Psst….. wanna buy a football franchise?

Chelsea FC  directors say their club needs more season tickets as the ground isn’t big enough. There is a  suspicion that their Russian Oligarch wants away from financing them and it’s time for them to stand on their own feet as Financial Fair Play looms large. Player’s wages versus gate receipts cannot be justified if they stay where they are. But still their fans bemoan the current tickets prices, whilst demanding the club doesn’t move.

So there you have it, all those happy fans who loved the spend, spend, spend days are now faced with the reality of what being in debt means. Don’t want to pay, don’t want to move, while their creditors circle in case the Russian goes off and takes his money to fight his election as Putin demands. What does the future hold for them and their club?

How different are Arsenal, debt almost eradicated gate receipts enough to cover wages and a profit being returned annually, enough to keep our owners interested?

But still some fans are objecting. They want trophies and for the club to spend some money and bugger the consequences. We want trophies, 6 years we have waited it’s a disgrace, what are these yanks up to, why won’t they spend the money, fire the manager, he has lost the plot. Let’s demonstrate, with some creative thinking, I know we’ll make a banner, a bloody big one, get our message across. We buy the tickets, it’s our club. Without us fans there would be nothing.

Wrong, my friends, oh so wrong.  Arsenal FC, like Chelsea and all the privately owned clubs have the potential to become a Franchise.  Should Chelsea move to Slough, Harlow or Wapping it matters not, they would be welcomed with open arms by local councils for the money they would bring in.

Their fans, not all of whom by any stretch of the imagination live in the borough, would continue to go, maybe some of the ‘I am here to be seen’  show business lovies might find the journeys a mite  too arduous, but they in all probability are only temporary anyway.

Professional sports clubs bring in fans by the thousand and their spending power feeds the coffers of local business and the transport companies that get them there. They provide jobs, as brilliantly broken down in yesterday’s post by GIE. 600 casual staff alone work at the Arsenal on match days and the club pays business rates worth many thousands of pounds.

Take test cricket as an example. There are 7 home test matches next year and 9 counties who with the help of investment from the local councils, have upgraded their grounds in the hope that they will get one.  Lancashire’s MD has expressed the view that those grounds that don’t get one are in danger of going broke. But still the local councils invest, why, because of the revenue a successful bid generates and all will bid every year desperate to succeed and stay in business

So it is with football, and for this reason if you have ownership of a club you are in the driving seat. You have the power to place your toy where you want, forget the football League they haven’t the balls to say boo to a big club let alone tell them what to do. Ask Leyton Orient as they contemplate the hammers moving onto their manor.

Franchises based on the American model could well be on their way here and fans had better wise up or they, like their American cousins could see teams uproot and move lock stock and barrel. Remember it doesn’t only  have to be in this country for the big boys, should a European League comes to fruition, then anywhere is possible.

Written by dandan

125 Responses to Psst….. wanna buy a football franchise?

  1. Rasp says:

    dandan says:
    October 12, 2011 at 9:40 am

    I have a complete distrust of the insanely rich guys who carved up Russia and although our man is not mentioned this may give you some idea why.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2005/dec/03/tvandradio.russia

  2. Big Raddy says:

    RA. I replied at the end of the previous post.

    DD. Sadly you are correct. Franchises will be the future of football. Thankfully I will be in my dotage or worse when it comes to pass.

    American Football is the example – many teams re-locate away from their home and just change their name e.g. Houston Oilers are now the Tenessee Oilers and the LA Raiders are now the play in St. Louis

  3. chas says:

    Park goal at 1:15

  4. Big Raddy says:

    DD. Ooops – manners. Thank you for the post.

  5. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Very good points and excellently made Dan.

    The franchise concept occured to me many years ago and was reinforced when the concept of the 39th game was mooted last year.

    I am often accused of been obsessed with tradition and vaule in relation to ownership of football clubs but i believe this strikes at the heart of the argument. We spend a lot of time debating the possible virtues of Stan and Usmanov in relation to there intentions but it usualy centers around finance within the parameters of football as we know it. I believe many people now realise that many owners of the big football clubs in england care not a hoot for tradition and will chase the buck were ever it is. This is in no way a swipe at foreign ownership since many UK people in the high echelons of football power do not care either.

    Were does this leave us? In the medium to to long term i can see the franchise model coming to fruition, and i doubt that anything can derail it. i was at one time hoping that some form of government intervention could help but i fear globalisation has redenderd national goverments impotent.

    I think ive talked myself into a state of depression, ime just going to go and lay down for a bit.

  6. chas says:

    Nice post, dandan.

    It’d be so funny if Abramovich pulled the plug on the chavs.

  7. Stan Streason says:

    I must admit I read your first 4 paragraphs in the standard Chelsea project = bad; Arsenal project = perfect, vein and thought “here we go again”.

    However other than to reiterate that Roman has been nothing but an absolutely perfect owner for the last 8 years and everyone elses hope that one day he will get bored and walk away just doesnt have a scintilla of evidence to support the premise, I would like to commend the article.

    When I was born I think technically Millwall was my closest club but the family supported Chelsea, so Chelsea it became.

    Although I only live 50 miles from Stamford Bridge I have to leave a 3 hour window for travel to cover traffic road closures and parking problems.

    Sometimes I get a pre match drink, others I just get in in time. I can guarantee to get to Villa Park more quickly and easily than Stamford Bridge.

    So do I care if we move to Slough (or Milton Keynes)? It would be a shame but if it were easy to get to, had plenty of parking, had good rail links then yes I would continue to buy a season ticket and continue to turn up.

    Last weekend was ample evidence of how boring weekends are without football.

    And yes I am well aware that its mugs like me that makes clubs think they can treat supporters like dirt.

  8. Red Arse says:

    Morning DD, 🙂

    An agreeably interesting Post that tries to bring together a number of disparate issues to highlight the conflict between what fans see as their part in a club’s raison d’etre and the aims of the club owners.

    I am in agreement with much of what you say, but like the curate’s egg, I find I am not totally convinced by some other parts.

    For example, it is a bit of a leap to say Chelsea’s wish to conform with the FFP by moving to a bigger stadium to generate more stadium revenue will necessarily lead to a football world of Franchises.

    We have already moved, very successfully, to a much larger stadium than Highbury, and other clubs in all divisions have also done likewise or are thinking of doing so (Everton, Liverpool, Spurs).
    Once the new stadia are built, at great cost, it is unlikely that the clubs will upsticks and move elsewhere in a hurry.

    One of my other great loves, the New York Yankees, one of the most commercially successful clubs in any sport, would, for example, never uproot and pop up on the Western seaboard of the States, anymore than the Boston Red Sox or the New York Mets (Yeuk) would do so either, altho’ some other entities have done so, as you say.

    You are also quite right in indicating that some fans have unrealistic expectations of their role in a football clubs life, both on and off the field, altho’ the Arsenal Accounts make it clear that the fans are at the core of the business model, but the needs of all clubs to improve their commercial income streams will never end or they will simply disappear.

    At the time of writing, I don’t think there has been a single “franchise” deal for any major club in Europe.
    Clubs like MK Dons have moved many miles from their point of origin, lock, stock and barrel, but that was not franchise based, it was forced on them out of sheer necessity to survive, so I don’t think franchising will be an issue in Football for the foreseeable future.

  9. dandan says:

    Morning all: Welcome to AA Stan, thanks for your civil input.
    The article was not meant to be a go at Chelsea, other than their fans are up in arms at the thought of move. You are typical of so many football supporters who travel good distances to watch their clubs, spending good money in the process. And in all honesty are treated scandalously by our clubs.
    On the other hands fans think that buying the ticket entitles them to more than just the entertainment provided. Unfortunately whether you love your club or not an outsider with the money to buy anything this world can provide is never going to feel as we feel, about the toy he has purchased and is maintaining, if moving is likely to maximise or protect his investment then that is the path he will choose.
    Today’s news that Liverpool are looking to take charge of the TV coverage outside of the UK as part of their image rights and sell it direct not as a premier league bundle is just another warning to the fans as to where these mega rich guys are intent on taking our Beautiful game.

  10. dandan says:

    Morning RA I was not aware I had said that Chelsea’s move would mean a Franchise. My point was that as clubs become more and more the property of one man then Franchising becomes ever more likely, not tomorrow maybe but in the near future certainly.
    As for your points re American football or Baseball I am not an aficionado but all are Franchises and as you say some do not only up sticks and move but also change names. No doubt others on here will be able to elucidate on that for me.

  11. Rasp says:

    Morning dandan,

    Thanks for the post which was both informative and worrying in equal measure. Your thoughts coupled with those from 26m’s post yesterday have opened my eyes to what at this point seems an inevitable and depressing future.

    The ‘localness’ and family ties that are the roots of supporting Arsenal it seems will be lost. The very word franchise fills me with horror. It’s not easy being a supporter at the moment but at least there is a reality about the football that may be lost if we follow the US model.

  12. dandan says:

    Hi Rasp

    Yes I thought it interesting that Both I and 26 put our posts into Draft virtually at the same time. Obviously we were not spured by each other but equally concerned as to where things are heading.

  13. TotalArsenal says:

    Thanks DanDan, it was about time you wrote us another post and what a quality one it is! 🙂

    FFP is meant to make things more equal between clubs in England as well as within Europe, but those that hold power now and are desperate to find ‘solutions’ to keep it that way: MC rediculous stadium naming rights deal, Liverpool’s plan for an own TV deal, and now Chelsea hoping to force a move away from Standford Bridge. I can live with the latter a lot more than what Liverpool and MC are trying to do. What is getting very clear is that the current way of doing things in the Premiership and beyond will be challenged over the next few years, and who knows where it all is going to end?!

    Luckily we have a game to look forward again on Sunday 😀

  14. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    I love AA, its better than Google, so many Einsteins.(compliment)
    So here is my Question you Brainy buggers: In theory, If say Kroenke bought every single share, I take it he would own Arsenal lock, stock and barrel !. Is there any EPL, FA,UEFA or FIFA rule which would prevent him moving Arsenal to Paris , Athens etc ?.

    Dont let me down after the compliment. 🙂

  15. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Hi Cornwall.

    Yes, the law of TMHT. I would personaly hunt him down and inflict undescribable henious torture upon him unless he relented and promised to keep the Club in Islington were it belongs.

  16. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Hi Terry, When I said Einsteins, I meant the sane ones! 🙂
    Saying that, I think we should travel back in time and put a condom on Stan`s Dad`s Togger, I`ll drive,you put the condom on !. 🙂

  17. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Cornwall,

    Ha HA. Why do i get to do the dodgy bit? Cant we just inject him with something instead?

  18. Red Arse says:

    GLIC,

    It would be impossible for any club to simply move to another country.

    The English, Welsh, Scottish, Irish and Northern Irish FAs are always jockeying for position against each other, trying to protect their own vested interests, and even refuse to have a joint team to represent Great Britain in the Olympic Games.

    The idea that a club in one of those countries simply moving into the ‘territory’ of another FA association and joining a league in another country is hardly feasible.

    Look at what happened some years ago when Celtic and Rangers tried to join the English Premier League (without even moving) and they were quickly disabused.

    The idea an English club could simply move to France (Paris) is frankly a nonsense, unless of course they wanted to get into high fashion.

    This is the sort of rumour mongering and baseless speculation that the author usually rails against.

  19. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    We will inject him with some of Gordon Brown`s alien DNA.

  20. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Sorry RA, I did not mean move into another countries league but just to relocate, to say Paris, but still be in the EPL.
    Example: Swansea EPL, play in another Country. 🙂

  21. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    RA.
    Also may I add, It was just a lighthearted ,hyperthetical, In-theory question. Not “rumuor mongering or speculation” and not out of context with today`s author ( sorry, great read dandan).
    It was adressed to Interlectuals, like yourself, I`m sorry. From now, I will only ask question`s to the insane interlectuals, like TMHT! 🙂

  22. dandan says:

    RA: much as I generally enjoy your participation in the debate, I do feel that you are being perhaps a touch dogmatic. GLIC was asking a general question and as such it has several answers, sure if you maintained the status quo your answer is correc,t but we are looking further afield today.
    The reason that the GB FA’s won’t enter a joint Olympic team is simply that the small federations are worried that FIFA or EUFA would treat that as a precedent and force them to enter joint teams in all competitions. Besides the fact the Scots/Irish/Welsh don’t all Like the English 
    In this case we are talking of a European and indeed maybe eventually a world league, both of which the politically motivated, so called controlling bodies would be powerless to stop should sufficient of the major clubs decide to form such cross boundary alliances. As happened with the FA and the premier league. In the case of Celtic and Rangers they were proposing joining an existing league and of course with all the self-interest involved in football politics had no chance.
    TV would of course love it, the main question arising from such a plan would be that with all the travel involved no one would play more than one game a week and how would the reserves keep match fit. Would the clubs be allowed to play in both a home and super league? Could players be registered to two leagues? Not under present rules of course, but would the powers that be consider a compromise if faced with the certainty of losing and having to replace the cream of their clubs and players,
    An interesting subject RA and perhaps one you could write a lead article on before long.

  23. Red Arse says:

    GLIC,

    The whole basis of this Franchise idea, would seem to be for an existing club in one (area) (country) (state) to move to another (area) (country) (state) for purely commercial reasons.

    So if the furore, in London, between london clubs over who is entitled to get the Olympic stadium, and whether one London club (West Ham) is transgressing on the territory of another local London club (Orient) or whether yet another London club (Spurs) has a legal right to that stadium has caused the plug to be pulled on the West Ham deal because of all the litigation, can you imagine the international outcry an English club moving to a French city, in whatever league, would cause?

    The Swansea and Cardiff situation is not a franchise example as they have not moved, but they clearly have had an historical de facto agreement to play in the English leagues.

    I am not an expert in this area, just using deduction, common sense and observation. 🙂 What do you mean that’s a first? 🙂

  24. Red Arse says:

    DD,

    My response to GLIC which I believe is self explanatory, overlapped with your 1:58.

    My intention in responding to your Post was to be courteous and complimentary and not dogmatic. I have already said I am in agreement with much of what you have written.

    I accept that you easily take exception to what I write, but it seems that if I try and respond to you, using my normal deductive reasoning powers it causes offence, which was not intended.
    If you would prefer me to refrain from chatting with you, I will, of course, but that would not be my choice.

  25. Red Arse says:

    GLIC,

    Sadly, I am not by any means an interlectualer. Color me a replic TerryM, with more hair! 🙂

    Ouch! Just realised that might be a back handed compliment to TerryM, who might very well be an intellectual, in which case …… my humble apologias Terry!!! 🙂

  26. dandan says:

    RA LOL I was refering to your answer to GLIC not my post.As for upsetting me worry not about that my friend I wont happen, you and I may not agree but your input to this bog is far heavier than mine and the regulars seem to enjoy your contribution so blog away with impunity. I no doubt upset some along the way too.

  27. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    RA,
    A long, long time ago in a Galaxy far.. oops wrong story !.
    A few years ago with our great French influence, in our great team,others( the dark side ) called us the 21st Ligue 1 team.
    I think we had as many french followers as some of the french teams thanks to Arsene and his “legion”. Lightheartedly I say, many french would have welcomed us! 🙂

  28. Red Arse says:

    GLIC,

    I like french fries — does that count? 🙂

  29. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    RA, Terry is an intellectual(hope I spelt it right this time) just insane, he`s also a mad scientist ! Come on les rouge(s) 🙂

  30. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    RA, Depends on, how you like your French Fried ?. Medium rare or well screaming ! 🙂

  31. tomstoned says:

    well DanDan

    1.profit being returned annually =and that is purely from selling players and im stunned that you see the fact that we have become a selling club as positive ??

    if we sold players that wasnt good enough for Our Beloved Arsenal,well then i could understand it,but we are not,we are selling Our best players mate..

    but hey lets keep paying a pretty bonus to mr (n)azidis he deserves it ………..we are being transformed into a English version of wall mart…great..

  32. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    tomstoned. I think one of my first remarks on here, was a play on the Kroenke,Wallmart connection. I said (and it was humour), we are changing our name to ASDA = Arsenal Sell Dividand Arrives ! 🙂

  33. Red Arse says:

    GLIC,

    I have now read back and see no “brainy bugger” has answered your question. So if you don’t mind a non-brainy bugger replying, the following is my view. (I have already answered the move abroad bit). 🙂

    —- GLIC asked: “So, here is my Question you Brainy buggers: In theory, If say Kroenke bought every single share, I take it he would own Arsenal lock, stock and barrel!” —-

    There is nothing in Law to stop Kroenke buying all the Arsenal Holding Company shares.

    In fact, once he reached ownership of 30% of the issued share capital, he was required under the rules governing Publicly quoted companies to make an offer to all of the remaining shareholders to purchase their shares.

    Certain shareholders, mainly the directors, then sold out to him, and he now has ownership of 66% of the shares.

    Usmanov refused to do so, (29%) as did many small shareholders (usually arsenal fans) (5%).

    If he could persuade Usmanov to sell his shares, he would then be able to legally require the remaining 5% of shareholders to sell to him too, giving him 100% of the issued share capital, which would be his preferred option, so that he could take the company private.
    (A private limited company, as opposed to a public limited company, with less stringent disclosure requirements basically).

    In practice, he does now have total control of the club, because he obviously would win any vote, either at director or shareholder level, as to the direction the club takes.

  34. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Hi RA,

    No apologies are required from you my friend.

    Dont know why Cornwall things ime an intellectual?, hes right about the insane bit though.

  35. Red Arse says:

    Terry, 🙂 And no you are not — insane I mean — just very amusing!!

  36. TotalArsenal says:

    A recent survey shows that the quality of life in France is highest in Europe and second lowest in England: best baguettes and croissants, short working weeks and lots of annual leave, far more sun-hours a year, cheap beer and wine, superior food, better looking women 😉 , more space (France is four times the size of England), etc etc. If Arsenal were to move to France tomorrow, I would move with them!

  37. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    RA. @3:19pm
    Thank you for the reply. Confirming what I thought might be the case.
    I know you gave an in depth answer /opinion before on why it would not happen, but does anyone know if there is a ,Law,rule,etc` from all the worlds governing bodies which would make it illegal for any team to relocate to a European Country but still be in the EPL ?.
    I seem to remember Wimbledon considering moving to the Republic of Ireland before moving to MK, I might be wrong.

  38. Big Raddy says:

    BR thinks that if Kroenke bought all the shares and escaped TMHT’s “rendition”, then he would have every right to move the club as long as it stayed within the English FA.

    I expect the first club to move away from their home town will be those cabbages down the road. The area behind WHL is clearly not going to work for them otherwise why try and get the Olympic stadium? I would expect them to build a stadium close to the M25, possibly Enfield area (land is cheaper).

    Somehow Enfield Hotspurs has a better ring to it 🙂

  39. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    I must stress, I dont want us to move, not even to Cornwall, 60,000 red and white pasty waving cousins( was going to use another word rhyming with bread ) singing ” who ar it`s the Arsenal” and “whats that coming over the hill, is it a tractor, is it a tractooor ” No. 🙂

  40. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Raddy, And eventually all the residents of N17 will become gooners! 🙂

  41. 26may1989 says:

    Afternoon all. Top, insightful post Mr DD. We are definitely well on our way to US franchising systems. I just wonder if a Super League would also see the adoption of US-style draft systems for recruiting and allocating new players. It could happen…..

    One itsy-bitsy point of information: there will be 11 home Test matches for England next summer (3 vs the Windies, 3 vs the Saffers and 5 vs those serial losers, the Aussies).

    Re GLIC’s question at 12.33pm (could a club be moved from one country to another), the short answer is no, at least under the existing framework. FIFA rules say that clubs can’t move from one league to another except “in exceptional circumstances”, which would require approval from the FAs for both the countries involved plus UEFA and FIFA. Which obviously isn’t going to be given. Remember the Atlantic League idea, where the leading Dutch, Scottish, Swedish, Portuguese etc clubs wanted to set up a multinational league that would be the equivalent of La Liga, the EPL, Serie A etc? It failed because UEFA said their home leagues would have to consent, and that consent was never going to be given.

    Membership of the FA only extends to clubs playing in England. Since the FA needs to give its permission to any member club playing a match outside England, the chances of Arsenal being relocated to Paris and still playing in English competitions (although theoretically possible) is zero.

    So all in all, it ain’t going to happen under the current system.

    But things change, and it may be that the big clubs end up doing a Kerry Packer and forcing a face-off with UEFA and FIFA by splitting away and setting up a Super League outside their jurisdiction. That would take a lot of guts obviously, as players would no longer be eligible to play for their national teams and clubs and players may be subjected to fines, court injunctions etc. But the economics of the thing (especially when you look at what’s going on in Spain) make it possible.

  42. Jimmy Carter says:

    Big Raddy

    Haven’t Wimbledon already done this by becoming MK Dons?

  43. Red Arse says:

    26, as you are here, 🙂

    On a related subject, what intrigues and indeed puzzles me, is that in Spain the other clubs allow Madrid and Barca to set up their own TV deals.

    Some years ago, (2004?) England rugby tried to do much the same, because with the largest population they wanted a bigger slice of the cake. So the Scottish, Welsh and Irish Unions said that’s fine – you will have to play on your own tho’, because we won’t play you — unless the revenue ‘pot’ is shared equally. English RFU had to cave.

    Why don’t the ‘lesser’ Spanish clubs do the same?

    The same applies to the ‘Pool. If they, Manyoo and Arsenal tried the same solo TV negotiations, (and it was tried early on in the Sky regime and rejected) the other clubs simply have to take the same stance and say; “Fine, you 3 play each other, because we won’t play you”. What do you think would happen?

  44. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    26,
    From our humble beginning`s in 1886 to the great club we love today, It`s only taken 125 years. Who knows what the game holds for us in the next 125 ( TMHT ?). It would probably look as alien to us,as today would look to our Founder`s. If only they knew how much we have to thank them for, our original heroes!

  45. Red Arse says:

    Jimmy,

    The original question posed was regarding the possibility of an EPL club moving to France.

    Clubs in England can move with relative ease, provided it is not within 3 miles of another club, (see the West ham/Orient legal argument) and you are right, as I said earlier, that MK Dons altho’ not in the EPL have shown moves are permitted, as have Arsenal, when we moved our stadium, and also a number of other stadium moves.

  46. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    RA.
    “lesser Spanish clubs”. Simply a great question.

  47. 26may1989 says:

    All a matter of power plays, RA, there aren’t any legal niceties to it. It’s just a matter of who has the most leverage at this point in time.

    The other Spanish clubs are beginning to say to Real and Barca something along those lines: share the pie more fairly or you’re out. It’s not easy to predict what would happen if it came to it, but perhaps the other clubs would end up better off than they are now, even if the pie did shrink.

    Their mistake was not insisting on financial solidarity years ago, when Real and Barca were financially weaker than they are now.

  48. Red Arse says:

    GLIC,

    If it had not been for the much maligned Sir Henry Norris, Arsenal would have gone bust in 1912 (?). So we have a lot to thank him for. (I know 26 won’t). 🙂

    With all the loonies wandering around, I would be amazed if in another 125 years the world isn’t a smouldering nuclear dustbin.

    I am glad I won’t be here to see it!

  49. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    As I said before, I`m sure the `Dons looked at going to Ireland (was it Dublin ?). If MK`s did not come in/work out, Could they have gone to Ireland ?

  50. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    RA.
    Maybe thats why TMHT`s not saying anything! 🙂

  51. Red Arse says:

    GLIC,

    I think 26 answered you at 4:50!!

    Keep up or I will set TerryM on your case! 🙂

  52. 26may1989 says:

    Henry Norris was a bad man. A very bad man.

    But I guess he was our bad man, so there was something going for him.

    GLIC, I remember Sam Hammam’s idea of moving the Dons to Dublin too. He also thought of Cardiff didn’t he? But he couldn’t have done either without getting the consent of the Irish FA / Welsh FA plus the consent of the FA, UEFA and FIFA. Chances of that ever happening: less than zero.

  53. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    RA. I thought the only people to hate Sir Henry Norris was the Spuds! 🙂

  54. Red Arse says:

    GLIC,

    Do you think he has been acting suspiciously? I thought that was just 26’s aftershave affecting him. 🙂

    What am I saying? I like TerryM – I’m sure he will tip me the wink and give me 5 mins to evacuate! :-).

  55. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Sorry RA , I must keep up. 🙂
    Thanks 26.

  56. Red Arse says:

    GLIC,

    My friend 26, right on cue, has answered your 5:28 at 5:27 – brilliant or what? 🙂

  57. Big Raddy says:

    Jimmy. Correct but we are talking about a big PL club.

    Chapeau to Norris. Top man RIP.

  58. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    RA.
    TMHT must be involved in this wizardry! 🙂

  59. Red Arse says:

    I asked FatGingerG, to help me with my Sky HD+ problem, and he couldn’t.

    So, now I would like to know if we have any car dealers on AA?
    As Sir Henry might have said — any responders should only do so if they can guarantee success. 🙂 I want to buy a new car, and despite the recession it is bloody hard getting a decent discount.

    I feel like saying f*ck ’em then!

  60. kelsey says:

    afternoon all.
    could someone explain the second last paragraph to me about an agreement in place.

    Alisher Usmanov has written to select small shareholders in a fresh bid to take his stake in the club over the 30% threshold, with £14,000 per share on offer.

    The Russian businessman’s Red and White Holdings currently owns 29.35% of the Gunners and he is looking to purchase at least another 405 shares to take their stake to the mark that would usually force them to make a formal takeover bid.

    However, 66.7% of Arsenal is held by rival investor Stan Kroenke – who became majority shareholder earlier this year – and there is an agreement in place which means Usmanov will not need to attempt a doomed takeover.

    Usmanov, though, would then be subject to the Premier League’s owners’ and directors’ test – their updated fit and proper persons’ test.

  61. Red Arse says:

    What gave him away GLIC?
    Was it the little pointy hat and the white beard and cape?

    He is a true Gooner, so he can wear anything he likes at home games! 🙂 Away games —– err not tooo sure!

  62. kelsey says:

    sorry for my absence and a well thought out post dandan.

    unfortunately my wife and I have been helping the police over a body my wife found in a little track directly behind our house whilst walking the dogs.
    turns out to be a 15 year old moroccan kid with previous all not very nice.

  63. 26may1989 says:

    Kelsey, my guess (this is outside my comfort zone) Kroenke has agreed that, if Usmanov reaches the magical 30% level (which would usually make it compulsory for him to offer to buy everyone’s shares at the highest price he’d paid in the previous year), Kroenke wouldn’t complain if Usmanov didn’t make such an offer. The point being it would all be pointless since Kroenke isn’t going to sell his stake.

    That’s what I reckon anyway.

    I forgot to say earlier, good to see a civil contribution from one of our Blue-feathered friends (Stan Streason at 10.47am). I would disagree with the positive view of Abramovich but I can see where the brilliantly named Mr Streason is coming from.

    God, I’m being nice to Chelsea fans, what the hell is wrong with me……?

  64. 26may1989 says:

    Bloody hell Kelsey, your 5.44pm is terrible. All the best to your wife, must have been a shock.

  65. Red Arse says:

    Kelsey,

    If this report is accurate, it could be part of the financial chess game.

    Just guessing — but Usmanov is not on the Board of Directors, and I have voiced my view this is an unhealthy sate of affairs. So, this attempt to take him up to the 30% share holding level and triggering an FA/EPL fit and proper person test, (It’s not a legal requirement) might mean that he is trying to force Kroenke’s hand, or preparing the way for Kroenke to sell out in the future.

    The ‘agreement’ if it exists may simply be something that he and Kroenke have come to, because to go thru’ all the ‘offer’ procedures is very expensive and frankly pointless.

    The above could all be bollix, because unless we are told the whys and wherefores it is all just a matter of conjecture/speculation/guesswork!!! 🙂

  66. Jimmy Carter says:

    Red

    I understand the point regarding moving countries, but isn’t it as much about leaving one set of fans for another, new, better (more) supporters.

    Wimbledon was not a typical stadium move, their new ground was over 60 miles from the old one.

    New owners left west london, where the competition for fans from Brentford, QPR and Fulham was to great, to Milton Keynes where football fans only had Northampton as a local club.

  67. Red Arse says:

    Jimmy,

    Cannot disagree with you on that.

    As I said, and we appear to be in agreement using different words, Wimbledon were on their uppers, and their new owner (at the time) could only see a move, for the reasons you gave, as the way to save the club.

    In America, a club’s owner can sell it to a new owner, who is then permitted to move it thousands of miles away, and change the name if he wants, usually because the club would have gone bust if such a move had not been made. It’s called ‘franchising’ but in all but name the motives are usually the same as the Wimbledon/MK Dons scenario.

    Also in the US, teams often change their name to reflect the latest sponsors name. When a deal expires, the name is changed again.

    Hope we see more of you on AA, and if you have a fancy too, the lords and masters of AA would be happy if you would like to write a Post! Give it a go! 🙂

  68. Big Raddy says:

    Really looking forward to the weekend and talking football again.

    I have just discovered that the farm on Bornholm (google it – a very nice place) we are off to over the weekend has no access to the internet!!

    Nuts…..

  69. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    All the best Kelsey, bit of a shocker!

  70. dandan says:

    BR are the Aussie games tests or 50 over jobbies only I read the Lancashire article in the last couple of weeks re the grounds and lack of test’s.

  71. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Raddy, It looks cracking, would they be happy for a EPL team relocation there ? 🙂

  72. Red Arse says:

    DD,

    There are 3 tests each for Windies and S Africa.

    Then 3 one day games for each and 5 one dayers for the Aussies.

    Phew!

  73. TotalArsenal says:

    BR, at least you will have plenty of bacon 🙂

  74. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Dandan,
    Thank you, great read.
    What is more is that you have given me a brilliant idea. Let’s all buy black scarves and have a huge banner made with the words “We want our Arsenal Back”. Then, and this is the brilliant bit, after the furore and upheaval we create culminating in the ousting of SK and the total control handed over to AU, we can buy green and yellow scarves and have a huge banner made with the words “We want our Arsenal Back”.
    BR,
    Lucky you don’t like watching telly then with all these remote place you sneek off to.

  75. LB says:

    Hehehehe

    Just back from the High Court, don’t ask, anyway the gossip was that Abramovich was in there, some conflict between him and another Oligarch or something, the snippet of gos doing the rounds was that he was referred to as a gangster – brilliant — we all know that it is not so far off the mark but to actually say it, well, that takes some balls in my opinion.

  76. gunnern5 says:

    RA;

    You’ve got it all wrong with US franchises.

    A) They can only sell after the league have approved the sale.

    B) They can only move if they satisfy any lease agreements in the city they are leaving.

    C) The new city council and police force have to approve

    D) Finally the league have to approve the new location.

    Not at all a simple process- hence not that many teams do in fact move.

  77. LB says:

    Kelsey

    What do you mean by a fifteen year old Moroccan girl with previous? Previous what?

  78. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Total, my best mate Piet is dutch, He supports West Ham, his wife and son are gooners. When I want to talk about Total Football, I talk to his wife. 🙂

  79. MickyDidIt89 says:

    BR,
    Rumbled. Just googled Bornholm. You are a Knights Templar aren’t you?
    Interesting stuff those round churches.

  80. MickyDidIt89 says:

    LB,
    Is this Court appearance connected to the name change?

  81. Red Arse says:

    GN5,

    Your usual charming self I see. I never said it was, did I?

  82. LB says:

    Micky

    Of course, Peaches insisted.

  83. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Conversations running at the moment: franchises, murders, knights templars and an AA’er changing his name and lying low.

  84. dandan says:

    Micky an AA’er Lying how dare you sir that is worthy of a challenge 🙂

  85. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Add: law suits to the list!

  86. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Micky,
    Sounds like a new Dan Brown novel! 🙂

  87. dandan says:

    LB if you check back you will see it says kid, I think you will find it was a lad, with a criminal record.Never the less Kelseys family have not had a pleasant time.

  88. Red Arse says:

    DD,

    So, in the Summer of 2012, that’s;

    6 full test matches
    11 one dayers, and
    4 T20’s

    Lazy devils those cricketers. 🙂

  89. Evening all.

    First on the agenda, terrific post DanDan (and I was name checked so i feel honoured 🙂 ), my father in law gave me a pull out from one of the Sunday Supplements recently and it detailed the number of people involved in any match day at the Emirates, its quite mind boggling really.

    As you say why would any Borough not want to have a top level football club arrive on their doorstep. I think it also demonstrates a knowledge that in their current stadium Chelsea are fearful of not making FFP (which also means that maybe our current board are right to take it seriously?), especially not if they want to keep pace, so they need additional income, Abramovich building a stadium which he leased to the club is a solution to both problems. Wonder if they will reduce their ticket prices?

    Second point on the agenda is to address a comment made early this morning by RA, this may be one of those wires crossed moments but you responded to my suggestions re sponsorship length and such as if I was being critical, which I truly wasn’t as I fully understand the reasons your reply set out (namely upfront costs etc). I admit my comment does not convey those feelings, but I guess I assumed people would remember my position on the issue.

    Anyway my point about shorter contracts was purely forward looking and about making sure we could always renegotiate a better deal round the corner and not be stuck in limbo for so long, my point about buying out the existing deals was I guided by Chelsea’s relatively recent buying out Umbro to get a better deal with Adidias (again I would guess in preparation for FFP). Anyway water under the bridge now and all that.

    I will bid you all farewell for the evening as i download and get to grips with iOS5 😀

  90. kelsey says:

    Thanks for the replies, I put it up as I just can’t imagine kroenke and Usmanov having an agreement.I knew kroenke would be making a move and with the AGM on the 27th he might start to rock the boat.

    LB:

    I put the article up yesterday about Abramovic and it was a 15 year old boy who had his face blown off and the police suspect he was thrown out of a moving vehicle.It is either drug related or he burgled the wrong house and was shot by the owner and then had the body desposed of.Unfortunately that happens down here quite a lot but usually older guys either scousers, eastern europeans or the older essex boys in the 30 to 40 age group.

    you can read it on the website

    Costa Del Crime

  91. Red Arse says:

    GIE,

    I think it was wires crossed. I was agreeing with you! 🙂

  92. Oh and following the question about Usmanov the 30% and the non takeover offer, I guess RA is right about motives, if Usmanov passes the fit and proper persons test for EPL owners maybe more fans will come round to his way of thinking……then again that fit and proper persons test allowed Carson Yeung to buy Birmingham (ok innocent until proven guilty right…..) but he did put his 18year old son on the Board…..smart move!

    To be fair the Fit and Proper Persons test is useless! Not because it let Yeung in, but because it is a list of offences that may not have come to light yet.

  93. dandan says:

    LOL RA I am all at sea with these cricket fixtures I read this article last week I think, but anyway you might care to have a look and get the drift the numbers are interesting.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/cricket/15040473.stm

  94. 26may1989 says:

    Did someone mention a lawsuit?…..

    🙂

  95. Red Arse says:

    Thanks DD,

    I sometimes have to stop and think how did I get into cricket? I am becoming more and more English! 🙂

    Very interesting link.

    GIE,

    I wrote some moths ago, and I think you agreed, that irrespective of what one’s views are on Jabba, it is in all our interests, as fans, if he can have sight of the otherwise private documents which only officers of the company (directors) are privy to.

    it will keep Stan the Man honest! 🙂

    Umm, I think you agreed, but ……………. 🙂

  96. kelsey says:

    if you don’t want to read the article read the bit …what they both said.

    ALISHER USMANOV

    Age: 58
    Wealth: £12.4bn
    Arsenal shares: 29.35 per cent
    Sporting interests: Arsenal shareholder, president of International Fencing Federation
    Business interests: Stakes in Russian mining and gas plus music and sport TV channels, a newspaper and Facebook
    Other half: Wife Irina Viner is a gymnastics coach
    They said it: “Arsenal has all of its major commercial contracts coming up for renewal . . . to maximise the value of those you need to invest in building a winning team. This is simple commercial logic.”

    STAN KROENKE

    Age: 64
    Wealth: £2.1bn
    Arsenal shares: 66.7 per cent
    Sporting interests: Owns St Louis Rams (gridiron), Denver Nuggets (basketball), Colorado Rapids (soccer), Colorado Avalanche (ice hockey)
    Business interests: Real estate, retail and mall development
    Other half: Billionaire wife Ann is daughter of Wal-Mart co-founder Bud Walton
    They said it: “Arsene is one of my favourite people I have met in the last 20 years. Arsene is our man. As an owner, that’s who we put our confidence in.”

  97. Red Arse says:

    kelsey, you are a mine of info, thank you!! 🙂

    Not too different from what I was saying earlier. Wonder what has triggered it all off tho’?

    Hope your Mrs wasn’t too traumatised, but how terrible to come across such a thing!

  98. Raddy – I’ve been emailing you furiously and you’ve not responded 🙄

    Total Arsenal – I have your tickets in my hot little hands 🙂

  99. kelsey says:

    RA.

    What triggered it off, the key is DD.Well connected inside and outside the club.common denomantor Usmanov and Wenger.

  100. SharkeySure says:

    Headline posts on Arsenal Arsenal….a cut above everything else.

    Many thanks to DanDan for todays and 2*13 for yesterdays.

    Quality

    I love this site

  101. TotalArsenal says:

    Peaches, you have a lovely way of expressing yourself: ‘I have your tickets in my hot little hands’ 😀 It makes them sound even more valuable! Thank you very much. Did you get my email the other day, including draft post?

  102. SharkeySure says:

    I also loved the quality and frivolity of Mickey’s ‘Arsenal Kingdom’ last week.

    Then there’s the stat laden posts, the videos and pics, the common sense, the life lessons from our elder statesmen, the camaraderie and support (esp this season so far !!)

    That BFG and Arshavin pic still makes me chuckle every single time that I see it

  103. SharkeySure says:

    One of those hot little hands will be on your knee (maybe more?) for most of the game Total !!!

    Just make you sure don’t go missing for two weeks afterwards as happened to a poor/lucky AA’er last season.

    I’m offski now, so someone else will have to explain it all to you

  104. TotalArsenal says:

    Sharkey 😆 Just a pity I am taking my father in law with me to the game!

  105. TotalArsenal says:

    GLiC, I am sure your friend Piet really loves Arsenal – his family and good friend(s?) all being Gooners – but it is his male pride that prevends him from admitting it openly. You should suggest hypnosis to him, so he can let it all out once and for all 😀

  106. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Kelsey, sorry to hear you and your wife had such a horrific experience today 😦

  107. Gooner in Exile says:

    Is TA sitting next to 26? These legal types …..tut

  108. TotalArsenal says:

    GiE, I wish it was so! No, we have got tickets for Clock End. Cannot wait though!

  109. Hi TA – yes, post all sorted, Rasp has been working hard on it this evening and it will be published tomorrow.

  110. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers Peaches! 🙂

  111. evonne says:

    Morning all
    Dandan I was unwell yesterday and I had no energy to say BIG thank you for your post!
    I am sure the face of football is changing as we speak, it is not the game we, the old school know and love. And I mean the game and all aspects of it. Some changes are for the better (no more hooligans and football associated violence), but most are for the worse. Gosh, how I wish I could be one of those guys from black and white photos, with flat caps, hands in pockets, long coat with a programme under one arm. Standing at the Clock End of Highbury and cheering their true heros! Please father Christmas….just once!

  112. evonne says:

    BTW – I am not sure I understand the american football franchise model, can someone explain it to me? What would that mean for us?

  113. Rasp says:

    Morning,

    New post……

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