The Arsenal Supporters Trust met for their monthly review on Monday night and it brought to light some rather revealing news for Arsenal fans.
The final day of the transfer window saw Arsenal spend £26m on five players, taking the club’s total spend this summer to around £51m.
With the departures of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri, Arsenal managed to secure around £72m in transfer revenue over the summer leaving the Gunners with a positive transfer balance of £21m.
So imagine the AST’s surprise upon hearing the club still have £50m in the coffers to use should the right target be identified.
Aside from early moves from Gervinho and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, the majority of Arsenal’s summer spending was done late in the transfer window once the Fabregas and Nasri moves had been completed.
It was believed that Arsenal’s lack of cash flow was the reason behind the club’s reluctance to make moves for any targets until the sales of Fabregas and Nasri had gone through – Arsene Wenger certainly took some stick for it.
But Monday night’s revelations suggest that the board had the money in reserve and Arsenal fans will be left wondering just how they missed out on Juan Manuel Mata if the cash was there.
Mata had a release clause of £21m written into his contract which expired on the 31st July.
Arsenal had made their move for Mata in late July but the Gunners reluctance to meet Mata’s release clause meant they missed out on their target and the Spanish winger ended up joining Chelsea.
For such a business-savvy club, the Arsenal board are close to being called back into the boardroom and while the supporters will be buoyed by the news that £50m is there to spend, at second glance it seems the Arsenal board will have trouble spending it.
The right target was found in Mata but the board failed to stump up the extras needed to get him to the club and the promises that they will spend the £50m should the right target come about should be met with scepticism.