Are the Oligarths looking after their own money?‏

Morning Gooners,

Now I know we don’t do politics, religion and all those things that make the world go round, but I felt I had to put a few words together to discuss the following. Many supporters have been asking for one of our major share holders to use his billions to buy Arsenal FC outright and spend some of that vast wealth on players.

Many supporters don’t care where Usmanov’s money has come from. He is a business man, who has his billions in many pots, but where his money has actually come from no one can say for sure.

Chelsea’s owner Roman Abramovitch is also running a big football club, it’s reported that he started off selling matches on street corners, and then branched out selling rubber dolls from his pokey little flat. He must have sold a lot of matches and dolls to build his wealth to six Billion.

Usmanov is another that has amassed an eleven billion fortune, rumoured to have come from minerals and other means, but no one seems to know the actual truth. These two billionaires are not alone in Great Britain judging by the papers, who recently named six russians that were all multi billionaires.

With the trouble between the Russians and Ukraine where things are getting warlike, I noticed that our Prime Minister, David Cameron has threatened sanctions on Russian deals, and wait for it, he has also stated that the Russian billionaires funds which are sitting in British banks may be held, and will not allow those billionaires to use their funds, until this Ukrainian business is settled.

Now I am far from a financial wizard, but that suggests to me that the kind of action that the Prime Minister is suggesting, is saying that their money is not really theirs, but is being looked after by them for the Russian Government.

Looking at what is happening, has made me think that what the Russian Government has done, is syphon of the country’s wealth, and given it to certain people to look after, until this money is needed. It’s been smuggled out of the country, so the Russian public are not aware of it. Of course these so called billionaires have to act out the rich man, but when you’re holding a billion what’s a yacht or two, or even a football club, lets face it yachts and football club money can be redeemed, Mayfair Apartments can be sold and so on.

Now wouldn’t you take on a job like that, live like a billionaire, and find a safe haven, invest a bit in a business and look the part. Putin runs the country, and also lives like a wealthy man, but with him he is hungry for power. And when the shit hits the fan, he always has vast wealth being held, and could disappear at the snap of a finger,

Now I may have it all wrong, and all these people may be straight down the middle, but I have a sneaky feeling that I am not that far wrong, I have always been against Usmanov’s money being used  at Arsenal, and even if I’m wrong I am still glad we do it our own way and don’t need a ‘Sugar Daddy’.

Written by Steve Palmer


37 Responses to Are the Oligarths looking after their own money?‏

  1. mickydidit89 says:

    Ooo, titillator extrordinaire there Steve.

    Plenty for me to mull over while in the sea. I shall return home, unlike the Oligarchs 🙂

  2. ai-zed says:

    sorry that my 1st reply is totally non-post related (haven’t read the post yet), but, thomas eisfield has joined fulham, permanently!! that’s just sad for me!! okay, off to read the post

  3. fatgingergooner says:

    Eisfeld sold to Fulham! Not many opportunities with all the young midfielders we have.

    Wonder if they have put a buy-back clause in.

  4. ANANYMOUS says:

    Pls do not do any politics with this site. U might end up tarnishing somebody’s image. Concentrate on purely soccer related issues. just an advice.

  5. GunnerN5 says:

    Sorry Steve, but that post has no place on AA and should be removed………….

  6. chás says:

    I’ve never liked Usmanov or obscene wealth, Steve.

  7. RA says:


    I know that the site has been short of Posts, but I am disappointed that an overtly political subject has been put up today, and I will not be commenting.

  8. Norfolk Gooner says:

    G’day all, Sorry Steve, but I’m in agreement with GN5, this is a football related website and no place to be airing possibly libelous statements about individuals and foreign states.

  9. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Happily off topic, I’m sorry to see Eisfeld leave but I wish him well in the future, no doubt his lack of opportunities, at Arsenal, has lead him to further his career elsewhere.

  10. New Post ………………..

  11. stevepalmer1 says:

    May i apologise to the bloggers who don’t like the post, And libellous maybe, But i wont argue the fact, The reason for the post was it just happened to be all over the papers, and when the Prime Minister states that one of our Major shareholders may have his Money frozen, i thought it may of been worth a mention. Obviously not..

  12. 26may1989 says:

    I have buckets of affection for RA, GN5 et al, but I have to say, those reactions to Steve’s post are very poor. What the hell is wrong with asking the questions Steve does, when they relate to the owners of football clubs and could impact on those clubs, ours included? If you don’t want to comment, just do it, no need to slag off the work of someone who had an observation to make.

    Rant over, will now look at the day’s second post.

  13. omgarsenal says:

    Actually Steve imho your post has some salient points to discuss that ARE directly or indirectly related to Football in the EPL and elsewhere.

    1) If Abramovich and Usmanov are, as you claim, simply holding russia’s wealth for their ultimate oligarch, then any UK actions will directly affect the EPL teams supported by that wealth.

    2) Even if this is not the case, then perhaps such potential scrutiny might give abramovich and Usmanov cold feet and encourage them to look elsewhere for potential money laundering activities or whatever.

    3) I understand some bloggers reluctance to discuss what at first glance appears to be a purely political critique but the situation in the Ukraine is likely to have an impact sooner than later both on world Football and on FIFA/EUFA as well since both nations are members.imho

  14. Shard says:

    As relates to the politics part, I feel that you make a lot of assumptions about Russia simply because the British media (and the PM) says so. Russia is not some banana republic or a fascist country. It has corruption, it has connections between big business and government, and it acts high-handedly at times, including through lethal force. Just like any other country. The fact that their interests are not aligned with the West is why they get the sort of propaganda against them. Similarly that is also what they do against the West. The truth lies somewhere in between.

    As for how this situation relates to football. I don’t think it will affect the ownership of football clubs in any way for any real length of time. Unless there is a full scale war that breaks out, and that isn’t something that I believe is likely. Simply because it is is no one’s interests.

    But the current conflict does impact football. Shakhtar Donetsk have 6 players who have refused to report back to the club. Among them Douglas Costa who was linked with Arsenal a while back.

    Arsenal may also potentially have to travel to Eastern Ukraine for their playoff round if Dnipro make it through. They are set to face FC Copenhagen and Uefa seem to be insisting they travel to Ukraine, although the final decision is pending.

  15. 26may1989 says:

    Wotcha OMG.

    While defending Steve’s right to make the points he does, I wouldn’t agree with his interpretation that the oligarchs are holding their assets for Russia, and would in any situation hand back those eye-wateringly massive assets (that were to all intents and purposes stolen by the likes of Abramovich and Usmanov when the Soviet Union collapsed). The deal the oligarchs have done with the Kremlin is that they will not get involved in Russian politics and the Kremlin won’t attack the oligarchs’ assets.

    What does that mean for football? The likes of Abramovich and Usmanov can carry on doing what they do with our clubs, using the natural resource riches of Russia and the other republics of what was the Soviet Union.

    Will the conflict in Ukraine have any impact on those self-same oligarchs? Theoretically possible but I very much doubt that it will get that far. Given that London is the financial services centre of Russia, the UK Government in particular could take action against the oligarchs that would really hurt them, but in reality, that is a battle our Government just isn’t going to want to take on.

    But perhaps there will be meaningful pressure applied to FIFA to cancel Russia’s right to host the World Cup – I see some German politicians have today raised that possibility. Unlikely to happen but you never know.

  16. Shard says:

    Oh and I’m not a fan of the billionaire model either. I don’t believe in free lunches and I’d rather not have Arsenal be a potential vehicle for money laundering, or simply a big advertising billboard. Trophies are not worth the risks and loss of culture that can bring.

    However, I think the billionaire model, along with FFP, is eventually going to lead to a situation closer to American sports with salary caps and profits for owners. Wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world although that has its own issues.

  17. 26may1989 says:

    Hi Shard

    Interesting point about Dnipro. I don’t think there is any fighting in that area, but it’s not too far away either, Donetsk being especially affected. Although Dnipro might be fine, I would be surprised if UEFA doesn’t tell the teams they’ll have to play at a neutral venue, as they’ve done in the past.

    As for Shakhtar, they are screwed, I would expect any player who refuses to go to play for a club in a city in which there is fighting will be forgiven from observing their contract.

    Completely agree that we will eventually see squad salary caps or something similar, that’s the way it’s all heading.

  18. Shard says:


    I believe the issues Copenhagen pointed out were that they can’t find an airline to fly them there, and that insurance is a problem. They also mentioned some travel advisory from the Danish government.

    I think Uefa’s decision is expected today.. It might already have been announced.

  19. 26may1989 says:

    Have just checked, UEFA have ruled the game can’t go ahead in Dnipro, and it’s now apparently going to be held elsewhere in Ukraine, in Kyiv or Lviv.

  20. arnie says:

    Fair questions, Steve, IMO. Even if there are too many assumptions, perhaps. But not the place to discuss these. Let us discuss over a pint. Somewhere, sometime soon. 😛

  21. stevepalmer1 says:

    Thank you guys very much for your contributions, i have learnt a lot in your discussions.

    My intentions were never to accuse people, but when leaders of countries make statements, then if we bury our heads in the sand and wont talk about it, we are in fact encouraging it.

  22. LB says:

    Seems to me that the post simply asks if we want someone like Usmanov connected with the club or not?

    Ok, albeit with a bit a presumed back ground information that the author humbly asks others to correct if they feel he is mistaken.

    Back to thinking what “F” is for.

  23. mickydidit89 says:

    Well, I think that was a fascinating chat.

    We are, after all, talking about a Man, and a Situation, that directly affects our club.

    Ok, I think some of Steve’s assumtions are wide of the mark, but so what.

    Right, no-one will read this comment, so will potter off 🙂

  24. stevepalmer1 says:

    Thank you Micky,
    Blogging has its drawbacks, you cannot please everybody all of the time, The Arsenal has us all hooked up, if your a Gooner its just in the blood, you know what i mean, and i appreciate your comments,

    As you say i am probably well wide of the mark, but we got through another day and no one got hurt, and rightly so as no one will read this comment either 🙂

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