Hello. How are you doing? Hopefully you are holding up ok? Given the circumstances?
After all, three months ago you were told that Arsenal had a ‘war chest’ of around £200million to spend. You were fed lines by those who are used as PR mouthpieces for the club who you might not blame for the fact that they have been fed this situation, but I’m sure you certainly feel like those who fed that information were the ones feeding the lies.
And we know they are lies because yesterday those same mouthpieces were saying that after the sale of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for £35million rising to £40million – all but confirmed with him pictured in a lift in a Liverpool kit yesterday – meant that in fact this summer Arsenal are in profit.
Profit that will reach seven figures. On transfers. A non-sustainable way of managing a football club. Which is why Arsenal supposedly stopped relying on that some years ago. After all, they have some of the highest matchday gate receipts in the world. They receive – like every Premier League club – a very healthy amount of cash from the TV companies and the Premier League as part of prize money. They have many sponsorship deals and naming rights. All of this money that comes flowing in to the club.
Yet we are now told there is none there. It has just vanished. ‘Poof’! Arsenal spent the only money they had on Lacazette and Kolasinac, which was to fun their wages, which I can only conclude that those two players are on approximately £1million-a-week, because before their arrival the club seemed to have plenty of money.
We’ve all read the excellent articles from Phil at Angryofislington, or the brilliant Swiss Ramble, and I’m sure there will be more coming in over the coming weeks because quite frankly, I don’t believe Arsenal football club for one second.
I don’t believe that we don’t have any money. I don’t believe that we can’t compete. We aren’t even competing financially this summer with some Championship clubs and I’m sure you’ve all seen the jokes going around that Fleetwood Town have ‘out net-spended’ us.
We – you, I and every Arsenal fans – are now having our intelligences insulted, as well as having to watch a team that looks rudderless through the management, an ownership that twiddles its thumbs, players that want to better themselves by being elsewhere, whilst we have to sit and watch an ageing emperor sit and observe his empire and legacy crumble.
I’d say it’s heartbreaking, but this is entirely of the club’s own making and given there is little we can do about it, the biggest fear now must be that apathy starts to set in. The first signs of it are the Gallows Humour that we’re already seeing. I had a long chat with Ben yesterday and half of the time we were laughing at how farcical our club has become. A fragile and creaking institution looking like a shadow of its former self. Like an old Olympic Park in Athens or Barcelona that looks like a wonderful experience in its day, but is now just a pathetic wasteland with little interest in it from the locals.
We joked about Cech playing the ‘big man up front’ in a nod to the baffling tactical and selection decisions of the manager, increasingly looking more unstable by playing a player like the Ox, when he clearly had one foot out the door. Placating players who should be turned away from the team bus.
We chuckled at the sheer Groundhoggyness of today, a final trolley dash looking for some kind of Yossi Benayoun-style signing to bring the quality of the squad up.
But both of us knew. Both of us knew that what was happening to Arsenal wasn’t really funny. It was – it is – tragic. There are plenty of examples of clubs that freefall and that, despite all that we’ve read and heard from the manager about building a legacy, could very easily befall Arsenal.
We have an owner that doesn’t care and what is happening at the moment is symptomatic of his stewardship. The conspiracy theories are already out. Kroenke wants the money for himself, their saving the cash for the next man, etc, etc. I’m not sure though. Not least because there’s two years of Arsène we have to sit through and I don’t believe Stan will ever pull the plug. So if he’s stockpiling then the new man will have two years worth of cash to use. But Arsenal have never done that. I don’t think they ever will. And even if they did, think about the vast volumes that would need to be spent to essentially rebuild what might be a mid table team by then?
I have no idea what’s going on at Arsenal, but as I and many others have already articulated, something is wrong. We are being lied to by somebody. Who that is remains to be seen, but we are most certainly being fed falsehoods. And for a football club that has always talked about doing things the right way, ‘the Arsenal way’, we cannot now say that our club are a model to follow, an example of a well run and organised club who have a proven track record of success.
There might still be signings today. There might well be a surprise. But this goes beyond the transfer window. Nothing that happens today will suggest to me that we aren’t in turmoil. And if nothing does happen today then we are in even bigger turmoil than I suggested.
There cannot be a ‘catalyst for change’ if this club continues to be run by the parasites that are burying it into the ground at the moment.