The Ideal Arsenal Owner

Barely a day passes in the comments section without mention of our owner, Stan Kroenke.

Arsenal began life as a Mutually Owned Club under the name of Royal Arsenal. Our first sole owner was Henry Norris who engineered the move to Highbury in 1913. As we know, the poor fella had to quit to “spend more time with his family” as a result of some minor financial irregularities.

Then, along came the Hill-Woods (Samuel) and Bracewell Smiths (Sir, MP and Lord Mayor). In short, Samuel passed his stake down to Denis and then, he in turn, passed these on down to our current Chairman, Peter. Things got to their present state after Peter flogged his lot to the likes of Dein and Fiszman, and we end up where we are now with Kroenke on 66.76% and Usmanov on 29.9%.

So that’s a little history. So, what would we like right now from an owner?

It seems to me that there are two ways of going about this. The pie in sky fantasy approach, or the let’s face it, this is the real world we are talking about, and therefore the most likely. I can do both.

Being honest, that snake Norris did us proud didn’t he. Then again, the Hill-Wood Dynasty is what really turned the Club into the institution that it is today. They added The Marble Halls and gave us that aristocratic edge that has enabled us to look down our noses at absolutely everyone ever since. This may not sit comfortably with communists and revolutionaries, but it is a fact.

Alas, here we are in the modern era with The Kroenke “Sort”. I have to say, that I like the non-interfering type of owner, and whenever I hear the “couldn’t he just buy us two or three world class players”, I think, well where do you stop, why not sell out to someone you know will plough ego money into the place and be done with it.

Then, I think back to our roots and remember that we started out as a Mutually Owned Club, and think….Barca’ish? Fantasy. Naughty, but nice.

Doesn’t our present Chairman, Peter Hill-Wood, have a squillionaire Grandson? That’ll do me. Best of both worlds.

Written by MickyDidIt89


79 Responses to The Ideal Arsenal Owner

  1. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Good morning to you all,

    Interesting post Mickey and it is difficult, if not impossible, to see any change in the type of ownership at present.

    The share price ensures that only the mega rich can even contemplate an offer and Silent Stan isn’t listening to offers let alone thinking of selling.

    My ideal would be some form of joint ownership including Kroenke, Usmanov and Arsenal supporters. Fanshare was supposed to give a measure of involvement to the ordinary fan but that seems to have died a death.

  2. Red Arse says:

    Micky, well done, sir! 🙂

    You are bound to get one of two possible choices.

    In terms of ownership, and the implicit manner of the club’s funding method, some will want to continue down the self sustainable financial route, while others may want to throw caution to the wind and select the ‘oilygarch’ route.

    Just to advise those who would prefer the latter, unless there is some huge legal action taken in the European Court of Justice, opposing the UEFA FFP and the nascent EPL FFP, then the days of throwing money at transfers in the most impecunious manner possible, are over.

    That may lead to more discussions about the efficacy of the FFP regulations, but why not? 🙂

    For me – self sustainability always wins out — with a little bit of Sir Henry’s naughtiness to spice things up!

  3. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Morning all,
    Does anyone know whether any of our early owners chucked any of their own cash into the kitty?

  4. Red Arse says:


    I cannot agree that Silent Stan would not listen to offers.

    We only know what has been reported in the media about a fictitious bid, which he is supposed to have hypothetically turned down.

    So I am relying on none of that, but from years of experience buttering up — sorry, I meant — giving financial advice to entrepreneurs, I can tell you that they are always ‘listening’ and awaiting the main chance.

    Let’s face it – Stan is in his 60s, in ten or 15 years time when he is approaching 80 y.o. I cannot imagine he will still be the owner of Arsenal, any more than Danny Fizman was when he learnt he was terminally ill.

    For me, Stan is in for the (relatively) short term.

    Either way, it does not change the premise I laid out in my earlier comment.

  5. Big Raddy says:

    Good starter Micky

    In my opinion there is one simple solution and that is so glaringly obvious I am amazed you haven’t considered it …..

    I should be the owner of Arsenal.. And here are my reasons/CV

    I have an in depth knowledge of our history
    I am loyal to the nth degree
    My interests are purely football and not financial
    I would wear the shirt in the Directors box (unlike any other chairman)
    I have a history of non-involvement in my businesses, allowing others to flourish
    I would continue the self-sustaining model
    I would refuse to sell my best players

    BR is the obvious future owner. Just give me the keys …..

  6. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Personally, I think any kind of fan share scheme is a non starter, speaking realistically.
    How does a joint ownership deal sound, and I’m talking about large companies rather than individuals?
    Are Bayern part owned by Audi or someone?

  7. Red Arse says:


    I do not know directly what the facts are, but if Sir Henry, and his successors were ‘sole owners’, they would have been entitled to take any profits they made for themselves by way of salaries or dividends.

    If these profits were, instead, ploughed back into the ‘business’, it could be said they had used their own money.

    Equally, if the club had made losses, that would have diminished their stakeholdng or the worth of their asset, and in the same way, albeit indirectly, they could be said to have put their money into the club too.

  8. Red Arse says:

    Micky @10:20


  9. MickyDidIt89 says:

    “I have a history of non-involvement in my businesses, allowing others to flourish” 🙂
    I know what you mean.

  10. Norfolk Gooner says:


    I never said that Stan wouldn’t listen to offers, what I did say is that he isn’t listening, perhaps I should have added “at the moment”. That said, it is widely accepted that Kroenke has never sold a single share in any of his sports holdings and there really is no sign of him doing so in the future. As to fifteen, twenty years down the line presumeably his sons will take over, they already have a high profile in his organisation.

  11. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Can you google the exact details of the Bayern model, as you might actually understand what you find?
    Go on, be a darling.

  12. Gooner In Exile says:

    Morning all, Micky I’m firmly in the camp against an egotistical benefactor, that said I do not believe Usmanov is in that camp as I do not believe half the stuff his PR team is waging in the press, if he so desperately wants to own the club and fund player investment then he can dig deep make Kroenke an offer he can’t refuse and use whatever’s left to invest in the team, to my mind his PR team are solely aiming to unsettle the club to being down the cost of Krownke’s shares.

  13. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hi GiE,
    Sorry, not sure what AU PR stuff you are referring to. You say you don’t believe AU is an egotistical benefactor. So you think he’s in it solely for the business money making side?

  14. Rasp says:

    Morning Micky, it would be nice if we had any influence at all on who owns the club – but that will never happen 😦

    I agree Usmanov’s motivation for his involvement is puzzling. He’s not an Arsenal fan. He’s not making any money out of the club, only pushing the share price up for Stan, and he could afford to make an ‘offer too good to refuse’ to SS.

    Its probably that the money he has invested in Arsenal is small change to him and he thought he’d try to buy a top English club because that’s what Abramovich has done.

    Raddy has nearly got it right by promoting himself as owner – only one problem, he’s based in Denmark so I guess it will have to be me then.

  15. dandan says:

    Morning all,

    Having managed to sell Rasp’s house on the QT, I took the money I made to America and made Stan an offer he couldn’t refuse, to my surprise he took the bait and Rasp’s money and handed over the keys.
    unfortunately on arrival at the Ems I discovered that was all I had bought the bloody keys and the locks had been changed, don’t you just hate those smart arse Americans.

    Sorry Rasp you wanna borrow my removal van. 🙂

  16. Bergkamp for President says:

    As far as I can ascertain, Bayern Munich are approx. 82% owned by fans, with the rest owned by Adidas and Audi. The fan ownership equates to 160,000 shareholders.

    Arsenal shares recently sold for around £16250 each, valuing the club at around £1.1 billion. Any bid will therefore need to reach around £1.25 billion to have any chance to succeed.

    Following the BM model, sell £0.25 billion to two major investors and get 160,000 fans to put up £6250 each for the rest.

    I’ve got my cheque ready.

    Any suggestions on who you would vote onto the Board ?

  17. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Mr President,
    Brilliant, thank you.
    That is one impressive business model for a football club.

  18. Rasp says:

    Wow Dandan, that’s good business, by the time you’d paid off my mortgage you would have been minus £20,000

    I won’t need a removal van, I’ve got a wheelbarrow ta 😆

  19. Rasp says:

    Hi Bergie, I actually think you could find the £6,250 – although some fans may only be able to buy part of a share so it would take more than 160,000. The big challenge for you is getting SS and Usmanov to sell.

  20. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Mr President,
    I know Bayern have a few footballers on the board, but they are German, and even German footballers are probably better with money than any other European.
    So, I’d want a German. Now we need a salesman….I’m thinking. Do we have to have a footballer?

  21. I’m FIRST again!

    …and guess what? I’ve just bought Stan Kroenke’s 66.76% stake!
    Yep! BigAlDidIt this afternoon. I’m posting this from an internet cafe in Soho…

  22. Bergkamp for President says:

    Hi Micky, Bayern have Hoeness and Rumennigge as President and Chairman and they are supported by 9 managers of big German corporations, so they have it well covered on the business side.

  23. Red Arse says:

    Damn! I have just got back and wanted to be Micky’s darling, only to find that bloody Bergkamp has got there ahead of me!! 😦

    OK, so here is a wider perspective on Bayern Munich as regards the ownership rules brought in by the German equivalent of the FA/EPL.

    Before I do though, if you speak nicely to DD you might prevail upon him to look up a Times/Sunday Times article, which I read some time ago (weeks/months?). It specifically looked into the ownership, sponsorship, and profitability of Bayern Munich.

    In the meantime:

    The German League has a 50+1 ownership rule.

    There regulations [DFL German Football League] are rather restrictive, which prevents German Bundesliga clubs from being taken over by potential external investors.

    There football clubs are organised on the basis of being a non-profit organisation (NPO) ‘holding company.

    The members (the majority of whom are fans) act as the “board” of the club, voting on major decisions and hiring key executives, including CEOs [like Gazidis?] .

    Economics could not be ignored and holding companies are allowed to spin off parts of the corporate body, and turn them into separate corporations. Many clubs made use of this new opportunity by spinning off their men’s football team. However, the outsourcing of a part of the club has one major restriction: According to the 50+1 ownership rule, the club members must retain a majority stake in the club. So investors are not allowed to own over 49% of any club.

    The 50+1 ownership rule was designed to provide considerable investment opportunities while preventing any single investor from having overall control of the direction of the club.

    Certain clubs like Wolfsburg, which is 100% owned by Volkswagen and Bayer Leverkusen 100% owned by pharmaceutical giant Bayer were given exemption from the rule because they were formed and owned by those companies 100 years ago.

    These ownership rules are the main reason why investors are discouraged from investing in German football, but heavy involvement with local (and being German – giant companies) sponsorship is rigorously pursued.

    One of the key benefits to this system is that there are no Oilgarch funded clubs in the Bundesliga, and therefore all clubs are competing on a relatively even playing field.

    As a result, there is no ‘elite’ club group, and their league has been won by at least 5 different clubs over the past 10 years or so, and they are all usually profitable, unlike debt ridden, loss making clubs in the EPL.

    One feature that would appeal to fans in the UK, is that the guaranteed influence of the members (fans) on their clubs keeps the cost of seats comparatively cheap and also produces an average attendance of 43K per game.

    It will never happen in the UK. 😦

    Can I still be your darling, Micky? 😀

  24. Red Arse says:

    Yeuk! There are a couple of typos which are horrible — substitute “their” for “there”, please, as appropriate.

    Woe, oh woe is me – can’t spell – can’t type – I should have been a lawyer!! 😦

  25. richard shaw says:

    know that there is a gooner with the money to buy out the whole
    the only trouble will be getting the others to sell control of the club over and we are talking a billionaire (multi ) so lots of spare cash too invest into the club and players he often says how he would love to buy out the club here,s hoping

  26. Gooner In Exile says:

    RA, one other reason for very cheap ticket pricing at no cost to the club in terms of financial strength is the larger attendances brought on by safe standing areas which allows 2/3 fans to occupy the space of one seat except for UEFA Competitions.

    Are Spanish clubs owned by the fans in a similar way? I seem to remember much talk of electing presidents etc, whose normal election promises were …..”I’m going to sign XY and X when I become President….vote for me”…I never understood if they were using their own money to do so?

  27. Red Arse says:


    Real Madrid and Barcelona are registered as Associations, owned by their “socios”, that is to say the season ticket holding fans.

    Every four years elections are held and all the “socios” vote for a president to manage the club.

    The president is not permitted to use his own money to invest in the club, so all the club’s expenditure is based on what they earn in revenue or incurred debt.

    Both clubs have a socio-political background and some very questionable and lenient treatment by the ‘authorities’ including the taxman has put them into a privileged position in footballing terms.

  28. Red Arse says:

    I am sorry, GIE, that last comment should have been addressed to you!! 😀

  29. Red Arse says:

    I should add that the German 50+1 rule for football clubs, would be unlikely to achieve the 2/3rds majority of the EPL clubs to become viable, but in any event is being challenged through the European Court of Justice by an irate club owner, on the grounds that it is against European Free Trade rules, because no business man (Kroenke) would invest a £billion into a club where he could not gain control.

    No decision yet, and it could take years.

    Just saying.

    You were right, GIE, in saying that the Germans use the standing areas to produce more match day revenues by offsetting lower ‘seat’ costs, by making higher volume ‘standing’ customers revenue.

    In a similar way, Real Madrid who have a ‘dodgy’ financial model, have risked spending big money on Galacticos, in the hope (subsequently realised) of winning more trophies and thereby attracting greater sponsorship, and a hugely increased world wide fan base, in a virtuous circle of investment — producing trophies — producing increased revenue — producing investment – and so on.

    Pursuing this policy, and also cleverly selling unwanted players for healthy profits, they have moved from 5th wealthiest footie club on the Forbes List circa 2005, to the top of the pile in 2011.

  30. Red Arse says:

    Talking to myself today, so sayonara, adios amigos, ciao bambinos, com si – com sa! (the latter for Rock Mountain). 😛

  31. Afternoon all; and doesn’t it really feel like spring now? Snow in April in southern England for goodness sake. 😦

    A good question raised by MDi89, one that doesn’t appear to have an obvious answer. A hands off owner who can safely channel his dosh into the team would be nice, but not very democratic and open to dictator style abuse – look no further than the shenanigans at the bus stop in Fulham.

  32. Big Raddy says:

    Chary. Thank you for such a sterling Reading pre-match. I read it upon my return and was very impressed, particularly with the explorer.

    I will have to come up the goods on the weekend.

  33. Just trying to live up to the standards set by your pre matchs Radders. It is fun researching explorers, shame how the guy got speared to death trying to swim across a channel. Grisly stuff.

  34. englandsbest says:

    I’d guess it was ‘fan power’ that brought about the ‘Barca’ and ‘Bayern’ models. Of course, the two Clubs are emblematic to Catalunyans and Bavarians of their ‘difference’ from your average Spaniard or German. So unless it’s part of a North London Separatist Movement, the necessary unity of purpose will not be found. (Maybe in Geordieland if Newcastle Football Club owners continue to mess up). At the same time, we fans still have enough power – by not buying tickets – to make Kroenke decide it might be wiser for him to either mend his ways or, better still, to sell up (at least enough to make Usmanov majority owner).

  35. Gooner In Exile says:

    Evening all, I do hope Richard Shaw you don’t mean Piers Morgan, can’t think of many other mega wealthy Gooners who have expressed a desire to buy the club?

  36. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Sorry all to abandon ship. Work is really full on.
    Thanks RA (Darling) and Mr President for your sterling work.
    I really do like the Bayern model very much.

    So, who is this mysterious squillionaire English gunner?

  37. chas says:

    Ideal owner?
    No idea.
    I wouldn’t like to see it fan-based, judging by some of the so-called fans we see all over the blogs. Dennis knows what a mess we’d end up in.
    Fat or ginger Easter Europeans, no ta.
    Oilygarchs, no also.
    Syrup-wearing septics – better the devil you know?

    It looks like Chris Foy is only 4th official this weekend after his refusal to give us a pen when Oggie was sawn in half.

    This photo made me laugh for two reasons.
    1) Foy obviously hates red and white shirts and
    2) Santi looks like he’s auditioning for Romeo and Juliet. 🙂

  38. chas says:

    Easter Europeans. Haha.

  39. richard shaw says:

    defo NOT PIERS MORGAN lets say he is watching the situation closely

  40. MickyDidIt89 says:

    “I” am watching the situation closely, but am no nearer taking control 🙂
    Come now, spill some beans. He won’t mind.

  41. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Bernie Ecclestone was mentioned a few years back. Yes?
    Please not that grinning Beardy Branson!

  42. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Is The Queen actually a King in Ladies clothing?

  43. chas says:

    BR’s comment about no part of his body having any feeling about Gallas As captain keeps making me laugh when I see him.

  44. chas says:

    Cmon spuds, we need you to have more fixture congestion, don’t we? 🙂

  45. Gooner In Exile says:

    Missed Basels two goals as I was baking:

  46. Gooner In Exile says:

    The BBC gets it, even AVB gets it as do the club and he believes the fans although I’m not sure anyone who frequents N17 has the mental capacity to “get anything”.

    Anyway quote time:

    “”We want to focus on trying to win the Europa League but we understand that the fans’ and the club’s expectations are for us to try and reach Champions League qualification this year,” he said.
    “What sets the success of a football team is their league position at the end of every season but we want to do extremely well in the competition.”

  47. Gooner In Exile says:

    Actually Chas I think given the side on the pitch defeat to Basel is a good thing, they’ll have to pick themselves up again for Saturday, and that didnt go overly well before the International Break.

  48. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Wow, impressive work Mr Exile.

  49. Spuds two down splendid

  50. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Still want Spuds to endure another round. Worst thing would be a comprehensive win tonight, so we are over that particular hurdle

  51. Spurs level now, don’t want them getting any belief from some comeback mentality 😦

  52. Oh dear, Defoe out before tonight, as was Sandro and Kaboul……and now injured tonight Gallas, and now Bale being loaded onto a stretcher…Lennon also injured tonight too…..lets see how deep the squad is

  53. RockyLives says:

    Bale on a stretcher?
    Nothing trivial, I hope…

  54. RockyLives says:

    Nice Post Micky.

    I’m in the tiny minority who thinks Stan is a good owner for the club.

  55. “Adebayor lollop around like a forlorn giraffe”

    That was just said by a Spud fan on R5 Live, ROLF

  56. Lots of funny news around today 😀

    Former Derby County, Plymouth and Inter Milan defender Taribo West has been accused of lying about his age by ex-Partizan Belgrade president Zarko Zecevic, who claims the player was 40 – not 28 – when he joined in 2002.

  57. RockyLives says:

    Even though the Spuds came back that must have been quite an energy sapping effort for them.

    I didn’t see any of it – was Bale really injured?

  58. Gooner In Exile says:

    Was just looking back over comments and saw Mickys suggestion of joint ownership, fans plus a couple of company’s, what about Rolls Royce Group and BAE Systems…..back to our roots….kind of.

  59. VCC says:

    Yes Rocky. It looked a nasty one too. His ankle buckled under his weight while being tackled by an opponent.

    Nothing has been confirmed from Tottenham yet.

  60. VCC says:

    The stretcher that took Bale off must have been strong to carry the weight of a whole team.

  61. RockyLives says:

    VCC 😀

  62. Gooner In Exile says:

    AVB is talking the injury down, apparently looks worse than it is… experience ankle as swollen as they say and in pain means ligaments, a twisted ankle is normally alright to walk on. Either Bale is a wimp or its serious.

  63. Gooner In Exile says:

    A game you may like to play….Brent or Rodgers (will only make sense if you watched The Office:

  64. MickyDidIt89 says:

    In the name of Sportsmanship, I hope people can back off the gloating regarding all the Spurs injuries.

  65. MickyDidIt89 says:

    On the other hand, this morning the roses smell sweeter than ever, the birdsong more beautiful, and I shall be having extra soldiers with my boiled eggs.
    The Didit tail is rarely bushier and the spring in his step rarely so springy.

  66. evonne says:

    sorry Micky, just checked the results of last nights games and jumped with joy. Chavs cannot afford to play with weaker team against the Tartars and Bale as good as gave us the 4th spot in EPL, oh happy dayz….. It is not so much his injury as its consequences that make me happy. I could only be happier if another EPL player broke both his legs and an arm

  67. Red Arse says:

    Good Morning, Pimples, 🙂

    A bushy tailed Micky and the return of the lovely Evonne — can there be a connection? Not with the tail, of course, just the coincidence! 🙂

  68. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Well, helloooo Evonne.
    OK, so you’ve taken things to the next level 🙂

  69. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Morning Darling

  70. evonne says:

    hi guys, i am in Poland again, hence limited access to internet and footy. Still, wherever I am i look out for the best interests of the beloved Club. No idea how to smile on polish keyboard so smileys are assumed here, many of them ….

  71. Red Arse says:

    While I remember, I would like to take exception to Big Randy’s elitist and frankly implicitly discriminatory comments that there were no cyclists left on AA — except him!

    I would like you to know Randy that there is no need to poke fun at me and my rear wheel stabilisers, because – let me tell you – I no longer need to have anyone’s hand on the saddle to keep me on the straight and narrow!

    Bradley Wiggins told me I was a cycling great hope — and I don’t care my girlfriend said she was sure he said ‘great lump’ – so, boo to the pair of you!!

  72. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Like Micky, I think it is churlish to laugh at Spurs injuries and misfortunes 😀

    Reading through the news this morning I noticed the name Marko Marin. Just last season called the German Messi. Signed for big money by Chelsea and so far this season, started one game and sub in 5 others. Last season he was at Werder Bremen and playing in the CL and in the German National team

    Top young talent will stop signing for the billionaire clubs because they know they will not get pitch time. Hopefully, a salutary lesson.

    chas. Loved the Easter Europeans!

  73. Big Raddy says:

    RA. Bikes with stabilisers are becoming very fashionable, you are at the forefront of a cycling revolution.

    Why use two wheels when you can have four?

    Elitist and discriminatory? I think that’s fair

  74. Red Arse says:

    Thank you Raddy — I feel much more mollified with your explanation that I am leading the wobblies with fashionable elan! 😀

  75. Red Arse says:


    Believe it, or not, Chelsea have 32 players out on loan, some of them, like Lukaku, who are top rate — but when will those players realise that taking the dane-geld over a proper career path is fraught with dangers, in the long term!

  76. Gooner In Exile says:

    Chelsea are not alone in the loan world, we have a fair few youngsters out on loan too, the problem comes when signing players around the 18-22 age group, potentially world beaters, good enough to start for their own team not good enough to be in the buyers first XI or sub bench, too good for buyers reserves/academy side.

    The buyer wants to secure the top talent before price rises and others get in on the act. We have Ryo and Campbell out on loan for that reason. At the end of the day it will come down to the players choice as I believe the clubs will keep investing in the best talent….United let others develop (Moses, Young and Valencia being recent examples) and pay good money when they’re ready for first team action at United.

  77. Gooner in Exile says:

    Morning all… post

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