A story caught my eye this morning, run by the Daily Mail, in which they claim that Wenger will be offered a place on the board to ensure he remains within the Arsenal fold. On the face of it, it is a story promoting good news, albeit news that is highly unlikely while Wenger is still manager.
But dig a little closer and it becomes clear that this is yet another story promoting the club’s ‘financial insecurity’ and how Wenger is feeling a lack of support from the board. And it is painfully transparent.
For once, it is a Mail story that does not directly reference Usmanov and Dein, but it is clearly built for their wishes. By scaring fans into thinking Wenger’s unhappy, they create the idea that to make him stay, the money men have to come in and take over. Which is precisely the message Dein was promoting before Wenger signed his last contract.
There were strong signs last month that his relationship with the board is being stretched. He sent a coded message upstairs when he revealed, in the wake of Alexander Hleb’s departure for Barcelona, that ‘the strategy of the club is to sell every year and buy less expensive players’.
In reality, Wenger’s just putting his economics degree to full use, selling the players he thinks he can replace with younger and better versions, and not spending lavish sums on mediocre players as so many others have done, all while maintaining a championship challenging squad.
Hardly a coded message, but then the story is so heavily weighted against the current board, talking about how finances are crippled ‘while they service the astronomical loan for the Emirates Stadium over the next 17 years‘, when this loan is perfectly under control and still allows for Wenger to spend.
Wenger doesn’t spend because Wenger doesn’t want to. The board have said it, he’s said it, and no amount of Mail/Dein/Usmanov propaganda will change that fact.
The problem is simply that too many people will fall for this garbage.