I think you’re right about the board not backing Wenger, unless it was his decision not to pay the extra to get too quality rather than barely adequate players.
Either way, not getting top level players was a false economy.
For the sake of just a few million, we lost out on, like you said, Mata, Hazard, Alonso, Suarez, Kante, etc and instead got mediocre players.
Not only did we lose out on trophies, it meant that when we came to sell these players, we would get very little money for them.
This is why it was a false economy, because we could have made money on all those players but the board we’re too tight fisted to spend the extra and we end up with a group of players that won’t win anything, that we can’t get rid of.
Wenger used to pride himself on being an expert in economics and in transfer dealings but I didn’t see much expertise in either, unless the decision to buy the players he wanted was overruled by the board.
This is the main reason we have a squad so lacking in quality and why we lost out on winning the PL title on a few occasions.
The board’s lack of ambition is obviously responsible for the mess we’re in.