Of course, Arsenal fans will not forget how, on announcing he was not renewing his contract with the Gunners, stated that he and the club, in numerous ways, disagreed about “the way Arsenal should move forward.” It also seemed that Van Persie had lost patience with Arsenal’s progress with his goal having been “to win trophies with the team and to bring the club back to its glory days.”
Coming back to the present day, it has emerged that Arsène Wenger will have more than £70 million of money to spend after a five-year deal for sponsorship was agreed with Emirates, which is worth £150 million. Ivan Gazidis, Chief Executive, claims they will have the ability to make more investments and increase salaries saying: “We’ve got a lot of money coming in but you’ll see it in next year’s financial results. We want to be able to invest in the team a little bit more now so we’ll have that capability by the summer. But we also kept some powder dry so we’ve got the ability to invest if our manager finds the right opportunities in January. We can pay bigger salaries and I think we can invest more in transfer fees now. How we make those decisions will be based on a manager whose judgement over the years has been shown to be absolutely outstanding. There is nobody I would want to be thinking about those types of decisions on behalf of this football club.”
However, I have doubts, despite the announcement and Gazidis’ comments that Arsène Wenger will actually start spending more on players. And it is highly likely many other Arsenal fans share these doubts.
But one question is whether Arsenal’ lack of investment and spending on wages posing a risk to the club’s ability to attract world-class players and keep them? We have already seen that reluctance so far to give Theo Walcott an improved contract offer, which leaves his future with the Gunners still uncertain. Additionally, while I believe it is admirable to try not to pay the same obscene salaries other footballers receive, is the current wage system putting off players from extending contracts or entering the club at all?
Also, it is a worry that too little investment in players might keep preventing us from winning trophies, and it seems apparent that our multiple seasons without titles might be factor which is driving players out of the club. It is also likely that it could also be a factor which is stopping players from joining us and some of those joining other clubs instead.
For example, said Arsenal target Édinson Cavani this week denied that he would be leaving his current club Napoli for Arsenal. However, with it being reported in the London Evening Standard that Chelsea could get him, with the Blues winning last year’s Champions League, would the story in that situation be different?
Additionally, Arsène Wenger revealed that Arsenal had been close to signing Chelsea’s Eden Hazard, but it seems the club did not offer enough money. And, again, with Chelsea winning the Champions League, and Arsenal not winning trophies last season, it could be asked whether this was a factor.
It could also be asked whether Eden Hazard might have been keener to join the club if Arsenal were still enjoying achievements like we were in the past.
It is also apparent that many would like to see the club offer Theo Walcott a contract that would keep him at the club, with him showing his worth in his performances.
Many respect Arsenal’s apparent desire to not spend too much money and to keep the club healthy economically. This is important, with football clubs experiencing many difficulties with money and trying to stay afloat in this day and age, and with many not liking the huge amounts of money involved in football nowadays. However, Arsenal should be careful that this does not interfere with how we perform on the pitch and that it does not lead to players not being attracted to the club.