By Tony Attwood
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.
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.
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?
c) does Tottenham have the cash available to rival an Arsenal bid?
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