Should Arsenal start making better use of its foreign investors?

By Avenell Dave

The news of the coup at Liverpool underlines how fragile the status of even the largest football clubs can be.

People talk about Leeds and Portsmouth and it's true that both clubs enjoyed moments of glory before financial constraints got the better of them.

But Liverpool's situation is different.

Here is a club you simply don't ever expect to be in financial trouble, let alone in the bottom three.

It looks as if they'll get their saviour, albeit another American owner with no deep rooted heritage or longstanding affection in the club.

Does the Red Sox owner see the chance to make some money in the medium to long term?

Does he see it as a plaything that he'll soon get bored with?

Or is this about owning a huge football brand and the kudos and power that goes with that.

Whatever the case, new ownership hasn't done Liverpool any favours.

Will the same malaise strike M*nure? Possibly.

Buying and financing a club purely through debt makes no sense and only what Arsene Wenger calls 'financial doping' seems to work when new owners sign up for a club.

The funny thing is, you only see it in England, don't you?

Maybe I'm simply unaware but I don't know of any clubs in Italy, Spain or Germany who have been allowed to fall into the hands of foreign owners.

It can't just be due to the Sky effect because Spain is currently the dominant league and Italy was in the past but no club ever got sold to foreign investors.

So it was fascinating to read the FourFourTwo Rich List yesterday and see that our very own Alisher Usmanov above Roman Abramovich and in the top five.

Usmanov did a lot to try to convince the media and Arsenal fans that he could be trusted and that he had the interests of the Gunners at heart and that may be the case.

As I understand, he hasn't been allowed onto the Board yet and until he is, his considerable wealth brings no benefits to the club.

Would Wenger spend it anyway or is he so set on Project Youth that he would resist all opportunities to strengthen the team, if it meant stifling the progress of a young player who may or may not make the grade.

Addicts I've spoken to since Sunday all seem to be of the same mind.

The optimism, the hope that somehow Arsenal can confound the critics and win one of the big trophies this season has already withered away.

Much of the anger and frustration focuses not on sub-standard players but on Wenger's refusal to spend some of the war chest he apparently has at his disposal on players the team is clearly lacking.

It must be frustrating for Usmanov, a significant investor but without any means of having a voice or an influence on how the club is run.

I'm proud of how well the club is run and proud of the values it holds so true.

But while all our rivals, both in England and Europe, prove that team investment is the only way to ensure titles, isn't it about time we were a bit more adventurous?

We've become pretty-football-playing also-rans, and while I'd never want to go back to the last days of George Graham, there has to be some middle ground.

Forget the injuries, the bad refereeing decisions, the players who choose other clubs.

Arsenal has no excuse for having the reputation as soft touches and admirable runners up.

But that's what we've become.

If any club can engage Usmanov or Stan Kroenke and their riches without compromising the integrity or long term philosophy of the club, it's Arsenal.