All the Arsenal sites says the same thing.
“Arsene will not spend”
“Usmanov urges Arsene to splash out”
“Magic money won’t do the trick says Wenger”
Instead of going with the flow and saying the same things, I would rather take a look at something else. Before I start, I just want to make something clear, and that is, Arsene Wenger will NOT change his youth policy. Not when Arsenal’s out of Europe, not when Arsenal’s relegated, not in a million years. It’s what made Arsene Wenger and it’s what made the media love him. Maybe buy some expensive experience players here and there (like Arshavin), but at the end of the day you will still be seeing a bunch of kids competing against Chelsea’s “Old Blues”.
I am sure from my article title you would have known what I’m going to write about. Peter Hill-Wood, is the current chairman of Arsenal football club since 1982. He provides the cash, the “go-ahead” and the wage and transfer budgets. So somehow he has played a small part in Arsenal’s transfers. He is open-minded, supports Wenger and gives Wenger the control of the club as if he owns it. That partnership and understanding has brought about Arsenal’s glory days – and days you wouldn’t really want to remember as a Gooner.
I’m sure every manager would love this type of freedom and stability at the club for so many years, but everything has its pros and cons. Nobody and nothing is flawless. While Hill-Wood has great understanding of running the club and is a passionate football-lover, he isn’t as rich as Roman Abramovich or a bunch of oil-owners, which has had some restrictions on Arsene’s spendings. Meanwhile at clubs like Chelsea, Man Utd and Man City, their managers have had the privilege of making full use of their boss’ fortune. This has brought them some good results. Chelsea’s 3rd in the EPL, right above Arsenal, Man Utd’s enjoying the view at the top of the Premiership and Man City, eh, isn’t doing too well (this also shows money needs to be use correctly) but the point is, would you want money or freedom?
What I like about Peter Hill-Wood is basically he lets Arsene Wenger runs the club and do what he feels is the best for the club. And sometimes, it’s not like he’s a beggar or a busker on a street; he has claimed time and again (although I’m not too sure if it’s true) that Arsene can spend if he wants. So it might not be Hill-Wood’s problem but more like Arsene’s.
Now let’s look at the richies. At the start of this season Man City shocked the world when they signed Robinho for 32 million. Then just last season Man Utd bought Luis Nani and Anderson each for 17 million, totaling them up would mean 34 million pounds spent on 2 young, untested EPL players. And 2 seasons ago Shevchenko made a big-money, 30 million pounds move to Chelsea. Arsene Wenger would never do that and he probably couldn’t have done that. Peter Hill-Wood just can’t afford it. But at what cost? Man Utd’s now in heavy debts and winning the Premier League is a must. If they don’t they would find themselves in a predicament. Man City, no matter how much they spent this season, just can’t break into the top 4 and Mark Hughes’ time at Manchester City is under speculation. Finally, even though they have enjoyed moderate success, Roman Abramovich always interfere with Chelsea’s club affairs and for some reason he just can’t find his “right manager”. He’s sacked 3 managers and I’m starting to wonder how he’s ever going to find a long-term spouse. FFS, to me Luiz Felipe Scolari wasn’t doing very bad!
Would you want Arsenal to have such chairmen? If Arsene Wenger was at Chelsea (or Real Madrid) he would have been sacked cause I just can’t imagine Abramovich watching a bunch of kids playing for Chelsea. If Arsene Wenger was at Man Utd he need to guarantee titles, but you know Arsene doesn’t like to spend too much on youngsters either so again the Americans and Arsene wouldn’t mix. Lastly Arsene Wenger at Man City… let’s just say he would get sacked.
My whole point is, for those who dislike Peter Hill-Wood, don’t. In fact I really feel lucky for Arsenal that we have a chairman who’s willing to give the freedom and time to the manager. You don’t see such chairmen in football nowadays. Also one thing that’s really clear and has been proven time and again through history is that money can’t buy you freedom. You can have shit loads of money but if you’re not allowed to spend it the way you want what’s the use? Plus it’s not like Hill-Wood’s dead broke. If he is he wouldn’t own Arsenal Football Club.
What do you think? You think Peter Hill-Wood is a nuisance or a gift? Is it finally time to change chairman, one who’s willing to give the cash for ambitious signings? Or you, like me, feels we’re lucky to have him for the amount of freedom he gives Arsene Wenger? Tell me your thoughts in the comment box. Thanks for reading.