This is it. Promise.

The picture above is from halcyon times. Theo Walcott – ” English teenager is going to be amazing!$*&%@” – had just signed with the Gunners. Arsene Wenger left his suit behind, preferring the more comfortable and spacious nylon material that he normally abhorred. On the right is David Dein – arguably the most important figure in recent Arsenal history.

1995. Arsenal legend George Graham is sacked by the board after an illegal payment scandal involving a Norwegian sports agent. David Dein, owner of 42% of the club’s shares by ’91, lobbied for Arsene Wenger to get the job. The Frenchman wasn’t a superstar at the time. Managing the J-League’s Nagoya Grampus doesn’t scream the next big thing. The board wanted Bruce Rioch – who led the club to a fifth place finish in 1995 but was subsequently let go. Dein finally had his way and Wenger was appointed boss in 1996.

Dein had used his clout before Wenger’s arrival. Ian Wright from Crystal Palace. Dennis Bergkamp from Internazionale. Huge. After ’96, Dein’s recruiting prowess led to the arrivals of Vieira, Petit, Overmars, Henry, Suker, Pires, Campbell, Gilberto, Clichy, Toure, Fabregas and Van Persie. No big thing.

Eleven years later Dein left Arsenal citing irreconcilable differences. He was hounded by conflict of issue claims – Dein was an architect of the current format of the EPL while also holding a position on the Football Association’s board. Upon his exit it was rumored Dein was looking for a major investor to help offset the costs of Arsenal’s new stadium – the rest of the board didn’t agree.

Dein sold his shares (around 14.5% ) to Red and White holdings, Alisher Usmanov and Farhad Moshiri’s money consortium.

Darren Dein filled his father’s shoes. By 2007 the younger Dein – a sports agent – was acknowledged as a rising star in the industry, representing some of football’s highest profile names. Here’s where it gets weird. The Daily Mail’s Neil Ashton:

Star names like Thierry Henry, Emmanuel Adebayor, Gael Clichy and Cesc Fabregas have all been represented by Dein, a qualified solicitor, on various levels over the past five years. They have all chosen to pursue careers elsewhere and the fear in Arsenal circles is that Dein’s latest high-profile clients could follow an established pattern.

Ashton wrote that in March. Those players are gone – all in stunning fashion. Dein also represents Robin van Persie, another former Gunner. Yesterday on French television Wenger stated his desire was to sell RvP to Paris St. Germain. “We wanted to avoid at all costs [selling to an English team], but we had no choice.” Alex Song – another Dein client – may be on his way to Barcelona today.

Here’s what I wanted to write: “Darren Dein, in cahoots with his father, conspired to coax Arsenal’s stars away from North London.” The fan in me wants to stew over this bizarre relationship that seemingly involves everyone at Emirates. The truth is money and trophies win the day. The players that left sought those two things – Adebayor, the exception.

However, after watching the X-Files last night I end with this: “The Truth Is Out There.”

In less cynical, tin-foil hat type news the BBC’s David Ornstein reports Thomas Vermaelen will be named Arsenal’s new captain in the coming days. Just keep Tommy V. away from Darren Dein and we’re good.

Comments (11)

  1. but all this money received from transfers of all these players has to be going somewhere to secure the future of the club. my opinion is that mr wenger won’t be missed till he’s gone. very soon the emirates would officially belong to the club. its just a very painful period for fans of the club to endure.
    but in reality he spoiled them rotten with “the invincible’s”

  2. i support the self sustaining model we are persuing, as long as when our stadium debt is paid then the money goes back into the club and allows us to compete again. problem is i suspect standard the man will cream off the profits. Hes a yank with no love for the sport or the club, he owns how many sports franchises? and thats the problem thats all we are to him a franchise.

  3. Not sure about his son, but David Dein, if you know One Single thing about the man, is that he loves Arsenal Football Club more than anything in his life. Dein didnt leave on his own accord, he was forced out. If he could he would be on the board to this day. His son may have a vendetta, but David Dein himself still loves Arsenal, and wants them to succeed on the field just as much as any Gooner.

    Anyways, How does Deins son represent these players? he’s not RVP’s agent, thats Kees Voss. So I think this is a theory with little if any substantial

    • As a solicitor, he may well be party to negitoations with prospective owners. Kees Voss might be the agent, but I don’t think he’s educated in the English law, for instance. And since both Deins are the Arsenal’s stars’ familiars, it can well be argued Darren is first in line to act in heir name when negotiating new deals.
      At any rate, the story about D.D.’s involvement is corroborated by countelss photos, news relays, and rumours. You can hardly pin such things down 100%, it’s not like those negotiations are such an open matter. But somehow I don’t hear of any other qualified solicitor involved in these moves.

    • Rabin has 2 agennts. Kees Voss is his agent in Holland and Dein in England.

  4. I tend to agree there is something seemingly distasteful about some of these transfers…and their definitive nature with Arsene seemingly being unable to negotiate anything other than a departure. The latest Song transfer whether Dein related or not surely flouts all agent principles – being touted around when he has three years left on his contract???? I read the likely motivation was that if arsenal were to extend given Songs long standing time with arsenal would not have netted the agent the best deal. True or false the less dein junior and Jerome Anderson have to do with arsenal, IMO, the better!

  5. I think song was on £55k per week, his agent (who is not darren dein), has been trying to negotiate with arsenal for more money (around £70k), for over a year. Arsenal have continued to put it off. Is it fair that some players eg, djourou on £60k, squillaci and bendtner on £50k-£60k and orthers on far more. Song, after last season’s performance deserves more.

  6. Whatever it is, or whoever it is. I hope to see Arsenal being competitive again, but certainly not with this board at this moment.

  7. Idk I simply refuse to believe this “arsenal is nothing without wenger” stuff that everyone is always going on about. You mean to tell me that arsene wenger is the only manager in the world that could qualify for champions league with arsenals resources? I guess my biggest question is, who was Wenger before Arsenal? Maybe Arsenal’s best manager ever, the one who finally brings the club the champions league and the consistency that wenger hasn’t managed in half a decade and quite frankly restores the clubs “mystique” is still managing in some lower league somewhere (or perhaps on a year long sabbatical haha.) The point is we’ll never know if we cling on to this wenger is the end all of arsenal management mentality. No risk no reward. We’ve played it safe long enough and it has hurt like hell being an arsenal fan in the last few years. Wengers decision making in the last few years simply hasn’t been good enough for him to be trusted with this restoration project. Say what you will about net spend, arsenal have still spent a lot of money in recent season, what do we have to show for it? The likes of Gervinho, andre santos, chamakh, squillaci. Those were all wenger decision, you can’t slate the players without placing any of the blame on the man responsible for them being there. Its time for a change at arsenal. And it won’t happen until the fans, the most important part of the arsenal, get brave and start questioning him. Til then buckle up, its going to get even uglier then a loss to league 2 sides with premier league players. What a joke.

  8. Jerome Anderson (aka Dein proxy) now has Keiran Gibbs. We can see where that one’s headed. No wonder Arsenal signed up Nacho Monreal this past mid-winter break…..

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