When Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood spoke about Kroenke last year, he played on the fans’ sentiments and stoked the fires of independence by claiming ‘we don’t want his sort’. Never mind that the man was a shareholder and a business partner – a Yank is a Yank is a Yank, and in the face of growing speculation Arsenal needed to be strong, a bastion of light and truth against the evils of this world.
How times have changed.
Where Hill-Wood had been a pompous ass (or played one, if all this has been a calculated sham, which I doubt) then, he reeks of desperation now (a bit harsh, but the man likes to speak his emotions, so there you go). His turn-around on Kroenke is based more on the threat of an Usmanov takeover as opposed to any sudden (or gradual) insight into the motives of the American.
“Contrary to what I said before, I now believe he may have a vital contribution to make to the future of this football club. I am not denying I said what I said, but I made those observations before meeting Stan. I have now got to know him and I have changed my opinions.
“When I hadn’t met him, yes, I didn’t think he was the right person to take control of Arsenal Football Club. Now I know him as a man who is very much steeped in sport. He is a sports man. He already has a link through our broadband rights and there is every reason to expect that we shall discuss further how his involvement can be extended.”
I’m sorry for shouting at you Stan, I thought we were big enough to handle Dein and Usmanov on our own but you were right and we were wrong. Please forgive us and don’t sell to the big bad Russian? We’ll give you the girls?
While we’re at it: Real women don’t date Arsenal fans…
I have to say, the Arsenal board have mismanaged the whole situation so far. We’ve talked about this a lot already (the board buying up enough shares to get a 51% majority, bringing Stan onboard a lot earlier, etc) so I won’t repeat it, but now that the board have now actively gone after Kroenke, it’ll be interesting to see Usmanov’s next move (Kroenke I’m sure will demand a seat for a representative on the board).