In many respects, the setting that Ivan Gazidis chose for his declaration of Arsenal's transfer market intent at the beginning of last month only served to emphasise the dawn of the new era. If the boardroom at Highbury House feels as though it has been lifted from decades gone by, it is because, in essence, it has.
When the club moved from their old ground to the Emirates Stadium, English Heritage highlighted various aspects of architectural significance and they included the wood panelling from the boardroom, the long table and the chairman's chair, which is actually more of a throne. So Arsenal took them all across, as they created a near-replica of the past in their home for the future. There are even dummy doors along one of the walls, which used to function when the old room was also the match-day lounge for directors. The sense of history is powerful. These walls have absorbed a lot of expensive cigar smoke and incredible hush-hush stories.
Gazidis's words on the afternoon of 6 June broke so sharply with tradition as to be startling and those who say the club's chief executive always talks the talk in the close-season and that this was nothing new must have had their grey matter depleted by the stress of following Arsenal. This was different. Here was the measured and meticulous, legally-trained and naturally cautious Gazidis promising that Arsenal were ready to "compete with any club in the world" to sign the very top players.
The example that was put to him and which he acknowledged was feasible was Wayne Rooney, but there appeared to be few limits. "We can do some things which would excite you," Gazidis said. "We can think about all kinds of things." Those things, it has now transpired, include the offer of £40m to Liverpool for Luis Suárez.
Gazidis explained that the "escalation" of the club's "financial firepower" was the result of renegotiated commercial deals and, once the mental arithmetic was done, it was possible to see that Arsène Wenger stood to receive an extra £70m each year to spend on transfers. The manager already has a substantial slush fund.
Gazidis was bullish, supremely assured and the thing was that he wanted it to be so public, which is most un-Arsenal-like. One interpretation was that he had an A-lister lined up with which to wow the supporters. We now know that this was not the case, although it did emerge two weeks later that Arsenal had agreed personal terms in principle with the Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuaín, if not a fee with his employer.
It was easy to imagine that Gazidis was sending a message to Wenger, which ran along the following lines: 'I've done all I can on the commercial side. The financial platform is in place. Over to you. Please spend some money.'
Wenger has attempted to dilute the levels of expectation during the club's pre-season tour of east Asia. He has spoken of adding "one or two players who will give us something more", and of a difficult market in Europe, where there is "a lot of money and not many players". Yet the horse has bolted and, from Gazidis's and Wenger's point of view, there is an almighty rod to support the back.
Wenger's move for Suárez is sensational, not only because Arsenal have never paid a fee of more than the £15m they spent to take Andrey Arshavin from Zenit St Petersburg in 2009. Suárez is the best player at a rival Premier League club; Liverpool have, unsurprisingly, blocked his sale and, as such, the situation has become strained. Arsenal know what it is like to lose their best player to a domestic rival, having been powerless to prevent Robin van Persie's transfer to Manchester United last summer. They intend to lace the boot to the other foot and do the kicking.
It is, though, the divisiveness which Suárez inspires that has spiced the tale. Some Arsenal fans see a player whose on-field indiscretions read like a crime sheet and conclude that a club of their varnished-oak dignity ought to have nothing to do with him. But others prefer to focus on the talent that has put the 26-year-old in the world-class bracket; the touch, the balance, the vision, the goals. Watching Suárez live, when his off-the-ball movement can be fully appreciated, is one of the game's true pleasures.
Suárez is a family man, who is married to his childhood sweetheart, and he is simply considered to be a nice bloke by his Liverpool team-mates. Those who know him from his previous clubs speak well of him, too. "He likes to laugh and he likes to joke," said Tottenham Hotspur's Jan Vertonghen, who played with Suárez at Ajax. The Arsenal captain, Thomas Vermaelen, also knows and respects him from the Dutch club.
There would be no issues in the Arsenal dressing room were Suárez to sign, partly because players are a worldly bunch, concerned purely with whether somebody will put it in for them. Almost to a man during the current tour, Arsenal's squad have spoken of their desire to see high-quality additions. They would love it were Suárez to join, with Tomas Rosicky describing him on his Facebook page as a "fantastic player".
There is also the school of thought that a player of Suárez's win-at-all-costs mentality is precisely what Arsenal need. The Uruguayan has admitted that something changes inside him when he crosses the white line and he feels the competitive juices; something that makes him prepared to push the boundaries of what is thought to be acceptable. Have Arsenal, trophyless since 2005, been guilty of being too nice? As an aside on morality in football (such as it is), it is remarkable how supporters can turn as soon as a player changes teams.
Arsenal will sit back to watch the effects of their bid. The next move must surely come from Suárez. The offer was of one pound over £40m and Arsenal have been encouraged to believe that it will trigger a clause in Suárez's contract whereby he is permitted to seek the transfer. Arsenal's inclusion of the extra £1 felt provocative.
Liverpool maintain that they must merely inform Suárez of the interest in the event of a club bidding more than £40m for him, although it is a stretch to think that he does not already know about it. In that case, the clause would appear pointless and Suárez's agent, Pere Guardiola, would surely not have bothered to insert it.
Wenger is rolling the dice hard for a player who will be banned for the first six domestic matches of the season, a carry-over from his punishment last April for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic. Wenger has spoken of a potentially more "open" title race, with the two Manchester clubs and Chelsea adjusting to new managers, and the move for Suárez reflects a desire to capitalise.
Conspiracy theorists have also seen it as a final roll, as Wenger enters the last season of his contract. He suggested in May that he knew Sir Alex Ferguson would retire at the end of the season as soon as he paid £24m to take Van Persie to Old Trafford. Wenger's words have come to feature a rich subtext.
What is clear, however, is that the consequences of Arsenal failing to land a marquee target are unthinkable. The nightmare scenario for them sees Rooney moving to Chelsea, Higuaín going to Napoli, and Madrid, having bided their time, nipping in to get Suárez next month. Arsenal's new era is not free of uncertainty.