That £52million you thought Arsenal had to spend… well, think again.

by & filed under News Review.

Where is the money?

Welcome to Saturday. Flood warnings in 100 places around the UK today. Stay safe people. Stay safe and stock up. The water will be fresh and you never know when they might whack a hose pipe ban on us next. If in doubt, sell it with a 70% mark up and donate the profit to Arsenal, sounds like they need it.

So having a futher think about the Usmanov letter and reading many hundreds of Tweets you all sent me yesterday, I think it’s safe to say that perhaps the timing of the letter wasn’t actually that bad. Someone succinctly pointed out to me that I was slating the opportunistic nature of Usmanov whilst at the same time praising his incredible capitalist pedigree.

I’m such a hypocrite. I apologise for that. The timing was perfect. Why? Well, it wasn’t during the season. It hasn’t interrupted our preseason and the contents of the letter were pretty much bang on.

I made a few calls yesterday to a few choice people and one of the people I spoke to flagged the bit about Arsene Wenger.

‘Wenger hasn’t had City’s billions to spend but let’s not pretend his remit has been to pay down stadium debt. If it has been, I’d find it pretty disgusting that he’s lied to us about the situation. We’d all be far more lenient with him if we knew his primary target was debt repayment.’

Now let’s take you on a little story here before we get into what was intimated… as this is a big u-turn by me in the face of fresh conversation.

Red&White Holdings may sit on the outside when looking in at board meetings, but let’s not forget that they have some very deep ties within Arsenal. The letter that they posted up yesterday was bang on in every sense. There were no revelations in that post for anyone who has been reading Le Grove over the past 5 years. It was like a condensed version of 1900 posts. Absolutely bang on the money with almost everything.

Now, if there was a part about Wenger not being given the funds he needs is in that letter, the chances are, that’s a verified fact. How do we know this? Well, a group like Red & White will know that putting false information out into the open will only end in one way. A loss of credibility and a loss of support… something they have a lot of at the moment. Something that is growing day by day.

That information has come from somewhere and it doesn’t take a genius to work it out. David Dein is still bitter about being removed from his life long passion. He lives next door to Arsene Wenger. The manager still hangs out with him. The information has clearly been fed in from Wenger.

This ties in with what I was told yesterday. Told from the place all my decent snippets come from.

Apparently the £52million we’ve been told is hidden away in the Transfer Proceeds Account is actually not available for use this summer. That’s just a massive cover for the club. What Ivan puts out into the public forum with regards to funds being available is true. There are funds available. But when Ivan says £10million is a massive fee, he means it. According to what I’ve been told, the amount Arsene has available this summer is less than £25million. There’s no war chest. Apparently, it would have been far, far less had we dropped out of the Champions Leauge.

Stan was told he wouldn’t have to invest in the playing side of things if he bought Arsenal, and he hasn’t. Which, like the letter said has affected our ability to compete. The vibe I was getting was that if Wenger was given £100million to spend, he’d go out there and do it. He knows who the best players are, he’s just not allowed to buy them, so he has to go out and sign players like Gervinho instead.

So this Giroud signing; if this whole story is to be believed, most certainly looks like a replacement rather than a squad supplementation.

Why would Arsene tolerate such a situation I wondered to myself? This is farsical. He’s one of the best in the business (or certainly was). Loads of managers with his sway would come out and make the point they’re hamstrung.

Well, I guess it comes down to a few things. Namely power.

Arsene is a developmental manager. He likes to bring through young players. He’s probably enjoying that side of the job. He has full and total control of the playing side at Arsenal. He’s on a salary which is higher than Sir Alex Ferguson. He’s being well compensated for his silence.

There’s also the employer / employee relationship that’s going on. Nick Barmby was recently sacked for gross misconduct when he came out and slated the board for not funding him in the transfer market. Different situations I know, but you should never bite the hand that feeds you. Especially if that hand is feeding you the finest caviar serverd on the lightest most delicate blini, whilst the other hand intermittently sends your e-mails from your blackberry as well as rubbing your thigh.

There has also always been the mass appeal for Wenger in toppoling Goliath. He’s come close a few times, but we know he doesn’t like the money side of the game and he believes he can beat the likes of City on a budget.

This whole issue does rankle with me. It’s dishonsesty from all sides here. The clubs PR machine have been spinning out stories of funds being available when they’re not and we’re all here lapping them up snapping up new season tickets like there will be an impact on the squad this summer.

I don’t blame Robin for leaving if he’s been informed that the club aren’t investing in the squad. at adequate levels. I don’t blame him for going if he’s been told we’re going to take on the might of City through self sustainability. Which actually means… no risk for Stan Kroenke.

I have no defacto proof that the above is all true. All I know is that I’m  rarely led astray on stuff like this. If I didn’t trust where it had come from, I wouldn’t post it… this whole story goes against what I usually write. Our corporate team are world class at PR. You have people from Nike and Barclays running the show, so this is all entirely feasible. It’s just so disappointing we can’t get a bit of genuine honesty and it’s a huge shame we don’t have an investor who has a passion for the game.

On the Arsene Wenger piece. This news doesn’t take away from the mistakes he’s made. It doesn’t mean he couldn’t have done something about the assistant managers lack of interest in the last few  years. It doesn’t mean he should have passed up the bargain basement deals that could have given us a far more stable platform last year and it doesn’t mean he can avoid criticism for the shambolic contract situation we’re in.

What it does do is shed a bit of light on what’s going on this summer. It tells you that the people at the top are just doing a job and they’re being paid to protect the main man in the states. Everyone inside the club is getting paid. That’s a key thing to remember when trying to unravel what’s going on.

Anyway, one for you to chew over today.

[twitter-follow screen_name=’LeGrove’ show_count=’yes’]

What do you think?

P.S. Interesting that Peter Hill-wood is straight back out telling the world we give Wenger as much as he wants. How much did you earn Peter? What’s your retainer? What would happen if you stepped out of line? Hmmm…

691 Responses to “That £52million you thought Arsenal had to spend… well, think again.”

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  1. DocBrody

    Just to be the devils advocate, let’s look at what happened since Kroenke has gotten control. We lost Fabragas and Nasri, but those ships had sailed before The ink had dried on Kroenke’s takeover bid. We signed Arteta, Gervinho, Mertesacker, Santos (and Park). We signed Podolski and Giraurd. I think Oxalade was signed before Kroenke (or so early in his rein that we can’t give him credit).

    There still might be some signings this summer and it looks possible that Kroenke will be willing to take the loss and keep Van Persie around for the last year of his contract.

    So the club has been much more agresseive since Kroenke’s takeover compared to how it operated in the 6 years prior.

    I’m also a bit weary of Usmanov. I like what he said in his letter, but I’m always a little suspicious when someone tells me exsactly what I want to hear.

  2. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    robin…. thats wrong sir al always used park in the big games…remember our semi cl game…park is under rated….wont do it for qpr now too old tho….

  3. Robin's Choco Leg Special

    Josip – No probs mate. The Des Kelly piece i posted at 20.46 sums most of my feelings up pretty nicely in regards to the situation without the over the top heralding of Wenger, but I do understand his situation, and agree with his overall surmise.

    Not that I should tell the Manager anything but i’d be nice to have him clarify our financial situation and questions must be asked as to why this keeps happening with our top players. He’s a class act Wenger whatever way you want to look it in regards to how he represents the club in the media and the way he protects his players. He deserved better from Robin..

  4. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    robin….i dont think park is a inamoto…

    your right..he is a big game player….but age is against him….

  5. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    we never hard deal robin will leave for around 10m… its well known we dont hard bargin…

  6. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    ah… sorry dear boy…. our park,,, so bad i forgot about him…..he was not a wenger signing….panic buy…and your right all for shirt sales…

  7. Robin's Choco Leg Special

    Moses needs an interim move for a couple of seasons before a top side in my opinion… Everton, Stoke, Newcastle might be a good destination at this point. Liverpool & Spurs might take a punt, but I can’t see the Chelsea link coming to fruition.

  8. mystic

    Ask your informant what £25M + Podolski + Giroud equals, roughly £50M? not far from ‘……… the £52million we’ve been told is hidden away in the Transfer Proceeds Account’

    What exatly is the point of saying
    ‘The vibe I was getting was that if Wenger was given £100million to spend, he’d go out there and do it.’ (which going to Real would easily have been available)then later saying
    ‘……….but we know he doesn’t like the money side of the game and he believes he can beat the likes of City on a budget.

    I still have my suspicions that RvP has been well and truely stitched up by his PR guys screw up, who didn’t predict the flack the statement has created.

    Unfortunately I don’t think RvP, R&W or the BOD have been straight. The question now is what to do next, regretably the answer is Stan will decide.

  9. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    we have been well and truly stuffed in teaming up with him….

    name me a sucessful yank involvement in football….

  10. Nasri's Mouth


    My fucking problem as you put it 😉 is that some people are reading Robin’s statement and seeing him as some sort of modern day Woodward and Bernstein.
    As I’ve said, I dont really care he’s being greedy, I just find it funny that people have misinterpreted his statement. For what it’s worth I don’t think my point was directed at either you or Gambon.


    Zidane was a legend @ Real…etc.etc.

    He was, but that’s not really my point. Read the 2nd half of my last post again, if you can be arsed.


    BUT and this is important, you’re still arguing against something I haven’t actually said

    I DONT think Robin’s motives for leaving are ENTIRELY money driven. I’ve never said that. Ive said the reason for his STATEMENT is ENTIRELY money driven

    So lets do it step by step to make it clearer for you…

    fuck it, you either didn’t read the rest of this the first time, or more likely you realised that I’m right, so you’re trying some more misdirection. Either way I’m not going to bother anymore

  11. sam


    he’s not the first so called superstar to hold the club to ransom.
    it worked for fat boy looney and tevez.
    if robin stunt works everyone will benefit well apart from the stupid board. wenger will have a stronest squad in years, robin will have an improved contract and the fans will enjoy highest scoring arsenal ever.
    last season was embarrassing anyone connect to arsenal including robin van persie wants to see some change.

  12. Swedish Gun

    Nasri’s Mouth July 7, 2012 21:57:10

    I just find it funny that people have misinterpreted his statement.


    hahaha…..says the guy who read between the lines and jump to conclusions

  13. sam


    then you should pray for podolski and giroud to settle quickly and start banging goals.
    it will be bad if we let him go and our new signings fail to perform. who’s the backup? theo? park chu? gervinho? afobe?
    i think you should try to keep robin van persie

  14. Nasri's Mouth

    @matthew Thomas

    Forgive me, French philosophers aren’t my speciality, so I don’t know who this Xavier is.
    Anyway, I’m in good company here when it comes to mindreaders

    @Swedish Gun

    Feel free to point out where Ive done that.

  15. sam

    chamakh gone yet?
    if any of these lame ducks turns up in pre-seasons, wenger might decide to keep some of them.
    denilson is not coming back, vela deal nearly done, bendtner,arshavin, djourou , fabianski, squillaci are still around.

  16. sam

    nope, only one inconsistent player can affect the performance of the whole team.
    you should know that by now@ eboue
    among all the lame ducks i might keep park chu as squad player because of his workrate. the rest should leave

  17. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    sam… i would love the lad afobe to be given a chance…scored goals wherever he has played…

    theo leaving will be announced this week…

    anyone seenthe sundays yet… any revelations….

  18. eboue

    u cant be serious m8 how is arshavin the most disappointing signing we have made he got us 4th the winter we bought him he saved us that season big time also how do you know if theo is leaving?

  19. sam


    i agree that afobe can start up front but not with the current midfield setup.
    losing cesc and nasri cost us at least 30 goals. ramsey scored 2 goals,rosicky 4, benayoun 3.
    not just goals we also lost their quality passes. if we can upgrade our midfield with good passers i believe afobe will make it as our new lone striker.

  20. goonerboy

    From what I can see RVP has decided its time for him to move on-lets face it he has taken being a captain very seriously-and I believe him when he argues that he doesn’t agree with the club’s forward strategy of no major investment in either players or salaries on the grounds of”sustainability.”What player would?

    No one knows better than him-whose goals carried the team single handedly for a whole season what the gap is between what we have got and what we need to win anything. As a captain he has seen the total picture from the inside out-not like us fans from the outside in.

    Our last 3 captains have all reached the same conclusions as RVP.

    It is so typical of the AKBs to demonise Robin and label him as a money grabber because he actually wants some success before the end of his career. It sums up whats wrong with supporters of this club-the AKBs are in fact obsessed with money-continually trying to justify penny pinching and non-investment-in players-to a more extreme extent than even the club are.

    We have to face facts-if you want to keep a world class player you have to give him an environment that enables him to reach his potential-and pay him what he’s worth-not half of what he’s worth because you’ve overpaid a whole heap of poor players you can’t get rid of. The fact is we do neither at the moment.

    Eight million for RVP is a joke-as is 15m-but other reasons for him going to Juve are sound-RVP will extend the length of his career by going there-he will join a club hungry for further success-not running him into the ground trying to do it on the cheap and failing.

  21. sam

    well if van persie leaves we don’t need to buy a new striker. just take a look and judge for yourself. personally i don’t trust wenger’s selection. he only put him behind his countryman chamakh to mess our whole season. he still proved him wrong in reserves 6 goals out of 6, chamakh 0 out of 5.


  22. sam


    its funny van persie didn’t question arsenal strategy of endless support to injury prone players.
    the more you defend him the more he looks like a hypocrite.
    lets just hope he signs for his new club quickly so we can wish him well and move on.
    unfortunately we have a manager obsessed to win things on the cheap, despite the frustration i believe arsenal fan knows we are not far off.
    everytime a player leaves us in search of “trophies”, it weakens us and leave us struggling to replace him. just imagine we are starting 2012-2013 season with giroud,podolski, van persie, cesc, nasri, chamberlain, arteta, wilshere then add m’vila.
    so all these hypocrites that wants medal handed over to them without working hard for it should leave out club quietly and we will survive .

  23. R.S.P.C.Arsenal


    theo wants 100k a week, club will not pay that for a player that is not the finished article.. theo or his agent have an over inflated opinion of their product,,,, he has been a major disappointment,,,, we all thought he was the next thing….ah well

    aa23 was the laziest, greediest most infuriating player we have seen at the emirates sine Emmanuel eboue at left back

  24. Arse&Nose©

    Walcott beats bale hands down on goals and assists. Bale is more exciting to watch but not consistent enough.

    Kroenke and in particular kse were invited to invest in arsenal to primarily develop our online media delivery platform, and they have failed. Globally our merchandising strategy is pants.

  25. sam

    anyone remember during hard time like this tony adams being linked with big money move ?
    he wasn’t even going to talk about it because he was the club captain and a gooner thru n thru.
    robin can f!ck off now, jack might be immature but he will learn give him the armband.

  26. sam


    we will still need to buy 2 more creative players, if any of these 3 get injured ramsey will sneak in

  27. El Tel

    I have just noticed Pedro stuck a picture of the broken Manc fan Gammon on His headline.

    Always wondered what that tosser looked like, it was just as I suspected.

    Ha De Ha

  28. sam

    tony adams thought about leaving when the board appointed a frenchman. he changed his mind cause it was going to shatter his dream of retiring in an arsenal shirt.
    now who’s robin van persie?

  29. luke

    here’s my fantasy post-rvp team. If wenger’s going to do youth, he better do it right this time. No more denilson, ramsay, vela, or bendtners.

    sagna-koz-tv-aly cissokho
    christian ericson-mvila-ljw

    al-habsi, per, santos, song, arteta, walcott, gervinho.
    transfermrkt values:
    ericson: 14,000,000
    al habsi: 4,400,000
    mvila: 18,500,000 (rennes might take less since there are no offers and mvila is already on the outs)
    a. cissokho: 6,200,000
    m. suarez: 8,800,000
    rvp= 42,000,000 (cant imagine we’d get anywhere near that though)
    bendtner= 7,500,000

  30. sam


    sorry! RSPC just brainwashed me





  31. luke

    how bout rvp for martin caceres and arturo vidal? Cacares had a great year and can play anywhere in the back 4. Vidal is one of the top CDM’s around. I think that’d be great bizness

  32. luke


    subs-backup gk, per, santos, arteta, coquelin, theo, gervinho.

    still think we need a starting CAM to take the pressure off of ox/jack.

  33. Rich

    So preety much what you’re saying is AKB and is what I’ve been saying………
    We’ve had2 pay youngsters through the roof on wages because we can’t compete on ready made stars in the hope that Arsene can build a side able2 compete, some will work….. Some won’t…….. But players like Aguero, silva, mata, hazard don’t come available2 often but when they do there out of our league so we have2 gamble on potential of players like Cesc, AOC, Walcott, ect or hope that Arsene can polish a rough diamond……. And Arsene has done it with dignity whilst keeping us relatively competative, on a net budget smaller than any other EPL team since 2005 ……..and all Geoff has done is slate him and dribble on about how he himself is self proclaimed know it all of all things AFC, and in light of this new alleged evidence???? Which I’m enclined2 v much believe, it points2 the fact that Geoff knows absolutely diddly squat 🙂 which I preety much knew anyway, and whilst I enjoy reading Pedro’s posts who comes from a different angle, you’ve been wrong about Arsene all along……
    And I bet this gets deleted or changed2 something childish by Geoff probably……. AKB Rich

  34. eboue

    Dan ahern if i did not know who he is why would i of responded? Am just saying that i think that will be a poor deal if we could swap him for tevez even david villa that could be worth the gamble

  35. Dan Ahern

    I agree, both of those guys would be great (although Barca seems a doubtful destination for RvP). Seeing as we already bought two forwards though, I’m throwing out some other possibilities we could use from interested teams.

  36. sam


    negative article written by the sun newspaper should be ignored.
    it said wenger won’t spend big, is this news to you? he never spent big anyway.
    nobody expects arsene to buy a 20 mill player, nothing new, just newspapers teasing arsenal fans that arsenal is doomed

  37. Evan

    Hi Sam

    Its more the naivety of comments like below. For example Ox is 18, does Wenger honestly believe that Ox plans to only ever play for Arsenal FC?

    Most people in any walk of life will look for change after 4-5 years in any job. Problem is it usually takes you 4-5 years to be senior and effective.

    The only sad thing is that sometimes your work is destroyed by others.

    “You want to see a player in his prime doing it for your club. But it does not work like that all the time.

  38. curdy dunt

    “The letter that they posted up yesterday was bang on in every sense. There were no revelations in that post for anyone who has been reading Le Grove over the past 5 years. It was like a condensed version of 1900 posts. Absolutely bang on the money with almost everything.”

    When youre finished your self aggrandising self masturbatory statements of wankology – you’ll realise the only thing you fuckers condense is your tongue up Wnegers fucking arsehole.

    You fuckbags that pretend to support Arsenal have given him the rope tha has been used to fucking hang this club.

    Your summations of whats been going on these last few years has been the equivalent of a jury saying about charles Manson that “yeh, mmm, he should probably do 20 hours community service in a brothel”.

    You know cunt all about this fuckin club, so instead of patting yourselves on the back you should punch your own heads in.

    Gambon is the only reason most real Arsenal supporters read this online treachery.

    Dont fuckin kid yourselves now you finally see the light.

    Other than that I think you both do a fine job.

  39. Johnty79

    Missing out on kalou. Shows wengers complete incompetence once again. When will this old fool ever leave arsenal. Let’s hope for a bad start next season so he walks.

  40. bc

    @ sam never let facts get in the way of a post. check the goals.scored again by ramsey rosicky and benayoun

    yossi 6
    ramsey 3
    rosicky 2

    i dont understand all the clamour for creative players. last season only man city created more chances than us. rvp had the most shots scored the.most goals……..and also missed the most goals.of any player in the.league

  41. Arse&Nose©

    Interesting stats bc. I always had a feeling that we made rvp look good. Just look at Holland if you want to see how he plays in a team that doesn’t put on a plate for him. in my opinion we won’t miss him as much,as cesc and nasri.

  42. Jeff

    He really does think he’s going to be the Arsenal manager for another 25 years. I’d say cut your losses, spend some money and leave on a high when the time is up. Oh no, that might mean changing a philosophy, we can’t have that can we?

  43. Jamal

    The papers today:
    Arsenal are after Stefan Jovetic as RVPs replacement and Victor Moses as Theo’s. Probably bullshit coz we wont go into a bidding war with Chelsea who are also after him.

    Oh yeah and City may hand us a double blow by selling Adebayor to the spuds for cheap and freeing up space for RVP.

    How the fuck have spurs got so much money to spend all of a sudden?
    Levy cares unlike the Cunt we have in charge.

  44. Jeff

    What on earth does it mean when someone says they won’t change their philosophy? What is this? A religion, a spiritual conquest or some kind of political dogma from which we cannot budge. It’s a football game. Change your philosophy, win something and leave on a high before your time is up and you are forced to go in disgrace. What a 24 carat plonker.

  45. billp

    Usminov is Putin’s financier- he is laundering money through Arsenal (and others…Facebook, etc).

  46. billp

    in this day and age you sign players as insurance….they become replacements when the primary player looses his nerve or the plot.

  47. James Gunner

    If this article is really true,then Arsenal will continue to be a feeder club.Even if the UEFA FFP comes in,it will not impact much on the big teams. These clubs will have lawyers looking for loopholes.Assuming Chelsea/MC/MU/ Barca/RM are barred,the threat of a breakaway super league will give endless nightmares to Platini.To bank 100% on these rules is not wise.
    Arsenal have to start getting real.If not,they will be just another club making up the numbers in the epl ieAV,Stoke,Liverpool have fallen by the wayside but could make a comeback this coming season.

  48. Rhys Jaggar

    Wenger has said two things according to The Sun:

    1. ‘I won’t spend big’.
    1. ‘I won’t go’.

    His model is Ajax 1995 and Barcelona 1992.

    My view is for that to work he has to be a top manager for more than just the 17 – 24 range. He has to have built the best youth system from aged 9 onwards.

    Why? Because he won’t keep his best players unless they came through the youth academy and have Arsenal in their DNA.

    He doesn’t have too much to show yet for 16 years coming through the Academy. Wilshere and Gibbs? Ashley Cole left. Needs a better pipeline – depth and breadth, if he wants his model to work in the future.

    To be honest, if I want to support Youth Development, I go watch Southampton at St Mary’s. Maybe Leeds Utd.

    Right now, Arsenal is a global Higher Education Institution with a focus on postgraduates, not postdoctorates.

    A very good one to be sure.

    But it’s not MIT…….

  49. BertrumWeaks

    ( saw this on another blog)

    As a member of AST, I was emailed the results of a recent survey – which will be put under the nose of Arsenal’s CEO in the next few days, I believe.

    I completed the questionairre – but didn’t answer the questions like the majority apparently did!!!!

    Time to hit the EJECT button methinks……

    AST Survey Results:
    Arsenal Fans Rally behind Arsene Wenger
    Backing for the current business model alongside calls for Arsenal to review options for a sustainable equity injection into the Club and engagement with Red and White Holdings (Alisher Usmanov)
    Overwhelming support for Stan Kroenke making it a priority to support the contribution supporter ownership can make to Arsenal through the Arsenal Fanshare scheme and explain in more detail his Vision for Arsenal Football Club