Arsenal commercial deals put us on Bayern’s level by 2015

by & filed under News Review.

Arsenal from the boardroom

Morning to the world, not much happened with Arsenal in the news over the last 24hrs, so I don’t have an awful lot to go on.

I did head up to meet with Ivan Gazidis, Charles Allen and Dan to talk about some changes that are coming and have a broader off the record chat. I’m getting some flack for it online, which I find a touch over the top, but totally understandable. A few things to note, firstly, I’ve been totally open about where I’ve been. Secondly, first hand information if deciphered correctly, is better than taking it third hand. Thirdly, I spend everyday moaning about the way the club is run… or at least aspects. Why wouldn’t I take the time out to voice many of the shared opinions we have as a community?

You can’t win with blogging… one day you’re getting slammed for not using your blog to organise protests to grab the attention of the board… then you’re getting slammed for taking up an invitation to speak to the CEO.

Anyway, I have nothing to gain by melting into the background of opinion… but everything to lose. That said, I’m not able to used quotes as the talk was off the record, just follow the narrative over the next few weeks.

Alisher Usmanov has gone on the attack again, branding Stan Kroenke unambitious, stating the team ‘lack superstars’. Well, this much is true. We don’t boast big names like we used to. The team has players like Jack and Cazorla, but I’m not sure you move into superstar status until you help your club make a superstar impact. We have a lot of good players. We need to infuse that squad with 3-4 world class players before we can make an impact on major trophies.

What the end game looks like for either billionaire is still a mystery. Does Stan care much for football? No. Does he ‘get’ the culture? No. Is he waiting for Arsenal up lay all their commercial ducks in a row before selling up? Maybe. If you’re looking to sell a company, as far as I know, the more long term revenue streams you can guarantee, the more value you can pass onto the eventual buyer. Don’t ask me what the formula for that is…

From what I’ve been told, you can comfortably put our commercial revenue as of 2015 at £100m. That more than doubles where we are now, putting us at Bayern Munich levels of overall revenue (£300m). By the sounds of it, Bayern Munich is where we want to be as a footballing and business entity.

It was quite interesting hearing about some of the deals we’ve struck. The Emirates shirt deal sits at £30m for the shirt, which is higher than what Madrid, through the same brand have just been given. Then the stadium rights sit at £15m. The deal struck on the stadium revolves around a reduction of Emirates signage over the duration of the contract, which opens the club up to more secondary partners.

The shirt deal, which still hasn’t been signed… is apparently going to be major. The only club likely to have a better deal is United. But lets be honest, the lack of success we’ve had on the pitch… that was always going to be the way.

So the jist of the Usmanov story is there might be light at the end of the tunnel. Stan might sell up… alternatively  he’s waiting for the league to pull rank, start behaving… then we’ll have the second highest revenues which should at least sustain a competitive football team. I think the Stan and Ivan dream is very unlikely to happen. But at least with commercial revenues at market level, we’ll be able to compete for players on price and salary.

So in short, who knows why the future holds for the ownership model.

In other news Arsenal have rejigged their membership schemes. This part of the post is sponsored by a chicken wrap. Basically, the club have had the reverse realisation of The Times.

‘Hey guys, we make a s*it tonne of cash, why do we need to pay wall our digital content?’

‘Yah, totes not understanding that vibe. Lets break our content free and let it pull in many more members globally’

So that’s what the club have done. Now, for the cost of a few details, anyone in the world can watch Johann Djourrou apologise for a poor performance on Arsenal player for free. They’ve been working with IBM over the last 18months to upgrade the CRM system.

A couple of things they’re doing is allowing you to pick and mix what you get from your membership. So, if you just want silver membership without the pack, you can now opt out. At a saving of £45. There’s also some crazy algorithm that tracks what you look at on the site so it can tailor content to you.

Arsenal have also had a think about the average age of a Premier League attendant… which I think is about 43. Clearly, there’s a two fold issue here. Live streaming for teenagers is the easy option. Going to a game is no longer a standard behaviour. Why? Problem two, it’s expensive. So Arsenal have taken a German like approach to lure the next generation in by creating a 800 capacity block next to Junior Gunners section for Young Gunners. Basically a place for teens to escape and make some noise with their mates. This means category B and C games will cost just a tenner. Forget cat A games cost £456, the point is, teens can afford to go with their mates and get used to the total banter that goes with football with your mates.

All very interesting and all far more consumer focused…

The stuff that is far more interesting comes out next week, but embargoed on it. Needless to say, there’s been a big step forward with ticketing and the data that sits behind it.

Right, that’s me done for today. Tune in for more tomorrow.

P.S. There was also something around spreading the cost of joining the season ticket waiting list over three years… I thought this sounded great, until I realised the cost was £15. Apparenlty though, they’re reducing it to £12. Free digital membership goes live from August this year.


510 Responses to “Arsenal commercial deals put us on Bayern’s level by 2015”

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  1. tom

    Statement ridiculous as it is self-contradictory.
    A team good enough to destroy opposition in twenty mins could not also be a team that is badly coached.

  2. kwik fit

    Don’t think many top players will really what to barca now as they look like a team in decline. Even Messi may want out. The golden generation are past their best.

  3. kwik fit


    The sentence needs to be read in the context of the full statement. My point was that the players at the time were so good that they didn’t need much management. Moreover better management would have won more silverware.
    Don;t think that this can be considered ridiculous.

  4. vicky

    Puyol,Pique, Villa,Torres — four players of the golden generation are certainly finished imo.

    Xavi and Xabi Alonso are on decline.

    Cesc has age on his side but seems a shadow of the player he once was.

  5. tom

    This set of results will cause a ripple all across europe.
    Major shake up in Spain, I imagine.
    Maybe Cesc could come back…

  6. zeus

    Don’t think many top players will really what to barca now as they look like a team in decline. Even Messi may want out. The golden generation are past their best.


    Thats as knee jerk as you can get. Who wouldn’t want to play with Messi, who is going nowhere right now.

  7. zeus


    Don’t get your hopes up. He might see this as his opportunity to cement his place as a legend. The one that brought them back to the pinnacle.

  8. Jeff

    What a wonderful display of football we were treated to tonight; absolutely astonishing. Bayern dominated, gave no space, no time and no chance for Barcelona whatsoever. Another master class performance and Barcelona learnt nothing from the first leg. I doubt Barcelona’s fate would have been much different with or without Messi. They were simply outplayed and outclassed in every area of the pitch.

    We now have a mouth-watering prospect for the final. Well done Bayern; fully deserved and well played. I think they may well go on and win it.

  9. tom

    Kwik, assembling a team of that quality is evidence of top management.
    What ever your opinion of Wenger today, you can’t question his brilliance in the early years.

  10. kwik fit


    They will have alot of major surgery to do in the summer and from what Im lead to believe they have to sell before they buy. Wouldn’t be surprised if cesc would be available. However Villa is defiantly a no no.

  11. tom

    It’s also possible Cesc and Song will be scape-goated by the fickle Barca faithful and find life at Camp Nou less of a pleasure.
    Lot’s of pressure now.

  12. Johnny5


    ‘Major shake up in Spain, I imagine.’
    Doubt it mate Spain is financially ruined. Even barca owe out millions in the hundreds they’ll likely need to sell to buy

  13. kwik fit


    Assembling a team of that quality deserves merit , however the quality at his disposal, having assembled it , underachieved.
    We were the best team in Europe in the years 01 to 4 and yet got nowhere near the holy grail.

  14. zeus

    If we get Villa I would punch my computer monitor to bits.

    And don’t hit back with the old, ‘he’s better than Giroud……..etc.

    I would have Cesc back. Hopefully he can rediscover his form.

  15. tom

    I agree that team might have done more but I think they had already peaked by the time of dismantling. Also, even the there was bigger more glamerous clubs coveting, and ultimately nicking our players.

  16. Keyser

    “We were the best team in Europe in the years 01 to 4 and yet got nowhere near the holy grail.”

    Which is why you need a massively talented squad, Bayern no Badstuber, Kroos, Shiquiri, Gomez, they also only play one domestic cup competition, they don’t even play it home and away like in Spain, they play 34 games to their season and they have a winter break, not to mention the physicality of the Premiership.

    It didn’t underachieve at all really.

  17. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    I refuse to believe there is still a three year waiting list? Was it not at ten 6 years back.

  18. kwik fit

    What Wenger does deserve great credit for is getting 25m for adebayor and 15m for Song. Those two deals could go down in history as the biggest swindles since the great train robbery.

  19. May7heaven

    What’s to stop Krankie translating our higher commercial revenues into dividends on his shares. We never compete for top players and this year we might even have the additional excuse of not being in the ECL. Whatever the reason we certainly won’t end up with players like Goetz, Falcao, Lewandowski. As usual, we’ll pick up what’s left on the shelf at the bargain basement shop. Sadly the trend to buy over-paid bench warmers (like Chamakh, Santos, Arshavin, Bendtner, Gervinho, Denilson, Squillaci, Djourou, Diaby, Fabianski, JY Park) is set to continue.

  20. SpanishDave

    Both Barca and RM are bankrupt, they owe nearly 1 billion eures between then most of it tax . Spains bailout conditions are to collect unpaid tax and both teams are under investigation. They have to sell players so they will sell off the older expensive has beens. Cesc could go but they would overprice him. There will be two new managers so there will be many rumours about Wenger to come. Lets hope something will happen.

  21. kwik fit

    Thats a fair point Keyser. At the time however, the Arsenal squad were as good as if not better than any in Europe , yet over a period of 4 years we never got close. Domestically we could also have at more premiership victories.

  22. goonerboy

    Does a bad team convincingly win the Spanish league? No. Some of their players look jaded. Doesn’t mean they are in a permanent decline. Barca have needed to strengthen their defence for sometime.
    Cesc has been wasted just as we knew he would be-going back to your hometown to be with your mates knowing you would be sitting on the bench for half a season and being played out of position for the remainder was never a basis for improving as a player.
    Everything is going Bayern’s way at the moment. They are in a different league to Arsenal when it comes to playing strength-they actually keep their best players even after a bad season like last year and invest in top players at the end of each season.
    If we want to compete with them then Usmanov has to take over this club.

  23. useroz

    If we only know cesc from his barca performance last couple of years he’s not worth anywhere close to 30m (or way more) that barca would no doubt ask for.

  24. Keyser

    kwikfit – Lol come on don’t try and re-write history now, do you remember the Galactico’s ? You must remember Zidane’s volley in 2002 ? Carlos, Salgado, Makelele, Xidane, Figo, Morientes, Raul, and that’s the year before they signed Ronaldo from Inter.

    We won the double that year, that year and the next Man United broke the British transfer fee record 3 times they bought, Van Nistlerooy, who finished that year as the top scorer in the Champions League, Veron, and then at the end of the year Ferdinand for 30 million.

    I doubt we had the best squad in England let alone Europe. What other years ?

  25. Nasri's Mouth

    SpanishDave: Both Barca and RM are bankrupt, they owe nearly 1 billion eures between then most of it tax

    Lol, no they’re not. At all. In the slightest.

  26. Johnny5


    While barca are by no means bankrupt they’re financial fire power has taken a massive knock in recent years they probably owe out well over £200m I transfer fees and also they owe quite a fair bit in taxes. You’ll probably find they probably have a small budget and will look too offload a few before making purchases. I can’t see them spending £50m on just neymar anyway.

  27. kwik fit

    We were one of the best in europe in those years. Yes there were other teams of comparable quality. The Galactico’s were a team of great individual’s but don’t think they were as good as the hype that surrounded them. United were going through a tranisational phase at the time as well. Veron? enough said.
    My point is that given the quality we had at our disposal we never got close to winning the CL.
    In 03 we threw away a 9 point lead in March.
    In 04 we got beat by an average Chelsea team in the quarters when the winners would have played Monaco in the Semis.
    No point going back now but IMO Wenger’s coaching qualities were not at a level needed even in times when he had quality to work with.

  28. Johnny5


    Well how comes they can’t pay their tax bill or pay up for players that have since left the club? And earlier in the season I watched a news report about the recession in Spain and one bit was about football in Spain and the amount of money clubs like real and barca etc owe to the banks it’s unreal

  29. Nasri's Mouth


    The rest of the Spanish league could well be described as ‘fucked’, but both RM and Barca are in a class of their own. The Spanish tv deal is massively biased towards them, they have massive commerical deals, and a huge worldwide fanbase. Along with regular CL income. They have absolutely massive revenue and their debt levels are very sustainable.

  30. Johnny5

    Even Swiss ramble basically say at the end they’re fucked if the creditors don’t take too kindly to them forking out millions on transfers but paying the debts back in pittance. Obviously the money they generate is huge but the costs associated with barca must also be massive as must be the wage bill and so on. They do have some pretty rich backers though don’t they? I’m not really sure who has what invested in barca or how much they’re willing to plow in.

  31. Johnny5

    I’m sure someone said a couple of days ago that they owe us like 100m and were just one club. I know the costs are spread over time but still they must owe a fortune worldwide!

  32. Mickeyk

    We wiped the floor with BM this year .As for the big spending spree this summer it’s another big con like the last 8 long years .

  33. Nasri's Mouth


    I’m not sure where you got that from. The only real issue the 2 big Spanish clubs have is if La Liga goes all SPL and the fans get bored with it just being a 2 horse race.

    As for Barca selling Fabregas to free up some cash, why would they pick a player who they’re only going to get 50% of his value in their bank account?

    If we get anyone from Barca, it’s much more likely to be a player or 2 who’ll follow the same path that Fabregas did when we signed him initially at 16,

  34. Nasri's Mouth

    Johnny5: I’m sure someone said a couple of days ago that they owe us like 100m and were just one club

    I’d love to see the link to that…

  35. Nasri's Mouth


    For the record in the latest financial report, Arsenal are owed £31.4m in respect of player transfers

  36. Keyser

    kwik fit – You’re talking about squads and us having the best in Europe it wasn’t even close, we had a quality first team in 02′ that won the double, to have won the Champions League on top of that ?!

    Like I said stop trying to re-write history, people were in awe of players like Zidane and his volley in the final against Leverkusen was one of the iconic moments of the competition, World Player of the year that year was Ronaldo, who they signed in the summer, 3 players from Madrid made the top 10, Henry finished 9th that year.

    While we were buying Kolo Toure and he was becoming a key member of the team United bought Ferdinand, Veron was a massive buy back then and Van Nistlerooy was Ruud. We had Jeffers, United had Forlan, then Abramovich flooded the market

    Coaching ? Arsenal have made one single final in their entire history and that under Wenger setting defensive records, and I only mentioned Madrid because they were the most visible they walked all over Manchester United in 2003 and then went and bought Beckham from them.

  37. Woolwich Gooner


    I can’t believe some of the responses to this post.

    What can you do if you get the opportunity to speak with the CEO of the club you love. There are issues to discuss and you’ve done that….sounds like you had some positive news too which is heartening, I look forward to hearing all over the next week.

    What I wanted to do though was rant over the constant negative and somewhat aggressive comments from fans of our club.

    I do get that these people are true arsenal fans and that they care so much. They invest time and money and a considerable amount of their lives to this football club and have high expectations of those involved with the running of the club. But with all that in mind I ask everyone to take a little time out of this crazy head space and look at the positives.

    – We are currently 4th, behind the three biggest clubs in the country.
    – We are the most in form team in the country.
    – I’m not a statastition but our defence the second part of the season has been exceptional and yet all you hear are supporters calling for more defenders…when will people realise that we will always concede goals because of the way we play. we could go back to the 80s and 90s but I’m much happier here thanks.
    – There will be a big summer this year. There has to be. Yes we have a good squad but i think there will be a few significantly outstanding purchases this year.
    – We are competing at the top level and are financially stable. We could have spent millions like Man City and still not won anything.
    – We still haven’t had to sell our soul to the big investors. Lets not become Chelsea or City.

    This is off the top of my head in a few seconds but I’m pretty happy. I won’t give in to the pressure brigade who seem content to have Wenger sacked and replaced by someone average who will finish mid table and set us back as a club by many years.

    I’m sure I’ll get a lot of stick on here, but I really couldn’t care less. I’ll be sticking behind the club for as long as it takes. If others dont have the patience then theres another club down the road who I’m sure will sell their soul soon. I’d be happy for you to pop on down there and get on their case. It stops me having to listen to your constant winge.

    Lets put a handbrake on the pressure and negative vibes, its giving our club a bad name and players will not want to come here as a result.

  38. SUGA3

    sixx pac May 1, 2013 22:23:01

    I’d have Cesc back. Even as Captain


    only the choice of club to go to puts RvP on more or less equal footing cuntishness wise with Fabregas who just went to Barca witout saying a word after effectively stealing the money he was paid in wages in the last season, feigning injuries and passing to the opposition, fuck him!

    captain? do me a fucking favour…

  39. Evan

    So this mornings news lewandowski wants bayern switch 25 million and aston villa want 30 million for benteke… thats us priced out then.

  40. Cesc Appeal

    What have they done to Cesc?!!!

    I’d offer him and Barca a way out, but i think I’d literally say we’ll write off the £25 Million owed, maybe chuck a little bit on top but that’s it.

    The amazing morale lift that signing would give the fans and the club as a whole…Barcelona looked distinctly average last night.

    Never looked like scoring really, the German’s were strong, organised, played the ball fast, played as a unit, counter attacked well…were just excellent.

    Munich are going to become the dominant European force.

    The difference a player like Martinez makes, it’s so obvious when you look at our set up that we don’t have one of them.

    Wenger (wish it wasn’t him next season, but it will be) needs to imitate Bayern, big strong middle players, an organised defence that plays in-sync with the two holders.

    Two fast technical wingers playing either side of a talented hard working CAM and all three behind a clinical ST.

    Our side is too small and too weak, when you’ve got a middle of Rosicky/Cazorla, Arteta/Ramsey, Wilshere…there really is nothing for an opposition to worry about in terms of physicality.

    Walcott is brainless, has pace but not much else.

    Giroud is wasteful, lazy, obnoxious, slow and has the turning radius of an aircraft carrier.

    Bayern were magic. They actually looked a scary team.

  41. goonerboy

    Gambon has never understood that a great team is far more than a collection of the most expensive individual players.
    Not all great players cost a fortune- even Gambon’s own team buys players like Vidic -great players who cost less than 10 m. A lot of expensive players are not better than much cheaper players. Take Adebayor for example or our most expensive player- Andrey Arshavin- both are a waste of money.
    Whilst Ferguson knows that he cant create a title winning team by buying a team of bargains, Wenger does not know this – he has no sense of his own limitations. He is still trying to achieve success without competing in the transfer market. He is still failing and trying to claim it as a success.