A Sunday Telegraph article reports a ME consortium is readying a £1.5bn bid for Arsenal which would include buying out Stan Kroenke's shares.The deal would wipe out Arsenal's debt, lower ticket prices, and put millions in a transfer fund that would see the likes of Radamel Falcao make the Emirates their home. And oh, every fan would get an oil derrick.
On some level an offer like this makes sense because Arsenal heads and shoulders offers far more bang for the buck than Chelsea, Man City, and even Man Utd because of its relatively low debt burden, years of profitability, and effective living within means. It is already a defined brand unlike Chelsea and City, flirting with an uneasy existence in the top league for years before their saviours broke the doors down.
The more cynical amongst us suspects this is an Alisher Usmanov photoshop, a planted story as a club under tremendous pressure faces an arch rival for a final four spot on the eve of what could be the defining match of their season. Failure could result in desperate measures to find outside solutions making even operators of a Nigerian email scam desirable. If you read the article, its all very derogatory to Kroenke, laying the blame on the American majority holder for his negligence with scant mention of Usmanov's stake.
Is there anything that screams louder and sounds more plausible than a ME consortium takeover? It would appear there are more consortiums than there are people in that region. The five tribes of the ME with their buyouts of PSG and Man City have fulfilled their quota. But if you stretch a bit geographically, Uzbekistan could technically be part of the ME and Usmanov conveniently happens to be their biggest oligarch.
"No big club can go eight years without winning anything," the source added. "No manager of a big club, not even Sir Alex Ferguson, would have survived eight years without winning."
That has to be the weakest, lamest opening gambit for someone serious about buying out a club. You play up the assets, the governing board, praise the manager, because only their assent can lead to the takeover you seek. This is all a cloying knee jerk to the fans.
"No big club can go eight years without winning anything."
Look then at Liverpool or Man Utd, the two most storied franchises in the English league. In the former case, 17 years without a title from 1946-47 to 1963- 64. Not to mention they are bone dry when it comes to winning the Premiership. Utd's dominance should not hide the fact they went 26 years without a league title from 1966-67 to 1992-1993 and spend 9 years before their FA Cup and UEFA Cup victories for any sort of title between the years 1967 and 1977.