Many thanks David, we the fans will miss you

Last updated : 19 April 2007 By Brian Dawes
I'm not at all sure that all of our other board members are quite such dedicated fans although I'm pretty sure some are, or at least currently think they are. Maybe DD's other involvements were as a result of being out on a limb for so long. Richard Carr, Peter Hill-Wood and Ken Friar are certainly all long term, although Friar no longer owns shares and Hill-Wood is knocking on. Chips Keswick and Lord Harris are new boys to the Club although both are seemingly known to be fans. Danny Fiszman is a doubt who I'd suggest might have been introduced originally as the rich buyer of Dein's shares when he was somewhat less liquid rather than as a total Arsenal nutter who bought into the Club as a manic fan. Maybe Fiszman has had his fill and maybe not. But tax exiles certainly don't get to stay in the country often enough to remain seriously dedicated hardcore fans.

Given that Dein was very much against the new Stadium his relationship with Wenger may have already have been a little strained because if my reading of our recent history is correct AW was a major driving force behind Ashburton Grove. AW certainly paid a lot of attention to the detail of the place at any rate and clearly threw himself whole-heartedly into the project. He was in many respects the driving force that helped the board make what most of us regard as being the correct decision to move, and move locally. Wenger will definitely miss Dein when it comes to transfers because he was our main man in negotiations, he'll leave a big hole in that respect because he clearly knew not only what he was doing but also how to keep it a secret.

Am I not correct also correct in believing it was Dein who agreed to Cole's financial request only to be overturned by other members of the board? Not the greatest of footballing decisions in my opinion. That at least was the word on the street. Dein's drive has always primarily been for a better team and the expense of the Stadium has obviously curtailed the Club in this respect. No doubt one of the reasons Dein pressed for Wem-ber-lee was that there would not have been the same massive outlay by Arsenal and such high ongoing debts that have so effected current spending. As Director of football therefore I would suggest he was acting in the best interests of the team if not necessarily that of the long term interests of the Club.

We the fans will miss Dein more than most as it was he who managed to get the Arsenal fans into Wembley to enable one of the original card displays and he was always supportive of such initiatives so I understand. A very far cry from the pain-in-the arse decisions by Edelman, such as the badge fiasco, the flag ban fiasco and the total failure to understand about the negative effects of bland concrete. Those and other decisions have been extremely short-sighted and essentially shows a total lack of concern for hard-core or long-term fans. As do the positioning in our new Stadium of RedAction or the away fans. Edelman has done a great job financially well in re-financing our debts and branding but at the end of the day he' not a football man and can't relate to real fans. Neither is Lady Nina a football person at heart. Neither care the way we do, or I would suggest, understand what the Club should be all about. The rest of the board I believe do care in varying degrees but to what exact degree I have no real insight.

Like everyone who cares about the Club I'm concerned how this may effect Le Boss but unlike some others I certainly don't believe he will ever go to a Club such as Madrid where the President effectively says who they will buy. Wenger is a control freak, which has been good news for us because his control has been spot on. Other control freaks don't always get it right.

As for take-overs I'm totally with the Arsenal Supporters Trust on this one, in that on no account what-so-ever do we want a take-over that involves additional debt. We have more than enough already, although it is clearly manageable on current gates. Neither do we need a prolonged or hostile take-over. If the ownership was to be in doubt over the summer then we can guarantee that transfer activity will be curtailed until its sorted one way of the other. We don't need or want that either.

As for what's really happening behind the scenes? It might be a good idea to keep your eyes on the Online Gooner as their website has been ahead of the game this season in ownership related concerns. In three separate articles they predicted a done deal for Kroenke on the ITV shares well ahead of the game, they beat The Times to the news of his eventual share purchase from ITV and in a third article they hinted at Dein being a possible player on Kroenke's team. Who really knows what's happening, not me for sure, I can only call it as I see it.

By the way are we playing anyone particular this weekend?