Arsenal's prudent approach a template for others
On the day Arsene Wenger revealed he was close to signing a new deal at Arsenal, the club's chief executive Ivan Gazidis reiterated his belief in the Frenchman's prudent philosophy of developing his own talent.
In an interview with the BBC, Gazidis paid tribute to Wenger's ability to manage on a smaller budget than their closest rivals and said that while the club was in good financial shape there were no plans to start spending what they couldn't afford on players.
Gazidis said: "You have transfer fees of £30 million to £40m being talked about as if it's monopoly money - it isn't and it's not sustainable for any football business. We can't and won't compete.
As the new season kicks off, Arsenal's prudent approach to spending is being copied at Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea. Each club have their own reasons for stemming the outflow of cash on transfers and wages but the big challenge they face at the start of this new Premier League season is from Abu Dhabi-owned Manchester City, who have spent just short of £100m on five players this summer.
Ivan Gazidis says Arsenal will build, not buy success
Having moved to the Emirates Stadium four years ago, Arsenal now turn over more than £300m a year (including revenue from property sales) and made a pre tax profit of £35m last year. With figures like that it finally looked like the club's long-term strategy might be starting to pay off. Then the Manchester City takeover happened and the natural order was disrupted once again.
Arsenal believe that Uefa's new rules, which limit the amount owners can invest in their teams, will force more teams across Europe to come around to their way of thinking.
With American sports entrepreneur Stan Kroenke and Russian businessman Alisher Usmanov vying for control of the club (Kroenke currently is the biggest shareholder with 29% while Usmanov has 26%), there is always the possibility that Arsenal could follow their rivals into the hands of one wealthy owner. Maybe then the policy of self sustenance would change.
But Gazidis said: "I don't see anything dramatic happening with the ownership. Of course we are a public company and I manage the club and cannot control what happens with the ownership.
"But I don't sense there will be any changes and certainly all of our owners and the vast majority of our fans strongly support the custodian model we have."
To that end Arsenal will announce next week they are backing a new share scheme for supporters which will allow them to save towards owning their own shares in the club. Fans will be able to buy a specially issued share for £80. When they have 100 they will be able to own their own full share in the club for £8000, with all the voting rights that go with it.
In contrast to Chelsea - where all the shares are owned by Roman Abramovich - and Liverpool and Manchester United, where the supporters are disaffected with their American owners, the Arsenal approach is going down well with fans who now want a greater say in how their clubs are run.