The situation at Arsenal is like reading the pages of an elaborate thriller.
Firstly, at Arsenal there is the dominant French manager who is reluctant to give up his control at the club. Secondly, there is a conniving American owner who wants to buy out a stubborn Russian shareholder. Thirdly, there is the South African born lawyer and CEO, who sets out to rid the company of the obstructive manager on the instruction of his American boss. He succeeds only to find that he is to be sacrificed to make way for a new structure that includes the owners son.
Piece on Josh Kroenke's future at Arsenal amid the new management set-up and Gazidis' exit. https://t.co/HTUlny7kXo
— Charles Watts (@charles_watts) September 18, 2018
The outcome of this story is that the American clears out the company and replaces everyone, whilst leaving others to conclude that the outgoing South African and former French manager were somehow responsible for the years of underachievement.
This blog is just a bit of fun to Illustrate how ridiculous the goings on at Arsenal have become.
However, during the course of this complicated tale of intrigue and betrayal, everyone has acted as if the circumstances were expected and straight forward. Appreciation and mutual back slapping have been employed but it’s all a delicious lie that masks a series of ruthless moves to put Kroenke’s plans firmly in place.
Stan Kroenke to his credit or detriment depending on your point of view, has shown a steely determination to freeze out his fellow shareholder and came out on top in war of attrition. After which, he managed to engineer the various comings and goings, so that he appeared somewhat distant from all the changes in his role as a long armed owner or operator.
Now the decks are clear for him to do with Arsenal as he chooses. He doesn’t have to appease shareholders, adhere to any financial restrictions or explain his actions to the fans.
He is victorious, autonomous and in full control. In theory he could now take money out of the club legitimately by claiming interest on his investment.
He could also release funds to his company for various consultancy or management services or borrow money against the clubs net worth, estimated at between £600-700m. Worse still, he could offset a portion of the debt against the club which could have serious repercussions.
Damn we are on the same page lol first thing I thought was hopefully Misiljnstat and Sanhelli stay if they do can even weather Josh Kroenke… Feel like funds will always be a battle with Arsenal but would be surprised if Gazidis left for that reason ( maybe josh forcing out)
— edward penry (@penry77) July 30, 2018
He could even change the branding of Arsenal in an attempt to give them wider appeal, but one doubts he’d be daft enough to call them the Arsenal hurricanes or something equally glitzy and meaningless.
It’s all very intriguing and Kroenke has managed to play and win a high stakes game of poker, whilst appearing disinterested and minus a long term game plan. He now seems as if was he simply biding his time and working out the options to maximum effect.
The split with CEO Ivan Gazidis, could well be part of that plan before he manages to gift his son, Josh, an operating title within the next 18 months.
All of this reconfiguration is of grave concern to gunners fans. They have seen major upheaval which shows no sign of ending anytime soon, as Kroenke fills the positions with personnel more adept at making cash, than winning trophies.
Raul Sanllehi, now head of football, appears to be one of the few in this pantomime that actually has the connections or knowledge to turn things around. He has a wealth of experience from his days at Barcelona, which the gunners will need if things are to change for the better.
It’s thought that Sanllehi’s major skill will be to negotiate, close deals and acquire targets. He was heavily involved in the transfer of Neymar from Santos in 2013.
The combination of Sven Mislintat, head of recruitment and Raul Sanllehi, could be devastatingly effective. Between the pair, they probably have access to all the emerging talent across Europe and the clout to bring them to the Emirates.
So, in this respect,It’s not all doom and gloom but that’s assuming that Kroenke’s purchase of the club doesn’t saddle it with unnecessary debt, which then impacts on any future transfer plans.
Sanllehi is known as a dynamic figure and when at Barcelona, with the help of an energetic young board, he managed to transform the dynamics of the club. He is someone who gets things done and is a renowned serious operator in all things football related, leaving little to chance.
Arsenal will not only be judged on how they perform this season in the premier league, also be on how the new structure works with manager Unai Emery
The transfer window may be the next stage where it’s effectiveness can be deemed a success or failure but at least Gazidis will not be there to provide the usual glib, monotone excuses.