Arsenal recently signed a new deal with kit sponsor PUMA. The deal is over the course of the next five years and will pay the club a total of 150 million pounds, which equates to thirty million per season.
About the past few kit deals Arsenal had with Nike, we were making around seven to eight million pounds per season. That, in addition to having to pay off the construction costs of the Emirates Stadium, crippled us financially. One could use those facts and relate the past eight trophy-less seasons to one another and see a direct correlation.
The record breaking transfer fee that was paid over this past summer’s transfer window for the services of German midfielder Mesut Oil can also be viewed as a possible change in attitude towards the finances at the club. We hope.
Now that the years of famine are seemingly over at the Emirates, let the years of bounty rain down upon all of us that had to suffer through celebrating 4th place like it was a victory. Although, in a sense, achieving a champions league place year in and year out for a time is an accomplishment, it also must have quickened the process by which we were able to pay off the loans we owed after building Emirates stadium.
Due to the clubs financial responsibilities over the last decade, we now find ourselves in a privileged position. Being in one of the top ten clubs in world football (as far as annually generated revenue goes) and now greatly increasing our kit contract. There seems to be no reason why the club shouldn’t be able to thrash out at least 60million pounds per summer on quality talent, as long as Mr. Wenger can find said talent and agree upon fees.
Since we signed Mesut Ozil (and have been able to lock down Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlin and other star youngsters) we can use those names and say to other stars we want to sign, “if you come play for us, you’ll play in the champions league, you’ll compete for trophies, and you can play with other world class players, oh and by the way we’re located in London.”
The main point is that money should no longer be a major issue for the Gunners. What it should come down to is: 1. Do we need the player? And 2. Is the player Arsenal material? Those questions are answered by the manager and his staff. Obviously there are no more transfer windows that can be used this season. However, as summer draws nearer I think the club could really use some major additions.
As I break it down there are about three areas of attention that we need to address. First, a top quality defensive midfielder to pair with Jack/Aaron. While Arteta and Flamini have been good this year, if we want to go back to the top of European football we’ll need someone better than either of the two.
Second, and probably the most obvious, a top quality striker. Last summer Jovetic, Higuain or Suarez would have been fantastic, but this summer there is uncertainty with who will become available. Whoever it may be, we must bring them in to alternate with Giroud in the first team.
Lastly, I think we should invest in a central defender since it looks as though we may lose Vermaelen. Mertesacker and Koscielny have been fantastic nonetheless, but I believe it’s vital that we have a third starting option in case of injury, tiredness, or even a dip in form. Another option would be to bring in another right back to compete with Jenkinson and use Sagna more centrally. I’ve seen a couple players make this move before as age creeps up on them and they lose a bit of pace. If they move to a more central defensive role, pace matters less because they aren’t having to track up and down the entire pitch with the wingers.
Those are my thoughts on what the summer should entail for Arsenal, although knowing Wenger we’ll probably go out and sign some attacking midfielder or a small shifty winger- something we already have plenty of- only time will tell, just as it will tell this seasons outcome. Whether or not we will end our trophy-less run, COYG!