United have had a bottomless pit of money since the early 90s. They could always get Fergie whoever he wanted. Those 2 situations are not comparable. Now Kroenke is cheap but let's also consider how Arsène handicapped himself with his own handling of contracts. He basically alternated between letting a player run their contract down to where they had no transfer value relative to what we paid or handing out such bloated wages that it affected our ability to recruit for years because when they inevitably underperformed, they were now on wages too high for anyone to want to take them.I would call it more as a token gesture rather than supporting Wenger.
His only signings were Laca and Auba, while we needed CBs. I remember him not playing Mustafi as he didn't really want him.
Contrast that with Fergie: He asked for RvP, they bought him...wanted Kagawa, they got him...wanted Zaha they got him.
Wenger's stubborn-ness must have had a role to play in his downfall, but the board left him out without a paddle.
The last 8 years or so of Wenger's reign are littered with cases like that where he grossly mismanaged the budget that he was given and left us with a wage bill that wasn't commensurate with the quality of the squad or the limits of the finances he was working with. If we assume he had full control of transfers until his last 2 years, he still is responsible for much of his own misery in that regard because he often spent poorly when he did have funds.
It's also a bit more than a token gesture when tightwad like Kroenke sanctions over 100 million sterling for a pair of strikers. Nobody does that with the intention of moving on. The lack of results and the outrage from supporters necessitated that. Does Wenger look a bit better in retrospect given how pitiful Arteta and Emery have been? Absolutely. Did he also very much make his own bed by botching the things he could control? Absolutely.