Arsenal are more concerned with making money than winning titles, according to the Sunday Supplement panel on Sky Sports.
It’s a fairly common complaint made against the Gunners in the past, from what I’ve seen, but the accusation reared its head again after Arsenal’s defeat to Watford.
Neil Custis of The Sun told Sky Sports‘ Sunday Supplement: “You get the feeling with Arsenal, not with the fans, that there is an air at the club that it doesn’t really matter if they win the league or not.”
The Daily Mail’s Martin Samuel agreed, saying: “You look at Kroenke’s franchises in America – they are not greatly successful. America has this way of making these owners very rich, without having to win things. Kroenke comes from that background.”
You can certainly understand why this has become a relevant topic of conversation again. Arsenal didn’t invest heavily in the summer transfer window, only making one signing for a transfer fee and covering that fee with sales.
Then the Gunners performed poorly on the pitch, whilst share prices hit record levels, and the value of the club increased by around £200m as a result.
The battle between majority owner Stan Kroenke and minority shareholder Alisher Usmanov continues to make the club more and more valuable, but that value doesn’t trickle down to the players bought and the quality of performances on the pitch.
Kroenke’s franchises in America don’t tend to be very successful but do seem to make him some money, and I feel it hardly seems like a coincidence.
The best way for the Gunners to prove they are about winning trophies is to win trophies, or at least spend big on established players to try and do so. Otherwise, I suspect the fanbase will remain unconvinced.