Just what are we to make of the various statements that have appeared in the press lately?
First came the not so very surprising one from the want-away van Persie, the full text of which can be found on the player’s website. After spending most of his eight years at the club being nurtured by Arsene Wenger and nursed by the medical staff he had a really good season and suddenly discovered that he disagreed with the direction the management was taking. He made no mention of which direction he wanted the club to go in, although our club captain did express his “love” for Arsenal FC, the manager and of course for the fans. Just where that “love” comes in his list of priorities is not clear as on the opening page of his website football is stated as his “first love.”
Being something of a cynic I suspect that the direction van Persie wishes to head in is clearly indicated by £,$ and € signs.
The next statement was the totally anodyne effort put out by the club in response to van Persie’s.
“We have to respect Robin’s decision not to renew his contract. Robin has one year to run on his current contract and we are confident that he will fulfil his commitments to the Club.“ “We are planning with ambition and confidence for next season with Arsenal’s best interests in mind.”
There, that tells us all we needed to know, or at least as much as the club are willing to let us know.
The next item was the open letter to the board from Red and White Securities Limited, aka Alisher Usmanov and Farhad Moshiri; the full five-page text is available on various websites. In their letter, they echo the thoughts and frustrations of many Arsenal supporters, namely the perceived lack of investment in the squad and the very real failure to hang on to the best players. Players brought into the club have, in many cases, been just not good enough. Almunia, Fabiansky, Gervinho, Chamakh and Park Chu-young spring immediately to mind while doubts about the mobility of Meretesacker and Santos persist.
Red and White at least offer one solution to the lack of financial muscle, namely a rights issue. Such a move would allow all shareholders to invest in the club without adding to the still onerous level of debt racked up due to the construction of The Emirates, a debt that is currently costing around £14 million a year in interest payments.
Red and White are looking to increase their shareholding although it is unknown whether they would go as far as a takeover even should the present major shareholder be willing to sell.
Which brings us to the statement from that major shareholder, only it doesn’t because true to his soubriquet Silent Stan has stayed silent.
So, as I asked at the top of the page, what are we to make of these statements and letter?
1 ) Robin van Persie will leave the club as soon as he can.
2 ) The club will do little or nothing to keep him beyond trying to get the best possible price.
3 ) Red and White Securities will sit on the sidelines while garnering support from the fans.
4 ) Kronke Sport Enterprises (KSE) will stay silent and keep on milking the fans through the highest ticket prices anywhere while denying one of the best managers in world football the chance to compete at the top level.
5 ) Arsenal Football Club will remain just short of the elite level and will inevitably be sucked into the fight for the fourth Champions League spot behind the two Manchester clubs and the current European Champions Chelsea with the only realistic hope for a trophy being either the FA Cup or the Capital One Cup.
If it came to a choice would you prefer the club to be owned by Red and White Securities or Kronke Sports Enterprises?