There were a lot of things for Arsenal fans to consider and talk about from the interview given this week by the club’s chief executive Ivan Gazidis. Most of the papers and sports websites have focused on his comments about the Gunners not being able to beat our big Premier League rivals when it comes to spending power and his suggestions that the club’s youth policy combined with an ultra careful and disciplined transfer policy will continue to be the Arsenal way.
Gazidis did go into quite a bit of detail about the way the club goes about these things things as well and one little nugget of information popped out at me, especially as it contradicts what we have been told about this side of things in the past.
We have heard boastful chest thumping from the chairman about how much money Arsenal could spend (if they really wanted to) and this often leaves the buck with the boss. Gazidis has often said in the past that the money is there for the Frenchman to buy whoever he likes (remember him saying we could afford Rooney and his astronomical wages a few years ago?).
The implication has been very clear that it is the manager and only him that decides whether Arsenal buy a player, but as reported by the Evening Standard, Gazidis let slip this week that the board does have a say and if they do not feel that a signing is good value then it may not happen.
He said, “We don’t sign players in response to public pressure. We sign players because we believe they will progress us as a club. We’re really disciplined about that. We have to be. We don’t have the financial resources of some of the other clubs.
“If we went out and just tried to compete only on the basis of spending more than others in transfer windows, that wouldn’t be a successful strategy for us. We have to be very disciplined about staying true to our values, staying true to the foundations of the club and making sure that we make smart decisions.
“Looking ahead in this transfer window, we’re going to retain that discipline. We will certainly add players if we think and our manager thinks they add value to our squad. We’re actively in the market, as is every other club. We won’t do it if we don’t see the value that’s added to our squad.”
So does this give you another perspective on why Arsenal seem to be so careful and why the fans are constantly frustrated about the lack of big money transfers? Will it make us go a bit easier on the manager when the going gets tough?