another week of “What’s the score?!” After a nail-biting final day to the
season last Sunday, it is finally over! – We DID qualify for the Champions
League (in case you missed it) as I said we would do some four months ago. I even
beat my prediction when I suggested we would manage 23 points out of a possible
30. We actually achieved a total of 26 out of a possible 30… not bad for a team
that were seven points behind Tottenham Hotspur on March 3rd.
was by no means a blinding performance in terms of display, we managed to grind
out a 1-0 win (much deserved in my opinion), something we would not have be
able to do three or four months ago. Many laughed at my prediction, but in
fairness, most were Spuds fans! – By the way, have Newcastle United scored yet?
Someone should tell Lord Sugar!
Arsène Wenger’s reaction
following the win at Newcastle was blunt. He said: “I’m very proud. We were
very far behind Tottenham and even after defeat there (at White Hart Lane)
we’ve shown character and attitude to come back and make 73 points, which is
three points better than last season.”
There is no doubt that
each year in points terms, qualification for Champions League does get harder.
This year, Arsenal’s
epic battle for a top four finish required 73
points. Apart from 2008 when Liverpool finished in fourth place with 76 points,
the average points required for fourth position in the last 10 years has been
68. So the bar has certainly been raised.
With all of that said, and
plenty of commentators now back-tracking on their prediction that Arsenal would
never make it (this season), I thought it would be a good time to have a look
at the difference in economic terms of both Arsenal and Spurs, and explain why
in my opinion Spurs will remain in our shadow, certainly for the foreseeable
Here is a further look at
League qualification actually means in hard cash!
is worth upwards of £30m. To the winner it
is worth circa £55m!
Europa League is
worth £2.5m. The winners receive not much more than £8.5m.
THAT IS A HUGE DIFFERENCE (potentially
Now to the additional sponsorship
income that Arsenal has negotiated over the next five years:
Firstly, there is the
re-negotiated deal with Emirates as to naming rights. This was signed in
November 2012. Arsenal announced a new £150mdeal
which grants the airline a five-year extension to their shirt partnership with
the club until the end of the 2018/2019 season. As part of the deal Arsenal’s
home will continue to be known as Emirates Stadium up to 2028. That is £30m per year, for the next five
Secondly, after a 20-year
association, Arsenal will part company with kit manufacturer Nike at the end of
2013/14 season. This is being replaced by the most lucrative kit contract in
Britain with Puma. The deal is worth in excess of £150m. That is in excess of
an additional £30m for each of the next five years! – This is certainly no
mean feat, as it tops:-
Manchester United’s 15-year deal
with Nike worth £287m.
Liverpool’s deal with Warrior worth £25m
per year… and
Manchester City’s new deal just announced in the last week or so, is with
Nike worth £72m but that is over a six-year
Comparing the most recent deals of both Arsenal and Manchester City, the
Arsenal deal is worth much more than double the Manchester City deal, bearing
in mind Arsenal’s deal is for a year less. ‘Brand’
Arsenal certainly has marketability value!
So putting aside any other revenue, assuming we qualify for the group
stages of the Champions League, we are looking at income of at least £90m over the next 12 months without
any other revenue stream which would include player sales, merchandising etc home
game revenue of circa £90m and also
the current TV revenue of around a further £85m
for the season. I am not an accountant, but hey, you don’t need to be to
work out that is a tidy sum indeed.
Arsenal at present has a total gross debt
of £254.6m. The stadium debt has
been structured to reduce gradually to zero by the year 2031. Arsenal repays
approximately £20m in interest and
capital repayments per annum.
The current wage bill is around £143m. This is for all club employees,
approaching close to 500 in number, but approximately 90% of the total wage
bill is for players, the manager and executives.
The club has cash reserves of around £120m,
and without getting into the whole profit and loss thing, realistically Arsene
Wenger has around £80m to spend, but
that excludes any transfer fees for players sold, and not taking into account
almost £400,000 per week (£20.8m)
that will be saved in players wages for end of contract/departures expected.
All in all… nice! – We ARE now in a position to compete with the top
European teams and remain solvent – FACT!
It should be noted, and is also well documented, that
Arsenal are currently bottom of the net transfer league tables with a net spend
over the last 10 years of £9m. Putting
that into some sort of context, Tony Pulis, the now ex-Stoke City Manager, during his time in charge over the
last seven years, spent £120m more than Arsene Wenger! Great work
for a team whose highest position under his reign was 11th. Great
Business Mr Pulis, and we complain about Arsène?
As for Spurs,
let’s start at the top. Their owner, billionaire Joe Lewis has little, if any,
day to day involvement in the club. However, it widely known that it was indeed
his decision to fire Harry Redknapp, albeit that Daniel Levy actually broke the
news. The last manager to work even as long as Redknapp’s four years at White
Hart Lane was Terry Venables, from 1987 to 1991, some 22 years ago (and we all
know what happened there!)
In modern day football, money and a good manager CAN buy you success, just
look at Manchester City, but Spurs situation is a lot different. No matter how much
money Joe Lewis may throw at the club in the short term, nor by having the best
manager in World or European football (and no, Andre Villas-Boas is certainly not
that for sure) in order to have long term success and compete with the big boys
you need to have foundations, to build a brand and have longevity. Sorry to any
Spurs fans reading this, but your team are a million miles away from that… a
Both Manchester United and Arsenal do HAVE longevity and have built a brand.
Arsenal are now about to take it to the next level and Spurs are light years
away from that… here is why:-
Champions League Football – Forgive me for stating the
bloody obvious, but qualification only ever ‘once’ does not cut it. (See above
figures… it IS about the money).
Attracting quality players… Duh… Gareth Bale may be a quality player, but
even he has reportedly now become the green eyed monster, demanding upwards of
£200,000 per week to remain at White Hart Lane. Will they pay it? Maybe, but
even if they do, regardless of his ability, no one player can carry a team
season after season. Let’s be honest, without Bale Spurs are average at best! –
will he stay long term? NO!
Stadium… Sorry, but a 35,000 seated stadium is
simply not enough! – A new stadium conservatively will cost upwards of £300m. Even with an interest free loan
from Mr Lewis, that debt still has to be serviced and you have to produce the
income to service the debt. It is a whole vicious circle, no quality players,
no Champions League, no top drawer sponsorship. Shall I continue? – Arsenal’s
business model has evolved over a 10 year plus period and Spurs are frankly nowhere
near to having that sort of structure in place. In any event, even with a green
light today, a new stadium will not be ready for at least three to four years.
And so that circle keeps turning!
Once in a new stadium
and assuming they can attract decent sponsorship, they still have to service player’s
wages, currently at £100m in addition to servicing the
debt. No performance, and slowly but surely a fringe top five team starts to
slowly drop down the table, and before you know it, they are a mid-table side, financially
struggling and so forth… A downward spiral would be catastrophic, and yes it
There are at least another five or six reasons I can think of why with just
the above to accomplish, further problems will ensue, but I think I have made
So in summary, sorry Spurs, but you may beat us at your place, you may even
knock us out of a Cup competition but you WILL
remain and continue to remain in Arsenal’s shadow for a very long time to come.
So, silly season has officially commenced.
Even prior to the last game of the current campaign, there have been plenty of
names linked to Arsenal. Since Sunday, the floodgates have opened wide.
and Thursday of this week have been awash with all sorts of bollocks spouted on
Twitter and Facebook, inclusive of Stevan Jovetic’s agent being seen in London negotiating/concluding
the deal for him to join Arsenal. Really? – If you believe the comments
reportedly made by Daniele Prade, the Fiorentina Sporting
Director, where he insists “the north London club have not made an approach
for the 23-year-old Montenegro striker” then Jovetic’s agent
negotiating with Arsenal is simply a crock of shit. So, is it true or just a
seems to be an authority on who is coming in. They all have ‘a
source’, and this and that has been agreed etc. Every transfer window,
twice a year, there are all sorts of rumours of who, what and where, certainly
for as long as I can remember, which must be 30 plus years! As I always say, UNTIL there is an ‘announcement’ by the club, nothing is ever definitive; we all
know that (surely!)
honest, there is only a handful of guys/gal who really are in the know. Those
that truly do know, don’t usually say an awful lot, and certainly not on social
media such as Twitter or Facebook, and normally only by way of a verbal conversation
so they are not quoted in print. Those they tell, they know won’t print it! I
have to say, from my experience, there are only two or three people who
ever seem get it right and whose information I trust. Enough said.
hear we’re signing Lionel Messi!
it’s not worth knowing… Jeremy knows it!
So, here is
yet more useless trivia about our beloved club!
Did you know? – Since Arsenal last won a trophy (not including the Emirates Cup), the
remaining 91 clubs in the Premiership and Football League combined, have ALL
had a change of manager!
Did you also know? – That since Arsène Wenger was made
Arsenal manager back in 1996; the remaining 91 clubs in the Premiership and
Football League have between them had a staggering 838 managers! – Yup…
incredible isn’t it?
my good pal and match day partner in crime, ‘H’, ‘the not so fat London Taxi Driver and now, Marathon runner’ for
the above stats!
If you have
any ‘trivia’ about either the team or
the club, then please let me know and I will gladly post them in this section…
The wackier the better! – Tweet me @jeremylebor
last word must surely go to Theo
Walcott, for his classic piece of delivery on Sky Sports, post-match, when
interviewed. He was presenting Laurent Koscielny with his ‘Man of the Match’ bottle of champagne. Theo was asked about Spurs
beating Sunderland. He said, “I don’t know… what was the score?” He
was told they had won 1-0. Theo said: “I would like to say it’s a shame for them…
but it’s not!” – I couldn’t stop laughing. So to quote the words of
Gary Barlow (Manx accent is obligatory)
that comment was “Absolutely fantastic!”
would be totally remiss of me, indeed very rude not to say “Enjoy your Thursday nights Mr
So, now you
know the score… until next week – Jeremy!
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