By 1970's Gooner
There have been a lot of press columns written recently about David Dein’s collusion with Russian investors and his stated desire to reinstate his influence within Arsenal Football Club.
His major argument is that the face of English football is changing and clubs cannot now compete at the top unless there is massive investment in building the team up. The examples brought of course are those of Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool to name but a few.
Dein has proved consistent in this view of his as he was all for the American, Stan Kroenke, buying into the club.
But he was also, interestingly enough, against the decision to go ahead with the investment in the Emirates stadium. He preferred Arsenal to play at Wembley (probably in a co leasing agreement with Spurs).
His thinking behind this was that the investment that would have gone into the stadium would have placed a large financial burden on the club’s resources and starved the team of the necessary cash to invest in players. He has been proved right of course.
Where he has been proved wrong is on two counts.
The first is that the manager and close friend of his happens to have a very different ideology and vision about the playing future of the club:
“we make the stars not buy them”
Wenger has proved since he arrived at the club that you do not and should not need loads and loads of money to create a beautiful playing style with fantastic players in order to ultimately bring success to the club.
In fact when Wenger has bought big he has invariably failed in his signings. Wiltord (13m), Jeffers (8m), are the ones that first come to mind.
His philosophy is that real success is that which is achieved from within your own (financial) means and football nous.
It is that which is achieved by spotting unknown real gems from all the continents of this planet and instilling in them from a young age the correct footballing ethos and training them to play the beautiful game as the manager visualizes it.
There is a second and equally important reason why Dein is wrong.
If the new investor is a business person (or entity) as is the case with the investors at Manchester United, Liverpool and Aston Villa they are not going to sink their money in the club without wanting a decent return for their investment.
They may decide to be patient as to when this return is actually realised (as for example building and operating for profit a new stadium or adding more capacity) but they will eventually want a return for their money. You can be sure of that!
This is even made more imperative if, as is usually the case, they have borrowed the money to buy the club in the first place. And this applies even if they have personally put up the securities to borrow the money.
This is because they can always vote themselves more dividends from the club’s profits to finance the installments for their personal loans.
So in comparison to sticking with the same owners of the club rather than bringing in new ones there should be no contest.
The existing ones have made their investment a long long time before when their initial outlay was miniscule in comparison to what the new owners will now be paying (Dein initially paid 1.5m but received 75m for his shares!).
They have also not borrowed to make this investment so their dividend demands are more than likely to be minimal if non existent!
Yes you may get an initial massive investment from the new owners from their own money when they first come in. But will they be able to sustain this in the years to come when more and more money will be needed to maintain that level of success (if indeed success was achieved)?
It is of course another matter when the reasons for investing in a football club are not business related. Abramovic is not necessarily interested in making a profit and in theory this could result in the playing field becoming uneven in favour of the “lucky” club.
But when you look at it in the long term will Abramovic be there in five or ten year’s time? He has already begun to show signs of Chelsea fatigue.
If and when he departs Chelsea will not have the financial means to sustain the exorbitant salaries and transfer fees they are now paying.
And this will still hold even if, as they insist, he will leave a fund for Chelsea when he leaves. This money will eventually run out.
So an oligarch is not necessarily the answer. Living within your own means is an old saying which is very appropriate in the football world.
And Arsenal is the best placed team to put this into practice; because of Arsene Wenger. The greatest manager Arsenal Football Club have or are likely to ever have.
Fot this reason the results of the poll we set up to the question: “Would you welcome Dein back?” have to us been surprising.
We would have expected more resistance to Dein’s return. Because as we all know Dein’s return comes with luggage.
But it seems that Arsenal fans are no different than those of a lot of other clubs. They want success yesterday; patience is not one of our virtues!
Poll Results: “Would you welcome Dein back?
Total Votes cast: 457
Votes For: 276 60%
Votes Against: 181 40%
Thanks for your support, comments and votes.