By Tony Attwood
On 16 July the Daily and Sunday Express, a wretched and feeble newspaper group that takes a fanatical extremist right wing stance, and has been known to run a story that claim that a baby’s toy as been found on the planet Mars, ran the headline, “Arsenal director Josh Kroenke reveals why Unai Emery has limited transfer budget”.
The piece interested me because I have written a number of stories which state that the Kroenkes have never actually said that there was a limit on the budget this season, let alone state what that budget is.
That is not to say that I am a Kroenke supporter – actually I am not, because I am not happy with the way the family has behave with their franchises in the USA, and I would have much preferred to have an owner without such a history. My idea of an ideal Arsenal is one owned by its supporters, as Henry Norris was setting up until he was deposed by the Hill-Wood dynasty.
But we are where we are, and at least we should make an effort to get things right. The £45m limit has always seemed a bit odd to me so I was keen to read the news that the Express had.
In fact that article reported the opposite of what the headline claimed with Kroenke saying
“Asked why the club have just £45m to spend in the transfer market, Kroenke replied: ‘If we’re going into the finer points I’d have to defer to these guys (managing director Vinai Venkatesham and head of football Raul Sanllehi).
“‘I’ve always told them we need to be as aggressive as possible. It’s no secret that we have a Champions League wage bill on a Europa League budget right now.
“’That’s a fact, and one that we’re figuring out how to face internally at the moment. That doesn’t mean that my father or I have ever said anything about any restrictions on spending.
“’We know where we need to be and we know the areas we need to address on the pitch. We talk about those extensively, usually before the supporters become concerned about those roles.
“’We try to stay ahead of the curve and these guys are working as hard as they can behind the scenes to bring some more talent into our pool.
“Posed with the concept that fans purely want to see the club spend money, the director answered: ‘I understand and to be frank that’s not their job. Their job is only to be concerned with what goes on on the pitch when we’re ready to play a match.
“‘I’m not concerned with the buying and the selling. It’s not who you buy, it’s how you buy. There’s multiple statements to say how to skin that cat.
“’While we’re not going to be in the market for some of the top players in the world at the moment whilst they are the top players, we’re actively scouting the globe to find the next big thing to become great at Arsenal football club.
“’And not only will we bring them to the club, we’ll be able to retain them in the fold going forward.’
“Asked whether fans must stay patient, the 39-year-old said: ‘I would say yes, but that’s also not their job. Their job is to come and cheer us on the pitch.
“’Our job is to figure out how to stay patient. And to me that’s often the hardest part of my role, staying patient. Because I am a fan, I want to win the next match immediately.
“’But I also know that with where we are right now as a club, laying the solid foundation will only allow us to be successful moving forward. And we’ve not only laid that foundation, we’re starting to build up from that now.’
“Ostensibly, Arsenal will have looser pursestrings should they qualify for the 2020/21 Champions League and Kroenke is “very” confident the club can finish in the top four this season.”
That word “Ostensibly” is an interesting one. My understanding is that it means, “as appears or is stated to be true, though not necessarily so; apparently.” So the Express have run a story so that they can run a headline that states the opposite, simply because at the end they say that they don’t believe it.
I think the answer is “Ostensibly the Express is a newspaper, but in fact it is a purveyor of fantasies with false headlines.”
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