WOW! An in-depth analysis of Arsenal and our transfer policy

So Arsenal Fans…… by LD

Here we are again at the start of yet another “Glorious” EPL season and once again we are all feeling a huge sense of Déjà vu. In the build up to the start of the season I was speaking with a very old friend of mine who is a Liverpool fan and he was stating that he thought that the opening game would be a draw, for the very first time in my life, (I’m 45 and have supported the AFC since I was 5) I had to concede that there was almost no chance that we would start the season with a win .

Now I know there will be many out there who will say this is a negative view and that you should NEVER take that stance against your own club, but as well as being a dyed in wool Arsenal fan, I’m also a devout realist and finally the truth has sunk in with me, and I know in my heart of hearts that this season is going to be the longest and toughest many of us have experienced in an age.

We are a club that purports to be top tier and elite in the feted list of worldwide football clubs, we have won trophies and accolades that many of the EPL would envy at the best of times, we have gone undefeated for a whole season and we have had in our ranks some of the greatest players to ever walk out onto a football pitch. However we are now a second tier club pretending to be a top tier club as we are just NOT moving forward in any way.

Year in year out we were told that we had NO money to spend as the club was deep in debt to investors and such like for the building of a new stadium, we saw players like Nasri and Van Persie sold with no adequate replacements brought in, and we swallowed it because we were an club in transition seeking better times further ahead, Or so we were told…

We are now apparently in a far better financial position, and the purchases of Ozil and Sanchez would certainly point towards this being the truth, we now regularly hear about what cash reserves the club has and there are war chest quotes of 70 million to 120 million in each transfer window and club execs and the like as well as the press tell us how much money we can spend….if we want to. But we don’t!!!!!

Now every season it’s the same old story, everyone from Linneker to my Nan put their opinions forward and virtually all of them are the same, we need a Winger and a real top quality striker, also a CB and a CDM and a keeper.

What have we got in the last two transfer windows??

A keeper who, whilst being a brilliant keeper, is at the end of his career rather than the start, and a CDM who may or may not be the next Patrick Viera, and Elneny who (while I think he’s ok), he’s never going to set the world on fire. NOT ENOUGH TO WIN THE EPL !!!!!

Now there’s a myriad of supposed reasons for this inactivity in the transfer market, Many slating Wenger and even more justifying this with statements about the clubs cash reserves and also its self-sufficient business model etc, and there’s so much touted by everybody who has an opinion that it’s really hard to know where the truth even begins to lay.

Wenger himself is the master of the smoke and mirrors game and will never really give anything like a straight answer to journalists, preferring to opt for the “I’m far smarter than you” approach and just acts mysterious and all-knowing when questioned, OR acts like a petulant genius who gets angry when his wisdom is questioned.

So, what is the real truth behind out abysmal transfer business in years gone by? Is it all down to Arsene Wenger ???

AW clearly loves the club and has given it 20 years of his life, he has, as already mentioned, taken us from being a lower top tier club to being at one point a team who’s footballing prowess and skills on the pitch were the model and envy of all around us. He was the discoverer of Henry and Pires and Vieira, and many other skilled and wondrous players, and although the Champions league eluded him this was more down to the misfortune of being in the competition when the likes of Barcelona were at their absolute peak.

However in the last five years we have allegedly got our debts under control and are a club that each year turns a healthy profit, we were also told by Wenger that the Fifa FFP rules would limit the other big spending clubs and this would level the playing field, and we could then be able to level out with the Chelsea and Man City’s of this world. Arsene knew best and we were to be patient and we would be able to return to being challengers at some stage soon.

This has not happened, and I’m surprised that no one has ever hauled Wenger over the coals about the fact that as a qualified economist he never saw that the FIFA FFP rules would NEVER EVER bite the big spending clubs, yet this was the major reason we were never involved in big money transfers, although we were paying the highest process of any club in Europe for season tickets.

We are told again and again at the time of year that season tickets are due to be renewed that “we will spend if there are players out there that we feel will improve the squad”. Yet each year we see players that we so desperately need go to our direct competitors because Wenger is either not interested or is offering 40% of the asking price. Let’s be frank here. Does anyone wonder what would have happened if we had offered a cash strapped Liverpool 60 million for Suarez?? Would we not now have the best goal scoring striker in the world in our front line?? Instead, we offered the outrageously insulting 40 million and a pound bid and looks what happened. Each year we are told that the war chest is in excess of 70 million and that we are looking at such and such a player, then when season ticket renewal time is over and the seats are sold the transfer activity drops to nothing. Coincidence ??? I don’t think so. We are now left with ongoing statements from Wenger about who “He could have signed but didn’t” and no real reasons why when these players become superstars for other clubs. So is he the real talent spotter that everyones has always believed? Or was he bloody lucky to work with David Dein ?????

So if its not Wenger’s fault then it has to be the case that it’s the Board NOT offering up the funds to the manager to spend, we all know that Silent Stan is a business man and NOT a football fan and that he wishes the club to be “self-sustaining”. Its been stated recently that Wenger has to put a leash on Ivan Gazidis when it come to transfers as, according to AW, Gazidis is rushing around looking to spend money like a man with no pockets, Really ???? is this really the case or is it Wenger looking to put a shine on Gazidis in front of the fans and the supporters groups ?? And if we don’t have the money to spend on big name players the question must be asked…why not??

Each year we spend under budget and never go to the full extent of our proposed “War Chest” so what happened to the money that’s not spent in previous years?? We had for example 75 million last summer and spent 11m on Cech and 5m on Elneny, that still leaves 59 million so where did that go?? Was it NOT rolled over to the 50 million we had this summer to make a cool 100 million, or was the 50 million this year the leftover from last year? In which case where is the profit going from last season? And why is some of it NOT being allocated for transfers??

Taking into account the mammoth money deal with BT sports that has allegedly netted each PL club in excess of 100 million, where has this money gone??
If we’ve been paid it up front then its not mentioned anywhere, and if its it drips and drabs then why have we not made money available for transfers out of our cash reserves?? Either way you have to ask the question where is all the money going?

The biggest question for me is this; In a world of ever increasing spending in the footballing world where are we looking to be? As a club our brand is deteriorating year in year out, and this must affect revenue. Without several big signings in key positions we are never ever likely to regain our old glories and add new ones, and we can all see that other clubs such as West Ham and the Spuds are catching us up in terms of spending and in terms of ambition, and without these two things the club is not moving forward on the pitch – and therefore not moving forward in the greater footballing world.

What Wenger ought to do is give a definitive statement as to why he is not spending the cash. He needs to justify the lack of acquisitions regarding strikers and also CB’s , IF he had brought one in last summer in addition to Petr Cech then we would not be in the situation we are now, I do not, and will not, believe that a club as big as Arsenal with an apparent worldwide brand, does not have the cash resource to buy in more than one big name signing every summer. And I cannot see any genuine justification for NOT spending the money we do have, however much or little it may be. The real question is how much money does Wenger REALLY have to spend and where is the real money going at Arsenal????

And also who is he covering for and why??

If Wenger does finally take the plunge and augment the likes of Walcott – who to my mind is over paid and over valued, when in actuality he does more harm than good most of the time – with a new striker, how much will he spend? ‘If we find the right candidates, we will spend the big money,’ Wenger said back in July to leave fans salivating. Yet just days later our Chief Executive, Ivan Gazidis, appeared to contradict Wenger. ‘We can’t afford to make huge mistakes in the transfer market,’ he said. ‘We can’t afford to outgun competitors that have far more money to splurge on transfer fees than we do.’

Yet again a month Later Wenger is telling fans how Gazidis is like a child with extra pocket money rushing around looking to spend it, and Wenger has to reel him in from making big name signings. So who is telling the truth? – Or at least whose version is closer to the truth? Arsenal have splashed out £40m on Ozil and £35m on Sanchez in the past, but only tend to make one big signing per season. With Xhaka already in the bag for £34m, that will worry some supporters despite the noises over Mustafi and Lacazette, which to my mind are too little too late for players who are not top tier in their fields of expertise. If the financial model in place is working and we’re paying off our debts at a certain pace, then why mess with it when the money from the BT sports deal comes in, or is in ? Why not allocate that money to buying big in the transfer window?? Why spend it on other debts? Surely the club would benefit from buying in new players and winning things rather than sitting with the same failures and frailties that have not borne fruit thus far?

To come out with a statement that “The players were not physcically ready and that he doesn’t know when they will be” is throwing the players HE picked and he brought in under the bus!!!! Surely it’s a manager’s job to ensure that your team can play 90 mins and are ready to do so on the first game of the season?

If the players are NOT ready who’s fault is that??

We have ALL lambasted Robin Van Persie over the years for leaving Arsenal but looking back at it now it makes him seem like Nostradamus because he clearly stated that his views on the way Arsenal needed to move forward was markedly in contrast to what Gazidis and Wenger were thinking. Now, despite my absolute loathing of what proceeded to happen is it not worth considering that perhaps he was very much right??

Also despite our EXTREMELY SEVERE defensive crisis I read this morning that Wenger is haggling over the asking price for Mustafi from Valencia and, yet again, he seems more concerned with saving the club pennies rather than saving the club’s season – and again I ask you, why is this?? Who is holding back the funds and where has the money been salted away????

With all of our main rivals emboldened with new players and our chasing teams catching us up rapidly, with both money to spend from BT sports AND ambition to match, how long can the lies and half-truths continue before either Wenger or the Board, or both, found out in the fact that the money they are getting in (which by some reports makes us the 3rd or 4th richest club in Europe) is NOT being invested back into the club, and more importantly into the team. That is after all the reason we all exist as Gooners in the first place.

The way the club is being run is now an ongoing joke and it’s a disgusting way to treat the fan base, who in essence pay the wages. Just when you think it can’t get any worse ….it does!

Liam Dicks


  1. Entirely right on point. Arsene lovers will not like all these.
    Can we all be objective and real at the same time to help show the board and manager that running of the club is dissatisfying?

    We all want the best for Arsenal FC and in one voice, we can effect real positive change.

    1. I can’t comment on how the club is run because I don’t have the inside info. What I can say (and I have the literature to prove it) is that the tactics last Sunday was dumb and really ineffective. So, from a game preparation perspective Bould and Wenger fscked it up royal.

  2. It is easy to write an article on the problems of the club but what do you plan to do about? I would love one day to visit the website and read an article about a massive protest being organised. These are the actions we should be taking!

  3. “We have ALL lambasted Robin Van Persie over the years for leaving
    Arsenal but looking back at it now it makes him seem like Nostradamus
    because he clearly stated that his views on the way Arsenal needed to move
    forward was markedly in contrast to what Gazidis and Wenger were
    thinking. Now, despite my absolute loathing of what proceeded to happen is
    it not worth considering that perhaps he was very much right??”

    Bloody truth people wont admit to.. We’ve called him names and rained insults upon insults on him, yet in the end when you look at it,he was right. the real traitors are still in the club,amidst then board,the coaching team and the players themselves. stop it but people wont listen, “dont renew your tickets!! boycott matches!!” yet they wont, Stan doesnt care how much we whine and complain as long as the money is in the club’s account already

    1. But the fact remains that RVP left us and helped United and Ferguson to win the title.
      If he had stayed maybe we would have won it…..

      1. Every player wants to win trophies…rephrase your statement “He went and assisted man United’s effort to win the title, it was a win win situation, join United and get the trophy you want most or stay at Arsenal where the coach and board werent interested in winning the league. Last time i checked,Everybody is allowed to dream and chase his or her dream.. RVP did

        1. United doubled his wages. I doubt he would have left if the wages were the same. That’s the problem right there.

          1. But we complain when we give Walcott 140 grand a week when he was playing. Everyone was begging him to sign…
            Should we have paid that to a striker rvp who had one good season in 10 or seld him for big cash at 29 years?

            1. @admin
              Wrong dilemma/wrong question to pose. The real issue is RVP knew from the inside that we had no ambition. RVP asked for assurances that we would sign the players necessary for a proper title challenge. It was only after he failed to get those assurances that he decided to move elsewhere to fulfil his ambition. If United were willing to double his wages why shouldn’t he take it. As it turned out he was proven right.

              1. Yeah fergie would have paid anything to win the title in his last season. We were still struggling with the stadium debt. He was 29 and had just onegood season (like vardy) and we got 20 mill back then….
                Fergie knew we needed money and was willing to pay whatever. Lambs to the slaughter. But we don’t sell anyone nowadays. …even if they are …

                1. and this is the issue, you said ‘fergie would have paid anything to win the title in his last season’, we are now in wingers last season (if he does not sigh again!!, and he will not spend anything to win the title, much as i hate ferguson, here lies the difference from a born winner such as ferguson wanting to win, and wenger !

            2. Walcott? hah, Theo hasn’t done a thing for his £140k a week, where as Robin helped United win the title!

              Shame really as we were only really missing a striker that season and if RVP had of stayed he probably could’ve fulfiled his title ambitions with us. I guess the promise of well fulfilled pockets was a more tempting offer

              1. Theo scored 20+ goals that season… the decision to extend his contract was the right thing to do at the time.

      2. United are a bigger club than arsenal. He was proven right ultimately. We can all twist our words and say united this united that but ask any player they would love to be associated with them. They have no champions league yet top players want to play for them. Money or not u need to be a top club to attract players. Here we have vardy rejecting us for Leicester. Let us see how we do when we have no champions league football.

        1. Good players want Champions league football. It’s a short career and you need to make your mark. At how many clubs can you GUARANTEE to be in it?

    2. Why not just boycott one home game (and see the reaction in the media)? Playing at the Emirates in front of a handful of away supporters only would be such a huge shock to the management (and our players who also need a kick in the backside) that the entire would rock the foundations (with the help of media). Yes, you would miss one game but you might well save the club from this pitiful state. Why not try? Missing out on one game is surely worth a try to rescue our club from this bunch! Just one home game!

      1. It would be as effective for fans to chant to Wenger to spend some money, and for Kronke to get out of our club, but would require all fans to do it as would your suggestion but would have a huge effect on global media.

      2. unfortunately, as most of our seats are season tickets, the attendance reported will still be 60,000, i agree, seeing lots of empty seats on tv will be an embarrassment, but ultimately, i don’t think it will work…
        how about boycotting all club merchandise, i have refused to allow my sons to have the new shirts this year, and last, until arsenal show some ambition in the transfer window

        1. I totally agree that it would have to be a blanket boycott of one home game. And although the attendance figures in the papers the next day would still show 60,000 because of season tickets, on the evening of the match on the TV (MOTD) it would be visible by millions of people and the pundits would go wild at such a strong visible gesture particularly if a lot of publicity was made prior to the game about the plan. Also the players would know and be shocked as well as AW and the management. I am quite convinced, but it would have to be the most of the fans not a few hundred. If you love the club, missing just one home game in the scale of things is hardly worse than sitting through 18 other home games (and 19 away games) witnessing the pathetic decapitulation by our team as in the opening home game against Liverpool (likewise we saw against Aston Villa, and WestHam in the last three years). This is my view.

    3. The year before RVP left we sold fabregas and nasri and did not replace them, due to repayments of stadium debt.

      Rvp in his last season scored 30 goals in the PL, was player of the year and we were 19 points behind the leaders. RVP sought assurances from the club about new players coming in and was not reassured so he left because time was running out for him to win things. He had joined a winning club which had not then won anything.

      Do I blame RVP, no.

      However the situation is different now, we do not have to sell our best players forfinancial reasons.

  4. Nice Article Liam ???

    If you took this case to Court, I’m sure that the judge would grant us a divorce from Wenger and Co ( Unreasonable behaviour! ?)

    Arsenal fc are already banning fan’s from entering the ground because of their comments/opinions expressed on social media.
    Whats next?…. Gas chambers installed under the Emirates? ? ?

  5. GUILLEM BALAGUE, who i consider reliable says Mustafa to Arsenal is done for 26m, however he also said he’s not sure if he’s good enough

      1. TBH FG i would rather us seen big bucks on a top top striker and make a state,eat, Then wit for Kos to return. we need to change the way other clubs see us. we need to say i want that player how much ok no problem

  6. we should bring dein back because right now we are a sinking ship.
    There is no one who admires to be like us just other managers who would love to pocket 8 mil a year without being under pressure.
    Arsenal has become a laughing stoke around the globe.
    Gone are the days when we used to say arsenal is brilliant,class or full of stars.
    Instead it has become the team that everyone beats.
    Wenger needs to step down immediately and we need to get rid of mediocre players.
    The whole team is average and overpaid with an exception of ozil sanchez cech and slightly bellerin.

    1. LOL the team everybody beats? Average? Laughing stock?
      Only ONE team lost less games than us last season, and we beat them twice!
      I’m laughing at your ignorance, not Arsenal!

        1. Actually Arsenal won more MONEY in fact over 100 million pounds for coming second. The biggest payment ever. Is that fa for coming second?
          Leicester got less by the way…

            1. Nah, They are far too busy counting their Money and rehearsing their excuses for us mugs to chew on lol

            2. And I bet you a double agent for the German mafia and snort talcum powder. See we can all talk rubbish if we want…

      1. Yea thats true admin
        But we ONLY just managed second place because the rest of the big boys lost thier bottle at the dying of the light, we SHOULD have romped it as we should have for a number of seasons past BUT we all know that Giroud,Walcott and several other supposed key players are just NOT up to it,
        you made a point earlier about everyone wanting Walcott to re sign his deal well maybe thats true but what has he done since? the rumour round the campfire is that he’s lost his bottle and that would make sense but surely being one of the highest paid players in the club should motivate him to try harder and get what mojo he had back?
        Now that everyone but us has bolstered up thier squad its gonna be faaaar harder to do what the foxes did last season.

  7. excellent article spot on, IMO Mustafa is decent, is he WC no is he going to take us to PL glory again i doubt it. why don’t we get a signing that excites the fans rather then just enough to do a job. As the writer states we were told we would compete with the world now we can’t compete with PL clubs. I’m afraid this is the season folks, unless something changes in the next few days forget the top 4

    1. Thankyou. But apparently I just sit back and the site runs itself lol….
      It took months but I got there
      You’re a twat Fatboy….. but I love you!

        1. Hahaha ?
          Nah, You definitely need to keep a spare bottle, close by lol The JD influenced Admin is more fun!
          Oh .. And don’t worry Sir,
          we won’t swear …. MUCH!
          If you fall asleep. ?

  8. I don’t have a problem with Wenger getting the best price for a player but he should have done this months ago BEFORE Mert got injured. We needed another Top CB for long time. We didn’t need a WC player. Ashley Williams would have sufficed for this season and only would have cost around £10 mil. But now we risk not getting Mustafi and getting a “Squillaci or Silvestre” type player.

    Now that there are only 2 weeks left, teams know that we are desperate and they are not desperate to sell. This means that you have no alternative but to pay more than your valuation.

    Early this season we should have tried to offload Walcott. His Salary is too high and we could have used the proceeds towards a top striker

    Poor planning and preparation will and has cost us trophies

  9. I actually think Wenger is a very good manager when it comes to the football side of things. Coaching the team and establishing a style of play etc. He gets decent results based on the players he has available. Yes he makes mistakes, but which managers don’t? No one has ever won all 38 of their games, or even come close. Most of the time when we lose games it’s because of gaps in the squad.

    But the reason he doesn’t have better players available is his fault. I would say he’s diabolical at transfers, but he has a good eye for talent. We pursue very good players and prospects every year, but we very very rarely get them. So credit where it’s due, he does come up with the odd gem like Elneny, and that was good a few years ago for sustaining top 4 and raising funds with sell on value when we were strapped for cash. But we’re not strapped for cash anymore. We should be spending big, and we aren’t. That’s Wenger’s fault no matter which way you spin it. That’s what’s really hurting us.

    People like to say Wenger is ‘past his sell by date’, because prices have gone up and he hasn’t kept with the times, but I don’t think that’s entirely true, because back when we were successful, it wasn’t Arsene Wenger that was in charge of bringing players in. Arsene would say who he wanted, but it was David Dein who actually went out and brought the players in. Arsene didn’t dictate prices when Dein was here, now he does. That’s what’s changed.

    I don’t think the biggest hinderance at Arsenal football club is having Arsene Wenger as our manager. I think the biggest hinderance at our football club is having Wenger in charge of our transfer spending.

    1. @Mick The Gooner
      You say Arsene is a very good manager at the football side of things, yet, by his own admission he can’t even field 11 players who are properly prepared for the first match of the season.

  10. Sad but true Liam,
    To add to this it must be stated that under Wenger and the working model that we have all seen over the last 5 years, at least. Is that we will not have a team that will be capable of winning the league or to be crowned european champions because it will require spending on a larger scale and this would go against the business model. Arsenal FC is a business where the fans come second and its only the shareholders are the winners.
    Arsenal FC goals are to maintain entry into the champions league. Which means 4th or about. This will generate the 20 million + for the shareholders. Its a business no more or less. Just business.
    What football managers transfers policy is to wait until the last week of the transfer window and wait to see who is available. Then to put in a bid less than the asking price and hope for the best with panic buying the second option.
    How can this be classed as managing. How can a manager say at the start of the season that the players are not ready when they had all the summer to train. We will have major injuries that will be of a few months to 6 months because that is the pattern at Arsenal. We as fans know this but it will come as a surprise to the staff as they will not have the depth of quality players to cover. To add we all know that a quality striker is require to start but will we get one ?
    To end, Wenger said that he treats the money to be spent as his own ! That way he exercise causion when spending. Long live ground hog day ! Long live the business model and fans, just keep on paying and keep quite please. The shareholders are counting their money.

  11. It’s been asked before, Why would Arsenal go out and spend £150m+ to win the title when we get paid more than the champions did for very little outlay and coming second?

    Anybody who wonders why some fans ‘bitch and moan’ and are ‘never happy’ need to understand that a football club only exists to win things and galant loser trophies are worthless to the die hard fan.

    Arsene once said that we are not in the business of making money and that all extra monies earned from our rebranding and stadium move would be put back into the team for results on the pitch. Unfortunetly that has yet to come to happen and we seem to be going backwards!

  12. This is not an in depth analysis. I would expect an in depth analysis to look at the finances over say the last five years and relate money spent on players to cash reserves etc.

    The article says “We had for example 75 million last summer and spent 11m on Cech and 5m on Elneny, that still leaves 59 million so where did that go??”

    My first question is, where did the £75m figure come from? In summer 2015 we actually spent £47.3m on “Payments for purchase of players”. Whilst we only purchased Cech, there were deferred payments due to existing plsyers old clubs. In fact in the six monthe to november 2015 we actually made an operating loss.

    As I said above, an in depth analysis would look at the financial reports on and determine what we actually spent on player purchases, how our debt had reduced, cash reserves increased. Perhaps an analysis of what cash reserves are for, gazidis said something about this as reported on bbc website about a year ago.

    1. Well who in the hell has time for all that??
      If you wanna critasize the article write one yourself and quote the actual facts if you like but remeber thats what your told by the club who publishes them smoke and mirrors yet again

  13. You lost my interest at the ill informed Suarez comment suggesting we should have offered more than a player’s release clause.

  14. so how would you feel if Sanchez had a buyout clause of 40 million and City can in and offered more by just a pound????would that have been accepatble to you then??
    Business isnt always so straight forward as that and they should have reserached the BOC in more depth

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