When you talk about Arsenal's future, it is usually in measured, nuanced terms much like its soccer. Unlike Man City's buyout which has vaulted it to the position of the richest club in the world, the lockdown agreement makes an Arsenal takeover unlikely at least till October 2009. But the Man City takeover has opened up cracks in the iron clad constitution of the Arsenal board.
There has been some not so subtle changes in the thinking of the top brass recently with PHW suggesting that a huge bid from an investor would be hard to turn away by the shareholders. It might crimp the board's favoured method of doing business but the reality is that their hand might be forced by the shareholders.
"The directors don't want to sell but we are a public company. It depends on the price."
This really opens up chances for an Alisher Usmanov takeover.
Recent developments also include the resignation of David Dein from Red and White Holdings in order to bolster Usmanov's chances for an Arsenal takeover. His cloak and dagger tactics had alienated the board. With him gone, Usmanov's bespectacled chubby faced presence might be easier to accept. There is also the confirmed report that ADUG, the investment group that now controls Man City had also targeted Arsenal for a takeover and approached Usmanov to buy out his shares. But the oligarch was only willing to sell a proportion of his shares at a premium and the deal eventually foundered.