Saturday, August 30, 2008

Board od Director - Wenger May Have Additonal £30m

Arsenal chief executive Danny Fiszman has reiterated the board's backing for manager Arsene Wenger, insisting the money is always available for high-profile purchases

The Gunners are classically the most thrifty of the Premier League's so-called Big Four, as they rarely invest in the transfer market to the extent that Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool do.

While the official line from Ashburton Grove has always been that the funds are there for the mega-money buys, Wenger's consistent miserliness has cast a deep shadow of doubt over the club's actual financial position.

But Fiszman, speaking at the Champions League draw last night, stressed that the manager has full control over how his kitty is spent.

He said: "If Arsene said to us, ‘I want this guy and he’s £30million, can I buy him?’ the answer is, ‘Yes’.

"Absolutely yes. It would be no problem. It’s not our decision who he spends on nor will it ever be. We back him totally."

It is widely believed - and, indeed, has even been mentioned by Wenger - that Arsenal's lack of outlay on players stems from the recent construction of the Emirates Stadium.

The venue, which succeeded the old Highbury ground and has a capacity of 60, 355, was opened in 2006 and cost over £430million.

But Fiszman dismissed the notion that the club are hindered by outstanding construction costs, pointing to the increased revenue brought in by those extra 22,000 seats.

He said: "That’s total c***. Explain how the stadium bleeds us if it’s producing an extra £30m a year?"

And yet still Wenger refuses to spend big, despite the obvious need for an experienced midfielder in his young squad.

After two entertaining yet trophyless seasons, some have suggested that the Frenchman is more concerned with maintaining a stylish brand of football than winning silverware.

But Fiszman insisted: "Absolutely not. We want to win and win badly but Arsène believes in creating teams the way he does.

"There's a dual problem for him. If we were to buy names, you are talking about relatively mature players who need to be integrated into the way Arsène plays. They don't know our style and it also impacts on the youngsters who've been brought through."

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