By Walter Broeckx
We all have read about the madness that has gone in to football when it comes to spending money. The likes of Chelsea and Manchester City with their financial doping is already well documented on this site in many articles.
And let us not forget it is a force which Arsenal have to live with and fight against on the field. Spending big and getting big and experienced mercenaries, I meant players, is something that we cannot do if you compare our means with the almost unlimited resources from some of our main competitors.
Most of the time we only see the big incoming transfers and hear prices where we Arsenal fans can only dream of. Some of our fans desperate for silverware want us to try to compete with those teams.
But when Arsenal goes into the transfer market we not only have to face Chelsea and Manchester City who can outspend us any day but we also have to fight it over with teams from outside England. Teams like Barceloanus, deep in debt, and teams like Real Madrid, also deep in debt.
In recent days the press in my country has had a look at the spending from Real Madrid, particularly looking at the Dutch contingent of players that has arrived over there in recent last seasons: Wesley Sneijder, Arjen Robben, Klaas Jan Huntelaar, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Royston Drenthe and Rafael van der Vaart who have cost them a lot of money the past years. Not only in transfer money but also in very high wages and extras which combined have made the club lose a lot of money on them.
Ruud Van Nistelrooy was in fact a bargain as he only has cost them 15 million euro. And he won them 2 titles in his 2 first season. So for the sum of 15M Real has bought a title. Van Nistelrooy then got injured and at the end they gave him away for free to Hamburger SV in Germany. I don’t know what happened to Real Madrid as after that they thought that they had to spend more money in order to win more titles.
Since 2008 they have bought a shipload of Dutch players for a lot of money. Drenthe was bought for 13 million euro from Feyenoord. And he is the only player who still is part of Real Mad but they have given him on loan to Hercules Alicante.
Sneijder was bought for 27 million euro and sold on to Inter for 15 million. Real Mad gave Chelsea 36 million for Robben and have sold him for 23 million to Bayern. Klaas Jan Huntelaar was bought for 27 million from Ajax and was later on sold to AC Milan for almost half the price 14 million. They had bought Van Der Vaart for 13 million from Hamburg and he now was sold for 11 million to our dear friends at the Lane.
If we add this together we can see that Real Madrid has spend a total of 131 million on these players and that only one of them brought them a title. So if we take him away we could say that they have spend 116 million on players and that it has brought them nothing. No titles, no cups, no nothing after 2008 when all that money was spent. Now all those players have left and they could get 63 million in total for them. Which means a total loss on these players alone of some 68 million euro.
And if that wasn’t enough the total Royal Madness came above water when they also added the sum of 96 million euro for Ronaldo and another 68 million for Kaka. And did this spending of even more money won them anything? It won them nothing.
Just try to imagine a total spend of 280 million euro (around £233 million) and the return so far is nothing. No La Liga, no Copa del Rey, no Champions league. And in fact this is not all as they also have spent even more money on other players like Xabi Alonso, Benzema and others.
In no way can Arsenal compete with the spending power of Real Madrid. But it hasn’t prevented us from going always further in the CL, the only competition we can meet them, in the past years.
Spending money you don’t have and putting your future at risk is something that you can try to do. But it will not give you a certainty to win anything. And I really hope it will remain like that in the future.
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