Arsenal Financials

You could still buy world class players for 30-40m a few years before we bought Aubameyang but after the big money came in to the PL two or three seasons ago, prices for even average players almost doubled in a couple of seasons.

I’m sure the season after we sold RVP, if we had gone to Dortmund and offered 30m for Aubameyang, we could have got him.

Players like Jovetic were going for around 20m at the same time we were showing interest in Aubameyang and Reus, and strikers like Costa and Lukaku were around 30m.

It was obvious, when the new money came into the PL, that there was going to be a big increase in spending because all the clubs had more to spend so it meant that average players, were going for as much as world class players were, in the previous seasons.
Obvious to everyone except Wenger and our board.

I’m sure they’d happily have taken our money for a player they didn’t have :smile:


I thought we were interested in Aubameyang in 2014 which was the season after we sold RVP.
Even if it wasn’t, we still had the money from selling RVP, so if we had an owner that had any ambition at all, we could have bought Aubameyang and Reus, for not much more than we paid for just Aubameyang a few seasons later, when he was older with less resale value.

Anyway, enough of this splitting hairs, it’s his 30th birthday next week and I’m off to bake a cake for him.

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Ah ok. Well we sold RVP in 2012. Dortmund signed Aubameyang in 2013 for about £14m. I remember us always being linked with Lacazette, but not so much Aubameyang.

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Maybe it was just me linking him but I’m sure there were rumours linking us with several of their players.
I used to watch Dortmund in the CL and Bundesliga quite a lot and Reus would have been my first choice, and Aubameyang wasn’t far behind.
Their team was just a wish list of players I wanted us to buy.
They had Reus, Aubameyang, Subotic, Hummels, Mkhitaryan, Gundogan as well as Klopp and Tuchel managing them.

Saying that, we’ve got three of their players playing for us this season, Aubameyang, Mkhitayran and Sokratis but for what ever reason, two of them don’t seem to be as motivated as they were under Klopp or Tuchel.

Large part down to poor asset management. We lost give or take around 140m worth of players for free.

A self sustaining club like ours cannot afford that. It’s a huge blow to our finances, thanks to Gazidis, Wenger and whoever was in charge of negotiating contracts and sales.


It’s just thanks to Wenger really. He solely dictated the policy and negotiation when it came to all first team transfers and deals.

Issue was Wenger never saw players as strictly “assets”


Yeah the f*d up irony is he was an economist, or at least touted for his economics abilities, yet he completely failed to recognize and act upon the changing market.


Us making a loss on our financials was bound to happen. Mediocrity can only take you so far. With the exception of a couple of signings, over the last maybe 5 or 6 years, we have operated on and off the field like a small club. And it appears the powers that be at Arsenal still believe we can compete with our small budget. I wouldn’t be surprised if we post losses next season as well as I don’t see us competing for anything more than top 4 and probably not making it again.

Anyway, the only silver lining is that Kroenke might not hang around too long if we continue to make losses, at least I hope not.


Pretty sure he understands economics perfectly fine, it is the fans who still in 2019 don’t understand basic economics that is the issue. The economic mistake was the owners who got fooled by how well Wenger performed for the bigger part during that period anyway so they didn’t invest a penny for a fucking decade, and it eventually didn’t work out anymore and here we are. It is bonkers to be mad at the manager afterwards no matter who he is and no matter what club you are at.

We had to sell every player who wanted to leave during the stadium build because we were honest with them that we were not economically going to compete for years. That has been explained by everyone involved. And that was every player who got good. Can’t offer them money to stay, can’t hardball them or you get nothing the next year or two instead. That was the issue and this has been explained by everyone involved multiple times. That’s why we just bought 18yos for £10-15m or the odd international player we could get for the same amount.

What we should’ve done then was to drop the self-sustained shit and inject money to keep us competitive during the stadium build which would’ve made players both come and stay. That simple.

To still to this day sit and say “why didn’t Wenger get more money for our players then” is to geniuely understand nothing about how transfers work… why would any good player stay at a team that doesn’t invest year in and out when about 10 other clubs pump in cash like it’s skittles. How do you get paid buckets for players who want out and whom you’d get nothing for a year or two later.


There were a couple of seasons where if we had invested in a two or three top quality players we probably would have gone on to win the PL title, but instead chose to do nothing, when it was clear that injuries and lack of depth were going to ruin another season.

This would have obviously been good for the club because we would have won the PL title but it would also have encouraged our best players to stay and attract other good player to the club.

If there was some sort of mythical war chest, why was it never used when it was needed?
Or was in just a complete fabrication?


That’s exactly how I saw it.

The warchest is down to semantics. Did we have money? Yes as in the company was profitable, owners had money a plenty, there were no FFP to worry about the first 5 years of the Emirates era and it wouldn’t take effect for another 3 or so years anyway, we had a huge economic buffer, we were anticipating better sponsorship deals after the 10 year deal or w/e we were on with Nike (?) and we had a method for luring over young talent and offering them game time and increasing their value. We also have to signal to the world that we have money as anything else is tactical suicide.

Was that money ever alotted to transfers by the ones who actually owned the money? No it wasn’t (unless maybe Messi said he wanted to join for cheap). So yes and no - when it should’ve been a big yes lol self-sustained we are.


Because of Liverpool’s success suddenly Arsenal’s ‘assest management’ is poor and a (big?) reason in the downfall. It’s funny how such a narrative starts and grows.

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Not sure I fully agree… we managed contracts poorly, we ended up losing our most valuable assets for too little, we bought really, really poorly, and we didn’t really do any of the flipping that Spurs and Pool used to vault themselves above us - we had the advantage and resources to do so.

This “owners didn’t spend” isn’t really true any more - and hasn’t been for 7 or so years… we are 4th highest net spenders in that period and came off of seasons we were ahead of Spurs and Pool, by a decent margin and consistently. And in the last 5, we have 3rd highest net spend.

We lost Ramsey for free now b/c of previous mistakes… we have Ozil on massive wages and that looks like huge mistake. We sold RVP, Cesc, Henry, and many others for far too little or too early and didn’t reinvest well… that is really the bottom line - the selling and reinvestment is where we fell down so hard.

We spent 140 million on Xhaka, Mustafi, El Neny, Micki, Perez, Asano combined.

Xhaka, Moose, Perez, and Asano made up most of our 16/17 transfers while the year before we got Cech and El Neny… those two years of spending pretty much explain our debacle, combined with the mismanagement of Sanchez/Micki, Ramsey, Ozil, etc.


No I explained why we lost players for too little, we got great bang for the buck up til 2015 or so, the vaulting of spurs and pool is not correct, it worked 3 out of 15 seasons so no they were below us most of that time and now have different managers and players, you would have to trade all those 15 years for their recent vaulting, you can’t just cherry pick the end of the respective methods to compare the total outcome, they haven’t worked on this vaulting for 15 years, it is a recent thing and they’re clearly doing better than us now but that doesn’t mean the method between 2006-2015 was bad from a managerial point since we were superior to them all along up til recent (bar Liverpool’s European win).

Just because you can get results with less spend like Leicester did doesn’t mean it is the method you should follow as it fails far more often than it succeeeds since then you have to explain how we did better than all of them for 90% of that time. It is doable but not something you should expect.

We lose Ramsey because he wants a salary we shouldn’t pay and someone else will, that is not our fault stop blaming us for that. You want to pay him £400k/w? say yes and I’ll say it’s your opinion. He wants to leave a team that’s stuck in the EL again for a team that has won the league 7 times and played 2 CL finals recently, that is down to us not being competitive for the above reasons.

RvP and Cesc etc left for the above reasons, we got £30m for them, should’ve maybe tried to get £40m or w/e but it’s not much we can do about it when they want to leave, same reasons as stated above.

We did blow money on poor buys that you finely picked there, bad buys no doubt, other top clubs just get rid and go next, we don’t have that cushion for the above stated reasons.

Buying Özil and Sanchez was great business, made them world class here for a while, Sanchez is an idiot and we got rid at the perfect time, Özil doesn’t fit with the new manager but wasn’t bought by him so it makes sense, happens to every other club as well, we just can’t parry for it like they can. All the other top clubs made equal or worse buys in the same time period. For example Keita cost more and did less, they just don’t rely on it as badly.


Just to illustrate the reason I think Pool and Spurs are above us (to be clear, Spurs DO NOT spend any freakin money - they literally rank 20th of the 21 teams I analyzed for the last 7 years combined net spend).

In 2010/2011, Liverpool purchased Luis Suarez for 24 million.

In 2012/2013, Liverpool purchased Philippe Coutinho for 12 million.

Those 2 netted them 50 for Suarez and 119 for Coutinho.

Let’s assume for sake of argument that Suarez’ 24 million price tag was too rich for Arsenal… we certainly could have picked up Coutinho… was it luck? Who knows - but that is just gigantic difference in fortunes.

WRT Ramsey - it absolutely is our fault for not managing that contract better sooner… once you are in that last year, yeah all bets are off.

WRT 2006-2012 - we had better teams and results over that period in general… so the argument that our lack of spending hurt us just isn’t true - we were in much better position (or if you want to be incredibly generous you can say we were at least even) - and yet over that last 7-8 years we have absolutely gone the opposite direction of those 2 clubs, and Spurs are literally not spending.

I edited the period above b/c the point I am making is about the last 7 years net spend and how we entered that period (if you want, you can arbitrarily pick any period), but that last 7 years or so corresponds with a definite optick in our net spend… the ~4 years leading into that period, we were above Spurs and Pool on average in table.


The problem is, because we waited so many seasons to start spending, what we did spend was too little to catch up our rivals, it also meant the price of players had risen and we were left behind.

Being the fourth biggest spenders in the last few seasons is useless when the starting point is so low, and there are very few quality players in the team.

It needn’t have been like that if the board had the sense to help Wenger out when we moved to the Emirates, rather than squeezing money out of the supporters and giving nothing back.
It was obvious to everyone that the club needed a lift, with some top quality players, but the club did nothing and look where it got us.

It would have meant we might have kept hold of our best players and we would possibly have won the PL title.
Instead we are left with the worst set of players of the top six clubs.


well Spurs have done great recently. Genuinely, no doubt. That’s not what I’m saying. It is possible to do what they did. But that is not what clubs should look to do. Pooch himself threatens to leave every season because he doesn’t get any money. You still miss the point that if you want to say we did badly then compare the results over the entire period, not just cherry picking the period it works better for them because they haven’t planned and worked towards this for 15 years and it is finally paying off. That is the point.

They bought Suarez and sold him for 3 times as much, bought Coutinho and sold him for 10 times as much. We bought RvP and sold him for 8 times as much, we bought Cesc and sold him for 10 times as much without buying Benteke inbetween, we win. We were also only £1 away from signing Suarez :upside_down_face:

Ramsey you keep pretending like he hasn’t got an opinion himself in all of this, I think he does. Maybe he said two years ago yes if we get back to the CL I’ll stay, otherwise I go to one of the best teams in the world and get paid bank instead.

And how come we got better results in 2006-2015 with less spend than Spurs and Liverpool if their method is superior? Obv. because it wasn’t but it maybe is right now. Suddenly going HA now they’re above us doesn’t work when comparing methods if that wasn’t their method. Evaluate the whole process and we’re still doing better. If they’re above us for another decade then that’s a fair comparison of methods.

I mean I think I understand your general point that they’re doing better than us NOW but don’t confuse that with the method we’ve worked under for 15 years because we were superior to them evaluated over that period, bar Liverpool’s european success which they always had over us from back in the 70s.

What you miss when I say we had better teams then is that you need to get that the lack of spending then, it translates into our slow decline. That’s how it works most of the time, even though another team can pop up and do well with little money, our own decline in a bubble is down to a lack of spending over a long period of time.

If you have a CL finals team in 06 it doesn’t mean that if you stop spending then you’re trash in 08. maybe in 2010. or so. players stay for years, it takes time, effects come in slowly sometimes.

Liverpool got £200m or so for Suarez and Coutinho, that is rare and almost unprecedented in top football, an anomaly. Rare. Doesn’t happen. It is not a method or a policy, it is rare. That set them up to keep trying things.

Spurs still have won as much as my neighbour, but they look great now. Occasionally teams get it right. That doesn’t mean we’ve managed our assesses particularly poorly (although obviously on a few occasions we have but so have all of them as well so it’s not an argument when comparing the three of us).

edit: also what @InvincibleDB10 points out. Our starting point was crap, we just had a better manager than they did at the time, we were above them because we were better at a bunch of things and that the squad was better in a vacuum in say 2011 doesn’t mean our squad was better setup to go into the next 5 years in 2013. Take a look at the team we had back then, we beat Liverpool and scum continually in the league with players like Chamakh, Sanogo, Denilson, Santos, Silvestre, Almunia etc many of them often as regular starters, we were carried by a couple of individual great buys like Mozart, Cazorla, Cesc, RvP etc who all cost little to nothing by the standards at the time but were mostly gone in 2013 due to our slow decline and lack of economic support, we didn’t have a player in the squad that cost more than £15m up to 2014 when the top players were going for £50-60m between clubs (removing anomalies like RM getting Bale or Ronaldo for £80m) actually looking to improve.


That was cuntbag wengers fault. How many times was the board saying there is money to soend it was almost as if they were pushing him to spend more because you wouldnt come out with it directly to the press and then give nothing. Say what you like about the board but i doubt they were that much of a bunch of cunts that they would do that throw wenger under the bus and really have no money! You could look at our cash reserves and see we had the money there but that stubborn fucker didnt use it and kept on saying shit like ‘i view it as it is my money so i am careful with it’ but kept on creating project after project!

What about the season we just bought cech there was no excuse for that whatsoever NONE!! As i say the biggest mistake the owners made was keeping this stubborn fucker too long! But even as fans some if us thought we had turned a corner when we won the fa cup but false dawns kept the bastard here he probably went to the board told them all his grand ideas of what he will be doing in the future sold them the dream and delivered nothing!

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There are literally quotes from board members saying they tell Wenger how much he could spend and even if it was £5m total he would say yes and be ok with it and they think that was great of him.

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