Arsenal — Going Broke: London’s Rebuttal.

Yesterday was very entertaining, one of our co-writers, my good friend Alfa, who is also one of my Emirates buddies, put up a post looking to discuss certain questions about Arsenal’s current financial situation.  A very lively debate ensued which included us being branded a spud site! So today, I would like to put my views forward for what they’re worth.

Ever since the Man. U and Chelsea matches, the big question for all Gooners has resurfaced again. Why aren’t we buying the 2-3 big players we need to cement our place back at the top of the league?

Arsene points to the dearth of available players and even less of a higher quality than we already have at the club. As Arsenal supporters we have a choice: you either believe this or you think that Wenger is lying. Personally I believe that Wenger did make inquiries about David Villa in the recent window but was unsuccessful and so now with the unlikelihood of securing the signature of David Villa, Wenger has turned to Chamakh who I fully expect to see playing at the Home Of Football next season.

More to the point, can we really not afford to compete on transfer fees and wages, or is it stubborn old Arsene still just trying to prove that he can win with kids?

We haven’t been able to compete since the arrival of Abramovich so we have had to adapt; this doesn’t make Wenger stubborn it makes him pragmatic and by that I mean we now buy players like Arshavin and Vermaelen; which, under the circumstances is no bad thing. As for the youth project, people miss how wide this is and often forget that the fruits of “Project Youth” include Fabrégas.

Only last Wednesday he talked about Arsenal having to live in a ‘realistic world’. So what is the reality for Arsenal?

Wenger could have said we have to live in a realistic world ten years ago as easy as it is to imagine that he will say it in ten years time. I read this as a negotiating ploy; a simple method of trying to keep transfer fees down. And the reality is that we are still in the chase for the EPL and the CL.

Arsenal’s earnings (leaving out interest payments etc.) are probably falling, mainly because existing player wages are going up to compensate them for tax changes.

To my recollection there have only been three contract renegotiations since the summer, Rosicky, Eduardo and Van Persie. The first two are probably so grateful to still be at Arsenal and have accepted a rise of somewhere in the region of £10 a week. RVP is different but his increased salary would have easily been compensated for by the removal of Adebayor’s wage.

The new flats development at Highbury isn’t likely to make any money to help pay off the £242m we borrowed for the Emirates.

Building the Emirates and paying off the cost of it was never dependant of the financial success of Highbury Square. The £242m has been structured in such a way (bond issue) so that it can comfortably be paid back over 25 years.

So whatever money we make is having to go first to existing players to keep their take home pay the same, even though taxes are going up and up.

Rosicky and Eduardo would have got nominal wage increases and taxes will be going up in Spain and Italy to the same level as the UK if not beyond.

Then we have to pay more for the loan on the Emirates than we planned to.

There is no reason to assume this or evidence to support it.

If we didn’t qualify for the Champions League.

We have qualified for the CL in the last thirteen seasons and I see no reason to think that we will not be involved in that competition next season.

Uzmanov wanted to issue new shares and bring an extra £150m into the club. It would pay off a fair bit of debt, get the interest payments down and give some breathing space.

The repayment of the cost of building the Emirates is very much under control so there is nothing that we need breathing space from. That being the case there is no need for a share issue and if there was the current board are just as capable of organising one.

Even £150m wouldn’t put us back in the big league though, just get the bankers off our backs.

We do not have bankers on our backs so this assumption is flawed.

Second option – sell players, starting with Cesc.

This is based on the premise that Arsenal are cash strapped….they are not and therefore there is absolutely no reason to sell our most important asset.

Thanks for being a good sport Alfa and to everyone else, have a good day in AA.

97 Responses to Arsenal — Going Broke: London’s Rebuttal.

  1. London says:

    Morning All

    People have been focusing on the opportunity to watch Chamakh next week but all seem to have forgotten that Arsenal’s would be saviour could well make an appearance tonight…..Yes, for one night only, no other than Mathieu Flamini will be down from the cross and playing for AC Milan.

  2. kelsey says:

    I have read your post london and I agree with the majority of it.However we carry a lot of squad players on high wages, plus the fact who knows the wages we have payed for long term injury players who may or may not be a force again.Then again you get someone like Theo on an alleged 6oK a week. If football is a business then bonuses or higher wages should be payed on improvement of players,not on potential.Look at the wages we paid the likes of Bischoff and now Silvestre.It all adds up, yet so often we here that we nearly bought a player but for the odd million.

    No doubt we run the club the proper way,and maybe in the long term it will bear fruition but a little flexibility and less stubborness by AW now,together with a more ruthless touch,wouldn’t go amiss.We can’t live on past glories forever,we have to lokk at the now and near future situation IMO

  3. Alfa says:

    London, great post. Some good points and I take your general point, as many people said yesterday, that we are in a stronger overall financial position than many clubs and that has to be a good thing. I won’t even quibble about the tax rates in Spain paid by the top footballers, there is plenty on the web about that issue. Going Broke? No, we aren’t.

    I just don’t believe we are getting anything like the full picture from our club, and that AW is carrying the burden of pretending there are no players he wants to buy.

    Roll on the summer to prove me wrong I hope 🙂

  4. Irishgunner says:

    Morning all.

    First off I must apologise to “Irishgooner” of course I am “Irishgunner” 😳 Are you a man? We could me male and female Gunners/Gooners 😉

    All a bit of craic :mrgreen:

    London – good replies

  5. Irishgunner says:

    I’m sure there is something in players contracts that sees their wages either lowered or paid by insurance if they are injured?

  6. London says:

    I feel certain that players wages are insured and the club is compensated if they get injured.

    Morning Irish.

  7. carshalton gooner says:

    We have renegotiated about 15 players contracts since last summer and will probably see a drop in turnover due to the global downturn. Thus I would expect to see a drop in profit or no real change. The silver lining of course is the property upturn in London. All in all, we need to be cautious in the market as ever, but that means buy the right player, even if expensive ( Dzeko, hazard,keeper, ) to up the quality, sell off the surplus to help pay for them,(traore,randall,simpson,gilbert,mannone/fabianski,vela,)resign / keep the top players (cesc, billy g) and we will break the cycle of the last 6 years. This squad is very close to trophies but needs 2/3 key purchases funded in the above way and our off field success will be guaranteed without taking extensive risks.

  8. charybdis1966 says:

    Hi – I don’t get the bit in the second paragraph third sentence when it says “unsuccessful ans of now with..” and Eddy and Rosickly accepting an extra £10 a week, now that is a “nominal “ rise! Yes, I know, nit-picky but this allows you to laugh at typos in my post when it comes up.

  9. London says:


    I have never understood why anyone would assume that we paid Bischoff a high wage, it makes no sense to assume that, yes I accept that he didn’t work out but expecting 100% success is not reasonable, no club, no manager, no human being achieves that.

    As for Silvestre: surely you accept that not every CB we have can play every week, someone has to be on the bench and in our case we have Silvestre, that does not make him a financial burden it makes him a necessity.

  10. London says:

    Morning Chary

    Thanks for that, does it work now?

  11. irishgunner says:

    I reckon Silvestre is getting about £20k a week and to have his experience on the bench and off-field is no bad thing IMO

  12. London says:

    Exactly Irish

  13. kelsey says:

    Just my opinion. Not sure about the club being insured against injury, I think that applies if they get injured on international duty.

  14. London says:

    carshalton gooner

    Welcome to AA and thanks for an excellent comment.

  15. charybdis1966 says:

    Eh, does what work London(and morning too)? The nit-picker? 🙂
    All I can add to the above is that I believe we have too large a reserve squad and therefore lots of potential being paid wages at a level for proven talent. Maybe that’s part of the strategy yet at the moment it seems to be a pricey way of doing it.

  16. irishgunner says:

    I agree with you on that Chary – the likes of Randall and Gilbert have been around for quite a few seasons without making much of an impact.

  17. tommystout says:

    Alfa – i was a little moody after reading your post yesterday and i apologise, this is a good site it seems open for some good discussions. If someone takes time to to write a blog then I think it should be met with respect. I like Arseblog but the comments on their are not really open for sensible discussion.
    So as a newby to AA i’m glad to be here.

  18. irishgunner says:

    We’re glad to have you here tommystout – the more the merrier 🙂

    Any word on Song for tomorrow night?

  19. kelsey says:

    what chary said is what i meant but better by him.

  20. London says:


    And we are pleased that you are here.

  21. Morning all

    I agree with Charys point too about the understudies being paid as proven talent and that must eat up a lot of the wages budget.

  22. Rasputin says:

    Morning all,

    Excellent post London and uncharacteristically diplomatic 😆

    Hi Tommystout,

    Thanks for your comment. May I draw your attention to the ‘Be our Guest’ tab at the top. It’s there for you and others who have a topic they’d like to discuss to be able to put your own headline post on the site.

  23. charybdis1966 says:

    Peaches/Kelsey/Maire – it doesn’t seem like me to be the right way to go – or perhaps we’re too close to the situation to see the bigger picture. Time will tell no doubt.

  24. London says:

    The operative word being understudies: we need them, we have to pay for them.

  25. charybdis1966 says:

    I respectfully point out, London, I believe we pay over the odds for them though.

  26. Rasputin says:

    I think we have a big squad of players but a relatively small squad of ready-to-go first team players – this is as much to do with injuries as squad depth. The financial stranglehold has meant that we have had to develop players on the pitch in premiership games that other teams might consider to be still apprentices.

  27. tommystout says:

    Thanks London IrishG and Rasp.
    I still think the development will make a good profit, but we’ll see.
    Deadwood in the squads rear needs to be discarded i agree, randall – gilbert – simpson all not gona make it here, then the hasbeens sylvester and almunia (though he never was).
    As for posting as a guest – thanks for the offer but that will leave me open to attack from noobs like me!! So rain check that!

  28. Rasputin says:

    When times are hard financially, it makes sense to streamline and reduce overheads. Ivan seems to be going the other way with the number of well paid ‘support staff’ he has surrounded himself with. I said yesterday that we appear to be overstaffed with players (this means at all levels) trainers (I’m told we have the greatest number in the prem) and administrative staff.

  29. BnT says:

    So we went in David Villa and then got Chamchk instead, riiiigggggghhhhtttttt!

  30. Rasputin says:

    Hi BnT,

    I agree with you. Arsene’s not stupid (and neither are we!!) He must have known that Villa would be a £30m plus player = beyond our means. I think the so-called interest in Villa was spin – or as London might suggest a smokescreen for another negotiation.

  31. Rasputin says:

    ….. having said that, I think Chamakh will be an excellent player for us and may well be worth £30m plus after a couple of years playing at ThoF

  32. Livers says:

    Morning all…

    It’s about time we did a bit of shuffling next transfer window. Can’t remember the last time I got excited about a summer transfer window…. probably when Wright, Jeffers, Van Bronckhorst and Campbell came….

    Signing aren’t always the answer….But 1 biggy will certainly appease a lot of fans

  33. Rasputin says:

    Morning Livers,

    I’d go for LLoris. Let Al return home, keep Vito and Chesney. I’m not sure about Fab2 – he’s shown too many Almunia-type traits recently.

  34. Livers says:

    Morning Rasp, I like the look of Lloris and Akinfeev but it is a different game in the Prem and they would be expensive flops if couldn’t handle the rough and tumble.

    Fab seems to have chocolate hands at times but I do think he’s worth sticking with. Aluminia is 32,33 now ? He’s not gonna improve imo…

    A keeper and a “worldy” would make me happy along with Chamakh. However, if all our players are fit at the start where do you fit them all in ?

    I love Clichy but think against Man U and Chelsea he was shown up and that’s not good enough. i’m hoping he was just rusty and in Gibbs have a great replacement I feel. Traore I don’t think will make it although he’s still young too.

    I have a feeling Gallas may go so need a CB too….but have no idea’s to be honest Subotic seems to be highly rated and young but we’ll see…

    Chamakh it is then…only 🙂

  35. tommystout says:

    i think in the current climate he’s gotta give gallas a 2 yr deal aswell… sol won’t be around next season, nor will sylvest , djouru should be back and one promoted from youth team ranks possible nordvelt?
    Agree about the keepers… but i feel fabianski would have been number 1 by now if wenger had dropped almunia earlier on in the season when he should have. I like the way fabianski will come and catch the ball, now he seems to nervous and error prone.

  36. London – I hope Flamini has a great game against the mancs tonight and Beckham too – apparently its the anniversary of him getting the boot to the eye after the game against us.

    My mancson is going to be watching the Brits instead – he’s definitely a gooner 😉

  37. tommystout says:

    a “worldy”?

  38. Livers says:

    TommyStout – as in a Torres, Villa, Iniesta, Messi… you know “Worldy” :-/

  39. Yesterday we had a blogger called ‘stroller’ – can anyone confirm that that name refers to George Graham

  40. tommystout says:

    sorry livers.
    we’ll be lucky, do worldy’s come in halfs?
    I guess chamach could be a potential worldy, so i’ll be happy with him provided we get a keeper, damit sorenson would have done!

  41. London says:

    Come on Kelsey

    Peaches question is made for you 😉

  42. ‘do worldy’s come in halfs?’ – love it 😆

  43. I’ve just checked and he may not be around…….

  44. Rasputin says:

    Hi London,

    I’m surprised you didn’t have something to say in response to my comment @9:52 😉

  45. tommystout says:

    I like Wengers attention to detail. Recently when we were getting injured all the time, moreso than other teams, he was looking at reasons why this might be happening.
    I think he should set up another little study group on ManUtd and why they are always strong in the winter months…. is it scotch broth, porridge or whatever that fergie insists on.

  46. London says:


    I was tempted but you looked like you were having fun 😉


    RVP’s injury is down to nothing else but bad luck, I am still convinced that if Rooney were to get the same type of injury they would finish outside the top four.

  47. tommystout says:

    I agree with RVP but the team seems to pick up more niggling injuries than most, probably due to long lay offs.
    If Rooney got injured their season would be over.
    Flamini do him (but not for the world cup)! Beckham hatrick. Nice

  48. kelsey says:

    You showing your age peaches 😉 stroller I actually wanted as my username.

  49. Livers says:

    ooh just noticed Season Tickets aren’t being increased next season…..little relief !

  50. Rasputin says:

    All we need now is the beer at the Emirates to have at least some alcohol content in it and we’ll be happy eh Livers?

  51. Livers says:

    Eeeew, the beer at the emirates is just wrong. At least in the old North Bank there was a bit of variety..

    Saying that, I’m the chap who always gets in 10 seconds into a game peeing everyone off…

  52. Livers says:

    I meant to say… cos I’ve just come from the boozer..


  53. Rasputin says:

    Sounds like your name should be ‘pickled Livers’ 😛

  54. Livers says:

    Only on match day 😉

  55. This is a very good article which I feel Rasputin himself could have written 😉

  56. Rasputin says:

    Haha peaches,

    I’ve been meaning to write a post on the subject of Arsene’s isolation/dominance … I think it would probably attract treble the hits of yesterday and multiple comments suggesting my parents weren’t married etc 😆

  57. London says:

    Boro Primorac

    Now there is name that has slipped under the radar.

  58. London says:

    Go for it Rasp, yesterday was fun.

  59. Livers says:

    I guess he played with the great Petrovic of yesteryear

  60. Hartwick89 says:


    I must point out that yesterday’s article source was what Usmanov used to promote his 150mil proposa(Untold Arsenal)l. Meaning he hired someone to make the case for him. So it is no wonder Alfa made his conclusion and title of going broke.
    Today’s rebuttal defn necessary but I get the sense there is more to the story. I tried to point out yesterday that while we are in a slow trophy stretch it is because Arsene has adopted a reality based system of transfers and wages. Other teams have not. Aside from Chelsea and now citeh you have to ask yourself to what extent was Arsene’s adaption to the current circumstances necessary?
    I believe you will see that the teams not just in the UK but in Europe are going to reep what they have sewn for a decade now. Rumours are already floating about crisis in World footbal due to irresponsible mgmt. So, I look differently on Wenger seeing what he has prepared for us as fans. Yes, it has been difficult rebuilding; Emirates, training facility, youth program. But, it’s here to stay.
    I laugh at fans who live for the next transfer window. And, when names of Villa, Dzeko, Messi, Ribery, CR7 are linked and those transfer fees are so high. I am thankful we aren’t purchasing them. And, what do we have fans who belittle Wenger for not compromising the Club I love so much. Then they be-rate great young talents for not being “World class” at 22.
    So I guess what is missing is a report on the Managers who are opposite of Wenger. What have they done to support the future? Just my thoughts.

  61. tommystout says:

    i’m embarassed to say i’d never heard of the guy but in answer to soccernets headline – who is to guide arsene and does he have too much power, arsenes way must be adopted as the arsenal way whoever is in charge otherwise wengers 14 yr legacy will be in vein and just a very successful period in our history.
    Arsenal the name, must be seen by all as the brand, as the way a football club should be run, self sustainable with a team sent out to play beautiful football. If Arsenal is seen as a brand, then that will ensure our future, and the heights that players will strive to be a part of.

  62. tommystout says:

    Hartwick – brilliant, spot on mate!

  63. Rasputin says:

    Hi Hartwick,

    I know that Arsenal has more and better quality blogsites than any other team, but you’d think that the finances debate would be raging on the websites of all prem clubs – particularly because the majority are in a far worse financial situation than us. I cannot intelligently comment on the finances of other clubs … it’s not my forté.

    I just find it incredible that so much control is invested in Arsene that the Board think they can make themselves look good and him look bad by issuing statements like “he’s got £35m to spend” when they know he won’t.

  64. Excellent thoughts Hartwick – and morning to you too.
    You’ve raised some really good questions there – I’ve seen the post on Untold Arsenal this morning and it has got me thinking too. Football is so much more now than just buying players to make a team – thats why some of us feel so strongly about the way the chavs bought their titles. You have the makings of a good post there, would you be interested in being one of our guest writers?

  65. tommystout – if Arsenes legacy is the blueprint for global football management and how to build a modern football club I expect he’ll be really happy 🙂

  66. Rasputin says:

    Have they commissioned the sculptor for the statue outside the Emirates yet? 😛

  67. Hartwick89 says:


    I would be honoured.

  68. irishgunner says:

    ” thats why some of us feel so strongly about the way the chavs bought their titles. ” – I think it is a lot more than some Peaches.

    I personally don’t think they will be remembered in 50 years time. I do expect them to slip down the table in a few years.

    Ambramovich isn’t splashing the cash anymore, they have an ageing squad with little youth coming through.

    They won some league yes but they are boring, they aren’t a very marketable club and in all honesty are scumbags.

    I don’t see them having a massive worldwide following like United, Liverpool and we do now thanks to Wenger and his playing style.

    The Invincibles will be talked about for decades and beyond, who’s going to care that a bunch of mercenaries bored us half to death to win a few cups?

  69. alfa says:

    Hi all, hope this works as I’m nowhere near a pc. Tommy, good to have you on board, all views welcome here. Its all about the banter.

    I take the several comments made about other clubs struggling etc. There is going to be a bit of a meltdown in the EPL. I also look at the purchasers of Chelsea and citeh. They have all the cash they need. If/when manu and Liverpool get sold, their new owners will bring in the cash. Won’t that keep the top players out of our reach?

  70. London says:

    Hi Alfa

    That scenario sounds as though it will make winning trophies even tougher for us.

  71. alfa says:

    Hartwick, u think we are in ageement on pretty much everthing. My view is just that we can’t afford the players, not just that aw doesn’t think they are worth it. The club know that and have hired their own people to tell us.

    For me kroenke and usmanov are both as bad. I don’t want my club turned into even more of a sports marketing franchise.

  72. Any of you guys/gals going to the recording of the “audience with tony adams” tommorow?

  73. Livers says:

    It gets to be a bad state of affairs when whoever has the biggest millionaires win football. It used to be in Italy and now it’s coming here. 10 Years ago you’d have laughed at Chelsea, Man City and QPR having the wealthiest chairman and I’m glad that we are going down the self sustaining route. I used to admire Liverpool for being much the same but look at it’s damage.

    How on earth do Spurs have so much to spend when they are never in the CL? Spurs fans say they are self sustaining too which in a way is true but their profits to spending just don’t add up until you look into the depth of why they have the cash and all these new mystery shares become available. Recently, well in the past 18 months they issued 20m more shares to fund the stadium project. These were all bought up by ENIC……

    This can only mean one thing once the stadium is up and running. ENIC have more shares to sell.

    Don’t be surprised if they up and leave and leave Spurs to the highest bidder which could effectively leave them up the financial swannee too…happy thoughts

  74. irishgunner says:

    This is what non-football fans must think of us:

  75. kelsey says:

    Arsenal travel to Porto without….wait for it

    Eduardo,AA,Song,Almunia and Gallas.

  76. tommystout says:

    diaby, cesc, denilson


  77. tommystout says:

    diaby,cesc, ramsey
    nasri, bendtner, rosicky

    easy 2.1

  78. Livers says:

    Ah…. so Sol returns, Fab in goal, Nasri Bendtner and Rosicky up front or Walcott……Denilson Diaby and Fab in the centre…

    hmmm… might be more 4-3-2-1

  79. Rasputin says:

    Is Almunia injured or has Arsene seen the light?

  80. charybdis1966 says:

    Raspers – I’m sure Almunia is injured(finger injury); he won’t drop him, when available, now whatever he does between the sticks.

  81. Rasputin says:

    Oh dear, very depressing chary 😦 I wasn’t around to join you all for last night’s debate, but I’m with you on Denilson btw.

  82. Rasputin says:

    Ignore that last sentence – it was SUGA 😳

  83. charybdis1966 says:

    Still right though Raspers – I’m no fan of Denilson either; when he failed to track back for the ManU goal at our lace I’d had enough.

  84. Alfa says:

    Chary, hi, nice to meet you. That was my last straw with Denilson as well. I can remember his first appearance for the reserves at Underhill. He seemed so assured for a young boy really, good touch, decent awareness, I could see him really shaping up.

    I guess he might have lost his confidence, there is still time for him but when he is off his game he is such a liability defensively that I don’t see how we can continue with him.

    Tommy, re your earlier comment about not wanting to post in case you get a roasting – yesterday was my first post so unless your headline is ‘Cesc – why he should go to Barca’ or something then you’ve got nothing to worry about 🙂

  85. Alfa says:


    the spuds financial accounts also show them making a profit of c. £33m in y/e June 2009. That includes making £50m on sales of ‘intangible assets’ – which I assume is players. Whatever, it seems incredible to us that the spuds are making any money at all and yet the accounts can be used to show they are making as much as us.

    One more reason why I am so sceptical about large company accounts.

  86. kelsey says:

    We have got some new die hard fans on here. Opens up more debate and different points of view.All very healthy.

    Re Denilson not tracking back, I can recall that at least three times this season.All I ever here about him are stats.stats,stats.When he was captain of the Brazil Under 17 (might have been 19) Brazil got to the final of some S.American Cup and he had such a bad tournament he was dropped.

  87. Rasputin says:

    Hi kesley,

    Denilson is too slight and doesn’t appear to be match fit. He looks like he hasn’t properly recovered from his back injury. Not tracking back is letting the whole team down.


    Many apologies, I have no idea why your @3:03 went into moderation – moderation is turned off!

  88. Rasputin says:

    This is tommystouts team selection from earlier:-

    diaby, cesc, denilson


  89. Alfa says:


    Perhaps the spam blocker picked up denilson in the team 😉

  90. London says:

    I get the feeling that Eboue will be in there somewhere I just can’t work out where.

  91. Rasputin says:

    Manure 1 nil down in the first 3 minutes 🙂

  92. Oh no and I missed it 😦

    Raddy – your post is in drafts, if you click on preview you can see if its laid out as you wanted. Have you got a title or shall our title writer come up with an option for you?

  93. charybdis1966 says:

    A late hello back to you Alfa – let’s hope Neves is a long distance from the starting XI tonight. A spell in the reserves – or even out on loan – could salvage his career.

  94. kelsey says:

    I have a theory about this years CL but I will wait until the new post is up.Oh Good Morning all.

  95. Rasputin says:

    Morning all,

    New post going up in about 10 minutes……

  96. Rasputin says:

    New Post ……..

  97. SharkeySure says:

    London – brilliant post.

    Yeah I’m a week late, blame Raddy, he only told me about the site on Monday.

    Off to read and post comments on even older stuff now !!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: