Wednesday, 18 April 2007

A Tale Of Corruption, Chaos And Greed

It had appeared that the final ignominy of the 2006/07 season arrived for Arsène Wenger when some of the Emirates faithful started booing Arsenal early in the second half of last night's match against Manchester City. Not so... Today, the Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein has left the club with immediate effect.
Only three months ago, the Gooners reserves wiped out Liverpool 6-3 in a Busby Babes-esque performance but the constant institutional friction against their interests has turned around the fickle ones inside the ground. Such fans evidently possess more money than sense. The determined undermining of Arsenal on the pitch has been parallelled by the destabilisation caused by Stan Kroenke and his KSE Group in the boardroom.
The final irony is that last night's victory enabled Arsenal to virtually assure Champions League participation for next season - in the light of the machinations against them over the season, this represents the highest plateau of achievement available.
Historically, Arsenal have always been a power team in English football which is why this season's reversal has been so marked. By the time Wenger decided to call it a day in the Premiership title race, Arsenal had been unjustly targeted to the tune of 15 points over the season while biased refereeing and "random" FA Cup draws had sorted that particular competition out. The turning point came after Howard Webb's ineffective handling of the League Cup Final had prevented the occurrence of anything magical. The aftermath represented not only Arsène Wenger's third disciplinary of the season but also the turning point in the PGMOB machinations against Arsenal. Our assessment is that the necessary short term institutional targets had been achieved and so, recently, Arsenal's route to Europe has been paved with favourable officiating.
Our Trading Team have creatively modelled the corruption against Arsenal this season. In real-time, we monitor and assess all Premiership referees and the configurative parameters in our Unified Trading Model (UTM) relating to both the psychologies and the behaviours of officials are highly robust. Many of our conclusions relevant to the anti-Arsenal manipulation are too close to our proprietary core for public discussion but two areas that we are happy to cover here are the biases of the PGMOB officials and the impact of private equity money.
Hierarchically, Arsenal are in a state of flux. It is obvious that there are conflicting dynamics and hidden strategies relating to Arsenal's future ownership within the upper echelons of the club. Personal prioritisation versus organisational prioritisation is a complex playing field. The fault lines that already exist will be exploited by Stan Kroenke and the inevitable resultant momentum is the logical force that makes private equity so powerful. The market system is so structured as to lubricate this process. This internal upheaval within the club is coinciding with major infrastructural changes generally in English and European football. Strategies must be developed that accommodate this backcloth.
David Dein and Arsène Wenger were in the process of preparing Arsenal's Five Year Plan. Now that Dein has departed, there are still some key strategic choices that need to be made here. Arsenal have always exercised their power within the games infrastructure but they do not get involved in the global football betting markets. It is this, as we have shown in numerous other posts, where considerable revenue flows are being pencilled in by the private equity brigade at other leading clubs. Arsenal have two clear strategic choices. The first route is to sell out to the highest private equity bidder allowing Fiszman and Lady Bracewell-Smith to collect their millions while the club plummets into the gutter at the lowest common denominator level of business. Alternatively, Arsenal might choose not to sell out to the degree that Liverpool, Manchester United, Aston Villa and Portsmouth have. Arsenal might decide to confront the corruption against their interests by creatively involving themselves in the financial markets without having to undertake anything so grubby as betting. After all, there are many ways to influence a market. We hope that Arsenal choose the more creative and moral route with respect to the markets. As the club have discovered this season, chaos moves in mysterious ways.
At least two aspects will remain a constant under Wenger's tutelage. We would expect that Arsenal continue to develop the most entertaining and talented global youngsters and we would expect Arsenal to remain a team of style and flair.

Some previous posts on Arsenal at Football is Fixed are listed below: