Arsenal’s ‘self-sustainability’ model isn’t about principles

It’s a necessity when their billionaire owner won’t spend a dime

Responsive image

Unai Emery has done as much – and probably more – than we could expect, clearing up the mess left by Arsene Wenger.

But we’ve done this well, so far, by riding our luck. With Tottenham and Manchester United coming up, our luck may be about to run out. Fourth place looks like a mirage, now Tottenham have Eriksen and Alli back and they’ve found some form.

We all know our problems. Mustafi and Xhaka are accidents waiting to happen. Nacho Monreal has been so consistent for so long. But he’s ageing and it’s time to find a replacement. Kolasinac isn’t it. Meanwhile, Ozil continues to trouser £350,000 a week for impersonating the invisible man when Arsenal need him. And don’t let’s start on contract negotiations.

So what will the club do in the January window? Nothing, according to the men at the top. Sanllehi and Venkatesham say that the club will only enter the market ‘in an emergency.’

They’ve also defended Arsenal’s ‘self-sustainability’ financial model as if their lives depended on it. That’s where we hit the nub of the problem: Stan Kroenke.

Let’s be blunt: the ‘self-sustainability’ model isn’t about principles. It’s about excusing the mega-wealthy owner for refusing to fund a team which can be competitive.

Sheikh Mansour has bank-rolled Manchester City. Despite the depredations the Glazers have inflicted on United, they’ve still supported their managers in the transfer market. Abramovich allegedly was starting to lose interest in Chelsea. Then they signed Jorginho and Kepa in the summer. The Fenway business group has stumped up (Keita, van Dijk, Allison, Fabinho) for Klopp to make Liverpool serious Champions League challengers.

Kroenke and his KSE UK Inc. group have already taken money out of Arsenal for ‘consultancy fees.’ Now he owns the club outright, it’s almost impossible to hold him to scrutiny for his financial dealings.

Obviously Emery is well paid, if not at Wenger levels. Yet – maybe sooner than later – he must start to wonder: how far can I take this squad when I have such a puny transfer budget?

I hate writing all this stuff. Still, we have to face it. We may dream about a coming generation of youngsters leading us to glory – as in 1970-71, and the late 1980s. But while Kroenke retains his iron grip on the purse strings, we’re stuck.

Ed’s note – We’ve had some technical issues with the comments lately before and after the upgrade of the site to make it mobile phone friendly. These should hopefully have been fixed. Please try again if you have been unable to post a comment recently.

Article Rating

Leave a comment

Sign-in with your Online Gooner forum login to add your comment. If you do not have a login register here.


  1. mbg

    Nov 20, 2018, 19:14 #112554

    Poor Alexis Sanchez such promise, where has it all gone wrong ? Another wenger legacy/statistic.

  2. Don Howe

    Nov 20, 2018, 17:33 #112552

    ON the England front, isn't it nice to have a team to support again. 1-0 down and staring defeat in the face with 12 minutes to play? Old England - stare at your boots and imagine your gold watch collection. New England - remember the junior world cups that you have already won and score 2 quick goals to reach the equivalent of the League Cup Final. Pure fun and it got even better when our old friends and allies the Dutch smacked the DFB to get to the semi's instead of France last night. Overall the Nations league has been a huge success with Gibraltar getting two wins under their belts and Scotland having a promotion battle tonight. Hugely better all round.

  3. mbg

    Nov 14, 2018, 22:26 #112549

    Fourth might be a mirage this season especially after the points we've dropped but remember that would have been a bonus at the start of the season, this start and run has spoiled us and raised expectations, if Emery could get these problems sorted you never know especially if Stan does suprises us and digs deep and we add some real top top quality.

  4. mbg

    Nov 14, 2018, 22:17 #112548

    Just testing, having problems posting again when i click post comment it wont go.

  5. markymark

    Nov 14, 2018, 19:40 #112546

    Unless the stats I’ve read are wrong Arsenal are 6th in Europe for net spend. That’s across the 5 leagues worth talking about and if we consider top 4 as a target ?!? That means 6th net spenders across 20 clubs. The damage was done 4-5 years ago under the disasterous holding money in reserve that Ivan trumpeted and Wengo went along with. If just one or two of the targets we’d supposidly looked to buy had actually been bought we’d be riding the wave of virtual 100% uplift. As it was all our purchases are now being bought at real up to date cost with no benefit of previous player inflation. An obvious early example where Wenger did play the game was Amelka who was sold for 10 times the price we bought him for. It’s simple to bash Kronke but he is not responsible for our terrible transfer record. Hopefully Mstinlat and Sanhelli can finally right the ship and we can then operate like a proper football club. Signs are pointing positively in that direction.

  6. John F

    Nov 14, 2018, 18:10 #112545

    When I read that about Scudamore Cornish it really brought home just how far removed the people in charge of football are from ordinary supporters. Football to them is all about trousering as much money as they can.The game is full of parasites including our owner.

  7. mbg

    Nov 14, 2018, 17:49 #112544

    Yes we've/Emery has certainly done well better than any of us expected or even hoped for, even the WOB's weren't expecting us/Emery to get of to such a good start, and certainly not the AKB wengerites and dare i say it dissapointed at the fact. But as you've said wenger left behind a mess and it wasn't just any old mess, it was one hell of a mess, and isn't going to take weeks, three, six, eight, twelve months to sort out ( like some would like to think) it could and probably will take a couple of seasons such is the mess TOF left behind it's a massive job and not to be underestimated it took a complete gutting of backroom staff, the same with players (and still does) yes we've rode our luck at times and big improvements are but it's a work in progress and at the miniute him and his staff are doing well.


    Nov 14, 2018, 16:38 #112543

    I really like Dick & the new team & good people ( i.e. winners) don't want to be associated with mediocrity for long so I sense trouble ahead as Stanley is as unlikely to change his spots as give up his interests in those "sports" so loved by gun toting, rich billionaires. But why do we love football these days? Do we think it's a great idea for all the PL clubs to be delighted to shell out £250k each towards the charitable cause of funding Scudamore's retirement fund? Still in the new fantasy world this other Dick is on comparative starvation wages at a mere £2.5 mill per annum! Crazy old world.

  9. Big Andy

    Nov 14, 2018, 12:21 #112542

    Excellent article. Let's face it: Wenger was only gotten rid of because he failed to win a top-four place for two consecutive years. That's the limit of Stan's ambition; and that's why I can't see any major investment by Kroenke any time soon. Dick's job is to somehow nick fourth spot with these players; but this looks unlikely at the moment. We probably need to bring in four quality players to make us really competitive, so you're talking of about £150 million quid. I think we can forget about that. This is the reason why so many of old-time Gooners have stopped going to watch the team: if the owner has no ambition then why should we bother to hand over our money to watch mediocre, uninspiring teams? We have no future until Kroenke has gone.

  10. John F

    Nov 14, 2018, 11:42 #112541

    On the problems posting ,sometimes it has worked other times it would not allow me to do it which may explain the lack of posts.I thought Kev had put a" that's crap" filter on which would explain why I occasionally couldn't post.

  11. John F

    Nov 14, 2018, 11:15 #112540

    I agree with most of Bards points but I am slightly more optimistic as we do appear to have a good core of youth players coming through especially Nelson who has been excellent in Germany.These players will be brought through on Dicks System not played out of position until their confidence is destroyed.The issue will be If Greedy Wiggy starts trying to cash in on them.

  12. Bard

    Nov 14, 2018, 09:42 #112539

    Excellent post. I have posted before that Im a Dick fan but he hasnt got the players he needs. We are overachieving currently. The real test will be in the summer when he presents the transfer team with what he needs. Waht he needs and what he gets could be miles apart. As you point out the self sustainability model cant work unless you are Southampton and look where its currently got them. How long he will be prepared to work with substandard players remain to be seen. I would imagine he is not going to watch his reputation go down the pan trying to turn water into wine. I have written before that Stan is far more likely to land Arsenal with further debt than put his hand into his pocket. The general euphoria that has accompanied Wenger's removal will soon disappear if we dont invest in the team.