Usmanov ‘always ready’ to increase Arsenal stake

Usmanov ‘always ready’ to increase Arsenal stake

Alisher Usmanov says he’s happy with his position as the club’s second largest shareholder, but says he’s always ready to increase his stake.

In an article for Bloomberg in which he describes his World Cup memories, the Uzbeki oligarch touched on his association with Arsenal, describing it as ‘a business investment.’

“Many people ask me why I bought my stake in Arsenal, rather than spending the money on Russian football,” he wrote.

“The fact is, I invest millions in Russian sport each year – an amount far in excess of my Arsenal investment. But I also think it’s worth pointing out that the English Premier League is a highly organized sports business and Arsenal is, first and foremost, a business investment for me.

“It is one of the leading clubs in terms of how its commercial operations are managed, and I am absolutely convinced it will be a successful investment. I am fine with the size of the stake I have in Arsenal now, but I’m always ready to increase it.

“One other thing: the taxes that I will pay on my profits from this venture will be paid in Russia, thereby potentially finding their way back to Russian football.”

Usmanov currently holds 18,695 shares via his Red and White Holdings Ltd company, giving him a total of 30.04% while Stan Kroenke’s KSE holds 41,596 shares for a holding of 66.85%.

Shareholding info from here.

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109 COMMENTS

    • If that’s the state of your ‘fandom’ then, might as well bugger off to Canon FC or whatever break-away club gets formed in the seventh tier.

      Thumb up 55 Thumb down 32

    • Nothing like an unintended racial stereotype to start the day…

      You should probably do your homework on Usmanov before spouting this tripe.

      Thumb up 15 Thumb down 45

      • “Racial stereotype”? Yeah, Russian oligarch’s are known for their benign, kindly natures. They’re practically small woodland creatures.

        Get serious. You didn’t come out of the mad scramble for former state-owned assets in Uzbekistan by being anything other than ruthless. We’ve got a Bond villain for a minority owner.

        Thumb up 29 Thumb down 3

    • I agree though.

      We hate City and Chelski for cheating their way to the top and financial doping/whorism.

      If it happens at Arsenal… I’d follow suit mate – what would Arsenal continue to stand for?

      Thumb up 29 Thumb down 7

  1. Oh, go away. He’s like a that douchebag in a nightclub who keeps waggling his eyebrows suggestively and making obscene gestures at ladies despite being turned down numerous times.

    Thumb up 73 Thumb down 9

  2. Well, at least it´s assuring that the money we give for a scarf will safely find it´s way to a corrupt Russian politician (are there any other kind?).

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    • Quite likely. Usmanov would be on the list if Western sanctions over Ukraine ever got serious. They’ll never get that serious though…

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  3. “Arsenal is, first and foremost, a business investment for me.”

    Always, always, ALWAYS remember this, people. Be careful what you wish for. I know the idea of having our own Abramovich is appealing on some level, but it might not be wholly positive.

    Say what you want about Kroenke, but at least he hasn’t done anything to actively fuck or change the club we love. Who knows if Usmanov would think that a club called the London Gunners would be more marketable worldwide or something equally stupid. You just never know.

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    • So this is a very wealthy man who has not paid a penny in to AFC. Nor by the way will he be paying any tax into Russian coffers, I believe, since there will be no income in the form of dividend paid and he doesn’t appear to be reducing his holding triggering any kind of capital gains tax due. Hence his comments and their subsequent publication and promotion represent a triumph of PR vacuity – nothing to say, what he says won’t come to pass. The man is an irrelevance. Move on. Nothing to see here.

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      • Yes it is. Kroenke has never pretended otherwise. Neither has he made pseudo promises through his pr arm that he would be putting money in and creating any kind of negative p&l scenario. Neither has he requested dividends to be paid. We have a silent investor owner who is looking to make a profit whilst leaving a valuable company behind him. The differences outweigh the similarities.

        Thumb up 22 Thumb down 3

      • Kroenke, however, has the sense enough to avoid corrupting the culture and image business he’s running by meddling. Aside from Kroenke being American, I see zero reason for Gooners to be complaining about his ownership of Arsenal.

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    • It’s important to understand the CONTEXT of this interview.

      Usamanov seems to have come under criticism for not pumping money into Russia’s domestic football teams.

      I think he is trying his best to justify that by distancing/differentiating himself from other Russian or Arab owners of English team.

      Thumb up 22 Thumb down 2

    • where are you getting this nonsense from?? Usmanov has repeatedly said that he won’t splash the cash in the sense that other wealthy clubs have but has said he’ll ‘speculate to accumulate’.

      Really I find some of the tripe on these boards beyond ridiculous.

      Thumb up 10 Thumb down 9

    • And it’s not an investment for Kroenke? You think he and the Glazers bought Premiership clubs out of love of football, not because they wanted to get their hands on the revenues? That would be news to Kroenke who’s been perfectly open about his motives – and indeed his admiration for the Glazers’ methods.

      Why does it have to be either or, one or the other? What’s wrong with the two of them working in cooperation? Two owners would give us the benefit of their combined resources – their money, their separate areas of commercial expertise and influence. Joint ownership would be the nearest thing to having the old board back, acting as collective guardians of the club for future generations. Joint ownership provides a measure of safety: if one owner loses his money or his marbles the other can step in and prevent a disaster – such as Kroenke or heirs or whoever he decides to sell us to one day doing a Glazer.

      Kroenke may not have done anything to damage the club, so far, but his dog-in-a-manger refusal to allow his co-owner even a seat on the board doesn’t reflect well on his intentions. Allowing Arsenal to draw on the resources of the infinitely richer Usmanov – he is number one in Russia, number twenty-something in the world – would make Arsenal more successful and therefore increase Kroenke’s wealth. So why won’t he? Why is it so important to keep Usmanov out that he’s prepared to sacrifice even the revenues he bought us for in the first place?

      What is wrong with cooperation for the good of the club? What is wrong with a bit of simple democracy in the boardroom? Giving Usmanov a seat on the board isn’t tantamount to giving him control over decisions. It would simply allow him to participate which, given he holds 30 percent of the shares, doesn’t seem an unreasonable thing. If Kroenke and other board members don’t support an Usmanov proposal, they can vote against it. Simple as that.

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      • Because beyond the pr, Usmanovs stated aims are at odds with the majority shareholder. Put yourself in his shoes. Why would you give a place at the table to someone who has publicly stated different aims and whom, by dint of the size of his shareholding and the rest of the freely available shares combined, is an irrelevance? It’s both common and business sense rather than McCartney/Jackson style “Ebony and Ivory” sentimentalist schmaltz.

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  4. Even Thierry Henry was trying to talk him into taking over from Silent Stan.

    Face it, Stan is a yank douche whose main priority seems to be “Oh we are getting money from deals? Lets increase ticket prices”

    “Stan, there is a parking jam in Florida. Stan : Pricier tickets is the answer”

    Face it, Silent Stan has taken away more from us than he ever will give back.

    Neither Stan nor Usamanov has the heart of those gooners who stay loyal to the Red and White.

    But Usamanov has money and in Russian style will invest.

    Or maybe he wont.

    We have no clue, to them we are money giving lemmings to be brutally honest.

    Thumb up 21 Thumb down 44

    • So not only do you have a unique communication all insight with Thierry Henry, but also a predilection for a “Russian style” of spending. Personally as I have never met TH I won’t claim to be able to second guess his leanings. I do however have an understanding of how the Russians operate. If you find that appealing, then good luck.

      Thumb up 20 Thumb down 6

    • What has Stan taken away from us? Care to expound on that statement?

      Why do you think Usmanov will invest his own money? When asked point blank whether he would put money in, he was unable to give a straight yes. He has not put anything into the club to date, and he has had the opportunity, eg he could have bought the flats we were struggling to sell a few years ago, or he could have sponsored us through his telecoms company instead of choosing to ridicule IG for writing a personal letter asking for sponsorship. His one unambiguous remark about Arsenal and money was his expression of anger and dismay that the club do not pay out dividends.

      Anyone can issue statements like “the club needs investment” but that does not mean they are willing to put their money where their mouth is. Calls by him to raise money by share issues were simply a way of enabling him to gain control because he would buy them. Usmanov is not a sugar daddy – he wants to maximise his return from his investment in shares, not pour money into the club.

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    • Why would we risk uncertainty on a new owner when the owner we have is doing a fairly good job? Everything is working like it’s always done.. I love the way we run our club in a good Bayern Münich manner, taking care of the economy and buying players with money we do have, and not on loans like other clubs.

      If he loves arsenal, why doesn’t he simply hand over the club an sponsorship deal worth quite a lot of money and supports the club via investment from there? He doesn’t have to own the club to invest, or am I misstaken?

      Personally I do not trust this russian person, he got a reputation for a reason, he is a friend of Putin is he not? I don’t mean to involve politics in to this but surely he would be a massive gamble. We should all be happy with what we currently have and not wish for uncertainty.

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  5. “… the taxes that I will pay on my profits from this venture will be paid in Russia … ”

    Didn’t Starbucks and others recently take some flak for much the same policy of failing to pay taxes on the profits they made here?

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    • It is an entirely artificial point. Unless and until he sells some of his stock there is no tax due as we do not pay dividends and haven’t done for well over 30 odd years.
      Despite his publicly stated demand for them to be paid. For those who don’t understand, dividends means taking money out of the company.

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      • Only artificial until he realises his investment which, in order for him to consider it as an investment, must come about at some point. Whether Usmanov remains a shareholder or not though we should get used to the idea that Arsenal will eventually pay out dividends. Sometime in the next 5 to 10 years I would guess. Nothing wrong with it either. ManU paid dividends to their shareholders regularly when the business was successful enough to do so.

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        • The point is that talk of his “paying his taxes” is entirely moot at present. We can all state that we will act in a certain way when there is no imminent likelihood of this happening or need to bring it about. And then, once the immediate pr need to make a statement has gone away, act in a different way.
          less cynical than realistic I would posit.

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  6. Really believe Arsenal would be able to compete with the ‘big clubs’ if Usmanov was in charge. Arsenal has been stagnant since Kroenke took over just like his other sports teams he owns in the states.

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  7. I’m no fan of silent Stan but Kroenke is preferable to inviting Baron Greenback and his de facto boss, Vladimir Putin, into the marble halls

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  8. “One other thing: the taxes that I will pay on my profits from this venture will be paid in Russia.”

    The only way he will make profit is…

    1. if he is allowed to take money out of the club as dividends. Something we have never done.
    2. If he sells up – which he won’t as he is happy with his position.

    If he ever was to get control it would be 1. all the way.

    I’m glad he has come out and said this – maybe those fans who see him as some sort of saviour will now realise what a fat self interested twat he really is.

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    • exactly. the idiots who think usmanov will shower arsenal with free cash don’t understand that he sees us as a cash cow to be milked, not the other fucking way around

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      • You know that how, exactly? Sure it’s the kind of thing fans write on sites like this but simply repeating it isn’t the same as actually producing some evidence – or even making a plausible case.

        Since Usmanov’s personal wealth stands at around 18bn – check him on Forbes – it seems unlikely his need to use Arsenal as a cash cow is really that great.

        There are many reasons for owning football clubs. Milking them for the revenues is certainly common, especially among the poorer owners (the Glazers, Kroenke, both with personal wealth of around 2bn) but it’s not why the Mansours (20bn) for example, bought City, nor why Abramovich (I forget how much, slightly lower than Usmanov anyway) wanted Chelsea.

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        • Poor? The Glazers have a cash flow need due to issues with their commercial property holdings. But poor, no I don’t think so. Kroenke has a portfolio of sports holdings as well as being married to a WalMart heiress. Now that may not be 18bn, but if you think that’s poor then I suggest it is you we need as in investor in our club…..!

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        • “the taxes I will pay on my profits” <— did you miss this bit? The bit where Usmanov talks about making profit from his investment in Arsenal?

          That's how I know, because Usmanov said.

          I'd regard that as primary evidence, Witness A discussing profiting from his investment.

          What's your evidence for asserting that he'll not only ignore his own words but directly contradict them and pour money into the club in the style of Mansour?

          Thanks in advance!

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  9. Kroenke didnt actively fuck the Arsenal?

    Him and his boardroom staff have treated fans like a pile of bullcrap.

    Nobody got hassled by the stewards to sit down and calm down?

    The very part of the Emirates that is seen worldwide cannot even get up and chant.

    Oh and they effectively took out the heart of the Arsenal, the working class population from the Grove.

    There was none among my mates who didnt cringe when we saw Silent Stan next to the FA Cup, smiling in belief that we can use this as an excuse for no transfers and higher ticket prices.

    We have the most expensive tickets in the PL and one of the most loyal fanbases on the planet.

    Do we really get back what we have given to the club we love? No.

    Thumb up 17 Thumb down 25

    • oh shut up with the ticket prices…..there are spurs fans who pay 2,500 for their season ticket….. puts everything into perspective.

      end of the day…football is big business my friend..and it has been taken over by multi-rich multi-nationals ages ago..wake up!

      as for loyal fanbase dont make me laugh..inside the stadium that wenger built for us, the ‘loyal’ fans of arsenal were calling him a cunt and to spend some fucking money

      fuck all you twats with your moaning…just dont spend and go watch it at the fucking pub.

      one day you want higuain and suarez but when the club has to raise prices to get you ozil or pay for the maintenance of stadium or whatever else that is needed in this mad financial world of football you get selfish and think that its all about you and your fucking pockets…. fuck off !

      loyal my arse….

      Thumb up 61 Thumb down 10

      • The AST and the WOB, have to be always at loggerheads forgetting the fact that both of them do have valid points.

        Yes, we do have the right to moan watching top players leave and get below par ones in.

        If you had a choice, thinking with your mind,
        Fabregas or Cazorla?
        Nasri or Diaby?
        Dutch Skunk or Giroud?
        Song or Arteta?

        And even when they left, ticket prices went up. We still did renew our tickets.

        Ozil 40 mill vs All the money we have earned from player sales, sponsorships et al is not really a valid excuse.

        And when your team doesnt perform at a decent level, you first start questioning team choices, transfers.

        When that stays the same, you will question the manager.

        Hence Wenger Out does have some sense in it.

        Its not about me thinking about my pockets mate, its about me thinking how I’ll put enough money together for tickets.

        The pub isnt the same as the clock end.

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    • That really is a consequence of modern football being santised by television and commercial interests rather than the ownership. Not saying Kroenke is a white knight or anything like that, but you can be quite sure those issues exist at other clubs and would exist at Arsenal regardless of who was running it.

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    • Yeah but, did you see his happiness after Arsenal won the FA cup? :-) He does care about arsenal, the drop of success for his hockey team have mainly been that a lot of old players retired and such. We bought Özil last summer, would an greedy person who doesn’t care about the club do such a thing?, I honestly doubt it, by the look of things he’s encouraging spending.

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      • Er, Kroenke didn’t buy Oezil. Arsenal bought Oezil with its very own money. Kroenke was merely kind enough to allow us to use what we had in the bank, income from player sales, from broadcasting, from gate receipts, sources like that. It didn’t come from Kroenke’s post office savings account.

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      • Under Kroenke the Rapids won the MLS Cup and the Colorado Avalanche had their best regular seasons on record. Yes real drop in performance.

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    • Till ’08 the Denver Nuggets had not qualified past the first round of the western conference.
      This season they did not even qualify for the Conference.

      The Avalanche, a team with a major winning streak, did win big till 03, before(like us) entering into a drought till this year.

      The Rapids apart from ’10 did not win the league, or qualify for the playoffs.

      The rams on the other hand havent made it to the playoffs since 04

      Proof enough?

      Cause the story seems a lot familiar.

      One FA Cup in 9 years is not what the Arsenal is about.

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  10. Wouldn’t like to have as one of our biggest stakeholders guy, who along with Putin limits the freedom of speech in Russia – please, read about vkontakte.ru. I don’t think guy’s sharing the same values as the Club.

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  11. Quiet times for The Arsenal so this cunt starts gobbing off. So I don’t get Andrew into trouble I will not call him what I do in conversation with friends.

    He is not on my Christmas Card list.

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        • Strangely enough, his comments only ever seem to come to public attention when we have lost a game or we are told there is some crisis. Much like those of David “ooh what a lovely tan” Dein.
          Frankly success really ought to be the greatest spur to our players as that way we have newspapers devoid of pictures of corpulent Uzbeki robber barons and strangely orange Lionel Blair lookalikes.

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  12. We do not want this man anywhere near influencing or representing anything at all to do with our club.

    If he’s just an investor who is looking to make a profit by selling his shareholding on in due course all well and good.

    Otherwise, he can stay at home in Uzbekistan stroking his white long haired cat.

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  13. Both Stan and Fatso may be cunts but I’d love to be a billion pounds worse off than either of ‘em.

    Lucky fuckers…….

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  14. “The taxes that I will pay on my profits from this venture will be paid in Russia”. His interest in Arsenal is held by a Jersey company registered at 13/14 Esplanade, St Helier, Jersey. It would therefore appear to be an empty statement as any profits will be sheltered tax free in Jersey.

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    • Nice work Joeos.
      Perhaps whe will simply provide a charitable donation to Russia in stead of tax.
      I await his public pronouncement.

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  15. A this puritanical bollox. Ask the average city fan if they give a fuck where thier money comes from all they care about is the memories of
    Winning the title etc
    Ask Chelsea fans the same. Are they bothered that in 20 years time will they bother about where the cash came from. No they will be talking a out the fantastic days out they had when they won the champions league etc.
    Life is short and if the Russian wanted to invest his billions in giving me more brilliant days out and memories then I’m happy to take it. Chelsea won’t go bust neither will city that’s just a argument put out by the purists who are happy for us to take the morale high ground and spout things like ide rather win fuck all than do it by spending millions we don’t generate ourselves.
    Give me a title and a champions league and all the drinking and piss taking of spurs
    Fans that go with it over the morale high ground that many on here are happy to occupy.

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    • Not only won’t Chelsea go bust, they are FFP-compliant and their revenues are now higher than ours. City won’t go bust either, and with a few more years of success on the pitch they’ll be in the same enviable position as Chelsea.

      Us, however? Never mind, who gives a fuck about the direction we’re heading when there’s the more serious matter of Usmanov being fat to take into account? And when the argument about his appearance doesn’t get as many thumbs up as it once did, there’s always his politics to fall back on. Curious that no one ever brings up the question of Kroenke’s politics as a possible reason to approve or disapprove of his ownership.

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      • Chelsea are now FFP compliant. Their next aim is to maintain this status on a year by year basis in line with the regs. Chelsea attained compliance status through success in Europe and the league (in terms of finishing strongly and getting a long way in the Europa League) allowing them to turn a 1.7m profit in one year as against a 49m loss the previous year, just allowing them to meet the regulations. So in a year in which they do really well, they turn a 2m profit. What happens when they don’t!
        Further, our revenues continue to grow as now we are no longer constrained by receiving little or nothing from Nike with the advent of the puma deal. This ought to add, if estimates are correct, 30m a year to the revenue figures. This is not black and white. But the trend is that our revenues will be rising at a far greater rate than theirs.

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    • The average City fan was starved for success for decades. Same with Chelsea. We haven’t been. We have no need to turn to desperate measures. We are getting there under our own steam. Anyway, the day of the sugar daddy is slowly being reined in as the Clubs find that there will be huge financial penalties for failing to reach the FFP requirements, so any new billionaires who want to get into football will be restricted in the impact they can have, in my opinion.

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      • FFP is a fucking joke.

        It sees teams like Malaga get their legs chopped off and teams like Barca, City, PSG get a friendly slap on the back.

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  16. So his investment in Arsenal, a British business, doesn’t benefit Britain in any single way as he pays tax in Russia! Why the fuck is that allowed? Fuckin fat criminal.

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    • No that’s not right. He is using existing tax and legal structures to mitigate his tax bill. Don’t complain at him for that. Complain at those who make the rules…….And by the way, the same could be levelled at Mr Kroenke who will also not be a UK tax payer.
      A successful and profitable business in itself creates income and tax revenue and that is the point. Of course if the proposed strategy of Usmanov were to be adopted and resulted in destroying the value and success of the club then there would be a direct impact on employment and hence income and tax revenues. And that would clearly be bad. It’s down to who you think is the better custodian of the club.
      I know who my money goes on….

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  17. Oh come on everyone….lets be nice and all get along. We could all write a letter asking uncle Alisher and cousin Stan for a quick search down the back of the sofa for a spare £200m, call it a sponsorship of the training ground, go nuts on transfers and kick lumps of cold, hard revenge into Citeh, Chelski and the rest on way to the title next year.

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  18. Tradition is one of the great things about The Arsenal. Doing things ‘the right way’ is one of those traditions, in my opinion.

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  19. Sorry I know this is completely off topic but I was watching England training on tv and I swear I saw Ivan Gazidis talking to the England staff. If it was him was he checking on the Arsenal boys or signing a new player? Strange.

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  20. Wow, I thought Arsenal supporters liked this guy and wanted him over Silent Stan who treats this team like a business investment…

    I am really surprised today by the comments.

    I’m not sure as many people would jump ship as stated if he became more of a sugar-daddy similar to City and Chelski when more trophies starting piling up…

    Who is everyone picking in the World Cup? Hard not to thing Brazil will be in the final four – they should average at least 1 penalty a game in their favour because of crowd influence especially if Howard Webb is the ref.

    COYG!!!

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    • Have you never been here before? This is THE anti-Usmanov site. Only Red Action with its ‘Arsenal Hates Usmanov’ banner compares to it, though that banner hasn’t been seen for a while at the Emirates, as far as I know, so even Red Action may have had second thoughts. On other sites the opinion is more evenly divided, and fan organisations like the AST are critical of Kroenke’s exclusion of his co-owner from the board.

      Gazidis, when asked by the AST and by journalists to justify this, lamely replies that it would ‘create disharmony’. You bet. I don’t see Usmanov taking it kindly if Kroenke or his heir ever fancied doing a Glazer.

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      • All the publicly available evidence us that it us Usmanov who seeks to talk regular cash sums from the club. Dear god in heaven how many more times! Simply repeating an untruth doesn’t make it true…..

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  21. The good thing about Kroenke that he never gets credit for is that he’s inert. He’s never going to meddle and wreck the club.

    Usmanov was always going to be the opposite.

    And now that AFC has worked its way into an envious financial state I know how glad I am that Usmanov was never allowed to get control.

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  22. I think we have to realise there probably is no such thing as a benevolent owner – even Citeh at some point will want to stop losing money? Why? Because it’s in their nature. Businessmen hate losing money. They don’t mind speculating to accumulate.

    We also have to remember that AFC continue to sell out a 60000 seater stadium while CFC and Man City can’t sell out their smaller ones. Were they able to, I guarantee prices would go up – because price is dictated nor solely by cost, but by demand.

    If people voted with their feet at Arsenal, then perhaps ticket prices would come down. I’d welcome it if they did. It is the one thing that annoys me about the club.

    But those of you who say – who cares about tomorrow, let’s spend, spend, spend and make memories. Football clubs, or Arsenal can’t go bankrupt? I am not sure why anyone would be so sure.

    We have record levels of money in football and yet record levels of debt and more clubs going into administration than ever before. It doesn’t seem logical – football finances should be stable because clubs should know in advance what a large percentage of their revenue should be – given that gate receipts are no longer all of a clubs income. So why do so many clubs get it wrong? Because they spend money they do not have thinking it will get them even more revenue in future. They also think their current revenue will never drop.

    But is this realistic? Will revenues keep rising? Why not I hear some say – football is now growing in all parts of the globe, people are supporting AFC all over Asia and America. Ok. Well what happens when everyone has been reached?

    And the recent TV deal was a record one but it was based on BT taking their gamble on football selling their services in much the same way as Sky used football to sell their dishes. What if business-wise the risk/investment does not pay off? Is it a given they will be bidding next time or that they’d bid as much?

    We also have a cost of living crisis. I don’t know about you but even living in the poorest part of the UK, I simply don’t see where my money goes each month and I have less and less disposable income – and my wife and I have good jobs. So, if I am feeling the pinch – it must be bad. Who’s to say, with energy prices constantly going up, that people will not simply be priced out of going to football or even paying for their TV footage?

    You don’t know. You can’t know. So my not wanting Arsenal to join the ratrace of spending money they don’t have is not football purism, it’s not some idealistic notion removed from reality. I’d say it’s much more grounded in reality than those who say ‘tomorrow never comes’.

    I wouldn’t like to speak for fans of other clubs but do you think Leeds fans thank Ridsdale for giving them a CL Semi? Do Pompey fans think their FA Cup win is worth almost dropping out of the league altogether?
    Rangers dominated scottish football and fell to pieces due to poor governance and gambling on future incomes. People who tell you revenues will always increase in football are probably the same people who thought the housing market could never crash.

    In an ideal world, standing areas would be reintroduced to all grounds. It’s give cheaper access to the games and a bigger crowd – so no drop in income for the club. Also would help the atmosphere. Is this likely – no.

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  23. As of last summer, I was citing the same American sports statistics about Kroenke as Lord Nicki B in these forums, but I have to admit that the splash for Özil was a welcome surprise. In the USA, his teams have typically allowed the best talent to leave (other than the Avalanche), and they HAVE typically been treading water since he’s bought them. The Özil signing is quite a different tactic, and I see it as very encouraging re: Kroenke’s ambitions for AFC. Maybe it’s down to the fact that Arsenal is more marketable globally than the Avalanche, Nuggets, and Rams are combined, and the only way to truly expand globally is to have world class players and actually win things, but even if it’s that instrumental, I’m happy with world class players and winning things.

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