Good morning all, before you read this, please understand it’s not a pop at the manager or the club, it’s more of a question to the board regarding our much talked about debt, so read on and ask yourselves the same question, I have only worked my figures out on what I have read over the years from Arsenal, I didn’t make this up.
ARE WE REALLY IN DEBT AND IF SO, HOW?
So in the Sunday Times Ivan Gazidas is being interviewed by Matthew Goodman and he talks about of our legendary debt, he says that £240 million is long term, taken out to finance the new stadium and the benefits of early repayment are open to debate. The remainder which is £120 million, was taken out to redevelop the old stadium and is due to be repaid next April but Arsenal are in talks with the banks about delaying it until the property market recovers.
THIS IS NOT AN OLD STORY GROVERS, IT’S BRAND NEW AND IT WAS IN YESTERDAYS NEWSPAPER.
Now this is what I meant by porkies told by Arsenal and the rate in which they keep changing their story, moving the goal posts is one thing, saying you have no goal posts is something else.
A few weeks ago our Ivan wrote a letter to shareholders explaining the myth of the debt and said that the Highbury Square deal was ringfenced and had nothing to do with the Football club. My, two weeks on and the story has changed.
When we first bought the stadium we did an upfront deal with Emirates of £100 million for 15 years of naming rights and a further £50 million for 8 years of shirt sponsorship, at the time as a marketing man I said it was a lousy deal, but as it was upfront and I understood they wanted to bring down the debt quickly. Which was £350 million, or so we were told at the time.
So that deal left a £200 million debt, which was more than covered by the Highbury Square development, Highbury Square they tell us will net us £240 million when it’s completed at the end of this year.
So onto the next porky, if you look at Arsenal’s advertising for the property project, it says 95% sold, if it is, why do we need to refinance it when the property market picks up, we already have the money? If that is, they told the truth when they advertised that 95% were sold.
Even without Highbury Square according to deals done we only owe £200 million and over the last 5 years we have spent nothing on players, won and received huge amounts in prize money, TV money and EPL money so really we should have no debt at all.
So where is it? Our stadium is named the Emirates and we have that on our shirts, so presumably they paid us, where has that money gone? As they still talk of re-financing the debt it suggests to me that nothing has been paid off as we still owe the same amount that we did when we first moved in.
OR AM I MISSING SOMETHING HERE?
Why do they continue to mislead us? Why is Gazidas treating us all like children that can’t add up, and why are we still in debt when we spend nothing on new players.
Please Arsenal explain, we asked for clarity and honesty a while back and the porkies continue, and on top of this you have trebled your income with gate money, not even mentioning the internationals, the pop concerts and the conferences.
There is something very un Arsenal about the way this board conduct themselves these days, notice how we never buy a player for anything other than an undisclosed fee, why? We rarely know what we sell a player for either, I mean what did Reyes cost and what did we sell him for?
One minute we have a lockdown and a united board the next Nina’s lobbed out, another minute PHW tells Kroenke we don’t need his kind, the next he’s the single largest shareholder, we call ourselves the Emirates stadium because we needed the money up front, then Gazidas tells the Sunday times we have a debt of £360 million, still!
How? We started with a £400 million debt, got roughly £150 million up front from Emirates, make £3 million a game, get £30 million a year from the EPL, got £40+ million from the ECL plus the Carling cup, the FA cup, the Youth cup and television money, not to mention all the small sponsors and of course Nike.
AND WE GET A SIMILAR AMOUNT EVERY SEASON, WE’VE BEEN HERE WHAT, 3 SEASONS? DO THE MATH!!!
Where is it all? How have we still got a debt? How long will these excuses go on for? It’s Ok being told we have to be frugal as we have no money – ten minutes after being told we have to move to compete with the Mancs and the Chavs, but will someone at Arsenal please tell us when this will all end and we can start acting like a football club again, you know, buying quality players, like we used to, before project youth.
Stop keeping us in the dark and feeding us shit, we’re your fans not mushrooms.