Are Arsenal Becoming A Laughing Stock? by Dan Smith
Maybe I should give Arsenal the benefit of the doubt and leave my judgement until the end of January, but if the only thing that is stopping us from signing Suarez is not wanting to pay 20 million right now (according to Marca), then it’s time for clarity. We know Stan Kroenke’s transfer policy, we don’t like it, but we know he lacks the ambition of other owners and won’t take that extra step to make us into champions. The owner wants us to be a self-financed model but if he’s saying in 2019 we need to haggle over 20 million, then where the hell has the money gone?
We are in an era where the game has never been richer, 60 pounds for shirts, Gooners charged the most expensive tickets, us sharing a TV contract worth billions. So, there is no reason for us to be so worried about every last penny spent. Why send your recruitment team round the world looking for value if you’re not prepared to even fork out the minimum? It’s like giving your child 50p to spend at his school disco while his mates have a fiver. That’s how it feels. It’s embarrassing and pathetic to see us going around Europe trying to buy other side’s cast offs and those on the scrap heap and not even be able to negotiate those deals. We are a laughing stock.
The one side who every window manages to leak out who they like and spend weeks bartering over every last pound.
As soon as Chelsea were linked with a striker the other day, hours later it was confirmed. Solanke failed a medical at Palace meaning Bournemouth simply asked Liverpool to value the striker. One club came up with sum, the other had a choice of yes or no. It really is that simple, yet we always drag our feet.
This penny-pinching policy has seen us miss out on targets before. Barcelona are asking for a fair price and eventually might talk to other parties. Meanwhile the player himself can’t feel that special, knowing we are so reluctant to pay the standard rate in this climate. I would have preferred a statement a month ago saying zero business would be taking place this month. Yes, there would have been backlash but it’s better than watching us look pathetic. We are supposed to be a big club and one of the richest, yet we are asking for other teams rejects and trying to do it on the cheap.
In my opinion the Catalans have called our bluff. We said a loan deal leading to a fee in the summer, the La Liga champions have simply said if we want him so badly what’s the harm in giving 20 million a few months early? Unless we only wanted it to be a loan deal, a way to give the squad an extra body the cheapest way possible?
We can’t keep hiding behind the fact we are not getting Champions League income. There are so many other revenue streams that if 20 million is going to hurt the books, then where has the money gone?