Good luck Ivan, now sort out the Board!

It is being reported that Arsene Wenger will have a meeting today with Ivan Gazidis to inform him of his decision whether to stay or leave Arsenal for Real Madrid. Sky Sports News were reporting that Perez and his team in Madrid were now less confident of getting Arsene Wenger as opposed to two days ago, and they have given him until tomorrow to hear his final response. Real Madrid were willing to give Arsene Wenger almost absolute power, short of the choice of Galacticos.
The odds are that Arsene Wenger will stay now that he has made his point, and hopefully that statement of intent will be given unambiguously at the Friday press conference at the London Colney Training ground. Yet as the fall out from this affair continues to consume column inches in the newspapers, it is worth a step back from the adrenaline of crisis to try and understand how we got here in the first place.
Yes Shareholders were rude to Arsene Wenger, and yes, home fans have booed his players, yet the underlying dissatisfaction must be greater than these irritations. Arsene Wenger is a proud man, and he can take dissent. This is not a question of his pride being hurt. Could it be in fact a fatigue of having yet again to bail out the Board? The 13 million pound budget has been mentioned, and this is an insult to both ordinary Shareholders and the fans. The Club are currently having negotiations with the banks to extend the terms of a loan used to refurbish the Highbury Square apartments. Those negotiations are described as difficult.
In understanding the very poor public relations effort by certain key individuals in the club, this last week has exposed the myth. That is, that the estates division would not impinge upon any aspiration of the club, or prevent transfer activity. It is precisely the cost of these loans that have sucked equity from the transfer budget. The need to repay millions of pounds of interest that have reduced the transfer kitty to miserly depths. Yet who was left to carry the can of self sufficiency? A certain Arsene Wenger. Failure to address this financial weakness will continue to dog the aspirations of Arsene Wenger, but what is clear, is that he is no longer to be the scapegoat. The Board will now have to look seriously as to how it deals with this lack of equity.
I have disliked the arguments put forward by prominent figures including dear Bob Wilson who was unwittingly used to fight the Board’s PR stance. That being to state Arsene Wenger will not leave for he is an honourable man. The logic of this strategy being that if he does leave he is therefore a cowardly dishonourable man. Hardly a claim to lay at the door of the most successful manager in the club’s history. The way that the Board have used Arsene Wenger is nothing short of a disgrace. I would advise those angry shareholders to direct their fire at the root cause of this malaise, instead of choosing an easy Gallic target.
So whilst we fans loyal to Arsene Wenger lay our plans to let him know how much we appreciate and want him to stay at the club, in the form of a massive march from the Holloway Road, culminating in a “Wenger fest” on the cannon roundabout outside the Armoury at 3.30pm, spare a thought for Ivan Gazidis who has the most difficult task of his short 4 month tenure at the club. It is not so much that a miracle is needed on the par of turning water into wine, but more a spell of alchemy. How exactly does he produce the funds that Arsene Wenger needs without ruining this model of self sufficiency so proudly proclaimed by the Board?
In the days ahead, the very rich shareholders who continue to argue over vast potential millions will have the results of the Takeover panel’s judgement to deal with. That is when the real drama will begin. In short this spat with Arsene Wenger will be merely a sideshow compared to the ramifications of it’s potential outcome. This internecine struggle has been conveniently disguised by the Wenger controversy, but only to buy time for key strategies to be planned. Arsenal fans will be having a long hot summer of uncertainty and perhaps more frustration as the ownership of the club is finally decided.
Good luck Ivan, because you are going to need it.
Fabregas the King.

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