Chief executive Ivan Gazidis has defended Arsenal’s transfer policy, insisting the club’s purchases have demonstrated their desire to win the title.
The Gunners have gone 11 years without winning the Premier League and supporters have been critical of the club’s perceived lack of investment over recent seasons.
But, speaking to fans and shareholders at the club’s AGM at the Emirates on Thursday, Gazidis said all transfer decisions are made by Arsene Wenger and the board are always willing to release funds for recruitment.
He said: “We have been active in the transfer market in recent seasons. Out of 27 current players only nine formed part of same squad four years ago.
“We have only added players because they add something tangible to our squad not just because we have money available. Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez and Petr Cech show how the board will release funds for signings at any point.
“You don’t sign players like Ozil and Sanchez unless you have ambition to win the league and you don’t sign them without Arsene Wenger.
“All transfers are football decisions and are therefore made by our manager. We have invested record sums in building a team to challenge for the title. Talent leads, not money.”
Arsenal chairman Sir Chips Keswick defended the £3m payment recently made to owner Stan Kroenke’s company Kroenke Sports & Entertainment (KSE), describing the outlay as “right to pay for wide range of services”.
Gazidis then spoke of a new £30m investment in the club’s London Colney training ground.
He said: “We are investing in the best people, scouting, medical, analytics, and many are from outside football. These changes will keep us ahead of the game. Our strategy is youth development, player signings, and player retention.”