Sunday, 17 February 2019

Are Arsenal heading for the same heartache as Blackpool fans?

‘One man and his club.’

The acid asset strip.

“Blackpool football club has been put into receivership by the High Court. The club has been put into receivership so it can be sold and the proceeds used to pay off some of the £22m owed by the owners, the Oyston family, to the Latvian banker Valeri Belokon. Owen Oyston, the 85-year-old owner of the club, was ordered to buy Mr Velokon out for £31.27m.”

If you put this in a search engine: ‘Blackpool football club has been put into receivership’ You will get the full details giving the history of the owner helping himself to the club’s wealth. This is what can happen when the club owner has full control of all that the club owns.

Blackpool are not the first to experience this. To my knowledge Portsmouth, Brighton, Leeds, Glasgow Rangers and I think two others clubs have been asset stripped, that is to say everything it owns, from the first blade of grass to the last blade of grass, has been squirrelled away into the owner’s piggybank and the clubs have had to start again with very little.

When Arsenal was a public company it had to publish its accounts and we saw that Mr Kroenke was helping himself to the Arsenal golden eggs.

Now he owns the club outright, he can just help himself as a night time burglar would when discovering someone had forgotten to lock the back door of the bank.

Mr Kroenke likes the shadows of invisibility not for him the lights of fame and glory. In other words our ‘Arsenal Hero’ doesn’t have a Donald Trump ‘Look at me. I greatest.’ Personality – He is shy!

Instead of a big plunder hitting the headlines, we will read something like this. The centre at High Ham Hill is to close. There will be a good excuse for this. The savings will slip unknown to us into Kroenke’s piggy pocket.

At the moment Boreham Wood FC ground is used for games. That could end. Money saved – drip, drip you know where!

In the course of time Arsenal will be the same as his American operations, with costs cut to the bone and a low placed league filler-occupier, position. (Yes I know the Rams got to the final but that is the only one time.)

What happens when our ‘Money Man of the shadows’ needs a billion or two? Where will he turn? To one of his American cash cow clubs that he owns? Don’t think so. In this case not ‘America first.’ No. It’s Arsenal he will sell, especially if there are no more Arsenal golden Eggs to supply his incubator.

He will sell to anyone. If the buyer thinks there is more asset stripping to be done that is exactly what will happen.

The heartache that the Blackpool supporters now share with each other at the way their club has been and is being treated, is slowly becoming our experience.

We no longer have a ‘football’ manager who controls the football we play.

We have an owner who pulls the strings of the ‘puppet’ manager and everybody else at the club including us who love the club and have loved it since we were kids. It hurts,

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