Luis Suarez at The Emirates? A tectonic shift in Arsenal’s transfer policyhttps://indianexpress.com/article/news-archive/print/luis-suarez-at-the-emirates-a-tectonic-shift-in-arsenals-transfer-policy/

Luis Suarez at The Emirates? A tectonic shift in Arsenal’s transfer policy

Since moving to their £390 million stadium in 2006,Arsenal have to pay £20 million in annual debts.

Earlier this week the Arsenal board tabled a £40,000,001 bid for unsettled Liverpool striker Luis Suarez. The bid prompted John Henry,Principal Owner of Liverpool FC,to take to twitter commenting,“what do you think they’re smoking over there at Emirates?” Henry was no doubt referring to the additional £1 in Arsenal’s bid,which triggers a clause in the strikers contract. However,many delirious Arsenal fans,who are no doubt on a high after hearing of the bid,are probably wondering the same thing. What are they smoking? More importantly why haven’t they been smoking it for the past decade?

The chants of “in Arsène (Wenger) we trust” have only waned with each passing transfer window as Arsenal have seen star players leave,repeatedly,for Europe’s elite with the majority of reinforcement coming in the form of mediocre French players and a beleaguered youth set up. One could make a case for Ramsey,Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlin,but not since Fabregas,has Arsenal’s youth policy approach produced a world-class player. Their dealings in the transfer market too have been capped at the £15 million that was splurged on Arshavin in 2009.

Since moving to their new £390 million stadium in 2006,Arsenal have had to reign in spending so as to pay £20 million in annual debts. Success on field was sacrificed for a sound balance sheet. Despite what the critics may say,Wenger has managed well,delivering Champions League qualification in every season barring his first. With the new shirt sponsorship deal,naming rights and an increase in match-day and broadcast revenue,Arsenal appears to be flush with cash. One then begins to wonder,if this week’s bid for Suarez does in fact signal a change in Arsenal’s transfer dealings?

“There has to be a change regarding transfers. It should be done on a more case-by-case fashion.” Maybe Sol Campbell was referring to his own move to Arsenal in 2001,which may be seen as Wenger’s last statement of intent when he shattered the wage ceiling to make Campbell the worlds first ever £100,000 a week player. Earlier this year Wenger commented,“I am not reluctant to spend and if we find tomorrow a player of top,top,top quality,we will take him.” Suarez is a top player and signing him will definitely be a statement of intent.

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With the bid for Suarez,nearly three times the club’s highest ever bid,there appears to be a rethink within the club on how money is going to be spent on players and on how wages are likely to be distributed. Presently Theo Walcott (on £100,000 a week) is Arsenal’s highest wage earner. Bring in Suarez and you are definitely looking at £150,000 a week maybe more. In bidding for Suarez,Arsenal has addressed multiple issues that could catapult the side from being competitive to finally challenging for the title.

These are exciting times for Arsenal fans and with just over a month left in the transfer window we have surely not inhaled the final puff of smoke that clouds the Suarez transfer. Whatever transpires,one can be rest assured that there are definitely a few more hits to go around before the flame that has sparked Arsenal’s transfer policy is stubbed out.