Is it Wenger or the money-men responsible for Arsenal’s decline? Some facts…

Arsenal – are we slipping down the table because of Arsene Wenger or is it because of the decisions by the money men? by BARRY TERRY

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 tonking, 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 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 (2017/17)

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. However, by and large those clubs who invest the most in their playing squads usually get 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. Is it any wonder City are the best team in the League? If we matched City and invested another £420M 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, midfielder 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 (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



4.Man United





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 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. 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.

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 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 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. 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!

Money spent 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 – 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.

If we are serious about becoming successful on the pitch then looking solely at what happens on the pitch as though it all happens in a financial vacuum is not enough – the solution to becoming more competitive is not to sack the manager or complain about the players attitudes or refereeing decisions but to increase the clubs investment in the playing staff and give the manager (whoever it is) the necessary tools to do the job.

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?

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!

Terry Barry


    1. Craig says:

      Wow great article. Made me realise Wenger does need respect when he leaves end of season.

      1. Terry Barry says:

        Hopefully he won’t be leaving at the end of the season. Thanks for the favourable review.

    2. Shortboygooner says:

      If fans do their research they know this. I for one know that wenger has done a shit load both on and off of the pitch. Wilst my anger is partialy directed at him. It is more so at kreobke and the board who are spoiling our club. Simply because it is all about the coffers. If they mad it that we did splash big occasionaly we do have a squad that can win trophies. The problem is players move on get old or get sold for profit. Kos has needed a solid CB partner for a long time. We now have mustafi but kos is too old so more money is needed. We have needed a striker for a long time and eventually had to pay over 100m for 2 strikers. And the pattern continues. Now we need to invest in the defence and a proper CDM. If we go out in summer and spend 100M on these positions give or take. We will be im a good position and not have to soend big for another 3-5 years

  1. McLovin says:

    Is it fair? Yes it is.

    Whos’ responsible? There is no OR. Both are responsible. Bad board, highlighted by a worse manager.

    – picks the players
    – is responsible for the training of players
    – is responsible for motivating the players
    – is responsible for matchday tactics
    – has the final say on players brought in
    – has the final say on players sold
    – has the final say on contract extensions
    – is responsible for ever increasing salary of his, without increasing team performances

    Did I forget something? Can you people somehow writhe these on the board too?

  2. Innit says:

    Both but mainly WENGER
    Wenger spends either foolishly or doesn’t spend enough on certain positions or waits too late to spend. The board hasn’t been too stingy
    £46 mil for Lacazette
    £55 mil for Aubameyang
    £42 mil for Ozil
    £35 mil Mustafi
    £35 mil Xhaka
    £32 mil Alexis
    £18 mil Chambers

    Over the years Wenger could have gotten too quality players at relatively low or decent prices but passed

    I blame Wenger more than anybody
    I blame Kroenke and the board for not replacing Wenger

    1. McLovin says:

      Ronaldo £10 millions, too much.

      Mata £22 millions, too much.

      Hazard £30 millions, too much.

      Suarez, £42 millions, too much.

      1. Innit says:

        Your criticism is really stupid because you have criticised something that doesn’t exist. I never said that Wenger spent too much

        I didnt say they were too much money!!!
        Where did I say that Wenger spent “too much”? on players. Most were the right price.

        I was saying that the Board didn’t stop Wenger from spending. So i gave a list of signings to show this.

        I advise that before you get all excited and angry, you actually read the comments properly

  3. ThirdManJW says:

    Both are responsible, but more so Wenger in my opinion. I’ve always got the impression that as long as Wenger consistently turns a nice profit, and grows the brand (I hate the word brand in reference to football clubs), then he has free rein to do what he wants.

    In terms of the board, and Kroenke , well they have ZERO say in what is happening in training (or not happening as we’re all aware), and what we see on the pitch.

    Wenger is 100% responsible for the rubbish we see all the time on the pitch, and he’s had a huge influence on the mismanagement behind the scenes.

    1. Unfortunately, this is the consequence of no restrictions on club ownership by the FA. The board’s loyalties lie with the majority shareholder and not Arsenal PLC the legal person. Wenger will always keep his job as long as he keeps turning a profit because that is what the majority shareholder is interested in, profit.

  4. Grandad says:

    Football has sadly become a business first and a sport second.The fact that Man City have spent a fortune to win the EPL is not relevant to the decline in the fortunes of Arsenal which can be attributed purely to Managerial incompetence..The Board of AFC have been inept and mistaken in their loyalty towards AW who in turn lacks the decency to put the Club first before his personal interests..

    1. Phil says:

      Sort of explains it quite simply Grandad.Wenger just will not let go and the Board have up until now allowed him to hang on.Kronke will allow Wenger to fall on his sword long before he is gone.Wenger knows this and knows his time is over

  5. AndersS says:

    Basically, it is true, that Arsenal nowadays are more a PLC than a FC, and that is not good.
    However, using this as an excuse for keeping Wenger is utter nonsense.
    We have now for 2 seasons lacked miles behind Liverpool and Spurs in the PL, and also in performances in matches against the top 5 clubs. This is a direct consequence of:
    1) Wengers outdated philosohphy (no defensive organization)
    2) Wengers lack of winning mentality and weak demands of players
    3) Wengers failure to address the exact areas, where we have been struggling for years
    4) Wengers failure to develop new stars

    Number 4 is often overlooked. The author of the article almost makes it an accident, that Spurs have 2 very good players (Kane & Alli). But the fact is, Spurs have many players, that have grown into very good players after coming to the Club.
    In contrast, we actually don’t have one single player, about whom you can say, he has really developed over the last few years and become a star. Name me just one!!
    But we have almost an entire team of players, who as individuals seem to have gone backwards over the last few seasons. If it was only a few players, we could blame themselves. But when it is 10-15 players, there really is only one explanation; They are not being coached properly!!!
    Wenger did well for Arsenal several years ago, but no longer. He is bad for the club.
    Finally, if it was true, that it is only the owners to blame, then Wenger, if he had dignity and winning ambitions, would have put his job on the line, saying, either you give me the money to create a winning team, or else I walk.
    But he has done no such thing. So he is very much not only part of the problem, but the main problem.

  6. kristoman says:

    I my misunderstanding the writer or what? him trying to imply that Wenger does not compete because the board does not give money. this is a farce. wake up man. the man decide how much he spend himself not the board. if wenger wanted to spend 400m in one window, the board will duly comply and give him the money because they trust him in all football related matters. I don’t know where the writer get its fact that Wenger is not given enough to compete. look wenger chose not to compete simple as ABC and making excuses for him, its really boring now.

  7. Phil says:

    Firstly Barry I must mention what a very well researched and scripted Headline.
    Now to the facts that always seem to be either avoided or “forgotten” when this subject is raised.
    Wenger has stated on numerous occasions in the past that with the exception of one or two there is no player Arsenal are unable to buy.This is on record but is not included within the writers script.
    Ivan Gazidis is quietly but surely going about restructuring the Stranglehold Wenger insisted on having at OUR club.This is evident with the appointments of Sven and Raul with other appointments also being secured.Ivan G has gone on record stating the club will buy ANY player the Manager wants.This is not included in the article.
    One of Wengers first buys for the sum of £500k was a young French 17 year old who in his first full season took over from the legend Ian Wright and led the line to the League and Cup Double at 18 years old.Wenger signed Yaya Sancho.Need We day more.
    The Board have been far too eager in the past to allow Wenger the total control he always demanded.What this did do was to allow the Buck to stop solely on Wengers head.Now he is finally being held accountable Wenger not only doesn’t like the intrusion into his cosy little job but is quite obviously unable to offer anything other than the same old lame excuses we have been hearing for years.
    So to answer the Topic Question as to who is responsible for Arsenal’s decline the Answer is clearly and undisputedly the Manager.Who else’s fault or is partly responsible?The Board.
    Who will be the first to go? Wenger without doubt and he should not be given any further role at the club

  8. Ingleby says:

    ‘Both’ is the answer. The owner looks only at profit. Wenger bought into the philosophy in exchange for a free hand on football matters.
    He spent years happily deceiving fans so that he could pursue his personal projects free of any interference
    The loyalty is only one- way nowadays and that’s from the fans to the club.

  9. Roxana Kelly says:

    Sorry Terry, whereas you are correct in you analogy of Kroenke & Sons et al turning this once great football club into a money making conglomorate – as with all EPL clubs for that matter these days, such is the word “progress” for want of a better description, I’m afraid there is a lot of truth in the comments above. Wenger has had too much say in training, players, contract extensions , tactics etc and that has been the other flip side of the coin. The two go hand in hand. Don’t you remember that farce when trying to buy Suarez??? Where did that extra pound come from?? What a nonsense! Yes the game in general has gone the way of the sterling, it was bound to, however, that shouldn’t be an excuse to allow the football on the pitch to stagnate. If other teams within the EPL go for it, so should Arsenal. If Arsene Wenger is still old school well then unfortunately that ain’t going to win trophies, it’s sad but true I wish it weren’t – gotta adapt or die – and I don’t want to see my club die in the depths of the “Nowhere of any significance” Table.

  10. pires says:

    With all my due respect, WENGER has a dogmatic vision of economics.When you invest more money you have further chances of success in the pitch and ,therefore,you get rewarded off the pitch.The owners of Chelsea City etc are not stupid….Even though we certainly (the board and Kroenke )don’t have the spending power of these(oil oligarchs in their respective countries)

  11. John Ibrahim says:

    most people thinks it is that easy to run the club …

    At Arsenal we are run on a budget…

    The manager will rely on scouts for players feedback

    and can only sign them according to their budget…

    So if the top 3 choices are out of the budget, the manager can only go down the list of recommended players…..

    The same can be said for the players during training…..

    The manager can only follow or spot a player to a certain point…

    The manager will not always be there to watch every player at shooting practice, defending sessons or certain drills…

    Managers mostly rely on assistant and the other coaches (fitness, gk, strength…etc…..) for feedbacks….

    The board is at fault…..and so is Wenger for not being ruthless to some of the staff and players…..some players just have to be axed

    Hence bringing in Raul, Famy and Mislintat is a good start to the club in terms of negotiating and scouting…..

  12. wenger says:

    When a country underperformed, they blame the president, not the whole conglomorate that supports that really runs the country. There is a reason why presidents cant run over 10 years, even the great ones. Why? so the blame is on that person, then a new person is recruited, picked, then blamed. Cycle goes. People are shallow.

  13. pires says:

    OT I’ve seen the idiotic Carragher spitting in the face of a young girl….What if he has to get the same hatred Wenger is getting….he would kill people with a machine-gun!!!!….Stupid and moronic

    1. Sue says:

      Disgusting if you ask me

  14. pires says:

    it shows you ,indeed,how classy our manage is…..

  15. pires says:

    our manager

    1. Phil says:

      Pires it is now a blind faith with which you defend Wenger and in a certain way I respect this.But no matter how hard anyone tries to make Wenger unaccountable for our decline is totally wrong.I personally would have him out of the club today but I do see that some feel his PAST achievements warrants a more dignified exit.I certainly would not be there to witness any presentation or parade but I would respect anyone who felt they would attend.
      However what I cannot comprehend and accept is the continued support Wenger receives when this Manager is totally responsible for the decline we are in.
      Believe me there will be a Football Club left when Wenger goes.Or are you so devoted that when Wenger goes you go?

      1. John0711 says:


  16. pires says:

    have you read my precedent post? I said to you that the Manger is RESPONSIBLE for our decline but,as i always said, he’s not the only one and a managerial change isn’t an instant guarantee of success…..AS for the nonsense of supporting Wenger instead of the club,this is a rubbish reproach ,I respect him for what he has done for the club and for his classy behaviour of respecting even the people wanting him out…Unlike the pundits fools; Carragher and co .

    1. Ken 1945 says:

      Once again those that don’t agree with you either ignore what you are saying or twist your words.
      As we have said before, Wenger is PARTLY to blame and it is so frustrating that others fail to recognise that we acknowledge that fact.
      This article goes in to great detail regarding the role of the owner and the board and shows how much influence they have in the running of the financial side of things, thaT DO include transfer decisions.
      But of course the blinkers stay on and RESEARCHED FACTS are ignored or belittled.
      Wenger must be the Devil Incarnate if he can control the likes of Kronke and Sir Chips etc. etc. I never realised just how inept these powerful, successful men really are when dealing with scary Wenger!!
      I have said many times that the parties that need to be held accountable are…
      The owner, the board, the manager and the players.
      Wenger has admitted that he has made mistakes (remember his apology regarding his drawn out contract extension?)
      The board have, indirectly, admitted their shortcomings with the appointments of Raul, Sven and Huss.
      The players have also held up their hands at different times; Cech, Bellerin, Wilshere, Ramsey.
      So, with the exception of Kronkes input, the above are all examples of actual evidence of a shared responsibility from the club for our demise.
      Kronke, of course, just owns our club unfortunately.
      However this is all ignored in the relentless pursuit of Wenger.
      Arsene isn’t Arsenal, but his DNA in the club is as strong as any supporter and will be there long after he has left the club.

  17. kristoman says:

    have you read my precedent post? I said to you
    that the Manger is RESPONSIBLE for our decline
    but,as i always said, he’s not the only one and a
    managerial change isn’t an instant guarantee of

    so basically we should stick with Wenger since the next manager cannot do better than Wenger . right I have heard it all.

    1. Phil says:

      Yeah they are all a bit tongue tied in their responses.Nobody (not even Jon Fox) has ever denied Wenger praise and admiration for what he done for the first decade he was at the club.Its his absolute blindness to the many fundamental mistakes he has made and is continuing to make that is undefendable.We will not go forward until Wenger is replaced.

  18. Ozziegunner@Newcastle upon Hunter says:

    David Dein, the power behind the Arsene Wenger “throne”, was forced out by the board members who supported Stan Kroenke’s ownership bid, because David Dein was ambitious for the success of Arsenal FC. Arsene Wenger has been complicit with the degeneration of Arsenal FC into Arsenal PLC. At no time has he demonstrated any “balls” to stand up to the board’s direction. He has been a loyal employee, where other managers who sought support in achieving success for the club, would have given an ultimatum and if not supported by the board, then walked. Arsene Wenger has allowed himself to be hung out to dry by Stan Kroenke and the board for continuing employment and remuneration.

  19. Billy says:

    Great article and well written, just needs a John Fox grammar and punctuation check. Definetly the manager. Pep may spend but he gets the best out of his players. Grandad Wenger plays with his zip.


    1. jon fox says:

      It’s Jon Fox actually, not John Fox. Correct grammar and punctuation too. Not that I care a jot about English shortcomings, PROVIDED I can understand what others write.

  20. GoonAR says:

    The man deserves respect for what he accomplished here but deserves HEAVY HEAVY HEAVY criticism for not setting up his exit with more class, which a real man would do if he really cared about AFC.

    Agreed about the board minus Gazidis. Anybody with the last name Kroenke should leave.

  21. Thato Mamabolo says:

    This article is rubbish,people who are concerned about their pockets know that success on the pitch leads to profits and vice versa. discounting die hard supporters, people generally want to be associated with success eg the mysterious millions of new City and Chelsea supporters. So a club doing badly on the pitch bleeds its support base to other teams, fewer supporters equal less people at the stadium, less people buying club merchandise, less tv money, less money from commercial sponsors, no champions league money etc…

  22. Shinoda says:

    Nice article but a bit biased. If you are going to praise somebody for his/her achievements, then you have to be ready to criticize their failings as well. Arsenal is a big football club, and for that reason, we should be at least competing in all competitions. I believe that success on the pitch contributes highly to the financial growth of a club (a very good example is ManU, Bayern, Barcelona and Real Madrid). The board and the owner have failed in delivering on the financial aspect while Wenger has failed on the footballing aspect. The writer talks about relying on either developing players or spending loads on players. We have not successfully developed any youth player since Fabregas and RVP, we have spent a lot of money on good players such as Sanchez, Carzola and Ozil, but we are 6th, 33 points behind Mancity, out of the Fa, humiliated at the Carabao final, would be lucky to win the Europa, all our players (both homegrown and bought) are regressing and to sum it all up, we are playing shit. All that is the manager’s fault. We all know the failings of the board and the owner, therefore I need not to spell that out. The fans also need to play a role and demand for more from this club and that can only happen if we are united. We are mainly concerned about the success on the pitch, and I believe we pay a lot to contribute to the financial success as well.

  23. AFC always says:

    lets look at net spend over 5 years
    see web link

    NOTE: we are 4th biggest net spenders yet we are 6th in the league but note:

    Burnley who are 5 points behind us are 17th biggest, spurs who are 13 points head of us are 18 biggest spenders and Liverpool who are 14th Biggest net spenders are 12 points ahead of us

    Note also we are 5th highest in terms of wage bill

    i would therefore conclude, we spend almost as big as our nearest rivals and have a wage bill comparable to them but cant compete due to inept management of resources by our current manager Arsene Wenger

  24. antbadapple says:

    Well i’m glad we have got to the bottem of that..
    Don’t forget a lot of money has also been invested into the building of competitive infastracture, future acadamy and hi -tech training facilities. These will have bearing on the future of Afc after Wenger and are needed to enable us to compete at the top level against these money rich clubs… If it wasn’t for the mentioned poor spending on players and failure on the pitch or to develop top quallity young talent i would be more forgiving of the current situation.

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