Well it’s an almighty mess isn’t it? (and I’m not talking about the Brexit negotiations either!) It’s our beloved football club that I’m referring to. Both on the field and off it.
In recent weeks performances and results have really accentuated what a shambles Arsene Wenger left the playing squad in. The squad is completely unbalanced. It is full of players the club overpaid for and on wages far in excess of what they should be. Some with no sell-on value due to their age, and other players we cannot shift due to other clubs not prepared to meet their current wages.
The feel-good factor we experienced when we beat Tottenham during the 22 match unbeaten run has well and truly evaporated.
However I feel a lot of sympathy for Unai Emery. I thought once he had two or three transfer windows to get shot of the players he didn’t think suited the way he wanted to play and replaced them with players that do, we would start to see us become more consistent and harder to beat.
All is not well at Arsenal Football Club though. Sven Mislintat is off. Diamond Eye: the man who was going to provide us with a conveyor belt of unknown gems as he did at Dortmund will be doing that elsewhere.
What concerns me more though, is what Unai Emery said at a recent press conference – that Arsenal could only bring in loan deals during this transfer window. That has deflated me badly and I dare say it hasn’t done a lot of good to the morale of Emery and his players either.
I heard Tim Payton say on the Gooner Ramble podcast that Arsenal are due to lose £75 million this year and can only spend £40 million in the summer. If that is correct – and the AST have a couple of members who know their stuff – how can a club that has always been so well-run be in this predicament?
I myself put the bulk of the blame on the owner Stan Kroenke.
It’s an absolute disgrace that a club like Arsenal – the 5th or 6th biggest on the planet – and valued at £2.2 billion according to Forbes, can only bring in loan deals and have £40 million to spend in the summer!
I know we are hamstrung by FFP and PL regulations but how on earth can we be in this position? Of course in the summer maybe the club will do what is required: i.e. rebuild the squad, but to be honest, alarm bells are ringing…
In the last two years, Stan Kroenke and his wife have personally invested $1.2 billion of their own money into building the LA Rams’ new £5 billion stadium. Since 2007 when he first got involved with Arsenal he hasn’t invested one penny of his own money into Arsenal. In fact he’s taken £6 million out of the club.
I bought a match programme outside the Emirates at the last home game and handed over £3.50 which is £3.50 more than that tightwad Kroenke has ever given. The difference being is I’m just a struggling black cab driver while Stan is worth northwards of $8 billion! That’s without counting the wealth of his Walmart heiress wife.
You’d think that a man of his means would be embarrassed at one of his prime assets’ situation – but frankly Stan couldn’t give a toss. The man has no shame. It’s also really disappointing that he never talks to the fans about what his vision is for the club.
I remember once David Dein saying that Roman Abramovich should as the owner of Chelsea communicate with the Chelsea supporters. I agree with this; we want to hear his plans for the club but we’ve heard nothing. Josh Kroenke was supposed to be coming to London to take more of a part in the running of the club. But he’s been anonymous and is as silent as his father.
Now the club is owned lock, stock and barrel by Kroenke he can mask the financial activities of the club to a certain extent with less detail going into Arsenal Football Club’s Reports and accounts. I’m worried he will start to syphon off money with dividends and even worse start to use the club’s resources to service the loan he took out with Deutsche Bank to complete his 100% takeover of the club.
When I hear that we can only loan players and have just £40 million to spend in the summer the signs don’t look good. Wouldn’t it be the right thing for the Kroenke’s to reassure the supporters that this isn’t true. I won’t hold my breath. The silence is deafening.