Friday, August 31, 2007

Dein sells Arsenal down the river to satisfy his own ego & Usmanov profile.

David Dein cannot be trusted. That has now become abundantly and painfully clear. First of all, he tries to get an American sports owner in behind the board's back; now, after being ousted from the board for that act of dishonesty, he's involved a Russian crook to financially back his seemingly unswerving desire to become chairman of our club.

He has literally whored himself to the market and found, it would seem, anyone who will give him the money to finance a takeover bid that will lead to him being chairman, without a thought to the traditions and principles upon which Arsenal football club was built.

There's a lot that needs to be said about Dein personally. About how trading in Arsenal shares bailed him out of his failed sugar trading venture in the late 1980s. About how that sugar venture failed due to his involvement with a fraudster. About how he's lived off the PR of recruiting Arsene Wenger, and their subsequent friendship, for ten years. That article will be written over the coming days.

For now, let's take a look at the lovely man who now, thanks to David Dein, owns almost 15% of our club: Alisher Usmanov.

Now, let me speculate. I'm going out on a limb here, but I should imagine Usmanov is not an Arsenal supporter. More than that, I imagine he wouldn't even be able to locate the stadium on a map, tell you who Dennis Bergkamp is, who Charlie George is, or indeed anything about the club's history. Well, aside the facts his PR men have told him. His heart and soul is hardly welded to the club; what's he going to do when the going gets tough?

No, Mr Usmanov is only interested in the money and power that Arsenal football club can give him. The financial return is easier to understand, but don't underestimate the power he can and also wield if he controls one of the world's biggest clubs, especially if his pal Roman is controlling Chelsea just down the road. He will gain a level of political immunity that the Russian oligarchs are realising that purely business assets cannot give them.

He had this to say about his usual business strategy:

“All our projects work the old-fashioned way. We borrow money and invest it in a new company that is as a rule either in a state of bankruptcy or in serious financial trouble. After gaining control over its assets, we improve its finances so that we can make a profit off its future activity. After a certain period of time, we return the money to lenders."

So, he's clearly marked us out as an operation he can turn round and make money off. This money will not go back into the team, club or community, but back to banks and his already considerable back pocket. The man is worth over $5.5 billion, after all. At this level, he is interested in the club as a 'financial investment', not as a sporting operation which means much more than that to the millions of Arsenal fans around the globe.

But let's get personal. This man is a crook and possibly a gangster. He's a man who was 'wrongfully' imprisoned in the 1980s for extortion, and spent 6 years, yes 6 years, in a Soviet detention camp. Of course, as his lawyers have pointed out, he was wrongfully imprisoned. I wouldn't be surprised if they claimed he was the Uzbek Nelson Mandela.

Since then, he has made his fortune in the bandit capitalism of 1990s Russia, investing in the metals, mining and media sectors in particular. It is around this time that it is alleged that Usmanov made substantial connections with the Russian underworld; it has even been suggested that the British National Criminal Intelligence Service was monitoring him at this point for alleged links to mafia figures.

On the arrival of Putin, Usmanov cottoned on pretty quickly - unlike his compatriot Mikhail Khordokovsky - that to do business in Russia nowadays, you tow the Kremlin line. And while he has denied it, his purchase of Kommersant - a major Russian business paper - at the same time that Putin was re-monopolising state control of the Russian media is a pretty big coincidence, one Usmanov has been forced to deny. After all, this is what happens to journos who don't agree with Putin's policies.

So, here's man who's been imprisoned, who's helped erode freedom of speech in Russia, who's best mates with the lovely Mr Putin, who's undoubtedly made his money in the shall we say 'slightly' shady ways that the other oligarchs did, and who has been consistently linked to the Russian mafia.

You can say that there's a lot of speculation in this article, and there is. But this is only because every Russian oligarch, including our friend Roman, is notoriously secretive about their pasts. I'd love to know more about how Mr Usmanov went from being a convicted felon to a multi-billionaire in the space of a few years, but the information is simply not out there. And whilst its a cliche, in this case there is certainly no smoke without a quite considerable fire.

I would say a few things. One, this man does not have the interests of the club in any way at heart. He is only thinking of himself, how the club can financially benefit him and, as importantly, how it can politically protect him from meeting the same fate as Khordokovsky. The purchase will raise his persona and protect him from any tenuous 'fraud' charges.

His nationality, and I will say this clearly now, has nothing to do with it. If he was English and had led the same life I would say exactly the same thing. It's who he is, not where's he's from that bothers me. Sometimes money, despite what it can bring you, is tainted. His certainly is.

Ultimately, the question you have to ask yourself is this: even if this man can bring us trophies, does selling the heart and soul of our football club in return constitute a fair deal? I don't think it does and I would say this to Mr Usmanov in the vain hope he's reading:

Fuck off. You know nothing of our club and its history. You are not needed nor wanted.

54 comments:

Anonymous said...

Excellent entry.

Well done.

Anonymous said...

Nice article as usual, but why o why link into the Daily Mail articles, when there are so many more ;)

Anonymous said...

Spot on - you certianly echo my sentiments

Anonymous said...

don't agree with you at all, dein has arsenal running through this blood he loves the club and he wants the best for us...it can only be good for the club...and eso as wenger agrees with it and i can see wenger going on the board after

Anonymous said...

Dein said that Usmanov shared the same vision for Arsenal as he does... so in principle that can't be bad. Also Dein loves Arsenal, he would go through all this just to satisfy his own ego. And Wenger wouldn't be friends with him if he had bad intensions.

Anonymous said...

Too right GB - we don't want to be Chelski mark 2. We don't need his money, so he should take it elsewhere. As for Dein - he and Arsene Wenger are totally different - his way is the Chelsea way, where you buy a league title, Arsenes way is to buy cheap and develop talent - he's pure class. They seem at opposite ends of the spectrum. If I were Arsene, I'd tell Dein where to go, as he has no idea what it is to be a proper Gooner. Dein is a shark in sheeps clothing.

Anonymous said...

i think everyone is totally overreacting to this. NO ONE knows what is happening behind the scenes and to slag off dein is pathetic. He has Arsenal's best interests at heart, otherwise he would've taken the Newcastle job offered to him on ridiculous money. He, together with wenger turned arsenal into a world force and i for one would welcome him back with open arms. times change and if we wnat to compete we will have to change some traditions. we have already knocked down our traditional home highbury and no one is complaining about that are they? because they know we had to in order to move forward. and the same goes for foreign investment. as long as dein is in charge i'll be happy

Tom said...

Moreover, he's the go-between between Putin and Karimov, the extremely nasty dissident-boiling Uzbek tyrant. No thanks, that's not the Arsenal for me.

http://www.mailonsunday.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/newscomment.html?in_article_id=457865&in_page_id=1787&in_a_source

Anonymous said...

No, not just to satisfy his own ego. To stash £75m in his back pocket too.

Goonerboy said...

Yeah sorry for the Mail links.

But the second is written by Craig Murray who was formerly ambassador to Uzbekistan, and who knows a thing or two about Russia and Usmanov. He's not the usual xenophobic Mail writer.

Anonymous said...

For me Dein loves arsenal and is innocent until proven different... and so I think he must have carefully choosen Usmanov

Goonerboy said...

I'm sure turning down Newcastle has nothing to do with the fact he can make far more money and wield more power from Arsenal.

Dein is a nasty piece of work, people have to realise this.

Anonymous said...

absolute rubbish goonerboy. he's responsible for much of the last ten years at the club and he's a true gooner. if it was just money he'd have sold his shares and taken another job-simple as that. he wants the arsernal job because he feels he can turn us into the best club in the world-i sure as hell will not argue with that

Anonymous said...

Why is Dein a nasty peice of work? What has he ever done wrong that has effected the club badly?

For now, the sell of his shares hasn't effect us badly.. nothing has changed.

And he has done a lot of good things.. and remember he knew all our players, even the youth players. Can't say that of Hillwood

Anonymous said...

boy, thats what i shall call you seeing as though the word gooner will soon be arsenal's to use exclusively.

You are a pethetic human being, i bet you moan in every walk of life because thats who you are.

I hate russians too, but would you like to see us win a trophy again??? if everyone else has rich foreign owners why cant we so we too can compete for the world's greatest players.

Goonerboy said...

He's sold his shares to a Russian gangster!

I'd rather not win trophies than with a crook's money.

Anonymous said...

Dein brought Wenger to this club, show him some respect you ungrateful bastads, like father like son, your fathers fathers ousted Churchill who was a great leader,your nothing more then pethetic losers

Anonymous said...

goonerboy-it's very ignorant to claim he is a gangster without necessary proof. and to be honest the guy wont be doing a roman, it';s not a toy for him. we just need dein back on board ASAP. and wenger is clearly in on this as he said he was waiting for right time to sign his contract, and if it's good enough for wenger it's good enough for me

Anonymous said...

All rich people have bad sides to them, how do you think they got so rich?

Don't get me wrong goonerboy, I think it's greating you're trying to protect the club and I always like you're writing.

But I just thrust Dein and so far nothing bad has happened.

Anonymous said...

All oligarchs are gangsters so what...DD has done more for Arsenal than anyone else. PHW is a snob who knows nothing. Fitzman wil eventually sell and you eat ure words gooner boy.

MagicHat said...

You are 100% right Goonerboy. This Russian gangster can F off and so can his whoremaster Dein. Thanks for bringing in Arsene David, now f off to hell and get away from our club!!

Anonymous said...

Talk about a knee-jerk reaction, and at what point did Dein change from the man who bought Arsene Wenger to Arsenal and therefore a good thing to become the spawn of satan or whatever you seem to think. He's sold his shares, he hasn't sold the club. Nothing has changed as far as overall ownership is concerned and cannot without other shareholders selling.

If you don't want to win trophies with 'crook's money' then where does it stop. Do we subject every shareholder to a degree of scrutiny such that we are certain all of there wealth comes through ethical means?

Anonymous said...

I'm neither for or against the potential takeover at the moment (there's basically not enough information about everything for me to be truly sure of anything). But one thing I will say is that football over here is Big Business now, whether we like it or not! More and more clubs are being taken over by foreign million/billionaires and where as most of us would prefer that they didn't, that's just not going to happen. These people are going to want to run things as a business, it's how they made their substantial wealth afterall.

I don't believe that Dein would go against the club that he's worked for and loved for so many years. But money does strange things to some people. I do trust Arsene, on the other hand. And if Arsene trusts Dein then that's good enough for me!

Although I do wonder if everyone on the current/ future boards are all in cahoots with each other and have raised this story to take the highlight away from us not buying anyone on the last day of the transfer window haha!!!

-Scooch

Anonymous said...

have all you dein haters forgotten the players reaction when dein went? he was the perfect middle man for the players they clearly want him back so lets get behind him

Anonymous said...

I can´t believe how much some Arsenal fans are deluding themselves when it comes to David Dein. As the writer of this article points out, he´s getting credit for handing the job to Graham and Wenger, but other than this and his hard bargain when it comes to transfers, he´s worked against the other board members and even behind their backs. Is that really someone you want in charge of our club? He was against the Ashburton project, which has been a resounding success. The new stadium is a testament to the capabilities of the current board and Dein has gone from one billionaire to another, without seemingly caring how it affects the club he supposedly feel so passionately about.

For me hes burnt his bridges with Arsenal and should repent for the unncessesary turmoil he´s caused our club.

arobba said...

Totally agree with you GB:

Money doesn't guarantee success (so fuck you sp*rs) and morally ambiguous money is something to be avoided: it's not the Arsenal way

If there are Arsenal 'fans' out there who want success at any cost, who want the club to splash obscene amounts of dubiously obtained cash on prima donnas with overblown reputations then they can piss off & support the Chelski chavs.

There's more to The Arsenal than that thankfully and a future where an owner would sell the club on because he's bored of his new toy or he sees that he can make a few million extra makes me shudder.

We are the Arsenal, everybody else is a twat

Anonymous said...

12.54, what a tosser, "all rich ppl are bad how do you think they got their money" did you really type that, all poor ppl are bad how do you think it is that they are poor fuckers, both are wrong what a strange strange statement.

Anonymous said...

12.54, what a tosser, "all rich ppl are bad how do you think they got their money" did you really type that, all poor ppl are bad how do you think it is that they are poor fuckers, both are wrong what a strange strange statement.

Anonymous said...

arobba-no one wanst us to splash the cash like you say. BUT, with all other clubs gaining extra revenue and security we need some sort of back up as well, otherwise we will fall away. what do you think will happen IF we fail to qualify for CL next year and gates start falling to 40 thousand? we'd be screwed. as long as dein is the chairman then we are effectively still in the hands of a true born and bred gooner.

Matt said...

Remember that Dein's great vision of Arsenal had us playing at Wembley every week, ground sharing with England, Rugby League etc etc. He's done some great things for the club, but I don't trust his vision of the future one little bit.

Anonymous said...

all you lot who are so into the whole traditions thing-i take it you were gutted and think it was bad to move to the emirates? and i take it you were also gutted and disspaointed that we didn't stay in south london all those years ago? and are gutted we dont buy english anymore? times change, it was not a tradition to have a foreign manager yet we've done alright there. it was not tradition to sign top foreign players, yet no one moans that we've had to "put up" with henry, bergkamp, vieira et al. the only tradition we must keep is that of all being united in our support of the club no matter who's in charge etc...they were his shares, he did what he thinks is right, lets trust him and wenger and see where we are this time next year

Anonymous said...

although i understand your sentiments, i think you are knee-jerking over this news. Really we dont know whats going on at board level, and the current board members although very traditional are not all sweetness and light. DD is responsible very strongly to Arsenals success of late, in particular no DD no AW, and surely no invinsibles, henry viera etc. What successful businessman takes on debt, to ruin the business further, it doesnt make sense. What you are assuming is the day to day conduct and business culture will suddenly go chelski. If that happens then that will suck. but thats not wengers style, nor Deins. Dein and the board have been having a power struggle, if dein was the bitch that u say he is, why didnt he take his 75M and run? why bother putting on this big show for a club he has no passion for? I dont know if this will be good or bad for arsenal but for f*cks sake calm down and see what happens,. It may be positive for us,..

Anonymous said...

as for not knowing where the stadium is on a map, i find this hard to believe seing as how he has a box at emirates since day 1 and has been an arsenal fan for 8 years by all accounts.

arsenal needs dein back in the fold. he gave us bergkamp, wenger

Goonerboy said...

Arsenal fan for 8 years my arse.

Anonymous said...

goonerboy-at least give reasoned responses if you dont agree with something. saying "my arse" and "he is a gangster" is just pathetic

Goonerinbeds said...

.More and more foreign owners mean fewer and fewer foreign winners and where will that lead to? Disinvestment.
Arsenal are financially stable and superbly run at board and management level.
We don't need outside investment, particularly dodgy investments. I feel that we will win the league or CL this season, maybe both, and will have done it within a realistic budget and transfer market profit. That's the proper way to run a club. We are the envy of every other club in the country. Please don't let us become one of them.
As for anonymous saying PHW is a snob that just about sum him up: someone who thinks values and standards can be bought. They are earned.

Anonymous said...

The presumption that whatever Dein does is good ia naive simplistic rubbish. He's done good and bad. Dein was opposed to the Emirates - that shows the man isn't always right! - he wanted Wembley - if that had happened it would have been an absolute disaster for the club. We would have had a season without a stadium and he would have moved the club to the arsehole of nowhere.

Opposing Dein selling shares to Russian criminals has nothing to do with supporting tradition or not. It's a question of whats best for the club. Destabillising ownership talk is bad for the club. Selling the club to Russian criminals is bad for the club. Opposing the Emirates was bad for the club.

Anonymous said...

Your arguments hold no substance Goonerboy. I normally hold your comments in high asteem but quoting from the Daily Mail has truly brought you down a notch in my estimation. Dein has always held the club close to his heart and now, as the the Chairman of a company created purely to invest into the club he loves, he has the opportunity to take Arsenal to another level. why would any true Arsenal fan want us to fall behind other European teams?!?!?!?

Anonymous said...

sorry but if dein is SOOO BAD what difference does it make whether he owns the shares or the russians own them?

Anonymous said...

I don´t understand how you can discredit the Arsenal board for building Ashburton grove without any kind of outside investment. How is that similar to being bought by a billionaire? We needed to change stadiums to be able to compete with the other big teams, and we can do that as of next season and we shouldn´t throw that away.

Give credit to the Arsenal board for what they´ve accomplished. Furthermore I think they´ve got a lot of unfair criticism about all this when it´s Dein who started this uncetainty in the first place when he sided with Kroenke.

Goonerboy said...

Anon. 1.35: As I said earlier, I've only quoted the Mail as Craig Murray wrote the columns - former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan who's strigently investigated the likes of Usmanov.

Tom said...

If you want to read Craig's stuff without sullying yourself with the Daily Heil, go to his website http://www.craigmurray.co.uk. Jeez...

Dein seems to have let his desire for getting one over on the directors cloud his judgement. He's effectively traded a position of influence in its own right for a powerless position that depends on the patronage of really quite unpleasant men who are definitely not Gooners. That's daft whatever way you look at it, if he really has the interests of the club at heart.

Anonymous said...

stop wasting your time writting shit articles... "Dein can't be trusted". But who are you to say that? One thing is sure is that you are a gold fish...don't you remember who brought Arsene Wenger in? It is very hard to stay at the top and Arsenal managed to do that thanks to these 2 guys, and not because of the board and their spending!

Frichie said...

"Just chill Winston"

The Russian will be no different to the current shareholders.

If you look at it objectively, say Platini gets his way and scraps CL for 4th placed, that means Arsenal will have to beat one of Chelsea, Manure, Liverpool, Newcastle, Man City,or every other club that is throwing money at every quality player available, (or rely on the FA cup) to be in the CL. With the current trend, quality players are going to be harder to get hold of and if we want to be able to compete we going to have to be able to throw 20 million at player we need.

While I believe our current squad is good enough to win the league, we not just competing against the other top 3, and I for one dont think CL is going to be as easy to guarantee in future.

Its the way of the market these days and we could be left behind.

Only time will tell

Anonymous said...

WHY are some so overconfident in Dein? He`s sold out the club.
"Loveaffair" he says, well there are different ways of that! Many husbands that beats up the wife call it love, childabusers call it love, there are so many aspects of "loveaffair".

Anonymous said...

I think its terrible how all these other foreign investors are 'raping and pillaging' from the clubs they have brought' absolute disgrace!

That Gillet fellow forking out 24 million for Torres while Rafa cant even buy Gerard a new toe!

Anonymous said...

Complete Rubbish, on the first point about being a gangster... Based on What do you say this.
On the second point about him not being able to pin point ashburton grove on a map. Well I hope he can seeing has he has a box there.

Get real. Arsenal WILL be taken over, unfortunatly the current board has done a bit to gooder job. Its a club running in profit, with a squad that wont actually need that much investment due to wengers good work. And we have a nice spanking new stadium which is generating money hand over fist. We are probably the prime club in the country that everyone with a few bob are looking at.

Anonymous said...

Wenger:

“If I want to buy a player today, I have money available. It is my decision to go my own route. I feel we are strong enough to compete and that’s what I want to show. At the end of the season it’s either good enough or not.”

In his own words, the manager doesn’t want to spend lots of money.

So we’ve got the MD saying we’re minted and a manager saying he’s got the readies but he doesn’t want to blow it.

What will the ‘we can’t compete wah wah wah’ brigade say now?

Anonymous said...

The "we can’t compete wah wah wah" brigade will say that we have not won a trophy for two years now and are a little fed up being a club in "transition"

arobba said...

"The Russian will be no different to the current shareholders. "

Can't say that I agree with this: the current board don't even take their Board Members' pay: they all do it for nothing! Show me an 'investor' who will do the same....

泥鳅王 said...

Tom, well said. Unlike what you said Goonerboy, I think that DD is a true Arsenal fan and have the best interest for the club. However, like some supporters among us, he do not believe that the current direction which the board and Arsene is heading, i.e. structuring the club to be self-sufficient and nuturing youth instead of buying big, will lead to the club success. The only difference is, while these supporters can only mourn and vent their displeasure on blogs and forums, DD has the means to put his ideology into work. He wants to be in control of the club to implement what he believes as the best and most effective method to suceess. However, selling his shares away may not be smartest idea... As Tom mentioned, DD is now at the mercy of Usmanov. You may never know if one day Usmanov decides to appoint one of his close allies to be the chairman and kick DD out...

For now, no one can know exactly if pumping money in ala Chelsea will have any adverse effect on the club. In the short term, there may be some degree of success. (And even that is not guranateed. Just look at Newcastle) The more important issue is the long term impact. Roman may leave and leave them in a heaps of debts. Maybe a even richer owner may come and buy them over and bring them greater or continual success. No one knows for sure what will happen.

Personally, I rather stick with the current board. The new stadium has already been built and the vision they had for the club is taking shape. So why stop the whole project now and suddenly having a rich owner throwing tons and tons of cash at Arsene (assuming he will be retained) and pressuring him into buying "big stars" which may have a detrimental effect on the team spirit? It just doesn't seem right. Give them time and then we shall judge. If they failed, DD can always come in then...

Anonymous said...

Very interesting article goonerboy. I think the crux of the matter should be the "fit and proper" for ownership criteria but as we have seen with the likes of Shinawatra, Abramovich, Gillet and Hicks, the Premiership is going to end up like a rogues gallery...

sandrahn said...

This person "anonymous" is a clueless mindless airhead. He's not even worth responding to. "Not innocent until proven guilty" -- excuse me, I'll take the informed knowledge (backed by genuine research and testimon and documentation) about the disturbing background of these lowlifes who are now encroaching on our club ahead of yours, thank you. Both the Times and the Guardian have provided profiles of Usmanov and it's not pleasant reading. And the Times is hardly a radical newspaper.

Goonerboy, excellent post.

Dein's ultimate aim is obviously to be chairman of Arsenal. I am appalled at how the English gov't and the English FA don't give a damn about selling their national patrimony to a bunch of gangsters, criminals, thieves, human rights abusers.

And I can't take seriously any so-called gooner who actually believes the idiotic notion that a sugar daddy like this guy will get us trophies. If you genuinely believe that the only reason we haven't won trophies in the last couple of seasons is a lack of money, then you have zero credibility.

Anonymous said...

Excellent article Goonerboy, for those who disagree I suggest you read the article again. Goonerboy clearly states when he is speculating about Usmanov, I may be biased as I totally agree but it's up to gooners to make up their own minds.

David Dein did indeed bring Arsene to the club....and he hasn't shut up about it since. Why would someone who claims to have a love affair with Arsenal try and bring someone in who has no links with the club whatsoever? He has made a neat little profit and could have his cake and eat it if the impending takeover bid is successful....much to the detriment of the club.

As for the glory-seekers (I use that term literally) who want to see Arsenal win silverware...all gooners want Arsenal to win trophies but in my opinion the ones who actually care about the club would rather see them do it through progress than doing a chelski and buying the league. We didn't sell our souls to win the double or go 49 unbeaten...why should we start now?