By Tony Attwood
To some people all Arsenal did in the transfer window was bought Krystian Bielik and Gabriel Paulista. Maybe – but what is the result?
According to TransferMarket.co.uk it means we have a squad that is worth £343.02m.
Some players have increased in value since we bought them (Ospina is now worth £6.16m apparently, Koscielny, £17.6m), and some look a little undervalued (Bellerin is shown as £440,000, Coquelin at £2.64m). On the other hand Flamini is shown as £7.04m and Arteta at £5.28m which may be the wrong way round, but might reflect current injury status.
At the upper end Wilshere is £26.4m, Ramsey £21.12m, Ozil £36.9m, Santi £22.88m, Alexis £33,44m, Theo £24,64m.
As you can see from this snippet the value of players is a topic open for debate, and I suspect most of us would up the value of some and decrease that of others.
But using the same source to look at the teams near the top of the Premier League this week we find these results for total squad values…
- Manchester U £407m
- Chelsea £387.42m
- Manchester C £381.3m
- Arsenal £343.02m
- Liverpool £286.88m
- Tottenham £162.48m
- Southampton £140.62m
Of course one of the problems for Arsenal is the low value put on relatively untested players like Bellerin £440,000 and Coquelin at £2.64m. Bielik has no value at all.
The Independent gave us a list of transfers and a verdict:
VERDICT: Got the extra defender that was so desperately needed but failed to bring in a holding midfielder, although the emergence of Francis Coquelin is encouraging. Arsene Wenger allowed three forwards to leave and Arsenal now appear quite light in that department. 7/10
And here is the season summary
|Krystian Bielik||Legia Warsaw||Undisclosed|
|Mathieu Debuchy||Newcastle United||£12.0m|
|Danny Welbeck||Manchester United||£16.0m|
As for forwards, we have Giroud, Welbeck, the injured Gnabry, Theo, Alexis, plus the option of playing Ozil or Santi Cazorla as one of three nominal forwards. I don’t think any other established player would come here seeing that forward line, and we also have Akpom who Mr Wenger clearly has confidence in (and he has a certain knowledge in such matters I feel).
But there’s one other issue that has been raised of late in transfers. How come Chelsea get such large amounts when they sell a player?
I guess correspondents were thinking of Lukaku for £28m and Schurrle for £22m following on from last season’s Luiz £40m, Mata £37m, and de Bruyne £18m.
Two of these transfers were to Wolfsburg who are paid for by VW, so have the money – as presumably do the other clubs, but yes, it does look suspicious.
Of course when we talk about suspicions vis a vis referees we have mountains of evidence in terms of ref decisions and supporting information about the strange and suspicious behaviour by the ref organisation PGMO. But with transfers, it is harder to get any data beyond the transfer figures.
The simplest explanation is that nothing is amiss. The simplest explanation incorporating something being wrong is that Chelsea need to sell at high prices to balance their FFP books, because they also spend a lot on transfers in. Maybe (no evidence, just a thought) they are declaring income much higher than they get, from clubs who either have no FFP problem or who are then hiding the money elsewhere. Maybe they are not getting these amounts at all, and it is all hype – after all a company like Chelsea’s owned by one man doesn’t have to reveal such details to the likes of you and me).
But this does look a murky area, not least because of the way transfer funding works. A player’s value in the table I used at the start is based on what he might be sold for – it is all supposition. But a player’s value on the accounts of a club declines through his contract against the amount paid for him. So, buy a player for £40 and give him a four year contract then his cost in FFP terms declines by £10m a year. (The salary still shows up on FFP charts, but not the cost of the transfer).
So keep a £40m player for two years and then sell him for £25m and the club is showing a £5m profit on the transfer in that year of the sale – for they have sold a £20m player for £25m. Monaco exploited this by buying in such players, loaning them out so they didn’t have the salary cost, and then selling them at an FFP profit (although of course they have lost money in real terms – but when the club is owned by a billionaire, that is fairly meaningless).
This is not unique to football. In any company if you buy a computer for £1000 it is written off in the company’s accounts at 25% a year. So if after two years you sell it to another firm for £600 you have made £100 profit.
I don’t know if this helps Chelsea’s FFP position – I’d need an accountant to do the sums and check my understanding of the system, but I put it forwards as one of the oddities of the whole system..
And there is another point. Back in 2013/14 Chelsea also had 24 players out on loan, which also odd.
Of course I don’t say that Chelsea are messing with the system, and I also admit that if they are, I don’t quite understand what is going on, except in the notion that if you have large numbers of emerging players on your books and then loaning them out helps as
a) you are stopping other clubs getting them
b) you can cherry pick the best of the bunch and let the rest go.
If anyone can decipher all this with facts and sources, then please do write an article for Untold which I will be pleased to publish.
- Arsenal the most penalised by refs among the current top four teams
- Mykhaylo Mudryk now listed in 17 different articles as coming to Arsenal!
- Arsenal attacking problems… what attacking problems?
- Men’s football returns at last: Arsenal in action this afternoon
- Is the injury to Gabriel Jesus equivalent to the assault on Eduardo in 2008?