02 March 2013

An Arsenal Take-over? Is this really the best time to discuss?

In classically poor timing, The Sun (among others, I'm sure) has published a story detailing a £1.5 billion bid for Arsenal from a group of investors from Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. Details of the plan would include a buy-out first of Stan Kroenke who, according to the article owns 66.64% of the team and then of Alisher Usmanov, who owns 29.11%. Now, I hold no particular affection for Kroenke or Usmanov even though I feel like they have been detached and disinterested owners on whom I direct most of my ire at Arsenal's recent struggles. However, my real anger at the moment is that this comes out so close to such an important match. I am sure that our players are professionals and can tune out the chatter and believe that the same is true of Wenger. All the same, the only way for the timing to be worse would be for it to come an hour or two before the game. That we have close to 24 offers little solace.

I'll deal with this in more detail later. For now, a few, quick points to illustrate my reluctance.
  1. We have learned earlier in the week that our financial picture is quite rosy. We have a profit this year of £17.8 million and reserves of £123.3 million. In other words, we're flush enough to go out on the transfer market and be aggressive. We've already discussed going after the likes of high-profile targets like Valdes and Villa, among others. 
  2. This team has dedicated the better part of the last decade towards financing a new Ashburton Grove. Why endure the struggles, especially the tribulations of the last few years, only to part our legs at the first offer to appear?
  3. Financial Fair Play, for all of its flaws, lurks just around the corner. At the risk of exposing the limits of my financial acumen, I'm not sure how much a takeover like this would help us.
  4. We've kept up with Chelsea and Man City admirably (that's a cute modifier, that word "admirably") despite their immense spending and amassing talent. Do we really want to become like them just to beat them?
  5. As I mentioned a moment ago, I do not particularly care for Kroenke or Usmanov, but I don't feel the urgency to get rid of them on the first opportunity. Let's learn a bit more about the new investors before rushing in.
A cockerel (Spurs' logo) is an immature male chicken. A capon? Castrato.
Not sure which one is superior to the other.
As it currently stands, it's not like the story carries a whole lot of substance. In fact, I hope to make this my last words on the subject, at least for the next two to three days. Last I checked, we have a team of lily-livered Lilywhite cockerels to caponize (if I add in a reference to a goose being cooked, does that stretch the Spurs logo too far? Perhaps). On to White Hart Lane we go...