The ROT started when the Arsenal Board sacked Dein!

Here we all are again biting chunks out of each other, rowing and bemoaning the abysmal performance and the state of Arsenal FC in general, as well as arguing and taking various sides regarding the “should Wenger stay- should he go” scenario. It really is a little more simple than most of us are willing to admit – and unfortunately its rather grim to consider.

The Rot starts at Board level and let me tell you why: A number of years ago David Dein, who has been vilified by some for leaving the club and planting his flag elsewhere, was forced out of the club due to the board members untenable position on Dein’s proposal to bring in Alisher Usmanov into the boardroom. Dein had a plan of having an Oligarch invest heavily in the club, well before anyone else was thinking of such a move. HOWEVER the Board, all being Old Etonian merchant banking types as well as members of the minor aristocracy clique, were solidly set against this idea – due to their (supposedly) traditional values of the club and the reluctance to sell out to “foreign investors”.

David Dein had brought Wenger into the club, and was also pivotal in bringing in a wide variety of our then stellar and now legendary signings. He was also almost singularly responsible for moving the club into a top tier contender and someone who was the architect of the club as well all saw it becoming.

And then he leaves. Because he sees the Hierarchy within the Board of Directors for what they are, and knows that they wont go the way he would like, and they see him as a jumped up non blue-blood who is shaking their steady ship with all this talk of foreign investors.

Since then we have built a stadium that the whole world has marvelled at and we have maintained a top four position within the EPL, and kept our books balanced and the corporate ship steady.

Arsene Wenger has laboured under severe financial restraints and during his tenure at the club has produced some outstanding and earth shattering results and has been frankly an absolutely brilliant manager.

But also over that period we have gradually gone backwards as a competitive team, we have sold key players and brought in replacements that are not really up to the same level. We have had some atrocious injury problems and we have had a little bit of bad luck. We have also had our major competitors regaling in “heavy foreign investment” and they have overtaken us both in the transfer market and in the universal branding of our club, along with the all important reputation in the media and with our fellow Premier League clubs.

We have tried to change the way we have played football from our initial skilled but physically imposing squad to a smaller youth driven and technically skilled players and this was implemented by Wenger, I’m sure, because of the financial restrictions imposed by the building of a new stadium.

BUT, while we were trying to compete under these circumstances, everybody else was taking the formula that Wenger implemented (and inherited) and made it their own, and we are now slipping down the table with regards to ambition, performance and presence, both in the worldwide market as a brand and as far as our reputation is concerned.

WHY IS THIS? …. Some blame Wenger and in part it is his fault, and some say that he has performed miracles and we should trust in him, and both parties are right but only halfway; the real problem is an unambitious, self serving and money orientated board of directors. They manipulate Wenger’s financial caution and keep him in the role by slyly offering him greater and greater rewards – and the prospect of competing with the big boys when FFP comes in – and yet the real agenda is to keep a manager in a role whereby he performs adequately according to their brief (in other words getting a top four spot), keeping the books balanced as far as transfers and sales are concerned, and not taking too many chances financially. Yes Wenger does love the club I am sure and he does endeavour to do all he can to keep both the Board and the fans happy. But this doesn’t fly anymore and his weaknesses are becoming more evident with each passing season. We as fans are caught in a horrible catch 22 scenario, if we see the back of AW does anyone really think that we would get a top flight manager in? NO! Anyone coming in of a high calibre would want to revamp and spend money and that is an anathema to the board, so we could end up with another yes man who doesn’t have the skills or experience to get CL football each year, or we stay with Wenger and NOTHING will change.

My point is after this long winded history lesson is that while we blame the manager, the players and even each other, the real culprits are the moneyed toffee-nosed shadowy men up in the wood panelled board room who sacked Dave Dein, simply because he wanted to bring in an Oligarch. Instead the Board brought in an American who has NO idea about the culture and history of the club, and is no less foreign than the Uzbekistani who they baulked at. A man who sold off our key players over many season and did not lay out the money to replace them; who allowed a manager to take us to a peak position and then cut off his funds, because they implemented a plan for a new stadium without taking into account the hardships the club would go through; and who continues to charge the highest prices in the european areas for tickets but does not advocate spending the asking prices for players that could really push the club into the elite Pantheon of European football,

This from a board who boasted of £100,000,000 to spend last summer and didn’t !!!! Who “didn’t want to sell to foreign investors” but jumped at the chance of bringing in Silent Stan who cares less about football than he does about the length of his toenails! Its all smoke and mirrors, and although Wenger is to blame for a certain degree of it, the real culprits are sitting in the board room. Until the attitude or the personnel change upstairs then nothing will change on the field.

But be careful what you wish for Gooners .


Tags Arsenal board Dein Wenger


  1. We want and need dein back asap, plus usmanov must come on board. Then they will decide whether wenger is still the right man or not. Those guys put arsenal first and they care about us (fans).

    1. Wenger, Gazidis and Kroenke got the most brilliant business for ripping off money from us fans. They have enough power in the club to disallow any change that would destabilize or lower their income from the club. All about the money, no sportsrelated ambition.

      It aint even Wengers fault – he’s shown that he can provide a steady income (4th in PL and first knockout stage in CL), and for that he is given a very good salary to manage to do this with the lowest amount of money possible, so that he can tolerate the humilliation.

      I wish Usmanov owned the majority of the club. He might be one of russias most criminal billionaires, but at least he has shares in Arsenal due to his love for the club, not financial reasons – unlike Kroenke, whom cannot have any interest in football whatsoever

      1. this topic shows how ignorant Arsenal fans actually are, Dein left 10 years ago, who cares about “the rot”, we need solution not explanation of something that we all know!!! never mind

  2. Well the negatives of sacking of Dein could have been neutralized by positives of sacking of Wenger. *grabs popcorn*

  3. We have a board who has made grand errors that have been to the detriment of AFC and seem to be only interested in their best interests (not unusual for business broker types). If only Dein was able to persuade them to bring in Usamov we could have had a very different recent history over the last 10 years.

    With Dein we had a true Arsenal man who wanted to see his team sitting at the top of the football tree and who was instrumental in bringing top players to AFC.

    Today under an American business man who could not give a flying f@ck about football or AFC we are slowly rotting.

    You only have to go to the Emirates and witness the sterile and corporate environment ingrained there. From the managers chair, to the bench to the players to the fans..there is calm….(tumbleweed). No passion, no direction, no fight. This mentality instilled by Wenger permeates throughout his team who are left to do what they want and is a reflection of the corporate hand of Kroenke.

    Stewards instruct you to sit down there if your being to vocal! The Emirates is a football ground last time I looked where fans should be permitted to express themselves either in a positive or negative fashion.

    Monaco away fans had a lovely time there as do most away fans as the Emirates is not an intimidating place. Without a North bank where local men/women can stand and ‘inspire ‘ their team as well as intimidate the away fans there is a corporate entertainment theatre, sterile and without passion. Now think of Galatassaray’s ground and the atmosphere generated there!!!

    The Emirates became one of the main reasons as well as Deins inability to get in Usamov why we could not compete for 10 years. Now as I say we have one of the most expensive theatres in sport devoid of atmosphere and where visiting teams and fans alike have no trepidation in relation to their visit.

    And this Calm & corporate malaise emits from two sources: Wenger & Kroenke.

    Until they are gone, things will continue this way. Yes we may win against a top tier team occasionally or string 8-10 wins on the trot together, or even bag the FA cup again. We may buy a big name again in the summer that will temporarily get our hopes up as before..But we, under their stewardship will never be serious contenders for the PL or UCL.

    We need a manager capable of motivating and directing his players and a oligarch who cares about the club and is willing to invest for its future success ‘on’ the football pitch..and not for a stadium that surrounds it.

    Highbury did not die for this! The excuses have run dry.


    1. Fully support this comment, I am just as disappointed in the atmosphere as I am the result on wed, how do we get our club back

      1. By making our voice heard.

        If you are unhappy with the way things are you have to make some sacrifice to change them..some effort is required.

        1. fans Stop going to matches. Hard to do
        As as we know there are plenty that
        Are happy with the status quo.

        2. Attend matches and voice your
        disprovel. Inside and out (especially
        Outside as the Emirates corporate
        Brown shirts won’t if they find them
        Allow banners inside).

        How to get around this: get a small
        banner that is small enough to be
        wrapped up and put down your
        trousers without making you look
        Like king dong. Otherwise wrap
        It round your waste. Then unfurl in
        The ground.

        It may be taken from you but it would
        Have seen the light of day. Do this is
        numbers and This will eventually get
        Noticed by the board, manager and

        Outside the ground, unfurl larger
        protest banners. Maybe not right
        outside as the corporate cops will
        Be on hand but as near as possible.

        Don’t swear (if at all possible) or be
        Violent and get your point across.
        Relating to this sing chants in unison.

        3. Use social media (FBook, Twitter etc)
        to share your sustain for the current
        State of things at AFC.

        Now , people who do not want things to change will tell you it will be negative for the teams performances and future which is untrue. Our issue is with the board and Wenger and our efforts should be directed at them. The players are paid to do their jobs and will collect their pay packets regardless. If they move on, they move on.

        Arsenal Football Club will remain long after the current crop of players, manager and current Board or here so let’s do our best to ensure we do our bit to try to ensure a rosier future. By this I mean a ‘winning’ entity that is at the top of its game and that has asuccesses on the field that rival the financial ones on the book sheet.

        Kroenke, Wenger & the board (and the media/public relation hype) will depend on you doing nothing, sweet FA.

        Don’t make them right!


          1. yes mate you would.

            That’s exactly What they expect. People like you (not even in the country, let alone London and let alone North London) telling fans like me that we can’t change things.

            Look elsewhere in sport and history in general and you will see different!

            Laugh your arse off while Wenger and the board keeps repeatedly putting their d1cks in it.


            1. @arseovertit
              Football to me is purely entertainment. The same as this forum. What the AFC board and AW decide to do with AFC is theirs to do as far as I’m concerned. I will still support and follow them regardless, because I like their form of entertainment.

              If you felt so strong about the words you write here, then you would direct it where it matters and at the people directly responsible for your bitterness and feelings of impotence.
              I am not one of them.
              Until then. Like I stated before, “Good luck with that.”

              1. And how do you know I do not direct it at those that count?

                For me AFC is more than entertainment so it means more to me than you. I grew up in Highbury, ny father took was an avid fan who took me as a young boy to their games and talked everyday about them. I played football over the park most days dreaming to be one of them.

                So, clearly our perspective differs!
                I have a voice and I do use it to show my discontent and you nor any Other arm chair fan is ever gonna tell me different.

                You seem similar in some ways to Kroenke in your blasé approach to AFC.

                Anyway, Enjoy the soccer!

    2. When you people will understand that Wenger is a club employee doing exactly what his bosses are saying. We need fresh air? Of course we do. Do you see board firing Wenger soon? They just announced 11 mil profit for the first half year only. Profit! When we already spent somewhere around 80 mils on players only.
      Now, why would Wenger leave if he’s under no pressure from the directors? Just because his career goes down rapidly? We all know that in football there are no two games alike, today you are blamed, tomorrow you are a hero.
      The day club will making loses based on the results that’ll be the day they will sack Wenger. And trust me, if they sack him then they still owe him the salary. I hate the fact that we don’t see what goals the board is issuing Wenger. If they tell him, ok, I need that much amount of money and that profit then of course he’s reaching them goals. If there’s no trophy involved (which I doubt) then you can see why this is secondary for them. You always hear, our goal si yo play well. WTF is that? Of course you want but win something because no one remembers how good you played if there’s no recording anywhere.

      1. Your right.
        Wenger will not be sacked (yet)
        But he may well be persuaded to move up or away for a congenial and mutually beneficial ending.

        In the meantime, fans who don’t want this to continue must make their voice heard to help in whatever small way bring the process to its inevitable conclusion.

  4. I could not agree more re Dein… He once told me at a meeting I was at that he would one day return to Arsenal board……BUT that was a few years ago now and time is running out

    Kronke is a large problem for us…he is just not interested in Arsenal as Dein & Usmanov are; he ‘collects’ sports clubs, he is the same with the clubs he owns in the US, he buys them puts a manager in then sits back and collects ..

    Usmanov is at least an Arsenal fan…he comes to the games, he has offered to buy players for us, I think Kronke only attended 2 games last season !!!

    Our scouting policy has been awful since Dein left……have we left it all too late though?

    1. Never too late. I hope they are someone like them will be injected back into this sleeping giant of ours.

  5. I red in another piece that Wenger will get fired if he continues this routes… Just to show how clueless some fans are.

    Get fired!
    It will NEVER happen, unless he fires himself…
    England is the only country in the world rating Arsène Wenger. In France he is not recognised as one of the great and most of the time criticised by his obvious lack of results and trophies… But, still he is in position at Arsenal and you will have some pundits (well when you go as low as recruiting Robbie Savage as a pundit, you wonder why people think BT is seemingly a joke) telling you is a football brain…!!!
    Why do you think Mourinho is calling him out when he has a chance? Because he knows the situation is not NORMAL when we talk about football… A manager who has won f*ck all for years and never grab a CL trophy.
    Arsenal top club?
    There is a big difference. Arsenal is a big club due his fan base and financial strength (which is vague), but as far as being a top club… NOT EVEN NEAR!
    We cannot compete with the best… As a matter of fact we cannot compete with anybody…!!
    We will get the odd result and may be qualify for the CL next season.
    We might also won the FA cup and those deluded fans will still be running behind the bus like mugs screaming “we are winning the CL next”… Yeah right delusional ***s”.
    Not surprised they keep increasing ticket prices, because they can do it unopposed… Some fans are so dumb they will pay anything to watch that crap and get behind the “fake” manager.
    Personally, it is a 2 years wait and hopefully we will get a proper coach not another suit with no tactical flair and trembling with arrogance and lies.

    As far as Dein is concerned, I guess he saw the fall coming as soon as Kroenke took charge (like an American knows sh*t about football… Have watch the MLS? That is not football, that is something else!!). He relied on Usmanov to be the new chairman, but it was without counting on Lady …. (Forgot about the b*tch name) who sold her shares to Kroenke and ended regretting it (stup*d woman).

    This is where we are now and a take over will cost a lot for a next potential chairman… I don’t think anybody wants the hassles.

    Wenger will some kind of technical director later on and WILL not facilitate the next manager duty.

    Believe me, we are far from being finished with this guy… Far from it.

  6. Over the past ten years Arsenal
    has struggled to compete with Chelsea
    Utd and City. The question is why?
    I think there are a combination of reasons.
    I think Chelsea and City came with finances beyond us.
    Man U because of the clubs popularity could compete financially
    and in Ferguson they had a super manager.
    Arsenal built a new and expensive stadium
    But Arsenal still wasted mega millions on rubbish signings
    and sold too many of our best players.
    I think also for 5 years Arsenal lived off the achevements
    of the Invincibles oblvious to the clubs slide.
    Somewhere along the line a 4th place sustainable model kicked in
    whereby winning trophies was seen to be financially impossible
    in fact dangerous so top 4 was deemed to be the safe pathway.
    So the glorious invincible arrogance has over ten years
    evolved into a 10 year 4th place neutral zone.
    The AKB’s rejoice in the safe zone the AOB’s are appalled.
    Are we any closer to winning the EPL again or the EPL for the first time?
    Every summer we are promised a new dawn but by
    seasons end the sun sets on our EPL and ECL dreams.
    The sun is starting to set on our EPL and ECL chances this season.
    But next season dear reader ….. sigh.

    1. Fair summation there. It does however suggest a bizarre irony – many of the angry boys on here would be far happier now if Wenger’s first 8 years never happened and Arsene Who never turned up on our doorstep in 1996. We had won the 1st division 3 times in the 40 years prior to Wenger with 16 and 18 year gaps between 2 of them. We were also not on the radar of any richest club list. The demands would be far less now. Every reason to believe we would have muddled through the last 20 years in Tottenham or Newcastle or Villa mode, use up and dispose of 10 managers in the search for the Holy Grail of an occasional cup and a Europa League finish. In common with sections of fans at most clubs they want to have their cake and eat it as well as f$*king the baker. Wenger will be gone in the near future, the great cycle of sport will turn once more and we will find new things to angst and cry over.

  7. list of truths about board/wenger
    1. they have successfully help navigate the club through its most exspensive era in the modern game ie stadium and other things name me another board that could do that without more debt and loans to keep successful chelski and city still keep taking loans from there owners to this day.
    2. the financail geniuses on the board with there financial know-how have help secure the clubs long term future by turning the loans in to very sustainable long term low intrest rate bonds thus making sure we survive for the long run off our own back (good for them).
    3 . 4th place is the minimal we go for wenger has been quoted as saying time and time again so we are targeting higher places that unless he is a compulsive lair, plus we need the minimal financial reward it brings to keep paying the gross debt off.
    4.the board does still have massive financial obligations still to meet with the gross debt still outstanding at £233 million, and it unfortunate because we run self sustaining model we will only pay it off when the bonds mature.
    5. they never take and dividends or massive payments for themselves personally so the club gets the majority of the money it makes, and kronke just lets the club run as it runs. its up to the ceo and and wenger to make sure results on the pitch are as good as of it the board does its part to make sure we run stability but the football side needs to catch up and take us forward.

    the board has done all it can to take the club forward it is spending on the academy infrastructure and medical facilities, so it does all it can to ensure the our beloved club keeps going til the end. that does not sound much like a greedy selfish money obsessed
    board to me, unless what the club feeds us is lies then its up to us to believe what we want after that. i want to believe that the board tries to right by the club and not to harm it. coyg

  8. The Truth?? My discussion with Wenger

    Wenger gets sent off at Old Trafford and iconically stands infront of the Man U fans saying where do you want me to go.
    Another time Wenger, out of reason to have a solid argument, is left to only shove Mourinho.

    Is it proud and arrogance that blinds you?? You could of brought back a versatile Fabregas (could you imagine Fabregas, Ozil, Sanchez??) which would mean more so a player who could play in a deeper role. On the flip side, Wenger would say he has Ramsay, Wilshire, Arteta, Flamini…however I would argue where were they against Monaco??

    But Wenger said to me, look I wanted to keep Sagna and Vermaluem what can I do, I have to respect when they want to go…we move on.

    We still have players I feel are not to the standard required for competing. Chelsea have a small squad in comparison to Man City but they have top quality in the roles. We have to have a larger squad because we need to cover the injuries, but we can’t do so to the extent of City…so where are we on this front? I know sorting out the injuries is key, but should we not remove the last of the wood that has become dead? Mertisacker, Arteta, Flamini, Monreal, Poldoski?

    Wenger looks at me and says…I didn’t see it!!!

    1. Fair comment but if you genuinely think Fabregas, Sagna and Vermaelen would be the answer to our predicament you are asking the wrong question. If I could “nick” one Chelsea player for us to improve our team there are at least six I would take before Fabregas; Courtois, Cahill, Azpilicueta, Matic, Hazard and Costa for starters.

  9. It was also the fact that Usmanov and Dein thought that moving Arsenal to Wembley was the right move, not Drayton Park.

    It still mystifies me why we had to have any overall owner at all – I’m sure Lady Bracewell-Smith could’ve sold her shares to other third parties, so that no one had an overall majority – the AST seems to hoover up any shares going…. Kronke has more of a negative than a positive impact on us in terms of money.

    Dein was fantastic at recruiting the best players, and even if Wenger was as good, he simply has too much responsibility and cannot cope. No other club in the EPL has one man controlling everything, in fact the trend seems to be to diversify responsibilities even more, with positive effect – look at West Ham for example.

    Theoretically all clubs are equal now in terms of money, having to depend largely on the money the club makes, however the oil clubs have secured their places by pumping in all their money before FFP took hold, something Arsenal could’ve done had Usmanov come in place of Kronke, and the undeniable truth is they now have a head start on us in every race, unless they invest unwisely.

  10. With Kroneke having the most shares we are stuck. Only way is for some billionaire to offer an amazing amount for Kroneke’s shares and buy him out. However, this is unlikely because Kroneke is professional shareholder in sports teams. He loves this stuff

    Rumours are that Wenger Has a £50 million war chest. Not really enough to buy both a Top striker AND a top DM. Wenger also always spends money on youth players, probably need also a young LB. I think we also need another top quality Defender like Hummels, Howedes, Ramos. Verane, Godin, Clyne etc

  11. DEIN?…Yes, that would be about right, he`s the piece that`s been missing but eh!, Wenger chose not to appoint another director of football saying he could manage both jobs himself, truth is he can`t.

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors