Tag Archives: Ivan Gazidis

So just what is going on at Arsenal?

Yesterday Unai Emery confirmed what we all knew. That Arsenal were primarily looking to complete loan deals in January.

The club do have money to spend on players, but it has to be the right players. Not a stop gap. Not a risk. But someone who Sven Mislintat and his team recommend as the right player, a long term option.

If this player is not available in January, it is important that we do not panic buy. Waste money on someone who no one really wants. A new player is for life, not just for January.

Clearly Mislintat, alongside Raul Sanllehi and Unai Emery have decided that the right players are not available. Hence the focus on loan deals.

We all know the club is not floating in money. We don’t have the sugar daddy of Manchester City or the commercial revenue of Manchester United. Liverpool have out bought us over the last 5 years due to some fantastic sales – even though it is Arsenal with the higher net spend.

The restrictions at the club at the moment are not due to the new guys, or even Stan Kroenke. It is due to what has happened before.

For the last 4 or 5 years, the club has been poorly run by Ivan Gazidis; assisted by Arsene Wenger. If Kroenke is guilty of anything, it is not getting rid of the pair years ago.

Go back to the summer of 2015 when we only bought Petr Cech.

The financial pressure from the stadium loan had been partly lifted due to refinancing. We had money to spend, and failed to spend any on an outfield player. It was a catastrophic summer. It not only cost us the league title that year, but has caused us damage that we are suffering now.

4 years on we are paying for the price.

Had we actually signed what we needed to that summer, they would be coming to the end of their 4 year deals this. Their transfer fees would no longer be amortised in the accounts, freeing up further budget to buy players.

Due to the lack of transfer activity that summer, very little will be falling off the accounts, available to spend this summer. Just the couple of millions for Cech. And we are still paying for players that we had to overspend on a year later due to this fiasco.

This will be propped up by Danny Welbeck’s transfer fee no longer being amortised (he signed a 5 year deal in 2014). It is incredible that that summer has cost us so much.

We then have the poor commercial deals by Gazidis.

Whilst he shouted about record deals” the truth was that a high tide rises all ships.

Arsenal were getting more money, from Puma, from Emirates. But the teams behind us (Chelsea and Liverpool) were closing the gap with every new deal. And Manchester United we’re pulling away with every new deal. This has cost us key commercial revenue.

Since 2009, Arsenal’s commercial revenue has risen by 88%. Liverpool, Manchester United and Chelsea have all increased theirs by over 100%

Then we have player sales.

My estimation is that Arsenal have missed out on over £200n in transfer fees due to poor player sales over recent years.

Liverpool have spent more than £200m on players than Arsenal in the last 5 years. Yet Arsenal have a net spend £50m higher. The Scousers have been better at selling – bringing in over £250m than Arsenal.

This figure is even more incredible when you consider how much they spent on Allison and Virgil van Dijk in the last 12 months.

We all knew that Arsenal had been run poorly over the last half a decade, and it is only becoming clear now just how poorly that was.

Sanllehi is not yet 12 months at the club, and barely 6 months in his new role. Mislintat has been here just over a year. It will take these guys time to fix us. They need to be given that time and our support.

Over the summer I held a simple opinion. That it would take 6 transfer windows from when Mislintat took over to change Arsenal. We have had 2 so far.

In the two we bought in some top signings.

Aubameyang. Torreira, Leno, Sokratis, Mkhitaryan, Guendouzi & Mavropanos.

This summer we will hopefully see a new left back, central defender and winger join the squad. Arsenal could have over £100m to spend, depending on player sales.

That will be 10 new players. 40% of the squad turned over in 18 months.

And it is not just about buying players. It is about selling.

Ramsey, Cech and Welbeck will all leave on a free transfer. Add in Lichsteiner and that is nearly £20m freed up.

Over the last 12 months we have seen Giroud, Walcott, Debuchy & Coquelin also leave. As well as Cazorla, Wilshere, Meetesacker, Perez and Campbell.

Add in Sanchez and that is 13 senior players sold in 3 transfer windows. Over 50% of Arsene Wenger’s 25 man squad.

That should highlight to you all how big a challenge it is at Arsenal. We have had a 50% turn around in playing staff, and are only 1/3 of the way through doing what we need to do.

A line in the sand has to be drawn. Let’s not blame what is happening now on those currently at the club. It is the fault of those who left.

Raul and Sven are having to undo a lot of poor work. They have pretty much having to rebuild the entire squad. The entire club.

I am positive about the future at Arsenal. It feels like some fans have now finally realised what a hole we were in.

Back the new lads.


The good and bad of Arsenal’s £300m Adidas deal

Arsenal are set to announce a new kit sponsorship deal with Adidas, 24 years after swapping the German sportswear giant for Nike.

The 5 year deal is reportedly going to be worth £300,000,000, or £60,000,000 a year.

It will see Arsenal bring in £114,000,000 a year from its 3 main sponsors – Adidas, Emirates and Visit Rwanda. This represents a huge increase on the £16.8million Arsenal received in 2013 from Nike and Emirates.

Here are my thoughts:

Ivan Gazidis showing his worth?

Some will point to the huge deals as highlighting what Ivan Gazidis does. That in his time at Arsenal he has bought in record revenues to the club.

But as the aphorism go’s; “a rising tide lifts all boats”.

Whilst Arsenal have broken club records in terms of revenues, it is in an era that all clubs are doing similar. In fact, according to Swiss Ramble only Liverpool have had slower commercial revenue growth than Arsenal since 2009.

Manchester City’s figure has to come with a pinch of salt – their huge growth has come from their mega-rich owners sponsoring themselves.

Back in 2009, Arsenal’s commercial revenue was 68% of Manchester United’s. 8 years later it is just 42%.

Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea & Tottenham have all increased their commercial revenue by a similar percentage, whilst Manchester United have pulled away from the other 4.

So is it a success that Ivan Gazidis has kept us on par with other clubs? Or would this additional revenue have come in regardless? IE everyone’s has risen, so it is only natural that Arsenal’s would have risen.

The new mega-record-breaking shirt deal highlights this.

Is it a success to shout about a new £60million a year shirt deal when Chelsea have the same deal? And Manchester City are set to sign a £50million deal with Puma. Everyone else’s deals have risen, so it is only natural that Arsenal’s has.

Meanwhile Manchester United recently signed a £75million deal with Adidas

The fact we have let Manchester United get away from us is a complete and utter failure of our commercial department. One that has held the club back for a decade, and why I am not too bothered if Gazidis leaves.

Double Edged Sword

Shirt deals are always a double edged sword in my opinion.

On one hand, the increased revenue coming into a club is much needed. It will allow for better players to be signed, which in turn should lead to a higher chance of success.

On the other hand, Adidas will want to see a return on their investment.

These huge kit deals we are now seeing throughout European football are the reason why we now get 3 its a year, at a cost of £60.

Back when I grew up, Arsenal would bring out one kit a year.

A home kit this year, away next year. The 3rd kit was basically the previous 2 seasons away kit, got out of storage, washed and ironed.

This meant every I got the newest kit, usually for my birthday from a grandparent.

One new kit a year, it was financially viable for all involved.

Now if you want a child to have the latest kits – and lets be realistic here, you do not want your kids to go to football training or school with an old kit – you have to buy two kits a year; or even 3 if you get them the away kit.

Regardless of rising kit costs, just buying the home and away shirt each year for your child double’s the costs from when I was a child getting 1 kit a year.

Now imagine you have 3 children. That is 6 kits a year minimum you will probably fork out for.

By the time you get a name and number on the back, you are looking at £45 a shirt. Add the shorts and socks and you are looking at £95 each. That is £190 for both the home and away, or £570 both your 3 children. For clothes which in a years time will be “out of date”.

A full kit for a 6 year old child with their favourite player on the back now costs £65. £130 for both home and away.

And these costs do not even take into account buying the 3rd kit.

Every time the new kit is released, I see fathers moaning about how much it is going to cost them to ensure their son or daughter has the latest kit. And they are right. But have they then also “celebrated” when Arsenal announce a new record kit deal?

Unfortunately, you can not have it both ways.

You can not have a £60,000,000 kit deal without 3 kits a year costing nearly £100 each.

Adidas will want to continue to see revenues increase, and the only way they can do this is by producing 3 kits a season, at high prices.

Bubble Bursting?

A final thought on this.

There will become a time when the bubble bursts on kit deals. When manufacturers are no longer selling the units to cover the cost of sponsoring the clubs.

In 2016/17 Arsenal sold 1.3 million shirts. It is actually fairly a low number considering the club has 13.7million Twitter followers. It probably highlights how many shirts get sold in foreign lands that are fake. But that is another article.

So lets say in that in the first year of the Adidas deal, 1.5million units are shifted, that Adidas have invested £40 for every shirt sold.

Now of course, Adidas do not profit 100% from every shirt sold.

They have manufacturing costs and the retailer (whether the Arsenal store, Sports Direct, JD Sports or any other retailer) also make a chunk of profit.

At current prices (£55 for the current Adidas Manchester United shirt), we are probably getting very close to the point where what Adidas are paying clubs, and what profit they are making are pretty much equal.

This will cause another rise in shirt prices as Adidas look to increase what they are charging retailers, which in turn will push the charge to consumers up. But this will only work if the consumer are still happy to buy the kit at the new price.

Like with the increasing football ticket prices, eventually you reach a point where the buyer is no longer buying, and the bubble bursts.

I wonder how much more kit manufacturers will be willing to pay the clubs until it no longer becomes financially beneficial? Or how much more kit costs can rise until families just stop buying?


So there we have it, the good, the bad and the ugly of Arsenal’s new £300million kit sponsorship deal…


Wenger GONE… Gazidis GONE… Usmanov GONE…

The fall out from today’s news about Stan Kroenke being set to take full control of Arsenal was as expected. It was overwhelmingly negative.

I have always thought life is too short to be negative about everything, especially about football which for me is a release from the Monday – Friday of work.

When the news first hit, my thoughts were simple.

“I can not wait until Sunday to have a beer with my mates and watch some football”.

You see, football is not just about the 90 minutes. It is about meeting up with friends, old and new, having a few beers and releasing the tension from the working week.

The reality is as Arsenal fans we can do nothing about Kroenke taking full control. Just like we can not do anything about South West Trains having delays every single day, or the Central Line being boiling hot.

Protests, petitions and moaning on Twitter will do nothing.

And what are we protesting? What are we petitioning? What are we moaning about? We do not know Kroenke’s intentions will be as sole owner of Arsenal Football Club. Fans are getting their knickers in the twist based in rumours, based on speculation. Based on the unqualified Arsenal Supporters Trust releasing fake news.

If the deal goes through this week, will it actually affect me, as a match day going fan? No it will not. I will still go Sunday. Meet my mates. Have a few beers before, during and after the game.

In fact, The George shutting will have more of an affect on my life than Kroenke being sole owner of Arsenal.

How about we look at the positives of the situation of Arsenal?

We have long complained about Arsene Wenger’s influence on the club. His 22-year spell at the club went on too long. His autocratic style of leadership centralised power in his office. Wenger is gone. Unai Emery is in charge.

Power has also been further spread around with the appointments of Raul Sanllehi and Sven Mislintat. No longer do we have one single man in charge of the entire football side of the club. Overseeing everything from set up to scouting, transfers to training.

We have seen the effect of the new men this summer. We have spent nearly £70million on some very good signings and moved decisively in the market.

Ivan Gazidis was also holding the club back.

Ignore the fact that he let Wenger remain in charge too long – although he was key in removing the Frenchman and if it was up to him, Wenger would have gone a year earlier.

Gazidis oversees the business side of the club. It is up to him to oversee the commercial team who bring revenue in.

For too long, this commercial team has under performed.

I ma not expecting Arsenal to be up with Manchester United. Their £268million in commercial revenue (and growing) is incredible. Alongside Real Madrid and Barcelona they are a level ahead of every other club in world football when it comes to reach, fan base and brand recognition. And that feeds down to the commercial revenue.

But to be £151million behind them is poor. To have the 5th highest in the Premier League is poor – although Manchester City’s high commercial revenue comes from within.

I do not see why Arsenal, with a motivated and successful commercial revenue team could not be close to £200million a season.

Manchester City have just signed a £50million deal with Puma; Chelsea’s deal with Nike is £60million a year.

Arsenal’s £30million deal with Puma runs out at the end of this season. Taking into account our shirt sales and brand – which are both superior to Chelsea and Manchester City – we should be looking at a minimum £60million a year from Adidas or whoever we do the deal with.

Kit manufacturers do not really care who is “successful”, they care how many units they sell. It is why Liverpool still command high sponsorship revenue despite it being 28 years since they last won the league.

We have recently signed a very good £10million a year deal with Visit Rwanda.

Under Gazidis the commercial revenue team has under performed, leaving us nearly £100million a year short of where we should be.

£100million a year is a lot of money. In very simple terms, it would enable us to buy an additional £80million player on £350,000 a week, every season.

How much better position would we be in if in the last 4 summers, we were able to have purchased 4 £80million players?

The commercial revenue team have held us back for years, and Gazidis is ultimately to blame.

If Josh Kroenke does come in as CEO, as expected, he brings a world of knowledge as president of the Denver Nuggets, Colorado Rapids and Colorado Avalanche with him. American sport is the bench mark as to what commercial revenue you can bring in.

Gazidis leaving should be seen as a positive.

Then we have the final change, the biggest. Stan Kroenke buying out Alisher Usmanov.

For too long, Arsenal have been stale, not really moving anywhere, and I am certain the civil war between the two largest share holders was the reason for this.

One had to go for Arsenal to move forward under the vision of a single owner with no restrictions. Whether you think Kroenke or Usmanov was the “better choice” does not really matter. What is important is the Arsenal Civil War 2007-2018 is over. And hopefully Arsenal can move on and rebuild as one unit.

Rather than be negative, and return to protests and divisions on the terraces, lets look at the positives.

Wenger is gone
Gazidis is going
The Arsenal Civil War is over