Supposing the truth is that under Arsene Wenger Arsenal has been over-performing

By Tony Attwood
The Guardian is still of course out on its own, insisting that Arsenal’s “demise” is totally Wenger’s fault.But elsewhere in the mainstream media there is movement.  As with the headline “Arsene Wenger critics are ‘stupid’… he’s not the real reason they’re struggling – ex-star”.  OK that’s the Mirror, not normally a newspaper that we quote, and they do base their story on what Robbie Fowler has said which would not normally lead me into repeating what they write.   And yet even they have seen the truth – or at least a bit of it.

“ARSENAL bigwigs’ reluctance to sanction mega-money wages has scuppered Arsene Wenger,” is the sub-heading and yep, that’s quite possibly not too far off reality.  Here’s how it goes.

When Mr Wenger arrived, English football was in the backwoods, primarily using English players who performed on English nutrition, which hadn’t changed much since the days of Woolwich Arsenal and Sir Henry Norris.  Or quite possibly the War of the Roses. Crowds were low as in trophy winning seasons – certainly way below the average Arsene Wenger pushed them up to (as we have shown before) revealing a natural, and rather modest level of support for the club.  Arsenal by and large lived on that income.

Arsene Wenger raised the level of support to 38,000 for each game at Highbury and won the trophies we all know about while, as the Mirror article says, “breaking even in the transfer market.   For most of the 20 years he kept Arsenal in the top four, he created a surplus in terms of net spend.  That is impossible now. How much you spend determines where you finish.”

And indeed not only that, the money available depends on how much money your sponsor splashes in and how much you make from worldwide marketing.   Man U has the highest world wide marketing income among English clubs as it has since the end of the 1950s, while Man C and Chelsea have vast incomes from their sponsoring owners.

Thus the argument continues, “If Arsenal are fourth or fifth on wage spending, then that’s where they’ll finish.”   In short Arsenal in the early part of the Wenger era over-achieved, first because of the new fitness programmes, and second, unmentioned in the Mirror article, because Mr Wenger knew how to spot and bring in top players from Europe who were unknown in England, and for modest transfer fees.   Pires, Henry, Vieira, Ljungberg etc all came in for modest sums when compared to their ability.  None would have come before because of the reputation English football had in the rest of Europe.  Tony Adams’ comment “He’s French what does he know about English football” summed the attitude up rather well.Plus Wenger was able to spot young talent and bring that through, and although that talent would often turn their backs on him, such as Hleb, van Persie and Fabregas, Arsenal had them for quite a few years.

Somehow it is now assumed that all this counted for nothing, and that Arsenal should have been challenging for top spot in the League all the time.  It was over-achievement based on a knowledge of the foreign markets and a way of making foreign players feel at ease and at home when there were few foreigners around.

But the reality has changed.  Now it is simple: generally speaking with the fourth biggest income, fourth is where you will come.

However, to quote Fowler, “Yet fans automatically assume a new manager must be a better one.”

And indeed as he also points out, “Sir Alex Ferguson left a very young team – with a few really experienced old pros – when he retired. It had just won the title.    And yet that team was totally dismantled and they are still trying to put the pieces back together.”The problem is, having had their success in forcing out Mr Wenger the alliance of bloggers and film makers that now make up the aaa do believe that all they had to do was to force Wenger out for the club to move forwards.

I am not sure what they will make of the headline from TalkSport today, “Brendan Rodgers is a great candidate for the Arsenal job,” – but that is what you can get when your whole campaign is simply the negativity of “Wenger Out”.

It is this uni-directional approach of the Wenger Out mob and their allies in the media that has now put us in this position.   It is an approach that will probably lead the same people to demand a complete overhaul of the under 18 team following their 9-0 defeat to Tottenham, as they forget that the game involved Arsenal playing a second string set of players while Tottenham played their top level under 18s.   And the reason…. well Arsenal were going to finish second in the league no matter what, and the mainstays of the team are about to play in the final of the Youth Cup this Friday.

One dimensional analyses and a uni-directional approach, seeing only one point of view; that is where we are now, and it is likely to be leading us down a very difficult path.


From the History Society

Arsenal v Tottenham game abandoned due to unacceptable crowd behaviour


54 Replies to “Supposing the truth is that under Arsene Wenger Arsenal has been over-performing”

  1. Unrelated to the article I’m afraid, however I have just heard some chat about the “Good old Arsenal” song and why it is not played when we come out to play at the grove. With the success of the Untold banner campaign would there not be another possible cause to champion? What do you think? Could be a great warm up for the crowd and certainly not something which would be in any way unwelcome by our supporters. Come on you Gooners

  2. Tony

    “Arsene Wenger raised the level of support to 38,000 for each game at Highbury and won the trophies we all know about while, as the Mirror article says, “breaking even in the transfer market. For most of the 20 years he kept Arsenal in the top four, he created a surplus in terms of net spend. That is impossible now. How much you spend determines where you finish.”


    I have been saying this for years. I have posted numerous lengthy articles on this very subject.

    To save boring everybody, in summery:

    Of the 14 seasons since Arsenals last title in 2004, out of the 42 available domestic trophies (PL, FAC, LC):

    31 have been won by the 3 mega spenders of Man Utd, Chelsea and Man City.

    38 have been won by the 3 mega spenders plus one of Arsenal (4 FA Cups), Liverpool (1 FAC and 1 LC) and Spurs (1 LC).

    That leaves just 4 domestic trophies won by clubs outside of the ‘traditional’ top 6 spenders and 2 of those were in the League Cup, a trophy in which the top 6 nearly always played there reserves in.


    Exactly. I said something similar to that very statement the other day in response to a good post by Kenneth Widnerpool. He asked:

    ‘what would it of been like without the money bags teams’ ?

    These were my thoughts on it:

    “When people do look back at this glorious period in Arsenal history it will be remembered as the ‘WENGER years’.

    Similar at OT they will be remembered as the ‘FERGIE years’

    What will they be remembered as at Chelsea?

    The Mourinho years ? I dont think so.

    They will be remembered as the ‘ABRAMOVICH’ years wont they.

    And at Man City ?

    It will be the MANSOUR or the Abu Dhabi years.

    And thats the difference.

    At Arsenal the success was all about the manager.

    At Chelsea and Man City the success is all about the money.

    I think when people look back in many years time they will wonder in awe at how Wenger even achieved what he did, given the enormous task he was presented with.


    The man was simply amazing.

    I must admit, the more I have read on here, the more I fear for the future.

    The ‘Wenger out’ brigade will just move on to become the ‘Gazidis out’ brigade.

    The media hatred wont stop. Whoever replaces Wenger will be similarly abused.

    They will continue to abuse the club in much the same way they have ever since I started supporting Arsenal back in the 60’s.

    Back then it was ‘Lucky Arsenal’

    Then it became ‘Boring Boring Arsenal’

    Under Wengers reign we’ve been mocked relentlessly over:

    -Highbury the library. That theme didn’t stop when we moved to the em’s.

    -Too many foreigners.

    -Too soft.

    -Too ‘tippy tappy’

    -No leaders.

    -Same old Arsenal always cheating. Apparently Pires invented diving.

    -Most expensive tickets.

    There’s more but I cant even be bothered.

    Is it all going to stop now Wengers gone? Will it f**k.

    Will we start to get a fair shake from the referees? Will we f**k.

    To say I’m gutted is an understatement.

  3. This note is to everyone who like Hunter 13 feel very bad about the near unceremonious ouster of AW from AFC. I understand your grouse and angst against the Club and it’s Board.

    Let’s look at the issues this way; do you think for one moment that AW would be glad to see his life’s work flushed down the drain because he is no longer going to be there to receive the accolades for a well done job? I doubt it very much. No inventor of any note would, if he could see the World from the great beyond, ever be happy that his invention is causing untold misery rather than joy and happiness for those using his invention.

    AW would, in a similar fashion, be quite depressed if AFC disintegrated into a relegation battling team any time after his exit either now or later. It is in this spirit that I want everyone who not only loves AFC but also approved greatly of AW’s nearly 22 years tenure as Manager. We can only make him happier wherever he ends up being a Manager seeing that AFC is doing even better than when he was there. It would be a fitting testament to his labor of love in the Club for all those years of back breaking hard work.

    To do otherwise is to make nonsense of his self-sacrifice for a greater good- the good of AFC and the millions of fans worldwide not only in England. It didn’t matter to him that among those for whom he carried out this self immolation deserved it or not. It was for a greater good greater than he himself. That is what makes him great not just all the hard work and thrill his teams gave millions around the Globe.

    It is in this sense I want us to support the incoming manager and the Board of AFC and also to hold them to the strictest standards of performance as AW would if he was around. Untold Arsenal has done its bit, we the other Untolders should also pledge our unflinching support for the Club at this time and into the future.

    This post already appeared under a previous thread. I am reposting it here for the benefit of those who may not look at the previous post.

  4. So it seems that if reports of our summer spend are true, our budget this summer to cure the teams supposed woes will be considerably less than what Liverpool will spend on a central defender or CMF hatchet man, or what City spend on s full back.
    Therein lies the problem, and it has been that way for years.
    Without dodgy city type sponsorship, an owner can no longer easily plough money into a club, but there were times when an owner could, and Wenger, no matter what he said in public, could have done with such help which never came.
    I don’t doubt there were aspects of our play, coaching and scouting that needed freshining up, but it seems things went too far.
    The Aaa have fallen in love with a neighbouring team who have won just the odd trophy more than Luton Town in the last thirty years,.
    They have got their way, Wenger has gone, the latest media speculation suggests the next man will be a much loved Arsenal man, but one with absolutely no management experience.
    Interesting times await.

  5. Nitram,

    and they call it Wengerball, but I never heard anything about a Fergieball, a Borinhoball or even an Guardiolaball.

    Yep the Wenger years, which were not limited to Highbury but had an effect on all the PL.

  6. Suddenly the press reports are to be believed. Well any manager worth his salt(like the one I expect us to get) should be the one to a large extent determining the degree of investment his squad needs, so I’m very confident if a good manager is gotten we’ll get a good transfer window

  7. @Tony, remember you said based on your superior logic that the Wenger out movement was not making any difference and we only persisted in making fool of ourselves, again and again. So how come you’re now blaming us for Wenger leaving?

  8. Well, it looks like the Women beat Liverpool!!! today. Perhaps Andrew or some other Untolder was at the game.


  9. They had a film on TV last night comparing Ferguson and Arsene Wenger. I don’t doubt Ferguson was a talented manager, but what came out of the film was a man who would stop at nothing to win.

    That means intimidating referees, sending out his teams to kick people to pieces, swearing liberally in his team talk, so obsessed with ensuring his rival would not reach 50 games unbeaten on his ground that he created that terrible 50th match and somehow had the referee who made sure it happened.

    Call me soft, but I would rather have a manager who wanted to win for sure, but differently – by playing beautiful football, by caring for his players as whole human beings, by bringing on young talent, by importing players who weren’t stars and making them brilliant, by trusting his players to play. By playing fair above all.

    We were so incredibly lucky to have in Arsene Wenger a manager who did all this and more. There are very, very few like him.

    There is no doubt that if he had not committed himself to Arsenal over all those early years in the Emirates Stadium he could have had a more glittering career with more trophies. But who is to say that what he has achieved is less? He used to say that he regarded his greatest achievement as keeping us in the Champions League all those years.

    Not many could have done that, particularly in the way he did it.

  10. Yep you are right. All these so called journalists have been calling Arsenal management and just asked what, when and how the money will be spent and the management just told them.

    And because it will be a new manager, he’ll just sweet talk the owner to spend a billion pounds, after all, an owner, well he’s here to spend right ?

    Or maybe he’ll crowdsource the operation. with millions of fans all over the world, if each one just spends 100 pounds each season we can outspend Quatar.

    Nice dreaming.

  11. If care is not taking, I can foresee a situation could arise whereby the Arsenal majority shareholder, Stan Kroenke and Ivan Gazidis, the Arsenal CEO if he dosen’t play his hand well, both could face the same wroth of the AAA which Le Boss had faced if as a result of lack of spending well next summer to reinforced 2 key arears in the senior team with top quality CB & DM signings to reinforced the senior team squad for a sustained summer campaign in the PL resulted to Arsenal not just falling out of the top four before February 2019, but look to can’t win the 2018-2019 Premier League Title in March or win the CL if Arsenal qualified this season to campaign in it next season so as to pacify the disgruntled many many Arsenal supporters who could beginning a rampant kind of protests that saw Stan Kroenke and the Arsenal board cave in under the AAA sustained protest pressure that forced them to relinquished Le Boss of his Arsenal manager job with still a year to run on his current deal at the club albeit through paying him off in excess of £11m to compensate him according to media reports.

  12. I agree entirely with Tony and many of the other contributors. It is a relief to read a rational analysis of Arsenal’s record amid the deluded, biased nonsense emanating from fans, pundits and journalists. But there is an easy way to settle who is right. If the next manager with a reported transfer budget of £50m manages to win the Premiership and challenge for the Champions League, then Arsene’s critics will be proved right. But if , as I suspect , Arsenal fails to win anything more than a top four finish and the occasional cup, then they will have to recognise that that they have simply hounded a great manager out of a job.

  13. Steven, agree on some fans hounding out a great manager, but suspect elements of the board, either with good reason, or possibly their own ambitions have played a significant part.
    Succeed, and they will be heroes , fail, and they will no longer have Wenger to hide behind, as I stongly suspect they have done in the past.
    I have no idea how this will pan out, as a supporter, I really hope it works , but I also hope they know what they have done and are doing
    It looks like Josh Kroenke will have a much bigger day to day Influence than his father, I wish him well, and can see why he is getting, and will continue to bring in football people, there was a huge reliance on Wenger in recent years, critics will question his power, but the fact is, the board allowed it, they will have to fill the vacume or be judged by some very fickle fans . I genuinely wish you well Ivan

  14. The British football media is inward looking and failed forgot to recognize positives when they see one. They failed to write about how thug football has bullied Wenger and yet they didn’t recognize the Man fought with itt for long period of time. They failed to recognize that a sustainable club needs a system yet they failed to recognize Wenger’s contribution . Lastly they failed to see the importance of club finances. With surplus from transfer surplus, it was used to build training ground and repay stadium debts .

    It was so frustrating to see this club divided by opinion largely by media.
    Media played a huge part in Brexit and I hope Arsenal willl not get into complicated situations .

  15. For a club that has only £137.6m in its cash reserve and competing with Rclubs like ManU or Chelsea . AW is already a genius and definitely underrated. Logicall minded people will quit when he is subjected so much abuse.

    Hopes he will accept deals offered by Chinese clubs .

  16. Chinese Gunner

    If he does, our loss will be your gain. And good luck to him if he does!

  17. Goodluck to him over there. Japan he won their equivalent of the the FA cup and charity shield (he seems to love those trophies). I hope in China though, he concentrate on winning the league and the Asian champions league equivalent, because as happened in England, ultimately that’s what he’ll be judged by

  18. @ King

    You’re becoming far too boring and repetitive. People have tried to explain things to you so many times but you seem incapable of understanding. You think you’re clever when you clearly aren’t. “I’m very confident if a good manager is gotten we’ll get a good transfer window.” Why on earth do you think the standard of manager changes the available cash? Besides, if it did, are you suggesting that AW had no money because he was a poor manager? Shouldn’t he have had the biggest transfer pot ever after the invincible season if you’re right?

    There is absolutely no logic in what you say although you did get one thing right, the ‘Wenger Out’ movement has definitely made fools of themselves. The trouble is proper supporters (the clue is in the name) get to share in the outcome.

    @ Nitram

    Yet again you’ve said everything I think

  19. @ Pat

    Your dismissal of Ferguson’s achievements at Man Utd as being reliant on his team’s thuggery, the intimidation of referees (or even corruption) etc is just ridiculous.

    Ferguson won trophies with Aberdeen – in Scotland and Europe – against far greater odds than Wenger ever came up against with Arsenal. He brought through just as many young players throughout his career; improved just as many others as Wenger ever did; and his teams’ football was every bit as exciting to watch.

    His particular achievement, IMO, was in creating 3 or 4 or even 5 distinct title winning teams during his time at Old Trafford. I can’t think of any other manager working in the big European leagues who got anywhere close to that. Truly remarkable.

    And let’s not forget that, even if Arsenal’s budget has been less than that of Man Utd, Man City and Chelsea over the past decade or so, they have still had the 4th highest wage budget throughout that time. So consistent top 4 finishes weren’t quite so remarkable as you seem to be suggesting.

    None of which is to denigrate Wenger. He was a great manager in his time. Revolutionary, even. In England, at least. I think he did lose his way somewhat. And not just because of referees or oil rich clubs. There’s no doubt that his later teams haven’t played football quite as well as his earlier teams did. And they have certainly lacked the devil, ruthlessness and winning mentality that Arsenal had in spades back when Vieira bestrode their midfield. Even so, as Untold rightly points out, a bad year for Wenger was finishing outside the top 4. Only twice at that. Most clubs would kill for such “bad” years.

  20. Any new manager will want a transfer budget , and that would depend who he likes and dislikes in the existing squad
    Liverpool spent big money on VanDyke , the Ox and Salah but the knew Coutinho was going to leave , so there outlay was not too much more than there income on sales
    Arsenal are very similar to Liverpool as we had lots of outgoings in January again to equal the in’s and out’s best poss
    Unless there is a change of heart at board level to release money Arsenal will always work within a budget and expect the new manager to able work the same way

  21. Why all this infighting between the Akb and AAA??We have to unite for the good of Arsenal.If the rumours are to believed in that we only have £50 million to spend next season something is very wrong with the club in the way that its owned and run.Surely with our massive gate reciepts ,huge sponsorship deals ,Europa league advancement and the sky money we have more to spend than a top championship side like(Wolves)??Why arent we putting pressure on the owner Josh Kronke who is making an absolute fortune out of Arsenal and isnt prepared to spend a penny on the footballing side.Surely all our anger should be channeled against him.

  22. I’m sorry, but why are people believing this £50 million figure being thrown about?

  23. Jim B, in relation to your statement
    And let’s not forget that, even if Arsenal’s budget has been less than that of Man Utd, Man City and Chelsea over the past decade or so, they have still had the 4th highest wage budget throughout that time. So consistent top 4 finishes weren’t quite so remarkable as you seem to be suggesting.
    I think you should not forget that Arsenal had to pay for a stadium. The stadium was purchased on a mortgage type borrowing which evened the amount payable per year out, and they have been paying it off through most if not all of this period. It was not just the income that was less, but the repayments on the purchase of the stadium that were so much more.

  24. The more I read the sensible comments by so many people on this blog and the other ones I frequent, the more fearful I am for the future of our great club.

    I reackon that any accaimed super-star manager will either not want to come here, because he will not be given hundreds of millions to spend, or will not achieve much with what we have.

    I think we are more likely to succeed or improve with a young manager, previously associated with the club and the ways of AW over the last 22 years.

  25. Of course Wenger over performed:

    Top 6 spending 2004 to 2013:

    Man City £410m
    Chelsea £390m
    Man Utd £170m
    Liverpool £169m
    Spurs £92m
    Arsenal £20m (PROFIT)

    In these 9 seasons Arsenal finished in the top 4 every season.

    During this period Arsene Wenger was buying and developing prospects and losing them to higher paying rivals once developed. He was having to constantly rebuild and due to the economic crisis that affected the sale of the flats at Highbury, Wenger faced further austerity. At the same time, the big spending Russian and the Arab State were changing football forever.

    Despite the massive over achievement, did the media and the moaning fans praise him for what he was doing? No. Instead Wenger and our fans were being taunted about a ‘top 4 trophy’ and told that trophies were needed. In addition, every waking minute we were reminded about how long we had been waiting for a trophy.

    Post 2013
    After the above 9 year hiatus, we went on to win three FA Cups and are on the verge of reaching the Europa Cup Final. During that time Manchester City have spent a further half a BILLION quid.Pep Guardiola, has a higher net spend in his 18 months then Wenger has in his 22 years.

    Wenger has over achieved, there can be no doubt.

    Someone will one day have to explain why the media have spent so many years hiding what Arsene has been up against and why they have provoked a certain type of fan to abuse the great man. On some wenger out blogs the amount of abuse he receives is quite incredible.

    Arsene Wenger stayed loyal to us when we needed him most. His greatest achievement, imo, was navigating us through the period during teh stadium refinancing project, when we were not only vulnerable but also being picked off by billionaires. Had he not managed us during that period, we would not be in the financial position of strength we now found ourselves in. It is a shame there is so much ignorance in football and our fanbase and a disgrace the media have created a false narrative to hound Wenger out.

    Thanks Arsene.

  26. Tony,

    Yes, I’m fully aware that Arsenal had to pay off the stadium debt. And, without doubt, that meant that the full benefit of the huge increase in ticket and corporate sales couldn’t immediately be realised. But the fact remains that Arsenal still had comfortably the 4th highest wage budget during the period in question. And that, for me, is a considerably more important figure than net transfer spend as a means of determining at what level a club ought to be competing. Probably the fairest way to arrive at a valid calculation would be to include all player costs – net transfer spend and wages. My guess is that this figure would most likely show that 4th was Arsenal’s correct level – although Liverpool might just pip them (and thus massively underperformed in the league during this period).

    As to AFC Nemesis’ figures above, one further factor that has to be taken into account is Arsenal’s strength and status at the beginning of the period in question. Merely listing the net spend only tells half the story. Fact is that Arsenal were the best team in the land in 2004. They had a superb squad. They had little need to spend massively in order to maintain a place in the top four. And when they did sell, they could sell for big money. In the context of this discussion, that fact cannot be ignored.

  27. AFC Nemesis writes

    ”It is a shame there is so much ignorance in football and our fanbase and a disgrace the media have created a false narrative to hound Wenger out.

    Thanks Arsene.”


  28. Our loyal Arsenal fans, jumping up and down to the media pokes and brushes like Colonel Tom Parker’s dancing chickens, in full view of the world,
    in the most popular sport that has ever graced this spinning top,

    said the FA Cup is not a trophy – every country has one

    said ‘in the top 4,’ ‘4th position’, is not a trophy – every country has a league.

    They have simultaneously pissed on the beauty of football as a game capable of of expressing the beauty of the inside of a human being and pissed on the soul of football.

    No Cup matters. No League position matters. The only position that matters is Number One in the league.

    For the six year old kid kicking the ball around anywhere on the globe the fans and the likes of Gazidis have told the kid – only money matters when it comes to your aspirations in football.

  29. To reiterate to the illiterate:-

    When Arsenal moved to the Emirates Stadium, the club prioritised repaying the loans over strengthening the playing squad.

    Arsenal’s self-sustaining model relied heavily on qualifying for the UEFA Champions League; as Wenger recalled in 2016: “We had to be three years in the Champions League out of five and have an average of 54,000 people, and we didn’t know we would be capable of that.”

    The club sold several experienced players throughout the late 2000s and early 2010s and raised ticket prices, upsetting supporters who had called for change. Wenger took umbrage over criticism and revealed the bank loans were contingent on his commitment to the club: “The banks wanted the technical consistency to guarantee that we have a chance to pay them back. I did commit for 5 years (as the bank insisted) and I stayed and under very difficult circumstances. So for me to come back and on top of that have critics reproach me for not having won the championship during that period it is a bit overboard.”

    Wenger later described the stadium move as the toughest period of his life because of the restricted finances in place. He was required to constantly rebuild the team and rely on training prospects knowing that if they reached the level required they would be sold.In the period to 2005 on, Wenger regularly made a profit on transfer dealings while Chelsea and manchester City had been investing to the tune of £500,000 on players (see above).

    I would like one of the AAA who visits this blog to explain why they abuse Arsene Wenger or feel he has been under achieving in his 22 years at the club. The fact is Arsene could have earned much more money and had a greater chance of success had he accepted the various offers from the biggest clubs in Europe, where spending has no limit, instead of trying to navigate us through a challenging financial situation, while making a profit on transfers.

  30. Tony
    If the stadium is being paid back by the Fans and the club out of profits then why should Kronke keep that money when he sells up??That would mean he has made a profit and taken up to 390 million out of the club in 10 years..Thats 40 million a year.No wonder Arsenal cant compete with the big boys.Its one thing being self sufficient and another who takes that much each year..Why isnt untold venting any anger against this leech??
    And jjgsol, if Wengers wage is being used to lure a new manager ,there wont be any shortage of top european managers wanting to manage our club.

  31. Jim.

    Football is a business. Just as Leeds Utd, once one of the biggest clubs in the Country.

    It always makes me laugh when fans seem to think the people who own the football clubs should be doing so out of the goodness of their hearts. They aren’t. They are usually doing it for the money, unless they have so much money it becomes just another way to have some fun.

    Take Man City. This club has nothing whatsoever to do with a business enterprise or the City of Manchester. This is a club owned lock, stock and barrel by a foreign oil state. The Abu Dhabi United Group for Development and Investment (ADUG), is a United Arab Emirates (UAE) based private equity company owned by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, a member of the Abu Dhabi Royal Family and Minister of Presidential Affairs for the UAE.

    So here you have a football club owned by an Arab Country. It can spend whatever it likes, Billions of pounds is peanuts to them.There is no ‘owner’ running the club as a sef sustainable business enterprise.

    Although on a totally different financial planet to Roman Abramovich, again Chelsea were owned by someone not interested in running it as a business.Chelsea FC is owned by Stamford, the sole shareholder being a Mr. R. Abramovich. Stamford holdings is owed around £1.5 billion by Chelsea FC, that’s how much money Abramovich invested. Not his money mind, this was money the Oligarc ‘stole’ from his homeland and which he needed to wash. Nobody can be certain whether the day will come when Mr. Abramovich wants ‘his’ money back.

    So any Arsenal fan expecting Arsenal to compete with the activities of these two clubs or expecting the clubs ‘owner’ to invest his own money like these two is quite frankly an idiot. I would go further and say they should be sectioned and relocated to the local lunatic asylum.

    The problem is the false narrative that has been created and repeated endlessly to entrap fans.

    Take Pep.

    While Pep Guardiola is lauded as the greatest manager in the history of the Premier League, the media conveniently refuse to attribute his success to the finances thrown at an English Football Club by a foreign Country. This Manager has spent almost half a billion on players in just 18 months. Apparently he is the greatest thing since a peanut butter sandwich. Mind you, he didn’t go a whole season unbeaten or win the League and FA Cup double. I know a man who did.

    The CL narrative
    We are told winning the Champions League is the only true sign of a great manager. Really? A certain Robert Di Matteo won the Champions League as manager of Chelsea FC, was he a great manager? No his success was a direct result of the money invested by the Russian Oligarch Roman Abramovich. Won by great management or bought?

    Meanwhile, Arseanl Football Club and their manager are abused for not competing with Chelsea and Man City. Detractors, unable to comprehend basic finances, have been claiming that Arsene Wenger is ‘tight’and unwilling to spend. This was a repeated narrative by the AAA/WOBS, often repeated during the period when Wenger was making profit on transfer dealings. Humorous. Very humorous.

    Now as much as I would like Kroenke to be a charitable benefactor to the club – I am a realist.

    It is clubs like Manchester City and Chelsea (not Manchester Utd who are self sustainable) who are the problem. The sooner Arsenal fans remove themselves from the world of fantasy and stop all this self entitlement crap, the sooner we can move on. Protests and demonstrations to undermine the players, the team, the manager and the board are counter productive and ridiculous. The level of ignorance is quite incredible but I blame the media, they have created a false narrative and manipulated fans into believing Arsenal is under performing by not winning the League or ‘only finishing top 4’ and ‘only winning FA Cups’. Finishing top 4 when 18th in net spend is not seen as an achievement, instead the Manager gets ridicled for the ‘top 4 trophy’.

    This is the standard of media reporting we have had to endure. The fact a group of thick, ignorant fans go along with this is a sad indictment of society.

    Time to start living in the real world and acknowledging realistic expectations.

    ….instead of hounding out great Managers.

  32. Nemesis
    We are owned by 2 billionaired who are as rich as the arab oil state.One of our billionaires takes 40 million a year out of the club,money which could be used for transfers and most on here are happy with that??The other (usmanov)who has 30% of the shares wants to takeover the club and put money into Arsenal but again most on here are dead against that …Why
    There were times in the last 10 years when the club was crying out for a little more investment in the transfer windows to help us win the league ,to just push over that line but that money never came.Is this the person we want owning our club??Our manager and ceo were happy with this arrangement because they also were being paid handsomely..

  33. I’m a Wenger supporter and appreciate his time at the club. It’s all been said, here and elsewhere. Anyone who can’t see the skill of guiding the club from Highbury to the Emirates with no state-aid, w/o massive long term debt (see MU), w/o massive infusions of cash from owners (see MC and Chelsea) and staying in the Champions League places has an agenda. My only criticism is in the last few seasons for not getting a defensive midfielder worth anything or a top class defender. When N’Golo Kante was available AW went first for Vardy and then Mahrez. Where are they? Leicester. Where is Conte? Chelsea. And won a title. AFC would be a lot closer to the top with a Kante in midfield.

    And to Jim @6:21pm and others, if the billionaire owner won’t spend how will another Manager get him to change his core business philosophy? Do your research on Kroenke. He owns 3 sports teams in the States and DOES NOT spend money. No big free agent signings and cash splashing for him. But he makes a profit. Fly a banner reading “Kroenke Out”, not that it mattered. Why is Wenger leaving now? Why are the board letting him? EMPTY SEATS.

  34. Jim

    “There were times in the last 10 years when the club was crying out for a little more investment in the transfer windows”

    “…..a LIITLE more investment”

    Have you not read the amounts of money that City, Chelsea and United spent ?

    Maybe you have, and you just think that Wenger was SOOOOOOO good that just ‘a LITTLE more investment’ was all he needed out do the Billionaires ?

    But the truth is I doubt that’s what you are suggesting at all is it? In reality, by ‘a LITTLE more investment’ what you really mean is ‘a LOT more investment, similar to that of those 3.

    An average £50 Million a year net spend on transfers for nearly 10 consecutive seasons.

    When Arsenal FC started down this road they clearly stated that the Club was to be run on a self sustaining model.

    And yes I am happy with that. I was then, and I still am now.

    If you are not that is up to you, but I’m afraid you are going to be very disappointed because I cannot see the model changing, and here here to that.

  35. AFC Nemesis

    I have, as you may be aware, posted very similar statistics on many occasions, but never with such clarity and in depth information as you have done above.

    I shall be printing it off and shoving it under the noses of certain Arsenal fans I know that simply seem to believe everything Adrian Durham tells them.

    Brilliant work sir.

  36. Can someone clarify where the figure of £40m being taken out oif the club every year by Kroenke comes from?

  37. If kronke owned Arsenal outright and sold the club tomorrow for 1 billion it would include the stadium as well as the club.That would include the 400 million it cost for the stadium.That is 400 million that the club has paid for not kronke.Say the stadium has cost that over a 10 year period that is 40 million a year..Add to that the 3 million hes taken out the last couple of years Its no wonder we have less to spend than some championship teams.
    And going back to my previous point Nitram i was talking about more investment around the 07-10 period when we were challenging for the league and just falling short.

  38. Jim

    You said ‘a LITTLE more investment’.

    Could you clarify how much you mean by ‘a little’ exactly?

    And could you clarify exactly where the money would come from? Or from whom I should say?

    You also said: “…i was talking about more investment around the 07-10 period”

    Perhaps there’s a clue in the fact that we moved into the em’s in ’06. So you’re talking about the first 4 years of the mortgage, usually the most difficult.

    And we finished 3rd 4th 3rd 4th so not particularly challenging any more or less than the rest of the austerity years.

  39. Nitram even if Stan Kronke would of paid the interest on the loan it would have made a difference..In-
    2007 we were top for 2/3rds of the season and signed nobody in january
    2010 season we were 1pt behind man u in feb after signing ryo Miyaichi and Wellington in january.
    2013 season Arsenal led the table for much of the season, spending more time on top of the league than any other side.We signed the injured Kim Kallstrom on a free transfer in january.All those seasons, like many more ,we fell away around February march time.
    When the leech eventually sells the club he would have got that money back x10 but no he never spent a penny and you defend him…Scary

  40. I heard it on the radio Adrian Durham is a rasist Arsene Wenger Hat#r. He would wecole Hitler to the UJK first.

    For Those who are questioning the owners, why didn’t you buy shares in the Club when you could easily in the 80’s . I believe that some fans were owners of shares of Arsenal FC. Why did they sell up?

  41. I can already hear the Emirates roaring “One Arsene Wenger” when they’re hounding out the new manager because it didn’t go as our ‘idiotic’ fans thought it would… I mean the Wenger out brigade.

    Call me a dreamer… but I already can’t wait for the second coming of Wenger.

    Yes… there is romance about supporting Arsenal and Arsene Wenger that no Neymar like record deal could bring… no 3 time cl winner manager hired could bring no matter what they win.

    Truly… there’s only one Arsene Wenger.

    And he IS the Greatest Man to ever manage a football club without competition.

    I’m livid… the anger has kicked in today.

  42. Jim

    “We are owned by 2 billionaires who are as rich as the arab oil state”

    Are you being serious? Yes they are both Billionaires but the money they have pales into insignificance against the Arab state.

    However, you are arguing the same point as me.

    Arsene Wenger has been financially restrained. Who we want to blame is irrelevant the fact is he has been criticised for things out of his control. Being bottom of the net spend 2005 to 2013 he somehow managed top 4 finishes and almost won the league. Was he praised for over achieving? No, morons started repeating the deregotory narrative about ‘top 4 trophy’ and of course the number of years we had gone without a trophy. Even now those years are used without any cavaet to demonstrate he has ‘under achieved. It’s all bollocks Jim. Had he not been so successful under the enforced austerity of those years, we would not be in the financial position we are in now and the new manager will benefit from that.

    Coming out of the austerity, he suddenly wins 3 FA Cups in 4 years, gets us into a European semi final and still the moaning continues. Endlsessly.

    So, taking your point about money, I agree with you that the club have not provided Arsene Wenger with the money needed to compete with the very big spenders. However, I don’t blame Arsene Wenger for that nor do I blame him for not winning the Champions League. Instead, I blame the financial doping of football that has been allowed to create an uneven playing field. I blame the media for creating a false narrative and I blame ignorant fans for not trying to understand more about the financing of the Emirates and for being a bunch of self-entitled idiots. Wenger has been let down, he deserves to go to a club that gives him the type of money needed to compete with the doped clubs.

    Everyone who matters knows what a great manager he is. He will be wanted by every top club because unlike our media and self entitled fickle fans, they appreciate what he has done.

    Yes I wish Kroenke and Usmanov had come together and provided Arsene the money he deserves in the transfer market. He did everything possible to deserve being given that opportunity.

  43. Nitram the reality is that Wenger is leaving at the end of the season because we are languishing in 6th place in the league and the real supporters who attend matches not the fans from nigeria,india china etc who watch on dodgy streams,are staying away even after they have paid for their tickets.The football we are playing is poor and our away form is even worse.That is the truth.

  44. Jim,

    “The football we are playing is poor and our away form is even worse”

    Even worse? You are suggesting our home form is poor and playing poor, which is complete bollocks mate.

    Our home form is no reason to stay away – it is the 2nd best in the League, only 2 fewer points than Man City.

    We average 2.7 goals at home and have only dropped 10 points.

    Arsenal Home Form:

    Pl: 18
    Won: 14
    Drew: 2
    Lost: 2
    Points: 44

    This is what I mean, the false narrative that gets recycled to suit an agenda.As for your comment about Nigerian fans on streams, not even worth wasting my time on that nonsense.

  45. Jim

    I’d give up if i were you because the more you speak the more foolish, ignorant and racist you sound.

  46. ‘Wenger is leaving because we are languishing in 6th place’

    I nearly pissed myself laughing when i read that.

    When we were constantly in the top 4 wasn’t that also seen as ‘languishing’ ?

    Even 2nd place did’t stop the whingers did it?

    Winning 3 fa cups didn’t stop the whingers did it?

    So if it’s right that ‘languishing’ in 6th is th cause of all the stay away fans then it seems to me all those years of ‘lanquishing’ in the ‘it’s not a trophy’ top 4 wasn’t so bad after all.

    Honestly. Last season we finished 1 win outside the top 4 and won the fa cup.

    This year in reality is the first really poor PL campaign, but even then we have already been to one final and could possibly still win another.

    If anyone really thinks this seasons performance is valid reason not to turn up and give there support then f**k em.

    If anyone really thinks this seasons performance is valid reason not to turn up and support the team they perport to love you have to ask under such judgement why on earth have Spurs and Liverpool and Everton fans even bothered at all these last 10 or 20 years?

    I dont recall fans of any of those 3 clubs whinging and whining like a large section of ours do.

    Honestly some of our fans are an embarrasment.

  47. Nitram
    People like you make me laugh.Youve had hunter on here abusing all sorts of posters of late with awful vulgar language ,the same with your chum menace..And as soon as a poster comes on here with a different belief than you ,you flare up.Tell me exactly what is racist about my comments?Is it because i think the real supporters are the ones that frequent matches??Or is it that im against most on here who criticise those fans even though 90% are foreign and have never set foot in the uk never mind been to the emirates.Does that make me racist??If so so be it.I like the spanish league and cheer on Valencia but i wouldnt dream of lecturing or calling real valecia supporters if i thought they were wrong..ITS NOT MY PLACE !!!

  48. Oh and Nitram try expressing your views on any other arsenal message board and see who ther real fool is.

  49. I see no reason for a real supporter to not go to the Emirates this season. I could even understand if the away supporters would stay at home. Our away form has been very poor this season.
    But at home? Only champions City have done better so far. So why stay away?

  50. Oh and this foreign fan is on the season ticket waiting list for a number of years. I hope all the people who didn’t show up anymore will not renew so I could have a chance of getting a season ticket. After all I have only been waiting for some 4-5 years so far….

  51. So every other site bar this one agrees with you yet here you are again getting all offended.

    Ah didums.

  52. Jim,

    “Real supporters who go to matches”

    I feel particularly offended by your comment, being an overseas supporter that spent more money on attending one match than you spend on one whole season ticket, be it “the most expensive in the world”. I have to fly from Seattle and hence pay a hefty sum of money to the airlines. Then the hotel. Not to mention the match ticket. Obviously I can do this once per year at most, since I have to function on a self-sustaining model of income and spending, and I don’t have a sugar-daddy to sponsor me each week. Now go back under the rock you’ve been living your life and stop showing the world what an ignorant ar****le you are.

  53. Well Walter, if you want to jump up the waiting list for a season ticket, try working at Arsenal 🙂 Employees get a season ticket as a perk.

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