Monday, 27 June 2011

Lady Nina on Dein/Fizsman "war" - Mata to join? - Cahill bid made?

Morning Gooners.

Well last night proved to be insightful. Lady Nina Bracewell Smith broke her silence to reveal that David Dein was the "root cause of all the troubles at AFC [because he was] unable to work with other board members."

And that wasn't the only thing Arsenal's third largest shareholder - until she sold out to Stan Kroenke - had to say. She said that whilst she supported the club's move to Ashburton Grove, Dein didn't (N.B. It's well documented that Dein prefered the idea of moving the club to Wembley) and she said she hoped that the former vice chairman didn't rejoin the club.

However she would not reveal why she was asked to vacate her seat on the board, refusing to answer questions about whether it had anything to do with Alisher Usmanov's Red and White holdings, a company she admits to be introduced to by David Dein. Lady Nina said she had not personally met Usmanov but had met representatives of his company.

Instead she said of her dismissal: "It was war at AFC between Dein and Fiszman. I just happened to caught in the cross fire."

On the playing side of the club, Lady Nina said: "Dein and Arsene always had a good rapport. But the fallout between Dein and Fiszman has been detrimental to the club."

For the full conversations Lady Nina had with fans on twitter, read her timeline. I have personally offered Lady Nina the opportunity to share with us the reasons why she was asked to leave the Arsenal board by writing in full an unedited a post for this blog on why she left the club and offer she has yet to accept.

Elsewhere, there appears to be fresh movement in the search for transfer targets. A Spanish television report that Arsenal were interested in signing the Spain midfielder Juan Mata has been picked up by both the Daily Mail and The Sun, with the Mail reporting we've already had discussions with the player's father and agent.

The 23-year-old has already played a part in Spain's world cup win and was watched by Arsenal at the recent European championships in Denmark. His club Valencia are struggling with debts of £327m.

As well as the Gunners, Liverpool, Manchester United and Barcelona are all interested in the player.

As an aside, the Mail report that Cesc is going to refuse to return to pre-season training. Something I don't believe for one second is true. Cesc has more respect for Arsenal than that. And there is more from the Daily Mail as they report Barca are really struggling to find the cash Arsenal want for Cesc that they're making lots of cut backs in their back offices. I'm not sure a few hundred colour photocopies will really save you the £23m you need to find. The Daily Telegraph that Barca might bid this week because Cesc is on holiday in Catalunya.

The Sun are claiming that we're yet to reach an agreement with Lille over the transfer of Gervinho but that the player has told the French champions he wants to play for Arsenal tis coming season. Whilst Sky Sports suggest Inter Milan could try and hijack any arrangements we are currently trying to put in place for Ricardo Alvarez.

And with all the rumours being about attackers and midfielders, the Arsenal Supporters Trust's Tim Payton has heard from inside the club that Gary Cahill is a definite target. So you'd think a bid won't be far off.

With all the noise coming from inside the club that this is the week we'll do some business, it appears there are quite a lot of loose ends still to tie up. Let's hope that Ivan and Arsene have also got stocked up with Red Bull and Pro Plus like I have.

And finally, Alex Song has been fined by Cameroon's FA because of his "attitude of contempt" towards international captain Samuel Eto'o. Another reason why he shouldn't want to play for his country. Is it worth the hassle?

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