The £17.8 million profits are primarily from the sales of Carlos Vela, Robin Van Persie and Alex Song during the summer resulting in the club earning £42.5 million. The results also show an investment of £40.9 million in the signing of new players as well as the extension of contracts for a host of young, British talent including Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott, although the full effect of these contract extensions won’t be felt until the next set of accounts are released.
Player wages are certainly a huge talking point among Arsenal fans with the Gunners possessing the fourth highest wage bill in the country, where a huge amount of funds are tied up in mediocre players. Too balance the increased wages of the new British core, it is hopeful flops who are expected to leave in the summer will free up considerable funds with Arsenal no longer obliged to pay their over-inflated wages. Players on that list include Andrey Arshavin, Sebastian Squillaci, Marouane Chamakh and Andre Santos.
Peter Hill-Wood is quoted as saying on Arsenal.com:
Our ability to compete at the top of the game here and in Europe is underpinned by our financial performance which gives the Club strength and independence.
Our desire is to make everyone connected with Arsenal proud of the Club. We know that comes through winning trophies but also through the way we do things and that will remain our constant guide.
To the contrary, the ability to compete is decided by players I am afraid and good finances help towards building good personnel. Therefore my opinion aligns more with the statement released by the Tim Payton, spokesman of the AST (Arsenal Supporters Trust). While the massive cash reserves obviously do not equate solely to transfer funds, the new Emirates sponsorship deal and the touted kit deal with Adidas – both of which are reported to have a front loaded payment structure – should provide ample opportunity for Arsene to spend in the summer. When you factor in the departures of mediocre players, it further supports the ability for Arsene to recruit more lucrative players.
Arsenal Supporters Trust spokesman Tim Payton is quoted as saying by The Daily Mail:
Fans have contributed to this financial health through paying some of the highest ticket prices in world football. AST members want to see this money used for more and better investment in the team.
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The results show the club do spend considerable money on wages, approximately £150m per annum. But the decisions made on player investment, selection and wage levels are not delivering a more competitive team.
The club are financially well set to improve on the decline of the last few seasons. The question is whether it has the boardroom leadership and football decision-making expertise to make the money count.
The above statement really sums it all up quite well. It is true Arsenal have spent to a degree, but it is quite clear that a significant sum of money is being wasted on poor transfers and the ill-fitted ‘socialist’ wage structure. You can only hope the expected exodus of poor players in the summer will spur on some kind of re-form or at least some top-class transfers so Arsenal can ‘make the money count’.