Barclay’s will no longer be the sponsor of England’s Premier League for the 2016/17 season after a 15-year partnership, with the elite championship retaining full ownership and going by the name of ‘The Premier League’ (via Standard). This is just one of a few major shifts in the growth of the English top flight, and Arsenal must do all they can to remain at the forefront.
The intention here is to retain ownership of the brand as much as possible and follow in the footsteps of US-based competitions NBA and the NFL to name a couple. With huge money coming in from English broadcasting rights alone, the bulk of sponsorship money is progressively becoming more evenly distributed and therefore the league is more competitive.
With a huge sum of £5.1bn divvied out to Premier League teams, not to mention other various sponsorship deals from the league and club-related agreements, the amount of cash splashing around is insane to say the least. Premier League clubs could all receive around £100m from broadcasting rights alone (via Gazettelive)
A quick look at shirt sponsorship deals sloshing around sees the likes of Manchester United lead the way with a mammoth £53million per year deal with United States car giants Chevrolet, that alone has been a major factor in their huge expenditure over past few summers and they show no signs of slowing.
Arsenal currently sit third in the shirt money league, earning £30million per year from Fly Emirates, however when you factor in the naming rights of the stadium, puts this is a little more in perspective compared to United’s Chev deal or Chelsea’s £40million-a-year agreement with Japanese tyre company Yokohama (via the Standard).
Champions League football has an awful lot to do with the value of a club, but even the likes of Crystal Palace are earning £3million per year through their shirt and stadium sponsorship deal with Casino.com giants Mansion Group. After one year of the Premier League for Bournemouth AFC and they’ve also jumped in on the act.
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Leicester City’s sponsors King Power have possibly the best deal, paying just £1m per year for the Champion’s naming rights. Although these deals are nothing compared to the massive sums from TV money, these figures have rarely been afforded to these sorts of sides in England’s elite tier and will only flourish as the competition continues to grow it’s global appeal.
Here’s three key points Arsenal need to take from the growing competition to keep progressing and maintain their elite status.
Staying ahead of the curve with signings
Arsenal thankfully are no longer a ‘selling club’ after years of frustrating departures that helped keep the books balanced. A healthy cash reserve from the aforementioned deals means they can compete financially for the best players in the game – but will they make use of their war chest?
The signing of Granit Xhaka is a very good start, while the links with Jamie Vardy has also helped with optimism among Arsenal fans. But Arsenal need a big name striker signing that can become our new Thierry Henry. The likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Antoine Greizmann and Romelu Lukaku are all the calibre of forwards we need, the allure of Pep Guardiola at Manchester City looks set to be too enticing for Aubameyang however.
Arsenal could see familiar failings once again next season if Arsene Wenger fails to take this advice.
Not losing touch with the Youth Policy
While it may seem contradictive to the above point, Arsenal need to continue to develop and nurture talent from within. With that comes passion and desire to succeed with the club that money can’t buy and also a deep sense of loyalty.
We’ve seen what impact Alex Iwobi had this season, and players such as Jack Wilshere, Cesc Fabregas and Hector Bellerin have had. They’ve all been afforded a chance at a young age and although it doesn’t always work out, it’s important for the clubs identity at a time when price tags on young talent is at an all time high.
Organising a Plan B
Arsene Wenger enters the final year of the three-year contract signed off the back of the 2014 FA Cup triumph.
Whether you’re Wenger In or Out, there is common ground that all Arsenal fans will have some concern about – who will replace the Frenchman when the time comes?
We’ve witnessed first hand the effects of major managerial shifts, Manchester United enduring a very difficult time despite their inherent willingness to spend £xxx millions every summer. But there are other instances, like with Manchester City, that have shown a ruthlessness in the manager market and have done their best to ensure the creme of the crop are at their helm.
Arsenal need to take a leaf out of their book, ensure they are well organized and prepared for when Wenger moves on. Lining up the Diego Simone’s and Carlo Ancelotti’s of this footballing world is a good place to start.
Arsenal are in a remarkably strong financial position and this bodes well for the future. They’ve also got a strong squad core that have played together for several years which will strengthen their position during a manager transition in the future.
While the likes of Chelsea and Tottenham undergo a stadium renovation and build respectively, Arsenal can focus on developing the good work over the last few years and deliver success on football’s biggest stage.
To do that, we need to firstly see the right additions come in this summer, see our youth policy continue to prosper and focus on the future as well as the now. No more excuses, this league is only getting tougher.