By Tony Attwood
We have had a number of correspondents object to my view that Liverpool has spent more than Arsenal. Two arguments generally have been raised. One says our spending has been similar, and the other says that even if my claim that Liverpool spent a lot more than Arsenal that would be no excuse.
To quote one of the comments that I agreed to publish on the subject “Of course it’s not factual that Liverpool have spent MUCH MORE than us recently, but even if they had, it would be shameful to make that an excuse to be inferior.”
So let’s get this sorted. The transfer value figures are taken from the Guardian, which seems about as close as one can get to being factually correct. They publish a “transfer window interactive” each time around, and here is the link to one of them so you can see.
|Period||Club||Player||Cost £m||Club||Player||Cost £m|
|Winter ’17||Arsenal||Mavropanos||£2m||Liverpool||van Dijk||£75m|
So roughly speaking Liverpool have spent twice as much as Arsenal – or put it another way £152,000,000 more than Arsenal, which to me is much more. A little bit shy of one third of a billion pounds.
Now is it shameful to use this as an excuse? I don’t know because I am not sure I deal in excuses – but I do look for explanations which are different. Arsenal have an owner who has made it clear thus far that he does not expect to be investing money in the club – indeed his action in buying the club outright does enable him to place other debts within the club.
The fact that we were able to spend as much as we did in the summer was quite a surprise.
I don’t know what the intentions are of the Liverpool ownership, but getting them to win one or two things in order to be able to sell them off, is certainly possible. One thing we do know is that we have to be very cautious about anything the Liverpool owner says: you might recall the Untold expose of what he confessed to after the Suarez affair. If not the whole story is told in “Liverpool owner admits he lied about Suarez’ buy out clause”. Rather interestingly although it was published in the USA it did not make the English papers – although that of course is another matter.
Anyway, the upping of the budget limit from £50m to £70 last summer was welcome but it puts us nowhere near the level that some clubs can spend each year.
Now I must admit I do enjoy seeing our own players come through to the first team – but it is a fact in today’s world that it is very hard indeed to overtake a team that is spending getting on twice as much as you on players over a three transfer window period, simply because each time they spot a weakness they can go and buy another player. Each time they see Arsenal extend their potential they can go out and buy another player.
So, I don’t really get what those who have been arguing a) that Liverpool don’t spend that much and b) I am making excuses, are saying. I’m giving a statistical summary of how much each team spends and then saying that it is an explanation of why it is going to be very hard for us to catch them. For each time we get close they will spend their way out again.
Which is also why I was such a supporter of FFP and why I was very sorry to see how Uefa allowed Manchester City in particular, by pass the rules.
Quite honestly I think the arguments put against the notion that Liverpool is outspending Arsenal by getting on for two to one, and have spent close to a third of a billion pounds across three transfer windows are in the same league as today’s lovely headline from the Falkirk Herald: “MONDAY VERDICT: Falkirk need to emulate Arsenal, boring but effective.”
Anyone can say what they want, but it doesn’t make it true.
And it is good to know the old fantasies are still going strong.
- Arsenal v Tottenham update, team news and appalling, flagrant media bias
- Arsenal have benefitted by the world cup break: allegedly.
- Arsenal and Tottenham: which has had the easier ride so far this season?
- Arsenal v Tottenham: not exactly a battle of equals.
- Death by 300,000 passes: how the Arsenal transformation started 2 seasons ago.