Greetings from a mild Yokohama. Christmas here really is a bit rubbish when compared to back home in Ireland. The shop decorations usually start coming down on Christmas Day! At least there is the small matter of a big game against Chavski to look forward to.
Before getting to that in a later post, there was the announcement yesterday that Danny Fiszman has transferred 16.1% of his shareholding in the club to a new nominee company called DF Nominees Limited. On the face of it, this seems like a strange move. However, when you take into considerations Fiszman’s long-running health issues, then move would seem to be a way of preserving and maintaining stability at the club should the worst case scenario happen.
The move also seems to be aimed at keeping Fiszman’s holding out of the hands of Usmanov. The question now would seem to be, does Kroenke Tonk Stan (KTS) have the money at his disposal to be able to make a full takeover move for the club. Should he buy Fiszman’s shares, he would be required to make a full takeover bid and should that takeover bid fail he would then be required, under market rules, to sell enough shares to bring him back down to a holding of 29.9%. That could potentially result in those shares falling into the hands of Usmanov. Therefore, the timing of any such move is critical.
It could be that this new nominee company is some kind of holding company that will retain the shares until KTS is in a position to make a full takeover bid. Of course, that is assuming that KTS actually wants to make a full takeover bid. There are some sections of fans that would like to see Usmanov seize control the club as the perception is that he might bring around an era of spending and a winning mentality. However, I am dead against Usmanov gaining control of our club as he would undoubtedly bring around an era of managerial instability and judging by his comments in the media, he seems intent on just earning a quick buck. He generally just comments on how the share price will continue to rise. It is rare to hear him talk about the actual long-term future of the club.
Now, I know that that last point will be countered with people saying that we never hear KTS say anything. This is true. But, if you look at KTS’s history of investment in sports clubs/franchises, he doesn’t sell. He stays in for the long haul. He also doesn’t spunk away his money through heavy investment in playing staff, which may not be to the liking of those that would prefer to see Usmanov gain control. There are three points to think about here; the first being that Arsenal have never been big spenders and have always lived within their means, so KTS is more in line with the traditions of the club; second, we have no real idea of the intentions of Usmanov, apart from the fact that he wants to turn a profit. Just because he is a rich Russian does not mean that he will throw money at the club and, if he does invest in the club it would be through private loans, which the club would need to repay at some future point. Nothing is for free.; three, the silent approach by KTS is more in line with club traditions of keeping everything in-house and maintaining stability at the club. If Usmanov were to seize control, it would seem inevitable that a lot of our business would be done in public with endless stories in papers and a lot of both managerial and player instability at the club.
I don’t know about you, but I know which of the two main protagonists that I would like to seize control of the club, were it to be sold. I also don’t agree with the idea that Usmanov would instill more of a winning mentality at the club more than KTS would. There is simply no evidence to back up that argument.
Anyway, that’s about that for today. I’ll be back at some stage over the weekend with a look towards the Chavski game.
Hope those that have been travelling back to England and Ireland from here in Japan made it home safely and without getting stranded in an airport!
Until then, take it easy and Merry Christmas!