Arsenal Transfer Drama: Money Missing – Europa League To Blame?

David Ornstein, the man from the BBC in Salford, dropped the bombshell:

Arsenal FC, broke. Again.

Or are they. To be fair to Ornstein, he isn’t the first person to claim it and with the BBC demanding two independent sources to verify stories, nothing at the time of writing has been printed on their website. It could be that by the time you read this, the whole shebang is in the back pages but I’m not convinced it will be.

Don’t ask me why, it’s an inkling. In any case, it is a remarkably ambiguous statement which cannot be taken entirely at face value. I don’t doubt that there is unlikely to be a trolley dash to make up the squad’s deficiencies nor do I think we’ll let Sanchez go without City getting to £60m+.

Neither of those statements, by the way, makes me “ITK”; the truth is out there already. Arsène was adamant that he was only bringing in 2 or 3 new faces and there’s been a consistent message that we needed to sell as well; the squad was too big.

Meanwhile, Oxlade-Chamberlain was becoming a problem for the manager. Pandering to his ego for inclusion in the XI albeit not in the central midfield role he craves, was causing us problems in defence with a lack of balance and crumbling mentality. I

So no, replacing him isn’t high on the manager’s list of things to do. Wenger placed Alexis’ departure at the boardroom door so it’s not rocket science to work out the thrust of Ornstein’s statement about the player movement.

Which leaves us with the ambiguity.

Warning! Warning! Brains May Explode Beyond This Point

Let’s take Ornstein’s words apart when it comes to the cash side of it all. The esteemed football reporter who has previously seemed well connected with the club, observed that Arsenal have “no money for major signings”.

You could take that as meaning cash, which leaves this as a case for Knacker of the Yard. Arsenal? No cash? So, Ivan, what happened to the £200m+ in the accounts? Ornstein doesn’t claim the electric bill isn’t being paid next week; he’s not talking cash.

Which leads to a broader definition of money and frankly, I’m sick of it rearing its ugly head in every conversation about Arsenal. But it’s transfer window deadline day and we want to know why we’re showing a profit without selling one of our stellar players; no disrespect Ox, but that’s the way it goes.

We’re missing the context of the information Ornstein talked about. ‘Money’ as in Stan’s leveraged his KSE investments across the board? The bank covenants involved might declare KSE must keep an asset value which requires Arsenal to maintain extremely high cash balances. It’s possible and with KSE registered in Delaware, the USA’s own tax haven, and there’s no real way of knowing unless someone leaks documents.

More likely and something which was floated a fortnight or so ago, is that Arsenal are struggling with the Premier League’s FFP ruling. The new broadcast revenue deals meant the PL imposed strict limits on what could be spent on wages. Maybe Arsenal’s forecasts with the loss of Champions League revenues mean belt buckles need tightening.

There’s an issue here. As UEFA said when contacted about PSG’s purchase of Neymar Jr., FFP is retrospectively reviewed. In other words, we won’t know if there’s an issue for 18 months. Are Arsenal being ultra-cautious?

Keep Your Tin Wigs On

Pffft. FFP. The club which banged on about how it would level the playing field finds themselves falling further behind because of the rules. It’s Alanis Morissette’s kind of ironic.

If FFP was a problem, why did we spend time chasing Kylain Mbappe? The same with Thomas Lemar. I doubt we could even afford Johnny bloody Evans. And since FFP is based on the annual P&L, including wage bill, how could we offer Alexis £300k per week, as well as Özil and Ox mega-deals which took the total to around £750k. Each week…

If I had to hazard a guess, missing out on the Champions League is the underlying reason. The AST estimated that Arsenal are losing around a net £30m  from the bottom line this season and it makes sense of a cash positive transfer window which is likely to show a profit on player trading.

Wenger is, it seems, taking the pain of last season’s failure. He’s taking the other ‘p’ as well, I agree.

Anyway, I suspect that the oft-quoted £100m warchest was a figment of an imagination once again. And not a fertile one either. Other sources suggest the budget for new deals was £50-60m plus sales. That would mean we could realistically add a £50m player to the squad tomorrow. In this market, it isn’t much when Kyle Walker costs more than that.

But it explains why we pulled out of the bidding for Lemar when it reached that level.

Whatever the real reason, it’s another PR disaster for the club; a continuation of the shambles from last season. It began in earnest with Wenger dithering over his contract, including the power struggle with Ivan. The lunacy continued through the summer and into the start of the season.

The Asylum Has Been Over-run

The club’s senior management is alienating more of the fanbase with every passing week. Their saving grace is the portion who change their minds with results. A long unbeaten run makes the world a better place for everyone but to massively varying degrees.

Baffling team selections don’t help. The folly of selecting Ox at Anfield becomes clearer every day while the look of bewilderment on Sead Kolasinac’s face on the bench, told the whole story. We return to action against Bournemouth and there’s already trouble brewing.

This isn’t news to most. It was fairly obvious that when results turned for the worse, Wenger would be in the firing line once again. We’ve gone into a new season with optimism as low as I can remember. Few believed we were contenders, it’s almost impossible to find any who believe we still are.

I only see us in a dogfight for the Europa League places and it won’t surprise me if we fail to qualify for Europe via our league position this season.

But one thing I would like is some explanation about why we’ve had yet another bad summer in the transfer market. A mea culpa. Not for the sake of blaming someone, just understanding how we’re so bloody useless at squad strengthening.

It might help soothe some furrowed brows but I don’t think the hierarchy is able to do that any more. There’s always been precious little faith and confidence in any club directors at any time; Arsenal are no different. However, the current mob – manager included – rate extraordinarily low in that department.

Dearest seats in Europe but one of the lowest PL transfer budgets? There’s some explaining to do but I suspect hell will freeze over before the truth outs.

’til Tomorrow.



229 thoughts on “Arsenal Transfer Drama: Money Missing – Europa League To Blame?

  1. rose Barkley stopped his transfer to Chelsea while undergoing his medicals…. the guy is a crazy nut…. Lemar delivered an accomplished performance to rub salt into gunners wounds…… kroenke and wenger should be stoned to death

  2. andy1886,

    And so? He’s got one career and he has to make the best out of it. If he goes for free next season why is it so unforgivable? How would you react if your boss says you stay here for life?
    As for his performances > *yawn*

  3. Anybody else see the Queen of Spades peeking out of Wenger’s shirt cuff. I could still see Alexis off to City, but I would be more surprised now given that Perez has gone out on loan.So why wouldn’t Lemar come to Arsenal? Well for a start, we are a Micky Mouse club who have fucked the player around this summer by not tying up the price early on and then deciding we do need to do something late in the day when he is likely to be more interested in playing for his country.

  4. Alex,

    You’ll have to excuse me if I can’t be terribly sympathetic for Ozil. Underwhelming performer with an over inflated belief in his own value. A typical recent Wenger signing then.

  5. So Sanchez stays, along with Mustafi and Chambers. Pretty bloody strange really. Couldn’t see the club letting Sanchez, Ox and Ozil go on a free so at least they have sold one of them. Going to be interesting how the season pans out with Alexis. It was so clear he thought the deal was done, so he’s going to be very unhappy. Let’s see if he picks up another little niggle whilst away with Chile.

  6. I wonder if Perez only went out on loan so that the club doesn’t have to write down his value for accounting purposes. Any accountants in the house?

  7. right then, thats the window fucked up, lets crack on with fucking the season up

    this is going to be interesting.

  8. No big last minute signing to soothe our anger and waste the cash, has A.W gone soft on Stan again?

    No, Wenger tried to do a last minute £92 million bid for Lemar. Unfortunately, despite his club agreeing to the move one of our only targets this summer slammed the window tightly shut on our fingers. Well that’s embarrassing.

    So all the top team stays put. Even the ones that we said we were going to sink. I exclude the Ox as I am just glad he has gone. Liverpool have been missing that special someone who looks great on the ball until they have to do anything with it, since Sterling left, but seriously, is there anyone in our team that hasn’t been pissed off by le Boss so far this season?

    Bellerin for instance has been played in the wrong position so the player out the door could stay, Walcott not chosen, Giroud not chosen, Mustafi and Chambers were surplus to requirement 10 minutes ago, as we move back to a 4, 5, vomit formation, Sanchez not sold, Ozil not sold, Lacazette left on the bench while his new team take a hammering, Mertesacker and the boss’s new Ballsack were left on the bench too so we can misfield Nacho and the whole defense has been left to swim after bad team choice fucked the belief in the new 3,4,3 formation that seemed so promising.

    What can save him now?

  9. Arsenal conundrum:

    Why are we are so willing to break the bank to sign midfielders when we struggle defending and putting the ball in the net?

    And don’t say Lacazette, he was half of what we were willing to pay Lemar.

  10. Why do we play this game in the transfer window so often? Everyone knew Alexis didn’t want to stay and that there was a price for him, so start negotiations early and set a deadline making it clear the club wants enough time in the window to buy a replacement. Instead we have made sure that we keep a disaffected player. Even worse, we have ensured that he is pissed off by pulling the plug on the deal he wanted at the last minute. And our poor effort at signing the player we apparently wanted all summer at the death makes the club look like fucking idiots. I know there are many moving parts in any transfer deal, but we contrive to make it even more complicated than it needs to be. The Sanchez situation was clear cut and this ridiculous game Wenger played all summer that Alexis wasn’t for sale embarrasses the club. So Alexis is not only guaranteed to leave on a free next summer, he is likely to sulk his way through the season. I’d be surprised if we get 20 games out of him and that from a player who busts a gut to play every week.

  11. Can I suggest everyone votes for Ox as player of the month on the Arsenal website?

    Campbell off on loan to Betis again.


    Arsenal have told Barcelona to pay €60 million (£55m) for Mesut Ozil after the Spanish club made a late enquiry for the midfielder, according to reports in Spain.

    Cadena COPE report that Barcelona are now considering a move for the Germany international as Liverpool continue to stand firm over Philippe Coutinho’s availability.

    Read more:

  13. FFS just let Ozil go for £30M or whatever is being offered.
    For me, it solves lots of problems – and make for a more balanced first team.
    Ramsey can play as a 10 with Coquelin as a base and then one of Elneny, Xhaka, Wilshere or Santi (if he ever gets fit again).
    We would actually have the option of playing players in their best positions and we would only lose one player on a free.

  14. Jonny,

    With you 100% on that one. Far too radical for Wenger though, why go for a more direct approach when we can prat around passing the ball back and forth until we put the opposition into a coma.

  15. It’s all rather comical….i for one couldn’t care if we sell Ozil, Sanchez whoever really can’t think of many players i’d actually care about keeping. The worse we are the quicker change at the top will inevitably come about…..Stan might think he’s clever but nobody is going to tolerate paying top dollar for utter dross for much longer. Wenger is also a dead man walking. I don’t even believe the 92million for Lemar was serious and if it was it’s terrible squad planning….and just adds to the confusion of the money being/not being there and shows a totally inability to manage a football club, finances and a squad. Let’s see how low we can go this year, that’s something to look forward to….i hope our rivals West Brom and Stoke finish above us. No doubt we will get a hatful of injuries just to add a bit more of the usual flavour.

  16. “when we can prat around passing the ball back and forth until we put the opposition into a coma.”

    or until we lose or the opposition steal the ball, break on the counter and score…..while we lament the breakdown of the ‘perfect move’ for the ‘perfect goal’…..bloody hell wenger is such an artiste !!
    sadly he’s in the football game.

  17. So will the Arsenal 25 man squad will be this? (unless someone goes to Spain)

    Cech, Ospina, Macey

    Koscielny, Mustafi, Holding, Mertesacker, Chambers

    Bellerin, Maitland-Niles

    Kolasinac, Monreal

    Xhaka, Ramsey, Cazorla, Wilshere, Elneny, Coquelin

    Ozil, Alexis, Walcott, Welbeck

    Lacazette, Giroud, Akpom

    Iwobi, Nelson, Willock, Debuchy

  18. freddo,

    Not when you can ensure you have an endless string of minor ‘injuries’ that ensure your playing time is down to a minimum in your final season. Wenger always gets fooled by that one.

  19. Cech
    Bellerin Mustafi BFG Kolasinac
    Theo Le Coq Ramsey Alexis
    Giroud Lacazette

    442 or 4411

    More compact, should be goals in there.

  20. And where did Chambers get that mysterious injury from that meant he was unavailable at the start of the season? Why wasn’t it reported in team news at all, or on the website? Oh, I know. It’s because there was no injury, but Wenger doesn’t want to look stupid by keeping him out of the team and now having to keep him.

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