Date:Friday August 29 2008
Interviewed after the champions league draw in Monte Carlo, director and major shareholder Danny Fiszman is quoted in the Times explaining that contrary to reports in some sections of the media the club`s board does not interfere in the managers transfer objectives.
"If Arsène said he needed £30million for a striker, he would get it, no problem at all," Fiszman said. "It is not our decision who he spends money on and nor will it ever be. We totally back Arsène, but there is a dual problem for him. If we were to buy the sort of big names that people talk about, we would be looking at relatively mature players who then need to be integrated into the way we play."
The clubs largest shareholder believes there is genuine purpose to the strategy the club has followed which can bring success.
"Secondly, it impacts on the youngsters, and in many cases Arsène thinks it is quicker for us to bring a player through our system. But that does not mean all we are interested in is the artistic achievement award. We are not settling for second-best. We want to win trophies and I think it is time we did, but Arsène also believes in creating teams with a certain style."
Claiming that a lack of availability of players of the right calibre and profile that fit this style is the handicap in the transfer market he continued,
"There were great hopes that we would buy heavily this summer. But I would refute that we have not bought well. Nasri has two goals in two games at the Emirates Stadium, and if Arsène could find the right player, he would buy again, but he hasn't."
Mutterings that stadium investment is restricting the club and that we should embrace outside investors are given short shrift by Fiszman.
"I hear all the time that we have no money, but I just wish someone would take the time to look at our accounts. We do not need extra investment. This is a proper business which produces its own cash and lives or dies by its performances. Our net payments are £20million and the revenue increase from the new stadium is close to £50million. Explain to me how that stadium is a drain on the club, when it produces an extra £30million a year.
"This constant suggestion that the stadium is bleeding us dry is crap. The reality is our wage bill is very similar to Manchester United, substantially above Liverpool and substantially below Chelsea - but that is to be expected. We pay good salaries, but we pay them more evenly, so we do not have extremes of very high and very low wage-earners. There is an ethos of a team effort."
Many supporters will remain unconvinced by a policy in which the team is the star but rightly or wrongly there is a clear plan at the club and a genuine belief that success can be achieved our own way.
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Date:Friday August 29 2008
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