Make Some Flipping Money!

Damned if we spend, damned if we don’t

We are living in unprecedented times, that much is true, but even I did not know just how much the equilibrium had been knocked out of balance when I read the headlines and distress in some quarters that Arsenal have allowed £160m of talent out the door without recouping a single penny.

I am somewhat surprised.

In the preceding decade the criticism was from the opposite end of the spectrum, and the club’s Board and management were implored to ‘Spend Some F’ing Money’ by all and sundry.

They did, maybe not wisely but they followed the demands to stop taking gambles on young players and start instead to pay big money for established experienced players.

This very rarely ends in anything other than the club taking a loss when the club parts ways with those players bought at 25-28 years old, so why on earth are people getting so upset?

Like anything else in public debate you have the reasoned observer and the lunatics. Last night I read that QAnon supporters and followers were left bereft, dejected and even grieving that what they believed would happen (Trump launching National Guard/Military/Police to mass arrest everyone at Biden’s inauguration in the ultimate arrest of Deep State participants… I kid you not), didn’t happen.

Now I am not putting the ‘SSFM’ brigade in the same boat but it does feel that they have had their beliefs dragged from under them in the same way: they were convinced by media pundits, fellow fans and influencers that the money spent would turn us into some unstoppable force, every million spent was cheered – the bigger the better, we are putting together a title challenge etc etc.

As those dreams faded and died (to borrow a line from those over in the east end of London) they are forced to reflect, some insist that the only way to rebuild will be to spend big again, others have turned their ire at mismanaged contracts and players departing for nothing.

Ignore the noise, we have seen in the last few weeks what is possible placing a bit of trust in the players from the academy and adding one or two competent individuals. I dare say we have a few more financial losses to come. Aubameyang, Lacazette and Pepe will surely all see a loss when they eventually depart, but are we really going to be churlish and say the club should never have bought Aubameyang when the time comes that he leaves on a free?

Gooner in Exile


22 Responses to Make Some Flipping Money!

  1. RockyLives says:

    Great Post GiE

    You’re right that fans are fickle and will moan about everything unless we’re winning the league, FA Cup and Champs Lesague every season (and even then we’d find reasons to complain).

    And you are also right to say that if, for example, Auba leaves in a year or two and what we get for him pales alongside what we paid for him (and what we paid him in wages) then that it is not a problem. We’ll have paid for years of goals and good performances and at least one splendid trophy. Money well spent.

    The one way in which I am a tiny bit sympathetic to the moaning is that after all the years of austerity post the stadium move (years during which Arsene kept us in the top four every year while spending less than zero on transfers), the very moment we started to spend big again seemed to be the moment we started a steady decline in our status and level of success.

    I’m not saying the two facts are related (there were many big changes going on in football finances around that time) but it’s as if fans had made themselves believe that as soon as we started to open the cheque book it would be straight back to the days of the Invincibles.

    What actually happened was a bit of a reality check.

  2. […] it is always nice to find some of our own ideas being recycled as pick up on the notion floated here that there was such a thing as a football equivalent of the […]

  3. […] it is always nice to find some of our own ideas being recycled as pick up on the notion floated here that there was such a thing as a football equivalent of the […]

  4. RockyLives says:

    It looks like Untold Arsenal are suggesting you got the QAnon idea from them.

    Given that your post has been in drafts since last Thursday/Friday I’m not sure that’s possible.

    Glad they’re reading our stuff though. They’re a decent blog.

  5. Gööner In Exile says:

    Rocky I don’t visit untold, I had literally read the BBC article on QAnon when I was the news headlines from the Daily Fail about our £160m loss on talent. And pushed the two together.

  6. RockyLives says:

    They’re quite good on the financial side of Arsenal affairs GiE.

    But here they’ve fallen into the trap of thinking that just because they made a connection between Arsenal matters and a general news story no-one else might do the same.

    As I say, I knew your piece had been in drafts for several days.

  7. Pete the Thirst says:

    Interesting perspective GIE. I feel the one season the ‘spend some firkin money’ chant was accurate was 2015/2016. We bought Peter Cech, a decent keeper on the way down and Elneny in January.

    That season we needed a finisher to assist Giroud, who was good at leading the line, but never got near 20 league goals in a season. Welbeck was injury prone and Walcott streaky. Alexis was outstanding, but we needed to push the boat out. We passed up a great opportunity to win the league that season.

    As always the truth is somewhere in between.

  8. Pete the Thirst says:

    As for being trolled by Untold. Take it as a compliment.

    Wizard Grandpa seems to knock out a constant stream of guff over there.

  9. LB says:

    A Totally Outdated Concept.

    I read like most a few days ago the revelation that Arsenal had not been able to profit on Sanchez, Ramsey and Ozil all of which were able to leave by running down their contracts.

    After mulling this over, the thought struck me of why should we think that we should do so in this day and age, at the same time I realised that the idea is totally out dated.

    Stating the darn obvious, players sign for a length of time agreed with the club and it is also obvious that it is their prerogative to leave when it comes to an end — and not before, should that be their wish.

    It is right to say that the next player we care about who will leave at the end of his contract is Aubamayang and rightly so.

    For the club to profit now days on players under contract they would have to sell Saka or Smith Rowe and who wants that.

    A final thought, it should be remembered that we have used this to our advantage as well…………….Sol Campbell anyone.

  10. RockyLives says:

    I see Fat Frank has been given the chop.

    (He ate it, with some mint sauce).

    That’s one down as far as my prediction that Arteta would be in his job longer than Lampard and Solskjaer.

    Ole’s team are doing well at the moment, but it won’t last.

  11. RA says:

    Interesting take, GIE, and I see where you are coming from.

    In my youth, 10 years ago on AA, 😳 I used to think that everyone on every Arsenal blog was an accountant because they spoke so confidently and usually derisively about all the club’s financial matters.

    It became clear that bloggers were simply venting their frustrations by expressing opinions about what seemed to be a lack of value in the transfer purchases/sales sanctioned by the club, allied to some very poor performances on the pitch in the years that followed the end of The Invincibles, and indeed that has continued up to the present time, especially when comparing Arsenal to clubs who have very wealthy billionaire owners prepared to fight to buy the best players available — and win trophies.

    The fans’ reactions seem fair enough to me — even if the finances are often based on nebulous opinions, and not facts.

    Who needs accountants? Unless they pay me. 😎

  12. Rasp says:

    Thanks for the post GiE, how anyone can claim provenance on such a broad and much discussed topic fails me.
    My take is this … I am in agreement with LB that we get the full value out of quality players like Auba during the life of their contract and that we can only profit by selling younger developing talent which is the last thing we want.
    What we can question is signings like Willian – why give him a three year contract. We wouldn’t be complaining about Pepe if he was banging in the goals … but even so I question whether we even needed him in that position.
    It seems to me that Arteta knows exactly the players we need hence Partey, but as yet I can’t judge Edu. Gabriel was a real coup and Marí looks like a good acquisition, but I don’t know how much he had to do with Willian and Ceballos.
    It’s complete madness for the chavs to sack Lampard … I can see us finishing above them, Tuchel has a mixed history.

  13. Gööner In Exile says:

    I am quite surprised that Frank has gone, in fact I am shocked, it was always going to be a risky appointment for the young man, club legend as a player but a board/owner that has no loyalty to the man in the hot seat, but with the restrictions on spending the totally strange atmosphere around games etc I would have thought they would given him a bit more time with the youngsters.

    I dare say if turnstiles were open it would have been much harder for them to remove him.

    Back to our topic for today the Bosman ruling (which LB points out enabled us to get Sol) has been the cause of all this, also as LB points out the only way to profit on players is to develop your own, or gamble on youth, but that policy killed us emotionally when we lost Nasri, Cesc and BSR in swift succession as we couldn’t supplement the team or give them the pay they required.

    Pete while I agree maybe that year was the turning point there was a growing chorus in the years preceding, as mentioned above the years where we lost Cesc, Nasri, Sagna, BSR, even Gael Clichy to bigger spending “more ambitious” rivals was maybe the time to spend some money, instead we profited and profited, and didn’t spend much on players.

  14. LB says:

    Chop……mint sauce…..I get it…..very slow today………

  15. RC78 says:

    Well well…Tuchel to Chelsea is not good news for Lampard or the rest of the league. Tuchel is a very good coach and I was upset to see him leave PSG.

    In terms of finances:
    A) cut your losses on players;
    B) bind your prized assets;
    C) invest in quality players without reservation – it will make you successful, which will help grow revenue…

    We lost so much money on Sanchez, Ramsey, Oxlade, Giroud, Wellbeck, Ozil…

    A) We ve let Ozil and Sokratis go. Do the same this winter with Mustafi. In the summer, consider the situation with Bellerin, Luiz, AMN, El Neny, Guendouzi, Torreira, Willian, Pepe, Willok, Nketiah and eventually Laca.

    B) I feel like at least now, Edu and Arteta are quickly tying up younger players lik Saka, Martinelli and even Holding. I wish they could also do the same with Balogun and also offer a bumper deal to Tierney. If we have Holding, Gabriel, Tierney, Partey, Saka, Martinelli and Balogun on long-term deals, we are OKish.

    C) If you want to be successful, you need quality players. We have a gap on the right wing. Buy a quality one. We have a gap at DM/CM, but a quality one. We need one more FW – buy a quality one. It is 3 We need a LB – buy a quality one. They don’t all have to be starting XI material but they need to bring quality to the team and actually challenge for the starting spot.

    Sounds simple but quite complex…

  16. RA says:

    Excellent, RC, and I agree with you.

    I was especially pleased with (C) the idea of using LB as ….. well, in the LB position, and he could still comment on AA, and give us a report on his team mates!! 😉

  17. Sue says:

    Looks like Mustafi could be off – apparently he’s in talks about terminating his contract early… 7days to get it sorted!!

    The chavs are ruthless!!

  18. Pete the Thirst says:

    @GIE I remember the clamour before 2015/16 for new signings/extending contracts. I feel the fans gave Wenger the benefit of doubt following the stadium move and the apparent lack of funds for transfers (tbh I think we were sold a pup on that).

    When the big(ger) signings started with Ozil and Sanchez the team was looking good for a tilt at the Premier League, particularly after winning the FA Cup so convincingly.

    I’m convinced just one quality forward would have made a big difference. The funds were there because we signed Xhaka & Mustafi the following season for a combined £70 million (how much?)

    The benefit of doubt ended for Wenger then and FA Cup final win in 2017 should have been the point he stepped away. Instead he muddled on with Gazidis and cut some messy deals with Man United for Sanchez/Mikhi and the Ozil extension.

    I don’t think Wenger was comfortable spending big sums of money on players and that ultimately brought his time at the Club to an end.

  19. Pete the Thirst says:

    @Sue might as well get rid of Mustafi. He’s not going to leave until the end of the season on a free any way.

    He’s like a bad smell you can’t get out of the car even after a valet.

    ‘Sue says:
    January 25, 2021 at 3:53 pm
    Looks like Mustafi could be off – apparently he’s in talks about terminating his contract early… 7days to get it sorted!!
    The chavs are ruthless!!’

  20. RC78 says:

    I wonder what’s gonna happen to Guendouzi (Hertha Berlin fired their coach and sporting director) and Torreira (hardly any minutes for him since the beginning of the season)…I still have small hopes regarding Guendouzi but not so much for Torreira or even Willock tbh.

  21. Gööner In Exile says:

    Pete some of those signings (Xhaka, Mustafi) toward the end had more to do with Ivan and his Director of Football coup above Arsene, I think he should have stuck to the business side.

    As for the stadium being a sale of a pup to us I think you are probably right. But only in hindsight, a financial crash led to reduction in value of the property to be sold at Highbury and various others, and also the plan was before City’s Arab owners arrival on the scene and the change in football ownership across the globe. Dein recognised the issue and wanted the board to sell out earlier, again maybe in hindsight we should have done. 20000 more bums on seats and the important value in the corporate circle compared to the Clock End boxes was to give us parity with United and other European giants on revenue front. But staggering TV deals plus foreign ownership literally broke the need for that plan overnight.

    You do have to question Spuds sanity in building a new stadium though if matchday revenue is unimportant, the revenue from the corporate circle is big but has been dwarfed by TV money as to make it probably unnecessary.

  22. RockyLives says:

    New Post

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