So the pre-cursor to the Arsenal AGM was interesting, nothing earth shattering, but some good details regardless.
We had a special guest appearance from @Andersred who is the United equivalent of the Swiss Ramble. He came armed with a Powerpoint Presentation and a wealth of interesting graphs, facts and figures. Below is a mix of what he said and what the AST crowd said.
Please digest responsibly…
Facts and Figures
- Our profit is solely derived from player sales and property… Gulp
- Queensland will net us £25mill… The last of the property.
- Our revenue is £225mill, United’s is £300mill… we’re doing great on that front.
- Historic commercial deals are hampering us…
- We blew £3mill on Slaughter &May un-tendered for ratifying the Kroenke deal.
- Stan’s last game was Liverpool vs Arsenal in April.
- If we miss out on Europe entirely, a fire sale of players Leeds-esque is not an option.
- Our wages are £125mill… We should finish 4th if wages are an indicator of final league standing.
- If we don’t finish 4th, that transfer surplus will bridge the finance gap for a year. Bugger…
- United take all the profit on for kit sales as their shop is owned by Nike. No stock or risk is owned by them.
- We can’t do a DHL deal, rumour has it that it was an anomaly in the contract that allowed a training kit sponsor deal to happen.
- Gazidis earned a 60% of salary bonus last year, in line with United’s David Gil. How was he bonused? What was the criteria?
- Wenger took nigh on £7mill. Again, just to reiterate, no bonus, pure cash. Why would a manager risk salary when he can get it all? The manager doesn’t like paying out the big dollar, but he likes earning it.
- When you take out bonuses and the cost of MUTV, the wage bills between the two clubs are £9mill apart. United are 2 £100k a week players away from us in cost.
- Our biggest problem is wage inefficiency. When we were dominating, we were further away from United in wage spend than we are now.
- According to Red&White… Stan borrowed every penny to takeover Arsenal. He could put it on the club anytime he fancied.
- United have 21 commercial deals, ten of them with foreign comms companies. If we could be successful on the pitch, we could match that.
- We only made £2mill on the Asian tour, that could be worth £20mill in 3 years.
- Stan would make £80mill clear profit of he sold to Usmanov for £14k a share
- Arsenal marketing department and the medical crew will do a Q&A for AST Members. Tom Fox… we’re gunning for you and that comment you made about season tickets being too cheap. United don’t give their supporter groups access to anyone or any info.
Man City Challenges…
- They have to lower amortisation.
- Bring in real comm deals. The Abu Dhabi sweet shop sponsoring their coach wing mirrors for £40million a year won’t be able to sustain that type of continued investment. You’d have to hope the FFP will clamp down on that type of activity as well.
- Bring through youth. They’ve got a multi-million pound training resort going in, but they’ll need to actually bring through some young talent to offset their massive investment in players.
- Win on the pitch. Sounds simple, but the best way to improve revenues is to win. Success on the pitch breeds commercial success everywhere else.
- Increase their match day income (£23mill). Being in the North West where there are so many fun things to do for corporates and fans alike hampers match day revenues and leads to shortfalls in ticket sales. Their match day revenues are embarrassingly low, these need to improve.
What Arsenal do to return as a powerhouse?
- Become an elite mega brand. Liverpool and United are arguably the only two of those we have currently. We need to speculate to accumulate here if we want that type of status. Madrid did, not they’re on top commercial wise.
- Can we perform? Again, no one wants to be your friend if you’re not winning. No one will buy your flags, cups and seat plaques if there are no trophies.
- Can we sort wages? We need to get back to a meritocracy. If Diaby gets jealous and thinks he can earn more elsewhere, let him go. Bring back some pride and the concept of earning a contract.
- There is a top 6 competing for 4 places. That can’t be sustained. Someone is going to have to wind their salaries in and let the new top 4 settle into life. If we drop out of Europe, that could be us if we don’t watch it. We need to be in that elite to survive at the top.
- Hope FFP is enforced.
So there are the details, I’ll leave you to pick through them and decide which ones you believe to be important.
For me the highlights are that United’s wage bill is only two top quality signings away from us. That tells me two things, 1) The Stadium absolutely allows us to compete on salaries now, how badly we distribute it compared to the NW club is down to the manager 2) We’ll never be a City like powerhouse (unless Usmanov muscles in), but once the proper commercials roll in, we’ll be able to offer elite salaries and we’ll be able to use surplus cash to buy players.
Our biggest most important fight is about staying in the Champions League. Once that goes it’s a massive uphill battle to get back in. The longer we’re out, the harder it’ll be to fund the massive salaries you need to get there. All our future success off the pitch is about our current success on the pitch.
Whatever way you look at it, complacency has us where we are now. The assumption of the manager he could continue to compete without spending has finally caught up with him. We’ll see how that pans out over the year…
We had a good laugh in the bar after, I met up with people from all over blog world, the away hardcore, the BSM and some of the AST finance chaps. It’s always good to put face to avatars, people might have different points of view, but when you’re face to face and you see the passion people have for the club, you kind of hope Ivan Gazidis and co know how lucky they are to have us… regardless of how much we can be a pain in the ass.
If you want to join the Arsenal Supporters Trust, go to their new website and sign up, your two pound a month gets you far more value than Oxfam.
So… what do you think? Thoughts on a post card…
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P.S. I saw the West Ham deal for the Olympic Stadium collapsed, the Government now want to rent it out instead of handing it over to a club. £2million rent a year! Jeez… we take more revenue per game!