Hale End FC
What do you think the long term effects of staying at Highbury would have been?
I think fans blame the Emirates for never competing just because we didn’t win as much after we left Highbury when really it’s a much more nuanced issue.
The club needed to move. If you listen to Dein and Wenger there was a risk of stagnation and arguably decline to an Everton level if we didn’t take the plunge.
It was the only way we were going to have a platform to compete for Champions Leagues and titles. It’s easy to look back and say it was a terrible idea as we never came close but that’s not down to the stadium.
Mostly it was down to the board. Dein leaving right as the stadium opened was the catalyst and then it became Wenger alone at the top rather than him and Dein working together.
The reason Dein left was over the Usmanov - Kroenke fiasco and arguably that was the turning point. The Kroenkes rightly and wrongly have advocated a self sustaining model while Usmanov as judged on his time in charge at Everton is someone who likes to pump money in.
Gazidis was there but it’s hard to really place what he actually did until almost a decade later when he was clearly able to get more power and start sidelining Wenger.
Recruitment fell away and people who’d served Wenger well in the past in both coaching and scouting but weren’t really fit for modern football were allowed to stay on for years.
We also never took any risks. Wenger is an economist but either he or the club didn't realise that huge cash reserves in the bank were the worst asset you can have, because its value always depreciates. Instead of buying a player like Alonso for £20m when we had £30m, we sat on that cash until a player of that calibre cost £50m and we still had £30m.
For me the true “what if” should be what if Dein stayed and Usmanov came in. Wenger like anyone needed checks and balances in place, he was given too much responsibility and ideally Dein would have kept things fresh and turfed out the dinosaurs like Grimandi, Primorac and Peyton much sooner and with a spend happy owner I think we’d have been much stronger.
Are you ignoring the reason Dein left? He's the one who caused the Usmanov-Kroenke fiasco, by bringing those two leeches to the club in the first place.
Almost every other club, Liverpool excluded with Hicks & Gilette, managed to find owners who invested in the club and what did we get?
Two charlatans thanks to everyone's favorite uncle David Dein. Then Dein's son proceeded to sweep the club clean by arranging deals for our players who he was the agent of to leave. How did Darren even get to be these players' agents? Because of his dad's connection to the club.
Dein is just as responsible for where we are now than anyone else. I'm not bashing Dein, just pointing out he's helped and hurt the club in equal measure.
I will also mention that he sold his shares to one of the two, can't remember which and made himself a tidy sum.
Was he wrong trying to get investment into the club? No, it's just who he decided to bring in that set us back years.