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Respect Arsenal’s right to have the very best

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The good thing about the ‘Arsenal takeover’ debate is that we’ve been spared with the usual tosh (although the Sun is still trying it’s best).

The bad thing is that in the absence of any significant developments, speculation amongst fans has gone to overdrive.

Let’s get a few facts straight then:

  • The agreement to not sell shares is a verbal agreement, not a binding legal contract.
  • So far, no Kroenke bid has been made, so no one knows whether he will borrow or how much he will borrow.
  • While David Dein is said to have known about the sale of ITV shares as well as the fact that Kroenke was slowly building up his stake, there is no indication that he was trying to subvert board members or go behind their back and sell out to Kroenke. At least not yet.
  • David Dein’s presence was a massive boon for Arsenal – and his loss will affect them and the players.
  • On the other hand, life goes on and Arsenal will be fine without him.
  • The board have effectively kicked out David Dein, which means there were major issues between the two parties and they had been simmering for a long time. A reconciliation seems unlikely, as does Dein’s return to the board under any condition while the current board members are present.
  • Arsenal have two options available to them.

    One, they can let Kroenke take over the club and provide Wenger with the buying power to bring in players that will keep the team in the hunt for all four trophies will simultaneously developing the young squad (a balance is possible).

    Two, they can reject the takeover and spend the next season (and maybe two) in pain as the kids develop and learn to play together while Wenger brings in one or two players on smart deals every summer.

    Till then, however, there’s little chance of Arsenal successfully challenging for the Premiership title with the current squad in the next season and therefore the objectives will could change to CL qualification and success in Europe as opposed to winning the Prem AND European success.

Have I missed out on anything?

So let’s see what we can conclude from that.

Right now, it’s pointless trying to discuss the pros and cons of a takeover when you don’t even KNOW what the offer is going to be. Under certain conditions, a buyout can be beneficial to the club if it keeps people like Wenger (and possibly Dein) onside and there’s a commitment to the values that Arsenal espouses.

The thought that the board is going to unilaterally reject any takeover proposals is a big problem – it shows that they are unwilling to even consider other views on how Arsenal might benefit from investment. See the proposal and if it helps the club, then go with it.

There are some people who support Hill-Wood and co in rejecting any and all takeovers. Personally, I think that’s a great thing to do – it’s the tough choice, and because of that it has to be respected.

But with such decisions comes responsibility – for poor results and poor finances.

If the players know that, if the fans know that and if the board knows that – and if the players and the club are committed to the same cause (riding out the tough times so that the club stays in the hands of the few instead of the hands of one), then I’m all for it.

But please don’t reject the idea of a takeover because of a mistaken belief that the current board is somehow better suited to guiding Arsenal to success. Nor should the takeover be rejected because there’s a sense of the club being owned by Arsenal fans instead of greedy businessmen.

The people who are in the board? They are just politically correct versions of ‘businessmen’ owning the club. Just because the group has been around for a long while and has shown a personal interest in the club’s affairs (if you put in that much money in it you’re bound to take a personal interest) does not mean that they can do a better job for Arsenal or that if they own the club the club will remain ‘true’ to its roots.

In short, don’t reject the takeover because of emotional reasons based on false assumptions. See the facts, and take the best possible course of action FOR Arsenal. Not for your personal values, and not for yourself.

You love the club. Respect it’s right to have the very best, for the right reasons.

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Ahmed Bilal created Sportslens in 2006. He is a business consultant and entrepreneur who helps businesses identify and overcome their biggest challenges. He’s also the founder of Football Media, an online advertising agency that specialises in sports and male audience targeting, with a monthly reach of 100m+ sports fans in the UK and US. He’s also the previous owner of Soccerlens.com – a sports news site that reaches 3m+ readers / month.