Kroenke Again Proves Lack Of Ambition! by Dan Smith
Back in December when Arsenal had just lost our 7th consecutive League game, many said Arteta just had to get to January where he could build his ‘own’ team.
I argued that Stan Kroenke wouldn’t have the ambition to invest this month, that the priority would be slashing the wage bill and our best-case scenario was a loan signing we never heard of.
Some pointed out how our owner had spent more than Chelsea (net spend) in recent years, failing to point out that was more due to the Blues being better than us at getting big money when selling players. E.g. look how much they got for Hazard or even Morata compared to us letting a Sanchez or a Ramsey run down their contracts.
A few wins later and it’s papered over the cracks, with many gooners not questioning how a squad who have made their worse start to a campaign in the Prem era will enter February weaker? It’s music to our owners ears. They have saved money this window and manipulated many into thinking that’s a good thing?
I understand that, with it being uncertain when clubs will be getting match day revenue, no one wants to spend unless they have too. Hence approx. 71 million has been spent by EPL sides, compared to 230 million 12 months ago. My counter argument to that would be we are in a position where we need the help.
Compared to the 19 other sides in the top flight, few are struggling to meet their targets quite like Arsenal.
Man City and Liverpool were predicted to fight for the title and they are. Man United’s minimal requirement was top 4 …. they are in the top 4. As recently as December, Chelsea and Spurs were in top 4, their target for the year.
We are told all the time by the Kroenke family that the intention is for us to return to our old levels, but we sit 10th from the top in February (and that’s only after a good run) so surely that’s us nowhere near our targets set in the summer?
When most companies fail, the owner steps in and helps.
I also won’t allow the club to hide behind Covid, as in the January windows before the outbreak we still could only afford loans.
If Leeds and Southampton win their game in hand, we will be 12th past the halfway point (remember when Arsene Wenger ‘ only finished 4th’?) yet last week we had fans boasting how if we won on Saturday (we didn’t) we’d only be 7 points behind Man United instead of asking what’s the plan is to improve the situation.
There’s even one reader who predicts we will be favourites for the title by March!
That’s genius business from Mr Kroenke. Saving money while failing on the pitch, yet some customers think that’s a good window.
Like with Ceballos, we phoned Real Madrid and asked did they have anyone we could use? They gave us Odegaard, with gooners now pretending they knew who he was a month ago. If we had to pay a fee for him would we have been interested or was the priority value for money?
The Norwegian’s salary is believed to be 38,000 pounds a week which can be taken out of the 350,000 pound a week were giving to Ozil.
Like Ozil, we ripped up Sokratis’ contract to save another (reported 92,000) a week and Matt Macey’s (10,000 a week).
Nice are paying Saliba’s entire 40,000 a week pay packet until he returns, Schalke half of Kolasinac’s incredible 100,000 pound a week (plus we got a one off 3 million fee).
Already, since the summer, Hertha Berlin have covered the entirety of Guendouzi’s wage for this season (40,000 a week) while Atletico Madrid are doing the same regarding Torreira (75,000 a week).
Arteta implied a few weeks ago that Edu already had plans ready. It’s the director of football’s job to identify targets throughout the world. He’s had months watching the team struggle and he’s being paid lots of money to make us better.
Yet all we can manage yesterday was loaning Maitland Niles to West Brom (he’s on 35,000 pound a week) and Newcastle borrowing Willock (on 20-000 a week) and tearing up Mustafi’s 90,000 a week contract.
Anyone great at maths feel free to help but roughly, accounting for releases and loans (not accounting for fringe players) we are saving 800,000 pound a week, which adds up to 3.2 million a month, which equates to over 15 million pounds if we say a loan is Jan/Feb to May/June (more if I worked it out properly).
Add 5 million this month for loan fees (3 for Kolasinac 1 for Willock and Miles) and that’s 20 million made from now to the summer. We recouped another 2 million a year by sacking 55 min playing staff.
It’s not Edu’s fault if that is the job criteria he’s been given, but with him and our manager being former players, I hoped they be more then yes men.
Aston Villa, West Ham and Man United have equally lost income during the pandemic but still were able to find 17, 20 and 19 million, respectively.
Three clubs above us who strengthened.
My response to those who say I pick on Kroenke was let’s wait and see in January. As predicted, he continues to save money while we fail on the pitch. Why do I care how much we save in wages if that money will just sit in the bank?
I’m not Arsenal’s accountant. I’m a Gooner who just wants us to be best the version of ourselves.
Anyone who assumes those savings will be reinvested are naive.
We could have invested in the squad now to push us into the top 4, which would have got the American a bigger return in the future. Instead we will fail to qualify for the Champions League and simply use the money saved this month to cover the loss.
Don’t get me wrong; business wise, we had a very good window – but that’s all we are, a good business.
12 months ago when Man United were struggling to make top 4 they brought Bruno Fernandes in January. What did we do this year? We make 20 million. Just say that out loud ….
If Leeds and Southampton win their game in hand, we will be 12th yet are making money.
The sad thing is; some of my peers have been conditioned to think this is a positive. We must be the only fan-base who celebrate and worry about making money. Do you think Man City fans watch their team lift trophies but say ‘I wish our wage bill was lower’?
Maybe in the summer I’m proven wrong and this month’s savings are added to help fund a bid for Jack Grealish. But there are only so many chances I can give the owner to prove he cares
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