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10 years of building the emirates: a period of success

By Walter Broeckx

As most of you will know we here at Untold have always been taking the patient way of looking at things when it comes  to X years of won nothing.

We have pointed at the changes in the PL where some clubs have rich sugar daddy owners who throw money around as if it is nothing. Well for them it probably is nothing. If people cannot see that this has a major impact on all Arsenal has done in the last 10 years then well nothing will make them see.

In fact and don’t worry Tony I will not be entering on your history ground but we do have a little thing to remember this summer. Because well it all started 10 years ago. It all started in July 2003 when the building of the Emirates started. Or better said the removal of what was on the ground before it became our brand new stadium.

Now when we over here point at those rich owners and at the fact that we build the stadium it gets brushed aside as nothing important. After all we are The Arsenal and should be competing. Now in order to compete you need rivals. And I thought it might be interesting to have a look at teams who also build a completely new stadium in the PL era. And I might have forgotten one so please feel free to fill in.

But first let me start with what Arsenal has done. We build the Emirates and works started as said in 2003 to have it finished in July 2006 for the first game in the new stadium ever with the Dennis Bergkamp testimonial game.  The total cost of this and I will use the same internet source for all the comparing with the “rivals” for building the Emirates is £470M. Or also £470.000.000. That is rather a shocking big sum of money.

Arsenal had to make sure that they would be able to pay that kind of money themselves. We had no sugar daddy to give it to us. And at the same time at Chelsea one turned up and spend money like mad.

All those years building we did win a few things at the start, still managed to get to a few finals along the way in the last 10 years. But yes after 2005 we didn’t win anything. But we managed to keep ourselves in the top 4 each season.

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Now how did it work out for all those other clubs who build a new stadium like we did? Let us find out.

Southampton:  St Mary’s Stadium has been home to the Saints since August 2001. Relegation in 2004. Bankrupcy along the way. They came back to the PL  in 2012. And the capacity of the ground is 32.689. One could say half the Emirates. The building cost is said to have been  £37M. Or also £37.000.000. That is not even 10% of what we had to pay. And yet they ended in big big troubles.

Derby County : The Pride Park Stadium has been Derby’s home since 1997. At first things went rather well for a while. But then relegation came  in 2004 and they never came back. The capacity of the stadium is 33.502. And that is again half of the Emirates capacity. And the building cost is said to have been 28M. Or also £28.000.000. Again compared to the Emirates this is only 6% of the total cost we had to pay. And yet Derby paid a hefty price at the end.

Middlesbrough FC: The Riverside Stadium is the football stadium, which has been the home of Middlesbrough FC since it opened in 1995. But then trouble came along and they got relegated in 1997. They did came back in 1998 and things seemed to stay well but at the end they went down again in 2009 and stayed down since then. The capacity is  34.998. And the building cost at the time (some 10 years before the Emirates) was around £16M. Or also £16.000.000. That is not even 4% of the cost of the Emirates.

Coventry City: They moved to the Ricoh Arena in 2005.  After that they had a long  battle to remain in existence and for the moment they don’t have the stadium and are moved out. If anyone can inform me about how things stand please do. The capacity of the stadium is 32.604. Again half the Emirates capacity.  And the building cost was £113M. or also £113.000.000.  That is around 24% of the cost of the Emirates.

Leicester FC : moved to the then known Walkers stadium in 2002. A bit of a bad luck as the closing of their old ground coincided with them going down. Maybe the cost of the building a reason? I don’t know for sure but it could have something to do with it of course. They went bankrupt in oktober 2002. Nowhere near the Pl since then. The capacity of the stadium is  32.312 and again that is almost half the Emirates. And the total building cost was said to be £37M. Or also 37.000.000.  That is around 8% of the cost of the Emirates.

Bolton : The Reebok stadium was built in 1997. They got almost immediately relegated in 1998. But they did manage to come back in 2001. But now they are down again since 2012. The  capacity of the stadium is  28.100. And the building cost in those days was £25M. That is around 5% of the cost of the Emirates.

So all those 6 clubs who have build their new stadium like we did with the Emirates have gone down, went bankrupt went in to all kinds of troubles.

In fact the combined cost of those 6 stadiums is £256M. Those 6 stadiums together cost less than what the Emirates has cost Arsenal. This one club has to pay more than those 6 clubs had to pay all together.

Arsenal stayed in the top 4 in the 10 years since we started the building of the Emirates now 10 years ago. If people cannot see that as an immense success then I wonder when they will be happy.  If you can name me one club in a league as competitive as the PL who have build their stadium like we did, who have to face mega rich money around throwing owners at other clubs and stayed in the top 4 please do. I think the list will be very short.

And that is why I cannot talk of this period in time as  “a failure”. I think it is an unbelievable success. We could have been where the other 6 are or have been.

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52 comments to 10 years of building the emirates: a period of success

  • Maaarc

    Why did our stadium cost 10x more than a stadium with 50% of the capacity?

  • insideright

    Good work Walter – but don’t forget that a large part of the loan that the Club took out was needed to redevelop Highbury into a housing development that, in the end, produced significant profit. The same is the case for other land around the new stadium that the Club wasn’t permitted to profit from but which was eventually sold for further building development.
    During that ten years money to pay the mortgage had to be found from cash flow generated by the new stadium – and from this summer onwards that won’t need to happen thanks to the new sponsorship deals (themselves enough to pay off the rest of the mortgage owed until 2028).Delivering Champions League football throughout that ten year period is nothing short of a miracle.

  • Millz

    Excellent post. I think it would be a fair reflection on Wenger to say that he’s sacrificed his own short term glory (last 10 years) to build a legacy for the next 50 years. I’m 100% confident that in 10 years time people will class Wenger as a legend due to what he achieved not only in his first 7 years but in the 8 that followed.

  • Robbie Rotten

    Totally agree. AW has steered the club through some very tricky waters in the last 10 years. The whole idea was to be able to compete against the biggest / richest clubs, and we are about to enter a period in the clubs history where this has been made possible. Arsene should be judged on his results in the next 10 years if he stays, not the last 10.

  • FunGunner

    Good stuff, Walter – and we would still owe £100m right now even if we threw all our cash reserves at the remaining debt. Which we can’t because the banks want their interest payments. And there was a property price crash which put a major dent in our expected profit from the property development.

    @ insideright
    June 7, 2013 at 2:58 pm
    Not sure what you mean? We have paid most of the money back in various ways, including from the sale of land/flats.

    @ Millz
    June 7, 2013 at 3:06 pm
    Exactly. And THAT is how much he loves Arsenal.

  • John

    Wenger has been brilliantly successful in so many respects. The topic of stadia difficulties still has many stages to unfold, as the issues facing Tottenham, Chelsea, Everton and Liverpool still have to emerge fully.

    In passing, I note that no less an authority than Stewart Robson would not trust our manager to buy good players. How many of us would trust Stewart Robson to manage a pub team.

    If our players are as bad as he suggests, that makes 16 years in the CL an even more amazing achievement

  • Mandy Dodd

    Stewart Robson has no credibility discussing this club, he is just a rent a quote slag off Arsenal / Wenger – he recently was saying Jack Wilshere should sign for Utd!

  • pressplay

    The one and only club that you have to look at, to see what we actually have managed to do, is AJAX FC. When they started to build the Amsterdam Arena they had a magnificent team and they were one of the top teams in CL and they have won it in the previous years ( I might be wrong on the CL fact). So they thought – we have a SUPERB team that is going to win things in the next years, We have a superb school which will feed us ,without the need to spend money. What happened in the end we all know – they sold most of their stars so that they can pay for missing the CL qualification and sooner began to sell even the uprising stars. Soon they they were out of CL, out of domestic tittle challange. When AFC announced the stadium project I WAS TERRIFIED after witnessing all clubs capitualte under the pressure. Prayed that this don’t happen to Arsenal and thanks to the genius that Mr Wenger is we enjoy the stadium in CL matches. NO OTHER CLUB HAS DONE IT AND I DOUBT IT THAT ANY WILL EVER DO IT WITHOUT A SUGER DADDY. SO GOD BLESS Wenger and BIG BIG THANKS from me !!!

  • WalterBroeckx

    Maarc,
    an interesting question that I asked myself when writing the article. I could think of a few reasons myself:

    1. I think that one of the main reasons is the 3 floor construction. The other grounds if I remember right are only one floor. So building those constructions are much cheaper and need less foundations. The foundations of the Emirates have to carry the weight of 3 times the other grounds in fact. So that is one major cost and as is written in the entrance : the deeper the foundation,the stronger the fortress.

    2. Arsenal had to pay for the little companies that were situated on the land and for moving those companies to a new site. Also they had to pay a new (I cant find the word – help me out – embarrassing look on my face…) you know where you can recycle your waste…

    3. I think they also had to pay for works at the underground, and roads and stuff like that.

    4. Land in London is very expensive so the purchase of the land will cost more than land in those other parts of country

    5. The construction of a 3 floor stadium is much more complicated than a one floor stadium. Even when you only double the capacity it demands lots more technical skill to make it safe and comfortable.

    I think these are just a few reasons why it cost that much more compared to those other clubs (and inflation compared to some clubs will also play a part)

  • Charlie

    Can I just use this forum to say what an idiot Stewart Robson is ? Someone who was shipped out from an unsuccessful Arsenal team by George Graham just before Arsenal started to win now feels qualified to criticise Arsene Wenger. The bloke is a joke. Anyway it is time for those of us that have stayed with the team understanding the long-term vision that they had to revel in what is about to happen. Arsene has failed to bring in top signings in a period where he had nothing to spend but he has achieved ECL qualification and is a man that can spend big money well if he has the money to spend and now he has the money to spend.

  • Otariq

    I read every release of your Blog Walter, this is the Best. Thanks a lot. I have thought the same, but did not have the resource or time to put this all together. You are the Best. I am just happy that Arsenal have a well grounded Management and Ownership Team. We must keep on making small gains for totally success in the future. Rome was not built in a Day.

  • Charlie

    @Maarc please tell us more about this stadium with 50% the capacity of the Emirates and in particular compare the cost of land per square foot in the region that you refer to. Then please project the revenue over a 30 year period of the stadium in question. You aren’t really provoking any debate with such a vague comment.

  • Joeos

    There is also the Wembley Stadium fiasco, eventually completed after 8 years of delay at a total cost of £975,000,000, including a loss borne by the contractor of £148,000,000. In contrast our stadium was completed to budget and on time.

  • ClockEndRider

    Maarc,
    As Walter points out, purchasing land in London, especially in a part of London with such good communication links to the City and West End, with 2 tube stops within 200 yards and another 3 within half a mile as well as a train station !inking direct to the City in less than 10 minutes is going to be somewhat more expensive than purchasing land in two bit provincial towns with a population less than that of the London Borough of Islington.
    Or for that matter Tottenham, in the LBH in which the land values vary between those of downtown Beirut and Baghdad on a bad day. And who have had governmental help, for some reason,to plan to build a hotel that nobody will use in the pretence that helping the slum dwellers to build a new stadium will somehow entice corporates to N17.
    Sure they will, if they urgently need a fix or to buy the latest edition sub machine gun.
    Lets compare apples with apples, shall we?

  • colario

    I would think the cost of land was a major costing factor as quite naturally land is always more expensive in a capital city than elsewhere.

    As you point out Walter, Arsenal were not just constructing a stadium there were several projects undertaken all of which would have had costly red tape and administration to be paid for.

    The more you examine what was involved in building the stadium, the more you realise what a fantastic achievement the whole enterprise is.

    How lucky we are that we have ‘Arsenal’ in the blood. I was born in a part of London where I could easily become an Orient supporter. I lived near the 236 bus route which runs from Finsbury Park to Leyton. To this day I always check for the O’s score and hope they win except of course when playing Arsenal.

    As for that other team well they were two bus rides away. I did go once but…. but I couldn’t think of a reason for going again other than to watch them lose. Didn’t see any point in that!
    Thanks for a good article.

  • Ehn

    I m a Sierra Leonean and live in Sierra Leone because of my love for Wenger Im nick named Wenger and I greatly thank you for your educative post.

  • franck

    Thanks alot walter,really good stuff,so proud to be an arsenal fan,i live in Nigeria,please can u update me on the proposed plan to increase the Emirates capacity by 10000,dont know how true dat story is

  • Mohamed

    It is a pity that some people do not appreciate sacrificing immediate pleasure for a long term gain. That is what Arsenal has done with Wenger in the fore front. Now that the austere days are over, we should soon start to reap the dividends of long term planning. We should the reminded though that times have changed. The EPL has become more competitive with the sugar daddy teams plus The rising teams like the Spuds. We should appreciate what ever cup we ae able to win in our efforts to end the trophy drought.

  • Waynegooner87

    This kind of positive article is why I come here, no negativity just a positive attitude about this club and where it wants to be. Wenger is declared a tyrant or dictator by fans who want him out, so it’s great that you can talk positively about a man who has sacrificed a lot to move this club forward. Idiots who make negative comments about wenger need a reality check and articles like this can provide that! Great article again and keep it up this is the best site for positive arsenal views out there! COYG

  • Kudos

    Thumbs up Walter. Am an ardent AKB as people here in Nigeria calls me, especially by those Folks which I nicknamed the AAAs. God bless Walter, God bless the lord Wenger, God bless Arsenal. Gunner till Jesus comes

  • Bootoomee

    Thanks Walter for this post. It is a fact that is not lost on us patient gooners who are not substituting the team’s achievements for our own lack of in real life. Arsene Wenger is the greatest and I don’t care what anyone says. I know he is fallible, and believe me, I have my own list of his failings; but who am I to run this great man down? I dread anyone asking my wife (and best friend) to list my faults! I think of some of them now and drop my head in shame. But all of Arsene’s faults, he much more than made up for in managerial acumen.

    Arsene is not just a great football manager but a wonderful human being. A genuine father figure in a business where his most successful rival is known for causing actual physical harm to one of his best young players. 10 years is a blip in the life of a football club but these past 8 years while trophyless have not been one of failure by any stretch of the imagination.

    The man who made grown men cry tears of joy in appreciation of good and winning football will do it again.

    Arsene Knows Best!!!

  • Lanz

    Maarc, I can also tell you that the Emirates is a state if the art stadium. The press room is second to none in the whole of Europe. Even Sir Alex acknowledged the visiting team’s dressing room. Yet, it is child’s play compared to our own dressing room- so much so van Persie missed his way into the home dressing room!! You need to take a tour of that stadium with someone who knows the story. Did you know that the Brazil National team went all over Europe and concluded they would prefer to use the Ems as their camp when they have a tournament in Europe? Nothing good comes cheap, mate. Nice weekend.

  • Pat

    Great article, great debate!

    I am not only very well informed now about stadiums (the story of Ajax I found especially interesting) but I finally know the whole truth about Stewart Robson.

    Even more reason to ignore what he says.

  • Stuart

    I like the fact Stewart Robson got sacked just after I complained about him. I like to think I did some good for the common fan anyway 😉

  • Uk

    Ermm, bayern munich built. New stadium in 2005. All the other teams mentioned in the article(except middlesbrough) spent most of the decade before their moves in the lower divisions, hence they are where they normally used to be before the stadium moves. Interestingly, I think clubs like cardiff and swansea recently built stadia. Finally, stewart robson is a legend!

  • americangooner

    UK,
    i dont think so you did much research on the allianz arena. allianz arena was built by two teams namely, bayern munich and 1860 Munich. both teams collectively funded a total of €340 million. In addition, the state and city council (or whatever it is called in german) provided a €210 towards infrastructure and area development costs. On the contrary arsenal had to bear the whole cost, €550 million, of building the stadium without any public subsidy or without the help of another club.

  • Tristam

    I think we also should mention Danny Fiszman in this thread. He was the main decision maker when this whole process was put into motion. If you think about it, it is a strange chain of heritage that was passed on from Hill-Wood to Dean to Fiszman to Kroenke. Somehow, Danny Fiszman strikes me as the most genuine supporter of Arsenal of them all. I think he and Ken Friar were incredibly important figures in this whole project. It also seems to me that in his final years Danny has managed to communicate some important messages to Ivan Gazidis and Stan Kroenke. Indeed, Stan has been silent and he has been distant but he has never done anything to undermine this whole long-term project thing. I hope that Danny learned enough about Stan to trust him with the Arsenal (admittedly, he had limited options), but all the signs seem to indicate that the project is finally about to produce some results. And this will all go down in the history as a remarkable and unique achievement for a football club anywhere in the world. Which it surely is. But it required three truly remarkable individuals, especially in terms of their selflessness, to come together at a crucial time. And so my sincerest thanks go to Arsene Wenger, Danny Fiszman and Ken Friar.

  • Shard

    Well said Tristam

  • Shard

    If we’re talking about teams in different countries then clubs like Juventus and Lille have new stadia as well. I know that Lille’s was built through public money, but about Juventus there is something really strange there. I haven’t been able to find anything definite on it, but apparently the new stadium only cost Juventus something like 90m euros. How is that even possible? I’m so doubtful about that, but that is the only information I’ve come across.

    On top of that, they are to pay a minimal rent over 10 years(or was it something like 60 years?), but reap full benefit from the redevelopment of the area nearby with the shopping malls or whatever.

    Truly, there is no real comparison with what Arsenal did in funding and building their own stadium, while simultaneously having to deal with previously unheard of money going to their rivals. And still people complain about the state of the club? (Smaller gripes I can understand) I still think that if we’d actually done worse than we did during this period, more people would be more supportive (perhaps also because then we wouldn’t have faced such a media assault)

  • Arsenal1Again

    From what I understood the Highbuy redevelopment was all private investments by Board members. None of the assets were owned by Arsenal FC. No board member pays any of their own money into the club and only one can take money out, Kroenke.

    Losing Champions League was a failure. Losing the League Cup was a failure. Both were there for the winning, then Lehmann screws us and then Szeszcny screwed us. Taking Bobby off in the CL final was beyond belief. Failure.

  • Shard

    Arsenal1Again

    “From what I understood the Highbuy redevelopment was all private investments by Board members. None of the assets were owned by Arsenal FC”

    Where’d you get that from? Could you please clarify what you mean by that?

  • Stuart

    Arsenal1again,

    You make it sound as though the trophies were rightfully ours and not just that but ours to lose. I can see why people call Arsenal fans arrogant.

  • Bootoomee

    Shard,

    I thank you for this line:

    “I still think that if we’d actually done worse than we did during this period, more people would be more supportive (perhaps also because then we wouldn’t have faced such a media assault)”

    I have always believed that part of the reasons why there has been so much vitriol about our lack of trophy is because of the lack of apparent drop in standards of the club. If we had fought relegation battles after the first 2 seasons of the stadium, stay mid table for another 2, qualify for UEFA in another 2 and finally get a top 4 place, the media would be gushing with praises. We have done extremely well, based on our circumstances (both within and outside our control) but the story is not fit for dramatic narrative. The press love simplistic but dramatic narratives!

  • Bootoomee

    Arsenal1Again,

    If only Arsenal had won those trophies and you have something to put on your CV. If only! Arsenal is screwing you badly by leaving you open to taunts from your mates.

    Poor guy!

  • Arun

    Walter, all of these 6 clubs never had the financial power of Arsenal. A more appropriate comparison would be with Tottenham after the move to the new proposed stadium.

  • Mandy Dodd

    prepare yourselves, the summer of good news is upon us!

  • Shard

    Arun

    While it is true we had more financial power then those clubs, and thus it isn’t an exact comparison, the idea behind relegation still stands. Let’s just modify it. In terms of loss of revenue and prestige, relegation from the league is the same as falling out of the top 4.

    Not only did those clubs go down, but they stayed down for a fair few years. Arsenal have never gotten relegated from their league within a league (top 4) Besides, clubs that get relegated can get promoted again because there is a set quota for promotion. There is no such quota to get back in the CL spots. It’s far tougher to break back in once you fall out. Look at Newcastle from the Bobby Robson days. Then of course Liverpool.

    Arsenal have done very well to maintain their status as a member of the top 4, and have actually grown as a club to start to join the true elite of European Football. If that has come at the cost of trophies for a few years, it is well worth it.

  • Shard

    Bootoomee

    I’m not disputing what you are saying (why would I, you agreed with me 🙂 ) but the press agenda is incomplete there. If we weren’t close to being successful..or rather…tangibly, undeniably successful, with a philosophy so at odds with the established order that it threatens to overturn the applecart, we wouldn’t face the vitriol we did. We might even be lauded. Like Wigan and Swansea have been lauded for their football. (Arsenal didn’t like it up em)

    It isn’t all about selling stories. It is also about forming perceptions. In some ways it is done simply because it is easier to go with conventional wisdom, but the manner of that press assault on Arsenal and Wenger, to me, suggested something more calculated than just the desire to sell papers and play it safe. Combine that with the unquestionably crappy performance of referees, and I think there was a ‘conspiracy’ at play there. Which sounds like a big word, but is actually quite a mundane thing in reality.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Thanks ,Walter, and you guys of unshakable faith for the future of this club .I too am looking forward with guarded optimism to next season .
    Just a query ,is there an Arsenal heaven in the afterlife for the faithful ?

  • Shard

    Brickfields

    Yes, and because of your unflinching emotional investment, you are already on the season ticket waiting list to get in. Have faith and Dennis will ensure you get through the pearly gates. You will then have a view of the greatest show in paradise from a seat in the Wenger Stand of the Heavenly Highbury.

  • AL

    Anyone that thinks Robson is a legend can’t be a true Arsenal fan. The media who go and ask Robson for his views precisely know what to expect and that’s the reason they go to him in the first place. Or else why don’t they go and ask true legends like Henry, Bergkamp, Keown, Charlie George, etc.? They know they won’t get the rubbish they want to hear and so instead go to the likes of Robson.

  • Mandy Dodd

    An arsenal heaven… interesting, wonder what happens to the extreme fringes of the aaa?

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Thanks Shard ,for that reassurance but I do hope that as it is here on earth ,so too that it be a very long waiting list above ! I Have still much to complete !

    In the words of Swami Vivekananda (12 January 1863 – 4 July 1902) ,with whom I share a birthday –
    ” Arise, awake and Stop not till the Goal is Reached.”

  • bjtgooner

    It is evident that the club has been been very well managed during this 10 year transitional period. It has been an immense achievement and provides a good financial basis for the future.

    With our squad also in good shape and being a good foundation to build on, the future looks bright.

    My interpretation of IG’s comments suggest we may have a further transitional period for the next two seasons, albeit at a more prosperous level, until the full reward of all the new sponsorship deals is available.

    Only the doom and gloom brigade and those who have a vested interest in disrupting our progress will find a pretext to complain.

  • Shard

    bjtgooner

    I agree with your contention about the next two years. As it is, we’re one year ahead of the 2014 timeline that we’d looked to for change in our financial status. That is down to some of the money we have in our bank, and also down to the fact that we took some payment up front. We build on our squad this year, and add some more talent, and some more sponsorships (Gazidis said we’re working on them), and I think we’ll be ready to be in the same class as Bayern (though ManU will still be a ways ahead. But then they won’t have Arsene Wenger)

  • Ong Bing

    Good write Walter, as usual.

    Our lack off trophy is combination of building new stadium and inflating price of players and players wages.

    But still, Arsene doing the best for Arsenal, only Jurgen Klopp can manages and wins trophies with small budgets.

    In Arsene We Trust.

  • Domhuail

    Walter in response to your question: ¨Also they had to pay a new (I cant find the word – help me out – embarrassing look on my face…) you know where you can recycle your waste… ¨ here are a few possible answers:

    1) White Hart Lane
    2) Tottenham town hall
    3) THFC
    4) Arry’s doghouse
    5) Arry’s skull

  • @Swales68

    Interesting comparisons regarding building costs. I know Everton have problems regarding their ground due to the area they are in they can not redevelop the ground (houses and the church). They think that if they move and build a new ground the increased revenue will only be around 4 or 5 million and not enough to compensate for the move. The only real option is to ground share with Liverpool.

    Liverpools only option I think is to redevelop their current stadium as they do not wish to ground share and planning was turned down for building on Stanley park and also in the dock area of Liverpool. They have a high level if sponsorship at the moment to help but will this continue without sustained CL involvement?

    The Tottenham ground, I am not sure what is happening here they have planning permission to build but there seems little activity regarding the ground lots of talk about supermarkets etc perhaps somebody has knowledge of what is actually happening can fill us in please.

    Today I read that Chelsea maybe back in for the Earls Court site. Their situation is different to the clubs above and Arsenal’s as it will be bank rolled by somebody who has no financial restraint towards the club.

    The other two clubs to look at are Manchester City & West Ham who have gained advantage over clubs that will have to or have had to pay to build stadiums by taking advantage of potential govenment white elephants.

    The other big advantage the clubs mentioned in the original post is that they are all one club towns & cities, I would of thought that this would of been an advantage to them as it should of been easier to maintain the level of income and support needed to fund the stadiums (i could be wrong on this).

    Just quickly back to the spurs ground, I understand they are building a 56,000 seater stadium. Arsenal had to agree to pay a substantial amount to TFL to upgrade the local rail and bus networks before the project was allowed to go ahead. As is pointed out Arsenal have great transport links to ferry large numbers of fans in and out of the area (Drayton Park, Holloway Road, Highbury & Islington & Finsbury Park). The area around Tottenham has White Hart lane, Northumberland Park and a long walk to Tottenham Hale (have I missed any stations?). To me not exactly great transport links have TFL relaxed the rules to accommodate spurs staying in the Tottenham area?

  • Nelson Wong

    I always said the real comparison comes when a significant level of debt for the stadium got pay off.

    To me, its like when you run a business you can choose to buy the property or you buy some machinery. Many prefer the machinery as they immediately produce the goods but if the building is too small, you can’t hold too many machinery in the future.

    In the ideal world, you have unlimited amount of money where one can do both but thats not possible. To be honest, I do not see anyone, even the richest man to come in and just give 500M to a club to buy a stadium while still providing 50M in the same 10 years for player purchases. 1000M? Who is stupid enough to do that.

    Every man want free entertainment. Unfortunately, there’s nothing free. May be there are a few man who’s willing to spend that sort of money for “the love of football” but for how long? 1000M? He must be rediculously rich and he must act rediculously to do that.

  • Stuart

    Nelson Wong,
    Yes, and anyone who is that rich, did not get rich by doing that.

  • Rupert Cook

    This is just too complicated a subject to make a decent comment on. We have no idea what money we’ve had to spend on players with one message from Gazidis and actions in the transfer market by Wenger which contradict IG’s claim that reasonable funds have been available. Do we know if Wenger has fully used the money or not? We don’t know. Has Gazidis been lying? Again we don’t know. On so many questions we don’t have concrete answers.

    As for Arsenal1Again’s failure claim I agree that losing to Birmingham was pretty awful. We played poorly that day, it almost seemed we expected to win and then forgot that we had 90 minutes of football before we could lift the trophy.

    As for the CL final I wasn’t expecting us to win. People seemed to have forgotten how good a team that Barca side was. We were good too but I think we had just passed our peak by about a year or two. I just don’t think Wenger knows how to win the CL. And that’s why he can never be termed as a great manager. Good, yes but not great. He’s had fifteen attempts or so and one final to show for that. In mitigation he hasn’t had a team good enough to win it since 2005. It’s a real shame we couldn’t win it when we had our best period between 98-04.

    The success of the recent years has been mainly off the field. In my view the “success” of these years will be realized when we start winning trophies again. That’s what the last ten years have been about, building a foundation for long term on field success. If that doesn’t happen then we’ve possibly been sold a lie.

    Finally I always find it strange when fans think they can add any Arsenal trophy success to their CV as Bootoome puts it. If Arsenal win a trophy it’s got nothing to do with me, it’s down to the manager and the players. I feel happy of course but I hardly take credit for it. Achievement by proxy isn’t how I live my life, I just like to see our players celebrate something for the effort they’ve put in.

  • Karan Mundul

    Great way to see things from the Club’s perspective. Compared to the other clubs, Arsenal FC was hugely successful prior to moving stadiums and therefore the fan’s expectations have been unrealistic. Hopefully more fans will realize this and get off the manager’s back as I feel we still have a year or two before we can start competing again.