Posted on April 24, 2018 by ADMIN

Did lack of investment by Arsenal prove to be Wenger’s undoing?

Was the call for Arsene out justified or is there an alternative explanation for Arsenals demise? by Terry Barry

I wrote the following analysis 5 weeks ago (on 14th of March, 2018) and in the light of Arsene’s recent announcement – I ask were the fans and pundits calls for ‘Arsene Out’ justified or has he taken the hit for the failure of the money people at the Club to invest properly in the playing squad?

The Investment Deficit at Arsenal and ‘Arsene Out!’

We have just had two morale boosting victories away to AC Milan and at home to Watford. Prior to this we had experienced a dreadful run of play accompanied by a huge reaction from the press and fans which featured much criticism of the players and particularly the Manager. This is a familiar pattern over the years whenever we hit a bad patch and cascade down the dreaded, negative spiral. The theme of much of the press and media commentary is the failure of both the team and the manager to meet the expectations of the fans. Increasingly the call is ‘Arsene Out’!

Is this reaction and its conclusion fully justified – is it fair? I know when you painfully watch the Arsenal suffer a beating, it seems perfectly rational behaviour to criticise the players and the manager – but when we do this, are we looking at the real cause of the problem? Is it just the events on the pitch that we need to look at or should we pause and look a little deeper in our quest to properly explain what we see?

I believe we need to take a step back and adopt a different perspective to understand events Arsenal. My thesis is that football and the context in which it is played has changed out of all recognition since our Highbury days and in response we need to fundamentally adjust the way we assess the team’s performances. I believe over the last decade or so Arsenal FC has undergone a huge transition and it’s not just in an architectural or a geographic sense with the short move from Highbury to the Emirates that the transition is defined.

Arsenal FC is now Arsenal PLC. An EPL football club is not just concerned with playing football – it’s also concerned about making and managing huge amounts of money. The Arsenal is much more than a football club – we are now a global Corporation. Gone are the Highbury days when Arsene ruled the roost over a small number of staff and we could steal a march on our rivals by recruiting talented players from France and encouraging our team to live much healthier lifestyles.

When he arrived at Highbury, the number of employees was measured in tens, now it’s in hundreds. Over the last 3 years the number of people employed has doubled and a new management structure is fast emerging to reflect our global business status. Arsenal are not alone in experiencing this transition – every club in the EPL is experiencing this – some more than others – with Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea leading the revolution. In this new world I think we need to ask the question how is success being measured for the Arsenal? Is it how much money or profit is made or is it how many trophies are won? Which of these two objectives is what really matters to the people who own and run this club? What shapes football competitiveness today and how do Arsenal shape up relative to their rivals in the EPL?

I know what we fans think and want but is that the same goal as the money people in a football club? I want to pose the questions here – have the people who run Arsenal football club got the same priorities as us fans? As Arsenal has transitioned from FC to global Corporation have the money people taken over to the cost of what the football fan wants. More crudely, is money making now more important than football success? Do fans and pundits when expressing their verdicts about the performance of the team and manager take into account financial considerations like how much their rivals invest in their team relative to the Arsenal?

These are very important questions because when things go wrong on the field of play and we (fans and pundits) formulate our opinions – we do so through the prism of what we see on the field of play – the performance of the players and the manager – and largely ignore the role and activities of the money making people who behind the scenes play a huge part in determining what happens on the pitch. We are more concerned with the emotional now of the match rather than any financial analyses. This point is important because this limit on our perspective may lead to us drawing the wrong conclusions as to why Arsenal are not winning as many games as we would like and who in the club is to ‘blame’ for these ‘failures’.

Why do I think like this? The first step I made in seeking an explanation as to why things were going wrong – was to decide to ‘follow the money’ rather than just looking at the football itself. When I did this, I was shocked to learn how far behind Arsenal are from the other top teams in the EPL in terms of how much money they invest in the assembly of their squad – see below. This realisation made me stop and think – hang on – even the mighty Arsenal are not competing on a level playing field!

Money spent on present playing squad (2017)

Manchester City £775M

Manchester United £712M

Chelsea £585M

Liverpool £397M

Arsenal £377M

Spurs £328M

Note how this order broadly matches the position of each club in the EPL. There is good reason to believe there is a correlation between player investment and success. Of course we can point to the anomalies to this theory with Spurs investing less than us but being higher in the table – but they have Kane and Ali et al who cost nothing which skews the figures. And we could also add the success of Leicester a couple of seasons back, who similarly had very valuable payers – Vardy, Mahrez and Kante – who cost very little. And there is the recent failure of Everton to buy success (see Summer 2017 transfer table below). However, by and large those clubs who invest the most in their playing squads usually have the best squads and this in turn 9 times out of 10 leads to the reward of gaining a higher League table position.

I was staggered when I discovered that Guardiola had spent £448M on new players in his first 19 months in charge at City. That’s a huge investment. With a manager like Guardiola, is it any wonder City are the best team in the League? If we matched City and invested another £400M to improve the current Arsenal squad – what sort of team would we have and how would we get on in the league? It would buy us a world class – goalie, full back, centre half, couple of midfielders and striker and still have change left over! Just imagine that!

Next I looked at how much money EPL clubs make and learned that Arsenal are the 3rd most successful earner in the EPL and 6th in the world in terms of annual revenues. Within this revenue the Arsenal earn the highest match day receipts in the EPL and remarkably in the world!

Revenues League Table (2016/17)

Man U £581M

Man City £453M

Arsenal £419M

Chelsea £368M

Liverpool £364M

Spurs £305M

Leicester £233M

West Ham £183M

Southampton £182M

Everton £171M

According to Forbes we are the 3rd richest Club in the EPL and the 6th richest in the world.

Forbes list of Wealthiest Clubs (EPL Clubs in Worlds top 20 – 2016)

Man U £2.86BN

Man City £1.61BN

Arsenal £1.5BN

Chelsea £1.45BN

Liverpool £1.15BN

Spurs £821M

West Ham £491M

Leicester £320M

The Soccerex Football Finance 100 (see table below) which measures clubs wealth by – playing assets, fixed assets, money in the bank, potential owner investment and debt – places Arsenal as the 2nd richest Club in the world (and the EPL) behind only Manchester City.

Soccerex Football Finance 100 (2018) – Richest Teams in the EPL

1.Man City

2.Arsenal

3.Spurs

4.Man United

5.Chelsea

6.Liverpool

7.Leicester

8.Everton

Clearly, Arsenal are an extremely rich club – one of the richest in world football – and are making shed loads of dosh in annual revenues and the question that immediately hits me is why aren’t we using this wealth to invest more money into our playing squad to match the levels of our competitors in the EPL? Given this discrepancy between our disappointing performance on the pitch, our reluctance to invest in players and our huge wealth – could it be that we are prioritising the making of money from football over the making of success on the field of play? Have we become more Arsenal PLC than Arsenal FC? Or, is there an alternative explanation?

We see evidence of the making of money taking priority over the making of football success for the fans at the Arsenal in recent times with the introduction of preseason tours to far flung parts of the world to promote the brand, with no acknowledgement of the need for proper squad preparation for the coming season. We saw it in the restricted transfer policy throughout the paying for the Emirates stadium period; indeed the move itself from Highbury to the Emirates was a classic example. We see it in the excessive prices of season tickets (and dreadful coffee) and the bungs to the owners for consultancy fees! We see it in the lack of democracy and fan involvement in the running of the club. It all feeds the image of private greed and the pursuit of profit being more important than the football good of the club and its loyal supporters. Should bringing in massive revenues whilst under investing in the playing squad be added to this list?

Who is responsible for this situation? Is it Arsene, or Ivan, the Board or Stan who is making this call? At the moment it is certainly Arsene who is taking all the blame for the lack of football success – my question is – rather than focusing on the immediacy of what happens on the field of play and blaming the players and Arsene – shouldn’t we – fans, journalists, tv pundits – be looking at what goes on in the USA and in the boardroom with the people who control the financial decisions about the investment in our players squad and ask when our major competitors are investing so much – why aren’t Arsenal doing the same and investing more in players?

If Arsenal are to become more competitive then it follows that the priorities need to change. For a number of years (the building of new stadium) we have had to be financially prudent which started the process of Arsenal becoming under invested in their playing squad relative to others and ironically, it marked the start of the transition of Arsenal to becoming a global Corporation. Following the paying off of much of the Stadium liabilities – we have managed to make some recent significant player purchases like Lacazette (see below for transfers during the summer of 2017) – and then the record signing of Aubameyang in 2018 – but when we look at what our rivals have spent to build their current playing squads and their greater competiveness – our efforts to invest amount to being too little, too late – we are still miles behind!

This is bad not just for success on the field but also its not good for business either – there is a synergy between the two objectives.

Money spent recently on transfers (Over the Summer – 2017)

Man City £221M

Chelsea £155M

Everton £149M

Man U £145M

Liverpool £83M

Leicester £55M

Watford £53M

Arsenal £45M

Our level of player investment is still way behind that of our rivals and because of this I argue our level of competitiveness must still lag far behind the top teams in the EPL. Our gradual decline out of the top 4 needs to be seen in this context. Given this handicap it serves no useful purpose to constantly blame Arsene Wenger (or any alternative future manager) when we falter on the pitch – a view which is so easy to adopt given Wenger is the public face of the club – it’s a view that completely misses the point! In fact to do so is a distraction which prevents us from seeing the real cause of our problems – the decisions made by the men who control the money. Perhaps this is intentional – are the money men happy to let Arsene take all the flak – have they hung him out to dry?

Wenger can only seek to get the most out of the players at his disposal – and given the present player investment gulf between us and our rivals – it could be argued that he and the players have if anything possibly over achieved. This state of affairs is not sustainable if we are to become real title contenders again. A continuing gradual decline is what awaits us unless there is a radical change in the Clubs financial policy in the transfer market. Whoever the Manager is that person needs to be given the financial backing to compete with our rivals for the title.

People will argue why is it if money is so important why do we lose to teams like Stoke, Swansea, Brighton and Bournmouth who have far less than us. I say two things to that – first its about having a squad not just a first XI – injuries, loss of form, competition for places and injuries take their toll and the ability to have a choice between two top players for the same position is a massive advantage; second, success breeds success the more you win, the more you win – conversely the dreaded negative spiral can be avoided by having a top class squad full of inter-changeable players which enables a club to compete in all competitions.

This plea for greater player investment begs the questions as to who we are and who we want to be. Do we want to be a club like City, United and Chelsea that buys in it’s entire first team squad ‘off the shelf’ or do we want to be a club which seeks also to grow it’s own players bringing players through the youth teams and up to the top? Do we want to be a team of bought in talent of Ozils and Lacazettes or do we want to leave room for the coming up through the ranks experienced by the likes of Jack Wilshere and Hector Bellerin?

If it’s the latter then we need to consider how important it is that this is a part of our club philosophy; similarly how important is it to seek to entertain as well as win and accept that the pursuit of these two principals could have a negative impact on our competitiveness and our ability to win trophies. City under Guardiola has shown the way – it is possible to buy success and entertain – but what hope does an Academy player have getting into the first team at City? Does this principal matter to an Arsenal fan – do we value seeing a Maitland Niles playing in the first team with 3 more youngsters (Nelson, Willock and Nketiah) on the bench or do we want an entire squad made up of very expensive signings? It all begs the question – in this transition from FC to PLC what sort of Club are we becoming and what impact will this transition have on the principals that Arsene has instilled in the Club?

No doubt one day when Arsene has gone we might read in his biography about what really went on behind the scenes but I wonder – his love for the club is more important than his ego – so maybe we never will learn the full story. For now let’s stop our knee jerk reactions to disappointment and look a little deeper for our solutions. Lets put things in perspective when we watch a game and appreciate we are outgunned financially by our rivals and it’s not a level playing field when we compete for the title and even a top 4 position. We really need to revise our expectations – otherwise we will be forever disappointed. We also need to appreciate that the manager operates at a considerable competitive disadvantage because our rivals have invested far greater sums than we do in buying star players and that restriction should temper how we judge his and the teams performances.

For me – Arsene Wenger will always be the man. Why? Because I love his philosophy and the way he seeks to play the game. There is great value in these qualities which transcend mere money. The game of football should not be all about winning or losing in the way that someone like Mourinho sees football – it’s also about seeking to play in an entertaining way. It’s about being a football Club that has an ethos which allows for and encourages the progression of Academy players to the first team. Because he has maintained these principals in this world of zillions of money swishing around football and all the pressures and corruptions of the games values and principles that this money brings – I will always admire and respect our Manager. To compete as well as we have against rivals who have invested far greater sums in players than we have and have eschewed the development of Academy players makes his achievements all the more remarkable.

My fear is that with the eventual departure of Arsene Wenger and the continuing transition from football Club to global Corporation – we will loose these precious principals forever and we will all be the poorer for it! Any Manager who says “My never ending struggle in this business is to release what is beautiful in men” will always win my support. It appears that far from releasing what is beautiful in fans it is the ugly side of human nature that has triumphed!

Finally, my advice to Wenger out ‘fans’ – think carefully before you direct your ire – is Arsene to blame for our demise or was it all down to economics and the failure of the Club to invest whilst our competitors ploughed huge sums into their playing squads? My advice in these matters is as always ‘follow the money’ if you want to get to the bottom of things.

Terry Barry

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73 thoughts on “Did lack of investment by Arsenal prove to be Wenger’s undoing?

  1. Arsene is Out

    A very well researched long winded article resulting in the wrong conclusion. Arsene Wenger has had enough money to spend he just spent it on the wrong players.
    He bought Xhaka for 35M instead of Kante for 30M. We paid that much again for Mustafi. 17M for Perez, 17M for Chambers, 17M for Welbeck.
    The season he bought Cech for 11M that is all he spent. His words were that he couldnt find anyone better. Vidal went to Bayern for 26m at the same time.
    Imagine Vidal and Kante in our midfield instead of Coquelin and Xhaka these last two years.
    And then we sent close to 120M on two forwards in the last two transfer windows? Who does that?
    Arsene’s transfer dealings have been a total and utter mess. He and he alone is the reason for this current squad. Thankfully the likes of Sylvestre, Squilacci, Kallstrom are gone.

    1. Ray

      Totally agree @ Arsene is Out.

      Late panic buys and stalled contract talks were his downfall in many ways. The best were sold early as Arsene fluffed his lines every year for the last five years. Eventually the players were free to leave for nothing or half their value! (Alexis for example)?

      My dad always said “The early bird gets the worm”! So true..

    2. gotanidea

      Agree, lack of investment doesn’t always mean no title

      Leicester City proved that (I expect @John Ibrahim a.k.a @Hafiz Rahman to counter me soon)

      1. Nay Sayer

        If you think 1 exception in the last 2 decades proves any point, you should invest in adult education.

    3. Lugdush

      In fact, he said “leicewter didnt invest a lot BUT they get good players in vardy, etc. Spurs have ali and kane who they didnt spend a penny..well, thats what we are looking for..thats the pretended arsenal way but we have not been that..great part of it is from wenger…so, great research but very inconsistent conclusions

    4. RichSAAlao

      Buying players is about availability at a particular point, and price is subsequent.
      When he made inquiry for Kante, he was not available, when Leicester decided to seller, Arsenal already bought Xhaka. Then the need couldnt wait, of course, he was always been slain for not acting quick.
      It is a known truth, open fact, that he was not having enough Money. BUT now that money has come they threaten to disgrace him with a sack.
      Treachery, treachery! treachery!! treachery!!!

  2. Ray

    Seriously?

    Leicester did it on allot less!!

    It’s nothing to do with money. The man lost ground as modern football caught up with him and his antiquated ways!

    Secondly, his softly-softly ways with the players saw them take mediocrity for granted and it spread like a virus.

    Let’s not start back-tracking on what we all said would be best for the club. A new era under new management!

    COYG!!

    1. Nay Sayer

      Seriously.

      An exception that happens ONCE IN A FEW DECADES is indicative only of the fact that in a few decades you do get ONE chance to win the title even without a top-6 investment.

      Is that what you want for Arsenal?
      To be in the running once every 20 – 30 years like Leicester??

      Or do you want it to be like Liverpool who at least get a realistic chance once every 5 years or so?

  3. AndersS

    Yes, money is part of the problem.
    But you are completely ignoring the fact that we are paying higher wages than Spurs and Liverpool, yet we are miles behind them.
    You are also ignoring how badly we spent our money. Within 7 months we broke our transfer record twice on buying 2 players for the same position in spite of the fact, our real problem is leaking goals, and it has been for years. In contrast Liverpool, who also had defensive problems, sold arguably their best attacking player (at the time), and spent most of the money on their defense. Taking a big step forward.
    Finally, over the last few years, we have seen countless matches with players not even motivated to give 100%.
    As an “Arsene out” supporter, I am really happy, we finally have seen the end of his regime. It was good for the first 10 years, but after that it has been stale end ended up in real demise.
    So my advice to you; look to the future with belief instead of sulking over Wenger’s goodbye. It was long overdue.

    1. Phil

      My thoughts totally.It would have been very very interesting when Wengers contract was renewed last season if it was performance related.Example instead of the reported £9m salary per season it was incentive based say at £5m with additional payments for
      Average attendances
      League position with a MINIMUM of top 4
      Player sales and recruitment
      Cup competitions
      I wonder firstly if he would have signed the contract ( yet supposedly he loves the Club more than life itself).And If he did I wonder how things would have ended up.He would certainly not earn this full salary as some of his decisions and his personal performances would not have been to the required minimum.But on £9m a year no matter what he certainly wasn’t the loser here.

    2. Terry Barry

      The problem is systemic at the Arsenal. Trying to compete against hugely funded clubs with such an investment deficit is bad for the Arsenal F.C. and bad for business.
      It leads to us slipping down the league table. This problem will persist and will be a handicap for any manager of the club.

  4. ThirdManJW

    I have always said that finances have definitely played their part, but for anyone who watches Arsenal regularly, you can clearly see the on field problems, that are ONLY the manager’s fault.

    To put it simply, Wenger pretty much had WC players in almost every position for the majority of his first decade in charge. Which means one doesn’t have to worry too much about tactics, because the quality of your players will see you through. That’s not to say Wenger didn’t deserve any credit, because obviously he does. For Wenger’s last 12 years it’s been mostly rubbish/average players, with a sprinkling of top quality. So in that case, there needed to be much more emphasise on your own tactics, and adjusting those tactics in regards to who your opponent was. This is where Wenger went wrong. He just kept setting up his team in the exact same way, ignoring form, ability, whether they even fit into his system or not, and it just didn’t work. You cannot go from the likes of Henry, Vieira, and Campbell, to Giroud, Song, and Silvestre, and expect the same results! Especially not, if you’re not willing to adjust the tactics either.

    Blind loyalty, stubbornness, and arrogance, has FINALLY cost Wenger his job.

    1. Arsene is Out

      I agree completely. But quality didnt have to cost that much more. I was just doing the math. We bought xhaka and elneny in the same year (two windows) for about 46M we could have had Kante and Vidal for 56M for about 10M more we would be getting 2 world class players instead of two average ones.
      My dad used to say to me ” i’m not rich enough to buy cheap” rings true right now as we keep looking for upgrades to our midfield.

      1. Tat

        It’s easy to say what you could have done, like wenger could have brought Messi long time ago as well. No point to argue what we could have got. You can pretty much look at any other teams and managers, and say the same thing. Like what Man U could have got instead of pogba.
        One thing for sure, if new manager was to only given 50 m, it’s very unlikely we can do any better next year.

        1. Ray

          I’m hoping £50 mill will be okay plus some more from deadwood. As long as a new manager can reinvent or invigorate some freshness into the squad and turn them into the stars they should have been?!

        2. Arsene is Out

          The article is arguing that his problem was money, i am just saying he made the bad choices with the money he had. So no Messi or other extreme bs just facts.

          Also agree that 50M is not nearly enough to at least get a top DM and a top defender. I think each will cost around 50-60M and we dont have valuable deadwood to get rid off.

          1. Quantic Dream

            £50M is a lot of money. I believe the transfer market is a bubble and all the prices are artificially propped up purely by PSG and Manchester City. Once FIFA crack down on them the prices will come tumbling down back to reality. If you look at the big money merry-go round transfers you will see they are one way or another connected to those two clubs. Prices are going to the moon but not the revenues so eventually, the bubble will pop.

            1. Arsene is Out

              Believing something is a bubble and when that bubble will burst are two different things. City are ready to spend again, Liverpool just spent 75M on a defender, we spent 35M on xhaka 2 years ago. We are not getting two top players for 50M no way. Maybe one defender or one DM and someone who is not being chased by other top teams.
              If our budget is really 50M for next window then our only hope is Mislentat finding a couple of gems at 20-25M each.
              We are not getting the likes of Koulibally or Fabinho or Jorginho. One of them maybe.

                1. Neil

                  Uh.. Wenger has not had 150mn to spend. !!! Let’s see what happens when a) new manager is in and b) if he does only have £50m then no way can he win title. Will you all accept that ?

                  It’s rhetorical until a) above has happened by the way. !

  5. Ray

    I think Terry Barry is a bit sour to be honest. He’s obviously an AKB figure!?

    You can’t write an one-sided article like this and expect us believe it was always about the money alone?

    Simply put, The stats speak for themselves and the only direction Arsenal are heading under Wenger is south of the EPL. So, PLEASE, Let’s not start the “Mind what you wish for” talk now that AFC have seen the same light the fans have seen!!

    Arsene is leaving and we need to move on.

    1. Arsene is Out

      Yes, we used to fight for the title and end up in the top four. Then we used to aim for the top for and end up in the top four, now we aim for the top four and end up in the top six. Another season with Wenger and our aim would have been top six.

      1. bran911

        Hehehe very clear explanation, always climbing down that ladder while our rivals are going the opposite way where we should all aim at. I’m glad he’ll be gone and leave our beloved club

  6. Sameer Makwana

    Absolutely true
    Arsenal Wenger without lot of investment he earned more profit compare others
    I am a Indian I saw each and every game
    Arsene Wenger father of football

  7. Lupe

    So is it money that caused us to not have any away points this year losing to teams that don’t even have half our budget? Money helps but anybody that just says its only because of money wenger failed, is clearly not an arsenal fan and doesn’t watch any of our matches. Why is it that leicester, atletico madrid and monaco can win their respective leagues ahead of money bag teams but wenger the so called genius manager, best manager ever can’t? If any english team were to create an upset like leicester did, it should have been us as wenger fans always talk about him like he is a miracle worker and on top of that, he has the most experience. Lets be real, wenger lost touch with the modern game.

  8. ks-gunner

    Wenger can not handle star players. He always went in by playing the father role in the hope that his kids would stay loyal to him. How wrong he was. I think that cost him his credibility. To much faith in himself and in those he choose to represent. Was he delusional or very arrogant? I cant make up my mind.

  9. #MAGA

    £50 mil is just news papers click bait. Our club would not divulge anything on this subject to the press before interviewing a manager. I just don’t believe it. #fakenews #MAGA

  10. Ray

    This article was almost as long as WENGER’s tenure, credit to Terry Barry for his research which is all good but in essence completely misses the point and ignores the last years of disappointment and anger due to AW lack of touch with the new reality at the EPL.

    1.- Money spent 377 mill more than enough to build a competitive squad, most invested in the wrong players.
    2.- Complacency rewarding underperformance, picking favorites, excommunicating those players he did not like (Campbell)
    3.- Good example SANOGO WTF was he thinking, this was his answer after selling RVP.
    4.- Giroud, OX, even Walcott all became relevant with their new teams where they need to perform in order to play.
    5.- Tactics, strategy?? not in his world, not necessary to adapt to the new football, it became more evident when WC managers came to the EPL, but it was clear since the days of SAF that he had already back then lost the plot and the of course he sold our best player to the man himself so he could go and win the EPL.
    However you want to call it he was SACKED (with all due respect) he was not planning to quit under no circumstances, his arrogant ways and delusion were his demise, he never saw it coming to his eyes ARSENAL owe him, but there he was wrong, no one is bigger than the Club.
    They ask to respect him on his last days with ARSENAL and I agree and will bow to the request , unfortunately to my eyes and after years of watching my club become what it became , I am more looking forward to see who will be the next man in charge that the one that left.

  11. Arnold

    That’s the price he paid for clinging on mediocre players and want to do everything by himself and not being honest with arsenal fans for so long – too many empty promises after the season is over and try to show everybody in football world he knows how to deal with transfer at the very end and last hour of transfer window while every other teams finished all the business two/three weeks before the new season started – i didn’t like it at all!! and come and say we didn’t find a right players if he signed was only one player and that was a lot of pain to swallow and enough is enough i am glad is leaving

  12. Vicbklyn

    Numbers don’t lie! Sad part is after you subtract the money made on sales, we actually spent even less. I’ve been screaming for years that Wenger does not write checks. #silentstanout has been running franchises for years with the same model. Make a public money head like Wenger(publizing his salary) and letting someone else take the blame. He got lucky Wenger was already in place and to loyal to the club to speak up.
    When you analyze & compare quality of purchases, you forget the stories that went with that. Stories like Wenger was forced to sell before buying(misses out on his 1st & 2nd choices), Usmanov telling the World Wenger has no money & is underfunded, the board decided not to pay Van Persie, not Wenger.
    Wenger’s strength & Weakness are one in the same, his loyalty. He is a true GOONER who loves the club. At times he loss the power to be objective, bias in evaluating our players like Wilshire, Ramsey. No top club would of done that. He never complained that he wasn’t probably funded even when the board denied him $5m extra to lock up Hiquian. He stays when the Emirates was built being told that we don’t expect to compete for 10 years while we pay off the stadium. ##silentstan comes with his frugal Walmart family policies & he still stays believing that he can continue to over achieve with youth & scouting. All the while turning jobs down from clubs like Barcelona, PSG, ManC, & those are only 3 of the confirmed. His trophy cabinet would of been filled & he would of made mire than he made at Arsenal.
    I think him for hid loyalty & hope he tells all in an autobiography.

    1. bran911

      Hehehe yours is short but both you and the author are trying to defend Wenger, but you all run around the bush to do that. Money ain’t the problem, it’s the father statue who never wanted to leave even though time was passing by but he never wanted to change

      1. Vicbklyn

        Money was a big part of the problem! We may have a honeymoon period with the new manager & go back to being the cheapest club in the league. 1 report last year had us 18 in spending the last 5 years of the top 2 leagues in England.

  13. NB

    AW failed as a football manager. He’d left the financial problem with board management, nor taking care by himself. I think we’ve hired him for trophy and his salary was unusually high.

    I missed David Dein, if he’s continue working with us. AW won’t facing something like this at his age.

  14. Arnold

    Even one of Arsenal’s director (Lord Harris) came out few seasons ago a said the money is there to spend the only player we cant afford was Messi only.

    1. RSH

      Yup. Wenger always said there was no money while higherups have begged to differ. It all heresay on the budgets that were given. We all know Wenger is stubborn and stuck in his ways and doesnt really believe in big money spending so it wouldn’t be hard to believe he just didnt spend the money offered. That said, we all know Kroenke is a cheapskate and cares more about his wallet than actual success. In the end all we can do is speculate. Regardless, team was regressing tremendously when we did start spending big so no doubt AW should be leaving.

  15. Kash P

    THERE IS some merit in the author’s viewpoint, but I also feel that better scouting/purchasing also would have yielded better results.
    Conte won the league but still demanded more investment,this did not happen and he has had a strained relationship with management and on the verge of leaving. Wenger’ has never made public any behind the scenes rejections/problems, common sense tells you that there HAD to be plenty.
    I do however believe that better scouting/purchasing would have greatly helped.
    Viera stated that Arsene “trusts his players to make the right decisions on the pitch”. Now the type of player’s that fit this profile are sadly missing from this team- you can see that in plenty of games where they have looked disorganized/dejected. Player’s should have been bought that can thrive under this style of management ,that is the fault of the manager and HIS scouting team.
    Ozil stated that he is grateful to have had Wenger’s trust,but when things aren’t going right he is completely lost and has no impact.
    Could more money have resulted in different players being purchased that fitted this model? Were the current players bought because they were in budget and seemed likely to fit into this style? Don’t know,probably will never know.
    This current squad will probably function better with a more rigid style of management, but it will not be freeflowing football.

  16. Grandad

    The decline of Arsenal can be attributed to bad Management not underinvestment.Unfortunately it took the Board too long to recognise this.

  17. Kedar91

    And People think Pep is a great Manager….
    He is most overrated Manager who can only Manage teams who are having limitless money…
    Barcelona, Bayern and now City…
    If I get 200 Millions in year to spend then even I can win any trophy…
    And even After spending so much money still they were easily humilated by Liverpool in CL….. And they still cannot achieve Invincible tag….
    And what Pep says Man City is not ready for CL…
    What the hell?? You are spending 200 Millions in market man and you say they are not ready…… Then what kind coach and Manager you are???
    And still people think Pep is world class…

    1. Vanpayslip, Esq - Making Arsenal great again

      SMH

      That’s like saying Hamilton is wack because he doesn’t drive a Nissan Micra.

      Pep gets to spend the big bucks because he delivers. You may have forgot, but your derogatory comments were aimed towards the current EPL champions.

      This pointless argument just defects away from our own issues. It wasn’t money. If it was then he wouldn’t have dropped out of the CL AFTER being given a big budget. He went stale peddling the same old nonesense until it didn’t matter and then had to walk.

  18. Timpson

    I just don’t get how no one seems puzzled that Man City with only recent wide spread recognition and a ground they don’t always fill have such sky high revenues. It’s not from TV money as that has some equity built into the way it is divided up . It’s not from a Real Madrid or United world wide history or appeal so it leads me to think it is “artificial” commercial deals with less than independent companies that inflates its income dishonestly to make them appear to be one of the good guys. It stinks to me.

    1. Tas

      Timpson they pay themselves huge advertising and sponsorship money the Etihad,s and god knows who other and what other friends or family business, just so they can get away with it they paid the same to Barcelona so FFP don’t start asking questions, who outside UK supported City in the past no one so why would anyone pay word breaking kit sponsership and name

    2. RSH

      FFP is a joke and will continue to be. It all stinks unfortunately. We all know UEFA is corrupt and years from now we will hear about these secret payments and all of the corruption just like we did a few years ago.

  19. Anesh

    I would like to see what the new manager does with limited funding, like Wenger had. Over the years we lost great players to make money. Besides spurs n Lexeister , the other teams have spent excessively to achieve success. Wenger had to manage with these players. Besides trf fees there’s personal terms n Arsenal were not great there either. Man Utd pay huge trf fees n salaries. Man city n Chelsea pay huge trf fees. Stan more interested in profits than trophies. Only now with empty seats did he realise how much revenue he can lose if this continues hence get rid of Wenger. It’s all abt the money.

    1. Tas

      Any other top manager would resign or threaten to do so or runt publicly until he gets sacked or gets the funds specialy if he knows that money is siting in the bank

  20. RSH

    And Wenger was restricted by budgets at some point. We dont exactly know when that stopped happening and more cash became available. We only take AW’s word on it and he may have just been being stubborn. Doesn’t really matter though since the team has gotten worse since we have goten more big name players. Forget about the cash and just ask if the quality of performances have been near standard at all. And that has way more to do with coaching than money.

  21. Andrew E

    I keep hearing about the £50m, where did that come from? Probably from some hack who just dreamt of a figure and ran with it. He couldn’t have got it from the board who are more secretive than MI6. God help us next season if it’s right because which potential manager will accept that?

    Money isn’t everything but it is if you have a few average players in the quad that need to be upgraded. I think it will get worse before it gets better unless Stan dips his hand in his pocket which obviously won’t happen. Crazy isn’t it he’s a billionaire and his wife is the Walmart heiress!!

  22. Innit

    Money makes the world go around
    The world go around
    The world go around
    Money makes the world go around
    It makes the world go ’round

  23. Break-on-through

    He’s leaving so no need to open this debate up. Some idiot’s will talk like he is the worst thing to happen and some equally as daft will talk like the man could do no wrong. He’s a great man and one of the best managers to grace these shores. You don’t get professional critics holding a person in such high esteem if his biggest detractors were anywhere near the mark. You only need to listen to what people are saying to realize the respect Arsene has earned, it also sheds a light on why he’s lasted so long within the one club. Arsene is such a capable individual, he could be a director of football, he could be the head of recruitment, he could’ve been a nutritionist, he could be an ambassador, a linguist, he could be a great many things but he chose to be a Gooner!!!

  24. Innit

    He didn’t invest enough AND when he did spend money, many times he invested UN-WISELY

    He didn’t invest in a top defensive midfielder. Instead he got Xhaka for £35 million who isn’t worth that much.
    Mustafi isn’t worth that amount either.
    Chambers isn’t worth £18 mil
    Wenger waited years to upgrade Giroud and replace RVP. This year in fact. Aubameyang and Lacazette are good signings but he waited till we dropped to 6th place

    We could have won the Premier League in 2015-2016 if he had only made two more signings (top striker and defensive midfielder).

    Its not just the amount he spent but getting the wrong quality players and not getting the right players or waiting too long

    1. McLovin

      Don’t forget the infamous 13-14 when we actually lead the table in January. Needed players that window when Ramsey got injured and Wenger pulled a master stroke buy signing Kim Kardashian.

      1. INTERNATIONALARSENAL

        Hehe that was a horrible year for arsenal fans. 6-0, 5-1, 6-3 defeats. He put his ego head of millions of fans worldwide. Am happy he’s gone.

  25. Arnold

    If empty seats were the weapon to get rid of Wenger I am happy because demonstrations didn’t work at all

  26. Sergio

    OP, you mention Spurs having Kane and Alli and Leicester having Kante, Mahrez and Vardy, which skew the figures because they became valuable at their respective clubs.

    How do you think this happened? It was their managers that brought the best out of them, coached them to their full ability, which in turn increased their value.

    This is something Wenger used to be renowned for, and also something he hasn’t been able to do in the last 5-8 years.

  27. Jay Dee

    I agree about investment but i think the reason i wouldnt follow the money is because the little money we spent, it wasnt spent well. Xhaka- who we have insisted should play every game despite that every defensive break down actually starts with him. I know some people will say he has improved. No, Ozil and Mkhytarian have been performing hence everyone else looks better. Whats sad was Mkhytarian wasnt what we initially wanted- ahyas.

    We had a chance to sign Suarez, we dodnt because we were stingy, how much did we lose by not finishing first, in tickets sales, in tv revenue.

    We got a chance to sign Lacazette a few years back, same issue. We were the dirat team to want Mbappe before everyone knew who he was. Stingy. We have had players literally beffing Wenger to come sign them- Lemar, Martial, Calvarho and the list goes on. How much in the last 3 years, have we lost by not investing early and on time.
    Why did we sign PEA on the last day of the window instead of beginning.

    I am tired of Wenger coz he cant catch up- are we saying he is the only problem, no. But he is a BIG one. Now next to the next challenge. Wont be easy but i would support an Arteta or Viera or whoever they bring, who will lose trying to actually win the title…

    The young players that we developed, were

  28. JJ Pawn

    Arsenal cannot win the PL without spending much much more than Wenger did or Wenger was allowed to.

    No major manager would want to come to Arsenal without money.

    For all the attacks on Wenger, pretty much every manager has had players that they should not have bought. Every manager has flops. That is why the “top” managers buy many players, as there is no guarantee of success.

    Wenger was a bargain who build the club into a global brand. He was in the process of rebuilding Arsenal by letting overrated English players go. He was about 150M away from re-doing the back three or four. And another 100M for a DMF.

    The next manager needs 200M to 300M to make Arsenal compete for the title.

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