- Arsene Wenger, who has a very conservative view of reality
It'd been said that one of the conditions of the stadium finance deal was that Wenger is obliged to spend 70% of all his transfer takings, on either transfer fees or wages. This means that Wenger is obliged to spend 70% of that £41m that we got from Man City. That's £28.7m, which in my opinion, is sufficient buy someone of quality.
The problem is that we've probably got less than £28.7m to spend. We've spent a lot of money improving the contracts of our squad. I disapprove of that. We have the 3rd highest wage bill in the Premier League, and we have a thin squad with inexperienced backups. What's the point of improving Diaby's contract when we don't have a replacement for Song? What's the point of extending Rosicky's contract when he's injured half the time? And what's the point of giving all our kids large contracts when we still need a defensive midfielder, a centre-back and a goalkeeper?
The issue of the moment is the impeding financial ruin of Liverpool and Man Utd. Liverpool's drowning in debt, and will probably go into meltdown if they don't qualify for the Champions League. Man Utd are hocked to the eyeballs in debt, and may need to sell their training grounds and their stadium to keep themselves solvent. The consensus seems to be that cheque-book managerialism doesn't pay in the long-run.
The reason Liverpool are failing as a business is that their owners borrowed to buy the club, and are using the club's income to pay off the debt. They don't have a stadium big enough to generate the revenue of an elite club. However, they have the player roster and wages of an elite club. They're being squeezed from both ends. They need a new stadium to increase their revenue, but the owners have spent all their borrowed money on players and wages. There's nothing left to fund the stadium.
The reason Man Utd are failing is because the Glazers' are leeches. Man Utd are a remarkably profitable club - it's just the club's profit is being used to pay off the Glazers' borrowings. No business saddled with £700m in bad debt is healthy. If it wasn't for the Glazers, Man Utd would be generating profit every year, instead of going into debt because of interest payments. The Glazers are just the blood out of Mad Utd.
So where does that leave us? We're in a good positio; we have a large debt but it's on long-term low interest rate. The debt's being used to pay off our stadium. And the banks have actually made it a condition that we must invest in the squad, through that 70% investment rule.
So why the hell are we resigning our players on over-the-top wages, signing stop-gap solutions like Sol Campbell, and fielding sub-standard players like Almunia? We've got the money. It's stipulated that we spend it. So why can't we spend on players who can make us stronger?
C'mon Wenger, buy us someone exciting.