The only cost for the Europa League which Stan will take notice of is the refunds given to season ticket holders yesterday. I say given to them but mentioned in an email is more accurate; the club is refunding the money by cheque. Delivered by post…you’re way ahead of me.
it wasn’t the real story of the day although addressing the issue of ticket prices for next season’s Europa League this early is commendable. I didn’t see any prices mentioned yet but estimates were in the £20-30 range which seems fair enough.
No, the story wasn’t even KSE denying their shares were for sale. And so the dance begins. There is a price at which Stan will sell but the fly in the ointment is whether he can sell and enjoy the funds?
If, as is suspected, he has used Arsenal’s value to obtain borrowing for his LA Rams move, is he tied into keeping his shares until their new stadium is built, which then becomes a more convenient asset for the banks to use as security?
If it is and he then sells his Arsenal shares, does he have to pay down the loans? That’s something he may not feel inclined to do. Too much exposure of his own funds and out of line with self-sufficiency he desires from his franchises.
The question is not as simple as our black and white painting of it. Murky grey fits better. It’s going to be an interesting few months on this issue and more intriguingly, to find who else is in the running to purchase the club.
It’s hard to think of anyone more repugnant than Usmanov but you know these billionaires and their egos; someone, somewhere, will have a damn good go at it.
Bob Wilson Told Me So
As per usual it’s Arsenal Football Club as a business rather than the business of Arsenal Football Club taking the headlines. Whatever the outcome of Stan and Ali’s situation, Ivan is sorted.
According to the Heil, he has a £5.5m fortune amassed from his time at the club. No-one tells us how they worked that out and I’m inclined to think it’s guesswork. Unless of course, Ivan wandered into Darth Dacre’s office shouting, “Look at my wad”.
At which point the Heil’s inimical Editor counters with a vision of all his wealth amassed through EU subsidies for his Scottish estate. The hand that feeds has been well and truly bitten off.
Bob Wilson waded into the discord surrounding the club yesterday and it’s hard to think it wasn’t ‘signed off’ by some of the board, at the very least. I like Bob and he was many people’s favourite for a ‘footballing man’ on the board for a while.
A lot of us grew up with him in the background, on the pitch and then on the telly with his measured tone suiting the BBC perfectly. The training as a PE teacher is put to good use in this playground spat; Wilson told them to talk through their issues:
“[Monday’s board meeting] should include the involvement of the major shareholder. That abuse was awful to hear. And [discuss] the possibilities offered by Alisher Usmanov, who like Abramovich loves his football team and is prepared to invest hugely in Arsenal Football Club.”
Let’s see if the implied threat of an after-school detention has the desired effect.
There is an FA Cup final this weekend, flying under the radar somewhat. In days of old, this was a big thing. Now, it isn’t. The word ‘league’ doesn’t appear in the competition name so the money men aren’t interested.
They’ve successfully wrecked its’ reputation in the process, a move the FA was utterly complicit in. Michel Platini had the idea of cup winners winning a place in the Champions League. A move, which if successful, made the Champions League all-powerful; the prize beyond prizes.
There was more of a sense of occasion for the day when I was younger. The coverage began mid-morning and a welter of personalities passed through Tarby’s lounge or joined in with ‘FA Cup Final It’s A Knockout’ or ‘FA Cup Final Mastermind’. Even the athletics, racing and wrestling, for one day only, had ‘FA Cup Final’ in the title.
The air of innocence of those times has been lost. Most of the guests are dead or serving time at Her Majesty’s Pleasure.
And you could buy the FA Cup Final programme in WH Smith’s in the week before the game. It was expensive then but nowhere near the rip-off it is now. If you see a pristine copy of a 1970s FA Cup final nowadays, it probably came from a provincial town newsagents rather than the game itself.
By now, all the papers would be issuing ‘FA Cup Final Specials’ and the back pages mingled the final in with the cricket coverage. The butterflies fluttered in your stomach as the weekend couldn’t come fast enough.
Now, we’re talking about which billionaire is morally acceptable as an owner. The time of innocence has died.