Saturday, 22 September 2007

Usmanov and Abramovitch

In a week when the most successful manager in Chelsea's history is shown the door by his Russian boss, against the wishes of fans and players, Arsenal find themselves facing the spectre of Russian ownership too. I think I hardly need bother spelling out the dangers that being a billionaire's plaything entails as it has plainly been spelt out this week, so let's all hope that the current Arsenal board keep their nerve and can stop Usmanov gaining a blocking vote at the club. It is very frustrating to see the efforts and sacrifices of the last three years being threatened by David Dein and his latest chum.

Dein seems to have really lost the plot in the last few months - we have won the league regularly under Wenger without spending stupid money and are currently top of the league playing great football with a young, improving and exciting squad. Apparently that's not good enough and we need to go down the Abramovitch route and bring in the star names. As Chelsea have found, that isn't necessarily the route to success or good football or large crowds. Have Shevchenko, Ballack and Cashley gone to Chelsea to play great football and to bring success to the club or to feather their nests and build up their pension plans? Who would you rather have in your side Ballack or Fabregas?

Arsenal are absolutely on the right track at the moment and the next set of financial results are supposed to be very good. The current board deserves a great deal of credit for their foresight and for being prepared to sacrifice short term success for long term success. As an Arsenal fan who can remember the relatively barren period through the seventies and eighties until George Graham arrived, I appreciate the need need to build for long term success rather than being one or two season wonders. Our new stadium and the fans filling it every game mean that there is now the strong financial base necessary to keep the club in the frame for the foreseeable future. We don't need a sugar daddy to be successful and unsettle the fundamentals of the club. Or to interfere with a manager who is very successfully managing the team.

Would you want this man running your club?

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