Sir Chips Keswick says Arsenal are committed to fighting for the Premier League title, but won’t change their financial policy to do so.
This week Arsenal released their financial accounts for the six months ending 30th November 2017.
The Arsenal Chairman prefaced the figures with a statement admitting the team’s current struggles. However, he denied that the club needs to abandon its self-financing model to change their fortunes.
“This has not been the easiest of campaigns but we are all working hard to ensure we have a strong finish,” he said. “Breaking our transfer record twice in one season and the player contracts we have signed shows our commitment to getting the club back competing for the Premier League.
“However, our strategy remains self-financing and we must accept all the challenges that brings at a time when the inflation of transfer fees, player wages and the fees demanded by agents has become super-heated.
“We need to spend effectively and be the best we can across the whole of our football operations if we are to compete at the level our ambitions for the club demand.”
The trouble is that there’s no prize for running the club as Arsenal do. The worst that ever happens when Chelsea or Manchester City spend massive amounts is that they get a fine. Perhaps a transfer ban for a window or two if they’re really unlucky.
In the meantime, they’ve built up an extremely valuable squad. They can later use that squad to generate money through player sales. After the initial cash injection they can just let inflation do its thing to keep them ahead.
The idea of fining a club for spending more than they earn is a pretty ridiculous concept to begin with. The sanctions have to affect the actual team like breaching the rules with unlimited spending does.
Point deductions and stripping teams of trophies would quickly see them all following the rules.
Until that starts happening, Arsenal’s approach is admirable, but it’s unlikely to yield results.