Disingenuous myths of Wenger cash woes exposed point by point

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The fight for accurate information is a tough one in the world of football which is notoriously opaque. We’ve also moved into an era of the amateur influencer who will say anything to seem like they have a stronger take on a topic because it enhances their reputations amongst gullible fans. Now, there are some great insiders in the Arsenal game, but not many.

You can place Le Grove firmly in the bucket of amateur, and it is, but the narrative of the blog has been pretty spot on for a number of years because it’s informed by lots of interesting folk in and around the club. Do I share big transfer scoops? No. But rest assured, regardless of the emotion attached to the words, the summary of how things go down has been more hit than miss over the last 10 years.

I spent the back half of last season fighting the misinformation being peddled by the access journalists in the build to the Arsene Wenger’s contract. Right now, the information battle is to ensure that fans don’t get pulled into the wrong narrative, the one that centers on Stan K withholding funds from Arsene Wenger.

… especially because we wouldn’t be having this conversation if Wenger had 3 wins in 3.

Financial Strategy

Every club will have a financial strategy of some sort that impacts the playing side. Southampton invest heavily into their youth team setup, the idea is to prop up the club with world class talent they could shift on every few years at box office prices to allow them to compete on smart signings elsewhere. Manchester United operate a king strategy, they’ve invested heavily in winning to bring in mega commercial returns, their model needs trophies, that’s why Jose Mourinho is so important for their future because brands won’t continue to pay top dollar for a crumbling empire. Spurs are working to a net neutral transfer approach, they hired a coach who can work with kids, and their transfers funds are created from within to support their stadium move. Madrid buy the best, because they know brands will always invest in them regardless of trophy haul.

Arsenal’s strategy has been a little unclear. We operated on a lower budget post stadium move, but reality is, we still spent huge amounts on underserved wages to prop up our indulgent socialist appraoch. For 5 years now, we’ve not had a clear plan. We still have a poor wage structure, but we have cash to spend because of all the new TV deals. We just do it really badly. £35m on Xhaka, when Kante was the star, because Wenger thought Xhaka was a B2B with better passing. £35m on Mustafi who is going on loan to Inter. £20m on Perez because he failed to find a striker. The list of bad buys is endless.

Anyway, some Arsenal fans are now pinning our summer failings on funds being held back by Stan Kroenke. Here’s why that is incorrect.

Net spend:

Arsenal were the 3rd highest net spenders in the league over 5 years at the start of the summer. If your strategy is to create a cash pile, there has to be an actual strategy in place to achieve that, and that’s what a CEO would implement. Arsenal hasn’t sold a player for more than £15m in over 5 years, we never sell our players at peak value, we grossly over pay large swathes of the squad to the point they can’t be moved on, our squad is hugely bloated… and we’re spending a lot of cash badly.

Stan K has been letting Wenger bungle the finances for years. If the owner wanted to create a cash mountain, he’d hire Moratta from Juventus and hand over the steering wheel so he could straighten out the finances, bring structure to the wage bill, and move players on at their peak value, have a 3 year plan for signings, and absolutely not get into a situation where we had 6 first team names with one year to go on their deal at Aug 29th.

Here is the thing with Arsene. If something looks insane, don’t try and rationalise it, just accept that’s his operating model because he doesn’t know what he’s doing anymore.

Pulling out of deals

I appreciate Stan K isn’t the businessman certain owners are, however, he’s not stupid. Arsene Wenger lied to the fans when he said the Lemar deal was off because Monaco wouldn’t sell. Liverpool are now in with a £60m bid. Fans are making up stories saying the board called this deal off. Simply put, the board don’t have that power. They’re largely ceremonial, if they were serious people, Wenger would have gone this summer.

Wenger decides EVERYTHING that goes on at the club on the playing front. He is the contracts guy. He’s the sports scientist. The tactician. The chef. Never forget that. The Thomas Lemar failure is one of two things:

1) The player didn’t want to give up playing under an exciting manager in a better team, for a setup the whole world of football knows is a shit show

2) Arsene Wenger didn’t want to pay £60m for a player who has had one good season under his belt

I could go for either one of those. But more likely, it’ll be point two.

Wenger has a long and chequered history of pulling out of deals. Juan Mata was pulled last minute. The Luis Suarez deal died when we didn’t go higher than £40,000,001, next summer he went for £75m. We had Higuain lined up for £22m, Madrid jacked the price £10m and we pulled out, he went to Napoli, next year to Juve for £90m. I’ve had it on good authority that the Ballague story about Arsenal not paying £7m commission to M’Bappe’s parents DID cost us a deal for him last season. Yes, the club that dropped £4m for Wellington Silva wouldn’t pay £7m for M’Bappe. I mean, fuck me, we even lost out on Mark Schwarzer because we wouldn’t pay £4m. We nearly lost out on Holding over a £2m fee. We lost out on Cahill because we offered £6m. These decisions don’t come from Dick Law or Ivan G, they come from Arsene Wenger. He is the king.

How anyone thinks we’re losing out on Lemar because the club won’t fund a player who if successful, could double his value in 2 years, is beyond me.


Now here’s where I’m making observations. But if you’re a bank looking for leverage on an LA Stadium, what is going to be more appealing, Arsenal FC as leverage, or its cash pile that’s just sitting in an account?

> Cash in football loses value sitting in the bank. £100m buys you the best midfielder in Europe last summer, this summer, it buys you half a Neymar.

> What bank is going to take 100m of sterling as leverage? The pound is extremely volatile at the moment, and even the most ardent Brexiter will admit the currency is more likely than not going to take a massive tanking as Brexit talks continue to disappoint

> Stank K doesn’t own Arsenal outright, he has 70%. Could he really use the cash at Arsenal as security on another deal? Have my doubts.

> Barclays had some sort of clause in their deal with us that the club had to invest in the playing side of things to secure the loan for the stadium. Would their legal team be happy that the future of their investement was being jeopardised by some shady ‘don’t spend’ deal (EVEN THOUGH THE NUMBER POINT TO HUGE SPENDING)


The whole story is a red herring because simply put, the problems are facing this summer have nothing to do with player purchases. We have way bigger issues.

> The club failed to tie big name players down to new deals last summer

> The club failed to make big decisions on the rebels futures at the start of this summer, deciding instead to play chicken with our season, to the point that we’re now flogging them all at the backend of August in a panic. Strategically, one of the most suicidal decisions of the last ten years

> Arsene failed to identify the true issues of last years failings, arrogantly pinpointing his contract woes, not the systemic failings top to bottom in his approach to the game. Remember when the club leaked that Sanchez and Ozil were waiting on Wenger’s future to sign on? Looks like they waited then ran the moment he inked his deal. Pretty obvious why, Wenger is finished.

> The club wasn’t ruthless enough in clearing out deadwood. Wilshere, Gibbs, Debuchy, Chamberlain, Theo, Giroud, Ospina, Jenks, should all have been told to leave the day after the FA Cup Final and told they would train with the kids until they moved. That would have freed up wages, salary and set the tone for the summer. Instead, we sat on our hands and did next to nothing.

> We had no transfer strategy because the club has no footballing philosophy. If the vision isn’t there, it’s easy to see why the summer ended in such a mess.

Finally, let’s not get too caught up in Arsenal having a net surplus this summer now Chamberlain has gone. Juventus, Cheslea, and Spurs all run neutral and surplus. One club finished 2nd the year before moving Stadium, the other two are Champions. You can run a surplus and buy great players, you just have to look further ahead than one week.

So in short, Arsene has plenty of money, he has all the control, the mess is all his. Don’t get bogged down into the Stan K conspiracies, because all the facts point to them being completely untrue. It’s just amateurs echoing one anothers untruths to sounds like they were in on the lie, sorry, ‘exclusive.’


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500 Responses to “Disingenuous myths of Wenger cash woes exposed point by point”

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  1. Bay Area Gooner

    AW put us in this position. What a shit head
    Now teams know how desperate we are. They know they can play us like fools.
    Knowing full well Sanchez will be our worst nightmare this season.

    This is not poor management this is just complete lunacy

  2. Cesc Appeal

    Aguero makes no sense at this stage either.

    This is why you needed to sack up and try for that in June before you blew £45 Million on Lacazette that you could have thrown at Lemar back then.

    If ever there was a moment for Gazidis to grown a pair of fucking nuts, if you buy into Pedro’s assertions that he wanted change, and tell Kroenke this cluster fuck is exactly why we need a DoF with authority, this is frigging it.

    The entire football world is laughing at us. It looks like a load of fucking idiots were taken off the bus and just told to run a football club.

  3. Bay Area Gooner


    We are desperate. Of course they wont sell but we should also try to play hard ball as much as we can.

    We will lose out clearly in the end.
    However, if we can snag a decent player in the deal with City, PSG or? then its worth it.

    I agree that Gazidis needs to take action now. He makes a really nice salary doing nothing.

    Unless AW has a rabbit to pull out of the hat and has another player already lined up and surprises us all, then we sure are fucked

  4. Jim Lahey

    @Rambo –

    “Wut?! Why do you think so, Jim?”

    Apologies for the delayed reply. There is a lot of foreshadowing of her death throughout the books and GRRM has promised a bittersweet ending so I am guessing that Dany will be the one to die.

    I think it will end with a narrow victory for the living and Jon will be left to (reluctantly) rule what remains.

  5. Jim Lahey

    @Samir –

    “No I didn’t read it wrong. Man City want money plus Sanchez for Sterling.”

    I would rather we gave to PSG for £20m rather than eat that insult.

  6. Samir

    Agreed. 20M to any club abroad rather than sell to City…or even worse pay them and lose our best player for another headless chicken!

  7. Cesc Appeal

    It is too late for Arsenal to be doing anything meaningful now.

    Most people on here were saying Wenger was taking he lazy and pathetic option in hanging onto Sanchez when the harder but better option was selling and reinvesting in long term players.

    We could have been creative but once more, stop me if you have heard this shit before, there was no plan.

    Congratulations to anyone, anywhere who ever rallied against calls for change, on blogs, in the grounds on Twitter, you have a hand in this as well.

  8. Cesc Appeal


    Of course he will, he is a gutless weasel who just wants the easy life on big money and Wenger will delude himself into thinking that means Ozil is loyal to him.

    Ozil just is Wenger as a footballer a spineless, lazy coward who is so one dimensional it is frigging painful but will still end being backed again and again and rewarded for absolutely nothing with a section of the fan base defending him regardless.

  9. N5

    Samir, that is unbelievable! Sterling is gash at best, so why on Earth would we give them our best player + money for him? Wonga and Pep must both know that this would possibly be the worst business since Sanogo.

  10. Jim Lahey

    @Samir – Bay Area

    Why not offer him around to other clubs in a swap deal?




    Douglas Costa
    Kingsley Coman




    Lucas Moura
    Julian Draxler
    Di María
    Adrien Rabiot

    Fucking hell, we all knew he was leaving months ago, why leave it until the last week of the window?!?

  11. N5

    This is the level of idiocy of some of our supporters. On that Twitter link regarding Alexis + Cash for Sterling.

    “Arsenal actually get the better deal if Sterling can work on his end product. Sanchez doesn’t have explosiveness like before. ”

    Wonga knows best until the very end right!! who other than the most ravid of AKB would see that as a better deal for us???

  12. Cesc Appeal

    Matuidi moved for £18 Million this summer, no doubt we could have got him as part of a Sanchez deal and still ended up with £50 Million or more in cash.

    Keita Balde Diao is just about to move for £27 Million, Lacazette on top of that for £45 Million and you have about a £22 Million net spend with Sanchez going out and Matuidi, Keita Balde Diao and Lacazette coming in.

    Could easily have still managed Lemar as well.

  13. N5

    @Jim, Kingsley Coman is a good shout. He’s a great prospect and he’s only still very young. Bayern would have done a deal surely to link Alexis up with his buddy in the middly.

  14. Elmo

    “Sky sources understand City would prefer a simple cash-only deal for Sanchez, although Arsenal are considering the option of Sterling as part of the offer.

    It is understood that any deaI involving Sterling would also include Arsenal paying a fee to City as a makeweight.”

    Lolololololol. Trolling of the century from City.

  15. Jim Lahey

    @N5 –

    I would take any of those I mentioned over giving Sanchez to City, maddening times we live in.

    Christ we should have swapped him for another player at the start of the window and worked from there. Yet here we are final week of the window. Sanchez goes and we either don’t have enough time to replace him, or we get bent over the barrel for some mediocre rot.

  16. Dissenter

    We really have very little leverage on the Sanchez situation. Once the window slams shit we will have to deal with anything Alexis throws up. He is free to sign and announce a pre-contract in January.

  17. Cesc Appeal

    City have the power now, a couple of days left in the window and everyone knows Sanchez wants out and Arsenal can longer pretend like they can hold onto him.

    If they only want a cash deal then that is what they will get.

  18. Jim Lahey

    “It is understood that any deaI involving Sterling would also include Arsenal paying a fee to City as a makeweight.”

    If that is true, we should pull any deal off the table from City and never do business with them again. That is up there with £40m +1

  19. Jim Lahey

    Its simple you sit down with Sanchez tell him it is going one of two ways. You join a team outside of England or you waste a year of your life playing with the under 23s. His decision.

  20. N5

    Agreed Dissenter, we potentialy have 3 first teamers that can sign other clubs up in Jan (someone said the other day it’s worse than that it’s 6 but not sure who these others are.

    We got ruined by Liverpool, so does Wenger go on a panic buy?? nope a panic selling, getting rid of Ox and Alexis possibly in the same week.

  21. Dissenter

    It’s not trolling to suggest that it is Sanchez plus money for Sterling
    Sterling is 22 years old and has 3 more seasons left on his contract
    Sanchez is 28 years old and has 9 months left on is contract.

    I’m even surprised city are talking to us.
    I would keep Sterling till May 2018 then sell him for good money
    Agree to a verbal pre-contract with Sterling in January 2018, then leak it to the press to spite Arsenal through third parties.

  22. Johnsgiles

    Sack wenger today bring in tuchel …going to take 2 years + to get club back on track

    Don’t want wengers supermarket scramble , sell ox sanchez Ozil etc TODAY and give tuchel the money

  23. Johnsgiles

    This mess was created 10 years ago when the club decided wenger was the messiah and handed over EVERYTHING to him……

    No accountability , no vision , no plan, no nothing

    The owners and BOARD/gazidis created this fire storm …. But they never ever had a plan for ‘what if it goes tits up’ they never cared because ‘life was cushy with top 4’

  24. Marko

    Just saw a great line on Twitter, Arsenal must be the first team in history where the manager loses the dressing room and they sell the dressing room.


  25. Johnsgiles

    Wow I just checked on the nemesis that is untold and even the majority on there are now calling for wenger to go…..

    Well at least 8+ years too late but if even they’ve turned / finally realise the hole AFC is in its saying something

  26. Johnsgiles

    I now picture wenger Bitting his nails on le toilet going ‘merde’ who/what can I quickly blame….wife? …. Hmmmm no she left years ago….hmmm stadium, no been rolling that one out for years…..

    I know ill make up something I say I can’t talk but I will one day… Simple…im in the clear

  27. gmv8

    No wonder we’re in the mess we’re in because people are on here STILL defending Kroenke. Go to the States – no club owned by Kroenke has done any better since he took over and all their supporters hate him. Whatever anyone says about Wenger, we still had SOME success with him, we haven’t had any major successes with Kroenke in charge, and he has said he isn’t in sport to win trophies. He has doubled his share price and he still wants to bleed the club dry with dividends and using it as collateral, As per all Kroenke clubs, we have been in decline since he took over, looking like we aren’t going to make the top four until he goes. I can’t understand why people support him – do they deny that we would be better of without him? If it is all Wenger’s fault, that will be crystal clear after the departure of Kroenke, because he sure as hell won’t go under Kroenke, Even if Wenger is replaced, and Kroenke shells out on people to cover all the different areas of the club he covers, I have no confidence that things will get better, while Kroenke stays. After all Wenger has hit the heights at some point, while Kroenke has been consistently causing a wide variety of clubs to fail at all levels.