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Xtratime's Head of Humour 2007
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'New ground will put Arsenal back at No1'

By Leo Spall, Evening Standard

20 April 2005

It is a sign of the times at Arsenal that as they prepare to play the Premiership leaders their biggest shareholder has other things on his mind. Overshadowed by Chelsea's success this season, tonight's game at Stamford Bridge is unlikely to be more than a footnote in the story of Jose Mourinho's march to the title.

But Arsenal are already looking to the future and director Danny Fiszman is confident that moving to a 60,000-seat stadium at Ashburton Grove next year will give the club new clout.

He said: "Our ambition is to be the number one club and it is not a pipedream. It will not be easy but we have the building blocks to enable that to happen. We have the financial strength to come through from the new stadium, we think we have the best manager in Arsene Wenger and we are constantly moving up a level.


"But there has always been a feeling we are fighting above our weight. Certainly, we have over the last few years with the success which Arsene has brought us without the financial strength of a Manchester United or an AC Milan.

"******** Stadium will allow an extra 22,000 fans to come to see Arsenal play and as high as the profile of the club is now, to have a major stadium in the middle of London will add to it. When it is up and running it will put the club in as strong a position financially as any other club generating its own funds."

Fiszman's exclusion of rivals funded by rich benefactors is significant.

No one in football can pretend they have a money-making scheme which will make their club as wealthy as Chelsea could be with Russian billionaire-Roman Abramovich's full backing. But Fiszman thinks the £357million ******** Stadium will transform Arsenal's finances.

By allowing more fans to watch, introducing a luxury Club Level and accommodating more than 150 executive boxes the club will have more money for players. Repayments on the loans which paid for the stadium will be reduced by spreading them over extended deals once the ground opens in August 2006.

The board believes the extra money generated by the stadium, coupled with Wenger's acumen in the transfer market, will finally allow the club to make big strides in the Champions League.

Fiszman said: "The manager is totally committed to the club and has spent our money very wisely. By nature of the blank cheque which seems to be available at Chelsea at the moment, they don't have the same constraints as the rest of the clubs. But we can compete. There are only 11 players on the pitch for each team in a game and there are lots of factors other than money involved."

Considering Arsenal have spent less than £15m in the transfer market in the last couple of years, that would appear to be very fortunate.

Wenger has concentrated on keeping key players such as Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira committed to the club instead of bringing in costly new faces.

This season Arsenal's spending was dwarfed by clubs such as Birmingham and Spurs and injuries to Gilberto Silva, Sol Campbell and others have sometimes left them short of experience.

Fiszman is adamant no one could have foreseen Arsenal's problems last summer and their new stadium is not to blame. He said: "We never were in a position where we have not done that much in the transfer market because all the money was going towards the move.

"On the contrary, we have had a lot of successful property deals around the stadium project which have helped the club's balance sheet. We had a budget available to the manager, but he is not a spender for the sake of it."

Wenger's kitty this summer will be around £40m and the club will make more available as they move into the new stadium next year.

Sales for the new Club Level and executive boxes are already going well and the club have promised no hike in prices for those who prefer pies to prawns.

Fiszman said: "Our ambition was to build the best club stadium and have the finest team playing in it. We think we can deliver that."


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£40m :eekani: i hope that is right, although it was the journalist who said it not Fiszman.

what a great job the board have done though, if you told me ten years ago we would be in this position i'd have laughed in your face. :proud:
 

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That's what Non-Gooners don't get about AFC it's run by people who are not in for their own selfish agenda but people who want the club to be the best in the World long after they're gone.

Arsenal could have easily taken all the money to bulid AG and try to win a few more PL titles and a few CL's but end up like Leeds.
 

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Tunis4life said:
That's what Non-Gooners don't get about AFC it's run by people who are not in for theor own selfish agenda but people who want the club to be the best in the World long after they're gone.

Arsenal could have easily taken all the money to bulid AG and try to win a few more PL titles and a few CL's but end up like Leeds.
true, remember all the flak they were receiving from the press about not getting the finance and the stadium will never be built, thye never panicked and just kept doing the right things, brought in Endelman to cut costs and they got their reward in the end, it would have been easy to panic but that never entered their head.

they have done a wonderful job over the last years and should be applauded, we are well on course to become one of Europe's elite now and that is such a big step to make, many clubs have tried and failed but i have no doubts we will succeed.
 

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40 million!!!!

kameni
Trezeguet
SWP
Hleb
Essien
i think we can manage, with edu, and Db probably leaving.
 

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Essien won't happen as he won't come to a team that won't guarantee a spot in the first XI. IMO AW will move Kolo to RB and Lauren will move to the CM as Edu replacment.

Still need a CB Chivu fits the bills perfectly as does Meztelder.

Trez I'd like him but AW has stated time and again he won't sign a classic CF, maybe Tel will step in and change AW's thoughts on Trez.

SWP we all want him but really depends on what's the price. Better and cheaper option is Juninho of Lyon.

Hleb typical AW signing but with Reyes and Bobby not sure there's much room on the left.

Kameni is good but prefer Hildenbrand.
 

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Lauren has been class at rb, so im not sure Kolo can take his place, maybe in 2 or 3years.
Chivu i would like to have, but he would probably prefer to join Juventus so he can be with his old coach, and a couple of friends.
SWp is a must, i dont want juninioh, SWp whould be much better for us.
Any of kameni or hleb would be fine with me, id also take CUDICINI.
essien might not come, so id focus on getting Van bomel who is now free.
 

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What is the first success formula for any winning team ? Yes, it's defense.

Splashing a straight £15-20 millions for Chivu is still a great deal !! If we sign Chivu, it means we sign the future successor of Sol Campbell with Sendo as his future partner and Tourè succeeded Lauren. Guys...Man Utd. got Rooney for £30 millions, you won't believe what Chivu can deliver to our team, this guy is fantastic defender and only behind the likes of Puyol and Nesta. I really hope we don't miss this such opportunity since Roma is not in good financial condition.
 

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Not only is Chivu a great defender but he can score some rip roaring goals, like the ones he scored against Udinese and whoever it was Roma played last week. Great stuff.
 

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let's be serious though guys, there is no way on this earth that Wenger would spend £20m on a defender. :shades:

if Chivu were to come it would have to be for £10m or less.
 

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yeah no chance of AW splashing that much, i think he will focus on big money in the midfield and offence, since edu, bergkamp might go.

Defence we might spend, but with the work Sendo has shown, i think thats affected wenger, i think he will mainly look for midfield and offence.
 
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