Arsene’s war chest: £42.7m + any summer sales

Most EPL clubs buy players with borrowed money or the owner’s petrodollars.  Arsenal are different – the money available for buying comes from profit generated by success and sales.

Put another way, the basic income from TV, marketing and games goes to pay the mortgage and the salaries.  The purchases come from other sources.  At least that is how the Guardian have calculated the issue, and since none of us outside the board have any real knowledge it is not a bad assumption to start with.

There is some merit in this view when one looks at the extra income generated by the Ems against the mortgage costs reported.  The Ems generates more income even after the mortgage is counted, so if anything there might be more money in the pot.

The following also doesn’t count the money coming in year on year from the sale of Highbury – who knows where that is going.

So on that basis that I might have missed some costs, but also haven’t included these two extra sources of revenue, this is the money we have for transfers…

£5.2m – the profit made on trading in players up to June 30 2008.  This is the Guardian figure – I have not gone back over the years to try and sort it.

£1m – profit made on buying Aaron Ramsey and Samir Nasri while selling Alexander Hleb, Gilberto and Justin Hoyte.  (Flamini was given away).  (The Guardian have this trade as netting zero – I make it £1m – who knows?)

£6.5m Going to the semi-final of the FA Cup generated a bonus £6m in gate money and half a million in prize money.

£5m Going to the Champs semi gave £3m in gate money and £2m in prize money.  This seems fairly certainly.

£20m The money remaining from the transfer fund after buying Andrey Arshavin.  That total was £40m – so we assume £20m for Arshavin.   Ditto.

£5m extra TV money for the three cup runs – not included in the Guardian analysis.

Then of course there are the summer sales.  Ade for £20m?  A few million for fringe players?  You never know it could amount to £65m.  Quite a lot really.

Of course as I have said, who really knows – but there is some merit in this analysis.

If you wish to comment on a previous Untold Arsenal article please make sure you comment at that point, rather than here.  To aid readers who like to follow the argument through emails that relate to previous topics, or no topic that we have covered, may be deleted.

(c) Bank of Attwood 2009

28 Replies to “Arsene’s war chest: £42.7m + any summer sales”

  1. I like the figure Tony and whilst there would be many that would like to see us spend it all on David Villa hehe! no doubt there are other more realistic and necessary targets firmly in the sights of Arsene Wenger and Ivan Gazidas.

    The method of calculating your figure as you said has plenty of merit but I hate to rely on the ability of the press albeit The Guardian (which are the least partisan towards us) to analyse financial figures.

    With that in mind, the following link has the official accounting figures for the 1st half of 2008 which are our most recent set.

    Firstly there is a breakdown from the official Arsenal Site and then there is a link that when clicked upon downloads a Microsoft Word (C) file with several pages of accounting data that is genuine and not the product of a sports desk editor on a slightly drunk friday evening.

    In it you will see cash reserves of about £75 million (£93 million minus Arshavin) and a pre-tax profit of almost £25 million first the first 6 months of the year which is a record.

    were the 2nd six months to be as lucrative, which given our attendances, our Champions League revenues and FA cup revenues, is possible although it should be noted that the business end of these competitions will be part of the 1st 6 months of next year’s figures. It really depends upon how theses revenues are allocated over the finacial year rather than the football seasonal period.

    Either way Tony’s figure is quite reasonable given that the most James LeBeak like Ebineezer scrooge types at the daily mail would allow us a budget of £13 million plus money from the sale of Adebayour which they have at £24 million giving us £37 million.

    Can you imagine what Arsene Wenger could do with that amount of money!?! I have a sneaking suspicion that Diaby may also be on his way so there is another 4-5 million on top of that.

    In all fairness if both Eduardo and Rosicky (and I know that may appear like a big ‘if’) were to both complete a full pre-season (and remember that there are no senior International competitions this summer) then with that money spent on some defensive re-inforcements we would have a very VERY serious squad.

    Anyway here is that link and the accountancy figures are halfway down the page. Enjoy!

  2. Hi, Tony

    Two things I can never understand.

    One is why anybody except Arsene needs to know the size of his transfer budget.
    The second is why so many people assume that if Arsene doesn’t spend money, it’s because he doesn’t have it. Couldn’t it be that he hasn’t been able to get his preferred target, and would rather stick with what he has than buy someone else who ISN’T better? Or that he means it when he says he’s happy with his squad?

  3. This ‘war chest’ notion is pointless and has come about in recent years through lazy journalism. The actual transfer fee of a player is rarely known, particularly at Arsenal where the policy is not to divulge this information. I am sure that as players are required or become available then any decent business, and Arsenal is one of the those, will consider the merits and demerits on a player by player basis using the full cost of the player including salary, and contractual conditions, possible value for resale. It is called a business case.No sensibly run business will provide a manager with pot of money to go and spend. All pointless anyway because Arsene Wenger does not work that way. IF he needs to strengthen the squad with a particular player I am sure that he will just ask the club to target that player.

  4. You answer your own question about how I can possibly complain about the unbeaten season by saying that a fairly average Liverpool side won the CL in 2005. In 2004 we were not just an average side we were a BLOODY GREAT SIDE (one of the best in the history of English Football) and yet Wenger STILL could not win the CL League with them! OK so they went unbeaten through the season which is a phenominal achievement of course but you still only get one championship for it as there are no bonus championships handed out for going unbeaten or for artistic impression. I for one would have forfeited the unbeaten record (but still have won the league) if we could have won the CL as well which we SHOULD HAVE DONE! We only had to get past Chelsea (a team that at this stage had not beaten us for years) and Monaco in the Semi and Porto in the Final – none of whom were even close to being the side that we were.

    Yet again it was mistakes by Wenger with team selection and his paranoid obsession with resting players that cost us in the FA Cup Semi Final against Man Utd and the CL QUarter Final against Chelsea that year. As I recall he started with Alliadierre up front for the Man Utd game and did not play Bergkamp in Chelsea game. The result being that our best starting line up did not play in either game!

    You are correct that the best team does not always win – they certainly do not if Wenger is their manager! This is the point that I was trying to make – that Wenger is the most frustrating manager that I have ever known. Some of his teams in the past have been so much better than the rest, not just marginally but in a different class, yet have failed to win things when they should have done. You can accept not winning when you get beaten by a better side but to not win when you know you are the better side and in a different class – that is just unproffessional in my opinion.

    You sound like you are accepting second best by saying that ferguson is a truly exceptional manager and there is no disgrace to narrowly losing to them. If they are the best then this is the benchmark and we need to find ourselves a truly exceptional manager and aim to be better still and NOT just accept second best. We are Arsenal and should be aiming to be the best. Whatever that takes.

    One last point. I am very grateful to Wenger for giving us the pleasure of watching the likes of Henry, Bergkamp, Pires and Vieira and for the success that team enjoyed. That does not mean that he should be guaranteed the job for life regardless of how the team is currently performing. The trick with all great players and managers is to recognise when they are past their best which, after 4 years without a trophy, is a legitimate debate that needs to take place about Wenger now. How many other managers would be allowed this luxury of 4 trophyless years whilst they indulge their own “project” of building a new young team?

    Personally I think that he should be given one more year to see how things turn out. If there is no improvement or no trophies next season then I think that it may be time to recognise that Wenger has taken the club as far as he can and that he may be past his best and it is time for a change

  5. Look if Adebayor does leave, I wouldn’t be surprised if AW doesn’t bring anyone in to replace him. In attack, we have RVP, Eduardo, Vela and Bendtner. Not to mention Theo and young Jay. Plus the fact tha AA’s best position is off the front man. I dunno if a forward is such a necessity. Eduardo is a 20 goal man if he’s fit. No doubt about that. RVP and Bendtner are in double digits in a hard season this year and Vela looks a very promising talent. Same goes for Jay who i think looks a lot more direct than Theo really from his games in the reserves and at WBA this year. So it really wouldn’t be the end of the world if no one came in up front. Remember Rosicky comes back next season too and Wilshire, Barazite and Fran might be able to step up so we might have too many of those winger/playmaker off the striker players. I think we’re best served expecting the worst when it comes to how much money is available this summer. Say the board had NO money to give AW…we might get 20 mill from Ade at best plus maybe a few smaller sales in Bischoff, Senderos and hopefully Silvestre will increase that kitty. So that gives us a decent amount to find that holding player and centerback. I really think we’re 3 players short of competing at the top. If we can bring in some power and physicality in those signings i think we’d do much much much better. I completely disagree that we have a lack of experience. What’s our best 11 if everyone’s fit…Almunia,Sagn, Clichy, Gallas, Toure, Song, Cesc, Arshavin, Rosicky/Nasri, RVP, Eduardo (if Ade leaves). Not that young…but way weak. That’s what we need…some Keown, Viera types that are gonna batter opponents. No one liked playing us when those two were in our team. That’s what we need again! I’d rather we be known for getting red cards and “assaulting” teams (as SAF once said abt us) like before than be what we are now….a soft touch.

  6. ‘For example, I know Eboue isn’t what we need, but he tried 100 times harder than Van Persie. Bendtner may not be the finished deal and he makes a bundle of mistakes, but he chases the ball, he gets tackles in, and he tries to do the job he’s employed to do, unlike Adebayor who is offside more than anyone I have ever known and looks astonished every time the flag goes up, then saunters back to the centre circle, sulking…’

    This kind of nonsense does not help though does it, James. You are just gratuitously undermining the players, and as a supporter I find remarks like that depressing.

  7. Caught James!

    That post is a word for word copy of a lead article posted on another blog yesterday.

    Now you are just being pathetic.
    It is bad enough that you don’t get behind the club but to steal another writer’s words and present them as your own is the lowest of the low. It merely demonstrates that you have no valid thoughts or position and are more interested in self-representation than original expression.

    I was happy to debate with you up until now but after this I regard you as invalid. You have no place commenting on this or any other reputable blog.

  8. Ahead of the curve as always Tony. several sources are now publishing articles putting Arsene Wenger’s transfer budget at circa £50 million.

    You speak it here it comes out there!

    Try something else quick! HeHe!

  9. The James Le Beak which began “The Logistics Aren’t Easy…” was copied directly from the illustrious Online Gooner, word for word.

    This site (and me personally) does not condone copying of other people’s materials, and I have deleted the offending article, written to the author, and personally apologised to Online Gooner.


  10. Arsenal having an all blue kit is yet another departure from tradition. The club should stop allowing kit sponsors dictating what we wear. Arsenal away colours should always be yellow and blue, nothing else.

  11. Parsi – I categorically do bot ‘accept’ second best I just know that in the CL – which is not a league having the best team, squad and manager – no matter HOW good can never guarantee anything. This is just part of football and buying all of the best players will never change it.

    Many will argue this year’s Barca are the best team in the world but you wouldn’t be at all surprised to see them get beaten in the final.

    One of the common themes of the disgruntled fans seems to be this extraordinary sense of entitlement.

    Football mirrors life – both are surprising, and at times cruelly unfair. You don’t always get what you want or deserve.

    Admit it – you were spoiled as a child weren’t you?

  12. parsi

    We already have an exceptional manager. Should ManUre have got rid of SAF when Chelsea started to dominate? Sometimes, you just have to give credit to the other team, and try to come back stronger next time.

    Good post.
    I remember an interview with DF, in which he said that Arsene doesn’t actually have a transfer budget as such. He usually sells to buy and if he needs more money, the board find it for him. Which has the advantage of keeping other clubs in the dark as to the amount available.

  13. Toure has gone backwards since last season surely you can see that. He just hasn’t performed anywhere near his best this season and yes i know he isn’t the only one. But defensively is where we have struggled most this season so it’s an easier spot to make. I think some Arsenal Fans have a real problem with Gallas about the whole captaincy issue. He was never a captain, but since he had been stripped of it and up untill his injury he played like the Gallas of old. What i liked was the fact he didn’t make a fuss and just got on with his job. For me Gallas is a better defender and the best at our club. I wouldn’t go as far as geting rid of Toure but i wouldn’t make him first choice anymore.

  14. Toure had a poor start to the season but in fairness, he was struggling to get over Malaria! The fatigue from this can really hang around… I doubt the troubles with Gallas helped much either.

    In the 2nd half of the season I thought Toure was excellent and for the most part back to his very best.

    Gallas was only made captain to appease him (cos he is a sulky bugger) I think that was a bit of a calculated gamble from the prof. Most of the players will say, centre circle debacle aside, that they thought he was a good leader.

    I would certainly agree we miss a real natural leader but then they are few and far between.

  15. We probably do not have natural leader in defence and in midfield I think that Cesc could grow into the role. We have yet to see about Andrie Arshavin, great player but may or may not be a natural leader.

    Now this may seem ridiculous but I think that we do have a natural leader. Robin Van Persie.

  16. My understanding was that when Dein was at the club Wenger would identify the players he wanted and Dein would then do the negotiating. When Dein left Wenger became involved in the actual negotiations. We now have some one to take on Dean’s role. This might help as it allows Wenger to identify the player’s and plan for next season and leave all the other bullshit to other people.

    The other thing people should remember is that Wenger will not buy for the sake of it. If he can’t get the player he wants he will look at alternatives but if they are either not up to standard or overpriced he will wait.

    Do we really want a Benitez type who spends £11 – £13 million on someone like Babel, leaves him on the bench for 2 or 3 years and then sells him at a huge loss?

  17. Yes. Gazidis should prove very useful to Arsene Wenger. It is testament to AW that he managed to continue without DD. This manager has had a lot on his shoulders over the last couple of years and deserves our solid support.

  18. Quite so FZ – It still staggers me that there have been fans who say that he doesn’t care enough.

  19. I am expecting some serious stuff from Ivan Gazidas this summer.
    Some very serious stuff indeed.
    Arsene Wenger should be able to enjoy some quality time in the sun with his family for the first time in 4 years now that Gazidas is there to run with the transfer ball.
    It wii be good to see our manager start the season rested and refreshed.

  20. i would love it if we were to sign joseph yobo. a committed player, has rejected overtures from quite a few top clubs in his 7 year spell at everton (lyon, man city, valencia, juventus). we could steal him for around 8m, well worth it in my opinion to finally plug the gap at the back.

  21. Hill-Wood must be in someway gutted. He sold 9,000 shares to Dein for £292,000 in the 80s and then Dein recently sells them for £75 million! I’m not sure that Hill-Wood is about the money, I think he just always eenjoyed tagging along for the ride…as was indicated in the article I read as well. He has no real clout (no shares left). I do find it frustrating that there isn’t clearer comms from the Club. I’m sure if they spoke to the fans then a lot of our grievances could be sorted. I’m allowing the Board the benefit of the doubt but it would be nice to know exactly what is going on in relation to money. Maybe it’s out there already and I just haven’t looked for it. Gazidis needs to come and be more of a PR man for the fas I think, it’s needed. The club are now getting some digs abotu cutting the Q&A session, I’m not bothered but just a simple statement to say why, etc would have prevented the suggestion of a whitewash. Anybody getting involved in the march before the Stoke game?!? I won’t be ‘at’ the game but still tempted to get myself up there.

  22. Hill-wood is an investment banker from the old school and from old money. I suspect that he isn’t short of a few quid.

    He gets a lot of flack and he is something of a dessicated dinosaur but in all fairness, he is involved with the club out of what he regards as fimilial duty and tradition.

    I doubt if he much cares about his shares and their sell on value. \after all 292,000 from 25 years ago give or take could be worth an equal amount given his profession and his contacts.

    Gazidas is a political creature and always has been. Don’t get me wrong. I mean that as a compliment. He will always say the right thing at the right time. He had the supporters eating out of his hand at the recent meeting and he seems to have assumed his position without rubbing anybody the right way. Usmanov apparently has no objections to him which really implies that Dein is out in the cold forever.
    The best way to regard Gazidas is a specialist in contract negotiation both vis-a-vis players and sponsors and he was brought in to specifically lighten the load on Wenger who was being asked to juggle and cycle at the same time.

    If you guys are up for some reading, go look at Red and White holdings and you will see that Usmanov has a British/Iranian partner (whose name escapes me right now) and Stan Kroenke has an associate called Anschutz from Colorado who is another sports baron. Any moves that are made on the board over the summer or inb realation to a takeover attempt by either will definitely involve these guys on some level.
    You should get to know them.

  23. I’ve not commented on any of the posts on here for a while, merely enjoyed chuckling at the angry toys-out-of-the-pram sniping of JLB and his ilk, which have been superbly and ably answered by mnay of the regulars but thought I’d add my tuppennys worth on the question of budget.
    Firstly no matter how much money there is possible to spend, its not always a good idea to spend it – without being negative towards our Lord wenger there have been “big money” signings in the past that have frankly not been what we were looking for – Francis Jeffers, Reyes, Richard wright, arguably even Wiltord and maybe Jermaine Pennant 9cant remember how much we ended up paying for him? 5 mill?). just because their expensive doesnt make them good, or even if their talent is indisputable doesnt make them the right signing – stand up Veron, Babel, Shevchenko, Robbie Keane and many others (to pick some examples from our big spending friends at the top end of the table!)
    Secondly, some people obviously spend too much time playing championship manager or FIFA on the computer, where you have money, and then buy players and they come. life is not like that. Even if you have the money a player might not want to come (Kaka) or a club may choose not to sell (eg Arsenal despite many years of borderline illegal tapping up of Viera by anyone and everyone!)
    Thirdly, depite my obsessive compulsion to follow football around europe and the world, and my tragically useless knowledge of players from around the world I wouldnt suggest I know more about any given players quality than Le Prof, who has lived and breathed football for his entire life. If he choses not to, or indeed does, sign a player then I trust his opinion a bit more than that of a teenager blogger whose knowledge of the world of football comes from Pro Evo on his Xbox!!
    If theres one thing we know for sure from the past 10+ years of Arsene Wenger its that we wont know who’s he’s signed till he’s signed them. Big name or unknown, not for Lord Wenger the protracted adolescent courtship conducted through the tabloids, or the brazen slap it all out on the table come-and-get-it des[peration of certain european clubs!
    Its going to be a long close season – but wengers not going anywhere and never was, and whether we sign anyone or not I’m firmly backing Monsieur Wenger for a cracking adventure next season.

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