• Arsenal Message Board

  • fred j fred j Jul 22, 2007 19:21 Flag

    Is Arsenal MD, Keith Edelman right?

    Arsenal MD issues investment warning
    Sun 22 Jul, 11:45 AM


    Arsenal fans have been warned that any overseas investor will attempt to take more money out of the club than they put in.With speculation mounting that American billionaire Stan Kroenke is set to launch a takeover bid, Gunners managing director Keith Edelman reiterated the board's opposition to such a move.

    Kroenke, who currently owns just over 12% of the club's parent company, is thought to be keen increase his financial involvement.

    He could yet face competition from Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone, who has links to ousted Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein and who yesterday refused to rule out the possibility of a takeover.

    Edelman insists the board "welcome" Kroenke as a shareholder but added on Arsenal.com: "That is the beginning and the end of the story at this juncture.

    "I think the current shareholders have committed themselves to the club and believe in the club.

    "You see talk about Arsenal needing a billionaire owner to put more money into the club but [manager] Arsene [Wenger] has always said, and the board also believe, that a football club can only really be run from the revenues that it generates itself over the long term.

    "If you look at some of the other clubs with billionaire owners, their debts are mounting up.

    "Anybody who invests in a club, particularly from overseas, who maybe doesn't love the club the way our shareholders do - and they do buy in to Arsenal more out of the love than financial return - will be looking for financial returns in the short, medium or long term.

    "And if someone is looking for financial returns, they will in the long term take more money out of the club than they put in.

    "The only exception we have seen is Roman Abramovich at Chelsea who has invested significant funds in the club over a number of years. But even they are - if you read what the Chelsea executives and Abramovich are saying - looking to balance their books over the long term."

    Edelman claims this philosophy is what separates the current board from would-be investors.

    "Our current shareholders have been incredibly generous with the club and haven't taken a dividend for very many years," he said.

    "I just want to make sure that fans really do understand that if a billionaire buys any club in the country, it doesn't automatically mean that they're going to have success or be able to invest further sums in the squads.

    "What is really important is that the business runs from the funds that it generates itself. Part of my job is to make sure that we generate the maximum amount of revenue that we can so that we can invest in the squad.

    "I think the Arsenal board also take the fans into consideration. If we were a normal business and we balanced the demand we have against the supply we've got then we would have increased our ticket prices substantially on the basis that we could easily fill the stadium with a price increase of five, or even 10%.

    "The board recognises the loyalty and the commitment of fans though and reflect that in the prices we charge. As such, we have frozen prices this season."

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    • You know, I don't disagree completely with what you've said, but this season will reveal a lot on many fronts.

      I personally am finding it diffcult to be patient because I think it will not go as well as others seem to, and then the kind of discussions that some who lean towards the dissatisfied group will be had by all at that point.

      However, through experience of watching some strange things happen in football, I could well be eating my hat and marvelling at the next European Champions at the Emirates, and all the big spenders having disasters.

      I just don't see that happening, but you never know, so I will have to bite my lip and reserve judgement until then.

      Swerve

    • How do you make out that the 100 million Fitzman shares sell would have gone into a transfer fund??
      The guy will pay capital gains tax IF he sold before his Swiss residncy cuts in. I guess you would do the same...why pay the taxman if you can avoid it!/So there is no way that Fitzmans money would go in a "transfer fund",wether he sales or keeps his shares.
      The statament by the Arsenal spokesman relating to a complete buyout is obvious.Fitzman said some months ago that there is no way any reasonable percentage profit can be made when 700 million is invested...so since a buisnessman is looking for profit, only a billionaire is likly to want to buy for "his pleasure "only...and there aint many of them about.....maybee HRH might???
      It seems (and I dont disagree) that the board are set against an outright sale. The hugh ammounts of money being spent by other premiership clubs SHOULD give their teams an increased performance...but not nessesarily so. Our team aint bad as it is.Yes they will have to start putting away the thousands of chances they produce...that was the only thing lacking last season..so lets hope they have taken this on board.

    • I personally agree with him and I have tried to make the same point before. These investors are for the profit and nothing to do with love for the club. They tend to take out huge loans thereby putting the club in debt. Man U was the richest club in the world, if I am not mistaken, until they were put into huge debts by new investors. So, it is only right that the board take a close look at these cases and learn from them.

      I know Wenger always publicly insisted on English ownership hence the surprise in learning he supported Dein's position. Could this just have been media speculation because he was close to DD? Could Wenger privately be on the side of the board. Would he enjoy the job as much if he buys names rather develop them?