Unambitious Arsenal continue to hoard mountains of cash…

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Happy Saturday everyone, how was your Valentines day night? I can’t even remember mine! That’s how good it was…

Anyway, let’s talk football, because we all love football.

Arsenal announced their financials yesterday. Guess what? We have even more money than many predicted! £120m cash available to the manager to spend. Quite incredible. By the summer, realistically, we could have another £40m! So the manager could literally go on a Chelsea style spending spree all within the confines of ‘sustainable’… here are the highlights, which in the main, from a sporting perspective are actually low lights…

These were pulled together by Rhys who is a long time Grover that understands a bit more about the money than me.


1. Arsenal have continued to hoard cash in the first half of this financial year, the position improving £20m over a year before. They now have £143m in cash, of which just over £120m is free to use. This will rise by another £40m this summer.
2. The turnover is pretty much identical to last year, with the one-off property sales of last year being replaced with new commercial deals, extra Emirates Cup revenues and more TV money. Based on there being 17 matches in the second half vs 11 in the 1st half at home, annual turnover should get close to £300m. Revenue in the football segment is up just shy of 30% this year.
3. Arsenal’s net transfer spend in cash terms in the summer was only £12m. This is obviously due to spreading out transfer fee spending and receipts over several seasons, but it hardly shows the club pushing the boat out, does it?
4. Wages have gone up again, with an extra £9.2m for 6 months suggesting an increase in the wage bill close to £20m for the full year. That is what might be called ‘inflation-busting pay rises’, it being somewhere between 13 and 18% depending on what the actual total bill for football staff wages actually is.
5. The stadium repayment will see outstanding debt drop below £200m in 2015, which is rather at odds with all the fans and media pronouncements that ‘Arsenal have paid off their stadium debt’, doesn’t it?? The first 10 years will have seen £60m out of £260m capital repayments with quite a bit of associated interest added on. But as a percentage of annual turnover, the mortgage payment will have dropped from around 9% to 6% over a 10 year period.
6. The only reason the period saw a P+L profit is due to a £5m tax credit associated with changing government corporate tax rates. Otherwise they made a small P+L loss.
7. In cash terms, the first half is always less good than the second half due to the imbalance of home fixtures, so a loss of £10m is well within the bounds of a cash-neutral full-year wet of accounts.
8. The only real item of interest on the balance sheet is a £35m worsening of the ‘short-term debtors – short-term creditors’ position: not sure of the reason, but it’s nothing radical to worry about. Most of it will be due to increased wages, a £10m+ instalment for Ozil and less transfer payment income from old sales I suspect.

So there we are. Arsenal are well run, we turn in great financials, but we’re not exactly pushing the boat out. We have an owner who is so anti risk it’s embarrassing he opts to run sports clubs, we have a manager who is so absorbed in his one man mission to win things on a budget he won’t push for trophies and we have a CEO who kind of sits on the fence in case he’s told off.

A beautiful concoction that means we suffer top four mediocrity. I was speaking to a Leeds fan yesterday and he laughed at my Premier League ‘first world’ concerns, and he’s right, we shouldn’t moan… but it could be so much better. So I will moan.

In other news, Jose Mourinho has been drawing attention to himself which is dull as dishwater, but mildly amusing because however much you hate him, he kind of has a point on Wenger…

“He’s a specialist in failure,”

“If I do that in Chelsea, eight years, I leave and don’t come back.”

When you’re kicking on for ten years without a trophy, it’s difficult to really carve yourself out as being successful. There are, of course, many metrics of success, but let’s not make excuses here. If you’re paid £7.5m a year, your main metric for success is a trophy. You need to deliver something. You need to push the boat out to win things. You need to deserve that next deal.

I like the stability Arsene brings to the club, especially when you consider the mess that’s occurring over at United. However, we’re hardly capitalising on 6 clubs around us changing up there manager over the last year. Wenger has geared himself up for another failure this year… yet he has £120m in the bank. What would be the excuse this year?

‘Money isn’t the answer, even thought it’s the reason Chelsea or City have won something…’

What would be the justification for another deal if we’re being honest… we’re building something? Wenger has been building something for a decade. When do Arsenal put a stake down in the ground and say… Arsene, you need to win something now.

Who bloody knows. But take all emotion out of what Jose is saying, take away the fact it’s a classless comment… he’s right, and that’s why it hurts.

… it also takes the focus off Chelsea being the clear favourites for the league now.

Have a great day… I’m off to nurse a hangover and build some phone book bridges after sending message to all the single ladies.


644 Responses to “Unambitious Arsenal continue to hoard mountains of cash…”

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  1. hackneylad

    I have to say really enjoying Barcelona’s football, its changed a fuck lot from the tippy tappy style it’s allot more pace enthused and just seems more flair based and entertaining.

    They have more risk in their passes and don’t just pass in triangles, it’s more direct and more counter attacking based.

  2. hackneylad

    Wenger Eagle

    Put Ozil in barca with the likes of Messi Inesta and Sanchez around he looks WC again lol.

    Have him next to Giroud he looks not so WC.

    Cesc is a great great player no doubt but his also got a great great team around him

  3. hackneylad


    Spot on! That’s part of the reason why I despise Barca and Real Madrid and never got in on the La Liga love in a few years back.

    Barca and Real know they are handycapping the other teams but they don’t care about the fairness of the sport.

  4. karim


    Yeah, I know, that’s why I mentionned Arsenal instead : )
    Actually, we’ve done very well against smaller teams unlike the previous years
    Shame we still cannot beat the top guns bar Liverpool 2/0

  5. Uchmangunnernaija

    The problem about the way we play is that we just focus on playing tippy tappy which is as a result of our stagnant/immobile striker and a bunch of midfielders with the same skill set. Nobody wants to run in behind, everybody wants to create/want the ball to feet. Ozil cannot take risks in his oases because of these issues hereby making us so predictable.

  6. Arsenal 1886-2006

    Wenger Eagle

    I cry when I think of what could have been if wenger had backed Cesc with quality signings, we could have silverware.

  7. WengerEagle

    Fuck, why is it always the high scoring/eventful matches that I elect for Sky Sports commentary rather than Ray Hudson?

    He was probably suffering from heart palpitations after that Neymar goal

  8. Arsenal 1886-2006

    Watching these goals tonight and the general play and you realise how far off we are from being a truly big club, we seriously need a new man at the helm to take us onto the level of the top teams.
    We have one player who could possibly play for the big boys and we only bought him this year, the rest would struggle to get in the squads of the top teams let alone the first team.

  9. MidwestGun

    The man from Brazil comes up with his own brand of coffee and it is packed with caffeine.

    Magnificent strike that would make an onion cry!

    Lol. Ray Hudson was losing it.

  10. WengerEagle

    ‘We have one player who could possibly play for the big boys and we only bought him this year’

    This is a stupid statement, Mertesacker and Koscielny have been as good as any other CB’s in Europe this season barring the two horror shows against City and Liverpool in which the whole team were shocking.

    Szeszny has also been immense and is one of the best young keepers in world football, he’s been the best GK in the league this season.

    Ramsey has been one of the top 5 CM’s in all of Europe this season, on par with the likes of Yaya, Vidal, Strootman and Schweinsteiger.

    How would they not get into any other top teams?

  11. WengerEagle


    Are our best players IMO and could get into most top sides in Europe barring Bayern and even for Bayern I’d rate Koscielny as better than Dante

  12. hackneylad

    Midwest/Wenger Eagle

    What I found interesting about the Barca game was their range of passing it was allot more long ranged (long passes along the ground) then in previous years, they would do a long ball up the wing to stretch play do a few quick give and go short passes then thread a through ball in often from a fair distance.

    Fucking rampage style

  13. Cesc Appeal


    If we had a club interested in football and winning then I’d be targeting real quality in a wide position, up front and holding middle in the summer.

    Then maybe a young RB and CB…

    As you say we have a core of great players…but we also all know that we’ll do diddly in the summer

  14. hackneylad

    I would cry my muscular heart out if Ramsey comes back and his not the same player and it was just good form.

    IF he is the same player he was at the start of season then his one of the best cm’s in the world

  15. WengerEagle

    ‘Put Ozil in barca with the likes of Messi Inesta and Sanchez around he looks WC again lol.
    Have him next to Giroud he looks not so WC.’

    Mate you misunderstood me, I wasn’t having a pop at Ozil I just really miss Cesc! Imagine having those 2 beasts in a midfield together.

    Cesc was one of our best players of all time and as passionate as they come, the way he was sold at a cut-price deal still leaves a very bitter taste

  16. MidwestGun


    ya, that was Barca at their best. All manner of passes and destruction. But ive seen a few games where teams have parked the bus and then they still go tippy tappy around the box. They struggled a bit earlier in the season. But they are hitting stride now. They still prefer to slice and dice, not much crossing.

  17. Cesc Appeal


    I don’t hope, as I say if we had a club interested in football and not profit/milking the fans.

    I doubt we’ll even see that to be honest (one quality player). Wenger is off taking care of himself earning extra money on top of his £8.5 Million salary as a commentator on the WC for Canal+. Gazidis buggers off on holiday and Kroenke Jr and Sr will be off in the US of A.

    So once again, it’s just the fans who’ll suffer.

    Then come Deadline day they’ll be some half baked attempt at getting business done and the usual suspects will lap it up as ‘well Wenger tried’ ‘the player’s weren’t there’ ‘it’s all City’s fault’ ‘I’ll give Wenger until next summer because the World Cup stopped us and the floods in Somerset.’

  18. Cesc Appeal

    I hope no one does come in for Koscieny or Ramsey. Because you know how the discussion will go:

    football or profit, football or profit, football or profit, football or profit??

    Sky Sports Breaking News: Arsenal: ‘For footballing reasons Aaron Ramsey has been sold to Manchester City, manager will have significant funds to strengthen squad.’

    Breaking News: Arsenal approach Stoke over possibility of loan signing of Charlie Adam.

  19. Arsenal 1886-2006

    Wenger eagle

    So which players would you replace from the Barca, City, chelsea, Bayern or Real first teams with any of our players bar Ozil.

  20. WengerEagle

    ‘I cry when I think of what could have been if wenger had backed Cesc with quality signings, we could have silverware.’

    I hear you mate, is Wenger’s biggest regret I’m sure as it was his team as opposed to inheriting half a team off the previous manager. The football we played in that era was phenomenal too, deserved a trophy.

    The 2007-08 season was one of the most painful seasons in memory as we crashed and burned out of every competition in the space of a month. Our midfield of Hleb, Cesc, Rosicky and Flamini was our best midfield since the Invincibles

  21. WengerEagle

    ‘Sky Sports Breaking News: Arsenal: ‘For footballing reasons Aaron Ramsey has been sold to Manchester City, manager will have significant funds to strengthen squad.

    ’Breaking News: Arsenal approach Stoke over possibility of loan signing of Charlie Adam.’

    Hahahahahaha so true Cesc, you just know something like this would happen!

  22. WengerEagle

    ‘So which players would you replace from the Barca, City, chelsea, Bayern or Real first teams with any of our players bar Ozil.’

    Koscielny would walk into the Barca and City defences. He would also start for Chelsea as he’s better than Cahill. IMO he’d also start for Bayern as he’s a better player than Dante but I’m sure people would disagree. Real Madrid are the only side there he probably wouldn’t start for as Ramos and Varane are a great CB pairing

    Szeszny would start for Barca and City. He probably wouldn’t start for Real/Chelsea and definitely wouldn’t start for Bayern.

    Ramsey on the back of his performances this season would start for Chelsea ahead of Ramires and he could start for Real depending on what formation they play (He could play in Khedira’s position if Di Maria played LW and Modric played CAM). He wouldn’t start for Bayern, City or Barca (They are a passing team who don’t really use a B2B CM).

  23. MidwestGun

    Arsenal 1886-
    I know the question wasnt directed at me but,

    In my opinion, I would take Kos and Mert over every other cb pairing except Bayern and Real on your list.

  24. Arsenal 1886-2006


    City look a bit vulnerable sometimes in defence as do Barca, should be a good match, can just see Barca edging it over two legs by the odd goal.

  25. CD

    Everything concerning Arsenal is about socialism, prudence and solidarity, except Ivan’s and Arsene’s own salaries and the ticket prices which are on par with the highest in the world. The brainwashed and sheepish fans are basically paying for this fourth place charade to continue year after year.

  26. Norfolk

    Some Red Cards under Wenger
    Nov 26: Steve Bould v Liverpool
    Nov 30: Tony Adams v Newcastle
    Dec 21: Ian Wright v Nottm Forest
    Jan 11: Dennis Bergkamp v Sunderland
    May 11: Tony Adams v Derby
    Oct 26: Emmanuel Petit v Aston Villa
    Jan 17: Patrick Vieira v Coventry
    Feb 18: Patrick Vieira v Chelsea
    Mar 17: Dennis Bergkamp v West Ham
    Mar 31: Martin Keown v Bolton
    Aug 29: Emmanuel Petit v Charlton
    Sep 26: Martin Keown v Sheff Wed
    Dec 28: Patrick Vieira v Charlton
    Jan 24: Emmanuel Petit v Wolves
    Mar 13: Emmanuel Petit v Everton
    Apr 6: Martin Keown v Blackburn
    Oct 2: Patrick Vieira v West Ham
    Nov 7: Martin Keown v Tottenham
    Mar 23: Thierry Henry v Werder Bremen
    Aug 19: Patrick Vieira v Sunderland
    Aug 21: Patrick Vieira v Liverpool
    Aug 25: Patrick Vieira v Leicester
    Sep 29: Martin Keown v Derby
    Jan 27: Dennis Bergkamp and Martin Keown v Liverpool
    Sep 1: Patrick Vieira v Chelsea
    Sept 21: Patrick Vieira v Man Utd
    Feb 4: Martin Keown v Middlesbrough
    Nov 24: Patrick Vieira v PSV Eindhoven
    Feb 19: Dennis Bergkamp v Sheff Utd
    Feb 26: Robin van Persie v Southampton
    Sep 14: Robin van Persie v FC Thun
    Jan 21: Cesc Fabregas v Everton
    May 18: Jens Lehmann v Barcelona

    TOTAL: 72 under Wenger
    I have only left the class players in.

  27. Arsenal 1886-2006

    Eagle and Gun

    Koscielny I will give you, personally I rate him about the same as cahill, I think cahill is underrated and has dug the chavs out of a few holes this season. He would be

    I love BFG with a passion, I like his fight and desire, but he would not get into the top teams defences due to his lack of pace.

    Chezzer about the same as Hart on shot stopping and strength but his distribution is poor sometimes and put’s pressure on the mid and defence.

    Ramsey has had a good season up until his injury, and that I fear will be a problem for him in the future. Young players who suffer with regular injuries very rarely maintain the level required at the top.
    Granted he has been good this year but a couple of months playing well does not make a player, there were a lot of fans calling for him to be sold in the summer. I have almost always backed him and thought he could be our Gerrard but the injuries are worrying.

  28. Tipster

    The list of class palyer sent off is interesting, , shows passion, just what we need, like at Liverpool last week, not, Vivas would have kicked someone, shit palyer but yep kick Suarez of fu#cking Stevie G..

  29. WengerEagle

    ‘Granted he has been good this year but a couple of months playing well does not make a player,’

    Good? He was super-human from September to December. He scored a goal every other game, racked up multiple assists, covered the most ground in the team, made the most tackles and was by a mile our best player.

    Also from January to May last season he was arguably our best player along with Santi and Koscielny and absolutely instrumental in us getting 4th place.

  30. MidwestGun

    Arsenal 1886 –

    Fair enough I was rating them as a pair. Its difficult to break them up and compare individually. I guess my point was, we are among the top and not lacking that much in the middle of our line, compared to other world class clubs.

  31. Norfolk

    Marble had said “Koscielny has been sent off 3 times this season and has given away penalties his form is nothing to crow about.”
    I was trying to demonstrate that being sent off is normal for a Centerback .
    Very frustrating but doesn’t exclude you from achieving greatness.

  32. Arsenal 1886-2006

    Wenger eagle

    I agree he has been good for us for a year, but that does not take away the fact that he has been injured for a while again. I would love to see him become a great for the club but the injuries have got me worried, they almost always seem to last longer than anticipated, whether that is our medical team or his own body is up for debate.


    I think Mert has had a good effect on Kozzer, Wednesday will be a good game to judge him.

  33. Norfolk

    UchmangunnernaijaFebruary 15, 2014 20:41:49
    The problem about the way we play is that we just focus on playing tippy tappy which is as a result of our stagnant/immobile striker and a bunch of midfielders with the same skill set. Nobody wants to run in behind, everybody wants to create/want the ball to feet. Ozil cannot take risks in his oases because of these issues hereby making us so predictable.”

    That’s how I read things too.
    I remember when the game stagnated in that way, my beloved Tony Adams dribbling through the midfield and taking an often crazy shot at goal . He then followed it up with a big roar thing shaking fists or clapping hands and fired everybody up.
    Our last great Captain in my humble opinion.

  34. Norfolk

    Just to expand on that a bit, one of the most frightening things at Highbury was an attack on goal from the young ManUre team. When one came, they all came, I recon our defence needed to be like Nigel Farage to hold them off.
    We could do with a bit of that and not this constant side passing until the defence is set against us. Speed and drive are missing, lack of confidence maybe ?

  35. MidwestGun

    I got a question for you because I had this discussion with someone else.
    Is it the players we have that causes us to play this way or is it the preparation and instructions they have been given in match prep?

    In otherwords, if we upgrade at some of the positions talent wise, would we play the same way?

    Its my contention,they have been instructed to keep it tight especially the first half so we dont concede early goals. So no runs in behind, no secondary runs from the midfield, dont stretch the formation.

    I personally, would like to see us cut it loose. Take a chance on the back shoulder of the defense, make weak side runs from deep midfield like Oxs first goal vs CP., chip some balls over the top, something..

    Just think we are valueing possession foresaking all else.


  36. Dissenter

    What riles me up the most is how we give average players extraordinary contacts.
    There’s talk that the contract offer on the table for Flappianski is well over 60k weekly.
    Who gives an average squad keeper that fantastic a salary. Flappy walked away, I think because he convinced in his head that he’s better than Schezny.

    gambon has been banging on about our wage bill.,it’s high because we pay too much for average. Wenger’s theory is that “egalitarian for harmony”

  37. Norfolk


    I agree with you.
    I think they are following instructions, why else would it be the same over and over. From what we know/guess AW sticks by his theories, come what may.
    Perhaps it would explain why certain players can’t get picked (Ashavin/Podolski), maybe they “express themselves” too much.
    Ramsey seemed to be the only one having a go, other than Santi who is like a wild man 🙂

  38. MidwestGun

    See thats why im so depressed. I think talent is not nearly as much of a problem as tactics. And a whole pile of cash isn’t gonna change that. Need some fresh tactical approaches as well as top players.

  39. Arsenal 1886-2006

    Be easier to get voluntary information from the Scientologists, pretty much similar to a cult with the wenger worship 🙂

  40. Arsenal 1886-2006

    Off to bed ready for tomorrow, the meds are starting to kick in and I am getting cranky tonight.
    Got bad vibes about tomorrow, Rodgers senses blood and will go all out attack, we need pace in the team even if it is some of the kids.

  41. Ilerioluwa

    I so agree with you. I had this debate with samsensible and he said the high wages were a gamble in case they come good. He didn’t seem to see that they were an unnecesary gamble beacuse they neither increase their chances of coming good or make them stay if they do.
    What reason is there to give an average player a high wage that cannot be accomplished by giving him the moderate wage his moderate talent deserves

  42. Malayan Gooner


    “Would comparing Emirates to the Death Star be taking this too far? I do see some resemblance here anyway…”

    lol. In fact they already offering him contract to be the ’emperor’ in the new Star Wars VII” Return to the Dark Side

  43. Jeff


    You’re absolutely right. In almost all normal employer/employee contracts, the reward is based on actual rather than potential achievement. If you pay someone over the odds on the off chance that they might “come good” there are two very fundamental issues with that.

    1. The person may not have the talent to “come good” so it’s money wasted.
    2. The person now has little or no incentive to try harder or work harder to get the reward.

    For what it’s worth, I don’t believe for a moment that Wenger’s flat wage policy had anything to do with paying for latent talent. It’s because he just hates the idea of one player getting much more than another – remember the “social wage policy” interview?

  44. andy1886

    Jeff, I think Wenger’s ideology is based on the French Republic’s motto:

    Liberte:- Wenger let’s them ‘express themselves on the pitch, no tactics, little structure, no attention to the SWOT of the opposition (as confirmed in biographies of several ex-players).

    Egalite:- There you have the ‘socialist wage structure’ that you mentioned, Wenger hates paying for quality or making ‘potential’ earn it’s money, we’re all equal (except for him of course).

    Fraternite:- This is the ‘band of brothers’ approach where Wenger tries to build either through project youth or a ‘core’ of French/English/German players a group who will stick together and fight for the cause. Of course it never works with egotistical greedy young men with snakes for agents, they pocket the cash and sod off when something better comes along.

    Well, it didn’t work for Napoleon, and it’ll all end in tears for Wenger too. Think Le Miserables with a football.

  45. samsensible

    Hi Ilerio and Jeff. I had to duck out of the project youth discussion the other day but it is certainly one worth continuing.

    Firstly,Le Grove discussions tend to fall apart because people think purely in terms of WOB or AKB. If you recall I included the high wage situation and general faith in these players as a negative on my list. What I did say was that I sort of understood what the club were trying to do. That’s all.

    The Emirates move decimated our chances of buying stars in the early years. That is a fact that I don’t think is up for debate. We all know that the bullish talk at the time was bullshit. As Wenger had repeatedly demonstrated, he was exceptional at getting young relatively unknowns in and turning them into great players and hugely profitable investments. Arsenals only chance of winning big trophies was to develop top talent and either sell it for large profits or benefit from it on the pitch.

    In fact I would suggest that the businessmen would have been thinking exclusively about the profit of buying a young Danish talent and selling him for 40 times what we paid for him. Wenger would have known he wasn’t going to be allowed to spend all that profit so work have wanted to keep them.

    But either way how do you control when your player leaves? How do you ensure that when you do finally sell its at the most profitable Time for Arsenal? That is generally when a player is in their mid twenties…after they have been playing superbly for number of years of course. Selling the extraordinary talents of Diaby, Denilson, Bendtner, Djourou etc to Chelsea or Madrid when they are 19 will mean less money for Arsenal as they hadn’t won anything yet and hadn’t shown what Arsenal was their true abilities. Arsenal had to get these valuable commodities (I stress that word commodities) from 19 year old prospects who could improve Aston Villa to 25 year old Stars who were going to grace Real Madrid (or not quite make it that high but still leave for maximum value to a smaller club). So they whacked them on huge wages for their age so rivals would find it much harder to tempt them over to the dark side. By doing so we also priced out smaller clubs, should any of our commodities want to leave for guaranteed first team football at Aston Villa. We needed a couple of these guys to explode and become must-haves for the richer clubs.

    Project Youth was a business and supporting decision taken because we struggled for cash. It failed to produce big stars and therefore failed to make us the massive profits that may have funded the signing of better, experienced players. It turned out that these kids were not good enough and we have been stuck with them. This phase is over and the faith in them had gone. Clearly. We stuck with them for too long. All I was saying the other day was I could see what the club were trying to do: make profit.

  46. samsensible

    I think the socialist wage thing was a lie to excuse the past mistakes of having faith in the younger players and to make it look like we were in control of events. We had previously had Fabregas, Henry, Sol Campbell and Viera on massive wages compared to their team mates in the past. We also offered Van Persie a big increase too. The socialist wage thing makes it all look honourable but it was just a soundbite because we had so few stars.

  47. Ilerioluwa

    Sam sensible
    Will madrid ever have gone for the 19 year old bendtner or denilson. What are u talking about.
    How then did. Dortmund manage to build stars at low wages

  48. andy1886

    SamS, shame that AW was so blind as to let Cole (a proven top performer, an England regular) go over a pathetic £5k to Chelsea then. When you consider what some of the unproven youngsters were on that smacks of rang bad decision making. I would take umbrage with your description of the above as “extraordinary talents”, but I suspect that that was said tongue in cheek.

    Whatever the rationalle for the wage structure I still think even for a business that decision was deeply deeply flawed and that isn’t just with hindsight. I remember and I’m sure that you do some of the incredulity that greeted many an unmerited pay rise in years gone by. Sure we can pick out the odd success story, but for each of these there were at least a dozen failures that were leaching money fom the club on fat contracts.

  49. Keyser

    We paid Campbell 100k a week back in 2002, we paid Henry 200k a week in his last season, Fabregas had million pound loyalty bonuses worked into his contract.

    3 years ago, Van Persie, Fabregas and Nasri would all have got big money contracts, they all moved on, Nasri was on something like 50k a week, we offered him 80-90k a week, maybe more, we offered Van Persie upwards of 150k a week, and Fabregas forewent a 3 million pound loyalty bonus.

    The difference is Citeh offered to double both the formers offers, not what they were on, but what we were offering.

    Not many if any people thought Nasri, after suppoedly half a season of decent form, was worth such sums, but that what was being discussed and 6 months before it should have been done, people said his head had been turned.

    You can’t just re-write history because you feel it’s been long enough for people to have forgotten.

  50. Ilerioluwa

    A 19 year old in aston villa would still have earned less than at arsenal even if we just paid average Wages instead of very high ones. How does barcelona psv and ajax manage to build stars without high wages. That’s what we should have done.
    That’s why high wages to 19year old are an unneccesary gamble- they don’t achieve anything low wages won’t. It didn’t stop our. Good players from leaving, usually at prices less than their Value, did it.
    Once a player signs a contract at whatever wage, the club gets a good fee for him even if he wants to force a move.
    So are u saying the likes of denilson won’t have signed with arsenal if we had only paid the going rate. He wasn’t that much in demand, was he?

  51. Keyser

    “shame that AW was so blind as to let Cole (a proven top performer, an England regular) go over a pathetic £5k to Chelsea then”

    He didn’t deal with it, Dein did, Cole said he didn’t blame Wenger at all, the board and Dein said they weren’t prepared to pay agent’s fees on top of Coles supposed salary.

    Fuck him, during the season he was having meetings in hotels with Chelsea.

    There wasn’t much wrong with project youth or the wages really.

    In 2010-11, we had a 124million pound wagebill, but we had an absolutely top quality team full of potential.

  52. andy1886

    SamS “The socialist wage thing makes it all look honourable but it was just a soundbite because we had so few stars.”

    Sam, I don’t believe that is true, I actually believe that this is what Wenger really believes in.

    Think about it, it wouldn’t look honourable, just very, very stupid and contrary to wage structures to every other club and just about any other business in the country and beyond.

    When you have a restricted budget the last thing you do is over pay anyone, that’s madness!

  53. Jeff


    I have to disagree with two of your suppositions.

    1. “Le Grove discussions tend to fall apart because people think purely in terms of WOB or AKB.”

    That is simply not true because it clumps together all of the debates and discussions backed up by facts and statistics into the category as those who just want to express their desire to see Wenger replaced without always bothering to explain why. But then of course we already know why and it isn’t as you imaging because they simply “hate” Wenger rather than his policies. If anyone hates a person for irrational reasons, he won’t get any of my time on here or anywhere else.

    2. “The Emirates move decimated our chances of buying stars in the early years.”

    This is a dishonest statement. Wenger never bought “stars” before the stadium and he continued with not buying them after. So you can’t say the stadium “decimated” our chances of buying stars if we didn’t buy them beforehand anyway.

    As it happens the Midas touch with which Wenger will indelibly be adorned for finding gems left him sometime ago. Nothing he’s bought since Fabregas (2003) and Van Persie (2004) has turned out to be anything like a star. In fact most of them have been absolute flops. And that is why the other day I was debating with you the idea that Wenger has regressed.

    Before Ozil, the most expensive player we bought was Arshavin (I believe) for £15m.

    Whilst it’s true the Emirates stadium expenditure would have curtailed and limited our resources for new acquisitions, it wasn’t by any stretch of the imagination the only reason.

    I would suggest and strongly believe we would still have won nothing under Wenger with or without the stadium.

  54. samsensible

    Ileri your tone betrays your WOB sentiments and the inevitable search for an enemy.

    I am talking about a high-level strategy the club developed. It’s not about individuals but about the basic principle. If Arsenal believe they have superb young talent that will become valuable, some VERY valuable and that their maximum return would be to sell them in their mid twenties then the strategy of trying to ward off interest before that peak point does make sense. At a high level. Clearly the club believed in these guys as they stick around while all the other kids were discarded. Loads of them sold off or released.

    This isn’t just about Real Madrid but Chelsea and United. Remember Ashley Cole left. That was a massive slap in the face. Losing our best and brightest before they peak was unacceptable both in footballing and financial terms.

    Dortmund? You mean that club in another country playing in a different league with a different average wage across that league? What about them?

  55. Keyser

    Ilerioluwa – Dortmund play in a completely different league, literally and figuritively, and Bayern have still absolutely crushed the life out of the league.

    We have the 4th highest wagebill in this country, the wage inflation over here compared ot Germany is ridiculous.

    Ashley Young was earning 90k a week at Villa, when O’neill had the second highest net spend of any team in Europe to get Villa as close as he did to us and 4th. He didn’t manage it and Villa have had to cut back on spending and wages ever since.

    Also I’d look into how much the German FA put into re-establishing their youth system’s, they’ve spent hundreds of millions on it, it’s no co-incidence the German National team is soo strong, and they actively make clubs in Germany invest in their youth sides.

    Aswell as their own version of FFP having been in place for yonks.

  56. Ilerioluwa

    Jeff, I am not labelling u as an akb or doomer. And sorry if I did sound harsh.

    Let me continue my Argument. When we signed those players at high wages, they Typically had at least a year to go on their contracts, didn’t they. If they then refused a new contract at the going rate, they should have been sold and similarly talented people brought in who would have accepted those wages. I am sure there were lots of people as talented or more than our players. That’s how the likes of ajax did it. Except wenger believed that those players were EXTRA SPECIAL talents who must be kept at all costs and who would blow up to be very big, not just big. If so, that sounds like he was a bit arrogant in estimating his ability to spot talent.
    The truth is that many of the players we signed were talented but few were anything particularly special. We didn’t sign the likes of hazard or mata that wowed at a young age, so why would you believe that they would turn out so good that you would be willing to stake a lot on them

  57. samsensible

    Jeff, so….the whole post about Project Youth…You are just going to ignore it and touch on those 2 points? If you recall I was directly dealing with the high wage thing in project youth. That’s all.

    Emirates move massively ham strung us in the transfer market. That’s my point. You suggest it’s irrelevant. I disagree because prior to the commitment to build Emirates we only had one major rival so our money and Wenger’s eye were enough to challenge. Suddenly we have the bottomless wallet of Chelsea AND other clubs caught us up in terms of scouting and ability to pay transfer fees.

  58. Ilerioluwa

    “The strategy does make sense”
    So did that strategy prevent us from having to sell our best players.

    Maybe u are not getting me. So we couldn’t have held on to denilson or bendtner if we didn’t give them crazy wages. And we couldn’t have gotten similarly talented youngsters on lesser wages.

  59. Keyser

    “This is a dishonest statement. Wenger never bought “stars” before the stadium and he continued with not buying them after. So you can’t say the stadium “decimated” our chances of buying stars if we didn’t buy them beforehand anyway.”

    You mean like World Cup winners or..

    Lol how can you call someone’s statement dishonest based on that, meet him half-way Jeff, half-way.

    How do you not consider the massive change in football since then, we bought Pires for 6 million, he’d just won the European Championship with France, or Gilberto for similar after winning the World Cup with Brazil, oh soo many years later we bought Nasri for 13-15 million, he’d spent most of the year injured. We’ve bought Oxlade for 12 million from a second division side.

    “Nothing he’s bought since Fabregas (2003) and Van Persie (2004) has turned out to be anything like a star. ”

    You mean like Adebayor or Nasri ? Or do they have to end up as the club’s record goalscorer to count ? Wilshere or Ramsey ? not to mention Fabregas was 15-16 in 2003, he left in 2011 as one of the World’s best midfielders, or Van Persie in 2012 after having scored 37 goals.

    Meet people half-way Jeff.

  60. samsensible

    Ilerio, Wenger got these players all wrong. No doubt. They were either shit or arrogant…and therefore shit. On an individual basis these cases were a mistake but I am trying to explain the overall strategy….which as I said basically didn’t deliver what it was supposed to anyway. But there was a logic to it.

  61. Ilerioluwa

    Its a fact that several of those players were not especially talented. Manyof them were not world class at their level, but just averagely good. and there were several other players across europe were far better prospects than them. I think wengers ability to groom stars is overrated. If not for arrogance, What did he see in bendtner or denilson that made him so sure they would become 25m players. Was he not aware that there were several others even more talented than them that didn’t make it and that not many young ones go on to make It.

  62. Keyser

    Ilerioluwa – Also go back and look at what we signed those players on, they weren’t signed on 52k a week, they got half decent contracts for youth players, Bendtner was scoring goals for Birmingham, and he started scoring for us.

    He was the 3rd-4th striker at a Champions League club, people said Fergie wouldn’t ever give Hernandez or Wellbeck such contracts, what happened, he did. probably better ones.

  63. Jeff


    Every club has some sort of a project youth. We are not the only ones. On paper it is a powerful idea. You nurture the select young, bring them to the boil, release them into your first team and let them shine. But in our case, whatever the reason, it hasn’t worked to the extent expected and lately there’s been absolutely nothing coming from that direction at all.

    So what do you do? Well in our case, we’ve decided to go out and buy a load of cheap, medium range players, put them into the first team and “hope” they can do the job. Well that hasn’t worked out either. So the bottom line is that there is failure going on (perhaps at many levels and not just because of Wenger) but it doesn’t look like it is being addressed.

    We limp on from one season to the next with smiles and excuses but the bottom line is that we are not winning anything and don’t look like we ever will.

  64. Ilerioluwa

    That strategy makes sense if the players have already begun to show a bit of their potential. Not if they were just green young ones with only potential. That’s where u are mixing it up. Can you tell me any club in the world that pays young players high wages IF THEY HAVNT AT LEAST ACHIEVED A FEW THINGS ALREADy and you want to improve their contracts. Are we the only club to develop stars or even the leading lights in developing stars

  65. Keyser

    “The squillacis and silvestres of this world.”

    You mean experienced internationals as back-up defenders ?

    “What did he see in bendtner or denilson that made him so sure they would become 25m players.”

    Lol they weren’t on 25 million pound salaries.

    This is it really, this whole years been a grind, we’ve bought Ozil, we didn’t sell anyone, we’ve looked promising, we’re nowhere near Chelsea or Citeh, but we’ve shown resilience at times, in the end with such a heavy schedule our squad will be ground down, and no after 8 years without a trophy, selling stars to turn a profit, we’re not going to find all the players we need in one window or even a season.

    In the end people don’t care, they don’t want to discuss anything rationally, or meet people half-way, until we win something, frustration will be ever present and they won’t come up with coherent arguments as has been shown.

  66. Jeff


    Yes, you’re right. Wenger is a wonderful guy and deserves another 3 years or heck why not just give him an open ended contract and a blank cheque book for his salary. Would that make you happy? Good. Then we agree. Happy?

  67. Keyser

    Lately we’ve promoted Gibbs, Sczcesny, Wilshere, Ramsey, Theo was already there and we’ve bought Ox, we’ve added Koscielny.

  68. Ilerioluwa

    ” Well in our case, we’ve decided
    to go out and buy a load of cheap, medium range
    players, put them into the first team and “hope”
    they can do the job.”
    Exactly. Several of those players were not even the most talented available. Far from it.

    I agree with your point about german league. There is no direct comparism I can make. But there are still lessons to be learnt from all those clubs. For example, we could have bid for the kind of players dortmund bid for at low wages. What stopped us from getting players from the german league or dutch league too instead of french speaking ones

  69. Keyser

    Jeff – Half-way mate, don’t throw your toys out of the pram, half-way like you said.

    Can you do it though, now’s a good a time as any to start. I don’t think you want to, or have ever wanted to.

  70. samsensible

    Jeff and Ilerio, our net transfer spend since the move, compared to our title rivals and many many other clubs like Spurs, Liverpool and much smaller ones…do you seriously still think it is because Wenger refused to spend? Are you still.pedalling the line that all along there was tons of money being shoved under the managers nose? That he was on a moral crusade?

    Good Lord.

    Unlike Barcelona, Real Madrid, United, Bayern, Arsenal didn’t have the luxury of a cute little project youth thing going on in the corner whilst having huge financial power to buy the world’s best players. We were reliant on project youth feeding our ability to compete and buy better. So our young players were either going to come in and save the day or not. There was no alternative.

    So that’s why we bought journey men in like Silvestre and Squilacci. The money to go and buy a world class defender because Koscielny wasn’t quite ready or Djourou might not be good enough wasn’t really there. We chose to cross our fingers and hope our players came good.

    The richer clubs didn’t have to worry about that kind of thing.

  71. samsensible

    Ilerio at the end of the day it was Wenger working with these players everyday not you or I. He saw something…or he thought “well I’m fucked, this is the best of an average bunch but I have little money to compete and have to stick with them and hope.”

  72. Gelbs

    Is that why Wenger has spent around 200 odd million since 2005, and why Edelman said this, way back in 2007, you ignorant prick!!

    In the money: Arsene Wenger
    Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has been promised a mammoth £70million transfer kitty after the Gunners revealed they are now one of Europe’s richest clubs.
    Financial results unveiled on Monday show the Gunners’ move to the Emirates Stadium has created a near 50 per cent increase in turnover to more than £200m for the year ending May 31, 2007.
    That sum means they are only edged into second place in the continent’s money league by Real Madrid.
    But with operating profit of £51.2m, up an amazing 274%, the Premier League club now have a level of profitability far in excess of Real.
    Match-day revenues of £3.1million per game at their new 60,000 home are double those generated at Highbury, and have seen the Gunners leapfrog domestic rivals Manchester United and Chelsea – whose respective turnover for the same period was £167.8m and £152.8m.
    And delighted managing director Keith Edelman admits boss Arsene Wenger now has previously unheard of sums available to reinforce his squad.
    ‘We have got plenty of financial firepower to makes the transfers Arsene wants to make,’ he said.
    ‘We had over £70m of cash at the end of the year and if Arsene wants to spend that money we will make it available. I think we are in a very good position.
    ‘Clearly Arsene’s performance and the team’s performance on the pitch has been outstanding, obviously backed up by our very strong financial position.
    ‘We gave Arsene a budget in the summer and he didn’t even spend all of it on transfers and hopefully we’ll be able to carry that forward into future years.’

  73. samsensible

    Hi Gelbs, you angry little child. I said net spend. Do you realise how much money we have made selling players since 2005? Oh dear.

  74. Ilerioluwa

    “He had to stick with them and hope”
    Even if so, he should have stuck with them on lower salaries not high ones. Then we may have had a bit more money saved to use elsewhere.
    Its the way we put dross on high wages that convinced me that serious mismanagement was almost certainly going on at arsenal. Not just because we didn’t sign players.
    Although I find it hard to believe that we could only afford to spend more than just two clubs. Surely champions league money far outwieghs whatever debt we were paying from emirates.

  75. samsensible

    Ilerio yeah but he’s saying that had they gone in to be that kind of player then we weren’t paying them that level of wage so it still would have been a profitable wage to pay..it was speculating to accumulate.

  76. Gelbs

    Didn’t bother reading. Can’t be arsed. Said the same shit since 2006/2007. AKBs arguments are flawed and pointless. Morons think think Wenger’s hands have been tied (even if they were, Wenger is guilty by association and happy to sacrifice the team for 7-8 million a year in wages). Well ask yourself this. If Wenger is such a great and fantastic manager, why would he need money to win a trophy in 8 years, eh? Portsmouth, Liverpool, Spurs, Swansea, WIGAN, Birmingham (against Arsenal) have all won trophies inside 8 years. Why hasn’t Wenger, eh? No further questions, your honour. I rest my case.

  77. samsensible

    Ilerio you haven’t digested my point. The high wages for the youngsters was a calculated risk to reduce the chance of them leaving before they were worth their maximum value.

  78. samsensible

    Gelbs, the fact that you say “his hands weren’t tied….but even if they were…” like that difference isn’t absolutely crucial to understanding the recent history of Arsenal Football Club suggests that your case would be thrown out of court.

  79. Ilerioluwa

    Don’t u get that they didn’t need to speculate at all. That’s my point.
    Why speculate at all.

    Gamble when neccesary not when uncalled for. Which other club runs a project youth by giving high wages to young talent when you should simply give low wages with the same result.
    Besides, like I keep saying, many of those players were not overly talented, so it must have been sheer confidence to be sure that they would come good.

  80. samsensible

    Ilerio I disagree and so did the decision makers at Arsenal. And so would the history of the world transfer market that sees young talents snapped away by richer clubs thousands of times a year with the promise of higher wages.

  81. Keyser

    Ilerioluwa – That’s exactly the point, what was he paying them ? In 2007-08 I remember Bendtner coming on and scoring the winner against Tottenham after about a minute.

    07/08 – Started 13 games (23 sub) scored 9 goals, 4 assists.

    08/09- Started 26 games (16 sub) scored 14 goals, 4 assists.

    09/10- Started 19 games (10 sub) scored 12 goals, 6 assists.

    He signed the contract at the start of that last season, he was a regular 3rd/4th choice striker at a Champions League club, what should he have been on ?

    It’s only really Bendtner’s stupidity that’s stopped him fulfilling his potential.

  82. Ilerioluwa

    There was no chance of them leaving before they were ready. if they signed the contracts at low wages, its the same amount of money we would get for them when they want to leave that we would get for them with high wages.
    Except maybe we were naïve enough to believe that relative high wages at arsenal would stop Them from leavving to barcelona or city who may pay even more.
    They should have been sold whenever they wanted to leave and the money spent wisely on other players. That’s how sensible clubs run a project youth.

  83. Ilerioluwa

    Do barcelona play their youth players as much as we do. Which big club was going to go for bendtner or even denilson at that stage. Why would he leave when he had a better chance at arsenal.

  84. Ilerioluwa

    For their talent we payed them really high wages. No way would they have gotten such wages anywhere else. You seem to forget that many of these players were not even extra special even at that time.
    Which big club would have been going after denilson or bendtner or song WHEN they signed those big contracts. If after signing a moderate Contract, they got good and wanted to leave as always happened, then sell and use the money wisely. Meanwhile you would have saved yourself high wages to spend on other areas since you are a supposedly frrugal club

  85. samsensible

    Ilerio please read my earliest posts again about why high wages increase the chance of us keeping our commodities until the optimum time to sell.

    There is no flaw in that principle…other than the fact that the players didn’t turn out to be what we hoped! We speculated and it didn’t work out. But had Denilson and co been sold at 19 for modest sums and gone on to star for big clubs you’d all be on Here screaming that we should have kept hold of our best young players.

    It was the strategy of a club that had chosen to not invest cash in upfront transfer fees for big players. We were a selling club trying to make as good a fist of it as we could.

  86. Ilerioluwa

    Do you know how little barcelone payed tello. Who is just as talented or even more talented than most of our players. Why has no other club executed a project youth by paying high wages to the developing youngsters. Do You think its only structural factors that made that happen instead of prudence. And if its only structural factors, why didn’t we raid those other leagues for talent we could have gotten at cheaper prices and cheaper wages

  87. Ilerioluwa

    How do higher wages increase our chances of keeping.. … …
    Break it Down point by point and I would explain why it isn’t so.
    Please. That’s how we both get what we are saying.

  88. samsensible

    Ilerio stop comparing Arsenal to Barcelona. Barcelona don’t lose their players to richer rivals and probably have the best youth set up in the world….

    It’s a pointless and unfair comparison which suggests your agenda is getting the better of you.

  89. Ilerioluwa

    He was a third choice or fourth choice at a CL club. But he was also a. Youngster, he hadn’t acheived anything much yet, wasn’t exceptionally talented and had no big suitors after him. He was also playing for a supposedly frugal club.
    For all those reasons, he shouldn’t have been on anything more than 30k a week. If he wasn’t going to accept that,(and he almost certainly would have), he should have been sold at his true market value(which wasn’t too high) and a similarly talented player brought in to replace him. One who would accept wages fitting for their talent. That’s how sensible clubs with a project youth do.

    He was only third choice for arsenal because we didn’t buy stars not because he was exceptional.

  90. samsensible

    Ilerio I did in my first post of the day. I am not going to do it again. All.I’ll say is I originally said I understood the club was TRYING to do. Not that I was pleased with the results!

    To understand the strategy stop thinking about the shitness of the individuals that we have since discovered and think of them as commodities to make profit on when they are teenagers. When is the peak time to sell a player? 25 ish. How do you keep hold of them until they fulfill their potential and realise their full monetary value when so many sharks have picked off our best players? How do you stop them leaving to a smaller club for first team football?

  91. Keyser

    Ilerioluwa – We’re not playing in Spain or Germany, this is the Premiership in England. Not to mention the restriction on youth in the country at the time.

    Why don’t you compare them to young players in our league and see how much more we are paying them. Do you even know.

  92. Norfolk

    Ilerio & Sam

    I think you are both arguing about the same thing are you not.
    It is a legit business model but one I don’t favour.
    I am not interested in the finance aspect of the club.
    I’d rather pay 10 times the price for a finished article that 10 maybes.

  93. Thank you and goodnight

    Nothing is wenger’s fault. You lot not realised it yet. Wenger’s a god, a genius, greatest manager that’s ever lived. We are so lucky to have him. If it wasn’t for Wenger some Asian would of bought us out and called us Arsenal Dragons FC.

  94. Keyser

    “For all those reasons, he shouldn’t have been on anything more than 30k a week”

    He wasn’t on more than 30k a week, until he’d played all those games. Do you get that ?

    Welbeck was on 10-12 k a week until he’d played about a season back at Manchester United, his latest contract, will be something close to 50-60k a week.

    You need to look at the situation we were in, the situation football in this countries in, and then think about how we tried to react to that.