Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Dein the architect of instability as his ally buys more shares.

I suppose I should be careful with a headline like that. It could be construed in a negative way against the delightful Mr Usmanov, who has already used his stooges to ensure that any criticism about him is removed from the internet.

However, I suppose Mr Usmanov, when you have a background which is allegedly (I learnt that trick from Ian Hislop) questionable, and you come out of nowhere with the intention of using my club as a financial or political instrument for your own personal gain, with no interest in the traditions and values of something so beloved by so many people, don't be surprised if people raise questions about your past. And that you have reacted to these questions through forcing independent Arsenal blogsites to remove content speaks volumes.

In the midst of all this, one thing has become surprisingly open for debate: the role of Stan Kroenke. When I first learned of Kroenke's involvement in the club, I was not impressed, and I retain my reservations about a highly leveraged takeover. But if it's between Stan and Usmanov, there is no question: it's Stan all the way.

Peter Hill-Wood expressed the current situation, and the changing perception of Kroenke, quite clearly:

"I would think Kroenke is probably a long-term investor and I would welcome him as a shareholder more than Usmanov — unquestionably.

"He is involved in sport and understands it. As for Usmanov, I am not sure what he wants or why he wants to get involved. He is clearly a very determined fellow but it won't get him anywhere. It doesn't change anything. The board is absolutely resolute and they have no intention of selling to Dein and Usmanov.

"This is all very disruptive and I can understand the fans being upset. The club has been stable for many years and this is destabilising it. I think David is very much the architect of that."

For all those who swallow the Dein PR line about the current board being a bunch of old fuddy-duddies, P H-W's comments are right on the money and show a clear understanding of the situation.

Why is Usmanov becoming involved in the club? Who the hell is he? Why is he being so aggressive in his purchasing of shares? And why is David Dein being such an unquestionable idiot?

I actually think that Dein truly believes that he is the man to lead Arsenal forward, which would be great, if it wasn't for the fact that the club is fine without him, and that his current actions show he will stop at nothing to gain control of the club. At the moment, Dein is showing that he will destabilise the club in order to gain control of it, and, for me, that's not on.

Other things need to be said about Dein, which seem to have been forgotten. Look at the time lines in these two articles.

In the early 1990s, Dein had to sell a considerable amount of his shareholding to Danny Fiszman, in order to repay debts that his company, London and Overseas Sugar, had run up due to the collapse of a company called Esal Commodities. Dein had become very good friends with Rajendra Sethia, the owner of Esal in the early 1980s, and the two had done a great deal of business together. This would have been fine if Esal hadn't collapsed with debts of £250 million, after it emerged that Sethia had systematically defrauded a number of banks across the globe. Sethia was, therefore, a massive fraudster who, at one point, was the largest bankrupt in history. If you don't want to take my word for it, read 'The Beautiful Game?' by David Conn. Besides from being an excellent book on the state of modern football, the 2nd and 3rd chapters shed a great deal of light on Dein's largely unsuccessful business dealings in the 1980s.

Draw your own conclusions about his business sense from the above story, but, for me, Dein has lived off the appointment of Arsene Wenger for the last ten years. Despite the PR story, Dein did not make Arsenal Football Club as it currently stands; if anything, it's the opposite: Arsenal made him. Dein opposed the move to Ashburton Grove, a move which has seen the club's coffers explode over the last year. We have an excellent board, who have the best interests of the club at heart. If they have to do a deal with Kroenke to keep Usmanov and Dein at arm's length then so be it; better Kroenke than Dein and Usmanov.

All this has overshadowed a great start to the season by the team. And I blame Dein completely for this. The entire instability currently racking the club stems from his quest to run the club; a quest which shows little concern for anything apart from himself and his own gain.


Anonymous said...

Actually it has not overshadowed the success of the team. You and everyone who prattles on about it are doing that for yourselves.I know you would like to re-write history but this evil twisted character remains a friend of AW. Dein does'nt matter forget about him ....the manager and the team matter.

2-0 tonight for me.

Anonymous said...

totally agree
i was all against stan kroenke's takeover with DD. looks like stan saw what DD was about and didnt want anything to do with him.
so now dein has sold out to a very savory bloke in usmanov.
DD is showing that he will stop at nothing he is just power hungry to be the head honcho at arsenal and i for one would never want DD back at arsenal.

Anonymous said...

No..there you go again, prattling on about Usmanov. We need to get nehind the team tonight and people are discussing bringing banners etc.

Anonymous said...

Your right to bring this up given recent share activity but while your right at Dein's actions, I would say his heart is in the right place as he does believe he is doing the best for Arsenal, deluded and laughable as that is.

Anonymous said...

Dein is doing what's best for David Dein.

It's hard to believe that anyone would be prepared to sell 120 years of history and tradition down the river and deliver the club into the hands of a monster who has allegations of murder, rape and intimidation levelled against him in order to become chairman of the club.

I hope he meets an untimely death.

There's been a flurry of more share activity today. I imagine R&W are intent hoovering up all the small shareholdings.

Anonymous said...

Dein was the only one who had the vision to drive Arsenal forward while during the 80s the current board sat by doing nothing, talking to Venables behind Howe's back and allowing the team to rot. It was a terrible mess.

Wengers appointment was all Dein, as no other board member had the courage to appoint a foregin coach and he has helped Arsenal be where we are today. As for the Wembley/Ashburton saga, it wasnt only Dein who thought that Arsenal should move to Wembley. In the Glorious Game, Alex Fynn and Kevin Witcher both thought the move to WEmbley was the right one. Look at the problems we had 2002-4 in terms of money. HIndsight is great-WEngers been able to keep us in the CHampions LEague without big money and now we look poised to dominate. But what would have happened if Spurs hadnt had the lasagne? We would have had no Champions LEague in the first season at the new stadium.

Im not saying Dein is a saint, far from it. However the board arent that spectacular either and lets not forget whatever Dein says or does, he has Arsenal's best interest at heart. We dont know what Usmanov or Kroenke want from us though we all assume its money. Also, how long will the board last? How long will they be able to effectively run Arsenal?

Its all rather worrying and uncertain, but whatever happens, Im still going to the matches and supporting the team

Anonymous said...

There is no more reason to congratulate Dein on appointing Wenger than to congratulate Martin Edwards for appointing Ferguson.

Outside of this one act many of his business decisions have been seriously flawed. As well as the book referred to in the article take a look at the penultimate chapter in Jon Spurlings book 'Rebels with a cause; The alternative history of Arsenal Football Club' before you decide whether you really want to entrust the future of the club to David Barry Dein.

He may not be a saint but he ain't no visionary businessman either - more Del Trotter in fact.

Anonymous said...

David Dein is by no way the architect of instability in arsenal rather it is the two faced board members lead by Peter Hill-Wood are the architect of instability. some months ago the board said that the have nothing to do with the american and his money and now they are welcoming him after kicking out DD because he welcomed Kroenke first. Now DD knows that kroenke could not buy arsenal without a loan from his bankers. DD does not want such for our team,because the team has a big debt to pay. hence will prefer someone who can buy arsenal without loans, and thereafter inject more funds into the team, and bring good times to Arsenal.

Anonymous said...

"Wengers appointment was all Dein, as no other board member had the courage to appoint a foregin coach and he has helped Arsenal be where we are today." Funny how Dein remembers Fizman and Hillwood going to meet Arsene in an undercover attempt to get him hired. Yes, Dein made the recommendation but the board could easily have chosen someone else.

Hillwood did not trying to bring in people to try and take over the club, Dein did. The Arsenal board did try to have meetings with our American investor and while they didn't go down too well, the board merely objected to him trying to seize control but if he just wants to invest, then that is a different matter.

While there is some genuine concern about the board, at least they would not gamble away the future of the club.

Tom said...

Latest on Usmanov's attempts to stifle discussion of his background, which bizarrely includes taking down Boris Johnson's web presence, along with a number of others: