Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughSame Old Arsenal: The Financial Facts That Prove The Directors Are Killing Our Club - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Same Old Arsenal: The Financial Facts That Prove The Directors Are Killing Our Club - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Same Old Arsenal: The Financial Facts That Prove The Directors Are Killing Our Club

I am writing this after our second disastrous away defeat in a row against Swansea which has placed us level on points with the mighty Newcastle. The defeat did not come as a surprise but was the result of 6 years of under-investment within our squad. I have defended Arsenal’s policies for a very long time and argued about the importance of having a club with financial stability but having reviewed the 2011 accounts and researched into our transfer spending I simply cannot defend them any more. The results suffered this season raise serious questions about the ambitions of our board of directors and what plans if any they have for the future of our great club.

The table below (downloaded from provides grim reading about our transfer policy since 2006. This league table shows the difference between the money spent on players and money received from player sales and then ranks teams in order of net spending. It comes as no surprise that Manchester City and Chelsea are the top 2 spenders in the League but for Arsenal to be bottom is a total shock. Is it any surprise that this period has seen us win no trophies? After all how can a team grow if the intention is to clearly profit from player sales rather than to simply buy the best?






2006 – 2011

Purchased Gross



Per Season










Manchester City




























Aston Villa














Manchester United







Stoke City
























































 Norwich City














 Blackburn Rovers




















You are probably thinking that we have been forced to reduce our spending because of the stadium that we have had to finance. However in the 2 years to May 2011 we have generated £187.2m from property sales and the board have stated in the 2011 accounts that they expect to gain a further £79m in receipts from the sale of the flats currently being built around the stadium.

Our over prudence gets worse; the 2011 consolidated accounts also show that our total cash reserves are a staggering £52m and that’s before you account for the £17.95m in net player receipts from this summer. Our wage bill is only 55.2% of our total turnover so we are well within FIFA’s Fair Play regulations introduced this season. Our Net Assets are £267.955m and our accumulated profits are £211.197m. Although I understand and totally appreciate the requirement to balance the books but why are we hoarding cash and continually striving to earn increased profits?

The fact remains that Arsenal is a business that pretends to be a football club. Our priorities obviously lie outside of football. What is even worse is that it appears that we are budgeting for our non involvement in the Champions League. Our continual refusal to invest in the squad has made it inevitable that this season we will finish outside the top 4. Our Board’s short sightedness will cost our club dearly in the immediate future. They do not realise that without success they will alienate their number one customer – the fans.

The Board have also failed to realise a very important fact that will affect both our profitability (which they obviously care about) as well as our ability to compete as a team (which only us fans care about). At the end of the 2013/14 season our current shirt sponsorship deal expires. Unless our club starts winning trophies we will struggle to attract a large sponsor. To get an idea of the potential money involved please see below the current 3 biggest shirt sponsors in the Premiership (the figures are in millions of Euros per annum):

                                                            €m per annum

Liverpool – Standard Chartered             22.75

Manchester United – Aon Corp.              22.75

Chelsea-Samsung                                 15.70

Arsenal – Emirates                                 6.25

This season has highlighted key short comings in our team and our transfer policy. Our board represents an old mans club and clearly lacks someone with a genuine football background. Ivan Gazidis became our Chief Executive on 1 January 2009 but he comes from a law and marketing background. He replaced Keith Edelman not David Dein (he although he took over his roles) and what’s worse is that he supports Manchester City! Unless the following key questions are answered and acted upon then we will continue to fall behind in the competitive stakes:


  • Who is responsible for our transfer dealings in the board room? Who does the deals within our club? When David Dein was at Arsenal he dealt with the finance on all transfers that were wanted by Arsene Wenger. There is still a clear lack of such a person within our existing Board.
  • Why has Mr Usmanov been constantly denied a position on the Board? His company Red and White Holdings own almost 30% of our shareholding and he has a net worth of almost double that of Abramovich. Surely such a man can only be an asset to our club?
  • In 2010 Mr Usmanov requested Arsenal to make a right issue to raise £100m specifically for player transfers. Why did we turn this down? What was the real reason rather than that given to the press? I suspect the answer is linked to my question raised above.
  • We have cash, financial stability and a very reasonable wage structure. So why are we not competing at the highest level for the best players? The current transfer league suggests that we are a selling club but will the Board ever admit to this fact?
  • In the summer we sold 2 world class players, Cesc Fabregas (18 assists and 9 goals) and Samir Nasri (15 goals and 5 assists). Why did we not invest in world class replacement during the summer? Why did we keep the majority of the transfer funds in the bank?
  • How do we intend to compete and challenge for honours if we continue to follow a policy of hoarding cash and making profits from player sales?
  • What is the genuine strategy of Arsenal? To make profits, cash and to simply qualify for the Champions League through the miracle dealings of Arsene or do we want to be the biggest club in Europe?

I am genuinely fed up of having my intelligence insulted by Arsenal’s board of directors who always talk a good game but who actions show that they value money way above becoming a great club.


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