Arsenal spend £10mill on loyalty bonuses and agent fees | Hamstrung for years by Arsene?

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Good morning Grovers! I attended the monthly AST meeting last night to find out what the low down was in the world of Arsenal. Truth be told, there wasn’t a whole load of new information if you’ve followed the snippets we’ve shared from them over the last year, but that didn’t matter. Yesterday for me was more about judging fan sentiment.

I remember the first one of those meeting I attended, any mention of the coaches future was met with jeers. Last night, I said something along the lines of…

‘Last year we all celebrated the arrival of a CEO who was essentially hands off. We actively encouraged an owner who’d be business as usual. A year on we’re critiquing him for not forcing the hand of the manager in the transfer market. Should the highest paid man at the club need coerce him into buying players? Should we not be questioning whether that sort of manager is right for us?’

Then I was asked what I’d do…

‘I’ve said since last summer he should be sacked’

Not one boo. Not one jeer. Just focus on the question. That’s how far we’ve come.

As for other snippets…

Arsenal are asking for fan opinion on raising prices. They’re also canvassing on the 7 cup matches and whether people want them. Many said they wouldn’t want to attend Europa Cup games. I say that’s a bit poor. I’d go, regardless and I wouldn’t want those games removed.

The AST pushing for home credits reward scheme. Apparently 400 club levellers used their ticket once or less last year. Truly disgraceful, but again, a worry for a club so dependent on expensive seats.

Arsenal have the joint highest ticket revenue in Europe. I’m pretty sure we’re up there with United.

Only 25% of people take up the option of a new season ticket when offered.

The Premiership sells so well because the grounds are 92% capacity.

As of June we’ll have £160mill cash in the bank. Once again it was reiterated that it’s not for spending. Well, not all of it… We pay wages out of that and it acts as cash flow for the season.

Wages are up to £130million. Massive eh?

Predicted cash surplus was thought to be £60mill. Arsenal did however pay out a lot in agents fees and loyalty bonuses. Yep, Thomas Vermaelen got a loyalty bonus. Shouldn’t it have been the other way round? Bribing players to stay… cheeky. I wish my work gave me a loyalty bonus after a year out sick.

Champions League when it’s all said and done is worth £45mill. A mix of TV, gate reciepts and commercial deals. The big question is where that cash comes from if we lose out?

The AST reckon we have two years of float. £50mill this year and £35mill for next years Queensland Property deal.

As we’ve reported before, there is at least £25mill worth of dross in the wage bill. We can’t move them on. This has been compounded over the years by a trick Wenger uses to get around the banks stipulation he must invest 25% of transfer proceeds back into the squad. Instead if buying players, he signs his current ones up to new inflated deals.

We’ve known about this for a while. I find it utterly disgraceful this has been allowed to carry on.

The fact is, we can afford mega wages. Wenger doesn’t have a wage cap. He has an amount of money to play with. The fact he chooses to give JD £50k, Diaby £60k and Denilson £60k directly hinders his ability to pay Robin £160k pw.

United don’t pay their fringe players anywhere near what we do. Wes Brown was on £18k pw, he knew he was part of something special though. We have players who are fat off big salaries. Who play for PAYE not glory.

It’s a horrible mess people, it really is.

The story of FFP came up as well. Nigel Phillips, like many of our readers believe the club use the ruling to hide behind. City have blatantly breached the rules a number of times and nothing has happened. As have many clubs. The irony of it all is that if any club is in danger of breaching the rules, it’s us if we exit the Champions League. Our wage bill will be unsustainable if we’re out of Europe.

It was also highlighted that the average age of the board is 73… hence the stagnation and lack of ambition post stadium build.

There was also the absolute refusal of the club to allow R&W onto the board. It won’t happen. What people suspect might occur is that Stan could sell up if things get too spicy. He’s never sold an asset, but he’s never bought overseas. If he isn’t welcome at his own Franchise… Sorry I mean club… He could sell out for a massive profit. He’s too old to be in it for the long term. Unless his son Josh is a major league soccer fan.

Interesting that Matt Scott of the Telegraph believes Wenger has made himself unsackable. His squad is too full and too highly paid to do anything with over the next few years. He reckons no top manager would touch the job.

You’ll hear more from him in a couple of weeks time… in your ears if you get what I mean.

Some other snippets

  • The club improved revenue by £10mill last season. £3mill of that was tour money. £4mill was season ticket price hikes. Yet the CEO landed a £600k bonus! Errr… where is the outrage?
  • We could have a £100million rights issue and beat FFP if it went against the stadium debt. The reason we won’t do that is because Wenger wouldn’t spend the money. Previously it was because the other board members wouldn’t put their hands in their pockets. They only took out of the club…
  • Average attendance to the games these days is in the low fifties.
  • We have 71 paid professional on the wage bill (we had 48 when we moved to the Emirates). We also fund Nik B and Denilson. We laugh at City for doing the same with Adebayor and Bridge, we’re just as bad… on lower salaries of course!
  • The board have got rich off the self sustaining business model.
  • We earn £14mill from short sponsor / manufacture. Liverpool earn £40mill
  • Nina booted from board for having a Starbucks with Usmanov people.
  • David Dein spends more time with Wenger than Gazidis. If he is spending that much time with Wenger, it begs the question what the hell he’s talking to him about? ‘Errr, Arsene… Squillaci. What the hell were you thinking?’
  • Stadium debt is £220mill
  • When Dein was booted from the board, Wenger was promised he was in charge. Hence why he was able to pick his own CEO.
  • Wenger decides player value, hence why so many deals fall through. That’s why Mata isn’t wearing an Arsenal shirt.
  • Club runs at break even.
  • There are only 1200 shareholders left. Geoff being one of them. He’s a rarity… he didn’t sell out like so many did.

Final fun fact of the evening… There are more Arsenal fans in Nigerian than there are in the UK. Wow! I’ve always said we get a bundle of traffic from the home of Kanu… I didn’t realise the extent of support!

Right… that’s your monthly round up. If you want to join up and have your say, sign up here… well worth the cash. If you want to read their analysis of the financials, check here.

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Thanks to everyone I met and spoke to last night… a great night as always.

So… what stood out for you? Let us know in the comments!

681 Responses to “Arsenal spend £10mill on loyalty bonuses and agent fees | Hamstrung for years by Arsene?”

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  1. follow the money

    Un Prophete is my current #1. 36 is up there, The Last Deadly Mission (aka MR73) ain’t bad. I suppose LG can become a movie blog while we wait for Wenger to leave eh?

  2. OPG

    Serie A currently only get’s 3 teams who get into the CL Napoli are currently not in that position, some of their players might be off in the summer to someone like City though. The PL coefficient is in a healthy position at the top so they won’t lose it this season.

  3. follow the money

    The Last Deadly Mission isn’t as well regarded as most of his other stuff but I really liked it. Auteuil is great as the washed up cop. Plus is takes place in Marseilles which I’ve always been fond of. If you’re a fan of crime novels as well check The Marseilles Trilogy (Total Chaos, Chourmo, and Solea) by Jean Claude Izzo

  4. follow the money

    I saw the Carlos the Jackal directed by Olivier Assayas, the recent one. It was ok, but very long and it seemed to kind of plod along, not any real super dramatic moments that propelled the narrative. But that’s kind of typical of Assayas films in general

  5. HerveDeNerve

    Do any of you buy movies from iTunes? If you do and have a Mac I’ve recently discovered a Mac App called “Setuni” (iTunes backwards) and it basically lets you rip Music and Movie files from any device and add them to your iTunes Library.

    Me and my pals transfer films we each do not possess to our iOS devices and rip to our macs. Only problem comes when none of us possess a film we all want to watch. I am the one who invariably gives in and buys it first! Bloody mug i am!

  6. HerveDeNerve


    Lovefilm, does it allow you to buy and own the film? Im a film nut and like to own with all the artwork, extras etc,….. I know, i must sound like a right knob!


    Ive done so many hard drives with corrupt files and what have you. Ive just spent a grand on a new macbook pro 2 weeks ago and won’t take the risk now, i know…what a knob!

  7. T Bone

    I personally would be delighted if our first bit of business in the Summer was to get rid of that useless waster Walcott. That would be a step in the right direction. Then we may actually have a footballer playing on the right wing instead of a glorified sprinter.

  8. follow the money

    Chelsea are in a spot of bother it seems. Abramovich has been looking for the next Jose for years now. It doesn’t happen fast enough and he sacks them. He might just resign himself that this is a transitional phase and give AVB a few more years–the constant turnover doesn’t seem to be working. But this highlights what I said about why Mourinho would never come to Arsenal. He’s an opportunist. He goes to teams that he sees are close to being able to win. He went to Chelsea when they had most of the pieces in place to win, same with Inter and same with Real. We do not have most of the pieces in place to win and on top of that we don’t have the sort of players he wants, big powerful veterans

  9. HerveDeNerve


    Cant save to my hard drive with DVD’s, I’m always travelling with my work so portability is a must for me. You can call me a knob now if you want!

    Talking of Reno, anyone seen “The Dead List” and “Cash”

  10. Lurch LeRouge

    woah so many questions.

    lovefilm purchasing? not sure, maybe but I’m a rental nut. pointless owning when formats change every 5 years I think…

    22 bullets? oui cest une flic de vengeance.

  11. DialSquare

    Jamie Sanderson@YoungGunsBlogReply

    #WHUFC go top of Championship. Fans chant ‘England’s number 1’ at #AFC loanee Lansbury, who played in goal from 54th min.

  12. incesc

    just get them through the post then send them back herve

    really think pirate bay is the way to go for you, just read the comments to make sure its a virus free copy

  13. HerveDeNerve

    Thanks Incesc, deffo going to look into that. Im spending about £200 per month on iTunes movies at the mo, still, better then spending it on going to the emirates these days eh?

  14. HerveDeNerve

    Pedro is now finished, more afc fans on webcam voicing opinion about ticket hike and lack of investment.

    Perry Groves “don’t you think as a fan you are being taken for granted?” “You pay increased ticket prices and this is not reflected by the investment in top players”

  15. Gunner2301

    Follow the money

    Good article, but how do you distill that into something that is at a glance worth reading?

    You’d need a compelling opening statement that makes the reader want to read further.

    Then there needs to be something in the content that will be worth reporting on i.e a planned protest or at least create interest so that when the event happens they are prepared to report on it.

    It’s a difficult one. The timings got to be right.

  16. arsenal1886-2006


    VEEHD is a good site and mac safe.
    I signed up, then you don’t get no pop-ups about installing a C-Codec which you will see if you are not logged in.
    Not a massive selection but good quality and most movies are divx dvd quality.
    Got some good old classics, plus documentaries and brit tv programmes.

    I love it.

  17. Cesc Appeal


    great stuff, ive posted it on some facebook groups etc but if you can spread the word amongst friends or anything you rekon might help, need to try everything to bang on the door and be heard

  18. Bade

    Morning Chaps

    So, Napoli battering the Chavs last night was a jot to watch

    What a great team they are with Lavezzi and Cavani doing all the da,age almost by their own

  19. Bade

    Now if Us and the Chavs fail to make the quarters, and with $ity and Mancs already out of the group stage, that means most definitely counting from the CL of next season England will have only 3 representatives, instead of 4

    Ha ha ha, then 4th will stop being a trophy eh?

    What would poor Arsene do then? He might commit suicide if they took his favourite 4th trophy ….. OH dear me

  20. follow the money

    haha yeah Bade but I’m sure the Arsenal spin-machine can dream up another trophy. Maybe “Worst Capitulation by an EPL Team” trophy

  21. pharo9ja

    dont know if this has been posted here.
    I think the best way to get rid of wenger and the dross is to get rid of PHW!
    U can ignore the last paragraph in the link if you choose to,I did.

  22. SUGA3

    PHW is about as irrelevant to the everyday running of the club as he possibly can be, he is just a relic, a figurehead chairman with no say whatsoever…

    sure thing, ousting him can only be a good thing, but it will not have any impact on getting AW and the dross out of the club, the problem has been identified very clearly, we have way too many players on way too high wages and an inept manager…

    we won’t be able to shift these bang average players for a significant fee, if any!

    ff 2 work…

  23. Gunner2301

    I think any protest should be aimed at Kroenke he’s the only one with the power to change things. Cut off the head and the rest will fall.

    Kroenke won’t enjoy the pressure and will in turn put pressure on Wenger or even sack him. It’s the best way to achieve change.

  24. follow the money

    Kroenke will just put his fingers in his ears and go “lalalalalalaaa” and fly back to Colorado. We need someone on the inside to turn on Wenger (unlikely) or former players or coaches to turn (this is something fans can assist in). It’s become clear that empty seats and angry blogs will have no effect

  25. Thomas. it's up for grabs now...

    “If someone wants to make an offer, they can make an offer. We can laugh off their offer if we are not satisfied or we can say: ‘Let’s sit down and discuss this’.

    “In life, there is a always a price for everything. It is just a question of the right moment and the right people.”

    Napoli owner speaking about Lavezzi, Hamsik and Cavani!

  26. LAzer

    Sad days. Camelot is falling apart. Like a Phoenix we will rise again. Wenger will not change, he has to be shown the door.

  27. LAzer

    No one on the board, including Kronke have any interest whatsoever to change things. Why would they. Their wallets get fatter every year no matter what. When the incentive is to sit still that is exactly what people will do.

    Arsene knows he stays in a job as long as he makes them all money. If he wins while doing it it is a bonus and he gets to prove the world wrong. But it has all gone horribly wrong now hasn’t it. The fall of a modern super club is what we are witnessing in 2012.

  28. Gunner2301

    Follow the money

    You’re talking about bottom up I’m talking about top down. Your way is harder and may only result in the manager leaving.

    That won’t be enough there are bigger issues. The next manager would come in be subject to the same policies and you maybe back to square 1.

    It depends what you perceive as the issues and how you think those issues can be resolved. You and I may see the same issues but differ on the means to achieve change.

    This is the problem your going to have amongst fans and why I said any meaningful statement by Sumday apart from indicating something is going to happen and watch this space would be premature.

    Fans need to get organised first and agree then make a statement otherwise we look fractured and disorganised and the message is diluted.

  29. follow the money

    I see your point but trying the Wenger method with anyone else is a risk I don’t think Kroenke would take. I think if Wenger went he would sell to Usmanov figuring (and probably quite rightly) that we would fall out of the PL (which might happen anyway)

  30. Martin Hayes Never Missed

    Thomas – you love number crunching…

    I worked out that we have taken 41 points from a possible 60 vs ‘lower teams’ – I excluded Man Utd, Man City and Chelsea as the Wenger and AKB line is always that we cannot compete against them.

    So lets burst the bubble of failure due to City and Chelsea and ask the question – why have we not performed against smaller spenders??