Ridiculing one, praising another. How the media treat Arsenal and Tottenham over building a stadium.

By Walter Broeckx

Ever since the stadium move around 2006 we had a bit of an argument amongst supporters about spending money.

The fact that around that period Chelsea first was spending money as if there is no tomorrow and then were followed by Manchester City a few years later, made it all more difficult.

When Arsenal started the building process everyone paying attention knew that it would be a difficult period. Wenger knew this, as did the board, and Wenger agreed to take the risk and take the consequences that it would bring.

Add to the building cost the worldwide financial crisis and Arsenal probably built their stadium in the worst economical period ever.

Arsenal tried to survive this period with lots of younger players. And by buying cheap.  And while others spending money we had to sell our best players.

One of the reasons that players wanted to leave of course was that we had what was called a socialist wage structure. So when other clubs (with bucket loads of money) came sniffing around they could double the wages of most players. And no player will really want to ignore a possible doubling of wages. So a lot of players wanted to leave and as we needed the money to pay the stadium we had to sell them.

For the supporters it was a long period of suffering. I have always seen it as the building of a new Arsenal. A process that in my opinion can only be compared to the period of us coming to Islington 104 years ago.  (The previously untold story of how Arsenal chose Highbury has recently been reported on the Arsenal History Society site)

So I didn’t feel like a malcontent supporter but a privileged spectator of an historic moment in our history. In probably some 50 years historians will write books about this period. I don’t know if I will be around to read them but I know I have seen it happening in front of my eyes.

But building, just like growing up, is never easy. It goes with growing pains. Pains that seemed to be too hard to survive for some. Some people will be more patient than others I think.

But what I do remember is the wholesale ridicule that was aimed at Arsenal and in particular at Wenger. The fact he had to be careful and couldn’t really spend was something that was thrown in our faces, and we were being slaughtered for it. We were the laughing stock as they like to put it. Whilst others threw away money we were dithering or whatever was the word of the day.

Nobody in the media (apart from a few lonely voices like Untold – which of course stands outside of the media mainstream) came out and said: now wait a minute. Maybe because of building the Emirates and all the rest I just mentioned (and more) it is the only thing they can do.

Maybe Arsenal should have been more open about it? Could be. That is the only criticism one might throw at the board and Wenger. But when I listened to the board and tried to make sense of what was being said I understood the message of having to be extremely careful very well. And I don’t consider myself to be the smartest boy in the class. So if I could understand it then probably most should have understood it. And to be honest I think most supporters did understand it. But not a noisy minority.

The silence from the media which one might have expected to bring balance to the debate however was something else.

And I have now read an interesting article from a Belgium journalist who works in England for one of our big newspapers. And he is a bit in the know as one could say about our Belgian players in the PL. It is because we have more than a handful of players in the PL from Belgium that this newspaper has sent him out to do the hard work and to get information nobody else has.

And from the article he wrote (and I take it that he knows what he is writing about) I found some interesting information.

He reports that Tottenham when preparing the building of their new stadium have moved to a wage structure where all the players earn almost the same. One could say the “Arsenal socialist wage structure” that we have been operating on for some 10 years maybe.

And in the media we now see articles praising Tottenham, their owner and manager for not buying anyone. Well in the article from this reporter he predicted exactly that. But we all remember the ridiculing of Arsenal about ‘not buying an outfield player’. Now Tottenham not buying anyone is presented as the only club that is using their brains.

Indeed when Untold wrote an article about the lack of Tottenham signings this summer we had Tottenham supporters writing in saying that they thought we’d just presented the best analysis of Tottenham’s current situation – and yes they did understand that the article was written by an Arsenal supporter.

And in a way they are using their brains of course. I think their owner knows all too well that he has to be very careful in the coming seasons. If I were a Tottenham supporter and Tottenham were spending like the rest I would be very worried. But you can say that it looks that their owner has learned from his earlier spending madness and now is trying to keep hold of his players.

But the problem will be that as they have done rather well they might face the same thing as happened to Arsenal. Clubs who don’t have to worry about their bank account can come in and make offers to their players and double their wages without any problem. And then those players might be tempted to listen to those offers.

Going back to our Belgian journalist he said that some players (and he named Alderweireld) would be very open to moving away in order to earn a lot more money. And most players are not really wanting to renew was linked with their hope of being able to earn lots more in the not so distant future and the fact that this earning more could be at other clubs is something this journalist pointed at.

So Tottenham could face the same problems as Arsenal has had. But I really wonder if the media will turn on their owner and their manager in the same way as they did against Arsenal and Arsène? To be honest…. I expect more of the same as we are starting to see. Praising them for their sanity in a mad world. Praise that was never given to Arsenal nor to Arsène of course….

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54 Replies to “Ridiculing one, praising another. How the media treat Arsenal and Tottenham over building a stadium.”

  1. You do have a good point here.

    I think it comes down to the Arsenal online market share again though. Articles about Arsenal are proven web traffic generators, and this is well know in the industry. It’s time to stop seeing the media as anything special, they’re all just desperately trying to generate revenue by driving clicks as their print income drops off a cliff. You want clicks, you write something a bit controversial about Arsenal.

  2. There’s been a couple of articles on Football365 on the same subject.
    Supporters of both Us and the TinyTotts commenting seems to be predominantly sensible and the very same point is mentioned by a few of them.

  3. What a brilliant Article can you please send a copy in size 16-20 font for the arsenal Fan TV idiots who with their sudden 5 mins of fame seem to revel in giving the press as much negative back page headlines as possible if they would actually read this they may believe in Really supporting our great club through thick and thin..

  4. Seems to me there’s some rewriting of history here, I don’t remember the press having a go the way its been described. The comments on Spurs players all wanting to leave based on the words of a “Belgium journalist” are more wishful thinking than anything else. I don’t suppose you read Harry Kane’s comments about money not being the main thing in football by any chance ? At Spurs we are now going down the same road Arsenal did when they built the Emirates, the devil is always in the detail though. For us its a good news/bad news thing. The bad news is our stadium is going to be a lot more expensive, partly inflation and building costs, mainly adopting an American model where the stadium is used for more than football. The good news is that TV revenues are much higher and interest rates lower than when Arsenal built their stadium. How all that will work out remains to be seen. The next factor to consider is transfer fees, when you can sell Kyle Walker for £50m it might theoretically be possible to pay for the whole stadium with player sales. Maybe the other thing to consider is player development. Arsenal never brought a Harry Kane through the ranks, they never bought a Deli Ali for £5m or an Eric Dier for £4m. The quality of the players you are developing is crucial when you are having to be careful with cash. You are seeing now at Everton as well as Spurs just how important developing your own players is. While I’m touched at how concerned you are for the future of my club somehow I think we’ll survive.

  5. The difference is Arsenal needed to buy players and didn’t, Spurs don’t need to, we’ve built a very young team and tied them all down to long contracts, Spurs will get better each year just by experience, if we keep this team together we won’t need much overhauling, just the odd player here and there. You could say Spurs were better prepared than Arsenal to make the move. Instead of them moaning about how the press has treated them compared to Spurs, they should just suck it up and admit Spurs have better men at the helm.

  6. I’m a Spurs fan and agree that being prudent and running your club as a profit making business is really the only way forward. Transfer fees have rocketed since the sky/bt money increased significantly and are just unsustainable. Investing in youth and your academy must surely be the only way forward before everything implodes. What I don’t think was reported by the media is that Spurs invested a large sum of money in a newstate of the art training complex and academy and the results are beginning to show. What I dont particularly agree with though is the media reporting you mention as your stadium was being built. Certainly all the Spurs fans I spoke to realised you could not spend large sums on players during that period and that it was necessary to sell some of you more high players. Hopefully this won’t happen at Tottenham but I really don’t think any Spurs fan believes that we can hang on to everyone if big offers come in which I dare say they will. Walker was sold because Trippier replaced him towards the end of last season and provided more assists in those few games than Walker had done for the whole season.Anyway onwards and upwards although I do worry about our game.Something has to give.

  7. Jod, you’re not an Arsenal supporter, so you wouldn’t remember, would you? We were slaughtered – mocked and castigated for being “tight”.
    And Spurs are getting a lot of taxpayers’ help with your stadium rebuild, including money taken from the council’s housing fund. I guess your borough is the one place in England where there is no need for affordable housing? We had to pay for the redevelopment of areas around the new stadium as well as the stadium itself.

  8. I think the big difference is that Arsenal built their new stadium from a position vying with Man Utd to lay claim to be the best/most successful club in the country. Tottenham commenced their stadium build when they were the 5th or 6th best and despite the inevitable belt tightening that building a new stadium (and £100 million training ground) entails they have still managed to elevate themselves so that they are competing equally (at least) on the field with clubs who have far bigger budgets for both transfer fees and wages.

    I find it quite interesting that many seem to think that Spurs will have to tighten their belts for the foreseeable future, I do not see that having to be the case at all. The past few seasons for Spurs have seen them having to invest a considerable amount into their stadium without yet being able to receive any of the vastly increased revenues that their new stadium will generate. This is the last year where that will be the case for Spurs. From next season Spurs may well be saddled with a significant amount of debt – perhaps as much as three or four hundred million pounds worth? – but the increase in their revenue as a result of the stadium is likely to dwarf any interest payments on the debt that they will be carrying.

    It is quite conceivable that this will be the last season in which Spurs will be forced to keep their wallet closed. After all what is the point in building a new stadium if it doesn’t generate more revenue than it costs to build?

  9. Brian – Arsenal Fans TV know we are here – after all we get 5 to 6 million page views a year so most people who read what’s being said about Arsenal know we are here. They just don’t like evidence however, so they don’t like us.

  10. Walter, good points made.

    The reasons I suggest as to why this is happening are 1) there is already a media bias towards Tottenham because they are seen as a more English club, both in personnel and style; 2) they are seen as plucky underdogs; 3) anti-Arsenal or anti-Arsene gooners spread the myth of the unspent war chest and the incompetence of our administrators.

  11. @ Stuart

    I completely agree with your assessment in terms of online traffic but I don’t see why MotD and the PIGMOB have to follow suit!

  12. OK, this comes across as more than a little partisan and speculative when it comes to facts. But I think the main thrust of the article does have merit and I say that as a Spurs supporter. Wenger and the powers that be took a long term view and put themselves on a competitive footing without a sugar daddy. Spurs are following in their footsteps and will have a stadium that benefits from the lessons of Arsenal. So credit to you.

    But a large part of the online hacks are banging on about us not investing, so don’t worry we are getting some stick. Arsenal deserve credit for building solid foundations. Players have a short career and are happy to jump ship for cash; we fans are in it for the long term. So when the TV money dries up, some teams will be dead parrots but the North London derby will survive.

  13. Well Jod, you have made good points.But in the case of Harry Kane’s comments about money not being the main thing is total balderdash. We have heard players saying that over and over again and at the end of the day,they jump ship claiming they want a new challenge.Players these days ain’t loyal.They just kiss the club badge for effects.

  14. FunGunner – you should probably check your facts before you make claims such as the one above. The story to which you are referring was untrue (or, at best, contained massively out of date facts). That story was almost immediately refuted by Harringey. The only monies that Harringey are contributing towards Tottenham’s stadium development are £7.5 million towards heritage building improvements (I would imagine that Spurs would rather have simply knocked them down) and the public realm that Spurs are providing Harringey with and contributing the vast lions share of the money towards those even though they will go forward under Harringey ownership.

  15. Tottenham Hotspur recently secured a £400 million five-year bank loan to support the construction of the club’s new 61,500 seat new stadium. The facility is being provided by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs and HSBC Bank.

    Spurs have already spent £340 million from their own resources on the stadium which will be completed for the 2018/19 season.

    from this link

  16. FunGunner – I don’t suppose you would like to provide the detail of what that “taxpayers’ help” consists of ? No I’ll bet you don’t.

  17. That is interesting Colario and partly supports my comment above I think. Tottenham have managed to find £340 million to spend on the stadium so far without having yet opened up any of the increased revenues that the stadium will generate for them. Let’s assume that £340 million has been over a 7 year period (I’m guessing it was about then that their stadium project started?) That is around £50 million a year that Spurs have been pumping into their stadium project that they will no longer need to do from now on. Theoretically they could instead allocate that money each year to any of wages, transfer spending or perhaps paying chunks off of the debt that they will be carrying?

    If Tottenham go into the stadium with £400 million of debt as the above seems to suggest then that is easily serviceable from the additional revenues that the stadium will generate. I don’t know what terms Spurs have borrowed on, but if we assume a round figure of 5% interest then that is approx £20 million each year to service the debt (and I would be surprised if they hadn’t negotiated better terms than 5% I would envisage that their new stadium will generate at least 3 to 4 times that amount in terms of additional revenue for them, so instead of belt tightening I think Spurs will be able to instead loosen their belt considerably after this season. Food for thought?

  18. I find it really funny when some supporters say that all their players aren’t interested in the big money they could earn elsewhere.
    Whilst it’s undoubtedly true of a few payers that above a certain earning point, money becomes much less important for them, and things like being happy at work and having a stable situation for their kids etc etc is much more important.
    However firstly that is definately not the case with all players and even less so with young players without a family or a stable family life.
    And secondly this is not the mid-set of any players agents.
    All player agents are driven by money earned now, potential future money, and just plain money. Players do listen to their agents and the constant ‘You can earn double at X Club and set up your whole family for life’ comments will and do have an affect on most players and being at the TinyTotts doesn’t change that as much as any fan would pray that it does.
    Players do also like to win silverware and the chance to go to a club where it’s more likely is a big draw, especially when more money is involved.
    Does that mean I think their squad will be decimated, No. But you only need to lose a couple of the wrong players for a team to fragment. Do I think this will happen, I don’t know…
    The only thing I’m certain about is that they’re in for a tougher 36 months than most TinyTotts supporters expect (and I don’t know how they’ll react).

  19. well the main difference is that Arsenal used the excuse of the stadium and needed to buy. Tottenham do not rather they have a need not to sell.
    BTW I use the words of the stadium being an excuse,the teason being is that building a stadium is a long term debt building a team is not. Man United have done this well not letting long term debt interfer with the team. The difference was a manager wanting to win.

  20. Looking and the news and blogs this week, Spurs have now started receiving flack from both fans and media in this window for their lack of spending when they have sold for big money. The comparisons to Arsenal have already started. I am not sure how much Wenger invested in bringing through youth, but we are seeing that Levy is expecting MP to use the youth set up to produce more Harry Kane’s to keep his costs down and is beginning to get slated for it. I totally agree that this big spending is unsustainable. Along with financial fair play, there should be some kind of wage cap to stop this spiralling out of control. They will always earn extra from sponsorship deals and lets face it, how much money do people need for playing a game they desire to play?

  21. Andy Mack – I realise its frustrating when a club with much lower revenues is able to finish comfortably above you in the league but just hoping it will all fall apart won’t change anything. To begin with virtually all Spurs players are on long contracts, the club is in the driving seat. Walker went because Pochettino thought Trippier could do as good a job, we’ll find out if he’s right but he’s the manager and its his call. Walker brought in £50m, about 6% of the entire cost of the stadium. With transfer fees like that how many players would we have to sell to pay off the whole thing ? At which point we are on a level playing field with Arsenal and the whole wages problem vanishes.

  22. Andy – agreed. I think any fan of any club who doesn’t think that their players are always looking for the biggest pay cheque are pretty deluded. Sanchez is as good an example as any with respect to this I think, he clearly wants to leave, but would stay if the club pay him £350,000 a week.

    I think players who have come through and developed at the club are likely to have more of an affinity than players who are simply bought in later in their careers, but it is only natural for any person in any profession to try to maximise their earnings. It doesn’t mean that every single player will always just solely chase the money, but it does mean that players will not accept being paid far less than the ‘market rate’.

  23. Much of the taxpayer money you guys are talking about was not allocated towards the stadium. It was allocated for improving local transport facilities and local regeneration. The Tottenham area is well known to be seriously in need of help as has been evidenced by the riots.

  24. A factor we don’t know is the cost to Spurs of renting Wembley.

    In the year at Wembley they must pay 80 million of the loan.Where does this first 80 come from?

    Some will surely come from the profit made at Wembley but the rest?

  25. @Stuart

    On-the-nose with your ‘ad-click’ assessment IMHO.
    As one whose spent 20+ yrs in marketing/advertising/web design– I would feel comfortable stating that this is the driving force in almost all online football-related gossip/rumor/controversy content.

    Further, this rumor-monger-business-model for the major players likely includes secondary sites they create and maintain to regurgitate by re-sourcing the same content cyclically. Effectively? ‘Double-dipping’ to maximize their take on the initial fabrication.
    If it were my cynical duty to peddle lies? I’d have no qualms simply doubling/trebling the number of channels I have available to do so.
    In U.S. politics– that’s known as ‘Astroturfing’.


  26. The circumstances are different. Arsenal had won the title 3 times under Wenger and qualified for the CL for 7-8 years before stadium was built therefore, along with the guaranteed additional money, the expectation to continue competing for titles and in the CL was there. No such expectation exists with Spurs.

  27. jod, you’re reading things into my comment which aren’t there…

    As for players being under contract, Levy has been very strong with players wishing to break their contract, but pricing a player at ‘9’ when he’s really worth only ‘7’ and being prepared to sit him on the bench until it’s sorted is possible when you’re not in need of ‘7’.
    If you need ‘6’ then although the outward appearance may remain the same in the hope of getting ‘8’, you’ll take the ‘6’…
    Even with a far better financial situation than we had at the time, Levy cannot afford to have ‘7’s sitting on the bench during the next few years.
    A contract is only as strong as the club can afford it to be, and they won’t be in a position to keep an ‘on strike’ player for the next few years.
    As I said, I don’t think this will decimate their squad, but like you, I don’t know for sure!

  28. Colario – I have seen two figures for the cost that Spurs are incurring to rent Wembley for a year – 15 million and £22 million. I have no idea which of the two (if either) is correct?

    Regarding your statement about Spurs being required to repay £80 million of the £400 million loan this year? That sounds a ridiculously high amount and it would seem absurd for a company to agree to a financing model where 20% of the capital is to be repaid in the first year, especially when that first year is prior to the new anticipated additional revenues opening up. Have you misunderstood something here perhaps? IF not then can you send me the details of what it is that you have read, as it sounds very strange and if true I might go and offer my services to THFC as a new Financial Director. :o)

  29. So rather than having a chip on your shoulder why would you not come out and praise us and our chairman for our stance and praise how we have clearly been planning for this for sometime…. doing things the right way and still competing.

    I dont think it is by chance that our starting 11 was amassed for less than half an Alexis Sanchez and we have a coach that believes in promoting youth from our ranks and who clearly fosters a great team spirit.

    The media have to get clicks and will do and say whatever they can to get them. Arsenal TV is a prime example of how your own fans fall for the bait over and over and over again.

    If Arsenal fans weren’t so quick to boo their own then the media wouldn’t make a big deal about it.

    All fans of all teams do the same but it s particularly the moaning from Arsenal fans that seems to be latched onto by the media because its funny watching fans from one of the top teams in the entire country constantly implode every time one little thing goes wrong.

    I actually think finishing outside the top 4 will bring some of your fans down to earth and will give you a break from the media in turn.

  30. Dude I think there are a couple of issues – one of which would be resolved if you looked at our previous piece on Tottenham – we didn’t go around repeating everything, but the link is there and it answers some of your points. But the point “If Arsenal fans weren’t so quick to boo” ignores the basic fact that all clubs have some supporters who most reasonable people were prefer not to have. Yes the anti-Wengerians with their TV and their planes are pretty annoying, but they are a minority – in fact our evidence suggests a tiny is noisy minority. And I suspect the same might be said of the Tottenham fans who chanted “No noise from the pikey boys” at the Millwall game or who chanted such appalling homophobic chants at Sol Campbell at Portsmouth.
    Every club seems to have morons, just saying that Arsenal does really doesn’t take the debate anywhere, in my view.

  31. I think the success of their strategy will hinge on the fact that Poschetino stays.
    No idea if he will be willing to play second fiddle and see his team being sold.
    He could have a position anywhere in Europe and earn much more. Will he have some Sprus DNA like Arsene has Arsenal DNA ?
    I don’t believe it. Time will tell.

  32. @-
    Jonny F
    28/07/2017 at 2:39 pm

    This is the info in the link I provided.

    ”Tottenham Hotspur recently secured a £400 million five-year bank loan to support the construction of the club’s new 61,500 seat new stadium. The facility is being provided by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs and HSBC Bank.”

    If I understand correctly the 400 million must be paid back at 80 million per year for five years.
    I note there is no mention of the interest to be paid on the loan.

    To make my position clear I am a dedicated believer in Arsene and became such the day I discovered that he was responsible for Glen Hoddle leaving Spurs.

    Despite this my take on the new Spurs stadium is for facts. This why the only comment I have made here is to provide the link.

    I was reading about chelski and their proposed stadium then read the spurs info at the end of it, so posted here.
    With out a comment from me.

  33. Arsenal showed the way on how you can still compete at the very top with financial restriction due to constructing a new stadium in the modern era. It’s funny on reflection how last season when Arsenal spend big they failed to qualify for the Champions League but all other times the club play kids they always qualify, similar to Spurs now I guess, playing kids and slightly achieving more.

    Since we have some of the noisy neighbor here, may I ask when was the last time Spurs won a league title? Or a trophy? 🙂

    It’s good to read some of the comments from Spurs fans and getting some knowledge of their views. Well done and keep it up.

    Arsenal need its’ little sister Spurs to be strong as it will only be a good thing for both clubs. Having said that, Spurs please stay in the shadow.

  34. Spurs fan here, what a pathetic article. Why are you trying to rewrite history? Arsenal weren’t ridiculed generally. If anything they got a fair press on the basis that they were trying to compete with clubs propped up by Russians, Qataris etc whilst having to balance the books. The criticism came because Board members and others were leaking the fiction that there was plenty of money for Wenger to spend when clearly there wasn’t. Arsene was shamefully set up as the fall guy for the Board. The Press and everyone else saw straight through that.

  35. jod, it’s simple.
    I wasn’t ‘wishing’ anything in either comment.
    Just warning of what COULD happen and laughing at those that think everything is tied up in a nice little bow..
    No matter how well prepared the club are for such a major upheaval in their running, they cannot possibly foresee all the potential problems.
    Most of my Tinytotts friends understand that but there do seem to be a few people who really think that with planning the world can be all unicorns and puppy dogs.
    It isn’t and shit will happen.
    The question for you guys is ‘how much unplanned for shit and how can the club either get around it or out of it’.
    I suspect they’ll do OK but it won’t be as smooth as some think.

  36. dude, how can you say “doing things the right way and still competing” when you haven’t moved yet?
    I’m not arguing that you will or won’t, but the aggro hasn’t started yet.

  37. Jeff – please let us have your source of information for the suggestion that “he criticism came because Board members and others were leaking the fiction that there was plenty of money for Wenger to spend when clearly there wasn’t.”

  38. Thanks Colario. I took a look and did a bit more research and it is indeed a 5 year term. I’m not clear on whether capital and interest is payable over the course of the loan or instead whether just interest is payable and then the capital sum is paid back at the end of the period.

    interest rate on the loan is between 2.25% and 3% above libor (so currently an interest rate of between 2.7% and 3.45%. Also I notice that there are no early repayment penalties or amortisation requirements and no material financial covenants until the stadium opens. I therefore deduce that it is likely that Spurs will not need to pay back anything (other than interest) this year – and at any point in the next 5 years they can arrange alternative finance to pay off this facility without incurring any extra expense.

    This is quite a smart way to finance the stadium, as it immediately gives them access to enough money to complete their stadium works, but gives them 4 years of stadium revenues betore they have to repay the capital sum and also allows them to refinance at any time in the interim if conditions are favourable to them.

  39. There were regular reports in both the written media and on Talksport over a period of years quoting various named Arsenal Officials that money was available if Arsene really wanted it. Arsene used to say that he would only sign players if they would improve the squad and that such players were rarely avaialable. I remember discussing it with Gooner friends. I can’t give you the source now, don’t be ridiculous. Don’t tell me you don’t remember all that? Or are you going to claim the Press made it all up as part of their anti Arsenal campaign? Hilarious!

  40. Andy – see my earlier post. Why is it felt that the difficult period for Spurs will come after the move? Surely the difficult period has been the recentl period in which they have spent £340 million already on the stadium without any of the additional revenue yet landing?

    After the move is complete it seems that Spurs will be carrying up to £400 million of debt, but that debt will only cost a maximum of £20 million a year to service, compared to increased income of what?… £80 million a year?

    What ‘aggro’ is it that you envisage?

  41. There is one fact that is not taken into consideration when looking at how Arsenal financed the Emirates.
    That is the fact that PL revenue was way way lower than today – ok players cost less as well – however that was agaisnt Arsenal as they were a selling club.
    If Kyle Walker was sold for above 50 million, how much would van Persie have been worth at a time when he as a 30+ goals scorer ?

    Add to that the fact that Arsenal were paying a much higher interest rate.

    All that raised the cost for Arsenal.

    Interestingly Spurs have taken out a few pages (a few chapters) out of AW’s book on managing a football club. Good for them.
    I do wonder what will happen when player contracts run out and the team is ripped apart. Can’t imagine them players staying for the glory and then club, these days seem definitely over. The players will be using the Spurs years as a springboard to big money clubs as it was the case with many a player at Arsenal.

    And if lady luck looks the other way and injuries happen, all the plans can go berserk.

    I do agree with the earlier comment that all these years with ‘kids’ we qualified and last year with grown-ups we did not… ironic fact indeed.

  42. JonnyF, are you moving into the stadium this summer?

    You’ll be homeless and spending. That’ll be the most difficult, followed by trying to make the new stadium into ‘home’ for everyone, although being on the same site should make that much easier, but it’ll still be a new operation/procedure for the players.

  43. Tony, I think it was mentioned that money could be found for the right player, and if someone like Ozil or Benzema (or other top players… ‘or’ not ‘and’) had become available in 2010 AND AW said he really wanted him, then I think the board would have given him the money and re-structured the finance.
    However the media seemed to take that as ‘They have money but won’t spend it’ which wasn’t the case.
    So in my opinion it was a media misrepresentation of the situation.

  44. tel, the difference between ManU and Arsenal isn’t that their manager wanted to win any more that ours did.
    It’s that they have been the club with substantially the largest income in the PL (and one of the largest globally) for many many years.
    Also their owners don’t have an issue with servicing debts as they run a number of their businesses in the same way. In the case of Man U they know that the club can be sold very quickly and easily if necessary but prefer to hold the club as their income can be used to assist them getting the best finance deals for their other businesses.
    So it was their access to money and their attitude to debt.

  45. OK Tony, a fair point about Talksport, I don’t listen to their drivel any more but my point is still valid. The situation I described was widely reported in newspapers, on tv and radio. I’m surprised you don’t remember.

  46. Spurs look like a good team know and they will become average if 2/3(Kane,Ali, Toby)key players are lured away.
    Also remember that Loooooooong term contract’s have no value beyond 3- 4 Years.
    Law of averages will catch with them when they will not be able to produce another Kane and buy another Ali – which happens on an average once in 5years or so.
    Most important thing is and will be that Arsenal rebulit stadium inspite of POGML best efforts to detail it. That was a miracle club has pulled off.

  47. Spurs look like a good team know and they will become average if 2/3(Kane,Ali, Toby)key players are lured away.
    Also remember that Loooooooong term contract’s have no value beyond 3- 4 Years.
    Law of averages will catch with them when they will not be able to produce another Kane and buy another Ali – which happens on an average once in 5years or so.
    Most important thing is and will be that Arsenal rebulit stadium inspite of POGML best efforts to derail it. That was a miracle club has pulled off.

  48. Of course I remember Jeff, but what you have seemingly not appreciated is that this site, beyond all others, is the one that goes in for evidence. We spend time contrasting what the English media say with that of the more balanced media in other countries. We do our own research (some of which is then taken up by the media and has become mainstream). So no, just because it was on the media, I don’t believe it.

    If you have the inclination just look at some of our research on refereeing, on the impact of new signings, on why England does so badly in internationals, on Arsenal injuries compared to other clubs, on the players Arsenal are supposed to be signing this summer – or indeed last summer etc etc. Our conclusions time and again is that just because the media says it over and over and over again does not mean it is true. Mostly it isn’t.

  49. As things stand Spurs have spent to date circa £340 million on the development. That £340 million was funded in part by drawing down £100 million from the original finance package the rest from the clubs reserves namely advanced ticket sales and by increasing equity all of which I think was sold to ENIC.

    The latest stadium finance package amounts to £400 million from that sum £100 million has already been spent so that’s ££300 million still available. The best estimates are that this will still leave a funding shortfall of £160 million which is suggested will need to be found from the club itself.

    So Spurs already owe £400 million that loan is set at around 2-3% above LIBOR so is you say around 4% per annum over 5 years. There isn’t any planned repayment of capital so to service that £400 million will cost around £16 mill per annum.

    Three major issues
    1) In 5 years time the £400 million loan will be rescheduled into a intereset and repayment package. All evidence is that interest rates will be far higher in 2022.
    2) The stadium build isn’t fixed. Levy has admitted that in the current economic climate no developers will agree to a fixed price. In other words Spurs are hostage to the market and indeed exchange rates.
    3) How the £160 million shortfall is going to be made up is subject to debate but to the majority it would seem that is going to have to come from income the club generates but ENIC have already had to issue a letter of credit in the sum of £50 million.

  50. An interesting piece Mike.

    Can you link me to the articles that show the £160 million funding gap?

    Also what do you mean by advanced ticket sales? Are you talking about ticket sales for the new stadium here? If so then I assume you mean for the corporate offering? I don’t think those will have hit the accounts yet as they only commenced a short while ago didn’t they?

    To take up your point about the existing financing and repayment. Spurs do not have to wait until 2022 to refinance the loan, they can do this at any time with no redemption charges. Given their owner’s background I doubt they will simply wait until 5 years elapse and then seek funding at whatever the rate is.

    I guess the big question here is whether it will be 400 or 560 million of debt that they carry into the new stadium? Though even at the latter figure it still only amounts to £20 million a year to service that debt even at the loan’s top stated interest rate, due to libor being so low currently (I think 0.4% currently?)

    Haven’t Spurs also just signed big new deals with Nike and AIA that equate to £65 million per season? Clearly interest and repayment terms on their debt will hamper them somewhat as they move into the new stadium but it is also clear that they will immediately be able to operate a much higher wage budget and transfer fund as soon as the stadium is operational.

    People seem to think that Spurs’ tough time financially will come soon. I disagree completely, their difficult financial time has already occurred and is only a year from being over.

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