Seemingly under threat from Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov, Arsenal’s chairman Peter Hill-Woods dismissed Chelsea’s plan to be the dominant UK club as ‘fantasy’ (bbc.co.uk, 25 September). In another dig at their SW6 rivals, he insisted that a fan base ‘takes 100 years to build and about 100 minutes to destroy’ (Sporting Life, 24 September).
The move from Highbury to the Emirates stadium enabled Arsenal to generate more than £3m per game last season and gave manager Arsene Wenger a £70m to spend in the transfer market.
Despite a wage-bill second only to Chelsea’s in the Premier League, the club posted a record operating profit and confirmed the board’s position that it did not need, and would not encourage, any foreign investors. Prudent housekeeping had led to ‘glittering profits’ and the club has an ‘eye watering’ amount of cash in the bank (The Times, 25 September) should Wenger want to add to either his playing or management team.