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July 2021

Money doesn’t guarantee success in the EPL but it helps.

By Tony Attwood

Man City are the richest club in the world, and yet they have increased season-ticket prices by an average 9% for next season.   And just to make sure supporters get the message there was a price rise of 6% 12 months ago. The price rise is an average – some areas have gone up more and some less than this.

Three other Premier League clubs from last season have raised their prices across the stadium.

Fulham have raised them by 5%. Tottenham H have gone up by 3.6%.  Everton by 3%.

Of course prices are dependent on a whole raft of issues including:

  • The location (London teams have always charged more than northern teams)
  • Success (a team regularly in the Champions League will charge more than one that isn’t)
  • Demand (if there are a lot of empty seats it is harder to put up prices than if there is a waiting list)
  • Other sources of income (Chelsea and Man C can hardly justify price increases in terms of need)
  • Facilities (some grounds like QPR, Chelsea, and Fulham are undeveloped, compared to The Emirates)
  • Number of games charged for

Arsenal has always been near or at the top of the price list, and I have clear memories of my father commenting on this in relation to the club both pre and post the second world war.  But Arsenal is not, as the AAA try to tell us, the most expensive club in terms of season tickets.  Tottenham’s season tickets are by and large more expensive – when you take into account that Arsenal season tickets cover seven more games than Tottenham’s.  It is also necessary to try to compare like with like – Tottenham have nothing directly comparable to club level – their boxes are more akin to the boxes we had at Highbury.  And Arsenal doesn’t have anything comparable in terms of the poverty of the sight lines to Tottenham’s cheapest seats.

But to return to Man City, a price rise of 15% over two years from a man who can happily throw £1bn at the club suggests this is not all about glory.  Someone is thinking about balancing the books.

The situation is different of course if fans won’t turn up. Wigan have increased adult prices slightly but reduced prices for younger supporters.  West Brom have cut a lot of prices in an effort to get a full stadium.

Much of the question when looking at financial details is: where could an increase in revenue come from?  For many clubs this is a hell of a question, for they simply don’t have any area where there is an obvious chance to raise revenue.   For Arsenal there is however a chance to raise their commercial revenue other than TV right and gate and match day income.

Arsenal’s commercial revenue for the 2010/11 season was £85m.  Only one club exceeded Arsenal and that was Man U with a revenue of £119m in this area.   Chelsea did not break down their income into segments but their overall income was £34m less than Arsenal’s and given their smaller ground their commercial income might have been similar to Arsenal’s but it is unlikely to be higher.

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Liverpool’s commercial income was £65m, Man City’s £69m, Man U, as I say, £119m, Tottenham £54m, the same as Aston villa, and slightly above Everton at £53m and Fulham at £51m.

These figures show that Man U has moved ahead into a league of its own, with Arsenal at the head of the pack below them.  So what might happen next?  It can be argued that Man U will continue to grow, although it can also be argued that each year it gets harder to find new markets and new concepts.  I see the latter as more likely but I recognise that there is the former argument.  Without access to the confidential accounts, it is hard to know.

Arsenal’s case is very different from the rest however.  To raise money to pay for the stadium Arsenal awarded long term marketing contracts which now, as they come to an end, could be seen as too generous.  But they did their job of making the debt sustainable.  After all, when the stadium was built no one was totally sure the fans would buy all the tickets.

But either way those contracts (except for the naming rights of the stadium) are ending now, and that means a huge boost for Arsenal’s marketing in the next two years as new deals come into being – a boost that will take our income up significantly, and bring us closer to the Man U figure.

Looking at total turnover for the last year for which figures are available. Man U were top with £331m, Arsenal second with £256m, Chelsea next with £222m, then Liverpool £184m, Tottenham £163m, and Man C with £153m.   So Arsenal have a lot of catching up to do – and marketing is the obvious area.  Man City’s price rise and recent trading deals will help them rise above Tottenham, who are fairly stuck until they get their new stadium.  Chelsea too have difficulties until they also get a new ground.  As for Liverpool – they have problems all round since the ground deal has fallen down, and their image has been seriously tarnished in the last few years, making new marketing deals at much higher prices harder to get.  Would you want to be associated with Liverpool just now?

So my point here is that the playing field is not level.  If it were just to be about turnover, we would expect Man U and Arsenal to be fighting it out year after year – and indeed that is how it was in the past.  But the money now being thrown at Chelsea and Man C (which does not show up as turnover) allows them to buy and buy and buy.  Indeed if we look at wages for this 2010/11 season Man City’s wages bill of £174m exceeded their turnover of £153m.  Arsenal’s wages bill of £124m was high, but only accounted for 48% of turnover.

High wage bills, like Man City’s can buy the club the league title, but can also buy problems.  Liverpool had a wages bill of £35m – more than Arsenal – but again couldn’t qualify for the Champions League.

That Man City have bought their way to the title cannot be denied – but we also have to note that high spending doesn’t guarantee success.  Chelsea’s £190m wages bill was 86% of their turnover, and like Man C’s only sustainable because of money from the benefactor.

The long and the short of it is, money can help bring success, but doesn’t guarantee it.  The best thing is to get the money, and then spend it very wisely.   Arsenal are, I believe, about to get a lot of extra money, and the record of the past 15 years is that it is always spent wisely.


85 comments to Money doesn’t guarantee success in the EPL but it helps.

  • W Parker

    Arsenal need to be seen lifting trophies! Winning Trophies is the best for of marketing a football club can have!
    Sometime last year Ivan Gazidis put together a marketing team.i’m not sure what the cost is per annum,but I do know winning silverware would convince potential sponsors to have their names asociated with us.
    More so than going out for lunch at some posh restuarant!

  • just paid for my season ticket at man city, it cost me 420 pounds (that’s full adult price in the family stand} my grandsons’ seat is 110 pounds. my son bought one in the east stand 580 pounds and 170 pounds for his lad. if you join the cup schemes you get discounted tickets. next year as i become an oap my ticket will fall to 215 pounds, can’t see better value in the premiership for the football we get to see. i know our owners have had bad publicity from the press [not one city player in the top four of the journalists team of the year] but hte have looked after the fans in all decisions they make

    Converted to lower case. Any more ALL CAPS posts will be trashed – thanks.

  • michael

    city have put the prices up but they are still incredibly good value considering the standing of the team now and the players and not even close to extorting the fans like some clubs (mostly southern) are.

  • rusty

    @realfan, I’m afraid your keyboard may be broken — it may be time to get your computer checked out.

    Tony, thanks much for this article! Lovely to see we’ve got wages down to under 50% of turnover — makes me more optimistic we’ll end up holding on to Robin.

  • Richard Mottershead

    The question you should be asking is when did a team last NOT buy the title? The answer is Villa in 1981 and Notts Forest in 1978 before that. Liverpool and Everton both bankrolled by branches of the Moors family continually bought top of the range. The Arsenal board invested heavily in the last 80’s and again in the mid 90’s. Jack Walker bought the league briefly for Blackburn, Harding and then Abramiovich have spent heavily at Chelsea. United’s owners have spend heavily in the past and continue to spent 30m+ every season. Now Sheikh Mansour has done the same.

    What exactly is the difference? At some point somebody spent a lot of money. All I can see from all the top clubs is greed and a false sense of entitlement from those who previously bought success when someone comes along who spends more.

    Interestingly I note that nobody has looked at the waiting list for MCFC season tickets which currently stands at a colossal 23,000. It would appear they really are a sleeping giant.

    If you want success based on ability then the time really has come for salary caps and a fair distribution of revenue between all clubs in the league.

  • Melon Man

    It’s pretty straightforward – play attractive football, win things, and you can grow your fanbase and global popularity, which in turn generates income. City are great value for money, and remain so despite the small increase over the board in ticket prices.

    City and Chelsea’s initial investment in their respective squads is paying off very nicely in terms of silverware, and certainly City’s growth in all areas is heading rather spectacularly into profit.

    the business model applied by City is a risky one in a sense, but if you look at the owner’s ability to ride out the lean years, should there be any (and Chelsea too come to think of it), then the risk becomes less critical.

    Would you care to bet against City fulfilling the owner’s desire to compete on all fronts with the likes of Barca, Real, Bayern and United? (Abramovich has just lifted the Champions League trophy, despite the appalling anti-football, so in a sense the business model is working nicely).

    Fortune favours the brave. (and the stinking rich)

  • silentstan

    money doesnt buy EPL success-my arse.
    biggest spenders in last 5-6 years, man city, united chelsea. who has won the league? oh yes, man city united chelsea.

  • .

    I have also just renewed my season ticket in the Colin Bell stand (OAP) and paid £365, if you go back to season 09/10 when they reduced tickets by 17% in some areas and overall by 12% so in reality with the increases we are still not doing to bad and so do not begrudge the increases considering the great football played and lets face it we are Champions, and still paying alot less than you who have again won nothing, as Gael Clichy said I was not going to win anything at Arsenal.
  • Eebo

    Man City are being forced to raise season ticket prices to comply with the financial fair play rules, nothing to do with the wealth of the owners. And Man City ticket prices are about half Arsenal’s.

    How on earth can Arsenal justify needing to charge so much, when they make all that money selling their players to Man City???

    I am sure you are right, Robin Van Persie and his agent will take a good look at Arsenal’s accounts and decide to stay because wages are less than 50% of turnover. He will get such a warm and fuzzy feeling as a result of this financial probity that he will be happy to end his career without any medals.

  • deephenry

    “wages bill of £174m exceeded their turnover of £153m” how is this justified! isnt it wrong? will the financial fair play rules allow this to happen? please enlighten me…..

  • redjim


    Hi Tony,

    Thanks for the article. I fully expect a deluge of insults and ridicule for my ‘ignorance’ but why did you choose to write this particular one? We have a lovely stadium where everyone gets an unencumbered view but I was under the impression our season ticket prices have been the source of some embarrassment/chagrin for some time.

    Simple pedantry will not alter the fact they are in base numerical terms ‘the’ most expensive in the Premiership. I was also under the impression that taking into account the price rises at Man City their most expensive adult season ticket is £240 cheaper than our cheapest and this after they have just won the league title notching up an impressive ninety three goals in the process.
    We all love Arsenal. It’s not an issue! But with yours and Walter’s propensity for taking a given subject – whether it be referees (they’re not actually all permanently out to get us… sometimes the players just play badly – deal with it) or whether it’s this – and gerrymandering some alternate reality to the one that greets most supporters perhaps you should be currently looking for a post in the Syrian government.

    Oik approved!
  • Melon Man

    Allow me to enlighten you deephenry.

    FFP allows a period of several years whereby a club only needs to show a positive trend towards breaking even, and even then, there is an allowance of tens of millions of pounds in losses per season.

    So in a nutshell, so long as City (and Chelsea) keep on winning and growing, they will be fine, no need to worry on their behalf.

  • insideright

    Is it not more accurate to say that Man City have the richest owners in the world, rather than the club being the richest? Their bank balance must have a big minus in front of it as a result of years of mega losses. As does Chelsea’s.
    The fact is that, no matter how many trophies they win, neither of those clubs can recoup revenues (from FFP approved sources) enough to cover their outlay. That’s what makes their current situation unsustainable and, as everyone knows, what can’t go on, won’t go on.

  • Eebo – If RvP leaves… can you join him?


  • Stuart

    I wouldn’t pay £365 to watch Man City, in fact I wouldn’t pay £3.65. The only person who gets any real pleasure from Man City winning the league is the owner, for everyone else, it is a hollow victory and every one that follows will be hollow.

  • Stuart

    Melon Man,

    It is not just as simple as showing a trend of decreasing. There are set figures to be adhered to starting at 45M Euro and decreasing from there.

    One way the City will be at an advantage however is that player amortisations are written down throughout the length of their contract for FFP calculations meaning that if City were to sell a few spare stars then the cost of that player will be removed from future calculations (player amortisation) giving them further room for manouvre before hitting the threshold.

  • nicky

    @ Richard Mottershead,
    The way Clubs like Blackburn and Ipswich won the title and then disappeared over the horizon, bears out your theory of “spending to achieve”.
    On the subject of a waiting list for season tickets, I think I read somewhere that Arsenal’s waiters number over 40,000.
    @ Stuart,
    At least Citeh have silenced up their noisy neighbours and their mouthy manager for a season. Let us be grateful for small mercies.

  • @Melon Man – Ahhh… infinite and unstoppable growth. Yes, I get it – it makes perfect sense now! Let’s hope every team takes their lead and does the same eh!

  • Pius G. Chomo

    Some people read this article upside down and hence couldn’t make any sense of it. Pathetic!

  • Mick

    ‘How on earth can Arsenal justify needing to charge so much, when they make all that money selling their players to Man City???’
    How about to pay for our fantastic stadium? I believe you had your’s given to you and it was funded by the taxpayer.

  • Melon Man


    you are correct about the player amortisations helping to balance the books, along with a raft of other measures the club’s accountants will employ to ensure all is compliant with fifa and their closed shop regs.

    To be clear, City will be fine, the growth targets are being met, success on the pitch is vital, the Blue Moon is rising.

    As far as hollow victory in the league?

    Do you think there was one City fan in the universe who didn’t hit the roof when Aguero slotted the ball away in virtually the last kick of the season to grasp victory from the jaws of defeat in a most un-typical City manner?

    I nearly had a coronary, and every fan of every other club I have spoken to since (several Arsenal fans last night at family confirmation in Perivale for example) has commented on what a brilliant end to the season it was – and in reality, it really was amazing, and I for one will never, ever forget the feelings ranging from utter despair, to extreme jubilation.

    And you wouldn’t pay £3.65 to get that kind of a rush?

    I would bet my house that all over the world City “fans” are pledging their new allegiances in their hundreds of thousands based on that one match, never mind the season. Shame it has to be that way, but City need those new plastics like all the big clubs do, like Arsenal, to sell the shirts and duvet covers and TV rights.

    City will grow as big as Madrid if they play the right football and keep on entertaining, and the books will balance like a mothaf*~ka.

  • olly

    I just see these articles about money and turnover etc etc as comfort articles for not winning any trophies.If you are successful more marketing opportunities will open up, that can make you more money

  • Domhuaille MacMathghamhna

    ¨If you want success based on ability then the time really has come for salary caps and a fair distribution of revenue between all clubs in the league.¨ THIs says it all!

  • DC - Melbourne

    Just to pick up on the excelent points made by Melon Man, I live in Australia ( my family migrated in 68 – when city last won the title) for years I have followed City from afar buying shirts and attending a few games when I have had a chance to visit the UK.

    My son was conscripted into supporting City at birth (like I was) and was regularly wearing the only city shirt amongst a sea of gunners and United shirts when he has played and trained and attended local matches. We have always had a chat to other City fans as you could be sure they were in fact relocated mancunians!

    It has all changed! lots of City fans appearing now in their brand new no 16 shirts, they wouldn’t know Main Road if it fell on them, but they are in for the glory ride. Will they stay if the success drys up? No way, but that is the challenge in the global brand market.

    Cheers great read and some great comments!

  • Mike

    Gotta laugh at all these “real fans” from City. I wonder how many of them were real fans 10 years ago….

  • And_Arsene_Said...

    @W Parker
    Thunderbirds are go!. Oops muppet, not puppet.

  • Damien Luu

    Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, likes to throw their money away forever, no matter how rich or fool they are. Yet some really smart “supporters” still believe that their beloved clubs can buy trophies forever. I am happily watching how they will end. I am preparing my 😀 face

  • wolfgang

    Money doesn’t guarantee success.It helps if you have money.
    Why has MU been so successful besides the refs?Money.Where would they have been without Roanaldo,Rooney,Cantona,etc.
    For that matter would the gunners have been able to pull off the successes in 2002 and 2004 without Henry,Pires,etc?
    The thing is buying the right as opposed to buying the costly players.
    Remember Blackburn Rover during Shearer’s time.If Jack had not bankrolled the club,I doubt they could have won the epl in 1995.
    As for Arsenal,if they can win the cl,just imagine the commercial spin offs to with regard to adverts.Most if not all sponsors want to be associated with a winning brand.

  • shuggie

    The bank balance will be zero. Mansour is donating not loaning to the club. Revenue is growing very rapidly and success on the pitch is key to that as it has been for man u, liverpool, arsenal, chelsea. Do you think any of these clubs would be where they are without (a) money, (b) success. This is what drives success and therefore support. City in fact are remarkable in that their support stayed pretty solid even after relegation to league one but success is critical for bringing successive generations of support. It’s called professional football for a reason. If Arsenal don’t like it, they can stop paying their players and join an amateur league.

  • shuggie

    also why was myt previous post deleted which provided a link demonstrating that Arsenal were pretty poor value for fans compared to everyone else in the premier league?

  • Ray from Norfolk

    Excellent post; I believe that there is a typo: Liverpool’s wage bill is 135 million, not 35 million. I know that the Man City fans are beside themselves up in some kind of stratosphere having won the EPL, but I am unimpressed by Nasri whom I watched today going nowhere with Les bleus while Ben Arfa, Ribery, Giroud, Benzema, and Menez looked far better; he was as non-contributory to the Man City success as the positionally challenged Micah Richards.
    PS: redjim, your post about the Syrian government is quite ignorant of the real facts; my wife is a Christian from Hama and her relatives have been harrassed by the Al-Qaeda types that are paid by foreign governments to create artificial troubles to weaken security; one of my wife’s relatives was killed by a sniper from the liars that staff the so-called “free syria army”

  • shuggie

    unless I’m mistaken Arsenal spent 53 mill on players in 2011/12 man city 76 million. both pretty hefty I’m sure you’ll agree. Before you tell me that’s OK because you sold Nasri and Fabregas, its not. If this was aimed at being more successful, then it IS trying to buy success. Wenger didn’t actually need to sell either player but chose to because it made financial sense and provided funds to buy several players in their place. a perfect example of using money to fund the quest for success. Unfortunately for arsenal Utd with their 52 mill spend over the same period beat you by some margin as well as city.

  • Gerry Lennon

    Before the money rolled into Chelsea’s coffers, my friend and other ‘long term’ supporters suffered a very long barren spell, so they enjoyed the success that it brought/bought? I guess Man City fans feel the same right now?
    I just wonder, if Chelsea missed out on the CL trophy(and CL next season) this time, how long it would be before they get there own version of the AAA?
    Because of their respective high wages they are going to find it very hard to shift players they do not want, and my guess the will go for shoerter contracts in future. That way they can get a turn over of players every 2 two years.
    That will be hard to for a club like Arsenal to match, and let’s face, 4 or 5 year deals are not worth the paper they are written on if a player wants to leave?

  • Black Hei

    Tony his is sad, Redjim is simply defending his club price increases which as he puts it wasn’t very high to begin with. But your opening paragraph suggests that their owner is taking the supporters for a ride…after winning the league and all. C’mon it dosen’t add up does it? Unless the OIK is for the Syrian reference.

  • Shuggie, I am not sure any of your posts were deleted. I think I spot a certain paranoia. There are full details of our editorial policy on this site, and you only have to read.

  • Rod

    West Brom, and other clubs such as Stoke, get near to capacity crowds evert week: it’s just that unlike Manchester City, Arsenal and Chelsea, these are not ‘corporate’ organisations, they’re football clubs who value their fans.

  • Asif

    Where the hell did all these City fans got directed from! One trophy in bloody ages and look at the size of the tongues that that have grown!!! Yeah…grow up city fans…your sugar daddy bought you a trophy. There is no pride in it…what happened in Champions League fellas…first round was it?

  • Goona Gal

    Haha, talk about devolved responsibility! So it is not Man Citeh’s fault that they are raising ticket prices this season. No it’s those stupid FFP people who are forcing them to do it! But if we use Chelsea as the example, I don’t recall the rich owner reducing the ticket prices or even subsidising them.

    Sooner or later a lightswitch will go on where Citeh fans will realise (maybe when the party is over) that they will be left footing the bill, 12% and rising if Mancini has been quoted correctly as they will be buying more players and paying them huge wages. I really hope that Abu Dhabi is genuinely footing the losses and not putting it in a debt bond some where.

    What I thought was odd last season was large number of empty seats at the Citeh stadium. Last year was their first time into the CL and they were not packed games, when I would of thought that fans would jumped at the chance to be a part of it. Then there was the CC Liverpool game which looked from the camera shots only 2/3 full. See I thought it might be the ticket prices, but since Citeh fans on here are defending them as being affordable, I can now only assume its down to weak fan support.

  • Melon Man

    we got directed to this article from the Newsnow Man City website, which means the author of this article will have used a keyword, such as Man City, or Sheikh Mansour etc.. to attract readers interested in these topics, we’re not trolls.
    Also, is it not more interesting to read our points of view, good and bad?
    as for “growing tongues”, we’re famous for being “the noisy neighbours”, even when we were pants, but now we find ourselves having to defend our club against media slurs and inaccuracies, as any good fan would do.
    We had a fairly decent first time in the Champions League, shame we weren’t more clinical, but then we may not have won the Premiership if we’d progressed further, so it’s not the end of the world.
    we need several more top quality players to challenge properly in the CL, with of course some players off the books, so we’ll see what happens next season – may the best team win.

  • Goona Gal

    @ W Parker – you are right in a sense, winning trophies would be a massive help, but I can assure you deals are and will always be struck over fancy dinners. Or on the golf course.

  • Goona Gal

    @ Tony – nice article, forgot to say this before.

  • Melon Man


    Goona Gal,

    I couldn’t leave your post unchallenged, as it’s really quite provocative.

    Firstly, do you think we City fans are stupid???????

    You can’t have your cake and eat it, although the current situation at City is pretty close to that Nirvana.

    We all knew when we started to improve the squad, there’d be a price to pay, and so it has come to pass – we would all prefer free entry to all home games, but that’s not realistic is it???????

    As Shuggie pointed out in a previous post, Man City offer the best value fan experience in the Premiership according to a recent survey by ING, which I’ll copy and paste on here for your benefit again.

    So in case you missed the point, Man City are the best value premiership team for a fan to support right now.

    We were already “footing the bill” when Stuart Pearce was ensuring we didn’t see a home league goal in what, 6 months or something ridiculous? Do you honestly think we’d prefer to pay less and see NO GOALS at all???? That was our reality before Thaksin Shinawatra the Evil Doctor bought the club, then thank God Sheikh Mansour bailed him (and us) out.

    No light bulb moment need be applied to us, we know exactly what all this success means, and every City fan I know is prepared to pay the price, and so far the owner has been immaculate in his treatment of the club and the fans, in contrast to our neighbours for instance.

    As for the empty seats, thats just us in fancy dress come as blue plastic chairs. (or unused away allocation, or fans not using their season ticket, or several home games in a week meaning some Mancs aren’t made of money in these hard times, and various other reasons which you may or may not wish to try to insult us with).

    I wonder what new Galacticos are coming to the Etihad on the strength of the 12% ticket price hike? Robin van Persie maybe? Eden Hazard? Edinson Cavani?

    I cannot wait for the start of next season, can you?

  • Charging through the midfield

    Just to point out two obvious glaring error in your piece.

    Arsenal’s commercial Income was 33m in 2011 and not what you have stated: 85m???

    Secondly, the ratio of wages to turnover was 55.2% in 2011 and not as you have stated: 48%.

    You are obviously calculating the wages against the group turnover which included 30m of property development money. The correct figure is the football turnover figure of 225m approx. This is in fact the figure you will also find in the annual report.

  • Charging: the commercial income is the income of the club as a whole minus TV revenue and match day receipts. That figure of £85m is not only what I calculated but also, I have found on checking, the figure that appeared in the Guardian recently. I do indeed take what you call “group turnover” because it includes all the activities of the club.

    This is important because the money earned from property sales goes into the club whose on-going business is Arsenal FC. Other clubs do the same, and calculate all income – indeed the Chelsea figures as I mentioned lump everything together.

  • Spartan, a black coat labrador

    Melon head couldn’t remove the smug look of his/her/it`s face even if he/she/it tried. Enjoy it. A Gooner I remain.

  • Charging through the midfield

    Tony, When we talk about commercial activity we generally mean a separately quoted figure in the accounts which stands alone. This is always quoted separately from other activities, such as stadium income, broadcasting etc.

    It is pretty well known that this is perhaps our weakest financial area when compared to other ‘big clubs’

    Here is a comparison with Man Utd of commercial and retail which means exactly the same thing in both sets of annual accounts.(I’m not sure will the formatting hold on this post??). Anyway..

    Retail and Commercial Revenue Comparison:
    Arsenal v Man Utd.

    Arsenal Man Utd
    2008 44.4m 64.0m
    2009 48.0m 69.9m
    2010 43.9m 81.4m
    2011 46.3m 103.4m
    Totals 182.6m 318.7m

    I took these from both sets of accounts. I did not do Chelsea so I cannot compare.

    It is true in each accounts there are certain ways of ‘presenting facts’. For example, Liverpool have a sneaky habit of quoting their wages without the social security contributions whereas Arsenal do include it. Therefore one must do a bit more digging before presenting say the Liverpool wage bill versus the Arsenal bill and then comparing like with like.

    I just noticed that your presentation of the figures did not follow the generally accepted ‘norm’ of presentation. One may for example get a better picture of the Arsenal commercial activity than is actually the case as most commentators, such as the Swiss Ramble, would never use the term ‘commercial activites’ and the figure 85m together when discussing Arsenal!

    You have to show how you reached this figures if you deviate from the general pattern of Overall Group Revenue, Football revenue; made up of; gate and other matchday income, broadcasting, Commercial & retail,and player trading)

  • Sammy The Snake

    Watch manCity’s commercial revenues rocket in their next set of financial figures. The “insider” deals made for stadium/shirt naming rights (with Etihad Airlines) will make a major difference in their numbers.

  • critic

    Bravo charging.

    Untold has a nasty habit of writing articles wearing red glasses. But changing actual facts…that was utter pathetic.

    Property sale was one off income. How stupid one has to be to understand that.
    Arsenal’s comm income is below che,liv,city and may b tots and is a big handicap.

    Don’t spread misinformation.

  • Jacobite Gunner


    arsenal do have a 40,000 waiting list. I wonder what the figure is for all the other top EPL clubs?

  • Melon Man


    If Arsenal do have a 40,000 name waiting list for season tickets, does this mean they need a new ground?

    Why don’t they ground share at Wembley, sell the Emirates to the Spuds, who in turn will sell WHL to West Ham, so Barry Hearn can move his club whose name escapes me to Upton Park, thereby allowing Milton Keynes Dons to come home, sort of?

    Everyone’s happy.

    Plus, the Arsenal will bag a shedload of property cash, with which they can then become competitive in the transfer and league markets respectively and maybe win something shiny and silver (or share the profits among the board, as no doubt the fans would find this “buying the league” to be hollow and meaningless, whichever suits).

  • Melon Man what a short memory you have.

    David Dein wanted us to go to Wembley, and it was over this issue that he was removed from the board. Most of the fans opposed the idea, and indeed it was the fans who found the land and persuaded Arsenal to look at doing a deal with Islington.

    The move to the stadium known as the Emirates was in fact one of the most successful fan interventions in the long history of the club, and a triumph for everyone who believes in fan involvement.

    But I could see the benefit for Tottenham and WHU – which one do you support?

  • Melon Man


    I’m a City fan and I was ‘avin a larf.

    I question the validity of an extra 40,000 people actually willing to take on a new season ticket at the Arsenal, it’s one thing to be on a waiting list, another thing altogether to commit to one in these cash-strapped times, and particularly with the lack of silverware in the past 7 years.

    One thing I will say, David Dein presided over lots of success for your club, and plainly is no mug, so maybe you could have sold out Wembley if the Unbeatables or whatever the name was for that great team with Kolo Toure in it had been built upon or at least maintained at it’s peak.

  • bjtgooner

    Good article Tony and a very enjoyable read.

    It looks as if some of the City fans are over sensitive about the quantity of money Mansour has spent and consequently see any comment about City’s spending as criticism – to be counter attacked before thinking. I don’t think you wrote anything to justify one or two of them being so prickly.

    The lesson for Ansenal in this is straightforward – to compete we must increase our commercial revenue, even when our policy is to build a team rather than buy one.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Is it painful Melon Man? I hope not. But it sure doesn’t sound good..

  • Melon Man


    sorry mate I need your joke spelling out, you’re too clever for my simple Northern ways.

    PS, if you say your usermane quickly, it sounds like something that happens just before a lady gives birth – now that’s hilarious where I come from 🙂

  • Ray from Norfolk

    Don’t cry for me, Argentina.
    Because Aguerro, not Nasri, won it for Man City.
    Because Tevez, the man who plays when he wants, not Kolo Toure, was sorely missed when he was away for ages.
    Because Zabaleta, not Clichy, was decisive in the last game, and was their best lateral defender.
    Because three Argentinians, none acquired from Arsenal, were the key players this season for Man City.
    I forgot the loaned out Adebayor, incapable of puting Sp*ds in the CL as they were second best to Arsenal in London and as Chelsea got lucky thrice: against Barca, against Bayern, and for not having to face Real Madrid.
    In summary, we may be the “feeder” club to Man City, but if it is to feed players who cannot adapt to Man City’s calcio style, then who regrets these money grabbers? In fact, Nasri was absolutely a non-factor this season, Kolo was mostly out, and Clichy was the only regular first-teamer.
    Considering how much AW was able to extract from Man City, you must say that these were good moves from Le Professeur.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Melon Man, yes I have a funny name. Totally agree with you on that 🙂
    You should hear the funny things you can construct with it in my mother language.

  • Stuart

    Melon Man,
    I don’t think the fans would find this ‘hollow and meaningless’, it’s our own money from our own hard work, not some sugar daddy coming in throwing money around like it’s going out of fashion.

  • Stuart

    re Mike
    May 28, 2012 at 12:49 am

    I guess they picked up the wrong blue shirt in Sports Direct.

  • Scott

    Melon Man,I hope you’ve followed Citeh longer than the average,which is app. 18 months,give or take a few weeks.
    Anything longer than that is considered long term.
    I saw something interesting on EBay last night.
    Bidding was massive,as it’s a one of a kind……
    It’s the only Citeh shirt in existence WITHOUT Etihad across the front.

  • Goona Gal

    @ Melon man – C’mon tell the truth, any Citeh fan, coming on an Arsenal blog and feels the need to respond to just about any comment posted, doesn’t need much provocation.

    I am not sure if your first question was actually rhetorical, but I will answer it anyway. For the most part, I don’t think any set of fans are stupid en masse, except for Stokies and Spuds whom seem to have a large number. However I have noticed how money has changed Citeh fans from a more likeable bunch to being quite chavvy.

    Moving on, the thing about survey’s like the one you linked to is that they can be very subjective. If I were a Citeh fan that had recent memories of the team I supported playing in the third division, the management of Stuart Pearce, (Darius Vassel) as your MVP and your owner fleeing charges of embezzlement and humanitarian crimes, I too would probably be ecstatic with the current scenario.

    Questions to be answered since you choose to place a lot of weighting on the survey are:-

    What is the year on year change, i.e were Man Citeh very unhappy fans before you were bought by the middle eastern state? Or were you happy win, loose or draw to be a Man C fan? The poll has to include a clear analysis of expectation which feeds into the experience.

    With regards to Arsenal, fans are very demanding and expectations are through the roof and many perceptive fans would know, if we had come out on top of that poll, I for one, would of thought it had been doctored.

    Some Arsenal fans wouldn’t be happy unless we went undefeated throughout the season…and you probably know where that steams from.

    Some Arsenal fans wouldn’t be happy unless we won every home games 5-2 or 7-1…..see Arsenal Vs Spuds and Arsenal Vs Blackburn for details.

    Some Arsenal fans wouldn’t be happy unless we are winning every game with some of the most audacious and wonderful goals ever seen….arguably Henry’s back heel
    or Berkamp Newcastle.

    Or of course doing the double every year (we have done it a few times).

    Therefore due to the great Arsenal expectations and Man City’s fans previous lack of aspirational goals, I don’t think the poll can be successfully used to go neh, neh with a wavy hand on nose…or in slightly more grown up speak…chastise a great club like Arsenal FC.

    But I do genuinely commend your generosity and willingness to subsidise it all. Some Arsenal fans were swinging their handbags and donning black scarfs because the price of chicken pies amongst other things went up a bit at the ground. Though I must say you do contradict yourself a bit in the next statement, when you admit that the half empty stadiums were possibly because Mancs are not made of money??? I will however explain to those that say your ground has not much atmosphere when your not singing Blue Moon, that its because you are all in character, pretending to be blue plastic chairs (ta for clearing that up)!!

    Of course you want Cavani, no scouting needed there, as you probably can graphically remember how he destroyed you a few months ago in the CL and dumped you out of it. And of course I am looking forward to next season, you see, no player is bigger than Arsenal FC. Pity you can’t really say the same.

  • Scott

    I’m a sales rep,visiting 7-8 homes per day(by appointment,no cold caller here).
    Until recently,I’d see one Citeh shirt or piece of memorabilia every few months.
    Now it’s one a week.
    Enough said.

  • Melon Man


    that joke was so funny you said it twice 🙂

    Stuart “I don’t think the fans would find this ‘hollow and meaningless’, it’s our own money from our own hard work, not some sugar daddy coming in throwing money around like it’s going out of fashion.”

    You still don’t get it do you? You don’t own the club as fans, the shareholders do, and they’re an elite bunch of rich people who make lots of money from your ticket sales and you purchasing merchandise.
    Same as City.
    Only difference is City’s owners are investing more in the club in all areas because they can afford to, and they’re more ambitious.
    You have virtually no say in what goes on investment wise, so please stop this hollow victory nonsense. If your board with the several multi millionaires and billionaires sanctioned the purchases of Hazard, Messi and Ronaldo, you couldn’t stop them, and I bet you wouldn’t want to either.
    All through the close season there will be speculation and unrest from Arsenal fans wanting quality big money signings, not worried if the money comes from money in the bank, or money borrowed to speculate on success, but when City do it, it’s immoral?
    Bit hypocritical in my book.

  • Goona Gal

    Dagnamit, I am still in moderation – must be those pesky two links!

  • Adam

    In some ways Man city are spending our own money. Do we not buy oil from the middle east amongst other places.

  • Melon Man


    thanks for confirming that City’s fanbase has grown massively in the last 18 months, with that rate of growth, we should easily meet FFFP regulations in no time, same as Arsenal, United and Liverpool, (and probably Tottenham, except they aren’t in the Champions League, and don’t like the Europa league, so that’s fine).

    that business plan is working very nicely for the Sheikh, who’da thought it?

  • Goona Gal

    @ Adam, I thought you were going say something about Job Seeker Allowance….

  • WalterBroeckx

    Melon Man,
    if the FFFP rules are applied strict you are in trouble. The biggest loss ever registered in football… something to be proud of…

    But If FFFP becomes stuff handled in dark rooms out of the public eyes…well we know money can buy anything…After all it is Uefa you have to convince and well…. they have a price…

    And of course City fans don’t own the club. But when the sheikh has enough of it he will not shed a tear for you poor souls when the club goes down again.
    And in that way Arsenal supporters know that their board will do all it can to be as successful as possible with our own money. And that money comes from the fans for a big part. And the club need our money. And in that way we are part of the club. If we don’t like the way the board handles our club we can let it know by not going anymore. And the board then will have to listen to the fans.
    City can play in an empty stadium but it wouldn’t hurt them as long as the sheikh is there.

    The only reason you win something is because of the sheik passing at your house. You know it, we know it. Without him you would be where you were before.
    And I don’t even mind that the old (read: long time)City fans enjoy this success. But please be a man and acknowledge that without the financial injection of the sheikh it wouldn’t have happened.

    And if Arsenal buys a player we pay it with money we have earned as a club. If City buys a player they go like beggars to the sheikh and ask for money.

  • Goona Gal

    Thanks – I have been freed! For those even remotely interested my belated 9:31pm post was in response to Melon Man’s 10:08am post.

  • bjtgooner

    Melon Man really is a nasty bit of work, I don’t think he is anyway interested in serious discussion – just trying to irritate. A decent fan from City would not behave the way he has. He is not worth bothering with.

  • Goona Gal

    @ Melon Man,

    Before snippet of conversation at Citeh ground

    ‘it’s the taking part that counts….’



  • Stuart

    No Melon Man, I do get it but I don’t agree!

    You are right, as fans we don’t have a say about how money is used but I was happy the day the club announced they want to operate in a sustainable way. It’s a shame more teams don’t do it as football is being destroyed by non football money IMO.

  • Goona Gal

    @ Bjtgooner, he doesn’t seem that bad. I would aliken Citeh fans to chavs that win the lottery and go out and spend it on gold and chains and two sovereign rings for each finger….and then they get mugged.

  • Stuart

    Whatever he is, he is a cocky little so and so who supported Chelsea up until about 12-18 months ago

  • Goona Gal

    @ Stuart, you could be right! I have to say though, I have found reading his posts boasting about other people’s money quite amusing.

  • Stuart

    Goona Gal
    With them both being blue, I heard they have reversible shirts. They turn it inside out when Chelsea are winning.

  • Goona Gal

    @ Stuart, haha I like it! Sounds like forward thinking by the modern glory hunting fan.

  • Johan

    Like it or not the EPL is a global competition. The amount of income generated from the England/Wales isn’t going to increase that much for most clubs other than ticket sales.

    To increase revenue you will need to gain it from overseas and overseas a lot of supporters either support a club because everyone else they know does or because they recognise the players.

    The second part is important as product recognition I think works better with a player than a team so Arsenal needs world wide recognisable players. If this means 1 player gets more than others so be it.

  • Adam

    @Goonagal, The people of Liverpool recently voted on their favorite European currency. The Giro. (Sorry liverpool only a joke).

  • Goona Gal

    @ Adam – you will draw out other lurking trolls with that one!

  • Scott

    Melon Man,short term fans are always going to be exactly that,and I’m sure you understood my point.
    I had mixed emotions seeing your mob win the title,I must admit.
    It was joy to see Utd lose,but It leaves a bad taste seeing a title bought.
    Yes,all clubs obviously spend,but the simple fact is your club lost a record amount of money this season,so kudos to you as you must be proud.
    I’ve always been a Gooner,regardless of how the club performs.
    I maintain we are the best run club on the planet.
    I also maintain that if Usmanov does take over as our major shareholder,I do not want him throwing hundreds of millions simply to win a trophy,as not tile is worth selling your soul for.
    Say what you want Melon,and revel in the moment,but you know the truth.
    I’m not a poor loser,nor am I bitter at all,but I’m still waiting to read comments from a gracious Citeh fan.
    Our club will still be around long after your mob and Chelski are fighting with Leeds and Portsmouth to avoid relegation.
    All the money in the world can’t buy what Arsenal and it’s supporters have.

  • Ed

    what? a man city fan spouting off? you only sing when you’re winning right?

    it doesnt annoy me that you won the title struggling to beat a nearly relegated side, at home, who were down to 10 men…

    it will annoy you that whenever people talk about your trophies (and about chelseas) there is a huge asterisk that says you won it by spending money you didnt have…

  • Ong Bing

    Arsenal has expensive season ticket.
    Arsenal not win anything in 7 years.

    When they played, the stadium always full.
    They also haved 40,000 waiting list for season tickets.

    Duran Duran sing:
    Please please tell me know
    Is there something I should know?

    They also sing:
    We are living on planet earth….

  • Ong Bing

    Oh yeah, good article as usual Tony.

  • Do sky blue

    Good article quite a sobering read. It will be good to see the Arsenal come back as they play attractive football. Hopefully Wenger will ride the storm. As a life long city fan I have seen football sell its soul, and degrade the home nations talent base as I fear we will see in the Euros. But I suppose it is futile to wish for the past. Also what will be the effect of CL money on these figures as Man U were unsuccessful and Chelsea won the thing. I feel this is the completion that CIty will find hard to establish themselves as Platini’s unfair rules and the CL cartel takes effect.