The debate surrounding Arsene Wenger’s job at Arsenal continues to rumble on among the fan-base but few can deny that our most successful manager did remarkably well during our most sensitive period.
As we moved to the Emirates Stadium, maintaining our Champions League status was vital, with the prize money from the competition one of our main sources of revenue.
Another source was through player sales (via BBC Sport) and so we witnessed the departures of Robin van Persie, Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri – and the list could go on.
For Wenger to therefore replace those players using a fraction of the transfer fees he received shows how sensational the achievement was. Especially when clubs such as Liverpool and Manchester United are spending over £100m each (via The Guardian) and are either scraping into, or completely missing out on, the Champions League.
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Having said that, it is no secret that we’ve now entered the lucrative phase of our development, whereby the club can sanction the signings of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil, who cost a combined fee of £77m (via The Independent), and still comfortably churn out a profit (via The Evening Standard).
Despite the upturn in finances and the calibre of players we now have at the club, our steady league position has barely improved as we’re still fighting to secure automatic Champions League football.
Analysing our rivals and giggling at their troubles is fun, but stagnation in the Premier League only leads to one thing – regression. Ask Newcastle United.
Latest figures show that we recorded a net spend of £160.7m during the course of the season and through calculations where that figure has been divided by our current points total, each one of our points is worth £2.295m.
It means that after Manuel Pellegrini and Louis van Gaal, Wenger is the least productive with the finances available to him. A complete sea change to where he would’ve been positioned had this list been constructed a few years ago.
The tone from board-room level has shifted too and their calculation arguably mirror those made in the Daily Mail. Ivan Gazidis recently said that a second place finish and another FA Cup win would not satisfy him (via the Daily Mail) and while it may sound rather dismissive, our chief executive is obviously speaking from a financial standpoint and making a judgement based on our outlay during the season.
There could be a number of conclusions, and objections, to be drawn from such analysis but one thing Wenger must address this summer is buying players capable of strengthening our first XI.
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