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To spend money on players, that money has to come from somewhere. How Arsenal earns its income.

By Tony Attwood

There’s a lot of talk around about Arsenal have the highest ticket prices on the planet and yet won’t buy the players “need” to help Arsenal win the league.

As with so much in football, such a statistic is misleading – both in terms of ticket prices and in terms of overall financial performance.  I thought that I might try and explain a little.

Clubs, as we all know, can get money from

  • The match day
  • Domestic and overseas broadcasting deals
  • Prize money for league table position, FA cup results, Champions League results
  • Commercial revenue from sponsors
  • The club owners.

In the briefest summary, Arsenal are just about top of the league in terms of match day income because the Emirates was built to accommodate very wealthy individuals and companies buying the most expensive seats, as well as regular fans, and because it is a comparatively large stadium.  So when people talk of the most expensive club to watch, they are talking of the overall income per game, the cost of the very expensive seats which come with full wining and dining, or the total take on the day.  Comparing like for like is difficult because some clubs in older stadia have “restricted view” seats which are cheaper than Arsenal’s. 

On the other hand in terms of income from the largesse of the owner Arsenal are near the bottom of the league, although not at the very bottom.

Let’s start in detail with the owner issue.  Arsenal’s owner purchased the shares in the club and as I understand it takes a payment of around £3m per year for consultancy fees which are fully declared on the books.  It may not be liked by some supporters, but it is legit, and that’s how it is.

Indeed this is fairly mid-range in terms of what is possible.  At the top end of donations we have Chelsea and Man City, at the top of the “taking money out” league is Man U.

Roman Abramovich, in the season before last,  increased his interest-free loan to Chelsea to £1.097bn since 2003.  As a result Chelsea paid out the most in wages in the Premier League, despite having an income lower than Manchester United, Manchester City and Arsenal. But money can’t always buy titles or equanimity as last season saw with the Eva Carneiro affair, the departure of the manager and 10th place in the league.

Manchester City have Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan who has spent £1.232bn since he bought the club in 2008. And that money is still pouring in.  In 2014-15 alone Mansour invested £80m and City have become part of a four-club franchise based in Australia, New York, the Middle East and Manchester.

One can of course crave for investors such as these, or one might have doubts about using money in this way, and one might indeed argue for alternative uses for such money in the home country of the investors, but that is a matter of one’s ethical standpoint.

At the other extreme – the extreme of removing money from the club – we have Manchester United.

In 2008-09, Man U paid £69m interest on the £525m loans the Glazers imposed when buying United in 2005. In 2015 this was down to £35m interest not because the loans had halved (they still owed £411m) but because interest rates were down.   With a huge turnover from worldwide marketing Man United then spent net £97m on players and ended up outside the Champions League.

So yes, some might cast an eye at Chelsea and Man C and wish Arsenal were like that with an owner who would invest unheard of billions.  And such investment can bring in titles – although as we have seen, these are not guaranteed.  But the reality is we don’t have that model, nor the opposite model of an owner who takes money out of a club such as Man U.

Man U’s financial success comes from the fact that they developed their worldwide marketing long before other clubs thought of it.  Again we might blame Arsenal’s past boards of directors for not being so inventive, or we might praise the memory of Sir Henry Norris for building a new stadium for the club in 1913, which enabled the club to become the biggest earner in the league in the 1930s and secured our long term future in the top division.  But however we see it, it makes no difference and we have what we have.

What we might see however is that with resources that are far smaller than Man C, Man U and Chelsea, last season we managed to come above all three of them in the league.  One might consider that could be a moment of pleasure, the proof that money alone doesn’t buy the league.

And yet the reverse has happened, and oddly some fans of the club, goaded on by the media, want Arsenal to adopt the model which has been taken to unheard of extremes, and yet failed last season.  (Of course that doesn’t mean it will fail again this season, but we do know it is no more guaranteed to be successful than any other system).

Certainly we can be sure that for the moment Arsenal’s financial model won’t change under the current owner, but we cannot be sure that any other manager will do better with the resources available than the current manager or his financial team.

Arsenal were the biggest earners from the Premier League last season, making £100,952,257.  Here’s the table of what the League gave its clubs….

Arsenal £100,952,257
Man City £96,971,603
Man Utd £96,477,120
Tottenham £95,222,320
Leicester £93,219,598
Liverpool £90,506,139
Chelsea £87,273,407
West Ham £85,765,168
Southampton £84,763,807
Everton £83,039,314
Stoke £79,540,748
Swansea £75,813,533
Watford £74,571,128
West Brom £73,328,723
Newcastle £72,846,635
Crystal Palace £72,086,318
Sunderland £71,845,274
Bournemouth £70,843,913
Norwich £67,116,698
Aston Villa £66,622,215
 

Leicester got less than Arsenal because although they got the most prize money, for coming top, they received £9m less than Arsenal in facility fees as only 15 of their matches featured live on television, whereas Arsenal got 27 live games.

We don’t have 2015/16 figures for other sorts of income but in the year before there was the £100.4 million from match day revenue – also the highest in the league (as noted above).  And beyond that commercial revenue jumped from £77m in 2012/13 to £103.3 million in 2014/15.

Some years ago I had the temerity to argue with Swiss Ramble – the blogger who is quite rightly considered the expert on financial football matters, arguing that Arsenal’s financial future was bright as the club still had a long way to go in raising its income.  I argued it had under achieved during the time at Highbury and the early days at the Ems when it had accepted reduced front loaded payments for marketing, in order to pay off more debt more quickly. 

I predicted then that once those deals were over Arsenal’s marketing revenue would rise – and indeed aside from money given by oil rich billionaires this is the one way clubs have of increasing their wealth in comparison with other clubs.

Doing well on the pitch (Arsenal earned an extra £1.2m from coming second rather than third last season) and having a highly presentable marketing proposition, are the factors that differentiate the clubs, once we get beyond the largesse of the owner.

Overseas television revenue and central commercial revenue are also divided across the teams, paying out another £29.4m and £4.5m respectively to every club – but playing in the Champions League does bring in extra.

Indeed it is highly ironic that the same people who chant “Spend some fucking money” also announce that “Fourth is not a trophy.”  And yet “fourth” (or third or second) is what brings in a lot of the money that they want spent.

Arsenal are seventh in the Football Money League, with all that money earned by the club.  Since the owner we have isn’t going to change his ways or sell his investment, that is that.  Some might complain, but rather like my presenting arguments with statistics, it won’t do any good to those who don’t understand numbers.

What we might notice however is exactly where we can get more money from – and this area as I suggested remains marketing.  If we just take one example – the shirt sponsorship arrangements for last season (I don’t have this season’s figures as yet) we could see a further jump in a few years time.  Here’s the top ten.

Pos Club Brand Annual income Period
1 MANCHESTER UNITED Chevrolet (US) £53m 2014-21
2 CHELSEA Yokohama (Japan) £40m 2015-20
3 ARSENAL Fly Emirates (UAE) £30m 2014-19
4 LIVERPOOL Standard Chartered £25m 2013-16
5 MAN CITY Etihad Airways (UAE) £20m 2011-21
6 TOTTENHAM AIA (China) £16m 2014-19
7 NEWCASTLE UTD Wonga (UK) £6m 2012-16
8 WEST HAM Betway (Malta) £6m 2015-17
9 EVERTON Chang Beer (Thailand) £5.3m 2005 – ?
10 ASTON VILLA Intuit Quickbooks (US) £5m 2013-2015

We are third, but a long way behind the two clubs above us.  So this is something that can be enhanced in 2019 – another chance to grow income, given the reality of the owner’s position.

Thus overall, Arsenal is developing its income – which is what is needed to pay for the higher salaries that are paid each year, and for when the next Ozil or Alexis comes along.  I’ve no idea when that will be, but when it comes along the money is there.  Had it not been earned through performance related income, we’d not have got as far as we have.

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61 comments to To spend money on players, that money has to come from somewhere. How Arsenal earns its income.

  • topanlesmana

    I didn’t know the details, but i always know that our club is the most financially healthy club in the PL. Also according to Credit Football League in 2015 Arsenal were the second most financially stable club IN THE WORLD. I don’t think that all counts for nothing. With the prospect of only getting better and better financially, i believe that the only way we can go is to the top, perhaps repeating the glory of the invincibles era of the 2003-04 season.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Blimey Tony, you shattered my dreams that money grows on trees…. 😉

    The thing is and that is something that is’nt understood by those shouting the loudest that IF the top player becomes available, then the money will be paid.
    But not just now when the shouters shout for it. But maybe behind closed doors we are preparing ourselves to break transfer records if all goes according to the plans behind closed doors.
    And if not… then it will be for the next transferwindow or the one after that….
    Hell as far as we know we might be saving it all up to buy Messi and Ronaldo at the same time… 🙂

  • Wolfgang

    Arsenal can get more money from marketing provided they are successful on the pitch.Nowadays sponsorships can bring in big money.
    Now if Arsenal are successful on the pitch by winning games as opposed to weaving intricate patterns,it could prove to be a money winner.
    To do that the gunners must win and win consistently. Then you don’t have to look for sponsors. Instead the latter will be looking for the gunners.
    Btw, Arsenal is apremium soccer brand but thanks to Wenger has started to atrophy.

  • nicky

    It may be legit but the £3m “consultancy” fee that Kroenke receives annually sticks in my ancient craw. The Board will have approved it if course, although with the major shareholder and his son sitting there, I can’t imagine there would have been much debate.
    There is something vaguely unworthy about the governance of Arsenal FC now. Far too much emphasis seems to rest on profit rather than on investment in order to succeed.
    Unfortunately, I cannot foresee a change at the top for some time. 😉

  • joe

    Walter money might not grow on trees but it certainly grows in Arsenals bank.I would be more inclined to believe swiss rambles report over tonys and what comes out of Gazidis’ and Wengers mouth.In feb this year we had over 160m to spend on transfers and after the television deal that amount will have risen quite substantially.That is one of the reasons why Arsenal are getting bad press and fans are venting their anger.

  • Leon

    Obviously we need to be successful to attract top sponsorship, and to become successful we have to invest in the team and to invest in the team we need top sponsorship money and to get top sponsorship money…….
    Catch22

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    I’ve just done a quick check, for the last financial year published for Man U they had a total income of just over £500m, ours was nearer £300. United have 70 listed partners across the world covering everything from their main sponsors to a Korean ready meal company and Honda who are their official motor cycle provider. In contrast Arsenal have fewer than 30 partners.

    Tony, you are absolutely correct in identifying this area as one where we need to greatly expand our efforts and hence income. Even if the lesser partners only contribute 0.5-2m each it will quickly add up. Maybe you should put together a pitch to Ivan to assist in Arsenal getting more business?

  • Pat

    Wolfgang

    What is your factual basis for saying that under Arsene Wenger our club has ‘started to atrophy’?

    Last season we were runners up. Apart from Leicester there was no one better than us in the Premier League. So quite clearly we were ‘winning games’.

  • dez

    why doesn’t wenger sell the dead wood, e.g. players like wallcott, oxlade chamberlain. Sell both of these players and we should have no trouble in buying a world class striker.

  • Chris

    Tony,

    you ought to re-explain the 25 men rule…..

    Just reading comments about Campbell being sent on loan makes it clear that people have no idea.
    They should rather take that as a good sign, as unless one goes out, another one cannot go in, if I remember right the last list you put up.

    Just was wondering how we’ll accomodate a second transfer ?

    And for Joel, I think it it very good news as he’ll get a run of games. I have the feeling that Theo will have to prove his worth now and were this not to happen, Joel could well come back having had a full season of games.

  • colario

    Wolfgang you should change your name here to Superman – you are too good for this world.

    I have just thought no not Superman no. Super Comedian.

  • semeotist

    You don’t have to be at the every top to be a sound and successful sports related business. Look at Ferrari’s ‘race on Sunday, sell on Monday’ approach. And their fans are rabid supporters even though this year is looks like its going to go the same as the last almost 10 years.

    ManU seem to do alright with their policy of bringing in expensive signings under Ferguson. The shirt sales justify the spending and sponsors love being associated with the glamour of big names with proven pedigree. Even when they were out of the Champions League it appears that they did ok, considering the debt they carry (and still do). So I do wonder if they lose out in such a big way except when you reflect that in order to stay at the every top they had to sell their club ‘values’ and bring in Mourinho and rectify one of their sad failures in recognizing potential. But not my business so I care little.

    I’m sure that the stable and sensible approach is the dream of any business owner especially if it builds value in the company and off the field the way Arsenal and Arsene can do. On the field Arsene has a way of finding players, who when they move on, more than repay the investment initially made. I won’t repeat the names that are so often mentioned on Untold even if the haters would like to mention the abject failures. Off the field Arsenal’s conservative and measured decisions are based on a rational long-term view…and its always for football reasons. Its just Arsene’s way and has been so for a while. If that goes down with the media like a dose of cod liver oil then so be it. For the rest as gooners we need to live up to the self-appointed tag of being life-long fans… win or lose, a gooner for life. Its just the Arsenal way and has been so for a while.

  • colario

    I agree with Nicky we have been sold down the river Picker.

    A picker saw we were ripe for the picking and is picking.

    If it goes topsey turvey on the pitch and the money stops rolling in then the picker will pick the bones and at best leave, at worst close the shop. Taking what money there is from this action with him.

    He is a member of the Wall Mart family. Wall mart are a low wages payer in the States. There are I believe other money pinching ploys but I want to check before stating what they are here.

    I am glad your prediction has come true. I hope mine won’t.

  • Zuruvi

    Those who are good at statistics and math will notice that there is a strong correlation between the commercial revenue (such as shirt sponsorship) that each club is earning today and its relative success in the last 5-10 years.
    The more successful a team is the better it’s prospect of generating higher commercial revenue. The logic is quite clear … Sponsors want to be associated with a successful team. Commercial companies have brands and they want their brands to be associated with a winning team or the winning team.

    Another issue that companies like is be associated with clubs that receive lots of media coverage and especially good and positive media coverage.
    Arsenal gets lots and lots of media coverage. Unfortunately, the media coverage we get is too frequently very negative. Why is that so?

    There’s something that Arsenal and Arsene Wenger are not doing quite right as regards ex-players.
    Most clubs have ex-players that always defend their club.
    Nearly every ex-Man Utd player tends to always defend and “advertise” the club whenever they are in the media (as a presenter, pundit or interviewee).
    Nearly all ex-Man City players defend and promote the club whenever they are in the media (as a presenter, pundit or interviewee).
    Nearly every ex-Liverpoo player will always defend and promote the club whenever they are in the media (as a presenter, pundit or interviewee).
    The same applies to ex-players of Spurs, Villa, Everton, West Ham, etc.
    But Arsenal? Why? Why? Why?
    Why do former Arsenal players nearly always have something bad to say about Arsenal? Paul Merson. Rob Steward.
    Even our best heroes like are always saying bad things about Arsenal. Why? Why? Why?
    Why Thierry Henry why?
    Why Ian Wright why?
    Why Patrick Viera why?
    Why Tony Adams why?
    Why Ray Parlour why?
    Why Nigel Winterburn why?

    It hurts me so much when I see Jamie Carragher always being pro-Liverpool but in the very same TV programme our own Thierry doesn’t have the backbone to defend Arsenal. One would think both Thierry and Carragher are Liverpool legends. Thierry is forever praising Liverpool and Man Utd. And Thierry is nearly always agreeing to every critical or negative comment that Carragher spouts regarding the Arsenal. Why?

    Why is there such a disconnect between Arsenal and its former players?

    Obviously there are exceptions such as Sol Campbell, Pires, Llungberg, Kanu, Dennis Bergkamp, etc. who always have positive things to say about Arsenal.

    Maybe Arsenal needs to review and improve its relationship with ex-players as this can help to get us a better public image. A positive public and media image can help in increasing our commercial revenues.

  • Gord

    Someone complaining about dead wood. Hmmmm.

    I’ve got a few trees to take care of, and basically no budget. Something like a football team. For years now, I’ve had painful visitors (very much like the aaa) called Yellow Bellied Sapsuckers. These are a kind of woodpecker that is a migratory bird. And being a migratory bird, I am greatly limited in how I deal with them.

    I’ve got trees from a research farm, the research long abandoned. Nobody knows how to prune the things. And I can see dead wood, real dead wood. Branches that haven’t had life in 2, 3 sometimes 7 or 8 years. And I’ve cut branches that look similar, only to find after I have made the cut, that there is a live leaf or two at the end. I have trees that are better known (lilacs), planted in the middle of an expanse of geotech fabric through which it is hard for roots to push through a new trunk. And one lilac in an unreplicated position, that seems to be getting strangled by a maple 100 feet away. How to save and nurture the tree?

    But, back to my aaa (yellow bellied treekillers). Most woodpeckers peck away at bark, looking for insects in the wood. They might make a racket doing it, as I understand things it seldom kills the tree. Yellow bellied sapsuckers are different, they are like the worst alcoholics. They have a taste for sugar, and they will put up a checkerboard of holes through the bark of a tree, in order to sip away at the lifeblood of the tree. They can extend this checkerboard to “ring” the tree. Left unchecked, this can cut off all sap to points above the ring, killing part of the tree.

    I have spruce, mountain ash, laurel, maple and paper birch all with the scars of the yellow-bellied sapsucker. Sort of like former gunners like Gervinho carrying the scars of the aaa.

    But, their favorite tree was a weeping birch. About 40 feet tall, write in front of the flag poles next to the house. A position of honour. The tree had 3 trunks at one time, many years ago one trunk had to be removed due to the endless pecking of my aaa. That damage also left the top 20 or 25 feet of the main trunk dead, and about the top 1/3 of the 3rd trunk also dead.

    This year, instead of one breeding pair (sort of like the medja and the aaa in concert) attacking the tree, I had two breeding pairs. Or so I thought. One day, I seen a female being chased by 6 males at the same time. And 2 more major branches of the tree started to succumb to the endless pecking of my aaa.

    I had to cut most of the tree down this year, leaving only a couple of branches coming from a 12 inch thick trunk that is only 18 inches tall. And in one 2 foot long section of trunk, all the bark just fell off when you touched it. A dead facade.

    Yes, we need to cut dead wood at Arsenal. Dead wood like dez. Dead wood like “fans” that spend all their time complaining about the players, the management and the ownership.

    I wonder what would happen if some of this dead wood went to purchase tickets to an Arsenal game (so that they can continue bitching), and after getting their tickets looked closely at the ticket. Not an Arsenal ticket, but a ticket to Chelsea, West Ham, Tottenham or some other team. And a link to a webpage, providing evidence of how good a “supporter” they really are.

  • Joe – I believe my version was proven right – that Arsenal were in a strong position to grow their own revenue because their marketing income had been held down by the original deal related to the Emirates.

    But the fact that Arsenal has the money to spend is not the reason that they are getting a bad press. The reason is that the media and the fans that take their lead from what the media says, pump out the view that buying players is the solution to the issue of improving a team year by year. The statistical evidence that we have presented over and over again shows this not to be the case, but just as many people believe that Arsenal get more injuries than other clubs, or have more transfer options that don’t come off than other clubs, so they believe (against such evidence as exists) that Arsenal are deliberately or incompetently failing in what they perceive to be the most important area of football.

    It is the belief system, based on repetition of unfounded statements that creates the bad press, nothing else.

  • colario

    Super Comedian aka Wolfgang

    Out side ‘Little England’ Arsene is one of the most respected managers in football.

    Inside ‘Little England’ he is the most disrespected.

    Answer this question about Arsene and show us how much you really know about Arsene and football in general.

    Here is the question.

    In which year did Arsene make his first transfer in favour of Arsenal?

    If you know the year you should know the name of the player.

    If you know the answer you will ask yourself (as I do) how did that happened?

  • Bobome

    @Zuruvi,
    Your why question about our former players and AFC boils down to their perception that the club is doing well without them!!! I read somewhere, less than 12 hours ago, Patrick Vieira asking why does the club not employ more ex-players to man some of their positions as coaches etc. You will also recall that Arsene also said, only last weekend, that over 95% of former players want to come back to Arsenal when asked about whether he was finding it difficult to attract top quality players into the club.

    Make of that what you will, but my deduction from that is that AFC puts a lot of stock on values like loyalty, loyalty and loyalty. Arsene likes to speak very often of not ever breaking his contracts in the past and will not do so now because he is loyal and wants to make his words his bond.When you start sending signals that it does not matter that you were disloyal to the club in the past and expect the club to roll out the red carpet for you anytime you wish to return and on your own terms then those cherished values are out the window.

    Many would no longer think twice about betraying the club when it suits their fancy. We do not have all the facts as to why some of them are not working with the club but at least Freddie Ljunberg is and a few others whom I don’t know are. Pires always speaks out for AFC and Arsene, so does Sol Campbell and perhaps a few others more. Why, the different treatments? I put it down to perception on both sides as to what they value most in the relationship.

  • TJ

    Tony. The reason Arsenal are getting bad press is because Arsenal were not prepared for the start of the new season and because Arsenal have 1 point from 6 while their rivals for the title have 6 from 6. As illustrated here it’s a regular occurence, and it’s fully down to poor management.

    http://www.fourfourtwo.com/features/arsenal-will-continue-start-behind-and-arsene-wenger-has-lost-his-disciples-it

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    What kind of consultancy service has Stan Kroenke been doing for Arsenal which isn’t spelt out but has warranted him taking out £3m annually from the Arsenal treasury? Despite the fact that both Kroenke and his son on the Arsenal board are also being paid their weekly wages like the other Arsenal staff who on their payroll, I think Kroenke has deliberately devised this consultancy theory as a ploy to enabled him take out this money from Arsenal because he wants it as his regular profit earnings for his investment in Arsenal FC.

    I think Arsenal sells mechanize too, so some incomes should come-in from there as well. Patrick Vieira has backed the Boss policy of not paying the above the correct bidding price at the market for any Arsenal target. But in as much as this Vieira’s believe is ethical on it’s own. One must all but take into cognisance the fact that inflation of players transfer fees currently being experienced at the market is a direct result of Real Madrid, Barcelona FC, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain, Man Utd, Man City and Chelsea are paying above the board to get their targets signed to enabled them buy titles? Or is a consequence of the lack of sufficient quality players available in the transfer market or what else must have caused this insane inflations?

    Arsenal have being trying to bypass the inflation of players at the transfer market by acquiring some of their players internally through their academy school. But they haven’t been able to get them in their sufficient numbers they ought to have gotten them. Hence, they have to supplement these insufficient numbers by entering into the market to source for additional quality players occasionally.

    The Boss has once paid above the board to Real Madrid to get Mesut Ozil signed I should think. But we have not regretted it. Rather, we are relishing it. Nevertheless, the Boss may have to make a choise whether he should have to for this once again but pay above the odds as well to get the 2 targets of a CB and striker he has in mind signed. Yes, it has been said, it doesn’t guarantee winning the titles. However, it may worth taking a shot at the gamble to see if the Rollet will spin the dice to the number of our betting on the table.

  • TJ

    Wolfgang.

    It’s all simples really. Arsenal are getting top 4 every season and making a profit. They could spend £150 million of the £250 million in the bank on new players and go for it. But that doesn’t guarantee they’ll win a trophy or even come any higher than 4th. Indeed they may even still drop out of the top 4. Therefore they decide not to invest, not to go for it, and hope for the best. Then the club can use the excuse that they cannot compete financially, when the reality is they refuse to.

    So, you have fans like those here on Untold who believe the club are doing the right thing, saving for the future collapse of football that Wenger predicted in 2002, that has yet to come. His quotes are here.
    https://mobile.twitter.com/OliverKayTimes/status/766920658513166337

    Then you have those who would like to see the club spending what it has earned over the past decade and dipping further into the savings to have a go at winning. This is what the fans were promised when they were hoodwinked into supporting the new stadium
    http://www.arsenal.com/155/unhoused-import-pages/latest-stadium-news/the-evolution-of-emirates-stadium…-in-words

    And regularly played along
    http://www.bbc.com/sport/football/20220153

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    What kind of consultancy service has Stan Kroenke been doing for Arsenal which isn’t spelt out but has warranted him taking out £3m annually from the Arsenal treasury? Despite the fact that both Kroenke and his son on the Arsenal board are also being paid their weekly wages like the other Arsenal staffs who are on their payroll, I think Kroenke has deliberately devised this consultancy theory as a ploy to enabled him take out this money from Arsenal because he wants it as his regular profit earnings for his investment in Arsenal FC.

    I think Arsenal sells mechanize too, so some incomes should come-in from there as well. Patrick Vieira has backed the Boss policy of not paying the above the correct bidding price at the market for any Arsenal target. But in as much as this Vieira’s believe is ethical on it’s own. One must all but take into cognisance the fact that inflation of players transfer fees currently being experienced at the market is a direct result of Real Madrid, Barcelona FC, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain, Man Utd, Man City and Chelsea who are paying above the board to get their targets signed to enabled them buy titles? Or is a consequence of the lack of sufficient quality players available in the transfer market or what else must have caused this insane inflation?

    Arsenal have been trying to bypass the inflation of players at the transfer market by acquiring some of their players internally through their academy school. But they haven’t been able to get them in their sufficient numbers they ought to have gotten them. Hence, they have to supplement these insufficient numbers by entering into the market to source for additional quality players occasionally.

    The Boss has once paid above the board to Real Madrid to get Mesut Ozil signed I should think. But we have not regretted it. Rather, we are relishing it. Nevertheless, the Boss may have to make a choise whether he should have for this once again but pay above the odds as well to get the 2 targets of a CB and a striker he has in mind signed. Yes, it has been said, it doesn’t guarantee winning the titles. However, it may worth taking a shot at the gamble machine to see if the Rollet will spin the dice to the number of our bettings on the table.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    The Chevrolet sponsorship of United was interesting. I recollect the car makers executive responsible for the deal getting sacked in the immediate aftermath of it being signed. It clearly had nothing to do with car sales in the UK as Chevrolet stopped selling cars here in late 2014. It can only be to do with the global brand impact that United have. I suspect that the deal will not be renewed but that another company will take over.

  • colario

    TJ
    August 22, 2016 at 11:31 am

    You write:
    ”The reason Arsenal are getting bad press is because Arsenal were not prepared for the start of the new season….”

    Arsenal have been getting bad press almost from day one. It is possible that there is article on this site telling when it first started.

    This season’s bad press is just ‘run of the mill’ stuff.

    Imagine if the likes of manure or looserpool had fielded the same team and got the same result.

    The media would have been applauded them for introducing great newcomers and how well so and so performed. How wise it is to introduce new young players at the start of the season not later when it a much harder passage.

    Also they would not have mentioned the play of Alexis.

    Another point they may or may not have mentioned is that it takes time for a layer to adapt to a new position in a team and no doubt Alexis need time to adjust.

    However they probably would not have mentioned that in favour of an Arsenal team although they will say anything in praise of manure and co.

    As you should well know by now.

    I looked at the link you gave. I quote the first sentence up to the first coma. I have a question for you.

    ”The Arsenal boss is driven by principle rather than stubbornness but,”

    My question is this:

    If you keep to your principles can you be fickle?

    I have a second.
    By keeping to your principles can you avoid being stubborn?

    The opening I have quoted is enough to tell you the writer is another ‘OMOE’.

    O ne

    M atch

    O nly

    E xpert.

  • TJ

    Yes Colario, the OMOE who based his article on the last 5 seasons!

    He could have gone back further, if he read this..

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/teams/a/arsenal/8051143.stm

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    We only need a centre back because of two injuries. Our pre season strategy was sound. Two experienced senior players in Mert and Kos, one of middling experience and settled into the team in Gabriel and two younger players looking to establish themselves and thereby provide pressure on the three in front of them. Those two being the England U21 partnership of Chambers and Holding. Arguably we need cover for another 8 weeks until Gabriel returns. If we have to pay £25-40m for a quality backup for 8 weeks then so be it but it doesn’t make any kind of financial sense.

    Our need for a second striker is, in my opinion, more clear cut. I don’t think that Akpom is yet ready and none of Theo, Alexis, Sanogo or Wellbeck have been too convincing when asked to play there. This is where I would like us to improve by getting the best player that we can even if it means spending stupid money. So far we don’t seem to have identified the right player who is 1 available, 2 wanting to join Arsenal and 3 only stupidly priced rather that ‘no way Jose’ priced.

  • Zuruvi

    @Bobome. Thanks mate for your good perception of the matter.
    But even players who have been kicked out of Liverpool or Man Utd seem to be very loyal to these clubs.
    Thierry Henry was disloyal to Arsenal as a player but Arsenal always treated him well. We even gave him competitive games after his Barcelona sojourn ended in not so glamourous a manner. Barca fans never really liked him. We offered him training facilities when he was off-season in the MLS. We helped him to train and qualify as a coach. We built a stature of him to show how much we loved and appreciated him but Thierry never defends or helps the Arsenal in the media as much as Carragher does for Liverpool or Michael Owen does for both Liverpool and Man Utd or Jamie Carragher does for Spurs and Liverpoo.

    I suspect Merson and Stewart Robson have a vendetta against Arsene Wenger because he removed both of them from the Arsenal team or set-up.

    Maybe Thierry is just singing for his supper. He works in an environment (Sky Sports) that favours Man Utd, Spurs and Liverpool so he is just fitting in. He is trying to make his paymaster happy. I hear Thierry gets paid £4m for his punditry work on Sky. This money probably means more to him than what Arsenal did for him.
    It hurts so bad when you see a hero behaving like this.

    It’s also sad that Ian Wright who was my boyhood hero is now a pundit I truly hate to listen to. I actually prefer hearing Robbie Savage’s nonsense to listening to Ian Wright.
    Ian Wright is a real let-down.

  • Zuruvi

    @Bobome. Thanks mate for your good perception of the matter.
    But even players who have been kicked out of Liverpool or Man Utd seem to be very loyal to these clubs.
    Thierry Henry was disloyal to Arsenal as a player but Arsenal always treated him well. We even gave him competitive games after his Barcelona sojourn ended in not so glamourous a manner. Barca fans never really liked him. We offered him training facilities when he was off-season in the MLS. We helped him to train and qualify as a coach. We built a stature of him to show how much we loved and appreciated him but Thierry never defends or helps the Arsenal in the media as much as Carragher does for Liverpool or Michael Owen does for both Liverpool and Man Utd or Jamie Carragher does for Spurs and Liverpoo.

    I suspect Merson and Stewart Robson have a vendetta against Arsene Wenger because he removed both of them from the Arsenal team or set-up.

    Maybe Thierry is just singing for his supper. He works in an environment (Sky Sports) that favours Man Utd, Spurs and Liverpool so he is just fitting in. He is trying to make his paymaster happy. I hear Thierry gets paid £4m for his punditry work on Sky. This money probably means more to him than what Arsenal did for him.
    It hurts so bad when you see a hero behaving like this.

    It’s also sad that Ian Wright who was my boyhood hero is now a pundit I truly hate to listen to. I actually prefer hearing Robbie Savage’s nonsense to listening to Ian Wright.
    Ian Wright is a real let-down.

  • Zuruvi

    Sorry, re-printed in error.

  • Norman14

    I can only assume that those “supporters” who want us to spend every penny we have, are the sort of people who spend all of their wages on pay day, then for the rest of the month, sponge off their mates.

  • WalterBroeckx

    1 point of 6 they say… Other teams will also have spells in which they have 1 point or 6 during the season.
    Last year MC was praised to highest heavens after having 15 points of 15. They ended behind us in the end.

  • ARSENAL 13

    hahahaha..

    How many trees have you planted Walter in anticipation??? You shouldnt give up though. Some people are adamant it grows on trees and should respect their “opinion” despite being flawed scientifically.

  • TJ – the notion “Indeed they may even still drop out of the top 4. Therefore they decide not to invest, not to go for it, and hope for the best. Then the club can use the excuse that they cannot compete financially, when the reality is they refuse to.” is pure speculation. What we try to do on this site is go with some evidence. Speculation allows you to say anything, but it doesn’t get us anywhere. If you wish to stay with us on this site, please could you find some evidence.

  • ARSENAL 13

    So SwissRamble is the final word then!! Other chaps running businesses and have a little financial knowledge are all knob-heads then!!..

    One thing people fail to notice is the TV revenue. We got most last year. We dint win the league. We dint the previous year either. Nor were predicted to win by the very media experts whose employers gave us the amount. So Why were more games televised??

    *flash*

    STYLE OF PLAY.

    People want to watch good football. Which ARSENAL give them. Demand and supply..

  • TJ

    Fair enough Tony, I wasn’t aware there was a rule against speculating based on the available evidence. Can you answer why Arsenal are not using the resources available to compete? You’re a member of the group that produced this report, are you not?

    https://arsenaltrust.org/news/2016/ast-analysis-of-arsenal-holdings-plc-half-year-accounts-to-nov-2015

  • TJ I think we have answered the issue about using resources but in summary, we have provided evidence to show that the number of high value players who make an impact in their first year is around 25% and that although that figure rises to 75% by year 3, there is a strong danger of them having a negative impact if the established style and approach of the team is changed to accommodate them. We also have evidence to the effect that having the top scorer in the league in a team is less effective than is imagined.

    I am not a member of Arsenal Trust although I have been a member of Fanshare and thus receive Arsenal Trust communications, and their questionnaires – on which I have often commented in the past.

  • Charlie

    When you say seventh you obviously mean worldwide with Real, Barca and Bayern amongst those other teams. Top in TV revenue and top in match day revenue across the whole Premier League. I fail to see justification for why a team like Liverpool can spend so much more than us. Kroenke must be skimming a lot more than £3m a year !

  • ARSENAL 13

    wow… Now you say that Kronke takes out more money. More than 3 million. Why bother with balance sheet at all?

    I dont know how it works there, but at my place, if my business is holding an amount in CA (current account) it will show up in banks financial statements as well. So now ARSENAL says its has 200 million, but you say Kronke takes out more lets say 10 million. Then Banks statements should have a hole of 7 million. So either ARSENAL are lying. Or the Banks or You are.

    Please provide evidence Charlie.

  • Flares

    @Dez

    Selling Theo and AOC would be unwise as it leaves us short two wide players – no point making yourselves light in key areas just to bolster a different one. This was the question mark over Mahrez coming into the side, since we aren’t looking like selling either of them and it’s a fine line between competition and congestion. Most sensible fellows would play Mahrez ahead of Walcott, but then you’re benching a 140k a week player who would start unsettling the team with his complaints. I doubt we made any serious overtures to buy him anyway, it all smelt a little too much of agent/media hype.

  • TJ

    So Tony, let me get this straight. You’re basically saying that Arsenal are not using the resources they have, in summary, because:

    (a) there is evidence to show that the number of high value players who make an impact in their first year is around 25% and that although that figure rises to 75% by year 3;

    (b) there is a strong danger of them having a negative impact if the established style and approach of the team is changed to accommodate them;

    (c) there is evidence to the effect that having the top scorer in the league in a team is less effective than is imagined.

    If this is the case then we are actually fully in agreement-when I said that spending £100 million is no guarantee that Arsenal will finish any higher.

  • Fishpie

    If the stats say that spending big money on new players tends not to work (at least immediately) then yep it is clearly not a guarantee of success or significant improvement. But, for me, it is besides the point. While I acknowledge the thrust of your excellent piece Tony (our income is not yet maximised) and the points some commenters make about how consistent we are with relatively less income, I still don’t understand why each season we struggle to make enough improvement to challenge for the top honours. Whatever players we buy, whatever team we put out, whatever we do, the same thing happens. We come up short of what I believe Mr Wenger himself wants to achieve. I think he wants to win the League title, domestic or European. But he doesn’t get any closer, even with more money. Even with Ozil, Alexis and Cech, even when the clubs with more money than us struggle. Even when we had a chance to go head to head with Leicester. For me, not being decisive or bold enough in the transfer market is symtomatic of a club/a manager not getting enough right in a number of areas : our income is 80% there, the squad is 80% there, our technical ability is 80% there, our physicality is 80% there, the intensity of our play is 80% there, our consistency during the season is 80% there, our fitness is 80% but in all of these aspects we are always short. We are operating below the level of commitment and intensity that it takes to be Champions. Not spending is part of it for sure but the club needs a massive kick in pretty much every aspect to make us the best we can be. Arsenal FC is consistantly not the best that it can be and we all know that. We’ve all seen a better Arsenal, a more driven , on it Arsenal that we have now. We know it deep down. It is not media created. It is club created. Even if Mr Wenger pulls a couple of welcome signings out of the bag, he and the Club will only move forward if they recognise the Club needs to be and can be better than it currently is.

  • Mick

    Fishpie

    Maybe it is nothing to do with anything the Arsenal FC or Mr Wenger are or are not doing that is the reason we are not making that final step to Premier League success.
    Have you considered that maybe it is simply due to Riley and the refs?

  • Polo

    @ Charlie, copied from

    http://liverpooloffside.sbnation.com/liverpool-fc-tactics-longform/2016/3/23/11212448/liverpool-financial-report-fsg-2015-players-transfers-ticket-prices

    ‘It’s also worth noting that any profits from player trading since October 2010 have in the end been completely reinvested into the first team squad. In fact, a gross amount of £135m has been “spent” on player purchases in 2015 per the notes to the financials and a gross amount of £79m “received” from player sales per transfer league, for a net spend of £56m.

    The £135m would include all costs of acquiring players: agent commissions, signing-on fees, and legal fees associated with negotiating, drafting and finalizing player contracts. It would also include contingent payments from prior years’ player acquisitions where the performance criteria were met in the current year and that were not previously considered likely to be paid.’

  • Mandy Dodd

    Stan…..cannot say he has done anything illegal, unethical concerning the clubs finances, and yes, he backs his manager, and appears at least to leave him alone, commercials and infrastructure continues to improve on his watch, but a bit like Nicky, something about him sits a bit uneasy, with me at least. The likes of Dein wanted a billionaire to compete with the oilers, not sure they got quite what they expected.
    Nothing wrong with being self sufficient, indeed admirable, but there have been times when maybe Wenger could have done with a bit more help, tho maybe he did not ask. Would also like an owner that lives and breathes the club, rather than a collector with clear interests elsewhere. For whatever reason, the club seem to have hoarded…or put aside a lot of money. I have a theory that Wenger has elected to save some aside for the new guy when he departs, knowing he wont get any help from above, but who knows.
    But , as the lead article says, we are where we are regarding the club funding and ownership model.
    Perhaps I am doing a disservice. But, I expect the true level of the clubs ambition and aims to become apparent when our excellent manager leaves. Of course we may all be pleasantly surprised, but for now, not an event I look forward to. I would expect more of the same, maybe tighter finances with probably a lesser, and certainly a less experienced…and less trusted manager, who is likely to be far from the chequebook manager of WOB fantasy.
    As true insiders, people who know exactly how the club is funded… like Bob Wilson and David Dein have suggested, those wanting Wenger out need to be very careful what they wish for. Contrary to popular opinion, he is not afraid to spend, would just rather not waste.

  • Isn’t Arsenes financial policy kind of like Austerity? It seems like a good idea until you realise that the less money u put into an economy the less the total GDP of said economy becomes and the GDP drops faster than your debt drops leading to economic downturn.

  • joe

    Tony you go on about facts and factual based evidence and then try and tell me and other fans that are against the club hoarding money that we are brainwashed by the press and media.Where is your evidence ?For a start I dont read papers or have sky.I go to the games unlike most of the people on here.And what really grates is that a lot of them criticise the way we act at game and tell us how to support the team.I invest a lot of hard earned money into the club I love and expect after a decade of patience through tough times I expect the club to do the same now its rich.More and more fans now are expecting the same, well those of us who are still lucky enough to be able to afford to go.

  • Mick

    MadeToLoveMagic
    But Arsenal have been putting more money into the economy. They are the third highest net spenders on transfers over the last three years.

  • Yes but the point is the less money they put in, the less they can grow if we are staying with the analogy.

    Hindsight is useful of course but for example 50million on suarez would have turned into 90 million if we sold 2 years later. Christianio ronaldo, 14ml would have turned into 90 million.

    Sometimes frugality can be dangerous economically.

    With Wenger it’s ideologically driven which I admire and always have done. But the transfer market even in last 3-4 years has gone into hyper-drive and wenger has barely come to terms with 2012 prices…

    He is fighting a one man war, that is in many ways pointless and damaging not only to the club but to himself.

    this summer is the first time I have officially had enough. I can’t defend him any more.

    Only have Giroud as our striker again….. after last year when anyone could see we were creating chances but not finishing them..

    I hope i’m wrong but this could be a bad bad season for Arsene, and i’m sorry to say if it is I wont be defending him as normal. It’s become impossible

  • Joe, I am most sorry if I called anyone brainwashed. It is certainly not a word I normally use nor a concept that I normally relate to. My own feeling is that I have presented a range of evidence showing that bringing in big money players can lead to worse results more often that better results. But brainwashed – really I must have been writing under the influence of something, and you have my fulsome apologies.

  • TJ indeed spending £100m would be no guarantee of finishing higher – that is to say, first.

  • Gord

    In the news.

    Pundit Arena is not only claiming that Spain has a journalist, they are claiming this journalist is reliable!

    They are not however declaring what this person is supposedly reliable in, and the story (tale/fabrication) then goes on to some kind of Arsenal transfer thing.

    On the weekend, CBC Radio (Canadian equivalent (sort of) of BBC) had a show on the radio about the main “players” in a CBC program deciding to start taking _LSD_ as an experiment without telling anyone. And then you read the sporting news about football. I think _LSD_ use in “journalism” is widespread.

    Do pubs near medja outlets sell psilocybin (as well as LSD)? They might as well get a really good buzz.

  • Ben

    Having trouble finding the article but it is originally in French. Where Christine Lagarde praised Wenger and Arsenal for the way the club is run.
    People need to share that.

  • Top Guns

    each year Mr Wenger argues how important it is to finish in the top 4 so that Arsenal can afford to buy the better quality players and in 2013 to be fair we did (Ozil) and 2014 we did (Sanchez) and look what happened we won trophies – back to back FA Cups.

    However we have not built on this success despite still finishing in the top 4 and having more money at our disposal. Now I appreciate that merely spending money does not equal success, but there are deficiencies in the squad which are just not being addressed. That is negligence which in the long run will hold us back.

    I will continue to support Mr Wenger and his team but I am becoming increasingly frustrated by the contradictory messages coming from the club.

  • joe

    Ok calling them brainwashed was a little ott but you said fans are being swayed by what the press say and that is wrong andyou have no evidence of this the same way I have no evidence of you being swayed that what our manager says is also true.He one minute says one thing and then the ceo says something completely different about our finance.Which is it? Can we compete financially with the top clubs of europe or are we in danger of not being able to pay the staff their wages.If its the latter then what a sorry state the club is in.

  • marcus

    MadeToLoveMagic…I study economics at university. Your analogy that wengers transfer policy is like austerity is very apt, and true on so many levels…JUST NOT IN THE WAY YOUR THINKING!

    Austerity, gets a lot of bad press, just like wengers transfer policy.
    The “spend some fucking money” and we will definitely increase growth approach, is that which was undertaken for many years by countries such as greece, spain, portugal, iceland. Incidentally another peculiar similarity is that corruption seems to run riot in countries (clubs) that like this approach. Greece cooked their books for years, so they could gain membership to the eu and then stay in it, and therefore receive cheaper government loans to fund their reckless spending.

    Where did all this money they spent go on? Well, in order to ensure the easiest terms in office for themselves, the greek governments throughout 2000-2008 did all they could to satisfice, the myopic, and irresponsible demands of both the people and ministers. Greek train staff employed by the state received an annual salary of 60000 euros, and bribes and corruption were rife in the country. For a relatively short while greeks were happier than they’d either been, they funded an olympics in athens in 2004 and generally sat back on their government debt.

    Man U and Liverpool fans were fleetingly happy last year around this time with big hopes ahead due to their reckless transfer spending. Where were they to end up?

    It should be noted that growth is far and away the most overrated indicator of the wellbeing of a country. The GDP per capita is a poor indicator of the wealth of an individual within that country, and wealth in itself is an even worse indicator of a persons happiness.

    Just like austerity, arsenes approach of slow and steady squad building, as opposed to “fix it all now” solutions. Provides a much more stable basis for a club, and in the long run, provided that resources which are spent are spent wisely and efficiently, will provide the optimal solution given the constraints of resources, and ability of players available. The parallel with worldwide economics of ability of players would be technology available to make our lives better/easier. i.e the UK was comparatively more powerful than we are now in the 19th C but we did not have the technology available to be able to improve everyones life to the standard we have now.

  • Joe, through the summer I ran a long series of articles on this site which explored why people believed things in football that the evidence suggested were untrue. Over a series of articles I drew evidence from such people as the head of the history department and Principal Lecturer in History at my local university, on how the press has changed its stance over the years, and from an eminent psychologist who reported on the ways people’s views of reality are moulded, and a number of other sources. From this and other research I drew the reasoned hypothesis that many fans who profess the same views as oft found in the media, which can be shown to be untrue in terms of the evidence available, and found reasons to believe they are influenced by the media. There may be other explanations but none were forthcoming.

    It is a hypothesis with reasoned evidence. I believe your statement that “you said fans are being swayed by what the press say and that is wrong andyou have no evidence” is not a true reflection of all the reports that this site presented through the summer and which are referred to in the article about no one changing their mind. What is more there is no reasoned evidence in your commentaries in my view.

    You may still disagree with me, of course, but I feel I have done a reasonable job of researching and presenting evidence, and I would have been more inclined to follow up your commentaries if you had at least had the courtesy to look at my reports and comment on them.

    But I think now this is time to stop this correspondence – it is taking up my time and you are not being convinced,and it is probably boring everyone else stupid. Thank you for being interested in Untold, but let’s leave it at that.

  • Wengers Warriors

    I have to say Tony an excellent article I am not a big fan of Kroenke and believe his interest in Arsenal is purely profit! However usminov loves the club dearly! And would give us whatever we wanted in the transfer market! However I feel uneasy about this! I am angry that Arsenal don’t buy the players needed and are under prepared! But on the other hand love seeing players like iwobi given a chance which would not happen if we had s open cheque book! Look at mourinho? He never gives a chance to the youngsters, rashford who has so much potential will be wasted! Same with Solanke, Baker, da silva, salter, etc at Chelsea never got a look in! When we have exciting players in our youth like willock, Rowe, Nelson to name but a few… I find myself torn

  • Notoverthehill

    From the Financial Report for 2014/2015.

    The balance owing to Kroenke Sports & Entertainment LLC at 31 May 2015 was £3 million.

    The so-called Cash Reserve, has to be reduced by £3 millions!

    Both of the Kroenkes, are paid £25,000 in director’s fees, annually. Fees, are slightly difference from salaries and wages!

    Arsenal Holdings, will be a subsidiary of KSE LLC.

    Tony, is preaching to the “closed” minds of certain self-styled supporters?

    Certain individuals, know they will appear on TV, shouting SSFM!

  • Alex Dieuzeide

    @Polo. Thanks for the link.( http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-3752632/Arsenal-crisis-finished-second-year-without-signing-outfield-player-improved-no-need-panic.html )
    After reading the Daily Mail article I asked myself whether pigs were flying around the Emirate! Or maybe Tony simply bought the paper ! 🙂
    Whining fans should have a look at that deluded writing.
    Oh and btw, some fans talking about selling Theo or The Ox, simply calling them dead wood, should learn the meaning of the expression “supporting a team” and the players. The team doesn’t need this kind of “fans”. We love our players, they are not merchandise and we are not playing Fifa Manager . And more, Theo and the Ox seem to be quite in good shape so far. We were waiting for a click from them. It seems it comes.

  • Yellow Canary

    I must admit I’m confused. We have Gazidis stating we’re not as rich as people think and Wenger saying he could spend 300 million on a player if he thought he was the right signing. But then we have Wenger saying he has 600 employees to consider. Surely we don’t have that many footballers on the books. No, of course not, what he means is all the other staff at AFC. I love that he cares but that isn’t really his remit. Also I hope he has been vocal in his support of those who have been fighting for a living wage at the club. If we’re not going to spend our vast kitty on players can we ensure that those that work at the club get a decent wage.

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