Thursday, October 16, 2008

Usmanov in love

"When a man loves a woman he can't conceivably sell that love. I'm in love with Arsenal. I have no intention of selling it [my stake]. That may be possible at some point in time when I know that Arsenal hates me. I will make sure this doesn't happen. I have not lost one single share."

- Alisher Usmanov, who counts his love in number of shares

When I read this article, it made me a bit uncomfortable. On this blog, I often drop cheesy phrases like "I'm in love with Arsenal", but I've never seen anyone else say things like that. Do I sound as creepy as a fat, love-struck oligarch?

Whatever the case, Usmanov loves the Arse like a man loves a woman. And how doth he love her? Let me count the ways:
  1. He buys a 20% stake of that lady from a jilted ex-lover, and they form a consortium to woo her back (with a "gentlemen's agreement" to share her equally).
  2. He stabs the ex-lover in the back and tries to buy the rest of the lady from her legal guardians. 
  3. When the lady's numerous admirers raise objections to his shady past, he silences them with an army of lawyers, and mounts a charm offence so clumsy and awkward that even the neutrals dislike him. 
  4. He tries to woo the lady's mentor by offering him money with which to buy trinkets to adorn her many comely attributes. Her mentor rebuffs these trashy ornaments as he views them as immoral. 
  5. Having alienated the lady's guardians, mentor, ex-lover and numerous admirers, Usmanov hangs around with his 20% stake, twiddling various parts of his anatomy (i.e. his thumbs, you dirty bastards), waiting for the day that the lady comes of age (i.e. when the lock-down agreement ends next year). 
I love the Arsenal as well, but not in the way that Usmanov does. The feelings I have for the Arsenal is like the feeling I get when I'm walking through the Tiergarten, when the sun is shining and the leaves are falling around me. It's a love of something that's beautiful because it's intangible, and fragile, and fleeting. 

And it's not something that can be bought for £7000 a share. 

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