I wasn’t going to blog this morning about the redundancies last night, but the complete over reaction of Arsenal fans have led me to do so.
Redundancies are part of business
Anyone that has ever worked for a medium or large business will have gone through a time when the company they work for has to make redundancies.
I have been at my firm for 15 years. In that time we have had to make redundancies:
- During the recession
- When closing failing parts of the business
- When streamlining middle managment
- When culling underperformers
- Due to Covid19
It is not nice, but it happens.
And it really does not matter how much the owner is worth or how much money the company is making. If you have failing staff, failing departments, or they is no longer a need for their job role, the axe will fall.
Look at the bank you are with.
Banks are always cutting thousands of staff. Yet they make billions a year in profit. Whether that is to move an office elsewhere, coming out of an investment market, or just to protect the bank on a slight down turn.
I imagine every football club will make redundancies between now and the end of the year. I imagine most businesses will too.
Why have Arsenal made people redundant?
A few weeks ago Arsenal closed the club shop at Finsbury Park.
Since the opening of the new stadium, and with it the Armoury, the shop at Finsbury Park would have seen sales drop.
Add in the amount of people now buying online which is killing all of the High Street retail sector, it probably made little sense to keep the shop open.
Some of the staff might have been absorbed into the Armoury rota, but there would not have been space for everyone.
Are people expecting the club to keep retail staff employed even though they no longer have a shop to work in?
Match days are also the biggest days for the Armoury – as well as stores within the ground. With no football, you do not need as much retail staff.
Ask yourself – when was the last time I went into the Finsbury Park shop?
Likewise many other jobs are linked to matches.
We have executive sales staff whose job it is to try and sell the boxes and premium seats to companies. Without football, these people do not have a product to sell.
We really have no idea on every role that was made redundant, why their job no longer exists, and how many other people already do that role.
There are a lot of great people working in the box office, in membership and support liaison roles. Hopefully the club have protected these.
There are also usually many older workers who would like redundancy. People who have been with the club decades and fancy a nice lay out and early retirement.
Ultimately, simply can not keep people employed if their job role no longer exists.
But what about the scouts?
And then we come onto the scouts.
Scouting has changed in recent years with more and more technology being used. Perhaps we no longer need the large network of scouts. As many boots on the ground?
How many scouts do Arsenal have in comparison to Manchester United, Liverpool, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich or Juventus?
Without know this answer, we don’t know whether perhaps Arsenal’s scouting department under Arsene Wenger and Steve Rowley has become over bloated? Too many scouts on the official payroll not producing enough quality players?
Let’s not forget, Sven Mislintat felt the scouting structure was way too bloated, and that not enough of the many individuals involved were working towards any unifying idea.
He tried to considerably trim it down, only to be blocked by head of football Raul Sanllehi.
Maybe Raul now agrees with Mislintat. Our scouting department had become too big.
Non-football related staff per club according to last accounts:
- Liverpool – 675
- Man U – 549
- Arsenal – 547
- Arsenal – 492*
- Spurs – 317
- Chelsea – 283
- Man City – 239
*following the 55 redundancies
So before the redundancies, Arsenal already employed 100s more than Tottenham, Chelsea and Man City.
And after the redundancies we still have 100s more.
Forget about the players
Mesut Ozil has come in for abuse due to the club letting go non-plying staff.
People have to separate the playing and non playing parts of the club in their head. They are almost like two separate businesses.
It is like a restaurant that now has less customers. You might not need as many waiters, cleaners and bar staff, but you still need the chefs to cook the food.
Underperforming scouts have been let go. People whose job role no longer exists have been let go. This has nothing to do with what Mesut Ozil, Hector Bellerin or anyone else.
Ultimately, anytime a company makes people redundant it is tough for those who are being let go and their family. But there are always reasons companies let people go.
Look beyond Stan Kroenke’s net worth. And look beyond what Arsenal players earn. Ask yourself whether you think the club should “keep people employed even though they no longer have a job role?”
If you have answered yes, did you complain when all those turnstile operators were made redundant when we went to automated turnstiles?
Redundancies are not nice, but they are part of life.
Arsenal have cut 10% of their staff.