Well, the previous (guest) post about Stan Kroenke stirred up some debate, leading among other things to me being accused on Twitter (not for the first time) of ‘having an agenda’ – whatever that actually means. I was told it means I’m anti-Kroenke. For the record, I have opinions on different things, and also some principles. The opinions sometimes change in the light of new information. I like to think the principles stay largely the same. I don’t have an ‘agenda’ regarding Arsenal, nor anything else as far as I’m aware, but I do have opinions about how I would like to see Arsenal run by its owners, hence I have opinions about Mr ES Kroenke, not all of which are favourable. He’s a long way from the worst owner Arsenal could have, but that doesn’t mean there’s no room for improvement.
However, today’s subject is the other major Arsenal shareholder, Mr AB Usmanov. Alisher Usmanov is seen by many fans as Arsenal’s potential saviour. There is a view that if he took control we’d be back in the big time because he would make almost unlimited funds available to be spent on the team.
In truth there might be some problems with this – unlimited spending is going to become more difficult under FFP anyway, and you also need a manager who is prepared to splash cash around like Madonna in an orphanage. In case anyone hasn’t noticed, Arsenal’s manager – who Red & White and Usmanov wholeheartedly and repeatedly support – doesn’t spend all the money available now, never mind if he was given a billion to spend.
But that’s not my point today. My point is this: What has Alisher Usmanov promised to spend? And actually the answer is, as far as I can make out, bugger all. I wouldn’t necessarily believe him anyway, but the fact is he talks a lot without making concrete promises. I posed this question on Twitter the other day and was sent a link to his open letter from last year as ‘evidence’ of his promises.
The closest thing to a promise of spending in the whole letter is this:
“So what is Red & White’s vision for the club? It is simple. A debt free club with a big enough war chest to buy top talent players who can hit the ground running and who can complement the club’s long tradition of developing young players and homegrown talent.”
Well what a coincidence! This is exactly my vision too. In the words of Keggy Keegle, I would love it – love it! But I’m not promising to pay for it, and if you read it carefully neither is Mr Usmanov. It’s just his vision. That’s all it is.
So I throw the challenge out again: What is Alisher Usmanov actually promising to pay for at Arsenal? Answers on a blog comment or tweet to @AngryOfN5.
As you’ll have gathered at the top, I’m no big fan of Stan Kroenke either, and I do support Red & White having some Board representation at Arsenal just to shake things up a bit. But I’d like to see actual promises in legally binding language too. I’m like that.