Arsenal supporters demand transfer action
By Football News
The Arsenal Supporters' Trust has issued a scathing statement assessing the club's transfer dealings in January.
Arsene Wenger snapped up Spanish left-back Nacho Monreal after an injury to Kieran Gibbs had many fearing that scapegoat Andre Santos, who may still be sold, could be set for a prolonged run in the team.
But the AST did not feel the club could justify signing only one player given they sit sixth in the English Premier League.
They also said that even if Arsenal qualify for the Champions League, there has been a negligent attitude towards transfers from Wenger and the board.
The AST statement read: "The January transfer window is an opportunity for teams to strengthen for the future and provide a boost to the squad for the season run-in.
"Once again, despite poor league form by our own high standards, we see extremely limited activity by Arsenal, who have decided that there is just one player, at a price deemed acceptable, capable of strengthening the first-team squad.
"We can only assume this is purely a footballing decision taken by the manager, and that across the squad he feels there were no other options better than the 'two per position' he maintains are both important and available to him.
"The fact that there is money available for squad strengthening is not disputed. The AST's independent analysis suggests that the amount is somewhere between 58 million euros and 82 million. Ivan Gazidis confirmed recently that considerable funds were available to the manager.
"Failure to qualify for the Champions League will cost the club in the region of 35 million euros to 47 million in lost revenue in the 2013/14 season, but this will be compensated for by increased TV and commercial monies that are due as well as income from the sale of the Queensland Road site.
"On this basis the financial 'hit' is manageable and the AST does not believe there is any case for the present financial austerity.
"The AST believes that there remain important questions about the way player identification, recruitment and remuneration processes are managed at Arsenal. They seem to be a long way from what would be expected and we intend to raise these issues again with the club.
"Arsenal supporters pay some of the highest ticket prices in world football, providing the club with considerable financial resources but the ambition and ability to use them appear to be missing.
"Continued missed opportunities to strengthen are detrimental to the club and are causing long term damage to the squad's competitiveness, evidenced by the ever-increasing points gap between Arsenal and the top of the table.
"The AST hopes that Arsenal's distant owner and its board are looking at this situation as critically as its supporters."