Who is the next Media Darling if Man Utd don’t spend?

It is a sobering thought that Manchester United for so long the darlings of the media, are falling off the pace and may not have the money they need to strengthen the squad. If this is so, what price SAF having to ban all media from press conferences as the vindictive scribes get there own back? A classic case of careful who you abuse on the way up, less they kick seven bells out of you on the way down.

Consider then the state of today’s premier league, Chelsea have an ageing squad and an owner who supposedly insists they become self-financing. Man Utd are also struggling due to crippling interest payments and owner fees. While Liverpool wait for a new owner to bail them out.

In addition according to the press the signs are that the American owner of Villa is less than happy with the return he is getting from his investment in the club. Martin O. despite some big spending looks like missing champions league again this year. Rumours continue despite denials to circulate that he will leave if he doesn’t get more money to spend, as they also do with Rafa at the Pool.

The trials of Newcastle are there for all to see, on their way back to the premier but with a once bitten owner, reluctant to spend more and demanding they also become self sufficient

The common denominator here of course is owners, who come in for the ride and the reflected glory of the publicity that success brings. Which of course begs the question are owners good for a club in the long term? Given the fact that success is cyclical and can never be guaranteed even with huge expenditure.

In our own case many questions now arise? Will these latest developments persuade our American major shareholder to become an owner? And should he so do, what does that mean for us? Will the money Arsene supposedly has to strengthen the squad, still be there if we are sold?

Or will Pots of money City, the one club capable of sustained spending, buy the world and win the lot? Leaving their owner to bask in the glow of unlimited media coverage and creating an instant nightmare at the so-called theatre of dreams just down the road.

Just imagine the reaction of old red nose, caught in the media glare, if that should happen, the very thought is enough to drive the poor man to drink.

By dandan

51 Responses to Who is the next Media Darling if Man Utd don’t spend?

  1. Alfa says:

    London, re your comment on the previous post, that was my point in my infamous post of a couple of months ago. The warchest isn’t available because the club have set a much higher benchmark for the minimum acceptable profit and as a result we can’t afford to splash out on players like the other clubs can. As a result we are financially way ahead of everyone else, although not generating as much free cash as we like to think.

    Whether that is important is another question. Man U are in terrible trouble as a business. Despite that, if the Glazers sell I predict there will be a queue of people offering close to £1bn to buy the club. Most of the £1bn will go to creditors rather than the Glazers.

    The same thing happened recently with Chelsea. They have very little debt. The money they owed to Abramovich he converted into shares. So they are still living beyond their means but just got their overdraft payed off (about £350m I think, would have to check).

    It does mean that when Kroenke or whoever make their move, most of the money will go to existing shareholders making them very rich.

  2. Evening folks

    dandan wrote this earlier today even though the news that Lady Nina was now trying to sell her shares hadn’t broken yet.

    What will happen to our club if Kroenke makes a move and surely now is not the time for Lady Nina to be parting with her shares?

  3. SharkeySure says:

    Evening all….

    Funny enough, wot with me being an Accountant for the last 15 or so year, I’m bored to tears by all talk of shares and finances.

    Beyond knowing that we are financially sound, I have absolutely no interest in any of it.

    What will be will be I guess, so I won’t worry or think about it.

    Its a lovely little post though. Nice opening salvo, some useful ballast(!?) in the middle, and a big bang finale. Great work DanDan.

  4. Hi Sharkey – sorry I know you’ve mentioned before that the finances bore you, have a look at the post we had up all day about the ‘silly spuds’ you can still vote on the poll and make a comment about them.

    Strangely, we didn’t have any of them come on here today

  5. Big Raddy says:

    Fine post Dandan.

    The football bubble is bursting all over Europe as the teams outside the CL places struggle to compete. The upshot of this is that they will stop trying to compete unless they have super-rich owners. Outside of the Arabs and an occasional Russian, the new owners are looking for profit – they have no interest in sport or a higher media profile (why would Usamov want to be in the spotlight?).

    So leagues within leagues will continue and the gap between the haves and have-nots will widen.

    Should this trend continue, we must end up with a European Super League and Arsenal have to be in it. As such, despite my misgivings we need these guys to fund the wages to attract and keep the best players. It is a slippery slope otherwise….

  6. SharkeySure says:

    Peache – Nooooooo!!!!

    Dionpt apolgise…I love everything about this site. Finances generally do bore me, but DanDans piece was more about ‘the shifting sands’ if you like.

    I really liked it. Not too technical and purely focussed on the elements that really matter.

    I’ll take a look at the other one in a mo…dinner calls.

    Alright Raddy…nice holibobs ..??

  7. Alfa says:

    Sharkey, I can appreciate your boredom, I would fall asleep if we were debating the Arsenal web site or Arsenal TV.h

    Despite that, the reason I think it is worth airing this debate is partly because it will affect all of us in terms of the players we can afford, the cost of supporting our team etc., and partly because I am fed of seeing Arsene and the players being used as a smokescreen for the financial decisions the board are making. That’s just a personal issue, not one that really matters a lot generally I guess.

    BR, I have to point out that while these guys have put the club on a very sound footing, that is partly by making sure that they don’t fund the wages to attract and keep the best players, instead just players that they believe we can afford.

  8. The money needed by clubs to maintain a European Super League would be colossal – flying teams across europe every other weekend to play away games!!!!!

  9. Alfa says:

    Peaches, away fans would be an endangered species.

  10. Alfa says:

    Just like the US (no coincidence)

  11. RoyVasey says:

    Man C£ty are set to make the Sheiks dreams a reality. Champions league football will definately mean they can sign who they want, it’ll be Championship manager made reality. Add to that Manures dwindling popularity (finally) and we’ve gotta winner! The end of footballs top 4 monopoly

  12. Thats true Alfa, I think that AW is very clever in his choice of young players to make up his team as this leads to less friction between ready-made stars who already have high expectations of their percieved wealth.

  13. Evening RoyVasey and welcome – whats strange is that it was supposed to be us that made way for Man City as we were going to finish nowhere this season and we’ve spent weeks hoping that spuds get pushed out of the top four 😉

  14. As to the question of who will be the next media darling it depends what the media want to promote – English players, good football, media savvy managers, well-managed clubs, success in Europe …… they can pick whatever they want and focus on that.

    I suspect English players will be top of the wish list when the rule of 5 comes in.

  15. dandan says:

    Evening all thanks for your kind comments, it realy was very strange, I wrote that this morning and had posted it to Peachy before I knew anything about her Ladyship and her shares.

    A little bit of me see’s a “London type” conspiracy theory here with David Dein involved.

    Bit like a hung parliament wiith a third party the power broker.

    Will be an interesting week it seems.

    Welcome Roy thanks for your contribution, maybe you will see some success, be nice for Malcolm Allison in his care home if you should, Tony Book’s still around I believe, been a long time coming for you guys

  16. I’ve held out for a long time that David Dein still has an involvement in whats going on at the club and that he’d return on a white charger to relieve AW of some of his difficult jobs.

    Maybe he’s still got some money left and he’ll buy some of Lady Nina’s shares so that he has a foot back in the door.

  17. dandan says:

    DD is still a big noise in world football politics, FIFA and UEFA rate him highly, look for him to join England’s world cup bid some time soon.

    But I do believe he is an Arsenal man and would love to be involved, but Ivan and Stan might not like that

  18. I just pinched this off another article – explains a bit more what the fall out was over between Lady Nina and the board.

    And so she must hope that Blackstone can generate sufficient interest from potential buyers in its key regions of the US, east Asia and China. It is believed the firm will market the stake as being the gateway to full strategic control of one of Europe’s leading clubs.

    The buyer will require patience, however that Bracewell-Smith clearly has in short supply. The stake would not necessarily deliver a seat in the boardroom – Bracewell-Smith relinquished hers in December 2008 when she refused to amend the directors’ lock-down agreement that otherwise would have prevented Danny Fiszman handing over 8% of the club to Kroenke last year – and would not generate any income to the holder. That is because Arsenal does not pay a dividend on its shares.

    “The Chinese measure their investments in the hundreds of years,” said one informed observer. “Blackstone will have in mind a select few people it will be pushing this to. So theoretically it’s possible they might find someone.” But another was more direct. “No one will pay £100m for a minority stake in a dysfunctional ownership structure that doesn’t pay a dividend. She’s got no chance.

  19. The Directors lock-down agreement was to ensure no more shares were moved around or made available for sale – we know that Kroenke hasn’t paid for the shares hes ‘bought’ from Fiszman – now we know that the board wanted to break its own lock-down agreement and Lady Nina wouldn’t play ball.

  20. dandan says:

    I think this may have something to do with the share price, Stan were he to make an offer for the club today would have to pay £10,500 per share the highest price he has paid in the last year. However were he able to delay this for a short time then that price would drop off the end as being over a year old and a more recent price of £8500 apply saving Stan a fortune. Maybe lady BS is trying to force his hand and teach him a lesson whilst getting her own back.
    Nah women don’t do that.

  21. Excellent explanation dandan – she is the woman scorned afterall 😉

    I think theres 7 weeks to go before the year runs out. So probably you’re right there – hes hoping to save a few million on the deal. The revenue from the sale of the Rams is about £200m not enough to launch a takeover though.

  22. This post is going to stay up until about midday tomorrow as we have a new guest writer from Argentina who is 4 hours behind us, so carry on chatting and don’t wait for the new one.

    Thanks, see you in the morning 😛

  23. RockyLives says:

    Greetings from across the pond. Interesting post – because at the moment it really does seem as if Man City could be the big beneficiaries of everyone else’s financial problems. If they finish fourth (which now seems likely) they will be spending money this summer like Real Madrid were last summer. Hopefully with as much end product as Madrid have achieved.
    Having said that, the trouble with Citeh is that they have about as much glamour as a night out in Moss Side, so truly world class players still won’t want to go there (unless they get a Mourinho or a Guardiola as manager). Look out instead for more Adebarndoor types – greedy bastards who have fallen out with their present clubs and are just after a big payday. Citeh could spend £200 million next year and still win fork all.

  24. gnarleygeorge9 says:


    Manu is the same city & thay have won 10 PL Titles so I see plenty of world class players having the desire to play in the rain, sleet, hail, snow, etc if the money is right, & it will be right.

  25. Big Raddy says:

    True GG.

    Just look at the Robinho case 🙂

    There is no question that MC will be a World force should the owners decide to give a limitless budget to whoever is manager, which is the first indication that MC do not have the right people attracting the players/staff.

    Why choose Mancini if you want World Domination?

  26. Big Raddy says:

    Back to the finance issue. My point is that the ownership of the club is irrelevant unless we have a Board that interferes in the on pitch issues (see Abramovitch and Shevchenko).

    The Edwards shafted MU and yet MU remain at the top table. The Liverpool fiasco at Board level has nothing to do with their dire season, which is all to do with Benitez.

    My desire to remain a British owned club is purely emotional, we are a global product and will attract global investment.. But as I pointed out, the gravy train has left the station and few will be willing to invest huge sums into a business that gives little return, and in both MU and L’pool’s case public antipathy.

    The Lady Nina would appear to be trying to maximise her investment. Sad.

  27. London says:

    Morning Alfa

    My apologies for taking so long to get back to you bizarrely I had some work to do.

    We have cross lines here: this is what I wrote yesterday which was in response to Peaches comment that Wenger would not spend £100 million even if it were available (approx)

    “Do we really believe the idea that any manager would not want extra funds to spend…….isn’t this a case of Wenger just being diplomatic. What is to be gained by him saying he would want it if it is simply not available?”

    The reason I think we have cross lines is over the size of the war chest: has he got £100 mil available? No. Does he have £40 mil available for one player? Yes.

    By the way you accidentally contradict yourself over manu. You say they are in terrible trouble as a business and yet you then go on to say there would be a line of people prepared to pay a billion or more for the club. I would suggest that is not a business in trouble — that is an American family sitting pretty.

  28. Rasputin says:

    Morning all,

    The chavs and now citeh have proved that big money will get you into the top flight although not guarantee the ultimate prize. Gallas has shown us that some players can be mercenaries and still give their all.

    There has to be some agenda we are unaware of regarding Lady Nina’s shares. When you are talking about deals involving tens of millions of pounds, can it really be argued that egos are involved. Did DD, Fizman, Usmanov, Lady Nina etc etc make their decisions to save face or just to make money?

  29. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Good morning all & nice to read ya Big Raddy

  30. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Lady Nina is obviously not as committed to the cause as needs be, having inherited her shares, so she should sell off her lot to someone who is keen to further advance The Arsenal name, or brand if you are from the USA 😉 Correct me if I’m wrong on my analysis of Lady Ga Ga, 😳 I mean Nina

  31. Big Raddy says:

    Same to you GG. All well is Taz?

  32. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Yep already googled that & posted it on another blog. She needs to sell with that in mind.

  33. dandan says:

    I agree London as I said in my post it is all about owners, but there is a limit to the number of times you can increase the value of the club, enabling successive owners to take their cut, given that these are leveraged buy outs you are discussing in a number of cases, sugar daddies are of course different.

    It is also true that if the quality of the premier league is eroded by further financial constraints on the smaller clubs then the value of the product will also loose some appeal and will of necessity probably force the top clubs, (IE those with money and a big enough ground.) to form a European league.

  34. Rasputin says:

    The BBC announced this morning the RvP will be fit to play against totnum. He can’t be match fit. I thought he was only just returning to full training.The club hasn’t denied he will be in the squad as far as I know, are we indulging in mind games?

  35. dandan says:

    Well Rasp. I dont MIND if we win the GAMES. LOL

  36. Rasputin says:

    Morning dandan.

    I think it will be all about the midfield tomorrow. The spud mindset has changed in the last week, to quote some totnum supporting pals “the game now means more to Arsenal than totnum” and their main motivation now is to spoil our chances. I’m looking to Nasri, Song and Diaby to control the midfield and not give them a kick. They will resort to long balls/ high balls into the box. I reckon they’ll start with Defoe/Crouch and bring on Pav at some stage.

  37. charybdis1966 says:

    Morning all, I was trying to follow Lady Nina’s plan – marry into wealth, but unfortunately my other ½ is as brassic as I am, sob….

  38. Big Raddy says:

    DanDan – may I be so bold as to address you as DD from now on?

    Your second paragraph re-iterates my thinking. The money from the CL is destabilising the PL, as it has in all the European countries. Some parity is needed.

  39. Big Raddy says:

    Me too Chary. I had it all planned out, marry a rich woman and live a life of ease…..

    I did the first part (1st marriage), but rich women can afford rich lawyers and poor, about to be ex-husbands, can’t 🙂 (I can laugh about it now – 25 years after the event!)

  40. charybdis1966 says:

    I think we can all agree thought that a leveraged buy-out is bad news, it’s just a question of who’s more likely to cause that to happen, whether in the short term or further on down the line. On a related topic, wasn’t the government looking at some form of fan ownership to be a requirement for future club structures?

  41. charybdis1966 says:

    So it sounded like a cunning plan to you also Radders? The sad thing is I’ve since met a few rich, older women who would have been quite happy to have me as the kept man, but alas it was all too late, sigh….

  42. Big Raddy says:

    Chary. I have learned to my cost that money doesn’t bring happiness, though rich and miserable is better than poor and miserable.

    We must count our blessings …..

    Upon which, I must get on with my homework – exams in May.


  43. tommystout says:

    morning peeps, good post dd, i was caught out though with 2 posts in one day…. i’ll keep a sharper eye next time.

    this typing is still slow! hmmmm

    anyway seems like stan aint gonna be making a move as he is committed to the rams now.

  44. tommystout says:

    so who is wanting to start with walcott tomorrow???

  45. tommystout says:


    for me

    theo & thomas from the bench but we wont need them after sols hatrick!

  46. tommystout says:

    bolton chelsea tonight, cmon jack do us a favour!

  47. dandan says:

    DD is fine Raddy for you or anyone who cares to use it.
    Chary if you wait for Gov. to put meat on their positive sound bites, you will wait for ever, my friend

  48. charybdis1966 says:

    TommyS – typing and scrolling still slow and jerky for me also. I think Theo should start to keep Bale quiet.
    DanDan – you’re probably right, it does just sound like electioneering.
    Vi ses senare Radders – glad att studera!

  49. Rasputin says:

    Morning Tommy,

    We have a new post from a new writer going out at 10 – more football and less finance related!

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