Tag Archives: Arsenal FC

Why have Arsenal changed their transfer policy?

Sokratis Papastathopoulos turns 30 in a couple of weeks. 9th of June to be exact. And is about to join Arsenal.

Alongside the signings of Pierre Emerick Aubameyang and Henrik Mkhitaryan – both 29 – it shows a clear shift in Arsenal’s transfer policy.

Add in Alexandre Lacazette (26 when signed, now 27) and the incoming 34-year-old Stephan Lichtsteiner on a free transfer, the policy is clear. Arsenal are now buying senior players who are in their peak.

For years, Arsenal had a similar transfer policy to what Tottenham have now. Sign talented players under the age of 25. Players who are cheaper than those in the peak, but will still go on to improve.

After 3 or 4 years, those players move on, for transfer fees well above what they came in for. Think Luca Modric and Gareth Bale. Sign them cheap, sell them high, reinvest and have enough left over to keep the books balanced.

Buying players at their peak means that you are signing them at the top of their transfer value. You are then likely to use them up and release them as they are on the way down – for a loss. You won’t be winning the “net spend” trophy with this policy, but it is likely you will be winning real trophies.

So why have Arsenal shifted their transfer policies from talented young players to established stars.

The first reason is due to where Arsenal currently sit in the pecking order.

We need players who are at the top of their game. Players who can come in straight away and continue their high performance level. Take us from 6th to top 4. Back into the Champions League.

Buying young players is part of a longer term project. You end up having to take a couple of steps back before taking the huge strides forward. Arsenal can not afford to take that couple of steps back.

We could have put Rob Holding, Calum Chambers or Konstantinos Mavropanos onto the first team next year to replace Laurent Koscielny. All 3 will become top players, but Arsenal are not in the position to take the risk.

Instead, in Sokratis, Arsenal are getting a 30-year-old who has nearly 80 caps for his country.

A second reason for the shift in Arsenal’s transfer policy is we no longer require incoming funds to balance the books. We do not need to sell before we can buy.

In the late 00’s and first half of this decade, Arsenal had to sell players to keep the club afloat. Whether it be Cesc or Song. Nasri or Adebayor. The club was making an operating loss, so we had to sell to buy.

Last year, Arsenal made profits over £40m before player transfers. This allows for huge investment in the playing side without needing to sell.

The £50m budget is a myth.

With amortisation of transfer fees, we can increase our expenditure by huge amounts. We can easily buy the 4 or 5 players we need to push on next season without needing to sell.

And then looking to the future, we will no longer need to sell to buy. That means we do not need to think of future transfer value wen signing someone.

Get someone in like Sokratis. Play him for 4 years, and he leaves for free at the end of his contract at 34. We won’t need to bring any cash in to replace him.

It is like a rich man buying a car. He does not need to trade in his old one to free up cash for a new one. He will just scrap the old one and buy new. We are now in that position.

The shift in transfer policy shows a shift in mentality. It is about the here and now. Next season. And success.


Plenty for Arsenal to celebrate on quiet weekend

Not much happening with Arsenal over the bank holiday weekend. Usually that means something will occur about 8 minutes after publishing this blog.

Whilst not much has happened over the weekend in regards to Arsenal, there has still been plenty to enjoy and celebrate.

On Saturday night Liverpool lost to Real Madrid in the Champions League Final.

Not just is the result a joy to behold – any Arsenal fan who wanted Liverpool to win needs to take a look at themselves – the fall out has been equally excellent.

The petition set up by Liverpool fans to get Sergio Ramos bans is embarrassing.

Not only was someone sad enough to set it up, over 300,000 people have signed it.

Is that really what modern football is? Petitions and cry-arising?

Ten we have Jürgen Klopp.

He lost his 6 final in a row, but all is forgiven because he sang a song about Real Madrid and wore a baseball backwards.

I have found the press response to Klopp interesting.

The German is now 6 years without a trophy. The year before He took over at Liverpool, they finished 6th.

In the 3 seasons he has overseen the club, they have finished 8th, 4th and 4th. And lost 3 finals. Yet the press defend him and his failures.

1 League Cup won in 12 years. For a club of Liverpool’s size, history and previous success, that is a decade of failure.

Nearly as big a failure as Spurs winning just 1 League Cup in 19 years – and Mauricio Pochettino trophyless in a 10 year managerial career.

Interesting how do Klopp and Pochettino, failing to win trophies and finishing top 4 is seen as a success.

Meanwhile the press have criticised Arsenal’s appoint of Unai Emery. A serial winner.

Liverpool fans showed their well documented classlessness in fall out of the defeat.

Death threats aimed at goal keeper Loris Karius and his family are not banter. They are a criminal act. The press will not criticise Liverpool’s fans for fear of boycotts. Liverpool will play the victim as they do so well.

The second cause for enjoyment this weekend was Fulham’s victory over Aston Villa in the play off final.

Anyone that has done Fulham away will know that it is one of the greatest away days.

Whether you go on one of the many booze boats that will be run on the day of the game, or drink somewhere in Fulham, it is always a top day.

Welcome back Fulham.

Enjoy the rest of your bank holiday weekend, and hopefully next week brings some more Arsenal news.


Spurs new stadium warning for Arsenal fans

And so we laughed and mocked.

As Spurs released the season ticket prices for their new ground yesterday, it became apparent very quickly. They were charging the highest prices in Europe.

For a long time, Arsenal has been hammered in the press for exactly same thing. Even though BBC’s Price of Football study always ignored that Arsenal fans get 26

games for their season ticket rather than other clubs 19.

Here were Spurs announcing that their cheapest season ticket in their new ground would work out to £41 a ticket. Arsenal’s pre-Europa League discount is still under £40 a game.

And as football fans will always do, we Arsenal fans mocked out rivals. Even if we always we moan that local fans are being priced out the game. And regardless as to what Tottenham’s pricing strategy could mean for Arsenal.


The issue is that Arsenal, Chelsea and other clubs will be keeping an eye on Spurs.

Here you have a club who have won 2 League Cups in nearly 30 years. Have not won a league title in nearly 70 years. Charging the highest prices in Europe.

If they sell out, and I am sure they will, it will get the nose twitching of Ivan Gazidis. He will think to himself “are Arsenal charging too low”. Of course, that is absolute bollocks. But football is a business these days. If one supermarket puts up their price of a pint of milk, and sales don’t drop, others will follow suit.

Arsenal would generate an additional £5-10m by marching Spurs’ pricing plan. They could generate even more if thought to themselves “we are bigger and better than Tottenham; we should charge more”.

So whilst in the short term, we might laugh and mock Spurs for their clubs new shown greed, in the long term it will just push prices up for us all.