How close are Arsenal to winning the league, and what happens to the money next season?



By Tony Attwood

This season with seven games to play Arsenal have won 22 games, one more than each of their two main rivals from up north.   But I began to wonder, how many games does a team need to win, in order to win the league?

Of course as soon as I asked, I realised it depends on whether the title challenge is a two-horse race (except with no horses involved) or as per this season a three-horse race (ditto).

So I went looking and of course in doing this kept in mind the fact that while Arsenal can win 29 games this season, Manchester City and Liverpool can only win 28,

Last season, in 2022/3, Manchester City won 28 games, the season before 29, and the one before that 27.

In 2019/20 Liverpool won the league with 32, the same as Manchester City the year before, and the year before that.  (So if Arsenal do win the league be ready for all the negative comparisons with 2019/20).

Generally, across recent seasons the winning team has always won between 27 and 32 games.   But these of course are just the maximum numbers – it is possible that none of the three teams at the top will win all their games.

However, it is also possible because this is a fight between three rather than two clubs the number of points needed to win the league could be lower.

In the Wenger era Arsenal won the league three times with 78, 87 and 90 points. That win by 78 points was the second lowest everin the PL – beaten only by Manchester United the year before with 75 points.   And just to be clear this doesn’t have anything to do with it being a two-horse or three-horse race – in 1998 Arsenal and Manchseter United ended up 13 and 12 points ahead of Liverpool in third.  It is in fact to do with the balance between the clubs across the whole league.

At the moment Arsenal are on target to get an estimated 87 points, (based on what has happened so far this season) which was enough to win the league in 2002 and would have been in 2021.  But in 2022 Manchester City won the league with 93 points and the following year with 89.

89 points is three fewer than in the Unbeaten Season, the same as the title winning team of 2002 and nine points more than the title winning team of 1998.


P F A GD Pts
1997-98 Arsenal 38 68 33 35 78
2001-02 Arsenal 38 79 36 43 87
2003-04 Arsenal 38 73 26 47 90
2023-24 E Arsenal 38 91 29 62 87


But aside from such speculation life goes on behind the scenes, as we have now heard that the PL clubs have agreed to try out new rules next season that will limit the spending on players in a slightly different way from now.  If the rules work ok they will be legally introduced the following season.

Clubs playing in Europe will be able to spend 70% of their income (excluding money given by shareholders) on salaries, agents and transfers.  For the rest of the clubs it will be 85%.

This of course encourages the clubs to put their prices to supporters up (as most are now doing) and also to try and get ever more money out of sponsorship and rich owners.  I imagine we will soon have every individual seat and step in the ground sponsored.  Any company fancy sponsoring the Gents Toilet?

However there could be some difficulties ahead as the Premier League clubs have previously refused the 85% figure when it was part of the previous Profit and Sustainability Rules.  The 70% rule is in line with Uefa’s cost control mechanisms, which will be fully in place by 2025-26.

The idea is also that for modest breaches of the rules clubs can be fined and points deductions will still be in place for major breaches.   So far Everton have had points deducted twice and are now being charged with a third set of offences.  Nottingham Forest have lost points while Leicester, Chelsea and Manchester City are still fighting.

Meanwhile, Uefa is also planning to allow only 70 per cent expenditure on wages and fees which is an argument that is yet to be fought out as far as I can see, but maybe some sort of special arrangement has been made.

This now leaves the agreement between the Championship and the Premier League to be sorted out.  The Premier League is demanding that there should be much clearer rules on how clubs in the Championship can spend money, in order to avoid such clubs spending money just to get into the Premier League and then using the Premier League income to pay off the debts.

But even if a deal is agreed there is still the issue of the independent regulator that the government is forcing on football, for the regulator will him or herself have the ultimate say over how much of their income the Premier League has to give to Championship clubs.

One Reply to “How close are Arsenal to winning the league, and what happens to the money next season?”

  1. How would you quality this past 5 days for Pool!

    Red hemoragging ? Red beating ? Red bottle job ? Reds turning white ? Red anihilated ? Red meltdown ? Red dip ?

    Wonder how the super-duper computer is going to compute that into the chances of winning the PL ?
    This is starting to look like the Horaces and Curiaces more and more.

    The Villa game is going to be interesting….

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