Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood has been interviewed for the Evening Standard, and as usual has made some comments that show how out of touch he and the board are.
Here are some of the highlights from the interview:
On expectations for this season
“We have a pretty good chance of challenging for the Premiership,” PHW said. “I don’t see why we cannot win it this year.”
Not winning a trophy for seven years
“It is not a worry to the board that we haven’t won a trophy since 2005,” he said. “It would be lovely to win but it’s not that easy. Liverpool haven’t won the title for 20-odd years. We’re very ambitious and want to win but, if you don’t have billions of petro-dollars to throw around, you’re going to have to do it some other way. That’s what we’re trying to do — with skilful selection of players. As for Walcott, he did not accept our offer so nothing is happening.”
The transfer market
“Arsene has money to spend but there’s a limit. We can’t spend £50m on one player.
“At a certain level, we can’t compete. I don’t think Stan Kroenke [the American owner] is going to put the sort of dollars in that [Roman] Abramovich or Sheikh Mansour are putting into Chelsea or Manchester City. That’s not the way he thinks clubs should be run.
“Luckily, Arsene understands that. He got an economics degree from Strasbourg University so he’s certainly no fool. He knows how a club should be run. That annoys a lot of people but clubs have to be sustainable. We’re not going to go bankrupt in the way one or two other well known clubs have.
“The Glasgow Rangers example is something we’ve all got to guard against. They spent far more money than they could afford. We’re ambitious enough but we’re not going to end in the same plight as Rangers. That is a fact of life. So my advice is don’t get miserable about it.”
On disgruntled Arsenal fans who chanted ‘You don’t know what you’re doing’.
Hill-Wood could not hide his contempt for such behaviour: “What those fans shouted did not influence me one little bit. I was disgusted to hear them because Arsene’s been absolutely outstanding. He is still outstanding.”
On whether Arsenal and Arsene Wenger miss David Dein
“I don’t think David Dein’s departure has impacted on Arsene at all,” he said. “Arsene has a very good relationship with Ivan [Gazidis] and it’s very businesslike. He and Arsene get on very well.”
On whether Arsenal’s second largest shareholder Alisher Usmanov should be on the Arsenal board
“It’s not entirely in my hands. I don’t think Stan Kroenke wants anybody else on the board. I have met Usmanov but I don’t think he would fit in, that’s all.”