Sunday, April 22, 2007

'All that glisters is not gold': the great Arsenal takeover mystery

Quite a week, eh?

David Dein, Our most prominent board member, and Arsene's best mate (Trademark), is sacked from the board, prompting mass hysteria and suggestions that the club is on the verge of a takeover.

Peter 'legend' Hill-Wood, says that he will not allow the club to be sold 'across the Atlantic' to those who know 'sweet FA' about 'our' football.

Stan Kroenke buys more shares in the club, and sends a letter out to the Arsenal Supporters Trust, undoubtedly as a precursor to an attempt to buy the 10% or so of shares that small-shareholders control. His stake now lies at just over 12%, with the sale of Dein's 14% stake to Kroenke being just a matter of time.

Arsene is forced to publicly state that he will honour his contract, while remaining cagey on his long-term future. However, his statements about 'his decision' in appointing a sporting director seem to imply he will renew his deal in 2008. Arsene also, contradicting earlier comments, comes out in favour of a takeover.

Phew. So much for us being the 'stable' club of English football.

Whilst I have previously come out in favour of a takeover, now, I have to admit, I'm sharing PHW's views. Is a transfer kitty enough to justify the sale of our club's history and its values? 'All that glisters is not gold', after all.

Of course, many would claim we have already sold out, playing in our 'Emirates' stadium. But a bit of advertising is not the same as a full sale of the club, and it would be disingenuous to compare the two.

Would Arsene even use a transfer budget if presented with it? Our biggest signings in recent years have largely been failures: Reyes and Wiltord. Only Henry has justified his +£10m price tag. Would the ability to buy a few nice trinkets really be worth a takeover? Isn't Arsene's youth policy actually quite a proud and respectable way to go about business?

And what of Kroenke, or 'silent' Stan as he's known? Is he another Glazer? He certainly seems to be at the moment, with his calvacade of US sports clubs and quiet public persona. Has he got the stomach to launch a messy hostile takeover, and what would it say about him if he did? If he and Dein were in cahoots, and secretly plotting behind the board's back, do we really want his sort? Do we really want Dein back if he's willing to act in this way? And how is Kroenke planning to finance the takeover? By taking on debt? Do we want a Glazer situation of a highly-leveraged buy-out on top of large stadium debts? How would that actually benefit the club?

I would suggest it would not, and certainly not in the way many fans hope a takeover would benefit us; but I think a takeover, or at least a serious takeover attempt, will occur. For all the talk of the board resisting a bid, and refusing to sell for twelve months, Kroenke can still push up his stake in the club to a level were a takeover would be necessary for the health of the club. If Kroenke gets to 40%+ shares, the board will sell, even if it is in a year's time.

Of course a takeover can still be resisted, but I wonder if the board really have the stomach for a fight in the long-term. It's sad to contemplate, but maybe our club is just another potential money-spinner for a rich individual, who knows nothing of football apart from its money-making potential.

So I'm with PHW. Call me a little Englander, or someone blind to the contemporary nature of football, but I want my club to be run by people who genuinely care about it. Who care about it on a level higher than money. People, like me, who would pay to come and watch the game if they weren't a shareholder. Call me a cynic, but you are not one of these people Mr Kroenke, and I'm not sure if I want you near my team.


Anonymous said...

hellooo, and how is the history of the club being sold?, for all i know the Hill-Wood family have been ther for ages maybe that is hard to let go. and you as a supporter what are the ambitions you wish for your club and how do you see that been achieved? how long do we by cheap and continue to claim we are a big club?
i believe we should open are minds and eyes and see were the football wind blows and decided as a club what do we really want?

Anonymous said...

I this bloke might claim to be a bit different to the other americans in town in as much as kronke owns a football team in the states that has linked up with us only a short time ago.

Goonerboy said...

Owning a MLS team does not, for me, qualify someone as having a real interest in football.

I just don't think we should sell ourselves down the river for a couple of trophies. The club is better than that.

Anonymous said...

Why does everyone compare him to the shifty Glazers, who don't even like football!! Its like saying that every russian who comes over must be a multi billionaire who's going to splash 100's of millions on players. Kroenke will not put the club in a position like Glazer did, it wouldn't be worth his while. You're also forgetting that Glazer didn't have enough of his own cash to buy utd, but Kroenke has got enough & his family (meaning his wife) have another 8 billion on top.

Anonymous said...

With such strong views in favour of PHW and against Stan Kroenke and DD it looks like you are going to have to find another team mate. I really don't know why you are so anti-DD, he has a right to consult with other major shareholders as he is one himself (much more so than PHW incidentally).

There is every possibility that DD will be back with Stan Kroenke. Kroenke looks as though he clearly understands the community and youth development aspects of the game. It is time to modernise and the combination of AW, DD and SK are right for us now. It is not about buying players, it is about extending our reach in England, Europe and globally.

Stan Kroenke is in it for the money? Why would he not be. I think that with this guy in charge we can look forward to cheaper seats, more facilities for young supporters, home managed ticketing systems and schemes (instead of paying ticket master et al), Arsenal owned cable/TV etc, etc.

In my opinion the current major shareholders are just a little too comfortable.

Unknown said...

The real question is what do you want in an owner. As a fan, it seems that you should only care about two things: the owner is an avid fan of the club and the owner has, and is willing to spend, a large sum of money in order for the club to succeed. I'm not sure exactly how much money Kroenke has but, if his words can be trusted, we do know that he is a fan. We also know that he owns three professional sports franchises in America and is partial owner in a forth. He is a shrewd businessman who, if given the chance, could propel Arsenal into a "golden age." Look, it's only a matter of time before someone buys Arsenal. With that in mind, we should not be debating if we want a takeover, but if Kroenke is the right man to own the club.

Goonerboy said...

Kroenke himself is 'only' $2 billion, and most of it is actually property money so fairly intangible. He'd have to take out loans to buy the club.

Also, I very much doubt that he'd reduce season ticket costs.

Goonerboy said...

Also, Dein was going behind the board's back and pretty much lied to them about meeting Kroenke, or at least about his level of contact with him. As Arseblogger has pointed out, you have to wonder whether Dein is acting primarily in his or Arsenal's interests. He's clearly a very ambitious man, and he's been very goo d for the club, but I'm not sure I like what I hear about the way he's been conducting himself recently.

Anonymous said...

If Arsenal are going to sell, they should do it before the season ends. A whole season of doubt will not be good for anybody.

I agree with everybody on their comments because we don't really know this guy.

WE ALL HAVE BEING GOING FORWARD AND BACKWARD FOR THE TAKEOVER. Dein wanted the best for Arsenal and I think he will be BACK. There could be another theory, maybe the board planned everything: inorder to increase the price to about £800m. I THINK THAT'S A LIE THOUGH.

Arsene won't appoint anybody until the end of the season and he appoints any other person; if Dein goes back he will get this jod back with ease.

Then again DEIN COULD DECIDE TO TURN HIS BACK ON FOOTBALL. I think his son might be favourite.

Anonymous said...

goonerboy. i'm with you. we is selling the soul if we let that yank pigfucker in on our club. remember chaps, he ain't buying this for fun - he'll suck money out of it. and it won't come from his personal fortune - it will be financed by debt.

Anonymous said...

Come on cunty, how can you bitch about a "yank pigfucker" for an owner when you have a French manager and about three English players on your team? Seems to me you should care more about winning than about the owner's nationality.

Anonymous said...

Do you pro-takeover posters believe that Kroenke is going to put money into the Club? If so, you're mad.

He will use a leveraged buy-out (financed through debt). This will mean that as AFC pays off the capital it will go to Kroenke, who will effectively pick up the Club for nothing. As things stand, capital repayments go towards AFC assets. It would be absolute financial madness to sell out now.

I also believe that our future is already secure. Wenger has built a young team which will compete at the highest level for years to come. The move to the Grove has guaranteed massively increased revenue streams. The rebranding has been an unqualified success.

Do not let Kroenke undo all this good work. Dein can get another job somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

In our opinion Wenger has now become the most important person in this struggle for power.

He will undoubtedly be coveted by both suitors to remain with the club. And therefore he alone can help tip the balance one the way or another.

He has to make up his mind right now in order to avoid the uncertainty tha will ensue in the coming 12 months.

Anonymous said...

Well Boz, he puts money back into the Denver Nuggets, the Colorado Avelanche, the St. Louis Rams, and the Colorado Rapids. What makes you think he won't put money back into Arsenal? Kroenke is worth billions, and he is a smart enough businessman to understand that in order for a club to be profitable, the club has to be successful. The only way to make a club is successful is to spend money. So....the better question is why do you believe Kroenke will "undo all this good work."

Anonymous said...

Wenger didnt say he supported takeover, but just said he couldnt oppose it on basis of being foreign, as his team is mainly foreign. Not quite the same thing is it?
I wish people would stop spinning these quotes

Anonymous said...

Although it would be romantic to stick with the current regime, it is the DD and AW partnership that has dragged us into the G14 era we now exist in. What will happen to these grand visions with DD gone? It is clear that the current board are not the type of guys to chuck in the odd 15mil to sign a player, so as far as I can see sticking with what we have involves remaining self sufficient whilst losing one of our visionaries and most powerful men in football. What will a Kronke DD partnership bring? Well DD and AW will be reunited. From my limited knowledge it seems that Kronke is not a virgin when it comes to owning a sports club and has no prior history of bleeding them dry. If he is a pure investor anyone knows that to buy shares at one price and expect them to rise significantly in value will involve adding some value to the club. The best way to add value to a football club is to make it sucessful, both on and off the pitch. I Cant see him being an unmitigated disaster. Either way, I dont think it will affect us as supporters too much. Lets just see what happens.

Anonymous said...

If you take a look at the picture of the man, you understand that he can be trusted.. A man with a mustache like that, must be a good man...

Anonymous said...

It appears that some people need a lesson in basic corporate finance.
Kroenke is looking to buy out the current shareholders. This is simply a value transfer netween him and them. This in no way improves the ability of the club to buy players unless a) he injects extra personal capital for this purpose or b) raids the existing coffers for it. People seem to be equating his "investment" in the club i.e his purchase of said shares to some kind of a pound for pound transfer kitty. Having paid a queens ransom for the club it is highly unlikely that he will throw around huge pots of money for this purpose. In fact, to date the only one of our new football club owners to have done this is Abramobitch who seems to be running Chelsea as some sort of enormous loss leader in order to either buy UK citizenship or develop a profile making it more difficult for Putin to nobble his sushi. Anyway, point is, Kroenke wants the club as it is a fantastic opportunity for him to put in, comparatively minimal investment (since the shares are undervalued by any reasonable corporate finance valuation method)and get maximum return. Very soon the new stadium will be bringing on stream revenues not far short of Man Ure's. As soon as the current contractual obligations on the stadium debt (to maintain £33m in cash on the balance sheet as protection against default) elapse in 2009, there will be a mountain of cash to invest in the football side. HillWood and the board know this and know that we only have to ride out 2 more seasons of shopping at Morrisons before we can resume our place at Harrods. As long as we can finish in the top four next season as well, and maintain the Champions League revenues,we're laughing, in other words. Do not get sucked in by the fatuous Sky Sports reporting of this man as some kind of white knight. This guy knows a shitload about "sports franchises" and fuck all about football and, more importantly, Arsenal. He must be resisted at all costs.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who claims that they have paid out millions for the good of a football club and its fans, but not for money or their own either a bloody liar or a nutter. Of course David Dein is in this for himself, but he is also an Arsenal fan. The real question he good enough to lead the club into the next phase? Answer - yes.

Then...Does Stan Kroenke have a good track record in football, and does he understand players and fans. Answer - it would appear so. Has Stan Kroenke ever gone bust or caused a sports club to go bust? Answer - No.

Does AW trust DD and Stan Kroenke? Answer yes to the first and does'nt know yet to the second.

If PHW says that DD is untrustworthy then why did they work together for so many years without a problem?

Why do you have so much faith in people like the Bracewell-Smiths and Carrs.

Why do you have so much faith in a man who 'tidies'up his share portfolio by inadvertently selling shares to a man who might take over the club. A man who already has an interest in the club through his partnership. Yes sure Danny..OK right if you say so.

If you know that you have to modernise and become a global company in order to compete - do you want PHW to lead that or Stan Kroenke? My answer to that is no to PHW and don't know let us see to Stan Kroenke.

Btw the reason that I mentioned ticket prices is a that Stan Kroenke has a record of making matches accessible to everyone, and is keen on finding ways to get youngsters into games.

Are you sure that you have this right Goonerboy?..I don't think that Arseblog has got it right either so don't look to him.

Anonymous said...

My question is would we be having such a divided debate if Stan Kroenke, a man worth over 2 billion dollars with proven success running multiple sports franchises, was British?

Anonymous said...

OK I did'nt see the comments of the guy that mentioned Morrison's and Harrods.

Paying off the mortgage and then wandering around pretending to do something interesting is what individuals do not companies.

Who said anything about buying players, and competing with Manu, Liverpool, and Chelski? We made that mistake before when we went for the Emirates in order to compete with Manu, but did not see Abramovitch sneaking up. This not about buying a few players it is making moves well ahead of the game. It is about creating an Arsenal global network of clubs, creating your own sports channels instead of depending upon Sky etc, making sure that you have generations of fans, building a brand around footballing excellence, using ingenuity to kick on several levels...and of course making money..why not thats what we all do is'nt it? At the ned of the day if the fans don't come and the players don't play then the pounds or bucks dry up. Why would Kroenke want to deliberately screw the club?

Sounds like a great adventure to me...count me in.

Anonymous said...

Just for background, I'm a journalist who has lived in Britain but now I'm back in California -- and a Gooner to my soul.

I DO know Stan Kroenke and have covered him and his American teams for years. I also know the guys who bought Man Utd and Liverpool.

Forget my passport, though. I'm being honest here because I love Arsenal in particular and English football in general.

First of all, everyone needs to quit fretting over who said what on the board, whether or not DD was dealing with Kroenke, etc.

Hey, this is BIG business. Hundreds of millions at stake. So I wouldn't believe a word of what you read in the British papers.

Look, when Kroenke got involved at the beginning, OF COURSE he intended to start the process of a takeover. He sees Arsenal as a great investment -- better than United or Liverpool, certainly, because it's in London and the stadium is already built.

But the key thing here, and the reason Dein is involved, is that Kroenke LOVES football. He and Phil Anschutz bascially kept Major League Soccer alive in the U.S. until it could stand on its own feet.

Arsenal supporters must understand that the current ownership will not last much longer in any event. Like it or not, it's the way of the world. So the most important thing is that when a takeover comes, we get the RIGHT buyer -- and believe me, Kroenke is almost perfect. (Somebody else asked if we'd be arguing this point if he were British, and the answer is no.)

Yes, Kroenke would intend to make money from the club -- naturally he would. But you do that by producing winning sides, and I can't say this enough: The man LOVES English football and he will respect Arsenal's traditions. Remember that's the only condition AW has been mentioning while discussing foreign ownership.

I have believed from the beginning that Kroenke intended to buy out the shareholders, and what's more, I believe Hill-Wood and the others have known it all along and their public posturing is just for show.

Remember, THEY get the best of all worlds if Kroenke buys the club -- more money than they can count plus a man who is going to keep Arsenal on the right track.

Kroenke and Dein would tie up Arsene, which is critical to everything. Why is everyone worried that Arsene will leave? You don't sign teen-agers if you're planning to head out of town.

Stan Kroenke has been the best thing that's ever happened to each team in which he's invested. All of them are better off now -- run efficiently without any interference.

Kroenke doesn't treat these things as toys, but as separate entities which he wants to be successful -- both in competition and financially. Which go together, when you think about it.

I love the Arsenal traditions, too, and cried when Thierry kissed the pitch on the last day at Highbury.

But we're headed to the future now, and as long as we're there, let's be financially solid and WIN.

That's Kroenke's gospel, and for that reason I think a takeover -- done quickly to give AW time to plan for next year -- would be the best thing for the club.

By far.

It has nothing to do with the fact I'm an American, either. I just want stability and more of our beautiful football with silverware at the end -- and that's what Kroenke can offer.

Forget his nationality. It makes no difference.

Stan Kroenke will keep our club on the Wenger path to success.

Every Gooner in the world should be excited about this, and sooner or later you'll all know it.

I understand the collective case of nerves, but I'm positive from past experience that this takeover would be a godsend.

I'm not talking about throwing money into transfers, either. I believe Stan would let Dein and Arsene decide on that part of it.

Relax, fellow Gooners. A very good thing is coming our way.

Anonymous said...

california steve, good post very inspiring i hope your right.

Unknown said...

California Steve, I hope you are right about Mr. K. If we are to be taken over, which I think will be nevitable, I cetainly hope it will be not one of those Glazer type character.

Anonymous said...

Steve, that's nice and all, but in all likelihood he would finance his takeover by taking out loans like Glazer (the most important reason he was opposed) with interest payments tied to the club's, not his, money a la Abramovich. With the club already saddled with the Stadium debt, do you really believe this is the right time for a takeover? Another question - is Arsenal Holdings PLC a separate entity? If not, I can't imagine that the board would want to sell up before reaping the profits from Highbury.

Anonymous said...

Two of my friends bought houses for about £250,000 about 10 years ago. Both had mortgages of approximately £100,000. One decided he was desperate to pay off his mortgage and worked away making his repayments for ten years. He is now mortgage free and his house is worth £500,000 - a good investment. The other sold his house after two years and took on a bigger mortgage, in fact he did this three times over the ten year period. He is now saddled with a £500,000 mortgage. However his house is worth £1.9 million, and he will stay in it until he decides to downsize.

Now houses are not football clubs and for most people not businesses. But for those with business acumen there is a healthy profit to be made.

If in this analogy Stan Kroenke is the friend with the £1.9m house (AFC) then you could argue that eventually he will cash in his chips, having paid off his mortgage, and AFC will then be owned by someone else, but that soemone will be able to afford to pay £1.9m.

If in the analogy AFC is the house - then the club is now worth a lot more because of its size and success.

The way in which the guy finances the mortgage is not really of interest.

As long as AFC as a business is worth considerably more than its capital assets, which as a football club it almost certainly will be then asset stripping is not an option so any owner is bound to do his or her best to make it successful.

Best to allow the club to be sold becuase at the moment we are in the position of the first friend. Comfortable after retirement but not exactly setting the world on fire.

Kroenke looks very good to me. Time for the new era of Kroenke, Dein and Wenger.

Anonymous said...

Sorry California Steve, but unless you can explain how a man who places an additional £600 million of debt, in addition to the £350 million outstanding debt, is taking the club 'to the next level'. It will require tens of millions of interest payments a year to service and, unless Kroenke is closet maniacal Arsenal fan with hitherto undisclosed and hidden billions of pounds, there will be no funds avaliable in addition to those already avaliable.

So I make you a liar.

Some facts about the Glazer's takeover, which Kroenke mirrors most closely.

Since their arrival, Man U have a net profit on transfers. They have just announced losses of £137 million. They have added £100 million to the original borrowing of £550 million. Despite restructuring the debt they still owe NY hedge funds £120 million in PIK bonds. Loans that charge up to 20% per annum and hold the club as guarantee.

Kroenke, like all the US investors (Abramovich bares no comparison whatsoever) sees an oppotunity to exploit English fans unparalleled loyalty and stupidity when it comes to their clubs. US investors do not take clubs to 'the next level'. They saddle clubs with uneccessary debt and then get the mugs in the terraces to pay for it.

You say the current regime will not last 'in any event'. Why? If they choose not to sell, then there is no question of a takeover. They built the stadium, they brought in Wenger, they have managed the club's sucess for decades.

So, please, if you really know Kroenke, tell him from me to go poke it.

We're not all mugs.

Anonymous said...

He is a business man who is looking to add the club to his portfolio. He will put the minimum of his own cash in - perhaps one quarter of the purchase price. He will then use Arsenal's assets and revenue streams to guarantee loans that he'll use to buy the club. This means that after a few years he'll have got the club for virtually nothing. He will only put in enough money to maintain the club's Champion's League status thus guaranteeing these revenue streams. This is a disgrace. This takeover must be resisted.

Anonymous said...

I think there is something of a difference between what some people want to happen and what is likely to happen.Danny Fiszman is likely to sell his shares over the next year or the sale of the club to Kroenke is probably inevitable. How he funds it is something we can all watch. Who knows he may see a future in football and decide that that is the stregic way forward for his company. To date he has a diverse sports portfolio perhaps he will want to focus upon football and Arsenal/Colorado Rapids and divest himself of his other interests. OR perhaps he will sell some real estate, or perhaps as you say he will just borrow the money. How did he buy his other clubs and why are they doing so well?

Goonerboy said...

Well, Denver are hardly setting the NBA on fire are they? Reasonable success but not huge.

Anonymous said...

If this Kroenke geezer is such a wonderful guy and only doing it for the love of the club, why doesn't he just come on board now with his 12% and stump up some cash for transfers, instead of destablising the whole club with a complete buyout. He doesn't have to buy the whole club to invest in it and help.

Anonymous said...

He will not be destabilising the club, he will be stabilising it...and he will have a sound commercial approach which does not include giving money away for transfers we do not need. Nobody is saying that he is a philanthropist.

Anonymous said...

The club doesn't need stabilising. It's one of the best run clubs in the UK, if not Europe, and has been for a very long time.

His actions at the moment are destabilising the club. Why does he have to own to whole club to do these wonderful things we keep hearing about. Why can't he do it with the 12% he now owns.

If buying the other 88% puts the club into debt in the same way as Man Utd then he will not be stabilising it.

Anonymous said...

It will be destabilised because Danny Fiszman is beginning to sell his shares. All the indications are that other major shareholders are considering selling theirs too. That is why they allowed Stan Kroenke to up his stakes. They were selling to a man with whom they had already had dealings. They are just setting themselves for a good price and for when DF has become a tax exile.

Anonymous said...

Why does Kroenke need to own the whole club? If his motives are above board and he's really in it for the love of football and the love of Arsenal, why not be upfront and tell the board he wanted to buy the ITV shares and enter into a partnership? If he really cared about AFC he would know that launching a hostile takeover bid would not be helpful to the club's stability. If he wasn't in such a hurry to take control of the whole cake, a year or two of winning the board and the fans over would not have gone amiss. But I fear his motivation is the property portfolio in a highly desirable part of London and the fact that a money spinning stadium has already been built. The board have taken all the risks and done all the hard work to make that happen and then they're supposed to just sit back and let 'silent Stan' just ride into town and steal it out from under them? I don't think so! No wonder PHW is so PO'd!

Anonymous said...

For God's sake. It is'nt a hostile takeover bid. They have known about Stan Kroenke's position for a very long time. The Colorado Rapids games are even being reported on They are just trying to get the price and timing right. DD just wanted it done quicker.

Anonymous said...

Hey, anonymous of the posts at 7.05, 7.20, 8.41,10.31,yesterday and 1.10 and 7.12 today.

It must be hard to type all those posts with Kranky's cock rammed so hard down your throat. Fuck off and die you cunt.Its fucking arsehole fans like you that know fuck all about OUR game that make me sick. Drop dead, cunt.

Anonymous said...

anonymous at 7.12 pm, the reason the Colorado Rapids result has been reported on is because we are in a marketing partnership with them as we are with a team in Vietnam and Thailand whose results were also posted in the same article!

The Kroenke takeover is separate from this and is considered hostile because despite this pre-existing commercial relationship, he chose to make his moves for shares without the knowledge of the board and with his man on the inside using his position to further Kroenke's aims.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Oh dear Goonerboy - you have some really nice friends. Really bright are'nt they? The fella with the anal fixation needs to question what Peter Hill-Wood and his 'kind' have been doing to him for many years.

My team are run by David Dein and Arsene Wenger, and I want that partnership to continue.

As Danny Fiszman is obviously preparing to sell his shares perhaps some of the detractors could let us know who they would prefer to buy the shares. I would have preferred him to have sold them to fans but he will not be doing that will he...because he wants the best price for them.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:31, is that you or your PR firm, Mr. Kroenke? There's a better chance that I'll be playing in goal for Arsenal than he'll divest himself of his profitable American sports ventures for his new plaything.

Anonymous said...

BTW, anon 10:08 PM, Myles Palmer was never a gooner. He's a yellow journalist who wrote a prattling bio without ever interviewing the subject. He's peeing himself silly now because he doesn't have to think up the next chapter to write..."The Kids" - no "The Takoever" is far more interesting.

If you want to read a journo who IS a gooner, follow Amy Lawrence.

Anonymous said...

if we stay as we are, will we be content with challenging for the FA cup from time to time and hoping to take a top 6 place in the premiership?

some clubs go through cycles and perhaps this is our turn to dip and just accept that this will happen from time to time.

on the other hand, Wenger and Dein appeared to have a vision that has propelled us in to a new era of exciting football, the like of whichwe have never seen before.

Perhaps we should allow them to take us to another level.

Whilst the takeover idea does not sit entirely comfortably with me, it is clear that the ground rules of football management are changing. Money and talent alligned with good planning are the key requisites for success. Arsenal have an abundance in all but the former.

We must not forget that the very reason we (Arsenal)are where we are today is because of the great footballing style Wenger has instilled in to the team. Neutrals watch us the world over because of it. We can't afford to stop the momentum now - we need to keep our "box office" status to expand our fan base and therefore generate more funds.

Lets not kid ourselves. we want to be mentioned in the same breath as legends like Inter, Real, Barcelona and (I hate to say it) Man Utd.

I do think the purchase will take place, Dein will back, Wenger will stay and the long term future success of the club will be secured.

there are risks in this sale, but as was mentioned earlier by anohter fan, this will happen at some time, so why not now?