Tag Archives: Alexis Sanchez

Arsenal lose £200m due to poor player sales

In recent weeks, one thing that has come to mind more often than not when discussing Arsenal finances is how we have criminally undersold players.

There has been a lot of talk about how Stan Kroenke needs to invest in the team – pumping in his own money. Many people are pointing to Liverpool, claiming that they have owners who are bank rolling the club to success.

This is completely fictional. The Liverpool owners are no different to Stan Kroenke. They believe in a self-sufficient model, making the money that the side brings in available for transfers.

The four main sources of income for all clubs are TV revenue, gate receipts, commercial revenue and player sales.

Due to the expansion of their new stadium, Liverpool’s match day revenue would have closed up on Arsenal. Arsenal’s lack of Champions League football would also mean that the TV figure is reversed. Ultimately, over the last 18 months, Liverpool and Arsenal have bought in similar revenue.

So how have Liverpool bank rolled the signings of the likes of Virgil van Dijk and Alisson?

The simple answer is through buying and selling well.

Over the last 5 years, Liverpool have spent nearly £200m more than Arsenal. the total expenditure of both clubs is:

Liverpool: £633m
Arsenal: £434m

It is the net spend which is interesting though, as Arsenal have actually outspent Liverpool:

Arsenal: £255m
Liverpool: £211m

The high spend for Liverpool has been driven by player sales – they have raised £422m over the last 5 years. This is against Arsenal who have raised just £179m.

Liverpool have sold very well. But Arsenal have also sold very poorly.

Selling poorly is not a new thing for Arsenal. It has been going on for over a decade.

Think back to Partick Vieira. We only received £13,700,000 for the club captain when selling him to Juventus. A year later we sold Thierry Henry to Barcelona for just £16,100,000.

We allowed both player to enter the last year of their contract. Both were sold a year too late, reducing their transfer fees from close to £40m to less than £20m.

Then you have Robin van Persie. The Premier League top scorer sold for just £22,000,000 to Manchester United. Again, he was 12 months away from his contract running out.

We then have the likes of Wojciech Szczęsny and Serge Gnabry. We got less than £15,000,000 combined for the pair. Like those before them, both were allowed to leave on the cheap due to their contract situation. Had they not had 12 months left on their contract, we probably could have commanded closer to £50million for the pair (Szczęsny £30m; Gnabry £20m).

We then have even more recent deals.

The club lost Jack Wilshere on a free transfer and are set to lose Aaron Ramsey on the same. We also had to let Alexis Sanchez go to Manchester United last January.

Wilshere, Ramsey and Sanchez gone, and all we got in exchange was Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

That trio is around £100m worth of talent. Lost had they been sold a year earlier. Add in Danny Welbeck and you are talking about over £100m in players over a 12 month period.

There are two main issues the club face. and need to change.

The first is the wage bill.

The total that we spend on wages is not to dissimilar to Liverpool – they spend £210m a year on wage; Arsenal £199m.

Arsenal have the 5th highest wage bill in the league, so reducing it is not really up for discussion if we want to compete.

The problem Arsenal have is that over the last 5-or-so years we have given some very average players a high salary.

Arsene Wenger and Ivan Gazidis had a fairly socialist outlook when it came to the wage bill. They believed that the lowest and highest earners should not differ by too much.

This led to us underpaying the top players (prior to Mesut Ozil) and overpaying poor players – the likes of Carl Jenkinson on £45,000 a week.

This mean that when it came to selling the likes of Lucas Perez, Kieran Gibbs and Francis Coquelin, we were not able to command big transfer fees.

Those players did not want to take a wage drop (for obvious reasons) when leaving the club. This results in the buying club offering Arsenal less in transfer fees so that they can cover the cost of higher wages.

If Arsenal are going to compete again, they need to start making more money from player sales. This can only be done if we have better control over the wage bill.

The second factor is we have let too many players enter the last year of their contract.

From van Persie to Ramsey, allowing a player to enter his last 12 months either means we have to take a reduced fee (in van Persie’s case) or no fee at all (Ramsey, Welbeck, Wilshere).

Poor player sales has cost us big in the last 5 years.

Gnabry, Sanchez, Szczęsny, Wilshere, Welbeck and Ramsey have all left (or are set to leave) the club. Between them we have received less than £15million and Mkhitaryan.

Close to £200m has walked out of the door.

Had we sold a year earlier, got a market-rate transfer fee, we could have gone out and bought Virgil van Dijk, Alisson and Mo Salah.

We did not sell a year earlier, and it has led to an underfunded squad.

It is clearly not good enough.

Back in October Raul Sanllehi spoke about the situation:

“In general, I do believe that a player’s contract should never go to the last year, as a policy,” said Sanllehi in a wide-ranging interview with the Sunday Telegraph. “But I don’t think I am inventing the wheel. Anybody could agree on that. Normally, the contracts of the players are for five years. You need to have a clear idea of what you want to do with that player when he is in the third year, at the latest.”

It is clear that Arsenal are changing, but the damage in the short term has already been done. A lot of these contracts, a lot of the deals, were prior to Sven Mislintat and Raul Sanllehi coming in. But it is time to draw a line in the sand.

We have seen the likes of Bernd Leno and Lucas Torreira come in on fairly low wages. Matteo Guendouzi is reportedly only on £15,000 a week.

It will take a while for Arsenal to turnover the playing staff. We need to cut our losses on the likes of Jenkinson, Welbeck and Petr Cech, and replace them with cheaper, better options.

Moving forward I back Mislintat and Sanllehi to sort out the state of our squad – to stop losing players on the cheap or for free. To sell high and reinvest.

Like Liverpool selling Coutinho and Saurez, we might have to sell a star player or two – the likes of Lucas Torriera – to fund further transfers. To reinvest again.

Poor transfer dealings have led to Arsenal losing up to £200m in revenue over the last 5 years. The past is the past and there is no point dwelling on the mistakes made too much.

Back the new management team to get things right.



Everyone needs to let go of Arsene Wenger

Arsene Wenger has left us. Gone. It is a new era at Arsenal. The future is bright. It is exciting. We have had record season ticket renewals. But some people just can not get over that he has left.

Whoever this is pretending to be a bot whilst they continue to slag off Wenger 6 weeks after he left needs to really evaluate their life.

The Tweet is absolute rubbish for two reasons

“It’s the World Cup no one is available”

It is a complete myth that Arsenal did not sign any players during (prior or just after) World Cups as Arsene Wenger was working for TV companies.

At the 2014 World cup, Arsenal signed Alexis Sanchez whilst Wenger was lying on a beach.

In fact, in 2014, Arsenal spent nearly £80m on players as in came:

Alexis Sanchez
Mathieu Debuchy
David Ospina
Calum Chambers
Danny Welbeck

4 years prior it was:

Marouane Chamakh
Laurent Koscielny
Sébastien Squillaci

Maybe not the most inspiring list of names in hindsight, but Chamakh was considered an exciting talent, and Squillaci went to the World Cup with France.

In 2006, Arsenal were moving into their new stadium and high loan repayments had begun. This caused the club to tighten its belt during that summer.

Regardless, we still signed Tomas Rosicky before the World cup had even started. He was one of the top players at that tournament. Alex Song was also signed.

2002 saw Arsenal secure the services of Gilberto Silva, an ever present in Brazil’s World Cup winning team. They also added Pascal Cygan to the squad.

So in the 4 World Cups from 2002 – 2014 Arsenal bought 11 players prior to, during or just after the World Cup – I have excluded dead line day signings like Julio Baptista and William Gallas. That works out at 3 players during my loose time period.

“announcing players mid tournament”

So the Tweeter has claimed how much better things are since Arsene Wenger has gone as we are actually announcing players mid tournament.

Have I missed something?

So far Arsenal have announced two signings.

Stephan Lichtsteiner
Bernd Leno

We do have deals for Sokratis and Lucas Torreira in place, but these have not yet been announced.

Of the two players we signed, one was a free transfer – Stephan Lichsteiner. The Second – Bernd Leno – has not gone to the World Cup.

Sokratis is expected to join in a matter of days, like Leno he has not gone to the World Cup. As for the Torreira, reports are he is not actually available and therefore will not be announced until after the World Cup.

Arsenal are doing some brilliant business this summer, if it all comes off. But lets not pretend that Arsenal did not sign the likes of Rosicky, Sanchez & Koscielny in World cup years.

The problem with some people is that they defined their support of Arsenal by the manager. Being “Wenger In” or “Wenger Out” literally became more important than supporting Arsenal.

Since Wenger has gone, people on both sides of the extreme have found themselves homeless, without an opinion. They are struggling.

Many built a huge social media following based on their blind faith following or continual criticism of Wenger. Since he left they have been shown up for having little knowledge of football, adding nothing to the debate.

Instead of moving forward, they are stuck in the past. Constantly bringing Wenger up in every conversation.

Move on lads, move on.


Why did Alexis Sanchez really leave Arsenal?

I am already fed up of the narrative. The one that people are putting around to defend him and attack Arsenal. That Alexis Sanchez has left Arsenal to win trophies.

No he has not, he has left Arsenal and joined the team who would pay him the most.

We can never be 100% certain about the motives behind someone leaving, but lets look at some facts.

Fact 1. Arsenal were winning trophies. 3 FA Cups in the last 4 years. In the League Cup semi-final and the next round of the Europa League. Had Sanchez been motivated to win trophies, he would have stayed at Arsenal.

This is not a Robin van Persie situation, who justifiable left with a single FA Cup winners medal to show for 8 years at Arsenal – an 86th minute appearance from the bench.

In the 3 full seasons Sanchez was at the club, he has won trophies in 2 of them. So it is a lie that he left Arsenal “because they were not winning thing”. Now winning big trophies is another story.

Fact 2. Manchester United are 12 points off the top. They are not going to win the league this season. They are no closer to winning it than Arsenal were in 2015/16 when we finished 10 points behind Leicester.

In fact, Sanchez has joined a Manchester United side who have no even finished above Arsenal since Sir Alex Ferguson left.

All this talk of Manchester United being in better shape to win the league than Arsenal. This season will make it once in 5 years that the Red Devils have finished higher in the league. It is a load of rubbish.

Fact 3. Manchester City wanted Alexis Sanchez. And if Alexis Sanchez had have been motivated by trophies, he would have joined them.

City will win the league. They are in the final of the League Cup (although Sanchez would be cup tied), are still in the FA Cup, and are amongst the favourites to win the Champions League.

Had Sanchez wanted to win “major” trophies in England, the move was clear and obvious, join Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.

They pulled out on the deal due to being unable to meet his wage demands.

Fact 4. In the summer, Bayern Munich openly courted him. Alexis Sanchez wage demands priced him out of a move. Reports in the summer were that he was demanding £420,000 to join the German Champions.

Now think of everything people are saying was key in Sanchez joining Manchester United.

Win trophies – Bayern have won the last 5 Bundesliga titles, they will make it 6/6 this season

Compete in Europe – In the last 8 years, Bayern have won the Champion League, 2 runners up, 3 semi finals and a quarter final. They are one of the most consistently competitive in the competition.

Historic Club – Like Manchester United, Bayern Munich are one of the historical big clubs in Europe.

So what reason does Alexis Sanchez have for not pushing to join Munich in the summer? They tick all his “supposed” boxes and are in desperate need of an attacking winger. Why did he not join?

The reality is, and only the agenda driven will disagree, Sanchez did not leave Arsenal because we were not winning things (we were). He did not leave the club because of the board, or because of Arsene Wenger. He did not leave the club because Thierry Henry told him too – a lie that Henry has since exposed.

Over the next 4 and a half years (a long contract for a 29 year old), Sanchez will earn around £100,000,000 in wages.

Manchester United are reportedly paying him a £20m signing-on fee, and an agents’ fee worth more than £10m.

That is £130m in the pocket of Sanchez and his agent.

That is what motivates him. That is why he has left Arsenal. For money and nothing else.

Sanchez is no different to every other money motivated footballer in the world. No different.


PS: This will be my last blog about the greedy man. Support the players that play for The Arsenal, not those who leave,