In a statement that will infuriate fans of the club, Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis told the New York Times. that the Gunners cannot “outgun” their big-spending rivals in the transfer market, says.
For the second consecutive summer transfer window Arsenal have been quiet while their title rivals rearm and reload. Last summer Arsenal were the only club in Europe’s top five leagues not to buy an outfield player in last season’s summer transfer window. Goalkeeper Petr Cech, signed for £10m, was the only arrival, despite the club having almost £200m in cash reserves.
The Gunners have made one major signing this summer, buying Granit Xhaka from Borussia Monchengladbach for £35m.
“We would not be successful if we simply went out into the transfer market and tried to outgun our competitors. We’re run in a self-sustaining way, and a way that we believe in, because we believe it gives us certainty for the future, and enables us to plan our future with confidence.
That means we can’t afford to make huge mistakes in the transfer market. We can’t afford to outgun competitors that have far more money to splurge on transfer fees than we do. So we have to be very careful, very selective about how we do things.”
While Gazidis is pleading poverty, keep in mind that last season Arsenal had the most expensive tickets in British football, according to BBC Sport’s annual Price of Football study.
The most expensive season ticket at the Emirates costs £2,013, almost SEVEN times the cost of the cheapest season ticket at Stoke, which at £294 is the most affordable in the top-flight.
By comparison, season tickets to watch Spanish champions Barcelona start at just £73.88 per season, while they are available for just £104.48 at Bayern Munich.
Arsenal’s ticket prices are the second most expensive in Europe, trailing only Paris Saint-Germain’s £2,113.46 season ticket for the title of the most expensive tickets in Europe.
Gazidis went on to sound like he was running a small club claiming that the Premier League’s huge new TV deal which is fairly evenly shared amongst the 20 teams means money is less decisive than it was.
“The constraints within the Premier League are less and less about pure finances. More relatively important become things like how well you identify players, how well you develop players, what kind of sports science you have, your analytics, your psychology,” he added.
“All of these support areas around what we do increasingly become bigger differentiators.”
Thoughts Arsenal fans?