So, the big news of the day is inevitably the increasing of his shareholding in the club by Stan Kroenke. He purchased 5,000 shares at £8,500 apiece from fellow board member Danny Fiszman. His stake is now sitting at just over 20%, while Fiszman’s drops to 16.1%. This places Kroenke as the 2nd biggest shareholder in the club and will inevitably lead to media speculation regarding the long-term commitment of Fiszman to the club. The club are on a big PR drive today to try and reassure fans that the day-to-day running of the club won’t be affected in any way by this transfer of shares as both Fiszman and Kroenke share a similar philosophy on how the club should be run. Both are advocates of self-sustainability, which can only be good for the long-term future of the club.
Fiszman was at pains to state that his commitment to the club remains as strong as ever and that he still attends virtually every game, both home and away. However, in an interview with Arsenal.com there was one comment from him which leaves his long-term shareholding in the club open to speculation:
“Arsenal.com: You have stated in previous interviews that you have no intentions of selling your shares in the Club. However, is this sale to Stan Kroenke an indication that you have changed your views and you are going to sell-out completely?
Danny Fiszman: I have no current intention to sell any more of my shares in the Club. This sale to Stan was a one-off sale. I certainly intend to continue as a long-term substantial shareholder.”
The fact that he says ‘current’ would seem to indicate that he may be open to reviewing his position in the club at a future point. Though, I suppose that this isn’t such a surprising thing as any investor in any business will review their holding from time to time and see what’s the best way forward both personally and professionally. As of yet, Arsenal.com are the only ones reporting the Fiszman quote with ‘current’ in it, so maybe we will escape the endless speculation over Fiszman’s commitment to the club.
The man has worked tirelessly for the club over the years, particularly on the Emirates stadium project, and I don’t think it is right to question his intentions and his continuing commitment to the club. Certainly we are a much better club for having Fiszman on board and if his selling of shares to Kroenke helps to keep Usmanov at bay, then I think it is in the best interests of the club. We should also remember that it is a transfer of shares between two existing board members and that it has been agreed to by all members of the lockdown agreement. It’s not like the shares have been sold to someone on the outside of the club.
New CEO Gazidis was also at pains to state that Kroenke is a sports man and that he doesn’t sell shares in clubs that he has invested in: “Stan is a long-term holder in everything that he does. In the sports arena he has never sold a share in any team he has had an interest in.” So, if he stays true to form, that should give the club some long-term stability off the field and allow it to move forward on the field.
Certainly, it’s better to have a shareholder on board that has a passion for sport, American or not, rather than a big fat Uzbek that is a self-professed ManUre fan and clearly has more of an interest in eating all the pies than the fortunes of Arsenal Football Club.
Anyway, I am sure we will be hearing and reading a lot more on this story over the coming hours, days, weeks…zzzzzzzzzzzzz.
Also doing the rounds today is the never-ending saga of Hull and their complaint to the FA. it really is dragging on at this stage and has become quite boring. But what makes my blood boil is the fact that Hull are basically making out that they haven’t really been the instigators of the inquiry and that they must co-operate with the FA, as if they are somehow reluctant to do so. You hear shit like Phil
Cunt Brown saying that they wont ‘tittle-tattle’ to the FA, yet their banging on about it in the media was clearly done with the intention of getting the FA so start an inquiry. So, you can just fuck right off Cunt Phil. Their chairman has also been a bit cunt-ish in the papers too by saying: “The matter has its own momentum now because the Football Association have started an inquiry and they’ve asked us to submit evidence in terms of the players and coaching staff of Hull City who were involved in the incident. We can’t refuse to give evidence to the FA so we are co-operating with it and we totally welcome the inquiry. There’s no question in my mind that Brian Horton, Phil Brown and the coaching staff and players saw something happen.”
Having started the season as a club that most people warmed to and were happy to see doing well, they have now put themselves right up there with Spuds as the team that most Gooners want to see relegated. If only they are joined by Blackburn in the Championship next season, that would be a great end to the season.
On to football matters, finally, and it seems that Bendtner has picked up a knee injury while on international duty, though the true extent of the injury has yet to be clarified. Let’s hope that it isn’t too serious and that he will be available for us against City, should he be needed. However, the timing of the injury isn’t so bad, given that we could possibly have Eduardo, Adebayor, Van Persie, Arshavin, Walcott and Vela all available for the game against Man City. So, even if he is injured for a week or two, we aren’t exactly bereft of choices in attack. It is a shame though as he was beginning to find some form recently.
Thankfully we are now approaching the end of the interminably dull international break and we can begin to look forward to what will be a huge game against Man City at the Emirates this Saturday. Kick-off is at 3pm and, given that the clocks went forward on Saturday night, this means that it will be on the box at the slightly more sociable time of 11pm on J-Sports 2. Five more days until The Arsenal are back….
Right, that’s that for today. I’m off to polish off a can of sweet, sweet beer.