Archive for September 24th, 2007

Fiszman: “If Arsene wanted to spend £100m, he could”

1 comment September 24th, 2007

Our financial results are out, and it’s bad news for Dein, Usmanov, and the rest of Europe.  After several years of enforced poverty, we’re booming.

We have a record turnover of over £200m.  Our profits (before transfer dealings) have increased by 274% to over £50m.  The rest of the results are available here but that should tell you everything you need to know.  We’re not in crisis.  We’re not in financial danger.  We are, quite remarkably, Britain’s richest football club.  Of course people want to buy us.

I know many fans are concerned about our resources when it comes to bringing in top players.  Look at this quote from Managing Director Keith Edelman:

“We secured all the players we wanted in the summer and manager Arsene Wenger did not spend his budget.  We had £73.9m cash at the year’s end and we are telling people today we’ve got increased cash balances at this juncture.”

Over £73.9m.  Cash.  As if you needed any futher confirmation that we’re absolutely minted, read this quote from Danny Fiszman at a supporters representatives’ meeting with the board:

“We are in a very strong financial situation and if he  [Arsene] wanted to spend £100m, he could. he decides whether a players fee and salary is worth it. It is his decision and his decision only.”

There are two further anecdotes that Fiszman relayed of quotes from Arsene Wenger, the first being:

“Can we say we are poor, because that perception helps me when buying players.”


“I did aspire to buy Eto’o – thank God I didn’t as his injuries are a problem.”

Would Arsene be aspiring to buy Eto’o if we couldn’t have afforded him?  Financially, there is almost no limit to what Wenger can spend.  As we have known for some time, it is his choice to take the path of youth development.

These developments are massive for Arsenal Football Club.  We’re at the top of the Football League, and now we’ve reached the summit of the financial table.  If there was anyone out there foolish enough to support a takeover bid, today they probably feel a little bit like they’ve wet themselves at school and everyone is pointing and laughing.  And believe me, I know how bad that feels.

I’m about to hit you with some quotes from Fiszman which will warm the cockles of any true Arsenal fan’s heart:

“No hostile takeover bid will be successful, but we recognise that the success of the Emirates has caused takeover problems and fears.

Regarding the comments of Mr Usmanov yesterday, having a so called ‘blocking’ vote is nonsense. Owning 25% of the shares will only allow you to block special resolutions. In the past 16 years Arsenal have had 2 special resolutions, one is the Emirates and the other a share issue to Granada. Therefore his share holding will not affect the running of Arsenal in any way.

It’s simple, in principle I am not a seller. The tax stuff being written [about Danny’s possible reasons for selling] is just nonsense. I am a non-resident and have been since 2004. That affects nothing, if I wanted to sell I would be paying tax at 10% after taper relief. There is a new agreement [not to sell shares] at the moment being written that will extend the agreement for a further 12 months. This will be announced so as to cause the least disruption on the Club.”

Like Danny says, “it’s simple”.

Red & White: The fans don’t want you, and the club don’t need you.

And Dein?  The game’s up.  Fiszman confirms:

“The public perception was that David did everything at the club, this was not the case at all. Arsene Wenger will finish his career at Arsenal, we always knew this was the case. With regards to transfers, only one guy decides – Arsene.”

If the club plays this right, this can be the beginning of the end of the takeover trouble.  We don’t have to have a billionaire to compete – only one glance at the Premier League table is needed to affirm that.  The palaver at Chelsea last week shows the dangers of becoming a rich man’s plaything.  In the current board and manager we have a stability that is unmatched anywhere in this league.  The Chelsea situation is one thing: they were in desperate financial need when Abrahmovich arrived.  But United and Liverpool were sold out by greedy board members on the promise of instant success.  We don’t need to do the same.  We’re The Arsenal.

All together now, to the tune of “We’ve got Cesc Fabregas”:

“We don’t need Usmanov,
We don’t need Usmanov,
We don’t need Usmanov,
We don’t need Usmanov…”

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