ARSENAL majority shareholder Stan Kroenke has broken his silence over the club’s summer of crisis, insisting they were right not to cave into pressure and blow their entire transfer kitty.
Gunners manager Arsene Wenger had an estimated £80m at his disposal following the sales of star duo Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri. But the Frenchman only spent around £50m, and even then made sure it covered the acquisition of eight players.
“There’s a risk of going backwards if you overreact and start throwing money around in an attempt to solve your problems,” said Kroenke, who added he had learned lessons from his American Football side, the St Louis Rams, who last year emerged from a dreadful three-season run.
“Unfortunately we saw that with the Rams several years ago. Signing a bunch of free agents wasn’t the answer. It set things back, and it took us a while to dig out of it.”
Kroenke (right) has forked out to ensure the Rams match the spending power of their NFL rivals; they have spent the maximum allowed by salary-cap rules and have bigger wage bills than division rivals San Francisco, Arizona and Seattle.
And he has reassured Arsenal fans – and echoed a familiar Wenger mantra – by emphasising that he will not hesitate to show the same ambition in the Premier League if the right players become available.
He added: “Our track record is out there for people to see. If we think there’s good value, we’ll spend.”
Kroenke’s comments come after the Gunners scraped a first Premier League win of the season on Saturday, with a 1-0 victory over top-flight newcomers Swansea. Three points came as a timely boost ahead of the start of their Champions League group campaign tomorrow night against Borussia Dortmund.
Wenger will put his team through a final training session at their London Colney base this morning before flying to Germany this afternoon.
Arsenal will have holding midfielder Alex Song and forward Gervinho available against the Bundesliga champions following domestic suspensions.