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October 2016
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The Ivan Gazidis interview, what happens when a successful manager leaves, and do injuries determine success?

 By Tony Attwood

In a widely reported recent interview, Arsenal’s CEO Ivan Gazidis said of Arsène Wengrer,

“He has always put the long-term health of the club first. He wants to hand over a football club, whenever that it is, that is in great shape. He views that as a massively important part of his legacy. But we are just not in that mode. I know Arsène wouldn’t stay on if he thought the club wasn’t heading in a good direction and thought he wouldn’t be able to deliver what the fans want.”

So just what does happen when a manager who has had success leaves a club?

We know that managers turn over at a very high rate indeed – 56 managers across the top four divisions left in 2015/16, 11 of those within the Premier League.  So over half the PL managers had left their club by mid-May.  More than the year before (when it was just five) but fewer than 2013/14 when it was 12.

The average length of stay in a Premier League club is 2.02 years – higher than 2013-14 when it was 1.22 years but lower than 2012-13 when it was 2.81 years.  (The overall average across the four leagues is 1.31 years).

The average tenure of all the managers who were in place by mid-May this year in the Premier League was 1.91 years.  So as we can immediately see, during the Premier League era, Man U and Arsenal have been the great exceptions – holding on to their managers.

But I wanted to know a little more, so I tried looking at Champions in the PL and when their managers left.  Then I looked at what happened the next season, and the season after.   Where a manager has left mid-season I’ve tried to decide (somewhat arbitrarily) whether to include the season he left or the next one as the season to be measured in Next.  However it actually doesn’t make too much difference to the overall picture.

Obviously Man U were champions multiple times without their manager leaving, so I’ve left them until 2013 when Sir Alex Ferguson did leave.

Year Champions Manager Left Next year Year after
1994–95 Blackburn Rovers 1995 7th 13th
2005–06 Chelsea 2007 2nd 2nd
2009–10 Chelsea 2011 2nd 6th
2012–13 Manchester United 2013 7th 4th
2013–14 Manchester City 2016    
2014–15 Chelsea 2015 10th  

So in 2007 when Mourinho left Chelsea held on to their top two status, but other teams (and Chelsea after 2011 and 2015) have found it impossible to stay at the top.  The best a new manager has achieved after replacing a previous league winner is fourth for Man U and in the following year (this season just gone) that slipped to fifth.

Of course that is a very small sample, so I did the same exercise with second place clubs who lost their manager subsequently.

Here the collapse was more spectacular with none of the new managers winning the league or coming second, only Benitez getting a third with Liverpool.

Year Runners-up Manager Left Next year Year after
1992–93   Aston Villa 1994 10th 18th
1993–94   Blackburn Rovers  1995 7th 13th
1995–96   Newcastle United 1997 13th 13th
1996–97   Newcastle United 1997 13th 13th
2001–02   Liverpool 2004 5th 3rd
2008–09   Liverpool 2010 7th 6th
2013–14   Liverpool 2015 8th  

Mr Gazidis went on, in the interview, to say that (in the words of the Telegraph) “one of the lessons throughout football last season was the gains that could be made not in the “messiah complex” of a manager or star player but the structures inside a club.”

Now I found that very interesting since Untold has been arguing all season that buying players and changing managers is not the way to win titles.  Our analysis on players, you may recall, showed that only 25% of players brought in for a big fee, became top players at their new club in the first year.  25% at the other end, never recovered their earlier form.  The rest did deliver, but only by their second or third year.

Mr Gazidis is quoted further as saying, “What is clear is that the big spending was not the solution to all problems.  It was clever spending and a lot of ‘difference makers’ underneath the surface.”

The newspaper adds that those ‘difference makers’ include fitness and medical departments, psychology, analytics and youth development.

Speaking of injuries Mr Gazidis said that the soft tissue problems were actually at “historically low levels” and that more freakish impacts were the bigger issue. “But we still have to ask ourselves difficult questions: Did we have the right squad depth for certain difficult functions? We have a good idea of where we feel we fell short and where we feel we did well.

“Because we have a highly-visible manager who represents so much continuity, there is a misplaced belief that things don’t change. There has been tremendous change within, fully embraced and led by Arsène.”

I don’t have detailed analyses of all Arsenal’s injuries for the season, but the injury league table from showed these figures based on the simple notion of one player out for one week is one point on the chart.

Pos Club No of injury points Final League pos
1 Newcastle United 397 18
2 Liverpool 284  8
3 Everton 248 11
4 Manchester United 243  5
5 Arsenal 239  2
6 Bournemouth 224 16 
7 Manchester City 211  4
8 Aston Villa 204 20
9 Crystal Palace 204 15
10 Stoke City 196  9
11 West Ham Utd 185  7
12 Southampton 165  6
13 Tottenham Hotspur 149  3
14 Chelsea 134 10 
15 Sunderland 132 17 
16 Watford 130 13
17 West Bromwich Albion 127 14
18 Norwich City 109 19
19 Leicester City 77  1
20 Swansea City 49 12 

There is little evidence of a link between injuries and league position although Leicester’s success might well be down to injury luck, and Newcastle’s relegation to a lack of luck.  Three of the top seven teams in terms of injuries were in the top five in league positions.  The three relegated clubs were 1st, 8th and 18th in the injury league table.  It’s hard to find a link.

Mr Gazidis also said that Stan Kroenke encouraged squad investment and noted the arrival of Özil, Sánchez, Petr Cech and now Xhaka in successive summers. “We have very high aspirations and care deeply,” he said. “But we don’t have an owner who storms the corridors on a Monday, who calls the manager and says, ‘Why aren’t you starting this player?’ and enjoys high-fiving 26-year-old athletes. To me, that’s good.”

Personally, I think this is rather encouraging.  Working on our own, Untold has come to the conclusion that the simplistic answers of changing the manager and buying star players is not the solution that the media and the bloggettas like to suggest.  The media in all its forms does this because it makes for an easy life.  It goes like this…
1.  Find a list of players,
2.  Suggest Arsenal are looking at some of them,
3.  Note the player then stays put,
4.  Suggest Arsenal were too mean to buy.  
5.  Note the player goes elsewhere; suggest Arsenal were “too slow”.
But as I noted above, we have shown that managerial changes generally don’t work and star player changes generally take several years to make a difference.
There was also one other point in the interview with Ivan Gazidis that really fascinated me – the issue of the supposed discontent in the ground.  Season ticket renewals are never made public, and of course you can understand why, but this comment from Mr Gazidis was telling, I thought.

“Our renewal rate on season tickets is higher historically this year than ever. I don’t use that to say all fans are happy, but most people are not engaging daily on social media and their opinions are much more nuanced than it might seem.

“What’s quite difficult is that once people have created a story in their own mind, their own confirmation biases will kick in. It’s true of all of us. My confirmation bias is we are a club making progress. Our ambition is to win the Premier League but we have had our best finish in years and two FA Cups in three seasons.”

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34 comments to The Ivan Gazidis interview, what happens when a successful manager leaves, and do injuries determine success?

  • Ajay

    Lovely analysis as always Tony. The tables tell the tale Gazidis was trying to put across. I see Arsenals time at Highbury as a star in the sky that has come to it’s shining end but will always burn brightly in our hearts. The Emirates is a new born star, starting to spread it’s luminescence and will take time for it shine as brightly as the Highbury did. We must allow it do so at it’s own time. Because no matter what you will Rome was not built in a day.

  • colario

    Not mentioned here are sponsors and takeovers.

    Below is a link that is mainly about sponsors in football. Near the end it is about the role of the FA in vetting would be takeovers of football clubs.

    the link is to a BBC radio program called ‘File on Four and it covers to the two subjects I’ve mentioned

  • colario

    The FA’s role in vetting is to say to the applicant ‘Tell us about yourself’. There no questioning of the applicant or the FA doing its own investigation into the applicant.

  • Pete


    Thanks – interesting. I will revert on injuries in a few moments. But first, I noted – from the original transcript – that Gazidis also referred to people “blaming referees”. He didn’t endorse or deny that this is a factor but the mere fact that he mentioned it must show that he is conscious that it may be a factor.

  • Pete

    Re injuries.

    I think there IS a definite correlation between injuries and ultimate outcome against expected performance. Unfortunately, I don’t have the data to hand on expected outcomes (driven, I believe, primarily by wages). So not completely evidence-based (sorry) but will give it a spin…

    Newcastle – I have noted before that a huge, likely crucial, factor in their relegation has been injuries. Newcastle have had absolutely the worst record for years. Clearly have a huge issue up there – and their failure to address has finally led to them falling through the trapdoor.

    Liverpool – I think 8th is an underachievement for them.

    Everton – 11th also an underachievement.

    Man Utd – 5th is an underachievement.

    Arsenal – 2nd is an overachievement – maybe we are used to dealing with injuries?!

    Bournemouth – 16th definitely an overachievement.

    Man City – 4th is an underachievement.

    Aston Villa – 20th (and a pretty woeful 20th at that) certainly impacted by injuries.

    Crystal Palace – slight underachievement, and slightly worse injuries than the average.

    Stoke – about right.

    West Ham – slight overachievement given average injuries.

    Southampton – overachievement.

    Tottenham – overachievement.

    Chelsea – pathetic season and can’t use injuries as an excuse either.

    Sunderland – a weak squad – 17th possibly an overachievement.

    Watford – an overachievement.

    WBA – possibly a slight overachievement.

    Norwich – underachievement.

    Leicester – no comment!

    Swansea – finished relatively high likely helped by few injuries.

    Therefore, I would say that 16 of the 20 teams had their finishing position impacted, to a greater or lesser degree, by the injuries they did (or didn’t) suffer.

    Arsenal and Bournemouth over-achieved despite high injury rates, while Chelsea and Norwich under-achieved despite relatively few injuries.

    Cheers, Pete (the original – see earlier thread).

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    Good morning Sir Mr Attwood. I believe the current agitation now by the Arsenal’s AOB fans has in the interim, shifted from changing the manager but to sign enough marquee players to revamp the not looking to be very strong Arsenal squad to enabled them have a better chance at taking a good shot at winning the BPL title.

    It has been this lack of the signing of enough marquee players in their own thinking that has given rise to a group of Arsenal supporters known as the AOBs.

    I like Ivan Gazidis choice of the word ‘clever spending’ and I like to substitute it with the word, wise spending.

    If only the Arsenal hierarchies have been more transparent in the financial state of the club with the Arsenal fans, maybe the AKBs vs the AOBs duels at Arsenal would not have been taking place.

    We have all come to know later that Arsenal have not yet repaid all the bank loans they took to build the Ems despite us been told that they’ve paid the loans and are in a strong position to sign-in top players and not have to again sell theirs for lack of operating money.

    But according to some comments postings I’ve read on this site, Arsenal have to rely on drawing bank overdraft to do their transfers this summer. But I don’t know if that story is true or not.

    Whichever ways it finally went, I want to think that Fleetwood FC should still get the £6.8m a crude to them if Vardy is sold by Leicester. Arsenal have triggered Vardy’s release clause at Leicester and Vardy has agreed terms with Arsenal. But report has it that Leicester are countering the transfer of Vardy to Arsenal with their own improved deal for Vardy. I am not a lawyer. But in my own layman thinking, I would have thought Vardy has stood transfered even if Leicester succeeded at making him to remain with them, (God forbids) Fleetwood should therefore be paid by Leicester for refusing Vardy’s legitimate transfer to Arsenal.

    Nevertheless, while awaiting the outcome of Vardy’s transfer to us,:I want to encourage the Boss to move on to his next transfer target and trigger the release clause of that target for a possible successful deal to be concluded without getting into a holdup again.

  • insideright

    What might improve the correlation between injuries and league position is to throw in the number of games that the club in question was required to play. Leicester for instance had few injuries and played few games (none in Europe and were knocked out of domestic competitions relatively early). Playing in the Champions League every season (and being the only club to do so) has been great for Arsenals finances but has stretched resources and fitness levels to the maximum. In theory those finances could have been used to bolster resources at player level but have (rightly in my view) been used to ensure that we can now pay the mortgage between now and 2028 without recourse to any annual revenues. This means that all income from now on can go to improving short and long term available resource. It is an astonishingly strong position to be in especially given the relative position of others.

  • Pat

    Ivan Gazidis’s interview emphasises the complex range of aspects the whole Arsenal team, led by the manager, are taking into account all the while in aiming for success.

    A lot of these are mentioned throughout the year in Arsene Wenger’s interviews on the Arsenal web site. However, the small minority of vocal fans who insist the answer to everything is replacing the manager will not be reading or listening to what he says.

    The parts of Ivan Gazidis’s interview quoted in Tony’s last two paragraphs are a particularly interesting analysis of how fans feel. As he is giving an interview to the press he does not mention the influence of the constant negative media coverage of Arsenal on the fans’ mood, but Untold Arsenal has frequently drawn attention to this negative coverage.

    I’ve got one example. The Arsenal web site pointed out that when Jack Wilshere came on as a substitute in a recent England match, he gave the pass to the player who gave the assist for the only goal. This fact was not mentioned in the report I read (in the Telegraph). In fact, Jack wasn’t even given a score for his performance despite coming on in the 66th minute.

    Up to then, all the coverage in the paper had been how risky it was to take Jack at all and how other players should go instead, disregarding how many times in recent appearances Jack had been man of the match – a good reason for Roy Hodgson to take him.

    So the Telegraph has done us all a big favour in conducting the interview with Ivan Gazidis. But it needs to be more objective and less negative in its general coverage of Arsenal.

  • Robert

    Samuel, the bank loans for the stadium have another twenty years or so to run at a cost of around 19m a year (interest and capital repayments). That info is readily available in the published accounts. Arsenal never said the loans had been repaid – that came from some uninformed idiot.

    And no, Arsenal are not relying on overdrafts to fund transfers. That came from an unknown click-bait financial services outfit. Arsenal have the highest cash reserves in the football world, so they could, theoretically, fund say 150m in transfers from cash this summer. I say theoretically because nobody outside the Club knows why they are holding such massive reserves. In any case, transfers are typically paid for in 3 or so annual instalments. So, again hypothetically, a transfer budget/fund/war chest this summer of 150m would mean 50m paid in cash this summer.

  • Pete

    Robert – yes. But at the cost of future transfer budgets. We would be taking on debt in the form of liabilities to the selling club(s). I’m not sure what the loan covenants are in this respect?

    The best estimate I have seen is that we have a “war chest” of £80mm this summer. Of this, £35mm has already been spent on Xhaka. We may be able to realise some more with sales. But I wouldn’t be surprised if we do spend the bulk of it – probably on a striker and a centre back. I suspect we could go a bit higher than net £80mm spend – but probably not much.

    If you look at our overall P&L for the last few years you can see that we have been broadly flat. So we are spending what we’re earning – but are also maintaining a reserve.

    The club is definitely NOT trying to make a profit on the playing side of things.

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    Thanks for your authentic financial clarifications at Arsenal. Which is looking strong and not weak as has been erroneously made to believe by some people.

    I think Arsenal will sign 3 marquee players this summer in according to the Boss’s comment during one of his press conferences he had with the media towards the end of last season.

    Therefore, 3 top top quality of, striker, midfielder and CB are believed will be signed this summer by the Boss for Arsenal. But Arsenal are still been linked by the media with the likely signing of some mid fielders after they’ve signed Xhaka. And he hasn’t yet signed a CB and in my own wish, sign a top quality LB too.

    I think £100m should be okay for the Boss to do 5 top quality signings for Arsenal this Summer, one of whom will eventually be Vardy I pray.

  • Robert

    Pete, the loan covenants require a debt service reserve of 35m. That’s the only constraint on our cash reserves specified in the annual accounts. The November interim accounts stated we have outstanding player transfer liabilities of 45m – but we’ll have to wait for the May annual accounts to see by how much the 45m has gone down.

    Any estimate of this summer’s war chest is just uninformed speculation, frankly, because nobody outside the Club knows why it has built up such huge cash reserves. The only facts we have are that Rosicky and Arteta have left the Club, Flamini is presumed likely to follow and Welbeck is out for the best part of the season. Add to that the statements from Gazidis and Wenger that we can/will buy world class players as replacements and/or upgrades and simplistic arithmetic gives you a figure of 120m based on 30m average per player times four. But who knows? I certainly don’t.

    Next year, our TV income will rise by at least 50m and commercial income should rise too. I doubt wage increases will eat into that significantly so our P&L should look better – and our cash reserves would increase. In other words, future transfer budgets will not be affected by major spend this summer.

  • colario

    The media go to great lengths to knock Arsenal and to belittle or ignore completely the good work the club does. It has been like this for years.

    Every so often they publish an article that goes in reverse of their Arsenal habit, which of course enables them to claim that they do not have a bias against Arsenal.

    It reminds me of the Watchtower cult which back in 1968 started claiming that the world would in 1975. They adamant about this, however along side their adamant claim they also would also add that know could be certain.

    When the world survived 1975, the Watchtower of course quoted where they had said it was not a certainty and blamed its followers for getting ‘carried away’ with wrongful certainty.

    I am glad the DT published this and I hope it has been read by many who are now better informed about Arsenal.

    Bernard Joy near the end of his book ‘Forward Arsenal’ says much the same about the club as the DT has published in its interview with Ivan Gazidis.

    The DT surely knows that the one factual article it publishes about Arsenal doesn’t blind some of us to the almost daily rubbish it publishes about Arsenal.

  • ARSENAL 13

    Nobody outside the club can say why we have such a big cash reserve,

    BUT, any business needs to have a healthy cash reserve for daily expenses. And other expenses which are paid on day to day (monthly/quarterly) basis.

    Maybe we preparing for the eventual burst of the football bubble.

  • Jambug

    The individual nuances of arriving players is misleading when used in the argument regarding whether spending money is the key factor in a clubs success or not.

    Yes, a record signing may bomb and a bargain, or even a freebie may excel.

    That is the nature of the beast when buying players.

    Similarly with changing manager. Get it wrong and success could well elude you, until you get it right.

    But the fact that since Arsenals last title, and Leicester’s amazing success this year, the only 3 teams to win the Premiership are the top 3 spenders, namely Man Utd, Man City and Chelsea.

    Those same 3 have also dominated the 2 domestic cups.

    Of course there are anomalies.

    Portsmouth, Birmingham and Wigan winning cups. But come on, knock out competitions such as Cups are notorious for throwing up such anomalies, but even so, just 3 won by Clubs outside the financially elite is hardly proof that not spending ‘big’ is the way to go for success is it?

    And also changing manager may not be great for continuity, but, both Chelsea and City have done so on a fairly regular basis and it hasn’t stopped them being 2 significant parts of the trio that has so dominated the domestic scene for such a long time.

    And okay, United have struggled since Fergie left, despite spending a small Nations annual import budget, but they will get it right. And what’s more they are more likely to get it right if they keep throwing £50 to £100 Million at the problem every Summer.

    Honestly, is the argument here that prudence and good housekeeping will eventually win United the day over money?


    Another argument that is thrown up is to look at what certain managers achieve at ‘lesser’ Clubs with much much smaller budgets. Fine, their ability may enable them to over achieve, but apart from this last season with Leicester, how many actually win anything?

    Well as I pointed out, very very few.

    And what do nearly all these managers do the second they get a chance? That’s right, move to a ‘bigger’ Club, or rather that is, a ‘richer’ club.

    Pochachino and now Koeman it seems have both done exactly that.

    Why is that do you think? Southampton are obviously a brilliantly run Club but these guys are not stupid. They know if they want to have any chance of ‘winning’ things, especially the title, they HAVE to go to a Club with more money.

    So in conclusion.

    I don’t need to be told, yet again, that not all big money transfers work. I know that.

    I don’t need to be told that changing a manger doesn’t guarantee success. I know that.

    I just want to know why, if money is so irrelevant, have the 3 biggest spenders over the last 15 years won all but one of the titles, and even a large majority of the notoriously fickle cup competitions?

    WHY is that do you think ?

  • Pete

    Jambug – Why?

    I would argue that those 3 clubs had such superior financial resources that their squad values were so far ahead that they could afford a few duff buys and managerial instability. Chelsea’s bill for managerial (and associated) compensation must be pushing £150mm now!

    The difference now is that the smaller clubs have much more (relatively) significant budgets. Therefore the League has “levelled up” and missteps by the financial elite are much more likely to be punished.

    Still, can’t be confident of this trend until we have had a couple more seasons under the new financial regime. But that is my gut feel.

    The way to test this will be to check:

    i) the points spread (standard deviation around the mean); and

    ii) correlation of finishing position with overall revenue (or wages or wages+transfer spend).

    I suspect that i) will shrink and ii) will weaken.

    Let’s see! Perhaps one of our more statistically-literate readers (Gord?) can have a look?

  • Notoverthehill

    Within 2 years, over 80% of the Arsenal players’ registration fees are settled!

    Nicolas Anelka, had a mortgage taken out to cover his registration to Real Madrid in February, 2000. Within a year, Anelka was transferred again.

    By the 11th July, 2002, David Miles had confirmed Mortgage satisfaction.

    Real Madrid was a slow payers, therefore the mortgage was taken out with the Royal Bank of Scotland.

    The arsenal have contracts with a significant number of staff, with the majority being players. The salaries are guaranteed for the complete year, if the contract is honoured. Including Ivan Gazidis and Mr Wenger! A guaranteed annual expenditure of, a rough guess £70 millions.

    Most of the staff will be on a notice on either side, of one month?

    The Season Ticket Holders payments, in advance are collected and held by a subsidiary company. This money is held on trust for the Bondholders, and drawn down as the home matches are played.

    As an accountant, I can forecast the likely Quick Cash available, if I know the aged Debtors and Creditors due receipts and payments. Usually the 60 day columns!

    With the Arsenal, it is possible to guestimate based on the half-yearly and full year accounts, for 5 years at least.

    I have the annual accounts for the subsidiary companies within the Arsenal Holdings portfolio, where available.

    In crude terms, we have to deduct the Bondholders’ capital and interest reserves, the season tickets prepayments and 3 months (June, July and August) expense less meagre receipts. As a prudent business person, we are left with Özil, or Sanchez or Xhaka?

    IF, there is a fire or other event to close The Emirates, then an insurance policy will come into play.

    IF, Sky or BT goes bust, what then?

    The fans who support the club, come what may, are the fail-safe element.

  • Jambug


    Thanks for your reply.

    The point is, the argument about money not being particularly significant has been made regarding the last 10/15 years, and taking statistics from that period to support that argument, not really about the future, but I’ll address that as well anyway.

    Either way, I don’t agree with the arguments being made because, as I said above, just taking specific occurrences, such as the ones I’ve listed bellow, is grossly misleading.

    -A club spending a fortune then failing to win the PL.

    -A club buying a marque playing then failing to win the PL.

    -A team changing manager then failing to win the PL.

    I know all the above can, and have happened, but my argument is, and always has been, that it is high, and more importantly, SUSTAINED spending on transfers that will lead to success.

    Spasmodic ‘binge’ spending will almost certainly not, as proved by Liverpool and Spurs. But even given that, those 2 sides are still the 2 Clubs, along with us, hanging on to the coat tails of the 3 who can, and do, sustain mega spending.

    Moving on to the future, I agree that the extra finances available to all the other clubs could impact on the top 4. But do you really believe it will be somebody other than City, Chelsea or Man Utd that will win the PL?

    Okay maybe, but outside them, who?


    Maybe, but guess what? It probably depends how much we spend, and of course on who.


    Maybe, but again, guess what, it probably depends how much they spend and on who.


    Ditto above.

    Spurs are a great example of what I’m saying actually.

    Spurs, as we all know to our glee, famously blew the title and then 2nd.

    Do you really think if they don’t spend, and I mean spend big, they will still be in the top 4, even 6, next season?

    Leicester? Even if they keep all there title winning side together I give them close to nil chance of finishing top 6.

    So even with the possibility of the field ‘bunching up’ a bit due to more money (There you go again, it’s all down to money) I will be very very surprised if the title isn’t being fought over by the usual suspects come May.

    Pete, if your life depended on it what would be your top 6 for next season, and the order they will finish in?

    Seems a fair question doesn’t it, but as I typed I thought, is it? How can you do it now? I bet the first thing you thought was, it depends who they buy this Summer, or to put it another way, how much they spend. Go on, be honest, I bet that’s the first thing you thought.

    It depends who they buy?

  • Robert

    “I don’t need to be told, yet again, that not all big money transfers work. I know that.”

    “I don’t need to be told that changing a manger doesn’t guarantee success. I know that.”
    And this.

    “I just want to know why, if money is so irrelevant, have the 3 biggest spenders over the last 15 years won all but one of the titles, and even a large majority of the notoriously fickle cup competitions?”
    As much as Untold purports to like facts, that one is never used – and yet it’s the most important.

    You could go further. In the first 12 years of the PL (Pre-Financial Doping Era), the richest club won the league 8 times (Man U), the second richest at that time (probably?) won it 3 times (Arsenal) and Blackburn won it once with their own version of financial doping-lite.

  • Polo

    Here’s a link where Gazidis explain why the cash reserve is high. Now, either you believe him or not is your choice but please keep an open mind.

  • Robert

    “The difference now is that the smaller clubs have much more (relatively) significant budgets. Therefore the League has “levelled up” and missteps by the financial elite are much more likely to be punished.”

    Pete, while it’s true that all PL clubs will be better off when the new TV deal kicks in this coming season, it won’t allow the smaller clubs to buy teams of world class players – just one-off purchases like Payet. Think of what Gold said today: West Ham could have bid 20m for Vardy, but they weren’t prepared to pay the wages Arsenal have offered because it would screw up their club wage structure.

  • Jambug


    “You could go further. In the first 12 years of the PL (Pre-Financial Doping Era), the richest club won the league 8 times (Man U), the second richest at that time (probably?) won it 3 times (Arsenal) and Blackburn won it once with their own version of financial doping-lite.”

    Good point, although I would doubt we where the 2nd richest Club at the time of Wengers arrival in 1996. I would of thought that was Liverpool.

    Between our famous double in 1970-71 and Wengers arrival in ’96 we had won:

    2 League Titles

    2 FA Cups

    1 League Cup

    1 UEFA Cup

    Liverpool on the other hand over the same period had won considerably more with:

    11 League Titles

    4 FA Cups

    5 League Cups

    4 European Cups

    2 UEFA Cups

    Liverpool where not only massive in Britain, but throughout Europe. In fact it is this period, and the stature it afforded them, that they still live off to this very day.

    I also believe they had financial connections to Littlewoods, the Football Pools people, though I don’t believe it was in any way shape or form similar to what we see now with regards to financial sponsoring from outside business.

    As I understood it, around the time Wenger arrived we where on a fairly level financial playing field with the likes of Spurs and Everton, though I have no data to support that, and it is, was, thanks to Wenger that we set out on this meteoric rise to the World wide stature we have now attained.

  • Andy Mack

    I don’t think anyone can argue that long term consistently spending obscene amounts of money should result in success to at least PL level.
    But the amounts Chavski, $iteh and even Dis-Utd have ploughed into their squad over the last 20 years have been multiples beyond the amounts we’ve had during that time and more than we’ll have for a few years to come.
    However chavski and $iteh are also good examples that spending shedloads for 1 or 2 seasons doesn’t result in guaranteed success either. Both of those clubs spent heavily for 5+ years before they reached the success that their multiple owners had intended for them. When we’re in a position to spend that type of money then I’d expect our success to arrive a bit quicker than 5 Years as we’ve a very strong base to build on (Despite the aaa whinging), but we may not need to go that far money-wise…
    $iteh spent over £150m last summer for an outstanding result of 4th.
    Whilst Chavski only spent £70m for… wherever they ended up.
    We spent 15 (inc Elneny)…
    I expect Siteh and Chavski will do better next season, even if they don’t spend £1 but it’s the years and years of investment which will see them improve as much (if not more than) any purchases they make this summer.
    We haven’t been in a position to spend money in that way.

  • Andy Mack

    Should say
    “I don’t think anyone can argue that long term consistently spending obscene amounts of money doesn’t result in success to at least PL level”

  • Jambug

    Abramovich took over in 2003.

    Andy Mack

    “However chavski and $iteh are also good examples that spending shedloads for 1 or 2 seasons doesn’t result in guaranteed success either. Both of those clubs spent heavily for 5+ years before they reached the success that their multiple owners had intended for them.”

    Sorry Andy but this is not really correct is it.

    Abramovich took control of Chelsea in 2003.

    Chelsea won the title 2004/05 & 2005/06

    ADUG took over at Man City in 2008

    Man City won the FA Cup in 2010/11 followed by the title in 2011/12

    So it took Chelsea one year to spend there way to a title.

    It took City 2 years, but they took in an FA Cup in the interim, and they of course where competing against Chelsea who already had there windfall.

  • Jambug

    The thing is with this ‘mega’ spending, the more that do it the tougher it gets to win things, despite the enormous figures spent.

    For example, if say 6 Clubs start spending £50 Million every Summer one might never win the PL, one might win it 3 times in a row. But because one doesn’t win a thing does that then mean ‘Mega’ spending doesn’t work? Of course not. What it means is that once 6 Clubs are on a level footing financially, other factors, such as manager, injuries, youth policy, etc. start to have more effect.

    But if 6 clubs are spending on average 5 to 10 times everybody else’s budget, as has been happening with 3 Clubs already, rest assured just about all the domestic trophies will be carved up by them, albeit maybe not equally.

    Money will out in the end.

  • Andy Mack

    Jambug, Chavski had a load of investment for 5/6 years before that. They didn’t get players like Hoddle, Viali and Gullit on peanuts investment…

  • Andy Mack

    $iteh had a Thai guy chucking money at them for some years before the Oil money turned up. A lot of Thai money.

  • Andy Mack

    Just had a quick look on transfer league tables.
    $iteh spent 33m in 01/2 then some quieter years (but still average spends compared to others) then in 7/8 before the Oil money they spent 45m (followed by 130m the year the oil money kicked in). That’s a shed load of money for a team which wasn’t fighting for honours.

    Chavski spent between 10 and 15 per summer until 99/00 when the threw 45m around to get a few players including Hasselbank and Sutton. Then 26, 15 and finally when the Russians money came they spent 150m on 3/4.
    Again, 10-15 was above average for a team which weren’t fighting for honours. Yes Dis-Utd and ourselves spent more some years but we were both seriously fighting for the PL.

  • austinpaul

    Arsenal for me nd those who appreciate consistency,organisation, development nd financial prudence is d model of success any club must aspire bcos over d years Arsenal has accomplished comprehensively wat makes oda clubs, players,managers,organisations et al envious,Arsenal is unique nd a stand out in all ramifications; my fears nd concerns are for d future wen AW eventually exits I hope we find a fittiing replacement even though Gadizi’s media chat has depicted recognition for my position;sincerely, I foresee titles coming in henceforth beginning frm 2016/17 season bcos Arsenal has bin growing steadily nd now its tym for reaping while am hoping nd praying for adequate nd fitting addiitions dis summer to consumate all work of d previous seasons! Gunners ya!!!

  • Jambug

    Andy Mack

    I would like to know where you get your figures from. The following is from

    Chelsea Net Spending

    96/97….6.4 Million (Loss)

    97/98…10.0 Million (Loss)

    98/99….1.5 Million (PROFIT)

    99/00…37.0 Million (Loss)

    00/01….2.6 Million (PROFIT)

    01/02….8.3 Million (Loss)

    02/03….0.5 Million (PROFIT)

    Therefore we have a SEVEN year aggregate Net spend, prior to the £153,000,000 net spend (Loss) in season 03/04 when Abramovich arrived, of a mere £58 Million, or just over £8 Million per season.

    Since RA arrival Chelseas annual net spend for the following 10 years was £50 Million PER SEASON

    How you can possibly contest they where spending ‘BIG’ even relatively prior to RA’s arrival, compared to post his arrival is beyond me.

    Can I see your source for your figures?

  • Jambug

    Andy Mack

    Just to clarify.

    Haven’t looked at City, but regarding Chelsea, an annual Nett spend of £8 Million per season does not fit with your statement:

    “Both of those clubs spent heavily for 5+ years”

    Okay, even if you are saying £8 Million was relatively high for the time it can under no circumstances be classed ‘Heavy’ when compared to the ‘Mega’ spending we’ve seen since RA’s arrival, which is what we are talking about.

    My argument is that once there spending started to outstrip everyone else by 5 to 10 times success came almost overnight, in Chelsea’s case just one season, in Cities 2.

    To insinuate that it took 5+ years of this kind of ‘mega’ spending to reap rewards, which is what you are doing, is misleading.

    Obviously the more that join the ‘mega’ spenders the harder it is to start winning things. As I said earlier, if there is say 6 ‘Mega’ spenders, even sharing things equally between them it could still take 6 years to win the PL. Get other things wrong and you may still never win it.

    Taking it to it’s logical conclusion, if every Club had a Billionaire benefactor 3 ‘Mega’ spenders would even be relegated.

    This is where it all falls down because there is a finite number of ‘Mega’ spenders that can be sustained, because there is no way an Abramovich types will keep piling in £100’s of Millions to finish 4th, 5th 6th, or god forbid get relegated.

  • Andy Mack

    Jambug, I was looking at Gross spend. Nett spend always looks better when you’re selling expensive ‘named’ players a bit cheaper just because they weren’t a success at that team. Having said that, 8m per season is notably above average for the PL at that time.
    Yes, As I said, the real big money came with the Russina and Arab Oil Money.

    I could actually go further back and point out their above average net spend FOR THEIR POSITION IN THE LEAGUE/ACHEIVEMENTS (sorry but that is important as their spend isn’t necessarily big compared to the successful teams of the time) since the PL started.
    They (Like $iteh) weren’t a successful side. It’s like West Brom spending amounts close to a top 4 team. By spending they moved up to a level where they had a decent squad that could compete for the cups but not the depth to challenge for the league.
    $iteh had done similar since the Thai Billionaire bought them in the mid 90s.

    Without that serious investment year in year out (for their ‘rank’ in the PL) they wouldn’t have had the platform for the real money to be as effective as quickly.
    Give Bournemouth 500m to send this summer and they won’t suddenly be successful next season. They probably wouldn’t be ‘PL’ successful for 5 or 6 years and they start from a far higher level than $iteh or the Chavs did when the PL started.

  • Jambug

    Nett is the ONLY figure you can use.

    I’m sorry but the fact you used gross in the first place totally undermines your argument from the start.

    My point is, and always has been, that both Chelsea and Cities success (talking about League titles here really) only began once they started ‘Mega’ spending.

    I’m sorry but to suggest they where already spending ‘big’ prior to that is simply not true.

    Even IF Chelseas annual net spend of £8 Million per season for the 7 seasons prior to RA arrival was ‘above average’, to suggest it was in anyway a contributing factor to the success that followed, just doesn’t hold water.

    In one season Chelsea had a net spend almost double that of those seven years added together.

    For the 10 years following RA arrival, in which Chelsea where successful, there net spending was edging towards 10 times that of prior to his arrival.

    Anyway, I’ve said all this before and you’re not convinced so I suppose we’ll have to agree to disagree.