Is Silent Stan good enough for the club and the fans?

Stan Kroenke and the club have generated some adverse publicity in the press recently.

There have been some insightful discussions on the topic over the past few days on AA. Now that Crystals is back to the fold, I thought maybe we could do a “Kelsey” and put comments by AA patrons together to try and generate some consensus, or better still, some disagreement.
chas says:
September 24, 2014 at 6:26 pm

Bad PR, whichever way you look at it?

Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke angers fans by taking £3m out of club

• Payment matches 3% rise in season ticket prices
• Kroenke has dodged issue of receiving dividends

Amy Lawrence, The Guardian, Tuesday 23 September 2014

Excerpts: “Arsenal’s majority shareholder, Stan Kroenke, has taken a payment of £3m out of the club according to the latest company accounts.

“Having never taken dividends from his American sports franchises, … this is a move that has gone down badly with Arsenal supporters. Coincidentally, the £3m figure tallies with the amount the club raised from a 3% rise on season-ticket prices for this season.

“The money has been paid to Kroenke’s company, KSE LLC, for strategic and advisory services which relate to Arsenal’s broadband division, the media department which raises funds by selling a three-hour block of weekly content to the lucrative international market.

“No doubt the Kroenke payment will be a subject on the agenda at Arsenal’s AGM on 16 October.”

This then generated insightful comments from the AA in-house accountants.

LB says:
September 24, 2014 at 6:53 pm

Can one of the plethora of accountants that frequent this site please comment on the article in the Guardian about Stan Kroenke taking dividends out of the club. Thank you in advance.

RA says:
September 24, 2014 at 7:23 pm

[F]rom what I briefly heard on a local radio station, the fans are upset that Kroenke took £3m out of the club as expenses, and justified it, by saying the Glazers were brilliant owners and had taken very much more out of Manure than he was taking out from Arsenal for his personal expenditure. this would not be a dividend – as it would have had to be issued to the other shareholders, like Usmanov, and any fans who are still holding shares.

His salary as a director is peanuts too.

This might be a straw in the wind? Perhaps he is going to want a return on his investment in the club, though he has never previously done this with his US franchises.

chas says:
September 24, 2014 at 8:15 pm

I think it’s a piece of misleading journalism (surprise surprise) to suggest it was a ‘dividend’. The bad PR aspect of it for me was the fact that the amount taken out more or less equals the ticket price increase.

Gööner In Exile says:
September 25, 2014 at 7:26 am

Where I stand on £3m….it’s a Non story.

It’s literally at the arse end of the Accounts under a section called Related Party Transactions where any dealings with companies related or Directors related have to be disclosed. It is required to demonstrate that a fair value has been placed on those transactions. It can also be used to show services that were provided but not charged (eg KSE could provide Contracts Lawyers, but never charges for them….this would have to be reported so that Investors would know a change in ownership could increase costs of running company if they had to pay for it themselves).

There are about £260m of Operating expenses, a large portion is player wages, the accounts do not provide a full breakdown of these expenses, the £3m paid to KSE for strategic, consultancy advice is in reality peanuts compared to our overall costs, would Arsenal fans be happier if this was paid to Bodgeit Flogitrun & Co for Marketing advice? Or to WeChargeEverySecond & More Lawyers…..we wouldn’t even know.

Not sure Stans answer was the best, but in a season where our player trading was £32m out compared to consistently in, and wages went up £12m, is it a surprise that the media find something else to focus on?

chas says:
September 25, 2014 at 7:34 am

“would Arsenal fans be happier if this was paid to Bodgeit Flogitrun & Co for Marketing advice? Or to WeChargeEverySecond & More Lawyers”

I think the answer is a resounding, ‘YES”  🙂

Eddie says:
September 25, 2014 at 7:50 am

I would not believe a story stating that Kroenke takes nothing out of the club. Why shouldn’t he? Had I invested millions I would want to see some returns, even if it was from the AFC

RA says:
September 25, 2014 at 8:01 am

Up until recently, Eddie, it is true that Kroenke has taken very little out of the club.

His director’s salary really is minimal, no dividends have been paid to shareholders, of which he is the major shareholder of course, and he seems content to see the value of the club rise due to good fiscal management and therefore when he eventually sells Arsenal, and in due course he will, even if it is in many years time, he will reap the rewards of his investment then.

On the other hand he may get peed off with the constant sniping about the club and his stewardship and start taking a huge salary, and authorise huge dividends to the shareholders to shut them up. 🙂

chas says:
September 25, 2014 at 8:09 am

I doubt he’d authorise huge dividends to the shareholders because it would mean giving money away to Mr Creosote.

Big Raddy says:
October 3, 2014, headline post “Friday’s Rant”

Complaints about Stan Kroenke taking money out of the club: Why?  When I owned a business if one of my customers told me that I couldn’t take a smidgeon out to enjoy a self-finding mission to the Berkshire countryside I would have given them short shrift (whatever a shrift is?). The man has invested heavily into AFC and yet to take a dividend, his company did some work for the club, they got paid. So what?

Anyone who thinks Silent Stan is in it for anything but profit is beyond naive.

mickydidit89 says:
October 3, 2014 at 6:02 pm

Agree about Stan. I’d of thought he’s about the perfect owner. Hasn’t leveraged the company, takes nothing out and doesn’t interfere with football matters.

Eddie says:
October 3, 2014 at 8:49 pm

I too think that Kroenke is a perfect owner. He keeps his views to himself, doesn’t go to all the games sitting there like Abramovitch with a teenage girlfriend and a face like a slapped arse; doesn’t attempt to run the team or impose transfers. And last but not least – does not want to change our name to Arsenal Lions/Donkeys or Giraffes or shirt colour to blue. Perfect, he has my vote of confidence.


I have unashamedly pilfered material from these discussions and just put these together. So what do you think?

Here are some questions for you ………

1. Has silent Stan been a good owner for the club?

2. Is Stan Kroenke a better owner than the likes of Abramovitch and the Glazer family?

3. Was it wise to pay KSE LLC £3m for strategic and advisory services?

If your answer to 3 is yes do any of the following apply?

  • Stan deserves some return on his investments in the club
    Stan has been a good director and he deserves to be rewarded
    These services had to be procured, better pay KSE because they have a stake and will deliver
    better services
    Better than paying dividends which would then go to unworthy shareholders as well

If your answer to 3 is no do any of the following apply?

  • This is poor publicity for the club
    The club is not providing good value to fans, better invest every penny in developing the squad
    This is just a clever way of fleecing fans and redistributing their money to the owners

Over to you, readers, contributors and patrons.



117 Responses to Is Silent Stan good enough for the club and the fans?

  1. Norfolk Gooner says:

    ‘morning all,

    Well done Arnie

    Has Stan been a good owner for Arsenal?

    Just look at where we stand right now

    1 ) The Emirates, a magnificent state of the art Stadium

    2 ) London Colney, A training complex that is the blueprint for aspiring clubs.

    3 ) The Hale End Academy.

    4 ) All of the above have been created without accumulating crippling levels of debt whilst simultaneously maintaining an attractive style of football with regular Champions League qualification.

    5 ) Arsenal Football Club have maintained their reputation for being a well run outfit which operates with a level of “class” that is the envy of most other clubs in the world.

    Many will say that most of the above can be attributed to the Manager Arsene Wenger. But, without the solid, uncompromising backing of Stan Kroenke the pressure put on the manager by, not only the press, but also a significant proportion of Arsenal’s own fans, could well have forced him out before he had managed to create what we see in the club today.

    Stan in! Stan in! Stan in!

    On a personal note, I’m today able to celebrate surviving for two years following the heart attack I suffered on the 4th October 2012.

    Life is sweet.

  2. Shard says:

    Hi arnie.

    That’s some perfect pilferage.

    I concur with GIE’s position. I would like to point out though that Kroenke’s words do not come as a response to this, but from an interview some years ago and are about a general discussion on ownership models. I don’t disagree with him either. I’d rather the owners of the club make money in transparent ways rather than ‘invest’ a billion pounds without any hope of legitimately recovering the amount, let alone making a profit.

    Also, the bit about dodging the issue of dividends, he has given as much of an assurance as any businessman with a lawyer and a PR rep are going to give. His record with his North American teams is also surprising (in a good way) in that he hasn’t taken dividends from them. Of course his money making model there revolves around the real estate rather than from the team itself, and this doesn’t seem like an option with Arsenal, so it doesn’t necessarily translate to us, but I still think his record suggests he’s in it for the long haul.

    Unlike RA who seems to think he’s priming for an eventual sale of the club, I would guess that he aims to make money through sales of online rights of Arsenal and that he -in concert with other owners – intends to push for clubs eventually having their own rights of sale. (Liverpool have mentioned it in the past) Or at least a much larger share of the pie. The internet is the future of broadcasting and all the Arsenal related content that we get now through Arsenal player and the youtube channel will have to be paid for, and the big bucks will follow when matches are legally streamed online and the big TV cos lose their predominance in broadcasting. Want to switch off the commentators? Just $0.99 more and you can. Want to watch multiple camera angles live? $10 gets you to be your own TV producer. etc etc

    I also think that in time, we’ll accept dividends as normal. With the domestic FFP rules not allowing more than 4m of the TV money to be spent on wages each year, that money after upgrading infrastructure, and maybe paying some higher transfer fees, will be left over and at some point someone is going to claim part of that as dividends. Like I said, I am ok with that. It might even be for the better if teams run as legitimate businesses, though it will always be contentious as to how much dividend is paid out (it is contentious for other companies too, so nothing different there)

    Anyway… I’ll be knot ear for the rest of the day probably, but got in early on today’s post so that’s good. See you later 🙂

  3. Rasp says:

    Hi arnie, thanks for the post and my apologies for the non-appearance of your requested polls. WordPress is playing up again and no matter what chicanery we tried, we simply couldn’t get the site to allow us to add polls.#

    On the subject of SS – of course we can’t complain, he’s done nothing wrong as far as I can tell. I have no problem with the £3m for legitimate business expenses.

    Stan is certainly a paragon compared to the Glazer family and the oligarchs who wish to choose the team and have 2 new managers a year.

  4. chas says:

    Cheers, Arnie.

    If he’d taken the money out under Bodgeit and Scarper Ltd and then it had come out, then it would have been ten times worse.

    I presume that if there was a dividend paid to shareholders it would be a hell of a lot more on his shares than a piffling £3m.

    The ticket price “hike” came after three years of fixed prices, I think, so that would work out at 1% a year approx? Did supporters think the prices would be held indefinitely?

    Overall, I think Stan has been a good ‘owner’. Certainly better than other club’s, at least.

  5. RA says:

    Well done, arnie. 🙂

    It is perhaps of note that my comments have to be read in the context of other comments on the day to which I was referring, otherwise they may be misleading.

    Personally, having dealt professionally with extremely wealthy people, tho’ none were billionaires, I could not associate myself with the inflated life styles of any of them, but that aside, I do not think that SS has done anything to the detriment of the club.

    It has cost Stan a lot of money to acquire Arsenal, and so far he has had very little return on his investment.
    The ones who have made a lot of money out of Arsenal and walked away with a satisfied smile are Dein, Fitzman, Lady X etc.

    Sir Radford had the most telling comment, when referring to whether SS should or should not draw down a market rate director’s salary or receive dividends was the most telling to me.

    To paraphrase, he said that if he owned a business and some little scrote of a customer thought they had any right to tell him what to pay himself, or how much he should take out of his business, he would give him (them) short shrift, meaning telling them to take a hike.

    This didactic belief of some fans that they have a right to decide what is best for the club and its owners has always puzzled me.

    I do not think many people would believe that buying a CD of songs of your favourite performer, (which may have contributed to them becoming mega-millionaires) would give you any right to dictate to them how they should spend their money, or run their business.

    Why is a football fan, who may never have even bought a ticket for a single game in any way different? Even those who do pay to go to games do so voluntarily, and for their own enjoyment, and as far as I know the ticket does not say it entitles them to a voice in running the club or how it rewards it officers and owners.

    And finally, how can thousands, or hundreds of thousands, or even millions of Arsenal fans, each with their own differing opinions ever think that could work in any event?

    In the great scheme of things, Stan has to be judged, not by comparison with us ‘normal’ fans, but against the other rather strange oligarchs and billionaires of differing stripes, and on that basis – he is OK for me.

  6. arnie says:

    Good afternoon, chums. Up from bed now, and planning the trip through the weekend. 🙂

    First of all, well done Norfolk. Personally I often feel that enjoying life is about finding a sense of purpose and perspective. Let the sweet life continue. 🙂

    Second, thanks for the fantastic comments. As ever, well thought out and deeply insightful. Keep ’em coming!

    Third, bloody WordPress. This site generates many more visitors than those that would contribute with comments. The polls are our way of connecting to these visitors, giving them a voice, trying to find out what they think. A pity we could not have a poll today, despite the best efforts of Rasp and Peaches!

    Fourth, and finally, this being “perfect pilferage” (as Shard puts it), I have not yet told you where I stand.

    I am happy it is Stan, rather than the likes of Glazers or the oligarchs. In fact we are lucky to have Stan. Boardroom battles are seldom nice, and their outcomes are often uncertain. That at the end of it we have the calming influence of Silent Stan is a great pleasure.

    No attempt to make money in a hurry, no attempt at Schumpeterian creative destruction, no attempt to colour the club in his own image, no attempt to try and control the football side of things. No, none of that.

    Would we have been confident of this outcome a priori? No, never. This could just have been such a disaster! I mean, if it were any of the other clubs, ManUre for example, it would surely have been a disaster. All indications suggest Silent Stan is an excellent entrepreneur and he is in it for the long haul!

    What about the £3m then? Well, good that he makes some money from the club. That makes the incentives of the fans compatible with that of the owner. He therefore has his best interests in a bright future for the club, so that he can make not only pittance like £3m, but many many multiples of that. As fans we should be very happy.

    In actual fact, it may not be just the £3m. There may be other contractors as well, like Chas’ “Bodgeit and Scarper Ltd”, and some of this money may also find its way back to Stan or his firm. Who knows? Does it matter, though. Once again, it matters in a positive way so long as the amounts are moderate and the club and its fans are not fleeced off. However, it would be different if there was teh attempt to make a quick buck and b***ger off. Which does not seem to be the case.

    So, well done Arsenal Football Club, well done Stan and shall I say junior Stan as well. More of the same please. 🙂

  7. kelsey says:

    I think it is just a coincidence that SK has taken 3 million fpr advisory services and the new ticket price rise.
    Not sure what his long term intention is but he certainly wasn’t on board at the time of the planned move from Highbury and Hill Wood actually said he didn’t want his kind at our club.
    What really happened behind closed boardroom doors no one really knows, but Lady Nina had a fit, Danny had died and Dein made a huge profit on his shares though personally I still believe that Dein and Wenger were a fantastic double act,though Dein is marmite to many.
    Apparently SK bought another 48 shares this week increasing his share holding to 66. something%.

    I don’t want an Abramovich either but I still believe that SK is looking to make Arsenal more of a world wide brand with various contracts with multi nationals but has he actually invested in the club with his own money so that we can buy better players or is the money already there (which I believe it is) and AW is still being a little cautious though the amount we spent on Ozil and Sanchez would have been unheard of a few years back.

    We are running the club in a proper way but not sure about SK or AW to take us one step up the ladder.

  8. kelsey says:

    I have to sign in every time I comment now. WordPress really is a pain on here yet some other sites on WordPress have no or few problems.

  9. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Glad to see you back Kelsey, I hope things are better with you now.

  10. abegg1mystic says:

    It is extraordinary that some of you think that non achievement is a sign of being a good owner.

    A good owner would have expected to see progress – in terms of a football club this is on pitch, not on balance sheet.

    A good owner would have held accountable those who did not stretch themselves to achieve the realistic goals of a progressive company.

    Arsenal’s cash balance, as disclosed in their official accounts, indicates a company that is achieving a financial success, largely at the expense of a footballing one. That is not good ownership, unless money building is how people view progress.

    £3m within the overall scheme of things is very little, but the perceived intention of future developments could be far wider. After all those happy to see £3m taken out this season, surely wouldn’t quibble or begrudge £5m next, or £10m the following year………?

  11. Big Raddy says:

    NG. Well done on the two years. You must be back to full health if you can walk the Cotswold Way – there are many a hill and dale

    Arnie. Thank you for the post. SK is interesting. 25 years ago the idea of an American owner was impossible. It was an Old School Tie that got you a place on the Board.

    SK is a fine owner. Would I prefer the Mansours? Yes.

  12. stevepalmer1 says:

    Afternoon All, very nice post Arnie.

    I think its time for the silent Stan title to be binned, This is the owner of one of the biggest football clubs in the world reputed to be one of the top 5 most richest,

    Now although the move to the Emirates was not down to Mr Kroenke he did oversee it all and his input must have been massive, Kroenke would have had his advisor’s but he definitely would have had a lot of information from our own Arsene Wenger.

    As far as i am aware Islington council were fffing useless in backing or help although many businesses earn a good living from Arsenal the council help was almost non existent

    Now that as i see it, a few years down the road. We have had to do it by ourselves and of course the help of the banks.
    Mr Kroenke has not moaned about anything that i have heard of of course he doesn’t converse with me so that is my opinion.

    What has happened in Islington is a lot bigger than many people would of imagined. Many supporters didn’t and some still like the change of stadium, maybe they feel that history is the old Highbury and the clock end or the Northbank.

    Personally i feel that the Emirates or Ashburton Grove as many call it, is a far better venue, Many hate to say Emirates maybe they are Racist who knows, all i know is without sponsors and Banks we probably would have stagnated, but instead we are now proud owners of a state of the arts Stadium, All this being done under the watchful eye of Mr Kroenke and of course his vast wealth.

    Silent Stan as many call him, Has let the transition of moving stadia without causing upsets, he has of course had words with Wenger to keep his spending down until some of our debts were paid off, which Wenger has done, while keeping us up with the top 4 in which case is amazing.

    I personally, feel that we are very lucky to have Kroenke and Wenger and as far as i am concerned i don’t begrudge Wenger’s £8 million wage, as for Mr Kroenke its his football club, and in all his tenure he has taken only £3mill we don’t know how lucky we are.

  13. Big Raddy says:

    abegg. Interesting.

    You view the club as a fan. SK views it as a business. Do you really think he loves football or the Arsenal?

    The question is whether he does a good job and I think he does.

  14. stevepalmer1 says:

    PS i will never call it Ashburton Grove as Islington never helped us when help was needed, and Stan and the Emirates did.

  15. Big Raddy says:

    steve. Agree about Islington Council – a bigger bunch of thieving, lying, racist, sexist vermin it is hard to imagine.

    I have many, many stories about them most of which bring me to apoplexy so I will stop here. 😈

  16. Big Raddy says:

    SK or Mike Ashley? Says it all.

  17. arnie says:

    Raddy. Interesting that you say you would prefer the Mansours. Arsenal is a traditional club and has accumulated a lot of value over the years.

    What would have been a disaster is a new owner without any sense of that history and traditions who tries to gain return on investment too quickly. This would then take away too much of the accumulated value as well. This would have been a disaster.

    Thankfully for us and the club, and perhaps luckily, this does not seem to be the case. There was a choice basically between 2 potential owners, and maybe the board made the right choice. Of course, one would never exactly know the counterfactual.

  18. RA says:

    Norfolk, my dear old sausage. 😉

    I missed the ‘anniversary’ of your heart attack tribulations, so may I add my good wishes that you have not only survived but are clearly so full of beans.

    Is it right to say ‘congratulations’ — if so, you have mine! 🙂

  19. stevepalmer1 says:

    Hiya BR, I’ll have to have a drink with you one of these days, would love to hear some of those story’s.

    I don’t believe Kroenke will ever be an Arsenal Loving supporter, and i do believe he did it for an investment. Even so he is showing me that The Arsenal under his watch is progressing quite nicely.

    I often feel that when buying a new car, and trying to get value for money, you may pick out a car that you feel that will be ideal, but a little down the road you realise it was a good deal but you know you will never love it.

    Kroenke is probably a baseball or Hockey or American football fan, i can understand that. He probably never played football as a kid, but he probably had a favourite team, and it wasn’t The Arsenal.

    Not born into it not brought up with it and never feeling the hurt that we have felt, when we have had bad results, years of them. Kroenke has been lucky in my mind. Brought into a thriving football club with millions of fans globally. Will he support like Gooner Maybe not, But he has helped us all to watch football in comfort, he has helped double the numbers that watch a game, Yes he put season ticket prices up, and he probably will put them up next year, but he has let many more fans say “i was there”

  20. RA says:


    I love your sense of tradition and heritage, and can only say I agree with you.

    Of course in every age, there are changes, and we should never be frightened by change, because I think that we make our own history, and what is ‘nouveau’ or avant garde, today, is tomorrow’s history.

    I am sure you will agree. 🙂

  21. arnie says:

    Excellent dialogue, Steve and Raddy. I am listening. 😛

  22. abegg1 says:

    Big Raddy – you are right I view the issue as a fan. I don’t believe that because SK is a good financial man that makes him a good owner for Arsenal.

    Those who think he is a good owner only need to consider this point. Assuming he views it as a business, then he will also be concluding how he can achieve a return on his investment.

    As has quite rightly being pointed out £3m isn’t much to take, but unless people in fact believe he isn’t really a serious businessman but an Abramovich (don’t like Chelsea, but…..), then it can safely be assumed that forward going we will see the development of a very different and ultimately financially returnable, investment, regardless of the overall consequences for the ‘business’.

  23. stevepalmer1 says:

    Afternoon Abegg1,
    Sorry to butt in on your conversation, but felt that you are assuming That Kroenke has an ulterior motive for buying the club, I feel that if Kroenke wants that as you hint, all he has to do is put the club ip for sale. I am sure the return would be massive.

    What i feel you should remember Abegg, is that Kroenke has installed his son onto the board, you of course understand that the son will have a big say into what goes on .

    With that in mind, i believe that Kroenke and family will be here for the long term, Stan still aquireing the odd share when it comes up suggests to me that he wants to be the only owner.

    Of course i could be wrong and you right, but Kroenke seems to me to be an astute owner who knows exactly what he wants and where he’s going. Arsenal are thriving, and will only get better, the investment in new players, shows me that Kroenke is allowing steady but careful spending, i seem to feel that Kroenke is not trying to buy success, he is trying to build success.

    Of course you would say that me only being a supporter, that is what i want for the future, and i would answer that maybe that is so, but i believe that is the right way to do things, Many supporters love the thought of Arsenals traditions and history, and i am no different, but i dont feel that buying success is success at all, in fact i see that as cheating all those clubs who hasn’t the financial clout.

    Kroenke and Wenger were people who wanted FFP spend what you earn, and that is how success comes about. Its my view that Kroenke has vision and he see’s what Wenger has always seen and that is to make your own club profitable and clip the big spenders wings.

    That is a business man of the highest quality

  24. 26may1989 says:

    Blimey, arnie, putting that together must have been a bit of a mission…..

    Got to say, I think Kroenke gets a very soft ride from plenty of people here.

    Football is special because it is about identity. Across the world (other than in the US, India and China), football is the means for expressing belonging. Football clubs are not products in the usual way, and football fans are not consumers in the usual way. Once our allegiance is set (often influenced by geography or family), that’s it. We don’t flit from one to another, the way we might with other things we spend time and money on in life.

    So when someone asks about owners, I don’t think about them in the same way I do about the investments Warren Buffet chooses to make. I think about someone who has a responsibility of stewardship over a thing that is precious to thousands, millions of other people. It is a privilege.

    Arsenal is a club that has a tradition of good ownership, steeped in the quality of stewardship. Kroenke has, from what I can see, been ok. He’s stood behind the best manager we’ve ever had, he’s not stuck his nose in on footballing matters and we run on a sensible, viable and self-sustaining financial model.

    But let’s not lionise the man. He hasn’t taken some amazing risk, he hasn’t transformed the club, he didn’t develop the new stadium concept. Flawed as they are, we have a lot to thank Dein and Fiszman for.

    I have no problem whatsoever with club owners making money when they sell their shares in the club – making that sort of profit suggests the club has progressed under their ownership, and it means no money being taken out of the club (unless an obnoxious Glazer-like leveraged buy-out is used to make the purchase).

    But I don’t like owners taking significant sums of money out of the club, whether in the form of a dividend, salaries for sitting as a director or in the form of “fees” etc. The £3m looks like just another way of extracting cash, it is supposed to be a fee for advice in getting the club’s airtime sold in different markets. Is that justifiable? Hmm, maybe, maybe not. But it leaves me suspicious. To my mind, owners should only financially benefit form their ownership when they sell.

    But the thing that most annoys me about Kroenke is his recent suggestion that the Glazer model of ownership is a good thing. His evidence was the trophy success United have enjoyed under the Glazers. I completely disagree – there is a reason leveraged buyouts aren’t allowed in the US, they are vehicles for screwing fans by dumping the purchase price (and outrageous finance costs) on the club, and through the club, the fans. The Glazers have been stealing from the United fans for years. It has been a mystery, how Ferguson was able to continue to win trophies with an increasingly ordinary squad, but that caught up with the club once Ferguson went. How they are suffering now, something that can only be partly compensated by by the owners, for the first time, actually investing in the club, rather than taking vast amounts of money from it.

    Is Kroenke a good owner? He’s alright, and certainly better than most, but we should keep a close eye on him. After all, he controls something very close to our hearts.

  25. abegg1 says:

    “Kroenke and Wenger were people who wanted FFP spend what you earn, and that is how success comes about.”

    According to Arsenal’s last financial accounts they had over £170m cash assets (after allowing for debt cover). That was up by £50m and therefore if you take the net spend for the Summer, Arsenal are technically only about £25m poorer than they were at the end of the previous financial year.

    Either at best Arsenal have effectively only spent half of what they earned last season, or they choose not to do so in previous years. With such limited overall investment, regrettably it is very difficult to vision PL / CL success on the horizon – on the other hand I can imagine an even wealthier owner (or, more likely, a former one).

  26. stevepalmer1 says:

    Abegg1, you make a good argument, You suggest that we should have spent more money in the transfer window, if i have understood that right.

    What i feel we have to understand is just because the transfer window is open, The players we need are sometimes not available, Being a responsible owner means you also have to look after your employee’s as well. saying that ,we have purchased 5 players, and also bringing one in that was on loan.

    We also have to look at Natural wastage, ie Sagna Bendtner and Fabianski, but we still have a reasonable squad.

    We can only accommodate so many signings or else it turns counter productive. Next Transfer window may see a few midfielders or maybe defenders leaving, we have to remember what Wenger said about replacing with better players.

    Taking that in mind, i feel that his signings were enough for one transfer window any more could have caused confusion. If we end up with nearly all the profit made, still in the kitty whats so wrong about that.

    At the end of the day Sagna left on a free, he has been a very good servant to us and has been repaid generously Bendtner has had his wages for years with hardly any help to us but he too went at the end of his contract. Fabianski was one i would have kept but he wanted more than Wenger could guarantee so off he went. at the end we have quality replacements for very little money, i call that good business

  27. Big Raddy says:

    abegg. Once again you make a good point. I doubt we will be winning the CL or PL in the near future. But had Dein/Fizman still been in charge during the Mansour/Abramovich/Glazer era would we have done any better?

    26. Fine comment.

    Arnie. It grieves me to admit it but the Mansours money would have taken us to another level.

    We have the best club history in England but with their money we would be the best “to infinity and beyond” 😀

  28. Big Raddy says:

    SteveP. Next time I am in London let’s have that drink.

    RA. “my dear old sausage” : You have spent to much time in England. Next you will be taking up the willow and learning how to bowl a googly 🙂

  29. RA says:

    I am very keen on 20/20 cricket and even some Test Matches, Sir Radford. 🙂

    I am fascinated by the dated but superb accent and verbology skills of one of the commentators, Henry Blofeld, hence the above phrase, my dear old sausage!! 😀

  30. stevepalmer1 says:

    BR, look forward to it 🙂

  31. Eddie says:

    some Arsenal fans should consider themselves lucky and thank Dennis that Eddie is poor and cannot afford to buy the club. Had I been the owner of the AFC I would ran it to the ground. Wenger would be replaced with a female manager, all new players would be recruited for their looks rather than skills and many fans would be barred for life from the Ems. Those with gray ponytails and earrings, jewellery, farting and burping ones would have their season tickets cancelled, obese fans would pay double the price for their tickets, I would allow dogs and smoking, but no booze. Take away food and packed lunches would have to be consumed outside the stadium. I would also ban Black Scarf brigade, Gay Gunners and Le Grove regulars. There. Be grateful for what you have.

    Kroenke might not be an oil painting, but he aint half as bad as some other owners. If I didn’t dislike the Arabs (I expect a backlash from arnie and Gie) I would say that the Sheik is the best owner, but he is an Arab so I won’t say that.

  32. mickydidit89 says:

    Arnie, Norfolk, Rasp, Shard, Chas, RA, Kelsey Abegg, Raddy, Steve, 26 and Dear Eddie, thank you all.

    What a fabulous day’s comments.

    Well done Arnie for inspiring such quality input.

  33. Big Raddy says:

    Eddie for Owner

    Eddie In.

  34. RA says:

    And you too, Micky. 🙂

  35. arnie says:

    Abegg. Some fantastic points there. Are you by any chance new to this space. If so welcome, if not, please contribute more often. This space thrives of diversity of views, so discussion of wide range of views is brilliant, and disagreement is absolutely fantastic. 🙂

    Sir 26may. As far as my efforts are concerned, just trying to create some purpose to an otherwise useless Saturday. We are not playing, and no ROLF opportunities as well.

    About your points, what can I say? Fantastic as ever. Yes, we should be vigilant.

    Evonne. 🙂

  36. mickydidit89 says:

    Of course I stated my brief thoughts on SK which appeared in Arnie’s fine post, but I do certainly concur with 26’s comment about the privileged stewardship element, and the unique case of the English Football Club.

    AFC have been very fortunate to have had great continuity through three generations of Hill-Wood’s (Samuel, Denis and Peter) as Chairman from 1929 through until 2013. I was lucky enough to meet two of them, and they bled Arsenal. It’s also interesting to note that they were all first class cricketers (Denis played for Derbyshire and the MCC), so were sporting men through and through, as well as Arsenal.

    I was just checking the dates I mentioned above on google, and found this. The last sentence I think is very relevant, and underlines 26’s point.

    “By the time of World War II the majority of Arsenal shares were held by Samuel Hill-Wood and Sir Bracewell Smith, the MP for Holborn and a future Lord Mayor of London. In those days the shares were not considered to be valuable and have never paid a dividend, and were seen largely as a charitable exercise to provide recreational entertainment for the working people of North London.”

    I do understand, as RA pointed out, that times change and we’ll continue to make our own history, but again as 26 said, worth keeping an eye on things.

  37. abegg1 says:

    Guys I’ll leave with a final thought.

    In the end do we need a billionaire muscleman?

    SK hasn’t sprung investment and catapulted Arsenal to a new playing level.

    As I recall from various accounts the club was pretty rich before SK – not in the same league as some, but then again the limited expenditure almost determines that the club is still not in those leagues.

    As a club with tradition and history Arsenal are every bit grander than some clubs who pretend to themselves that wealth earns them respect. Regardless of who the owner is, and whether I think he/she is the right person, I know which club I’ll keep supporting.

  38. arnie says:

    thank you, Micky. 😛

    can Villa? surely not, but you never know … may be a bit of ROLF lurking! 😛

  39. Eddie says:

    10 mins left arnie. I am relieved that you are not angry with me about the Arabs. I would never discriminate against them, just don’t like them

  40. arnie says:

    Evonne. 🙂 feck feck feck. 😦 useless Saturday games, no ROLF! 😦

  41. Eddie says:

    sorry arnie, I think it was my fault – I spoke too soon 😦


    Nice arnie baby

    I dont like Kronke. Nothing to do with Arsenal, just that wig wearers dont like other wig wearers. Brings to much attention and creates unessesary anxiety.

    As for his ownership, at the moment ime neutral, but obviously dont trust the slimey git. Nothing personal, I dont trust anybody.

    The mans a clever guy and will monitor the health and success of the club. At some stage, when were cleaning up “The Ghosts of the Thirties are Stirring”, I beleive he will take dividends.

    No one will give a shit though, because he will probably do it when we beat Real Madrid in the Champions League final.

    Get people drunk with happiness arnie, and you can do anything to them.

    I know this is true, Ive ben arrested for it.

    The elephant in the room is Usmanov. Ime glad hes there becuase he acts as a counterweight. A conventional dividend means he gets 30%, and i have a sneaky suspision Kronke wont like that.

    So unless Stans strategy is to hope that Usmanov will use the extra cash to gorge on one cream bun to many, it may well put him off.

  43. mickydidit89 says:

    “The elephant in the room is Usmanov”

    Read that 10 mins ago, and still giggling

  44. Gööner In Exile says:

    Evening all, what a quality days blogging to skip. Well played Arnie

    I guess the owner has never really bothered me, we as fans should be thankful to Dein for providing a Wenger when he did, without him we could be Spurs, ie ten years too late getting a new stadium for a new era of football.

    Without Wengers success in his early years I truly wonder whether we would have been in this position. Would it effect my love of the club, probably not. But when fans of clubs like Norwich, Newcastle, Spuds think they can laugh at my expense as we’ve blown another league title or capitulated at the Bridge I just have to laugh. What do they get to watch every week?

    As for Stan I think he is as Eddie points out quietly doing a job that is probably thankless. He will take his profit some day and as I said on the day he took over as long as he has looked after the club and it is no worse than the day he took over then I will be satisfied.

  45. arnie says:

    Terry. “The elephant in the room” indeed. 😛 Agreed, he is the counterbalance factor. Let the disciplining influence be there. 🙂

    And therefore, since the AST has turned out to be an unreliable ally of the fans, perhaps their shares should be taken away and given to Usmanov? 😛

    GiE. Agreed. What a fantastic day’s bloggings. Cheers everyone. 🙂

  46. mickydidit89 says:

    Match Dayers Bonjour

    Clearly Eddie wins yesterdays comments trophy. Dogs and smokers allowed in 🙂

  47. Shard says:

    That’s where those quotes on the Glazers come from. It’s from 3 years ago, and before the long term negative impact on ManU became apparent. You could argue that his ‘but they won’ argument would match what many of our current angry supporters want. Who cares about the long term? Win now, or you are a failure.

    Even as he says he sees nothing wrong with the Glazers he expresses his belief in the self sustaining model. And even as he says he sees nothing wrong with making money, he also says that it’s not certain he’d make money either.

    A man of contradictions is Stan 🙂

    Although I agree with 26m to an extent, I think football fans of an earlier era tend to romanticise football much more compared to other sports. Sports fans come in all forms. Some casual, some more passionate. Even crazy. It isn’t unique to football that they form a bond with their club. I think as an owner of various sports teams, Kroenke would understand that. Also, it isn’t the most lucrative venture in itself to invest in sports teams and I don’t think he would do it if he didn’t have a genuine appreciation of sports and the culture(s) associated with it.

    I think this (apart from the misleading media onslaught from Usmanov) puts him above the other major shareholder we have. All the same, I am glad he is there because I would rather not have 100% shareholding with one guy. That, to me, is scary, and while we can argue the Sheikhs and Abramovich are better owners, it has been only about a decade that that model has come about. I’m not sure it is the model of the future. There simply aren’t enough people with enough wealth and enough of an interest in the game to make it the de facto model. Unless there are major changes in how football is structured.

    Sorry.. Motning everyone 🙂

  48. RA says:

    Morning Everyone, well that would be Shard and Micky then. 🙂

  49. chas says:

    Evonne wins the comments every day, surely?
    She should do stand up. She’s a natural.
    Comedy, pathos and extreme violence are a winning combination. 🙂

  50. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Watching the football yesterday I was surprised at the quality of the defeated teams. Both AV and in particular WBA were very good in defeat. There are going to be plenty of surprise results this season which means we have to start picking up points from our direct rivals.

    Starting today.

  51. RA says:

    Shard that is a very good comment – excellent in fact.

    I have a sense of deja vu when we (all bloggers) discuss football, because part of the deal is that we want to socialise as well as solve the problems and conundrums of the world – well the footie world that is – and we go round and round.

    A long time ago I posited the view that this era has brought a fantastic change in the way we communicate with the aid of technology.

    The result is that in my father’s generation they had a surface knowledge of who the owner of their club was, but had little knowledge or interest in who the owners of other clubs were.

    They simply did not care, because they supported their club and expressed that in a tribalistic way as they rallied to their flag and their team.

    Now we all know everything – or we think we do – about all the owners, and who is shagging whom, who wears a wig, who is the wealthiest and who is or is not taking money out of the club.

    Why do fans care nowadays? Because they can, because they are nosey gits, who in this brash age think they know more than the manager or the owner what is best way of running of the team or who to buy, or the nuances of the financial management for the well being of the club.

    All bollix of course, but part of being a fan is to want to feel empowered, because, come the revolution, they want to own the club, be the manager, buy the players and ……. screw up big time.

    Look, I am waiting for the typhoon threatened Grand Prix to start, ao what can you expect? 🙂

    Come on Lewis!!!!

  52. chas says:

    Rapid’s coach Marian Rada, who began his sixth spell in charge of the Bucharest-based club, made an extraordinary statement afterwards, saying: “Was he crying? Don’t you see what’s happening in theatres? Maybe Wellington should have cried because he didn’t score.

    “How do we know it was a Rapid fan? Maybe a banana just slipped out of someone’s hand in the stands.”

    (not “our” Wellington , btw)

  53. chas says:

    Excellent comments, Shard and RA.
    I agree about all that romantic bollix about how Arsenal has always been run.
    Charitable enterprise, indeed!

  54. chas says:

  55. chas says:

  56. chas says:

    Sea Lions and the Beatles.
    What a start to the day!

  57. RA says:

    You have a good point, Chas.

    Reading Evonne’s oops Eddie’s comments your eye can pick out something that chimes with your own views.

    Often totally contradictory, their is a fantastic mélange of views, so come on guys – just take your pick.

    Wonderful — unless you are a large lesbian threatening her pooches! 🙂

  58. RA says:

    Are you intimating that Eddie is a sealion, Chas?

    No, surely not – I actually understand the sealion dude. 😀

  59. chas says:

    I’m still not sure about welcoming back ex players to the club.

    I love what Tony Adams, Paul Merson and Alan Smith did for the club while they were here, but can’t really stand any of them now. 🙂

    As for Rocky, I will just love him forever.

  60. chas says:

    Micky’s Uncle Earnest was a sea lion trainer, wasn’t he?
    Or was that Uncle Winsome?

  61. Big Raddy says:

    chas. Tremendous work.

  62. chas says:

  63. RA says:

    They are off – under the safety car and it is bucketing down.

    It will have to be called off. 😦

  64. Eddie says:

    listen DidIt, your Dear Eddie is just short of Poor Eddie. I hate pittance, don’t you dare feeling sorry for me!

    Match day, mixed feelings

    Aid worker in Syria beheaded, I am numb. Sad beyond words.

  65. RA says:

    Randy, I have long ago ceased trying to work out how Chas comes up with so many wonderful twits and vids.

    Long may he continue!! 🙂

  66. RA says:

    Bum. They have stopped the race – move over Mystic Meg aka Crystals – I am on your case. 🙂

  67. mickydidit89 says:

    Jackson and McCartney pic is low. Very low.

    Mind you, the sea lion cartoon is superb

  68. mickydidit89 says:

    I was the ‘effing sea lion trainer. 18 bloody months of it : roll :

  69. chas says:

    Any photos?

  70. mickydidit89 says:

    Actually, you can all make light of Eddie’s comment if you like, but I actually found it highly offensive.

    Catist is what it was 🙂

  71. chas says:

    Apologies to you and Uncle Winsome.

  72. RA says:

    Incidentally, Chas, I absolutely agree with you about some of OUR ex-players, and I would add ‘Gi’e Us A Job O’Leary.

    The ex-Chav, Manure and Pool players always seem to remain faithful and loyal, but the ex-Arsenal fellas seem to either be total nincompoops or critical sh*t heaps.

    Why is that, do you think?

  73. chas says:

    Too kind, boys.
    I’m just a cut and paste fool.

  74. RA says:


    You have to be reasonable re Eddie, she did say, if I am not sadly mistaken, that she would only set two dogs on any cat, and would never set the pack on it — or was that a fox she said — gets confusing, you know. 🙂

  75. mickydidit89 says:

    Stewart Robson is another

  76. RA says:

    So there we have it, Micky has admitted that, “I was the ‘effing sea lion”

    i knew there was a resemblance but just thought it was his wet suit. 🙂

  77. mickydidit89 says:

    Try again 🙄

  78. Eddie says:

    something funny before it gets all footbally here 🙂 I had a horrid day on Friday and it was just too much for me. I said to my mate that sometimes I just want to top myself. He looked at me in shock and asked – “and what would be the point of killing yourself? I want to die sometimes, but I won’t kill myself, the police will kill me”. I asked him to explain and this followed “I will start executing all the bastards that hurt me in life, one by one. After third the police will start looking for a killer on a rampage, simple really”. He is normally calm and kind, and I could not believe what he was saying, but thought it was funny (hoping that he didn’t mean it). After I stopped laughing I said that I couldn’t kill anyone as I don’t have a gun and could not use a knife, no way. He said ‘No, they open the door, bang hammer through the head, easy and one bastard less. If you are going to go down, take a few of them with you”

    Now I know – when it really gets too much for me, I will REALLY upset him, simple 🙂

  79. mickydidit89 says:


  80. Big Raddy says:

    explains Micky’s love of the sea!

    BTW. I am not around this morning and perhaps not back for the game – depends upon my tourist guests.

    There is a post in the bomb-bay.

  81. mickydidit89 says:


    You live quite the most fascinating life

  82. mickydidit89 says:

    Actually Raddy, I am absolutely terrified of the sea. Very scary place.

    Must be a love hate thing.

  83. Eddie says:

    pleeeaze micky, I am not catist, I have a cat and love her. I would not allow cats at the Ems to protect them. Can you imagine your pussies meeting the Galatasary fans?

    I am blabbing to blank out the fear of this afternoon

  84. RA says:

    As i recall, Micky, you looked pretty terrified sitting on the bench at the station during your footie trip with Raddy — but I suppose that is understandable. 🙂

  85. 26may1989 says:

    Quality line from chas: “Comedy, pathos and extreme violence are a winning combination.” And such a good assessment of Eddie!

  86. Eddie says:

    11 failed attempts at beating a Marinho’s team, come on Arsene!!!! Do it, surely you can outmanoeuvre the eye gaudger

  87. Eddie says:

    26m 😦 I am angry, but I couldn’t hurt a fly

  88. Eddie says:

    oh no, I scared people away, I am sorry 😦

  89. GoonerB says:

    Thanks Arnie for yesterdays post. Sorry I couldn’t get on at the time. I managed to read it Arnie but initially I was too upset to comment because, out of all the opinions and comments you had used for the post there was no representation of the ex Camel wormers. I must admit to having felt slightly persecuted.

    Now that I am over it I can say that from my limited knowledge I don’t see Stan as being too bad but will reserve full judgement for a while.

  90. RA says:

    Silly boy, Goonerb,

    You were’t persecuted — just ignored! 🙂

  91. kelseyk says:

    What no preview for our away banker and less than three hours to go.

  92. mickydidit89 says:

    Crystal K

    Are you “in authority” as at 7:23 The Big R said this:

    “There is a post in the bomb-bay”

  93. mickydidit89 says:

    Really excited buy this game. I’m riddled with good feelings

  94. mickydidit89 says:


    Being a doomer, does the “K” stand for “Kleenex”?

  95. mickydidit89 says:

    More gardening in the sun, I guess

  96. arnie says:

    Motning, erm aftoon all. My sincere apologies, GoonerB, I missed your comment. did I? 😦

    If only you had let me know at the time, rather than sulk in dejection at the injustices of the world! 😛

    Redders. Dont you dare incite violence! 😛

  97. arnie says:

    C’mon, someone must have access to the loading bay!

  98. arnie says:

    Nice batner, by the way. Great stuff, Chas.

    Prayers for poor Bianchi!

  99. arnie says:

  100. kelsey says:

    I can’t get behind the scenes,wordpress is fecked.

    Anyway terry will get outdone for pace and Cesc will get all emotional and throw a wobbly so my team is

    sczney,chambers,merts,kos,gibbs,ox,flamini,welbeck,ozil,santi and sanchez

  101. arnie says:

    “This morning’s Sunday People reports that the former Reading and Leeds manager, Brian McDermott, has signed a three year deal to work with the club as a scout.

    “The Gunners have been trying to add new blood to the scouting department for some time, and McDermott’s experience in the Premier League and beyond as a manager and coach would see him ideally suited for the role.

    “It’s the latest in a number of behind the scenes moves to revamp areas of the club, which have included the departure of Liam Brady and David Court from the youth set-up to be replaced by Andries Jonker and his team; the hiring of Shad Forsythe to overhaul the fitness regime as well as developments to extend the training ground.

    “McDermott, of course, is well versed in the way of Arsenal, having made 72 appearances for the club as a player between 1979 and 1984.”

    Source: Arseblog

  102. arnie says:

    hmmm, Kelsey, I suppose it is behind the sofa time then. nervous, very nervous

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