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Silent Dan and the Grand Plan

There have been plenty of tributes pouring in for Danny Fiszman from those that knew him and those that have just come to know of the important contribution he has made to the club. The naming of one of the bridges to the stadium in his honour was a particularly pertinent one as he was in many ways the bridge between the patriarchs of pre-war Arsenal and the modern club which has taken shape over the last couple of decades.

As a very successful businessman who shunned the limelight he was very different in that regard from David Dein who, when his own business ran into financial problems, sold a good part of his then 42% shareholding to Fiszman and brought him to the club. While Dein networked in the corridors of power, glad handing the great and the good of international football and developing his own reputation, Fiszman worked in the background, along with stalwarts like Ken Friar building the power of the club and its structure. He rarely spoke to the media, except for a brief period plugging the gap between the departure of Edelman and the arrival of Gazidis, as he frequently declined to be interviewed.

Dein's networking skills brought much that was good to the club including Fiszman himself as well as Wenger and ultimately perhaps Kroenke without really having the ability to understand that there was more purpose to it all than self promotion. If Dein was initially the man to shake up the boardroom and the club then it was Fiszman that collected up all the pieces and made them fit together to build something worthwhile. Despite the board's initial antipathy towards Kroenke it seems to have been Fiszman who saw that there was some merit in building closer ties and, though some say unknowingly, sold a small parcel of shares to Kroenke in March 2007 shortly before Dein's departure. After Dein's sudden removal from the club Fiszman developed ever closer ties with Kroenke while Dein fell out of favour and eventually sold his shares not to Kroenke as might have been anticipated but to Usmanov. It seems that whatever additional guarantees Dein wanted from Kroenke they weren't available.

Both ardent and genuine Arsenal supporters Fiszman and Dein were important parts of the making of the club we have now but Fiszman had a longer term view of AFC's future and put the clubs continuing interests before his own, as far as that can ever be true for any good businessman. I can't help but feel that while Fiszman wouldn't have cared overly Dein would love to be recognised by the club in the way that Danny's contribution is being recognised now but then history has always looked more favourably on the pioneers than the chancers.

There seems to be much that is similar in the personalities and character of Fiszman and Kroenke and if Kroenke is anything like the man that Fiszman was we can but hope that Silent Stan will be just as good for the Arsenal as Silent Dan was.

Rest in peace Danny Fiszman




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The Journalist

Writer: Amos Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday April 15 2011

Time: 11:07AM

Your Comments

To put it succinctly into a phrase, Fiszman sped up the evolution of the football club. I recall reading about the incredibly long hours he worked both when trying to push planning permission through for the ground and when the funding dried up in 03. We are lucky to support a club that has historically been in the hands of great men. Fiszman will be forever recognised as one of those men.
Little Dutch
Good article. You get the feeling we'll appreciate his work even more in years to come.
Gooner_Vin
Amos, yours have always been one of the more reasoned arguments and articles I've always looked forward to reading on this page, and whilst I certainly agree with any and all sentiments of gratitude to the memories of Mr. Fitzman, I'm not too sure that Dein has had his own side of the story properly told. Thing is, the winner always get to write the history. This article has been less than flattering to Dein, and I'm not sure that there's much to go on beyond the conclusions that may be drawn from the little we see in the public domain. Dein brought Fitzman to the club, he also recruited Wenger, and even Kroenke came through him, Fatman is also his man, and even if by default, none of them have been bad for the club. Yet.
deledudu
I think the article does say that, that Dein is obviously a well connected man and those connections have borne fruit for the club. But I think it emphasises that whilst Dein's strengths were around pressing the flesh, Fiszman was the one with the real business acumen- hence his very successful diamond business. Dein had limited success as a businessman prior to coming to Arsenal. Dein was pinky, Fiszman was the brain.
Little Dutch
Maybe I'm just being a tad sentimental, but I've missed having the lovable rogue around. Kissinger once said, I believe of Noriega, "he's a bloody dictator, but he's our bloody dictator" Dein might be pinky, but he was our pinky, he always struck me as a man who would'nt even mind dirtying his hands in the pursuit of whatever he believes best for Arsenal. Time will tell.
deledudu
Whilst an Arsenal fan, Dein always has self interest at heart. If he was so concerned about Arsenal, he wouldn't have sold his shares and made a cool 75m doing it.
Little Dutch
I had the same opinion as deledudu when I read this article. There is some credit that should go Dein's way in terms of where we are right now, coz he was part of the team that brought in players at the right prices when the club couldn't afford expensive players. His entire history with the club should not be governed by the sale of his shares to Usmanov (however undesirable that was).
prits
The tribute to Danny Fizsman is fully justified. He and Ken Friar ensured that the stadium was built. In the few interviews that Fizsman did give, you could clearly see that he believed in the way that the club was run and that will be another lasting contribution of his - a sustainable model for the future of the club.
prits
I think Dein does get his dues in the article. It's just the truth is Dein is more of a gladhandler than a businessman. The many contract foul ups, such as Wiltord, Edu, Kanu, Flamini, Cole and Henry show that to an extent. The way the bond scheme was managed. I still remember the protests against Dein back in 1992 about that, the pre season friendly at Birmingham when the supporters chanted "we love Arsenal, you don't, you don't" at him. He did do us an awful lot of good, but just as much bad. Fortunately, much like Redknapp, Dein has a lot of journalist friends.
Little Dutch
---Dein was pinky, Fiszman was the brain, Little Dutch--- I would say being worth around 100 million would make Dein a very, very good businessman, or lucky either way the end result is the same.
LondonGooner
Dein certainly made at least one wise investment in his career but had he been a better businessman he wouldn't have needed to sell two thirds of his shareholding to Fiszman and consequently would have been worth three times as much. Not that he'll struggle to get by on what he has made.
Amos.
Just found out Danny Fiszman has passed on, he was SO important to Arsenal & helped to develop you guys into such a brilliantly pieced together Club. Its a serious loss to Arsenal but obviously far more tragic for his Family. A silent genius who's great work helped to guide AFC for such a brilliant financial future, the Man maybe gone but His great work lives. RIP
True Spurs Supporter
I am truly sorry to hear about the sad news about Danny Fiszman, a true Arsenal man and a true football man.
springy
 

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