Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Would you welcome Dein back? Most of you would!

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.


Anonymous said...

Top post. Expresses my sentiments on the subject exactly! Most people want success immediately and are willing to sell their "mother" to do it.

Anonymous said...

Yeah I agree entirely. The people who want this investment are just the idiots who claim we need to be buying pointlessly expensive and overrated players every Summer when Wenger has proved over long periods of time that it isn't required. Even IF the club was bought out and Wenger was given a huge transfer kitty, would he spend it? NO. So use your fucking brains for Christ's sake. This isn't Chelsea, Utd or Liverpool where they'll pay anything for anyone and way too often these players hugely underachieve (Veron, Shevchenko, Cisse) to name one from each. All of those clubs are appalling at best in the transfer market and despite Wenger having out done all of them time and again so many stupid fans would STILL like to see us acting like they do. Grow up and wake up!

dave said...

I agree with the previous anonymous. So many fans are so impetuous. They want to sell their souls so that they can get success. But buying lots and lots of expensive players will not necessarily bring it.
Look at Man Utd last year they spent almost nothing in comparison to this year and ended up with the title. This year they spent 50m and where are they now?

Anonymous said...

You may find the way you asked the question influenced the result. You asked whether people wanted Dein back so there would be more money in order to compete with Chelski and Man U. If you had asked do they want either an owner saddling them with either bigger debts (like the Glazers) or a Russian who somehow amassed a fortune dictating which players the manager should buy, you might have got a different answer.

1970's Gooner said...

To previous anonymous
Yes, you would be right in what you are saying. If we had asked the question on which type of owner the fans would prefer: A Russian oligarch Vs an American entrepreneur we would have got a different answer.

But the question asked was simple enough.
Do you want Dein back?
The question was intended to solicit the views of the fans as to whether they wanted new owners, as it is obvious that Dein will not return unless he and his friends mount a succesful takeover bid.
The poll was not set up to ask which type of owner the fans would like.

Anonymous said...

This cr@p "in wenger we trust" is just boring now the silverware he won was with a team most of which was there when he arrived he has got rid of many arsenal legends saying they were getting to old .this "wengerball" we keep hearing about is just a load of old rubbish we are one of the richest clubs in the world but teams like the yids and sunderland can outspend us timt and time again,i know you don't spend for the sake of spending but we need players big time not some group of 16/17 year olds.DEIN AND A NEW MANAGER IN--WENGER AND THE BOARD(MONEY GRABBERS) OUT!!!!!!!!!!

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