I thought our wonderful representative Myles Palmer would be for the takeover.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 1:08 pm 
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If there is a takeover at the club I would like to see Dein involved. He is the man who brought Wenger and Graham to the club, he's mr hands on as far as Arsenal is concerned.

Myles mentions that Arsenal lack vision, but is that fair?

They built the club a new stadium after all? Did Myles not praise the board for that?


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 1:15 pm 
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The poll is very confusing at the minute.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 1:16 pm 
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Why is there three yes's on the poll??


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 1:16 pm 
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esoxian wrote:
Why is there two yes's on the poll??


Forum playing up, give me two secs


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 1:18 pm 
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I understand that the takeover is inevitable but why should the current board bow down now? We have been told and I believe Wenger has a decent transfer budget set. We are 4th in leauge with 'a bunch of kids'. I can only see us getting better and better as the players progress. I really can't see us slipping down to a mid table position any time soon. So why would we need a huge injection of cash into the club?

The board will no doubt start to make a load of dosh with the projects in the Highbury area and surrounding our current stadium. More of an incentive to stay for a lil while longer.

I think it would have been wiser for Kroenke to approach the board with his intentions, but he didn't, and now we have a slight mess. I like what has happened to Arsenal over the last few years. The fact that we are where we are without the aid of a billionaire goes to show we have a great club that is well managed.

In summery I don't think a takeover would make a huge impact (If it was from the right person). I think Kroenke is the right person, a proven track record with various sports teams + he is good friends with Dien (As was a certain unknown Mr Wenger when he joined us). As for whether the board should sell out right now, I don't think it is nesercary. I think we are quite lucky and are in a win win situation, I do however think the future of Arsenal is mainly in Wengers hands.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 1:20 pm 
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Quote:
Basically, it's still Danny Fiszman's call, so my message to Danny is : Don't look for another buyer. Don't look for another benefactor who is more acceptable to the old guard and the old Etonians. Don't wait another year and see Arsenal slide into mid-table. Tell the board that it's time for all of them to bow out gracefully. Don't let this takeover get nasty, don't let it get ugly, don't let the media have a field day with the gossip and spite of a hostile takeover. If you all really care for the future of Arsenal FC, accept that this part of your life is over.

That should be Danny's message : move on, don't cling on. Leave with a bit of style, please. Sell your shares, take the money, say thanks to Dein, Graham and Wenger for making multi-millions for you and giving you such a good time, and move on. Highbury has gone, the twentieth century has gone. Hand the club over to people who know what do to do with it, people who can take it to the next level. Otherwise Arsenal could become the laughing stock of world football.


This section really to me says to me how Myles Palmer is one of these supporters who thinks we have a right to win everything every year and if we don't then every one at the club is a failure, life is horrible and that radical solutions is the best way forward. Slip into mid-table obscurity? Laughing stock?

You have to look at the following:

- Our performances in almost every game this year shows that we are not far off returning to where we once were on the playing side, we lack one or two minor parts but it can be treated. This is the most important thing to me becuase if the team was top and in the Champion's League, a lot of this 'we should sell crap' would not be coming out. Like I said, it is a radical solution to a small problem. It is not the boards fault we miss so many opportunities and changing the board would not have an impact on this.

- Even if we had 50 million to spend, does anything think Arsene Wenger would spend it? And if he didn't, would that make him a bad manager? Of course not!

- Do we really want a more involoved board than we have? I like the fact the keep out of things and let Arsene Wenger get on with it.

With or without a new board, this team can still progress and the club as a whole can still progress. A new board may make trophies come sooner by throwing money at things but, although it would appease fans like Palmer, that is not good long term if it jeopardises the club being self-sufficient.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 1:21 pm 
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I've gone with 'yes' because i think its the only way to compete in today's game. Although im not sure Wenger would use the funds as others have done.

The argument of keeping our English identity falls short with me when most weeks we put out entire foriegn eleven's.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 1:25 pm 
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Just to inform, Myles Plamer is NOT an Arsenal fan. He grew up in the 70's as a Spurs fan.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 1:25 pm 
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I have gone with yes but I don't really want Stan taking over.
I do however want Dein back and that looks like the most likely way.

It kinda depends on who they bring in fro this "Director of football" role.
If they can get someone good who can work well with Wenger then maybe we won't need Dein.
just have to wait and see.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 1:30 pm 
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BB wrote:
Just to inform, Myles Plamer is NOT an Arsenal fan. He grew up in the 70's as a Spurs fan.


Apologies, I thought he was since he seems to write about us a lot.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 1:31 pm 
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I want to raise the point that the first article is creating something completely new from existing points of evidence. There is no proof that Wenger did a Uturn or he is now in support of takeovers in general or from Kroenke or whatever. The things he has said have been crudely used to create a simplified, and absolutely useless 'analysis' in that first article.

We dont' know Wenger's stance in affairs and he's not going to reveal it anytime soon. I feel all we can do for now is wait for the next round to unveal, whether it involves Dein or not we can only speculate.

edit: Oh, and idiots like Myles Palmer would be saying the same thing even if the bid came in one of our title winning seasons, with crap like "to keep on succeeding you have to accept foreign investment". This is a horrible simplification of matters.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 1:33 pm 
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BB wrote:
Just to inform, Myles Plamer is NOT an Arsenal fan. He grew up in the 70's as a Spurs fan.


That would explain it. I thought there was a certain tone in the writing I thought was a bit one sided.

Im not going to vote because I don't welcome it but I wouldn't mind either way. I think the club have sufficient funds availible for Wenger, but we need someone to replace DD.


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