Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood has claimed that Arsenal don’t need a billionaire moneybags at the helm. With vultures Alisher Usmanov (with David Dein in tow) and Stan Kroenke circling, Hill-Wood put out a bold statement of intent, telling the billionaires to bugger off (but in a much more refined way). Hill-Wood said :
“We have always run Arsenal as a business and kept within reasonable bounds.All this nonsense about needing a billionaire to put a whole lot of money in to help shore up the annual deficit is not going to happen – it is lunacy.”
Hill-Wood, unlike Manchester United, Liverpool, and of course, Chelsea, sees a prudent and responsible leadership of Arsenal as a crucial element in their success. He also implies that foreign investors are in it for the profit, rather than being local lads who grew up 5 millimetres from the ground. Hill-Wood said:
“I have no objection to foreign investors coming into the Premier League, it’s going to be beneficial.Most of them are investment people and they are not buying into clubs because they have the passion for the local team they have supported since they were two years old.”They think that football and the Premier League is an attractive investment and they want a return on that. That will work in our favour. There will be a more sensible attitude in transfer fees at silly levels and all this sort of thing. People putting Â£100million in are going to want to see how they can make a profit. To go on paying more to players is not justified or sensible.”
So do you agree with Hill-Wood, and would you rebuff a Billionaire if he turned up on your club’s doorstep, looking for a place to stay and some friends, in exchange for generous dollops of filthy lucre?