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October 2020

Chelsea and Tottenham and the stadium saga. Will they do better than Arsenal?

By Tony Attwood

It was the fact that between the Invincibles Season and the 2014 FA Cup victory Arsenal didn’t win any of the major trophies, which became the central rallying call for the aaa.

Their argument was very much that this was not good enough for Arsenal, and that a different manager with different financial arrangements behind him would have done better.  The model that was wanted was that of Man City or Chelsea with Alisher Usmanov taking on the role of paymaster in chief..

But as I have pointed out before, although money can buy lots of things it doesn’t guarantee success.  In the last two seasons Man City have won the League once and League Cup once.  Chelsea the same.   Arsenal the FA Cup twice.  And looking at Chelsea this season it seems that vast amounts of money doesn’t guarantee anything much.  Money helps, but on its own it is not enough – or so it seems to me.

Against such a backdrop, I find it fascinating to see where Chelsea and Tottenham are going with their stadium redevelopments and how they are going to finance the deals, which is why I’ve returned to the theme a number of times over the years – and here it is once more.

Tottenham’s final set of stadium plans contained a bit of a surprise: a £750m forecast of the cost of their stadium development – up significantly from the £400m that was talked about in earlier days.  Apparently accommodating the NFL franchise has increased the cost quite a lot, and there have been a lot of other changes from the earlier plans which allowed Tottenham to play on in the stadium, without having to move out at all.

According to the details giving in the latest planning documents that have been released Tottenham have spent £100m on initial work, and planning.  They have confirmed that the rest of the money will be raised through taking on debts, advance ticket sales and stadium naming rights.  Pretty much the standard model, and without any significant additional finance from the owners which some had forecast.

Tottenham are helped by the fact that they are debt free, and so the deal looks to be something along the lines of £350m bank loans over five years, which will then be refinanced.  Naming rights are expected to bring in £30m a year, and if the club can get five years paid up front that is obviously another £150m which gives £500m.  Advance corporate ticket sales and an up-front kit deal payment stretching for five years might bring another £100m leaving £50m requirement from secondary sponsors also front loading their payments.

Such deals put Tottenham on a par with Arsenal in terms of value, and it may well be that there are sufficient sponsors around who will be willing to pay that price.  And indeed if Tottenham then could sustain a run of top four finishes they would be able to market themselves as equal to Arsenal – unless of course Arsenal maintain their achievement of the last two years by continuing to win trophies.

The downside for Tottenham is the same as it was for Arsenal – the deals to pay for the stadium eat up the money that might otherwise be available for player purchase.  Tottenham of course can point to their record of having made a profit on player transfers over the past five years – and that is indeed remarkable.  Whether they can continue to do that I am not sure.  If so it will be one hell of an achievement.

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But there could be a benefit for Arsenal too.  If Arsenal outperform Tottenham in the sort of things that sponsors notice – such as trophies and being in the Champions League, over the next couple of years one would expect Arsenal’s shirt sponsorship deal which runs out in 2019 to then start bringing in more than Tottenham’s.  So their ability to push up income could then mean Arsenal will get more – but without having the debts to pay off.

Tottenham’s current match day earnings are around £44m a year.  This is expected to rise to about £72m a year.  That figure is interesting because it is quite a bit lower than the £100m that Arsenal make a year from match days – and one reason for this is the compromise that has had to be made in the re-design of the ground.  This re-design led to the new ground being bigger than the Ems Stadium, but in doing so it sacrifices 25% of the corporate areas, and it is these that pay over the odds for the seats, food and drink.  (Try buying a glass of wine at Club Level during the Emirates Cup and you’ll see what I mean).

So overall I’m still reaching the conclusion that Tottenham are financing their stadium in the same way Arsenal did.   They have some benefits – lower interest rates in particular.  And some drawbacks – it is costing more, and they don’t have nearly so much valuable property that can be re-developed and sold on to help pay for the costs.

Chelsea of course have life easy by way of comparison.   Chelsea owes Roman Abramovich £1bn, and he can afford to throw in another £1bn to rebuild Stamford Bridge.  Since stadium costs don’t affect FFP it won’t affect the club.

Which brings us to what the clubs will do while their stadia are being re-built.  Arsenal of course didn’t have this worry – we played at Highbury and then moved.  Tottenham need to move out for one year, Chelsea for three.  Wembley is the obvious choice of both.

Wembley is subject to planning controls that say it can only hold 37 full scale events per year, but there is apparently no limit on the number of events it can be used for, with under 50,000 spectators and this rule would undoubtedly be used to have both clubs take over the ground.  Because most of the other events booked in are held at times that would not interfere too much with league games (Charity Shield, Cup Final, Play Off finals) there wouldn’t be too many problems, although there would be a few clashes with maybe the Capital One Cup, the Rugby League final and the like.  But with both Saturday and Sunday available there ought to be time, although there are also the NFL games to fit in.

It might however cause the TV companies a few problems with their scheduling if they wanted to have both Tottenham and Chelsea home games on TV, and if one of those two was playing in the Europa League that could make it a bit more complicated.  But it still ought to be just about possible especially with the option of moving some games to a Friday.

Financially the word is that both clubs have agreed to pay the same amount to the FA to use the stadium, and if the FA could get Chelsea in for three years and Tottenham for one, it would be their ultimate salvation, resulting in many of their insane debts being paid off.  Of course they would immediately run up more huge debts by bidding for the world cup again, buying people handbags, paying for disreputable Fifa officials to meet royalty, and all the other stuff it does, but it would get them out of the current hole.  Community football would still be left out in the cold, but who cares if you can have another banquet with Fifa and Uefa officials.  (Incidentally Platini is still being paid by Uefa despite being banned from football.  Same with Blatter and Fifa. Funny old game).

So everything looks hunky dory – except that Chelsea’s bid is said to be for the exclusive rights – they don’t want to have to accommodate Tottenham.  The view seems to be that because they will be at Wembley for three years they have to make a bigger effort to ensure that their fans buy into the deal and if they have to share with Tottenham, their fans won’t like it so much.   There is also the awareness that Stamford Bridge has not always sold out for every match, and some fans might pick and choose their games at Wembley rather than commit to each and every match.

The other issue is that of what the FA do about Tottenham and Chelsea in the FA Cup.  If they play their home games at Wembley, that would give them unfair advantages in FA Cup semifinals and the final, if either club got through.  One can imagine them moving a semi-final to Old Trafford or the Ems, as happened in the old days, but moving the final out of Wembley would seem a step too far.   Would the FA really allow Tottenham or Chelsea to play at home in the Cup Final?

Knowing the FA, probably they would.

Thus after all the waiting, all the false leads, and all the planning objections, it seems we now have a better idea of where all this is leading and where the money is coming from.  Tottenham are doing it Arsenal’s way, will end up with a bigger stadium, but with a smaller income.  Chelsea are doing it with funding from the owner, opening New Stamford Bridge in 2020 with a capacity of 60,000.   Tottenham will be juggling the money for a few years, as Arsenal did, but as Arsenal showed, even with that juggling, top four finishes are possible.  They will have to learn though, that Top 4 is Not A Trophy.  (I know that cos the aaa told me).

Chelsea will have no financial problems.  They just have to try and avoid relegation in the meantime.   I suspect they probably will.

 From today’s anniversary files

20 January 2006: Theo Walcott joined Arsenal from Southampton for £5m, aged 16.  In 2015 he extended his contract with Arsenal having started playing some games as centre forward and scoring the opening goal of the 2015 FA Cup Final and having notched up over 200 league appearances for Arsenal.

20 January 2010: Arsenal beat Bolton 4-2 at home to go top of the league.  Arsenal were 2-0 down within half an hour but responded with goals by Rosicky, Fabregas, Vermaelen and Arshavin. It was the 9th game of a 10 match unbeaten run.

47 comments to Chelsea and Tottenham and the stadium saga. Will they do better than Arsenal?

  • Laos gooner

    They could both share with state aid united. The tax payer has a lot of money in the Olympic park project. What a legacy if 3 football clubs were to use the venue. Come on lets campaign to have all the bad apples in one basket

  • don gorgon

    beware of them straws you’re clutching at .. too many holes in your monologue.

  • Lebowski

    Arsenal also saved money on their stadium by just building a facsimile of Benfica’s ‘Estadio Da Luz’.

  • colario

    Firstly not to be in debt in the last five years is achievement and we should respect Spurs for this.

    I query the sense of inviting American football into the house of Spurs full stop. This is because American football clubs do not show loyalty. The owner/s of a club will move to where they think they can most money.

    Mr Kronke is in the process of moving his Missouri Rams to Los Angeles is evidence of this.

    In order to accommodate American football games at the new stadium therefore doesn’t make sense in the long term as American Football clubs are just as likely to move out as to move.

    Over at Chelski if the economic situation continues in the way it is going at the moment could it be possible that Mr Abramovich could decide there are better things he could do with his money then throw it away at Chelski especially if they have more than one losing season.

    I think it is a case of ‘watch this space’.

    Meantime Arsenal go marching on.

    Merci Arsene, merci.

  • Don Gorgon – thank you for your comment. I think I learned a lot from the evidence you presented to support your argument.

  • Tai

    Excellent piece Tony.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    From what I can deduce from the above article, it has appeared Arsenal may not be in a vatange position to expand the seating capacity of the Emirates Stadium. As the availabe space within and around the stadium has been given up to accommodate their services dept in the Stadium. Such as restaurants and e.t.c. Well, I think I have read in the media that there are thousands of awaiting season ticket applicants who can’t be obliged due to lack of sufficient seats at the Ems. But I think I also read it in the media that Arsenal will soon embark on their Emirates Stadium upgrade and their sporting facilities across London in not too long distance. Arsenal should not allow any London club to overtake them in Stadium, Training Ground and Medical Facilities upgrade. But to continue to set the pace for others to follow. In this wise, I think Arsenal should hasting up their plans to upgrade their facilities without any unecessary delays. Moreso to increase the seating capacity of the Emirates Stadium to 65000 plus.

  • Minesy

    “It was the fact that between the Invincibles Season and the 2014 FA Cup victory Arsenal didn’t win any of the major trophies, which became the central rallying call for the aaa.”

    Tony !!!! Have you too joined the aaa ???? Doesn’t the 2005 FA Cup count as a major trophy ???? 😉

  • WalterBroeckx

    I wonder how much of Tottenham making a profit over the last 5 years has to do with selling Bale. But alas for them you can only sell him once for that insane amount of money.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Samuel, completely agree with Arsenal having to increase their stadium capacity.
    As the president of an official supporters club it is really frustrating to see the numbers of tickets we ask being lowered by Arsenal because there are too many applications for tickets.
    I hope that if they expand it with even just a 1000 or 5000 seats they would give the majority of those seats to official supporters clubs.

  • Andy Mack

    SAA, The Wenger Stadium is limited by transport access. Until London transport (LT) improve the train links we will not be allowed to increase our seating numbers. Unfortunately LT will not improve the transport without our club paying a large proportion of the set up costs and our local (government) council only see us as a money pot, so they will not put pressure on LT.
    Our Spuddie neighbours have the benefit of a different local council that will help them as the government are desperate to develop the area around their stadium which is a truly deprived area. In the past they have put pressure on LT so they have reasonable access now and it appears (if rumours are correct) that they will fund some upgrades as well.
    So any increase of our stadium numbers will cost much more than any income generated by the increase, for some years to come.

  • Gaz

    More rubbish from the prat who didn’t believe the stadium would ever be built. Why do you compare your situation to Spurs, when it’s totally different? Spurs stadium is multi-purpose for starters. Stop pretending you know all about how Spuhowwill finance their stadium

  • The lack of evidence in these replies is becoming a bit of a theme.

  • Jambug


    You will of noticed that I do not agree with that the money is not all that important. I think it is almost, almost I say, everything.

    There is the odd anomaly, and then of course there is the genius that is Arsene Wenger.

    BUT, by and large the trophies follow the money, and back on the 8th of January the following is the evidence I presented in 2 parts.

    You chose not to respond.

    Anyway, here they are again and your opportunity to debate my assertion:


    January 8, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    I know Tony and others at Untold have for some time been behind the thinking that ‘it’ is not necessarily all about the money. The ‘it’ in this case being the winning of trophies.

    Well I have to say I don’t see it that way, especially when you are talking about the top end spenders.

    I believe it is ALL about the money.

    Since Roman Abramovich landed in West London in June 2003 this is a list of the Premiers leagues top Net spenders over the 12 years since then, up to and including last Summer, and the Major domestic trophies that have been won:

    PL = Premier League

    FA = FA Cup

    LC = League Cup (in it’s various guises)

    Man City £800 Million = £66 Million per season PL/FA/LC = 4

    Chelsea £632 Million = £52 Million per season PL/FA/LC = 11

    Man Utd £450 Million = £37 Million per season PL/FA/LC = 9

    Liverpool £283 Million = £23 Million per season PL/FA/LC = 2

    Arsenal £98 Million = £8 Million per season PL/FA/LC = 4


    PL = 0

    FA = 2

    LC = 4

    So out of a possible 36 domestic trophies a mere 6 have been won by Clubs that are not one of the top 5 Net spenders.

    This is a breakdown of the trophy distribution:

    30 of 36 (83%) have been won by the top 5 Net spenders.
    24 of 36 (66%) have been won by the top 3 Net spenders.

    If you only count the PL and FA Cup it’s even worse.

    22 of 24 (92%) have been won by the top 5 Net spenders.
    20 of 24 (83%) have been won by the top 3 Net spenders.

    So what does all of that tell us?

    MAN CITY are the top net spenders but with just 4 domestic trophies over the 12 years are only the 3rd most successful trophy winners. BUT, this is easily explained by the fact that the oil money only arrived relatively recently, and of course they entered a battlefield already inhabited by 2 mega spenders in Chelsea and United.

    CHELSEA are the second top Net spenders but the most successful with 11 trophies. This is easily explained due to the fact they had there windfall at a time when nobody, and that even included United at the time, had resources anything like those that had suddenly became available to them.

    MAN UNITED are the 3rd top net spenders and the 2nd most successful with 9 trophies.

    Those 3 have easily spent the most and as a consequence have TOTALLY dominated the domestic scene.

    Behind them, spend wise, we have Liverpool and Arsenal. And this is quite telling, because despite Liverpool having a Net spend almost 3 times that of Arsenal, it is arguable they have been nothing like as successful as Arsenal, at least domestically.

    Liverpool 1 FA Cup 1 LC

    Arsenal 1 PL 3 FA Cups

    So Arsenal have won double the domestic trophies Liverpool have, as well as 100% CL qualifications compared to Liverpools inconsistency on that score.

    The big saving grace for Liverpool of course is a Champions League triumph.

    In closing I think the unavoidable conclusion is, although not infallible, the correlation between Net Spend and trophies is utterly undeniable.



    January 8, 2016 at 5:23 pm

    Also, weight is surely added to the argument, that ‘it’ is all about the money, by the fact that 1 of Arsenals 4 trophies was our last PL triumph that was actually won back in the first year of this 12 period, arguable before Cheleas money had really had a chance to kick in, and 2 of them, the resent 2 FA Cups have been won since we where able to start spending big.

    Of course by ‘big’ I mean relatively speaking, because compared to United, city and Chelsea, what Wenger has spent is still very little.

    But that is the skill of Wenger and if he/we do manage to win the title it will of been an absolute work of genius on his part.

    But the fact remains the resurgence of Arsenal does correlate with a massive increase in Net annual spend an Arsenals part over the last 3 years.

    And I contest that no matter who is in charge at City, United and Chelsea come next season and the season after, if they maintain there Net annual spend, or losses if you prefer, at or around £50 million mark every season, it will be those 3 vying it out for the 3 domestic trophies, year in year out, and if Arsenal maintain a Net annual spend of around say, £20 Million per season, then we will struggle to wrestle any of the 3 trophies from there grasp.

    If we do it will solely be down to the genius that is Arsene Wenger.

    And if we do indeed get a change of manager then we better hope and pray he is as good as Wenger, because without him, given the likely financial cavern that is still going to exist between us and them, it is going to be very very tough to grab our piece of the pie.

    Sorry to disagree with you Tony, but as much as I agree with much of what you and the guys write on here, especially regarding the refereeing, I do not agree with your take on the money, as I say, especially when we are talking about the ‘megga’ spenders.

    I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the statistics above.

  • Menace

    From where I am – the prat is right because the stadium still hasn’t been built.

  • Gaz

    It’s coming along just great.

  • Menace

    Jambug – your overall arguement holds.

    The reality is cost of players & squad wages is where the comparison has to made. That together with financial winnings as opposed to trophies.

    The anomaly in all of it is the poaching of players from Arsenal that really reduced our opportunity.

    The Ems Stadium was a prerequisite for future success, both international & domestic. This is beginning to bear fruit as Wengers perception has proved to be correct.

  • Jambug


    Quite simply, the building of the Emirates stadium itself is testament to the fact that Wenger knew that in order to compete with, at the time the wealth of Manchester United, we had to build a bigger stadium in order to increase revenues.

    Surely a concession to the importance of the money.

    Arsenal football Club have also acknowledge the importance of growing the commercial revenue streams.

    Another concession I would suggest that Arsenal FC do indeed realise it IS about the money.

    Untolds proprietors, as well as a vast majority of it’s regular patrons, constantly use the building of the new stadium, and the transition of Arsenal FC into a global giant, as reason to praise Wenger.

    Quite right too.

    We use this achievement as a counterbalance to the criticism for not winning trophies.

    Rightly so.

    And why do we do this?

    Simple, because we know if we want, in the long term, to compete with the financial powerhouses of England and Europe we have to be on at least a close, if not entirely equal, financial footing.

    So ultimately it is all about the money.

    We know it. Arsenal FC know it.

    Otherwise why not bumble along at Highbury with the limited financial status that gave us?

    We cant have it both ways.

    On the one hand praising Wenger for leading us into a new era of competitiveness, based on financial affluence and stability, and on the other hand claiming it doesn’t make much difference anyway.

  • ClockEndRider

    Andy Mack,
    “SAA, The Wenger Stadium is limited by transport access. “.
    The ground is limited to tube and overground stations at Highburyband Islington and Finsbury Park, overground at Drayton Park (although not immediately before or after games), Tube only stations at Arsenal, HollowaybRd and, at a push, Cally Road. The main roads of Holloway Road and Blackstock Road flank the stadium with further main arterial roads beyond these to disperse the traffic eg Seven Sisters, Cally Road, Upper St.
    Tottenham is serviced by WHL and Northumberland Park overground stations. Both these are limited capacity. There is only one thoroughfare for approaching and leaving the game – the High Road. The only tube station is Seven Sisters a 25 minute walk away.
    I really don’t think you can compare the two grounds in any way in regards to transport links.

  • Gord

    Huffington Post also has an article up about the Spud Greenhouse.

    Written by a spud fan, it is quite a grounded piece.

  • Jambug

    May I add.

    I have NEVER had a problem with money per say.

    My problems with the situation we found ourselves in over the last 10 years or so where:

    a) The amount of money attained, and the methods by which it was attained.

    I do not have an issue with investment as a means to progress a club, but more, the sheer magnitude of investment that was involved.

    Basically if a Club has what I, and maybe others would consider reasonable investment, then fine. A bit more money for players and wages. A bit of money to improve the ground etc. etc.

    Invest in the Club. Improve the Club. Compete. Re invest. Win. Re invest and so on.

    But what we where, and still are talking about here is investment of a magnitude that utterly changed, distorted and unbalanced the entire financial landscape of the game.

    Basically nobody else had a chance.

    It enabled a market monopoly.

    It enable asset stripping of competitors.

    It enabled hoarding of commodities.

    This maybe okay in the Banking industry, in commodities or on the high street,(although I even doubt that to be the case) but is it really acceptable, nay desirable, within what is supposed to be a competitive, sporting arena?

    Yes there will always be the top, middle and bottom. The haves and the have nots. That is life. Unless you want some kind of a communist league where all are artificially made equal then these imbalances are inevitable, but what we had here was something different, something quite unprecedented. Put simply it was unfair.

    That’s why FIFA ‘FAIR play’ measures where implemented, or at least attempted to be. It’s no coincidence that ‘FAIR’ was in it’s Monika. The ‘powers that be’ could see, although they of course would always welcome investment, that what was happening here was, and still is, fundamentally ‘unfair’. More over I think that they realise that it was in fact dangerous.

    I have no doubt that deep down they still think that one day it will all end in tears. But they are but pawns in al this.

    Alas, as I have said, money is all powerful, and when you have the amounts that these oil rich clubs have, then they write there own rules. Surely another reason in itself to highlight just how wrong it is that these Clubs have been able to do what they have done, and to attain such incredible power.

    There are other side issues as well.

    This astronomical investment is the reason behind the massive increase in ticket prices, and hence the enormous shift in the supporters demographic, as well as the inflation of transfer fees and wages to a level that is simply way way beyond that which could be natural maintained by the finances generated within the game.

    This ultimately has led many a club to live way beyond there means.

    Which brings me to my second point:

    b) How, if you didn’t play along with this ‘our sugar daddy is bigger than your sugar daddy’ game, you where dismissed as somehow lacking ambition. If you wasn’t prepared to spend spend spend like a demented lottery winner you where somehow bereft of all credibility.

    It was ‘spend the f*****g money’ regardless of whether you have it or not, or be damned.

    And if you had the temerity to say NO, we are not taking this path. We are going to live within our means. Then you better duck, because the reaction to this prudence was going to be nothing short of a tsunami of abuse.

    And it still hasn’t stopped.

    And finally

    c) The total refusal by the media to concede for one second that the Billions spent by these Clubs had anything at all to do with there success.

    Or that perhaps the vast gulf between our expenditure compared to theres was in any way a contributory factor to our trophy less spell.

    Which takes us back full circle.

    How can I opine all the above, with regards to how I see what damage the ‘oil money’ has done, and how more specifically it has affected Arsenal, and then concede I don’t think the money makes that much difference.

    The truth is it does, and always will.

  • Andy Mack

    ClockEndRider, Don’t tell me, tell Islington council.
    Their the ones that limit the attendance because of access.

  • insideright

    I would query only a couple of numbers in Tony’s excellent piece. Firstly I think Abramovich is only putting in £500m for the new stadium as that appears to be the full cost of it.
    Secondly I believe that Arsenal receive £30m a year from Emirates but that is for shirt sponsorship and stadium naming rights – the latter being pretty small fry by comparison to the former.If Spurs are hoping for such a sum just for renaming what is effectively a rebuild of the existing stadium on the existing site then they could be very much mistaken.
    It’s probably also worth noting that getting into the top four (as opposed to the top two which Wenger achieved at Highbury) is much more difficult these days thanks to the rise of Chelsea and Man City as well as other teams benefitting from improved TV money.
    Being reliant on a high league position (and, nowadays, non-existent ticket price rises) could also prove foolis for Spurs.
    Having been so slow to react to Arsenals move Spurs have painted themselves into a corner and I believe the current owners would still rather sell the club than risk their own money.

  • Menace

    Jambug – money is key to security of tenure in a division but not to success. Success needs a combination of several things not the least of which is fairness. The rich clubs might have bought talent but their success was due to unfair competition on the field, combined with breach of etiquette in transfer dealings.

    I do not have evidence of financial corruption but sudden human loss of eyesight & novel application of Laws to professionals sum up corruption of officiating.

    The method of financial stability differs from club to club but until government dictates & implements proper checks of laundering & fair taxation particularly in sporting club ownership, aquisition & payments, nothing is going to stop financial imbalance.

    When media is owned by unknown entities, financial status governed by unknown entities & government involved socially with both while excluding transparency, what chance have we got of fair sport.

  • Andy Mack

    insideright, IMO the vastly increased TV money will make their move much less painless than ours. Having said that, ours would have been so so so much worse if we hadn’t stayed in the top 4….

  • blacksheep63

    its ok Walter Sp*rs can always sell ‘arry Kane innit?

  • Jambug


    “money is key to security of tenure in a division but not to success.”

    30 out of 36 (83%) trophies (PL,FAC,LC) to the top 5 Net spenders.

    22 out of 24 (92%) trophies (PL,FAC) to the top 5 Net spenders,

    Suggests otherwise.

    I must admit I’m not quite sure of the other points you are making but I will hazard a guess.

    Are you suggesting that other contributory factors to success are for example, corruption in transfer dealings etc, as well as corrupt refereeing?

    Well that may be so, especially the refereeing.

    As you may be aware I concur 100 % that the referees are biased, but corrupt? I am not sure.

    At least not corrupt in the standard interpretation of the term as that normally infers some kind of financial gain. Ie backhanders, bribes etc.

    Although this is perfectly possible given the massive amount of corruption we are seeing throughout sport, I do not personally subscribe to this. As you must be aware, as I have said on here many many times, I see there bias as more a means of self preservation than anything else.

    PGMOL, and hence by definition the referees, are simply following the path of least resistance as laid down by there judges, jurors and executioners, ergo the media.

    In order to keep there jobs and further there careers, the referees know what is expected of them and they duly oblige.

    The fact remains, whatever way you cut it. Whomever is corrupt or not. Whatever the reasons for the bias we witness week in week out.

    The bottom line is the biggest spenders win by far the most trophies.

    Success needs a combination of several things not the least of which is fairness.

  • Mandy Dodd

    How come Stan put his own money…or at least money he has borrowed into the LA stadium, and nothing to AFC, not fair says I!

  • Jambug


    Sorry, accidently posted before last line.

    “Success needs a combination of several things not the least of which is fairness.”

    I would suggest not least of which is money.

    But ‘fairness’ would indeed help no end 🙂

  • goonersince72

    When a team with limited resources wins the EPL I’ll disagree with Jambug. Until such time, which certainly won’t be in my lifetime, I support everything he says regarding money and winning. It’s a bit naive to think otherwise.

  • Andy Mack

    Mandy, I have no info on the LA stadium, but do you know what payback/interest Stan is getting for his outlay? I expect he won’t be out of pocket for long.

    There is the questionable 3m AFC paid to one of his companies (which could be totally justified….could be) but even if that was his way of getting a dividend, it’s a tiny payback on his shareholding in AFC.

  • goonersince72

    BTW, check the other major leagues in Europe. Who wins? It’s not the Darmstadt’s of world, is it?

  • omgarsenal

    GAZbag…..Tony’s article seemed rather fair and balanced and did present some information your arrogant post neglected to bother with. A prat like you can’t let go of your blinkered tribalism to see the forest for the trees!

  • Jambug



    The truth is it is not impossible that a team outside the mega rich elite will win a Championship, either here or abroad, but it is highly unlikely.

    But lets say Leicester do win the PL. Will that change the premise of what we are saying? I don’t think so?

    In fact it will only highlight what we are saying because rightly so it will be hailed as a miracle.

    But here’s the rub, would anyone put a penny on them to do it again next year? The year after? Or the year after that?

    I certainly wouldn’t.

    And I’ll tell you what, you’d get far shorter odds on them being relegated within the next 3 years, than them winning another title in the next 20.

    Cup competitions are notoriously a bit of a lottery, but even given that it’s still pretty rare for a Club outside the rich elite to even win them.

    And yes you could point at, for example United spending 100’s of Millions and not winning anything, but they will. If they keep spending like they are, they will, you can guarantee it.

    And even if they keep employing numpties for managers and don’t, it will only be because another Club spending 100’s of millions beat them to it.

    Well, unless of course the genius that is Arsene Wenger can do it 🙂

  • Lebowski

    Any updates on your ‘exclusive’ article about the new Tottenham Hotspur stadium plans being referred to the European Commission?

    Hope you enjoy your match days at what is essentially a scale model of Benfica’s stadium. Same architects. Same designs.
    However, Benfica’s stadium has got a larger capacity.
    The Emirates Stadium is the football equivalent of Spinal Tap’s Stonehenge.

  • Yes Lebowski, the application was considered but turned down on the same grounds that applications to stop the state aid for West Ham’s move were turned down – the EU has ruled that although the objections from local residents and others involved with neighbouring clubs are valid they will only consider the application if it has the backing of another club. I would have though you might have gleaned that fact.

    Personally, although of course I had no involvement in the matter, I always think it is better to work to a design that has worked well before, otherwise there can be all sorts of nasty unexpected problems as a ground is built to a new design gets up and running. But perhaps Tottenham will be ok.

    Interesting though that you are so interested in the size of the stadium.

  • Jambug


    You say:

    “But as I have pointed out before, although money can buy lots of things it doesn’t guarantee success.”

    -Yes it does. But there is only one elite domestic trophy and that is the Championship, and only one of the 3 can win it, but win it they do. they cant all win it every year.

    This again is those last 12 years winners starting with ’03 ’04:


    The ADUG took over at Man City 2008. It took a while for there huge investments to haul back Uniteds and Chelseas financial lead, but haul it back they did, to the point where over the last 6 years the elite trophy of the Premier League title has been equally shared between the 3.

    You say:

    “In the last two seasons Man City have won the League once and League Cup once.”

    -Yes, that is true, but as is the way when you continually invest these huge sums they are the favourites to regain the PL title again this year.

    You say:

    “Chelsea the same.”

    -Yes, again true, but would you honestly bet against them being in the mix for the title again next season? I wouldn’t, and why is that? Because they will invest another £50 to £100 Million next summer. Okay that is no guarantee, but again I ask why? I’ll tell you why, because Manchester united and Manchester city will also be investing another £50 to £100 Million on players.

    (figures Net)

    You say:

    “Arsenal the FA Cup twice.”

    -Yet again true, but as I suggested earlier, it is no coincidence that those triumphs have come at the same time we have significantly increased our outlay on players.

    You say:

    “And looking at Chelsea this season it seems that vast amounts of money doesn’t guarantee anything much.”

    -Are you seriously taking one seasons failure as evidence of your proposition that money isn’t, when all said and done, all that important?

    If anyone else took one season in isolation to judge Wenger, and to draw such a conclusion, you would quite rightly pour scorn on such a notion.

    You say:

    “Money helps, but on its own it is not enough – or so it seems to me.”

    -No of course, entirely on it’s own it is not enough, but it’s a major factor. Yes you must have a manager with the nous to use it wisely and the ability to mould the players he buys, but there are many of them. Numerous managers of differing ability have managed to win trophies at both Chelsea and Man City. But basically if they are in the top 20 or so they WILL win things with the kind of money we are talking about.

    You complain when people make statements, or debunk your theories without contrary evidence. Well, I have questioned your notion and provided statistics to support my view. It would be nice to hear your thoughts on MY take on this.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    @GAZ…what’s the problem? The article seemed pretty balanced. Tottenham should have a great stadium in a couple of years and will probably have the same difficulties that we had building the Emirates…I didn’t read much ill will in the article.

  • ClockEndRider

    One of the good things you’ll find about your stadium is the increased capacity. Given the access problems inherent in building the stadium in a transport desert, I’m sure your current owners policy of qualifying for the Mickey Mouse Europe League will help as the traffic on Sunday is usually much less than Saturday. Excellent forward planning to get 5 or so years of experience of Sunday football first though.

  • JamesO

    If I’m right, I don’t think ffp has gone away. No matter what the media tells us.
    Chelsea have to sell to buy and this season made a loss of £30 million. Man City have a squad which needs to be rehashed as well and have already suffered ffp restrictions.
    As much as I hate to say it, Man Utd are best postioned through the mega deals they get.
    Arsenal can only hope to hang on and with winning a couple of trophys along the way, hopefully a higher bracket of sponsorship will start to come in.
    Football is money, there is no getting away from it.

  • Menace

    Jambug – you are right. Money is primary. Good team secondary. Good coach tertiary. Perhaps I am missing the main ingredient for success in England – a supportive media.

    However, intelligence of manipulation of the 3 can be more successful (despite the media)-Wenger. So in the case of Arsenal, Wenger, the manager creating a team (albeit with a level of finance) & gaining money by good structured economic decisions is bringing a consistent level of permanant success.

    The success I measure is the steady financial benefits of being in a good position in the league while maintaining a position in Europe that is financially lucrative. Off course winning the competitions is the cherry both in terms of finance & brand.

    Lets look at the methods employed by the nouveaux rich clubs in Europe. In the UK both Chavs & Sheiks tapped players in order to buy success. There was a lot of intellectual property created by Wenger that was robbed through employment of ex Arsenal staff. The managers they bought in were already successful & cost them a fortune. The infrastructure they built (copied existing success) also cost a pretty penny. The Chavs missed out because the stadium was not purchased with the club. In Europe, Barca & PSG got an injection of finance from the Hot hosts of FIFA world cup. Their success is mixed with existing structure, child exploitation & costly purchase of quality to blend in with existing quality. The German clubs have had a commercial financial backing while one club monopolised the talent (by fair or foul means).

    ManU also was taken into a new era but were fortunate to have a well established manager who had infrastructure & media amongst others in his pocket.

    Despite all this, Arsenal have grown with an honest progress, creating infrastructure, suffering media but mostly creating a team with ethics & successful quality. The use of smart chefs & good delivery apparently had a part to play.

    Just to summarise, money is very important. Its source is not an issue. Its use is critical unless its supply is unending. The future for some is beginning to get shakey with oil prices & market volatility. Daddy’s sugar is melting.

    Ultimately intelligence to manipulate requirements is key. This makes money just a lubricant for success.

  • Florian


    Short note, but there’s a line that’s a bit confusing. If Chelski do not manage to fill their stadium regularly, what exactly are they hoping to achieve by building a larger stadium?

  • Brickfields Gunners

    I never knew how strong I was until I had to forgive someone who was not sorry and accept an apology I never received.

  • Menace

    Florian – good away support 😉

  • Andy Mack

    The problems we have extending the Wenger Stadium are mentioned by proudkev and notoverthehill here:

  • Andy Mack

    JamesO, I think you’re right about FFP to some degree but the increased TV revenue is such a major increase that the stadium size/income won’t be anywhere near as important as it has been in the last 20 years.

  • yj

    Totally agree with Jamburg