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The not-very-rich football list.

Everywhere today is the same: “The Rich List”.  And a lot of the publications that cover the story can’t ever be bothered to point out that the list has not much to do with being rich.

Not a sausage, in fact.

It is to do with turnover – the amount of money the central account of the clubs earn from marketing and, TV and gate money.

Richness is normally measured in terms of turnover minus expenditure.   But that’s where the problem lies, because recently clubs like Manchester Bankrupt have been moving their money around from one company to another to try and hide their debts.

In a club like Manchester B there is no worry about showing things properly because the whole club is owned privately.   Imagine this scenario:

You own two companies both part of the “Screw the Fans”  group of companies.   For the sake of argument and clarity I’ll call them Con-Trick and Rip-Off.  Con-Trick shows a profit – and it does this because it takes all the income from the  Screw the Fans group activity.   Rip-Off on the other hand pays all the loan debts – so makes a huge loss.

Next what you might try to do is this: you place the ownership of Con-Trick in theVirgin Islands where there is no public analysis of company accounts.  Con-Trick Virgin Islands now charges Con-Trick UK a royalty fee each year, which Con Trick UK pays, and so greatly reduces its tax liability.  Con-Trick Virgin Islands doesn’t pay tax because there is no public disclosure.

And that’s what makes up the rich list.   Arsenal’s finances are much straighter, because they are owned by a multiplicity of people and are UK based.

14 comments to The not-very-rich football list.

  • Consolsbob

    Does anyone compile an actual ‘Rich List’ based upon your criteria? Is it possible?

  • Consolbob: I don’t know of one, and I would imagine it would be difficult. How do you account for the strange way Man U arrange their accounts which seems to show a profit on the main company, or the fact that Chelsea have a £500m interest free loan from Mr Abramovich – which could be called in with 18 months notice.

    That is the trouble in football. A lot of cf the clubs are not run in a normal sort of way. They are rather like banks in that respect.

  • Consolsbob

    I rather thought that might be the case. There is an American Gooner, whose name escapes me for the moment, who has a very interesting blog which mainly deals with financial analysis. He agrees with your take on these matters, as do I.

    I get the impression that he is a money man himself. I wonder if he could figure it out? Do you know of whom I speak?

  • ArsenalRule

    Hi, Tony

    I’m a south Korean Gooner.
    I just want to let you know that I really really enjoy reading this blog. Yours is the best! My sister is a fan of yours too!

    Many gooners criticise Mr. Wenger for not speding huge money but I think they might appreciate Mr. Wenger in the near future. Global economy is falling down and I’m really glad Mr. Wenger is our manager.

  • zohaib

    Well with the Intl break over it actually was a good one to arsenal players needing match time got some those recovering from injury had a week without the anxiety of missing yet another match and well according to the reports we have been getting from the professor our conveyor belt of fit players should start churning and our injured players will start staggering back to the squad so its well and truly game on now! Villa vs Chelsea is going to be a good result for us only if we can make sure we bank 3 pts as well then hopefully the belief will come back that its not mission impossible just mission we left it a bit late lads instead lol. Meanwhile Lpool and the mancs try and seperate from the pack like long distance runners trying to get ready for the final sprint! Enter Arshavin for us? we will see but for now functionality and wins are all that are needed pretty football and cleansheets are a bonus! Rocking Robin Van Persie won yet another player of the month for us his third in a row hopefully he is ready to do battle again this month because we need his A game and some! Come on you gooners!

  • wrighty7

    We have lacked creativity throughout this season and that is very unArsenal like under Arsene Wenger. In the past even if we leaked goals we would have sufficient attacking options to outscore the opposition.

    We have to be honest though. Any team would miss players like Fabregas, Rosicky, Walcott and Eduardo for as long as we have. Fabregas and Walcott have missed long periods of the season while Rosicky and Eduardo obviously haven’t featured at all.

    These players are crucial to Arsenal’s style of pass and move and without them we have struggled. Hopefully these players will soon be featuring in the Arsenal first team again shortly, and when they do, alongside new signing Arshavin, Arsenal I’m sure will far more potent in attack than we have been this campaign.

    I’m looking forward to seeing Fabregas, Walcott, Arshavin, Rosicky and of course Eduardo in the Arsenal team. It could be very exciting. Lately Arsenal have been far from exciting. You could say boring. I’m not going to bore you with statistics but everyone can see with their own eyes.

    However, despite being boring I welcome the new found defensive stability at the club. We have looked very solid at the back and that is a good foundation to build upon for the rest of the season.

    Gallas has had a lot of criticism in the past but I hope people realise the good job he is doing for Arsenal. Since the captaincy has been taken off him he has played really well and deserves credit for keeping his head down and getting on with the job. It must have been hard for him but he has proved he isn’t fragile in the mind as some would say.

    We have been on a long unbeaten run now and the fact we are more defensively sound obviously is no coincidence with this run. All we need is to give someone a hiding and I really believe with the amount of talent coming into the side, Arsenal can finish this season on a high.

    It’s only a matter of time until Arsenal give a team a real beating. I can’t remember the last! Despite this, Arsenal could be ready to explode and with the final furlong of the season coming up there is no better time to do so.

  • james

    No one’s asking Mourinho to do the quadruple or believes he could, But I’m fairly certain he could make us far more competitive than we currently are. The fact we’re praying for Chelski to nick points off Villa(!) is simply pathetic and amply demonstrates the decline in our fortunes. To answer your question, imacasio, I’m afraid I haven’t been behind Wenger since he consciously began weakening the team and experimenting with just how lightweight he could make it – which was certainly long before last season. I said at the time that last season would prove an anomaly and that normal service – ie a double-digit points deficit – would be resumed this season. Sadly, it seems I’m being proved right. I agree with you, Terence. Wenger is simply incapable of assembling a team that can mount a sustained challenge over 38 games – and he has been for several years. This squad is so unbalanced, it’s gonna take a man of Mourinho’s calibre to make sense of it – Wenger certainly shows no inclination to sort it out. Meanwhile, we drift on – an irrelevance to those teams contesting silverware; living off dusty memories and increasingly desperate dreams of what could be. I’ll ask it again, as you seem more intent on insults than sensible debate, inarsenewetrust – do you honestly think Mourinho couldn’t do a better job than Wenger at restoring our fortunes and making us at least competitive again?

  • ggs

    I don’t really understand this: Tony puts up this post regarding clubs’ finances and some people come here and write something completely not related to the topic of the post, whatever they write on other blogs and go on and on and one……

  • Consolsbob

    It’s simple ggs. James has posted his miserable little post elsewhere and was so impressed with his erudition that he decided to copy and paste it here as well.

    IT level 2. English level 1. Fail.

  • Ian Trevett

    I can’t believe someone on this blog is seriously talking about Mourinho coming to Arsenal. I can’t think of anything worse.
    “Wenger is simply incapable of assembling a team that can mount a sustained challenge over 38 games” – I’ve never read such crap.

  • Consolsbob

    You obviously don’t read ‘Le Grove’ Ian.

  • Ian Trevett

    Haven’t had the pleasure Consolsbob. Doesn’t sound like much fun.

  • Consolsbob

    No, it isn’t.

  • pig

    ………and back to the topic…..or did we ever leave it?

    firstly, we are being financially prudent at the moment, and we have probably been over-cautious since the financing of the stadium. In the past few years, Manu, Chelsfc, and liverpool have all gambled financially. All in different ways, individual situations, but with a common thread; none of these teams would have been able to buy and pay the players they have with the income they earn. I mean, none of the money that has been invested / borrowed / lent has been for infrastructure, its all been for players and wages. our situation is that we borrowed to build a new stadium, and we use our income to buy our players, pay them, and pay interest for our stadium. when its paid, its paid. we have a new stadium. the other teams are still going to be riddled with debts with no new infrastructure, and interestingly, no lines of credit to fund new infrastructure. what happened to the much vaunted new stadium at liverpool?

    as for mourino, his success at chelsea was directly linked to the magic porridge pot of abrahmovich’s money. with our financial constaints and prudency, mourino would fail miserably. I cant think of any manager that would do better with the squad and conditions at arsenal, than the manager we already have. apart for maybe (and forgive me here) martin o neil.

    and there is the irony.