Welcome to Saturday. Flood warnings in 100 places around the UK today. Stay safe people. Stay safe and stock up. The water will be fresh and you never know when they might whack a hose pipe ban on us next. If in doubt, sell it with a 70% mark up and donate the profit to Arsenal, sounds like they need it.
So having a futher think about the Usmanov letter and reading many hundreds of Tweets you all sent me yesterday, I think it’s safe to say that perhaps the timing of the letter wasn’t actually that bad. Someone succinctly pointed out to me that I was slating the opportunistic nature of Usmanov whilst at the same time praising his incredible capitalist pedigree.
I’m such a hypocrite. I apologise for that. The timing was perfect. Why? Well, it wasn’t during the season. It hasn’t interrupted our preseason and the contents of the letter were pretty much bang on.
I made a few calls yesterday to a few choice people and one of the people I spoke to flagged the bit about Arsene Wenger.
‘Wenger hasn’t had City’s billions to spend but let’s not pretend his remit has been to pay down stadium debt. If it has been, I’d find it pretty disgusting that he’s lied to us about the situation. We’d all be far more lenient with him if we knew his primary target was debt repayment.’
Now let’s take you on a little story here before we get into what was intimated… as this is a big u-turn by me in the face of fresh conversation.
Red&White Holdings may sit on the outside when looking in at board meetings, but let’s not forget that they have some very deep ties within Arsenal. The letter that they posted up yesterday was bang on in every sense. There were no revelations in that post for anyone who has been reading Le Grove over the past 5 years. It was like a condensed version of 1900 posts. Absolutely bang on the money with almost everything.
Now, if there was a part about Wenger not being given the funds he needs is in that letter, the chances are, that’s a verified fact. How do we know this? Well, a group like Red & White will know that putting false information out into the open will only end in one way. A loss of credibility and a loss of support… something they have a lot of at the moment. Something that is growing day by day.
That information has come from somewhere and it doesn’t take a genius to work it out. David Dein is still bitter about being removed from his life long passion. He lives next door to Arsene Wenger. The manager still hangs out with him. The information has clearly been fed in from Wenger.
This ties in with what I was told yesterday. Told from the place all my decent snippets come from.
Apparently the £52million we’ve been told is hidden away in the Transfer Proceeds Account is actually not available for use this summer. That’s just a massive cover for the club. What Ivan puts out into the public forum with regards to funds being available is true. There are funds available. But when Ivan says £10million is a massive fee, he means it. According to what I’ve been told, the amount Arsene has available this summer is less than £25million. There’s no war chest. Apparently, it would have been far, far less had we dropped out of the Champions Leauge.
Stan was told he wouldn’t have to invest in the playing side of things if he bought Arsenal, and he hasn’t. Which, like the letter said has affected our ability to compete. The vibe I was getting was that if Wenger was given £100million to spend, he’d go out there and do it. He knows who the best players are, he’s just not allowed to buy them, so he has to go out and sign players like Gervinho instead.
So this Giroud signing; if this whole story is to be believed, most certainly looks like a replacement rather than a squad supplementation.
Why would Arsene tolerate such a situation I wondered to myself? This is farsical. He’s one of the best in the business (or certainly was). Loads of managers with his sway would come out and make the point they’re hamstrung.
Well, I guess it comes down to a few things. Namely power.
Arsene is a developmental manager. He likes to bring through young players. He’s probably enjoying that side of the job. He has full and total control of the playing side at Arsenal. He’s on a salary which is higher than Sir Alex Ferguson. He’s being well compensated for his silence.
There’s also the employer / employee relationship that’s going on. Nick Barmby was recently sacked for gross misconduct when he came out and slated the board for not funding him in the transfer market. Different situations I know, but you should never bite the hand that feeds you. Especially if that hand is feeding you the finest caviar serverd on the lightest most delicate blini, whilst the other hand intermittently sends your e-mails from your blackberry as well as rubbing your thigh.
There has also always been the mass appeal for Wenger in toppoling Goliath. He’s come close a few times, but we know he doesn’t like the money side of the game and he believes he can beat the likes of City on a budget.
This whole issue does rankle with me. It’s dishonsesty from all sides here. The clubs PR machine have been spinning out stories of funds being available when they’re not and we’re all here lapping them up snapping up new season tickets like there will be an impact on the squad this summer.
I don’t blame Robin for leaving if he’s been informed that the club aren’t investing in the squad. at adequate levels. I don’t blame him for going if he’s been told we’re going to take on the might of City through self sustainability. Which actually means… no risk for Stan Kroenke.
I have no defacto proof that the above is all true. All I know is that I’m rarely led astray on stuff like this. If I didn’t trust where it had come from, I wouldn’t post it… this whole story goes against what I usually write. Our corporate team are world class at PR. You have people from Nike and Barclays running the show, so this is all entirely feasible. It’s just so disappointing we can’t get a bit of genuine honesty and it’s a huge shame we don’t have an investor who has a passion for the game.
On the Arsene Wenger piece. This news doesn’t take away from the mistakes he’s made. It doesn’t mean he couldn’t have done something about the assistant managers lack of interest in the last few years. It doesn’t mean he should have passed up the bargain basement deals that could have given us a far more stable platform last year and it doesn’t mean he can avoid criticism for the shambolic contract situation we’re in.
What it does do is shed a bit of light on what’s going on this summer. It tells you that the people at the top are just doing a job and they’re being paid to protect the main man in the states. Everyone inside the club is getting paid. That’s a key thing to remember when trying to unravel what’s going on.
Anyway, one for you to chew over today.
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What do you think?
P.S. Interesting that Peter Hill-wood is straight back out telling the world we give Wenger as much as he wants. How much did you earn Peter? What’s your retainer? What would happen if you stepped out of line? Hmmm…