When Peter Hill Wood stepped down in the summer it was certainly a shame as it brought an end to a long serving history in the chairmanship of Arsenal Football Club. The Hill-Wood’s had been a key part of Arsenal’s boardroom for several generations and to finally bring it to a close seemed strange. But it was also a much wanted change with many believing that a change in the boardroom might mean a change in attitude.
Hill-Wood was happy to hand the role over to Sir Chips Keswick and we immediately knew that there would be no change. We knew Chips was as stingy as Hill Wood and so ultimately we weren’t expecting anything to be run differently aside from being under a new name. And well over 2 months in and that fact is certainly beginning to gather some evidence.
“We couldn’t have a better man at the helm than Chips, he’s absolutely first-class,” Hill-Wood said in an interview with the club’s official website. “There are huge sums of money involved in football now and Chips certainly understands the world of finances better than most – he was a director of the Bank of England and has worked in finance all his life. He has a very good grasp.”
I think the problem is our boardroom is filled with an old generation. A generation where money in football was nothing. They have experienced a time when professional football was a job on the side, and that from football you were never likely to even reach the heights of what players now earn in a day, for what they would earn over the course of their career. Therefore the change in attitude towards money in football has meant they are protective over it. Stan Kroenke doesn’t exactly help the situation but I think that if you want to see a change in how the club is actually run behind the scenes, i.e. not like a business, then you need to switch up the boardroom and bringing in some younger but still highly experienced people with a genuine passion for the game, rather than the money.
Lastly employing a former banker wasn’t the best choice was it? Bankers are all about saving money rather than investing in potentials, maybe he should let Wenger take out a bigger loan!