When the annual financial report was released, the figures showed that Arsenal majority shareholder Stan Kroenke had taken £3 million out of the club. Understandably, this caused panic and anger among certain sections of the Gunners’ faithful. However, in a statement, Arsene Wenger, the long serving manager of the club, urged the fans not to panic.
The payout, which was listed as being made for ‘strategic and advisory services’, might have been entirely justified; but it has angered those fans who regularly watch Arsenal games at the Emirates, because it corresponds to a 3% hike in their season ticket prices.
This 3% hike has netted the club an extra earning of almost exactly £3 million, which is why many fans suspected that this was a premeditated move. Also a sticking point with fans is the fact that ‘Silent’ Stan has never withdrawn money from any of his American franchises.
But Gunners boss Wenger – while admitting he has no say in the matter – has reassured fans that there is no reason at all to worry:
I don’t think there should be concern because we only do what is legal at the club. You should ask that question to the board.
Our profits did sink and are not as big as it was [in] the years before because we spent a lot of money.
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It is good to have a little cushion in case we need to buy when the right players come up [and] if we need to strengthen the squad, we’ll do it.
But I think that in the past two years, we have invested a lot of money and we will continue to do so with the money that is available.