Article by Reece Weller – Follow @topbins_news
There’s no hiding that Arsenal Football club have somewhat ‘short-changed’ their supporters ever since the move away from their spiritual home at Highbury. The move to a mega arena was what promised to be the foundation to help compete with the world’s elite footballing hierarchy.
Back in 2006, the change was one that had brought conflicting emotions to Gunners fans but most were left feeling optimistic for the future. 12 years on and with only 3 FA Cup’s and 3 Community Shield’s added to the illustrious trophy cabinet at the Emirates, you can help but feel for the supporters.
A club with the highest ticket prices which can only be afforded with a small fortune and the ability to generate the most revenue on a match day in world football, sadly this elite capability cannot be matched with the performances where it matters on the pitch. The prime example of the direction in which modern football is heading with clubs being seen, by many, as businesses whereby billions of pounds can be made for already extremely rich people.
Directors, Executives and CEO’s of businesses in most sectors will have some knowledge of the field in which they work, so why should football be any different? Well, it is. Where there is money there is greed and in modern football cash is in no short supply. Owners of football clubs which have no interest in the game and a huge detachment with the most important aspect to any clubs success which is the support, is a complete recipe for disaster. All too many football clubs are going through this predicament at current with West Ham also being a casualty of this poisonous streak seeping into our game.
Stan Kroenke and his fellow shareholders fit this bill to a tee. With little care for the footballing side of the club or the supporters is the sole reason a lack of silverware has been an all to often thing at Arsenal. This tied in with a manager as stubborn and egotistical as Arsene Wenger makes the problem even worse. As one the worlds largest and most stable football clubs in the world, surely it is inexcusable for a club of the size of Huddersfield Town to spend more money on players than the mighty Arsenal. The question most fans ask is why is little or no money being spent on ‘world class’ players and why do the present players in that bracket refuse to sign new deals, run out their contracts and move on to bigger and better things?. Yes, nowadays it isn’t unusual for a player to move away from Arsenal onto better things. Fabregas, Sanchez, Van Persie, I could go on and on. It seems only yesterday that players moved to Arsenal to progress their careers.
The money is there to be spent at Arsenal so why is it not being spent?. The answer to that is it is, but not the amounts in which it needs to be to compete with the rest of the top sides. Arsenal brought in Alexandre Lacazette from Lyon in the summer for £52 million, a player to which they should have brought in many seasons ago. I feel that this was a transfer with an air of ‘last resort’ attached to it. It was a transfer that Wenger needed to make after signing a new 2 year deal to the fury of most supporters. It is this last resort mentality to spending money on top players which infuriates most Arsenal supporters.
Taking a look at the teams in the top 6 in the Premier League, 5 of those have improved their squads over the last 5 seasons, the one exception being Arsenal. They are in huge danger of being left behind by the Premier League elite through their lack of spending and inability to keep hold of their best players. Arsenal is simply not a club that top players want to join anymore. Something with huge contrast to the bill of goods Arsenal fans were told when moving to the Emirates.
This season has been a huge wake up call for Arsenal with Alex Oxlaide-Chamberlain refusing to sign a bumper deal to stay and moved onto a direct rival in Liverpool. Alexis Sanchez agreeing a move away to Manchester United, yet again another direct rival and club veteran Jack Wilshere being offered a new deal which includes a pay cut. This shows how rotten the club is from top to bottom, with the disrespect to players who love the club and the inability to keep their top players at any price.
The lack of understanding of the game for the owners is what could see them potentially this season alone lose £150 million. This by letting only 3 players run down their contracts when they could have been sold last season for huge amounts of money. Three players at Arsenal could walk away for absolutely nothing at the end of this season. Alexis Sanchez worth an easy £90 million, Mesut Ozil worth £50/60 million and Jack Wilshere worth £20/30 million. Arsenal allowing this to happen is why they find themselves in the predicament they’re in. But no worries, the fans will make up the losses in extortionate ticket pricing.
I make an example of Arsenal, not for any hatred of the club but for the simple reason that as a club it is the definition of the way owners of football clubs squeeze money from supporters and are reluctant to reinvest that money into the club to bring players to entertain which is what it is all about. Any decision made at Arsenal is made with only one thing in mind, the financial gain for the ownership.
It’s this attitude which is slowly destroying the game we all know and love.