Good morning Grovers!
For an international week, there seems to be quite a lot of news floating about, so I’ll crack straight on!
Firstly, congratulations to Theo Walcott, everyone is waxing lyrical over his sterling performance for England over the weekend. Something that really made me laugh was £17million Spud super signing didn’t even make it onto the pitch! Remember him telling Theo he should move on?
Well played Theo… more of the same in an Arsenal shirt please! I liked this quote,
“That’s what I did and it was a good performance. I got battered but I always get battered. I’m used to it and it doesn’t bother me at all.”
Gallas had this to say on the Nasri challenge,
“Samir responded with an act that maybe wasn’t especially nice. But bearing in mind the player he did it to, then fair enough.”
Do you think refs are going to be instructed to protect Barton this year? Do you think the refs would obey? If anyone deserves a nasty injury it’s that man…
PHW has just issued the equivalent of a ‘come and get me’ plea to every billionaire on the planet. He said this in an interview yesterday,
“If somebody came and made a really huge bid then you cannot recommend shareholders turn it down because we don’t like it.
“We want the club to stay in its current ownership and, of course, you have some concern that someone will try to buy the club.
“The directors don’t want to sell but we are a public company. It depends on the price.”
This interview was completely unnecessary and will obviously start the ball rolling for loads of take over talk in the coming months.
So what are the options?
Option 1: Stan Kroenke has first refusal on all the shares, his wealth is estimated to be somewhere in the region of £1.04billion, he owns 12% of the shares and he is in dialogue with the board. One senses that with the world wide economic slowdown, the weak dollar and the emergence of the Arabs, this deal might be dead in the water. As billionaires go, Stan would be the ideal candidate as he is a sports man.
Option 2: Usmanov comes in with a huge offer to Stan and the rest of the board and adds us to his already meaty £5.6billion portfolio. Usmanov has 24.89% of the shares on offer at Arsenal and with David Dein departing to help improve the image of Red&White… you’d have to think that the Uzbek hasn’t given up on his 2nd choice dream (He is a Manc after all).
Option 3: The Uzbek flogs his shares at a Premium to an Arab/Asian consortium. According to the Times, the next major buyer of a Premiership club will be from this market. Usmanov reportedly held talks with the Abu Dhabi group about selling his Arsenal shares prior to the Man Citeh takeover. I would suspect this option is a very realistic… Arsenal don’t have a huge presence in Asia, so there is a huge opportunity if someone with the right expertise wanted to exploit our brand over there… So don’t be surprised if you hear the names like Mittal and Arsenal linked in the same sentence going forward…
So those are the three options as I see it. As much as we’d all like to see it stay the same, we have to be realistic… the current board members didn’t put all their time and energy into building the most efficient club in the world only to see it go backwards did they?
I am guessing that if they are human they will probably want a pay out at some point… I would also hazard a guess and say that if they know anything about business they would understand that this billionaire bubble may burst at some point… Will they ever get a more inflated share price than they could get now? Owning a PL club has never been cooler in the eyes of a Billionaire… so perhaps they are thinking about selling up while the interest is still red hot?
One thing is for sure, Arsene could be given all the money in the world and he still wouldn’t be pressured into buying big names (What would you do with £100million Arsene? Give it back…). I think he would be prepared to pay more in wages and shift the current ceiling though…
I am hoping that Platini pushes his new ideas for debt management through before we get to the selling point. At least then we may escape any sort of Manchester United mega debt…
One thing I am certain about… the board will makes sure they do everything in their power to sell us onto someone who understands the traditions, will keep us debt free for the foreseeable future and will push us onto to become one of the top 3 football clubs in the world.
Keep um’ crossed Grovers!