Monday, September 24, 2007

Does anyone still think we need, let alone want, a takeover?

Ah, vindication. I'd like to imagine David Dein will apologise for his mistake, pack his bags and swan into a sunset that matches his own orange skin-tone; but of course he won't.

What mistake would that be? Imagining that Arsenal need an oligarch; that Arsenal needed the colossal fortune of anyone, let alone the utterly repugnant Jabba the Hut lookalike that is Alisher Usmanov.

Today, Arsenal published their full year results for the first season we've fully spent at Ashburton. And by doing so, one of the worst-kept secrets in football has come to light: we are bloody loaded. Our turnover has now breached the £200 million mark; operating profit has increased by 274% to over £51 million, and that's before the profit we made from player trading is taken into account. We are the richest club in Britain, and snapping at the heels of Real Madrid.

When Ashburton Grove was built a lot of people gave it the 'comical' nickname 'Cashburden Grave'. Their logic was that by building a very expensive stadium, we would saddle ourselves with huge levels of debt that we would never repay. Yet, all we were doing is following one of the most basic law of economics: you have to spend money to make money. And when this money is spent efficiently and carefully, lots of money comes back.

Yes, we still have a large amount of debt on the balance sheet, but this is countered by a) our large (£73 million odd) cash reserve b) the Highbury property development, which will wipe a considerable amount of debt away in one stroke and c) the massive increase in revenue and profits that the new stadium has given us.

Because we have sensible directors who plan for the long-term, we also have very-secure low-interest debt. Total debt repayments per year currently stand at £20m. To put that in perspective, it has been recently suggested that Man United are currently paying almost £100 million to service the debt that was taken out by the Glazers to buy the club. You have to keep asking yourself who the takeover benefits in that situation? Glazers or United? It's not hard to answer that question.

Furthermore, and as importantly, the increases in revenue come from within the club: gates, programmes, merchandise etc, not from external sources such as TV revenue which can fluctuate and change without our consent or planning.

The bottom line is that the only reason for wanting a takeover has been negated. We have enough money, more than enough in fact, to compete for any trophy. That it hasn't been spent was Arsene's choice. And considering we're currently top of the league, and free-spending Chelsea have just had their manager sacked so Abramovich can run the team himself, I think it's not a bad way of going about things.

So in the end, who would a takeover benefit? Not the club: it doesn't need new money or new management. A takeover would only serve to benefit those who took control of the club, not the club itself, a sentiment which would fit with the following quote, taken from an 'anonymous Emirates source':

"David always sees himself as number one. He wants to be chairman. The Arsenal board put Arsenal first. The board see themselves as the custodians of the club. That is the difference."

Let's continue to back the club; let's continue to back the board. We don't need a takeover and we don't need David Dein. We are one of the best run clubs in world football. To use an old adage, 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it'.

49 comments:

Anonymous said...

Fantastic news. Yes, the prices of all things Arsenal are very high but loads gladly hand over their cash for the club to run itself without the need of a predator.

The only worrying aspect is that the current board arent the youngest...for the short term its fine but for the medium and long...we do need some younger board members I feel.

Anonymous said...

Very good article and one with which I agree completely. Fuck off Dein and take your fat Russian mate with yer.

Anonymous said...

Goonerboy,

You are mistaken in thinking the orange Judas is feeling a bit foolish today.

Most of us knew - right from the start - that Dein’s machinations were never about the best interests of Arsenal Football Club.

Dein will have been privy to the financial information at the club, which extrapolated, will have left Dein well aware of the healthy position the club are in.

But because Dein opposed the move to Ashburton Grove, he couldn’t sit back and bask in the glory and success of our new stadium.

Instead of priding himself on being part of a club that had pulled off a financial and sporting miracle, he resented the fact that he was completely and utterly wrong to suggest moving to King’s Road/Wembley and, if the reports are true, he probably resented being sidelined from key decision making at board level.

Dein would have know that the club was slowly building up a huge cash reserve and no doubt he used the info he was privy to try and sell the club to the likes of Kroenke and Usmanov… as long as they put him in charge afterwards.

The fact that we have c.£74m free cash and that we’re making £35m a year after repayments et al tells you everything you need to know about our financial position. We’re the richest club in Britain!

If anyone had any doubt about Dein’s motivations then surely this puts the issue to bed once and for all.

Dein wants to seize power at Arsenal and he’ll stop at nothing to get it.

As if lying to and conspiring against his fellow board members and wasn’t bad enough, he’s now lying to the fans.

I don’t think anything needs to be said about his current choice of bedfellow that hasn’t already been said (and subsequently taken down!) a million times.

Anonymous said...

Oh... My... GOD! A well-written blog article. Will wonders never cease.

Anonymous said...

The only sad thing is we have an awful lot of brain dead fans who never saw it a mile off.
I agree though, we need to blood some like-minded "custodians" to ensure continuity and not the trousering of the money.

Anonymous said...

I think people have got Dein all wrong.

He wanted Ashburton Grove;
he would have known about the revenue before he left.
he wanted AFC to be the biggest in the world and win the CL

he wanted to take charge of AFC.

he has never tried to take a dividend from the club, even when he owned more of it.

So why would he want someone to put the club into more debt.

He wants people to put extra cash into the club to help them grow. Simple as that.

Without Dein we would not have had Wenger.

Without Wenger we would not have had the titles, FA Cup, unbeaten runs and so on.

Remember that when you talk about David Dein.

Anonymous said...

FĂșcking idiot ^^^.

Anonymous said...

ditto

Thanks to At 2:05 PM Anonymous for giving us a shining example of a braindead fan.

For the record: Dein did NOT want Ashburton Grove.

Anonymous said...

sheep ^^^

Anonymous said...

2:05 PM Anonymous,

it`s NOT april fools today!

Mike said...

No, people have dead on the button with dein.

He did NOT want The Grove, it's documented, it's not a debatable point at all.

Secondly, perhaps he never took a dividend because once he sold off to Danny he didn't have enough shareholding to vote for a dividend.

Thirdly, unless you really can't read, it's been made VERY clear today that the is absolutely no need, zero, habzeet, boggerol requirement for anyone to put money in the club.

We've got 73m cash lying around, basically unused, exactly what do you think any "extra cash" is going to provide?

Edelman made it quite clear that we've all been subject to the dein orange glow PR machine, when he said something about the perception being that dein did everything, he didn't.

Likewise, Houllier was actually the one who introduced AW, but dein likes to ride the glory, just like he tried to ride on AW's coat-tails with AW's new contract.

The man's a self-serving, egotistic prick. He's done, and you couldn't find a bigger loser around right now.

usmanov was actually right, the shares are horribly undervalued, so dein sold them for way below they were worth, some financial acumen! What a muppet.

Anonymous said...

also arsenal are just 1.5 million behind madrid but as a financial expert said today on the news ALL MADRIDS PROFIT goes on expences ie wages etc... so arsenal are far richer than anybody also those figures would have had henry and freddies wages for last year deducted and man u,chelsea and liverpool have far LARGER WAGE LEVELS.and then there is the transfer profit from the summer about 20 million

DonCorleone said...

I agree with Mike 100%

Also the new TV revenue has not been taken into account. I think this time next year we will easily be the Richest Club in the World.

At least Houllier did one thing right while he was here, but I suppose it was right for but wrong for Liverpool!!! But as always, Dein took the credit for everything. Orange Twat!!!

Anonymous said...

Houllier told Arsenal about Wenger?

R U sure?

Dont think so.

Do you remember the club before AW?

Do you remember the 80's.

Anonymous said...

2:05 PM, Anonymous - C'mon - admit it - you ARE David Dein in disguise!!

Anonymous said...

I remember the 80's and I'd rather be back in that position than have the fat Russian and his money grabbing, power crazy, egotistical chairman in charge.

TG said...

I think the villification of David Dein is a little over the top.

No one person is all white or all black and no one get s all decisions right or wrong.

What can be said is the following:

1) The move to Ashburton grove has proved to be a masterstroke propelling us into the very highest levels of revenue in football.

2) David Dein opposed the move to Ashburton Grove

3) David Dein is an Arsenal supporter

4) DD believes we need a billionaire investor to fund player purchases. The board and just about everybody else now believes differently.

5) DD desperately wants to be chairman and was never going to be allowed this by PHW and Danny F.

6) DD has sold his shares to Usamanov in an attempt to become chairman one day - a move which in mine and most people's eyes is wrong.

I would also reckon that Arsenal with a season ticket waiting list of 41000 could comfortably fill a stadium of 80000+. We should watch out for expansion plans once the highbury redevelopment is complete.

This could lead us to easily to be the biggest club in the world in terms of annual revenue.

Toby said...

I agree with TG mostly although I do think Dein is more of a fan of himself than of Arsenal.

Anonymous said...

no, he goes to my tanning salon

Goonerboy said...

Does anyone know how much by/whether we can expand the Grove?

We could even go to 100,000. Barca do it and I think our support is reaching those levels.

DonCorleone said...

Yeah, I remember the 80's, but what has that got to do with now? The whole philosophy of the club is changed now. We are regarded as a 'Total Football' club now, around the world. Yes it is thanks to Wenger, but what relevance has this to the 80's?

If the whole world can see that Arsenal don't need to be taken over to have money, then why can't Mr Orange see this? How long has he known this Russain, to think that if he takes over it will be good for the club? If he has known him since they were at Play School, then Dein must be a crook as well, and if he has known him only a few months, then Dein is a massive fool!!!

You decide!!!

Anonymous said...

I remember something about it moving to 70,000.

However I am not sure how you would do that, as it is pretty closed.

Would there be more cheap seats or corporate seats?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 2:55pm.

Yes, Houllier introduced Le Boss to Arsenal.

When Wenger was manager of Monaco, he wanted to watch some football during the winter break one season.

Houllier arranged for Wenger to stay with some of his friends in London - they were a family of Arsenal fans.

Then Houllier recommended Wenger to Arsenal when we were looking to replace Rioch.

Anonymous said...

Arsenal in the 80's were run by the old school. As Dein became more powerful at Arsenal, the results improved as well under GG.

He was the main person to bring in AW. Noone else from the board knew about Wenger, and Wenger has brought all of the success AFC have had over the last 10 years.

Anonymous said...

who did Houllier tell at Arsenal.

Hill-Wood or Dein?

Who does AW recognise as the man who brought him to Arsenal?

Houllier, Hill Wood or Dein?

DEIN, DEIN, DEIN.

Anonymous said...

I believe there is currently room to expand the stadium to 70,000.

I reckon we could probably take the roof off and build a third tier if the demand for it was there.



Anonymous @ 3.21pm,

Judas Iscariot did his part for Christianity but you won't find any Christians who speak fondly of him.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 3:21
Actually not true - in Guatemala he is revered as the patron saint of smoking and drinking and being generally a bit naughty!

DonCorleone said...

Yes Dein has to be congratulated in bringing Wenger to Arsenal. He bought in a virtual unknown and in fact wanted him in before we got Rioch, but Wenger as always wanted to see out his contract at the Japanese Club.

But that one stroke of genius from Dein, does not mean that he always wants/knows what is best for Arsenal. He wanted us to move to the New Wembley!!! Can you imagine that? We would have become a souless Club, without our own home and identity. It would have been the end of the North London derby for a start. Spurs would have been the best club in North London, I never want to hear those words!!!

Anonymous said...

It would help if some fans could look a small bit further than just the headlines on stories like this. Arsenal are a wealthy club cos of prudent owners long term goals etc ?? B*llsh*t. The club is as healthy as it is cos we have a board who have constantly showed a reluctance to invest in the most important area of the club...the team. It is so important for fiszman to have healthy accounts published now which will drive up his share price and in turn net him a fortune to retire in his tax exile base. The club needs the return of DD(although not with usmanov) and this will be shown in the long run. We will see how happy ye will all be when the playing side of the club starts to slide in a few months due to a lack of strength in depth which will of course be traced back to lack of investment. How many more trophyless seasons will it take for attendances to drop amongst the fickle fans and will the fact that we are a rich club be any consolation to ye all then ? Never mind ye can all blame wenger then for not investing in players cos the board said he had money to spend so it must be true.

Anonymous said...

If you like fact-lite posts, you'll like the post by Anonymous @ 3.34pm.

Firstly, it's Wenger's decision not to spend his yearly budgets, not the board's. If you want a board that interferes in the manager's transfer policy, go and support Spurs or Chelsea.

Secondly, Fiszman is already a multi, multi millionaire. I don't think he's relying on realising the value of his shareholding at Arsenal before he buys a mansion and a private jet, seeing as he already lives in a mansion and already owns his own private jet.

Thirdly, read gunnerblog for Fiszman's latest comments. He is 'not a seller'. Stories about him selling are 'just nonsense' and 'a new agreement [not to sell shares] at the moment being written that will extend the agreement for a further 12 months.'

Fourthly, if and when Wenger wants to spend money, he has around c.£75m at his disposal.


All in all, you're a bona fide idiot.

Anonymous said...

3:34 pm
Wat a tit!


dein sold his shares and sold his connection to he club he loved so much for £75 mill. Using ur logic shouldn danny fizman be entiletled to get the best price for his shares as dein has.
and dein sells out to a contraversial gangsta figure that makes sadam hussain look good!!

Goonerboy said...

Anon 3.34: you're talking balls.

Wenger had money to spend this summer; he chose not to do so. Wenger builds the team the way he likes - without big transfers. It has nothing to do with the board withholding a transfer budget from him.

Anonymous said...

3:34

Is that Gelbs?

Miserable C"£* - get a life

Anonymous said...

I don't want some fat tubby coming and ruining the club i love. We don't fucking need money, we don't fucking need support and we don't fucking need fat shits ruining our club. Why don't Usmanov just piss the fuck off and leave Arsenal alone. But off course he won't, he'll try and buy Arsenal as all he wants to do is increase his riches because he's a greedy fat shit.

Anonymous said...

Agree with 2.07.

How much money is a buyer of Arsenal's share capital going to have to have to buy it outrightg with no debt? I don't know but I'd hazard a guess of £800m - £1billion. And then this benevolent individual will be wanting to pour more of his hard earned cash into making player purchases? Wake up. There is no-one out there who would buy AFC without taking on any debt. Usmanov or any other f*cker buying AFC with so much as £1 of debt in the acquisition is worse than what we have right now.

Anonymous said...

Like you guys wouldn't sell your shares for £75,000,000. Get real guys it's called business.

Dodgy Usmanov though... looks dodgy.

Pro-Fabregas said...

This blog post rocks. Describes my thoughts in one shot. I at first thought Arsenal will be taken over sooner or later by either people like Usmanov(Who is like "I don't know what to say")or Koroenke(who is "lesser of two evils"). Dein is not responsible for the success of Arsenal FC today but is responsible for his sacking and his blunders in his career. DD is responsible for wielding influence and created controversies like having to go Wembley instead of building Ashburton Grove. DD is responsible for using his influence to climb the coporate ladder to a point of becoming ex-Vice-Chairman of Arsenal FC and gaining attention from reliable people like Houllier who then introduce AW. Dein is the most cunning person I have ever seen that is so unpopular today. Sold shares to make money to buy a way to be Chairman of AFC when there's a takeover and successfully gained credit for introducing AW. I'm glad people in this comments stated that Houllier introduced AW. Thanks for readig my comments.

Pro-Fabregas said...

I forgot to state about the fact that the takeover won't be happening at all in the future as I at first thought it will. But right now, I think all Arsenal fans must HOPE that Fatty Usmanov don't increase his shareholding to 25% if not he might restrict our current board's movements like vetoing stuff he doesn't like. I was so busy thinking about how cunning Dein is in getting himself personal gains by making use of the club that I forgot to explain my first part of the comments. Thanks for reading my comments.

Magic Hat said...

Let us be fair, Jabba isn't Russian, he is from Uzbekistan.

Well done the board for great work and have to say, a 70 million transfer kitty, even if we won't spend it, is a nice thing to have. How many managers would say they would hand a 100 million back if the chairman gave it to him? Long live Wenger, long live the board!

ian said...

If David Dein is such a fan, why did he sell all his shares to the Uzbek gangster? By doing so, he has also sold any leverage he might have had by retaining some of the shares. He didn't need to sell them all, if he wanted to retain some influence he could have sold a percentage of them and still made lots of money. Two things emerge from this: the gangster is a wily bully, and insisted Dein sell all of his shares or forget it, telling him in return he will be the figurehead and future chairman blah blah. Ha ha. Of course as soon as the shares are sold, Dein has zero influence or leverage. And what of his job security? He is a useful frontman for Tony soprano (or was), because he considers himself Mr Arsenal, and thought he could persuade the fans of his good intentions. But of course, as soon as Fat Controller got possession of Arsenal, Dein has fulfilled his role, and of course, possessing no shares is entirely disposable. So, after some time, he is out, feeding the fishes somewhere, and the heavies come in.
Dein is an idiot, he was in the club, had a great job, but is entirely responsible for the position he finds himself in now, has made enemies everywhere, and has no real chance of getting back. All he has done is destabilise the club by getting Kroenke and Fat Shit involved, when all he had to do was shut up and stay on the board. I hope we never see barrow boys and gangster like his 'friend' anywhere near the Arsenal board. He has made a monumental steaming pile of a mistake and it will haunt his overambitious greedy ego forever. Goodbye and good riddance, Del Boy.

Anonymous said...

Dein is sp**s in disguise(disgust)

Anonymous said...

When it was clear that we wouldn`t share Wembley, Dein`s plan B was probably to share shite hart lane with sp**s!
That`s why he had to leave the board!

Anonymous said...

Even Hill-Wood admitted that DD introduced AW to the club. The Board were not sure about AW and elected to bring in Bruce Rioch. AW was still contract bound in Japan anyway. I am no supporter of David Dein and the only takeover I am in favour of is a passive one which leaves majority ownership in the hands of the fans. However it is ironic that the Board see Kroenke as a friend now. Had PHW not reacted so strongly then we might have Kroenke on the Board as a non-hostile owner and DD in the camp too. AW is the key to the club's success and he is still a great friend of DD. But for DD there is no turning back he is gone and selling to Usmanov was a bad move. Don't try to erase or re-write history though. He did some good things for the club.

pro-fabregas said...

Are you anonymous at 10.09am a DD fan? If you aren't, well you sound like you are one. DD DIDN"T Introduce AW to the club. DD is part of the club at that time and so technically Houllier introduced AW to the club. By the way, AW is on contract at that time like you said so its a stupid decision by DD to ask AW to join "at that time". In short, DD got AW through Houllier and he's good only to himself as he knows he's making a good move through AW and NOT good for the club. I'm not rewriting or erasing any history. I'm stating facts with a 1%(like DD is the most unpopular cunning person I have ever known) of my opinion. (I think DD have never ever done a good thing for the club though. This is my superbly beautiful opinion.{lol})

pro-fabregas said...

What I meant in my earlier comments is that I quote my comment "In short, DD got AW through Houllier and he's good only to himself as he knows he's making a good move through AW and NOT good for the club" means DD thinks AW is good for the club as he thinks AW is a supreme manager but he has ulterior motives (Like selling shares to Usmanov for 75m pounds) as he thinks AW can raise his profile and if AW is successful, then he can get a good board position like getting till Vice-Chairman of AFC(which is true.). Think about it Anonymous at 10.09am.

pro-fabregas said...

Because if DD did not sell his shares to Usmanov, I will still believe that DD does not have an ulterior motive. Maybe doing business behind the board with Kroenke will still be forgiven but selling shares to Usmanov after getting his punishment of being kicked out of the board..... That's sure have to be ulterior motives.....

Anonymous said...

Pro-Fabregas, what on Earth are you talking about? AW and DD are still best friends and were at the time he entered the club. Fact. I am neither a DD supporter nor detracto. Personally I feel that more of the club should be owned by the fans in some sort of charitable fund as it was originally intended by Henry Norris. (Anonymous 10.09am)

pro-fabregas said...

AW and DD are friends but DD did not know of AW without Houllier. I still think Arsenal will never know AW without Houllier not DD. I think the shares should be controlled by the board not by the fans because the board knows what's best for the club(proven by good financial report and high turnover) and some fans may sell their stake as not all fans are loyal to the club (I'm thinking 20% outside the board and 80% in the board but now since Usmanov got 21% stakeholding, it will never happen.) . I just talk on EARTH about the fact that DD is riding coatails of AW and I think you(anonymous 10.09 am) should understand that. I still stick to my point that DD have never done anything good for the club and is now trying all his best to be Chairman of AFC.

pro-fabregas said...

I'm sorry if I offended you anonymous at 10.09am due to my comments that may have sounded anoyying.