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afc Danny Fiszman says Arsene has a "substantial budget"

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Arsene Wenger can spend, spend, spend on transfers and wagesGunners boss will have cash for transfers & huge wagesArsene Wenger Arsene Wenger can look for talentArsene Wenger has been told there is a "substantial budget" to spend on players and wages to turn Arsenal into Premier League champions.Arsenal director Danny Fiszman insisted Wenger will be backed in the transfer market because there is "great belief" in him despite going three years without silverware.And he was adamant the club's wage structure was not an obstacle to signing top players, even after midfielder Mathieu Flamini quit the Emirates to join AC Milan for £60,000- a-week after tax.Arsenal boss Wenger is close to completing an £11million deal for Marseille forward Samir Nasri and Fiszman says there will be more money available to try to narrow the gap on Manchester United and Chelsea.Arsenal's wage bill was just £2m less than Manchester United's, according to figures from Deloitte and Touche, and Fiszman says the club can compete for the best players.Fiszman, the power broker on the Arsenal board, said: "We've never said no to Arsene so I'm sure that, whoever he wishes to bring in, he will be fully supported."There's no set amount. But as I said we've always supported Arsene, we've never said no to him and have no intention of saying no to him."I think Arsene said it's not a big name we're after, it's a big talent. I think it's about big talents and committed players."We made a substantial offer to Mathieu. It was considerable and in line with our wage structure but he chose to go elsewhere."We wish him luck and thank him for what he's done for the club."You say we don't pay the wages other teams do. If you look at our total wage costs you'll see they're virtually the same as Manchester United and substantially more than Liverpool."Of course we're all a little less than Chelsea who are in a world of their own. But compared to Manchester United and Liverpool we're good payers."We believe it's a team sport and we do well but we don't want the disparity between the top-earner and the bottom-earner being too big. It takes 11 people on the pitch to deliver."Fiszman, in an interview to be broadcast on Arsenal TV today, believes the Gunners will be strong enough to come back next season after tailing off in the title race.The diamond tycoon added: "Obviously the way we finished was disappointing, but I think it has to be seen as a successful season even though we didn't win any trophies."I think if you had asked fans at the start of the season if they would have been happy to finish fourth, qualify for Champions League football and finish within 15 points of Manchester United, they would have taken it."The football we played through the year created expectations, and the fact we had a five-point lead created even greater expectations, so I think everybody is deflated."But we need to balance that and remember where we were the previous year, so as long as we are seeing continuous improvement we have to be satisfied."If we look back where we were last year, we've taken great strides. The critics wrote us off and gave us no chance of qualifying for the Champions League, but the team proved itself."In the context of the season we came very close and we're disappointed we didn't win it but we've made a constant improvement and that's what we seek always."THE BIG FOUR .. IT'S A RICH MAN'S WORLDThe wage bill and transfer outlays of the top four (06-07)Chelsea£125m Wage bill£68m Transfer billMan United£92m Wage bill£61m Transfer billArsenal£90m Wage bill£11m Transfer billLiverpool£80m Wage bill£26m Transfer bill
Arsenal will not adopt the Chelsea model of pursuing success on the pitch regardless off the cost, according to director Danny Fiszman.The Gunners failed to win a trophy last season but are determined not to seek a Chelsea-style benefactor such as billionaire Roman Abramovich in search of silverware.Fiszman told Arsenal TV: "We don't believe in the benefactor model."Arsenal's financial strategy is linked to revenue generation from Emirates Stadium and also involvement in emerging markets for the football club.Fiszman added: "It is not a question of a one-time infusion of cash to buy player x or player y. You actually then have salaries that are connected to the players."There are associated dangers of spending big on players, something Fiszman and the Arsenal board of directors are wary of.He said of big-name players: "What if they don't work out? Do you go and buy another two or three players? Is there any end to it?"So I think everybody, including Chelsea, knows there are limits. Chelsea were not big spenders last summer certainly - they got our old player Steven Sidwell on a free transfer."We believe in the end the self-sustaining model is the right one, the one we have adopted and will continue adopting."

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Fiszman - We will fully support Arsène's transfer plansDanny Fiszman spoke exclusively to Arsenal.com last week.In a candid interview the Arsenal director discussed a number of hot topics including the departure of Keith Edelman, how he will be replaced, Arsène Wenger's transfer budget, the Club's wage structure, the Board's 'lock-down agreement' on shares and how the 'credit crunch' affects Arsenal. Read the full Q&A now. How do you assess the season both on and off the pitch?On the pitch it was disappointing the way we finished, obviously, but I think it has to be seen as a successful season even though we didn’t win any trophies. I think if you had asked any fans at the start of the season if they would have been happy to finish fourth, qualify for Champions League football and finish within 15 points of Manchester United, they would have taken it. The football we played through the year created expectations, and the fact we had a five-point lead created even greater expectations so I think everybody is sad and deflated. But I think we need to balance that and remember where we were the previous year so as long as we are seeing continuous improvement we have to be satisfied. We don’t want to be a flash in the pan.Are you pleased with the progress the team has made this season?Yes, I am pleased. If we look back where we were last year and what the fans would have settled for we have taken great strides. The critics wrote us off and gave us no chance of qualifying for the Champions League but the team proved itself competitive. Four points is a lot but in the context of the season we came very close and we are disappointed we didn’t win it but we have made a constant improvement and that is what we seek always.Are you disappointed that we did not win any silverware?In the end that is what we all strive for. We can’t win every year and hopefully it will be our turn next year and for many years to come.There have been a number of matches where the team have played beautifully, is there a particular highlight for you this season?The big highlight was beating Milan. It is one game that got our players to believe they were a team to be proud of, a team who could beat anybody and I was sure, having beaten Milan, that would see us through to beat Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool to win the Premier League. I think, very much in the way we beat Real Madrid, it reinforced the belief the youngsters had in themselves.Are you confident for next season? What are your hopes?To win four competitions, for the Ladies to win four and for the youth team to win too. We have great belief in our manager and his methods. There is great belief in the boys that we have. No doubt the manager will strengthen the team and we will improve again.Now we are in the close season, there is much speculation about player signings. Has the manager sufficient funds to bring in the players he requires to enable us to challenge for trophies next season?We have never said no to Arsène so I am sure that, whoever he wishes to bring in, he will be fully supported.Does the manager have a specific budget available? Is there a set amount?There is no set amount. But as I said we have always supported Arsène, we have never said no to him and have no intention of saying no to him.Do you think that we need to sign 'big name' players to take us to the next level?I think Arsène answered that question when he said it is not a big name, it is a big talent we are after. I think it is about big talents and committedplayers.Equally, do you think we should have increased the offer to Flamini in order for him to stay?We made a substantial offer to Mathieu. It was considerable and in line with our wage structure but he chose to go elsewhere. We wish him luck, thank him for what he has done for the club and wish him all the best.There are continual references in the media about the Club’s 'wage structure’ and the Club not paying the same wages as the other top four sides. Can you explain the 'wage structure’ and also how we compare with the other top four sides?Well let’s just go back. You say 'we don’t pay the wages that other teams do’. If you look at our total wage costs you will see they are virtually the same as Manchester United and substantially more than Liverpool. Of course we are all a little less than Chelsea who are in a world of their own. But compared to Man United and Liverpool we are good payers. We believe it is a team sport and we do well but we don’t want the disparity between the top and bottom earner being too big. It takes 11 people on the pitch to deliver.Keith Edelman left the Club a few weeks ago. To clear something up, there have been suggestions his departure was linked with disagreements with the manager over players’ wages, transfer budgets and the like. Was this the case?Absolutely not. Keith was not involved with Arsène in any way. As I have said before we supported Arsène with everything he wanted. Keith Edelman was in no way involved with the discussions with Flamini or Arsène. That was Ken Friar’s responsibility. So the speculation is absolutely incorrect.How would you rate his contribution to our success over the last eight years?I think Keith Edelman was absolutely fundamental to the change that Arsenal have undergone in the last eight years. The process started a little before that but nonetheless he was absolutely fundamental from the infrastructure point of view. Not the football side, but the stadium, training ground and all the developments around. While Ken Friar and I took the lead in site acquisition, planning etc, it was Keith who kept the ship going and made sure the financing was there to keep us going.Keith was responsible for a number of key decisions at the club during his time as managing director. What will his legacy be?If I have to pick one specific thing I think it is the re-financing of Emirates Stadium. What that gave us was 25 years to repay the loan totally protected from the point of view of interest rates - what we pay out every year, what is going on outside, the credit crunch or any changes in the views of banks on financing. So I think that has given us the safety to work comfortably. Remember the increase in gate income over Highbury is in excess of three times our repayments. So for that we have to be eternally grateful to Keith.Ken Friar is Acting Managing Director at the moment with a wealth of experience but are you taking a more hands-on approach whilst we search for a new managing director?My role continues very much as it has. I am always available, always on-hand. Ken is managing well, obviously it is greater responsibility for him but he has broad shoulders and is carrying it well. There is also a very good team around that will continue to do the job as Keith had hoped.We have appointed head-hunters to identify possible candidates for the role of Managing Director. How does this process work and what criteria must a successful candidate meet?The head-hunters are presently interviewing people within the Club, the Board and others, to get each person’s view on what it is we need exactly. Keith’s role will probably be split in that we will be looking for a CFO to look after all the financial aspects of the club to allow the CEO to include within his role the footballing side. That was not part of Keith’s remit and I am sure we will be looking for somebody who can work well with the manager, be able to negotiate at times in difficult situations, player purchases, player sales and wage contracts. That will be a big part of the CEO’s responsibilities as well as managing the business of course.Ken Friar is also responsible for player contracts and transfer negotiations. In the long term, will the new appointment also fulfil the role of Director of Football?I think it will but 'Director of Football’ is not the term we look at. That looks to require knowledge of players, a scouting role and that is not at all the role we envisage. So no, there won’t be a 'Director of Football’ as such but the CEO will take over from Ken in due course all of the player negotiations.Can you update the supporters on where we are with any ownership issues? Are you and the Board fully committed to the lock-down agreement?Yes we are. It was a five-year agreement when we signed it and obviously there are various phases of it. We are fully committed. There are no changes as far as we are concerned. The ship is steady and we will carry on.I know that our stance is to work within our natural resources, are those resources sufficient to fund a trophy-winning side or do we need a 'benefactor’ to inject some cash?We don’t believe in the benefactor model. It is not a question of a one-time infusion of cash to buy player x or player y. You actually then have salaries that are connected to the players. What if they don’t work out? Do you go and buy another two or three players? Is there any end to it? So I think everybody, including Chelsea, knows there are limits. Chelsea were not big spenders last summer certainly - they got our old player Steven Sidwell on a free transfer. We believe in the end the self-sustaining model is the right one, the one we have adopted and will continue adopting.Given the 'credit crunch’ climate, what impact does this have on repaying our current debt? Have costs increased as a result?As I said this is something Keith got through for us. We are at fixed interest rates which happened to be very low interest rates and it is a fixed repayment schedule over the 25 years of the loan.Looking forward, now that the Emirates has been successfully operating for the last two seasons, what new revenue-making projects is the Club involved with at present?I think our expansion abroad is where we’ll see the main increase. That is with sponsorships, affiliations that we have made in Thailand and Vietnam. We are looking for a variety of sponsors in the Far East that want to align themselves with Arsenal.How is the Highbury Square development shaping up?It is going well and as you know has sold exceedingly well. Sir Robert McAlpine who built Emirates Stadium on time and on budget are doing it again. They are on two to four weeks early and on budget so I think it is going exceedingly well.And what about Queensland Road?We have just gone into planning on that for a mixed-use residential area. There will be cinemas, a lot of restaurants, a mix of affordable and private housing. We have a design that fits well with the stadium and will finish off the setting for the stadium.We now have the International fixtures, the Emirates Cup and events such as Bruce Springsteen's concerts being hosted at Emirates. Are these fruitful and are there any plans for other non-football activities?They are fruitful. The Emirates Cup we intend to have as an annual event and we intend to bring in some top teams as we are this year and last year. The Springsteen concerts are our first concerts and it will be interesting to see just how well that goes. It certainly sold very well. Within a few days all the tickets were gone. But we will see how we handle a concert and how it sits within the environment. If that works we intend to have a few more in the years to come.

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there is a substantial budget but the question is will arsene spend big?

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Well he's made a 9m offer (potentially rising to 13m) for Nasri.& the 14m bid for Ben Arfa is still on the table, but still 2m short of the 16m Lyon want.

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"I think if you had asked fans at the start of the season if they would have been happy to finish fourth, qualify for Champions League football and finish within 15 points of Manchester United, they would have taken it.
erm.....no we wouldnt

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Guest Robin_Van_PersG

don't think its that much of a surprise. united, chelsea and liverpool always seem to have money as do newastle, spurs. Sunderland, man city and villa also hve money. I would guess wengers had at least 40 million to spend before selling for the last 3 seasons. The comment about the wage bill was surprising.

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don't think its that much of a surprise. united, chelsea and liverpool always seem to have money as do newastle, spurs. Sunderland, man city and villa also hve money. I would guess wengers had at least 40 million to spend before selling for the last 3 seasons. The comment about the wage bill was surprising.
Shut Up.

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Guest Robin_Van_PersG
don't think its that much of a surprise. united, chelsea and liverpool always seem to have money as do newastle, spurs. Sunderland, man city and villa also hve money. I would guess wengers had at least 40 million to spend before selling for the last 3 seasons. The comment about the wage bill was surprising.
Shut Up.
Die. Painfully.

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