Arsenal fans voice ire over lack of spending
LONDON - ReutersAngry Arsenal shareholders have asked the English Premier League club whether it has curbed spending to cushion against a possible failure to qualify for the Champions’ League after another disappointing season.
Small shareholders represented by the Arsenal Supporters’ Trust (AST) have also demanded greater engagement from Stan Kroenke, the American billionaire who owns a majority stake in the club.
Arsenal has not won a trophy since 2005 and have suffered a disastrous week in which they were knocked out of the FA Cup and effectively eliminated from the Champions’ League following a 4-0 first leg drubbing by AC Milan in the round of 16.
In an analysis of the club’s finances, the AST estimated that Arsenal had around 50 million poundsto “spend or to save for a rainy day”.
It asked whether this was made available to manager Arsene Wenger to strengthen his squad.
“Did the manager have the option to use all or some of these cash reserves in summer 2011 and January 2012, or are resources being held back as a contingency for failure to qualify for the Champions League?”, it asked in an online post.
Faulure to qualify for Europe’s premier club competition would cost Arsenal 45 million pounds, the AST estimated.
Arsenal is currently fourth in the Premier League.
The success of north London rival Tottenham Hotspur, 10 points ahead of Arsenal in third place, has added to frustration among the AST, who represent shareholders owning around 4.5 percent of the club.