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Authors: Alex Fynn

Arsènal

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ARSÈNAL
THE MAKING OF A MODERN SUPERCLUB
Alex Fynn and Kevin Whitcher
This electronic edition published by Vision Sports Publishing in 2010
Vision Sports Publishing
2 Coombe Gardens,
London SW20 0QU
Epub ISBN 978-1907637-04-9
Book ISBN 978-1905326-60-0
Text © Alex Fynn and Kevin Whitcher
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publishers.
This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, re-sold, hired out, or otherwise circulated without the publisher's prior consent in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.
Editor: Jim Drewett
Copy editor: Ian Turner
Cover design: David Hicks
Proofreading: Clive Batty
A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library
To Sir Paul Fox for enriching my sporting life, and Tommy Mooney, a good man
Alex Fynn
For Jay and Frank
Kevin Whitcher
CONTENTS
CHAPTER ONE
CHANGE OF HEART
CHAPTER TWO
TWO STEPS BACK AND ONE FORWARD
CHAPTER THREE
A BREAK FROM THE PAST
CHAPTER FOUR
YOUNG AT HEART
CHAPTER FIVE
ONWARDS AND UPWARDS
CHAPTER SIX
TURNING OVER
CHAPTER SEVEN
MOVE ALONG NOW
CHAPTER EIGHT
BUDDY, CAN YOU SPARE ME £260m?
CHAPTER NINE
UP AND RUNNING
CHAPTER TEN
ACCESS NO AREAS
CHAPTER ELEVEN
YESTERDAY'S MEN
CHAPTER TWELVE
TWO STEPS FORWARD AND A HUGE ONE BACK
CHAPTER THIRTEEN
CLOSE, BUT NO CIGAR
CHAPTER FOURTEEN
HIS WAY
CHAPTER FIFTEEN
STORMY WEATHER
CHAPTER SIXTEEN
WINTER OF DISCONTENT
CHAPTER SEVENTEEN
TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE
CHAPTER EIGHTEEN
NOW OR NEVER
REVIEWS FOR THE FIRST EDITION
“Many writers have tried to explain what makes Arsenal a football club that is so widely admired, even by its fiercest rivals.
Arsènal
comes closer than any previous book, offering a privileged insight into the club's fascinating blend of tradition and innovation and in particular the unique methods and motivations of its figurehead, Arsène Wenger.”
Andrew Shields, sports editor,
Time Out
“At last – a football book that reflects the spirit of the age.
Arsènal: The Making of a Modern Superclub
is a forensic account of the boardroom rumblings that have produced a world brand that sells property in London, beer in India and credit cards in Hong Kong. And 90 minutes of football on a Saturday . . . Its chief strength is in the depth of knowledge of Alex Fynn, a former director of Saatchi and Saatchi, and Kevin Whitcher, editor of the fanzine
The Gooner
, and the different angles from which they approach their club. This means that criticism of the club's stadium sponsorship, for example, is given in both financial terms – they could have ‘protected the brand' and made a more lucrative deal – and emotional terms, namely that selling the name to Emirates is just one more way of managing the club as a business with scant regard for the fans or history.”
Cameron Carter,
When Saturday Comes
“The authors delve deep into the financial fog which currently envelops the Gunners, and attempt to predict Arsenal's likely trajectory over the next decade. The deep division in public opinion is neatly encapsulated by the book's two principled principals: Wenger and former vice-chairman David Dein . . . A fascinating read, which reveals the unpalatable economic realities of the modern game.”
Jon Spurling,
FourFourTwo
“Alex Fynn, recognised as ‘the architect of the Premier League', has used his extensive contacts, coupled with fanzine editor Kevin Whitcher's passion and knowledge for all things Arsenal, to produce a superb book focusing on the club's transformation from a creaking domestic giant in need of a change of direction into a European powerhouse with a £200m turnover during Arsène Wenger's remarkable tenure.
“Fynn is one of the chosen few who does have access to Wenger, so his books, and his thoughts, make entertaining reading. While others have to tread carefully Fynn clearly does not and his objectivity and insights are a breath of fresh air.
“No other book does such an efficient job of covering every nook and cranny of the Wenger years. An excellent, well-crafted read.”
Hampstead and Highgate Express
“Offers fascinating insights into how modern football really works.”
Jewish Chronicle
“This appealing, high-class homage, not so much to the progressive London football club as to its visionary manager, father-confessor and spiritual counsellor, Frenchman Arsène Wenger . . . . . . skilfully and devotedly makes out the case for his instant beatification. The liaison between Fynn, an admired and established writer, and Whitcher, editor of the club's watchdog fanzine, works seamlessly well; they understand both the ideal and the grit – the creative rhapsodic striving for beauty in a team game as well as the grim and grimy business of it.”
Frank Keating, www.sportspages.com
“Between them what Alex Fynn and Kevin Whitcher don't know about Arsenal is probably not worth knowing and reading between the lines of this impressive volume there may still be more to come from this saga. What's for sure though is that this title covers a lot of background information not touched elsewhere.
“It ranges from David Dein's rise and fall together with both his deals and his clandestine dealings, kit and naming rights that are costing us dear, property speculation, superfluous stars, Wenger's ruthlessness, the rise and fall of Edelman, the scouting system, financial problems, transfer budgets, boardroom sackings, lock-downs, the advent of foreign investors, work stopping on the new stadium and much more all set against a background of Le Boss building three quite separate teams.
“It's a compelling read. Any Arsenal fan with an interest beyond just the football will enjoy it and many a Club Chairman and Director will find it seriously enlightening.”
Arsenal World
(arsenal-world.co.uk)
“As a starting point, this book should definitely be read by all Arsenal fans; it is a clear and concisely explained journey that sits comfortably alongside the best books about the club.
A Cultured Left Foot
(aculturedleftfoot.wordpress.com)
About the Authors
Alex Fynn is a football consultant who has advised several clubs including Arsenal on media and marketing.
The Sunday Times
called him “the spiritual godfather of the Premier League.” Kevin Whitcher is the editor of the highly influential Arsenal fanzine,
The Gooner
, and the author of
Gunning for the Double – the Story of Arsenal's 1997/98 Season
. The pair have previously collaborated on
The Glorious Game – Arsène Wenger, Arsenal and the Quest for Success
.
ALSO BY THE AUTHORS
By Alex Fynn and Kevin Whitcher
The Glorious Game
By Alex Fynn
The Secret Life of Football
(with Lynton Guest)
Heroes and Villains
(with Lynton Guest)
Out of Time
(with Lynton Guest)
For Love or Money
(with Lynton Guest)
Dream On
(with H. Davidson)
Cantona on Cantona
(with Eric Cantona)
The Great Divide
(with Olivia Blair)
By Kevin Whitcher
Gunning for the Double – the Story of Arsenal's 1997/98 Season
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
It will be apparent from the text that many people contributed to this book. Of course without the assistance of a number of key individuals it could not possibly have been written. First and foremost amongst them are Arsène and Annie Wenger for permitting the periodic intrusions to their limited and precious family time and the invaluable insights provided.
Fulsome thanks are also due to Peter Hill-Wood and of course David Dein.
In addition to the key protagonists mentioned above there were a number of people, some of whom, like Tony Banfield and Alan Smith, are quoted directly, and others who wish to preserve their anonymity. We thank them all for their contributions.
Brian Dawes, Charlie Ashmore, Greville Waterman, Alex Phillips and Mel Goldberg read parts of the manuscript and their suggestions invariably improved it.
Simon Inglis, Antony Spencer, GGK, Ian Henry, Bernard Azulay, Alex Laidman, Michael Farmer, Howard Lamb and Marcia Milnes were terrific sources of information.
The Gooner
publisher Mike Francis is also owed thanks for his tolerance whilst Kevin's attention was occasionally diverted from the ‘day job'.
Usually the publishers are thanked as a matter of course. In this instance this would do scant justice to the skill, commitment and consideration of both Jim Drewett and Toby Trotman. Without them there simply would not be a book. Ian Turner and Clive Batty certainly improved the writing and offered some valuable suggestions.
Back at home, thanks are due to Jay, Frank, Rhoda, Danielle and Tamara for their patience, understanding and on occasion specific help.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS FOR THE SECOND EDITION
With the addition of four new chapters covering the 2008/09 season, there are more thanks that have to be conveyed. To some of the main cast – Arsène Wenger, Peter Hill-Wood, David Dein, Antony Spencer and Alan Smith – it is a case of thanks again. To others, namely Ivan Gazidis, Ken Friar and Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith, an equal debt of gratitude is owed for the consideration and insights provided.
Alex Phillips, Brian Dawes and Mel Goldberg again read the manuscript and made invaluable suggestions. Ian Tanner and Ian Henry also provided insights.
Excellent sources of information for both the first edition of the book and this update included the following websites:
arseweb
,
arseblog, ANR, arsenal-world and arsenal.com.
Equally valuable sources comprised
The Gooner
, the
Deloitte Annual Review of Football Finance
,
l'Equipe, France Football
and the indefatigable duo of Xavier Rivoire and Philippe Auclair [aka Louis Philippe]. Thanks are also due to Arsenal TV.
Andrew Shields, Andrew Sherwood, Jem Maidment, Pat Mooney, Ian Corne and Richard Portugal admirably supported the hardback. And once again, the publishers Jim Drewett and Toby Trotman performed over and above the call of duty.
PREFACE
In 1996, the year of Arsène Wenger's arrival, Arsenal's turnover was £21 million. In 2007, after his eleventh season, it was over £200 million. Of course football has changed dramatically in the intervening period. The Premier League, Sky Television, the money, the pace of the game, the fitness of the players, the foreign stars, the money, the stadia, the fans, the kit, the merchandising, the marketing, even the rules and . . . the money. However, at Arsenal there have been more changes than almost anywhere else. Changes that are largely the result of one man's vision and philosophy.
Arsènal
recounts how the ‘
Boring Boring Arsenal
' of yesteryear became the great entertainers and superclub of today.
BOOK: Arsènal
7.75Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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