Arsenal’s chief executive Ivan Gazidis has claimed the North London club does not have enough money to compete with its rivals in the transfer market.
In a frank interview with the New York Times, Gazidis said: “We can’t afford to outgun competitors that have far more money to splurge on transfer fees than we do. So we have to be very careful, very selective about how we do things.”
“We would not be successful if we simply went out into the transfer market and tried to outgun our competitors. We’re run in a self-sustaining way, and a way that we believe in, because we believe it gives us certainty for the future, and enables us to plan our future with confidence.”
While Manchester United, Chelsea, and Manchester City have been on player spending sprees this summer, Arsenal has only made one major signing: Borussia Monchengladbach’s Granit Xhaka for £35 million ($46 million).
Despite the club’s conservatism on transfer fees, Arsenal is in a good position going into the new season. It finished second in the 2015/16 Premier League — just behind Leicester City — and is currently the seventh richest football team in the world according to accountancy firm Deloitte, with revenues of £344 million ($496 million) in 2014/15.
Commenting on when manager Arsene Wenger’s tenure might end, Gazidis said that the club was making long-term investments to prepare for his departure — including a £20 million ($26 million) expenditure on developing facilities.
Wenger’s long-term future at the club is unknown, but he still has one more year on his contract.