AST AGM – Stan Kroenke vs Usmanov + some very interesting stuff

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Geoff normally lets me go to full-blown club AGM on his behalf, they’re pretty boring so I wasn’t really sure what to expect of the AST’s version. I arrived at a rather swanky building, greeted by none other than my good friend Peroni… I knew this was going to be ok.

Firstly, Nigel Phillips ran through the accounting side of things…

Key Info:

  • Wage bill is fairly low when compared to turnover, but don’t kid yourself, the kids aren’t going without their shreddies
  • The £110million you see in the cash reserves is bloated by season tickets and is used for operational expenditure like playing Diaby.
  • £25million sits in a secured account to pay down debt. This is a contractual requirement.
  • There is a transfer proceeds account that has the Ade and Toure money in it. We have £35million available for transfers.
  • 70% of net sale proceeds must go into the playing squad to avoid a firesale Leeds United type problem.
  • This rule is bypassed by Arsenal when they give out huge contracts extensions.
  • It is estimated that £15million of our wage bill is for paying our expensive commercial team who don’t do very much.
  • AST have asked Arsenal about buying out bad commercial deals, apparently it’s ‘not the Arsenal way’ and it’d be ‘expensive’
  • That 6.5% raise in season ticket prices raised an extra £3-4 million. Hardly worth it for the strife it caused you have to say? Just sell a Diaby and you’ll raise the same revenue.
  • Arsenal announce 60,000 capacity every game to convince fans the ground is full… on average, the ACTUAL gate for games of a non-essential nature have been 5000 short of capacity.

John Cross of the Daily Mirror, a self-confessed Gooner was introduced by Tim Payton and told some stories about the Arsenal, the best bits were as followed…

  • Arsenal are the best in the league for Press Conferences
  • Journo’s used to have a banter with Wenger, he’d talk about anything and the relationship was good. They’d even forgive his faux pas if he asked!
  • This year, Arsenal have scaled down press conferences… this is Wenger’s doing. He feels the criticism has been harsh on him and rumours about his personal life haven’t helped things.
  • Journo’s don’t write the headlines of their stories.
  • Arsenal fans tend to only focus on the negatives, forgetting all the amazing press coverage they recieved during the invincible season.
  • The feeling is that last week, Wenger was under prepared for his meeting with reporters. People were fair with him and they had to ask the tough questions because it’s clear the unhappiness at the ground is no longer the minority
  • Wenger is out of touch with the supporters, he genuinely believes 4th is some sort of trophy or at least worth one.
  • Thierry Henry used to phone up when he received bad press coverage!
  • Arsenal now require a sign off for all interviews, something many journalists do not agree with.
  • He agreed that there is a ‘cheating foreigner’ mentality amongst some sections of the media.

We then moved swiftly on to the big news of the night… Stan Kroenke and his buyout ambitions.

As part of the agreement, no acquisition debt will be put on the club. That said, he has to own 75% of the club to legally do that anyway.

Stan has always Championed supporter involvement, something the AST will remind him of in the coming months.

Gazidis has actively been keeping the AST abreast of all the things going on.

The rules of the takeover are as followed…

  • You must make a mandatory bid after you pass the 30% threshold
  • You then have 28 days to make an offer. Realistically, if you’re a shareholder, expect that offer in 2-3 days (It’ll be 90 pages long)
  • There will be three choices, accept, reject, do nothing
  • The offer price will be £11,750 per share

The vibe at the AST is that most minor shareholders won’t sell up. Most of the people who would have sold have already done so, the remaining people owning shares are holding onto them for sentiment. There is also the feeling that the offer document almost declares that Stan doesn’t think he’ll be buying more than his 62%. To take the club private, he’d have to buy up 90% of the remaining shares, which equates to a 93% holding. Usmanov not selling will put paid to a total buy out.

Stan will be loyal to the board short-term, he’s had to be, they’ve sold him their shares. Long term, the feeling is the board will take a new look and we’ll bring on some of the expensive commercial team who by then, will have made an incredibly large comical ball of elastic bands… you know, due to the inaction in their roles.

A few more tid-bits…

Stan cannot write a cheque for Arsenal tomorrow. He’s paying for the shares he’s bought out of cash flow.

Usmanov being involved keeps the fans involved. If he sells, we hand power to a single man who let’s be clear, we have no idea about. Being American and wearing a silly hat does not mean he’s going to be great for the club. It’s also worth noting that Usmanov was prepared to dilute some of his shareholding to the AST if Stan matched his share offering one for one. Guess what? Stan said no…

On the topic of Fanshare, since its inception, 50 shares are now in the hands of the AST. That’s £500k of hard-earned put in by Arsenal fans. Is there a club in the world that could muster that sort of support for part ownership? Not very many… that is an incredible achievement and one you should all be proud of. Too much slagging goes on about Arsenal fans… generally from the people who don’t put their hands in their pockets.

Peter Hill-Wood was given a ribbing from all sections of the AST yesterday. His comments should absolutely not be tolerated on any level and there have been many examples of people who have been caught out digging out the fans and their fates have always been the same… removal. I fully support the removal of Peter Hill-Wood from club and hopefully it’ll happen sooner rather than later. His comments were out of touch, unprofessional and wholly expected. Move him on and start a fresh… bring back Dein, the time is right.

Many people say Le Grove and the comments section is out of kilter with what ‘real’ Arsenal fans think. Well, I’ve always staunchly disagreed with this idea. If you go to the ground, you’ll know what the vibe is like and people aren’t happy. It’s no longer a minority. As was pointed out to me, a minority want Wenger out, the majority are unhappy with him and want him to change. This was a view shared by fans spanning generations. That was clear from last nights meeting. So don’t listen to people telling you that you’re a bad supporter for being concerned.

Overall, the event was very interesting, the most important thing to come out of it was that the AST will be recommending that all small shareholders and Fanshare owners do not sell out. Fan involvement is essential to the future of Arsenal. We need people speaking up for the club at all levels, by going private, we lose that power. I’m not pro either party taking over, I’m pro keeping our club special, I’m pro fan involvement and I’m pro for long-term stability and a return to winning ways.

Matt Scott of the Guardian made a very interesting comment about dissenting voices. It’s pertinent because many fans think it’s disrespectful to disagree with the club, the manager or the board…

‘As Arsenal fans, speak up, don’t become what you perceive Pat Rice to be to Arsene Wenger’

Absolutely spot on, this club is where it is today built of the back of fan loyalty, we have a right to an opinion… don’t ever forget that.

Hopefully the way things are playing out, we’ll keep our voice at the club.

That’s a healthy position to be in.

See you in the comments!

P.S. It was great to meet some of the good guys from twitter prior to the event and it was fantastic to have few beers with the AST members, the gooner journo’s plus two prominent figures from the Gooner. I also met Maria, one of Arsenal’s most prolific fans.

To say it was an orgie of Arsenal would be an understatement… I’m off to shower down.

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572 Responses to “AST AGM – Stan Kroenke vs Usmanov + some very interesting stuff”

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  1. Bob N7

    Yesterday Matt Scott’s article in the Guardian made for an informative read. We will have to wait and see if Kroenke is going to be good for the club- I just hope at a time when his Mall business in the States is struggling he doesn’t see Arsenal as a way of accessing serious ‘dividends’ to help his cash flow elsewhere.

    Great to see Djourou and Scezney back- Liverpool looked impressive against Citeh and reckon we’ll need them.

    Come on you Reds!

  2. lordhillwood

    i just don’t get the love in with Dein at all as a fan of 45 years. Please stop reliving the “good old days” whilst we stood in pee with a shed as a club shop Hillwood and family coined it in during Arsenal’s biggest crowds. Dein bought shares cheap from them, thankfully he brought in Danny Fiszman. Dein later disgraced himself talking to Stan and probably not only about selling the club without the boards permission, thats why Fiszman fired him, personally and escorted him off the premises. Dein through ego brought in Usmanov. Whatever his use to block Stan getting 90% this is someone I don’t want on the board at Arsenal. Dein burned his bridges, lets move on. I would like to see Wenger managed properly redirected to football matters only. No more catering meetings. I think management have the right to insist on wage reflecting achievement, and that youth team members continue education, as its clear there is no connection between achievement , being able to write in English but can afford a 60k car. No one wants a single owner plurality is what we need but with firm fan ownership and involvement.

    However the business must manage its staff not the other way around, improve commercial side and control AW better

  3. Albo

    Stan cannot write a cheque for Arsenal tomorrow. He’s paying for the shares he’s bought out of cash flow.

    So Ped, is that confirmation that there is no debt involved in the purchase at all? That’s got to be a good thing, if so I guess?

    Other than that, interesting write up. As you say, it’s no surprise that the board remains as it is for now, but I’d be very surprised to see guys like PHW still on it in 12 months time.

    Will be very interesting to see what AU does. After all, for all his wooing of the AST, surely his endgame was ownership of the club too? Will he hold onto his shares out of stung pride do you think? Can’t help feeling it would be good news if he did. This way we have a singular purpose and controlling influence at board level, but not complete and utter ownership. I’m thinking that’s a pretty good thing…

  4. Arsenal Tom

    great post mate, good to get a bit of behind the scenes info!

    stan coming in and inevitably bringing in his own people more into it – gazidis, tom fox etc can only be good in reducing wenger’s influence meaning he’ll go back to concentrating on footballing matters only

  5. kc

    stan is buying the club with his own money, i presumed.
    players and wage bills are still being financed by club money.
    how is stan gonna put money into transfer fund? and even there are money available, how is stan going to convince AW to spend on quality player?

  6. Pedro

    Albo, he can’t leverage debt on the club unless he surpasses the 75% mark… he’s said he won’t do it regardless, but I’m sure that has no legal standing.

    Usmanov not selling works out perfectly… like you said, we have direction but we don’t slip into dictatorship/

  7. Gavqatar

    Lordhillwood – whatever Dein did he acted out of the best interests of AFC to keep us competitive, something that has been distinctly lacking since he was escorted from the premises. Obviously you was manning the CCTV cameras at the time.
    Dein had the best interests of AFC on his agenda and would have if he was brought back.
    Also, quite amusing how Dein spoke to Stan and got sacked yet here we are a few years on with Stan being the major share holder, the current board having sold out to him. Weird no?!!
    Maybe if we had done it when Dein was planning it we might have had a trophy or two

  8. Master P

    Fantastic write up guys, keep it going, you are the TRUE VOICE OF ARSENAL.

    Fucking brilliant!!

    Will Arsene be given a war chest to spend????

  9. craigy

    kc, thats my worry to, i was watching sky sports news yesterday and the were sayin that careful with his money and is unlikely to splash the cash, but they did say thats all his clubs in america have been successful so he’d take none other than that for arsenal, and ebcourage wenger to spend money available, i hope so! usmanov was saying how dissapointing it was that we aint won nothing for nearly six years, now that guy would provide a lot of money for tranfers, good luck kroenke do the club proud!

  10. Goonerpower

    Top post pedders. I’m still nervous about it all. Hopefully I’m just being silly? Looking forward to the oust of PHW, he’s totally done it this time. He comments far too much, and the things he says are not of a man in touch with Arsenal.

    Keep up the great work Pedro & Geoff! Awesome reporting guys!!!!

  11. Albo

    As you say Ped – direction without dictatorship. Must say, that 75% is reassuring, so as long as SK stays at 62%. And the fact that SK doesn’t seem to expect to go much beyond that at least suggests that taking money out of the club is not part of his plan (for now at least).

    I’m actually feeling strangely optimistic about the whole thing this morning…

  12. gambon

    kc

    “how is stan going to convince AW to spend on quality player?”

    Quite simple really…

    Stan; “Wenger you french cunt, spend the cash”

    Wenger; “But my boys have mental strengz, second is a trophy”

    Stan – Hands Wenger a shot gun, and says “do the right thing”.

    Wenger goes and sells the gun for an inflated price and gives the money to Diaby.

  13. Arsenal Tom

    craigy… “encourage wenger to spend the money available”

    thats the key for me… we’ve had cash available for a few years but he chose not to spend it, the talk of wenger being given a £40m transfer kitty direct from stan is nonsense cos we’ve had that for a year or two, getting him to spend what we’ve got and finance signings by selling the crap would be fine

  14. craigy

    pedro whats the status with dein, do you think there’s a chance he will come back? i hope so man, this club fell apart when he left, and we nrrd to get rid or that bitter old twat hillwood, he’s a dirty man and needs to go, if only danny fizman had that old bastards health, LOVE YOU DANNY BOY!

  15. Master P

    gambon says:
    April 12, 2011 at 10:14
    kc

    “how is stan going to convince AW to spend on quality player?”

    Quite simple really…

    Stan; “Wenger you french cunt, spend the cash”

    Wenger; “But my boys have mental strengz, second is a trophy”

    Stan – Hands Wenger a shot gun, and says “do the right thing”.

    Wenger goes and sells the gun for an inflated price and gives the money to Diaby.

    Gambon, I salute you

  16. LAzer

    Dein would have had us move to Wembley.

    Would love to have him back as chair though. AW can be the right man if he stops being so bloody stubborn. He has kept us in the races sort of in the skint times. Now is not time to be gun shy Arsene. Spend some of the 35m in the Ade and Toure account, promote the right youngsters and cut the cords with the dosh (we all know who they are).

  17. craigy

    arsenal tom, i agree mate, the thing going for us when kroenke takes over is the fact that he’s been very successful with all his clubs so he’s going to want success with us, so wenger will have to spend the money,i jus hope he does coz i dont want to see him go i jus want to see him change!

  18. Albo

    Gambon – haha

    Is there any actual evidence (beyond vague supposition) that Dein would be a powerful voice in Wenger’s ear urging him to spend? That’s not a rhetorical question, by the way. I genuinely don’t know the answer. Do we know for a fact that that is how they worked in the past?

    I always got the impression that Wenger essentially went for players he wanted of his own volition, during the glory days?

  19. Geoff

    Master P, Pedro isn’t the genius, I am, I think we’ve covered this before. Let it rest there.

    Nice post Pedro, sounds like you had fun there.

    As far as the takeover is concerned I am cynical, I love the manager, I love PHW, well that statement for me disses the fans. He had the chance to endear himself to the masses by sacking his fat arse but didn’t.

    I don’t believe he had to be nice to get the shares, he’s got them now, be nice to the fans.

    As for keeping the shares, I think I’ll sell, I feel disenfranchised and that Arsenal is no longer my club.

    I’ll always support them though because I love Arsenal.

  20. LAzer

    Kronke hasn’t really been successful at all with any of his clubs.

    Nuggets make the playoffs but everyone knows they are not contenders. He sold Carmelo Anthony to the Knicks last year. Bringing in Allen Iverson at his age the year prior was a silly move.

    Colorado Avalanche had some glory years in the 90s but since Kronke moved in have made the playoffs and thats about it.

    St. Louis Rams just got purchased by him last season. They have been shit since the late 90s and early 2000s but were better last season. Work in progress.

    Silent Stans first love is basketball, he has been the most involved with it so that is where we can judge his actions the best I think. He has a very well respected coach in place and consistently every year has tried to make moves to improve the team, although so far been pretty unsuccessful.

    He also owns the Colorado Rapids, but no one really watches the MLS so who knows what is happening their.

    I think this buy is about making money and seriously elevating his brand with a jewel such as Arsenal in the crown. He is all about TV rights. In Colorado he owns exclusivity on content for his teams, perhaps long term he envisions such exclusivity for Arsenal in international markets. Our product is absorbed by millions worldwide.

    Interesting times ahead.

    And like Geoff said, paying off our debt in a hurry sure invited the sharks even quicker. We are a serious money making machine with a huge brand worldwide. Lets see how this plays out.

  21. LAzer

    Geoff I think all of us would urge you to hold on if you don’t need the cash. We certainly need fans of your ilk to represent supporters worldwide. We need fans who bleed red and white. Feeling disenfranchised can be horrid but now more than ever I think Arsenal F.C needs your support.

  22. gambon

    Albo

    I dont know if he would have a word in wengers ear, but he is much better at getting deals done.

    Wenger is obsessed with price, Dein just went out and got his man.

    Depending on which source you believe we tried to sign Reina, Schwartzer, Jones, Cahill, Jagielka in the summer…..yet we were left with Squillaci, Koscielny & Almunia.

    With Dein here we would have signed higher quality players and we would be closer to or infront of UTD.

    We may also have Alonso & Ribery in the team right now.

    The next big player up for grabs is Hazard in the summer, does anyone hold any hope at all that we can sign him, with wenger setting the valuations?

  23. Albo

    That’s interesting Geoff. But surely you have always been in favour of a sugar daddy owner coming in? Wouldn’t that have left you even more disenfranchised?

  24. Arsenal Tom

    back in the day wenger said who he wanted and that was that, dein did the rest and everything was kept pretty quiet until it was done, all our deals are very public these days

  25. Arse&Nose©

    there is no Wallmart in the UK

    ASDA is owned by Wallmart, so we could have ASDA on our shirts. Would be quite a fitting sponsor with our transfer policy to date!

  26. pharo9ja

    I agree Geoff specially with the fact that kroenke sold out. ur right he lost his chance to endear himself to the fans. “I love the chairman…” same hill-wood that called every concerned fan “silly” and threatened to close the door on them? he really is a spoilt brat. I remember what he said around the time that fans were clamouring for signings,I think he said something about returning to his farm at kent and supporting his local team if the club was to be run another way. I don’t believe he spent a dime to acquire any of the shares he owns and when in ’83(?)that Dein made him an offer he rushed and sold his shares. I detest the man and the sooner he leaves this club the better!

  27. DB10(Jabba addition)

    LAzer

    Making the playoffs every year in American sport is a great achievment. Success over the pond leads to your current playesr asking for more cash and gives you a lower draft pick. In a system that has implemented a salary cap this makes it tremendously difficult to maintain very good standards.

    Carmelo Anthony wanted to move to a big market team, ie New York, Boston, Chicargo or LA. The fact that Denever have improved since his trade shows he employed the right general manager and coach.

    He offered the record ever rookie contract with the Rams last year to Sam Bradford, he went out big and spent a huge amount on the best young coach in the market 2 years ago. The team were the most improved and one of the youngest last year.

    The Rapids won the league last year. They cant afford to compete with the Red Bull or Galaxy for the major signatures due to there market being tiny, but he immplemented a coaching staff and team that won it all last year.

    He is a winner and has never sold a % in any of his teams before. He wants arsenal to be a huge success and will make dam sure that hsi team off the pitch demand success from people on it. We should be happy with our new owner and anyone who knows American sport will back up this statment

  28. LAzer

    You didn’t hear BD? Junior renamed French Fries to Freedom Fries when they didn’t want to go to war to get all those WMDs in Iraq.

    That’s what the restaurants in DC were selling for years.

    Freedom Fries.

  29. KM

    Ivan Gazidis is the man who took over from Dein but his best purchase has been Arshavin…even that was dodgy.

    Dnt think Dein will come back now because it would undermine Gazidis.

  30. wattsy65

    The yank love sport but does not seem overly concerned with winning stuff, so lets not expect anything drastic to happen. His stateside interests have been mildly successful at best, his missis seems to have more dosh than he does.

    As for Wenger spending on transfers, he should be told to do it by Kronke who is now the boss, we know this won’t happen cos Kronke thinks he the greatest thing since Wal-Mart, and his nose is stuck up his arse.

    So all in all pretty much nothing has changed, except a few shares being moved around, As for the AST having influence, they have absolutely none as of now, why do you expect that to change? Not that I do not admire and support what you all do, but lets be realistic here, while Wenger is a dictator, there is no hope.

    What we needed was the Russian to do the buying, and bring DD back as chairman of the club, this is now dead in the water, so far from being hopeful I’m mildly depressed by the events of the last few days.

    Thanks to Pedro for explaining a lot of what is going on, and good luck to all of you who put in time, money and effort for the Arsenal, lets hope that someday it will all bear fruit, then it will be Peroni’s all round.

  31. Albo

    pharo9ja – Well, aside from all our misgivings about PHW’s competence, I think not rocking the apple cart too much with only a handful of games still to go in a push for the Premier League title is no bad thing…

    Seriously, let’s not get too hung up about it. I really can’t believe he’ll be around all that long. (And even if he is, he has fuck all to do with the running of the club anyway!)

  32. Norm

    Great article. Interesting point about the fans voicing their opinions. I just wish they’d show the same amount of passion for team on the field as they do in private comments sections of forums. Nothing hurts more than watching arsenal supporters groaning and moaning everytime something goes wrong on the pitch. Those 90 minutes should be the time that we are driving them forward and cheering them on. Save the boos and the groans for the final whistle. So easy to jump on a players back or the managers, but when do we as fans stop moaning and start cheering? when a goal is scored? I agree with everything you say on this blog today. Change is needed, even if it isn’t by getting rid of Wenger. But I think the fans in the stands need to change as well. Arsenal fans have become such a morbid and depressed bunch!

  33. Simon at Work

    Great work as always, Peddinho.
    I’m heartily sick of the board justifying every move they make as being ” In the best interests of Arsenal’s history and tradition “. Fact is, Arsenal’s History & Tradition is something they’re perfectly happy to forget when it suits their interests. They were happy to ditch the old club crest when they realised they couldn’t copyright it, so how much does that show they value History & Tradition ?
    It doesn’t mean that much to me, but it’s annoyingly cynical of them to crowbar the more credulous fan over the head with cries of “Stan Kroenke respects our History & Tradition!” when there is absolutely no evidence that he does. As if the fans will say “Oh does he, thank God for that! I was worried there, for a moment. Carry on then, Stan!”
    Pedro, did JC have any goss on Wenger, you know, concerning his ‘appreciation’ of certain rappers? It sounds like he’ s being a bit petty, cutting down on his press conferences just because the media are finally doing their job and asking him difficult questions. Gracious me, that’s the kind of thing you’d expect from Old
    Red Nose.

  34. Geoff

    Albo I never wanted a sugar daddy, I would have preferred Usmanov as he pledged £100mil for players, but all I ever wanted was for our manager to spend what he had on quality, not waste it on shit like Denilson, Squillaci and Almunia.

    I honestly can’t see the point in Kroenke or his motives, it makes no sense.

    Pharo, add to that and PHW’s latest jibe at the fans, he needs putting in a home.

  35. sarge

    I think the biggest favour Stan can do is get Wenger to re-appraise what his idea of success is. Encourage – no, enforce a winning mentality where finishing first is the only accepted standard for success not 2nd, 3rd or 4th or the odd semi-final or cup runners-up spot. If it requires spending some dosh to do it (and we know it does) then he needs to spend wisely and cut loose the dross that is infesting the place with their mediocrity.

    If Uefa changed the rules again and went back to champions only or first two places qualifying for the Champions League, then watch Wenger change his tune. The 4 places for the EPL is a soft get-out clause for him to do just enough and no more.

  36. Pedro

    Lurch, Pat hasn’t signed a new contract and I don’t think Arsenal want him to…

    Simon… I don’t think Wenger is a stranger to things that have been made public about his personal life.

    In France, they don’t give a crap… I don’t think he expected himself to get busted in quite the way he did! He’s very angry about it.

  37. Geoff

    Simon they used to call Arsenal The Bank of England club in the thirties because we always bought the best.

    That’s the Arsenal way, not the tight arse ways of Wenger.

    As for Arshavin, I always maintained that was forced on Wenger and that’s why he treats him so badly.

  38. The BearMan

    Well it appeared there was more excitement and drama, between Arsenal’s two main shares holders and in the Blackpool visitors changing room. More that there were on the pitch on Sunday. {Has the cold war has raised it’s ugly head once more? Don’t answer that}No wonder everyone connected with Arsenal looked rather jaded on Monday morning.

  39. Arsenal Tom

    kronke probably thinks keeping hill-wood on will please the fans… new owner but with the majority of things staying the same there’s no real drama to him buying the club.

    plus when his people start moving onto the board hill-wood will be even more marginalised and just fade into the background

  40. pharo9ja

    ok Albo, promise me he’s going to shut his trap from now to season’s end…or I’ll hand you the shot gun(slap you on the cheek) and ask you to do the “right thing”.

  41. Master P

    Geoff says:
    April 12, 2011 at 10:36
    Master P, Pedro isn’t the genius, I am, I think we’ve covered this before. Let it rest there.

    Touche!!

  42. sarge

    The reason to keep the board in place is for the sake of continuity and stability for the short term. Changes will be made over time and stealthily. PHW is no more than a figure head now. Most of the other board members like Carr add little value and will be replaced when the time is right. Stan sees the untapped potential in the club and he will want to put in place the right governance to release this potential.

  43. nuudles

    I definitely feel Stan is the lesser of two evils… I too would have preferred if it stayed as it was but this is way better than a sugar daddy…

    I think if we just get rid of the right players (Denilson [£6m], Almunia [£2m], Rosicky [£7m], Bendy [£15m], a lot of the will-never-make-it kids [another £3m+]) and use at least 75% of their sale proceeds [roughly £33m+, so 75% is £25m] together with £25m or so of the current previous-transfer budget (of the £35m) we could have £50m+ to play with while still saving some [£18m just from the players’ sales, not to mention our other turnover, etc] for a rainy day.

    That should be used to get us real quality, say a Benzema, Cahill/Sakho, M’vila/Cissokho (roughly £25m, £15m, £8m-£10m respectively, totalling the £50m.)

    Any other player sales should be used fully to fund new players, so if Eboue/Clichy leaves then use all of it to get a replacement. Similarly if Diaby does not get his act together and produce more displays like the one of Sunday without the moment of idiocy & with sharper in defence then we should trade him in too. Get both of M’vila & Cissokho if we sell both Denilson & Diaby, while we should get at least one of them if we only sell Denilson.

    Similarly if Cesc leaves we should use all of it to buy the best possible replacement, although he showed glimpses on Sunday that there is no replacement in the world who can do what he does…

  44. DB10(Jabba addition)

    Geoff

    How does Wenger treat Arshavin badly. He was one of his only defenders earlier in the year when many of the knee jerk tantrum seeking fans jumped on his back after a few bad performances much like some are now doing with Song.

    Because we used to spend big in the 1930s does that mean we have a history of being big spenders. I would suggest that we have a history of being pretty conservative with everything that we do.

  45. Arse&Nose©

    Lurch reminds me of my old remote control, the Teletext button would be the first to rub off and break.

  46. Bob N7

    Geoff 11.09
    ‘Treats him so badly’- what are you referring to? Playing out of a preferred position or being substituted regularly. If it is the former you may have a point but being substituted… in the 40 years of watching Arsenal I have NEVER seen anyone more willing to be substituted than Arshavin. I forget which game it was this season but each time a substitute was ready to come on he jogged over and not see his number up, then Vela the final sub came to the touchline and was unable to stop laughing when he saw Arshavin jog over and not be the final sub.

    Maybe Geoff you’re saying that Wenger has been unfair not to sub him earlier in games?
    Get rid I say and hopefully upgrade him with Hazard- make a statement Stan!
    Come on you Reds!

  47. albo

    I honestly can’t see the point in Kroenke or his motives, it makes no sense.

    Well, that I entirely agree with. I mean seriously, is there a worse way to try to make money than to buy a football club?! (I suppose investing in Lehmann Brothers in early September 2008 might have been a little worse…)

    I think we just have to assume he is a sports fan and enjoys owning that kind of shit. After all, he certainly has no record of ripping off his other teams…

    That said, so far as money goes, AU may have way more money than SK, but its not as if we need all that much. After all, an extra £50 million on top of what we have is probably enough to make most fans wildest dreams come true!

    I’m not saying he’ll invest £50 mill, but you see my point – he certainly has enough to invest what most people believe we need if he wanted to…

  48. pharo9ja

    If that’s the case Arsenal Tom, we have to make our feelings known at the game on sunday.
    We need to scream at the top of our lungs ” F*** OFF HILL-WOOD!!”

  49. DB10(Jabba addition)

    nuudles

    All very good and well proposing those transfers and lets hypothetically say it does all cost 50m what you havent counted in there is any of the increase in players wages. add on another 20m there of lets say other 4 year contracts and suddenly the club has to account for that.

    You forget that wages often present a bigger cost than the transfer fee.

  50. albo

    Oh, and surely we were nicknamed the ‘Bank of England’ club because of our solid financial foundation (much like today) rather than because of the cost of our players?!

  51. Lurch LeRouge

    i met this bloke once that had a separate TV just for the Teletext A&N.

    Geoff, don’t sell. Share ownership gives tremendous weight to your rants!

  52. Arse&Nose©

    LOL I can see the logic in that!
    I remember when pip teletext was launched, it was new technology! then the internet came along and transformed everything.

  53. albo

    pharo9ja – I just think there are much bigger fish to fry than using what tiny voice we have to get rid of someone who is actually utterly irrelevant to the way the club is run…

  54. nuudles

    Anyone else think Arshavin is likely for a summer exit?

    He did not have the best game on Sunday, and the manager keeps subbing him after 60 mins. I feel if Theo was fully fit Arsh would be on the bench. Dont get me wrong, I love Arshavin, and feel he is the most naturally gifted attacker we have had since Henry/Bergkamp. On his day he can be in the same league as Messi, and that league is very very exclusive!! But he is only getting older and he is getting a bit slower, when do we get past the point where we can get decent money for him without losing out on too much (not losing out in terms of money, but in terms of on-field performance)?

    Who knows, maybe he has the capability to be our Giggs, an experienced player who can come on and still win games, being used sparingly & when needed? If we could get Miyachi in over the summer that would be my preffered route: to take a chance that Miyachi will come good and use Arsh as a super impact sub. Then use Theo/Nasri/Miyachi on the wings and occasionally play Arsh either on the wing or in the hole where he can still be devastating.

  55. pharo9ja

    Geoof when I said I agreed with your post earlier,I didn’t include your selling your shares. Please don’t.
    @Big dave,when,where?

  56. gambon

    Nuudles

    Id be a lot more ruthless with the squad, and sell:

    Almunia, Mannone, Eboue, Squillaci, Hoyte, Traore, Randall, Denilson, Diaby, Vela, Bendtner, Chamakh, Sunu, Murphy, Arshavin.

    That would raise £75m, add to that £50m from our own money and we could go out and spend £100m+ on 5 top players.

  57. Lurch LeRouge

    but who the fuck does Diaby think he his squaring up to Robin!? his deputy captain…

    put your hand up say ya sorry and an imbecile and get on with it. he probably said something about Robin getting red carded at camp nou.

  58. Arsenal Tom

    pharo9ja… lol can you imagine him sat in his box hearing that!?

    his mates at the news of world would be creaming themselves

  59. albo

    pharo9ja says:
    April 12, 2011 at 11:27
    so Albo my man, deal?

    Haha. I’m afraid not. Anyone who backs PHW to not open his mouth any time soon and say something moronic is a fool…and I’m not a fool 😉

  60. DB10(Jabba addition)

    Albo

    Buying into football at the top end is actually incredibly lucartive. Its a sport that is much more readily exportable than other sports to emerging markets. Now the stadium is built if his commercial team do a good job, our value is only ever going to increase. that $1.2 billion outlay can be increased by 30-40% over the enxt 15-20 years

  61. gambon

    “30-40% over the enxt 15-20 years”

    That would be a shocking return, there isnt much money in football, bar a huge change in the game in Europe….(euro super league?)

  62. Big Dave

    Is SK giving our manager a sweetner of some kind for transfers, just a nice welcome present of some sort will do

  63. santino

    conspiracy theories

    1. phw said that statement against fans intentionally to make them angry so they will support the foreign takeover .

    2. most of the blogs are paid by kse fried tongues to post against the russian

    3. even our recent form might be a pr stunt to prevent a hostile takeover .

  64. albo

    DB10 – yes, I guess that’s his aim. But there are surely a million other quicker and easier ways to make a lot more money from investments. The profits involved at AFC (surely one of, if not the best run club financially in the world) are still tiny beer compared to the turnover of a hedge fund, for example…

  65. nuudles

    DB10(Jabba addition), read Pedro’s post, there is space for the wage bill to grow, plus the ones I am proposing to sell will also be on high wages (Bendy, Rosicky, Denilson, Almunia are all players who have a lot of starts to their names & thus their salaries will be high, not Benzema-high, but Bendy&Rosicky should not be on much less together than Benzema would be, similarly Denilson will not be on much less than say a M’vila would be, similarly with Almunia & Cahill/Sakho.)

    That is not to mention the long list of will-never-make-it kids who will not be earning peanuts that I proposed we should let go. I dont think the transfers I proposed will brake the bank.

  66. Wenger the liar

    Pedro –

    “It is estimated that £15million of our wage bill is for paying our expensive commercial team who don’t do very much”.

    Please tell me this is some kind of sick joke.

  67. CEL

    THANKS GEOFF & PEDRO (and AST)for the great report backs. Keeps the supporters position right in the front line.

    EARLY DAYS but…
    I suppose the next grover question now is, will there be any opposition in the Kroenke camp to take on Wengers entrenched position at the club. Wenger appears to have a say in all aspects of club matters.

    It will be interesting to see if Kroenke makes some new appointments at the club and they cut across Wengers bows.

    ALSO..
    Should David Dein comes back to the fold, would he be able to change the present decline in bringing quality senior players to the club. Dein would be better placed than most to create change, but is it now too late in the day for Wenger to back down and support an alternative view.

    Even so, the Kronk has been gushing superlatives about Wenger. Though this might be a little buttering up on behalf of the Kroenke team,smoothing the way for future discussion on (hopefully)team improvement.

    YES EARLY DAYS; but it is going to be very interesting when takeover matters settle a little,
    and the Kroenke board meet up and hopefully discuss with Wenger a new 5 year plan. This could be a conflicting moment.

  68. Simon at Work

    Geoff,
    Bang on, brother bear! Players win matches, so buy the best bloody buggering players! The purchase of Dennis Bergkamp kicked off the modern era of success for AFC, and who bought him? Our friend DD, not Arsene sodding Wenger.

    Pedro,
    Angry, is he? Ha, ha. Bet Mrs W is angry too, although for all we know she’s working her way through the first team! I think its interesting he’s stopped banging on about integrity and moral values and all that stuff. He used to love
    lecturing the media on how the values he represented at Arsenal were superior to those, say, of Roman Abromovitch at Cheklski. “What are this values!” he used to cry, and the hacks would nod sagely. Bit difficult to give moral lectures to the press now with a straight face, isn’t it? The hacks would laugh their socks off.

  69. Arsenal Tom

    dave… yeah he’s told him he can keep denilson & diaby for another year and doesn’t have to sign anyone over 25

  70. nuudles

    good list Gambon, and I like that you added that YOU would be that ruthless, I would too, but as we know Wenger is highly unlikely to sell so many players and I think 4-5 first squad players out and 3-4 relative big players in is more likely (together with promoting some of the kids who deserve it like Lansbury, Bartley, Coquilin & hopefully Miyachi if we can get him a permit).

  71. DB10(Jabba addition)

    Albo + Gambon

    But he loves sport thats the whole point. He doesnt love finance or commodities like read & white his interest coems from sport. Football has huge investment opportunities at the top end. We will start playing not just overseas tours but meaningful games abroad in the next 5-10 years. Barcelona are already looking into creating a MLS team in their name in Miami for all the latino to support. Gambon you must start looking at the bigger picture. Our domestic fanbase is saturated there are 3 billion people in emerging markets in the world who have started to take or are perceived to take a real interest in football but in particular premiership fooball in the next few years, that im afraid = opportunity.

  72. Cescs_MyBoy

    Geoff

    I was under the impression that financial austerity and a hankering towards younger less recognised players started in the 30’s. James and Drake to name a few.

  73. Pedro

    Gambon, I think I deserve it…

    Interesting that Kroenke is also trying to buy into the IPL. He doesn’t like cricket either…

  74. nuudles

    A question: if Stan owns 60% of the club would he provide some of his won money to fund the purchase of players? How does that work, would he then in effect only own 60% of the player even though he put in 100%, or would his ownership of the club increase because he put in more money?

  75. Cescs_MyBoy

    Brian Glanville’s book The Real Arsenal : From Chapman to Wenger is an excellent read.

    Essentially draws many comparisons from our great 30’s teams and our current set up.

  76. gambon

    He may be trying to build a sports empire under one name maybe?

    Kroenke Arsenal
    Kroenke Nuggets
    Kroenke Rapids

    Once he has 10 or so teams covering most sports he could launch a worldwide Kroenke Sports channel.

    Proper James Bond villain stuff….he’s gonna use sports to distract everyone while he robs Fort Knox.

  77. arsene wenger z GOD

    arsenal are the best run club in europe and u guys still blame wenger coz he haven’t won a trophy for six years, we i look back to arsenal history the never dominate england after chapman years.
    I agree with arsene, even arsenal fans are starting to complain about not winning a trophy.but since 2005:
    2006….arsenal were in the final of cl and lsot it to barca in z last 13minutes.
    2007:……arsenal were in the carling cup final.
    2008…….in this year arsenal were playing the beat football i seen under AW, and they were very close to winning the epl
    2009……arsenal reached cl semifinal, only for second time in the club history.
    2010……arsenal were clsoe to win the epl but injuries cost us.
    2011……arsenal were in the cc final, are still challenging for the epl.
    What i am trying to show is we have the best competative team in europe and we will change this postions to trophies, and all this was achieved with a relatively young side which is gaining experiance.
    So pedro and gambon why is it u want to trash arsenes efforts when they are intended to make the club go higher.

  78. albo

    DB10 – yeah, assuming he’s doing it all for the love of sport, there are good reasons for him to invest…

  79. Cescs_MyBoy

    The major difference being Chapman spent what he had available on developed players.

    But I wouldn’t agree with us being a Chelsea of the 30’s

  80. gambon

    arsene wenger z GOD

    Thats probably the single most embarassing post ive ever seen.

    All you confirmed is that we havent won anything for ages!

    Theres no prizes for nearly winning anything, and last season we finished 11 points off…thats not close.

    In 08/09 we were trounced in the semi of the CL, and finished 18 off the PL, how is that in any way close?

  81. DB10(Jabba addition)

    lurch leRouge

    no you wont as the NFL controls all the media rights centrally. Its quite funny the most capitalist nation in the world most popular sport is incredibly communist in how its run.

    The foreign owners 100% see the end game as us playing a few prem or cup games in foreign lands in the not to distant future.

    The nfl idea is to have a London franchise within the next 5-8 years. what better way to export your sport to a foreign market. they been sewing the seeds for that move for 10 or so years though.

  82. Wenger the liar

    Lurch –

    On ACLF its stated as “Fact” that Denilson would “be the first name on the teamsheet in any club outside the top 6”

    And they say drugs do not have a lasting effect on the user.

  83. DB10(Jabba addition)

    Lurch LeRouge

    Problem with friendlies is that the British market ahs now been treated to the real deal over the last 4 years. Friendlies were in england 15 or so years ago when they were testing the water of our market.

    The issue with their friendlies over our friendlies played over there as well is that they cant really play their staters due to risk of injury so from now we will see a steady increase of proper NFL games over here from now starting with 2 not this season but next. These will be played at wembley due to the emirates not being big enough to 1 get enough fans in and 2 cater for their squads on the sideline which number 60 each.

    What we can do for our marketing over there is almost limitless and this is what Fox and glazidis (both kroenke picks) are doing.

  84. KM

    Top players who I think we can get in the summer:

    Falcao = £20-£25m
    Hazard = ££25m
    M’Villa = £15m-20m
    Cahill = £20m
    GK = £20m

    Total spend = £100m

    OUT:

    Bendtner = £15m
    Rosicky = £5m-£7m
    Denilson = £5m – £7m
    Eboue = £15m
    Clichy = £20m
    Diaby = £15m
    Almunia = £5m

    Plus sell the dross in the reserves or the kids who won’t make it

    Your looking at least £90m player sales

    so thats £10m spent

  85. Pedro

    Surely it’s now accepted wisdom that Denilson is a very poor player?

    A starter outside the top 6? I doubt it… he doesn’t have the physique!

  86. Arsene Nose Best

    who the fuck would waste 15 million on bendtner,if someone piad that for him they would be getting MUGGED

  87. nuudles

    haha, agree Gamobn, no trophies for “nearly winning”! It is like saying someone almost survived the accident, or you almost won the lottery because you were off by 1 for each number…

    yes we have done relatively well, but the whole point in moving to the emirates was to be more competitive with the big boys, to win things, and it has not paid off yet, we won a lot of stuff while we were at higbury… we all understood that it meant we are more limited in the early years of the move so therefore we invested and developed youth, it has been many years and it has not paid off. We have what I believe to be the best talent in the PL, possibly in the world, but because of the lack of experience (and leadership) the talent is often hit and miss. I despise ManU but they blend experience and talent much better, the experience leads to them being more successful because the older guys keep reminding the younger ones: “you cannot just pitch up and expect to win, you have to fight for it”, young talented players also develop quicker and better if they are in a team with a better balance of experience.

    I therefore believe we should have fought harder to retain some of our more experienced players like Viera, Henry & Kolo/Sol. Yes it would have meant that we would have lost out on their transfers and we would have had a higher wage bill, but I also believe we would have won more things. I am not saying they would have been regular first-teamers, but they would have had a decent amount of appearances, and they would have been the behind the scenes leaders that we so sorely missed.

  88. Rob The Goon

    Top notch stuff – Keep up the good work le-grove!

    Im not too sure who to trust out of kronke or usmanov but change is needed.

    …and good on the AST for not selling out

  89. DB10(Jabba addition)

    KM

    i think your being pretty generous with waht we would receive for some of our players. And in the same way that i think Denilson has shown himself to be unsuited to our league i think Scezesny has proved himself to be utterly perfect for it. We DONT need a keeper. Nor do we need a 20-25m pound cb. we have a better defence than utd this year without tv5 all season. 10 of our goals conceded from 31 have come in 3 half s of madness. we need a much better squad player than squilaci and preferably englsish

  90. Master P

    Arsene Nose Best says:
    April 12, 2011 at 12:40
    pedro is this kronke cunt willing to give some money to buy player’s???????

    good question…anyone know?????????

  91. Dutchman

    But we can talk about big spending but the only thing i want is a topstriker, a good winger and a DM who can also play CB. ANd we surely have the moeny to buy this players. M.villa,mata and rossi? We have enough money!

  92. Pedro

    ANB… he doesn’t need to, there is plenty there already and we’ll raise another bunch by selling the deadwood.

    Getting Wenger to spend is the problem…

  93. nuudles

    KM, no way is Eboue aywhere near a £15m player, I think your valuations on both sides are quite steep, no way would we get £5m for Almunia, £2m tops, if the buying club is crazy then maybe 3… etc etc

    The only valuation I find sensible (but still on the high side of their price ranges) is that of Hazard and Falcao. If Cahill is really £20m then we should rather offer that for Hummels, they will let him go for such a big amount and he is better than Cahill… Either that or get Sakho for quite a bit less.

    Also cannot see us spending £20m on a gk now that Chezzer has proven he is ready to step up. Maybe if we could get an older back-up for £5m or so, and use Fabianski & Mannone as back-up for Chezzer.

    IMO we will only get Hazard if we sell Arsh