One Man Team Are Out

“The young boy (Rafael) showed a bit of inexperience but they got him sent off, everyone ran towards the referee – typical Germans.” Alex Ferguson speaking after Manchester United had been knocked out of the Champions League by Bayern Munich.

“When an Italian tells me it’s pasta, I check under the sauce to make sure.” Alex Ferguson before Manchester United played Inter Milan in the Champions League quarter-final 1999.

Gary Neville lacks class but so does Alex Ferguson. The man is a sore loser and cannot admit that his team lost to the better team. Instead, he attacks officials or opposition players and coaches.

Manchester United have to win the Premier League this season, otherwise the Glazers will face a massive backlash from fans. Darron Gibson is not Cristiano Ronaldo and the 30 million spent on Berbatov could have kept Tevez at the club. I know which player I would rather have in my team.

United fans will point to Arsenal having won nothing for the past five seasons rather than the $77 million annual debt payment the Glazers have to pay. Ferguson cannot afford to sign an expensive big name flop. But the fans will demand a big name signing if they fail to win the Premier League, otherwise the Glazers will feel their anger.

Tensions are already high at Manchester United. Police are now using tactics at Old Trafford to suppress fans protests. Anti-Glazer banners have been confiscated, the official explanation being that they block the view of other supporters. There’s also an increased police presence at home games, with officers standing in the aisles of the Stretford End – where United’s most vociferous supporters sit – to dilute any potential trouble. There is no relationship between the Glazers and the fans. Instead, the atmosphere at Old Trafford is akin to that of a police state.

The Glazers are safe as long as Ferguson continues to win the major trophies. But when the trophies dry up, the campaign to drive the Glazers out will only intensify.

Arsenal also face off the field issues regarding it’s ownership. American Stan Kroenke has until Monday to decide what he’s going to do with his 40% stake in the St. Louis Rams American Football Team. Kroenke is 10 shares away from owning 30% of Arsenal Football Club – a threshold where he will have to make an offer for the remaining shares.

On Monday Kroenke can either:

1) Accept the $300 million buyout from pending new owner Shahid Khan.

2) Elect to keep his 40% stake

3) Exercise his right of first refusal and match Khan’s bid for the 60% shares of the Rams that he doesn’t own.

Option number 3 is highly unlikely since the NFL has rules banning the cross-ownership in other major sports in the same market they compete. Kroenke owns NBA and NHL franchises in the Denver Nuggets and Avalanche respectively.

Which leaves Kroenke with options one or two.

Kroenke’s decision on Monday will probably not affect his decision making with regards to his ownership issue of Arsenal. If he chooses option one, it does not mean that he is going to make a take-over bid just because he suddenly has $300 million. Likewise, taking option two, does not necessarily mean that he will refrain from a takeover bid either.

According to Forbes, Kroenke is worth $2.7 billion. He therefore has plenty of money and resources to buy Arsenal without being relieved of his stake in the Rams. Therefore, Kroenke’s decision on Monday may not have the domino effect that most people are predicting.

Keep It Arsenal

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