Posted on Tuesday, 31st May 2011 by Guest Blogger
Since moving to the Emirates in 2006 Arsene Wenger has become increasingly prudent in his spending so as not to put Arsenal in any financial difficulties, due to the debt Arsenal were already in from the building of it.
So the Frenchman had the responsibility of remaining competitive whilst still spending relatively small amounts of money, although Wenger was not actually ordered to do this, he felt it was sensible to do so. However, not one trophy has been lifted at the Emirates(other than the Emirates Cup) and this could be due to Wenger’s lack of spending with his transfer preference being cheaper, young and inexperienced, possible stars of the future rather than stars of the present. This has made Arsenal a very profitable club as Wenger usually either promotes from within the youth system or brings players in cheaply and sells them on for much, much more.
The Arsenal manager using the youth system however has paid off, epitomised by the emergence of Jack Wilshere, who this year has been a revelation for Arsenal and recently winning Arsenal player of the year. Currently, Wilshere is probably the best 19 year old in the world and would be worth probably in excess of £15million or £20million, this just shows how successful building from within is. Building from within through youth recruitment helps team chemistry as the players grow up with each other and forge a great understanding, an example even more successful than Arsenal who do this is F.C. Barcelona, the greatest club in the world currently and probably have the greatest club team the world has ever seen.
They value building from within above all else with their famous La Masia academy-cum-boarding school which was recently covered in The Times. However, eventhough Arsenal have a very similar system to Barcelona they obviously do not share the same success, this could be for a multitude of reasons, in Spain, particularly Catalonia Football is huge, bigger than it is in England so more children play the game, play for clubs and are scouted by Barcelona, maybe currently there is just more football talent in Spain, but the only thing that we know for sure is that Barcelona are successful and Arsenal aren’t (based on trophies).
The Gunners chief still spends a lot less then Barcelona though with Barcelona paying huge sums of money for Villa, Ibrahimovic(in a ridiculous deal and he was largely unsuccessful at Barcelona), Alves, Mascherano and even Adriano and Milito, who in my opinion did not command the transfer fees that were paid who were £8.25 million and £15.75 million respectively.
Now, Wenger would never pay amounts like that for second grade players (bar Jeffers), where Wenger has spent large sums of money, on the whole they have been good transfers, Arshavin-£15mil, Nasri-£13mil, Wiltord-£15.75mil and to add to this, Wenger has made some sensational and cheap transfers – Fabregas-free, Van Persie-£2.2mil, Song-£1mil, Pires-£6mil and of course, the big one, Thierry Henry-£8mil.
But has Wenger made the club too much of a profit based organization rather than a trophy winning football club? The answer most fans would have to this is ‘yes’, simply because he doesn’t win trophies(recently anyhow) and does not make big signings which is what every fan wants him to do, we want him to capture our imagination with some big name signings, I’m sure we’d all love to see the likes of Benzema, Cahill, Sakho at Arsenal but will Wenger ever make big signings like this?
With expensive signings comes a lot of pressure, is it possible that Wenger’s scared to make big signings because they might flop and if they do flop, who will receive all the criticism? Wenger. Anyway, I feel as if I’m getting off topic now. So now for the killer question is Arsenal too much of a profit based business rather than a trophy winning football club? Yes.
Written by Julien Lepretre