Usmanov; Wikipedia; Facepalm

Another great piece from The Times, who got stuck into Arsenal’s number two shareholder Alisher Usmanov this week. If you were unaware, Mr Usmanov’s Wikipedia page was altered to give a more kindly view of our rotund billionaire chum. Out with mention of criminal convictions and opponents mysteriously disappearing, and in with what a wonderful patron of the arts Alisher is, how philanthropic he is – it would not surprise me to find out that Santa Claus does exist after all, and he is from Uzbekistan. No wonder no one can ever actually find him at the North Pole.

The Times love a bit of oligarch bashing – I suspect it makes them feel better about working for kindly old Rupert Murdoch, another billionaire who you wouldn’t trust not to sell his own mother. So when they spotted that AU’s Wikipedia entry was rather more ‘hello birds, hello sky’ than it used to be, they went into full on investigative SAS journo mode. They traced the alterations to the computers of RLM Finsbury, Usmanov’s PR lackeys, who seem to have overlooked the fact that you can’t make people read and accept any old bollocks these days – they will argue about it, call you names and use this new-fangled internet to put their own side of the story. If that’s how clever his PR firm is, I’d strongly suggest to him that he looks for a new PR firm.

Finsbury have apologised and said it will not happen again – though this is after it has already happened twice! People (especially PR people) really have no shame these days.

The Times then helpfully provide a graphic to tell us how the changes were made, for those unfamiliar with the concept of a Wiki, an IP address, and the colour of a PR man’s soul.

Some might suggest that this altering of the facts makes Mr Usmanov himself appear less trustworthy. I wouldn’t suggest that, because for one thing he’s got far more expensive lawyers than I can afford. You be the judge. (Awaits comment saying, “I don’t care as long as he spends money buying Arsenal better players”.)

The Times have printed a lot more Usmanov-related stuff this week, as he’s trying to get his latest $12 billion share issue off the ground. More on that later.

Follow me on Twitter: @AngryOfN5


41 thoughts on “Usmanov; Wikipedia; Facepalm

      • Because Chelsea fans have lost their values of decency so it
        does not matter whether the money being spent on the club is from the proceeds of criminal activities. In Nigeria especially Lagos, Chelsea fans are synonymous with Okada (commercial motorcycle riders) and they are known for their criminality and antisocial behavior. Therefore I am not suprised that they are
        hailiing Abramovic.

  1. What has this to do with Arsenal? Are we going to cover everything Usmanov does now? I’d stick to calling our CBs shite.

  2. It’s not just on Wikipedia. There are very obvious sock puppet personas operating within the comments section of many Arsenal fan blogs. They promote implausible .claims along the lines of “let father christmas in so he can hand out transfer fund sweeties to the Arsenal fans”. Well at least, implausible for anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of corporate raiding – or just even two brain cells available to string together.

    I have noticed such activity even on this very blog. And I wouldnt doubt that some of them might share a common IP address as well.

  3. Wake up and smell the coffee, most if not all billionaires are corrupt, yes he’s not that great, at least he is willing to put some money into the club (yes to make money too)unlike someone whom owns more than 60% of the club and has not put any money in, only interested in making profits with no real interest in football or club, and if you believe differently your crazy, it’s only my opinion.

    • You want free lunch. Yes, he would put money down because he did not work for the money but stole it. No one who sweated for his labour would throw here and there the produce. It is your likes that encourage stealing of public and corporation money.

  4. Abrahimovic was defo a criminal of the worst sort !! He fled when the OLD USSR crumbled to the UK with his billions !! Putin was to happy and as time went on Abrahimovic realised he mistake well Putin has Remined him and told him he will have to pay for most of the Russian World cup OOOOOOuch !!! but that is a far easier let off than most Russians expected…. Russians never forget i know i am married one !! LOL
    Im not saying Usmanov is an Angel by no means but in the days of old USSR there wasnt many if any that were Angels !! Fact !! Survival was the name of the game in those years… Alot of things went on in those OLD USSR days that made me sick when hearing the real stories from Real Russians… Nothing has really changed in Russia !! Criminal aspects in all business and social still control the country !!
    but will we not deal with this country of course we will as we deal with China everyday !!
    To discredit an individual for the purpose of money is no better than what people are saying is wrong fact !!
    He made errors in his early days he was ruthless but the times and country he lived made him deal like this !!
    He is a Eastern Business man that has learned the way of the West !! So you would not say coz a man comes from Africa so he must be an Animal as where he comes from everyone else is !! No you would want to believe he has moved to change and support him in anyway possible !! Jokers
    Usmanov on the Board and Dein to be back soon enough. The Board cant stop blocking him onto it !! this will be seen as they have something to hide and then be forced by Business lawyers and laws to allow him on the board as the second highest stake holder !!

  5. I think all professional football clubs should be owned by the fans, like Barca & Real Madrid, then we the fans have a say & control of who & what we support every week. No bullsh*t from rich guys & the puppets on the board.

    • But the fans of Arsenal are divided on so many aspects, it can’t work.
      They can’t even agree as regards our manager.
      Pro-Wenger / Anti-Wenger.
      So which fans have a say, which fans have the control?

      Disagreement, division, disunity, disharmony amongst the very fans you say should control the club..

      • I may not be a fan of either Stan or Usmanov, but I can find solace in the reassuring thought that Wenger wont be ridiculous & spend stupid amounts on players that are not worth it, I think he will buy exceptionally good players in the quality department… Players that can finally deliver & make true on his vision of how football should be played…

  6. Most people even Arsenal fans have lost their senses of decency and therefore do not care where the money comes from as long as expensive players are bought. This is not conspiracy but the stack reality. A criminal is always a criminal even the image laundering was done suspiciously. Only criminally minded human being will not blink an eye about where somebody’s wealth come from even when there are evidences pointing to unethical business practices. Usmanov is devilishly and corruptly bad and no amount of cleansing can erase this.

  7. Fact is Mr U is already a saviour: he blocked Stanley’s bid to own our Club outright, and perhaps Phil, you can give us a pretty accurate guess of where we would be now with the Silent One as sole owner. Another fact: like him or not, Mr U is the only viable alternative to Stanley and – dare I say it – even an Uzbek with a questionable MO is preferable to the dire Yank. Fact 3: a non-fan owner of our Arsenal is like an atheist Pope (well, it’s a fact for me!). Okay, none of us know whether Mr U is lying when he professes to be a committed fan – but it’s still a notch up on Stan who owns half a dozen other sports franchises and is clearly NOT a committed fan. Fact 4: Mr U does not make his living from sports franchises and, in the grand scheme of things, any money he might make out of AFC is small beer to him. So it’s reasonable to assume he is looking for the reflected glory of owning a winning Football club – a bit like a grown-up Roman. For me, preferable any time to the dour penny-pinching Walmart son-in-law. Fact 5: with Mr U as owner, there’s a fair chance of a renewal of that former all-conquering duo at the helm, AW & DD – and I dig that. Fact 6: finally, with Mr U as owner, the ignominious dismissal of the mercenary Hill-Wood and the awful Ivan – I swear to you, the two most disliked Arsenal people – player, manager or hierarchy – that I can remember in all the many, many years I have been an Arsenal supporter.

    • Bollocks. There has been nothing wrong with silent stan’s tenure as owner. The fact he is ‘silent’ is one of his best attributes. Or would you prefer an interfering owner?

      We do not want an oligarch lumping us with a load of debt. Owners can’t just give money to a club, they have to loan it.

    • You’re right about fact one – I’m grateful to AU for that, and all Arsenal fans should be. Not quite so sure about the rest of your ‘facts’!

  8. Reading through the wiki pages of our “sugar daddies” makes me feel as depressed as ever what a load of self serving nonsense. It seems to me that silent Stan and fat Al have as much in common as fish have with bicycles. As for Arsenals development I’d sooner ask the Spurs Supporters Club for advice. Nothing in the pipeline to suggest a renaissance in the clubs fortunes. I found our “spiritual” leader Mr Gazidas (or whatever the hell he calls himself ) remark that the board were determined to have the club “return to winning trophies ” and to making Arsenal a leading club in world football. I would like to point out that that was where Arsenal Football Club were before you bastards took over .

    • Which “bastards”?

      Football fans are either naive or out of date, depending on how you look at it.

      David Dein, Danny Fizsman, Nina Bracewell Smith and co were all perfectly free to put their Arsenal ownership stakes in a charitable trust which could have run the club for the benefit of Arsenal fans. But…. that is not what they did. They instead each and every one sold out their shares for massive amounts of cash. Not one of them

      Do you actually undestand the implications of their choice? If you did you couldnt possibly still be complaining. What exactly are you expecting from the people who have put up this huge amount of money? Have you ever met a premiership billionaire whose best contribution to life is charity? Get real, please. It matters not a whit where they come from – they are all here to bleed you – for even more money.

      In this light it becomes clear that while Kroenke is one type of vampire, perhaps the slow bleed type, anyone posing other Arsenal shareholders as saviors is either delusional or working on their agenda.

    • Noel,
      “Nothing in the pipeline to suggest a renaissance in the clubs fortunes.”

      The stadium pay-off is ‘in the pipeline’. We are just over half-way with the stadium payments (correct me if I’m wrong). When that debt is paid Arsenal will be in a very healthy position, finance-wise.

      The finest club stadium in England, the finest training and medical facilities in England, no debts… isn’t that in essence something of a ‘renaissance’.

      Patience is a virtue. And the future looks bright.

      • From what I can tell the game going on is that they are all jockeying to be in ownership position by 2014 because that is when the next big TV contract is – amount unknown. At that point the value of the club jumps significantly. So in the meantime Kroenke and co are sticking to low-risk moves eg trawling broke clubs like Werder Bremen and Malaga and picking up assets (players) at low cow. This is also the main reason why they are going with the “moneyball” recruitment policy and why they will not fire Wenger – he is the only manager who can actually keep the club anywhere near this level with zero net expenditure. They dont think they can win and they are not aiming to – just to be in the champions league money pot, which keep the cash coming in the make the club self funding to the point where t after 2014.

        I dont think Kroenke is going to spend any money before that point. If he aims to keep the club he will inject money. Otherwise he will be aiming to flip the club for a sizeable profit then, with the new TV cash flows known.

        Usmanov is almost certainly purely aiming to b flip his shares – he has no long term ownership plans. Honestly he does NOT want to majority own the club in the mean time (leading to 2014) if that means he is forced to pay a huge premium to the existing shareholders. There is no way in hell Usmanov is actually interested in first forking over a takeover premium AND injecting more cash into the club to fund huge transfer fees, all before 2014. He has no such plans whatsover.

        So what Usmaov is doing now is agitating, making a fuss and hoping Kroenke and co will pay him to go away, ie give him his gains now. And playing this brinkmanship game of flirting with the 30% and claiming he will demand to take over. He does not want to.

        Its all just a game…

      • “Phil wrote: on November 15, 2012 at 12:08 pm:
        I think you are misreading the motives of both SK & AU in a big way.”

        Phil – at the price clubs cost – including Arsenal – there is no business case for buying them and making a return from ongoing operating profit. The end-game is unloading it on to someone else at a premium. You either do that by trading shares prior to a takeover, or prior to information clarified that inflates the price of the club (eg TV contact or property deals eg the property game that Dein/Fiszman initiated before they cashed in their chips).

        Anyone talking about “love for the club”, “tradition” and so on, is delusional. Neither Usmanov nor Kroenke have any attachment to N1 or to Arsenal fans and they certainly wont, once they have made their profit. So expecting transfer funds just to “win trophies” is really well out of touch with the reality of business – which is what this is for these people. Anyone turning fanboy or taking sides here is either a sock pupper or an unwitting pawn.

      • Abramovic is an oddball event.

        He lucked into a great positon, but it was not all that stable given Putin’s character. He was also a jew in a country where his wealth put a target on his back. He desperately eded a highest western profile and goodwill base, which was part of his agenda.

        Abramovic is no dummy though. The vast majority of his cash infusions into Chelsea are loans. He’s not going to exit the club without getting ALL his money back.

        And if you look at the history Abramovic is angling for a central London real estate play by moving the club. Read the section here titled: “Club Proposal” for a summary of his manouvers to get in position to cash in:
        Note that not mentioned there is Abramovic’s manouverings to influence decisions of CPO as well….

        He’s going to get every penny back one way or another.

        Arsenal however, has little or no more property left to be flogged off. That play is already mostly used up.

        The upside in Arsenal’s enterprise value from here on in is in TV money and sponsorship growth – simply by virtue of being a top 4 Premiership team, which brings you the lions share of TV money. Anybody who bought into Arsenal after the Fiszman/Dein era is there to cash in for THOSE reasons. And they dont need titles to do it – they just need to be in the premiership. All the fans talking about titles and transfer spend are the…. – forgive me for bing so blunt – …the bonus cows to be milked beyond TV money. And even if those cows leave, there are more who will turn up to be milked – same as a pub in the right location can always find customers, as long as the pubs operators pay the rent to be in that location.

        This is the harsh reality that Kroenke knows, Usmanov knows and unfortunately the cows either dont know or are in gross denial about.

      • Abramovich has converted his loans to equity. He’s only getting that back if someone wants to buy Chelsea from him for the full amount he’s put in. You’re making a lot of assumptions all round and mostly based on pretty flimsy theories and not much fact.

      • A fair point well made Big Al . There is no doubt that the stadium debt handling has been first class. The difficulty I have however is that I don’t trust Kroenke or Usminov to do whats best for the club. Ijust do not trust the current BOD.

    • Noel, are you serious when you say you’d ask the Spuds for advise, dude just have a look at the youngsters in our ranks & then think twice… Toral-Harper, Hector Bellerini, Jack Jebb, Ben Glasgow, Chuks Aneke, Benik Afobe, Sergi Gnarby… The Spuds wish they had such a strong development…

    • Well Usmanov is not going to spend money – he is a corporate raider who is here because Arsenal is a cash rich company. The game is not to GIVE you cash – it is to TAKE it.

      • Sorry, Ziontrain… my comment was a joke (to Phil).
        Read Phil’s post again, penultimate paragraph.

        And I think you’re correct as regards Usmanov. I like things just the way they are. Read my very recent comment @9.44am in reply to Noel Conway’s post @11.37pm, 14th Nov.

      • If one takes in all the things being said about AU and whats happening on his business front, one could easily be persuaded to think that Mr AU is trying to create a new image for himself to float his companies in the UK with a long term goal of staying there permanently, I think Mr AU knows politics can change over night & things back home can easily go South for him, so moving his wealth to the UK & owning a big Club there could just give him the public image & reason to remain in the UK. I mean, what other single sports event attracts the public more than football in Europe??

      • Ziontrain, you are so very wrong about Usmanov.The fact is that Abramovich is his best friend and he just wants to do the same with us that has happened at Chelski and give us 500m +.He is now the richest person in Russia, is 58 years old has no children and wants AFC be one of the beneficiaries of his wealth, its that simple.He never walked round Moscow in the 70’s wearing a JVC shirt, we all know that but in early 2000’s like many in world became addicted to football and chose Arsenal as the team to follow.Unlike Kroenke, he has bought 2 boxes and owns seats in the Diamond Club and Club Level.I speak facts you are speaking crap most of the time

      • Sorry you forgot the part about him being a nice man who loves to give sweets to kids? *retch* And my goodness he bought TWO boxes? Well hand him the keys to the borough, why dont you.

        The only pertinent fact we need to know about Usmanov is that he forked over millions to Dein for his shares and then turned around and demanded that Arsenal pay him a dividend.

        Spare us the jibber-jabber please. He is a two faced corporate raider, with a single agenda. If he has billions to spare let him prove it by showering the money on his home club in corruption-istan.

  9. @ noel conway
    Thanks for your reply @ 1.07am.

    You don’t trust Kroenke or Usmanov?
    Well, neither do I. However, given the choice, and using the old adage “better the devil you know…” I repeat, I prefer the way things are. We’ll all be happy Gooners when the final stadium payment is made. Trust me… BAKB (Big Al Knows Best).

    What I feel the Arsenal fans should do as regards their feelings about the present board is simply judge against all clubs’ BODs in the Premiership.

    Man Utd (under the Glaziers)?

    Liverpool (in the not-so-distant past, when they teetered on the brink financially (Glasgow Rangers style), and in the here-and-now ridiculously overseeing the loan of Carroll with no money to buy a replacement?

    Spurs? both present and past (let’s not forget Alan Sugar’s reign, when he got rid of arguably the best manager in the English game at the time – Terry Venables). By the way, how many managers have Spurs Bod installed during Le Prof’s reign?

    Man City? Is Mancini a happy bunny at the moment? Odds on his leaving at the end of this season?

    Wolves? Sacked the manager with no replacement lined up?

    Blackburn (last season)? A shambles.
    And Chelsea? Well, even allowing for the fact that ‘X’ amount of ‘quality’ managers have been hired-and-fired by the arguably the most ruthless character EVER in the English game, they’ve had success, undeniably. However, to make Mourinho’s life so intolerable at the club that he left says it all about the guy. A Russian equivalent of Sugar? Nah… Sugar was a pussy cat compared to Abramovic. Chelsea’s near-future problem is that there’s very few ‘capable’ managers to do the job – Guardiola, Klopp, err, um, durhh… so will their success continue? I have my doubts, because success or lack of, is down to the manager, regardless how much is spent on players.

    A fan of any club who ‘trusts, their BOD, or their future great white hope, is probably very naive indeed.
    See above: GeorgeKnows @ 12.06 for that very fan.

    Cheers, buddy.

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