Arsenal make billions and Olmpy score minus 1

It is interesting that few if any of our so-called journalists are doing a compare and contrast job on Arsenal’s wealth and the abject poverty of football clubs like Liverpool and Manchester U.

It is as if saving money, planning, and making money legitimately (rather than through usury) is now bad news in the UK.

Arsenal’s turnover to 31 May was £313.3m, which is the largest annual turnover ever by a British football club.

That almost needs repeating in full.  In fact it does need repeating.  So I will repeat it.   LARGEST TURNOVER EVER.  The previous tops was Manchester IOU with £256.2m in 2007-08.

The profit will now be derided as coming from the “millstone” of the property development.  So one day they say Arsenal are hampered by the unsellable flats, now the figures aren’t real because they include the flats.  Oh yes and the flats are being flogged at below market value.  No, in fact, Arsenal are giving them away. In fact, Arsenal are paying property dealers in the City to take the flats off their hands.

Back in my world, there’s more, because these Arsenal were figures to May – so this summer’s highly profitable transfer window was not included.  Add another £30m.

So praise a plenty for good organisation, good planning?  No, we never really expected that.  It would only be good if we spent it all on players.

In reality (not the journalist reality) the situation is getting better since the sale of the rest of Highbury Square will take the venture into profit and that money will become part of Arsenal – and so adding to the vast sums the club has for scouting and youth development – which is exactly where I personally want it to go.   Give me another 10 Gilles Grimandi’s and spread them across Europe.

Anyway, back to the future, and forward to one year ago – 30 Sept 08 we smashed Porto 4-0.  I remember it well.

  • Almunia
  • Sagna, Toure, Gallas, Clichy
  • Walcott, Cesc, Denilson, Nasri
  • Van Persie, tall guy who strolls around a bit

Main point must be that the defence is better than it was then, so the opposition will score fewer goals, which puts the starting point for the result as Porto minus 1.

This remarkable scoreline is achieved when 10 minutes into the game three OlympWimpy defenders are seen with spades digging a big ditch in front of the goal they are defending.  The ref looks into it, checks the rule book and then gives a yellow card to Eduardo for falling over a pile of rubble.

Arsenal find six stewards who are amazingly not chatting on mobile phones while blocking the gangways of honest season ticket holders who are trying to take their places, and after nine hours the hole is filled in.  Song is given a yellow card for having aggressive hair.

Interestingly Mannone then  scores his first goal for the club (he rushes out of the area to break up an attack, and the resulting clearance hits the remnants of the hole, then the corner flag, takes a huge spin, hits a steward, bounces once and goes into the net.)

Just before half time the man at Sky who wrote the rubbish yesterday about Vela is seen hanging around Club Level.  Six stewards mistake him for a supporter and he is grabbed and thrown over the edge onto the lower tier.  Fortunately he is so fat that he bounces seventeen times before being caught by Gunnersaurus who picks the guy up, and throws him into the net, thus scoring Arsenal’s third.

Through a techno error the TV pictures at half time go wrong and instead of showing games from around the Champy League  give extended highlights of Barrow against Mansfield in the Conference.   It is quite a good match.

Adverts show two men from Liverpool holding begging bowls talking to men in white coats, crying, as they realise the chap they want to give the club to is actually the brother in law of the man who owns Portsmouth.

In the second half Arsenal bring on Jack Wilshere who beats the entire opposition, his own team, the bench, the opposition bench, the press box, six white horses, a golden elephant, 93 stewards and a kangeroo before scoring the final goal from 250 yards out.   The newspapers describe him as “a minor talent of suspect temperament,” and criticse how easily he goes down when 11 Olympy Wimpy players bury him 72 feet below the penalty spot they are defending in the second half.

Carlos Vela then scores a hatrick of goals which are missed by the TV cameras who are focussed on the away support, as the commentators tell us how loyal and lively they are, and how it will be impossible to get a meal in a Greek restaurant tonight.

So quite clearly Arsenal 6 Olympy-Wimpy -1.  I have been offered 2000o to 1 at the bookies on that, and so took a fiver.  Simpletons!  As if I could be wrong.

Meanwhile, please do not forget to buy your HIGHBURY HIGH at tonight’s game.  If you are not actually making it to the Ems you can buy the magazine as a subscription line…    Here’s the links

6 issue subscription, delivery to UK address (£12.00)…

6 issues, delivered to a Europe address: (£15.00)…

Or six issues in the rest of the world (£18.00)…

Just in case any link doesn’t work for you, you can go to and you will see the three options there at the top of the selection of new products.

The amount in pounds will be translated into your local currency for your credit card bill, which will show in the name Hamilton House.

You can also buy with a cheque. Prices are the same…

6 issue subscription  £12 (UK), £15 (Europe) or £18 (World)
Cheques payable to Highbury High
Address: 11 Tannington Terrace, Gillespie Road, London N5 1LE

(c) Tony Attwood 2009

30 Replies to “Arsenal make billions and Olmpy score minus 1”

  1. Well said Tony. “Biggest revenue ever” doesn’t mean too much when apples are not being compared with apples! However, it is great to see that we are in fine financial fettle WHILST not requiring a sugar-daddy or massive loans.

    What am I missing with the new quota system? I thought that you have to name a squad of 25 with extras allowed only if they are under 21. That means that we cannot go and buy new players without getting rid of current players. Of our current squad of 29, Gibbs, Ramsey, Wilshere, Merida, Szczesny, Walcott and Traore are under 21. But not for long! Also we need some of them to give us our 8 English/Welsh/Home grown players. Has anyone done the sums properly?

  2. As far as I understand the existing system of players for UEFA Champs League is that you register the players at the start of the campaign, and they are there for that season. But normally the 25 nominated players are what you use through the season for the Champs League.

    The issue of players for the EPL is new and is based on where players were trained during their youth. But as we found in our debate a week or so ago, it all depends on how you define “signed” – we were arguing about the date of Denilson’s signing – same for Clichy.

    But this EPL rule is not in place at the moment, and once a player is cleared we would not have to worry about age – if Denilson is indeed cleared to play as one of the English trained players he is cleared for all time.

  3. Another great read Tony. Hilarious. I was reading this at work and a collegue of mine thought I was getting mad because I suddenly started laughing.

  4. Tony – It’s long been said that profit is a dirty word in this country but the media’s love in with clubs who are in debt or who are being financed by dubious means is astonishing. 5 or so years ago Arsenal were screwed, we were hugely in debt because of the stadium project, which we were going to either fail to get planning permission for or the thing would fall down before completion. Now we are one of the only major clubs showing an operating profit and as you pointed out the redevelopment of Highbury will help to pay off the new stadium.

    All in all things are looking pretty good. We’ve made a £35 million profit, Liverpool’s holding company made a £35 million loss and ManU are not even covering all of the interest payments on their debt. Earlier in the year Forbes produced a list of the top 10 or 20 sport franchises in the world (I can’t remember if I saw it on here or on ACLF) there were 3 football clubs on it ManU, Real Madrid and Arsenal. Whilst we the lowest football club we still came in at 6th or 7th. I wonder where we would feature now?

  5. The future really looks good.
    We are in a financial very solid state. Once the Highbury is sold the only debt we will have is our new home for some years. When this is paid for we will have a very brand new stadium where the “missing numbers” will be filled in the very near future.
    The club is getting stronger, the team is getting stronger. Soon we will be massive amongst the other who will struggle to survive. And on top of that… we don’t have to add that much to our squad in the coming years. If you look at the massive talents like Wilshere, Ramsey, Merida that are coming through the youth system. Are there any players we need in a few years time ? Maybe we have to replace Gallas in a year or so but I think that really is it. The rest is still very young and can last a couple of years, in some case even 10 years.
    Most of us, over here, have seen it coming and the others will see it only when it is rubbed in to their nose: we owe it to our manager who had the vision and the guts to do what he is doing.
    Once the first silverware is won in the Emirates we won’t stop winning in the next decade. We have a team and a squad that can last and win from 2010 untill 2020.
    I really feel this is going to be our decade.

  6. And someone else’s future looks good.

    UNTOLD ARSENAL has, this month of September, for the first time ever, reached 100,000 unique readers.

    100,728 up to September 28 in fact.

    To qualify each individual has to come from a different computer and needs to read two separate pages during the month.

    This is so great – I am so thankful to every single person who has logged on. We are only a few weeks away from the publication of Making the Arsenal – the book about 1910 – and the prime selling place is going to be here. So with this growing audience I am hoping the book will sell well, and repay a little of the cost of setting up and running this site.

    A million billion zillion quaddillion etc etc thanks to everyone. I feel very jolly as I get ready to grab the train from Kettering to London.


  7. I am afraid you have sussed me out Tony.We are the largest wholesalers of computers in Europe and it took months to set this up.;)

    Seriously, well done and especially the time you put in to make this such a unique and enjoyable site.

  8. Great article Tony.
    As usual the media will knock us.A premier league club making profit,how dare they!.We will get it thrown in our faces if we do not win anything”All that money and he didnt buy anyone”
    I am very happy with the news,i like others are seeing the long term.I keep saying to others,things are changing out there.New rules and regulations coming in from EUFA,P.L. etc.
    I am a little concerned that tickets for our matches are now on general sale(Blackburn),although a friend of mine joined the M.Unt membership this season and got tkts for both the Arsenal and City games.Watch this space!

  9. Hip hip hoera as they say in dutch. ;-). I don’t know how the ‘hips’ are translated but the hoera is your hurray. (according to a translation programma you also know the “hip” ?) So you know what I mean.
    This is great Tony. Even if I only count for one of the +100.000 I must say it is always very difficult to choose: will I first go to your site or to the Arsenal site.
    You really deserve this for your effort. If there was an oscar for an arsenal website you would win it.
    And can’t wait for your book as well. I hope my wife doesn’t know what to buy form my birthday or for christmass, I will let her know what to give me. 😉

  10. Tony. Just a note to say how much I enjoy your humorous pieces. However, you really ought to know by now that it is impossible to score -1 in football.

    Cannot be at the match tonight, but have converted my daughter to a Gooner and we are going to watch the Blackburn match together. Result! ATVB Stu.

  11. Well Tony you couldn’t predict that excellent performance of that Nikopolidis, didn’t you ? He almost did a Manone on us.
    We could have won by far more difference but the main thing is 3 points in the bag.
    Arshavin is coming in to his game and did you see his defensive work in the last minutes when he ran back to disposes a Greek player. Great work. Not to mention his goal… what a class finish.

  12. And another clean sheet as well. I think Almunia will find live difficult if Manone keeps it like that

  13. I agree Walter, Mannone made another excellent reaction save to keep us in the game before we scored. Almunia will struggle to get back in the team, because Vito has done nothing so far to suggest he should drop out as soon as Manuel is back.

    BTW Tony, you were almost right with the score, Olympiakos do have a goal difference of -1 now!

  14. Congrats Tony for reaching over 100,000 readers. May the site grow from strength to strength.

    And that’s it folks. The boys have won by the 2 goals scoreline that I begged of them; and they did it in style too. “I’ll like to thank our manager, the playing and backroom staff for a job well done. Ehnnn…..!!! Oh! Thanks also goes to Tony who made the expectation bearable. Ehnnn….!!! And everybody else, I guess.”

  15. Tony,
    We will never actually know how much the club lost due to the financial crisis. Yes the numbers say we earn this much money. But they never tell us how much *more* the club could have earned had we not been hit by low demand for the newly built flats. A pound you don’t earn is a pound lost. It’s unfortunately immeasurable in this case.

  16. Another good post.It cheered me to see the profits made, which should keep
    this club on firm footing before launching to greater heights .When I do make a trip to London I hope to see the bust of Lord Wenger in the hallway.
    He deserves all the praises for his vision and endervour.
    And congrats Tony for reaching your personal milestone.Keep up the good work – yours is the number one Arsenal site in my book [computer?].Cheers.

  17. Hey Tony

    Well I use two systems to access your blog(office and home). Sorry for killing the fun a bit.

    On a serious note, really nice to see that you get so much audience. Lets hope that you get even more viewers. Just out of curiosity can you tell us the geographical breakup if possible.


  18. On the game yesterday. At first I had to wath a dodgy internet live stream of bad quality. But after the game they showed the whole game on our paying sports channel over here and I took another look and because I knew the result I had the chance to look at the whole picture.
    I must say that all the game long there seem to be a good atmosphere in the Emirates. Could be that the audio people did there job excellent because I could hear and sing along(very silent because the rest in the house had to work or go to school the next morning) the chants from the Emirates.
    The crowd sounded lively and in good voice. I even noticed the most people stayed very late on. It looked that only after the 2-0 people where leaving for the underground. Still to early in my opinion but then again I normally have time after a game to go to Kings Cross.
    Was this your impression also, Tony ? I know you went so you can judge it better than me.

  19. There was a good atmosphere inside – but I think this was helped by a vibrant away support which kept up the noise at their end throughout the game, and which then encouraged Arsenal supporters. When the away end is dead there is less incentive.

    Also because it was exciting, with so many chances, that encouraged fans to encourage the team. So yes, it was a jolly time, and yes, the people leaving early did so only after the goals went in.

    As to the issue of readership by country, this is the info I have which is by the appendage of the web site. On my system many visitors are not listed in this way, for some reason.

    1 com 15241 51.52%
    2 net 4468 15.10%
    3 uk – United Kingdom 2532 8.56%
    4 au – Australia 958 3.24%
    5 my – Malaysia 731 2.47%
    6 in – India (Republic of) 532 1.80%
    7 fi – Finland 467 1.58%
    8 sg – Singapore (Republic of) 460 1.55%
    9 be – Belgium 393 1.33%
    10 ie – Ireland 303 1.02%
    11 za – South Africa (Republic of) 279 0.94%
    12 edu – colleges/universities 252 0.85%
    13 org – miscellaneous, 190 0.64%
    14 ru – Russian Federation 189 0.64%
    15 se – Sweden 179 0.61%
    16 nl – Netherlands (Kingdom of the) 167 0.56%
    17 ca – Canada 166 0.56%
    18 it – Italy 144 0.49%
    19 de – Germany (Federal Republic of) 134 0.45%
    20 hu – Hungary (Republic of) 101 0.34%

  20. Well it sounded like a good atmosphere and so it was.

    On the country list the com and net are those USA readers ? Or if you work on a computer (at work) and have a *.com name, you also get on that list ?
    Just curious, not a life threathing issue of course. But I always find it very intresting to see from where people come from and follow the Arsenal.

  21. I think that’s how it works – I will have to get my IT person to run it by me. At work my email address is and so I would come under that .com – but I am in the UK, so it is not a very good analysis. And a lot of addresses don’t register – I think the ones that are (for example) hotmail and gmail don’t get recorded at all.

  22. Tony I love your writing but stop being so short sighted….
    “Give me another 10 Gilles Grimandi’s and spread them across Europe”
    Spread them across the world… I know this will disrupt your Arsenal over country view with players travelling 10+ hours to represent their nations in friendlies but there is a hell of a lot of talent outside of Europe.

  23. Joe – the problem of course is that an EU citizen has a right to live and work in the UK, so the Grimandi-Clones can work without let or hindrance.

    But the only way we got Vela, Edu, Denilson, Gilberto and the rest was by and large because they had EU passports because of ancestry. And we all remember the problem we had with Edu’s passport.

  24. Joe: While it is true that there are millions, if not trillions, of talents outside Europe, one has to consider the problem of Work Permit for the players from all over the world. If they come mainly from Europe, the problem is completely eliminated. That’s why Tony mentioned just Europe, I think.

  25. Yay I’m in the top 5 🙂

    Nice to see those stats tony. I’m going to open your site using my other work machine and go home and open it from 3 of my other home machine tonight.

    On the topic, did u guys read the joke Zico made about how they lost to a french ref, 2 french linesman, a french manager and a few french nationals in the team? Can someone please count how many times i’ve said french? LOL

  26. Nice to note many Malaysians follow you site.It would be fans from 70-71 and those who saw the light and were converted after the arrival of our Lord Wenger.
    As for Zico can someone come up with a joke about false Brazilian prophets from Mt. Olympiacos bearing sour grapes sprouting through Greek arses or one about talking crap through Trojan gift horses’mouth ?

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