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How the salary cap will affect Arsenal

The salary cap is the centrepiece of the current round of UEFA proposals.  It is based on the notion that each club will have to declare its “football income” – that is money raised directly from footballing activities.  The clubs will then be limited as to how much of that income they can spend each year on salaries.

Arsenal’s salary position is a matter of some debate – and it has often been suggested that the salary budget is very high – second perhaps only to Manchester Bankrupt.  The Lord Wenger however has said that Arsenal spend far less on salaries than Manchester, so the truth of the matter is unclear.

Arsenal’s strength however is that its income comes almost totally from football activities.  Figures released last year suggest that Arsenal has the largest match day income in the world of football, and although our marketing income is still way behind Manchester’s it is growing year on year.

If the regulation applies to all EPL clubs, then the clubs that will suffer primarily are KGB Athletico Fulham and Manchester Arab because most of their money comes from non-football sources.  Liverpool Insolvency and Manchester Bankrupt won’t suffer so much because although they are massively in debt that won’t be taken into account it seems.  It is just the income that will be considered.

But there is another factor lurking underneath all this.  Before Manchester Arab became the latest richest club in the world, the richest club in the world was QPR who were taken over by Lakshmi Mittal — the fifth richest man in the world, alongside Bernie Ecclestone and Flavio Briatore.

Manchester Arab and QPR have gone about life in very different ways since the take-over.  QPR seem to me to have been moderately calm and quiet, and they sit mid-table in the Championship, four points off the play-offs with a game or two in hand.

Manchester Arab have made themselves the laughing stock of the entire world of football, not least by their offers of £125 million to Devonshire Hill Lane Infants School for some six year old they saw kick a ball around last week in the playground.

The fact that Manchester Arab have screwed up, and that even Liverpool Insolvency are finding it harder than they imagined to come up with a new owner, while KGB Athletico Fulham now have this new “no more investment” plan, combined with a sacking of their entire youth recruitment squad, shows that the old-fashioned notions of football (ie those of six years ago) are now dead.

Absent Abramovich has shown brilliantly that you can’t just buy a team and make it work.  Sheik Yermoney has shown that picking up a dope like the Ooze and putting him in charge of a team with unlimited spend won’t even fill a stadium (which incidentally us idiot tax-payers are still paying for).  Liverpool Insolvency have shown that clubs are a lot harder to sell than they used to be.

Only Manchester Bankrupt have got away with it, for the simple reason that no matter how much one might dislike the man, Sir Alex F-Word is a very good manager.  He was at Aberdeen and he is in Manchester.   But, his hyper-spending campaign is running the club into deeper and deeper debt and he himself will leave the club in a state of financial chaos from which his successor will never be able to recover.  And the salary cap will reduce the sheer volume of players Manchester Bankrupt can keep on their books.

Overall then if the salary cap applies to all EPL clubs it will harm Manchester A and KGB Athletico Fulham most, and any other teams that are just adding to their debt with salaries – which includes Manchester B.  Beyond that, if Liverpool can’t find a buyer in the summer (because the Arabs are starting to look at Manchester A and think they don’t fancy being laughed at) then they will simply grind to a stop because their bank loans will run out.

There is however one other point.  It is just possible that the salary cap will only applies to clubs in the Champs League – which will then allow clubs to spend as much as they want on salaries, but will limit the total salary spend on the players they nominate as part of their Champs League squad.  In such a case it is difficult to see that much will happen at all.

(c) Tony Attwood 2009

10 comments to How the salary cap will affect Arsenal

  • wrighty

    Last season Adebayor had a fantastic season. He scored plenty of goals and even when he wasn’t scoring he at least put in a good shift of grafting for Arsenal’s cause.

    Players like John Terry and Rio Ferdinand said he was the hardest striker to play against in the Premiership; that is some compliment if you ask me.

    This season he seems a shadow of himself. He isn’t scoring as much but the worst thing for me is that he isn’t grafting and making defenders miserable like we know he can.

    He believes he has made it. He has in a financial sense of course but that shouldn’t be enough. He should want to improve and become one of the worlds best strikers. He has the potential to do it but does he have the hunger?

    He is out for three weeks. This time out could really benefit himself and Arsenal. He needs to get his head straight and rediscover the Ade of old.

    It’s obvious his head was turned in the summer. He began to believe the hype surrounding him. Maybe it was a mistake to offer him such a well-rewarded contract after just one good season.

    What I do know is its time he earned his money. I hope he reflects on his season so far during the period he is out and realises he hasn’t been good enough. This time could do him the world of good

  • james

    With Gallas’ return to form, there is now a genuine question on who should start. I’ve said it before, and I’m sure I’ll say it again, but how about all three? Denilson hasn’t necessarily played bad, he just isn’t the piece we need in the middle. Not quite enough pace and he doesn’t seem to get himself into dangerous (to the opponents) positions.
    I really enjoyed watching Gibbs play and if Clichy starts getting caught out of position like he has been prone to do lately I would like to see that switch made. I still think Clichy gets (and deserves) the start. I just think he should have a bit of a short leash. See if pulling him one game doesn’t increase his focus for the next.
    Song has been getting better but he is still a serious liability. Against Cardiff he was mostly invisible. He didn’t start many attacks. He was caught on the wrong side of the attacker at least a couple times. If he gives the Sunderland middle the opportunity to properly feed Jones et al up top then there will not be a clean sheet.
    Vela was brilliant. Yes it was a Cardiff team who did not play with the same intensity as the first match but his pace and ability allowed Nasri to play out left. Nasri was all over the pitch and was constantly seen playing off Vela over on the left. It was a thing of beauty to see those two destroy everything Cardiff hold sacred. I would very much like to see those creating for/with Eduardo for the rest of the season. I hope this is just a small setback for Edu and he comes back strong again for the 2nd Roma game if not sooner.
    The addition of Arshavin gives AW a few new options to use. With our current shortage of midfielders, it is nice that he can play out right or as an AM. He and Nasri can interchange throughout the match. Whenever Nasri slides over to, with Vela, make right backs across the league look foolish then AA can slide out right. The constant running -which has been missing, most notably in Ade and Denilson- really helped to open things up. I think Cardiff helped with some poor play, but I truly believe our Gunners would have unlocked most defensive units that day.
    Say what you will about Almunia but he is our keeper and there is not going to be a new one before the end of the season. So there’s no need to continually harass him. Until he let’s in a horrendous goal or two. Then everyone can start calling for Fabianski.
    As for the forwards, there is really no choice at the moment but to start Bendy and RVP. There are worse pairings to be stuck with when you have 37 combined goals (07/08) in the training room with Ade and Edu.
    Here is how I would make the line-up if anyone was stupid (or insanely brilliant?) enough to give me that power:

    ———Almunia———

    Sagna–JD–Gallas–Clichy
    ——–Toure————
    Nasri—————-Vela
    ———–Arshavin——

    ——Bendy——–RVP—

    It is very promising that even with the likes of Cesc, Rosicky, Walcott, Edu and Ade out inujured Arsenal has such a dangerous group in the 5 forward most players. Plus, Toure will find the back of the net once or twice if he were to ever step into the DM role. He has a decent shot and does well as the trailer when Arsenal jump into a counter-attack. That’s from a defensive role too. Think about how many more chances he’d have starting one position further up the field. I think I’ve rambled enough for now. Back to doing research for a paper i need to finish.

    p.s. – I had been posting as John. I decided that may be a bad idea as there are a few of us about.

  • It will be a while before a salary cap is to be introduced so that it is a universal thing. UEFA

  • james

    Eboue should be given the chance to correct himself in time
    THe way he played before his dismissal against tottenham was excellent
    Its basically what Ive always seen in him
    He can be almost unstoppable, physically hes just superb and technically hes excellent too – his problem is hes his own worst enemy
    that said i think vela should retain his place
    what does it say if a guy can play so well and then never be given a chance
    Im also reminded of what happend to flamini
    he never really got a look in for a couple of years, played well in the champions league, only to be removed for ashley bloody cole in the final
    and he never forgot that IMO
    dont want that to happen to vela, he can be as good as rvp IMO easily – give him the chance as hes earnt it more

  • Oneillovesyou

    I don’t think we are a title threat at this exact moment, we’re up there and it’s brilliant but I think United will be winning it for sure. As for top 2, I mean it’s all good now on this unbeaten run but what about if we lose one…then lose a couple, and the other teams around us win a couple. It’s sounds like a big gap between us and Arsenal/Everton but it isn’t really. So long left and so many points left to play for.

    Whatever happens though, Martin O’Neill is absolutely fantastic. I am sick of people who criticise him cause he answers is consistently with Villa. Hate the boring tag as well cause we’re anything but but thats other peoples perogative, I am happy with our style of play.

    He makes people play above themselves, he has made what I consider a good side that we have into a pretty great one. Ashley Young, Agbonlahor, Barry, James Milner, Curtis Davies and many more but just to name some who have come under his management and absolutely excelled.

    The spirit is brilliant, effort brilliant, ability is there. Just see how it goes, still be delighted with 4th obviously. Will feel like a bullet if we drop out. Well done MO’N but of course well done to the players out there performing every week.

  • relaist

    its really amazing that while people like uncle mike and others have been giddy with optimism these last couple of days,they have been silent about one particular player…Aaron Ramsey! Why exactly did AW buy this player? Why when we have been inundated with injury he has not stepped into the creative void? Or is it just another example of a yungster at the club that is not that fantastic,but we are so much hopeful for because AW says he is the best??Dont get me wrong,i like the boy,but he has not done anything 4 us since he came!! Or is he one for the future? Because it seems thats what the Board and AW are obssessed with…to the detriment of the present!! On another note,the injury to Eduardo who i believe is the best finisher at the club should sound a note of warning to those people getting beside themselves with joy…THERE WILL ALWAYS BE INJURIES!! So nobody should start making excuses when they actually occur.Everybody knew Rosicky’s problems before he was signed,so AW cant plead ignorance…Villa have been winning without Carew Petrov and Laursen !Man U have been without Rooney and Ferdinand for how long now? and they are top of the table.so nobody should flog that dead horse again pls!

  • consolsbob

    I assume that you would like to be called ‘realist’, relaist?

    Why don’t you give the team a break? Ramsey is 17. Do you really think Arsene bought him for immediate impact? Get real, realist.

    If you are not interested in the future, I certainly am, and the future is Red and White. (I don’t mean ‘Holdings’ either).

    Ask not what your team can do for you but what you can do for your team.

  • pig

    so, it seems that platinis bark is worse than his bite. perhaps i am just too naive, but i was hoping that any reforms he brought through, would deal with the wider issues of football financing. i’m no communist, but i would like a level playing field.

  • don't believe the hype

    I feel for you Tony, you take the time to write thought provoking pieces and then most people come on here and post utter drivel that has nothing to do with the post you made!

    I’m not sure that a salary cap would work as clubs would just find a way around it or there would be so many caveats that it would be unworkable. It would be good if UEFA could find a way of preventing certain clubs gaining an unfair advantage by living on the never-never or handouts from benefactors. Some sort of solvency test, which shows that debt repayments, player purchases and running costs (which include salaries) are sustainable based on football related income only, would be great. However, I’m not sure that UEFA have what it takes to come up with a workable solution that isn’t full of get out clauses.

  • Jonny Neale

    Don’t believe the hype – bloody well said! Give an infinite number of chimpanzees access to the internet and this is the drivel you get (not the complete works of Shakespeare sadly).

    In addition, whilst I am more than happy for fans of other clubs to weigh in did the Villa fan ‘Oneillovesyou’ just veer madly off course and up here by accident, does he know where he is or is that his meds have just kicked in? Exactly how does one feel ‘like a bullet’ pray tell?

    Lets hope he doesn’t read past posts and find out in what high esteem Tony holds M’ON.

    Finally on the subject of salary caps – Tony if this were passed is it not something that would be all too easy to challenge in the courts, a la Bosman? I can’t see them making this stick.