There are eighteen days to go before the UK transfer window closes at 17:00 on the 8th August – the day before the new season starts.
The performances of our young guns in the pre-season friendly games may have some supporters questioning whether we even need to bring in more players, but for most, this is a time of frantically F5ing Newsnow and scanning the twitter feeds.
This is a scenario we have lived through for many years … and it is not specific to Gooners, but we do occupy a unique position in the transfer hierarchy. The level of fan optimism/pessimism is directly related to the buying power of the team. The pressure is less at either end of the wealth scale. If you’re a City fan then it’s just a question of which world-class player will be next. If your club is lower down the table then it is usually more a question of ‘can we hold on to our best players?’
We are classed as a big club. We have a rich history and the trophy cabinet bulges. But we have made it crystal clear that we are not now and will likely never again (under the current ownership) be a club that can compete financially. If anything, we are likely to slip further down the ‘rich league’ as other clubs are swallowed up by super-rich new owners whose agendas go beyond promoting football.
It was easy for some supporters in the latter years of the Wenger era. He was the man in control of everything … and therefore (in many supporters minds) took the blame for everything. Since the shake up in the management, we have a head coach, and various experts managing different aspects for club operations. It’s a rather confusing set-up, so easier to focus any blame … if blame is your mindset … on our American owners.
The idea of building the new stadium to generate the income to compete with the richest clubs was laudable, but in retrospect rather naive. The fact is that the Sky money and the other media income streams mean that even the revenue from the much moaned about ‘expensive season tickets’ is far less significant. That media generated revenue is spread across all 20 EPL teams (not equally) and therefore gives no special advantage to Arsenal.
So if you want to direct your anger over our lack of available finance for shiny new players .. blame Sky.