Arsenal recorded profits of £17 million for the last six months of 2012 ending in November, which increased the club’s cash reserves to a whopping £123 million. Peter Hill-Wood boosted the mood by announcing around £75 million will definitely be available in the summer.
After seeing the sales of Robin Van Persie, Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri over the years, it seems like the Gunners will finally keep their best players, with Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott signing new contracts, and instead focus on recruiting properly.
Of course the sales of those players have helped raise Arsenal’s cash value but the club must now use that money to replace the departed stars and help the club compete for honours once more.
The North Londoners have fallen short for the past eight seasons and fans are becoming increasingly impatient at lack of ambition and investment and with the announcement of profit, fans expect summer activity.
The summer should see a clear out of the ‘deadwood’ players such as Sebastian Squillaci, Andrey Arshavin and Marouane Chamakh. The money gained from these sales will also increase the transfer budget while clearing £60,000-a-week salaries of the club’s wage bill.
The Arsenal manager has long been criticised for his transfer method and will be under intense pressure to spend big. Mario Gotze, Edinson Cavani, David Villa and Mats Hummel have all been linked with summer moves to the Emirates but these arrivals would mean large transfer fees, however Wenger has said he would be willing to rearrange his transfer and wage policy if he found a suitable player.
Another person the fans hope to see the back of soon is co-owner Stan Kroenke. The American holds a 69% stake in the club but has done little since his takeover. He hasn’t invested in the team, he hasn’t changed anything and he doesn’t really care about anything. He purchased a major stake in Arsenal to make money and that maybe just what he will do as an unnamed Arab consortium are planning a £1.5 billion takeover.
The offer will see Kroenke earn a profit of £350 million and will see the club fall in to a similar ownership of fellow moneybags Manchester City. The club’s £250 millon debt will be immediately wiped and the club will receive huge investment to buy top players and compete with the other top clubs. Ticket prices will be slashed as the new owners look to bring back the ‘proper’ fans. Alisher Usmanov may also have a role to play at the club should the takeover be completed and his wealth of $18 billion would also be a welcomed addition to the club with Kroenke currently keeping Usmanov out of the board room despite the Uzbek holding a 29% stake in the club.
Recent defeats to Blackburn and Bayern Munich have once again undermined Arsenal’s season as the burden of another trophyless season intensifies. The departure of fringe players and the arrival of fresh, talented players while keeping the club’s best players could present Arsenal will their first positive summer in a few years and get the club back to where it used to be.
Written By Jay Badford