The chief executive of Arsenal Football Club has made a statement about the finance and future goals of the Gunners and it sounds great. A lot of Gooners will be less than over the moon about his words, though, because we have had our hopes dashed before.
“It is important to reiterate that for everyone at the club, qualification for the Champions League is not our ultimate ambition,” Ivan Gazidis told Arsenal.com.
“Our majority owner Mr. Kroenke has made it clear that, while it’s an achievement to make the Champions League, our ultimate objective is to win the major trophies.
“We all share that clear ambition and will be driving the club forward to achieve it.
“Arsene and I have already been planning what we need to do to strengthen so we are better placed next season.
“One thing is certain; the club is in a very strong position to move forward, and our form of losing just one of our last 16 Premier League matches shows that we have a solid foundation on which to build for success.”
I think that this time may be different, what with the debt from the Emirates stadium no longer holding us back, great new sponsorship deals being announced and the bumper new TV package coming to the Premier League. Like most Arsenal fans, however, I will believe it when I see it. We are told about a theoretical pot of £70 million, but not officially. We do not know whether that is for transfer fees alone or if future wages will be factored in.
Neither do we know if the club are going to stick with the wage structure and this has caused problems for us before. Wenger has spoken of `top, top` players, but Arsenal do not pay top wages. We also seem to pay the squad players more than other teams, so the best performers are not rewarded accordingly.
What would be fantastic is if the club, for once, extended itself a little. A bit of extra money made available to Wenger this summer, maybe boosting the kitty to £100 million would surely be paid back with a trophy or a longer run in the Champions League. It would be great for Kroenke to reward Wenger for his eight years of miracle work on a shoestring by giving him a really good chance of winning the title. But what are the chances of that?