If Dein was still at Arsenal, Zaha would already be our player

Compare Dein With Kroenke? by Dan Smith

Our interest in Zaha brings up natural comparisons with Ian Wright, which will only increase if the transfer happens. Both at the same age of 27 found themselves Crystal Palace legends yet saw a chance to play for Arsenal as a ‘Dream’.

This is, so far, how this summer’s saga has reportedly unfolded. We made a 40 million bid, knowing full well it would be rejected but with the hope it would unsettle the player. The Eagles made their anger public knowledge.

The winger’s brother is doing the talking for his sibling while he’s away at The Cup of Nations, while the man himself has put out a cryptic tweet. Meanwhile at the Emirates, they might be prepared to increase the offer to 70m or throw in a few squad players. There’s still another month of these mind games left.

Now let’s compare how our then Chairmen David Dein negotiated with Palace owner at the time, Don Howe….

Dein, told us; ‘I had to be careful because Ron knew the value, so I rang and said ‘well Ron, I think I might be interested in one of your strikers.’
He said: ‘Well who?’.
I said: “Well… Mark Bright or Ian Wright (but we really wanted Ian.)
He said: “No there is no price.”
I said: “Well …. just give me a figure?”
He said …. “two and a half million?”
So, there was a pause, …… then I said “Don, I’m offering you two and a half million and I know you’re a man of your word.”
He said: “Okay David – done!
To his credit we did the deal.

Imagine that, two businessmen not spending months haggling over every last pound, just being upright and honest and talking like men. Both out of the good for their clubs. Dein, because he loved us enough, he knew it would better the team. Howe, because in his own words he viewed all players as ‘stock’, and an asset was getting to an age where his value would go down.

The idea of Stan Kroenke picking up the phone to get this deal sorted with Steve Parrish is unthinkable.

While waiting for the offer to be made official, Howe wrote in his book of Wrighty coming over to his house, crying in his kitchen, pleading for his release because he knew it would better him and his family. Years before social media, can you envisage a player popping round his boss’s house and laying his cards on the table? The best you get in 2019 is his agent might make an appointment.

Wright actually played 4 more games for Palace then Arsenal but few talk as proudly about wearing the Red and White than him. Something tells me if Mr Dein was in our boardroom, Zaha would a gunner by now. Maybe Dein is the capture we could and should make?

Dan Smith


  1. What exactly was Dein thinking before he left our beloved club. Biggest mistake in history

    1. You clearly have no idea about what shenanigans went on back in 2007. Dein was ousted by a number of traitorous directors ganging up on him but chiefly by Fitzman, a former friend, who betrayed Dein, in fact over money and power, though a lot of lies were put about at that time. The loss of DD was a catastrophe for us from which we have never recovered. It continues to haunt us to this day and was the single worst decision taken since the war, up til the sale of shares to Kroenke. Wengers vast decline began the day Dein left.

        1. jon and towny, as stated the machinations behind the undermining of David Dein and his exile from this Club is one of the darkest days in Arsenal’s history. Arsenal have paid for this for every season since.
          I don’t believe Don Howe was at Crystal Palace at that time, but he was a fantastic coach at the Arsenal, who mentored many great players.

  2. It is no mistake our barren years started when Dein was pushed out by our dwindling out of touch boardroom. The man had (possibly still has) that midas touch. I’m not ashamed to say David Dein was and still is our other ‘Mr Arsenal’.

    1. Shame “Mr Arsenal” was one on the main culprits in bringing Satan Kroenke to The Arsenal. 🙁

      1. Yes, David Dein was not perfect, but who is? He obviously never believed he would gain control by gaining a controlling interest.
        The question I have never understood is how Usmanov with a 30% shareholding was denied a place on the board. Usmanov was willing to invest, but was stopped by the Board.

  3. I agree with your statement 100%, David Dein did not mess around with transfers, he just got on with the job and got deals done, since he left our club our transfer policy has been shambolic, you had Dick Law talking about how the Suarez deal was not what we thought it was when we bid, and after reading what happened in that transfer I still thought it was disgraceful how we approached it, and to this day still can’t get it right, even getting the Tierney transfer over the line is drawn out and he is cheap in this day and age, and Zaha don’t get me started on that we are taking the mick with that bid…. And if we did not have money why are we bidding for 2 players which will likely cost 70 to 85mil, plus we bought Martinelli for 6mil, and our budget is supposedly 45mil, If this was poker we would give away our poker face straight away!! But yeah enjoyed the post ??

  4. I think we haven’t got any marquee signing yet because of our salary structure

    Popular player like Zaha would most likely want a huge pay and Arsenal cannot increase their wage bill substantially due to the FFP. If we can ship Ozil out, I believe we can get a 50+ M player

    Besides, we have got right-footed attackers like Zaha. Such as Aubameyang, Lacazette, Iwobi and Nelson

  5. Simple, Dein loved Arsenal and cared about the badge, it’s not complicated.

    Love or hate Wenger, he loves the club and badge.

    Can the same be said for Kronke? Raul? Any in the current management?

    How many in management or ownership put the club before themselves?

    Mystery solved.

    1. DURAND, if , as you say, wenger, loved the club, then why did he not leave before he was pushed out. in doing so he would have `held his high esteem in which he was regarded. but , he chose to sit on his laurels,and bring our club to its knees.does not sound like somebody who loves the club, dont you think ?.i will always be grateful to him for what he done for us between 1996 and 2006,he was a magician, we all know that . unfortunately, he he became complacent and did not keep up with the changing face of football. many people on here live in the past, but i believe football is one of those games that must be played in the here and now.

      1. Fair comments are I can’t argue with the results that followed.

        I would only put forth that perhaps Wenger thought he could fix our problems. We were in CL for 20 straight years, no mean feat, although the titled eluded him and us.

        Ken1945 has convinced me that all was not as it seemed under Wenger. How much blame does Gazidis bear? We are starting to see. How much blame for Kronke? Hiring new management but continuing the same amateurish behavior is yeilding same poor results.

        Wenger played his part in our regression, and should have done more I feel. Would love to have seen him put his foot down and DEMAND Kronke have ambition and invest, or he would not sign contract to continue managing.

        Alas it never happened, complacency set in, reinforced by owner’s lack of ambition, and provided the ingredients for our recipe of disaster.

        This started with Kronke and continues with him as well. We could reincarnate the Invincibles, and Kronke would find an excuse to sell them off all over again.

          1. Durand and Gerry, my main complaint about Arsene Wenger was that, given the substantial status he had earned at Arsenal, he didn’t stand up publicly and was an apologist for Kroenke and the Board.

  6. Read somewhere Kronke could inject £80 million into club without violating FFP.

    I apologize for not remembering the source or not quoting anyone, but I am curious enough that I post the question.

  7. You bash Kroenke by praising the business acumen of the man who brought Kroenke to the club?

    1. That doesn’t make him responsible for Kroenke’s poor treatment of the club. Only Kroenke is responsible for that.

      1. Correct and you are right to put the silly Paul, whose post is above your own, in his place.

  8. Comparing Dein and Kroenke is like comparing apples and bananas. Dein was never a majority shareholder and had a day-to-day involvement in the running of the club. So Dein might better be compared to the guy who replaced him in running the club, Ivan Gazidis.

    Keep in mind, as well, that one of the major “irreconcilable differences” between Dein and the board which led to his departure was that Dein was an advocate for a takeover of the club by Kroenke, while the rest of the board opposed it. Had Dein had his way, Kroenke would have controlled the club sooner and if Dein were still at Arsenal it would be with Kroenke as the owner.

      But , as you say, Dein should be compared to Gazidis in the role he played, not to Kroenke. Dein was and is in love with AFC. Gazidis only with himself!

      1. Dein had 42% stake in 1991……………instead of selling a lot to Fiszman, maybe he should have held on to them !……….who knows what position he would have been in if he had bought more shares instead ?

      2. Dein worked WITH Usmanov when he saw the true Satan Kroenke. Hunting and animal murder channel anybody?

  9. Sorry to go off topic but I’ve just heard Mike Riley is not going to adopt the European version of VAR but has decided to have his own version. Handball for example is still going to be in the hands of our incompetent referees also most incidents in the penalty area. This is obviously so this corrupt official along with our refs can help out the teams who they like. What a disgraceful decision.

    1. Riley not wanting to relinquish power or control, no surprise there.

      He’s an embarrassment to the honest refs out there, a real shame.

  10. I’m sure Kronke told Dein the same stadium lie he told us fans. Dein believed the increased revenue would keep Arsenal at the top and competing with the best.

    Perhaps he was fooled like millions and millions of fans were fooled. Did any of us invision Kronke turning Arsenal into a bank?

    Highbury was Camelot compared to the Emirates age. Back when Wenger was King Arthur, and Dein his Merlin.

    Now it’s “A Christmas Carol” and Scrooge has taken over.

      1. Durand, thank you for a classic analogy. We can only wish that Kroenke is visited by the three ghosts, particularly the vision of “Christmas future”!

  11. David Dein was a true Arsenal supporter. Vinai Venkatesham, Raul Sanllehi, Satan Kroenke are not Arsenal supporters. They are just jobswothies and portfolio men. It is unacceptable. How come we let this happen?

      1. Of course fans have a say they just stop buying season tickets for one season then let’s see how kronke reacts

        1. And the people on the waiting list take their places. How often does this have to be stated?
          Not attending games or not buying merchandise is one thing; going to the back of the queue is another.

          1. Excellently put Ozziegunner. How many times have we heard this from non season ticket holders. Give up your ST for one season and then just poodle down to the Emirates the following season and buy another. Sorry but if you’re true Arsenal supporters you would know that there’s now, reportedly, 100,000 on the waiting list

        2. There are millions of gunners around the world,I’d like to think we could come up with something better than the same old not buying shirts or season tickets when we all know it will not work for the reasons stated above by Kenny!

  12. I don’t know how you can compare the 2 situations, first of all we’re talking about 2,5 millions and back then the revenues weren’t the same,palace had to count every penny,no longer the case we all know how much money every pl club makes, secondly they have already made 50M by selling a player who came through the youth ranks so don’t need the money then Steve parish is looking for new buyers/owners and selling their biggest asset could jeopardize the all thing,and don’t forget our budget and like it or not arsenal as a club is not what it used to be so there is no comparisons!

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