Arsenal will not be sharing Emirates Stadium with Tottenham Hotspur or Chelsea on a temporary basis if Arsene Wenger has his way, citing the impact it had on the club financially during their difficult repayment period (via Arsenal’s official website).
Chelsea are planning an expansion to Stamford Bridge in the coming years, while Tottenham Hotspurs new 60,000 capacity stadium will render them homeless from the 2017/18 season until completion.
Chelsea are believed to have bid a healthy sum to play at Wembley for four years, with Spurs also attempting to either share or solely utilize the national team’s stadium.
The Gunners Emirates Stadium is in a prime location for both sides, and has been touted as a potential option for Spurs especially, despite their fierce rivalry that has intensified on gamedays. Respective fans have been guilty of vandalizing the hosts grounds in recent derbys.
On Thursday, Wenger was quizzed on the likelihood his side would consider a groundshare with one of the club’s fierce rivals, in which he responded: “Not really because we suffered a lot to build this stadium, we had to be very tight financially to pay it back so I don’t know.
“I don’t feel it is in our plans to do it, we don’t need it and we have not been approached for it as well. Honestly it is a board decision, not my decision.”
With suggestions £15million could be tabled per season for Wembley, a deal could certainly be lucrative but the effect on the fans would greatly outweigh the financial positives, not to mention the atmosphere generally around the Emirates. This is our home.
Arsenal currently make more matchday revenue than any other club in world football (via Deloitte), and with the stadium debt well behind them there is no need to capitalize on their rivals situation especially with cash reserves remaining healthy.
The Gunners endured a difficult period when shifting from Highbury, restricting our transfer budgets and enforcing a wage structure that left Arsenal well behind of the cash rich pack at the top of the table. Times have changed now, and it’s time to utilize this financial muscle and capitalize upon the fact our rivals will lose their home advantage for some time.
Should the Blues and Spurs share Wembley, it will be a huge boost of profit for the FA who are eager to repay their debt on the stadium. A feasible option either club could consider is West Ham United’s new ground at Olympic Stadium. Having the Blues or Spurs visit Emirates once or twice a season is quite enough.