Arsenal’s summer spending was in part financed by majority shareholder Stan Kroenke, “industry insiders” believe.
The north Londoners had their biggest transfer window ever this past summer, bringing in five new faces to the Emirates.
Gunners boss Unai Emery spent a whopping £137million signing Nicolas Pepe, William Saliba, Kieran Tierney, David Luiz and Gabriel Martinelli.
The spending spree, in particular the club’s decision to fork out £72million to sign Pepe from Lille, thrilled the Emirates faithful, many of whom had serious concerns over the club’s transfer policy.
Arsenal’s summer of splurging left several fans asking the same question: How was the extensive rebuild of the squad financed?
And according to the Mirror, those in the game believe Kroenke paid for most of the transfers out of his own pocket.
They claim ‘insiders are convinced’ the 72-year-old ‘invested his own money into the club’ rather than rely on the ‘self-sustaining model’ they’ve used down the years.
Arsenal chiefs opted to take an aggressive approach in the transfer market following their Europa League final defeat to Chelsea, which saw them miss out on Champions League qualification for a third year on the bounce.
“I tell our group – across all of our organisations, all of our teams – you’re only as good as your last game,” Kroenke’s son Josh – a director at the Emirates – told the BBC. “Unfortunately those last 45 minutes in Baku were not our best.
“In the moment, there was a lot of frustration – but there was a collective resolve to not have this feeling again anytime soon. We had some great meetings and set out to try to better ourselves this summer and I think we’ve come back to a new season as a stronger club.
“I think that we were always going to be – and we will always be – aggressive in trying to improve however we can, whether that’s on or off the pitch.
“But as the second half unfolded of the match, understanding the position that we were in and some of the targets as we headed into the summer from a transfer standpoint, we had to rethink some of our strategy based on that last 45 minutes.
“We knew we wouldn’t have Champions League football and certain clubs who attract those type of talents… that’s what they’re after.
We had to rethink just a few of our things, but my main message to Vinai and Raul coming back from Baku on the plane, which was a very long flight after that match, and then throughout meetings all day the following day with Vinai [Venkatesham], Raul [Sanllehi] and Unai, was ‘Let’s head into the summer, let’s be aggressive and let’s find out what’s possible’.
“These guys went out into the marketplace and, through their contacts and through our fantastic new team behind the scenes at Arsenal, were able to find some talented players who are really excited about playing for Arsenal Football Club.”
Arsenal will be back in action on Sunday afternoon, travelling to Birmingham to take on Aston Villa.