Arsenal fans calling for independent review of transfer business after Arsene Wenger spent just £10m in the summer

Shareholder Alisher Usmanov also wants an explanation of a £3m payment made to owner Stan Kroenke

Tom Sheen@Tom_Sheen
Wednesday 14 October 2015 09:54
Arsene Wenger reacts on the touchline
Arsene Wenger reacts on the touchline

Arsene Wenger and Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke will face stiff questioning at the club's AGM on Thursday, with the lack of transfer business and a payment to Kroenke two hot topics.

Billionaire shareholder Alisher Usmanov has written to the club to seek a detailed explanation of a £3million payment made to American Kronke, the second year that such a payment has been made to Kroenke Sports and Entertainment (KSE).

Supporters will also, according to the Daily Telegraph, ask why Arsenal were the only team in Europe's top five leagues to fail to sign an outfield player. Wenger's only first-team addition this summer was goalkeeper Petr Cech for £10m, despite the Frenchman having a £40m transfer budget.

At last year's Annual General Meeting, chairman Sir Chips Keswick said that the payment was made to KSE for the "wide range of services" the company provides. But Usmanov, who is worth around £8.6bn and owns 30 per cent of the club with business partner Farhad Moshiri, wants greater transparency about the fee.

The Uzbek investor, who has apparently never spoken to Kroenke in eight years, has written directly to the club to seek answers.

The payment last year was proposed by director Lord Harris and Keswick, who said that KSE had an "an extensive and long experience in modern sports management" and that the money was ensured to see that Arsenal "keep progressing".

The AGM will be attended by shareholders who are also members of the Arsenal Supporters' Trust, who ask questions on that topic as well as calling for an independent review of Arsene Wenger and the club's transfer policy.

Stan Kroenke will be questioned over a second £3m payment

Arsenal fans were furious over the summer when deadline day passed with no further reinforcements beyond the arrival of Cech.

Cash reserves for the club sit at £193.1m as of May, with supporters to ask why the money cannot be spent on improving the squad or lowering ticket prices - Arsenal have the most expensive season tickets and match day experience in the Premier League.

One question will ask: "If a club exists to benefit supporters, why sit on a cash pile that grows larger every year, and is disproportionately large compared to every other Premier League club?"

Petr Cech was Arsenal's only summer signing

Arsenal had spent a record £114m in the year to May 2015, while their wage bill is as high as it's ever been at £192m, with turnover also a record £344.5m.

Wenger has previously argued that he did not add players simply because he did not see the right players available at the right price, and that his squad was already very good.

Wenger, Kroenke and his so, Josh, are all expected to be at Thursday's meeting, as is Sir Chips Keswick and chief executive Ivan Gazidis.

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