Well no shocks in this transfer window.
What started off looking optimistic with two early signings, the transfer window slammed shut with plenty of ITK’s and gormless main stream journalists looking as foolish as Wenger’s die hard fans.
It should never be a shock that we make a profit in the transfer window. We have heavy form for that, but at a time where the financial constraints were deemed to be over 3 years ago, it has kick started even the most mild mannered head in the sand supporters.
I don’t blog much these days, leaving more or less all of it to Keenos. I get on with the Facebook page, Twitter, shop and 2 young kids who seem to run all over my gaff quicker than Stan getting out of an AGM and on a flight back to the States. But after the shambles this summer I felt the need to get things off my chest…
Stan, our Billionaire majority shareholder. What is left to say about a man who runs sporting franchises which all seem to fail where it matters on the pitch/rink. A good ‘Business’,(as much as I hate that term when speaking about a football club) needs firm strong and often charismatic leadership, Stan offers none of these. Add his complete lack of knowledge of the game and his hands off approach, it leads Arsenal to be an almost rudderless ship.
Our board, who in the past could sometimes reach a half decent decision, is now just the old men and tax exile lady who he allows to sit on it in name only. None of them are in a position to make a decision. They just sit around smoking cigars, drinking whiskey and patting eachother on the back over an ever increasing share price.
Make no mistake, Kroenke’s decision to let Wenger stay another 2 years is baffling and to have no succession process in place is incompetent and threatens the future of our once great club.
The decisions by people who pretended to love the club like fans which lead to him being invited into the club and then allow him to take control are completely to blame for this mess we are now in. The former share holders who sold out to both him and Usmanov have a lot to answer for. They got rich(er) selling their shares, and walked off into the sunset.
Our dear CEO, Ivan, the master of spin, the catalyst of change…now I do feel in the past I may have been a bit unfair on him (apart from any role he has played in ticket price increases). He has an employee that’s really his boss, he has a boss whose always absent and right now he must seriously be considering getting a big brown box putting his personal effects in it and driving off into the sunset.
I bet every time a UEFA or FIFA vacancy pops up, he ponders whether to Apply Now through LinkedIn.
No-one will ever fully know what he does for the club. His main role seems to be that of Alistair Campbell in Tony Blair’s Labour government. Trying his hardest to spin yet another bad news story and to give him some credit he tries and tries and some do fall for it – he is always the man who puts his head above the parapet.
He tried his best for change, apparently. It is likely it was even him that leaked stories about getting in a director of football and telling players there would be a new manager this season. All decisions it seems he was left out of when Stan and Wenger had a cosy chat in the summer.
Gazidis could be a great CEO, but under the current messed up Stan/Wenger love in he will not get the chance to prove it, but I guess the pay packet and bonuses for turning a profit makes up for his lack of any real control.
Wenger, oh Wenger, I really have nothing to say on him that I haven’t said for the last 6 or 7 years. He has played a blinder. He has Stan around his little finger and he still has complete control of the club.
The next 2 years will be more of the last few years – which FA Cup victories aside, has felt like we are jumping from one disaster to the next on the pitch.
Round holes in square pegs, not learning from past mistakes and a pigheadish approach to anyone who would dare question Wenger.
If he truly loved the club he would look in the mirror and leave before he goes even more nuts than he is right now. But then at £10m a year, why would he resign? The board are not going to sack him. He is onto a good thing. Unaccountable and paid handsomely.
Everyone knew another contract was a big mistake. Even the most hardened of the ‘Arsene knows’ wet blankets excused it by saying there would be changes and help would be brought in to ease his work load. Wenger, of course, was having none of that and sadly Stan agreed.
It seems the way it went was Gazidis wanted a Director of Football. Wenger said he would not stay if a Director of Football was bought in above him. Kroenke sided with Wenger and quashed Gazidis’ idea, and Wenger stayed.
The next 2 years (if he lasts that long) will be hell for him.
The next few games will be very toxic no matter the result. Once that has died down, and we have maybe put a run together, the abuse in the terraces aimed at him will return after every defeat.
The sooner he goes and the fans can unite behind getting rid of Stan the better – or him leaving might force Stan to step up and support the club to move forward.
Protests…The problem with them right now is too many seem to want to talk on social media then not turn up. They would rather stay in the pub (Keenos has said this a few times “cant be bothered to protest, I would rather get another pint in” – although his opinion is changing).
Too many others want to be “fan famous” and position themselves front and centre, ensuring they are on camera, even if it is them recording themselves. This leads to others not turning up to protests as they do not want to be associated with the wannabe self proclaimed Super Fans”.
Others are too scared to lose any club access they get. They will not criticise the club to aggressively for fear of not getting an invite to a meet and greet, or not having their next book put in the membership pack.
Too many up late to the party that the clearing up has been done, everyone has had a nap, had the hair of the dog and cooking a bacon sarnie. Then of course we also have the ‘wrong time’ merchants, those who are worried any protest before the game will put the players off, worried it looks stupid to protest after the game if we win.
Before a game is the wrong time, during the game is the wrong time, half time is the wrong time, after the game is the wrong time. The wrong time lot will never agree there is a right time.
Personally, I will not be partaking or encouraging in any nicely organised walk around the ground then sit at the roundabout waving a few banners with people who just want there boat in the papers and on film who then stream off nicely into the ground and sit on their hands.
The club do need to know how you/we/I feel and the best way of doing that is by not going into games, but I understand this is hard to do.
With 66% of the ground being season ticket holders who have paid £1000+ for their seat, and the rest having to book up 1-2 months in advance, I understand why people will want to waste something that they have spent their hard earned cash on. And the club already has their money, so it is a bit futile.
There will never be a mass boycott of any game, and why should people who spend their hard earned cash not watch the game they have pair a fortune to watch!
History does show the best way of getting rid of a manager and putting pressure on the owners is withdrawing money from them. But sadly this is hard for Arsenal fans to do. The season tickets are paid for in advance, and for every silver or red member who boycotts, another one will happily purchase a ticket in their place.
So like the title says, we are a shambles, from the majority shareholder, to the board, to the CEO, to the manager and to a fanbase who will never agree on the same course of action…..This would never have happened at Highbury…..
The only hope is that we can get through the next 2 years with as little collateral damage as possible. That Kroenke does not get tempted to offer Wenger another extension. And that we are sitting here in 2019 with a new manager and new players who actually want to play for the club.
Up the Arsenal