It's been a rough day/year/decade for Arsenal FC and their fans. The Gunners lost arguably the most important match of their season today to London rivals Tottenham by a score of 2-1, and unless a slew of miraculous things all happen in tandem, Arsenal looks a certainty to finish the season without winning a trophy for the eighth year in a row.
What's even worse for the side is that by losing to Tottenham, Arsenal are now seven points behind their rivals and five points out fourth place in the league. The top four teams in the English Premier League qualify for the Champions League, the prestigious continental tournament that the Gunners have yet to miss under their manager, Arsene Wenger. Bad performance after bad performance has led to Arsenal being in very, very real danger of missing out of the Champions League. There's speculation that the legendary manager may be out sooner than later, and that Arsenal, with their self-imposed wage restrictions and habit of selling their best players like Robin van Persie, Cesc Fabregas, and Samir Nasri every season, have already made the transition from European giant to feeder club for the Manchester Cities and FC Barcelonas of the world.
But that may change, according to the Telegraph, who reported this morning that Arsenal may be getting some Arab money in coming weeks. The group of anonymous individuals from Qatar and the UAE is planning on taking over the club, and will bid £1.5 billion—or around $2.25 billion—to buy Arsenal outright from majority shareholder, American billionaire Stan Kroenke, who now owns about two-thirds of the club. The bid will be the largest ever for a soccer team.
Even though Arsenal has rubbished reports of Kroenke selling his stock, the news has to be exciting for Arsenal fans who have seen other teams leapfrog them in the league and across the continent after being bought out by billionaires who throw their money around. According to the Telegraph, if the bid is successful, no one's job in the Arsenal front office will be safe, and for good reason.
"No big club can go eight years without winning anything," a source told the Telegraph. "No manager of a big club, not even Sir Alex Ferguson, would have survived eight years without winning."
Arsenal has been criticized for years for not showing ambition, and many of its top players have been poached by other teams and gone on to win trophies. The Gunners are allegedly poised to spend over $100 million in the offseason to buy European stars like Stevan Jovetic and Mario Gotze, but without a Champions League berth, it's unlikely top players will agree to play for the club. New ownership may be the only thing that can turn the Gunners' recent misfortune around.