It feels like this ought to be a voiceover in Geordie accent, “Friday in the football free house…“; don’t moan to me about pop culture kids, I’m just getting you in that Channel 5 frame of mind, ready for Thursday Night Football (TNF) although there are so many matches in the Europa League, it seems highly unlikely a ten-day footballing break would arise. Thinking about it, I never thought I’d say this but Michelle Platini might have a good idea in expanding the Champions League to 64 teams. In that circumstance, Arsenal would have another trophy to play for, 7th place probably being the qualifying standard in the Premier League for the qualifying rounds, 4th to get straight into the group stage…
Takeover talk is all the rage. As the High Street struggles and rapidly turns to a series of boarded up shops, football clubs remain the ultimate fashion accessory for the uber-rich. Talk of Arsenal being the latest trinket was quickly rubbished, the chairman also sticking his size 9s into the plan,
I have heard nothing and I don’t think anybody knows anything about it at the club. It all seems a bit of a waste of time. If there is this consortium,they can’t make any progress unless they attempt to get in touch. So I can’t say if there is anything to it or not.
But even if they did make an approach, my understanding is our two major shareholders do not want to sell.
Indeed they do not, Mr Chairman, although PHW doesn’t have a particularly good record when it comes investors in Arsenal, from Dein and Kroenke subjected to barbs from The Bard Of The Boardroom. In fact, our chum from the former Soviet bloc is intent on continuing to purchase new shares to add to his collection, coming within 5 shares of the magical 30%. Well, I say within 5, many believe he reached the total some time ago but held them through acquaintances at a long enough arms reach to not be readily indentifiable as such.
The threshold itself is meaningless. Premier League rule changes mean no new doors open for Red & White whilst the Takeover Panel long ago lifted any requirement for a bid for the club. Does it even hold any media significance beyond having journalists happy to listen to the PR surrounding how good an owner Red & White would be. Some claim such a shareholding should bring a right to sit at the board table; Red & White claim they do not want to do so but the club are not slacking with all stadium tours being watched carefully lest the Uzbek gentleman with a dodgy beard take the chance to sit in Stan’s seat for a photo opportunity.
I have never seen a coherent argument put forward for them to be offered such a position in the club. Nothing of any substance beyond the usual platitudes of shareholdings and successful businessmen. Arguably KSE is run by successful businessmen in a more relevant arena; sport. Neither situation which involves either KSE or Red and White owning the club is acceptable, for differing reasons neither are palatable. Yet it is what it is and supporters are powerless to change it.
30% gives nothing more than nuisance value; I suppose that his supporters might turn round and use it to continue to rattle sabres about how unjust the scenario is but in truth, it is nothing. FFP renders the Sugar Daddy neutered to varying degrees. For Arsenal, this is the perceived saviour; whether the Emporer is wearing new clothes will soon be seen.
Elsewhere yesterday’s silly season continues today with memories of Grange Hill‘s “Just Say No” evoked by reports of Arsène’s interest in Yaya Sanogo which is a headline-writers’ dream if it falls through, “Yaya says Nogo To Arsenal” or if he gets injured, “Yaya’s Out At The Emirates“. You can sense the piggy banks being shaken in Highbury House already…