Saudi-led takeover threatens Arsenal project but Mikel Arteta told to adapt to league change – Tom Canton

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Saudi-led takeover threatens Arsenal project but Mikel Arteta told to adapt to league change - Tom Canton

Takeovers of Premier League sides have been a challenge that Arsenal have had to deal with for some time. The club have seen Chelsea, Manchester City and Everton all experience changes at an ownership level, but the recent takeover of Newcastle is something akin to the former two’s movement.

This is a genuine threat to Arsenal’s future and their own standing in the league standings. At present, Arsenal want to return to the top and compete with Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City. However, the presence of a Newcastle side with similar ambitions and deep pockets will create further problems.

I spoke with CBS Sports’ Ben Jacobs to discuss the implications for Arsenal in the short and long term. Previously Jacobs detailed the likelihood of a successful Qatari takeover of Arsenal and the barriers in place. When asked if Arsenal should be worried, it appears the Gunners have more control over the situation than many may feel.

READ MORE: Qatari takeover: the reasons behind a social media hype-train giving false hope to Arsenal fans

“Should Arsenal be worried? I mean if Arsenal are panicking over other clubs rather than implementing their own strategy on the football and business side then there’s something wrong at the Emirates Stadium anyway.

“Any of the big six should be aware that Newcastle are likely to be a new player but you don’t react to that move with worry, you use that new player as even further fuel to revisit your own strategy and potentially structure. And if you see something they’re doing, much like when Manchester City’s owners or Roman Abramovich came in, that you think you can learn from then you adapt.

“So, what we’re seeing in football is this notion of a group. That is the City Group, the Red Bull Group. PIF [The Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia] wants to become a group. The advantage of a group is you get strength in your brand, but also in your football club.”

This idea of a group has seen Arsenal affected in the 2022 summer market already this year. Manchester City have an agreement to sign Atletico Mineiro winger Savio despite strong interest from Arsenal. He will join City Football Group’s French side, Troyes, before going on loan to PSV.

Arsenal will struggle to compete with sides that can offer regular senior football to potential young stars. The Gunners have a strong youth academy, but their own club network, a club such as City or RB Leipzig may prove more attractive.

“The worry really is that clubs like Arsenal assume they have a God-given right to be in the Big Six because of their name. That name means nothing if you don’t adapt and adapting means looking at your structure. Looking at how you sign players. Looking at your facilities and looking at who you work with and partner with.

“I think these foreign ownership groups, not just the Saudi Arabians, but new owners with rich pockets that are thinking about the brand. They are not as constricted perhaps by the history of a football that they come into.

“I think they are able to do a lot more and be a lot more flexible with their strategy and with the implementation of it. Whereas part of the problem at Arsenal, at Manchester United and even at Chelsea with whoever takes over from Roman Abramovich, you’re inheriting a club that does things a set way and there’s not much scope to change and adapt.

“In Chelsea’s case, there’s not much you can do with Stamford Bridge. In Manchester United’s case, you have to overcome the culture and again Old Trafford isn’t the easiest to renovate.

Arsenal are planning a refurbishment of the Emirates in the summer of 2022, as confirmed during the latest Fan Advisory Board and Fan’s Forum meetings. The ownership’s plan is to improve the infrastructure of the club.

From a positive point of view, Arsenal have plenty of resources at their disposal to counter the oncoming threat. Although, Jacobs is quick to highlight where there is already evidence of Arsenal’s current strategy damaging their efficiency in the market.

“Perhaps the reason why Arsenal shouldn’t be as worried as those two is that they have got a superb ground. A great training centre, a strong history. They’re in a fantastic part of London so the lure is there to succeed. The only real worry is that a club like Newcastle along with a club like Manchester City could inflate the market. As a consequence, Arsenal may have to rethink what they spend and how they spend.

“We know historically that they’re not going to be a club that spends irresponsibly or flippantly but if the market changes you may not get your targets. With Arsenal, I think we saw that in the last transfer window and that wasn’t down to Newcastle specifically, but to some extent it’s down to a perhaps prudent desire to stay afloat and plan for your longer-term needs over your short-term desires.”

Arsenal need to ensure that they use their present superiority and standing to their advantage to maintain as big of a gap between the two clubs as possible. The summer will be crucial to this and Arteta and Edu will need to work hard to complete their goals in the market.

Jacobs finishes simply by saying, “Being worried about Newcastle is nothing new for a club like Arsenal but it is the reality of if a rich player comes then you have new competition. If you don’t adapt to that new competition, then you could find yourself below that new competition.”

Source by Football London

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