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What is Arsenal worth in terms of Share price, Squad Value, Player wages and other musings?

by Andrew Crawshaw

As you may know Arsenal Holdings PLC is the Parent Company of Arsenal football Club.  The Company is owned by a number of shareholders, Stan Kronke and Alisher Usamov having the largest shareholdings (between them they own about 97% of all of the club shares).

Angry of Islington yesterday carried an article indicating how the share price of Arsenal has surged.  On 6 September the highest price paid for a share reached a new high of £25,000, Yesterday a new high price of £27,500 was recorded as two shares were traded.

There are 62,219 shares in Arsenal, and only two are held by the club and so cannot be traded.  Of the rest Stan Kronke owns 41,721, Alisher Usamov owns 18,695 and the remaining 1,901 are owned by approximately 600 small investors, including the likes of Piers Morgan who I believe has 11.

One way of calculating the value of the club is to multiply the latest share price by the number of shares – £27,500 * 62219 giving £1.711bn.  Whilst this is the way you can determine the value of most companies it is almost certainly not going to give a realistic value for Arsenal as it is based on a trade of 0.003% of the total number of shares.

It is rumoured that last week Stan Kronke offered Alisher Usamov £28,000 per share an offer that seems to have been declined, but it looks likely that that price has driven the valuation of the two shares that changed hands yesterday.  If that price is not sufficient to tempt one of our billionaire shareholders to sell then what might be?  It could be that a premium on top of that of an extra 25% might do it but there again it might not.  My gut feeling is that it might take an offer of £50,000 per share to get their attention giving the club a valuation of just over £3bn.

Forbes magazine publish a listing every year of the richest football clubs.  Here is their 2017 listing of the top 10 clubs in World Football.

Rank Club Value $m Revenue ($m)
1 Manchester United 4583 850
2 Barcelona 3635 688
3 Real Madrid 3580 688
4 Bayern Munich 2713 657
5 Manchester City 2083 650
6 Arsenal 1832 572
7 Chelsea 1845 583
8 Liverpool 1492 523
9 Juventus 1258 379
10 Tottenham Hotspur 1058 377

Interestingly the current share price value gives a similar figure to the Forbes value (but I still think this is a coincidence rather than anything else).

Also interesting is the massive valuation put on Manchester United and this is something that shows how far ahead of the rest they are in terms of their revenue ($200m more than City and $278m more than Arsenal).

Another indicator of the value of a club is the rated squad value

I know this is another grossly inaccurate measure but here are the Transfermarket values for the PL :-

Team Value (£m) Value Ranking League Position Variance compared to value
Chelsea 552.96 1 4 -3
Man City 529.65 2 1 1
Man United 509.18 3 2 1
Arsenal 460.70 4 5 -1
Spurs 443.03 5 3 2
Liverpool 406.35 6 7 -1
Everton 289.35 7 16 -9
Southampton 224.64 8 12 -4
Leicester 219.15 9 17 -8
West Ham 196.56 10 15 -5
Crystal Pal 169.29 11 20 -9
Stoke 142.88 12 13 -1
Watford 136.35 13 8 5
Swansea 133.52 14 18 -4
West Brom 129.39 15 10 5
Newcastle 118.31 16 9 7
Bournemouth 105.08 17 19 -2
Brighton 84.65 18 14 4
Burnley 75.38 19 6 13
Huddersfield 51.21 20 11 9

A final view is to look at salaries

Figures from totalsportek.com give purported weekly salaries for Arsenal Players varying from £140k/week for Mesut and Alexis, to £5k for Matt Macey and look to be in line with what I expected.  Deleting the transferred and loan players they have a weekly bill of £1.964m or an annual figure of £102.154m per year.  These figures, however only give part of the figure as they exclude all salaries to other staff and junior players etc.

A far better source is the Company Accounts – here the wage bill as listed in the 2016/17 Financial accounts was  £199.4m up from £195.4m in 2016.  Income was £423.0m up from £353.5m in 2016.

Here is the link to the full annual account:-  Arsenal Holdings plc – Statement of Accounts and Annual Report 2016/2017

And here are the relevant figures from the past few years (please note that the 2009/10 figures only include the football side of the business and exclude the property development costs and revenue that was occurring at the time).

Year Total Income £m Salary Bill £m Profit/Loss on player sales £m
2016/17 423.9 199.4 6.8
2015/16 353.5 195.4 2
2014/15 344.5 192.2 28.9
2013/14 301.9 166.4 6.9
2012/13 242.8 154.5 47
2011/12 243.0 143.4 65.5
1010/11 255.7 122.4 6.3
2009/2010 222.9 110.7 -38.1

Conclusions

  • What is Arsenal actually worth?
    • no-one knows as an offer sufficiently high to tempt either of the two major shareholders to sell hasn’t yet been made
    • It seems that any such offer will have to be significantly higher than the currently highest share price of £27,500 which would equate to a company value of £1.7bn
  • Arsenal’s current annual income is £423.9m up £80.4m from last year
  • Arsenal’s current wages bill is £199.4m up from £195.4m last year – of this roughly £103m is accounted for in first team salaries.
  • Arsenal’s squad value is now nearly £90m behind Chelsea, £70m behind City and £50m behind United who have the highest values in the League.  We are more or less equal in value with Tottenham and about 10% greater than Liverpool.  There is then a big gap of over £100m to Everton who have the seventh highest value.
  • The five teams with the highest values now occupy the top five places in the League.

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10 comments to What is Arsenal worth in terms of Share price, Squad Value, Player wages and other musings?

  • nicky

    I can’t help feeling, as I read this excellent précis of Arsenal’s financial value, that somewhere along the line, our Club’s reason for sporting existence has been dealt a severe blow.
    Professional football today has developed into Big Business with accountants and economists wielding great power in the governance of every club in the land.
    I suppose it’s the price paid for progress although the importance of the sporting side, now regrettably waned, is unfortunate. 😉

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    With these financial accounting figures made available in this article posting, Arsenal FC is looking to be a very rich club indeed. Both in infrastructure facilities such as the iconic Emirates Stadium worth maybe £1b, the London Colney training ground, the Highbury house and others. And of course with a huge cash of not less than £300m deposited in the bank as security savings. So in truth, I presume Arsenal should worth not less than £5b in totality of shares value current selling @£28000/per share in private market which can go up significantly at anytime, infrastructure facilities and cash deposited in the bank. So, for any football investor to buy Arsenal not only the shareholdings in the hands of Stan Kroenke, Alisher Usmanov and 600 others alone, but including the club’s facilities assets. The football investor must be prepared not to pay less than £5b to own the club completely. Am I right or wrong? Of a note Mr Piers Morgan, the Arsenal AAA chieftain has 11 shares of the club to himself. But just look at me, I don’t have a single share of the club to myself which makes me just a nominal Arsenal supporter. But if I have 10 Arsenal shares belonging to me and I want to sell them, I won’t sell less than £50000 per share to fetch for me £500000 for which I believe I get a buyer. Wow! That’s #232m in Nigerian money. This is alsome cash.

  • GoonerDave

    I defended Arsene back in the day. But as soon as he revealed that he had signed secret long term contracts to appease creditors, the scale of the lies became clear.
    We have been repeatedly lied to by the manager, CEO and board. I believed Arsene’s hands were tied – and they were for years – but he lied over and over. He lied to us about player sales, our ambitions, his own contracts, everything. I know there are those who believe that he had no choice – but he could have exposed the truth and saved our club from the lecherous wigger.
    I will forgive Arsene Wenger for tactical mistakes, failed transfers, in game errors, anything. But I believe he should leave in disgrace for the contempt he has shown for the fans – he knew exactly what our owner was doing and happily joined in.
    Owner, board and manager out.

  • blacksheep

    surely Chelsea should be above Arsenal in the table? Their values are higher in both categories

  • If you take into account the revenues inflated into City this is a fake representation of their club value, as with United, given the dividends expected by shareholders.

    Chelsea’s vlue has been inflated by media reports of propertied successes.

    If you also consider the additional value added to share price over time, you see that Arsenal’s value is artificially low due to the lack of asset investment, given the popularity of the club as a marketing tool and product driver.

    The success on field is linked to share value. Guaging the value of the club is relative to the amount of investment that can be provided. I think it is simply a cash cow waiting for a 300m investment, which would give a large return in time with increased revenue from increased popularity directly resultant from investment, but it seems Kroenke is happy to hamper the club out of greed and narcissism.

    If we created new shares and sold them to Usmanov for around 300m we could still maintain the financial practices, safeguards, invest in the squad and increase share price and revenue by being more effective on field.

    This is why I know it’s not AW, he would know this and also would have advantaged the team as early as possible.

    Talking with the blonde about this, Kroenke out, Wenger In Alexis hopefully stays, whats up with Ozil and they have to sign or go in January. General consensus.

    I am hoping both stay and we make a couple of signing as you all well know!

  • Jax

    GoonerDave
    If you’re talking about signing a long term contract ‘to appease creditors’ to enable the stadium financing it was quite well known at the time and certainly no secret, and anyway, what difference does it make?
    I don’t know about your other allegations, but neither he nor the club are obligated to reveal details of their dealings re transfers etc.
    I think you’re being unfair to an honourable man.

  • insideright

    People seem to have this strange view that professional football wasn’t, until recently, a ‘business’.
    In fact clubs who forgot thattheyt required to be founded on a sound commercial footing (they called it ‘living the dream’) all came a cropper. Leeds and Blackburn are two cases in point.
    Arsenal have always been more business-like than the vast majority of other clubs and my guess is that under Stan Kroenke’s ownership that will be at least maintained if not further ratcheted-up. Massive investment in the training and medical facilities throughout the club bear testament to that and will pay dividends as the transfer market as we have known it changes.
    We are, as usual, ahead of the curve and I can only praise them for it.

  • nicky

    @inside right,
    You appear to forget that the way football clubs, particularly the more successful ones financially, have prospered post WW2, bears little resemblance to the past. Even taking into account the improved standard of living we all enjoy.
    The advent of global TV and advertising alone, has brought riches to clubs and players beyond avarice.
    In turn, the rise in influence of the professional accountant became inevitable. Football clubs have always had to be run as a business in order to be successful. Now, they are Big Business, where much power is wielded by those who are not directly involved with the “beautiful game”.
    Pre-war the successful footballer earned several times the weekly wage of the man-in-the-street. Now he is capable of earning more in a week than many workers will receive in a decade.
    Such is the result of progress. 😉

  • Gord

    Congratulations to Alex Iwobi for scoring in Nigeria’s 1-0 win. Nigeria is now the first African nation to qualify for the 2018 (pig trough continues) World Cup in Russia.

  • Gord

    I would like to say that ESPN has a nice article up about Per Mertesacker, and his preparations towards running the Academy. However, in reading the article, I think this is just ESPN’s slant on a Der Spiegel article.

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