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The Peter Hill-Wood Thread

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The Arsenal chairman, Peter Hill-Wood, has staunchly defended the running of the club against the vitriolic criticism levelled against the board by the 30% owner, the Uzbek billionaire Alisher Usmanov. Hill-Wood maintained that Arsenal's policy of spending only what they earn is correct, as is the stance that the American majority owner Stan Kroenke, and former shareholders such as Hill-Wood who made millions selling their shares to Kroenke, should not be expected to put money into the club. Hill-Wood described Usmanov's attack on this approach, which Arsenal call a self-financing model, as "not at all helpful".

The chairman, who made £5.5m selling his shares to Kroenke, said the club provides Arsène Wenger with as much money as possible for players, but cannot compete with Manchester City's Abu Dhabi-backed wealth. At the end of a week in which Arsenal's captain, Robin van Persie, announced he will not sign a new contract, citing a lack of ambition for success, Hill-Wood said: "We don't have the same oil wealth that [City's owner] Sheikh Mansour has. He is prepared to pay astronomical figures for players; we cannot pay that sort of money, and we can't compete."

In his open letter to Arsenal's board on Thursday, Usmanov was scathing about the self-financing model, arguing it was, in effect, engineered by the former English shareholders, including Hill-Wood, to make personal fortunes. The owners' policy of not investing their own money in the club, Usmanov argued, meant Arsenal borrowed to build the Emirates Stadium (£260m), charge supporters very expensive ticket prices, yet still leave Wenger short of money to retain and sign star players.

"The self-financing model … allowed the major shareholders of the time … to benefit from [an] increase in the value of their holdings," the letter said. "All of these shareholders and board directors sold 100% of their holdings and cashed out at vast profits."

Alongside Hill-Wood pocketing £5.5m, the longstanding shareholder Richard Carr made more than £40m selling to Kroenke in 2009. Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith, who also inherited her Arsenal shares, made £116m selling them to Kroenke last year. Danny Fiszman, who bought into Arsenal in the 1990s, first with a portion of the former vice-chairman's David Dein's stake, made £160m, the final sale to Kroenke made just before Fiszman died last year.

Hill-Wood said making so much money from selling his shares was "nice", explaining: "You wouldn't say no to a few million pounds." But he rejected as "complete and utter rubbish" the accusation that the club was run deliberately to increase the value of his and the other owners' shares, at the expense of supporters and a robust budget for Wenger.

"It was nice to make that money, but I was never involved in Arsenal for that reason," Hill-Wood said. "I was involved because I have been brought up to love Arsenal and that is my only concern."

Of Usmanov's intervention, the Arsenal chairman said: "I do not know what is trying to do really, I don't think he is right."

Arsenal's summer has been disrupted by Van Persie's public announcement that he does not intend to renew his contract after, he said, being left unconvinced by the club's plans to compete for trophies. The departures of Gaël Clichy and Samir Nasri last summer to City, where they did win the Premier League, and of Cesc Fábregas, the previous captain-talisman, have left Arsenal looking like a selling club in the age of big-spending plutocrat owners. Usmanov argued that the owners should invest by paying off the stadium debt, which was still £98m and cost £15m in interest last year.

However Hill-Wood argued, as does the chief executive, Ivan Gazidis, that the financial penalties due for early repayment make that unviable.

"It's simple to say we should put some money in, but it doesn't make any sense," Hill-Wood said. "We can't pay off the debt without huge penalties, and putting money in for any other reason doesn't make any sense at all. We give the manager as much money as we possibly can, and all we can do is continue. We have run the club sensibly, and we haven't done badly; it's not as if we have been relegated."

Usmanov, with whom Kroenke does not communicate, is also critical of the executive team, who brought in £33m commercial income last year, £70m less than Manchester United. He points to the board too, saying it would benefit from younger people with more football and major sports club experience. Gazidis, 47, is Arsenal's youngest director; Kroenke is 65 this month, Hill-Wood 76, Sir "Chips" Keswick 72, Lord Harris of Peckham 69 and the long-serving administrative stalwart Ken Friar is 78.

Hill-Wood acknowledged: "It would be good to have some young people on the board, but it is not as easy for young people who have full-time jobs to do that now as it was when I was a young man. However I do not think there is anything different we can be doing in the running of Arsenal."

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What a c*nt

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boy, I'd like to see a Redknapp-esque timeline of his comments over the years

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OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT

OUUUT

O

OUT OUT

f*ck*ng OUT

NO MORE

OUT OUT OUT OUTTTTTTTTTTTTTT

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We have run the club sensibly, and we haven't done badly; it's not as if we have been relegated."

c-mon-son-o.gif

FFS...how long this gonna continue

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top c*nt

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Nah they are taking the piss lol

HAHAHA

Its just a business, they have no interest in competing on the field, long as we keep getting at least 4th thats all they care about

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These cunts need to be fired ASAP!

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ZERO AMBITION

how the f*ck can he say "we aint done badly, not like were reglated"

were spose to be winning sh*t ffs

no standards

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Is there no protests planned?

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lol

Not from our fans

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Too busy hating/defending Wenger and the players.

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There should be protests, these board members can't get away with ruining OUR club!

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It's a Business & they are Buisnessmen.

Listen, if you're in their position and you've invested into a Company that you have ownership off and you're quadrupling your investment year in year out then why should you go and start spending money?

Clearly our club is working extremely well in their heads, the figures don't lie and we're getting in the Champions League every year which brings in great revenue.

As a Businessmen you don't have emotional attachment with your staff or customers - we buy tickets to go watch a team, regardless of how we're doing we shoot ourselves in the foot with our loyalty because even if we're doing sh*t or have a sh*t summer in the market we still buy that ticket, that shirt, that mug, that ball because we're attachted.

Until things change then it will remain the same because even if 250,000 people protested the club is such a strong brand the boardroom would still be able to fill 90% of capacity to tourists or businesses so they wouldn't really feel your loss anyway.

They come here to make money, they have a model that makes money, the model is consistent it has longevity and doesn't require any investment so why should they listen to the fans? we aint sh*t, we can and will be replaced just as easy as RVP or Cesc.

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fuck this, im supporting Man City from now on....

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f*ck this, im supporting Man City from now on....

:lol:

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CBL this beyond a joke

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fuck this, im supporting Man City from now on....

He's not the first Arsenal fan to say this...

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Had to come back in the thread. I'm actually disgusted.

Arsenal FC will not get another £ out of me until Hill Wood is gone & I ask every true fan out there to do the same

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Right let's get this straight.

Sold: Bendtner / Vela / Van Persie / Chamakh / Park

Loan: J.Campbell / Afobe

Options: Giroud / Podolski

I didn't realise how CRITICAL things were up front.

Arsenal website has Oxlade, Theo, Ryo under STRIKERS but lets get things straight they're WINGERS

-

Anyone else a little bit worried now?

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We definitely need to buy another striker as well as a DM and possibly a creative midfielder, but who?!? Who should we go for, who's going to want to come for the wages we'll offer, I dont know if the standard we need will settle for the wage on offer.

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Wenger will be singing Jack is like a new signing hen he returns.

The pressure of that kid is going to be inmense next season

Can't even see us making another signifcant signing now

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feel.abit sorry for jack media is already building him up as the English saviour

now.the arsenal one

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