Clarity and Honesty Would Of Avoided All Of This by Dan Smith
Arsenal had managed to back themselves into such a corner that they really couldn’t have won on deadline day. Those fans who complain that we kept Sanchez but made a profit would of been equally angry had we got to 11pm on Thursday with Sanchez no longer on the payroll and replaced by Lemar.
Don’t misunderstand, that’s not me sympathizing with the club.
We have had frustrating summers before. Losing Clichy, Nasri and Fabregas in one full swoop comes to mind, to be followed by the loss Van Persie and Song a year later.
Although naturally those sales were met with criticism from supporters there was equally understanding underneath the disappointment. We had been told at the time that we were paying off debt for building the Emirates Stadium, meaning we simply couldn’t compete with the money being outlayed by our rivals.
Whether you believed that or not, at least there was at least an explanation.
In 2017 there can be no such excuse. The world knows that the Premiership year after year is receiving crazy income from TV revenue. This is even before you consider that we continue to be charged the most expensive season tickets in Europe. With the inflated fees being paid by everyone, resulting in over a billion being spent, it’s hard to argue that Arsenal are probably the richest they have ever been.
The mistake lies in the ignorance that forcing so many players to play out their contracts was better then cashing in. Arsene Wenger has always maintained that in the case of Sanchez and Ozil not signing new deals, it had been a ‘club decision’ not to sell them to a rival. The notion being that (worse case scenario) two world class players would at least get us back into the Champions League, making it easier to attract long term replacements for them.
What none of us factored in, was that while that made sense from the footballing side, from a business point of view you were asking multi millionaires to turn their back on potentially over 100 million for the German and Chilean.
From a purely financial point of view if they are willing to turn their backs on those types of sums, are they really going to (in addition) give a further 200 million for the manager to spend. Lets face it you don’t become some of the richest people in the world by making decisions like that.
That’s why yesterday it was a choice of Lemar or Sanchez. They were only going to be willing to fork out the 90 million if they were still not going to be asked to reject 55 million for effectively a 12 month loan. The problem being that following the manner of our 4-0 defeat to Liverpool, resentment has reached a point where no one will now listen to their defense, even if it makes sense.
A bit of clarity and honesty could of made all the negativity surrounding the club on social media and news outlets avoidable. While the owners have every right to ‘safeguard money’ the mistake they made is failing to make their model clear to their customers, having had since July to do so.
With protests taking place last year, clearly they felt from a PR perspective it would have been a mistake to send Gooners on their summer holidays fearing we would lose our best players.
However once fans digested that we had been willing to pay the going rate and that players had turned down being the highest earners in our history, fans would have accepted that any club’s protocol would now be to cash in on individuals who don’t want to be there anymore.
Instead, out of fear of not selling enough shirts and tickets, they allowed us all to believe that our ‘cycle of change’ included both keeping Sancez and Ozil as well as spending lots of money, where in reality it was one or the other.
For a month now we have been negotiating with Monaco to buy Lemar. At no point till yesterday did it become obvious that we were chasing Sanchez’s direct replacement.
There was a way to put a different perspective on this summer. You could have even technically allowed supporters to voice their opinions and make the choice. If we knew keeping a player who doesn’t love the badge was at the cost of bettering the squad we would have driven him to Manchester ourselves.
Say if you had sold Sanchez, Ozil and the OX in July and then we watched you spend that money on replacements we would have at least understood. But as usual we, the fans, the blood and one constant of the club were left out in the cold. And that’s probably our owners biggest sin.