Arsenal MUST AVOID Chelsea and Manchester City planning as Russian BILLIONAIRE flirts with prospect of club takeover again

What game are you playing, Mr. Usmanov?

Alisher Usmanov 01

Alisher Usmanov, May 2013: “This team has no superstar and he (Stan Kroenke) doesn’t show any wish to create a winning team and (he) would probably be happy with another third or fourth place finish.”

Alisher Usmanov, August 2014: “I think we begin a new era for Arsenal where we win trophies. That is most important for football. In my opinion, in line with the existing rules, the club has the correct decision-making process in place, including their selection policy, especially now, when they have the means to buy the best players.” 

I have to admit, I never liked this man. I never liked how he seemed to bully his way through the club, his continuous and exaggerated statements about how rich he is and how much money he could throw into the club often made me sick.

Of course I was not happy with the Arsenal selling best players to direct rivals; of course I was not happy with us watching other teams winning trophies and battling for silverwares while we were just hoping to finish in the top four; of course I was mad at other fans and pundits label us as feeder club, a declining force and other compliments like these.

However, the idea of becoming another Chelsea or Manchester City was just too much to swallow.

This man seemed to encapsulate all the features of a fickle sugar daddy, surrendering to such an option would have meant throwing all the can’t buy class, we don’t buy superstars, we make them banners straight to the bin.

I didn’t want to gamble on the Arsenal nor seemed to want Arsène Wenger, the board and the owner.

I was quite surprised to see David Dean on the other side, pushing the Russian to takeover and actually helping him by selling his stakes, but then I remembered he quit because he didn’t agree with the move to the Emirates Stadium – and I got the picture.

Stan Kroenke Arsene Wenger 01

This duo – and their Red & White Holdings – were teasing fans with promises of trophies and world class players and blatantly describing themselves as those who really cared for the team, really cared for the club – not that silly American and his board!

Maybe it’s just because I witnessed some of the most spectacular falls in Italian football – like AC Parma and Fiorentina – but I really couldn’t stand that man and his attitude.

I’d much prefer spending nine years like those we just went through but see my club become the ultimate example of healthy, sustainable football club instead of winning a trophy or two and crash to lower division football as it happened to the two Italian clubs I mentioned above.

Did you know that Parma used to field a team which included the likes of Gianluigi Buffon, Fabio Cannavaro, Lillian Thuram, Juan Sebastián Véron and Hernan Crespo despite having a tiny 27,000 seats stadium and no real income except the owner’s wallet? Did you know that Fiorentina went from defeating us at Highbury to Italian third-tier in approximately two years? They used to play Gabriel Batistuta, Rui Costa and Edmundo and suddenly were forced to play Christian Riganò, Felice Evacuo and Luca Ariatti: can you imagine that?

I know those crooks that cry out all their ambitions and then run away with the money (if there’s any left) and Alisher Usmanov reminds me of them.

His sudden change of mind is suspect, he used to talk about himself as the only one who knew how to drive the club to glory and now he’s referring to the club and the board as “we”: we begin a new era where we can win trophies.

Too easy Mr. Usmanov, I might be tempted to think that this lightning turn is generated by the perspective of the great piece of business which is holding almost a third of a club that is now rich, winning and extremely attractive for sponsors and advertisers.

That’s not about making the fans happy; it’s all about making more money – isn’t it?

Andrea Rosati

21 Responses to Arsenal MUST AVOID Chelsea and Manchester City planning as Russian BILLIONAIRE flirts with prospect of club takeover again

  1. Rupert August 6, 2014 at 5:37 pm #

    Really mate, stick to the corrupt world of Italian football.

    • AndreaR August 6, 2014 at 8:48 pm #

      Why should I? What’s your point? Italian football is corrupt at every single level but none saw it coming – not something that big.
      Really, let’s debate point by point – I am looking forward to hear from you mate

  2. Emirates Alan August 6, 2014 at 5:51 pm #

    You make assumptions about Usmanov which are just delusion. He owns 30% of the share and has, as far as I know, done nothing to destabilise the club. Many fans were dissatisfied with Wenger, in fact that would go for any manager. Why shouldn’t Usmanov be frustrated when many others also though Wenger was not doing what Arsenal needed. One could just as fairly criticise Kronke. Silly article.

    • AndreaR August 6, 2014 at 8:46 pm #

      My opinion can be silly but I think Usmanov did a few things which actually destabilised the Club, especially last year. That’s why I don’t like him and his attitude. Kroenke could also get his part of criticism as Wenger, Gazidis and anyone else – that’s not the point.

  3. Bill August 6, 2014 at 6:07 pm #

    Yeah to be fair your just looking for something to write about, Arsenal will not get left to dive two divisions or sell all their players, it’s not comparable with the Italian teams because nothing has happened, well arsenal just signed one of the best players in the world IMO for a lot of money, doesn’t seem like a master plan to drive them bust and I’m not even an Arsenal fan so I would be ready for a decent amount of criticism if I were you.

    • AndreaR August 6, 2014 at 8:44 pm #

      None in Italy was expecting anything like that, both Clubs looked quite well run and suddenly it happened. That’s why I’m cautios. Perhaps too much, I don’t know,

  4. Dontspill McGinnis August 6, 2014 at 6:34 pm #

    Completely valid and we’ll written narrative. I don’t trust Usimov either. The sooner he sells his Arsenal shares, the happier I will be.

    He was forever deriding the board in the lean years when they were actually setting us up for future success and prosperity.

    Anyone who can’t see it is either to young, or to stupid. If you are either, please refrain from commenting.

    • David August 6, 2014 at 8:58 pm #

      Suggesting others right of opinion makes them stupid means only one thing, that you are an idiot.

      I am young also and will guarantee at the age of 24 that I earn more money than you and have a better career, thus meaning that young people can competently make their own assumptions without having to be of an older age.

      Not one to disappoint maybe I should act my age and give you an immature, naive, young persons version of what I think of your comment, so here goes….. You mate are a tool!

    • dan August 11, 2014 at 6:59 pm #

      Who is Usimov?. Usmanov cares more than Kroenke, he goes to most games, try doing some research and not basing your opinion on some sort of logic based on the plot of Rocky 4.

  5. StanTheMan August 6, 2014 at 7:05 pm #

    Wow! Seriously? You are unbelievable! For starters, he man Usmanov has a ‘mere’ 30% share in Arsenal. You know how much that is? But money is really not the issue here. Love and undiluted passion for the club is. He has displayed as much love as any ordinary everyday gooner. Nobody felt comfy in the last nine years at Arsenal- club or fans. The building of the stadium and the way it was done was ‘cold turkey’style. But we are at the end of the hardest part, aren’t we. We all went thru it together, so we should all enjoy the pride and success together. Including Usmanov. It is unfair to view him in bad light now for displaying his passion, ambition and perspective on how to take the club forward when things were tough. He didnt disagree that we should build another stadium, his point was HOW it was financed. I think it is wrong to demonise the man now. He is as much an Arsenal man as any. He deserves his opinion as anybody else. After all, he is putting his money where his mouth is.

    • AndreaR August 6, 2014 at 8:42 pm #

      Indeed he does, as I do, as everyone here does. I am not sure Usmanov is as much Arsenal as we are, simple as this; I think he’s been quite disruptive at times, as you were saying we were all going thru very hard times and I didn’t feel he was going the same direction others were going. The statement straight after van Persie’s one was terrible (in my opinion) especially seen how much stick the Club was taking, he could have acted more responsibly – even if to many he was totally right.

  6. Dan_85 August 6, 2014 at 10:22 pm #

    Ridiculous article based on nothing but personal assumptions and gut feelings.

    It’s totally unrealistic to compare Arsenal with Parma or Fiorentina when you compare their respective income sources. Why do you compare Parma (who had no income other than gate receipts from a 27k stadium), to Arsenal who have one of the biggest commercial & broadcast incomes in the UK after Manchester United, and in Europe after Barca, Real & Bayern? Do you believe we’d also do a Portsmouth if Usmanov gained control?

    Why do you believe Usmanov will “run away with the money” when we currently have Kroenke in charge who continues to squeeze the match-going fan for more money with ticket price rises and refuses to rule out taking dividends from the club?

    Have you read Usmanov’s latest interviews where he states that he is in favour of FFP? How about when he proposed a £100m Rights Issue to reduce debt & free up cash for transfers but the board (which doesn’t include Usmanov) voted against it because it would require that they actually invested money of their own?

    He has the right to talk about *we* all he wants, he is the second largest shareholder in the club despite being given the cold shoulder by Kroenke, PHW and co because he advocates that they should put their hands in their own pockets.

    Usmanov may not be the saviour he makes out he is but the antics of Kroenke and the current board are no better, and this ridiculous piece aims to discredit him with nothing more than figments of the author’s imagination.

    • AndreaR August 8, 2014 at 9:17 am #

      I never said Kroenke and co. are immune from critics, far from that.
      My aim is to highlight the risks of handing a Club to a person who doesn’t care – or even pushes, like you are saying – to put hands in his own pockets to finance the Club itself.
      This was exactly the same model in place at Parma and Fiorentina, who both had very wealthy owners willing to throw their own money instead of creating regular incomes and ensure Clubs were protected from any danger.
      Perhaps we wouldn’t have done a Portsmouth if he were in charge but putting your Club in the hands of a man willing to spend his own money is very tricky – in my opinion.
      There’s always a risk he gets bored, or whatever, and leaves.
      Maybe yes, maybe not – to me the “maybe” is already too much of a risk.

  7. Arsenal1Again August 6, 2014 at 10:43 pm #

    How has Usmanov exaggerated his wealth?

    The guy is listed as the Richest foreigner in the UK by Forbes, which means in money terms, not assets or land, but money in the bank. This means more than the Man City owner who is just a frontman for a group, this means richer than Abramovich at Chelsea. You are so wrong about him exaggerating wealth.

    He has done nothing negative against the club. David Dein was dismissed from the board because he tried persuading the board with his forward thinking of taking on Stan Kroenke. That board dismissed the idea, dismissed Dein and even said “we don’t want his sort at the club” regarding Kroenke. The same board who sucked up to Kroenke a couple of years later and invited him to join the board to ward off the threat of Mansour of Man City who is an avid Arsenal Fan, or what they perceived to be a threat. Yes, he looked at Arsenal before going to Man City. They are all gone now, that board, and left the club in the hands of an American who rarely visits the club, cannot name the players in the team and who has publicly admitted taking over Arsenal as an investment.

    This means a self sustaining cash cow he draws money from each year and will continue to do for years to come. He has not spent a penny on the team, all that money is generated by the club itself.

    Usmanov would have probably given Wenger a huge warchest, something we have now anyway each Summer. The thing Usmanov did wrong was dither about going over the 30% mark which would have given him the controlling share count.

    So you are wrong again.

  8. Goona Gal August 6, 2014 at 11:12 pm #

    This article sums up the red flags about the PR statements put out by Usmanov. I agree with you, he doesn’t behave in a way that reflects the class and values of the club. I wish he would sell up and show us if he really has what it takes to run a club himself. As it stands, Arsenal is one of the best run club’s in the world – without his imput. He is not an Arsenal fan so he could invest anywhere, Aston Villa is available as is Everton.

  9. shagx August 7, 2014 at 9:39 am #

    No, David Dein wasn’t disagreeing with the move to emirate. He just saw having a bigger stadium wouldn’t be enough. He didn’t want Arsenal to be lift behind so he secretly brough in silent Stan. Arsenal didn’t want Kroenke at the time, so they kicked Dein out of the board, however with Kroenke becoming the majority share holder, the board had no choice and invited Kroenke in. To create a better a relationship, Kroenke kicked Dein out as well. Dein muct and of cause should be angry. He did all the work but when the work was done, he got casted aside. That’s when him brough in the fat Russian.
    Agree of disagree with Dein’s decision, one thing you can say about him is, he has Arsenal in his heart. Everything he did for Arsenal or tried to do for Arsenal was for Arseanl’s benfit.
    I don’t want Arsenal to rely on sugar daddies or mummies also. But if I can have Dein back at Arsenal, I wouldn’t think twice.

    • AndreaR August 8, 2014 at 9:28 am #

      Thanks for your message.
      Indeed David Dein has the Arsenal in his heart and I couldn’t agree more when you say he did a great job.
      Trying to bring Usmanov in was not his brightest move, however, and I didn’t like it.
      Circumnstances of his sacking are still not 100% clear to me and it’s a bit strange that he’s not back since he was the one who introduced current owner to the board and he’s the manager closest friend.

  10. Arsenal1Again August 7, 2014 at 4:26 pm #

    Don’t waste your time commenting here. The author will censor the truth and anything else proving him wrong. This makes him a troll and unworthy to partake in a conversation with Arsenal fans about Arsenal. Loads of comments have been deleted, cherry picked ones are left. That is not a debate.

    • Dave Seager August 7, 2014 at 9:33 pm #

      Mate I have never deleted any comments personally on here or on my own site and I always encourage those who write to respond to comments. Thanks Dave @goonerdave66

    • AndreaR August 8, 2014 at 9:04 am #

      None is censoring anything here, don’t worry. Everyone is entitled his or her opinion and none will prevent you to express yours.
      I am th author and I have no power to delete any comment – and I wouldn’t, anyway.
      Just to make a point, I never said Usmanov is exaggerating his wealth, I just said I don’t like how much he used to highlight his financial power.
      That’s it.

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