The headlines accompanying yesterdays comments from Hill-Wood, at the opening of the transfer window, have probably met his expectations. ‘Arsenal cannot afford to spend big` ‘Arsenal won`t be buying` ‘Wenger facing funds shortage` and ‘Wenger in cash freeze` are all typical of the media response to those comments.
What Hill-Wood said was: “I don`t think there is a lot of money anywhere.
“One has got to look ahead – in the future there is probably not going to be much more money coming in.
“We have got money, but I am not sure we are going to spend a lot of it. We`ve got to continue to run the business in a sensible way. It may sound boring, but we are not going to rush out and spend fortunes on people who won`t help us achieve anything better than where we are at the moment.
“Arsene has a lot of young, talented players at the club and I think he will probably give a chance to one or two of them.”
Anyone taking any notice of the published accounts would know that he is right – we do have money – £93m in cash at the end of last season in fact. Sure there is the issue of the property developments to consider but so far there hasn`t been any news that contradicts the bullish statements made at the last AGM. You might think that his statement on transfer spending was designed to lower the expectations of those the club might seek to buy from but anyone dealing with the club on that level would be fairly au fait with the clubs general financial well being. Less than a month ago Wenger declared on the club website “We are also in a strong financial position at the moment.”
So if the comments were unlikely to lower expectations amongst those that the club is dealing with maybe the intention is to lower expectations among fans. If so I think that is the wrong tack to take. When it comes to transfers Arsenal fans expectations shouldn`t need lowering. Not for the first time our beloved chairman would have been better served saying nothing if that were his intention.
As to what we will do in the transfer window I think there is one small clue in “? I am not sure we are going to spend a lot of it”. So we are going to spend – but not a lot – so no big names then? Now there`s a surprise!
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