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Arsenal show Liverpool how finance should be done

The astonishing success Arsenal have had in building and financing the Emirates Stadium has been thrown into sharp relief with the news that Liverpool’s finances are only secure until July next year – and that is before they even start to do something remotely serious about building a new stadium.

While the players find their homes being burgled by jolly scousers (see the last post for more details), information has come to hand which shows that the entire club could go bust in July.

When Hicks and Gillett took over Liverpool they said they were going to build a new super stadium.  They said they had borrowed £185m to buy the club, plus £113m to pay off the club’s accumulated debts and to fund player signings.  The stadium money was to be extra.

But there has never been any stadium money.  Instead the Americans have rearranged those first two loans, effectively borrowing £350m from Royal Bank of Scotland and in return giving the bank a complete mortgage over the ground, the training ground and everything else owned by the club, INCLUDING THE PLAYERS.

And that deal runs out in July.

Looking at the deal it only makes sense to me if it is part of a plan to sell the club on – and that is what most people in football want to do, borrow, buy, and sell.

But it may well be true that having such a big debt, and nothing set aside for the future means that a) no one wants to buy when there are cheaper clubs on offer, and that no one wants to lend any more money to a couple of Yanks who can’t pay back what they have already borrowed.

The point is, it is now cheaper to buy a middle ranking EPL team, and then bring in a load of players (as Man City are doing) and push for a top 4 place that way, than it is to buy Liverpool.

So maybe there is no “top 5 into top 4” issue.   Liverpool will end up 5th as they slide out of contention, Manchester Arab come in 4th, leaving the real top 3 (the 3 clubs who have won the EPL at some time or other) to fight out the top 3 spots.   This is what happened last season, as the 3 clubs ended up just 4 points apart.

1 comment to Arsenal show Liverpool how finance should be done

  • Gareth

    I don’t think Liverpool will go bust, any more than Man Utd will. They are too big a football brand. Someone will take them over, or lend them money.

    However, it is interesting that Arsenal get all of the stick in the press for having debt, but virtually every other ‘major’ club is in a much worse position.

    Even the Guardian’s season preview they announced that Arsenal were “the worlds most in debt club because of their £400m stadium” (conveniently ignoring that our debt is only about £250m, and on a fixed rate for 25 years, but hey, it plants the seeds of doubt!) and then, on the man Utd page, say they are £600m in debt. Well, excuse my A Level maths, but I thought £250m was less than £600m!

    Something nasty is going to happen to one of either Liverpool, Chelsea or Man Utd in the next few years. This situation just cannot go on. And when it does, Arsenal will be laughing.