It makes me sad to admit it but Arsenal are struggling to hold their own this season, not on the pitch, that’s gone far better than expected but they are floundering in the transfer market.
The gunners have been manoeuvred into a corner by the massive internal reconstruction of the club, this is due mainly to the significant outlay of Stan Kroenke who bought the remaining shares and now owns it lock stock and barrel.
As a result, the books look a little short and the chances of making any substantial strides in this transfer market seem remote.
How embarrassing for a club of Arsenal’s stature to be rinsed off with loan deals or transfer fees they can’t afford.
As we speak, the club are desperately trying to secure Denis Suarez but it appears that the deal is extremely complicated and largely in the favour of Barcelona.
The deal is hanging on meeting the Spanish clubs valuation of £20 million, whereas Arsenal appear to prefer the ‘try before you buy’ loan option.
Any possibility of swap involving Aaron Ramsey ended when the Welshman opted to move to Juventus in the summer.
Arsenal’s longest serving player has agreed a five year deal for around £36 million pound.
This leaves Arsenal without any bargaining chips in the middle of a cash drought and with Stan Kroenke plunging his hands firmly into the lining of his pockets, with no intention of pulling anything out.
This is essentially another blog that beats up on the American and his blueprint for minimum outlay and maximum profit without any consideration for success.
The Suarez situation typifies the North London club’s plight with the deal starting to look as if has stalled completely, with no possibility of it being reignited.
Just today, in The Express, Guillem Balague suggested that the only way Barcelona will agree to let the player leave on loan would be if the club are willing to add an obligation to buy clause.
In truth, this could be a regular feature of this frustrating transfer window, as Arsenal try to the ‘rob Peter to pay Paul’ tactics, which may even include staggered payments.
Barca’s position appears to be that a player on loan has decreased value should a pledge to buy clause not be in place, which from their side, is understandable.
Arsenal’s position is more like that of a peasant at the market bazaar, engaged in the unedifying act of haggling, with only loose change to spare.
The club has only got itself to blame for this unholy mess of it’s own making, mainly due to the leadership of their sole owner, Stan Kroenke.
I’m shocked to learn that there are fans on social media that support this sports marketing mogul.
Kroenke collects sports brands with an eye, that is predominately geared for profit and is seemingly less concerned with success.
He was quoted in the Evening Standard in 2016 as saying
“If you want to win championships then you would never get involved. I think the best owners in sports are the guys that sort of watch both sides a bit. If you don’t have a good business then you can’t really afford to go out and get the best players unless you just want to rely on other sources of income.”
He continued with the brand theme
“What did I learn specifically [from England]? You learn very quickly what that brand means,”
“We have a gentleman who comes to Arsenal games, he flies his helicopter from South Africa, Cape Town to London quite often. It’s just an example of what a brand can mean, and what we can do in sports.”
I don’t know about you guy’s but the word ‘ brand ‘ associated with my football team makes me want to defecate on Kroenke’s car bonnet or strangle him with his own tie.
But fast forward to 2017 and his terminology had softened along with expressions of a fondness for his ‘ brand ‘
“We are committed long-term. That [selling] is just not our model.
I’m at a stage in life where … what good does that do? I love Arsenal, love being involved with Arsenal. There’s no finer feeling than going out and winning like we did with the FA Cup … the feeling is contagious and it makes you want to keep doing it. There’s so many easier ways to make money, I can assure you. Much, much easier.”
Quite the turnaround for invisible Stan, it appears that all that love and desire still won’t squeeze the relevant funds from his bank account to facilitate transfers.
I’ve never liked Kroenke, this new found passion is just smoke and mirrors to disguise the fact that he intends to do what’s best for himself and his empire but not the club.
Usmanov at least provided some hope that Kroenke could be contained and obstructed.
Since ‘The Russian Guardian’ sold out, fans have been dreading the ramifications from the buyout.
The Express in August 2018 carried a story where the AST ( Arsenal supporters trust ) called the takeover ‘legalised theft’
It was concerned that the takeover meant that individual shares, were subject to compulsory purchase as part of company takeover law.
The AST continued to blast the American by saying
“By taking the club private, Stan Kroenke will be able to implement the following detrimental actions: pay management fees and dividends without any check or balance; no annual general meeting to hold the board to account; remove the independent directors; place place debt on to Arsenal to support his other business interests.”
Kroenke only contributed £45 million from his constricted pockets and borrowed £557 million, which he claimed would not be absorbed by the club but in truth we may never know.
As I’ve said in a previous article, perhaps Arsenal see themselves as the architects of a new way of meeting escalating transfer fees.
Less reliant on spending money they simply don’t have, in the hope of clawing it back later down the line.
Oh well, we will just have to see what our ‘ brand ‘ does in the remaining window but don’t go expecting too much, it’s likely to be a frugal summer too at this rate.