The term “Be careful what you wish for” is standing ever so true now when we discuss the current state and the future situation of our great football club. Just over 12 and a half years from the day that things started to turn at a business level. In 2007 Arsenal Football Club were valued at around £404m and had began a business partnership with KSE through MLS club Colorado Rapids.
The start of the end.
In March 2007 Fiszman himself sold 659 shares for £3.9m to KSE, this was significant as it reduced his stake to less than 25% which resulted in a loss of veto rights over any changes in the business/club.
On 5th April 2007 ITV (Grenada) sold out 9.99% of shares to KSE which started the downturn of the club as we knew it. Then on 18th April the club announced that Dein had left the club. Senior players were very unhappy of this decision, and also believed to be a main reason for the departure of certain players at that time. Before that Danny Fiszman was stake in the club via a purchase for 8% from David Dein in 1991, this increased to 24% and as of September 2007 the largest shareholder in the club. By november he had amassed the maximum 29.9% limit.
The rival bid for the club came from Red & White Holdings With Usmanov and Moshiri. Dein sold his 14.5% share to Red and White Holdings in August 2007 after the existing board tried to freeze him out of the picture after rejecting his investor approach after seeing the greedy board members selling out to the man they stopped Dein bringing in. Red & White amassed further shares from Landsdowne and other minor shareholders and by September 2011 owned 29.25%.
The Greedy Sell Outs
Fiszman then stated he wouldn’t sell any more of his shares in the forseeable future after selling a further 5000 shares to take KSE to 20.5%. He then sold the remaining stake to KSE (16.11%) on 11th April 2011. The same day Nina Bracewell-Smith sold her stake to KSE (15.9%) which took KSE shareholding to 66.64% so had to then make an offer for all remaining shares including Red & Whites and the Arsenal Supporters Trust.
Despite owning over 29% of the club Red & White were never given a voice or a chance to join the board and despite numerous statements from Usmanov about the investment being there for the club we chose to not allow him into the boardroom. Red & White subsequently sold their share in August 2018 knowing that they will never get the controlling stake in the club.
I personally think that the friends that Dein invited to be part of the board stitched him up and it is why Dein gets some bad press about introducing Kroenke to the club. Deins’ notion was the fact that the club needed external backing at a time when it was needed due to the stadium build.The most damaging thing that happened to the club was getting rid of David Dein (Mr Arsenal) he was the only real football man and brain in the boardroom and they pushed him out and then one by one sold out.
How can these people go against someone and then sell to that same person is unbelievable and when we talk about loyalty in football we see it clear as daylight from the highest level. We can’t complain that players aren’t loyal when these clowns have single handedly destroyed all of the hard work the club and board had done through the years.
The quicker that the focus of getting rid of the cheapskate owner that is fleecing the money from the club and not laying any of his money to the cause should have been done the better it would have been. Instead the fan base which was the strongest part of the club rounded on the manager and the players. If there was more pressure from the off on the owner we my have got somewhere with trying to dispose of him, now however I think it is going to be impossible to get rid now.
You can see from the make up of the club that there really is no football mind in the boardroom. The contract renewals, the recruitment all things connected with the playing staff of the club. It is a shambles. Was it the managers fault, No. Has the manager carried the can for the board after the void left by Dein? Yes. David Dein would not have allowed the shambles we have seen with a large amount of players. Yes Ashley Cole was one player on his watch, but there were reasons he left, we offered him a contract and he was tapped up, there was no going back on that.
This is a time in the clubs history that the board and everyone connected with the club should have been solid and strong. Sadly as we see it hasn’t happened.