Over the last few years, I have been waiting for Arsene Wengers dream of the perfect football team to emerge.
As you all know I am a huge admirer of the great man, however, even I have been bowled over at what I have seen and read over the last few weeks/months!
Links showing a table of transfers from all of the Premier League clubs over the last few years was one thing in particular that caught my eye.
It showed that out off all the top teams in our league, we have spent the lowest amount overall taking into account player sales and purchases.
Many of you would probably point out to me that we have been in the Champions League every year since its introduction, so maybe the club have thought that we didn’t need to buy players, we were good enough and achieving what was required. Surely the idea is to push on each season, become better than the previous one, getting into the Champions League is remarkable considering but we should be trying to win, not just be in it!
Twenty clubs make up the Premier League, so the odds of us winning must be 20 to 1. What do we have to do to get the odds more in our favour?
The obvious answer is to buy players that will make us a stronger side with a deeper, stronger squad.
As the ‘spending table’ has shown, we are behind many of the clubs in our league for splashing the cash and surely the question we all want to know the answer to is Why?
On paper Arsenal FC are the third richest club in the world behind Manchester United in second and Real Madrid top.
Our club season tickets are the most expensive in the Premier League and our profits are also the same, we are one of a few self-sustaining clubs which means we don’t need rich benefactors to keep ourselves solvent.
However and as we all know, we have very rich share holders, the top two being Kroenke and Usmanov whose combined wealth is in the region of £20 billion. That in itself is a massive amount of money so the question has to be asked:
Why are we the lowest spending club?
It is a well-known fact that a power struggle has been taking place for a few years now between our 2 biggest shareholders Kroenke and Usmanov and I read that Usmanov had offered £100 million to Kroenke, to be used for transfer funds, in exchange for a position on the board.
A very generous offer for a small price I thought but this offer was soon turned down by Arsenals Board of Directors.
Are they idiots I thought? How can a club be offered that kind of money yet say no, especially when they haven’t won anything in 7 years and it’s very clear that we falling behind the rest of the clubs in the Premier League.
As an Arsenal supporter, I have to question this boards ambitions and wonder if the right people are in the right place within the club?
Usmanov’s money is probably not needed as our profits are massive but if that’s the case why haven’t we invested more in the transfer market?
Where is this extra money going, where is the money from last summers sale of Fabregas, Clichy and Nasri alone?
Many have suggested that the money is going to pay off the building of our stadium but I have read reports that suggest our payments are manageable and, if we pay our debts off before the 25 year agreement we will incur massive penalties just like any mortgage which agreed at a fixed rate.
If that is the case, surely it would not be of a financial benefit to pay the mortgage off in dribs and drabs, as each time a penalty incurs. (Probably the only time we get a penalty these days!)
So, presuming the club would be far to sensible to incur such a penalty, what is happening to all the money which is made above and beyond all the clubs ‘outgoings’ each month?
Arsene Wenger – his role is going to the board and telling them which players he wants us to buy, a list full of targets and then it’s down to Gazidis to make that happen where he can. However – it’s not happening and as far as the table shows it has not happened for several years, why?
When I look at how Arsenal FC is being run, I wonder sometimes if the club should be reported to Trading Standards – as they are not delivering what the supporter is paying for. Maybe they would look into on behalf of the fans?
Ok, Trading Standards are not the answer but I am sure you get my drift, we fans pay in one way or anther and the expected return just isn’t happening. I’m not for one minute suggesting that we should go and buy all the top, high-priced players there are available, just 2/3 players that will really make us competitive again. They don’t always come at a high price but not buying them will.
We welcome Manchester United to the Emirates on Sunday, who just so happen to be a club that is number 4 on the spending table list, recently that they have found a little bit of form again and many of you will be dreading this fixture as the 8.2 thrashing comes back into our mind.
Did Arsenal take heed of the last thrashing we received?
No is my answer but will they consider a lesser defeat as a step forward, or maybe an unlikely win would bring a smile to their faces as they realise their tight ways have been redeemed?
Wenger and Kroenke will no doubt be cacking the themselves for 90 minutes and they both thoroughly deserve to too!!
Written by Steve Palmer