Robin Van Persie’s decision on his future was always going to be a big moment for the Gunners, yet it appears to have created a huge row at boardroom level. One of the biggest shareholders at the club, Alisher Usmanov, claims he is sick and tired of the club selling their most prized assets and wants a change in philosophy. If this does not occur, he fears that the Gunners are going to lag even further behind the challenge for the title.
It’s understood that Van Persie’s decision not to renew his contract did not focus on money, but instead the ambitions of the club. RVP is thought to be dismayed at the transfer policy at the Emirates Stadium, with the board unwilling to invest and instead relying on Arsene Wenger to constantly sell his most prized assets.
In an open letter to the board, Usmanov says, “It is down to our manager and not the shareholders to have to deal with the club’s tight finances, carry the burden of repaying the stadium debt by selling his best players and having to continue to find cheaper replacements. This policy is leading to the loss of our best players, often to our main competitors, and even causes the players themselves to question their future at the club and the club’s ambitions.”
The letter will certainly strike a chord with Gunners supporters, who have grown tired of the club’s lackluster transfer policy over the years. It is no surprise to see that since Arsenal’s last trophy in 2005, rivals such as Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea have invested in their team and experienced much more success.
However, despite Van Persie’s decision and the letter, it is unlikely for any change to be made. Stan Kroenke is seemingly unlikely to provide any sort of investment and according to Usamov, the American is looking for the club to be self-sufficient. Despite Arsene Wenger’s credentials, it would appear unlikely for him to manage any sort of success on such a shoe-string budget.