Arsenal transfers – an alternative perspective

Untold Arsenal on Twitter @UntoldArsenal

By Marc Bénier

At the end of last season it appeared that Arsenal was a club in crisis.  Injuries and a lack of mental strength, combined with some seriously flawed defending horrified fans, and even AW appeared to be promising major changes – including transfers in and out of the club.

With the season about to start, there is a palpable sense of anger and frustration amongst fans.  We have not bought the marquee signings that we appeared to have been promised by Arsene Wenger, and our defence has not been strengthened significantly – in fact it appears to be weakened by the sale of Clichy.  The majority of the internet blames AW for not signing, blaming his stubborn refusal to change tactics and youth strategy.

However, I see things differently – we are not the same club we were five years ago, for economic reasons.

We have about £200M worth of debt, secured on our stadium.  This is being repaid at around £20M per annum.  Our property development business has injected funds into the club – but this is not sustainable income; we only get this money once – although with the property debt paid off it is all now pure profit.

The sustainable income comes from match day income and the commercial deals the club enters into along with prize money.  It appears from the clubs’ annual report that money from the property deals (approx £40 million) is ring-fenced for transfers.   It’s a good amount – but once it’s gone, it’s gone – so AW has to use it wisely.  The state of the European economy is horribly grim, with low growth and realistically, growing our commercial side is challenging, hence the Far East tour and the aim of tapping new markets.

Historically, AW has not been afraid to buy – Overmars, Ljungberg, Pires, Reyes, Campbell, Gallas, Arshavin et al.  The difference between five years ago and now appears to be two-fold:

1. The amount of time it seems to take to complete the deal now
2. Who actually negotiates on behalf of the club and is responsible for completing the deal.

In the last 2 – 3 seasons, if you believe all that you read, it seems that we regularly miss out on big players.  Transfers like Arshavin and Gervinho appear to take weeks, if not months to fully secure, whilst the transfers of clubs like Manure seemingly completed at high speed.  I would argue that this is not the fault of AW,   but the Board.

Ivan Gazidis is reported to be the director responsible for negotiating and closing transfer deals.  Since he and Stan Kroenke joined Arsenal our financial, commercial and marketing functions have been revamped, with new American managers coming in to sharpen up what was perceived to be the disappointing commercial performance of the club.  With this, it appears that new financial controls and processes have been introduced, and I suspect that our lack of agility in completing transfers arises from this.  Transfer deals are financially complex, with deals being made in multiple currencies; and with sterling being weak, our £40M does not go as far as we might like.  For example, three years ago, £40M would have been worth approximately 70M Euros; now it is worth 46M Euros.  Obviously our financial strength in the European market is significantly weakened.

The financial implications of deals are modelled extensively so that the full impact on the club finances are understood before any deals are finalised.  I would also expect that this modelling has to be done not once, but a number of times so that there are no financial surprises, and the impact on the cash flow of the club is fully understood.  This is very important – if an organisation runs out of cash, it does not matter what assets you have, you will almost certainly go bust – see Portsmouth and Leeds for recent examples.

So before blaming AW for the lack of transfers, remember the board and the corporate support staff have important roles to play, and they also have some responsibility for the lack of speed in completing our transactions. Gazidis I suspect is a hard nosed negotiator, determined to get the best deal for the club – and that will sometimes mean that he will not complete deals that he feels are not in the best financial interests of the club.

So, I would argue that whilst the Board fully back AW, it is only if the financial aspects of the deal are fully analysed and the financial implications fully understood.  This takes time, and I suspect costs us on some players.  Also the financial aspects of deals will be scrutinised ever harder – if they do not favour the club, then the deal will not be done.

I think the evidence for this perspective exists, with the very robust attitude being taken towards the sale of Fabregas to Barcelona.  The hard line stance is very much in the club’s interest; not only in trying to keep our best player, but also in terms of the potential financial damage such a deal may inflict on Barcelona.  Their financial difficulties are well reported; screwing the odd million or two out of them sounds petty, but will cause debt ridden clubs like Barcelona a lot of pain both now and in the future because they cannot afford him – and eventually that will show on the pitch when they are not able to compete financially with clubs such as Arsenal which have a far more robust and sustainable business model.

The battle for European and domestic supremacy is being fought not just on the Emirates pitch, but also economically, and this is a war that AW and the board appear to be determined to win.

Marc Bénier


Be very quiet, hush!  There’s good news at Arsenal

Referees now is the time to act

From Woolwich Arsenal to Ignasi Miquel. Be a partizan, but smile at the same time

From the AISA Arsenal History Site

Newcastle v Arsenal is the repeat of our very first league match.  Here’s how it went

Arsenal v West Brom, Jan 1964. A personal memory

All the background…

Support Arsenal, join the Arsenal Independent Supporters’ Association

Untold Arsenal: you know it makes sense

Arsenal History: what used to make sense

Making the Arsenal: when nothing made sense

83 Replies to “Arsenal transfers – an alternative perspective”

  1. Critic, I can’t see that you have any evidence for that comment. Certainly Mr Gazidis contradicted it totally on Monday night at the AISA AGM.

    And while it is true that Man U secured some signings at the start of the transfer window, they were about the only club to get things sorted quickly. We have brought in Gervinho, Ryo (who despite being 18 is clearly first team material now) Oxlade Chamberlain and Jenkinson, who might be fringe this season, but are backups. Four so far, and there is still time for more.

  2. I am in support of financial prudence because it will guarantee the future of the club. However, since we are operating in a market where every player is so unique that he can not be replaced like for like, we should find a way to speed up transfers before other clubs snap them. It appears that many clubs just wait for Arsenal scouts to identify a player then they pounce. Spurs a a typical example who are only hindered from doing us a lot of damage in transfers by their financial status and their non champions league status.
    Gazidis and the board should find a way to do their stuff swiftly so that when a player is identified as suitable for Arsenal, we can tie the deal quickly. I suspect that this was the reason we lost out on Ricky Alvarez and why Juan Mata’s expected arrival is under threat.

  3. Man U got things sorted because they paid over the odds… 19m for a young defender, 20m for a young goalkeeper. They are good, but still relatively unproven to be worht that much. Blackburn and Athletic Madrid got it all sorted quickly because they wer already laughing to the bank and they will be able to get serviceable back-ups for a fraction of the price. same with 20m for henderson by liverpool.

    if barcelona offered us a stupid high amount for fabregas, say 60m? im sure the deal would be completed by now. if we offered 30m for cahill and 20m for samba, they would be signed already.

    Same as if you were in a market, if you tried to haggle over the apples, you wud have to make some effort and spend some time to get the best price for you. If you’re rolling in cash, you can throw 100 quid at the stall owner and grab your apples right now.

    Some fans dont understand because its not their money… but i cant really remember a single arsenal purchase in the Wenger era where iv thought we’ve paid over the odds… but i cannot say the same for man utd, chelsea, man city and liverpool.

  4. One point to note is that the press endlessly say that Arsenal is just responding to events, rather than working on a strategy, and many supposed Arsenal fans buy into this.

    I am very doubtful that an organisation of the size of Arsenal work in this way. There has clearly been a strategy for buying a number of players, and for letting Nasri and Cesc go under certain conditions, and we are in that process, which means our actions are related to other clubs.

    We have some benefits – players clearly do think highly of ARsenal, despite the antics of the blogsphere (if players read the blogs we wouldn’t have any players at all). And I do think that the antic of one club slipping in a last minute bid to disrupt another club’s bid is

    a) mostly media talk – they just make it up.
    b) a lot of agent talk – they get paid more, the more the transfer fee
    c) club talk – but done by all clubs. I am sure Arsenal occasionally let slip that they might be interested in someone, just to muck up another team’s approach.

    Think of this.

    Tottenham want to sell X and buy Y. Arsenal have no interest in either, but want Z.

    Arsenal let slip to a journalist that they might want Y, and he runs the story. That makes life harder for tottenham, and meanwhile Arsenal slip in under the radar and approach Z.

    Then someone else repeats the scenario but with Arsenal as the buying club.

    So it goes – in the end the deals get done, but to portray Arsenal as a slow club, or a club that doesn’t know the market, just doesn’t fit with everything I see and hear about the club.

  5. Sounds reasonable, but I don’t really see how a couple of million will matter to Barca?? considering the debt they already have

  6. Correct Ed, the likes of Utd, City and Liverpool have paid well well over the odds for players. And if they get it wrong, they will go out and pay over the odds to right that wrong – (anyone else see De Gea last weekend- very early days I know but, another Cech or Taibi?)
    Arsenal do not have that luxury.
    That said, I cannot back this up completely, but I fear our at least perceived lack of ambition in the transfer market is demoralising some fans and could have the same effect on key players. That implosion last season was not nice to watch from a fans perspective, but we are fans and stick by the club, some players are offered kings ransoms to jump ship on the back of those events, and some will be tempted, this is what worries me most as a fan. Why was Nasri not signed up at a much earlier stage?
    If the worst of recent reports comes to fruition, the management team will have to strengthen, seriously and quickly, if needs be maybe by paying a bit over the odds. If not, I fear more fans in meltdown, and significantly, more players lost. Our retention of key players is not always the best.
    But if these events occur, Wenger can still turn things around and quickly, he has done it before and on less money that he could have available in the next week or so.

  7. I agree it takes a lot longer to secure a deal on the right terms and at the right price and our board have been good at this. It is however naive to believe the new financial regulations will bite as hard as many think and because we are the best self sustaining model we will rule the roost within five years. There are always ways around these things once you have substantial amounts of money and with more and more Far East and American companies getting interested in football prices are still rising. We are a business orientated development and selling club. Our trophy success comes and goes in cycles. We will be trophy successful again, when I do not know, certainly not in the current climate. Selling your best players and waiting for the younger players to develop, however talented they maybe, is not the way to come out on top over a long hard season. Meanwhile we have to content ourselves with entertaining football, a well run strong financial club with promises to the future. This seems enough for many, others are less accepting, that is the nature of pays yer money and takes yer choice.

  8. All fans and clubs admire Arsenal’s policy.
    Love this club because of this policy and the football we play.

    Dont care if we win trophies now, these will come in the future as long as we are financially sound.

    Yes Wenger is wrong sometimes, but we should be still grateful for the legacy he is leaving and I am against of any changes to the existing policy. It will be a bad mistake not to be financial prudent at these times….

  9. Problem is Andy, promises have been made on silverware / investment / player retention which appear some way off.
    Not the worst in itself, I am sure all attempts have been made to win silverware, we have been very close and are up against all kinds of forces . BUT we do have some very reactionary fans….and possibly players.
    IF we lose those 2, Wenger , despite all perceptions will have the tactical ability and flexibility to tweak the way we play accordingly, even at this short notice. I cannot believe Wenger has not planned for these possible outcomes. If he makes the right signings, we may lose great quality but could be strengthened as a team. Maybe some of the negativity will be removed. I like the thought of these pacy wide players coming in, that seems to suggests changes are afoot and our play will be more pressing and direct.
    I think the club could do a bit better with expectation management but can see their predicament
    I hope I am wrong but fear the next few days will be painful. But hopefully, a stronger more stable team full of players who would run through a brick wall for the club will emerge.

  10. it appears to me that the boston red sox won nothing for many years in the shadow of new york and the fans stood their ground. some years ago the florida marlins won the world series then gutted the team perhaps because the salary model was unsustainable.

    it’s hard to imagine a club the size of arsenal operating without a well-developed financial model. plug in the numbers at one end and a sell or buy decision comes out the other. it’s not that complicated to set up. if i had set up such a financial model, it would tell me not to spend $20 mil on henderson or jones, nor that laughable $50 mil on torres.

    it would help the fans to know what the club is thinking but would ruin the club’s chances in the transfer market. wenger has proven time and again that you don’t necessarily need a big name to win. this is a team sport and a team playing along the same wavelength will outdo a bunch of individuals. just ask man shitty fans how that works.

    our team dropped points at the end of last season because one or two players went on strike and nobody was left in charge. with tv back and given the captain’s armband, that will change, particularly if we get rid of le sulc. cesc will be hard to replace but the surfeit of pace in the team will surely give our opponents pause.

    we are one defender short of being as good as anybody else in defence. no other team, save maybe barcedefault has a choice of midfielders like we do. mata and scot dann could solve our problems in one fell swoop while we push vela into the backup striker’s role. don’t forget we have the little russian and the little mozart who still know how to string passes together from just behind the striker.

    can the club do a better p.r. job to placate the fans? yes, i think so. but they are up against a biased press. as i have said several times, i’d rather support a well-run club that works as a team, not a set of adebayors. a pity more arsenal fans don’t realize that without financial doping there would only be two title contenders while chelsea and shitty would be squabbling in the second tier with everton, liverpool and the like.

  11. Marc,
    Good perspective sir.
    May I just add that the tendency of clubs and or players to introduce new factors after some “heads of agreement” might have been signed also seem to complicate the hell out of Arsenal’s negotiating model because it would mean a new round of financial analysis and sign-offs. This might have been responsible for our ultimately losing out on the Argentine, Alvarez and it might have been responsible for the delay/loss of interest in Samba wherein it was reported that Blackburn belatedly realized they had to pay some money to Samba’s previous club and they wanted to pass that cost to Arsenal. Certainly, it was an issue with AOC whom we just inally signed.

    Since Arsenal must deal with the market at the market’s terms and standards, it will just have to introduce more flexibility in its model – including threshold analysis – such that only if last minute additions exceed a certain amount would a completely new review be triggered or justified. For example,I am not sure the delays in concluding AOC’s deal is justified by a significant reduction in his final value (or was it? I don’t know). I also feel that losing out on the Argentine, Alvarez, for a $2million premium may be miserly – if his talent is as immense as to have justified Arsenal’s interest in the first place.

    Another way I view the above is to suppose there has been a change in Arsenal’s experienced-player-player-purchase tactics. It seems Arsenal is willing to consider not just 1 or 2 options for any position it may feel it needs an experienced player but 5 or 6, including young players that may be developed into the position within 6months. By increasing the number of players it is willing to look at, the club reduces the power of any player or club to make Arsenal pay over the odds for the talent. Necessarily, the tactics calls for long drawn negotiations and patience.

  12. Mike, without the current financial doping, Chelsea may well have gone out of business at one point.
    Would be interesting to see what Spurs could realistically spent without the guy out there in the Bahamas or Caymans or wherever.
    Agree with a lot of your post, including the PR bit.
    Do you really reckon some went on strike? If so, they should not now be at the club, whatever their reasons

  13. It’s all very well the present article writing quote, ‘We have about £200M worth of debt’.
    Why is that of concern to the fans – why? We, the fans are not part of the profit so why include us in the debt?

    Fans expect success on the field and winning trophys – fullstop. So no more articles which expect the fans to understand sob stories. Arsenal is not different from other clubs that win games and trophies. All clubs have the same or similar problems.

  14. thanks laundy. i forgot to add: how daft can liverpool be to consider selling mierles and buying henderson for $19 mil? when henderson fails to produce, as i’m sure he will, they won’t be able to recover much more than five to eight. meanwhile, we’re growing them by the bucket load. i give you bellerin, ozyakup and the like, all bought for a fart in a breeze if you will excuse the colloquialism.

    a million here, two million there and pretty soon you’re talking about real money.

  15. @ mandy, i can spot an underperforming staffer from a mile off. when my top performers’ numbers drop it’s usually because they are signalling dissatisfaction with something they perceive the organization is doing to them. le sulc figured he was worth more than he was being offered and began dragging his feet. the lack of fighting spirit may have affected the rest of the team.

    the lack of talent among the backup players didn’t help either and i am not speaking specifically about bendtner, almunia nor squillaci.

  16. Matt, I can only take it that you simply don’t agree with the fundamental approach of this site, which is to try and recognise that the playing field is not flat.

    Your argument is a bit like saying, “Newcastle can play in the top league, so why can’t Torquay United?”

    The fact is that Chelsea and Man City have unlimited funds available, and that the hope I had that Financial Fair Play might hold them back, has not turned out to be true. So whatever we do, they can spend twice as much or more, and buy anyone they like and pay them anything. They don’t have to worry about debt, bad purchases or anything. If they buy a player and he flops or throws a tantrum, no problem, buy another.

    Arsenal does not have access to those funds, and so has to work doubly hard to keep up. That we have kept up thus far is a total and amazing triumph – everyone else has gone into massive debt – debt which is not being repaid month by month, but is being added to month by month.

    Quite clearly this cannot go on, and in the near future there will just be the clubs owned by the multi billionaires and Arsenal, fighting it out.

    Fans might live in a fantasy land if they wish, but the fact is we are the only club to be taking on the likes of Chelsea, while operating an approach that will keep us going.

    You must have seen Leeds and Portsmouth collapse, and you must recall that Leeds at least were seen at their height as one of the top clubs. More collapses are about to happen. I do not want Arsenal to be one of them.

    And to be clear, given the choice between winning that league cup last season, or ending up like Birmingham – totally bankrupt and with an utterly uncertain future, I will accept not winning the thing. I want Arsenal to be here for my grandchildren.

  17. Look, you AKBs CANNOT use the club’s finances as an excuse for the false prophet Wenger’s transfer policy, why? Because he spent £12m (£12,000,000.00, 150% of Rafael van der Vaart’s transfer fee, 60% of our reported debt repayment for the year) on a 17-year-old who has never played in the Premier League or even the Championship!

    I, and the other proud Gooners who want rid of Wenger, know that we do not have the same financial strength as the Manchester clubs and Chelsea, but Wenger is making the wrong signings!!! This is inexcusable! Surely, you AKBs can see it, unless your vision and reasoning is as flawed as our once great manager’s!!!


  18. Its a great article but it does fall apart on 3 things:
    1. why we are selling Fab for cheap
    2. Why we give a fuck about Barca
    3. ManU has spent heaps recently. Why aren’t they fucked yet.

  19. Interesting Mike.
    This club has to live within its means , no choice. But that said does anyone know, if say Wenger made a £20m profit on his transfer dealings this summer, would that money end up in the owners pocket, in a future transfer / investment fund, paying off debts at a faster rate?
    What I am saying I guess – will the club / fans / team gain from our almost unique financial responsibility, or an individual or both sets?

  20. Dan,

    I liked the way you pretended to be on another blog. I think you feel better now.

    A bit more serious now. So we had to buy VDVaart last year. When we had Cesc and Nasri at our disposal. Where would we have played him? In the East Stand? As a ball boy?

    Do you have any more inside information on the negotiations? Do you know with whom we are talking? And the prices? And don’t tell us what the newspapers are writing because 90% of those reports are false most of the time. No just say the names (the wrong ones as you tell us) and when talks were or are being held.

    And if you cannot give me that I think it is best to wait till the start of next month and then we will see how things are standing.

  21. Tony,
    that is the difference between the “unhappy” fans.
    They don’t care about tomorrow. Let alone the day after tomorrow. All they care about is : NOW. I want it now, today.

    It is an attitude that leads young children to rioting and looting shops like we have seen the past days. They can’t be bothered to work, to save some money and then buy a 42″slim line color tv. No, they want it today and when the chance comes their way, they will take it. Not thinking about the consequences and the fact that it could ruin their lives.

    Like the French idiom: “après nous la déluge’, expresses so well. This is the sad mentality of many people these days. Oh, in English it means “after us the flood may come in” but I don’t know if this expresses it like the French idiom does.

  22. Oh, and forgot to say: Thanks Marc for this article.
    If I can take your name as a reference you might now the French idiom I used.

  23. Walter,

    I used Rafael van der Vaart merely as an example of what two-thirds of the Oxlade-Chamberlain transfer fee could have got us (you should have countered my argument by saying that Rafa’s wages and signing-on fee would make him more expensive :-]). Besides, I think we would have done much better this season with Rafa given the number of times we had to rely on Denílshit, Diaby and RoSICKy.

    As you can guess, I’m not privy to the information from Arsenal’s negotiations. However, until you can bring evidence to the contrary, I don’t think that it’s unreasonable to use the figure of £12m that has been used by the BBC, Sky, and a number of newspapers. Come on, Walter, do you really think we signed Oxlade-Chamberlain for £2m plus add-ons, which is the maximum we should be looking at paying for such a player.

  24. @marc Just a couple of things to point out. Firstly AW never ever promised marque signings,where did you get that from? He has conceded that certain areas (defence) need strengthening. Wether it has been weakend by the sale of Clichy is debateable,I for one felt that he had stagmated and it was time for him to move on. Your math is somewhat suspect aswell. Three years ago £40 million was worth e70 million? Never. Back in 2002 when the conversion took place a pound would buy you 1.59 euros,hence £40 million would have been worth e63.6 million. In 2008 it was trading at roughly 1.20 which then was worth about £48 million and obviously All prem clubs position in the european market have been weakend not just ours. Apart from that it was a good stab at trying to lift a clearer picture amidst the relentless bombardment from the anti Arsenal press/media and the negative backlash from so called Arsenal fans. Nice one

  25. @ mandy, as in any commercial venture both sides must gain something. i support financial prudence as a matter of course as i personally find obvious displays of wealth to be in poor taste. but part of arsenal’s p.r. outreach has to include a rebate to the fans in the form of cheaper tickets or a battle to the wire for trophies.

    if the fans don’t see themselves getting something out of the financial prudence deal, they will walk away.

  26. Tony,

    Your article ignores one of the major issues with Arsenal (and I suppose AW) which is that when funds are available they are not always used in order of priority.

    Examples – Last year Kos was bought in. I fully see why he was bought in – he has the major attributes to go on and become a good defender for Arsenal. However he is not a good defender now. He is decent but quite obviously lacks major experience in a high profile league and high profile competitions.

    His arrival meant that Arsenal basically decided to buy someone for the future rather than someone who could have done a good job for Arsenal last season. The net result is an acknowledgement by the manager that his defence is in fact lacking.

    Same goes for this year. The window isn’t closed so who knows – but the fee paid for a 17 year old was substantial in terms of Arsenal budgets and it is obvious that this fee took up a significant proportion of Arsenals original budget for the window. Now sure they may sign more players but this will be through players sales. Given what happened to us last season, and while I acknowledge that Wenger may be on to a winner with his young signing, what exactly will this signing do for us this season in terms of addressing the issues that Wenger himself admits the team has.

    This issue continues in that the mistakes Arsenal make on the pitch aren’t new. These were already there from a long time and were certainly there when Arsenal began last season. These were not fixed. Had these have been fixed then sure I would agree with your article that prudence is the driving factor of Arsenals current state. However that is not true – the team are already failing due to inadequate coaching/prep.

  27. @Dan, AW is making the wrong signings, Vemaelen is not up to it then,Nasri has been a waste of money,Gervinho certainly looks like a complete waste of time aswell? Idiot

  28. Rog B,

    You should go and see a doctor, mate, your selective memory is frightening me. For every Vermaelen, there’s a Squillaci, for every Nasri, there’s been a RoSICKy and Gervinho hasn’t kicked a ball in a competitive game yet. While I’m not going to get involved in a tit-for-tat exchange with you and am prepared to let your ‘idiot’ comment go, I would like you to make sure that someone helps take you home tonight, I don’t trust that your memory is up to it.

  29. Why do people insist we buy rubbish players in a hurry?
    Poor Jordan Henderson was made to look a laughing stock because Damien Comolli’s copy of Moneyball caught fire, causing him to add an extra zero to their offer to Sunderland.
    I hate to remind people but sixteen teams were worse over the course of a 38 game season than Arsenal.

  30. DK,
    You say financial prudence and we like sustainability. It’s good in the abstract. In practice, I’d like you/anyone to opine (as opine is all we can do) as to whether or not this would be financially prudent and sustainable in your view: to make a 1:1 re-investment in new quality purchases with the potentially 35-55 million that would come with Cesc and Samir’s departures for these (approximate) amounts? Let us speak in specifics.

  31. Mandy Dodd,
    For today, I’m with you in spirit and struggle with my fears. I don’t think, however, that there’s a litmus test or lie-detector or staff psychologist, etc., that can do much to reliably screen for a player who will run through the proverbial brick wall for any coach in this money-bent day and age – and who will not try and hold us hostage by demanding their release – like Cesc (passively) and Samir (more openly) – once we’ve developed their potential to leave us for a better payday (their right). It’s obviously all a massive risk, whatever the action taken or not taken. But, to my lights, at least management should recycle 1:1 what we lose/gain in player departures on the risk of new quality acquisitions that will hopefully restore creativity to the midfield (when Cesc exits), get us a killer poacher/fox in the box (the “next” Eduardo), and yes, quality depth for the back line (needed since last January) to be proactive on the inevitable injuries to come and to replace the deficiencies in skill that saddle Squillachi and in experience that for the moment come with Gibbs on the left side. I’d love to know your thoughts on these, any which way. Cheers.

  32. Ive been thinking for years now about the financial constraits of our move to the emirates stadium.Show me a single self sufficent team that could afford to move to a new 60000 seater stadium and not have some sort of debt to repay.People that want wenger to splash in the transfer market with huge sums like 30 to 40 million have either no concern for arsenal football clubs future, or have no buisness sense.Running a football club is like running a buisness, and as such,debt is a very real and impending fixture.I dont need to remind people what wenger has done for our club(and i mean positive things) or that we are the envy of many teams;combining beautiful football with a superb self sufficent stadium,a fantastic history,fantastic players who manage to compete yearly for all four trophies on a small budget.Remeber that teams below us have spent more on their squad(tottenham and liverpool)and yet would trade anything to be us(the sensible fans that is!).One more point, the best players in the world arent always the most expensive.Look at messi who cost practically nothing as a kid,or van persie 3million,xavi inesta and fabregas all came from the excellent barca academy.When there are no real financial constrictions then money is more often wasted than spent benificially.

  33. woolwich Peripatetic,
    the other 16 teams under us dont have a 60k seater state of the art stadium with highest ticket prices probably in the whole world, they dont have the financial resources we have as well as the history apart from liverpool. if you take the last 12 or so games in account no one would want to be in our place. the famous end of season collapse which has nothing to do with finances. financial prudence is one thing neglecting the need is another.

  34. alex,
    all boring boring boring.
    firstly no one wants wenger to buy a player for 30 or 40mil i dont know where you heard that from. the 12mil we just spent on a kid who is not even tested in championship let alone premier league now makes me think twice before shaming liverpool for paying over the odds for henderson or utd for de gae. had we spent those 12mil on a defender in december we could’ve seen a very differnt end to the season. i am not against wenger or the way he wants to run the club but i do think he needs tweaking his on policy and tactics.

  35. Tony it is you who choose to se write quote, “it is like saying Newcastle can play in the top league, so why can’t Torquay United.

    I did not use comparisons in my comment. I wrote a straight forward and honest comment that we, the fans expect to win trophies.
    WE understand the ins and outs of financial targets that clubs need to meet.
    We understand the politics surrounding the ins and outs of buying and selling players and all the rest.
    But we do not expect in any way sort or form to lose 4 titles which in a season.
    Let me also say, that we were favourites to win at least 2 of them. So to repeat the comment, We the fans want to win trophies – we are not partners to the clubs profits and not to its debts. And do not want to be linked to failures on the field because of the 200 mil debt the club has to pay. The players are paid well to win and not to walk on to the pitch laden down with debt on their backs.

  36. Reality – where do you get these strange numbers and figures from. We are not even the most expensive club in London, let alone the world! Try buying a ticket for QPR v Arsenal, and then compare with prices for Arsenal v QPR.

    And if you want to compare with others consider Portsmouth, who did indeed win a Cup when we didn’t, and now have a first team squad of 16.

    Goodness knows what you would have done had you been a Manchester United supporter when they were relegated to the second division. If you have ever read any of my stuff you would know that I thoroughly dislike that club, but you have to admire the fact that they were packing in 50,000 a game in their season in the second. If all Arsenal supporters have a view like you, I guess we would go down to 5,000 if we were relegated. (Actually now I think of it, we went down to 3,000 when we were relegated).

  37. And a follow to my previous comment.
    Why is it that players in other clubs consistently play well while we have so many off days?
    And why is it that other clubs do not suffer the number of injuries that we do – is our medical staff not up to the job? Are our training methods wrong? Just asking.

    If we want to continue paying off the 200 mil debt, then we better give the fans what they want or perhaps in seasons to come the stands may not be as full as we wish.

  38. Matt, I do understand your position, and you have been totally honest in saying…

    we, the fans expect to win trophies.

    And this is the key issue. I started watching Arsenal in 1956 and for my formative years we did not expect to win trophies. So for me a six year gap is nothing – at least nothing compared to some earlier eras.

    My view is that the club has survived this extraordinary run in the top league since 1919 and this almost unbeatable run in Europe under Wenger by being careful and handling itself well. Spending a lot more on players would pose risks which I think are unacceptable – and my example of Leeds and Portsmouth today just show how risky the business of football can be.

  39. @reality check,
    My problem is not with the level of expectation, it’s with the moronic suggestions that involve buying rubbish players from teams who would kill for even our last half of the season form. Jordan Henderson is ridiculously over-priced, being premiership tested and found wanting is far worse than being league one tested and excelling.

  40. Tony and alex,
    Given our side as it is today, August 11th, at the time you read this comment: if you could cast the decisive vote, do you think that AFC management should recycle 1:1 whatever we gain in player departures to be (e.g., cesc and/or samir and/or bendtner and/or whomever) into new quality acquisitions; OR, should that money go to retire more of the outstanding debt; OR would you have some specific hybrid or alternative? My vote would be to 1:1 recycle into new acquisitions – not for the sake of spending, but to acquire additional quality – as I pointed out to Mandy Dodd at 1:45 above. I’d like to know your votes on this unsecret ballot of ours.

  41. @Matt Gunn

    Stands may not be as full as we wish.. True..But the beauty of it is, that even if attendances drop off by a third. ie 20000 fans.. We’d STILL have as many fans in our stadium as Chelsea, Liverpool and Spurs. Nobody wants to see empty seats, but frankly that isn’t going to happen, and even if it does, as I said, our earning from gates will be more than those other clubs.

  42. There are players that would improve Arsenal that are changing hands for what Arsenal can afford.

    Instead Arsenal are wasting their budget on trying to discover the next bright spark. If Arsenal had spent their budget differently prior to last season beginning then the CC calamity may not have happened and while winning the CC is not a major thing, the subsequent downfall that followed may have been prevented.

    The simple fact is that the Arsenal first team are better than their position suggests. This is no longer a budget issue. Their are training/prep/coaching issues involved here too.

  43. Tony,
    Just got to read yours at 3:01. There are risks in spending and risks in not spending. If we do get 35-50M from Cesc/Samir, would you risk spending or risk not spending it this season to replace the capabilities that we’d lose with them or wait until the prospects develop? Given that there’s no risk free position, would you spend that specific money to better compete for a trophy this season?

  44. re reality check;how may i ask do you know whether wenger will or wont sign a defender?Also, oxlade chamberlein must be a very good player for wenger to spend 12million pound on(by the way where did you get that figure from..oh let me guess the garbage press).You might think you know an 18 year olds potential but Wenger knows better.

  45. @bob

    Regarding 1:1 spending.. It depends. What are you spending it on. Like for like replacements for Cesc and Nasri? Nasri perhaps but I really don’t think there is a like for like replacement for Cesc.

    I’d like to see money reinvested in the squad. But depending on if we have enough money for it or not, some of it should certainly go towards extending the contracts of RVP, Walcott and Song. (who are apparently all out of contract next year) You know I agree on us needing a striker. I have a feeling though, that it’s going to be Joel Campbell. A 1m signing isn’t anywhere near 1:1, but I don’t care about that, as long as he can perform at a level required of him. Would a marquee signing be prepared to sit on the bench behind RVP? Bendtner’s leaving for the same reason anyway. I’d like a defender, a striker, and a creative replacement for Cesc/Nasri if/when we sell them.

  46. alex,
    no one knows for sure. no one. and there’s a very thin line between being a good prognosticator of how a player will really turn out, and being lucky. we should all – and I do not exclude myself in the least – be humbled by that fact of life. the question is how much and what kind of risks we can finally tolerate.

  47. Shard,
    Your last sentence and I are in complete accord! Let’s it and I have a pint. Cheers?

  48. re bob;You’re asking a question which there are two choices for answers.You ask that if cesc fabregas and nasri are sold should the 40 to 50 million be spent on replacements.My answer is somewhat a common view,i propose that Wenger signs juan mata for 22 million as talent of cesc and samirs(when he feels like it)quality must be replaced by equal quality.But there are other unpopular solutions.We could replace nasri with ryo or alex oxlaide.After all who knows whether or not they could step up instantly and be a success? I think they could.The remainding 20million should go towords the debt as it perhaps has done before.After all, only cesc is a vital loss, who to my knowledge cannot be replaced internally(we were preparing fran merida to take over but impatience got the better of him).I enjoyed answering your question bob.

  49. Where are these players changing hands for Arsenal money that would improve Arsenal? All I see are the usual moronic suggestions. No-one has suggested players like James Tomkins, they just keep parotting on about Jagielka (way overpriced) or Dann (way overrated), or Cahill (somewhere in between). Could this be because instead of doing a bit of research into EPL defenders, morons just follow what the papers and the pundits say?

  50. You need to look further into some of the players that have changed clubs in this transfer window then.

  51. Bob, agree – no exact science in screening players for loyalty and intestinal fortitude, although I get a good feeling about Ryo and A OC. Some say home grown players are less mercenary and settle better, we have had problems with the likes of Reyes but then again, there was Cashley once he was tapped.
    Interesting view on recycling players, I would like to see something like that.
    I do not fear for Arsenal mid to long term – we are in good shape but as you have detected, I do worry a bit about the coming season. Things seem a bit stacked against us, media aside. Reportedly unsettled players, the usual injuries, suspensiona and a very tough start, not to mention a £30m game if it is true that the club are so financially conscious.
    If we lose our MFs, we need to invest in quality as you say, at least in part. Known weak points should be addressed, we will have the money.
    I come on this site because I back Wenger. Things in the past have frustrated me, players in key positions have clearly not been up to the job but have been in the first team squad for years. Injuries were not prepared for it sometimes seems. And – just an example, say we had signed Alonso rather than keeping the unfortunate Denilson – where would we be and would Cesc have been appeased to a degree? It is all hindsight, conjecture, things we dont know the half of.
    But, this year, above all recent years, we have to avoid shooting ourselves in the foot. We can comfortably do so on a nice positive transfer spreadsheet if we do have to replace Cesc and Nas. No time for penny pinching or indecisiveness. I believe Wenger is up to this challenge and then some, but I will feel better when whatever happens, we have the strongest team we can possibly have on Sept 1st.

  52. Re Woolwich perpiatic ;I agree with your ratings on jagielka and cahill, but i cannot say about dann as i never watched him play(i intensly hate pulis and mcleishs teams and their style of play….leg breakers) also tell me who is james tomkins who does he play for?I try to watch as much of the other leagues as i can.Also i think the reasons that Wenger is after those 3 players you mentioned and not a foreign player or somebody else is because he said himself he wants someone with premier league experience.

  53. Players like Phil Jones, who can’t pass, wins only about 50% of his aerial battles and cost £16.5 million? Top notch signing.

  54. What has Phil Jones got do with this? Why are you using him as an example when you clearly think he wouldn’t add value to Arsenal?

    The point was not who Arsenal are being linked with or who has changed clubs but you don’t like. Not really sure how you could have misunderstood it.

    Moreover your assertion that teams buy players you think are not good enough is logic for Arsenal to not buy players just doesn’t make sense.

    Look beyond the gossip pages to what is actually happening and then come back.

  55. @Alex,
    James Tomkins plays for West Ham. Last season Opta reckoned he was their second best player. They are quite keen to keep him. His rating was higher than any of our CBs, better than any of the usual suspects, better than Phil Jones. But because he played for a team that got relegated he seems to have gone under the radar.
    I’m not saying we’re in for him but he’s obviously a reasonably good player (Opta are surprisingly good at rating players) who is under the radar of the press (and thus more likely to be signed by us).

  56. @Lex,
    Sorry, thought you were suggesting that Arsenal could have bought Phil Jones. Care to name some decent central defenders that have changed hands this transfer window at any sort of reasonable price?

  57. Don’t know about defenders. Considering what Wenger wants from his next defender, I doubt he could buy anyone for a low price that would fulfill his needs. It saddens me to say this but even Roger Johnson would have added value to AFC considering Squallaci is in the squad.

    But there are other positions (DM, GK) where players have moved and Arsenal could have afforded them and those players are better than the current Arsenal player, e.g. Stekelenburg.

  58. I have checked to see if the 2010/2011 Financial Report is there, nothing.

    Therefore I have to revert to the 20109/2010 Financial Accounts. Looking at Page 6 of the CEDO’s report it states “Our Property busines… deliver some surplus cash back to the rest of the Group over the next couple of years”.

    Nothing about £40 millions ring-fenced????? Where does this figure come from, not from the last Financial Report to hand.

    Fiction, my dear Watson, sheer fiction.

  59. What appears interesting to me, having read the last two pages of this feed,is that when we were still in the frame for all four trophies last season what exactly were the ‘Must win a trophy/anti Wenger’ crowd all thinking then? Were they pro Wenger and club?,had they forgotten their moans about Wenger,did they actually believe that we might win a trophy, were the current moans I’m constantly reading as constant then as they are now? I’m not sure perhaps Untold could shed some light on the climate of the comment back then? Tony?

  60. Marc Benier,
    Notoverthehill has just above brought up a significant point for those of us who wish to better understand the actual finances, so we can discuss and analyze in a more meaningful way. Please cite your source on the 40M so we can know if that’s so or not.

  61. The trouble is Squillaci is pretty good as a fourth choice central defender, certainly he’s better than Silvestre (what short memories people have).
    A partnership made up of any two of the other three senior CBs looks pretty good, both on paper and in practice. But when we’re two CBs down, any pair with Squillaci in it looks perilous, if only because he’s not so good at playing a high line. If we look at other teams, they tend to drop their line when they have a weak CB pairing in order to minimise their exposure, whereas we carry on regardless.

  62. Woolwich Peripatetic, that is exactly my thoughts also.

    What it seems Wenger wants is an athletic, fast, leadership qualities and intelligent CB that is English/has EPL experience and can help AFC continue to play a high line – basically it seems the remit is to be an English Gallas. I doubt there is anyone out there that could be this person.

    Samba under the current AFC system would be a disaster. So would probably most defenders he is linked with. Unfortunately the system the team play is inherently flawed for the EPL. I doubt it would work regardless of which defemders he bought.

    Best hope is still to outscore the opposition from what I can see.

  63. From December 20010 to Barcelona in February 2011, The Arsenal were the best team in the EPL. Opta/Guardian statistics for the season 2010/2011 show The Arsenal in the forefront of the best teams in the four major Championships, EPL, Spanish, German and Italian, not necessarily in that order.

    One is left with, why the end of season loss of form? I believe it was part fatigue from certain players, loss of form for others and lack of quality stand-ins. It would appear from that certain squad players do not play enough competetive games each season. The Reserves should be playing a competetive game every other week, if not every week. I am sure that if there is not a reserve fixture then a game could easily be set up for £100K to the winner! £50K from the pockets of the Arsenal Reserves if they are beaten.

    As for the Hale End Academy players, definitely competetive games against teams with players on the mimimum wage. If the Academy fail to win £25K from their pockets to the winners!


  64. tony,
    you are one of the senior supporter of the club so you’ve seen alot more ups and downs than the younger ones. But the thing is when you attract fans through success on the pitch you cant just fill there apetite through success off the field or in finance department if they were that patient and understanding they would be supporting their local team. Its a phycological thing. The trend has changed the new generation supports trophies more than values etc.
    The fact that wenger defends clubs transfer policy dosent necessarily means its all his own polices, every loyal employee would do that he is clubs spokes man thats why he gets so much stick, to even think he has full control on the finances of the club is dellusion to say the least, why have they employed ivan and the team if that was the case. Ivan admitted that wenger identifies the target and we try to make it happen proves that its not only wenger who is responsible for our shortcomings in the transfer market its mostly the people upstairs. For me wenger is still the man but he needs the support of the board as well as ours. For me its the people upstairs who need sorting out.

  65. That’s a thing I’m very curous about: who handles the negotiations with prospective players? If it’s Gazidis and people chosen by the board, then why does Gazidis say the transfer money is handled by Wenger? And that’s the official statement from the club. If it’s not Gazidis, who does Wenger employ to perform the task, and does he decide alone? The management itself is also quite curious – if the board allocates 40 million pounds to transfer dealings, why does the board continue to control these funds? This would mean that Wenger actually plays only a minor role in the dealings, as someone else suggested a while ago – that he merely points out the names he’s interested in and Gazidis or anyone else then takes up negotiations. That would mean his powers are fairly limited. I fully understand the need for scrutiny and deep consideration with each transfer, but this policy evidently leads to problems with getting more experienced, costly and demanding players to play for Arsenal. I’m not thinking of this as a source for the “crisis” some people see occurring at Arsenal, but if it works in the roundabount way that it seems to be working, it is cause for serious concern.

  66. Wow – I never expected to generate this much commentary.

    @RobB – You are right about the euro; I mis-remembered. However in the period from 2003 – 2007 (upto 5 years ago) The pound was consistently 20% stronger than the Euro. All EPL clubs do buy in Europe now, however few clubs have invested in european players over the last ten years as heavily as Arsenal, and the strength of sterling has enabled us to consistently get better value players. Now of course, the eurozone countries are better able to shop in the UK for players because of the relative weakness of sterling.

    About the ring-fencing of funds – I am going on comments previously made by Gazidis and Peter Hill Wood in that a certain percentage of the profits made from the property development business would be set aside to fund transfers.
    Looking at the last half year report on the website;
    cash in hand plus short term deposits total £110M.
    We have debtors (people the club owe money to within one year) of £62M. That equates to £48M balance.
    A business does not keep those levels in cash and short term deposits unless you plan to use it. BTW, this figure includes net transfer cash inflow of £15.9M. Allowing appprox £5M for tax cover then a transfer budget of approx. £40M based upon from is not unreasonable. The club appear to be cash rich and enjoy a positive net cash flow. It’s not an exact analysis and I admit that I wrote a little too forcefully in saying it was ring fenced – I should have said ‘reported to be ring-fenced’ and I agree – that was from the press, and my own recollection of what the Board stated in the past on how profit from the property business was to be re-invested in the club. However, a very rough analysis of the figures from the half year report indicates that the oft quoted figure of £40M is in fact feasible.

    @gooner – Fabregas: He wants to leave, therefore it’s best that he goes. As to the price – a player we paid minimal compensation for (around £1M?)we sell for around £30M with add-ons etc. I would say that is an ok return on a player that has been with us for nine years.

    Why hasn’t Manure died yet – interestingly it was reported a couple of days ago that the Glazers were contemplating selling 20% of the club in order to reduce the debt burden. They realise that their current level of debt and spending is not sustainable without a considerable cash injection, which I would assume they are unwilling to supply themselves – hence the need to sell.

    Will the odd million matter to Barca? Hell yes! This summer they have been a SELLING club! In 2010 Yaya Toure was sold to City for £24M at a time when Barcelona firstly could not pay their players and secondly went against their values and principles in taking shirt sponsorship for the first time. In order to fund the moves for Sanchez and Fabregas they have needed to sell 5 of their current first team squad – one of them, Bojan Krkic on a bizarre deal well documented elsewhere. If the odd million didn’t matter so much to Barca, this transfer would have been done and dusted months ago! Also, it appears that Fabregas himself has to stump up to enable the deal to go ahead! As an Arsenal fan I care about what Barca do BECAUSE they consistently buy from us and it is starting to hurt them.

    In terms of Arsenal transfers now; the squad IS being transformed:
    Denilson, Fabregas, Clichy, Bendtner, Eboue: that forms a significant chunk of the first team for the last couple of years. Add into that the half dozen or so youngsters who have left Arsenal on free transfers or failing to win a contract. We are seeing a re-shaping of the Arsenal squad, and Gazidis himself I believe has stated that the money will be re-invested in new players at the last AST meeting.

    I hope to see a central defender (Mertesacker and/Cahill would work for me!) and possibly a creative midfielder; with our recent investment in wide players I would like to see Ramsey and Arshavin have a crack at the Fabregas role. Arshavin in particular could well be a revelation to us, and Rosicky was an excellent central midfielder before AW moved him to the wing.

  67. Lex,
    We need balance. “Outscore the Opposition” by any means necessary doesn’t consistently work against first-rate veteran defenses or, alas, second-rate clubs who are bulldog bus parkers. We didn’t solve the latter last season, remember? And you don’t mention it today; but seem to talk yourself out of a defensive solution — either a stay at home hard man, or a total commitment to the swarming Barca-like offense/defense that requires such 2-way players. I prefer the latter, if possible (though none of us has the worldwide scouting system to actually know who’s out there, right?). But in defense of the former stay at home type, does every player have to be in on the attack? Is the high-line strategy inflexible – a one size shoe to fit all opponents? Can anyone lay back? Given our problems with set pieces and the like, would you really take OAC over a Chris Samba who you turn into a dinosaur? I guess so. But are you so sure that a Samba would so damage our defense and actually prevent an effective (flexible) high line?

  68. p.s. meant to add: “given our problems with over the top counter-attacks and set pieces….”

  69. Marc,
    I’ve read that yes, those very Glazers are going to sell off a large number of shares; but there’s a buy-back scheme for a certain portion of it by them which will let them to collect dividends. I will have to research where that’s spelled out – it was recently analyze in the NY Times – but it’s clear that this perceived need to sell is also a way to attract outside funds and continue an income stream to themselves. If pressed by you/others, I’ll find the link. But there’s little to no indication, alas, that ManUre is in serious trouble, as their 60M expenditures this summer seem to have demonstrated.

  70. Bob, my comments are under the assumption that the current system of play remains – for which there is no evidence to suggest otherwise.

    The high line is not flexible. It is applied consistently. So unless Samba can make sure that no one can get past him high up the pitch I would say he is stuffed being an Arsenal defender.

    The high line only works if players press. Arsenal players rarely do. They did against Chelsea and it worked wonders.

  71. Marc,
    I fully agree with your last bit on who/what’s needed; but, on recent form, really think Ramsey needs another year’s experience in the midfield, though I am positively intrigued by your idea of giving Arshavin a trial run thereabouts just to see what’s possible.

  72. Lex,
    yes, for the high line to excel, I agree the need is for players who consistently press – what I called a swarming offense/defense (or Barca like approach). You’re right re. Chelsea, but then what happened to it? Where did it go? Perhaps to too many games in too short a space of time and the injuries to sap us. (Sometime right after the Newcastle or Birmingham debacle(s) if I remember correctly.) As for a Samba stay-at-home type, well, you don’t address the over the top/counter-attack and set-piece problem at all – would he not be good for that problem. Plus he can score from our corner kicks as he did on several occasions last season for his offensively-challenged side. I think you’re too quick with that elbow on him, or others a bit more mobile to address these two problems that have not magically disappeared.

  73. In answer to where did the swarming press go, Theo, Gervinho, Ryodinho, the Ox.
    The first people in the press for Barca are Villa, Messi and Pedro. If they lose the ball they harass the defenders into rushing passes or conceding the ball in dangerous areas. RvP cant do this so we’ve brought in a gang of pace merchants to do it for him. Without Cesc our midfield will play deeper to mop up clearances.
    There’s method in our signings.

  74. Chaps, i need to correct my figures from my comment – Comment in haste, repent at leisure…I apologise.

    Cash in hand – 110.4M
    Creditors (Arsenal owe money to) 154M
    Debtors (Owe money to Arsenal)62M

    Leaves a net balance of £28M. Given that is the HALF year figure, and does not include:
    1. cash due in from the day to day Operations (match days, shop sales etc.) or
    2. income (or expenses) from additional transfers agreed since 1st December 2010 – 31st May 2010 or
    3. income from sales on the property business not agreed prior to 1/12/2010

    a transfer budget of £40M for the full year does not appear to be unreasonable, especially given the level of profit achieved (£61M AFTER Tax).

    Apologies for my really silly mistake in the earlier post….

  75. @Bob: The Glazers would benefit from ‘management fees’ income for themselves, but not heard about the buy back scheme; intrigued as to how that would work and what the benefit of such an exercise be to external investors. Don’t worry if you can’t find it – I suspect that it would be a case of financial engineering that would make my brain explode!!!!

  76. As much as I don’t like Manchester United, they are not going to go away anytime soon.

    If the glazers empire goes bust then Manchester United would be sure to be brought by someone who will pay off the debt and go from there.

    And if that debt is cleared then Manchester United is the most profitable club in all of Football

  77. Why do so many people keep thinking that the club just sat on its hands and didn’t sign Nasri to a longer contract? do they know something I don’t?

    Surely it’s more likely that they offered a new contract and Nasri refused to agree to the terms for whatever reason, be it more money or that he just plain didn’t want to stay at Arsenal? He could have been asking for $200k per week or that the club change it’s name to Nasri FC or something ridiculous like that.

    Unless someone can enlighten me with information that the club didn’t agree to a reasonable request from the player then I’d be more inclined to believe that Nasri is/was being unreasonable or just doesn’t want to be here.

  78. MK, all,
    I think you’re on to something. imo, I noticed then that Samir was pretty much cheeky happy go lucky don’t really wanna be here couldn’t care less for this ritual crap who gives a **+)&*^ kind of affect at the time of the final “lap of appreciation” before the remaining (unhappy) fans at our least home game last season. Cesc by contrast was looking somberly around the stadium with a very heavy affect, with a kind of this may well be my last look at Arsenal on his face. Anyone can see it if you have it from your video tape.

    At the time I thought that both are leaving, one with a conflicted, but deciding to go heart (Cesc) and the other (Sami) with a no worries, world is my oyster affect (Sami). It’s easy to read this much clarity back in now, but I did notice this at the time and hoped then that I was flat out wrong and projecting. Alas, but here we are…

  79. Marc please check Page 9 of the Chairman’s statement to the November 2010 Accounts. There is a table showing the breakdown of the Football and Property sides of the business. For 2010 the property operating profit was £3.3 millions and in 2009 was £11.3 millions? Your calculations do not agree with the CEO and the Chairman reports.

    Your comment “a business does not keep these levels in cash and short term deposits unless you plan to use them”. It is obvious you have made no attempt to understand the financial effect of the Debt Service Reserve Account and the Annual interest payable thereon. THAT is the £40 millions that has to be ring-fenced!!!

Comments are closed.