Author Archives: keenosafc

Arsenal’s £40million lie

We start this morning with some tripe from John Cross in the Daily Mirror.

“Arsenal transfer budget revealed” is the headline.

What this means is that the Mirror are missing their monthly advertising revenue target and have asked John to make up a story that will get the hits. These days newspapers rely on website hits rather than copies sold for their profit.

So John has written a lovely piece which says that Arsenal have “around £40million to spend this summer”.

John knows full well that this is not how transfers work, how budgets work.

As we explained last summer, it is not Football Manger where a manager gets given £40million to spend on players.

The actual amount available to spend on new players is the difference between costs and revenue. With that difference being how much you can increase costs by. These costs are not only the amortised transfer fee, but also wages, agent fees, bonuses, etc.

Using John Cross’s logic that we have “around £40million to spend this summer” could mean that we buy 20 players on a free transfer and still have ““around £40million to spend this summer”. It simply does not take into account the wages associated with bringing these players in.

The actual figure that Arsenal have to spend is more complicated than a newspaper headline. It is up to the accountants to work out what we can spend based on their predicted revenue and costs of the club.

Next season we have £40million in additional sponsorship revenue to hit the books. This would allow us to buy (in simple terms) two £40million players on 5 year contracts paying £200,000 a week.

We then have expiring contracts.

Petr Cech, Nacho Monreal, Stephan Lichtsteiner, Aaron Ramsey and Danny Welbeck are all set to leave the club following the expiration of their contracts. Between them they earn ~£435,000. That is £22.5million in costs saved.

So we have additional revenue of £40million and cost savings of £22.5million. Straight off the bat that would indicate that we have around £60million to spend over the next 12 months. But as previously explained, this is not £60million available for transfer fees, but £60million a year that can be spent on amortised transfer fees, wages, agent’s fees, etc.

This summer we need a central defender, left back, central midfielder / 2nd choice right back (purchase one and Ainsley Maitland-Niles covers the other spot), winger and a reserve goal keeper. That is 5 signings.

With the funds we currently have available, we can recruit the majority of what we require without having to sell.

The way I see things, we get the reserve goal keeper, left back and central midfielder using the funds free’d up by those players leaving for nothing.

£22.5million a year was a huge amount to be spending on 5 squad players. It could easily be spent better on 3 players.

None of those leaving need to be replaced with a first choice player (bar perhaps Monreal) so you would expect the squad keeper, left back and central midfielder to be costing no more than £90,000 a week each. That comes to £270k, or £14million between them.

That would leave us with £8.5million to spend on transfer fees. That is not £8.5million to be spent this summer but £8.5million to be spent in each year of their contract. If we give all 3 players a 5-year deal, that will give us £42.5million to spend on 3 players. Pretty much £15million each.

Can we find a back up goal keeper, squad left back and squad central midfielder (or right back) for £15million on £90k a week? I am sure we can.

That then leaves a winger and central defender, who will be marquee big signings.

We still have the additional £40million in sponsorship available that would allow us to sign the aforementioned two £40million players on £200,000 a week.

We can then raise further short term funds by cashing in on the likes of David Ospina, Shkodran Mustafi, Calum Chambers and Mohamed Elneny.

Between them they earn £200,000 a week. That would free up further mid-term funds for increased wages over time and a bit more on the amortised transfer fees.

We would raise around £40million by selling all four. As the incoming transfer fee would be short term revenue – it will not be a yearly income – you would pretty much set it against a new signings.

So this would leave Arsenal being able to perhaps sign a £60million central defender and a £40million winger. On top of this we have the £40million worth of other players coming in.

That would see out total summer transfer spending be close to £140million – which if every player was on a 5-year deal would see amortised transfer costs increase by £28million.

As for the extra Champions League money, I would imagine this would replenish our emergency fund pot.

These days you can not guarantee Champions League football every year, so it would be dangerous to budget transfers over a 5-year period based on having Champions League football.

You are better off leaving Champions League football money unspent, building up, to cover the costs when you do not have Champions League football.

So circling back, the £40million quoted by John Cross is rubbish. Someone made up for hits.

He really is becoming a gutter journalist.




Top 4 back in Arsenal’s hands despite Crystal Palace defeat

What a strange weekend of football?

I have written before about how 75 points was what was needed to finish top 4. A few replied saying that would not be enough, and it would require closer to 80 points. My methodology for 75 was based on Arsenal, Chelsea & Manchester United having dropped plenty of points this season and still having some tough games to go.

A few games, the maths was simple. Arsenal had to win there two remaining home games and get 6 points from 15 on the road.

The run started off with a 1-0 defeat to Everton. Not a surprise to lose. We then picked up 3 of the 6 away points against a 10-man Watford in a lacklustre display. And then we come to thisTop 4 back in Arsenal’s hands despite Crystal Palace defeat weekend.

The defeat against Crystal Palace was tough to take. It was our home form that had kept us in the race for a top 4 finish, so to lose so limply was frustrating. After the game a mate said “you get one of those a season” and he was right.

Almost every season, teams lose a home game against someone they should have beaten.

Manchester City also lost at home to Crystal Palace. Chelsea lost at home to Leicester. Tottenham to Wolves. Only Liverpool have dominated at home against the lower teams this season. That knowledge did not soften the blow of the defeat, however.

With Manchester United losing to Everton, victory over Crystal Palace would have seen Arsenal move to 3rd place, and top 4 well and truly in sight. The defeat meant that for the first time in a while, we were relying on others to drop points.

And then we have last night. Chelsea at home to Burnley. No one would have been expecting them to drop points, but they did.

Usually at this time of the year, those mid-table teams have turned off. Heads on the beach. It is perhaps testament to their professionalism that Palace, Burnley or Everton did not turn off and all got well deserved points.

The draw for Chelsea swung the pendulum back into Arsenal’s favour in what will probably be the defining 7 days of Premier League football.

To start with, I think we can all write off finishing 3rd following the defeat to Crystal Palace. Spurs surely have it wrapped up with the ease of their run in.

So that leaves Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United chasing top 4.

In the next 7 days Arsenal have 2 tricky away games to Wolves and Leicester. Neither will be easy. You can picture a scenario where Arsenal come away with zero points.

Manchester United also face 2 tricky games at home – versus Manchester City and Chelsea. The Man U v Chelsea game is the West London sides only fixture in the next 7 days.

Arsenal could well find themselves 4th; 5 points clear of Chelsea in 5th by this time next week. They could also just as easily find themselves 4 points behind.

As for Manchester United, they currently sit 3 points off the pace of 4th. You have to feel that they need Arsenal to lose both games, and beat Chelsea, to stand a chance of finishing top 4. By the time the weekend is out, they could find themselves 8 points off top 4.

It is tight in that race for the top 4, and any dropped points in the next 7 days will be crucial.


Match Report: Arsenal 2 – 3 Crystal Palace

Arsenal (0) 2 Crystal Palace (1) 3
Premier League
Emirates Stadium, Drayton Park, London N5 1BU
Sunday, 21st April 2019. Kick-off time:
(4-2-3-1) Leno; Mustafi, Koscielny, Mavropanos, Jenkinson; Guendouzi, Elneny; Kolašinac, Özil, Lacazette; Aubameyang.
Substitutes: Čech, Mkhitaryan, Torreira, Maitland-Niles, Iwobi, Monreal, Nketiah.
Scorers: Özil, Aubameyang
Yellow Card: Mustafi, Mavropanos, Guendouzi, Özil
Referee: Jonathan Moss
Attendance: 59,929
And so the topsy-turvy world of Arsenal, 2019 model, continues in earnest. How can it be? On paper it all seemed so easy, a formality, some would say. Unfortunately nobody told Crystal Palace the script here at The Emirates this afternoon, as one would think that their performance would be the team that was knocking on the door of a Champions League place, not Arsenal.
As soon as the team-sheet was announced we should have smelt a rat. Of course, Mr. Emery needs to rotate his squad, but truthfully, some of these players are born reserves, not rotated first-team footballers. The gaps and the issues were plain to see almost immediately from the kick-off. If anything, it seemed amazing that the visitors took as long as they did to take the lead, as sixteen minutes to break through this poor defence must have felt that it insulted their intelligence. Luka Milivojevic glided a simple ball into the Arsenal penalty ara, and with Shkodran Mustafi seemingly in a dream-like state, simply did not see Christian Benteke move in to score a relatively simple goal past Bernd Leno. To be fair, we did wake up and attempt to redress the balance during the rest of the first half, but all of our attempts on the Palace goal came to nothing. The closest we came to scoring during this period was when Sead Kolašinac’s cross found Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s arm; despite appeals, the referee completely refused to award the penalty to the home side.
Realising his earlier starting line-up error, Mr. Emery made a double substitution at half time, Alex Iwobi for Konstantinos Mavropanos and Ainsley Maitland-Niles for the hapless Carl Jenkinson, and just minutes after the restart, Mesut Özil redressed the balance with a sublime goal that saw him finish the move that he started. Mesut Özil passed to Alex Iwobi, who then slotted it to Alexandre Lacazette; looking up, he sent the ball back to Mesut Özil who equalised the scores with some aplomb. And then we fell apart again, with Wilfried Zaha scoring on the hour after leaving Shkodran Mustafi wondering where he came from. Sadly, less than eight minutes later, James McArthur deflected a Scott Dann header past Bernd Leno to make it three goals to one for the away team. Although Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored a superb individual goal thirteen minutes from time, Arsenal’s race was already run.
The final scoreline flattered Arsenal; the defence was nothing short of amateurish calamity throughout the match, and this less-than inspirational performance appeared to permeate throughout the side like a tropical disease. The tragedy of all this mayhem was that not only did Tottenham Hotspur lose yesterday, but Manchester United were defeated heavily earlier in the day before we even kicked a ball in anger, which meant that we lost the opportunity to spring to third position in the table. In fact, if Chelsea beat Burnley tomorrow, they will take third place position which, by rights, should have been ours tonight. If anything, the performance of some of our players this afternoon should send a clear message to Mr. Emery just who is good enough to wear the red-and-white shirt next year and who isn’t. The facts are blatantly obvious; nothing more than a victory at Molineux on Wednesday, and the King Power Stadium next Monday will do, otherwise there could be a real danger that we may not even finish in the coveted four Champions League places. It also needs to be said that whilst we realise more than ever that nothing is definite in football, our urgency to win the Europa League must also be nothing short of imperative right now. Remember everyone, keep the faith, get behind the team and the manager, as these early days are going to be crucial for our future success in all competitions. Stick with the winners. Victoria Concordia Crescit.


Too Dearly Loved To Be Forgotten: Arsenal v Racing Club de Paris 1930-1962 by Steve Ingless (Rangemore Publications, ISBN 978-1-5272-0135-4) is now available on Amazon.