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January 2021

Just how much did Arsenal spend on players last season and Schneiderlin pops up again.

~By Tony Attwood

It is all very well saying that club A is planing to buy player X, but such things have to be put into context.  Is the club looking to sell a club that needs to sell to balance the books?  Is the club looking to buy, a club a) with the money and b) with a willingness to spend it.

As we know, for a number of years Arsenal had the money, but was choosing to spend it, or better said, “had chosen some years before” to spend it on the stadium.  As a result we have a magnificent stadium, and now having paid for much of it we have the money.

Liverpool and Tottenham are entering into that traumatic period and so will feel the pinch to differing degrees, just as we did.

But has this really turned Arsenal into a buying club?    Well, if we have a look at last summer we bought

  • Alexis Sanchez (Barcelona)
  • Mathieu Debuchy (Newcastle United)
  • David Ospina (Nice)
  • Calum Chambers (Southampton)
  • Danny Welbeck (Manchester United)

And we sold, gave away or otherwise disposed of….

  • Lukasz Fabianski (Swansea City) Free
  • Bacary Sagna (Manchester City) Free
  • Chuks Aneke (Zuite Waregem) Free
  • Nicklas Bendtner Released
  • Chu Young Park Released
  • Wellington Silva (UD Almeria) Loan
  • Thomas Eisfeld (Fulham)
  • Carl Jenkinson (West Ham United) Loan
  • Thomas Vermaelen (Barcelona)
  • Ignasi Miquel (Norwich City)
  • Ryo Miyaichi (Twente) Loan

In the January window we had


  • Gabriel Paulista (Villarreal CF)
  • Krystian Bielik (Legia Warszawa)


  • Benik Afobe (Wolverhampton Wanderers)
  • Joel Campbell (Villarreal CF) loan
  • Yaya Sanogo (Crystal Palace) loan
  • Matt Macey (Accrington Stanley) loan
  • Lukas Podolski (Inter Milan) loan

Now that sold/gave away list is pretty extensive, not least because it frees up a lot of salary.

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So the net expenditure was around £35m in the summer and £16 in January making £51m, which really is a fairly hefty expenditure.

Same again this summer?

Well certainly maybe.  We have no worries about FFP and the money seems to be there.  Which is why the transfer speculation is high, and why I continue to harbour serious doubts about what is going on at certain other clubs.  Liverpool don’t have an FFP to worry about immediately, but if their aim is to get back into the Champions League, they will do again, and won’t be able to pull the trick they pulled last time, of showing that some of the money spent was spent on a stadium that was actually never built.

Man C are out of what (if they were a school in England) we would call “special measures” but could easily slip back into FFP problems, if they are seriously going to spend the money some people talk about.

So what’s the latest?

The all knowing Telegraph which is able to get inside your head and tell you what you are about to think (which when you consider it, really is spooky) says,

Gunners fans had hoped Arturo Vidal would join Alexis Sanchez at Emirates next season, but now seems they’ll be disappointed

The official translation provided by Google’s automatic telepathic translator came back as

Our level of arrogance knows no bounds, for we are now able to make up a story about a transfer, tell you what you will think, get you to think it, and then, when we undo the story, make you feel disappointed.  You are totally under our domination, and even your thoughts are not your own.

So did you “hope” and are you now “disappointed”?  If not, you are not a “Gunners fan” as the Telegraph so quaintly puts it.  It is important to know these things, otherwise one’s life can become very confusing.

The Telegraph continued its theme with the headline

Podolski escapes Arsenal in £2.8m Gala move

“Escapes” eh?  You can see what they think.

The Metro had a bash with Podolski too.

Legend! These stats show Arsenal have made a huge mistake letting Podolski leave   Their argument was “The 30-year-old managed 31 goals in 82 appearances for the north London side, including 19 in the Premier League.”

Meanwhile, apparently ‘Arsenal begin talks over Barca star Pedro’ -that is in the Telegraph while the Independent tells us that “Arsenal have made initial contact with Pedro’s representatives over a move for the Barcelona winger, according to reports in Spain.”

Ah, “reports”.   That would be each newspaper quoting each other newspaper.

Reports claim that the Gunners are closely monitoring the 27-year-old, who scored six league goals for Barca last season in their La Liga-winning campaign.

While he made 35 appearances in the league, 20 of those came as a substitute from the bench as he found himself behind the attacking triumvirate of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez.

Liverpool are also said to be interested but they say that about everyone.  And the buy out clause is said to be set at over £100m.  On the other hand the papers suggest he could go for £15m.

Two more before we come back to some really old news…

Southampton ready to sue Atletico Madrid

‘Arsenal to offer Cazorla and cash for Turan’

Both seem unlikely.  Clubs tend not to sue each other because there is something in the league regulations that frowns on such action.  A trip to the Court for Arbitration in Sport is the most likely outcome if things get really heated.  (It is all about a player’s buy out clause and whether it was/is still in a contract – and this whole buy out clause thing is getting a bit silly.  I wouldn’t be surprised if some new regulation appeared about them soon).

As for the second – that has been knocking around for a few days.  Caz only has one year left on his contract and is getting on a bit, but as the last article showed, he is one of only a tiny handful of players who managed over 26 games for us last season.  Quite a gamble to release him, I’d have thought.

But still the mill churns on and on, or is that round and round.  And just when you thought it was safe to have a jolly good laugh at Untold’s earlier suggestion that a certain Southampton man was on the way The Independent today has this…

Morgan Schneiderlin has told friends that he would prefer to work with Arsene Wenger at Arsenal than Louis van Gaal at Manchester United, according to reports.

Of course players don’t always get what they want, but they do have a say.  And besides who are these friends?  “I was with me ol mate Scheids down the boozer last night and he told me….”


Meanwhile the Sunday Times say Mr S feels that “Arsenal’s more settled style of play is better suited to his game, and he would also like to remain in the South of England”.    Ah, so he was in the lounge bar.  Ok.  And presumably that is a reference to where Man U have a ground, rather than where the vast bulk of their supporters are based.

Back with the Indy, they say “Unlike United, however, Arsenal have yet to make a bid, with Southampton holding out for £25m.”

Also according to the press, Schneiderlin has said (but this is only the newspapers’ version) that he only wants to play for a club in the Champs League, and as we know Man U have that hurdle to overcome, so maybe he’s waiting to see if they get through.

Hey ho.  It will, or maybe won’t, all become clear in the end.
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24 comments to Just how much did Arsenal spend on players last season and Schneiderlin pops up again.

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin.

    Are the Daily Telegraph media trying to make us become Robot beings by telegiding us? Although Diego Simeone doesn’t have to make any clarifications on any transfer rumours that linked him. But going by the trends of Managers or clubs making statement on any big story that linked them on the media, Someone’s silence on the media purported Ateletico Madrid’s intreast to sign Cazorla should be confirmed or debunked by Ateletico. I know there are no managers’ press conference for now, where for instance, the Boss could confirm, debunk or leave the media rumour to hang on the air if the news men asked him to clarify on Arsenal intreast on any player. So, generally, the managers are safe from the media harassment until their football seasons are opened. And by then the transfer market would have been closed. Man Utd are reported to have their £20m bidding for Schneiderlin rejected by Southampton. And Schneiderlin is reported to have said, he preferred coming to Arsenal than to go to Utd. But there is no chance Arsenal are even going to put in a bid of £20m for Schneiderlin. Because Arsenal are earning their money and they cannot afford to throw it around lavishly as they don’t get it unlimited. I think the Saints should quickly accept Utd £20m bid as Utd may not return with a higher bid. This rejection may consequently forced the Saints to sell him lower than the £20m or he will remain with them or go to his earlier preferred Spurs to play in the Europa League.

  • Andy Mack

    I’m surprised they haven’t started the ‘Is it Cabaye or Schneiderlin to Arsenal?’ question, seeing as Cabaye is desperate to come back to the PL apparently (can’t remember which rag I saw that in!).

  • Gord

    While Ryo probably was on loan at Twente, I think he was released after that, and is now at St. Pauli.

  • bjtgooner

    Nice article Tony.

    If the once supposedly reputable broadsheets are unashamedly producing such rubbish about Arsenal, how reliable/accurate can they be on main news items, politics and current affairs?

    To answer the question – approx as accurate as the disreputable tabloids?

  • Gord

    Arsenal introduces 14 young players (3 young professionals, 11 scholars).

  • insideright

    I don’t understand why this ‘fact’ that we’ve paid off much of the stadium has become received wisdom – especially on Untold. Most of the principal borrowed for the new stadium (as opposed to that taken up to redevelop Highbury) still exists as a loan. We may now have a relatively low nett debt but that’s because we have such vast cash holdings which are designated for other purposes other than debt repayment.
    What has changed is that the new/renewed sponsorship deals with the likes of Puma and Emirates go straight into available funds as opposed to their original manifestations (Nike and Emirates) which were taken upfront in order to reduce the original loans.
    Because such funds are not sourced from fans (and Arsenal obviously haven’t been happy risking our money in the transfer market for a very long time) they become available, in part at least, to fund transfers. Such expenditure raises the profile of the Club – and thereby the sponsors – enhancing the value they get for their original investment and encouraging them to come back for more in the future.
    The stadium debt, though reduced somewhat, remains in place. The interesting decision will come soon when the annual payments start to fall (as is the case with a straight repayment loan) – will the Club maintain payments at the current level and thereby reduce the term of the loan? Getting the whole thing paid off in less than the original 25 years would be great and would create an additional c£20m per year to invest.

  • TailGunner

    The Telegraph & Guardian’s investigative journalism has been responsible for revealing child sex abuse by Asian gangs and at the BBC and MPs expenses and banking scandles
    They have both been at the front of the FIFA corruption investigation since before 2010, so overall I’d say they do a pretty good job.

  • Al

    Defending the rags now, eh? Shocking.

  • Gord

    A backroom announcement of sorts. A couple of Arsenal blogs are “reporting” that according to “reports”, Arsenal have signed Barry Solon to be a strength and conditioning coach.

    In trying to find out more, I keep running into GAA (a Gaelic Football Association?) and Mayo. I believe the Mayo Clinic is in Minnesota, so it isn’t that Mayo.

    As far as URLs tied to today, I have ArseBlog and MidwestRadio.

    > He is remaining with Mayo until their season ends.

    Back in March 2012, there is a longer writeup on him.

  • TailGunner

    I see my own personal troll has crawled out from under his rock.

  • Gord

    Okay, Mayo is a county in Ireland (to do with a posting in moderation).

    County Mayo (Irish: Contae Mhaigh Eo, meaning “Plain of the yew trees”) is a county in Ireland.

    131,000 people in 5586 km^2. Where I live has about 300,000 people in 350,000 km^2, and is a little further north (I am near latitude 56).

  • Andy Mack

    insideright, 2 points,
    1) I think the loan debt is down to a little over 200m from around 400m (please advise correct figure if anyone knows them as fact), so I think we have made a pretty good hole in the loans.
    2)I don’t think the loans are in any way comparable to a standard loan in as much as there are lots of clauses and strict terms (more than for personal/small business loans etc). One of the requirements was that we kept quite large cash reserves which could be used in the event that we couldn’t generate sufficient money to meet the repayments if (for example) we hadn’t got into the CL for 3 or 4 years) To get a preferential deal I understand that we could only pay a certain amount off quickly (which we’ve done) and still hold the rate. To pay off a larger chunk in the near future would require certain re-negotiation of the terms or an automatic increase of the rate.
    This is what I was told by a city finance friend who doesn’t know this as facts but as educated guess work and qualified rumour.

    But yes you’re absolutely correct that the new commercial money together with the new TV money has had a major influence on our spending options and if the player salaries weren’t increasing as well, we’d be in an even better position.

  • Menace

    Spot on Al. The 2 rags bought their info from ‘pilfered’ data. However, the child sex abuse outing is totally justified. It seems like most of the evil doers are being protected by other evil doers in power. Corruption is not the privilege of FIFA only.

  • TailGunner

    It doesn’t really matter how the “two rags” obtained their data All news outlets get their info from somewhere don’t they. It’s how they use the data that’s important.
    I’ve no problems with the media at all . It’s all on line and mostly free, so I read and believe as much as I feel like

  • Mike T

    Andy Mac

    As at end on November 2010 Arsenal owed £231million in respect of bonds maturing after 1 year and £26million in respect of debentures and approx £127 million in cash reserves

    As at end of November 2014 the figures were £205 million and £27 million and £208 million on deposit.

    As you say there are requirements regarding not being able to spend a certain amount and from what I read The Arsenal supporters trust estimate that if you factor in the sum required under the bond agreements, sums still payable to clubs you have brought players from then about £40 million is available for transfer spends .I would suspect that figure will have changed following your 3rd place finnish and the fact that guaranteed your participation in the CL group stages

  • Vintage Gooner

    I am not sure that Mike T’s figures accurately tell the full story although I am guessing he has taken them from the published accounts. From my recollection the full cost of the Emirates (which was on budget and on time) was between £300m – £350m and closer to the lower figure.My understanding is that Arsenal have now paid off around £150m of this Stadium debt leaving only the very long term loan which is at a very low interest figure which is easily payable from current income and there are penalties for early payments. In addition of course paying a fixed sum into the future is nearly always better because the impact is less and less as time goes by (other ancient gooners can stop singing right now!).

  • Jambug


    Oli Price-Bates for Sunday 5 Oct 2014 8:21 am

    Podolski pleased the fans for a while with his lethal finishing, but that sharpness has gone and he is visibly slowing down. Being an early bloomer seems to be paying it’s price for Podolski, whose career took off as a teenager. He’s a nice guy, but he’s not good enough any more. Out wide he looks lost and lazy and upfront he needs a partner in order to play his best football.

    Read more:

    Tom Olver for Saturday 4 Jul 2015 4:06 pm

    Gunners fans will be sad to see Podolski leave, and as these stats suggest, he definitely was no flop at the north London club.

    Read more:

    THIS is why you should ignore the sit these people spout about us and our players.

    When it suits our players are shit and should be sold. The second he’s sold he’s all of a sudden a World beater.

    These people are arseholes, no more, no less.

  • Jambug


    July 6, 2015 at 9:09 pm


    Oli Price-Bates for Sunday 5 Oct 2014 8:21 am

    Podolski pleased the fans for a while with his lethal finishing, but that sharpness has gone and he is visibly slowing down. Being an early bloomer seems to be paying it’s price for Podolski, whose career took off as a teenager. He’s a nice guy, but he’s not good enough any more. Out wide he looks lost and lazy and upfront he needs a partner in order to play his best football.

    Read more:

    Tom Olver for Saturday 4 Jul 2015 4:06 pm

    Gunners fans will be sad to see Podolski leave, and as these stats suggest, he definitely was no flop at the north London club.

    Read more:

    THIS is why you should ignore the sit these people spout about us and our players.

    When it suits our players are shit and should be sold. The second he’s sold he’s all of a sudden a World beater.

    These people are idiots, no more, no less.

  • Dec

    Every day’s a school day, eh Gord?
    Discovered where County Mayo is and maybe for your next lesson you might learn about Gaelic Football?
    If this guy can get the Arsenal players anywhere near as strong and athletic as any top flight Gaelic football player even Alexis will show improved stamina and strength.
    Could be worrying for Per though.

  • Al

    Ok, I may be a troll. But how about someone who will defend anything that, undeservedly, casts negative light on Arsenal? Granted, we all can’t have the same opinion, but when it’s the same individual that does this sort of thing then that suggests they may have their own agenda. For avoidance of doubt, I’m talking about an individual who will dismiss a fact-laden referee review or some article with meticulously collected data/evidence from reputable sites such as opta,etc, on say something like Arsenal players’ yellow or red card count versus players from other clubs published on UA as meaningless, by saying facts can be twisted to mean anything. Without necessarily pointing out anything that will be wrong with the presented facts. An individual who, when everyone else will agree a ref will have had a stinker, will try and defend the said ref by saying look he could have carded or sent off that one Arsenal player (for his one and only transgression in the whole match) but didn’t, so he wasn’t against us, despite letting an opposing player get away with murder throughout the whole match. An individual who will defend the press, when it’s almost universally agreed the press make up unsubstantiated transfer rumours for their own means, the same press that has been debated in parliament that they need to be regulated for their underhand and unethical practices.

    See, don’t get me wrong, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with having a divergent view occasionally. But when it happens almost all the time with the same individual then we may have a problem. It does lead me to think such individuals only come here solely to try and “debunk” any view or views published on UA. I may be wrong though, but I doubt it. I’ll continue calling this behaviour out when I see it, whether I’m labelled a troll or not.

  • Mike T

    Vintge gunner

    initial estimates as to the whole project was in the region of £400 million however in 2002 the late Danny Fiszman said the final cost would be around £500 million. I think you are right to say that the stadium element came in on budget the main cost increases came about due to other commitments that had to be honoured

    As you know doubt remember to help finance the stadium Arsenal sold £47 million of new shares to Granada Media and also sold things like shirt sponsorship at a reduced rate for upfront sums meaning that when Arsenal moved to the new stadium they effectively owed £210 by way of long term bonds with a final maturity date of 2031 in addition they borrowed £125million to enable them to complete works in converting the old stadium and another £50 million on shorter term. It was assumed that the £175 million would be prepaid when the Highbury project had come to an end as has been well published the project continues although on the face of it much of the £175 has been paid off.
    From what little I know of the terms of the bond Arsenal pay a very manageable interest on the debt at a rate of 5.14% and that added to other conditions

  • TailGunner

    Well I certainly am a bit of an individual. No arguments there.
    If anyone thinks the PGMO has shite referees should have watched the Women’s World Cup. Now they really were crap.

  • Gord


    Very few days are not learning days.

    I was athletic first aid person for a top level amateur team in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. At the time, the goaltender was originally from Belfast, and he semi-regularly went off to Gaelic tournaments and came back with the strangest injuries.

    I think that Hurley is likely worse than Gaelic.

    I wasn’t thinking of the training for Alexis, but more so for Ozil, Zelalem, Bielik and maybe Wilshere.

  • Dec

    Oh no Gord, I’ve just had the most bizarre image of Ozil playing Hurling (think 15 a side golf crossed with Ultimate Fighting played at 100 mph) with Jack.
    Neither would ever walk again! 🙂
    Roll on August.