Morning all. Its been a turbulent few months off the football pitch for the business world, but it is perhaps worth taking stock of reports (The Times) that Arsenal are set to announce impressive financial results for the year ending on 31 May 2008, including turnover figures up over 12% to £225m, which generated a profit of over £50m.
It was rumoured over the summer that Arsenal's finances were not as steady as they could be, and that this was the explanation for AW's reluctance to go into the transfer market. However, these figures, along with Danny Fizman's confirmation in August that AW would be given whatever financial resources he asked for, show that the rumours of Arsenal's demise were somewhat premature.
This also confirms that whatever dealings AW makes on transfer activities, they are really his decision alone. I don't believe for a minute that the club has limited AW's activities on transfers. This is a stark contrast to other clubs who have someone in the "Director of Football" role, whatever that might be, such as Spurs (who have Damien Commolli), Chelsea (who have Frank Arnesen and Peter Kenyon) and the Toon (who bizarrely have Dennis Wise), who seem to be hell bent on undermining their managers' wishes as to transfers. We should all be thankful that the board of Arsenal Plc places sufficient trust in AW that it does not feel it necessary to have a Director of Football and long may that continue.
Whilst this is pure speculation, it may also explain why Arsenal have struggled somewhat to find a new Chief Executive, as the job is clearly mainly a commercial role with limited direct authority on footballing issues, on which AW makes all the decisions. You can therefore understand why someone who wants to meddle with the transfer activity would be reluctant to join.
Strong noises were made at the end of the Summer expressing their doubts that AW was still the man for the job at Arsenal. Whilst that debate may well still run on, I am happy to pin my colours firmly to the mast and say that the day we replace AW, Arsenal will almost certainly have to find two people to replace him - a first team coach and a director of football. Its a recipe that no-one seems to be able to work properly and I hope it doesn't ever happen to us.