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Interesting developments for Arsenal in the transfer market

By Tony Attwood

I recently noticed an excellent point made by “Just Arsenal” that Arsenal will be helped this summer by the fact that apart from the two loanees, only Matt Macey is out of contract at the end of this season.

If that’s so, and I have no reason to disbelieve their fact checking, that does mean that no other players can simply walk away from the club come the summer, which could be good news.

But on the other side of the coin it also means that Arsenal have to maintain their wages payments to everyone with no income entering the club.  No player, receiving the handsome levels of remuneration that footballers get, is going to say “no” to that package, so everyone sits tight

So the monthly wage bill will continue.  Unless of course Barcelona really want to buy Aubameyang.

In the February 2019 accounts, Arsenal revealed that they had £231m in cash reserves, but there was considerable expenditure in the summer of 2019 on player transfers.  Although player transfer costs are generally paid over the length of the players’ contract, that would still mean money is flowing out of the club — both from previous player purchases and now from the commitments made with the £130m purchasing in the summer of 2019.

This does not mean Arsenal are about to default on payments but it does mean that that huge wadge of cash from February 2019 has already been eaten into in terms of future commitments, and so that sum is declining day by day.  And this, of course, is the same for all clubs.

And all this is before we start to ponder what happens is the coronavirus crisis continues into August.  Would clubs really risk taking on yet more salary payments and the initial downpayment of transfer money if it still wasn’t clear when the money would start rolling in again?

Indeed what will us 40,000-odd season ticket holders do?  Having seen the last part of this season wiped out, and with no refund on offer for that, would we happily pay up for another season without knowing if it will happen?

Of course Arsenal could hold back on renewals until it was clear the season would start.  And you never know they might even give us a discount in lieu of this season.  Or maybe not.

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But what is near certain is that many clubs that have serious cash flow problems, will be looking to sell players, but for the full cash payment at the moment of sale.   I have mentioned several times the example of Wolverhampton who have borrowed substantial sums of cash against the guarantee of further TV payments.  If the broadcasters don’t make the next round of payments (due sometime around now) simply because there are no games to broadcast, or indeed because the TV station has gone into liquidation, then clubs dependent on that income are going to be in real trouble.

OK maybe Sky and BT Sprout are not going into liquidation, but I am not too sure about many of the overseas stations that buy into the Premier League.

And besides Wolverhampton are of course not the only club approaching football financing by selling off future income in order to raise money for more transfers now, to conclude their push into European places.

We also have the problem at Arsenal that with 100% of the club under the control of one family, the owners are able to take money from Arsenal and use it to help another of their sports clubs survive – and survival rather than growth is likely to be the order of the day.

Thus when we hear that “Arsenal keen on Wolves striker” as WhoScored puts it, having read the same in the Daily Mail, this desire to sign Diogo Jota takes on a new meaning.  Unless Wolverhampton suddenly find a new source of money that looks possible, if Arsenal are willing to pay all the money for the player on day one.  But then on the other hand who knows when clubs will have an income again.

In fact this extra line of thinking concerning “Who has got the cash” is now relevant in every transfer.  Take for example

Report: Tottenham and Arsenal competing to sign £18m, £90k-a-week Premier League man

That is another report about Dejan Lovren and it raises the issue not primarily about whether we actually want that player but rather

a) do Liverpool have a cash crisis?

b) does Arsenal have the cash available to pay Liverpool?

c) does Tottenham have the cash available to rival an Arsenal bid?

That last point is interesting because in November last year the Guardian ran the story that
José Mourinho has been told that he will have to work with Tottenham’s existing squad as there is no money for an overhaul of the playing staff.
The point again is that whatever the situation was in November, it must be a lot worse now and will continue to get worse and worse.  The players want to be paid, and in Tottenham’s case, so do the banks who lent them all the money for the new stadium.

5 comments to Interesting developments for Arsenal in the transfer market

  • now is the time for all great clubs to pay their stadium bills, or collapse under the weight of their too-high expectations. i’m looking at the spuds here and using “great” cautiously.

  • Gooner forever

    Surely it’s all done on the never never
    Get a financial institute to put up the money. Pay them back over five years

  • Gord

    OT: COVID-19

    TheRegister (nominally an IT website/news) is meant for people who spend too much time with computers. Anyway, they recently had an article up about COVID-19.

    Apparently in Lombardy (Italy), about half of the people who tested positive for COVID-19 are asymptomatic (no symptoms). People not showing symptoms and still spreading the virus cause lots of problems to ways to deal with this.

    A folk remedy often offered up, and has been for COVID-19 is to eat lots of garlic. I suppose getting very sour onions would work too. By and large, this does nothing with respect to the virus. What you have done is given yourself bad enough breath that nobody wants to be near you. Which is social distancing.

    I once made garlic ice cream, or rather it was garlic/vanilla ice cream. I also made a garlic soup once (I think I roasted 50 heads of garlic for that).

  • Gord

    On topic, apparently Hearts in Scotland have asked their staff to take a 50% wage cut.

  • omgarsenal

    Gord…..if you want to checkup the validity of numerous scams and misinformation on the web, Snopes.com is the best place. Here are a few idiot ideas now debunked:

    1) Drinking hot water or other hot beverages. Once the virus is in your respiratory system, it won’t be killed by extremely hot or cold beverages but at least you won’t dehydrate.

    2) Taking a really hot bath. The human body temperature will not increase enough to kille the virus, but at least you’ll feel better.

    3) Drinking beverages with silver or bleach in them. Their only effect will be to damage your internal organs.

    4) Wearing a surgical mask. The virus is transmitted by coughing and sneezing or body contact with an infected person or places. The mask is ok if you already have the virus as it will limit the effects of water droplets being expelled b y your coughing or sneezing. Most people touch their faces unconsciously hundreds of times a day, and this is a great vector to catch the virus, if your hands are contaminated.

    5) Wearing nitrite gloves. If you touch others or your face, you can become contaminated as well. They can quickly become contaminated and should be disposed of immediately after initial use….don’t reuse them.

    6) Gathering to pray together. A great way to spread the infection.

    7) Going to work regardless of being ill or, even if not, being in close proximity to others in a poorly ventilated workplace.

    8) Refusing to report coronavirus symptoms and hiding your infection from others. Unfortunately this is all to common in people who can’t afford to stop working.

    Be responsible citizens and human beings….stay isolated and avoid any close contact with non-family members.

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