The cost of Arsenal’s summer revealed / Bleak 3 years predicted…

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Older players getting creative in a bid to catch Wenger’s eye

Before I took a job of being a Twitter Operator in May, I dabbled in Business Development. I won’t go into the detail, but basically, I wasn’t the best at it. Earlier in the summer I listed out who I thought could leave and roughly the price we’d get for them.

No bonus for me this year...

Well, today, I think we can see why my 18month career in selling tanked. My pricing was clearly out by a long way. What I priced versus what we sold was about 38million out. Now is this because the values were shot in the first place? No. Don’t tell me you can get Enrique for £6million but Champions League Finalist Eboue is worth £2million less. Don’t tell me Andy Carroll is worth £15million more than Nik b! The problem here is with salary. When you sign a player you have to include what they’re being paid.

Clubs outside the top 4 can’t afford Arsenal deadwood salaries. So that’s why we’ve had to ship out Denilson and Nik on loan and that’s why we’re probably still covering part of their salary.

For today’s exercise, I’ve got their whole salary on their new clubs.

Wages and Salary Recouped

So, looking at what we’ve brought in, it’s not half bad. What we lost on Cesc, in my opinion we made up for with ‘last year’ broken hand Sammy. Over all we brought in close to £60million and shaved £20million off salaries.


Coming in, we’ve spent £59million. Thy gives us a surplus surplus of £50million give or take. That’s also given us about a £5.75 million discount from our £120million wage bill. So, armed with the knowledge that we make a small loss on a £120million wage bill and that we have pretty much the same income for the next 3 years unless something drastic happens, the simple fact is, unless we sell, our transfer pot going forward is going to be looking pretty bleak. Next summer, we have enough for 2 reasonably good players on two pretty good salaries.

The Queensland Property deals should bring in another £35million at some point, but after that, bar an increase in television revenue deals or a few minor sponsorship deals, we’re looking pretty flat on the mega profit front.

Scary situation eh? Can our squad afford to go the next 3 years without investment? Can we be assured of Champions league without serious help or a calculated business risk?

Don’t get me wrong, if we sold Almunia, Squillaci and Diaby next summer, we’d free up another £12mill in salary. That could allow us to move for super class players, question is, who will have them? Then the question is, where do we get the cash from the year after? Another raid on the fans? My meat pie is already the most expensive in the league!

Anyway, them be the sense checked facts for you (A trusted number cruncher okayed what I’ve done there).

I’ll leave you to chew the figures today, tomorrow I’ll tell you what they mean going forward. I’ll also try and get some answers for some of the hotter debates in the comments today.

Who says the international break has to be boring?

P.S. If you loved Arteta’s comments, you’ll love this excellent analysis on the man by an Evertonian here. If you want to find out what we thought about the Transfer dealings of the summer, catch our thoughts on and Metro. Oh, any spares, let me know!

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504 Responses to “The cost of Arsenal’s summer revealed / Bleak 3 years predicted…”

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  1. SUGA3


    that’s always the problem with young players, you just never know how they will fare against all these battle hardened pros, as they have more dirty tricks up their sleeve and more experience…

    trying to turn them into something they’re not does not help either!

  2. Tiger

    Agreed– I suppose the point i am trying to make is that the man has his flaws and our trophy drought has to be accounted for in part to him… But he has also created a culture of success and beauty at the club which allows us to rant for better

    I just dont want us to forget these things when he has his last dance

  3. SUGA3


    club’s whole IT system is fucking shambles, ArsePlayer locked me out twice and continued to ‘reset’ the password to the old one, which obviously would not work!

  4. Grassy Knoll

    SUGA3 – I’ve got an IT background – it is totally fucking unbelieveable that an international business could have transaction and e-commerce systems of such poor quality and unreliability!

    Between this and that mind-boggling BBC blog about Wenger, I’m really starting to wonder.

    Come on the Arsenal Team – fuck these inept morons!

  5. IvoryGoonz

    haha, my post about that site and what he actually say seems to have been lost in translation just a couple of minutes ago, wonder why… too many links probably.
    well, PEDRO, if you find it, and manage to “clean” it, let me know ;p

  6. IvoryGoonz

    Grassy: oh, and yeah, you should know that a 100% efficient system is not good for business. you don’t have any excuses if you still manage to f* up.

  7. SUGA3


    I have a degree in PR, never worked in the trader, but I would fucking waltz into that team to become their boss and sack the lot of them in about six months 😉

    as for the lawyers, if these buggers have to keep themselves occupied by suing some poor shopkeeper, I think there is a room to save a few bob…

  8. IvoryGoonz

    Suga3: and same for our dear scouts, if Wenger knows best, why do we need those scouts, while we gave him a raise despite the financial crisis?

  9. IvoryGoonz

    this one has to be one of the best ones:
    “England and Arsenal ‘keeper David Seaman missed the first half of the 1996/97 season after damaging his knee ligaments bending down to pick up his television remote control…”

  10. IvoryGoonz

    followed by :
    “Northern Ireland goalkeeper Pat Jennings was once struck by a dart thrown from the crowd whilst playing in a League game for Arsenal at Nottingham Forest. The offending item was plucked from his arm by The Gunners’ physio.”

  11. IvoryGoonz

    and the last one:
    “Polish keeper Wojciech Szczensy’s Arsenal career suffered a setback during the 2008/09 season when the youngster contrived to break both of his arms after slipping in the gym. The freak accident was blamed on the keeper’s choice of footwear!”

    all here on

  12. IvoryGoonz

    seriously though on injuries, I’d be interested to see the ratio of injuries/games vs cards/games by clubs, split between age groups, including international appearances, and all cups…
    might try that some rainy day where i really have nothing to do…

  13. IvoryGoonz

    @all: if anyone could find me a good data set of all clubs injuries, I’d be over the moon, that’d save me some hell of a data mining…

  14. DaleDaGooner

    In other news, Arteta is really taking up the Arsenal vigor … weird as only last week he was an Everton player and he is making the most comments during the week about Arsenal ambitions….I guess plenty of time on your hands when you aint playing International footy.

  15. Grassy Knoll

    I repeat – I am absolutely astonished at Arsenal’s e-commerce ticketing system – I can’t even *buy* a fucking ticket online!!!!

    That beggars belief!

  16. Grassy Knoll

    DS – you’re a diamond Man – really appreciate that. But still if the Arsenal site had basic ecommerce functionality I wouldn’t have to rely on other people’s great genersity … I could just buy a fucking ticket!

    You’re a gentleman – thank you.

  17. DaleDaGooner

    An interesting read by a Southampton fan on Chamberlain===============

    We’ve just sold the first player who we didn’t want to leave since Markus Liebherr and Nicola Cortese came into the club with Alex Chamberlain leaving Saints to go to Arsenal for £12 million up front and £3 million later on. The ‘later on’ is probably depending on club appearances and England call-ups etc. We could be waiting a while for the Arsenal appearances cash to kick in but we’ll probably get the England call up money pretty soon if Tom Cleverley’s call up to the England squad, based on 45 minutes for Man Utd in the Charity Shield, is anything to go by.
    £15 million – that’s mad.
    The writing has been severely on the wall since he went to the national papers a couple of weeks ago with his “I’m ready, come and get me” article. Whilst it was hardly ‘doing a Kenwyne Jones’ and going on strike, it did signal that he wouldn’t be here long. Saints covered this with the immediate purchase of Steve de Ridder and from that point on, this deal was inevitable. I’m glad it’s been done relatively quickly and he can leave us to it and go and take his chances at Arsenal. Of course, there is the personal financial benefit from the move for Alex but in football terms, he’ll be playing mostly in front of 3 men and a dog at Barnet in Arsenal’s reserves whereas Steve de Ridder will be playing in front of 25,000 + people at SMS.
    Does anyone care about a player’s football development anymore? I thought that because Alex’s dad was a footballer, he may lean towards that side more and want what was best to make Alex a better footballer but it appears that he’s the same (if not worse) than any agent who has never played the game. Get the money and get it now. I, of course am making the assumption that playing regularly for Saints in the Championship this year would be better for football development that 3 men and a dog at Barnet but what do I know ? Not as much as Arsene Wenger of course.
    I used to like Wenger and still did, even when he signed Theo Walcott from us. I assumed he’d turn Walcott into a brilliant player but he hasn’t and he’s no better than he would be if he’d stayed with us for 5 years. Wenger has also shown himself to be a complete two faced git as well – on the one hand complaining about Barcelona speaking about Fabregas when he was under contract at Arsenal, a couple of months after speaking about Chamberlain when correct me if I’m wrong, he was under contract at Southampton. So, the next time Wenger is on the TV moaning about Barcelona / Chelsea/ Man City tapping up one of his players…. you live by the sword, you die by it my friend. Still, I’m pleased for Arsenal’s sake that he has plugged the gaping deficiencies in his defence and with his keeper by signing a 17 year old winger to go with Gervinho, who is also a winger / striker but Arsene knows best.
    It’s a minor gripe though and I wish Alex all the best. If he does well it will once again reinforce the message that Saints are the place to send your talented youngster if you want him to have the best chance of making it. We have to aim to get into the Premiership so we can keep these lads a bit longer but if one of the really big clubs comes in, there’s not a lot you can do about it aside from getting as much money as you can out of them and putting it to good use, a task which I completely trust Don Nicola to do.
    Saints first team will be fine as we’ve managed to win 14 out of our last 16 games without Alex due to injury. In terms of our team right now, he’s not vital though we may have been even better with him in the side. He was superb when fit last season and of course, will get better which is why Arsenal bought him. On the one hand it’s annoying that we’ve had another potentially brilliant young talent ripped away when we only got a season out of him but £15 million is a brilliant deal for us though and justifies and probably pays for all the Academy investment we’ve put in since the Lowe point… and then some.
    The same old questions come up …. will other teams try and rip us off now?, will agents try and up the deal now? I personally think that if you are a club and/or an agent and you try and fuck with the Don… the deal won’t happen. We’ll get the players we want on the bus, at the price we want or it won’t happen. It’s as simple as that. Personally, if we only get a centre half with the money then I’ll be delighted as I’m happy enough with the rest of the squad.
    Jack Cork summed it up better than I ever could when he tweeted …
    “all the best to Chambo on his move… he’s going to miss a great season with us tho”
    Jack knows best.

  18. David

    Dial Square says:
    September 8, 2011 at 17:56
    Suga probably Arsenal’s only Hat trick of the season.


    Bravo. Dial. This comment is Gold.

  19. David


    Welcome back dude.

    Youve made that point re: Diaby Cesc Song for ages and the reality is although the trio did show some excellent from during that second half of the season, they were shyte away from home and a little bit injury prone.

    Not one of them were healthy enough when it mattered. Same was the case last season as well.

  20. OPG

    Alex, Mertesacker and Samba were some of the names of CB’s linked to us this summer we ended up with Mertesacker as you know, all are very good experienced defenders who are strong in the air but all have similar weaknesses, lack of pace and mobility which could bring another can of worms to our overall defensive frailties.

    During the summer you expected a lot more work in that department in training that you could see some improvement even early on in the season. The lack of urgency to strengthen that area earlier on is peculiar but then the whole summer was really strange.
    I’m not moaning but really puzzled by the activity this summer oh well it’s Friday and easy game in the weekend with lots of sports on, a good time to sit back and relax.

  21. Dontbeafarmyardanimal-think

    Cracking article. Here’s a question about wage strategy…. The logic of paying high wages for your whole squad is that you can fend off competitors who want to steal your players.This makes logical sense…. Or does it?

    Once you’re earning more money than Midas, does an incremental heap of cash motivate you particularly? Imagine Frimpong gets offered an extra £10k per week to go to Bolton, Wigan, or Villa – would he go? No. He wants to play for a club with a chance of success.

    The current strategy of relatively high wages for the whole squad is keeping average performers trapped at the club, and enables wealthier clubs to cherry pick our very best players.

    Only the very best players should get paid stupid salaries, other players need to aspire to that level. Bonuses should be structured around long term success – getting into the top 4, latter stages of CL, number of performances etc.

    Skewing our wage bill in this way – more for the best, less for the developing players, would enable us to the salaries of truly world class players (if that’s what we want to do), and keep younger players hungry… and then move them on if they don’t make the grade, or are too frequently injured.

  22. bade the gooner (bernard)

    who’s available for tomorrow’s game?

    chesney, sagna, per, kozzer, JD, gibbs, flappy
    frimpong, rambo, arteta, yossi
    arshavin, theo, robin, AOC, ryo, chamakh

    not available: song, gervinho, tommy, squirll, jenks, diaby, rosicky

    doubt santos, i feel he’ll be the 18th player, or miquel…..

  23. Arse&Nose©

    Wenger talks about Santos:

    “Santos is a quality player, with the ability to both defend well and get forward and help with attacks.”

    Wenger talks about Chu:

    “We are delighted to have signed Chu. He will add true quality to our attacking forces and will be a valuable addition to the squad.”

    Nothing on Benayoun or Arteta. Even when asked about them directly in the pre-match video he avoids speaking about the players directly and says:

    “We lacked a little bit of experience there because we had lost Fabregas and Nasri. We wanted as well to bring in some technical players”

  24. Match

    Young players are not physically as well developed and it depends on how other teams target arsenal players.

    Teams like stoke and bolton and blackburn physically man handle arsenal players so to speak. Its no ‘coincidence’ arsenal players get broken legs’. Of course the coach doesnt go and tell his players to go out and break the other guys legs …. BUT …

    Is there a correlation in terms of

    Injuries = Undeveloped Physique (still a young boy) + Other teams set out to play against Arsenal style of play + Luck + Tactical setup + The type of players at Arsenal (smaller types such as Roeski, FABBY + etc etc but technically better)

    It is like saying Wenger is Tactically inept-ed because most the players are still developing as they are still learning the trade. Because they are still developing and young they cant execute the coach instructions …

    BUt then the coach must also know the players are young and therefore they lack disciplined and tactical experience on their own part. And this is part and parcel of the YOUTH POLICY.

    Its a double edge sword.

    Wenger is not tactically in-epted compared to REDNOSE or Mourinho. They are two different styles of play and camp. REDNOSE and Mourinho on one style of play. Wenger and Guardila from barcelona the other camp.

    To attack is a brave option and it is a mentality of BIG teams and BIG countries.

    To defend at foremost first is a mentality of SMALL teams and small mentality.

    It takes far far greater courage to play attacking football.

    Mourinho had the worlds most expensive collection of players at his disposal and he went and played defensive counter attacking football against Barcelona at ‘home’ in last years CL first match.

    Wenger has prgressed since the invincible days as he wanted to impart a style or DNA of play and culture at Arsenal. But after 2-3 years. He has failed to win a trophy.

    He banked on many many youth players coming through at the ‘same’ time at arsenal. But Only Fabby came through and only last year Jack. He needed maybe 5 big big players to come through from the youth setup at the ‘same’ time. But that never happened.

    If you look at the AJAX teams in the early 90’s they had very very young players but they went to dominate European football for a short time and after the team was broken up as big teams came and snatched all their players. They were able to do it as a ‘collection’ of very talented players came through their youth team at the SAME TIME.

    It was the same with REDNOSE time in his early years. With a collection of talents coming through at the same time from the youth setup.

    This is the first experiment of arsenal youth policy. Arsenal never even had a youth setup before. But this first generation has all but gone as wenger started the clear out this summer ridding of many of the players and bought in ‘lots of new’ players from SPAIN.

    So well see if the new collection of the youth setup can come through together compare to the first generation that only yielded FABBY and to some extend Wishire. And maybe Walcot …Just maybe walcot. MAYBE