Arsenal redundancies explained

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.

Arsenal overstaffed?

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.



16 thoughts on “Arsenal redundancies explained

  1. Pete the Thirst

    Are you working as a shill to the Kroenke Empire?

    There’s no doubt the scouting and youth networks became a bit of a joke towards the end of the Wenger years, but the sacking of our chief scout is worrying. Cagigao was highly rated. Who fills the position? Joorabchian?


  2. BobA

    Well done, a well written answer, to the redundant situation. Most fans see it as black or white but if you look deep there is always a grey area. Your article covered that well and hopefully all the moaners will stop in a couple of days. As you wrote all companies are feeling the squeeze and those that do not act will find it much harder in the future.


  3. Alex

    re the scouting network … with BrexShit looming it is probable that non-British players are going to have to jump through work permit hoops so we won’t need to scout any ‘unknowns’ because we will not be able to bring them to the club any way? This adds to my point about AMN too; personally I love him and would not want to sell him but whatever your opinion his value is likely to rocket when the work permit situation returns. Remember the ludicrous prices paid for English players the last time we had work permits for Europeans, let alone S Americans? So …. no hope for the next Martinelli


    1. ClockEndRider

      I doubt very much that Brexit will impact European football imports. By and large these are very well paid and therefore financially self sufficient people who represent a financially positive contribution to the exchequer.


      1. ClockEndRider

        Hi Alex,
        That BBC item is 2 years old and part of the on-going scare mongering certain parts of the media has promoted. Football is the modern day opiate of the masses. I would be hugely surprised if any incumbent government, least of all a Tory one, would do anything to distance themselves from that part of the electorate interested in football. Certainly in terms of incoming overseas players for the top 2 divisions, nearly all new players will be earning more in a week Than the touted annual minimum salary for migrants.


      2. carl

        Totally agree !! they meet all the requirements needed etc wages a work place and a need !! but there are some idiots out there that think Brexit is going to stop non brits coming here to the UK… which is funny a fk !! I use to work for HMRC before we entered the EU and players came from all round the world and worked here and stayed here. First 3 yrs is with work permit then after they have the right to remain then after 5 yrs they have the right to British Citizenship…. only an idiot remainer thinks differently !! And they said the leavers were the thick ones !! pmsl !!


    2. carl

      Never heard so much rubbish in my life !! Brexit has nothing to do with foreign players not be able to come to the club. That is laughable to say the least. You obviously know nothing about the immigration if you think that and maybe should stop talking about what you have no idea about instead of making yourself look silly. Brexit will not stop us signing non british players, as we already do sign non EU players…. fact and with regards to players coming from outside the UK. Clubs will have a team in place for such needs as sorting out the work permits etc and did know this already happens for players outside the EU. and worked before we entered the EU. Players actually do not have to jump through hoops as you put it pmsl !! As like a business if a person is a non UK citizen comes to the Uk to work then he gets a work permit, then after 3 yrs he gets the right to remain and after 5 yrs he has to right to become a british citizen or stay with right to remain. meanign he can work in the country and not have to re admit documentation to increase his stay and right to work… How do i know this? one i used to work for HMRC before we entered the EU and two my wife is Russian.She firstly got a permit then her right to remain now she is a british citizen. So it proves you remianers know nothing about what you say. And you have proved it..pmsl !!


  4. Johnno

    The only people to blame for these type of redundancies are weak and feeble minded governments around the world who have closed down huge sections of the economy and imposed lockdown on their population because there is a flu like bug doing the rounds. What a joke, bit like our scouting system and recruitment policy over the last 15 years.


    1. carl

      yes you are a joke !! and best you get educated in what you say !! as you look rather silly just spouting your nonsense !! the left are so easy to spot aren’t you !! clueless and uneducated !! simple as that !! now go off and watch your lefty trash some more !!


  5. kaius

    Appreciated reading this.

    On the issue of our scouting system, during the period when it looked like Sven might leave Guillem Balague said one of the issues of contention was that Raul wanted Mislintat to merge his own scouting network with the club’s existing one, but Mislintat was resistant to that. Maybe he wanted to do that only if he got the Director of Football role? Who knows.

    But it’s great to read a level-headed response to this week’s news.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.